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Before | After

And that was The (Small) Weekend

I can say I was disappointed, as the dictionary definition of disappointed is:

dis·ap·point·ed (adj.) - Thwarted in hope, desire, or expectation.

While it was exactly what I expected, it didn't live up to my hopes or desires.

Total numbers according to St John was about 150 total. Since the last two years were each over 400, this means that this years was about a third. However, the numbers are actually worse than that. If you take out the miniatures gamers, and the Living gamers, and the CCG and CMG gamers, I doubt very much if the total number of actual roleplayers was over 20. I would expect more likely about 12.

My Paranoia game ran twice, once in the first session with 5 people and once in the last session with 6. However, one of the people in the first session was a GM who wasn't running anything that session, and one of the people in the last session was also a GM who wasn't running anything in that session, so that means only 9 "players" (ie paying players) in my game. I think the most times any of the RPG's ran was 2 or 3 times, and all the other games were 5 player ones.

My freeform didn't run at all. However, it is written, so I'll probably submit it for Unicon this year, that way I don't actually have to panic during the lead up to it.

However, I'm not blaming the organisers for any of this. They did a marvellous job with the time they had. Since half the committee quit in December, and then it took a while to replace the positions, I think they did well in the few months they had to organise it.

Also, they have put a lot of background infrastructure in place so that there shouldn't be these sorts of problems in the future. We can always hope.

On that note they are intending to have a meeting sometime in the next month or so to discuss what went wrong and how to improve it in the future. Travis and I chatted with the committee members a lot about suggestions, since we both have been to so many other conventions and we've seen how a number of other people do it. So, one of the things they are looking at is an on-line rego system, and both myself and Travis told them about AON. Damien, would you mind if I give them your contact details if they want to talk to you about AON (mainly how it works, that sort of thing)? If so, what contact details do you want me to give them?

So, what did I do at The BIG Weekend?

Turned up Friday evening after work to talk to them as they were setting up and doing late rego. Chatted with St John and Michael a bit.

Turned up first session on Saturday morning and ran my first session of The Reunion Mission, making most of the details up as I went along. One clone ended up completely dead about 10 minutes before the end of the game, and everyone else lost at least one clone.

Played board games the rest of the day (mainly Settlers of Catan, Roborally and Ticket To Ride) and went home about halfway through the last session.

Turned up near the end of the first session on Sunday and played more board games for most of the day. Almost had enough players to run Homeward Bound, but didn't quite, so it didn't happen and went home near the end of the last session.

Turned up near the end of the first session on Monday, and having actually remembered to go to a hole in the wall this time, actually had money so bought some Shadowrun books, and was given some Marvel Power Dice Starter boxes. Giant D6 for the win! :)

Then ran my other session of The Reunion Mission, using what I ran the first time as the plot line. This time we ended up on two completely dead, two on their last clone and two on their second last clone.

Then wandered back to the rego hall and helped pack up and clean up, followed by the shortest prize giving in memory (there were about a dozen people there, it didn't take long). After that Travis, St John and I wandered off to Cold Rock for the post con "party". No one else turned up.

Then home.

As for next year, I will submit some games to the next BIG Weekend (I already have a few ideas), whenever that happens to be.

Much as I hate to say it, I actually hope it doesn't run next year. People in Brisbane have gotten so complacent that the con will be running over the Labour Day long weekend, that I think it not running for a year might not be a bad idea, to hopefully wake people up to the fact that it needs volunteers to be on the committee and to run it, other wise it won't run at all.

Perhaps this years completely lack-lustre event will wake people up. I don't know.

I much prefer the southern conventions.


May. 12th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)

I didn't say that southern conventions weren't producing con booklets. In at least some cases, con booklets have been produced but have been distributed only at the convention itself. That way the people who really want the con booklet get them, and the convention isn't paying to produce ten times as many con booklets as are actually used. Also, make no mistake, no matter what roleplayers say they want, they generally don't use booklets to enter. IIRC, when those cons looked at their data, they found that response rate from booklets was below one in ten and falling with each passing year.

Also, remember that I was an organiser back in the darker days of 1996-1998. In 1996 (after Briscon that year), the President of the Briscon Association stood down. It was a long, long time before anybody could be found to take over. I personally visited stores and the meetings of Briscon-affiliated clubs as part of the campaign to inform people that a new President was required for the con to go ahead. Nobody wanted to be involved. Eventually John White agreed to do the job - the same John White whose parents own Napoleon's Military Bookshop. He got the job done - barely - but the committee had to endure complaints about how a person associated with a store should not be running the convention. And before that, in 1995, the NonCon organisers widely advertised that their convention was too much work for only two people to hold together, and if nobody volunteered, there would be no NonCon 96. Nobody volunteered. There was no NonCon 96.

Don't forget that the major problem with recruiting through stores is not cost, but time. Somebody has to visit each store. These days, if I was the only person willing to do that, it would probably take me a couple of months to get it done. I just don't have the time to visit stores. Precisely who was supposed to do this, considering that we now know that after Ian resigned, there was nobody at all on the convention committee?

It comes back to the fact that nobody was in charge, and nobody was willing to take charge. It's not enough to be willing to help out if somebody collars you. Somebody needs to be proactive enough to say, "Hey, I think this convention needs my help. How do I get on the committee?" (Heck, if somebody isn't proactive enough to do that, should that person be in charge of a convention at all? Yes, I am saying that anybody who does not directly ask a question has not put enough effort into finding the answer.) The roleplaying community in Brisbane just isn't getting this.

Okay, there is the issue of questions put to the forum, but I can't judge what happened there either way. Michael and John were quite offended at how things went, and I can see questions asked and answered in that forum now, and that's all I know.

May. 16th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC)
Obviously you think that what I have said is not the truth and you will not be dissuaded no matter what I say. I think the issues I have raised are important and need to be dealt with before anything will change. So I'm going to have to disagree with you and leave it there.

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And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

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I dream of rain
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I dream of rain
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Sweet desert rose
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No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
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