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San Antonio Nerd Night Pre-PAX Game Night

dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
edited January 19 in PAX South
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Join San Antonio Nerd Night as we get ready for PAX South with a night of gaming on THURSDAY, JANUARY 26!

Our board game blowout will be from 7pm - 2am at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, right next door to the Convention Center. We'll be located on the 3rd floor in the Travis Rooms, right after you get off the escalator. Bring your favorite board games and come Game for Good with us as we support an awesome local nonprofit, the Texas Burn Survivor Society.

We will be collecting items to stuff backpacks for the kids of Camp David, a week-long summer camp for pediatric burn survivors (ages 7-16) and their siblings. Camp is provided free of charge to these families and is a life-changing experience for the kids who attend. Please bring snack items (think granola bars, cracker packs, etc), pocket sized puzzles, small games, small stuffed animals, notebooks, etc. Anything that will fit in a backpack! These items will be collected and taken back to TBSS's offices, ready to be distributed this June at the 22nd annual Camp David!

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We're planning extra shenanigans as I type this, so come prepared to have a good time. If you are a game publisher and wish to donate a game to the silent auction, please private message me!

Important note: The hotel prohibits outside food. However, there are several food options inside the hotel, and we have purposefully chosen a 7pm start time so people can plan to eat dinner beforehand. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Looking forward to meeting all of you and hope to make this a yearly event :)

-Stephanie

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Posts

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    This sounds fantastic. Spacious and convenient. Being so close to the action, I expect it will fill up really fast. So I encourage folks to arrive early.

    I'm going to make every effort to attend. And if I do, I'd like to bring some of my newest games. I like bringing stuff that hasn't been out long, so it's new to myself and others (avoiding anyone having an advantage). To that end, I'm strongly considering Herbaceous and Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia. I might also bring Crisis and/or Xenoshyft: Dreadmire. All four are very recent Kickstarter arrivals, and I'm still learning them myself. If anyone has any interest in playing, let me know. That will affect what I bring. Zombicide: Black Plague is also lots of fun, though it's been out for almost a year. That one is easy to teach, and I'm quite familiar with it.

    Another reason for mentioning specific games is that it gives people a chance to familiarize themselves with the rules in advance. There are good instructional videos out there for all the games I mentioned. And the more people know, the less time we need to spend going through the rule books (and more time gaming!). When I'm flying or driving to an event, I tend to watch Rodney Smith's channel to get up to speed on new games. :)

    I have a big collection with a lot of variety, so I'm also open to requests. Who knows? I might have it. I also have heavier games that would require a commitment in advance for me to bring. Things like Trickerion. People would need to at least skim the rules before sitting down for that one or it'll take all night. Also, I'll likely have these games handy all weekend and may be available to meet up in the free play area at various times (mainly depending on my panel schedule).

    dragnsteph
  • MartossMartoss Registered User regular
    Looking forward to this, hope we can attract a good turnout.

    Question: What kind of food/drink is available from the hotel? And are outside drinks prohibited as well?

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Martoss wrote: »
    Question: What kind of food/drink is available from the hotel? And are outside drinks prohibited as well?

    Yeah, I'm kind of curious what the exact verbage was on that. We got a similar warning when we did our event, but they didn't say anything when my staff and I would wander in with a container of takeout from a local fast food place. Then again, there were only a handful of us, not 100+ people. I'm guessing they are mostly worried about cleanup and less worried about some kind of lost revenue. I'll operate under the assumption that a water bottle or resealable soda (screw top), maybe kept in a backpack or game bag when not being used, will be fine. And I always bring candy for the table when I play. Plopping down with a big basket of hot wings with extra sauce might not go over so well. 8-)

    The only hotel food option I can comment on are the nachos in the bar downstairs (right next to the outside entrance to the main theatre). They are fantastic. But way too messy for gaming. There are also lots of new food options in the convention center (which wraps around the hotel now), and many of them are packaged "to go", but I'm guessing the hotel would still consider that "outside food".

    If the hotel was smart, they'd send a couple of servers from the restaurant to Travis and at least offer basic drink service. Maybe appetizers. I wonder if we could order room service? :D

  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    I might just be dense and/or unobservant, but to clarify, what is the date for this? I would assume the 26th into the morning of the 27th by default, but I don't see it explicitly mentioned anywhere and the calendar on the website is blank, so I wanted to check and be sure.

    And this sounds awesome by the way, will definitely be there.

    Malgaras on
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  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Hah. Good point. Yes, Thursday the 26th until 2AM on the 27th. PAX has a hard start date of Friday morning, so the "Pre-PAX" designation means before Friday. But an actual calendar date is a good idea.

