Vinny’s Address

Vinny’s Address

Adam’s reply

Let’s take it easy.

Eeeeasy.

I can feel the internet trying to work its magic powers and shit on this entire conversation.

Here are some solutions:

When a game runs over I will:

– offer to run more slots, putting the spill-over into other game-slots.

– contact the spill-over players and see if any are willing to GM, if so, get them a free pdf of my game and offer my own guidance on the running of it.

– see if any of my friends could GM an extra slot.

What I won’t do:

– let in more players to the detriment of the game session’s quality

– offer to run so many more slots that the con will no longer be any fun.

The fact is, we have grown our section of the con because our sessions are fun, high quality shit and letting in 9 players per table does not work in every game.

Also, we need to get Vinny into some of our games, probably not at the con but at some point, so that he better understands what our games do and how they are different from other RPG’s he might have played in the past.

So, to sum up:

There are creative solutions that actually grow our community base.

Game fun need not be sacrificed.

We need to game with Vinny.

Thoughts?

Jason M’s (I assume it is Morningstar) thoughts are well worth posting here at the top:

“Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.”

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148 thoughts on “Vinny’s Address

  1. Yeah, good ideas. I also think we should petition for partially-free passes to the Con, so that people who want to GM one or two sessions of the new hotness are compensated for their time without them having to give up three slots.

    I agree that Vinny needs to actually play some Indie games to really understand what’s going on. It was super-clear from his talk that he never has.

    Matt

  2. Yeah, good ideas. I also think we should petition for partially-free passes to the Con, so that people who want to GM one or two sessions of the new hotness are compensated for their time without them having to give up three slots.

    I agree that Vinny needs to actually play some Indie games to really understand what’s going on. It was super-clear from his talk that he never has.

    Matt

  3. Yeah, good ideas. I also think we should petition for partially-free passes to the Con, so that people who want to GM one or two sessions of the new hotness are compensated for their time without them having to give up three slots.

    I agree that Vinny needs to actually play some Indie games to really understand what’s going on. It was super-clear from his talk that he never has.

    Matt

  4. Yeah, good ideas. I also think we should petition for partially-free passes to the Con, so that people who want to GM one or two sessions of the new hotness are compensated for their time without them having to give up three slots.

    I agree that Vinny needs to actually play some Indie games to really understand what’s going on. It was super-clear from his talk that he never has.

    Matt

  5. I would totally have signed up to pinch-hit overstuffed games that I know how to run.

    I really hope this conversation doesn’t go towards jumping on Vinny. The guy built us a house, we just need to use it within specification.

  6. I would totally have signed up to pinch-hit overstuffed games that I know how to run.

    I really hope this conversation doesn’t go towards jumping on Vinny. The guy built us a house, we just need to use it within specification.

  7. I would totally have signed up to pinch-hit overstuffed games that I know how to run.

    I really hope this conversation doesn’t go towards jumping on Vinny. The guy built us a house, we just need to use it within specification.

  8. I would totally have signed up to pinch-hit overstuffed games that I know how to run.

    I really hope this conversation doesn’t go towards jumping on Vinny. The guy built us a house, we just need to use it within specification.

  9. Yeeeah.

    I had a full game of It’s Complicated, and two more people showed up and asked to be in it. I ran it with the extra, and everyone seemed to really have fun, but it changed the game a whole bunch and the whole thing just sort of got out from under me– it was the most gonzo game ever. I didn’t play in either slot of IC, and Shreyas and I both abstained from MRG due to a ton of players– which is actually something MRG does well, but it’s harder to reach resolution in the timeslot with more. It’s funny, because I talked to S and decided that my solution was to limit the number of player slots to 4 for DexCon.

  10. Yeeeah.

    I had a full game of It’s Complicated, and two more people showed up and asked to be in it. I ran it with the extra, and everyone seemed to really have fun, but it changed the game a whole bunch and the whole thing just sort of got out from under me– it was the most gonzo game ever. I didn’t play in either slot of IC, and Shreyas and I both abstained from MRG due to a ton of players– which is actually something MRG does well, but it’s harder to reach resolution in the timeslot with more. It’s funny, because I talked to S and decided that my solution was to limit the number of player slots to 4 for DexCon.

  11. Yeeeah.

    I had a full game of It’s Complicated, and two more people showed up and asked to be in it. I ran it with the extra, and everyone seemed to really have fun, but it changed the game a whole bunch and the whole thing just sort of got out from under me– it was the most gonzo game ever. I didn’t play in either slot of IC, and Shreyas and I both abstained from MRG due to a ton of players– which is actually something MRG does well, but it’s harder to reach resolution in the timeslot with more. It’s funny, because I talked to S and decided that my solution was to limit the number of player slots to 4 for DexCon.

  12. Yeeeah.

    I had a full game of It’s Complicated, and two more people showed up and asked to be in it. I ran it with the extra, and everyone seemed to really have fun, but it changed the game a whole bunch and the whole thing just sort of got out from under me– it was the most gonzo game ever. I didn’t play in either slot of IC, and Shreyas and I both abstained from MRG due to a ton of players– which is actually something MRG does well, but it’s harder to reach resolution in the timeslot with more. It’s funny, because I talked to S and decided that my solution was to limit the number of player slots to 4 for DexCon.

  13. I wonder how many IGE players are part of the indie scene (even if they just lurk on boards and keep tabs) and how many are just “general gaming public” who see indie game descriptions and go “cool!”? Are we mostly serving ourselves or do we pull in lots of outsiders?

    I ask because if it’s the former (and I think indie gamers make up a large, majority portion of the people who play), then perhaps we can make some projections.

    If we started early and got a list of GMs committed to run certain games and then put up a post on story-games or forge or whatever and said:

    “Here are the games that are going to run at least once at Dreamation, if you were going to play six games at Dreamation, which six would you pick? (with 1 = I must play and 6 = I’d settle for this at the end)”

    Then we just tally it up. Between the number of responses for a game and it’s overall “hotness” (how highly ranked it is), we can get a good estimate of how interested people are in playing a given game. Then the GMs can either run more sessions or we can recruit people to run more sessions of that game. If a game isn’t so popular, that kinda hurts, but the GM can consider running something else that will really meet a need.

    I guess my only concern here is that from Vinny’s point of view, lots of small game sessions may be much worse logistically than fewer large game sessions. I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

    later
    Tom

  14. I wonder how many IGE players are part of the indie scene (even if they just lurk on boards and keep tabs) and how many are just “general gaming public” who see indie game descriptions and go “cool!”? Are we mostly serving ourselves or do we pull in lots of outsiders?

    I ask because if it’s the former (and I think indie gamers make up a large, majority portion of the people who play), then perhaps we can make some projections.

