Organizing a Games on Demand Event

I get asked regularly about how to start up new instances of Games on Demand for other conventions. I thought I’d write up some of the most recent advice for getting things off the ground as a first lesson, with more to follow.

Other organizers, feel free to comment with your own wisdom and experiences!

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My assumption is that you are an enthusiastic attendee who wants to organize a Games on Demand event (rather than a member of the convention staff).

In that case, my first suggestion for getting started is to talk to the convention events staff to see what they can offer to help you run the event- quiet space in a good location, free badges for GMs, maybe hotel rooms to encourage volunteers to come help, etc. 

If you have trouble selling them on why they should help you, point out that you want to assemble a team of enthusiastic volunteers and run an event for free to entertain attendees at their show. 

After that, make a guess about how many volunteers you need for the size of the show and start recruiting. How big is the show? Do you have any idea how many attendees to expect for the event based on attendance?

For a first-time event, 4-6 tables is a reasonable starting point. You’ll need to decide what the hours for the event will be and break that up into shifts for a volunteer schedule. You may not be busy enough to keep all the tables running for all shifts, but start with that assumption. 

If you have the option, the Origins model is a great one to follow- 2 or 3 four-hour shifts with breaks for meals in between. 

So assuming you run three four-hour shifts a day over 3 days — probably less on the last day, so let’s call it 8 shifts — with four tables at a time, that’s 32 shifts for GM volunteers. Add 8-16 more for a host or two to coordinate getting players into games during each shift, and that’s 48 shifts for a total of 192 person-hours.

At Gen Con we typically ask volunteers to work 16 hours to get a free badge. Some people do part-time and work just a shift or two. You can set that dial wherever you like, but if we assume a 16-hour commitment, that means you’ll need about 12 full-time volunteers.

Originally shared by Nathan Paoletta

Originally shared by Nathan Paoletta

Origins Games on Demand 2015 Info

This is a volunteer effort and transparency is one of our values! The organizing committee is still working through our internal conversation before opening up a formal feedback survey, but for now, here’s the numbers.

Overall Numbers

We seated 463 players in 103 games with a staff of 36 GMs (including non-game-facilitating Hosts). 

Last year we seated 457 players in 101 games with a staff of 44 GMs.

A slight increase in butts in seats, but with that lower staff count we’re pretty sure that means that we served an appreciable amount of new faces! Anecdotally this seemed to be the case. We also saw a lot of groups come through who all wanted to play a game together.

Time Slots and Capacity

Our busiest slots were Saturday night and afternoon (62 and 61 players), Friday afternoon (59) and Thursday night (58). We had 10 tables in our room plus 2 official overflow tables elsewhere and 3 unofficial-but-often-available tables next door, plus the Larp room downstairs in the afternoons.

We basically got close to or met capacity (using those overflow tables) 6 of our 10 time slots. 

Games Played

Games on Demand played 48 different individual game titles, 43 tabletop and 5 Larps, across the weekend.

Game Title – # of games player – total # of players – (system notes)

Infinite Galaxies –  5 –  24 –  (PbtA)

Dungeon World – 5 – 23 – (PbtA)

Fate Core – 5 – 23 – (Fate)

The Warren – 4 – 21 – (PbtA)

Dogs in the Vineyard – 4 – 19

Urban Shadows – 4 – 18 – (PbtA)

Cartel – 4 – 16 – (PbtA)

Iron Edda –  3 – 21

World Wide Wrestling – 3 – 19 – (PbtA)

Laser Kittens – 3 – 18

Microscope – 3 – 16

No Country for Old Kobolds – 3 – 15 – (PbtA)

Kagematsu – 3 – 14

The Sprawl – 3 – 13 – (PbtA)

Save Game – 3 – 12 – (Fate)

OxCrunch – 3 – 8 – (PbtA)

Feng Shui 2  – 2 – 10

Mouse Guard – 2 – 10

Nights Black Agents – 2 – 10

Polaris – 2 – 9

Masks of the Mummy Kings – 2 – 9

Project: Dark – 2 – 9

Masks – 2 – 8 – (PbtA)

Fiasco – 2 – 8

Swords Without Master – 2 – 8

USMC Torchbearer – 2 – 8

The Mesopotamians – 2 – 7

Hour b/w Dog and Wolf – 2 – 4

The Tribunal – 1 – 8  –  (Larp)

Firefly – 1 – 7

Warriors of Crown Heights – 1 – 6 – (Feng Shui)

Dungeon Crawl Classics – 1 – 6

Kayfabe – 1 – 5

Mobilize – 1 – 5 –  (Larp)

Wrath of the Autarch – 1 – 5

Monster of the Week – 1 – 5 – (PbtA)

Neo Shinobi Vendetta – 1 – 5

The Fifth World – 1 – 5

Hope Inhumanity – 1 – 5

Traveller – 1 – 4

Durance – 1 – 4

Guards of Abashan – 1 – 4

Juggernaut – 1 – 4  – (Larp)

A Family Affair – 1 – 4 – (Larp)

Damned Love – 1 – 3 – (Larp)

Vault Hunters – 1 – 3

Misspent Youth – 1 – 3

Psi Run – 1 – 2

Thanks again everyone!

