I think we might have had the same GM for 7th Sea (her name was Heather I believe). Definitely on the "make sure you schedule more of that next year" list.
I picked up the original Pandemic after having so much fun with the Cthulhu version so I can save the world, not just New England.
Wow all the no show GM stories, I must be lucky I've been going for 11 years and never had a no show. Almost the first this year, the GM thought it was at 3 when it was at 2 the HQ called him up a couple of minutes past 2 and he was at his hotel relaxing in preparation for running the game when he realized his mistake he RAN from his hotel to the game. He got there about 8 minutes later,HQ kept us updated and told us what was going on, he was in good shape but was sweating like crazy for about 15 minutes into the game he was a Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy fan so he did have a towel :P. It was a pretty good game as well glad I waited.
Now players, I've been the only one to show up at a sold out event more than once. In fact this year I was the only one to show up at a game so the developers and organizers sat down and played with me then gave me the game afterwords. The no show gamers usually only happens on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I ran into a group of first time con goers Saturday afternoon they were only in for the day and were trying to plan their 'attack' I overhear them saying they really wanted to do a certain game,Secret Hitler I think, but it was sold out. I excused myself and told them go for it anyway just because its sold out doesn't mean you can't get in especially Saturday night, show up with generics and maybe all 3 of you get it. It was a social deduction game like werewolf so probably 15- 20 players not sure I have only vaguely heard of the game.
And you're not the only one. We still do double takes with Will. He even toyed with the idea of showing up as a new player for Whupass. :)
* Playing Hacky Sack in the halls between events and late at night... having random people jump in to join us... including Deadpool Giraffe! It's always a lot of fun to bring it out and every age group seems to join in when they have 5-10 minutes.
* Better organization in the dealer hall this year let me walk through it most of the time in the direction I wanted to go. Only a few really long lines and I was usually able to find what I needed without too much difficulty.
* Food Trucks. There were a lot of them and I had some amazing food! Best was the steak kabobs... so good!
* Convention Center. The bathrooms I went into were clean and fit for people. The convention staff were awesome.
* People Watching. It's the best. I won't ever dress in a costume, but I really appreciate all the effort that everyone who does takes. It makes the event really awesome.
*Abothia Prime. Great little home brewed system that's just tons of fun to play. Glad we get in it each year!
* Getting to go to the Con with my two sons. Really, I mean does it get any better than this?
* My first three events were clunkers. One the GM didn't show and I had to battle with customer service to get my money back. Not going to nane names, but it was a bigger company so I was really surprised. Second was a wargame that had a lopsided scenario. Yes, the victory points were balanced, but I basically moved units forward a couple inches every turn while my opponent shot them over and over until they died. It wasn't fun and I'm not sure why people make scenarios like that. When one player gets to do things for three hours and make decisions and you can't, it's just not good design. The third was an event that a lot of people didn't show, but it was minis so the GM started people playing. He spent 50 minutes with one 1v1 pairing and never explained the home rules system to me. I gave up after an hour and left to find something else to do.
* Fish from food trucks. Had one of our group get really sick from it.
* Trying to get a refund. Got two different stories and was told to find the GM of the event where the GM didn't show up to get my money back. That's a just a bad policy. Walked from one end of the con to the other three times and finally had to get another staffer in to help resolve the issue.
* $38/night hotel parking. Thankfully moved after the first night.
Okay, finally had time to breathe, so here's a list.
Nothing leaps to mind
Does GenCon allow GMs to 'refund' part of the purchase as an encouragement to actually show up?
Thanks to everyone for their feedback. We're wrapped up in planning and running the show, so it's great to get a peek at people's impression of the show, both good and bad. Keep it coming :)
I did want to pop in briefly to ask that if there is any specific feedback on events, please drop a note to [email protected] with the details, if you can. We follow up on all reports.
We'll pass compliments along so event organizers and GMs know how their hard work is appreciated.
And we very much want to know about rude or poorly prepared GMs, events that were misleading, and especially GM no-shows or other issues, so we can find out what happened and try to make sure it doesn't happen again in the future.
Gen Con LLC
A game sells out in prereg, and is still listed as sold out right up to the start of the game (we check these things :) Say it's 30 players max, that's 30 tickets sold. At game time, 20 players with real tickets to the event show up. The remaining 10 never show.
