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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 156 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [GenCon 2005] Scheduled Events?  (Read 8550 times)
Michael S. Miller
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« on: February 07, 2005, 09:33:26 AM »

Particularly in the aftermath of Dreamation, I've been thinking about the GenCon. I've reviewed the Next Year's Booth: Storm this Brain... thread and I think that holding a number of scheduled, ticketed events outside the exhibit hall would serve to enhance the Forge presence at GenCon Indy 2005 significantly. I think we should register our events as a group (e.g. "Indie RPG Explosion") for our events to be given the same on-site prominence as those from AEG, Kenzer & Co., Game Base 7, etc.

Here are some the pros, as I see them:

• An organized group of events would create a second center of Forge activity. Being active in more physical locations around the con means being seem by more people.

• Having designers, booth ninjas, and others run scheduled, ticketed events would give them somewhere else to be during a few hours of the day, and help relieve the crowding issue at the booth that many people complained about.

• It would be a way for fans of our games to help out (by running events) without requiring them to purchase an exhibitor badge. In fact, if they run 16 hours worth of games, they get the cost of their GenCon badge reimbursed. This does NOT apply to exhibitor badges.

• It would reach players who comb the event listings looking for new things rather than primarily cruising the exhibit hall. How many times did someone tell you "I can't sit down for a demo, I've got a game in 10 minutes"? With scheduled events, folks will be coming to your game.

• I've also encountered a number of folks who've already bought the game, but want a more in-depth look at the mechanics, or just the thrill of playing with the designer. As a fellow game enthusiast, and as good customer service, you generally want to run your game for these folks. But you also don't want to lose a potential sale, or take up a demo table where someone else could be demoing their game for a quick sale. Ticketed events could handle these folks nicely.

The drawbacks, as I see them:

• In order to get preferential treatment from GenCon (i.e., all the Indie RPG Explosion events happening at the same few tables, with a sign outside the room), we'd need to register with the group name (e.g. "Indie RPG Explosion") in the gamemaster field, rather than the individual GM's name. This does take away from the "I want to play Burning Wheel with Luke Crane" appeal. We can put the actual GM name in the event description, but those often aren't printed in the on-site books. We could also possibly put the GM in the Event Title, if it were short enough. This will warrant some investigation.

• The registration deadline is early in April. We'd have to get all the events in well before then. Those who decide late whether they're going or not won't be able to get in on this. Likewise, those who commit, but then don't follow through will reflect badly on us, unless we can arrange for someone else to run the scheduled game.

• If someone is running their ticketed event, they're not at the booth selling their game. We certainly don't want all the creators away from the booth all the time. The minimum time-slot for a ticketed RPG event is only 2 hours, though, so any creators who chose to do this, could register for short slots. As I said above, the Explosion is also a way friends & fans can help out.

• A single person has to be on record as group coordinator. It would be far too much to ask of one of the primary booth sponsors. I volunteer for this.

What are the pros & cons I've overlooked? Does anyone else see this as a good idea, or will I just be registering my events as an independent GM as I've done before?
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2005, 10:51:07 AM »

Michael, I'm not sure exactly what area you are referring to. Do you mean the area where you were at Dreamation, right in front of the elevators?
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Matt Gwinn
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2005, 11:16:56 AM »

Event registration actuallly started on January 10th, so it might be a good idea for people to start giving some thought to this.

Any idea how many hours worth of games we need to sponsor to get prefered treatment?


By the way, preregistartion starts on Feb 14th.

,Matt
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2005, 11:23:14 AM »

We could also possibly put the GM in the Event Title, if it were short enough. This will warrant some investigation.

I quite like this, if it can be made to work. And not just for game designers either. "My Life with Master, with Thomas Fitch" suggests a recognition that enjoyable play is just as much about who you play with as it is about what system you play.

Paul
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2005, 11:47:07 AM »

Paul's got a good point there. I played in a couple of games with a particular GM years ago, and any time I see his name listed at any convention, I'll play the game, no matter what the system, even if it's something I've never heard of, or wouldn't normally be interested in, or both.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2005, 12:17:54 PM »

Quote from: Matt Gwinn
Any idea how many hours worth of games we need to sponsor to get prefered treatment?


The Events Manager said that if we had more than 4 timeslots, we'd likely be put at the same table or group of tables. That doesn't seem difficult at all.

