Friday, April 3, 2015

The Second Gary Con Report - The Price Of Happiness

Bill Hoyt, Mike Mornard, Maj. David Wesely, and Yours Truly at the game

The Dice Box, the Player Envelopes, wooden blocks, and cardboard heroes

First off, I'd like to thank Michael and Kevin for the photos they took of the game set-up and play at the convention - it was very helpful of you to do so, and I appreciate you doing it. I like to document everything, for future use, but I can't be in two places at the same time; so, hats off to you gents who took photos and made recordings!!! Thank you, all of you!!!

Secondly, I now have all of my own photos up on my Photobucket page for your amusement; scroll down the left-hand column, and you'll find the link to it. Have a look, and I hope you'll be amused!

I've been asked about what it took to put this game on, and in the next few posts I'll try to address that for you. To start with, The Missus and I set a strict budget for the show; she and I have had a lot of experience doing show production over the years, and for us this is a natural process. Here's the basic numbers for what the show 'should cost':

Badge:       $50.00          (No, I was not a VIP with a free badge. I wanted to support the convention.)
Hotel:      $200.00
Fuel:        $150.00
Food:       $100.00
total:        $500.00

This budget changed over time, as we went into the 'build cycle'; one of my friends was kind enough to share hotel costs with me, and this savings went into printing the player-character sheets and other 'swag'. We were also able to save in other areas, like food, that allowed us to buy a new and more powerful Digital Voice Recorder that had 44 hours of recording time and plenty of tape for the back-up recording.

As you can see from Kevin's excellent photo, I had gotten 25 black envelopes to put all the sheets and stuff for the players into; the covers had black-and-white artwork of the character, their name, and their occupation; this was all the players had to go on when they chose their characters. I also included an ID badge with the same information but with color artwork, so everyone could see who everybody was at the table. I was delighted to see that several enterprising players made little 'table tents' with their names on them for the use of their fellow players - which also should have warned me just how really good these people were!

Everything else came out of inventory / stocks; the figures, the wooden blocks, the wonderful 'cardboard heroes' that Uni Games (Jeff and Amanda Dee) makes, and all the technical gear. This was a real help to us, and we were able to bring the show in under budget with the kind help of people who made sure to feed me during the weekend - I get so wrapped up in doing the game that I usually forget to eat. The basic 'cost per player' to me, if you like those kinds of numbers, was on the order of $31.16 a head; I think I got my money's worth, given the reactions I got from the players.

Next up: How I set up and organize a game like this...