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Organisation Review and Suggestions
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MattCowens



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 654

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
you aint going to be the only GM wrangler - you'd have more help.


The organisation team has been expanding for several years. There are lots of people who help out and know the systems. Idiot is the mail handler and chief GM wrangler because he's awesome and it's very convenient to have one person process all the email so they know what's going on.

New hands are always welcome, but as Scott said he did desk duty for 2 rounds, Paul and Cat helped out with setup, during the con, Naomi, Nasia, and Stephanie took a round or two on the admin desk and others stepped in between rounds, Luke judged the SDC, and of course Nick ran the con Smile

Edit - which is to say, the team is probably big enough already to handle 3 days in a taking-turns way, though it may be advisable to get even more people to share the load.

Note: my preference is for 2 days
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Conan



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:

Sorry, I don't think I made my point clear. I don't want 3 days so that I have 3 days of straight gaming. Those that know me are probably aware that I can't do that anyways - I'm not looking to increase my gaming experience. I'm looking at increasing everyones gaming experience through opportunity for play.

Going to three days would hopefully mean that people DON'T go to all three days. Rather stick to their own two days of gaming (just a different two days to others). I'm sure that there will be people who want to stick it out for the whole 'con - I'm not one of them - but I'm also not one of those people who think that if its KapCon, I HAVE to be there. Or that KapCon won't run without me present.

Part of this is response to Morgues post about being "slick". Kapcon is still a 'con run by mates for mates, and I am getting the feeling that those mates expect to be there for the WHOLE experience - and are not willing to let the 'con become greater that this - because they don't want to miss out on any part of KapCon. Giving people the chance to not be there should turn the mates meter down a bit (not too much hopefully), give the chance for the 'con to expand (which looking at the rooms this time round - is there any more space to add?) - NB. this is assuming that Kapcon will expand. And allow the organisers AND GMs to actually play as many games as they run or have more of choice of games to run.


I see where you're coming from - but I guess the question is whether that is a direction that Kapcon should be heading?

From the sounds of it, you're suggesting a kind of mini-Gencon kind of deal which starts heading into questions of what Kapcon's goal is, does adding that level of extra work and time help move towards that goal.

I personally feel that the "mates" feeling you mention is a part of what Kapcon has always been - and isn't necessarily in a negative light. I found that kind of relaxed mates atmosphere is what made me want to come back to Kapcon - it isn't just about gaming, it's about seeing friends, making new friends and catching up with everyone in the gaming community. Talking about gaming and have a great weekend together is something core to Kapcon - but so is the connecting with folks. I think once you focus it purely on the games and not the people... I'm not sure that is what makes Kapcon popular. I feel it's the whole experience.

Now if there are people who are feeling intimidated or excluded because of that - then I think we need to address that, but I don't think adding a third day is the answer - I think that comes down to how the game is currently organised and what can be done to help better manage that.

I think GoD is a healthy and reliable step in that direction - GoD is expanding, and it isn't about players just being lumped into what is left - players get to pick and choose when they walk into the room.

I do think that players shouldn't be able to book up prior to the weekend anything beyond session one - because it does block out games in the second session.

It is good to discuss how to avoid players not being able to play in any of their picks - but I remain seriously unconvinced that a third day is going to be the answer, nor do I feel that moving out of the "mates convention" tone is necessarily an improvement to what makes Kapcon so popular.

Conan
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Basically, to you Idiot, this means you aint going to be the only GM wrangler - you'd have more help.


Its not a question of my time - its a question of whether the GMs will give us theirs. A third day means asking the GM pool to collectively contribute up to 50% more time and energy. Which given the dynamics of the pool (it has the expected power-law distribution, which we are attempting to flatten) means a small cluster of core GMs will be expected to take on a much heavier load. I'll leave it to them to speak up on whether they want to do that.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
How does the community feel about this? (And on a related note, how do you feel about the GM incentive? I like it, but I'm a GM - how do non-GMs feel about it?)


I think 2 rounds of preregistration is fine, more form an organisational POV than anything else. Perhaps looking at keeping a spot is some games open and not allowing games to be filled up may help.

I personally don't think the GM incentive is necessary.
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Stephanie



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
How does the community feel about this? (And on a related note, how do you feel about the GM incentive? I like it, but I'm a GM - how do non-GMs feel about it?)
I really liked having the privilege, but I don't think having it would change whether or not I ran a game. I am a bit concerned about the way some popular games got almost completely blocked up by preregistrations, making it hard to allocate the people who filled out a game selection form (at least it was like that in the round I helped with admin.) I'm very concerned that allowing global pregistration would block out newcomers and casual gamers to anything but a couple of games that are demonstrably less popular than the rest - if that happened to me at my first Kapcon, I'd feel seriously excluded.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As SDC judge, I will raise one possibility for next year. I think a panel of 3 judges would be an excellent idea (this one was raised by Dale).
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tog42



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TazzyD wrote:
I can only suggest a nice big sign (or 3) to point people to the right building at the start. I only remembered having to goto gate #1 and then follow the signs, although the only sign I saw was an A4 piece of paper against an outside door. Lucky I found someone roaming around that looked like a LARP'er :p


Unfortunately our plans for this were stymied when the school went and changed the entry point on us at the last minute. The signs we had planned to point people all the way ended up squandered on just helping people find their way within the building. We'll be looking to get more signage for next year.
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Dale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, and excellent 'con which makes me glad I was bragging about it in Oz all last year!

