GaryCon XI: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Feedback)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bront, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    Early registration, a t-shirt, and a stadium cup made the gold badge worth it for me. The extra featured events were nice, but not my reason for going with gold.
    SoulCatcher78 likes this.
  2. Bront

    Bront Level 0 Character

    They tried not to make living events Featured. But failed.

    At the moment that looks to be enough of an ussis it looks like our group may not return. We accounted for 15 seven player events and I ran an additional 4 unrelated 6 man events (I had 40 hours judging booked myself, 36 ran and one failed entirely due to prereg issues caused by Featured Events) and had talk of ramping up next year, but the featured event thing violates our charter, and definitely soured my experience greatly.

    This is also the second year I've had this issue with my events not filling due to being premier events. Last year I had 4 half full events of 4 I ran because people who wanted to play couldn't sign up and grabbed other events instead.

    No other con does this, and it penalizes game masters like me. Where's my reward for running a Featured Event? All I did is have hard work and my time wasted instead.
  3. gizmomathboy

    gizmomathboy Troubadour

    I do agree that it sucks for all of a GM's events to be Featured without their input.

    I can see why the Con would want some to be Featured but I do think there really needs to be some sort of track record to tag all of them as Featured. I think especially so for a first time unless they have some serious following. Bront, I have no clue where you fall in that spectrum of geek celebrity.
  4. Bront

    Bront Level 0 Character

    RE celebrity, I did write 9 of the 10 modules I ran, someone else ran one of my modules twice, and I'm a contributing writer for the Umerican Survival Guide line for DCC (published by Shield of Faith Studios). I also coordinated 9 other events for 2 other GMs.

    To compare, the writer and mastermind of Umerica, Reid, had none of his 4 events listed as featured.

    Edit: Just to be clear, I mostly enjoyed myself, but I had a lot of undue stress added having several events with 1 or 0 preregisters, particularly when multiple people had told me, "I would have signed up but it wouldn't let me, so I didn't sign up for any of your events and scheduled other things, but I'd have rather played in yours." Given it was a pilot to see if the group that runs those particular events to see if we'd continue to run things at GaryCon and plan more events in force, and the featured event thing made that likely a no-go.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  5. Mitch the Bard

    Mitch the Bard Level 0 Character

    I get what you are saying, and yes, the really expensive tickets coming with, what is it, 6? featured events - amazing stuff and part of the reason to pay as much for the elite tickets, but in truth, they could do without the Featured events at all - as I have learned that the true value of the premium badges is registering early - you pay more to get in the events you want...just thinking outside the box here, about you make all events equal, no premiums - and those that are gold get to register for 2 events a week prior to the silvers - the platinums get to register for 4 events two weeks early - silvers get to register for one event...then after that, everyone registers for all the rest of their events at the same time - this would allow the people to determine what is and what is not a featured event by what sells out on the early registrations
  6. Buttmonkey

    Buttmonkey Troubadour

    I'm sold. I think part of the reason the featured event economy isn't working is because it was created back when we only had 300-350 attendees. Inertia has kept the economy in place. Now they sell something like 2,000 silver badges. That requires 2,000+ featured event seats. Your (and others') suggestion to just go to a straight earlier registration date is a good idea. Limiting the number of events premium badge holders can sign up for before the silvers jump in the pool is an elegant substitute for what the featured events are trying to accomplish.
  7. Muddy

    Muddy Level 0 Character

    The Good

    It was my first time at Garycon, and I haven't played for years. It was a wonderful experience. It is difficult to run an event of this size, and to have everything go smoothly, and from what I have read, to have some of the problems worked out from previous years, a commendable achievement. I had a tremendous amount of fun and already have a room reserved for next year.

    The staff was wonderful and incredibly helpful, both pre con and during the convention. The hotel staff were wonderful and had only glowing things to say about the attendees. The DMs were great, and enthusiastic, and for the most part so were the players.

    Table service was fine, food was acceptable and reasonably priced for the occasion.

    The shuttle from the off site hotel (Comfort Inn? I don't even remember) was great, and my experience would have been much worse without it. Their staff was fabulous as well. The room was fine.

