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Pre-PAX Game night 2016 @ Geekdom (1/28/2016 @ 7PM)

s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
edited January 2016 in PAX South
Here's the FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/154111618279404/

Time: 7pm to midnight...or so
Date: Thursday, January 28th
Location: Geekdom Event Center, 131 Soledod St San Antonio, TX
Google Maps Link (for directions on your phone): Click here


Rules: Be friendly, be respectful of the space and others. Feel free to drink but if you get too smashed you might be asked to leave. Borrow any game during the night but take good care of it and put it back as you found it. Help clean up at the end. And try games by exhibitors and Texas game designers!

Drinking?: Yes! bring a bottle to share if you can. If not, no worries, we are trying to get some beer sponsors. However, as above, know your limits.
What to bring? Games! We all bring games to show and share. Snacks if you want.
What not to bring? Weapons, unless you want to be relieved of them and called out to a kungfu duel

Host Contact (for questions or just say wuuusssuupppppp! #geekdom #prepax #paxsouth2016 #pax)
@heroesmustdie
@s3prototype
@ultness

When you get there:
1. If you've got a game and are looking for players, put the box top of the game vertically on your table. This is the universal sign for "I don't care who you are, please join us"
2. If you're looking to join a game, look for vertical box tops.
3. HAVE FUN.

We have tables for about 150 people. We can squeeze a few more in and probably fit up to 200, but a little crowded. 150 should be fairly comfortable with gaming room for all.

You can all use your PAX passes for a free day pass to Geekdom Thursday if anyone would like to check it out!

s3prototype on
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Posts

  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    I'd be happy to help. Just let me know. We are at the Hyatt, but that really doesn't matter obviously.

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    s3prototype
  • angelicstubbornessangelicstubborness Registered User regular
    I'd be willing to help out too if you take volunteers.

    s3prototype
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Im currently at the Marriot this year. Last year was Hilton. Stay tooned. I'll start digging around for info

  • jj4thjj4th Registered User regular
    Hey hey, too busy to help plan this year... but I can bring my game library again (and it's grown a bit larger!) If you can convince the Marriott to give us space, they are probably more ideal than the Hilton (more room!). That said, considering how much money we spent at the bar last year, the Hilton probably should be happy to see us again.

    mayapple
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    @jj4th I've actually inquired with The Marriott this time because im staying there as well.

  • IrsoolIrsool Registered User regular
    I couldn't attend the game night last year, so I'm really hoping I can go this time!

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  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    I'm local, so I won't be renting a room. But I had a blast last year, so I'll be happy to bring a few games and hang out.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    jj4th wrote: »
    Hey hey, too busy to help plan this year... but I can bring my game library again (and it's grown a bit larger!) If you can convince the Marriott to give us space, they are probably more ideal than the Hilton (more room!). That said, considering how much money we spent at the bar last year, the Hilton probably should be happy to see us again.

    Our table probably paid for the night on rumpleminze alone.

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  • Bartoni33Bartoni33 Southern IllinoisRegistered User regular
    jj4th wrote: »
    Hey hey, too busy to help plan this year... but I can bring my game library again (and it's grown a bit larger!) If you can convince the Marriott to give us space, they are probably more ideal than the Hilton (more room!). That said, considering how much money we spent at the bar last year, the Hilton probably should be happy to see us again.

    Our table probably paid for the night on rumpleminze alone.

    Oi! The Ol Rumple had me praying to the porcelain gods many nights in my youth. I just stick to Bud nowadays when I do drink.

    On topic, I missed last year but would like to come this year. I look to be closer to you guys.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Its been quiet from The Marriott, Started reaching out to the Hilton (same location from last year)

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Hilton is giving us a smaller space. The search continues.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Bummer. Definitely can't go smaller as the space was quickly at capacity and people were turned away. :?

  • DustyStarrDustyStarr Registered User regular
    Depending on where it is I may be able to come and bring Cards Against Humanity and possibly some other smaller, easy to transport games. :3 Might need more details on how these nights go and such, but I am not sure if me and my friend have anything planned anyways.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    DustyStarr wrote: »
    Depending on where it is I may be able to come and bring Cards Against Humanity and possibly some other smaller, easy to transport games. :3 Might need more details on how these nights go and such, but I am not sure if me and my friend have anything planned anyways.

