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Constructive Feedback - Unplugged 2017

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Posts

  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    In the Yahtzee tournament, the enforcer running it seemed to wing how much they were to play each round and didn't know anything about the game itself. They wound up playing 3 games instead of 6 per round because it would've taken forever.

    As the [E] who ran this, I'll take responsibility for the change mid-stream, but: My original plan was 6 games (a full card) per round, and when it became clear that this wasn't happening at the same pace for all 4 groups, we cut it to 3 games after discussion. I apologize that you felt this was haphazard - we had a schedule to maintain and I needed to ensure that people participating in the tournament could make it to other things they might have wanted to do afterward. I think, though, most people had a really good time - I'm sorry you didn't have that experience. I'm not sure how this indicates I 'didn't know anything' about Yahtzee :P We were adapting on the fly to try and ensure the most people have the most fun. Since that's our job.

    S

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  • escape908escape908 Quality Manager Yonkers, NYRegistered User regular
    I think by now we all know that the RPGs need to be overhauled. I add my voice to that sentiment. Let me add a few points contrary to or left out by the other posters in this forum.

    1. The Enforcers were incredibly friendly and often, but not always helpful. Half the time talking to an Enforcer was the worst way to get information at the convention. Not only did they not have the correct information, but they were actively spreading bad information to the convention goers.

    Specifically in the RPG area, they seemed to have no idea what was going on. On multiple occasions they tried to derail me from where I needed to go and direct to the exact places I did not want to be.

    We all know D&D was a huge fiasco, and the Enforcers did their best to try and mitigate it. Also on Saturday, all of the other RPG sign-ups were a nightmare too. (Friday, on the other hand, wasn’t bad at all as long as you got there early and knew what you were doing). But the Enforcers seemed to have no idea that anything other than D&D or the “main” RPG sign-ups were going on. Specifically, they seemed completely ignorant of the Indie RPGs On-Demand (which was amazing; more on that later) or the Bully Pulpit Games Sampler going on in the same area.

    Having been there on Friday and gone through the whole sign-up process, I knew exactly where to go and what to do which had nothing to do with the insane lines for the other RPG events. Despite this, the Enforcers kept trying to force me into the D&D or RPG sign-up lines, when I really need to get on the Indie RPG line or go to the Bully Pulpit sign-up.

    I was all for following the rules and queuing up where I needed to, but the Enforcers kept trying to force me into the wrong line. Luckily, I brushed them off and went to where I needed to be. I know someone else mentioned benefiting from the chaos that was clearly hurting other people, and that was definitely my experience because I actively ignored the directions of the Enforcers which I knew to be incorrect.

    I don't blame the Enforcers, they were only trying to help, but they had bad information!

    2. Related to incorrect queues and sign-ups, a friend was meeting me there on Saturday and somehow got wrangled into the “river of people” on the 2nd floor which drove everyone into the Exhibitor Hall when he really needed to be on the 1st floor signing up for RPGs with me. I had to make my way up to him and drag him down to the RPG area because no one knew it existed or how to get to it (that one escalator leads to RPG heaven while the other leads to marathon hell was a real kick in the pants).

    All the while, every sign or Enforcer kept directing him to the wrong location, and I had to drag him past every questioning Enforcer to the correct queue for the Indie games.

    Everywhere else, Enforcers were very helpful, and I really appreciated their efforts! They just did not have right queue information.

    3. The noise in the RPG room was insane. Friday night was absolute madness with all these screaming tables. I was at a Call of Cthulhu game with a soft-spoken GM, and I could only hear every 3rd word being said. Definitely need more space and some way to cut down on the noise.

    4. Also more freeplay RPG area, please! The con needed way more GMs, and I stupidly forgot to bring some RPGs with me since I figured I’d be too busy gaming, but there was nowhere to even play if I had unless I setup in the middle of a hallway somewhere.

    5. In addition to more RPG variety, can there be some non Adventurer’s League D&D??? I would have loved to play a little D&D without getting all mixed up into the DDAL nightmare. I don’t want to bring a character, I just want to sit down and play a one-off with some strangers and have fun.

    6. Related to that, why so many tournaments? So not interested in competitive tabletop gaming. We needed more organized, casual gaming. (I realize that sounds a little contradictory, but basically an area where X games are being played, sign-up to play/learn. I think the Learn to Play area was more newer games or indie games? Why not learn to play older games you’ve just never played before?)

    7. The app was really garbage as stated above by the other posters. Map useless, PAX XP useless, schedule useless (because recurring events were not properly listed on there), Digital Swag useless, and LFG useless.

    For LFG I want game description, number of players/slots open, location, and the option to join it from the app. What I got was a scroll of basically forum posts I’m trying to read on my app? Immediately closed out of it.

    Since most of the other functions were not useful to me, I never even looked at the Line feature. Maybe it would have been useful? I don’t know.

    Some additional comments, Friday and Sunday were great because they weren’t sold out. Saturday morning was Hell on Earth, the Lords of Chaos have risen. The rest of the day wasn’t too bad on Saturday, but yeah, some better organization to deal with the horde is needed.

    8. I am absolutely against a central queue or line-up. I’ve dealt with that before with one massive line to even enter the convention at PAX East for several years and good luck getting to anywhere you want to be.

    I loved that I could completely circumvent the second floor and go directly to the RPG area from the street. On Saturday there was an obnoxious queue to get to the queues which of course disintegrated by about 10:30 am making the whole thing pointless. Again, I benefitted from the chaos because a lot of the crowd was shunted in the line hell on the 2nd floor.

