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Author Topic: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.  (Read 7554 times)

bigfatchef

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 12:09:29 PM »
Living in Germany I Never was at gencon nor will be.
But from a distance it seems your goals are contraproductive.

- You want to grow from 12 but think about a cut at 16.
- you want the bar low so new players can test and improve. But on the other hand the contests is handled as Nonplusultra competition of high standard here in this forum. So you have pros and beginners in 16...
- you say time at the exhibition is precious. What “income“ do you want to get from that invest? Direct or indirect.

I think you have to declare a goal for AW in order to plan the event leading to that.
- if you want to reach the competitive world you should for example run a high quality worldclass competition with a good stream. Plan how to get this spreaded and reach new customers there. Prequalifiers no problem.
- or maybe you want to have the most interesting event of gencon for all people passing by. Then you will need a low entry and cool prices. Also a price for best costume or whatever gets people attracted.
- or you want tons of players. Invest more, rent more space, make it huge (make advertisements) and get those. Done right  this more expensive rent will pay out in no time!

So what is your purpose?

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2016, 01:27:54 PM »
I've already stated that much of my goals counter each other but I believe some middle ground can be found. Most likely the day of the event itself. One thing of note that's important: I am not an employee of Arcane Wonders. I can't speak for them or their goals. I'm just the guy who's run their Gen Con tournament the past couple of years and who's on tap to do it again. That said my goal is to find that middle ground I spoke of. Fun AND Competitive. Growing AND Approachable. I don't expect the 16 cap to actually be a thing but I also recognize the more people then the longer the event and the more a turn off it becomes. Sort of a goofy paradox there.
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bigfatchef

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2016, 03:08:21 PM »
I've already stated that much of my goals counter each other but I believe some middle ground can be found. Most likely the day of the event itself. One thing of note that's important: I am not an employee of Arcane Wonders. I can't speak for them or their goals. I'm just the guy who's run their Gen Con tournament the past couple of years and who's on tap to do it again. That said my goal is to find that middle ground I spoke of. Fun AND Competitive. Growing AND Approachable. I don't expect the 16 cap to actually be a thing but I also recognize the more people then the longer the event and the more a turn off it becomes. Sort of a goofy paradox there.
I didn't know that you are no employee of AW. It changes the situation a lot. I was just thinking “what would I do?“ finding myself asking those questions. But obviously from a company point of view.

I guess you are limited in many ways. Amount of tables, time per game, general opening time.. By keeping it open to visitors you can't preorganize a lot but timeslots. So a limit of contestants that will get filled for sure guarantees a running competition without missing players and might not be a bad idea.

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 03:38:48 PM »
I get that a lot lol. Nope just an ambassador they like to have at con.
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Boocheck

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2016, 08:30:50 AM »
As Chef stated, my point of view on GenCon is that it is a SuperBowl of Mage Wars. Each year, best of the best are clashing against each other, bringing something cool or new or old... (Aviary, Jinx, Meditating Graveyard).

I think the only way how solve the riddle of combining Fire (Pros) and Water (not Pros) is not try combine it at all. Lets just have Tourney with big T and then "welcome to Fun land" tourney. If you participate, there will be lottery at the end with a chance to win a X, where X is anything what Arcane Wonders have and would like to donate :)

Most people i know would probably back off if i tell them, hey, lets do this tourney but expect to met guys that are playing MW for 5 years, are best of the best and their middle names are "Calculator", "Dice Crusher" or "Lucky" :) Only a few will say "I will gladly accept this challange" and then "eye of the tiger" starts :)

With both torneys running at the same time, (i know, hard to manage) players from "easy" tourney will probably set next to players from "Hardcore" and probably realize, how nice those players actually are. This could lead for bigger attendance year after.

Just thinking aloud :)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 08:38:05 AM by Boocheck »
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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 10:00:53 AM »
I don't like the idea of separating players by skill level and running different events. Day two does that already :) I like the idea of scheduled casual stuff but not during the tournament time.
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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2016, 11:24:17 AM »
Even if based on the assumption that you were working for AW, Bigfatchef's points are very valid. If GENCON tournament is meant to be the biggest and the greatest tournament (as we all assume), I think that the tournament should be defined and have concrete objectives. These should be defined by AW. I know, we are always asking more and more from this little company, but we just love the game so much that cannot do otherwise!
Based on the tournaments organized by other games and publishers that I have liked:
-Tournaments are part of a continuum. Normally organized with full involvement of the publisher. (assumption- for the case in point I understand there is limited involvement of AW).
-There is expectation created by announcements in the communities, new expansions coming out, the meta changes right on time just to make everybody doubt about what type of play can win, possibilities to get byes at regional tournaments (if possible), podcasts talking about it, interviews with the publisher talking about it on youtube, the prize pool is announced in full.
-Then, the tournament takes place. Normally the publisher plans it and estimates de number of seats they need and prepares for that. If someone signs in late, then there is a waiting list just in case. But the tournament is manageable because estimates are more or less accurate (if you practice, you can only get better at it!).
-After the tournament there is some media coverage by podcasters or youtubers, analysis, and fans replicate what the top 4 did (just for fun), and players know what to expect in terms of expansions and the next tournament the following year.