    I can't speak to similar events at other PAX's (I usually played demo board games in vendor areas), but this one was very casual (and packed!). We spread out throughout the entire bar/lounge area plus several small back rooms set aside just for us with tables and chairs. One table hard a large pile of games that anybody could try. Some people also brought their own games and already had them setup on tables, waiting for players. Every table went to max capacity pretty quickly. All styles of games (euro/american, casual/medium/heavy, etc) were being played. Aside from one group in the back room being really loud, everyone was well-behaved. I joined a group of four others and we played several different games until the hotel basically shut it down (maybe 2 or 3AM?). It seemed like CAH was the game of choice out in the bar area. Tons of people were playing it.

  • TiklmesillyTiklmesilly Registered User new member
    If the marriot thing happens please specify which one. there are 3 marriott hotels visable and only a couple blocks from the convention center.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    s3prototype,
    Maybe this defeats the purpose of having an informal pre-PAX event, but after reading comments in the badge thread (Khoo said tix are still available because way more are being offered this year), what about approaching PA and asking if we can have a convention room the night before it opens? Call it a goodwill space. Just a ton of tables and chairs, kind of like the board game meetup space during PAX itself. We don't require a PAX badge to attend. The downside for them is cost for insurance and setup/breakdown of the room, but that could be offset by the convention setting up a concession booth and cash bar. In that regard, it would be no different than playing in the hotel bar last year. An added plus would be that, if tickets don't sell out for the con, we might entice local gamers to the free event who have a good time and then buy PAX tix so they can keep playing and check out the con. I'd be happy to spread the word here in San Antonio and in Austin.

    Just a thought since we overflowed the last hotel space, and it sounds like you are getting pushback this year. If con attendance is up, that means game night attendance will be up, too. Plus added newcomers based on the good word of mouth from last year's game night.

    Oh (and this is the PR guy in me talking), this could also be pitched to the people selling board games at PAX. Their reps can set up their games and demo them informally that night to generate sales during PAX. Money for everyone! LOL

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    At this point I'm all board for anything. Most of the hotels claiming they are booked up with space, but all I'm providing is just a organized community meeting space. :/ I helped my friend @Halfazedninja do this in East in 2014 and we had a pretty good turn out. Pretty much the same setup except we had reserved area. South was ridiculous on how the turnout went. PM me any contacts you know of cause. I'm kinda doing this off my own calling who ever

  • zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    I'm on board with wherever this event ends up. I had a fantastic time at the first one. Definitely need a larger venue if possible, but this one was nice because it also had a nice area to drink and socialize!

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  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    At this point I'm all board for anything. Most of the hotels claiming they are booked up with space, but all I'm providing is just a organized community meeting space. :/ I helped my friend @Halfazedninja do this in East in 2014 and we had a pretty good turn out. Pretty much the same setup except we had reserved area. South was ridiculous on how the turnout went. PM me any contacts you know of cause. I'm kinda doing this off my own calling who ever

    I have some experience setting up events for video game publishers, but I retired a few years back. And I don't have similar contacts on the board game side of things. I'd say Khoo would be the best point of contact, but for something like this we should already have the pros/cons/costs/risk exposures/etc roughly worked out so we can provide a relatively complete proposal. Khoo can do the actual number crunching if he's on board.

    I'm happy to do a little research and write something up to present to him. Having gone to all but PAX Aus, I dig the idea of maybe making South the "indie and board game PAX". The timing doesn't fit the AAA video game publishers' normal release schedule, so board game publishers could step in and take the spotlight. Sitting down to play with strangers at a table also fits San Antonio's friendly, personable reputation. There are a lot of fun PR angles that could be explored with this kind of theme. :)

    For starters, does anyone have a decent headcount from last year? And where did most of the games come from? Did a couple of people bring that huge pile I saw in the back room? I know that some people also sat down at tables with a board game or three of their own. If PAX does back the event, we might be able to call upon their lending library as well.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2015
    I generally think that getting any space from pax with any support from pax really just makes it more of pax, and not really a community thing. It would probably cost them more to give space as they wouldn't have the convention center staff there in the same force and capacity on the setup days, and as was said earlier it would open them up to more liability as well.

    Pitching it to vendors as a way to generate more sales seems like, again, taking entirely away from the community event aspect and making it a vendor event. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but it would decidedly not be the same sort of thing.

    Getting space from the hotels has always been a struggle for each of these events one way or another. Each enterprise involved that is not the community itself is a for profit enterprise and they want to make money, so getting anyone pax or not to give the space will come with challenges.

    zerzhul on
    punzieMartossGhostDancabsy
  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    I totally agree, Zerhul. Which is why I started brainstorming out loud. I would much prefer it to remain a purely community event, but that seems impossible. Last year's event, realistically, had the lowest turnout that could be expected (smaller PAX ticket sales, untried pre-PAX event, etc). And it still completely overwhelmed the generous space we were given by the hotel. People were turned away (even after spreading throughout the hallways in every available little alcove with a set of chairs). And from what s3prototype is reporting, we are already being told that finding a similar space is unlikely.

