Something I'm unsure about -- does GenCon do any type of follow-up surveys to see if people had fun, if there was anything wrong / objectionable / etc. in the game, if everything was explained clearly, that sort of thing? If so, does that get shared with the Event Organizer / GM?
I've had the occasional bad experience as a player, and I sent email when that happened, but when I'm running the game, it's a very different viewpoint. I've also heard rumors of GMs getting bumped / denied if enough people complained (or were no-shows), or non-favored GMs getting shuffled to a crowded horrible room, but that's hearsay.
It may be different if you are part of a gaming group that manages a bunch of GMs, but for right now, I have just submitted games on my own.
I ran a few panels this year in the Anime area and was wondering something similar. I would love to illicit feedback from those who attended, but don't believe we have any way to message the registered ticker holders directly.
I agree with the above. There is a good post in the unofficial face book page about having ticket holders rate games/EOs. The poster suggested a Yelp sort of system. Seems like one or two techies could administrate it and it would make a huge difference.
I've often wonderd that too.. Back in 98 i attended Gencon UK and they actually had players do a Survey (short 1 page form) as they handed in tickets AT THE END of the event, which were collected up along with the tickets..
One way you might get that done, is print out business like cards with your name/email o and hand them TO your players with a "After the con, send me an email to let me know any questions/concerns you had with the event please"..
I ran a bunch of cosplay workshops this year. I got nice verbal feedback, but I think next year I am going to include a form in their packet that they can provide written feedback if they desire.
Back when I ran games, I had some surveys for the players to provide feedback, but I've realized since then that players usually have somewhere else to be once the game ends, leaving little time to actually complete the surveys. The e-mail thing might work better.
I think that a digital solution would be much better. I'm actually emailing with my game right now.
However, if people could anonymously send something of to a third party, I think everyone could get a better read.
By the way, father, I nominate your handle as best on these boards.
I just decide that everyone had fun, and keep telling myself that. Keeps my spirits up :)
Definitely a part of it. Bust out your game screen, line up your dice, Eminem (I prefer Skeletonwitch) playing in the background, and GO!
On the other hand, there isn't a textbook to do this, there aren't any venues to sell out. No critics, no thanking the acadamy. Hell, you can't even go to Game Master Juliard to consult the masters.
Pretty much the only objective way to know you aren't wasting people's time is to consider the opinions of your players, as a whole.
Personal story time here:
I remember a nWoD Mage game I ran years ago in which the antagonists were the Knights of St. George (a group of mage hunters with anti-magic abilities), and one of the criticisms I got was about the characters' magical preparation being shorted out by their arrival (the penultimate scene was a bit of a "chantry siege" sort of thing).
That comment got me thinking, and I eventually saw his point. I realized that if I'm at a convention game, I want to play a game in which I'm given somewhat free reign to use the cool powers my character has. Curveballs like the Knights might be good to make things interesting in a regular weekly game with friends, but con gamers probably want something more straightforward.
Seems obvious to me now, but if not for that constructive criticism I never would have thought about it.
I personally internalize every even slightly negative comment about my games and spend the next entire year trying to prevent that from happening again. But we always ask for comments and suggestions. We don't run games to get anything, we run games to entertain people, make them happy. So we try to find out when they weren't :)
We have a general survey, but not anything for specific events.
Some sort of GM grading or recommendation system is something I would love to offer in the future, but it not a light undertaking if we want it to be reasonably useful and not prone to abuse of one kind or another.
Gen Con LLC
Give each attendee 3 attaboy chits. If they like your event, they give you their chit.
What if there was a short Google form with a link made into a QR code. Google forms generate a spreadsheet and then you can track how people felt and receive feedback. The form can be filled out on any smart device plus computers, it is instant feedback, easy to make and use. The information can be stored and provides quality data and can also be shared.
I use them all the time for teaching and find that its very helpful.
Certainly a good idea for GMs or groups to set up for themselves, yes.
I have spoken to my GMs and we will have Google forms ready to go and start collecting data for us and we will be willing to share info if [Derek] GenCon would like it. They will make for fast data information to be collected and used for our betterment. I think it is also a good way to figure out what players want and hope to see from other games.
I absolutely encourage GMs to share any feedback forms they have - I would recommend making a duplicate of your form and then posting that online so folks can see what basic format you have.
I'm not sure it's something Gen Con itself would set up at this point, though. I think the feedback is likely better administrated directly by each group so they have direct access to it.
Though we are experimenting with Google forms for other stuff this year, so who knows, maybe we'll dabble in that down the road, too.