Barring 'Plunket-Quest 2010' in round 1, and an extra issue of Frank in round 5 everything ran very smoothly as far as I could see. Very well done to the powers that be. I liked being able to pick up my player list, and must say that while I will likely run future games anyway, the GM pre allocation is very nice and will likely influence how many sessions I GM.

My suggestions, FWIW

1. Website reliability needs to be looked at. If it is decided to keep the existing arrangements, I suggest regularly duplicating (copy/paste) all information from the website here, or on a blog from December onwards.

2. Dan's Monday idea is interesting, although I'm not sure that it is likely that it would be actually be two day con spread over three days, I think most folks would see it as a 3 day 'con, foolishly overpromise games, then crash hard (or perhaps that'd just be me Wink ). If there is any serious consideration, one option might be to take a leaf from the sci fi/fandom 'con folks and consider a light half day on Monday whithout a scheduled round, but a few 'games on demand' and also a more relaxed pace of cleaning up, if the venue were available.

3. The printed games seemed to work pretty well, although you might want to make use of some of the extensive hall space outside the main room for one set of game postings and also print enough blurbs so that each round could be viewed in full.

4. SDC Judging panel is something I've mentioned before. Someone needs to carry the can, but if enough volunteers can be found then it would relieve much judging pressure.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale wrote:
1. Website reliability needs to be looked at. If it is decided to keep the existing arrangements, I suggest regularly duplicating (copy/paste) all information from the website here, or on a blog from December onwards.


Didn't Marcus offer a reliable alternative for this?

Dale wrote:
4. SDC Judging panel is something I've mentioned before. Someone needs to carry the can, but if enough volunteers can be found then it would relieve much judging pressure.


To be honest, its less about dealing with pressure, and more about providing a wider range of "expertise" to draw on.
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Dale



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To be honest, its less about dealing with pressure, and more about providing a wider range of "expertise" to draw on.


Shhh.. SDC Judges. Are. Perfect! Didn't you get the memo with the special judging jacket? Very Happy
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Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale wrote:
Shhh.. SDC Judges. Are. Perfect! Didn't you get the memo with the special judging jacket? Very Happy


The jacket with the odd musty smell? Nah Wink
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icehawk



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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Location: Circling.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Ivan: a group huddling around a piece of paper printed in 8-point is a bit awkward.

The projectors in the classrooms work, are very easy to connect to, and have large screens. If we could overcome the security issue of making sure no-one nicks the laptop, then it would be easy to have a laptop in one of the rooms next to the main room, projecting the timetable on a huge screen. And we could update that timetable from the main laptop by simply updating a file.

(If we could overcome the security issue, then we could do something similar on the other floors too if the wifi router we took in was good enough - in which case we could update a timetable in huge projected form on every floor by updating a file. But the security issues are much more severe once you get that far from the main space)



itowlson wrote:
Some suggestions regarding the "who's in what this round" poster:

- Print it in a bigger font. (Yes, this will mean using two sheets.)

- Post it higher up on the wall (so that people can see it over other people's heads).

- Don't post it right next to a doorway.

Worked really well all the same -- I thought at first I was going to miss the duckling walk but I soon changed my mind!
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artemis



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a poster underneath the small one that had the games and players in that game printed in 14 point font.

A new one of those was put up every round and there were two of them- one by the door and one by the entry tables.

We obviously should have been more clear on this.

Sorry about the misunderstanding.
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2c from me:

GM pre-selection: I GMed this year because of the GM incentive. Of course, I hadn't thought it 100% through because the game that I absolutely had to play was in round 2, but that's another issue. It did mean I got the spot I wanted in the round 6 game, but I wouldn't have been the least bit unhappy with my next two choices. (Next year I might stick up my hand for GoD since they were short a bit this year).

I don't necessarily think that GMs need a cheaper entry fee though. The extra $20 means nothing to me, and is utterly immeasurably puny compared to the time investment in writing and running a game. The GM pre-selection though, very important for me this year.

SDC: Having entered twice, I can say that I think the judges were scrupulously fair, and absolutely nailed the weak spot in my games. My main comment was that I'd like to get the feedback (not the scores) in January, when there's still a chance of fixing the problems.

I think a panel would be cool if it makes the life of the judges easier. From the sounds of it, Luke spent nearly as much time dithering between me and Steph for the win as I did writing the second draft. That's a really harsh commitment to ask from the judge.

The main problem with finding a judge, and finding a panel, is probably that they then can't enter - and the competition is pretty small. I kicked myself afterwards for not having a speech when accepting the best single round saying basically "this game was good because I wrote it hard-core in advance!"

I'll repeat in public my suggestion that omnibus editions from Lulu of the previous SDC entries would make great prizes, as well as advertising the competition.

3 Days: Ambivalent about the 3-day thing. It seemed to me that more people GMed fewer sessions this year, and that even if you (worst case) ended up with 3 days of 13*6 games, that would more-or-less be restoring the GMing burden to its historical norm.

I think everyone who GMs outside of KapCon should run at least one session at KapCon.

Website: KapCon must surely be able to generate enough "profit" that it could afford better hosting - Marcus offered a very cheap rate.
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Stephanie



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 401
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About room space:
Right now we're using three floors? The one with the admin desk, the one below, and the one below that that gets used for the Saturday night Larp. Is there any reason we can't use the floor down below that, and have four more rooms?
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