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"Time To End The Ticket System At HMGS Conventions?" Topic


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47Ronin11 Nov 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

Part Two of my post-Fall In Survey.

Once again, scores of unclaimed tickets at the Events Table every night at Fall In.

Plenty of GMs reported that tickets were picked up, but players never showed up for the game.

Time to end the ticket system?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

civildisobedience11 Nov 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

Actually, as someone who has run a lot of games, I think HMGS should borrow a page from Origins and charge for game reservations. It doesn't have to be a new revenue source. Just charge $5 USD to sign up for a game, and have the GM had out $5 USD of convention dollars to game attendees. So, you only pay if you reserve and don't show. Otherwise, you get your money back in chits for the dealer hall.

It is really obnoxious to take tickets that other people then can't get, and then not show up. Meanwhile, the people who would have taken them figure the game is full.

If you want people to go to the effort and expense of putting on really nice games, I think it's time to give some thought to how to make the GM experience a little better.

PJ ONeill11 Nov 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

A good way to insure that you are IN a game, but I see the system being abused at every con. All tickets gone but few show up.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 2:59 p.m. PST

No ticky no shirty

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

I hosted 3 games at Fall In. Total of 22 player slots. I think I had total of 10 people with tickets or pre-reg show up. But I still had full games due to walk-ups.

Not sure what other GM's experienced, but what exactly is the problem?

rmaker11 Nov 2017 7:23 p.m. PST

What would you replace it with?

kallman11 Nov 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

Agreed what would you suggest for a replacement. Both my Congo games at H-Con will full and all the players had tickets except for one.FYI I ran a four player game both times.

historygamer11 Nov 2017 8:29 p.m. PST

The pre-reg ticket process is a waste, and not needed in today's electronic environment.

Three options:

Only hand out tickets on site. More likely to get the people to show up that way.

Post the GM's email on the PEL. Let interested players contact the GM's directly.

Walk-ups only. Show up 30 minutes or less and have a sign up sheet.

A combination of #2 and #3 above.

HMGS has not looked at its business processes in a while. HMGS does nothing to manage the games it facilitates. HMGS has no idea how many games are needed or how to regulate them.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 9:18 p.m. PST

This is indeed a problem for many game masters. I have this problem big-time at No. TX RPG Con and it's getting worse. Nominally several of my events were "closed" (full up from reserved tickets) not long after online registration opened. But months later, at the actual con, half the sign-ups were no-shows. Since they hadn't put any money up for specific events, they apparently felt free to stay home or switch to another event without penalty. Meanwhile, other people who might have signed up could not; and there was no provision at the con (except ad hoc measures taken by the GM) to alert attendees about drop-outs or no-shows, not even waiting lists. I had to hustle and hustle just to get a quorum of players at the last minute, and this is hell on GMs who put in months of prep work to design scenarios and bring materials for players who fail to show up. And it's also unfair to the few who DO come to play only to find that the event is not going to be held or not going to offer the same opportunities due to drop-outs/no-shows.

ViscountEric11 Nov 2017 9:38 p.m. PST

After ten years of running games at HMGS cons, I've never had a problem with no-shows. 80% are pre-reg or tickets with one or two walk-ups to fill the ranks.

I had more trouble with running six slots of kids games at the local con this weekend, and the average age was under ten.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 2:00 a.m. PST

I will start this reply by saying I assume players can return tickets they intend not use back to the bookings desk? If they are not allowed to return the tickets then what follows is not so applicable.

I usually experience a 25% no show at historicons (done 8 of them) . If there were more data i expect some issues might become clearer. I would guess(only a guess) that it breaks into 6 or so possible reasons. 1. a small number of repeat offenders who are not bothered about others but just grab some tickets they like the look of. 2. See a game they like more and become a walk up for that game instead. 3. Their previous game over runs time wise, so they are too tired to appear at the scheduled game. 4. their friend suggests some other activity. 4. They simply decide that the game is not what they want to play and are embarrassed to give their ticket back. 5. Had some major medical emergency such as a heart attack, 6. Cannot tell the time effectively.

