Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by glamcrist, Mar 3, 2016.
None of my players showed today.
I had a similar issue no one showed for a game i was signed up for. Other playera or the gm
It happens, plans change for folks. At Gary Con, I'm pretty much just happy to be there, and know that I can just walk down a random hallway, find an empty seat, and jump into a different game.
What time was your game? I find that early morning games always have a high no-show rate as people often end up wanting to sleep later than they originally thought (for various reasons). People also sometimes fill a slot with a back-up game in case they can't walk on to their sold-out first choice. Registration technical problems and the resulting confusion may have also contributed (what did I get? how do I return a game? etc). My point is that while it's disappointing, I would not take it too personally.
I would be less disgusted if my two no-show games hadn't required me to waste an hour setting up each game.
I heard that there was a high percentage of no shows at games this year, and I experienced it as a GM personally this year with lesser turnout in what I thought were "sold out" events that I ran. Why is anyone's guess, and it could be flu, weather, job demands, registration issues, lost attendees, or all of the above. Heck, as a player I even had a gold coin level game GM no show this year. Although I am willing to be flexible, the sad part about no shows is that it ultimately discourages GM's from running events. What we wind up with is only events being run by those with a profit motive, which is detrimental to the development of RPG hobbies. Let's face it, the best RPG games that I've ever played were such gems as the AD&D classics that my brother wrote "The Wizard, the Egg, and the Ziggurat" and his spoof "Ravens Crag" that none of you reading this will ever know because they was never published. (Hmm . . . Perhaps I should start a gaming company and become a full time geek). Anyway, I guess what I am saying is that if you play RPG's long enough, you'll find the best stuff is not mass produced. Beginners and fuddy duddies gravitate to the name recognized "gold" level material, true old school type gamers won't dismiss the "silver" level material, which often is the better cutting edge stuff.
I have pretty much written off ever running another Squad Leader game at a con. I completely wasted two-plus hours setting up for players that never showed.
Unfortunately im not so happygolucky. I came from florida with a list of games i signed up for and was looking forward to playing. I get it. Things happen. Just some better communications would be nice. Some way to contact the gm instead of telling me that he is proabaly to hungover to run.
I think no-showing for games was up this year.
It's tempting to attribute it to the registration issues, difficulty returning tickets, confusing about whether you were in something or not.
However, when I look at my personal experience:
Out of 3 sold-out 8am games, 2/3 had 1/2 or more not show up.
On Sunday 2/2 sold-out (non-8am) games had no players show up except me.
On Thur/Fri/Sat not at 8am, out of 5 games, only 1 person total who registered didn't show.
So, given that 8ams and Sundays had major problems and other times had almost perfect attendance, unless my experience is a weird coincidence, it seems pretty clear that people were tired/hung over/overscheduled and skipped out on morning and last day events.
So what can you do about that?
Appeal to people to be more realistic about their scheduling and/or more considerate of fellow GMs and players they may be leaving hanging.
Upside: Easy to do
Downside: May or may not have much impact
Personally stop signing up to run or play in 8am games, so you (partially) avoid this phenomenon.
Upside: Also easy
Downside: Lessens choices of times a bit. I also really like playing at 8am, because it's quieter and easier to hear. Doesn't solve Sunday. Also, if lack of demand causes 8am games to not be offered any more, it's possible people may just say "Hey, I don't have my first game until 10", stay up even later, and still miscalculate how little sleep they can get, and miss their first of the next day anyway.
Start charging (real money, besides the imaginary coins) for event tickets
Upside: There's a built-in penalty for not showing up, which I love, in theory.
Downside: More complexity to registration. Also, the price point at which it influences people's behavior is liable to be problematic. That is to say, if event tickets cost $1 each, someone who won't get up in time to avoid missing a game isn't going to suddenly get up to avoid missing a dollar. To actually motivate people, I think you'd probably have to make them more like $10 each, and that spawns a number of new problems.
Collect and record attendance very fastidiously and have built-in penalties/rewards to your following year's registration (cost, or better yet, registration priority/order), based on if you showed or ditched the games you registered for.
Upside: Also gives incentives that encourage attending what you say you will.
Downside: A lot of effort to try and get all the GMs to have a sheet, get every one to sign, get that all that entered in a system and translated to next year's impact.
You will probably never know what happened to your MIA players, but I will relate my story as it might have been a common experience. I signed up for a pretty full schedule of games hoping I could get there Thursday night. I will point out that I only spent about half of my coins in doing so (why did we get so many?). Crap happened at work and I could not get to the con until Friday night. As far as I know, there was no way to return tickets. So I missed several games and I apologize for the inconvenience.
Saturday morning I played Numenera and had a wonderful time. Saturday afternoon I played a game in a big room that was so incredibly noisy that I could not hear half of the dialog. It required all my mental energy to follow along. Not fun at all. After four hours I left, exhausted, to tell the GM of my next game that I was too spent to play. This room was just as loud. Obviously it didn't bother everyone as there were players ready to fill-in my vacancy. On Sunday morning I enjoyed a game of D&D 2E in the same room I abandoned the previous evening. It was half-empty and the volume was quite tolerable.