    If we started early and got a list of GMs committed to run certain games and then put up a post on story-games or forge or whatever and said:

    “Here are the games that are going to run at least once at Dreamation, if you were going to play six games at Dreamation, which six would you pick? (with 1 = I must play and 6 = I’d settle for this at the end)”

    Then we just tally it up. Between the number of responses for a game and it’s overall “hotness” (how highly ranked it is), we can get a good estimate of how interested people are in playing a given game. Then the GMs can either run more sessions or we can recruit people to run more sessions of that game. If a game isn’t so popular, that kinda hurts, but the GM can consider running something else that will really meet a need.

    I guess my only concern here is that from Vinny’s point of view, lots of small game sessions may be much worse logistically than fewer large game sessions. I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

    later
    Tom

  15. I wonder how many IGE players are part of the indie scene (even if they just lurk on boards and keep tabs) and how many are just “general gaming public” who see indie game descriptions and go “cool!”? Are we mostly serving ourselves or do we pull in lots of outsiders?

    I ask because if it’s the former (and I think indie gamers make up a large, majority portion of the people who play), then perhaps we can make some projections.

    If we started early and got a list of GMs committed to run certain games and then put up a post on story-games or forge or whatever and said:

    “Here are the games that are going to run at least once at Dreamation, if you were going to play six games at Dreamation, which six would you pick? (with 1 = I must play and 6 = I’d settle for this at the end)”

    Then we just tally it up. Between the number of responses for a game and it’s overall “hotness” (how highly ranked it is), we can get a good estimate of how interested people are in playing a given game. Then the GMs can either run more sessions or we can recruit people to run more sessions of that game. If a game isn’t so popular, that kinda hurts, but the GM can consider running something else that will really meet a need.

    I guess my only concern here is that from Vinny’s point of view, lots of small game sessions may be much worse logistically than fewer large game sessions. I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

    later
    Tom

  16. I wonder how many IGE players are part of the indie scene (even if they just lurk on boards and keep tabs) and how many are just “general gaming public” who see indie game descriptions and go “cool!”? Are we mostly serving ourselves or do we pull in lots of outsiders?

    I ask because if it’s the former (and I think indie gamers make up a large, majority portion of the people who play), then perhaps we can make some projections.

    If we started early and got a list of GMs committed to run certain games and then put up a post on story-games or forge or whatever and said:

    “Here are the games that are going to run at least once at Dreamation, if you were going to play six games at Dreamation, which six would you pick? (with 1 = I must play and 6 = I’d settle for this at the end)”

    Then we just tally it up. Between the number of responses for a game and it’s overall “hotness” (how highly ranked it is), we can get a good estimate of how interested people are in playing a given game. Then the GMs can either run more sessions or we can recruit people to run more sessions of that game. If a game isn’t so popular, that kinda hurts, but the GM can consider running something else that will really meet a need.

    I guess my only concern here is that from Vinny’s point of view, lots of small game sessions may be much worse logistically than fewer large game sessions. I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

    later
    Tom

  17. He should be personally thanking every single “unprofessional” attendee running a “joke” of a playtest and shake that person’s hand and say, “Thank you for making my shitty con worth attending.”

    Once again I am glad I did not pay.

  18. He should be personally thanking every single “unprofessional” attendee running a “joke” of a playtest and shake that person’s hand and say, “Thank you for making my shitty con worth attending.”

    Once again I am glad I did not pay.

  19. Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

    He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

    He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

    There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

    He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

    Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

    None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.

    –Jason M

  20. Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

    He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

    He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

    There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

    He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

    Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

    None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.

    –Jason M

  21. Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

    He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

    He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

    There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

    He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

    Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

    None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.

    –Jason M

  22. Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

    He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

    He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

    There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

    He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

    Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

    None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.

    –Jason M

  23. I didn’t expand *all* of the comments at Adam’s LJ (computer problems), but has anyone attempted to address V’s concern about the “bad taste left in people’s mouths” (something like that) when “hot” games are full 30 minutes after they’re posted? Since there’s community consensus that letting seven players into those hot games is not the solution, what might be done there? I don’t have an answer myself, but what might be done to help mitigate that? Do you leave open something like lottery slots for the “general gaming public” who just realized, “Oh hey, Dreamation is tomorrow. Should we head down there and see if we can find some fun?” Is that or something that approaches that reasonable?

    Beyond what V understands or doesn’t about the best format for these games and what the draws are for Dreamation, I think there’s a good opportunity here for to work with him to better use Dreamation to promote the indie community. When people use Dreamation as their opportunity to play Shock with Joshua for their fourth time, or Dogs with Vincent for their third time, there’s a lost opportunity there for Joe “I’ve only ever played D&D but this DRYH game looks really interesting” Q. Public to be exposed to something new they might enjoy. V may be going about it wrong but he’s right that the indie community is leaving something on the table to its own detriment. That impulse shouldn’t be met with defensive snark.

    Some of that defensiveness is coming from seemingly irreconcilable differences on goals. But they’re only irreconcilable if the indie community doesn’t want to make some hard choices or put their big creative brains to work. Unvoiced: for those designer/players who have an embarrassing wealth of opportunities for indie gaming, they should consider Dreamation as a platform to show their games to those who are information poor and aren’t clued into the exact moment the slots are going to be posted weeks in advance of the event, rather than as only a chance to play some more with the same gang they see at random nerdNYC events. Organizers who agree with this sentiment should figure out how to put that into effect.

    And I say all that as someone who’d rather play Mu with you and 3 others in the lobby, the bar, or up in one of the hotel rooms, than with 4-7 others within the constraints of the convention organizers.

    • Bidding system, like in my university, a mixture of eBay bids. Give people points based on slot-number, have there be a minimum number of points to allocate in each slot (so you don’t take 10 slots and put all the points in one game), with alternatives. Alternatives being that if you don’t get what you wanted in a certain spot, you’ll move the points from that position to another one, and from there to yet another slot. Those who want the game “more” will get there. From those who bid the same number of points (the cut-off), the machine will make a random decision.

      Have an ending date, and then a computer program tabulates the results. And you can’t keep it open till the last minute, that is probably why Vinny does it manually.
      But say you have several rounds, if you don’t get what you want in a certain round, you can then apply for different things, or change your plans (such as if you didn’t get into two rounds at all on a certain day, maybe cancel the round you did get into). I think keeping it all open is, well, I wouldn’t go to a convention where I’m unsure I’ll get to play anything I even remotely about and it all depends on luck at the area.

      First-in can be a pain, when I’ve went to GenCon the mad rush to get tickets was not fun at all. And if, heavens forbid, you forgot to subscribe to a game here at the day the bids opened, you often missed out on many games that do close within the first hour… at least the schedule is posted about a week before you can begin registering and many events are added later, but yeah. Can’t win them all.

    • Bidding system, like in my university, a mixture of eBay bids. Give people points based on slot-number, have there be a minimum number of points to allocate in each slot (so you don’t take 10 slots and put all the points in one game), with alternatives. Alternatives being that if you don’t get what you wanted in a certain spot, you’ll move the points from that position to another one, and from there to yet another slot. Those who want the game “more” will get there. From those who bid the same number of points (the cut-off), the machine will make a random decision.

