I know that many GMs face a similar problem at GC--your game isn't full, or it is full but you suspect there will be noshows. With GC being spread out so far and wide (which has its advantages), it's much harder to fill games the way we used to in Mecca and when gaming was actually in the RCA Center--which was to literally approach people in the hallway and pitch your game that's running in 5 min. :)
So here's the thing--I'm wondering if we can't figure out beforehand a centralized way for GMs to announce open spots in games. Or even spontaneous games not listed in the book.
My group has a Twitter account, but it would be nice if there was an agreed-upon hastag we could get into use for the general population at the Con.
If we can get a good hashtag to use, someone could set up a retweet bot that attendees could follow. Players interested in gaming would follow @GenConTicketBot (or something less dorky sounding). GMs with openings could tweet at the bot, and it would RT to the players.
Don't want a bot that RTs everything sent its way--way too spammy. Could set up a bot that RTs everything tweeted at it from within 5 miles of the Con Center...but my tinfoil hat is too tight to want my location turned on that whole time. So...the idea is to create a bot that RTs any tweet sent its way including a particular hashtag.
That leaves the question, what's a good hashtag for this purpose.
(In short: GM is running a game, is short on players. GM tweets @GenConTicketBot with #WeNeedPlayers, includes name and location of game, relevant info. @GenConTicketBot retweets. Players following @GenConTicketBot get the info, run off to the game, everyone's happy.)
¿Se tiene sentido?
In the past, people have suggested using #genconpug to alert people about pick-up games.
I like this idea. Every year that I have GMed I have had No Shows and expect this year to be no different. My initial plan is to just have a stack of buisness cards with my game info on it and hand them out on Wednesday/Thursday and see if I could get people to swing by and see if we had opennings.
I think something like the idea above would be much more helpful in finding people who are interested in finding games where there are no shows.
Ok, so I just set up @gcticketbot, the GenConTicketBot.
It's all preliminary--the name could change, for example, and the trigger hashtags could change. Right now, players would need to follow @gcticketbot. GMs would only have to send out a tweet with two hashtags, #gencon and #needplayers, and the game specifics. The ticketbot will automatically RT the GMs tweet, alerting the bot's followers, and poof, the word is out.
The two hashtags are necessary, they activate the bot, and it won't RT anything with links in it (to limit spam). I tried just one hashtag, #weneedplayers, but I almost immediately ended up RTing some guy in England talking about his soccer team!
I know there was a GenCon bot in the past that just RTed everything with the #gencon tag. I don't think that's running right now, but if it does go back up, it would also RT these #needplayer tweets. The ticketbot will be specific only to GMs needing players, though, as both hashtags are necessary. And I think this bot will still be useful, as I suspect a bot RTing all #gencon tweets during the con these days will be overflowing. Hard to find individual tweets that are of a timely nature in there.
You'll need Gen Con to mention this in email blasts, their website, and/or the onsite program book. Only a small percentage of Gen Con attendees read the message boards, and that number is probably down since they moved to this site with a lack of working features.
You should also get the word out on the Gen Con Indy Facebook page.
Once it's in the final form, yeah, if they're willing. Otherwise it can at least get out to everyone who's checking out the #gencon tag pretty easily.
Looking at what I normally run (2 hour board/card games and 4 hour RPGs or miniatures, most of which sell out on the opening day of event registration) I wouldn't find this very useful. I don't have the time to wait to see if I'm short players, Tweet out a request, and then wait for people to wander over from who knows where. I'd rather run with less than max players and keep to everyone's schedule.
I believe I've said the same thing previously, but the destruction of the old Community seems to have wiped out those thread(s). :(
If you wait until game time, it will definitely limit it's usefulness, yes.
But ticket numbers can be checked throughout the con, and sometimes you even hear beforehand from people with tickets who won't end up showing.
The games we run, sometimes the difference between 24 and 28 players ends up being huge. We can run with 24, but those 4 cut characters totally change the game. So we watch our numbers carefully all Con.
My event sizes are much smaller (no bigger than 8 per table) and historically my ticket numbers have been completely stable up until game time.
I plan my RPG characters in droppable sets so I can adapt to the number of players.
Anyway, that's my thoughts. Good luck with the Twitter thing. :)
We do the same with characters. We'll try to plan ahead as to what groups of characters and what plot lines we can drop if we need to. But everyone is tied into everyone else in these LARPs. If we drop a plot line and four characters, that will change the plots of others in various ways. Plus, you write this all up, and you're waiting all year to see how a certain dynamic or rule or mechanic or plot develops...and then you have to cut it. Not fun. It's somewhat like if you were reading a novel, and the writer decided halfway through the book to just stop writing about four characters. Disappointing.
We adapt, but we'll be working right up to game time to fill every slot (and we always have a few extra characters too, because we hate turning people away).
Thanks man :)