  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    One more question, will there be any way to donate money directly at the event? Coming by airplane, I can probably put some of the smaller, more "resilient" items in a suitcase, but in general, it's far easier for me to pack $X than $X worth of snacks, toys, and notebooks.

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    PAX East 2017 Status: COMPLETE!
    PAX West 2017 Status: Bobcat[ X ] Vacation[ _ ]
    3DS: 0946-2465-9686 XBL: Gespo Steam:Malgaras
  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Although I'm not one of the organizers, they did make this comment in the old thread:
    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.

    Also, if they do manage to put together a silent auction, one would assume they have to have a way to collect the winning bids.

  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Har, yes, the event is on Thursday. Sorry. I'll edit the original post.

    Food -- MEALS -- are a hard no. I would imagine if you had candy in your backpack or a water bottle, no one is going to say anything, but fast food, etc is not allowed. Exact verbiage from the contract: "No food or beverage of any kind will be permitted to be brought into the Hotel by the Customer or any of the
    Customers guests or invitees."

    There is a 24-hour coffee/sandwich place called Perks and Bar Rojo (a bar, obviously, with small plates -- pizzas, salads, tacos) is open til 1am. There's a Ruth's Chris in the hotel as well. I'm not sure what the policy on takeout from there is, but I'm having a hard time imagining eating steak while gaming?

    Honestly, I would recommend eating dinner beforehand and just relying on the hotel for snacks and drinks. It would have been nice to do food, and maybe another year we'll have a bigger space and do catering :P but no funds for it this year. There will be water stations at the event. I will ask about room service :P it seems like they might be confused if you ordered it, but I don't see why it wouldn't be allowed.

    As for money donations - we will have a card swipe system set up for the silent auction that could also be used to take donations, but if it's at all possible to bring items, please do. It's just simpler for us and for TBSS, and with the amount of people we are expecting, dealing with money could get hairy.

    I'm glad to see so many people interested in attending! We're looking forward to it :)

    dragnsteph on
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  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    japester wrote: »
    Martoss wrote: »
    Question: What kind of food/drink is available from the hotel? And are outside drinks prohibited as well?

    Yeah, I'm kind of curious what the exact verbage was on that. We got a similar warning when we did our event, but they didn't say anything when my staff and I would wander in with a container of takeout from a local fast food place. Then again, there were only a handful of us, not 100+ people. I'm guessing they are mostly worried about cleanup and less worried about some kind of lost revenue.

    The way it works at west and east is that people spend enough on food and drinks to make it worthwhile for the hotel to give us the space for free. Even if that's not how it's working here this year, showing that the group will spend money (and adhere to the hotel's requests) makes it more likely they will let us have the event again in future years.

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  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    punzie wrote: »
    [
    The way it works at west and east is that people spend enough on food and drinks to make it worthwhile for the hotel to give us the space for free. Even if that's not how it's working here this year, showing that the group will spend money (and adhere to the hotel's requests) makes it more likely they will let us have the event again in future years.

    Agreed. Although the hotel needs to provide a way for us to spend money (aside from whatever rental fee San Antonio Nerd Night generously paid) to demonstrate that this can be a revenue generator. People wandering down to the hotel restaurant, for example, won't register as related revenue associated with this event. If they were smart, they'd at least load a room service car with sodas on ice and sell them periodically to the room. I'm sure plenty of people would pay the hotel markup on such items just for the convenience of staying in their seat and continuing their game uninterrupted.

    punzie
  • nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    I noticed that both SANN and TBSS accept donations online. I loses a little something when you can't present a bag of goodies (both for the giver and the recipient - it just feels more "real"), but if you are flying in it is still a way to contribute. I don't want to take the shine off the event, but it looks like something to consider.

  • StinkyTurdStinkyTurd Registered User regular
    Hmmm thinking of bringing deception murder Hong Kong a personal fave, house on the hill, and maybe a few fluxx's to loan out.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    StinkyTurd wrote: »
    Hmmm thinking of bringing deception murder Hong Kong a personal fave, house on the hill, and maybe a few fluxx's to loan out.

    Betrayal at House on the Hill is great. Played it for the first time at South '15. Bought a copy and then got it signed by Mike Selinker at South '16! It was one of my favorite stories from last year. Short version: I gave up an autograph session with Mike so I could hook up with some fellow PAX forum-goers and teach them Blood Rage. Great people whom I'd never met before. Partway through our game, they start yelling over my shoulder. Turns out Mike was passing by, and they grabbed him and asked him to sign my game (which I had on me). THAT'S the kind of thing that defines the PAX experience for me. Awesome people being awesome to each other.