Origins 2015 Games on Demand: By the Numbers

This is a repost of Nathan Paoletta‘s excellent summary of the Origins 2015 data

Games on Demand is a volunteer effort and transparency is one of our values! The organizing committee for Origins is still working through our internal conversation before opening up a formal feedback survey, but for now, here’s the numbers.

Overall Numbers
We seated 463 players in 103 games with a staff of 36 GMs (including non-game-facilitating Hosts).

Last year we seated 457 players in 101 games with a staff of 44 GMs.

A slight increase in butts in seats, but with that lower staff count we’re pretty sure that means that we served an appreciable amount of new faces! Anecdotally this seemed to be the case. We also saw a lot of groups come through who all wanted to play a game together. Continue reading

Come Volunteer with us at Gen Con 2015 Games on Demand!

Come Volunteer with us at Gen Con 2015 Games on Demand!

The time has finally come to officially sign up for Games on Demand at Gen Con! We’re looking for people to help us welcome attendees, organize seating, and run games for enthusiastic players!

The show runs from July 30 to August 2, 2015, and we’ll be running games from Thursday through Sunday morning. Free badges are available for those volunteering for 16 or more hours.

If you’re interested in joining us, fill out this form and let us know!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fB0mAISUb1RQ_dBYlu0VIK2VHeRCN9E8LEq_uc8ByKc/viewform

Diversity is an important part of Games on Demand so we especially encourage women, people of color, and gamers of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds to join us! We’ll provide training and support as needed.

Please share this post and link with anyone you think would like to join us.

Gen Con 2015: Call for GoD Volunteers

Games on Demand - Gen Con

The time has finally come to officially sign up for Games on Demand at Gen Con! We’re looking for people to help us welcome attendees, organize seating, and run games for enthusiastic players!

The show runs from July 30 to August 2, 2015, and we’ll be running games from Thursday through Sunday morning. Free badges are available for those volunteering for 16 or more hours.

If you’re interested in joining us, fill out this form and let us know!

Diversity is an important part of Games on Demand so we especially encourage women, people of color, and gamers of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds to join us! We’ll provide training and support as needed.

Please share this post and link with anyone you think would like to join us!

Originally shared by Kira Magrann

Originally shared by Kira Magrann

OMG ORIGINS IS IN ONE WEEK. I’LL BE RUNNING GAMES AT GAMES ON DEMAND IN ONE WEEK.

Looking over the schedule, I’m super excited personally to play:

– Plasma Torchbearer: USCMC

– Cartel

– The Sprawl

– Breaking the Ice

– No Country for Old Kobolds

– 1001 Nights

– Swords Without Master

– Psi*Run

– Tenra Bansho Zero

– Kagematsu

– Mobilize (my larp in playtest!)

Check out the indie games explosion page for the mostly exhaustive list of games we’re offering this year!

https://www.indiegamesexplosion.org/events/origins/

GottaCon Games on Demand

GottaCon, Victoria’s gaming convention, ran it’s own Games on Demand this year and it was a big success! The following report is from Mike Gruber, who organized the event.

One of our special events this year was called GottaConQuest in which attendees were given quests to complete for each of the six ‘pillars’ of GottaCon: Trading Card Games, Role-Playing Games, Board Games, Video Games, Miniatures, and Panels. One of the RPG quests I came up with was playing in a Games on Demand session in order to claim a badge ribbon. Showing your ribbon at our Special Events HQ then completed the quest. So we had a number of people that were completely new to role-playing play some Games on Demand to complete their quests. It was fantastic! Everyone had fun and I am pretty sure we created some new role-players at the show.

Games we ended up running included:
Dread, Dungeon World, Fate Accelerated Edition, Fiasco, Hope Inhumanity, Magister Lor, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Psi*Run, The Sword, the Crown, and the Unspeakable Power, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Time Cellist, and Zombie Cinema

The most run games were:
Fiasco (3), Psi*Run (3), Hope Inhumanity (2), Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (2), Time Cellist (2), Zombie Cinema (2)

Overall GottaCon was a great success and the RPG area saw even more growth than we anticipated. In total we ran 136 individual RPG events (including Games on Demand) for a total of 676 players!

Gottacon in Victoria, Canada just had a really successful Games on Demand event, and I think it deserves a mention.

Gottacon in Victoria, Canada just had a really successful Games on Demand event, and I think it deserves a mention.

It was run by Mike G and Angela Gruber, and the GMs were myself, Patrick Riegert, Todd Nicholas, and Riley Vandall.  Mike stepped in as well when he could.

Mike tells me we had 70 people go through in three days.  Because of some really effective advertising, many of these were first-time roleplayers.  It was extremely successful, and will have to be happening again next year.

And on that note, anyone in the Victoria-Vancouver-Seattle area, or willing to visit next year, you should highly consider going us.  It’s a great time, and I’m sure Mike would agree that we could really use you.

And heck, failing that, if you know someone in our area who might be interested next year, let them know about it.

https://www.gottacon.com/

PAX East 2015 – Games on Demand

god_pax_east_2015

PAX East is this weekend (March 6-8) and Games on Demand will be returning with a crew of enthusiastic volunteers and a ton of great games on offer! Check out the list below to see what we’ll be running.

We’ll be starting new games every two hours or so from 12pm-10pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

Will you be at the show? Come play a game with us!
Continue reading