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Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future
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Anarchangel



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 2501
Location: Los Angeles (ex Wellington, ex Christchurch)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future Reply with quote

Hi guys,

McGig posted his thoughts on Buckets and SAGA on his LJ:

Quote:
Buckets of Dice is over with. Seeing as how I was on the SAGA committee and helped with BoD, I have come to a new realisation of how much BoD is a shambles every year and its miraculous it even gets off the ground sometimes. Something needs to be done I think in regards to the slowly diminishing number of people that bother to show up these days. Perhaps just a more aggressive bit of advertising?


I commented:

Quote:
I wouldn't say it's a shambles every year, but it certainly suffers from being run by a constantly changing team of people with no real experience of running cons. In terms of the diminishing numbers, it's a difficult problem. I suspect developing more of a convention culture might help, I think there is room for a couple of cons in Christchurch without courting GM burnout. It would also be good if people in the Christchurch roleplaying community were more involved, both physically, in terms of cons and actual play, and in talking about things, possibly on an electronic forum. That's why I petitioned the NZRaG admins for a SAGA board on that forum. Getting more people involved there would also help forge ties with the Wellington roleplaying community, which can only be a good thing, IMO. We usually have a couple of Wellingtonians come down for BoD, and it would be nice to see more. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do regarding the actual gaming in Christchurch, but if there's anything electronic I can do, and I have time, I'm happy to help.


My own BoD report is here. In particular:

Quote:
Overall, Buckets was a little smaller than usual, continuing a trend of recent years, but was as fun as always. There was a reasonable crowd up from Dunedin, but a lack of other out-of-towners. I was the only Wellington attendee this year, if I count as such! There was an interesting phenomenon regarding GMs, whereby there were fewer than usual (only four scheduled, six eventuated), but most of us had originally offered to run a game in every session. It was particularly good to see that the mantle of live-game running has been successfully passed on, and as usual, it seems the Live game organisers had percolated an interesting idea for next year by the end of the con. As always, it would be nice to see more out-of-town attendees, and likewise, it would be nice to see a wider range of Cantabrians head north for events up here. The GMs on display this year were all Buckets veterans, although a few regulars were notably absent, and it would be good to see a few new faces stepping up. If I was still in town I might try a second con along the lines of CONfusion (one day, three sessions), with the intention of trying to get some new blood in the GMing pool.


It would be great to get some discussion of these things going on, in any forum (and I use the term broadly).

The old SAGA forums died through lack of use. Why? Is there no desire in Christchurch for an internet community? Am I completely off-base in thinking that this would help SAGA in general and BoD in particular? Is BoD not relevant to the people who know about it, but don't attend? Are we interested in a small-mid-sized con which BoD has become?
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McGig



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Christchurch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised that after how long of inactivity I'm still logged into the NZRag automatically. But yes, as a member on the committee and someone hoping to continue through into next years committee I would love to hear of any suggestions for improving and increasing BoD and SAGA as well.

Personally there is a sense of the change of guard in progress and being let down some by a general feeling of apathy. What do others think? I would personally love to hear comments and suggestions and such so we can kick BoD next year in the pants and get it really moving.
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lunaticvermin



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would really help if things actually fell into place earlier, so we could actually tell people what the Grand Strat is going to be about.
Might help avoid the whole booking mixup, too.
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Anarchangel



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lunaticvermin wrote:
It would really help if things actually fell into place earlier, so we could actually tell people what the Grand Strat is going to be about.
Might help avoid the whole booking mixup, too.


Things don't fall into place, they are organised into place.

Next year, I'm going to have at least some of my game blurbs ready for a flyer to be sent to Kapcon.

