Pre-PAX Boardgame Night: Ep. 2016, THE DICE AWAKEN

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  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    Karoneth - completely agree. would love to see this work, b/c as much as I will enjoy playing in a hotel room with our buddies, I also want to meet a bunch of new people :D

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    This is very sad to hear :( One could argue that this is symptomatic of how PAX has become increasingly corporate over recent years. With Westin being the sole preserve of exhibitors and now booking out large rooms for private companies, the community events are suffering as a result.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I believe the Pre PAX gaming night for PAX East is no more. It's a terrible shame as I have always considered it to be a personal highlight for me.

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  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    I personally don't spend a ton of time in the boardgame area at the Westin usually (I'm not a serious table-topper), but this sounds like utter madness. I can't imagine what PAXEast is like without the boardgame presence there, that mad clutch of loud drunk awesomeness is practically a part of the con itself. I've had some good times and met some interesting people there, and there tend to be surprises (I heard they played Johan Sebastian Joust there a year or two ago, but I missed it :bigfrown: ).

    There are two months left to somehow save this, I sort of refuse to believe that the Pre-Pax boardgame night won't successfully happen.

  • klzklz Registered User regular
    I'm disappointed in hearing about this, but the Paxen have truly taken over the public's connection to the game companies after all this time and continues to sell out faster and faster, so it makes sense the companies with cash will want to do business and will pay for the privilege, so the hotels can't honestly just leave that kind of money on the table. If there was more public space near the BCEC, there might be a good chance, but Pax East has grown faster than the space can be built here. Consider until this year, there were only 3 hotels nearby for exhibitors and attendees combined and the crazy rush for rooms. I'm hoping this can be salvaged, but after last year, and the info coming for this year, I suspect the usable space will all be given to the highest bidder. Free can't really compete with this.

  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    Yet I feel like it's not free, per se. These people pay up for drinks and food from pre-pax to weekend.

    But yeah, I doubt The Westin gives a single crap whether anyone's bummed about their freely offered space getting co-opted by people with financing...

  • JerkfishJerkfish NYCRegistered User regular
    MrGone1980 wrote: »
    I heard they played Johan Sebastian Joust there a year or two ago, but I missed it :bigfrown:

    For what it's worth, we're likely going to bring Joust with us again this year and if the board game night doesn't pan out, we might try to find some public spaces to play (hoping that by late April it's warm enough to do so outdoors.)

    Fastrsmertepunkt
  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    that's awesomesauce! If you do, I will definitely not miss it this time!

    Here's hoping the outdoors is warm enough as well.

  • FastrFastr Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Karoneth wrote: »
    Ishtra, that would be an awesome survey topic. How much would you be willing to pay for admission to a pre-PAX gaming night on Thursday next to the BCEC? I too agree that $10 each is not bad, but as I mentioned previously, whoever organized it would need to collect the funds and manage a huge attendee list and keep track of who is entering the area so they'd probably need at least one extra volunteer and wouldn't be able to have as much fun themselves. However, it could work, and the extra funds could be donated to Child's Play as a fundraiser, upon which point the organizer can approach it as a charity fundraiser with the hotel and may be able to drop the admission to $5 or so. No, I can't organize this, not enough time, but I hope this spurs somebody on to do it.

    You could also hold any extra funds for next year..

    Hell, you could do a kickstarted or gofundme. We don't need everyone to pay we just need to get enough to cover the cost. If people go for free that's totally fine, more fun and more people that maybe throw a couple dollars in next year.

    Fastr on
  • FastrFastr Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    I'm liking this kickstarted idea more and more.. Stretch goal of 1500 dollars, anyone who put in 15 dollars gets a free drink ticket lol. how many tables are there? 5 $100 backers get a dedicated table all night to demo and sell their game.

    Fastr on
    PNeafsey
  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    I'd back it.

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    PurpleBekFastrPNeafsey
  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    I would throw a few bucks at this.