In a nutshell, I think that one can notice a big difference between those tournaments that count with full involvement of the publisher and those that do not. It would be great to have THE OFFICIAL tournament of MW at Gencon, or somewhere else (less expensive?).
At the end of the day, considering the time that the game takes, and the nature of our community (small but passionate), I cannot see an added value of organizing this at Gencon. Visibility is important, but there are many ways of achieving that.
And here is the main idea that I would like Silverclaw, Aaron and AW to think about:
If less money would go to rental of space at Gencon and more resources would go to create hype in the community and to PROMOTE the OFFICIAL tournament, it would be a good opportunity for fun and for business. There could be several alternatives and options to go around this. Of course, if you increase the level of resources for this tournament, you can always do it at gencon, but the promotion factor cannot be absent (as part of a continuum). With more promotion, I think the organizers (silverclaw, etc) would be able to do even a greater job.

I hope this helps. :)

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 12:28:39 PM »
You might want to rethink the whole "Superbowl" structure.

With 16 players you only need 4 matches to get a winner and with 32 players you only need 5 matches.

Id like to see a seeding system of some kind to try and get player of near equal skill meeting each other.

Ask players how many games of Mage Wars they have played, and use that as ranking.

With 32 players:

Rank 1 vs Rank 16 , Rank 2 vs Rank 17 etc.

You might try to protect and teach any players with none or little Mage Wars games under their belt and let them play a couple of games vs each other before they enter the "veteran" group.

Lets say you have 28 people who are "Vets" and 4 rookies:

1 vs 15 etc, 29 vs 30 and 31 vs 32 - and put them back in they main tourney with their scores after 2 rounds.

That´s all of your goals is´nt it? And it leaves a whole day to ?  :)


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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2016, 01:05:53 PM »
Now I'll note at least in the past two years rookies have made up a small number of players. We had I'd say 4 out of 17 last year and 1- 2 out of 12 this year.
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bigfatchef

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2016, 01:51:31 PM »
I would say most rookies are too shy to compete in a high-class-superbowl. Why should they? They will get smashed hard without having any chance or real fun!
To get rookies hooked this is definitely the wrong way to go.

Besides that I think 12 or even 16 is a small number of players. 16 real good worldclass players on the other hand are a lot.

As arixiducs said, I think AW has to be asked for support to push the event to a official and solid tournament. Pre-rounds before con if necessary and maybe Wildcards for best rookies from rookie-tournament. Also maybe some invitation for the 2 best oversea players to get it even more international. Just random ideas!

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2016, 10:17:48 AM »
Well there's a fair and valid point. My goals for Gen Con 2017 in no real order

1. In crease attendance. While I was happy with 12 I'd like to bump it to 16 next year. Now obviously we can't control the chaotic nature of the con but we can do our best.

2. I'd like a fun and competitive atmosphere that's balanced with welcoming new players. Contradictory goals somewhat but I believe a balance can be found.

3. I wish for this event to strengthen and grow the Mage Wars community. Overall I think it does that to some extent as the books are published and matches taped. If we can expand on this that's cool.

4. I'm always interested in ideas for prize Support.

Now obstacles:

1. Space is a premium at Gen Con and it ain't cheap. I'm in no position to speak on that at all. However more casual play can and will be planned next year.

2. Big con with a lot going on. We compete with every other game ever thought of as well as lots of special events. Now with more expansions comes more appeal so that helps. A lot more options of play will be available next year.

I do want to say I appreciate the ideas so far. Even if it seems like I don't agree I still need to consider more angles so keep em coming.

2.
Tom's General Observation about Tournaments - The business model for Mage Wars is not the same as MTG or other CCG/Dicemaster collectibles so comparing tournament formats and prizes between the different approaches will not always help us attract more players to tournament play. In general this reality leads to tournament sizes for Mage Wars that are smaller than other types of games where tournaments are an integrated part of the player/game store or convention/publisher experience. I see this as part of the overall tournament environment for this type of game and one the tournament director has little control over. With that assumption aside here are some suggestions I have to help you reach your goals.

Goal 4 - If we had a unique prize that players valued it might help attract more players to tournaments. It should be integral to game play so it has value to players after the tournament. For example, Arcane Wonders could produce custom prize Spellbooks that have unique leather covers or other materials that differentiate it from standard Spellbooks. These would only be available to tournament winners.  In this way the players who win tournaments can use these spellbooks in their own matches and travels so it has special value after the tournament. Obviously this has a cost associated with it, but the cost can be spread out over several years since one print run can last for many years if the product quality is high. Since the spellbook is an integral part of game play this type of product/prize will always have an intrinsic value to the game and player.