      Have an ending date, and then a computer program tabulates the results. And you can’t keep it open till the last minute, that is probably why Vinny does it manually.
      But say you have several rounds, if you don’t get what you want in a certain round, you can then apply for different things, or change your plans (such as if you didn’t get into two rounds at all on a certain day, maybe cancel the round you did get into). I think keeping it all open is, well, I wouldn’t go to a convention where I’m unsure I’ll get to play anything I even remotely about and it all depends on luck at the area.

      First-in can be a pain, when I’ve went to GenCon the mad rush to get tickets was not fun at all. And if, heavens forbid, you forgot to subscribe to a game here at the day the bids opened, you often missed out on many games that do close within the first hour… at least the schedule is posted about a week before you can begin registering and many events are added later, but yeah. Can’t win them all.

  24. I didn’t expand *all* of the comments at Adam’s LJ (computer problems), but has anyone attempted to address V’s concern about the “bad taste left in people’s mouths” (something like that) when “hot” games are full 30 minutes after they’re posted? Since there’s community consensus that letting seven players into those hot games is not the solution, what might be done there? I don’t have an answer myself, but what might be done to help mitigate that? Do you leave open something like lottery slots for the “general gaming public” who just realized, “Oh hey, Dreamation is tomorrow. Should we head down there and see if we can find some fun?” Is that or something that approaches that reasonable?

    Beyond what V understands or doesn’t about the best format for these games and what the draws are for Dreamation, I think there’s a good opportunity here for to work with him to better use Dreamation to promote the indie community. When people use Dreamation as their opportunity to play Shock with Joshua for their fourth time, or Dogs with Vincent for their third time, there’s a lost opportunity there for Joe “I’ve only ever played D&D but this DRYH game looks really interesting” Q. Public to be exposed to something new they might enjoy. V may be going about it wrong but he’s right that the indie community is leaving something on the table to its own detriment. That impulse shouldn’t be met with defensive snark.

    Some of that defensiveness is coming from seemingly irreconcilable differences on goals. But they’re only irreconcilable if the indie community doesn’t want to make some hard choices or put their big creative brains to work. Unvoiced: for those designer/players who have an embarrassing wealth of opportunities for indie gaming, they should consider Dreamation as a platform to show their games to those who are information poor and aren’t clued into the exact moment the slots are going to be posted weeks in advance of the event, rather than as only a chance to play some more with the same gang they see at random nerdNYC events. Organizers who agree with this sentiment should figure out how to put that into effect.

    And I say all that as someone who’d rather play Mu with you and 3 others in the lobby, the bar, or up in one of the hotel rooms, than with 4-7 others within the constraints of the convention organizers.

  25. I didn’t expand *all* of the comments at Adam’s LJ (computer problems), but has anyone attempted to address V’s concern about the “bad taste left in people’s mouths” (something like that) when “hot” games are full 30 minutes after they’re posted? Since there’s community consensus that letting seven players into those hot games is not the solution, what might be done there? I don’t have an answer myself, but what might be done to help mitigate that? Do you leave open something like lottery slots for the “general gaming public” who just realized, “Oh hey, Dreamation is tomorrow. Should we head down there and see if we can find some fun?” Is that or something that approaches that reasonable?

    Beyond what V understands or doesn’t about the best format for these games and what the draws are for Dreamation, I think there’s a good opportunity here for to work with him to better use Dreamation to promote the indie community. When people use Dreamation as their opportunity to play Shock with Joshua for their fourth time, or Dogs with Vincent for their third time, there’s a lost opportunity there for Joe “I’ve only ever played D&D but this DRYH game looks really interesting” Q. Public to be exposed to something new they might enjoy. V may be going about it wrong but he’s right that the indie community is leaving something on the table to its own detriment. That impulse shouldn’t be met with defensive snark.

    Some of that defensiveness is coming from seemingly irreconcilable differences on goals. But they’re only irreconcilable if the indie community doesn’t want to make some hard choices or put their big creative brains to work. Unvoiced: for those designer/players who have an embarrassing wealth of opportunities for indie gaming, they should consider Dreamation as a platform to show their games to those who are information poor and aren’t clued into the exact moment the slots are going to be posted weeks in advance of the event, rather than as only a chance to play some more with the same gang they see at random nerdNYC events. Organizers who agree with this sentiment should figure out how to put that into effect.

    And I say all that as someone who’d rather play Mu with you and 3 others in the lobby, the bar, or up in one of the hotel rooms, than with 4-7 others within the constraints of the convention organizers.

  26. I didn’t expand *all* of the comments at Adam’s LJ (computer problems), but has anyone attempted to address V’s concern about the “bad taste left in people’s mouths” (something like that) when “hot” games are full 30 minutes after they’re posted? Since there’s community consensus that letting seven players into those hot games is not the solution, what might be done there? I don’t have an answer myself, but what might be done to help mitigate that? Do you leave open something like lottery slots for the “general gaming public” who just realized, “Oh hey, Dreamation is tomorrow. Should we head down there and see if we can find some fun?” Is that or something that approaches that reasonable?

    Beyond what V understands or doesn’t about the best format for these games and what the draws are for Dreamation, I think there’s a good opportunity here for to work with him to better use Dreamation to promote the indie community. When people use Dreamation as their opportunity to play Shock with Joshua for their fourth time, or Dogs with Vincent for their third time, there’s a lost opportunity there for Joe “I’ve only ever played D&D but this DRYH game looks really interesting” Q. Public to be exposed to something new they might enjoy. V may be going about it wrong but he’s right that the indie community is leaving something on the table to its own detriment. That impulse shouldn’t be met with defensive snark.

    Some of that defensiveness is coming from seemingly irreconcilable differences on goals. But they’re only irreconcilable if the indie community doesn’t want to make some hard choices or put their big creative brains to work. Unvoiced: for those designer/players who have an embarrassing wealth of opportunities for indie gaming, they should consider Dreamation as a platform to show their games to those who are information poor and aren’t clued into the exact moment the slots are going to be posted weeks in advance of the event, rather than as only a chance to play some more with the same gang they see at random nerdNYC events. Organizers who agree with this sentiment should figure out how to put that into effect.

    And I say all that as someone who’d rather play Mu with you and 3 others in the lobby, the bar, or up in one of the hotel rooms, than with 4-7 others within the constraints of the convention organizers.

  27. Bidding system, like in my university, a mixture of eBay bids. Give people points based on slot-number, have there be a minimum number of points to allocate in each slot (so you don’t take 10 slots and put all the points in one game), with alternatives. Alternatives being that if you don’t get what you wanted in a certain spot, you’ll move the points from that position to another one, and from there to yet another slot. Those who want the game “more” will get there. From those who bid the same number of points (the cut-off), the machine will make a random decision.

