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Pre/Post-PAX South Board Game nights

2

Posts

  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    Actually, I think PFS moved back to Dragon's Lair since I stopped playing. >_> .

    You are correct. Dragon's Lair has a pretty active Magic community as well; I don't play myself, but I can ask what their plans are for PAX next time I'm there.

  • WuShockWuShock Lawful Good South BrownbackistanRegistered User regular
    Eh, it was just an idea. I'm bringing down three other people from our local EDH group, and I know of at least three others that are going to South, but then again, they'll probably want to go and try out new things at PPBGN.

    Twixxo wrote:
    WuShock is the best
    He is the very bestest
    I wish I was him

    PAX Prime '11, '12, '13,'15 PAX East '14, PAX South '15 - Cookie Brigadier
    PAX Prime 2013 Omeganaut
  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    I am not aware of Dragon's Lair's plans other than that they know Pax South is coming to town, and want to do "something."

    --- Anyway ---

    So I took a few pictures of restaurants in the hotels. For most of these places they close after dinner on Thursday, so we'd have to arrange something with the location.

    Marriot Rivercenter:
    Sazo's - Beautiful, open restaurant, not sure we could get this for the time and quantity of people we will likely have. This hotel is HUGE though, might be able to convince them to give us some space. I got contact info to talk to.

    31pg75s38fgd.jpg

    Hilton Palacio Del Rio:
    Durty Nelly's - Way too small, only about 8 tables indoors, and very dark. Didn't bother with a picture.

    Alegre Lobby Bar - Smaller, we'd probably fill it. Might be able to use this space after hours with the hotel's permission. Got some contact info too.

    37zrbg1et53t.jpg

    River's Edge Cafe - Open until 11pm. Honestly I loved this location, and it didn't seem too busy when I was there around 7pm. Probably seats around 60 inside.

    dvhpeemk5r3m.jpg

    The Grand Hyatt:
    Bar Rojo - I didn't take any pictures because it was VERY busy and I don't like taking pictures of people without permission. Pretty nice though, and would probably work space wise. But at 7pm this place was PACKED.

    Most of this hotel's additional space is in the convention center itself.

    All in all, if the Hilton is willing to let us use the restaurant and/or the bar, it's probably enough. The Marriot is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE, and they will probably have an empty room available. Unfortunately I may not be able to contact their events guy to ask, because business hours overlap with mine and work is extremely busy at the moment. I have e-mail contact info for the Hilton though.

    jj4th on
    s3prototypegonexall
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Done, thanks :)

    gonexall
  • gonexallgonexall PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    You guys are great! Thank you for all your work on this. These places all look promising, and I am looking forward to it. I also like River's Edge Cafe, but I think 11 p.m. closing might be a bit early for some (probably not me, as I'm going to try to get in line early on Friday).

  • MaggieTheCatMaggieTheCat Registered User regular
    Nice job, jj4th, thanks for doing the legwork on this and taking pics. I had an unexpected trip downtown Friday evening -- we ended up with last minute tickets to the show at the Majestic Theater (the S.A. symphony playing the score of Star Trek Into Darkness while the movie played on a projector above them -- it was amazeballs) -- and I thought, dangit, I should've checked which places near the convention center the forumers wanted checking out for this. Glad someone else was on top of things. :+1:

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Nice job, jj4th, thanks for doing the legwork on this and taking pics. I had an unexpected trip downtown Friday evening -- we ended up with last minute tickets to the show at the Majestic Theater (the S.A. symphony playing the score of Star Trek Into Darkness while the movie played on a projector above them -- it was amazeballs) -- and I thought, dangit, I should've checked which places near the convention center the forumers wanted checking out for this. Glad someone else was on top of things. :+1:

    I wanted to go to that, just could never really find the time. But I'm downtown on Tuesdays for class anyway :)

  • FellsrikeFellsrike Registered User new member
    I'm to busy to help organize but can bring some stuff from my collection. Thinking I'll at least have King of Tokyo, Fluxx, and one of the cryptozoic deck builders, maybe the penny arcade one. Oh and CAH of course. Never enough CAH.

