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Dwarven Forge Con
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TOPIC: Dwarven Forge Con
#17164
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
That's also why I'm suggesting that we try to create events at existing cons (like Shore Leave, or GenCon).

They are ready-made conventions that lots of people (in addition to we forum-goers) will show up at anyway, so we can just piggyback on them. If a game held in somebody's room is a big success, then the host can ask the con organizers about getting some kind of official space the following year -- heck, if enough people sign up for the event, or express interest in it for the following year, the host might even be sponsored by the con (free admission, but you still have to pay for your room). In addition, we who love DF (AND get permission from Jeff and Stefan) might also offer to host panels and workshops related to DF topics.

If those event(s) are standing room only wherever they are held, with people complaining about not being able to get in, then it's time to think about regional cons. But remember that most cons (especially regional cons that AREN'T sponsored by major gaming corporations) try to appeal to a wide variety of interests in order to get enough people to show up to make it worthwhile to the organizers and to the venue.

For a ForgeCon, that might mean making sure that there are several genres and systems represented in the games being run -- and THAT might mean making our DF sets available to other GMs to ensure that their games are played in DF setups.

There need to be other things to do in addition to gaming, but at least peripherally related to DF. Having Jeff or Stefan (or others who have small gaming companies) speak about starting a small business might be very interesting. Panels on ancient/medieval architecture, or the use of setting to enhance dungeon adventures, or using architecture to complicate combat, might also go over well. Someone (gee, I wonder who) might be coaxed into doing a workshop (BYO pieces, of course) on DF mods -- could be hands-on, or could be interested parties gathered around to watch a piece being worked on. A workshop on introductory sculpting would also be neat, for those so inclined.

Finally, there should also be several of the trappings of a regular con. A video room with movies (especially movies with really good sets that can be reproduced with DF, or sets that will inspire modders) is a must. An art gallery (especially sculptures) is standard, as is a con suite where attendees can sit down and eat cheap snacks. The dealers room is absolutely mandatory -- DF will have a place of honor to take orders, but make sure the LHSs and regional merchants are present. I also like it when there is a room for pick-up games and unscheduled fun.

A convention is a major undertaking and potentially a huge financial loss, so I recommend taking things very slowly, and starting out by creating events at other people's cons.
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#17165
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Gen Con in Milwaukee worked because it was there with TSR and only there.
And it was fairly centrally located for all of the gamers in North America.
Only when WOTC bought out TSR did it move to Indy and SoCal basically turning its back on the Canadian gaming community.

Origins has become very successful now that it has stopped moving around.
Sometimes it was in Ohio, other times it was in San Jose, California, other times it was held jointly in Milwaukee with GenCon.
From what I understand, attendance is up 17% from the floating-around years and vendors are up 8% as well.

Otherwise, y'all have made up your minds it reads like, so best of luck.
I submitted KC because it was centrally located for almost everyone involved, including and especially the gaming industry community.
Since it appears that most everyone is only concentrating on their own fun at the ForgeCon, which is not the real reason for having it, then KC IS a bit out of the way then for folks just wanting to play and goof around.

Jim, you are talking about a convention series; we are not talking about Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon5, Battlestar Galatica, etc. or anything else of that ilk that can do series conventions.
10-45 million people are not watching pretty people play on Master Maze terrain on the tube every week.
We are talking gaming terrain, not TV.

People keep bringing up goofing at existing cons which will not work; the hotel room idea especially was not where this should be going at all.
Remember, this is fun, but it is also and mostly BUSINESS.

Keeping business in mind, but with just asking other companies to use Master Maze in what they do which someone brought up, that will be showing Master Maze as third fiddle at best.
That is not anything new though.
Why?
Because that is the chair that Dwarven Forge is sitting in now.