    So we are faced with 3 tough choices. 1) Hold the event in a smaller location and plan on disappointing a lot more people as it fills up immediately. 2) Pitch it to PAX/vendors and hope for a co-op event between the community and PAX/vendors where we can take advantage of a larger space in the convention center. 3) Cancel the event.

    Trying for option #2 doesn't preclude using #1 as a fallback if we are denied. And realistically, the pre-event I envision wouldn't be all that different than the game lending area that was open each night during PAX anyway. They had games to loan, minimal staffing, and concessions. The main difference would be offering it a day earlier with the understanding that we here on the forum would commit to bringing a large # of games ourselves. Open it to non-PAX attendees on that first night means no need for controlled entry/badge checkers. We do run the risk of crashers looking for trouble, but that seems rather remote and can be discouraged if we have even one security (ie, off duty police) in attendance. And I assume that would be a given as part of PAX's insurance terms anyway. On the flip side, if ticket sales are doing well, and early badge pickup is open, it could be more of an official PAX event and promoted as a board game warm-up/social mixer night or something. And anything that lets you get first crack at attendees' wallets is attractive to vendors. Any game publishers in attendance will already have people and product in the hotel by Thursday night and can informally come down just like any of us and set up on a random table. Or they can go for something more official like a merch booth.

    The whole idea is far from a slam dunk, and it probably wouldn't be possible at a more established PAX. But South is primed for growth, and this is a chance to generate some relatively cheap goodwill while establishing some unique branding for South as a board gamer's destination.

  • MartossMartoss Registered User regular
    We could split the event into two locations.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Since the other two paxes' game nights are held at starwood properties, it might behoove to try to engage the westin riverwalk and cite the other events or try to get in touch with those hotels' event planners for help.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Martoss wrote: »
    We could split the event into two locations.

    Unless they were extremely close together (like, across the street from each other), I don't think this would be a good idea. It would require a lot more coordination to make sure a good distribution of games and players made it to each. And how many people would wander into one, see it is too dead/too full, and just leave?
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Since the other two paxes' game nights are held at starwood properties, it might behoove to try to engage the westin riverwalk and cite the other events or try to get in touch with those hotels' event planners for help.

    Excellent info, thanks. Like I said, I never participated in the other game nights (I was generally working at PAX as an exhibitor, so I was prepping our stuff), but I always made a point to visit the game areas during the con itself. I'm not familiar with starwood, but I'll definitely look into it.

    Maybe you can help with another question. Do you know who provided the huge game lending library each night at South last year? It looked like they had at least a hundred games (some beat to hell), but I don't recall what group claimed responsibility. Getting in touch with them would also be a good idea, just to feel them out on participating early.

  • MartossMartoss Registered User regular
    I didn't mean to say splitting to two locations was an ideal solution. But if we can't find one large space, it would probably be better to host the event at two small locations than one.

    Also, two different locations could make it more likely that one is closer to your hotel. I imagine that as long as both locations were suitable, people would just naturally split up evenly. Assuming we can get a large turnout, I suspect we would see both sites packed anyways.

    But I'm not hosting this. Maybe it really would take too much coordination! I just thought it was an idea.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    japester wrote: »

    Maybe you can help with another question. Do you know who provided the huge game lending library each night at South last year? It looked like they had at least a hundred games (some beat to hell), but I don't recall what group claimed responsibility. Getting in touch with them would also be a good idea, just to feel them out on participating early.

    I believe the PAX lending library is provided by PAX. Either owned outright by PAX, or assembled from games owned by enforcers, but I think it's the former.

    YoungFrey on
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I just got off the phone Marriott RiverCenter and he said that he has no formal space for it for that night. But he is talking with the restaurant manager to provide space.Their restaurant closes a lil early so it may work out. We are still a ways out.

    As of the multiple locations that's up to you guys if some one want to get in touch with another venue. It maybe wise to, since I last years venue at the Hilton I had to turn people away. I am staying at the Marriott this year, and I've already reached out to the Hilton. Hilton is providing a smaller space...not great...but better from nothing.

  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    edited September 2015
    The PAX TT lending library is owned by PAX and would not be available for a Pre-PAX event. Thursday is when we do our final setups and get everything ready, including organizing that library and making sure all the pieces are there. Prime and East rely on the community to supply the games for their Pre-PAX game nights and I have faith South can do the same if that is needed with a some of organization.