At the base of much of it is probably a certain selfishness that is not easy to purge from such men. They often show similar attributes in their other life interactions.

Just thoughts?

jdpintex12 Nov 2017 3:15 a.m. PST

I like civics suggestion the best. Make people who take tickets have some skin in their choices. Make them put a little money on the line and that should reduce the no shows.

Might also consider the same for GMs who are no shows

historygamer12 Nov 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

That significantly complicates the process for HMGS, an organization already stretched to its limits. Follow the KISS rule.

That and it would probably be a good idea for HMGS to review its entire convention business model. But first off would need to assemble some data. Ain't gonna happen.

The Wargaming Company12 Nov 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

At Fall-In 2017 we ran two games, four available slots each, all tickets were taken.

1st game had three ticket holders and one walkup with a couple observers who would have played had there been slots open.

2nd game had two ticket holders and two walkups with a waitlist of four to get in beyond the two walkups who joined.

This is a very common occurrence. At Historicon 2016 we had eight slots available for a game, all eight tickets were taken, none of those players showed for the game, we got eight walkups and ran the game with them. It is uncommon for us to run a game and not have at least 25% of ticket holders 'no show'. We have been fortunate in that it is rare these openings are not filled by walkups.

We have a similar experience at every HMGS convention we have attended: Historicon, Cold Wars, Fall-In, Little Wars, NashCon. None of these conventions charge any per-game fee.

The ticket system is highly problematic for many game hosts as it is currently implemented.

-TWC
thewargamingcompany.com

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 7:52 a.m. PST

Agreed what would you suggest for a replacement. Both my Congo games at H-Con will full and all the players had tickets except for one.FYI I ran a four player game both times.

Yep. And the one player without the ticket was yours truly – and I had a simply delightful time. All I got to say is I HATE that darn monkey in the jungle!

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 7:54 a.m. PST

The way I work the games is this – I almost never pre register. I look for the games I want to play and get there early. If someone doesn't show up, I'm in. If everyone shows up, I sit and watch. Either way I enjoy myself.

As for the Congo game, it was too pretty not to get into. I sat there and waited roughly 30 mins hoping there would be an opening. And there was :-)

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 10:59 a.m. PST

The fact that there are sufficient "walk ups" to fill the positions in some of the games does not mean there is no problem with the current ticket system.

historygamer12 Nov 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

What Bowman said. Remember that volunteers put a lot of effort and time into it before Day 1 of the con. Is that time well spent or could their efforts be more fruitful elsewhere?

Rotundo12 Nov 2017 1:48 p.m. PST

Oddly, I always put 4players=4hours, but I really plan for two extra. I always announce for tickets at the allotted time. Wait five minutes and then go. I do think a small charge may help " slow down " overly excited man-children who can not realize that a game ending the same time as a game begins is unmakable.Also, stop fooling yourselves…you are going shopping….pretending to be interested in my game is not going to stop you from melting your credit card….

Airborne Engineer12 Nov 2017 3:41 p.m. PST

I think is long since time to go to a smart phone app. The games could all be in the system, and automate the sign up process. It would take away the need to close preregistration a month before the con to allow time to record all the requested games.

So if you change your mind about going to the con, you don't show, decide to get into another game, then you can be dropped from the list.

It would also link an individual's name to a no show. So people would no who bailed on their game. People who no show games without releasing the ticket, could be prohibited rom reserving tickets more than an hour before the game.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 4:00 p.m. PST

Since I no longer register for games (too busy working all day and will occasionally play in a late starting game), I don't really have a dog in this race. But I for one hate phone apps. I did not grow up with phone apps and find anything done on the phone as a pain in the ass. With phones getting smaller and my eyesight getting worse as I age, smart phones are not my choice for internet apps. Also, for those of us who are very tall/big, trying to type on a phone is a nightmare.

Thus be careful on how you choose to do game registration. There needs to be more than one option…….

