PAX Buttoneering - Should it be every PAX and how can it be better?

jonxpjonxp [E] PC SecurityRegistered User regular
So we've had five great Prime Buttoneering events now, and stuff is kinda getting into a rhythm, so now it's time to think about how to mess it all up. :D

Starting this year we're doing out first PAX East Buttoneering. This is mainly in response to their traditional trading game not getting off the ground. I've always been a supporter of each event having their own "thing" (as well as enjoying only having to worry about it once a year), but I've also heard people saying that they like the idea the Buttoneering being a cross-PAX community event that ties them all together.

I thought I would ask the community at large, and see what everyone thinks. While we're at it, I'd love to have a discussion on Buttoneering in general. Especially if there's something you didn't like and want to improve, or if you haven't done it and can tell us what would entice you to join.

Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!

Posts

  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    I love buttoneering. I think it's far superior to trading cards, mostly since I can attach buttons to my lanyard and display them in neat wall mounts. As such, I approve of having it at every PAX! It's much neater as a PAX thing than a prime thing, since it lets East only people participate as well.

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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    Having done both, buttoneering allows for the most visibility for people to find each other and the largest ease of swap, since you can easily pin buttons to yourself.

    If the question is "should we introduce buttoneering to PAX AUS?" my answer is yes. As for how to make it better, it's hard to say. One idea, though i don't know how feasible, would be for some kind of facial recognition for buttons for the app. For example, if you take a picture of a group of buttons, the app identifies what buttons you have and allows you to add them to your collection on the site.

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  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    Agreed, buttons win over Cards, and I for one plan to have buttons at PAX Aus, regardless of the "official" support. :-)

    -Beker/Erick
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  • TimeSyphonTimeSyphon Registered User regular
    I'm a fan of buttoneering. I did buttons at the first two PAX Easts due to an assumption that it was a thing like Prime (I manage to stay pretty far outside the loop with regularity). The second time there was basically no one else doing it and I stopped even trying. Having said that, obviously I would be a fan of it being a PAX err'where thing.

  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    I love making buttons, and when the swag trading discussion came up for East originally, I couldn't think of something so visually obvious, portable, inexpensive to reproduce, that could work as well as buttons do. I use mine as fridge magnets, and give some to friends.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • AvenroshAvenrosh Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I've seen most vendors having 1" buttons, but when making your own does it matter? Would 1", 1.5" or other sizes all be considered acceptable?

    Avenrosh on
  • Little Miss RachelLittle Miss Rachel Geek Chick Before Geek Was Chic Idahoan ExileRegistered User regular
    Avenrosh wrote: »
    I've seen most vendors having 1" buttons, but when making your own does it matter? Would 1", 1.5" or other sizes all be considered acceptable?

    It's entirely up to each person what size button they make. 1.5" is generally the most common, but there have been lots of people who've done 1" or 2", some people have gone with square or rectangle buttons, and one memorable buttoneer who shall remain nameless who has done...what was it, 6"? There are also folks who have done handmade buttons in non-traditional shapes and sizes.

    Basically, whatever you want to make/purchase and distribute, is pretty much okay with us. =)

  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    Avenrosh wrote: »
    I've seen most vendors having 1" buttons, but when making your own does it matter? Would 1", 1.5" or other sizes all be considered acceptable?

    1.5" was originally chosen as a good balance between size and cost. Since then, we've seen that the 1" ones are harder to attach to thick fabric (like the canvas on messenger bags), as well as being more difficult to fit artwork on. Personally, I'm not a fan of the way they fasten either. However, participants are definitely encouraged to design their buttons however they want. It's about creating something that represents *you*, not making something that other people want.

    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
    3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
    PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!
  • Rev80Rev80 Registered User new member
    I too love buttons. I have never "Buttoneer'd" before but it sounds like a blast. I, and my friends will be going around handing out our buttons during PAX East 2013. Hope to see you there!

  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    I would like to post.. a synthesis of what I've heard from many people.