    This looks like the thread from last year if you want to reference it
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/195521/pre-pax-south-lobby-game-night-hilton-placio-del-rio-1-22-15#latest

    Throwing out ideas, I know Aus does their pre-PAX game night at a game store that has a tournament room for that kind of thing. Perhaps having it at a different venue might be an option. The PAX community is an amazing thing, I am sure the Texan branch of it is no different.

    Beker on
    -Beker/Erick
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    s3prototype
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    It was patrons of the Con that brought games. People volunteered their games to play with other people. @jj4th has the collection of fun in a box.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Oh the Hilton and the Marriott are walking distance from each other, one corner to another (sorta)

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    The PAX TT lending library is owned by PAX and would not be available for a Pre-PAX event. Thursday is when we do our final setups and get everything ready, including organizing that library and making sure all the pieces are there. Prime and East rely on the community to supply the games for their Pre-PAX game nights and I have faith South can do the same if that is needed with a some of organization.

    This looks like the thread from last year if you want to reference it
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/195521/pre-pax-south-lobby-game-night-hilton-placio-del-rio-1-22-15#latest

    Throwing out ideas, I know Aus does their pre-PAX game night at a game store that has a tournament room for that kind of thing. Perhaps having it at a different venue might be an option. The PAX community is an amazing thing, I am sure the Texan branch of it is no different.

    There is a tech-space nearby called Geekdom. I know it's not a games store, but it looks like it might have a lot of space. It couldn't hurt to ask.

    s3prototype
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited September 2015
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    Beker wrote: »
    The PAX TT lending library is owned by PAX and would not be available for a Pre-PAX event. Thursday is when we do our final setups and get everything ready, including organizing that library and making sure all the pieces are there. Prime and East rely on the community to supply the games for their Pre-PAX game nights and I have faith South can do the same if that is needed with a some of organization.

    This looks like the thread from last year if you want to reference it
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/195521/pre-pax-south-lobby-game-night-hilton-placio-del-rio-1-22-15#latest

    Throwing out ideas, I know Aus does their pre-PAX game night at a game store that has a tournament room for that kind of thing. Perhaps having it at a different venue might be an option. The PAX community is an amazing thing, I am sure the Texan branch of it is no different.

    There is a tech-space nearby called Geekdom. I know it's not a games store, but it looks like it might have a lot of space. It couldn't hurt to ask.

    Sent them an email. They were more than enthusiasic to do this. I'm ironing out the details.

    s3prototype on
  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Update on locations

    Hilton Placio Del Rio - POSSIBLE. 50 people with rounds of 10 (im awaiting clarification)
    Marriott RiverCenter - POSSIBLE. Awaiting feedback from the restaurant manager for space and service.
    Geekdom gamespace - MOST LIKELY. Spoke to them the other day and they are willing to do this, is about a 10 minute walk from the convention center and hotels. Ironing out details at the moment.

    If the Marriott and Hilton agree to host, would anyone want to take the wheel for those locations? Or should we consolidate all our energy into one place. either way. People are gunna play.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    The PAX TT lending library is owned by PAX and would not be available for a Pre-PAX event. (snip)
    Thanks for the info. Sorry to hear it, but maybe if we monitor attendance this year, and if this pre-PAX game night grows, PAX can look into hosting it here officially in the future. It's clearly made up of PAX attendees, so it wouldn't be a stretch. Just thinking out loud.
    Update on locations
    (snip)
    If the Marriott and Hilton agree to host, would anyone want to take the wheel for those locations? Or should we consolidate all our energy into one place. either way. People are gunna play.

    Good work, everyone. I've never heard of Geekdom, so I can't comment on them or their space. If they are willing to host this and realize it's for free, that would be excellent. I'd pitch it as a PR coup for them if they are trying to get established. PAX has tons of geek cred, and this event means getting hundreds(?) of dedicated geeks in the door and learning about their place.

    One location is definitely preferable to multiples, mainly because of game distribution. If we do go with more than one location, we'll need to coordinate with each other and make sure a good mix of games make it to each one. If you need a local space scoped out personally, drop me a PM here. I'll drive down and talk to them. Having that face-to-face interaction can solidify a deal faster.

    I'm mulling the multiple location pros and cons around, and while having locations right there in the hotels would be super convenient for some folks, it might make the farther location seem like the "bad" one if people are forced there due to overcrowding. Or we could see one or more locations experiencing poor turnout, which might make that location less likely to host us in the future (assuming all locations have some revenue generating operations like food/drink sales). Also, one location makes it easier to track the turnout, which is vital for planning this type of event in the future.