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

I'm with BTC. I'm sometimes a walk-up and (rarely) a reservation, but I've no intention of buying a smartphone because someone came up with an "app." (And how long would it be before my phone wasn't smart enough any more? Three years, if that?) Reservation money is not a bad idea, but just add it to my total when I pay for registration, flea market table and goodies.

Dynaman878912 Nov 2017 5:18 p.m. PST

Charging for pre-registrationg is a terrible idea. It is either going to be too much and discourage pre-registration altogether or too little and do nothing to discourage missing a game and instead just be another negative toward con enjoyment for some. Also no personal dog in this race – if I pre-register for a game I play in it.

WeeSparky12 Nov 2017 6:49 p.m. PST

The app does not have to run on your smartphone. Several large screen tablets could be set up at various locations around the con such (in the registration area, Distlefink, Dealer hall, etc.) that could register you for games with just your badge number.

I'm a fan of the cash incentive, even if it is just a couple of dollars, fully refundable if you cancel early enough for someone else to get in the game.

The Wargaming Company12 Nov 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

The following is offered simply for the purpose of perspective.

AdeptiCon is largely a tournament convention, it offers a wide variety of genres including sci-fi, fantasy, and historicals. Its signup is digital (online and phone/tablet apps) and its games (not entrance) cost money. This spring it had 3,600 unique paid attendees, in addition there were an estimated 1,500-2,000 shoppers and browsers who did not pay to play in any games.

What is striking are three observations:

The average age is half that of any of the HMGS shows (East, Mid-South, Midwest, etc…)
Participation in games costs money
The show dwarfs Historicon, its non-paid attendees are equal to that of Cold Wars & Fall-In, by either metric it is multiple times the size of Little Wars

Some of AdeptiCon's success is its tournament focus, some of it is the mix of genres, and some of it is its business model. That business model makes the convention more approachable to a broad audience of both interests and ages. Those kids these days, if you ask them to mail in a check, will just stare at you confused.

The question is: What is the goal of the convention, maintenance or growth?

Different organizations have different goals, the validity of the methods being employed is whether they advance those goals.

As a vendor and game runner, we'd like to see the HMGS shows (all of them) advance in order to grow, but ultimately it is up to the show runners and in the case of HMGS chapters, the membership, to decide what they want to do and how they wish to best get there.

-TWC
thewargamingcompany.com

civildisobedience12 Nov 2017 9:39 p.m. PST

You can call a payment/deposit system a terrible idea while offering nothing whatsoever of use, but the fact is, in many ways, HMGS cons seem to be almost trying to discourage GMs. I've done tons of games, the spend weeks and sometimes hundreds of dollars building an elaborate table type of games, and I can say, I'm at a low ebb of enthusiasm for doing it. Fall In was the first con in years I didn't run anything, and unless a wave of excitement floats up from somewhere, Cold Wars will be the second.

This isn't to suggest I need to be accommodated in some way, just to point out that unless HMGS gets serious about fixing problems like this, they're going to lose GMs

historygamer13 Nov 2017 5:32 a.m. PST

"HMGS cons seem to be almost trying to discourage GMs…"

While I wouldn't say they discourage, I would absolutely say they do nothing to encourage (other than offering a con, table and potential players) GMs.


I still find many of the layouts poor (no main thoroughfares through the gaming area, tables too close especially for how many tables always seem empty), the lighting iffy (finally, they had all the lights on in the Distlefink room!) like having a lot of the nicer looking games in the hotel lobby where you need flashlight to see the figures.

The GM award program is nice, but under executed. They never reach out to their better GMs (they have a ready list of past award winners) to encourage them to attend. It really seems like they could care less. Perhaps set up a special area for them (if it is the upper lobby area then that is more like punishment), etc.

In short, I hear you CD.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

Some input:

HMGS has not looked at its business processes in a while.
Absolutely correct, but the times they are a changing. At Fall In! 2017 we had a team walking around checking events for fill rates, no shows, etc… We also brought back the GM help desk.

HMGS does nothing to manage the games it facilitates. HMGS has no idea how many games are needed or how to regulate them.