    Have an ending date, and then a computer program tabulates the results. And you can’t keep it open till the last minute, that is probably why Vinny does it manually.
    But say you have several rounds, if you don’t get what you want in a certain round, you can then apply for different things, or change your plans (such as if you didn’t get into two rounds at all on a certain day, maybe cancel the round you did get into). I think keeping it all open is, well, I wouldn’t go to a convention where I’m unsure I’ll get to play anything I even remotely about and it all depends on luck at the area.

    First-in can be a pain, when I’ve went to GenCon the mad rush to get tickets was not fun at all. And if, heavens forbid, you forgot to subscribe to a game here at the day the bids opened, you often missed out on many games that do close within the first hour… at least the schedule is posted about a week before you can begin registering and many events are added later, but yeah. Can’t win them all.

  28. Bidding system, like in my university, a mixture of eBay bids. Give people points based on slot-number, have there be a minimum number of points to allocate in each slot (so you don’t take 10 slots and put all the points in one game), with alternatives. Alternatives being that if you don’t get what you wanted in a certain spot, you’ll move the points from that position to another one, and from there to yet another slot. Those who want the game “more” will get there. From those who bid the same number of points (the cut-off), the machine will make a random decision.

    Have an ending date, and then a computer program tabulates the results. And you can’t keep it open till the last minute, that is probably why Vinny does it manually.
    But say you have several rounds, if you don’t get what you want in a certain round, you can then apply for different things, or change your plans (such as if you didn’t get into two rounds at all on a certain day, maybe cancel the round you did get into). I think keeping it all open is, well, I wouldn’t go to a convention where I’m unsure I’ll get to play anything I even remotely about and it all depends on luck at the area.

    First-in can be a pain, when I’ve went to GenCon the mad rush to get tickets was not fun at all. And if, heavens forbid, you forgot to subscribe to a game here at the day the bids opened, you often missed out on many games that do close within the first hour… at least the schedule is posted about a week before you can begin registering and many events are added later, but yeah. Can’t win them all.

  29. I dig where Vinny;s coming from (“module” nothwithstanding), but…

    I usually have a blue badge. I wanna cross-pollinate (bow chicka wow wow) with other indie sorts.

  30. I dig where Vinny;s coming from (“module” nothwithstanding), but…

    I usually have a blue badge. I wanna cross-pollinate (bow chicka wow wow) with other indie sorts.

  31. I dig where Vinny;s coming from (“module” nothwithstanding), but…

    I usually have a blue badge. I wanna cross-pollinate (bow chicka wow wow) with other indie sorts.

  32. I dig where Vinny;s coming from (“module” nothwithstanding), but…

    I usually have a blue badge. I wanna cross-pollinate (bow chicka wow wow) with other indie sorts.

  33. Re: Blue

    Though I do not formally GM any games on the sched, I attend. I do not want to be shut out of my community because I don’t have the RIGHT colored badge — the cross-pollination of ideas (creator to creator, player to creator, etc.) is a big reason for my attending.

  34. Re: Blue

    Though I do not formally GM any games on the sched, I attend. I do not want to be shut out of my community because I don’t have the RIGHT colored badge — the cross-pollination of ideas (creator to creator, player to creator, etc.) is a big reason for my attending.

    • I’ve been pondering this all evening, and based on ten years of watching the ebb and flow of convention traffic, I *think* I have an opinion on Games on Demand.

      If I understand what you’re suggesting, I think it’s got the potential to be really unsettling for everybody involved.

      Unstructured time and space leads to antsy people, chaos, disorder and inertia. Open gaming only works if the structure around you lends itself to coming and going fluidly. If you set up a space and say “Come here for Games on Demand” you’re going to discover the same thing most demo teams for RPGs discover – unless somebody comes up with a party, ready to go, you’re going to have a lot of man-hours of bored, frustrated GMs-to-be and a situation where one or two gamers show up off-kilter to the games that are running. Too late, too early, too few, too many.

      With our slot-break-slot-break-slot structure, you’re not going to get people wandering mid-slot. Nobody wants to get involved in an On Demand game and miss the start of their next slot. So the folks you would draw are folks who have nothing scheduled and are nosing around like nibbly kids in the snack drawer – to “see what’s in there”. We didn’t have a noticable number of those folks at DREAMATION.

      • GoD has been functioning in interesting ways for years now. No speculation is necessary. Mike and Kat Miller can share their experience and Mike Holmes probably does too, though he’s much harder to get ahold of.

        I can say what I’ve observed apocryphally, though: tables filled with enthusiastic play.

        I think you’ll find that there are a lot of people hanging out socially outside of the RPG rooms. Those people love to hang out with each other and have unstructured time. If a GoD model of playtest was set up, there would be a constant flow of changing folks as schedules allowed.

        Add to that the fact that many playtests are short because they’re testing particular ideas or subsystems, and the fact that some are abortive because those ideas are flawed in a way that makes further play unfruitful, and you have some real possibility of fostering a culture of critique at Dreamation.

        • I kinda think that GoD would be a poor fit for Dreamation, but not at all for the reasons Avie states. As Joshua said, GoD has worked well at GenCon and filling tables with play would not be an issue.

          GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm AWAY from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually PLAY their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the booth. At Dreamation, it would be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing for GoD to draw enthusiasm away from is the scheduled games! And that would be disasterous.

          Look at the incentives it sets up for both the publishers and the indie-enthusiast attendees: For the publisher, the incentive becomes “I want to see that hot new game that attendee X is bringing to the GoD area, and talk with friends old and new. To maximize my enjoyment, I should run as few scheduled games as possible so I can spend as much time as possible at GoD.” For the indie-enthusiast attendee, the incentive becomes “I want to play in a game run by publisher Z, and Z has said online that he’ll be spending most of his time in the GoD area. To maximize my enjoyment, I should register for as few games as possible, to have a better chance of gaming/hanging out with Z.”

          I foresee tons of people crowding into the GoD area, begging you to play Shock: and you’ve got to come up with those supplementary GMs on the spot rather than a few weeks before the con.

          GoD was our way to make a tiny corner of GenCon more like Dreamation. If you try to make Dreamation more like GoD, the risks are high.

        • I kinda think that GoD would be a poor fit for Dreamation, but not at all for the reasons Avie states. As Joshua said, GoD has worked well at GenCon and filling tables with play would not be an issue.

          GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm AWAY from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually PLAY their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the booth. At Dreamation, it would be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing for GoD to draw enthusiasm away from is the scheduled games! And that would be disasterous.

          Look at the incentives it sets up for both the publishers and the indie-enthusiast attendees: For the publisher, the incentive becomes “I want to see that hot new game that attendee X is bringing to the GoD area, and talk with friends old and new. To maximize my enjoyment, I should run as few scheduled games as possible so I can spend as much time as possible at GoD.” For the indie-enthusiast attendee, the incentive becomes “I want to play in a game run by publisher Z, and Z has said online that he’ll be spending most of his time in the GoD area. To maximize my enjoyment, I should register for as few games as possible, to have a better chance of gaming/hanging out with Z.”

