Here are some details about a cool new con with a Games on Demand-style event!
Originally shared by Mark Diaz Truman
It’s coming… in just 3 weeks! We’re bringing indie gaming to New Mexico, and we’d love to see you there. Registration is just $35 for the whole weekend (and it includes breakfast and coffee each morning) and hotel rooms are $150 for a double for the whole weekend! Cheep cheep cheep…
You can find out more information and sign up here:
Feelin’ underappreciated? Unloved? Here’s a little snippet from a thread at rpg.net called “What cool thing are you doing at Gen Con?” to set your heart right:
“The games on demand crew were great last year. I had had trouble with my log in, so had very little booked until the last minute last year. As I live in the UK, this was my first gencon and a bit of a pilgrimage for me. I was worried I was going to end up disappointed in gencon because of my cock up.
But no! I took general tickets to games on demand. They ran me a series of really fun games. They were super friendly and nice even to a total random stranger. I met people who wrote random indie games I buy. I chose someone’s favourite and got to play the oddest and one of the most memorable rp experience I have ever had (lindersfarm). Someone’s dresden file game made me buy both the rpg and the novels. All in all I had a blast, and it was at least 80% due to those guys.
Go check them out. They were great.
Also, if you get to choose what game the gm will run (there are usually 2 options) the choice “whichever you are more passionate about running” is a fine one. I only tried it once and got a truely memorable gaming experience.”
John Stavropoulos put together another great graphic to show off the Larp on Demand event he and others are putting together for Maelstrom. If you’re in the area and free, you should definitely go to the show and try some great live action games!
GASP (Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania) organizes GASPCon – the annual convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
GoD at GASP started last year when after a great Origins/Gencon Games on Demand Nick Wedig and I started discussing bringing it to GASP, and Jason Godesky stepped up to volunteer to organize it.
GASP brings out roughly 200 people. We lost the RPGA room this year (conflict schedule with MarCON) and we clocked in over 260 folk (the con grows by about 50 people every year). The con had to move to a bigger space this year.
GoD last year had 2 assigned tables in the open RPG room (separate from the Pathfinder Society and RPGA spaces). We over-ran our space frequently (at one point Nick had 7 people signed up for Inspectres so we split the tables and he and I each ran a table) grabbing open tables as we could get them.
This year was even better!
Folks that ran games and manned the table: Jason Godesky (if you see our sweet digital display? Yeah he organized that), Michael Godesky, Giulianna Lamanna, Brianna Sheldon, Pete Figtree and Nick Wedig!
We were given 4 tables to run on. We ran 21 games, which had 75 total players (I stress players. Think in terms of Tickets for the bigger cons), of which 29 were unique (lots of people liked what they saw and came back for another game or two!).
Four our small local con this was a good success. More than 10% of the people who attended the Con stopped by GoD!
Now if you’ve made it this far here are a few thoughts and lessons I learned about running a con at a small convention.
1. Make sure you have signs up. Having clear directions to GoD helped.
2. Work with the Organizers. GoD is a flexible event that fits organically inside other schedules. If you can make it into the informational booklet – great. Not everyone reads those. If you can get announced at the beginning of the Con this is even better.
3. Talk to the other GMs or make sure the info is available to other (non-GoD) GMs. If their table is full (and some games are popular and have wait-lists) let the folks know that a zero-previous-knowledge RPG is available at GoD. Cancelling a game because not enough players showed? GoD probably has games to fit a few people into.
4. Make sure to bring games of various lengths and skill/knowledge level requirements. Sometimes folks don’t understand your 4-hour game-slot delineators, or have a game in 2 hours and just want to get something quick in.
We have the advantage that one of the Con organizers is an indie gamer and has helped us navigate whatever we needed from the Con organizers (big thanks to Dan Cetorelli).
Local cons are definitely a great place to showcase indie games (you get a much higher visibility than at giant conventions where it’s harder to get noticed).
Amanda Valentine raises some great points about reaching out to the younger players at GoD. We experimented a bit with adding rating levels (mature, kid friendly, etc.) to the game menus this year, but I’d be very interested to hear more ideas about how to address this issue. Extra points if you want to step up and help make it happen!
Throughout the year, post GoD success, I’ve been talking with various folks I know who are interested in how to host LARPs via GoD. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to elaborate on this fully, but here are my thoughts on the process:
-3 minimum and up to 12-15 players per game
-2 1/2 to 4 hours in length
-no previous LARP experience required, all rules taught at game
-hosted by 1 GM or more
-genre: parlor, Jeepform, Nordic, homebrew, American Freefrom, etc.
1 day (or more) before the game
-GM contacts Gen Con staff (via the info tables located throughout the convention) to reserve a room, which likely could be at a hotel
-at GoD, I’m thinking we can have a whiteboard or poster area only for pimping your LARP. You leave the basic info (name, time, very short description of game). Players interested in larps then can see what/when/how and plan accordingly. GoD staff only need to know that if a player is interested, they need to show up at little before that time, say 10 minutes. GMs should be earlier, say 20 minutes prior to gather players, first come first serve.
-come time for the game, GMs come back to GoD and pitch the game again and/or find players…then go and game!
-last year it was fairly easy to find rooms. This year with Gen Con seeming so full, this might be harder to do
-GMs should budget about 30 minutes into the game time for gathering players and getting to their gaming space
-GMs need to be proactive pitching their game! I’m thinking they should have a pre-printed summary of their game to leave at the LARP board, but any time they’re at GoD they should suggest players take a look at the LARP offerings
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