Actually… that isn't true. I have done events for 7 years. There is absolutely a sweet spot for games vs attendees…. Remember folks. The number of games at a show does NOT necessarily reflect the quality of the show. By limiting events, you can better control the quality of those events submitted.. especially giving preference to GMs who regularly attend and run… and do NOT have a history of missing their events/no show as a GM.

HMGS cons seem to be almost trying to discourage GMs.

I have to disagree…. GMs get a free weekend badge.. that is something. At minimum a $25 USD value. Also, we are looking to expand upon this possibly.

The facility does have abysmal lighting (Host) and.. there are actual ADA aisles in the Dfink, etc…. the rooms are laid out legally. BUT.. you are correct, about spacing… we are hard pressed for space, even at Fall In! AND, yes… we have empty tables… For the record, both Friday and Sat night were booked in the Dfink…. all of those empty tables…. event cancellations or no shows. I have the event records if anyone ever wants to review them.

So, going back to layout… we are trying something a little different this year for layout. It might mean less space, but it will be more organized.

I do want to see more for GMs, and we are working toward that goal.

As for going ticketless…. there is sooo much more to this subject than easily discussed. Like a gem.. many facets…

PERSONALLY: I would like to keep the tickets, but I think we need to move to a charge system… this would at least help guarantee that folks won't be grabbing tickets for games they "might" attend. How to move that way.. I don't know.

civildisobedience13 Nov 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

Honestly, I didn't intend my comments to be a bitch-fest, but just a straightforward sharing of my feelings as a GM. he truth is, running a nice, well-put together battle, beyond the hours and hours of prep and actual running, usually costs more than $25 USD, and often a LOT more. I'm not saying GMs should be paid for games. Actually, I think that was bad in the past when a few well-connected GMs were greased. But even the free admission is tied only to games submitted by the ever-receding deadline.

I appreciate the difficultly of organizing the con, but I can tell you, nothing sucks the wind of of the desire to do a game at the next con more than bringing your custom-built table and finding you're in the Host Room, deep in the bowels of the Host's basement.

There's always talk of the volunteers, and certainly the con is a lot of work. But GM support is usually awfully hard to find when someone has snaked half your tables or you need something else.

I'd love to see the event judging improved and expanded. For example, I've always wondered if it was necessary to have a game running Saturday night to win best in show, since it seems the judges are only looking at current games then.

It's always weird to have 15 people one day and then 2 the next (with all the tickets gone). It's not convention management's fault, of course, but it is a reason to look at the ticket system and realize it is broken in many ways.

Again, none of this is complaining. I'm just trying to explain how I lost a lot of the desire to build tables and run games. It's a lot of work, and if too many people lose the drive to put on quality games, the cons will suffer further.

historygamer13 Nov 2017 9:20 a.m. PST

"At Fall In! 2017 we had a team walking around checking events for fill rates, no shows, etc…"

Excellent start! Need to do that at CW as well.

"We also brought back the GM help desk."

Did not know that. Need to communicate that better. It would help to be downstairs where the games are (maybe it was, I dunno) and you need to detail what all the GM Help Desk is there to do. Need to be on the webpage or on the page when GMs actually register – or in the auto response. Just some suggestions. :-)

"There is absolutely a sweet spot for games vs attendees…."

Well yeah, Friday afternoon to Saturday about 5pm. But how many games are needed, do you have the right type of games, are they full, etc.? Difficult, but not impossible to manage.

For instance when I ran my game this past FI, there was an almost exact duplicate that ran within an hour or so (larger figures, same rules, same battle). I would suggest that with some active management, such conflicts could be avoided and the benefit would be to create more options over the space of the convention. Contact the GM, let them know if they would like to move day/time, etc. As an example, it does no one any good if you have ten Napoleonic games all running at the same time, then none the rest of the day. More work? Yes, but it might be of great benefit to manage that. Just a suggestion. :-)

"Remember folks. The number of games at a show does NOT necessarily reflect the quality of the show. By limiting events, you can better control the quality of those events submitted.. especially giving preference to GMs who regularly attend and run… and do NOT have a history of missing their events/no show as a GM."

