To Gary Con Staff & Volunteers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JediSoth, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    I want to say thank you for a great convention. I was happy that all of my anxieties about this year's convention were unfounded (though I maintain that after the harassment I received from some attendees on these forums and attitude I received from a staff member, my concerns were well-founded and justified). I hope all the hard-working volunteers found time to play some games; it seemed like I always saw the same people busting their butts!

    The new venue was fantastic. My wife and I made a list of staff member names we plan to compliment when the resort sends me a follow-up survey (and if they don't, we'll write a letter ourselves). The food was excellent all around, and in the case of the tableside menu, surprisingly so. Despite what seemed at the time like over-indulgence, especially in gelato, I didn't even gain any weight, and may have, in fact, lost a pound or two. I hope we were able to meet the minimum in tableside purchases; my wife and I made our best effort to order tableside as often as we could.

    As far as accessibility is concerned, in my wife's words the Grand Geneva is "light-years ahead" of The Lodge at Geneva Ridge. An actual elevator more than makes up for the inconvenience of the prairie-style architecture and we did not miss that janky, poorly-maintained lift Geneva Ridge made her use. As I understand it, even the Organized Play areas, which seemed inaccessible at first glance, were available to her had we asked a resort employee to escort us to the service elevators.

    We loved how spacious the Dealer Hall was. Hopefully, as the number of vendors grow, the generous aisles remain. Gen Con is just too dang crowded; this felt just right, even when the hall was busy. Thanks to Frank Mentzer for inviting our friends David Pancake and Lisa Sells to the show this year. We've been great admirers of their sculptures for years. And whoever invented those scratch-off adventure crack cards for Goodman Games should get a medal or something. Those were BRILLIANT. Genius, really. I wish I'd thought of them.

    Kudos to Thomas Valley and the staff who helped organize the Adventurer's League events. It was the best run organized play I have EVER experienced at a convention. While I don't play OP games at home, I will be on the lookout for further opportunities next year at Gary Con. I also really enjoyed the workshop I attended from Wizards of the Coast and was sad I could only fit one into my schedule. I hope they come back next year.

    Not everything was perfect, but please understand that the pros far outweigh the cons by any metric and I'm only including these in the spirit of providing feedback.
    • The print outs of the event schedule were helpful, but it would have been better if they'd been sorted by date/time rather than event number.
    • As I mentioned in an unrelated thread, a greater effort should have been made to inform folks of Jen Page's cancellation. As I understand from players who signed up for her Call of Cthulhu game, they weren't notified until 30 minutes AFTER the event was supposed to start. I also understand that the cancellation was known of before the convention started. That no one who pre-registered for her events is rather inexcusable, considering she was a VIP guest.
    • I know I'm not the only person who feels this way, but there's probably a lot of people who think I'm being a fuddy-duddy. One staff member's extremely revealing cos-play made some folks uncomfortable (particularly parents of young children). I understand it's perfectly legal, but there is a time and a place for everything. It feels inappropriate from a staff member, frankly. Either you're going to be professionals when you're running a convention or you're going completely casual; it sends mixed messages when you try to have it both ways.
    • The staff at HQ should have known the painted fire giant minis weren't going to be available for sale. I put off buying things until they arrived because I wanted to have only one transaction. By the time I learned they were only for the auction, some of the limited items were gone.
    My biggest complaint is actually a good thing: I felt like I didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted or to talk to everyone I wanted.

    Congratulations on a hugely successful Gary Con VIII and we look forward to Gary Con IX. Our reservations are already made and games are in the planning stage!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  2. stahlnee

    stahlnee Spellbinder

    I remember seeing all VIPs at the show. If you look under special guests Jen Page is not listed.
  3. sir jon

    sir jon Spellbinder

    Regardless, she had a scheduled event with seats sold. Players AT THE LEAST should have been made aware of her cancellation.
    Jarlaxle, stahlnee and Reidzilla like this.
  4. Reidzilla

    Reidzilla Level 0 Character

    I second that the one staff member's cos-play outfit was very inappropriate.
  5. sir jon

    sir jon Spellbinder

    I, for one, disagree.
    Scott308 and Jarlaxle like this.
  6. stahlnee

    stahlnee Spellbinder

    Agree. This should be done for each no show GM. A staff member should make rounds to check on whether a GM showed up and to proactively post ahead of time when a GM cancels or does not pick up their registration package prior to their first event. This includes placing a sign at the table and a posting at various locations like was done for when the Gygax family event for 7pm Sat was moved later and at a different location or about Zeb Cooks games.
    Poindexter, Scott308 and Jarlaxle like this.
  7. LastFighter

    LastFighter Level 0 Character

    Firstly thank you for a wonderful convention. I had a blast and played many games. It was great running into old friends as well.

    Some feedback for Gary Con Staff

    The menus and food service was great. I had cases where my order was lost but overall really great.