  • QuickAndDirtyGamesQuickAndDirtyGames We make offensively fun party games Registered User regular
    Hey all, Quick And Dirty Games will be at this games night (and PAX South booth #10209). We'll actually be playtesting a prototype new strategy game we're working on, that should appeal to serious and casual board gamers alike. It's got real strategic depth for serious gamers, but can also be played in a more light hearted manner as a drinking game. We'll also have copies of our original party game Quick And Dirty if anyone wants to play. Our crew will be wearing Quick And Dirty shirts, so just stop any of us if you'd like to play!

    Cheers,
    Jeff - Founder @ Quick And Dirty Games LLC

    dragnstephGeekOutSA
  • Cid29Cid29 Registered User regular
    Where is the best place to park for this event?

    Xbox Live: Cid29
    dragnsteph
  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    Cid29 wrote: »
    Where is the best place to park for this event?

    It's in the hotel that the convention center wraps around. So the closest would be the Grand Hyatt underground garage. But they are pricey. There is a garage across the street called the Marina Garage or Convention Center Parking that is reasonable but often full. Beyond that there are a dozen lots all around that are just a few minute's walk away.

  • nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    On pace to get there around 9, how are the crowds looking?

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    It was loads of fun. Plenty of room. It filled up, but not every single seat. So some of us got to spread out a little and enjoy the elbow room. It was great meeting Jordan, Jared, Joel, and Matthew for our game of Masmorra.

    dragnsteph
  • chellerschellers New HampshireRegistered User regular
    Had lots of fun! Hope the kids got lots of donations

    dragnsteph
  • MartossMartoss Registered User regular
    This was an absolute blast, I hope we get to do this again next year. Getting to donate to a great cause was the cherry on top.

    Does anyone know how much was donated in total?

    dragnsteph
  • CaspernatorCaspernator Registered User new member
    Yeah this was a ton of fun, got in some great games of Secret Hitler and codenames. Honestly one of my favorite parts of this trip.

    dragnsteph
  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    So this should show you how often I hit this forum, heh.

    We're working on this for January now! Took a lot of good feedback from last year and the event should be even bigger and better.

    We raised just over $800 in cash donations and silent auction money, and after paying off the last of the venue expenses, made a $600 donation to Texas Burn Survivor Society :) Look for more info on 2018's game night next month!

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  • jeffrsnbghjeffrsnbgh Houston, TXRegistered User new member
    edited September 23
    Really looking forward to this - great opportunity to bathe new attendees in the PAX South experience. I'll be bringing several n00b friends this year.

    Cheers!
    dragnsteph wrote: »
    So this should show you how often I hit this forum, heh.

    We're working on this for January now! Took a lot of good feedback from last year and the event should be even bigger and better.

    We raised just over $800 in cash donations and silent auction money, and after paying off the last of the venue expenses, made a $600 donation to Texas Burn Survivor Society :) Look for more info on 2018's game night next month!

    jeffrsnbgh on
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    mnemonictutordragnsteph
  • mnemonictutormnemonictutor A Mnemonic Tutor in Silicon Valley Mountain View, CARegistered User regular
    I plan to attend as well. Can't wait to see all the fellow Paxen this year, down south!

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    RILMSdragnsteph
  • PuritysanPuritysan thePuritysan San Antonio, TXRegistered User regular
    If there's a way to make it happen, I have the Jackbox Party Pack 1-3 (and soon to be 4 once it releases on the 17) and can run that. I'd just need a tv or a projector to hook up to. :)

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    dragnsteph
  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    So we are working on securing a location for this year's Game Night - and we're coming up against a couple of options. We're working on donated space, but we couldn't get it last year so I'm not counting on it. We're looking for a larger space and it's going to be (most likely) more expensive.

    Our less expensive option is actually inside the Henry B (the convention center) - the problem is food. No outside food allowed, as they have a strict contract with their pricey caterer. So... how strongly do people feel about being able to eat at the event? Strongly enough to chip in (maybe by buying a wristband or something) for us to provide food? or would you all rather be on your own?

    If we get hotel space at either discounted or donated rates, the food situation would be the same as last year - it can be purchased within the hotel and brought to the gaming space but again, no outside food.

    What I don't want is to cut into the good we can do for our charity by spending more money than is necessary to put on a good event. We're searching for sponsorships which will help, but that's nothing we can count on. Looking for feedback from the people who enjoyed the event last year, please! Let me know your thoughts.