Well said. :-)

HMGS cons seem to be almost trying to discourage GMs.

"The facility does have abysmal lighting (Host)"


Not sure who did it, but the Distlefink was as well light I ever recall. Good job!

"…and.. there are actual ADA aisles in the Dfink, etc…. the rooms are laid out legally."

Maybe, but that does not take into account the chairs and often big boys playing the games. That five foot space is eaten up by just one player at an adjoining table.

"BUT.. you are correct, about spacing… we are hard pressed for space, even at Fall In! AND, yes… we have empty tables… For the record, both Friday and Sat night were booked in the Dfink…. all of those empty tables…. event cancellations or no shows. I have the event records if anyone ever wants to review them."


So perhaps a different approach is needed, at least for the larger gaming areas. Actively manage the game room. Don't assign specific tables till the GM shows up – only assign a room. Like the hostess at a restaurant, look over your map, see what is open, then assign it. Have some extra swing tables standing by for larger games. Limits the empty space and also allows you to space out your games so they aren't all in one area of the room. You could do this from a GM/Management desk just outside the gaming areas (foyer). I'm pretty sure if the program booklet says that X game is in the Distlefink the players can find it.

"So, going back to layout… we are trying something a little different this year for layout. It might mean less space, but it will be more organized."

Less space or less table set-ups? I hope the later instead of less space. Less tables creates more space. GM's need clear paths to haul that stuff in and out.


"PERSONALLY: I would like to keep the tickets, but I think we need to move to a charge system… this would at least help guarantee that folks won't be grabbing tickets for games they "might" attend. How to move that way.. I don't know."

Ditch pre-reg for games. It guarantees neither the player showing up, nor the game showing up. Or, allow GMs the option of only running walk-up games, or allow GMs to do the later and post their email address in the PEL for people who want to contact them ahead of time. Reduce the burden on staff having to hand out tickets. Just another suggestion. :-)

Thanks for all your hard work Dan. :-)

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

At Cangames we charge $2 USD for a ticket until 30 minutes before the game when all remaining tickets go onto a table for a freebie grab. A lot of people prefer to pre-reg so I would never ditch that. There was a game a really wanted to play this weekend at Fall In that I would have been happy to pay for (and it was great – Fire and Sword siege game Saturday night).

It is a system that has generally worked well for us it is not much of a money maker but people are unwilling to spend $2 USD on a game they aren't sure about.

I will say that the only issue is people showing up late with a ticket and expecting a slot you should consider your ticket forfeit at the start time if you haven't talked to the GM first.

pvi99th13 Nov 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

As a player I like the tickets system. I know if I have a ticket I should get a spot in the game.

As a GM it is tougher because you don't know if the players will show or not. At FI I had 4 players (out of four spots) and only one had a ticket. He said the other tickets were gone though (he checked specifically).

The three others were walk ups. I know one had his game cancelled and I think another said his was cancelled too.

What I would suggest is ask the GMs to collect the tickets and turn them in after the game (might be tough for late night games though). That way you can get a count on what GMs are showing up and how many people are getting tickets.

I know some people that never register for games. They just find something that looks interesting and see if there is room for them. I only did that once but I am friends with the GM and knew he would fit me in.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

I wish everyone who thinks it's time to end something would come up with a viable alternative.

civildisobedience13 Nov 2017 2:35 p.m. PST

In fairness, it was suggested both to make events walk up only and also to have a charge (permanent or refundable) for tickets.

Those sound like viable alternatives to me.

Dynaman878913 Nov 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

I don't see the "no tickets" option helping much at all – if people don't show up for the game now they are already finding another game they wanted to play anyway.

Isn't there a limit of one game ticket per day or two if pre-registered? Where are all the extra tickets that get discarded coming from?

historygamer13 Nov 2017 7:29 p.m. PST

"I don't see the "no tickets" option helping much at all if people don't show up for the game now they are already finding another game they wanted to play anyway."