    FastrPurpleBek
  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    hubby and I are in ... so hopefully our other 6 would join up. I was talking it over with hubs too, b/c we would see how many we can seat, then assume, based on interest, a base ticket, and then either donate the extra or roll it over. it happens only if you clear enough to cover first. Sell the rest at the door if there are still spaces and sell only enough for seats the Aloft can host so no one pays and can't play. Shouldn't be too hard. We might get them to throw in a bartender for a cash bar. Would just want to see if we can bring in our own snacks and if so, maybe get cookie brigade in there for munchies too.

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • KaronethKaroneth Elder Scrolling Online Co-Host Lakehurst, NJRegistered User regular
    Looks like some great ideas here, less than 60 days to go, anyone willing and able to feel this out and maybe get started organizing it if you think it's viable?
    I may not be free that night and I have a large party to handle so unfortunately I am unable to myself.

  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    @Streetlight345 did they give you a more specific figure than 1000+? I'd be curious to see if we can set something up with tickets through eventbrite or something, and figure out a return policy if we don't hit at least the minimum goal. ANyone know if a)eventbrite takes a cut and b) if they have a ticket return option?

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • FastrFastr Registered User regular
    Just s thought.. If you did do a kickstarted with a drink included you could then tell the aloft here's 200 dollars in prepaid drinks and maybe they do give a ring discount..

    I'd love to take the reigns but I'm planning a wedding and also Arab enforcer so my Thursday night is busy with meetings.

    Streetlight has already created a relationship with the Aloft.. Any chance you're willing to take this on? I'd trust you with my cash at this point.

  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    https://www.eventbrite.com/support/articles/en_US/Troubleshooting/how-much-does-it-cost-for-organizers-to-use-eventbrite?lg=en_US

    this seems too dang expensive to consider.

    We're back to Kickstarter. I have the time to contact the Element and see if I can get some straighter answers about real cost expectations. If you're interested in finding out more I can give them a ring, since I'm at home today. If this requires an in-person Bostonian to handle matters, I wouldn't be able to do a face-to-face with them until Thursday April 21st tho.

    ishtra
  • Streetlight345Streetlight345 Seekonk, MARegistered User regular
    @ishtra unfortunately no, they did not give specifics for what the 1,000 is for. They did mention that the "1,000+" could go down if guests order their food 72 in advance and then gave me this link http://bostonseaport.aloftemenus.com/

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    PAX East 2019!
    Badges [X] Hotel [X] Time off request [X]
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  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    If possible I'd try to keep the contact the same. Having too many people involved can make things confusing and things get screwed up (trust me on this).

    Personally I'd go with Eventbrite. Kickstarter fees are 5% then 3-5% processing, which still works out to a little less than eventbrite but eventbrite has the ticketing system you can use to make sure everyone who shows up paid. I guess it's really up to whoever sets it up.

    We should also check to see what kind of seating arrangement they can give us. A big round table sounds good till you realize they fit 8-10 people, so you are limited in how many games you can have going on at once.

    And last, we may not want to include a alcoholic drink in any pricing. Mass liability laws are really screwy and you could become liable for anyone being intoxicated (along with the hotel and bartender)

    GhostDan on

  • monkoshmonkosh NYCRegistered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Although within Seaport District would be ideal, have we contracted the other hotels that is part of onPeak? Most hotels will have space available and as long it is downtown it should be close enough for everyone to get.

    monkosh on
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  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    good point. i'm not super familiar with available meeting spaces or lobbies in those hotels. anyone have any ideas?

  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    The more complications you add, the less likely this will happen. People are suggesting ticketing, if that happens, who will be checking the tickets at the door? How do you stop people just wandering in and then telling them to go away because they didn't pay for a ticket? Previous years it just had people show up and walk into an available room to play some games, all very casual. By charging for it you're having to consider security at the door to prevent people from getting in.