    I know that many people are wedded to pins, and the idea of buttons, and whatnot- but these are the things I took away from my many conversations during PAX East this year about it:

    1) Information Density. Cards allowed a rather deep amount of information density- indicating what the person was interested in, sometimes a QR code (Leading wherever the person chose), at least two photos, how far they were from the current PAX, what events they participated in, and a free text area to indicate what you thought your gamers were able to say.
    2) Carrying capacity. It was very easy to carry 200 cards- plus your 2-300 cards that you had left to give out. It's very hard to carry 200+ buttons.
    3) Simple generic usefulness- if a trading card was given to someone not participating, it still meant something, and they could still use it to contact you. It also meant that they asked what all the details on the card meant, in most cases, which drove interest.
    4) Just.. fun. It was really nice to get a card and learn bunches about them and go "Hey! Do you want to go play X!" And now, that doesn't happen. I get a button from them that might get... a single image. Or a QR code. But a button with a QR code is damned ugly. So it isn't common. But either way... I can't scan it and learn things, and get excited- "Hey, you like Shadowrun too! I'm running a game Saturday and have a free slot, do you want to jump in?"


    I don't have a solution, if people really want buttons. But I am somewhat depressed by cards going away- I know Dave can't organize it anymore, but something within me hates the raw loss of information. Cards were (and are, for those with them still laying around) useful.

    I do appreciate the easier viability.

    I do know I've already lost this debate, and I know I'm risking being infracted even posting my feelings, since I was the last time I mentioned it (the infraction got removed, by someone somewhere, so I dunno if I actually broke rules) but I can't change that everyone I talked to at PAX mourned the loss of cards, due to buttons being harder to deal with. If there is a solution, I'd love to hear one- I just can't think of one, other than organizing cards myself- but I have about as much artistic capability as a drunk cow- someone with far more photoshop ability than me finished up my card in 2012 for me.

    Ah well. PAX will continue, and it shall be awesome. But I and many others do prefer Cards, they're just not willing to post it.

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

    Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    The information density of cards was definitely a major positive in its corner.

    My personal issue with them was the "rest" of it.
    It's harder to get a small number of cards produced, leaving people with tons and tons of leftovers after each event.
    The cards themselves are more difficult to design (albeit not by a ton) since they have more components to create that larger information density.
    It's harder to make the cards visible to let other people know you're a trader.
    There's also a significantly larger amount of "pre-work" that has to happen for the cards, to keep the template updated and refreshed.

    I think all of these factors contributed towards both the lack of trading during a high participation year (2012) and the eventual death due to nobody being willing/able to pick up the "pre-work" before east 2013.

    I agree that many probably do prefer cards, or at least prefer having a separate event, but it's not as accessible in general. I think buttoneering ends up working significantly better for the quick-trade momento. Also, many folks now have their own quick info cards (like moo cards) to give to people regardless of a trading event. Maybe encouraging buttoneers to have contact cards could work out well. These contact cards could be more easily re-used between events since they wouldn't have any design features that would have to be tied to a specific event.

    Serenity
  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Maybe encouraging buttoneers to have contact cards could work out well. These contact cards could be more easily re-used between events since they wouldn't have any design features that would have to be tied to a specific event.

    That might be a good middle-of-the road way to go.

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

    Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    Well the original idea of Buttoneering was to have your button match your avatar, so you could match the person to their face on the forums, and wouldn't need all the extra info. However, when it came time for year number two, that obviously fell down quickly, because no one wanted to give out the same button again. Rather than encourage yet another purchase of cards, how about we encourage "rim text" on the buttons in a standard format?

    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
    3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
    PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!
  • elleecstaticelleecstatic Registered User regular
    I really like buttoneering, and doing it for the first time EVER at PAX East was super awesome! BUT it was a little hard to find other buttoneers (for me, that is) so i think that maybe the "official" pin should be bigger? Not overly obnoxious or anything.

    Also i think if people really miss the trading cards why dont they just put it on a button?
    or actually make a trading card and put it on a rectangular button?

    [15 minutes later]

    okay so my sleepy self made some mock-ups. I mean i think 4" rectangle buttons could work?

    Trading Card Button
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    QR code button
    2zhps02.jpg

    The only issue i could see with the QR codes is that the camera might not pickup the code cause it might be too small or something.

  • SerenitySerenity Registered User regular
    Kiashien wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Maybe encouraging buttoneers to have contact cards could work out well. These contact cards could be more easily re-used between events since they wouldn't have any design features that would have to be tied to a specific event.

    That might be a good middle-of-the road way to go.

