The on-site, printed catalog seemed to be a bit lite on event listings. Someone told me ( I was not able to confirm with anyone) that "sold out" events were not listed in the catalog. Does anyone know if this was the case?
If it was the case, in the future please list ALL the events, sold out or not.
That's true. It has actually been that way for two or three years now. The problem they're dealing with is that with over 17,000 events, a catalog that listed them all would be cumbersomely large, and very expensive to print.
I get that, but many of us really enjoy the catalog and browsing events. With the mess that is pre-registration and the number of events that are added last minute the catalog remains the single best place to get a comprehensive, easy to browse listing of events.
Many people I spoke with talked about empty seats at "full" events. Not having this listing makes it difficult to show at with generics.
If they are already printing the catalog another 20+ pages is not going to add to the cost a significant amount. Heck, I'd pay for a complete listing in the catalog.
Last year they still had some of the sold-out events in the catalog. Derek said he knew that single table RPG events were the hardest hit by no-shows so he tried to put in as many of those as possible. As tdb said, it's probably cost prohibitive at this point.
As I said, offer a "premium" version of the catalog that has all events. I'd pay for that.
The cost of a catalog printing if often the initial set up and building the catalog more than the number of pages. Maybe limit it to one catalog per badge, like a mini-swag bag, and make a better product.
I think they are doing a disservice to us gamers by not giving a complete list. Just my opinion though....
Don't get me wrong, as a GM of a group that runs RPGs I'd love to see a full catalog. But they've been moving away from that for years now and I don't see that trend bucking anytime soon.
While not really the same thing, the unofficial gen con application did have all the events listed (and searchable) no matter what the status of that game was (full or not). I didn't use it enough to see if statuses changed through the con as my schedule was set.
Yeah, the mobile version of the official Gen Con website had events too. Thing is, that doesn't help folks who don't have smartphones. Or those who don't get good data service in the convention center. Or those who choose to unplug a bit for the weekend.
The other catch about a paper catalog is that events were being added almost until the con started. I know when I updated the unofficial app before the con (I think Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning) it said there were 17,204 events, and just now it said 17.256. There's no way those events would get into a paper catalog. I'm not sure when the cutoff for the program was, but I would expect it would be a week or more before the con.
Of course, part of the problem is when games that are full during preregistration doesn't guarantee that the game will be full when it's actually ran. This is a problem for both players who don't get lucky to get a ticket early and for GM (this is more a problem for RPGs than board games) when people with tickets don't show up for an event. For players who don't get preregistered for an event that gets full may not even know about the event (because it's not in the printed catalog) or will notice that it's full on the online list of games. They may still attempt to get in the game with generics, but know that it's unlikely that they will play. More than likely, the players will try to get into a game that still has open slots or look in the catalog.
For a GM, the problem is that even if their event is "full" not everyone may show up. They can tell anyone who shows up with generics that they can wait (which sometimes happens, but they may look for a game with open slots first), but what happens a lot of times is the GM has to delay starting their game for 10-15 minutes while waiting for the people with actual tickets to show up. Since the game might not even be listed in the catalog (if it was filled up early during preregistration) there's a possibility that the only people that show up are those with a ticket. It has happened that games have been cancelled because people with tickets have not shown up and only 1 or 2 have shown up which ends up with the game being cancelled and the group running the events punished (e.g., no longer being a "Premier Group" because of the no-shows).
I understand people have a life outside of Gencon and Gencon can't force people to play the games they've bought tickets, but no-shows are things that can cause problems at Gencon.
The unoffical Gen Con App was great for keeping up with the events.
It is simply not possible to include all the events in the program guide. It has been trimmed for years and will continue to be so. It's just not feasible to fit 16,000+ into a manageable book or to produce a second, larger book.
The full event schedule will continue to be online, and the book will focus on what we think will be the most useful to onsite attendees.
Gen Con LLC
Derek, for one, I like the online version of the event catalog better than an actual book. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the program book and coupon book combined into one, and trimmed down to include only maps, important info, people, advertisements, and coupons. It is time for Gen Con to move up to modern technology and develop an official iOS/Android/Win phone app for events. The unofficial app does a great job, perhaps contacting the individual who makes it and see if you can't work together with him.
The app needs to have events that are searchable by event ID, title, game type, etc. Same as the online catalog. Events should have a link to the appropriate location map linked as well. Also, the dealer hall needs to be searchable by vendor name and location where the booth can be highlighted on the map. It's nice to be able to see a number, but a highlight on the map would be nice. These are just a few of my thoughts on making Gen Con navigation a bit better. It would be easier for the attendee to be able to find an event online using their phone/tablet/etc, then pull up a map in the book without having to flip back and forth between pages.
Either way, I liked the program book.
Frankly, I browsed the program book for a little while Wednesday evening before the con, and never looked at it again. I used the unofficial app for all my map needs, and because I had my events figured out in preregistration I never needed to look for events during the convention.
I do think it's important to remember that not everyone has a smartphone. And even some folks who do have one may choose to shut it down for the convention and have a vacation from being constantly connected.
It's also important to remember that phones need a good signal and a charged battery to be useful. A book needs neither, and also continues to work after being dropped three meters onto a concrete floor.
Finally, remember that visitors from other countries may need to purchase a separate data plan to have connectivity in the US, and may choose not to do so if it's feasible to do without.
Yeah, I ran into issues with the program book not printing all the events. See, I decided to drop from a tournament a month or so before the con, and to fill the resulting time I thought I would just show up to some interesting-looking events with generics in the hope of a no-show.
Unfortunately, while I wrote down the time and names of these events, I didn't write down the locations, and by the time I realized that these events weren't in the program book, I didn't have access to a computer to look them up. And I don't have a smartphone. Cut my first day plans a bit short.