The true idea of ForgeCon is to show off Master Maze at this best and most versatile.
Every figure and game company invited would be required to do all of their demos and competitions using Master Maze terrain.
This is the whole idea behind ForgeCon - to let every attendee be able to see what every single one of the active games out there, whether on the surface of a planet, under the surface of a planet, on a space station or spaceship and/or other environments that I cannot think of right now, played on Master Maze terrain.
With a special environment requirement like this, some of the game companies could crank out some really cool and unique scenarios that they actually put a few months of work into.
A [u][b]HUGE[/u][/b] +PLUS+ would that some of those companies coming (at least when they are coming for the first time and/or when new sets come out) would be buying terrain sets directly from Dwarven Forge just to get ready for their ForgeCon presentations.

I do not know of a single con out there that is sponsored by a Gaming Terrain company.
Let us encourage Jeff and Stefan to do this.
Think of the creativity that could be coming out of your favorite game company if they were set up with a ForgeCon invite.
Is there any real limits on the fun, imagination and money to made at this sort of con?
Not really unless we place them there!

Remember the really basic factor for ForgeCon to be successful.
It is not the group of us having fun at the cost of everything else.
Dwarven Forge must find the event to be a good business move.
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#17166
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hey jack -

I'm only slightly kidding when I nominate YOU to run the first Mid-Atlantic regional ForgeCon, IF we ever get one!
Man, I thought I knew a couple of things about running a convention; YOU got all of the ideas we need, and a good bit of the logistical and programming parts!
NO, I'm not going to seriously push you into this, unless you WANT to be pushed - but if you DO, I can guarantee you at least ONE vote!
One question about ForgeCon; are we going to have any trouble from the GW folks? After all, they have semi-copyrighted Forge World, if not totally so. We may need to figure out a fall-back name, just in case.
It's called CYA, mates.

See ya!

Jim
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#17167
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
JK- I would seriously like to talk to you more about hooking up at SHoreCon 2008. My daughter lives in Baltimore so it wont be that inconvenient for me- plus my wife will use an excuse to see the daughter.

I probably have 50 boxes of DF stuff plus tons of internal goodies- not counting any releases between here and there. We can probably put down an easy 2500+ piece set-up.... and we can use our multi-level 3-D set-ups.

Maybe we could think of something massive to do? Maybe even something Trekkie... no reason why they cant beam down to an "archaic village" fight through some caverns and find the high tech ROmulan bio-weapons base.

I am a Star Trek geek- big time. I just ordered the 32" lighted TOS Enterprise at $1200 to complement my studio scale TOS D-7.

If volunteers get in free then sign-me up. I'll help run this sucker all day long!
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#17168
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
I don't think anybody said that we shouldn't do a convention in KC, but in my advancing years ( :lol: ) I've become somewhat restrictive in how far I'm willing to go and how much I'm willing to spend for a con. Personally, I don't want to go more than two states away by car, and I don't want to spend more than two hundred (max!) on a hotel room. And that's when I'm not in the financial straits I am this year.

I agree that Dwarven Forge's product line should be center stage at a ForgeCon (DwarForCon?), but I'm not sure how successful we would be in requiring other companies to showcase their goods with DF products, much less expecting them to BUY them for the sole purpose of putting on those presentations. Some companies and merchants don't actually make things that would go with DF (like book vendors, or costumers, or second-hand (pirate) video sellers), and all of them can go to cons that don't set rules about how they can present their products (or try to make them buy stuff). At best, I think vendors would be willing to use DF products that are supplied to them for use at the event, free of charge, on a voluntary basis. But unless the con has already established itself as a consistent success, I can't see other companies devoting months of time and hundreds of dollars into competitions and presentations.

By approaching it from the other direction, and giving people attending the convention a chance to actually use DF in play, we can demonstrate the product in a way that can't be accomplished in a dealers' room. I think GMs would be more amenable to being lent fun toys to play with than a vendor or company rep would be.

