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Pre-PAX Game Night?

nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
Maybe I keep eyeballing past the thread discussing it, but does anybody know if a pre-PAX game night like last year's at Geekdom is happening? We got to last year's around 8:30 or so, but still had a blast. I think I ended up buying more games as a result of what we played there than everything I actually saw at PAX.

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I haven't seen any thread about one being set up yet.

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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    It is in process of being worked on is what I hear from insider geekdom staff, That being said The local Dragon's lair has a regular Thursday night boardgame night hosted by the San antonio Boardgamers- found on meetup.com

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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    There is also a game store like none other in San Antonio known as Knight Watch games it has themed rooms, themed bathrooms, and two beautiful huskies which reside in the store during open hours.

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Sorry guys, im not involved this year in Pre-PAX. Geekdom gave me a run around trying to set up and it took alot out of me to get it rolling. Next year :/

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    AztdkMomAztdkMom Registered User regular
    What exactly is needed from Geekdom, just the event center? That's where Nerd night game nights happen. I could see if it's open and if my husband, a Geekdom member, could book it, assuming it is available. If not, maybe meeting up at knights watch would work, but that's pretty far from downtown for those from out of town. How many people were there?

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    PirateTruckPirateTruck Registered User regular
    There was easily over 100 people there last year but I have no clue how many at any one time. Maybe 150 or so?

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    StinkyTurdStinkyTurd Registered User regular
    Maybe one of the hotels would let us use them I know my Mariota that's next to geekdom has a pretty dress dining area or maybe the convention center Marriott?

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I'm going to be staying at Courtyard by Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk. Me and my friends are going to be in the lobby anyway playing games. Kinda official unofficial tradition? All is welcome and more the merrier! :)

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    StinkyTurdStinkyTurd Registered User regular
    I'm going to be staying at Courtyard by Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk. Me and my friends are going to be in the lobby anyway playing games. Kinda official unofficial tradition? All is welcome and more the merrier! :)

    The one next to the drury in about half a mile from the convention center? I'm there to I plan to bring deception murder Hong Kong and house in the hill but I've never seen anyone playing games downstairs the last 2 years.

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    AztdkMom wrote: »
    What exactly is needed from Geekdom, just the event center?

    To accommodate everyone, no. The event center was way too small. I tried to tell them that and work out an overflow space upstairs, but they just kind of did their own thing. People were elbow-to-elbow and mostly standing.

    I did a lot of legwork last year trying to find a space. The problem with the hotels is that they want some compensation for hosting such a large group. The first year we crammed into a hotel bar, but I guess not enough people bought drinks because they didn't allow us to come back. I got an offer from another hotel (I think the one across the street from the con?) to reserve their restaurant area, but they needed a guarantee. Basically, I'd personally be on the hook for a certain amount of money (it was over $1k) unless everyone spent that much (or more) during the evening on food and drinks. That's the problem with a free event. If people show up and just want to hang out, the organizers get stuck with a bill.

    Ideally, we'd have a space that could comfortably fit 200 or more people, with plenty of table and chairs, within a 10 minute walk of the convention area. But I have a feeling our best bet is smaller meetups at the nearby hotel bars and lobbies.

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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    There is a bar, St. Joes society hall off cesar chaves, in King William area, which rents a hall at $300. a night for quincinerras and weddings, it is where they host the alamo grand tournaments for 70 competitors which is 35 4x8 tables, does this sound like a more reasonable venue? not too far from the convention.

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Is it too late to set something up? Get the word out and all?

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    stoneart69 wrote: »
    There is a bar, St. Joes society hall off cesar chaves, in King William area, which rents a hall at $300. a night for quincinerras and weddings, it is where they host the alamo grand tournaments for 70 competitors which is 35 4x8 tables, does this sound like a more reasonable venue? not too far from the convention.

    Is it this one?: http://www.stjosephshall.com/rental/rental.htm

    Because that site says Saturday rentals only, for specific types of events, and only the fee is $1175 (the deposit is $300). I've never personally been, so I'm only going off what I see on the site.

    Even if it were $300, who would pay? That's where it gets tricky.

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    nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Is it too late to set something up? Get the word out and all?

    While I thought Geekdom was a rousing success last year, even with the crowds (it wasn't as bad as Saturday at PAX), it stinks to hear that they were frustrating to deal with. Based on the suggestions above, our foursome may head over to Dragon's Lair, which has open boardgaming on the calendar for Thursday or Knight Watch, which has casual magic. They'll be a bit further away than hanging out in a hotel lobby, (were at the Holiday Inn Express that used to be a jail) but I'm wary of the capacity and sympathy of potential host hotels to groups of more than 20-30 folks.

