Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, August 28th, 2016 - Essay On Events Running

There's 64 cubic feet of space, in there.

A comment came in on last week's post that I thought deserved a longer essay about:

It makes complete sense not to organize the event yourself; the payoff is rarely worth the amount of work involved and after a time, unlike earlier in one's life, organizing just for the "thrill" of it ceases to serve as a good reason. I suspect the guide you've created is primarily to sustain a level of relative comfort and security for your equipment. Doubtlessly you have much that you carry in to make these events work.

Very insightful, and very accurate!

I've been finding, over the past few years, that after my brain surgery I don't have the energy or stamina to both run an event and run games at it. Gary Con in 2015 was an example of this, and it's one of the big reasons why I have done my Events Guide. One of the things I keep running into, these days, is explaining to people that I do games that need a larger space then the usual RPG does; to work well, I need to be planted in a 10' x 10' space for the duration of the event - I simply can't pack up and move around the convention venue at the drop of a hat. While I have gotten all my gaming supplies separated into 'home' and 'away' games, there is still a lot of stuff in plastic tubs and boxes that needs to get hauled around.

Basically, if I'm doing 'administrative moves' around a venue, I am not running games; and that's neither fun or cost-effective.

Hence the Guide; I give table sizes, game running times, and short descriptions of each game. I do point out that I use tables of a certain size, and that mixing these up adds to the set-up and tear-down times needed between games. Most game conventions can be said to have three game periods a day - morning, afternoon, and evening - and so I can normally run three games per day during the event; I would run (say) the 60" x 60" table games on Day One, the 60" x 90" on Day Two, and the 60" x 120" events on Day Three. (I do have more options for a fourth day, if needed.)

The general idea is to move into the space the day before the event and get everything set up; run games during the 'open to the public' times, and then tear down the day after the event. I would have everything stored in the space I had, so that turn-arounds between games would be cut to the absolute minimum amount of time. One of the things that my friends noted about Gary Con in 2016 was that a lot of GMs / referees had to use game time for their set-ups; I don't think that that's really appropriate, as people come to events to play games and not to watch me fiddle around with terrain and scenery. So, my mantra is lots of games that look really good, run well, and with short gaps between them.

Photos on the Photobucket page; copy of the Guide on request... :)