MACE 2002 Review

MACE 2002 Review

As much as I would like to scream and yell about how good it was, my personal experience was a disappointment. But really that has nothing to do with the Con. The CON went well. In fact, there were VERY few complaints. And many people complimented on the Con as well as the hotel. It really was a fun time. And I even won at Lord of the Rings Risk.

Good points:

  • Deadlands went off well. Good attendance and they even worked through the entire plot. All that hard work and badgering of Jonathan, Chris and Chris paid off. Thanks to Chris, Chris and Jonathan
  • RPGA, the Vampire LARP and most of my general gaming was well attended. The Vampire LARP was an amazing success thanks to all thsoe at Ivanhoe
  • Higher estimated attendance than last year.
  • Higher Auction Attendance
  • Despite initial confusion, the raffle ticket system worked out OK.
  • D&D Dungeon Survival was a great success, thanks to Matt.
  • Big Board Diplomacy was well attended and a success
  • We gave away a lot of STUFF
  • We even made the local newspaper. The High Point Enterprise

So I can’t complain a lot. However, I really think I set higher hopes than was realiztically possible. Maybe because I had so much fun at MACE 2001 that I wanted to be bigger and better than that. And it was bigger, but not as big as I wanted it to be.

Bad points

  • Blake. ‘Nuff said. His attempts to bring Magic, Warhammer/40K and Warzone people to the Con failed. He didn’t even show to the Con. MACE was disappointed with his efforts and will not have him or his Magic Judge back again.
  • Lack of participation in some eventsincluding some GMs and special events. Killer was the one that bothered me the most. This requires better handling.
  • Other people did not bring the people they said they could bring, for whatever reasonWarzone, Games Workshop, Diplomacy, Magic. I had high expectations for all of them and all of the crumbled before my eyes.

I am disappointed in my reaction to the slow flow in people and wish I can go back and change it.

I realize now that I made mistakes this weekend, because of my initial expectations and mood. I really lost most of my passion for doing any work by Sat morning because of the lack of flow of people and this hurt the Con. I let the whole Blake thing, the Warzone thing, the Diplomacy group and Killer get to me so bad that I couldn’t get the gumpshin to try and recruit Killer players or anything like that. One of my Gms sent an e-mail to the group that makes some sense… we need someone to walk up and down the halls calling for players for games that are about to start. I could have done that, if I was a little more happier with the turn out.

Overall, things went great, but I wanted things to go better. Lessons learned

  • More open gaming space and a better pick up game announcement system. There were A LOT of pick-up games. Separate pick-up sign-up book, and posters. Allow them to write in their game.
  • I am going to have to have stronger communication with those GMs that are considered “official demonstrators” like the war lords and bounty hunters. Prize support and convention support will be obtained through Jeff Smith from now on.
  • Those GMs that consider themselves a part of a “networked game” modelled after the RPGA or whatever should consider the fact that non-RPGA gamers expect pre-gen’d characters. I do NOT like to see character gen sessions taking place in a game session. However we can designate a session for character generation for your network games, but you should allow for the option of a demo/non-network game to try to attract people into the network campaign. Many non-RPGA players are non-RPGA players because of the hassle of network games at Cons.
  • The raffle ticket system work good and we may end up doing that more but explain the system a little better next year.
  • More board games. I think board games will always continue to do better.
  • Special events needs to be handled better. Killer was not well attended and that might be because a number of reasons, but primarily I didn’t push for it at the reg table. I need to push the concept of playing more than one game at once.
  • I need to take a look at Those games that didn’t get a lot of players. I need to see if we can find a game system or an approach that will work better next year.
  • One thing is for sure, we will be having the auction back in the big ball room, so we may end up asking those Gms in there to end early for us to set up. That might be easier because most of the open gaming space will be in that large room.
  • Groups of GMsI will no longer allow people to soully manage their own group of GMs. I want to be on contact with them as well. So when a GM is part of a group or demo team, I want contact information for all them. E-mail and/or phone. They will be subscribed to this list as well.
  • I will need to get more contact information from everyone for all my cons. At times, e-mail isn’t enough. So I will need phone numbers from every one next year, as well as for StellarCona and ConCarolinas.
  • Whiteboard or something for people to announce their short-scenario special annoucements onplayers needed for… this game is about to start at …
  • Cut back to one or two “new” or “risky” things a years. This year I went with Deadlands LARP, Killer, all-weekend Warhammer Events, all-weekend Magic Events, all-weekend Mage Knight Events, and all-weekend Diplomacy events, Big board Diplomacy, and Kid’s program. That’s 8, and only3 really were successful. Next year Deadlands can be one and I’ll do one more… maybe Killer again. But that’s it. The Big Board can run, maybe.
  • Jeff Change: Auction at 6:30 unitl 8:30. Next game session (Session 5) 9 PM until 1 AM.
  • Jeff Change: Possible all night gaming (no security needed if no animals)

I hate that I was not always positive about things. I hate that I just about ruined the weekend for myself. I tried to change that but everytime I looked back at the emtpy space in the bacl of the ball room, I got more mad. I can handle one or two things going wrong, but as they mounted to more than that, I got more upset. I know that all this Blake stuff would just about ruin the weekend for me. And I let it. So I can blame only myself for that.

Next year, I will not let that happen.

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