Start working on the Grand Strat and the Live game now. It's easy to do well if you get started early. A few years back at the AGM, we created a sub-committee to organise BoD consisting of the next years committee, so that they could start booking things and spending money in an official capacity, essentially.
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Javelin



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
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Location: Christchurch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future Reply with quote

Anarchangel wrote:

The old SAGA forums died through lack of use. Why? Is there no desire in Christchurch for an internet community? Am I completely off-base in thinking that this would help SAGA in general and BoD in particular? Is BoD not relevant to the people who know about it, but don't attend? Are we interested in a small-mid-sized con which BoD has become?


Interestingly enough, just before reading this I was perusing the South Island Wargaming Forums which seem to be thriving. This combined with the fact that Christchurch now boasts three annual Wargaming cons (Warclouds, Tempest and Conquest - all well attended) while (as you note above) BoD seems to keep shrinking does make me wonder if interest in Roleplaying (or at least in Roleplaying cons) is now seriously lacking in Christchurch.
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McGig wrote:
I'm surprised that after how long of inactivity I'm still logged into the NZRag automatically.


You can check out, but you can never leave... Twisted Evil


McGig wrote:
Personally there is a sense of the change of guard in progress and being let down some by a general feeling of apathy. What do others think? I would personally love to hear comments and suggestions and such so we can kick BoD next year in the pants and get it really moving.


There definitely is a changing of the guard, as tends to be the case every 5 years or so. I'm not sure why there would be a feeling of apathy though, it should be exciting: new ideas, new people, etc, etc...

Don't feel constrained by tradition, experiment with the format if necessary, switch things around. This year's effort was a solid baseline performance which can be improved on.

When is the AGM? Any idea who'll be standing for next year's committee? You by the sound of it? Also, if anyone is excited about Buckets but not about being on the SAGA committee, then get them on board anyway.
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Mashugenah
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Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A major disincentive for flying down are things like Anarchangel's report that one of his Saturday games was flagged due to poor organization.

If you want people to turn up, you need to
1. Let the public know! There was almost no advertizing in Wellington for BoD.

2. Provide quality gaming.

3. Things run smoothly.

Have you guys read Dan L'Estrange's summary of the Aus Con system? You should have a look (it's in the General Chat area), because there are a lot of great ideas there.

And also, if CHCH people come up to Wellington for CONfusion, Fright Night, the May Larp or KapCon, they need to be telling Wellington people how awesome BoD is.
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Anarchangel



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future Reply with quote

Javelin wrote:

Interestingly enough, just before reading this I was perusing the South Island Wargaming Forums which seem to be thriving. This combined with the fact that Christchurch now boasts three annual Wargaming cons (Warclouds, Tempest and Conquest - all well attended) while (as you note above) BoD seems to keep shrinking does make me wonder if interest in Roleplaying (or at least in Roleplaying cons) is now seriously lacking in Christchurch.


I had noticed that. None of these events clash with Buckets, so I don't see why there can't be some serious overlap. Next year, the organisers should be sure to post an ad in the Chchwargaming forums if they didn't this year.

Do you know of any roleplayers who have given up roleplaying for wargaming?

Does anyone ever post there about roleplaying?
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anarchangel wrote:

When is the AGM? Any idea who'll be standing for next year's committee? You by the sound of it? Also, if anyone is excited about Buckets but not about being on the SAGA committee, then get them on board anyway.


I have a few ideas for things I might personally do for Buckets next year too. I'll try to get in contact with a committee member after the AGM, but if I forget, they should poke me.
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Javelin



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future Reply with quote

Anarchangel wrote:

Do you know of any roleplayers who have given up roleplaying for wargaming?


No one that I'm aware of, I don't think there's any direct clash, just an interesting correlation.

Quote:
Does anyone ever post there about roleplaying?


Yeah, there is a roleplaying sub forum there which seems to have a similar number of recent topics to the SAGA subforum here. Definitely somewhere to advertise BoD in the future.
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Adrexia



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
A major disincentive for flying down are things like Anarchangel's report that one of his Saturday games was flagged due to poor organization.

If you want people to turn up, you need to
1. Let the public know! There was almost no advertizing in Wellington for BoD.