She also said that we'd need to have about 8 games per timeslot for most of the convention in order to get our own room. I think that's a bit much for the first year, though.

As for individual GMs, they'd have to run 16 hours' worth of events to receive badge compensation (again, exhibitor badge cost cannot be refunded).

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Michael, I'm not sure exactly what area you are referring to. Do you mean the area where you were at Dreamation, right in front of the elevators?


No. That area is analagous to the booth inside the exhibitor hall at GenCon. I'm talking about various people involved with the games that will be sold at the "Forge Booth" registering events for the GenCon program book as a group. This will get us a designated area within the RPG rooms, and likely a sign.
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Luke
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2005, 04:36:44 PM »

Hi Michael et omnes,

As a primary sponsor of the Forge booth last year, and again this year, I strongly recommend that the designers who are contributors at the Forge booth do not run ticketed games during business hours. When you buy in to the booth, you not just reserving a spot where your game can be sold. You are contributing to the greater good of all of the games to be sold at the booth. To adequately perform this duty, you must be present at the booth, pitching your game, running demos and helping other people run demos.

To spend business hours running 2-hour long games is detracting from the community of the booth as a whole, and possibly bad business.

Michael likes to use himself as an example of one who can't sell his own game. He claims that his games only sell when he's not present at the booth. That's all well and good, but watch him closely. When not selling his game, he is actively promoting games like Universalis, My Life with Master, Sorcerer, etc. This is good and necessary. And it's a learned behavior, not some natural talent -- Michael showed me the ropes at my first year at the booth.

For full disclosure, I will be running ticketed events at GenCon. But I will run them after hours. I'd be happy to include them in the Indie RPG Explosion or not.

-Luke
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daMoose_Neo
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2005, 08:09:51 PM »

I plan on hanging with the Forge this year with Twilight and my own little RP the Imp Game (Which is humming along nicely in playtest ^_^) and would be thrilled to list as a part of the "indie explosion".
I'm bringing three other people with me, mostly to run stated events. If I stayed at the booth and they were to run games, either of Twilght, Imp, or something else that struck their fancy (If Tony'll be there with Capes I know one guy coming with whos bound to snap it up), thats three events that'd be running.
Considering a game of Twilight can run 30-45 minutes, a 4 hour event for that is fairly easy (4 matches and soda break) and the Imp game can run for hours on end, especially once I work out the pesky dungeon creation stuff and players can spend that time building dungeons and then running them ^_^
Considering how many other games are here, 8 games running should be easy if everyone worked together.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2005, 08:41:34 PM »

Yeah, I'll be there.  In fact, I ought to be arranging my plane tickets.

I'm actually quite fascinated by Luke's advice that folks not run slot-games during booth hours.  I'm certainly eager to stick around the booth, and happy to hear that the problems of Forge-booth crowding may not apply to me.
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Silent Tamatama
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2005, 09:42:04 PM »

Hey Mike

I think that it is a great idea and one whose time has come.

 
Quote
• Having designers, booth ninjas, and others run scheduled, ticketed events would give them somewhere else to be during a few hours of the day, and help relieve the crowding issue at the booth that many people complained about.


There were many times last year when I felt that there were a few too many booth ninjas around the booth and so I would take off to wander the exhibitor hall only to return after fifteen or twenty minutes to again a feeling of there being too many booth ninjas.  The time that I was away from the booth last year running My Life with Master was a lot of fun, and also made me feel as though I had contributed quite a bit to the presence of the Forge Booth and Paul’s game at GenCon.  Most importantly I wasn’t hanging around taking up space at the booth for eight hours.   It is not just our booth that were taking up space and hanging out at but also the booths around us that we might be blocking access to.   Maybe this will even prompt some people into running events that were on the fence about it if they feel that they'd be contributing to the booth even while they are away from the booth.  As of right now I am planning on running three scheduled game events for 2005.  Two four hour events of Charnel Gods or Sorcerer and Sword and one four hour event of My Life with Master all during exhibitor hall hours.
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Tom
Luke
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2005, 09:53:45 PM »

Quote
There were many times last year when I felt that there were a few too many booth ninjas around the booth and so I would take off to wander the exhibitor hall only to return after fifteen or twenty minutes to again a feeling of there being too many booth ninjas. The time that I was away from the booth last year running My Life with Master was a lot of fun, and also made me feel as though I had contributed quite a bit to the presence of the Forge Booth and Paul’s game at GenCon.