    I’m all for multiple queues for multiple areas so that you wait on line for exactly what you want to get to. Making me wait with everyone trying to get into DDAL when I want to be on the Indie RPG line is no good for anyone.

    9. I’m on the fence about the RPG pre-sign-up or tickets. I’ve mostly been to smaller conventions, and I’m not familiar with this system. Waiting on line or signing up first thing in the morning were not great, but if I really wanted to do something, I could wait in line and get into it. If everything was pre-reg before you even get there, then I don’t think that’s really fair to everyone either. Some pre-organization along the queue itself would have helped.

    I’m also vehemently against the line cutters and the one person signing up for a group. I benefitted from that system and also got burned by it at the con. I had two people in front of me on line that quickly became 8 people. All while I’m standing there patiently.

    I would strongly suggest maybe a survey prior to the con to gauge interest in the events and schedule them. If you know 600 people all want to play Call of Cthulhu at noon on Saturday, maybe you could better prepare for that? Or for example, a completely separate setup for DDAL which was insane?

    10. Freeplay area also could have benefitted from more space. I lucked into grabbing a table on Saturday through friends of friends, but it looked like a nightmare, and there did seem to be a lot of unused space there.

    11. Better signs and information for sure! There was zero information on bathrooms, water fountains, vending machines, or food at the convention! There was a whole 3rd floor of food I had to stumble into because it wasn’t on a map or PAX sign. That being said, great location for food outside the convention; incredibly convenient.

    So many complaints! I’m sorry! I would just love to see a great convention improved, so now let me gush about all the amazing things at the convention!

    It was a PAX! Endless lines for better or worse, but I have survived many a PAX East and came prepared. I made friends playing games on the lines which was great! Got exposed to some cool people and cool games, and I even went a bought a bunch of the great ones I discovered. PAX people are awesome! Everyone was super friendly and inviting. I had so much fun gaming and bullshitting with people.

    Indie RPGS On-Demand were amazing!!! Omg, that was the best part of the convention! I loved trying out all these cools games, many of which were highly improvisational, and it was the best time! I loved getting into some 2 hour game so I could try lots of different things and meet lots of different people. 4 hour games are great, but I wanted to play more, more, more! I didn’t catch who exactly was running that event or the relationship between the various games/GMs/developers, but they were all awesome! Thank you so much to those people! The woman running the table was working so hard and helping people out, hooray! So many fun players and GMs at those Indie RPGs, it was a blast! I really could have spent the whole convention there.

    It was a great space and location. Philly and that convention center are very convenient for me, and this is going to be my PAX from now on. I would much rather be gaming in Philly than Boston. Time of year was also perfect for me! Please don’t change! I loved getting to meet this Mid-Atlantic gaming community and also the people who were trekking in from across the country (you crazy, but I love you!)

    For a first time PAX, I thought it went really well. I feel bad for everyone who was trying to get into DDAL or got screwed over by the chaos of the event. I hope everyone was able to find some fun at the con.

    I think no matter what they plan or put together, PAX is always going to be what we, the attendees make it, so maybe the best thing PAXUP can do is help to facilitate that next year so that the community can step in to make a better experience for everyone.

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    mouseydew
  • BaytAlAzifBaytAlAzif Washington, DCRegistered User new member
    I ran 5 RPG games for Chaosium at PAX that had the sign up sheets on the table in the hall, and some interesting things happened.

    One, my first 10 am game somehow got rescheduled to noon (the time was crossed out on the sheet and changed, no one had any idea how this happened). So I had people coming back at noon, but no one for 10 am as I was standing there wondering why my table was empty. When I figured out what had happened and realized I had 2 hours with no players, I turned to the front of the line where people were looking at the sign up sheets and yelled "I need 6 players for a Call of Cthulhu rpg RIGHT NOW!" and the first 7 people in line all raised their hands. One person said it was the luckiest thing that had happened to her at PAX.

    Two, since my noon game had players but I was supposed to run ANOTHER Call of Cthulhu RPG at that time, we scrambled and found another Keeper to run the game, but now I had 4 players and no table in the designated RPG room. One of the Enforcers who was running the signup table said he'd find us a table, and he did, we all marched upstairs and played in the main hall at one of the super long tables. It was noisy, but I was super impressed by how well the Enforcer handled it and found us space. Thanks again!

    Third, due to the confusion in running down the second Keeper, I lost a player, and I again had to resort to plucking people out of the head of the signup line. Again, more people wanting to play than there were slots.

    Fourth, except for the late 10 pm slot Saturday night, EVERY game I ran (Friday, Sat and Sun) all the initial people who had signed up on those sheets showed up to play. I've been to GenCon and Origins and despite huge demands for some games (such as Call of Cthulhu) people would still not show up for games they had preregistered for and there'd be a few slots that someone else could have played in. That this almost never happened at PAX was a great sign! And again more sign of the demand for RPGs. And this one late game I didn't get all the first signups was quickly filled by the alternates.

    Fifth, looking at the signup sheets, very few of the alternates did list any way of contacting them. I saw one with a phone number to text, but that was it. So maybe someway to ask people to put a reliable way of contacting them if a slot opens up?

    So this was my first PAX of any sort. Had a really good time, the vibe was great, lots to look at, the dealer hall didn't feel crowded (good aisle size). I don't know how it could work, but some sort of LFG or DMs standing with signs of Game system and number of players worked really well in my two times I had to find players. If the tables were set aside for this, I think it could work really well.

    GundabadLackey
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