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Once we have a venue we should do something like this: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/186127/those-nutty-boardgames-are-at-it-twice-pre-and-post-pax-boardgame-nights/p1 Actually, maybe even before we have the venue finalized, and just set it as TBD.

  • PineappleChuckPineappleChuck Registered User regular
    Have we checked into banquet rooms these hotels might have open? I know they usually have chairs and tables available to set up, and it would be more convenient for the hotels. They can sometimes be pricey, but I'd be willing to put up a little cash to see this happen in a place where we don't have to worry about bothering anyone else or taking up restaurant tables when we're not ordering anything.

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Hopefully @s3prototype is asking those questions :)

    PineappleChuck
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    I dont know the hotel layouts in south but in east I know we used an upper "lobby" area by the elevators that had tables set up for us.not sure if that is possible but I like the idea only taking up space in a restaurant.

    Either way this sounds great and has been a highlight of pax east in the past

  • MrAGeezieMrAGeezie OklahomaRegistered User regular
    Would love to get involved on a Board Game night (I'll CONQUER ALL… and whimper away after defeat lol)

    Come check out my channel for ALL your Pokemon and Nintendo coverage.
    MrAGeezie - www.youtube.com/MrAGeezie
  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    The Marriot has more than enough space for something like that. I may make a second recon trip down there on a weekend, dressed in a suit so they take me seriously ;)

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I'm sorry guy, I've been in the hospital last few weeks. I beat cancer yay! I'll start the hotel commuications soon.

    TabooPhantasyzerzhulWuShockpunzieFireflyKSUndead ScottsmangonexallPineappleChuckLexiconGrrlJosh5890
  • QuackersQuackers College Student and Code Monkey Orlando FloridaRegistered User regular
    I'm sorry guy, I've been in the hospital last few weeks. I beat cancer yay! I'll start the hotel commuications soon.
    Congrats on beating cancer man!

    zerzhulWuShockpunzieLexiconGrrl
  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Better than my excuse... a.k.a. holycowworklotsofit.

  • NotNobodyNotNobody Registered User regular
    What about some D&D? Anybody interested?

  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    NotNobody wrote: »
    What about some D&D? Anybody interested?

    Hell yes I'm interested.

    Quackers
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    Seconding.the interest in d&d

  • gonexallgonexall PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    Maybe we should call this "table top" instead of "board game". I would be up for some RPG. D&D would be fantastic. Also, I got the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game for my birthday, so I'd be happy to bring that and run it if there was interest. Also, is anyone planning on bringing their Marvel Dice Masters? I'd like to bring some of mine if there will be people to play.

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    I'm going to carve out some time next week to make calls, take my lunch in to work, do an early lunch and use my lunch hour to do some networking via phone. I still have all the contact information from those hotels and restaurants I visited downtown. If everything falls through, I'll hit up Geekdom (It is, in fact, a 14 minute walk from the convention center hotels and a seven minute bus ride, but not TOO bad), and try and convince them to give us some space. I'd really like to make sure we have a space for this where we can spread out a bit.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Ive sent out the email, still waiting on a reply...but its looking grimm.

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    If we have to pay a fee for the venue, what do people think about having a "tip jar" on site to help fund it? Participation would be completely optional and no one will go around asking for money, it would just be set up at the front.

    PineappleChuck
  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    Does anyone need any help organizing this event? I helped get it going in 2010/2011 for East. Even if 15-20 of us get together it'd be a good time.

    s3prototype
  • gonexallgonexall PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    jj4th wrote: »
    If we have to pay a fee for the venue, what do people think about having a "tip jar" on site to help fund it? Participation would be completely optional and no one will go around asking for money, it would just be set up at the front.

    Table top gaming is going to happen anyway, so I really hate the idea of paying to formalize it. Next year, the hotels will be asking for this kind of thing--it draws business. I heard that at the Long Wharf at east, the hotel liked it very much. Also, someone will either loose money or make money on the event, both of which make me uncomfortable.
    Rdr wrote: »
    Does anyone need any help organizing this event? I helped get it going in 2010/2011 for East. Even if 15-20 of us get together it'd be a good time.

    I'm also willing to help, if needed. However, I am not local.