    The could be better

    I too expected one line for DMs and was surprised when I had to get into a second line. If the second DM line had been long I would have been disappointed to say the least.

    The purpose and process of collecting tags and the page of players names wasn't really explained, I turned everything in, but didn't feel like I understood what I was doing or why. Understanding the system may help compliance here.

    The table top events DM to player communication doesn't seem to work well. I know I didn't get one message from my DM, and that one of my players didn't get a message from me. It's hard to know what is going on there but something isn't quite right.

    I was surprised to see the photos of celebs at the con after the con. It isn't a big deal to me, and maybe it was because I spent a lot of time in the forums, but I felt like I didn't know much of what was going on outside of the games I was in.

    It was also difficult to know how to fit non game events into the schedule, because I don't think they show up on TTE. There were some I saw that were of interest, but when I put the filter on (seminar maybe?) they didn't show up – I only knew about them because I had seen something on Facebook. I would have been nice to have them incorporated to facilitate overall day planning.

    Please schedule the movies - Blackmoor and on on - for the evening, when things are slowing down and people are burning out. The evening games suffered because of low energy. and some low key offerings would be appreciated in the evening, I think.

    I would second the thoughts about the featured events, it seems they should be used sparingly. The tiered badges seem enough.

    Something could be done to encourage “repeat business” for DM's. Not to help fill games but to build community and to help the DM know at least in part the group. I like the idea of an invite only, or way for a DM to hold a few spots for invited players. The off schedule games won't really help here, if for example, I have a game that I'd like to have four specific players in, and also have four open spots.

    The number of required sessions for DM benefits seems a bit much. Maybe a tiered thing like the badges would work, this could be tied into the point above. Running a second session might allow me to hold two spots for players or something like that.

    I understand the need to give higher cost badges more privileges, but this needs to be balanced with the understanding that some players simply can't afford those badges, and so should be balanced with the concern for building community over the years.

    The Bad - N/A

    The Ugly - N/A

    Overall it was a great experience. It made me wish I had hitch hiked out to Lake Geneva as a kid for a few games in the 70's and met Gary.

    Thanks again to him, his family, and to every who make this experience possible.
    Tim Neppel, Scott308 and Poindexter like this.
  8. Bront

    Bront Level 0 Character

    That's easy. Only list it as open for 4 and ask for a table for 8 in the notes. Then write in the 4 players who show up that you didn't require to sign up.

    I don't think Tabletop Events allows for reserve seating by GM or else you can ask the staff to reserve the seats.

    most of the rewards are pretty standard for a big con, if not more generous than usual. The change from 16 to 18 hours for the shirt with no warning was rough and odd. 18? That's an odd number, and even the staff didn't know (I have emails with a few staffers organizing GMs that mentioned shirts for 16 hours of GMing).

    Also, not quoted, regarding Table Top Events and on site events: I agree GaryCon doesn't handle on site event sign up or listings well. Some of it is just on the events being so spread out, and others is on it focusing on pre-registration with featured events. It's big enough a con booklet isn't a lot of help for finding events.

    On suggestion regarding ticket collection, why not fill the registration sheet up with "Generic" Tickets. The players just fill in the game and turn them into the GM if they didn't pre-register. It frees people up to try for games that might appear sold out, and saves a lot of paperwork headaches for GMs having to ask for badge numbers. Since the sheet is blank otherwise anyway, it's a non issue from a paper perspective.
  9. Buttmonkey

    Buttmonkey Troubadour

    Depending on which non-game events you are referring to, they may have been listed on the Gary Con website. For example, I believe the time and location for the charity auction was announced on the website, but was not an event showing up on TTE.
  10. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Just FYI for you all discussing sustains and improves for Gary Con. We read through and look for issues and especially love some of the great ideas for resolving them. I think we can find a way to incorporate some changes that will mitigate the perceived featured event penalty for the hardworking GMs out there. And TTE can reserve some seats and open them on specific dates. SO we can tier the available seats for certain highly desirable games to enable access for all badge levels. This way all attendees have the opportunity. A Gold badge will have a higher likelihood than a Silver badge, but there will be some available and I think that is a good thing.

    So thank you for taking the time to share your experiences good and bad- its very helpful.

    Game On!

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