          I foresee tons of people crowding into the GoD area, begging you to play Shock: and you’ve got to come up with those supplementary GMs on the spot rather than a few weeks before the con.

          GoD was our way to make a tiny corner of GenCon more like Dreamation. If you try to make Dreamation more like GoD, the risks are high.

      • GoD has been functioning in interesting ways for years now. No speculation is necessary. Mike and Kat Miller can share their experience and Mike Holmes probably does too, though he’s much harder to get ahold of.

        I can say what I’ve observed apocryphally, though: tables filled with enthusiastic play.

        I think you’ll find that there are a lot of people hanging out socially outside of the RPG rooms. Those people love to hang out with each other and have unstructured time. If a GoD model of playtest was set up, there would be a constant flow of changing folks as schedules allowed.

        Add to that the fact that many playtests are short because they’re testing particular ideas or subsystems, and the fact that some are abortive because those ideas are flawed in a way that makes further play unfruitful, and you have some real possibility of fostering a culture of critique at Dreamation.

    • I’ve been pondering this all evening, and based on ten years of watching the ebb and flow of convention traffic, I *think* I have an opinion on Games on Demand.

      If I understand what you’re suggesting, I think it’s got the potential to be really unsettling for everybody involved.

      Unstructured time and space leads to antsy people, chaos, disorder and inertia. Open gaming only works if the structure around you lends itself to coming and going fluidly. If you set up a space and say “Come here for Games on Demand” you’re going to discover the same thing most demo teams for RPGs discover – unless somebody comes up with a party, ready to go, you’re going to have a lot of man-hours of bored, frustrated GMs-to-be and a situation where one or two gamers show up off-kilter to the games that are running. Too late, too early, too few, too many.

      With our slot-break-slot-break-slot structure, you’re not going to get people wandering mid-slot. Nobody wants to get involved in an On Demand game and miss the start of their next slot. So the folks you would draw are folks who have nothing scheduled and are nosing around like nibbly kids in the snack drawer – to “see what’s in there”. We didn’t have a noticable number of those folks at DREAMATION.

  35. Re: Free passes

    Well, right now GMs get in for free, but you have to run 3 or more sessions. I’m proposing that people who run only 1 or 2 sessions (of a popular, high-demand game, presumably) get pro-rated, rather than completely free, passes.

    Matt

  36. Re: Free passes

    Well, right now GMs get in for free, but you have to run 3 or more sessions. I’m proposing that people who run only 1 or 2 sessions (of a popular, high-demand game, presumably) get pro-rated, rather than completely free, passes.

    Matt

  37. Whoa.

    For the record, had somebody TOLD ME that you were having a craptastic time at DREAMATION, I personally would have done anything in my power to fix your yank.

    Since neither myself nor any of my senior staffers remember a rabidly angry indie person, I’m guessing you don’t know how our conventions really work, or that there is a forty person senior staff who _wants_ to make our attendees happy.

    I’m not sure what crawled where and died, but who are you, exactly? And what happened to cheese you off so thoroughly?

    feel free to email me off-channel at avonelle@dexposure.com, rather than cluttering up somebody else’s LJ.

  38. Whoa.

    For the record, had somebody TOLD ME that you were having a craptastic time at DREAMATION, I personally would have done anything in my power to fix your yank.

    Since neither myself nor any of my senior staffers remember a rabidly angry indie person, I’m guessing you don’t know how our conventions really work, or that there is a forty person senior staff who _wants_ to make our attendees happy.

    I’m not sure what crawled where and died, but who are you, exactly? And what happened to cheese you off so thoroughly?

    feel free to email me off-channel at avonelle@dexposure.com, rather than cluttering up somebody else’s LJ.

  39. Professional Pajamas

    Oh boy! A nerd kerfuffle! I shall throw my beany cap into the fray.

    I went to Dreamation to relax and see friends. I’ve had a rough six months. I just wanted to hang out. I ran a game because Mike and Kat relentlessly hunted me down, hounded me until I acquiesced.

    I got chewed out by Vinny in the elevator for not running more games. Joy.
    That’s the second time this has happened. Last time, I had actually be running a full suite of games.

    In fact, I thought the whole point of this con was that it wasn’t Gen Con or Origins. It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    I hear where Vinny’s coming from — he wants a better organized event. It makes him more money if he can bring more people to more games. And he gets less complaints the better it’s organized.

    But to me, it doesn’t sound like the problem is ours. Based on his “27 people had to get personal emails from me” comment, I think he needs a better sign up system. Hot games do not drive people away. Hard-to-find experiences make his convention more sought after, not less. Perhaps if he had a system that removed the burden and delay of personal responses from game sign-ups, he wouldn’t feel so put upon. You know, like when the game is full, no more people can sign up for it.

    The allure of many of these games is that you’re playing with the designer. Vinny’s idea of running four tables at once will founder on this. It’s not the game, kids, I can play that at home, it’s the chance to play with the creator. I’ve tried the “four tables at once” thing and it limps along. I get comments afterwards like, “That was cool, but next time I want to play with you.”

    There’s only so many people we can service, even if we run games in every slot.

    The only way this track is going to dry up is if the designers stop coming. The designers are going to keep coming, so long as this isn’t a complete mess or a brutal slog. So far, so good, but it’s a delicate balance.

    Also, Fred, EASY. Jared ran games. He had a complimentary badge and an attitude. Just like you.

    • Re: Professional Pajamas

      Oh, Luke, I didn’t chew you out. I have a great deal of respect for you and your games, and I want to see more of them, as do many other people 🙂

      I can’t speak for what Mike and Kat may have relentlessly done, but I can ask you to take it as a compliment that you are in high demand and we all recognize it!

      >>>Vinny

    • Re: Professional Pajamas

      Oh, Luke, I didn’t chew you out. I have a great deal of respect for you and your games, and I want to see more of them, as do many other people 🙂

      I can’t speak for what Mike and Kat may have relentlessly done, but I can ask you to take it as a compliment that you are in high demand and we all recognize it!

      >>>Vinny

    • Re: Professional Pajamas

      Hot games do not drive people away.

      Right on.

      We can do what we can to accommodate. We can’t do more, because reducing the quality of the experience won’t make the players happier.

      It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

      It’s a very good point. In fact, I suspect that the center of gravity of the indie calendar is moving toward Dreamation and away from Gen Con precisely because of the much reduced pressure.

      Now, to be sure, I’m adopting some of your tactics, Luke, not the least of which is running a pile of games. I couldn’t possibly approximate your whirling perpetual maelstrom of GMing, but I’m definitely doing it more in the interest of further promotion of Shock: That doesn’t mean, though, that my purpose in coming to Dreamation is wholly promotional, though. It’s vitally important to me that I get to see, eat, and talk with people I don’t get to see enough of. If it became a wholly promotional endeavor, it would be really tragic.