    If this is having trouble getting off the ground this first year, could we organize some kind of twitter alert system that matches table top games open to more players with table top gamers looking for games? This way, we would not need one central location, but the whole table top thing could be scattered throughout the hotels surrounding the convention center.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    GOOD NEWS Hiton Palacio De Rio GUESTS! I got in touch with a rep and I just submitted to their coordinator the application. He is currently away but I'll keep you guys up to the minute on it. Sorry for the delays but Im trying my best to get this rolling and ironed out.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    gonexall wrote: »
    jj4th wrote: »
    If we have to pay a fee for the venue, what do people think about having a "tip jar" on site to help fund it? Participation would be completely optional and no one will go around asking for money, it would just be set up at the front.

    Table top gaming is going to happen anyway, so I really hate the idea of paying to formalize it. Next year, the hotels will be asking for this kind of thing--it draws business. I heard that at the Long Wharf at east, the hotel liked it very much. Also, someone will either loose money or make money on the event, both of which make me uncomfortable.
    Rdr wrote: »
    Does anyone need any help organizing this event? I helped get it going in 2010/2011 for East. Even if 15-20 of us get together it'd be a good time.

    I'm also willing to help, if needed. However, I am not local.

    If this is having trouble getting off the ground this first year, could we organize some kind of twitter alert system that matches table top games open to more players with table top gamers looking for games? This way, we would not need one central location, but the whole table top thing could be scattered throughout the hotels surrounding the convention center.

    my buddy @halfazedninja organized and I helped him (he was the front runner of EAST) at the Long Warf. It was a blast. I want to bring the same thing to South :)

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Marriott has said no, they are fully booked on Thursday and will not have anything available.

  • StupidStupid Whine Country, CARegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    gonexall wrote: »
    jj4th wrote: »
    If we have to pay a fee for the venue, what do people think about having a "tip jar" on site to help fund it? Participation would be completely optional and no one will go around asking for money, it would just be set up at the front.

    Table top gaming is going to happen anyway, so I really hate the idea of paying to formalize it. Next year, the hotels will be asking for this kind of thing--it draws business. I heard that at the Long Wharf at east, the hotel liked it very much. Also, someone will either loose money or make money on the event, both of which make me uncomfortable.
    Rdr wrote: »
    Does anyone need any help organizing this event? I helped get it going in 2010/2011 for East. Even if 15-20 of us get together it'd be a good time.

    I'm also willing to help, if needed. However, I am not local.

    If this is having trouble getting off the ground this first year, could we organize some kind of twitter alert system that matches table top games open to more players with table top gamers looking for games? This way, we would not need one central location, but the whole table top thing could be scattered throughout the hotels surrounding the convention center.
    There is typically an "official" pax-tabletop twitter hashtag for this sort of thing. We could just try and adopt that one and start using it proactively. I think in the past it has been #TTLFG . There's no reason why we couldn't start using this pre/post-pax :)

    More importantly (in my mind anyway) is figuring out who is bringing what so that we can try to eliminate overlap in games. Some of us have pretty voluminous libraries (many of which will be growing in a few weeks) and whittling that down to fly-able games that can fit into luggage is always a challenge.

    Stupid on
    zerzhul
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    GOOD NEWS! I am setting up with Hilton now for the event. We got a green light so far at the Hilton del Rio.

    So...lets start calling out the games list.

    I have Card Against Humanity (expansions 1,2,3,4,5, holiday 2012,2013 and PAX East cards)
    SuperFight (nerd and rated R expansions)

    PineappleChuckLexiconGrrl
  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    @s3prototype I think we should start a new thread rather then have it buried in this one, something patterned after this perhaps: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/186127/those-nutty-boardgames-are-at-it-twice-pre-and-post-pax-boardgame-nights/p1

    s3prototype
  • CyberFeyCyberFey Registered User regular
    We have a ton of games, and will be driving down. Do we have an idea on the timeframe for this? A Shot of Ice and Fire is that night too.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    traditionally the pre pax tabletop/boardgames have somewhat overlapped the pre pax dinner and the barcrawl at other paxes. It's a popular night for activities :)

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    @s3prototype‌ - I came to this thread really late, so the next post is a little tardy but I figured it would be useful to post anyway. Thanks for getting it nailed down!