The problem is that players check to see if there are any tickets left. If they are all gone they either get tickets for another game or move on and so something else.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 7:50 p.m. PST

I like tickets it means i will get in a game. I wish that I could preregister for the con and games up to the week of the con. Being able to electronically select and deselect games the day of the Con would also help. Last I do not understand the perverse game numbering system it surely adds to the confusion.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 5:10 a.m. PST

Tickets are truly a double edged sword. A lot of very valid points are here both pro and con…..

I think what is needed first is a good in depth way to see who is actually taking and using their tickets. This seems to put the burden upon the GMs. I want to figure something that is both rewarding and sustainable as far as gathering data on event attendance.

The Wargaming Company14 Nov 2017 6:32 a.m. PST

Poniatowski,

The game masters are indeed the default "gate".

If one was to move to a system where tickets were charged for, game masters would need to be trusted to enforce the ticket standard (else the convention staff would need to restrict entry to each game room to ticket holders something I doubt anyone wants to do).

As you surmise, if anyone wants to gather data on fill-rates of games, the game masters are also the gate because they are the people in a position to determine and record how many players they had, and how many of them were ticket holders.

To both topics, the question becomes: How does the convention motivate game masters?

We would be happy to take part in such an effort, but would want the convention to realize and address a couple "truths on the ground":

1) Game masters are always going to want their games to be full, thus, they have an innate motivation not to enforce any ticket related rule and this will be hard to counter without making it *nearly* as easy for a walkup to pay & play as to just play.

2_ Game masters have a lot going on to ensure their game goes off well and on time, thus, the positive motivate for them to be a "ticket cop" (so they can enforce policy) or even a "ticket reporter" (so you can gather data) needs to be quite high.

-TWC
thewargamingcompany.com

historygamer14 Nov 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

Dan:

You don't have to try to collect all the data, sampling would likely be a better way to go.

Not sure how many tickets for my game went, but I only had two ticket holders present. The rest were walk-ups. That seems about average in my experience. Others may vary.

dapeters14 Nov 2017 10:30 a.m. PST

I don't think doing away with them is a good idea at all. I always prereg and if there a game that's sold out then I have a choice of getting another game or showing up and hoping that someone with a ticket does not.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

Until I hear of a substantially better plan, I say keep the ticket system and tweak it with whatever carrot-and-stick player or GM inspirations you can fudge effectively.

historygamer14 Nov 2017 11:52 a.m. PST

Here are the questions:

1. To what level is the current pre-reg/ticket system delivering players to games? (sampling can be used to determine) 80% 50% other?

2. Is it worth the cost/benefit to continue with the present system? (staff man hours before the con, man hours at the con measured against the answer to #1)

Until those two questions are answered, continue with the present program.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

"With phones getting smaller"

Doug, you are in an alternate universe as phones are getting larger, not smaller.

:-)

Ploogak14 Nov 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Events purchased during pre-reg are printed on the badges, ones picked up at the show get a ticket. Does anyone have a feel on whether one is more successful than the other for delivering players?

Does anyone that does pre-reg/ticket a game and not show up want to comment on why they change? Is it because you join friends in another game, a game gets added after you pre-reg, you sleep late or just see another event that looks cool? Having that info would help us in making changes. I won't judge you but I can't promise no one else will. :)

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 4:54 a.m. PST

I can attempt to answer one more question:
The fill rate of monitored games is an average of 70% I think I was told.

This takes into account ALL data gathered… meaning no shows, etc…. It doesn't take into account actual ticket holders.. it was purely a "fill rate" study… so if the game listed 4 seats in the book and the auditor saw 4 people playing…. it was assumed filled, no data was taken on who had a ticket or not.. I think*.

This is surely going to be a bear to address, but at least we are going in the right direction with starting up the GM help desk and checking fill rates, etc….

Stepping back….
I have to admit, in my own opinion, I am still a little confused as to what is the real issue.. having tickets or no shows.

