The ability to buy tickets for other people (whether under their name or your own) has been a staple for Gen Con for as long as I've been going, even as an attendee.
I don't see any benefit whatsoever in putting up more barriers for people playing games with their friends. It will just mean fewer people play fewer games and are more unhappy about it and frustrated with the process.
Remember: buying a ticket for someone else still counts against their limit of how many tickets they can have for any given game. Almost all events have a maximum of 2 tickets for one event under a single name/account, so big group of friends all trying to buy a bunch of tickets isn't going to get more tickets, necessarily, they're just going to have a higher chance of getting a good queue position in the lottery.
And yes, no-shows are a thing. That's why we try to remind people to show up to events they really want to participate in, just in case.
Gen Con LLC
Something ... odd.... happened last year on Saturday night for attendance it seems
I think it was the last-minute announcement of the "Concert Against Humanity," which was hosted offsite by the company that publishes Cards Against Humanity.I'm surprised that that wasn't planned better... pulling a few thousand gamers out of their Saturday evening games probably disrupted a bunch of events.
It is also worth noting that historically, Saturday night attendance has been relatively weak compared with Thursday or Friday. It seems like a fairly large number of players go get dinner and then pretty much check out of the con. Either they have other plans or they're prepping for an early departure on Sunday.
I haven't had a chance to look at overall hourly attendance for last year, but if other folks ran into similar weird issues with Saturday night (or other time) attendance, start up another thread and present your expderience & evidence.
I'm curious to hear what happened, though it would take a lot more than some no-shows at a handful of small-scale events to really establish a trend.
If you're driving two friends and oversleep it seems to me you caused 3 no-shows regardless of who purchased the tickets.
I'm definitely in favor of being able to purchase tickets for other people. My wife and I attend most events together, and I generally purchase both, and set up my wish list so that I only get the event if we both can get tickets (except in cases where the event only appeals to one of us, of course). That means that we actually can play together when we want. If we both had to log into the server on registration day, what are the chances we would both be able to get the same events?
By having one person buy tickets for the entire group we're also reducing the load on Gencon's servers during registration, which should help out everyone a little bit.
Folks definitely do overbook themselves, but I don't think there's a good way to prevent that. There are a lot of other reasons people fail to show up at games (long line for the food truck, ran into a friend and got a drink, lost track of time in the dealer hall, etc., etc.). I agree that it's a bigger problem if it happens with an entire group, but preventing friends from playing together isn't a good solution.
@derekguder and tbd,
Thanks for the replies. As I mentioned, I'm not sure if there really is a solution for large numbers of no-shows at events. Just trying to figure out if "a reason why" there are so many has been identified, and if not what can event creators/gms do to perhaps try to fill those slots more efficiently. I don't have a lot of experience at Gen Con but I have hosted events where turnout was less than anticipated and I have had to learn what the root cause of it was. Is this practical at an convention as large as Gen Con? Probably not. But it would be nice for gms and event hosts to not have times where 8 are expected but two show up especially when tickets are purchased in advance.
I did like the idea of the twitter messages someone mentioned in another thread. But perhaps there could be a "ticket exchange" setup somewhere that would allow attendees to "trade tickets" if they know in advance they will not be able to show up for an event they have purchased a ticket for. Ticket owners could post their tickets as "available" and trade them for a ticket to another event or even generics. This would perhaps fill up some of these empty seats in some events. And because they are not generics, people may feel more compelled to attend if they were able to get a hold of one. Especially for a hign-demand event. Exchanged tickets could be done digitally requiring an Android/iOS device with which the new owner of the tickets could present at the event. Again... logistically, I'm not sure what could be done. Just throwing ideas out there.
Fundamentally, there shouldn't really be a need to trade, per se, so much as identify when seats are open.
Connecting interested players with open seats in a timely fashion is the challenge, really.
I'm the one who set up the new Gen Con Ticket Bot, @gcticketbot.
At the moment, it's set to auto RT any tweet with both of the hashtags #gencon and #needplayers.
So that's useful when the GM knows there will be open seats, and of course when players are following the bot :)
We could easily add a script to RT anyone announcing that they will be missing a game for which they have tickets. I suspect however that people won't really do that much. No motivation.
What we need to go along with the bot is a way for GMs to quickly find out a) how many tickets are unsold and b) when no shows are no showing. First part is much easier than the second.
What if GenCon added a plea for gamers to do this in an email blast--"if you decide to not show up for an event, please XYZ..."
The email blast sounds like a good idea...I'm running a LARP with 40 players scheduled and all the characters are connected, so missing players can be a real problem, especially since I've already put close to 100 hrs of work into it.
Alright. Submitted a Doctor Who event (hopefully before the deadline) for this year. Will be my first GM at Gen Con, so hopefully all goes well.
I hope there is a Pokémon TCG event, I dont have anyone to play with lol.
Derek, We added three Space Hulk games (for a total of five) in response to your request for more of the high demand games.
Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Northern Virginia Gamers (NOVAG)
My husband and I ran three Hero System LARP sessions in 2015 and the turnout was amazing. I know that there was a demand for the games, especially since ours were superhero themed. We've submitted events for this year, two sessions that are the same style as last year; one for families; and one for kids. Hopefully we hear back soon. :) Several of our players from last year have emailed us and asked if we're running again.
Hope to see you there!
Kat & Oz Gaming
That is why I have started hosting a Firefly LARP last year, and will be back this year with 2x as many spots! I couldn't believe that we sold out almost immediately. It was a great time and we are really going to be stepping up our game this year! I am really hoping we can make it as immersive an experience as possible.
I know it's a bit early yet, but I hope that you will update this list for 2016. From my own personal experience this morning, it seems that Cthulhu, Dr. Who and Shadowrun were still popular, although Shadowrun isn't completely gone at this point. Also, there seem to be a lot more Firefly RPG and board game spots still available... more than I would have expected at this point.
We will definitely update this once we have data for how registration went this year, don't worry. Not sure when that will be, but I'm hoping to get it up in time for folks still considering running some events to pull from.
@aaronmlopez regarding tickets if someone knows they won't be able to go to the event - I believe they can return them for a 95% refund up to 30 min. before the event. I have no idea how soon the event gets updated in the system as far as that ticket now being available, but it is an option. (It can also be used as a generic for another event but that wouldn't help people wanting into the original.) As for initially purchasing them, if people keep checking back there are a lot of things on Wish Lists that get dumped back into the system for lots of reasons....
KINGMAKER...ah, what happened to ya? Only one session this year, and it filled up within 30 seconds of event opening.
O.k., everyone, I realize this is an old cult favorite (even though the old Yahoo group board only activates about as often as NASA gets a signal from Voyager)...and I'm probably considered ancient in the eyes of GenCon, Inc., but I know there are numerous individuals going that would love to play the game.
Yes, I've signed up for Richard III and The Rose King, but no "War of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York" or Lancaster even this year. And not that these will take the place of Kingmaker, but would be nice to have something for that style of gaming.
This will be only my second GenCon in Indy (last time 10 yrs ago?), but was thinking about moderating a game myself, but sounds like it's not worth the effort. Does GenCon open up event submission for games that are under-served? Since I know if I set it up, they will come...so I really don't care if I have no show tickets...and there's no cost to me, can I just apply to GM a game even if I don't care who plays once the time passes for registered individuals?
Yes, used to be much simpler...but then again, so was life :-)