AetherCon

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Metroknight
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:41 pm

The con is over and done so this thread can be closed now unless people wish to talk about their experiences with it.
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:56 pm

I've been reading a few blogs and the gist I got is that this thing did not go well at all.. GMs weren't showing up to run games, the Roll20 servers couldn't handle the load and people were getting dumped etc.. Curious to find out what some of your personal experiences were.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:46 pm

I didn't play in any games. I was signed up for one Friday morning and my weekends don't lend themselves to free, unimpeded time for me except for my Saturday night game (and even then the first hour I am on and off the game getting my son ready for bed. My Friday afternoon game only had me signed up and the GM was scooped up to help run the con so that was canceled. I did hang around the Ox and Mule forum a lot to see how things were going. I even won 2 giveaways (three if you count the one I won when I first signed up for a game).

The first problem came when the established manner for joining a table didn't work. Only one of the tables was set up correctly such that clicking on the Table link took you straight to the game at Roll20. The rest just took you to the roll20 signin page. After some head scratching they came up with a work around by having the GMs sign into a subforum and report their table information. Then emails were sent to the players with proper sign-in information. It seems that they never got the original method corrected, but people were finding their way to games just the same. And GMs were also recruiting in the Ox and Mule forum by posting their gameroom link.

Another problem was with the Vendor rooms. They just weren't getting much traffic. I think that was mostly to the way it was set-up and very little recruiting in the Ox and Mule. But there were also problems with the links to get in, but they were usually fixed as fast as I reported them. Personally, I didn't really care for the 3-4 vender rooms I went too. They weren't really much point unless you just wanted to chat with the game/module designers and we do that all day long here on BF :). If you wante dto buy anything they sent you to their website, so what was the point of the vendor room. I know the biggest complainer in the Ox and Moron was a vendor who didn't think he was treated good enough by the staff when he had complaints.

There was the problem of too many GMs not showing up. But if a player didn't get into a game its because he din't try hard enough. There were plenty of GMs recruiting for games in the Ox and Mule. IMO, thats one thing they could do much better by using a subforum for recruiting. Lots of people would be in the forum but were AFK. When you came back onto the forum page you might have missed some recruiting efforts or just could find them in all the other posts.

I don't know if Roll20 was having problems because I didn't see anyone posting about it in the Ox and Mule. But even outside of the Con I hear people talking about how Roll20 isn't stable or the A/V doesn't work that well. My experience has been the opposite. I have found it works fine and I have close to 50 hours in roll20. I actually was dropped more by google hangouts the one game I played that way.

I think an Online RPG Con is a great idea. There were some problems, big ones, but they worked around it and games did indeed get played. For a first Con, especially one online, you have to expect problems. How well they fix those problems and implement corrections for the next one will be the true test. I will probably sign up again. I would much rather see Dragonsfoot/Goblinoid Games/BFRPG/etc get together and do an Old School online convention. Or hell combine a brick and mortar convention with an online convention. If that were to happen I would definitely carve out a weekend just for gaming. Aethercon was primarily a pathfinder con with a handful of other games.
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:32 pm

I got to play in one game (due to real life matters) and got to hang out in a couple vender rooms. I was in the ox and mule mostly when I was there. I do agree with the fact there should have been a dry run on the tables codes to make sure they were working properly.

In my opinion the con grew to big to fast. It would have been better if they did one day only to work the bugs out and not do prizes. The main complaints apparently came from the venders feeling like they been short changed. I don't know since I was not online much of the con (dealing with family while rebuilding my son's computer and mine) other then those few hours. I know I had fun in the one game I played. It was a star wars horror game called Dead in Space. That was a fun game and I don't like horror games usually. I surprised a player towards the end when my character walked towards an npc that was freshly bitten and said "You are already dead and don't know it" just before he shot the npc in the head with his blaster.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:39 pm

They definitely should have done a dry run at some point before the con. I don't know what they could do for the vendors. I think they should get away from prizes and sales and just run games. I know this is my open source bias showing through, but let the vendors figure out there own way to sale their product. One vendor tried to tell me the purpose of a con is so people can buy product. From a vendor's perspective, I am sure it is. I can't speak for others, but this is the internet, if I wanted to get information on a product before buying it I would just go to the vendor's website.

I also think they should get away from pre-registering for tables, except maybe a day or two before. Just have a bunch of DM's ready to run and on the day of the con open their tables first come first served. Then if there are still people looking for a game, bring in one of the con staff to run one, and if there are still more waiting see if one of them wanted to run a game and assign them a room. That way you don't have to worry about people who signed up weeks ahead of time then decided they were busy that weekend.
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:32 pm

I told Mini (a friend) over the phone that they should have done a 1 day event with no vendors and no door prizes just games. They tried to make it like a physical con and you can't do that.

The Ox and Mule irc chat room should have had all the gm's sitting there prior to their games with each of them having a list of players that submitted interest emails the day or two before. This would allow the gm's to pm each player that listed and was there at the correct time. It also would allow the gm to offer any open spot at their table instantly also.

If GM 1 had 4 of his 6 spots prebooked per say and only 3 of the players showed up at the ox and mule that would allow the GM to put up in the chat the offer of 3 open slots for his game. If vendors was involved then they could have their names in html to link to their table or their webpage. This would allow them to either pm an interested party or just talk about their product in public. None of this happened. What happened was everyone was scattered about with no way to easily find them.

That is my opinion on it.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:42 pm

You are absolutely right. Its an internet con. Use the best of what the internet has to offer - instantaneus communications, multiple chat rooms/subforums to organise/recruit for games(one for each games and/or GM). In real life you can't be in two places at once but you can be on the internet. You can pop in and out of your pre-game chat room to see if anyone has come in wanting to join, accept them and tell them what to do next then be back in the Ox and Mule in less than a minute. Or back into the Game you are running at the time. On the internet you can jump around from game to chat room to pre-game and/or run to the fridge for a beer.
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Metroknight
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:52 pm

It would also allow people to lurk in games once it is full also. That was the one thing that irked me the most, not being able to lurk in games that interested me.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:56 pm

In roll20 there is no reason that someone can't lurk in a game unless they have a max player setting and I haven't heard that mentioned.
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Re: AetherCon

Post Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:17 pm

During the con, the rooms needed a passcode to go in to them. You had to get it from the gm prior to yhe game. That sucked.
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