As much as I want to see every game filled and everyone happily playing on a great board with awesomely painted miniatures… that is a long way off.

I have seen mediocre looking games with lots of players having a blast…. and other games, beautiful to behold with a bunch of players sitting around bored and unhappy.. so we need to be vigilant on what standards are set… I would, any day, rather have a game, even if poorly set up, where EVERYONE is having a GREAT time… over a "showcase" game where folks are NOT having fun. This is MY opinion, not necessarily that of HMGS…. just mine as a gamer, GM and player….

I want to shamelessly plug…. We are always looking for new volunteers! Please reach out to us through our websites!!!

Dan

historygamer15 Nov 2017 5:24 a.m. PST

Dan:

If the GM/Help desk were closer than upstairs, you could reasonably ask GMs to give you some feedback on game attendance/tickets. But to expect GMs to run up and down the stairs is not practical especially after a long game. I would only caution that GMs who get less than expected attendance might be hesitant to out themselves.

I did overhear one GM in the dealer area say that somehow the ticket system cancelled his game. He said he set it up, but since there were not tickets and no one showed up he cleaned up his game and went shopping. Anecdotal, I know, but there is one case of perhaps a system failure.

I would again suggest that you avail yourself of the people who run the GM awards program. They go around and look at all the games going on. Give them some more paperwork to fill out of what they see and turn it in to you. Throw them a bone for the extra work (food coupons or something). I'd volunteer to help out with that. In fact, I'll recruit some others too.

I agree that there might not be a correlation of a "good looking game" and a fun game. But I suspect there is more than not. GMs who put in the extra effort would be more likely, I would think, to put on a fun game than ones who put in a minimal effort. Not always true, but I bet more often than not it is.

Look at the great games David Bonk puts on convention after convention. They are usually full. I joke we should just hand David an award when he walks through the door. :-)

I am still not clear why HMGS does not utilize the recent list of award winning games, contact them directly, offer then a special area to run a game again. Maybe a bit more room around the table, etc. Seems like a no brainer to me, but this is never done to my knowledge. At least I've never been contacted and I've won awards at four of the past five cons I've attended.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

@history gamer
The GM helpdesk for Fall In was downstairs at the awards desk (not advertised enough maybe), but many folks used it.

Of course, it was open after the reg areas closed, so for most of the day, it was upstairs.

I personally verified every game in the system had tickets. We had a few GM's who put games in AFTER events had closed and we made tickets on site AND, we did have on GM who had his games cancelled on site (Shilo game)…. I am still trying to find out who did this. Supposedly it was the club POC his games were added to, but I verified that the POC did not…. that is a whole different story though.

I like the awards idea…. I will pitch it to them.

For the most part, I do agree that better looking games are usually very fun, but there are some….

Pretty much all of the games in David's group run beautiful games!

Funny you should say that about award winning games…. that is an item that the CD's are currently discussing. Having a showcase area where past PELLA GM's will be asked to run their games. The only issue there is…. some of the GM's are club GM's and they might not want to be moved form their club areas.

TSD10115 Nov 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

Who was the guy going around the convention table to table asking how many people we had in our game out of how many slots and if we felt the con had enough room for Historicon?

historygamer15 Nov 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

"The GM helpdesk for Fall In was downstairs at the awards desk (not advertised enough maybe), but many folks used it.
Of course, it was open after the reg areas closed, so for most of the day, it was upstairs."

That is confusing and contradictory. Keep it at one place, don't make GMs guess when and where it is. Just a suggestion. I did go over around 6:30pm Friday and there was no one there.

If a GM is in a club group and wants to stay there then let them. I made this suggestion (about contacting award winning GMs) a while before Hcon as there were some concerns from the BoD about the quality of games. Got crickets in response. Glad to hear it is at least being discussed.

Some people seem to always have their games in prominent places. Not sure what merits that. I'm also not sure that the area in the lobby shouldn't' be converted into a dining area along with some of the space downstairs. There really isn't any area for sitting down to eat if you buy your food on site. Maybe there should be. Just a suggestion. :-)

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