    LexiconGrrl on
    Owner of Seattle's best Scandinavian Bar Old Ballard Liquor Co. and Viking Kitchen Badass at Skål Beer Hall
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Hey Gang - Checking in. I've been an absentee asshole in regards to this game night, so many apologies. First off, kudos to @jj4th, @Tripleozero, @s3prototype‌ ‌and the rest of you for taking the initiative to get this ball rolling. We're now unsure if we'll make it to PAX South or not, so I'm definitely not going to be in the planning loop for this one. That said, Pre-PAX game night is super fun for everyone (as mentioned multiple times in this thread) and has become an important staple at PAX Prime and East. Thanks for keeping it going.

    There's a lot of information that the planner(s) should have - esp. in the realm of benefitting from others' experience. If someone like @Tripleozero‌ who has experience with planning these nights is involved with the team, planning will go much easier and you can pick up where the rest of us have left off, without having to make all the same mistakes that we did. But you can't always access all the information from previous game nights, so in the interest of sharing the things that I know about planning and coordinating these game nights ...

    I present to you: The Long List of All Things (that I can think of)
    Posted 12/13/14
    Edited 12/14/14

    My experience is mostly in coordinating the *big* game night events. Smaller ones are much, much easier and only require a minimum level of communication with the venue.

    - This event can get really, really big. At Prime a few months ago, we had 500 seats that were all full at one point and people STILL complained that there weren't enough seats. At East, we have one ginormous game night, and another smaller one at 2 different hotels. The supersized ones are really great for getting the most new people involved and engaged with the spirit of the PAX community, and affects the largest number of PAXers. The smaller one is much more intimate and fills the need for folks who want a more laid back, personal gathering experience. People like both for different reasons, but it's been nice to have 2 different flavors of game night at East.

    - If you can, refer to the history of game night (spoiler tagged) in the first post of the last game night thread from Prime. That will give you some context.

    - Always clear game night ahead of time with the venue owners (hotel, restaurant, etc...). Under no circumstances should you just show up and assume they can accommodate. They can kick you out if they want to, and they will if they're blindsided by a horde of gamers that they weren't prepared for.

    Getting a Venue
    - MOST IMPORTANT RULE #1: Make it very clear to everyone, repeatedly, that you do not work for Penny Arcade, that this event is not endorsed by them, and that this is a grass-roots community event without formal sponsorship.

    - Venues are businesses that are in business to make money. They don't know who you are, and they don't care. Hotels will require exorbitant room rental fees, and restaurants will only shut down their regular business that night if you can guarantee that they'll make more money than they normally would. Historically, gamers aren't big spenders so if you think that game night will generate enough money to shut down a restaurant on your behalf, you're wrong. It won't, and if someone takes a chance on you they'll be furious afterward and may 86 PAXers in the future. This has happened before.

    We've had a lot of luck in the past negotiating creatively with hotels, to make game night an attractive financial proposition so that they give us sufficient space for free. What I've found works the best is this: contact the hotel event manager ahead of time. Be professional, polite and confident.

    EDUCATE: Explain to them what the event is. Educate them about how big/important/significant it's been, because they have no way of knowing. Make sure they know you're just a community liaison, and that this is not a formally organized event. Esp. that you don't have any control over the group, you just communicate with it. They'll be expecting something more like a business group than a collection of strangers.

    PAST EXPERIENCE: explain to them what's happened in the past with some of the game night problems that have happened and how upsetting that was for everyone involved. Be clear that you have the hotel's best interest at heart, and that you want to make sure that everyone has a great time, including the hotel staff. Mention that there's a good chance the event will happen whether they're on board or not, so you want to make sure that regardless of whether they give you space or not, that you want make sure they're prepared.

    ACKNOWLEDGE: Acknowledge that you understand the hotel's position. The staff are just there doing a job, they don't owe you anything. Also acknowledge that they need to make money. Propose that if they have an unused space (like a large lobby) that night, that they could set it up for gamers and put mobile bar(s) in place. For the minor cost of a staff to run the bar, the hotel can double or triple their drink tickets for the night, without having to justify giving up a rentable space for free (like a ballroom). For this first year, this is probably your best bet.