Ok, let's run with this. Booth ninja FLOOD the GenCon schedule with hot small-press Forgie games during business hours. After 5, the designers slither out and run their sessions.

How's that sound Mike? Ron?
-L
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Judd
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2005, 09:58:24 PM »

Quote from: abzu
Quote


Ok, let's run with this. Booth ninja FLOOD the GenCon schedule with hot small-press Forgie games during business hours. After 5, the designers slither out and run their sessions.

-L


That sounds rockin'.

I'm going ot make sure my Gen Con trip is rock solid and then begin planning what I'll run, hopefully a game a day should do the trick.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2005, 03:59:48 AM »

Quote from: abzu
Ok, let's run with this. Booth ninja FLOOD the GenCon schedule with hot small-press Forgie games during business hours. After 5, the designers slither out and run their sessions.


Didn't I just say that? <re-reads post> Okay, I didn't say that, but that's what I was trying to say. I understand completely why designers have to buy in at the exhibitor level and commit to being at the booth for large swaths of time. I also think that some of the booth ninjas (and some folks who weren't ninjas last year) could do more good for the booth if they weren't at the booth all the time. And if they're going to run scheduled games, I think they'd have more luck if we schedule them as a group, than as an assortment of individuals.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2005, 06:23:16 AM »

What Luke said.

I was avoiding posting to this thread because as written Michael's initial post was 100% incompatible for the planned booth, and I was looking for a polite way to drop a very nasty hammer on it. But if, instead, Luke's point was the intended one, then we're all good.

To be absolutely clear, if a company is participating at the Forge booth, you work the Forge booth. This time, from the outset, it's to be clear that running GenCon demos during the exhibitor hours simply isn't an option if you want to be at the Forge booth.

Tom, I suggest that a great deal of the crowding at the booth is going to be less of a problem this year, because several factors are changing. For one, we won't be forced to carry the weight for one company through over-long, over-stuffed, and over-dramatized demos, which is something we chose to do on Saturday and Sunday essentially out of mercy. For another, buy-in companies will be limited to one badge except by special dispensation.

Most of the concerns raised in the Storm This Brain thread were bullshit, and those that weren't didn't take into account some of these things I'm mentioning now.

Also, as I mentioned in a recent thread, this year's booth will absolutely explicitly not be a bookstore. One does not come in, stand around, and browse. There will be other places available for that, and if I'm successful in my networking, several.

I realize all of these are draconian and very narrow views on what the Forge Booth is to be like. In fact, consider this an open call to set up Your Own God Damn Forge Booth, run in any way you please, at GenCon. Although I'm phrasing that savagely, it's intended to be welcoming and funny. I want lots of Your Own God Damn Forge Booths, and I can't see any reason at all why (a) they can't be at the same con, especially a big one like GenCon; and (b) they can't be run by different people in different ways.

Best,
Ron
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Luke
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2005, 07:45:55 AM »

Quote from: Michael S. Miller
I also think that some of the booth ninjas (and some folks who weren't ninjas last year) could do more good for the booth if they weren't at the booth all the time. And if they're going to run scheduled games, I think they'd have more luck if we schedule them as a group, than as an assortment of individuals.


Ok. Excellent. So long as we all understand -- yes that means YOU -- that buy-ins work the booth, then I think we can use this scheme to multiply our presence. Booth ninja can, in fact, become actual ninja -- venturing out in the disguise of humble GMs running cool games, while secretly assassinating all desire to play anything else but our games.

I'm joking (a little) of course. But I do think that if we can have "two teams" -- one doing short demos and managing the booth, and the other doing long term demos and directing people to the booth -- we will do very well for ourselves and better accomplish our mission: to spread the word of these games.

Ok, so that means we need committed GMs now. Event registration is open and people are all ready filling up our precious time  slots. I had to restrain myself from registering my events last night -- don't want to lose out on a good time slot because we dawdle on this.

Lastly, I realize that a rigid schedule won't work for everyone. Ron you do panels and stuff at GenCon during the day. How do you reconile that with boothing? I think we should allow one two hour event per "business day' per designer/publisher.

-Luke

PS Ron, does this mean its time to start laying track for the roaring locomotive that will be this year's booth?
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