Regardless of how many generic ticketed players we manage to get to fill the game, the question is about those 10 tickets. It's my contention that, if those tickets were not allowed to be used as generic tickets for any other event at any time at the con (even after our event is done), the people holding those tickets would have some motivation to return them when they decide they aren't going to play our game. Or more motivation to wake up early enough to make the game, etc.
But if that player can just use that ticket for another event later, there is zero motivation to return it. And thus the game still lists as sold out, even when someone has decided, maybe days before, to not play.
Is that what happens every time? I'm sure some ticket holders may have last minute changes. Heck, a car accident on the way into town from an outlying hotel would prevent someone from having time to return a ticket, perhaps. But at some point, every player with a ticket decides not to come, or oversleeps, etc.
If that ticket could not be used for another game, that player would have motivation to return it, or be out that money.
So that's the explanation. I know the arguments for the policy, and again, I want to be very clear that I'm not angry about it, I'm not typing this all upset or anything :) I continue to raise the issue mostly to try to make players aware of how their actions can really complicate a GMs life, and in the hopes that maybe something in the future could be done (returning of a ticket remotely, for example, either at the outlying GM HQs, or electronically like a boarding pass, or something else).
Edit: and no, there's nothing a GM can do to refund a ticket. I can't give someone money, or a partial payment in generics or anything. Not allowed. But even if I could, if someone didn't want to play but wanted some money back and showed up to the game to get it, the damage is still done. Other potential players, looking for games to play, still see the event as 'Full'. That's the damage done to the GM and the game. The idea to help the GM is to return that ticket in time for potential players to see the event as having an available ticket, so they can buy it and actually show up. :)
That all hangs on the assertion that "I can use it as a generic, so no big deal" is a significant motivator. I'm not sure I believe that.
Easier/trivial ticket returns may be another line of inquiry, but again, I'm not sure about the impact it would have.
$2 or $4 just isn't enough money to justify an inconvenience. The impact you see on your events stinks.
As a EO and GM -I think that the ability to use a ticket as genereics is a factor -even if they dont end up doing so. Just the knowledge that you can is a deterrant to turning that ticket in .
almost all of our games are sold out within 2 hours of the event registration being open. So they don't show up in the printed books (which a lot of people still use for many reasons). which leads to potential players to coming to the game area to try to use generics .
We do get players using generics ,but not many ..
an example would be our 3dgame of thrones -all 10 sessions sold out - all people show up for 9 sessions , and for the first 7 sessions there are ample people that want to step in if there are no-shows : there are none and the interested people understand that nobody will no show .
session 9 comes along (saturday evening ) and 5 of 6 people no -show . we wait and wait because we want to run the game for the 1 peron that does show-up . texts are sent . Nobody can play , there are no people that show up to use generics because -it is still listed as sold out .
we waited 30 minutes and then pulled extra GM's from our other games just so the lone player could play .
No clue why those 5 players never showed up ,but they could use their $10.00 ticket elsewhere so they dont care .perhaps it was a group that had an accident ,but ....
Like Brotherbrock-I am not angry ,just a little frustrated -by the policy of not listing sold out games . I understand it ,but that doesnt help matters .
On the other side -I have had people (not many )come up and say can I use this game ticket for your game -and it is for one that hasnt happend yet . As I understand the rules I have to accept it . But it does bother me knowing that the GM for that game will be at least 1 short .
It can be frustrating, certainly, but the alternative of only allowing tickets to be used for the game they were issues would be even more so, particularly for groups running lots of similar events (the policy originated for card games and other "one every hour" kind of schedules).
We also look at the volume of "other tickets" being used for events and it does not appear to be a significant issue across the convention as a whole, nor a major motivator for player no-shows. We will continue to monitor that to make sure.
Changing that would really be instituting a rule that punishes people for something they're going to do anyway and making it more difficult for people to actually play in games in general, increasing frustration without directly addressing the problem of no-shows themselves.
That, combined with the reality that it is no longer feasible to include every event in the program guide, suggests that the actual solution to the situation is communication and education on getting players to use the web site to confirm events and to know about showing up to sold out events with generics - and to try to figure out how make those things as easy as possible.
Which is an entirely separate thread, so off-topic for general feedback. If folks want to discuss that, start a new thread on that topic or dig up the old one.