    • Re: Professional Pajamas

      Hot games do not drive people away.

      Right on.

      We can do what we can to accommodate. We can’t do more, because reducing the quality of the experience won’t make the players happier.

      It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

      It’s a very good point. In fact, I suspect that the center of gravity of the indie calendar is moving toward Dreamation and away from Gen Con precisely because of the much reduced pressure.

      Now, to be sure, I’m adopting some of your tactics, Luke, not the least of which is running a pile of games. I couldn’t possibly approximate your whirling perpetual maelstrom of GMing, but I’m definitely doing it more in the interest of further promotion of Shock: That doesn’t mean, though, that my purpose in coming to Dreamation is wholly promotional, though. It’s vitally important to me that I get to see, eat, and talk with people I don’t get to see enough of. If it became a wholly promotional endeavor, it would be really tragic.

  40. Professional Pajamas

    Oh boy! A nerd kerfuffle! I shall throw my beany cap into the fray.

    I went to Dreamation to relax and see friends. I’ve had a rough six months. I just wanted to hang out. I ran a game because Mike and Kat relentlessly hunted me down, hounded me until I acquiesced.

    I got chewed out by Vinny in the elevator for not running more games. Joy.
    That’s the second time this has happened. Last time, I had actually be running a full suite of games.

    In fact, I thought the whole point of this con was that it wasn’t Gen Con or Origins. It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    I hear where Vinny’s coming from — he wants a better organized event. It makes him more money if he can bring more people to more games. And he gets less complaints the better it’s organized.

    But to me, it doesn’t sound like the problem is ours. Based on his “27 people had to get personal emails from me” comment, I think he needs a better sign up system. Hot games do not drive people away. Hard-to-find experiences make his convention more sought after, not less. Perhaps if he had a system that removed the burden and delay of personal responses from game sign-ups, he wouldn’t feel so put upon. You know, like when the game is full, no more people can sign up for it.

    The allure of many of these games is that you’re playing with the designer. Vinny’s idea of running four tables at once will founder on this. It’s not the game, kids, I can play that at home, it’s the chance to play with the creator. I’ve tried the “four tables at once” thing and it limps along. I get comments afterwards like, “That was cool, but next time I want to play with you.”

    There’s only so many people we can service, even if we run games in every slot.

    The only way this track is going to dry up is if the designers stop coming. The designers are going to keep coming, so long as this isn’t a complete mess or a brutal slog. So far, so good, but it’s a delicate balance.

    Also, Fred, EASY. Jared ran games. He had a complimentary badge and an attitude. Just like you.

  41. Professional Pajamas

    Oh boy! A nerd kerfuffle! I shall throw my beany cap into the fray.

    I went to Dreamation to relax and see friends. I’ve had a rough six months. I just wanted to hang out. I ran a game because Mike and Kat relentlessly hunted me down, hounded me until I acquiesced.

    I got chewed out by Vinny in the elevator for not running more games. Joy.
    That’s the second time this has happened. Last time, I had actually be running a full suite of games.

    In fact, I thought the whole point of this con was that it wasn’t Gen Con or Origins. It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    I hear where Vinny’s coming from — he wants a better organized event. It makes him more money if he can bring more people to more games. And he gets less complaints the better it’s organized.

    But to me, it doesn’t sound like the problem is ours. Based on his “27 people had to get personal emails from me” comment, I think he needs a better sign up system. Hot games do not drive people away. Hard-to-find experiences make his convention more sought after, not less. Perhaps if he had a system that removed the burden and delay of personal responses from game sign-ups, he wouldn’t feel so put upon. You know, like when the game is full, no more people can sign up for it.

    The allure of many of these games is that you’re playing with the designer. Vinny’s idea of running four tables at once will founder on this. It’s not the game, kids, I can play that at home, it’s the chance to play with the creator. I’ve tried the “four tables at once” thing and it limps along. I get comments afterwards like, “That was cool, but next time I want to play with you.”

    There’s only so many people we can service, even if we run games in every slot.

    The only way this track is going to dry up is if the designers stop coming. The designers are going to keep coming, so long as this isn’t a complete mess or a brutal slog. So far, so good, but it’s a delicate balance.

    Also, Fred, EASY. Jared ran games. He had a complimentary badge and an attitude. Just like you.

  42. Professional Pajamas

    Oh boy! A nerd kerfuffle! I shall throw my beany cap into the fray.

    I went to Dreamation to relax and see friends. I’ve had a rough six months. I just wanted to hang out. I ran a game because Mike and Kat relentlessly hunted me down, hounded me until I acquiesced.

    I got chewed out by Vinny in the elevator for not running more games. Joy.
    That’s the second time this has happened. Last time, I had actually be running a full suite of games.

    In fact, I thought the whole point of this con was that it wasn’t Gen Con or Origins. It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    I hear where Vinny’s coming from — he wants a better organized event. It makes him more money if he can bring more people to more games. And he gets less complaints the better it’s organized.

    But to me, it doesn’t sound like the problem is ours. Based on his “27 people had to get personal emails from me” comment, I think he needs a better sign up system. Hot games do not drive people away. Hard-to-find experiences make his convention more sought after, not less. Perhaps if he had a system that removed the burden and delay of personal responses from game sign-ups, he wouldn’t feel so put upon. You know, like when the game is full, no more people can sign up for it.

    The allure of many of these games is that you’re playing with the designer. Vinny’s idea of running four tables at once will founder on this. It’s not the game, kids, I can play that at home, it’s the chance to play with the creator. I’ve tried the “four tables at once” thing and it limps along. I get comments afterwards like, “That was cool, but next time I want to play with you.”

    There’s only so many people we can service, even if we run games in every slot.

    The only way this track is going to dry up is if the designers stop coming. The designers are going to keep coming, so long as this isn’t a complete mess or a brutal slog. So far, so good, but it’s a delicate balance.

    Also, Fred, EASY. Jared ran games. He had a complimentary badge and an attitude. Just like you.

  43. Re: Professional Pajamas

    Oh, Luke, I didn’t chew you out. I have a great deal of respect for you and your games, and I want to see more of them, as do many other people 🙂

    I can’t speak for what Mike and Kat may have relentlessly done, but I can ask you to take it as a compliment that you are in high demand and we all recognize it!

    >>>Vinny

  44. Re: Professional Pajamas

    Oh, Luke, I didn’t chew you out. I have a great deal of respect for you and your games, and I want to see more of them, as do many other people 🙂

    I can’t speak for what Mike and Kat may have relentlessly done, but I can ask you to take it as a compliment that you are in high demand and we all recognize it!

    >>>Vinny

  45. I’ve been pondering this all evening, and based on ten years of watching the ebb and flow of convention traffic, I *think* I have an opinion on Games on Demand.