    The large open gaming areas were too loud. Really too loud to hear. I had some games where I would have been unable to hear anything if I had not grabbed a seat near the GM. Specifically the Ever Green 1 and 3 rooms.

    The Auction. It would have been nice to have a break in the convention so people could attend for an hour or two.

    Event Times. Would it be possible to schedule a lunch break and a dinner break consistently so people have time for the dealers hall as well as
    considering a buffer between times for when a GM is running over the time limit ?

    Event Costs. I think the GP system is broken. GMs wildly over charged events for what was on offer and as a result ended up with empty tables at times.

    Event Registration: .... A system less prone to massive early registration issues would be good. I have seen a weighted lottery system for pre-registration work well for time slots and be less stressful on the registration system.
  8. EOTB

    EOTB Level 0 Character

    If we're talking about making the auction a zero-coin registration event in the catalog, to help people identify it and from inadvertently committing themselves elsewhere, I could see that. If instead it is about making the auction an event during which no other games can be on-grid concurrently, I think that would be a bad idea. I'm not particularly interested in the auction, and wouldn't see it as a plus to have it blocked out in the schedule in that way. One of my favorite games this year was an on-grid game that ran during the auction.
  9. LastFighter

    LastFighter Level 0 Character

    I am in favor of putting some general convention level breaks in the scheduled times for events. Some events could run through the blocks of time but if the majority followed them it might result in a better 'flow' of gaming and resting. I saw people just crash and burn and skip games because they got too tired.

    I did not even know about the auction until it was ongoing. An event entry in the booklet would have helped schedule my time.
  10. EOTB

    EOTB Level 0 Character

    I guess we just see things differently. I would resent someone building breaks into my schedule because they didn't want me to get too tired. The last time something like that happened, it came with graham crackers and milk, and my own nap pad.

    People are adults. If they overbooked because they weren't familiar with how cons worked, or perhaps Garycon in particular, they will fix it next year. If they are completely familiar with it and overbook anyway, then that's how they like to roll, and building in breaks isn't going to make a difference. They're still going to have way too much fun too late, and when "break time" comes around they're going to go to the bar (or what have you) and have more fun.
    Scott308 likes this.
  11. LastFighter

    LastFighter Level 0 Character

    Fair enough !

    Here is my motivation

    I signed up for 8-12, 12-4, then 4-8 on one day. It was great fun but I had no time to go to the dealer's hall or stop to chat with folks. By 8 I was tired and rested before heading down to the bar to chat with folks.

    Imagine I gamed the same amount that day but it was 8-12, 1-5, 6-10. I would have enjoyed those 12 hours a lot more with a bit of time to recharge between events. I could have gotten lunch at the buffet or chatted with friends more the first day or saw the dealers hall AND played my games.

    To me that is more enjoyable than 12 straight hours and better than trying to do 4 hours and then a 4 hour break and then 8 hours until midnight.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  12. glamcrist

    glamcrist Footpad

    as far as I'm aware, GM's didn't set their own event costs. At least I didn't set mine. was that an option? lol
  13. LastFighter

    LastFighter Level 0 Character

    I believe from discussions I heard at the Con that GMs could set their own event costs - but possibly it only applied to 'vip' games ?

    The costs of events had a wide range with not much of a descernable pattern. Some were 1g others 2g or higher.

    The 3sp events were basically free, I don't think most people used all of their SP.
  14. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    I wasn't able to set my own costs. It's possible VIPs close to the staff could say how much their events should be, but AFAIK, Joe-Schmoe GMs like myself are at the mercy of the staff (no complaints about the costs of my events though... heck, I don't even know how much my events cost. I'd guess 2-3 SP each).
  15. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    GC staff set event costs. Balancing a virtual economy is a complex science, and we're not experts at it yet.
  16. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    The ability to have more than one badge per account and the ability to double-book your time were expedient fixes to some problems, but had unintended (or greater than anticipated) drawbacks. I'd like to see neither in our registration next year.
    Jarlaxle and Tink333 like this.
  17. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    Cool. Didn't know exactly how it worked. I have no complaints about event cost and I, for one, DO NOT want to set my own prices for that, like EVER. :p
    Tink333 likes this.
  18. sir jon

    sir jon Spellbinder

    GMs did NOT get to charge. Costs were set by staff.
  19. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Level 0 Character

    Regarding a couple of comments about a revealing cos-play outfit, I'll venture a guess that the outfit in question belonged to chain mail bikini lady. I didn't see anything more revealing so someone please point it out if I missed it. I disagree 100% with the notion that a chain mail bikini was inappropriate. Women in chain mail bikinis have been a part of fantasy gamer culture for a looooooooong time so a convention that is grounded in fantasy gaming is most certainly appropriate for the costume in question. Besides, it was a nice break from the sausagefest that dominates our hobby. ;)
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  20. osarious

    osarious Chevalier

    Understood. However, this is a family friendly show, and some felt that the costume was inappropriate, my wife and daughters included.
    JediSoth and Tink333 like this.

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