    HELP: Be helpful. Ask what the hotel would need to make it happen. Liaison with the PAX community. Find ways to take the burden of planning and executing off the manager's shoulders. If you can make this event easy and profitable for the hotel, they have no reason to say no. But if you sit back and wait for them to do all the work for you, for no rental fee, it's not gonna go well. Even if they say no, make sure that you mention that you want them to be prepared since it might happen anyway. Being respectful of their time and needs will go a long way for future requests.

    - Make sure that the hotel knows you will have someone on hand and available all night to help with any problems that might occur. That means that you need to have someone 'staffing' game night.

    Coordinating Game Night
    - Once you have a venue locked in, make sure you've got some way to organize game night. There's a gajillion ways to do that, some are very primitive and labor intensive, others are totally self managing. It's up to you how you want to do it, but basically you need to find ways to game match, and to make peoples' personal game libraries that they bring available to attendees who didn't bring games. I'm kinda lazy, so I don't go overboard with setting up a game checkout library or anything anymore, mostly because some jackhole ALWAYS leaves their game library with me, assuming that my PAX is all about chasing them down for the next 3 days to try and return it, or "donates" games to the "library", meaning that I have to haul their shit back with me or throw it away. People will assume you're there to serve them if it's a big event.

    For Prime and East, I have game matching sheets at an info table at the front and table numbers on each game table. If someone comes in with a library, they list off all their games and the table they're at on a sheet, then people can go find that person to borrow their game directly. The same thing goes for game matching. People find each other by table number, and the info table isn't responsible for anybody's personal property.

    - Be prepared to liaison between the hotel and gamers if needed. Last Prime, there was some guy sitting in the ballroom that the hotel had generously given us for free, smoking an e-cig. The hotel staff came to me pretty pissed off and I had to reassure the staff, then go ask him to stop. Remember that a large portion of this group are on the younger end of the adult spectrum, and may not have the experience to know what's appropriate behavior.

    - Speaking of young, this is also one of the few all-ages events at Prime and East. Please endeavor to keep it like that.

    - Food and drink are how the hotels usually make their money at these events. Make both as available and easy to get as possible, and repeatedly remind the attendees to spend generously. This is how we pay for the space.

    - Don't forget that people can be jackholes. Staff and attendees can both cause problems with bad attitudes, behavior, or an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. Be calm, be helpful, and be willing to step in, but only if needed. Don't assume the event will run itself, because although it usually does, it can only take one serious issue to shut it down.

    - The #TTLFG (or similar) hashtag is used by the official PAX Tabletop organized during the convention by enforcers. Check with them first before using it for a non-official, Pre-PAX game night. We've always used our own (ec: #TT_Westin or similar)

    - This is probably the biggest single point of contact for the Cookie Brigade for PAX weekend. It's really helpful if the game night coordinator works with the Cookie Brigade for this event. Having a table for the brigade with a couple of chairs and anything else they need will give the bakers a dropoff point and the gamers for the night a place to donate to Childs Play. HOWEVER, this can run afoul of the hotel's food service policy, so make sure that the hotel knows that people are not selling cookies there. I strongly suggest you don't volunteer this information ahead of time, but only address it if it comes up at the event (easier to ask forgiveness than permission).

    This is everything I can think of right now. If other things come to mind, I'll update the spoiler text and post a note. I'll also try to check the forums more regularly. Good luck and hopefully I'll be there!

    LexiconGrrl on
    Owner of Seattle's best Scandinavian Bar Old Ballard Liquor Co. and Viking Kitchen Badass at Skål Beer Hall
    zerzhulnevermore13s3prototypepunzie
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Spoiler text edited on December 13th post to add information about Cookie Brigade.

    Owner of Seattle's best Scandinavian Bar Old Ballard Liquor Co. and Viking Kitchen Badass at Skål Beer Hall
    s3prototype
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Hilton is looking to charge for the space...bleh, I'm going really talk to them about this

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Hilton is looking to charge for the space...bleh, I'm going really talk to them about this

    Be nice :) PAX gamers should be nice people :)

    s3prototype
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