    I agree. Kiashien has a good point about the information density of cards but I don't even think it's comparable to buttons.
    Or at least with the points that were made.
    Buttoneering is a whole different ball game.
    I'm sure it has different meaning to everyone but to me buttoneering is not really about the collection of 'information' per say but rather a quick way to connect people's faces with their forum names. Sometimes when I trade I make a great conversation out of it but sometimes it's just a quick "oh hi, let's trade, oh that's who you are!"
    Also buttons are just cool. :-)

    I think trading 'business cards' would be a good idea but I don't think it should be a replacement to buttoneering.
    As it is a lot of PAXers already have business cards written up so that could easily become an 'official' forum thing if it wanted to be.

    A suggestion regarding buttoneering though:
    Move the post PAX meetup to a different meeting place.

    I know it's traditionally been outside the doors of the convention center but I found it VERY crowded last year.
    Not sure if anyone else felt that way too but it's just kind of stressful being in a huge mixed crowd of Buttoneers mixed in with regular PAX people mixed in with the general public. (makes it hard for a group photo too)
    Maybe we could meet in the garden/courtyard thing in the back there instead?
    I don't think that thing's off limits after the con is it?

    Also, maybe arrange a 2nd meetup mid-PAX for those people who can't make it to the final meetup?

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Keep in mind this thread isn't for Prime specifically (regarding meetup locations and times).

  • nitrousdavenitrousdave Registered User regular
    I'm really excited about buttoneering this year. Last year was my first Pax and it blew my mind. After seeing all the awesome buttons people were trading, I knew I had to get in to it this year. My buttons have already arrived :) Thank god I was able to get tickets.

    Prime 2013 Status: [✓] 4-Day Passes [✓] Hotel [✓] Plane Tickets [✓] Buttons [✓] Survived
    Prime 2014 Status: [✓] 4-Day Passes [✓] Hotel [✓] Plane Tickets [✓] Tri-wizard Tickets

    Attendee: Prime 2012, Prime 2013 (Future)
  • Goblin ScrewdriverGoblin Screwdriver Registered User regular
    jonxp wrote: »
    Well the original idea of Buttoneering was to have your button match your avatar, so you could match the person to their face on the forums, and wouldn't need all the extra info. However, when it came time for year number two, that obviously fell down quickly, because no one wanted to give out the same button again. Rather than encourage yet another purchase of cards, how about we encourage "rim text" on the buttons in a standard format?
    I like the rim text and used it for my first time buttoneering at Prime last year. I used to include the location, year and Username. Basically stuff that might interest someone who was trying to collect the buttons without sacrificing the appearance of the button with a bunch of text.

    PAX Prime attendee since 2006

    Pointless signature checklist [x]
  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    Rim text is an excellent idea for buttons. It provides a surprising amount of space for info without interfering with the awesome designs people come up with for the face of the button. I can definitely say I'll never participate in card trading, because I'll just throw them away at the end of the show. The buttons are reused/recycled throughout the following year in different ways. Zipper pulls, bag clips, safety pins to patch holes, etc.

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • NefilyNefily Melbourne AURegistered User regular
    Im new to everything Pax i attended my first ever Pax at AUS and i loved the pin trading, we had almost every indie developer handing out little buttons with their game art on it and many people had lanyards full of them but i dont know if anyone was trading them! just collecting. Id really like to see this happen for pax aus next year it sounds really fun :)

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    I would love to see buttoneering make its way to PAX Aus! I know that people have their favorite sites to order from stateside, but are there any button manufacturers you know of that are located in Australia? Any preferences?

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    Yeah, the only reason I didn't try to get anything going for AUS was because of a lack of knowledge of the logistics out there. If there's any Australian PAX goer who wants to spearhead that for next year, feel free. The event basically runs itself since we got the site, you'd mainly be in charge of scheduling a meetup or two, finding a good button manufacturer, and making people excited.
    :winky:

    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
    3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
    PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!
  • NefilyNefily Melbourne AURegistered User regular
    Cool, Sounds doable! Ill keep my eyes open and collect data for button manufacturers, there is plenty of time until the next one :)

  • peetsnackpeetsnack Team Green Poké Assist, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Head Girl House Hufflepuff The Cleave LandsRegistered User regular
    I actually talked to josh a purebuttons about this when I picked up my buttons the other day. The short of it is that AUS needs to find a local supplier, as shipping and taxes/tariffs greatly inflate the price of buttons ordered from here. Luckily, there are no such restrictions on the forums and buttoneering site. ;D

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