  • s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    @japester, Geekdom is totally on board, but awaiting other parties for approval and support. PM me your phone number and we can coordinate something, Im out in Houston, but down for road trips. I just beat MGSV, all I've got is time.

    With multiple locations that might happen, there isnt much to coordinate. Hosting last year I was just there to make sure people knew where the party was at and ease them into a game. There is going to be thousands (millions?) of people in PAX, attendance shouldn't be an issue. Its rather letting people know where the fun is at. I couldnt stress it enough on last years thread to bring their own games. I tried keeping up a list of games people were bringing. I wouldnt think that a gaming con would have shortage of video games and table top lol. :)

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    I took a look at Geekdom's web site. Interesting concept. They even have their own video game room. LOL. Now that I know more, I see they are set up really well for something like this. They are even open 24 hours, so no need to kick us out at a specific time.

    I'll trust you and the other previous organizers when it comes to the pitfalls. You're doing the hard work of making calls and such. I have some experience setting up stuff like this, but I haven't done a PAX game night specifically. I have no doubt everyone is packing portable electronic gaming, but lugging a boxed game on a trip is hassle I'm well familiar with. Which is why I was so impressed with the communal table of games available at the hotel party. Lots of people brought games and had them with them, but that table was what really got my attention.

    Even if Geekdom sounds great, it never hurts to have potential backup plans researched. So I'm all for keeping the options open with the other venues. I still think that one central event is best, but options are good. Without a deposit to hold a location, they can cancel on us at the last minute. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. ;-)

    I'll shoot you a PM right now.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    japester wrote: »
    I took a look at Geekdom's web site. Interesting concept. They even have their own video game room. LOL. Now that I know more, I see they are set up really well for something like this. They are even open 24 hours, so no need to kick us out at a specific time.

    I'll trust you and the other previous organizers when it comes to the pitfalls. You're doing the hard work of making calls and such. I have some experience setting up stuff like this, but I haven't done a PAX game night specifically. I have no doubt everyone is packing portable electronic gaming, but lugging a boxed game on a trip is hassle I'm well familiar with. Which is why I was so impressed with the communal table of games available at the hotel party. Lots of people brought games and had them with them, but that table was what really got my attention.

    Even if Geekdom sounds great, it never hurts to have potential backup plans researched. So I'm all for keeping the options open with the other venues. I still think that one central event is best, but options are good. Without a deposit to hold a location, they can cancel on us at the last minute. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. ;-)

    I'll shoot you a PM right now.

    I think the community bringing boardgames works for 2 main reasons. Many people are local (this is true of every PAX), and anybody driving can bring a literal pile of games. The other is, the minimum games need 2 people and most take 4 or more, so you need a lot fewer games than people.

  • IrsoolIrsool Registered User regular
    Hey everyone! I'm coming up from Laredo and can bring up 4-5 games with me. I'll be staying at the RiverCenter, but am more that willing to travel a bit to wherever the party is at :p

    uV3Kd9v.png
    s3prototype
  • MrBroadstoneMrBroadstone Registered User regular
    I've not been involved with the organization of any of the pre-pax game nights, but I've attended the one at East many times. I'd recommend trying the alcohol hook with hotels. The Westin at East got to sell the board gamers alcohol or soda while they sat and played. That could be the tipping point for a hotelier to say yes.

    This concept, of course, doesn't appear to Geekdom. I'll also note Geekdom appears to be a bit of a distance from the convention center compared to say.... East.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I think the community bringing boardgames works for 2 main reasons. Many people are local (this is true of every PAX), and anybody driving can bring a literal pile of games. The other is, the minimum games need 2 people and most take 4 or more, so you need a lot fewer games than people.

    Just to clarify. People bringing games with them, sitting down, and getting others to join them wasn't what surprised me. It was the number of games people brought and left unattended on a table in the back room, available to anyone off the street who could walk in and do whatever they wanted with them. I'm happy to bring a pile of games, but I think they'd be played at my table (or a table next to me), so I could keep half an eye on them. LOL

    It seemed like people were drinking a fair bit last year, but apparently it wasn't enough for us to secure the same space again (much less a larger one). If Geekdom works out, one of us will definitely talk to them about concessions since having something there not only brings in money for them but it's also convenient for us. If they aren't licensed for food, then at least we have plenty of restaurants nearby.

    The Geekdom locations even have board game nights (one, in another city, specifically has a eurogames night!) so that might explain why they are ready to grok what we're proposing.

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