And fun is what it is all about. It's one thing to look at DF in a photo, or even on display on a table, but actually sitting down and playing with it is really what sells it. If we get a bunch of GMs and players who haven't tried DF yet, I think a lot of them will be VERY interested in buying it for themselves. But it can't be all DF all the time, with nothing else, because the instant a con-goer gets bored he will think that DF is boring.

The "goof" plan may in fact NOT be the right direction. Maybe a better plan is to approach a few conventions immediately after they wrap up this year's con and ask them if we can get a special room or area to do DF events -- demos, presentations, games, whatever. Some cons have more room than dealers, so perhaps a large corner of the dealers room could be given over to DF. But whoever is handling those events had better be ready for the long haul -- hours of interacting with newbies and geeks and non-bathers and anti-DFers and rival vendors and cages full of mangy stinking animals brought in from the local shelter because the con organizers are active in the ASPCA. It would probably be best if a small team worked the events, so they can cover for each other and grab rest breaks and get food and so on.

I don't think we should be asking Jeff and/or Stefan to be organizing this, except possibly at cons they already attend. (And even at those, it would be better if we sent them messages saying "Hey, DF gods, I've got a four-hour dungeon and I'm bringing my own pieces, mind if I run a demo event at the con you're going to? And would you like to sit in?") Any time they spend organizing and preparing and running events is time that they are not designing, developing, producing, shipping, and selling their product.

If we are very lucky, and we promise to behave, we MIGHT get endorsement in the form of "Good luck at ShoreCon, guys, we're pulling for you." If things go extraordinarily well, and they get a spate of orders that result directly from an event at a con, we might even get a hearty "thankyou" here on the boards. But even if one of us sat down and organized an entire convention, complete with the necessary preliminary monetary outlary, agreeing to make it an "official" Dwarven Forge Convention would be an incredibly risky move for them, because it would be a new con -- and a failed con might be interpreted not as a failure on the part of the organizers, or the current market, but on the part of the company. Circumstantial? Yes. Guilt by association? Definitely. But perception is what it is, and it would be very easy for "ForgeCon sucked" to become "DF sucks".

So maybe those of us who have enough DF pieces, and the time and inclination to run a game or a workshop or a panel (and con organizers are almost ALWAYS looking for people to do that sort of stuff), should think about doing a con or two over the next year. Just because we don't work for DF (and we don't) doesn't mean we can't go out there and shill our hearts out. When you get back, take a couple of days to decompress and then share your experiences on the boards, so we can learn and strategize against the day that DF events are so popular at conventions that we CAN throw our own con, with enough clout that we can require all attending companies and vendors to include DF when they do their demos.
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#17169
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
OH- JK... instead of Star Trek, since this is a Sci-Fi con, how about a massive set-up for ALien vs Predator?

I have a large number (12) of Predator 25mm figs, a large collection of various 25mm "explorer" figs, and somewhere a small alien that I can slap rubber around and produce out of resin....

A game like this people can join and leave as required.
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#17170
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Now we are getting somewhere real.
Jackattack's last posting (#29) in this thread takes us where we probably will be next year, but is a little on the negative side.

I am sure if a team does as he says, talking about 2007 at the con directly after 2006 is over, that as long as a slot is acquired and the attendance this year is of a reasonable amount, I am sure that Stefan and/or Jeff could arrange to be there.
Why?
Because it is good for business.
1) It shows confidence in the product that the creator and business heads are present.
With direct sales, Dwarven Forge needs this more with even greater exposure than before.

2) Face-to-face exposure sells far more than pictures do and if not a sale, it certainly slaps the potential buyer as hard as getting hit in the face with a stinky mackeral to where a sale may occur in the near future back where the gamer lives.
I saw Master Maze at the Gen-Con '97 (Aug) and those impressions stuck with me until April of '98 when I bought both the original Room & Passage set along with the Diagonal Wall set at Hobby Town in Glen Burnie, MD, just SE of Baltimore.
After that I was hooked and bought more at The Armory in Baltimore before I transferred back out West again; meanwhile I have kept buying more through my several transfers here in the West.