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  • FastrFastr Registered User regular
    kropotkin wrote: »
    The more complications you add, the less likely this will happen. People are suggesting ticketing, if that happens, who will be checking the tickets at the door? How do you stop people just wandering in and then telling them to go away because they didn't pay for a ticket? Previous years it just had people show up and walk into an available room to play some games, all very casual. By charging for it you're having to consider security at the door to prevent people from getting in.

    Agreed. Ticketing would kill this event. You would have less people each year till none at all. The idea is to keep it free and for all ages. Again.. Kickstarted.

  • CommanderZimCommanderZim Registered User regular
    If we need a person to contact the Element still, I can look into it. Do we still need someone to coordinate/reach out to the Element?

    ishtra
  • jpkjpk Registered User regular
    If we need a person to contact the Element still, I can look into it. Do we still need someone to coordinate/reach out to the Element?

    Element, Aloft and Westin are owned by the same company (Starwood) and have the same event planner. I've been researching the hotels after I messaged Streetlight345 offering to help with planning.

    Element has small conference rooms only (~420 sq. ft.). Westin is not available. All the large ballrooms (Mann, Summer) at Aloft are booked or had holds on them. "Mahoney Ex. Change" is the largest room (1,000 sq. ft., 65 - 150 people depending on arrangement) at Aloft that didn't have a hold. The largest available space in the area is actually outside, next to the convention center. The Lawn on D is open to the public until 10pm, but has a long list of rules and, of course, there's weather. Here's the information in picture form, http://imgur.com/a/YTIN2

  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    jpk wrote: »
    If we need a person to contact the Element still, I can look into it. Do we still need someone to coordinate/reach out to the Element?

    Element, Aloft and Westin are owned by the same company (Starwood) and have the same event planner. I've been researching the hotels after I messaged Streetlight345 offering to help with planning.

    Element has small conference rooms only (~420 sq. ft.). Westin is not available. All the large ballrooms (Mann, Summer) at Aloft are booked or had holds on them. "Mahoney Ex. Change" is the largest room (1,000 sq. ft., 65 - 150 people depending on arrangement) at Aloft that didn't have a hold. The largest available space in the area is actually outside, next to the convention center. The Lawn on D is open to the public until 10pm, but has a long list of rules and, of course, there's weather. Here's the information in picture form, http://imgur.com/a/YTIN2

    The rules seem fine to me, weather on the other hand is a bit of a wildcard. I can see any wind being a real issue for card games especially.

  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    Thanks for checking in with all that. A shame about the holds. Hopefully we can get on this earlier next year anticipating the Westin might not be free again.

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • jpkjpk Registered User regular
    It's possible that additional Aloft space adjacent to that room would become available, that there would be ample common area space in the foyer and that it would be a calm sunny day so that park would be available. If everything worked out well, I could imagine over 500 people spread between the hotel and park. However, if renting the Mahoney room, I think it would be prudent to plan for only that 1000 sq. ft. room, which would be limited to 65 people with tables and chairs or up to 150 people but standing/sitting room only. That would likely require a few volunteers/enforcers to avoid fire code violations and to minimize disruptions to the other events.

    The Aloft event planner agreed to keep the Mahoney Ex. Change room available through this week.

  • AppleguysnakeAppleguysnake Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Hi everyone. I ran the JS Joust games in the lower Westin lobby the past two years with @Jerkfish and it's been a ton of fun alongside the boardgame night. I got really excited that we could possibly help make this happen, but according to the other posts here, it looks like a reaaaaaaaal long shot.

    @jpk Those photos are really helpful, that room definitely doesn't look like it would be worth the $1,000 investment unless you wanted to just make it a closed event, which kind of defeats the point (but could be fun for anyone who wants to do that). Are you the only one in contact with the hotel right now? Did you call anyone at The Lawn?