2. Provide quality gaming.

3. Things run smoothly.

Have you guys read Dan L'Estrange's summary of the Aus Con system? You should have a look (it's in the General Chat area), because there are a lot of great ideas there.

And also, if CHCH people come up to Wellington for CONfusion, Fright Night, the May Larp or KapCon, they need to be telling Wellington people how awesome BoD is.


I would say number 3 is the most important for people coming from out of town - at least in terms of what the organisers can do. Buckets got a bad rep when they postponed a couple of years ago. I know there was a pretty good reason for that, but big events (such as Buckets was at the time) can't postpone and not expect to cope flack for it. Some of the more organised people had already booked tickets and such.

Also, I pimped buckets lots a little while ago... and I distinctly remember Mash complaining that Buckets wasn't that good - because of a con he went to in the 90's. Twisted Evil

Some of my best roleplaying experiences have been at Buckets. Heh. My first roleplaying game ever was at buckets. But I still didn't go this year. Partly it was because I had forgotten that it was on. Partly it's because the past two years haven't been as fun as the years before that. Oh, and I've developed that special brand of Wellington apathy that applies to any roleplaying con that means I have to leave the city for the weekend. Wink
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5monkeys



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adrexia wrote:
Oh, and I've developed that special brand of Wellington apathy that applies to any roleplaying con that means I have to leave the city for the weekend. Wink


That sounds exactly like the localized Chch apathy which prevents me from leaving Chch (and spelling Christchurch).
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5monkeys



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a thought on the whole online community thing...

To me this board always felt to be a Wellington board. It's a foreign board, full of foreign people (with two eyes... ew!) . When you just want to talk to your mates or/and better aquaintences (butcher that word! go, go!) about games you do so either in person or on LJ. Or, even (god forbid) the SAGA list. If I want to go to an online biard to watch strangers talk about games I go to RPG.net.

What does NZRaG have to offer for the Chch board goer?
(eh, that'll do)

[Hey look, I put this in the entirely wrong place. Oops, I'm sure it will get to the right people though. Maybe I should just go and buy milk and beer, and leave the poor internet alone.]
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5monkeys wrote:

What does NZRaG have to offer for the Chch board goer?


If 4-5 Christchurch people start posting here, bam, it's a national board with a significant proportion of Christchurch gamers.

Conversation with "local" (Yes, Wellington counts as local) gamers whose games you have a reasonable likelihood of being able to play.

Eventually, they cease being strange foreigner and just become strange mates and/or better acquaintances.

Lower traffic conversation than RPGnet (it's a feature rather than a pro or a con)

And on the meta-level, it builds community and could result in better local cons.
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole BoD problem is an exercise in diminishing returns. A poor con leads to less interest, and less people ready to do things the next year, and so on. We get saved at the moment by the dedicated Dunedin people who come up (awesome people, good players to be around).

And now that Hamish, me, Tony, Kirk, Tim, and the others are taking a back seat either due to living in another country or being too busy, we have found few people stepping up. Alan, Mark and Jan are just about it as far as the younger crowd taking responsibility goes.

My personal list of what I think we need is:

1) We need more buy-in from the local players so they attend and lead on to being GM's in later years.

2) We need confirmed room bookings for timing 5 months in advance minimum for advertising. Same goes for Gm's blurbs, Larp and Grand Strat.

Getting the first is awkward. We probably need to speak more to locals, build it up months in advance, consistently telling people it's on. When our secondary sponsor, Comics, didn't even know it was on when I went in on Thursday to buy stuff, I had to wonder a little. Repetition is probably the key. Strength of local players does more for the con in the long term than targetting wellington players, imho.

I wonder if all it takes is the BoD organisers to talk about BoD and its planning on an open forum like this, so everyone see's progress? Regular updates to members, etc.

In other news, this keyboard is ass and I keep missing letters.
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