Goal 1 – The largest barrier to mage wars players attending GENCON is the cost in airfare, room and time from work. Therefore, a focused marketing campaign to the cities within driving distance would have the best result of increasing players at this event. You might try advertising/promoting the tournament at local game stores within a certain radius of the event location. This would start several months before and include multiple communication pieces to get the message out. Another target audience would be game clubs within a certain radius. To maximize this effect you could coordinate with local Ambassadors to run demo/teaching events at key geographic locations that prepare new players for the first round tournament rules and game play in advance of the GENCON event. This gives players a chance to ‘try before they buy’ and decide if the game is worth investing their time.

If the tournament requires pre-registration to meet GENCON rules, then attracting new players during the convention is not possible. However, if GENCON attendees can arrive at the convention and select tournaments during the convention, then this provides an opportunity to get your message out to this target audience a few days before your tournament starts. At WBC, I use this type of approach when I run the 4 days of demos before the first tournament round. Each demo is designed to teach the Round 1 tournament rules (i.e. Apprentice Mode) so players learn what to expect before entering the tournament. It also gives them multiple learning opportunities by attending more than one demo and playing with a different mage each time.

Goal 2 – Here is the format I am moving towards at WBC to meet this goal myself. You might be able to adapt it to include new and experienced players in a competitive way. I imagine the GENCON space limitations, etc. would require some changes and you will want to modify it to fit your style. Note - 4 days of demos are used to teach the game using Round 1 tournament rules only.

The tournament format uses Round 1 for players to compete using Core Set Apprentice rules and then advances the top X players to Round 2. In Round 2 the advanced rules are used and you need to decide which expansions if any are allowed (we currently use Core Set only to keep it simple). Experienced players enter the tournament in Round 2 and are combined with the top players from Round 1. One challenge you will have is that new players will often not have a copy of the game/expansions so you will need to supply them with prepared spellbooks to use. At WBC I offer a spellbook design session between Round 1 and 2 to help new players learn the advanced rules, but in the past I have limited Round 2 to 8 players. The combination of players with copies of the game and the extras that I bring has allowed this to work. Going forward I may need to add Core Set to my resources to handle 8 players myself since I don’t have a sales booth for new players. I want to add 8 new players each year plus experience players who sign up. Essentially, all experienced players including graduates from previous years are given a bye in Round 1 and only attend Round 2.

This approach essentially uses the Demo - Round 1 - Round 2 format to lead new players through the learning experience in increments while experienced players can skip the Demos and Round 1.

Good luck!
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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2016, 07:58:08 PM »
The following idea may be terrible. Proceed with critical consideration.

Invitational?
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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2016, 10:22:38 AM »
The following idea may be terrible. Proceed with critical consideration.

Invitational?

How do you determine who gets invited?


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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2016, 12:51:04 PM »
I am going to throw out some ideas please don't bash if they are aweful.   I'm coming from a total outsider looking in who just a fan of the game.  I Have never attended a Mage wars tournament or attended Gen con.  Just a Mage wars fan who reads the forums a lot and would want to attend these things in the future. 

I like the idea of customized spell books as prizes.  Making them really unique.  It would really be an awesome accessary, I think I like this better than a trophy

As far as player amount being limited.  I agree this does not broaden the scope of what you want for growth.  It would be a different story if there is 30+ competing players, but it has not gotten to those high numbers from what I have read.

If you want it at Gen con Maybe just more support with more judges/ more support or dare I say a different venue to crown a champion. 

Maybe  Gen Con is a place to bring in new players and not even have a tournament.  Maybe having an official tournament at another location, place, and or time?

 what I heard or read of gen con is this awesome amazing experience with tons of things to do.  So I imagine this convention provides a lot of distractions and competition that turns others away from really long tournaments.  So having tables open for Mage wars would be helpful to new players, would be more beneficial to the community for growing, and expanding than having a tournament. 

Again I would love to attend gen con and the gen con Mage wars tournament but feel maybe for the growth of this game maybe it's better to treat it as a training ground or Mage Wars boot camp. 











Well there's a fair and valid point. My goals for Gen Con 2017 in no real order

1. In crease attendance. While I was happy with 12 I'd like to bump it to 16 next year. Now obviously we can't control the chaotic nature of the con but we can do our best.

2. I'd like a fun and competitive atmosphere that's balanced with welcoming new players. Contradictory goals somewhat but I believe a balance can be found.

3. I wish for this event to strengthen and grow the Mage Wars community. Overall I think it does that to some extent as the books are published and matches taped. If we can expand on this that's cool.