I suspect that many of the people who no-showed for your games spent all of their coins on overlapping events which they never could have attended. Others didn't show for your game because their previous game ran long and they decided not to leave when their GM just kept playing past the scheduled ending. Others had real-life issues keep them away and there was no mechanism for notifying you. A few may even have bailed due to environmental issues (noise). All of the games I played were sold-out, yet most of the players who participated were actually walk-ons. I found that very interesting.
Despite all that, I thank the con organizers and all the volunteers. I know they worked very hard and gave a great deal of their time and energy. I'm glad I attended and will probably attend next year as well.
Just to chime in. I get that life happens, job, health, etc. That is no excuse for multi-booking a time slot which may prevent someone that truly wants to be in your event but can't get in because you multi-booked your time and the event you're tying up is your 2nd or 3rd choice which you'll only go to if your first choice is sold out when you register. I'm just saying be considerate of other players; we all want in events, some of us take the time to look at the list before hand and actually try to plan our day. As a GM I felt the burn of my first no-shows this year and found out later from some that people were doing this. I was not happy when half way through some people that wanted to get in couldn't because to them it showed sold out.
Here's a tip if you fall into the multi-booking group of people. Get your registration done, if you got the events you wanted and have multiple events on the same time slot, go back in and remove your 2nd and 3rd choices. That or maybe the IT team can set up something that allows you to only book one event during a time slot and gives you an alert when you try to book a 2nd and prevents you from doing so.
It seems to me that double booking created the problem. Lower turnout did not just affect 8:00 or Sunday events. I believe that double booking is unfair to players and GM's alike. It's very hard to grow this convention if people continue to pre-register with double booking. First timers looking at the website or at the convention will see that events they are interested in are sold out and not come, when in fact there are spaces available. Players don't generally like wandering around begging to join a game.
There is a way for the organizers to prevent double-booking: disable that capability in the registration programming so that it's not possible to double-book a time slot. I think technology played a bigger role - people's inability to easily return an event, compounded by it potentially being unclear what you actually got and didn't get. Jerkish intentional double-booking has never been a problem before (at least Gary Cons 3-7).
I had a lot of no-shows in all of the events I ran. Fortunately, I had no problem filling out my tables with walk-ins. Probably 2/3 of my players (maybe higher) were walk-ins despite all but one of my events selling out in preregistration.
Last year, I ran 4 games with 3 being at 8am on Thu, Fri and Sun. 100% show ups for all 4 events.
This year, I ran 3 games with all 3 being at 8am on Thu, Fri and Sat. Thursday 4 of 8 showed and had 5 walkups. Friday 7 of 9 showed with the missing 2 under the same name. Saturday 4 of 8 showed (3 played, one bowed out due to not felling well) with 2 of the missing 4 under the same name as those missing on Friday.
I know of one event where the GM allowed 10 sign ups. At game time the GM allowed 15 people to sit and play where one person holding a ticket did not get to play. The GM was one of the Special Guest.
I recall several groups who traded events around and then posted a listing of which events they did not want after figuring out everyone in their groups schedule.
I recall greater flexibility in being able to signup for multiple tickets for a single event under one account. I also recall getting a listing of events without knowing how many seats per event one had. Only the GM knew the number of seats a person had.
From my perspective it was reasonable to having a number of no shows this year due to the issues experienced during pre-registration, the greater flexibility allowed under an account, and the circumstances stated above.
Yeah, I kinda forgot that scheduling a session for 8 AM Thursday is... inadvisable, but my Friday 8 AM had 6/6 show...
I'm not complaining per se, just commenting on how bizarre it is that most of my afternoon ticket-holder's no-showed.
This is a good thread with good feedback. There were some technical limitations to meeting our intent with signups this year. I'm not going to rehash the registration issues here in this thread, but suffice to say tightening up the registration system will mitigate a portion of these root causes.
..and sorry @glamcrist, I've hijacked the title of this thread to keep it pertinent. Good stuff in here.
I had no-shows in both of my Numenera games. I sort of expected it, though, since I usually have a few no-shows for my non-DGS games, especially if it's a newer, non-D&D system. In both cases, I had enough walk-ons (or as one person self-styled: squatters) to make a good game of it.
No show players don't bother me. No show GMs, however... I think every effort should be made to inform people ahead of time and not keep them waiting (and there is no excuse EVER for a GM to be double-booked for their GM slot). I did hear of one case where the VIP GM canceled their convention appearance and players at their table were not notified until 30+ minutes after start time. THAT is 100% unacceptable. I feel the VIP's absence should have been announced as soon as staff were aware of it and the packets of the folks signed up for their games should have been flagged so they could be informed/reminded as soon as they checked in.
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