    If I understand what you’re suggesting, I think it’s got the potential to be really unsettling for everybody involved.

    Unstructured time and space leads to antsy people, chaos, disorder and inertia. Open gaming only works if the structure around you lends itself to coming and going fluidly. If you set up a space and say “Come here for Games on Demand” you’re going to discover the same thing most demo teams for RPGs discover – unless somebody comes up with a party, ready to go, you’re going to have a lot of man-hours of bored, frustrated GMs-to-be and a situation where one or two gamers show up off-kilter to the games that are running. Too late, too early, too few, too many.

    With our slot-break-slot-break-slot structure, you’re not going to get people wandering mid-slot. Nobody wants to get involved in an On Demand game and miss the start of their next slot. So the folks you would draw are folks who have nothing scheduled and are nosing around like nibbly kids in the snack drawer – to “see what’s in there”. We didn’t have a noticable number of those folks at DREAMATION.

  46. I’ve been pondering this all evening, and based on ten years of watching the ebb and flow of convention traffic, I *think* I have an opinion on Games on Demand.

    If I understand what you’re suggesting, I think it’s got the potential to be really unsettling for everybody involved.

    Unstructured time and space leads to antsy people, chaos, disorder and inertia. Open gaming only works if the structure around you lends itself to coming and going fluidly. If you set up a space and say “Come here for Games on Demand” you’re going to discover the same thing most demo teams for RPGs discover – unless somebody comes up with a party, ready to go, you’re going to have a lot of man-hours of bored, frustrated GMs-to-be and a situation where one or two gamers show up off-kilter to the games that are running. Too late, too early, too few, too many.

    With our slot-break-slot-break-slot structure, you’re not going to get people wandering mid-slot. Nobody wants to get involved in an On Demand game and miss the start of their next slot. So the folks you would draw are folks who have nothing scheduled and are nosing around like nibbly kids in the snack drawer – to “see what’s in there”. We didn’t have a noticable number of those folks at DREAMATION.

  47. “We need to game with Vinny”

    I’m game! if folks want to run a smaller something (for folks who don’t know, I’m Avie – Vinny’s 2iC and partner), maybe we could talk about when and where?

    For example, there are several events we don’t run that we’d be more than happy to meet up with folks at. ConnCon or one of the Evil Geek gatherings or the NJ Board Gaming meetup.

  48. “We need to game with Vinny”

    I’m game! if folks want to run a smaller something (for folks who don’t know, I’m Avie – Vinny’s 2iC and partner), maybe we could talk about when and where?

    For example, there are several events we don’t run that we’d be more than happy to meet up with folks at. ConnCon or one of the Evil Geek gatherings or the NJ Board Gaming meetup.

  49. “We need to game with Vinny”

    I’m game! if folks want to run a smaller something (for folks who don’t know, I’m Avie – Vinny’s 2iC and partner), maybe we could talk about when and where?

    For example, there are several events we don’t run that we’d be more than happy to meet up with folks at. ConnCon or one of the Evil Geek gatherings or the NJ Board Gaming meetup.

  50. “We need to game with Vinny”

    I’m game! if folks want to run a smaller something (for folks who don’t know, I’m Avie – Vinny’s 2iC and partner), maybe we could talk about when and where?

    For example, there are several events we don’t run that we’d be more than happy to meet up with folks at. ConnCon or one of the Evil Geek gatherings or the NJ Board Gaming meetup.

  51. Re: Professional Pajamas

    Hot games do not drive people away.

    Right on.

    We can do what we can to accommodate. We can’t do more, because reducing the quality of the experience won’t make the players happier.

    It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    It’s a very good point. In fact, I suspect that the center of gravity of the indie calendar is moving toward Dreamation and away from Gen Con precisely because of the much reduced pressure.

    Now, to be sure, I’m adopting some of your tactics, Luke, not the least of which is running a pile of games. I couldn’t possibly approximate your whirling perpetual maelstrom of GMing, but I’m definitely doing it more in the interest of further promotion of Shock: That doesn’t mean, though, that my purpose in coming to Dreamation is wholly promotional, though. It’s vitally important to me that I get to see, eat, and talk with people I don’t get to see enough of. If it became a wholly promotional endeavor, it would be really tragic.

  52. Re: Professional Pajamas

    Hot games do not drive people away.

    Right on.

    We can do what we can to accommodate. We can’t do more, because reducing the quality of the experience won’t make the players happier.

    It’s where we young, hot indie game designers could land incognito and hide out and play games with each other. If I remember correctly, servicing hordes of fans was not in the original plan. Oh wait, but we’re all rock stars now.

    It’s a very good point. In fact, I suspect that the center of gravity of the indie calendar is moving toward Dreamation and away from Gen Con precisely because of the much reduced pressure.

    Now, to be sure, I’m adopting some of your tactics, Luke, not the least of which is running a pile of games. I couldn’t possibly approximate your whirling perpetual maelstrom of GMing, but I’m definitely doing it more in the interest of further promotion of Shock: That doesn’t mean, though, that my purpose in coming to Dreamation is wholly promotional, though. It’s vitally important to me that I get to see, eat, and talk with people I don’t get to see enough of. If it became a wholly promotional endeavor, it would be really tragic.

  53. GoD has been functioning in interesting ways for years now. No speculation is necessary. Mike and Kat Miller can share their experience and Mike Holmes probably does too, though he’s much harder to get ahold of.

    I can say what I’ve observed apocryphally, though: tables filled with enthusiastic play.

    I think you’ll find that there are a lot of people hanging out socially outside of the RPG rooms. Those people love to hang out with each other and have unstructured time. If a GoD model of playtest was set up, there would be a constant flow of changing folks as schedules allowed.

    Add to that the fact that many playtests are short because they’re testing particular ideas or subsystems, and the fact that some are abortive because those ideas are flawed in a way that makes further play unfruitful, and you have some real possibility of fostering a culture of critique at Dreamation.

  54. GoD has been functioning in interesting ways for years now. No speculation is necessary. Mike and Kat Miller can share their experience and Mike Holmes probably does too, though he’s much harder to get ahold of.

    I can say what I’ve observed apocryphally, though: tables filled with enthusiastic play.

    I think you’ll find that there are a lot of people hanging out socially outside of the RPG rooms. Those people love to hang out with each other and have unstructured time. If a GoD model of playtest was set up, there would be a constant flow of changing folks as schedules allowed.

    Add to that the fact that many playtests are short because they’re testing particular ideas or subsystems, and the fact that some are abortive because those ideas are flawed in a way that makes further play unfruitful, and you have some real possibility of fostering a culture of critique at Dreamation.

  55. I kinda think that GoD would be a poor fit for Dreamation, but not at all for the reasons Avie states. As Joshua said, GoD has worked well at GenCon and filling tables with play would not be an issue.

    GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm AWAY from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually PLAY their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the booth. At Dreamation, it would be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing for GoD to draw enthusiasm away from is the scheduled games! And that would be disasterous.

    Look at the incentives it sets up for both the publishers and the indie-enthusiast attendees: For the publisher, the incentive becomes “I want to see that hot new game that attendee X is bringing to the GoD area, and talk with friends old and new. To maximize my enjoyment, I should run as few scheduled games as possible so I can spend as much time as possible at GoD.” For the indie-enthusiast attendee, the incentive becomes “I want to play in a game run by publisher Z, and Z has said online that he’ll be spending most of his time in the GoD area. To maximize my enjoyment, I should register for as few games as possible, to have a better chance of gaming/hanging out with Z.”

    I foresee tons of people crowding into the GoD area, begging you to play Shock: and you’ve got to come up with those supplementary GMs on the spot rather than a few weeks before the con.

    GoD was our way to make a tiny corner of GenCon more like Dreamation. If you try to make Dreamation more like GoD, the risks are high.

  56. I kinda think that GoD would be a poor fit for Dreamation, but not at all for the reasons Avie states. As Joshua said, GoD has worked well at GenCon and filling tables with play would not be an issue.

    GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm AWAY from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually PLAY their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the booth. At Dreamation, it would be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing for GoD to draw enthusiasm away from is the scheduled games! And that would be disasterous.

    Look at the incentives it sets up for both the publishers and the indie-enthusiast attendees: For the publisher, the incentive becomes “I want to see that hot new game that attendee X is bringing to the GoD area, and talk with friends old and new. To maximize my enjoyment, I should run as few scheduled games as possible so I can spend as much time as possible at GoD.” For the indie-enthusiast attendee, the incentive becomes “I want to play in a game run by publisher Z, and Z has said online that he’ll be spending most of his time in the GoD area. To maximize my enjoyment, I should register for as few games as possible, to have a better chance of gaming/hanging out with Z.”

    I foresee tons of people crowding into the GoD area, begging you to play Shock: and you’ve got to come up with those supplementary GMs on the spot rather than a few weeks before the con.

    GoD was our way to make a tiny corner of GenCon more like Dreamation. If you try to make Dreamation more like GoD, the risks are high.

  57. The one thing I’m confused about is that, apparently, Tom Lynch was all set to run games of Call of Cthulhu, which is quite popular — Dexcon and Dreamation and Origins are my only chances to play it, and CoC slots at Dexcon and Dreamation fill. But, Vinnie told him no, that there weren’t enough players.

    I need to ask Vinnie about this, because it sounds very odd. That is, I don’t think anyone is speaking other than the truth, but I think there might be a miscommunication in there.

    • So here’s your answer…

      We had THREE Cthulhu Live! Games (LARPS), and Oscar Rios (who runs Cthulhu at just about all of our conventions) had already submitted another 3 table games, PLUS I had an Indie Cthulhu table game. Overlapping Tom’s and Oscar’s games is a shame (if Oscar was running the same thing three times it would have been more reasonable, but he was running three independent modules), and since I only had one non-cthulhu slot left, I spoke to Tom and we decided that he would run at DEXCON instead, and just play at DREAMATION.

      • Thanks! Just FYI, at least one of Oscar’s games, the Friday afternoon one, had sufficient overflow of hopefuls waiting to see if they could get in that I think if Tom had been running a CoC game in the same slot, it would have filled.

      • Thanks! Just FYI, at least one of Oscar’s games, the Friday afternoon one, had sufficient overflow of hopefuls waiting to see if they could get in that I think if Tom had been running a CoC game in the same slot, it would have filled.

    • So here’s your answer…

      We had THREE Cthulhu Live! Games (LARPS), and Oscar Rios (who runs Cthulhu at just about all of our conventions) had already submitted another 3 table games, PLUS I had an Indie Cthulhu table game. Overlapping Tom’s and Oscar’s games is a shame (if Oscar was running the same thing three times it would have been more reasonable, but he was running three independent modules), and since I only had one non-cthulhu slot left, I spoke to Tom and we decided that he would run at DEXCON instead, and just play at DREAMATION.

  58. The one thing I’m confused about is that, apparently, Tom Lynch was all set to run games of Call of Cthulhu, which is quite popular — Dexcon and Dreamation and Origins are my only chances to play it, and CoC slots at Dexcon and Dreamation fill. But, Vinnie told him no, that there weren’t enough players.

    I need to ask Vinnie about this, because it sounds very odd. That is, I don’t think anyone is speaking other than the truth, but I think there might be a miscommunication in there.

  59. The one thing I’m confused about is that, apparently, Tom Lynch was all set to run games of Call of Cthulhu, which is quite popular — Dexcon and Dreamation and Origins are my only chances to play it, and CoC slots at Dexcon and Dreamation fill. But, Vinnie told him no, that there weren’t enough players.

    I need to ask Vinnie about this, because it sounds very odd. That is, I don’t think anyone is speaking other than the truth, but I think there might be a miscommunication in there.

  60. The one thing I’m confused about is that, apparently, Tom Lynch was all set to run games of Call of Cthulhu, which is quite popular — Dexcon and Dreamation and Origins are my only chances to play it, and CoC slots at Dexcon and Dreamation fill. But, Vinnie told him no, that there weren’t enough players.

    I need to ask Vinnie about this, because it sounds very odd. That is, I don’t think anyone is speaking other than the truth, but I think there might be a miscommunication in there.

  61. So here’s your answer…

    We had THREE Cthulhu Live! Games (LARPS), and Oscar Rios (who runs Cthulhu at just about all of our conventions) had already submitted another 3 table games, PLUS I had an Indie Cthulhu table game. Overlapping Tom’s and Oscar’s games is a shame (if Oscar was running the same thing three times it would have been more reasonable, but he was running three independent modules), and since I only had one non-cthulhu slot left, I spoke to Tom and we decided that he would run at DEXCON instead, and just play at DREAMATION.

  62. So here’s your answer…

    We had THREE Cthulhu Live! Games (LARPS), and Oscar Rios (who runs Cthulhu at just about all of our conventions) had already submitted another 3 table games, PLUS I had an Indie Cthulhu table game. Overlapping Tom’s and Oscar’s games is a shame (if Oscar was running the same thing three times it would have been more reasonable, but he was running three independent modules), and since I only had one non-cthulhu slot left, I spoke to Tom and we decided that he would run at DEXCON instead, and just play at DREAMATION.

  63. Thanks! Just FYI, at least one of Oscar’s games, the Friday afternoon one, had sufficient overflow of hopefuls waiting to see if they could get in that I think if Tom had been running a CoC game in the same slot, it would have filled.

  64. Thanks! Just FYI, at least one of Oscar’s games, the Friday afternoon one, had sufficient overflow of hopefuls waiting to see if they could get in that I think if Tom had been running a CoC game in the same slot, it would have filled.

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