Sunday, October 14, 2012

South Bend Games Day in review

Here's a quick report on the South Bend Games Day event.

Our thanks to Mark at Fantasy Games ( for hosting the event. He was super great to work with and we had everything we needed on site to pull this off.

The first session had one GM that didn't show up. Of course, his was the game that was filled with pre-registration players (Legend of the Five Rings). Of the other three games, we had no players for one (Eclipse Phase) and not enough for the other two (Microscope and Fiasco). We shuffled the L5R players to the Eclipse Phase game and condensed the Fiasco player and GM to the Microscope game. Both games went very well and I think everyone had fun with it.

The second session had all of the GMs show up, but one game had only one player (oWoD). The player joined the Pathfinder game and the GM joined in the Savage Worlds game. We also had a Star Fleet Battles game run that session. This session also went very well. At least one of the Savage World players will be picking up an iteration of that game. The Pathfinder group were smiles at the end of their game. The Star Fleet Battles game was still going with the players mopping up "prizes" after the other two games had ended.
In total, we had:
- 7 of 8 GMs (88%) show up ready to run games
- 5 of 8 (63%) games run
- 18 of a potential 32 player slots (50%) filled (Playing a game in session one and then another in session two counts as two players.)
- 16 individuals, total, involved on-site

My goal was to see 3 games occur per session with 3 players per session. I hit one of those two goals. We only had two games in the first session. However, we had a total of 18 total players over the course of the day, which hits the turnout goal (3 games x 3 players x 2 sessions).

I knew we would have repeat players and GMs. That's okay. I would have liked to see more individuals or more games run to pad out the numbers, but I feel this was a very respectable showing. Comparing actual to goal, we get these numbers:
- 1 of 2 (50%) sessions met goal with the number of games run
- 18 of 18 (100%) players were present
All in all, I think this was a solid event. There were no costs involved. A local game shop benefited from a few sales and exposure. Players, GMs, and aquaintences were able to meet and play in events together. People played games they had never experienced before.*
For the future, things we will need to consider would include location, other types of games (one minis game per session?), advertising in general, and targeted advertising. There were many potential players in other games related to the individuals at this event that did not come out to play. There were also individuals who said they would come out, but didn't (whether they pre-reg'd or not).

*This was the secret, unstated goal. Provide a few "known" products, but also provide opportunities to play games not yet experienced.