    Steph

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  • Christopher HuffChristopher Huff Registered User regular
    I didn't come last time, but am interested in attending next year's event. I have no problem eating before the event, but if I were to stay there long, I may get the munchies which could be a problem with option A with a strict no food policy. I don't really have a problem with buying snacks/drinks and what-not at hotel rates since I budget that stuff in on my vacation trips. I'm kind of eh on the catering part considering I don't know what they have to offer, but if its gonna be pricey, it better be some good food. I didn't eat at the convention center last PAX so I don't know the level of quality of their food.

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  • StinkyTurdStinkyTurd Registered User regular
    I didn't come last time, but am interested in attending next year's event. I have no problem eating before the event, but if I were to stay there long, I may get the munchies which could be a problem with option A with a strict no food policy. I don't really have a problem with buying snacks/drinks and what-not at hotel rates since I budget that stuff in on my vacation trips. I'm kind of eh on the catering part considering I don't know what they have to offer, but if its gonna be pricey, it better be some good food. I didn't eat at the convention center last PAX so I don't know the level of quality of their food.

    Don't get the convention center pizza.

  • mnemonictutormnemonictutor A Mnemonic Tutor in Silicon Valley Mountain View, CARegistered User regular
    Food in general is what I would call edible. As with most mass-market venues, it is whatever the cooks can make from ingredients from Aramark or Sysco. If you have excellent cooks, they can make some awesome stuff, but rarely does that happen. You often get such classics as reconstituted beef hamburgers and less than 50% milk cheese pizza, etc. It is a step up from prison food - which also has to be edible by law - but not much better. I will say this, though. Last South, they had some Mexican food in the convention center food areas (off to the back corners) and it was actually decent. Not great, mind you, but definitely a step up from the rest of the food. I can only assume they had better cooks that year that knew the cuisine.

    Aside from that, catered food in general often falls into the same category - edible. I would highly recommend that we try to secure a venue that lets us bring our own food in, or have it delivered (e.g. pizza). This will be much more affordable in terms of the food, better in terms of the food quality, and allows for a wider range of foods to meet dietary needs. As some of us gamers are getting older, our doctors are on our ass about not taking in too much salt, or sugar, or alcohol, etc. lol

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  • UnimatrixZeroUnimatrixZero Cult Leader / Cosplay Photographer El Paso, TXRegistered User regular
    edited October 17
    Do you all have a facebook event up for next year yet? Hotel seems to be a preferable option, but anything would be fine, food or without.

    UnimatrixZero on
  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    We don't have a Facebook event as the venue is still fluid. Trying to nail down enough details by the end of the month to start promoting it for reals.

    The catered food would be a step up from the "general" available food, we've been kicking around things like a Fajita or Pasta bar option. It'd probably be approximately $15/person, which is honestly less than you'd most likely spend eating downtown, unless you went for Whataburger (a completely understandable choice). We just wouldn't want to absorb this cost, obviously, as a large point of the event is to collect donations for the charity.

    As to the suggestion about bringing in our own food or ordering pizza: There are _no_ downtown venues that I have been able to locate that allow this and also meet our other criteria. Specifically, close to the Henry B (walking distance) and large enough to seat 200+ at tables. All of these venues are associated with hotels and require you eat hotel food, or are a part of the convention center itself (see above discussion).

    Nerd Night has space at Geekdom, and use of their downtown event centre at no charge -- however, this space is not walking-close to the convention center and 2 years ago when it was held there, people felt it was too crowded and too difficult to get around with doors being locked and such (I wasn't there, but my feeling is that it was actually most likely in the Rand building, and not the event centre... even so, that space really only holds about 80ish folks).

    Last year, we had water stations and people were on their own for food within (or without) the hotel. I didn't really feel like anyone was upset by this, but the policies are more restrictive at the Henry B and there won't likely be walk-up food available for purchase anywhere - you'd need to leave Game Night, go eat, then come back. Which is fine, if that's what people would prefer -- and we can also OFFER the food catering option and then if you don't have a food wristband, you're free to leave and come back once you've eaten -- but I didn't want anyone to feel we hadn't thought this through. The hotel is obviously more convenient for "on your own" food, and it's also within walking distance of the convention center (as they're connected), you just can't bring food back into Game Night if we have it in the Henry B.

    Anyway. Thanks everyone for your feedback! We're wanting to make this community event come off the way you guys would like to see it happen! So if you have other thoughts or suggestions please let me know.

    Steph

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