    Just to recap this thread as I understand it:
    • There's no reliable amount of free hotel space available
    • The only paid space is the oddly-named "Mahoney Ex:Change" @ $1,000 for 65 seats
    • There's an outdoor park next to the convention center (also with a ridiculously long name - "The Lawn on D Powered by Citizens Bank") that's open to the public until 10pm
    • The people currently working on actively organizing are @jpk and @LexiconGrrl and maybe @Streetlight345 (??)

    Right now, our plan is (loosely) to hope for good weather and set up JS Joust at The Lawn on D Powered by Citizens Bank.

    Based on the pictures I've seen, it seems like there's an open tent in the middle (with picnic tables?) and an enclosed tent at the other end. If that's the case, I'm assuming the enclosed tent would be the one that's rented out, and the other one is just there. It also seems that they don't do events before May. This is also the space where the food trucks were last year, so there may be some PAX setup happening there already which would be a problem. I can give them a call for info if nobody else has already. I'll ask if there's anything else scheduled there, and if not, if that tent and tables will be there for us to use.

    Appleguysnake on
  • jpkjpk Registered User regular
    Thanks for that summary. That makes my previous posts clearer.

    I can confirm only that there isn't a reliable amount of free hotel space near BCEC. For Mahoney, if I interpreted the limit correctly, that room can hold 65 with tables and chairs, 138 with chairs, and up to 150 without ( http://imgur.com/9Q5KoNB ). There is common area space near Mahoney ( http://imgur.com/iUyGVlz ), but relying on that would push the limits of others' hospitality if it became crowded. It is surprising that there are 2 new hotels this year and yet space seems more constrained. Perhaps a lot of VR demos?

    The Aloft event planner is holding Mahoney ( http://imgur.com/0Jj7uuW ) available for boardgame night until at least the end of this week. Despite the rental fee (total amount remains unconfirmed), I expect any event there would remain free. Free, but with limited space would require volunteers to manage crowds. If anyone can dedicate most or part of their Thursday and be at Aloft, please volunteer as soon as possible.

    The Lawn is technically open to the public, but the rules include no excessive loitering, delaying, lingering, remaining idle...running, horseplay, or disorderly conduct of any nature. It seems unlikely that MCCA would kick you out for playing JS Joust, but according to the rules, they seem to have that authority. The schedule shows ( http://imgur.com/nfLKgfV ) there is TENT/GAMES from 5pm - 8pm, but lawn was empty when I was there ( http://imgur.com/w65ahO0 ) and apparently will remain so until the park is in season, which is not until late May. The Lawn's website http://lawnond.com/ doesn't show any events the week of PAX. I did not call MCCA. The number is 877-393-3393.

  • AppleguysnakeAppleguysnake Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Awesome, I'll give them a call as soon as I can and follow up. If there's nothing else being set up there for PAX, I would assume we're fine, the rules seem like general park rules so I don't think it should be too much of a concern.

    EDIT: I was told by someone in another department that the tent and tables are taken down off season, but she seemed unsure. Maybe someone in town can confirm. I left a message for the person in charge of booking for more info.

    Appleguysnake on
  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    I realise I'm coming off as the nay-sayer in this thread, but playing board games outside is ludicrous. I certainly admire everyone's tenacity here, I really do and I want something to happen. But quite honestly, if you're seriously considering an outdoor venue then I'm out. A slight gust of wind will blow everything away, it's absurd to even consider it.

    I'm personally consigning Pre PAX board game night for PAX East as a part of the event's history now. It breaks my heart to write that, but I believe we have to face facts. Very sad :(

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  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    kropotkin wrote: »
    I realise I'm coming off as the nay-sayer in this thread, but playing board games outside is ludicrous. I certainly admire everyone's tenacity here, I really do and I want something to happen. But quite honestly, if you're seriously considering an outdoor venue then I'm out. A slight gust of wind will blow everything away, it's absurd to even consider it.