    I'm still planning on keeping an eye out on the thread, though, in case a miracle worker shows up.

    I'd chip in for the place japester mentions, coming in at just over $5/person (assuming it's filled), but they want rent paid in cash two weeks before the event - and I'm not going to ask someone to front that much money, since I wouldn't do that myself (also, my wife would probably look askance at me pulling $1200 out of the bank). My guess if there was a play-it-safe cover of $10/person the venue wouldn't be happy with the thought of the organizer potentially turning a (in my opinion well earned) profit.

    nbs2 on
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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    heroes and fantasies on 410 has a monster game area, but usually closes early (8) during the week. dragon's lair closes at 10 on thursday, they might lend a sympathetic ear to later hours.

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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    thinking outside the box, I recall the san antonio food bank has good relations with the sa gaming community and are preported to have a hall, which can be used for the price of donations. money, cans it seems like a win win. 210 337 3663

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    I'll be honest, when I tried to find a location last year (which I spent months doing), I restricted my search to a free location within 5-10 minutes walking distance of the convention center. I almost didn't consider Geekdom because of the walk (and it isn't really far). Having people drive somewhere else in town didn't seem viable to me. If I weren't local, I'd probably just go the hotel lobby route and set up something myself with my own games (or ask someone else who brought them). Having a big group and lots of games to choose from is great, but the reality is that once you find 2-4 people and a few games, that's your entire evening right there.

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    StinkyTurdStinkyTurd Registered User regular
    japester wrote: »
    I'll be honest, when I tried to find a location last year (which I spent months doing), I restricted my search to a free location within 5-10 minutes walking distance of the convention center. I almost didn't consider Geekdom because of the walk (and it isn't really far). Having people drive somewhere else in town didn't seem viable to me. If I weren't local, I'd probably just go the hotel lobby route and set up something myself with my own games (or ask someone else who brought them). Having a big group and lots of games to choose from is great, but the reality is that once you find 2-4 people and a few games, that's your entire evening right there.

    Or in my case with deception murder Hong Kong 6+people so I can use the extra roles :)

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    dragnstephdragnsteph Roseville, MNRegistered User regular
    I'm the organizer for San Antonio Nerd Night, we use Geekdom's space for one of our monthly events (and I'm a member). There's been some turnover in the Event staffing so answers might be different. The biggest issue with "upstairs" is that the downstairs and upstairs are not connected, they are two different buildings -- you'd need people with keyfobs to escort folks back and forth. I will give them a call tomorrow and see if they can help out or if they have any ideas, if there's some unused space somewhere that might be more accommodating. I'd think more than 75ish people gaming in the downstairs event centre (Soledad) space would be tough, though.

    There are nonprofits that we have worked with over the last year who have space, but not in downtown. The Animal Defense League and the Food Bank are both options - however late night events are PROBABLY not going to happen at a space when they would need to keep staff present. That's why Geekdom is ideal. Late night events tend to cost more at halls, as well (I've been down this road a bunch of times). A restaurant or similar space might be doable, Thursdays aren't stupid busy.. but spaces like that in a restaurant, they'd likely want a guarantee.

    Steph

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    Josh5890Josh5890 ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Sounds like it just isn't as convenient or plausable in San Antonio as it is with the Westin for Pax East.

    This space for rent
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    nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    A relationship has been built with the Westin at this point but it was a process. I imagine the same thing can happen at South nit again it would be a process. I would like to see it happen as it is always by far my favorite community event (not taking anything away from the others).

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Josh5890 wrote: »
    Sounds like it just isn't as convenient or plausable in San Antonio as it is with the Westin for Pax East.
    A relationship has been built with the Westin at this point but it was a process. I imagine the same thing can happen at South nit again it would be a process. I would like to see it happen as it is always by far my favorite community event (not taking anything away from the others).

    If you're talking about the first year I had to pull some serious comms with them. At first they wanted to change me 2 grand for the space. I kept on repeating that this is for the community and other events around do this. They changed their minds and gave us the bar space. Once they found out the turn out they gave us more space.

    The second year they didn't even return my calls.

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Yeah, my thoughts after trying to help s3 last year (since I'm a local and he's not) was that we either need sponsors to help with a guarantee, or we need to show hard turnout numbers to leverage holding a bar/restaurant/event space so they know they'll make money off concessions. Geekdom would be great if it were just larger. And I agree with steph that upstairs presents a challenge. I spent months trying to work up a plan with them last year, and I thought if some of Geekdom's members were RSVP'ing for the event, they could start taking groups upstairs to play as the downstairs got full. It does provide some challenges, though. You can't have people wandering off. But typically once you start gaming with a group at these events, you stick with that group till the end. At least that's been my experience.