There's more to say, but I need to hit the sack.
The thread is getting to where it needs to, but we need to be open to positive opportunities than most seem to be.
Plus, we, and I do mean all concerned, need to be willing to stretch and take some chances.
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SF: Starter(3), Passage(2), Alpha(7), Beta(2) someday soon;
Cavern: Cavern, Cavernous Passages, many individual pieces, Cavernous River & Wall and Cavernous Lake someday soon;
Fantasy: Room & Passages, Room, Octagonal Room, Wicked Additions I&II, Adv. Builder, Diagonal Walls Set, Dungeon Accessories, Medieval Furniture, many individual pieces.
 
#17171
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Oh..
Well...
Disregard everything I said! I thought we were talking about DF fans getting together and playing together... but you folks have aspirations well beyond that. My mistake! Someday I may make it to a con in CA, and I would love to help out in that case, but frankly, my medieval re-enactment, uncle, and Disneyland get my traveling money to CA, as I live in AZ.



Enjoy!
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#17172
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
I think we are still talking about DF fans getting together and playing games. And I think that it would be a lot of fun to have a meet-and-greet at any cons we all attend, even if it's just spending an hour in the hotel bar to put faces to names.

But we are also talking about getting other gamers hooked on DF as well. And building up to the point where a Dwarven Forge convention might actually BE that con you get to someday. For now, I think that people who are going to cons can (if they want, this is all voluntary) post in the forums to see if anyone else is going to the same con (like folks did for GenCon).

They can also consider taking their DF with them and running a game out where everyone can see the pieces. If you want to run a big and/or continuous game (where players can drop in and drop out whenever they like), see if there is a way to get secure space -- at some cons, gaming areas are behind doors that can be reliably secured, but at some they aren't, and nobody wants their DF pieces to disappear overnight. If you aren't up to running a game, you might do a two-hour demo where you put together your best layouts and show off what DF can do. You might host a panel where people talk about terrain. Some forum-goers have mentioned visiting castles in Europe (or pre-Revolution forts in the US?) -- if they took pictures, they might do a slide show of "Real World Castles and Master Maze Reproductions". And if you do decide to host an event of some kind, let us all know so that anybody who lives nearby (or has sufficient disposable income) can attend (or even help).

I guess the idea is to get DF fans together if we can, and to create new DF fans if we can't.
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#17173
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hello everyone,

Would there be a problem with everyone just bringing their stuff to Gen Con and running games there? There are gigantic halls with plenty of table space to build super massive layouts. Dwarven Forge will be there, as well as hundreds of other interesting companies, and I am sure I can spare a few hours here and there to play or maybe even run a game from my own campaign. (I am REAL old school AD&D)
We can organize everything on this forum and people can hold workshops and stuff showing how they convert DF stuff, how they build kool layouts etc...I don't think DF could realisticaly organize an entire Con ourselves but piggy backing onto the biggest and best one out there is certainly a possiblity...
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#17174
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Well...

When I went to GenCon SoCal I could not get secure storage. That's the biggest problem. The FedEx bill would be large, too.
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#17175
Dwarven Forge Con 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Ah, but if other DF people were attending GenCon SoCal from a shorter distance, you might be able to coordinate with them here on the boards to borrow THEIR stuff while at the con. I'm sure that other DFers would be glad to let you use their pieces for a few hours, as long as you promise to treat them like your own and guarantee the lender(s) a seat in your game...

As for secure storage, you may simply have to bite the bullet and disassemble your set-up when the playing is done for the day and store your pieces in your hotel room. It's annoying, sure, but it's what you have to do. Alternatively, you could volunteer to BE security for the game room, and arrange to have a cot or air mattress set up in the game room overnight -- just be sure to hammer out the details before you get there, like whether you can use somebody's shower (which would mean you wouldn't have to pay for a room, since your sleeping and bathing arrangements are already made).
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