    I'm personally consigning Pre PAX board game night for PAX East as a part of the event's history now. It breaks my heart to write that, but I believe we have to face facts. Very sad :(

    I'm with you on the outside thing. Heck, I'd try working with PA to get some CC space that night before playing outside.

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  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    Seeing as how this was one of my favorite parts of PAX makes me sad to hear about how much trouble it is having if it happens at all.
    I will third the idea of not playing outside, maybe a game with minautures works but even that seems unlikely.
    Looks like I will just be spending even more time in tabletop during the con

  • aBByNormaLaBByNormaL Registered User regular
    @kropotkin I agree ... Figure I may have to try for a pickup group and just grab a table in the seaport lobby or bar and drink, eat and play games. What it will lack is the games as I can only travel with more portable titles.

    PAX East 2016 .... gots my Passes [x] Hotel [x] Flights [x] Packed [..] .... ok we're all good !!!!!
  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    as it looks like we're gonna miss this, hopefully we can use this thread to find players/games in our own hotels then. Like set up a list for anyone playing at their hotel looking for others. will have to see, but agreed regarding tabletop time. I have quite a lengthy list of games I want to try while I'm there :D

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
    TopherRockskropotkin
  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    Perhaps we could set up a list of people who will supply and be willing to host some people in their hotels? Get an idea of who has what and where to go?

  • darksteelreaprdarksteelreapr Registered User regular
    It's a shame that such a great event is getting kicked to the wayside thanks to corporations who wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for us. I would say invade a hotel lobby but that would just make matters worse. On the other hand, I am bringing my Cards Against Humanity set (all expansions included) to PAX and will be staying at the Seaport. If anyone is interested in joining you're more than welcome.

  • aBByNormaLaBByNormaL Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    It's a shame that such a great event is getting kicked to the wayside thanks to corporations who wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for us. I would say invade a hotel lobby but that would just make matters worse. On the other hand, I am bringing my Cards Against Humanity set (all expansions included) to PAX and will be staying at the Seaport. If anyone is interested in joining you're more than welcome.

    May take you up on that ... I have CaH as well but it is bulky to travel with (in the Bigger Blacker Box) ... I have quite a few other games (Betrayal at House on the Hill comes to mind) but not all are portable (I am travelling by air so room is limited) ... I will see what I can carry that is fun but takes minimal space ... I know I will have several versions of Fluxx, Coup, perhaps others.

    aBByNormaL on
    PAX East 2016 .... gots my Passes [x] Hotel [x] Flights [x] Packed [..] .... ok we're all good !!!!!
  • jpkjpk Registered User regular
    The Aloft sales coordinator responded with details about the Mahoney Ex:Change rental. As Streetlight previously posted, it's "$1000+" with fees and taxes. The confirmed total cost for a Thursday evening rental would be $1338. Rules include a prohibition on outside food and drink.

    The consensus seems to be that the room is too small to work for boardgame night. Therefore, I won't seek to extend the hold on the room.

    Karonethishtra
  • darksteelreaprdarksteelreapr Registered User regular
    aBByNormaL wrote: »
    It's a shame that such a great event is getting kicked to the wayside thanks to corporations who wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for us. I would say invade a hotel lobby but that would just make matters worse. On the other hand, I am bringing my Cards Against Humanity set (all expansions included) to PAX and will be staying at the Seaport. If anyone is interested in joining you're more than welcome.

    May take you up on that ... I have CaH as well but it is bulky to travel with (in the Bigger Blacker Box) ... I have quite a few other games (Betrayal at House on the Hill comes to mind) but not all are portable (I am travelling by air so room is limited) ... I will see what I can carry that is fun but takes minimal space ... I know I will have several versions of Fluxx, Coup, perhaps others.

    I'm traveling by air as well. I carry my CAH big black box in my carryon which is also my rucksack swag bag. It's a little awkward but I manage. I'm always open to play other games as well as long as people take the time to teach them.

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