    I'm not a big social media guy, but maybe someone can figure out a nice web/Twitter/etc system where we can fluidly arrange meetups throughout PAX? Something easy to use where someone can say a game they have in hand and want to play with others?

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    dragnstephdragnsteph Roseville, MNRegistered User regular
    It might be too late to organize anything this year but let me make a couple of phone calls. San Antonio Nerd Night could possibly wrangle some sponsors if we have a reasonable target amount. The trick is finding a venue.

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Ooh, like last year I may be able to debut a new CoolMiniOrNot game at South. Bringing Zombicide:Black Plague was great fun since it wasn't out at retail yet. While I don't have it in hand, I expect to have Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia by the end of the week. If it's as good as I hope, I'll gladly bring it for people to try. I like bringing games where everyone (myself included) is a new player, so nobody has an advantage. I also expect to have Herbaceous-A Flavorful Card Game in hand, which is a light, set-collection game with beautiful artwork and a bit of press-your-luck mixed in. Picking the right games to bring is always a challenge (so many choices!), but having something brand new makes it easy. :)

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    AerikanAerikan Game Design Manager Wellington NZRegistered User regular
    I ran the game night last year but am too busy running the SA Game Devs booth this year to do it. I am encouraging nerd night folks and other folks to take it over. If someone else makes it happenI'll be sure to post here.

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    BeighBeigh Bloomington, ILRegistered User regular
    Looks like there will be at least one https://www.facebook.com/events/816577678498406/?ti=icl

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Beigh wrote: »
    Looks like there will be at least one https://www.facebook.com/events/816577678498406/?ti=icl

    Yup. And only a four hour walk from the convention center! :P

    There are several board game groups (and shops) that meet up on Thursdays, but they tend to be far from downtown. That's the rub. With Geekdom bowing out at the last minute, our best bet might be for interested parties to post their hotels so we can arrange individual meetups. I don't mind bringing a few games downtown Thursday night. I'm local, so it's no trouble. But just to be clear, I'm not looking to loan anything out. Whatever I bring I'd like to keep on my table and share with folks.

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    stoneart69stoneart69 Registered User regular
    The San Antonio Board Gamers would love to see everyone who can make it to Thursday Night Board Games at Dragon's Lair.

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    GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    japester wrote: »
    There are several board game groups (and shops) that meet up on Thursdays, but they tend to be far from downtown. That's the rub. With Geekdom bowing out at the last minute, our best bet might be for interested parties to post their hotels so we can arrange individual meetups. I don't mind bringing a few games downtown Thursday night. I'm local, so it's no trouble. But just to be clear, I'm not looking to loan anything out. Whatever I bring I'd like to keep on my table and share with folks.

    Keep in mind some of the hotels frown on people using their space that aren't staying there. I had issues last year getting into the homewood without calling someone ahead of time to meet me at the front door (security was asking to see keys)

    zerzhul on
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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    GhostDan wrote: »
    Keep in mind some of the hotels frown on people using their space that aren't staying there. I had issues last year getting into the homewood without calling someone ahead of time to meet me at the front door (security was asking to see keys)

    Good point. Which is why hotel meetups are best planned in advance, even for a small group. I've only had a few hotels restrict access (one or two are positively militaristic about it), and they tend to be the ones that have free food in their lobbies. The closer you get to the convention center, the less uptight the hotels are.

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    japester wrote: »
    GhostDan wrote: »
    Keep in mind some of the hotels frown on people using their space that aren't staying there. I had issues last year getting into the homewood without calling someone ahead of time to meet me at the front door (security was asking to see keys)

    Good point. Which is why hotel meetups are best planned in advance, even for a small group. I've only had a few hotels restrict access (one or two are positively militaristic about it), and they tend to be the ones that have free food in their lobbies. The closer you get to the convention center, the less uptight the hotels are.

    Keep an eye out on this thread or my twitter @s3prototype. I'll update my location if people's are looking for some relaxed gaming

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    dragnstephdragnsteph Roseville, MNRegistered User regular
    Ok. I'm not ready to make a formal announcement, there are a few details yet to be worked out - but there should be something going on Thursday that checks most of your boxes. I will post something tomorrow or Tuesday.

    S

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    s3prototypes3prototype Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    dragnsteph wrote: »
    Ok. I'm not ready to make a formal announcement, there are a few details yet to be worked out - but there should be something going on Thursday that checks most of your boxes. I will post something tomorrow or Tuesday.