4. I'm always interested in ideas for prize Support.

Now obstacles:

1. Space is a premium at Gen Con and it ain't cheap. I'm in no position to speak on that at all. However more casual play can and will be planned next year.

2. Big con with a lot going on. We compete with every other game ever thought of as well as lots of special events. Now with more expansions comes more appeal so that helps. A lot more options of play will be available next year.

I do want to say I appreciate the ideas so far. Even if it seems like I don't agree I still need to consider more angles so keep em coming.

2.
Tom's General Observation about Tournaments - The business model for Mage Wars is not the same as MTG or other CCG/Dicemaster collectibles so comparing tournament formats and prizes between the different approaches will not always help us attract more players to tournament play. In general this reality leads to tournament sizes for Mage Wars that are smaller than other types of games where tournaments are an integrated part of the player/game store or convention/publisher experience. I see this as part of the overall tournament environment for this type of game and one the tournament director has little control over. With that assumption aside here are some suggestions I have to help you reach your goals.

Goal 4 - If we had a unique prize that players valued it might help attract more players to tournaments. It should be integral to game play so it has value to players after the tournament. For example, Arcane Wonders could produce custom prize Spellbooks that have unique leather covers or other materials that differentiate it from standard Spellbooks. These would only be available to tournament winners.  In this way the players who win tournaments can use these spellbooks in their own matches and travels so it has special value after the tournament. Obviously this has a cost associated with it, but the cost can be spread out over several years since one print run can last for many years if the product quality is high. Since the spellbook is an integral part of game play this type of product/prize will always have an intrinsic value to the game and player.

Goal 1 – The largest barrier to mage wars players attending GENCON is the cost in airfare, room and time from work. Therefore, a focused marketing campaign to the cities within driving distance would have the best result of increasing players at this event. You might try advertising/promoting the tournament at local game stores within a certain radius of the event location. This would start several months before and include multiple communication pieces to get the message out. Another target audience would be game clubs within a certain radius. To maximize this effect you could coordinate with local Ambassadors to run demo/teaching events at key geographic locations that prepare new players for the first round tournament rules and game play in advance of the GENCON event. This gives players a chance to ‘try before they buy’ and decide if the game is worth investing their time.

If the tournament requires pre-registration to meet GENCON rules, then attracting new players during the convention is not possible. However, if GENCON attendees can arrive at the convention and select tournaments during the convention, then this provides an opportunity to get your message out to this target audience a few days before your tournament starts. At WBC, I use this type of approach when I run the 4 days of demos before the first tournament round. Each demo is designed to teach the Round 1 tournament rules (i.e. Apprentice Mode) so players learn what to expect before entering the tournament. It also gives them multiple learning opportunities by attending more than one demo and playing with a different mage each time.

Goal 2 – Here is the format I am moving towards at WBC to meet this goal myself. You might be able to adapt it to include new and experienced players in a competitive way. I imagine the GENCON space limitations, etc. would require some changes and you will want to modify it to fit your style. Note - 4 days of demos are used to teach the game using Round 1 tournament rules only.

The tournament format uses Round 1 for players to compete using Core Set Apprentice rules and then advances the top X players to Round 2. In Round 2 the advanced rules are used and you need to decide which expansions if any are allowed (we currently use Core Set only to keep it simple). Experienced players enter the tournament in Round 2 and are combined with the top players from Round 1. One challenge you will have is that new players will often not have a copy of the game/expansions so you will need to supply them with prepared spellbooks to use. At WBC I offer a spellbook design session between Round 1 and 2 to help new players learn the advanced rules, but in the past I have limited Round 2 to 8 players. The combination of players with copies of the game and the extras that I bring has allowed this to work. Going forward I may need to add Core Set to my resources to handle 8 players myself since I don’t have a sales booth for new players. I want to add 8 new players each year plus experience players who sign up. Essentially, all experienced players including graduates from previous years are given a bye in Round 1 and only attend Round 2.

This approach essentially uses the Demo - Round 1 - Round 2 format to lead new players through the learning experience in increments while experienced players can skip the Demos and Round 1.

Good luck!

« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 01:02:25 PM by farkas1 »
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ringkichard

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Re: Ideas for Gen Con 2017.
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2016, 02:07:55 PM »
Well, that's one potential source of the terrible, isn't it?

Privious winners, people nominated by ambassadors, people doing good work in the Mage Wars community doing blogs, podcasts, set reviews, etc.

Just thinking that if the goal is to increase attention/attendance, one way to do that might be to increase the prestige of the event, and help build up community, too.

I mean, it's not like we'd need to be terribly exclusive, right? Anyone who really wanted into the tournament last year got in, it looks to me. Emailing AW and asking for an invite with a paragraph of "here's why you should totally invite me" would probably be enough?

[Disclaimer - I'm not angling to exclude anyone, and could not go myself.]
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 02:12:24 PM by ringkichard »
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