    S

    Let me know what I can do for to help. I dropped the ball this year since last year someone took it up. I would like to help make this a pax tradition.

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    dragnstephdragnsteph Roseville, MNRegistered User regular
    dragnsteph wrote: »
    Ok. I'm not ready to make a formal announcement, there are a few details yet to be worked out - but there should be something going on Thursday that checks most of your boxes. I will post something tomorrow or Tuesday.

    S

    Let me know what I can do for to help. I dropped the ball this year since last year someone took it up. I would like to help make this a pax tradition.

    Will do :) Mostly I will probably need help with people being present and responsible - I'm Enforcing this year and have a couple of responsibilities re: setup on Thursday night. I'll be in touch this week.

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    japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Same here, steph. I was doing a lot of prep work last year before it got taken over. I can help out, too.

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    nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    Helping out when we get there isn't a problem, including any takedown, but we probably won't be able to help setup or anything at the beginning.
    stoneart69 wrote: »
    The San Antonio Board Gamers would love to see everyone who can make it to Thursday Night Board Games at Dragon's Lair.

    If game night didn't end at 10pm, it would be worth considering if steph's secret plans fall through. We're leaving the Houston area at 5-ish and should be fed and checked in in SA around 8:30, only leaving and hour or so of gaming. Can't remember what time we left last year, but that was roughly when we arrived.

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    GeekOutSAGeekOutSA Geek Out SA San Antonio, TXRegistered User new member
    dragnsteph wrote: »
    dragnsteph wrote: »
    Ok. I'm not ready to make a formal announcement, there are a few details yet to be worked out - but there should be something going on Thursday that checks most of your boxes. I will post something tomorrow or Tuesday.

    S

    Let me know what I can do for to help. I dropped the ball this year since last year someone took it up. I would like to help make this a pax tradition.

    Will do :) Mostly I will probably need help with people being present and responsible - I'm Enforcing this year and have a couple of responsibilities re: setup on Thursday night. I'll be in touch this week.

    Let's make this BIG! Let us know what we can do Steph. We are more than willing to help do this up.

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    dragnstephdragnsteph Roseville, MNRegistered User regular
    First off, thanks so much to the people who've donated funds to make this happen. You guys are the best, and we're truly humbled by your confidence in us :)

    Second! It's not _FINAL_ final yet (like, nothing's actually been paid for), but we're reasonably certain that San Antonio Nerd Night's Pre-PAX Game Night will take place from 7pm to midnight-ish at the Grand Hyatt, which is right next to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. We'll be in the Travis Rooms, which are on the third floor. We should have right at 200 seats assuming the event planner there doesn't nix my diagrams because I haven't left you all enough room to walk, or we're violating any fire codes.

    The Travis rooms are 4 rooms that connect - it's a total of about 2400 sq ft. We should be getting 30-ish 6-ft banquet tables and just a couple of 10-person rounds for those huge games.

    I know it would be ideal if we could go a little later or start a little earlier. I'm looking into options and when I post the Facebook event and start pushing publicity (hopefully tomorrow) I'll have final answers on the times.

    Now... since this is a San Antonio Nerd Night event, there's a charity component! We will be supporting the Texas Burn Survivor Society, a _fabulous_ nonprofit that works to provide care, comfort, and essential services to the critically burned and their families. Each year they host Camp David, a week-long camp for pediatric burn survivors and their siblings. They also host Camp AX for older kids, work with our wounded warriors, and provide emergency financial assistance to patients in burn units and their families. There are also scar management programs, support groups, and lots of other things they do to support burn survivors. They do this all with I think a full-time staff of two, and a bunch of dedicated volunteers. You can read more about them here.

    At this event, we will be collecting items for the Camp David kids backpacks. These backpacks are given to each camper when they arrive at camp. They contain things like snacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, small games, puzzles, toys, etc. Anything small that a kid ages 7-16 might enjoy is fair game! We'll have a representative from TBSS at the Hyatt to take the donations back to their offices, where you'll have played a part in possibly the best thing to ever happen to these children - this camp changes their lives.

    Some donation suggestions:
    Snack Items (granola bars, sugar free mints/gum, etc.)
    Beanie Babies or similar small stuffed animals
    Small puzzles, toys, or games
    Small journals or notepads
    Decals and stickers

    It should be possible to donate money as well - we are working on the best way to accept PayPal or debit cards at the event itself - but really item donation is preferred. It's less paperwork and a little easier to keep track of in general.

    I'll post a new thread with more details and information when it's final this week, but I know people were wanting an update! It's happening, folks!

    Steph


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