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Old July 6th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

As many of you know, I have made it clear that this is the last year that I will be the event organizer for our community as it pertains to events at GenCon. There are many reasons that have gone into this decision, most of which is just growing weary of the process, effort and ordeal of it all.

Grungebob started these scape events in 2006 and it sort of just took off from there. As things changed I kept taking on more responsibility until I was the event organizer. Along the way, we have established ourselves with GenCon and they have a good idea what the Heroscapers gaming group is all about. We have yet to make their preferred hosting list, but that could change this year provided we get over 50% participation in all events.

Anyway, this is not about the past; it is about the future. In order to continue the tradition, someone will have to step into the lead role. I am by no means going away. I still anticipate being heavily involved as a consultant and a GM as well as offering whatever I support I can muster as far as prize support. (i.e. custom dice)

I had approached Retlaw to see if he wanted to move into the lead role. He let me know that while he can continue to support our effort by storing material through the year, GMing, and helping set up & tear down, he does not want to step into the lead role. The good news is that we will still have Retlaw's support, which is very key to all of this.


Before I get too far into this I guess it would be good to sort of define the Event Organizer's roles. It is basically project management.
  • Submitting the events - step one really is to sort of map out the events and drum up a schedule. Once the schedule is defined you can move into the different event parameters and descriptions. GenCon usually opens up event submission 6 months in advance of the Con. This means by Feb 2012, the event organizer has to have the events ready for submission.

  • Tacking, planning, negotiating- Gencon runs a tight ship mainly because it is pretty busy and they want to maximize table space. So there will be some give and take with them, but we have a track record of good performance so they do work with us. You do have to stay on them to get thigns they way you want them. Fire and forget does not work.

  • GMs and volunteers - A key part of the process. None of it happens without volunteers and GMs. No one person could do it all even they wanted to. Our community is outstanding in this regard and I am sure that will not change anytime soon.

  • Maps, glyphs, tweaks - Maybe it is bassackwards, but I have been selecting the maps and finer points of setup well after the events have been submitted and in most cases the event tickets have gone on sale before all of these items are solidified.

  • Prizes, trophies, etc - We have our go to set up of Skull trophies and custom dice that Grungebob sort of put in place before I took over. Custom community efforts such as dice and custom plaques and trophies go a long way. I mean, we all have most all of the scape product we want so community support is vital to add the value participants have come to expect from our events.

There is more to it than just what is listed above, but those are the key items that have to be managed. There are some finer points under each that I will work with and share with the new person. (contacts, what to expect, what to watch out for, etc…. )

I cannot lie. It is time sink. You will spend a good deal of time making it work. In year's past, I usually started thinking about the next GenCon as soon as the current one was over - taking notes about the past Con and working to make improvements. I don’t want to go so far as to say it is year around commitment but it sort of is and there is always room for improvement.

The events price structure is set up to pay back the Event Organizer for their time and expenses. Trophies, t shirts, prizes, supplies, print material, travel expenses, etc...there are expenses incurred along the way and as the event organizer you need to make sure that you will be reimbursed from the ticket sales. Last year after the completion of the Con all my expenses ended up being covered including room and travel expenses. You have to work the model to ensure this happens. However, the models we have used in the past work well so there will at least be a good starting point.

This is not about nominating someone to do it. It is about someone stepping up and making the commitment. I really do not want to see our events come to an end simply because I stopped doing them. We are a strong enough community that we should be able to continue with a new event organizer. I want to go to GenCon next year and play scape events again. I also want to do other things and not feel stressed and responsible for everything that does or doesn’t happen.

I make it sound horrific. It isn’t. I have garnished a great deal of satisfaction out of doing it. I really love and respect our community and have been blessed to be put in the roles that I have filled through the years. But make no mistake, you are signing up for a working holiday. If any of you see me before, after, or during the events, you know I am pouring everything I got into it. We all do, it is just that the EOs responsibilty never ends. It is rewarding because it is so challenging.

The bottom line is you have to want to do it. There will be people such as myself, Grungebob, Retlaw, etc...that you can turn to for support and guidance if you take on this responsibility.

We certainly do not have to decide right now, in fact, I would prefer not, but it is good to get some of this out there so the potential person(s) taking over can be evaluating things when they are at this year's Con.

So...we can discuss now and again after the Con.

A must read for all 'Scapers!

Last edited by R˙chean; July 6th, 2011 at 12:58 PM. Reason: and no trying to talk me into doing it again!
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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Thank you for all you have done since the beginning ... you obviously deserve to step back and let someone else take the lead.

I hope someone capable will step up and pick this large but important task on.

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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Thanks for the kind words, codeman.

--

Matthias Maccabeus has PMd me with a high level of interest for taking this over.

I think this is a great idea because he has a strong local community in Nebraska. I think that will be important. That is how it started, too; it was the Dallas group that started the events with GB on lead. We just lost a few Dallas people along the way.

So the Nebraska group taking over seems like a good idea. We will evaluate as we move forward but as I said the biggest hurdle is the want to do it. MM and his guys have been to GenCon enough to have a pretty god idea what they would bet getting themselves into.

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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

I'd love to help with this how I can, but my dad would not approve of me doing any large part of work.

I'll head over the the volunteer section for this year and see if I can't slip in to help this year.

I'll looke deeper into what you got listed above and see if I can help out somehow.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Not that he needs it, but I am more than willing to vouch for the character and organizational skills of both Matthias Maccabeus and the rest of the Nebraska gaming group. They consistently have run events almost monthly for the past several years and have all attended GenCon for at least two years.

Here's to hoping for continued participation and support for many years to come under the great leadership of Heroscapers.com!

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Old July 6th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by R˙chean View Post
Matthias Maccabeus has PMd me with a high level of interest for taking this over.
God help us ..... wait .... we may be ok .... Matthias has a direct link

Seriously ... I would agree that Matthias Maccabeus would be a good choice. I assume in his day to day activities he has had to organize and run a wide range of events, and coordinate people over the years. I hope he takes it on.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

So does this mean that we'll be seeing a lot more Slugfest/HoB/Fog of Battle events to take the teeth out of girly range, or will it be the opposite so that MM can continue to prove how manly his melee units are?

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Old July 6th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Rest assured to all if Matthias and the Nebraska crew take over I will personally keep Ken and his man love of melee units in check!

In all seriousness though I think Ken will be great to take the lead for this. Most of the time I set up an event I will run everything by Ken to get his input. If he does take lead I will do everything I can to assist him along the way. We are both determined to keep Heroscape active in our home state and at Gencon.

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Old July 6th, 2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by R˙chean View Post
...
I had approached Retlaw to see if he wanted to move into the lead role. He let me know that while he can continue to support our effort by storing material through the year, GMing, and helping set up & tear down, he does not want to step into the lead role. The good news is that we will still have Retlaw's support, which is very key to all of this.
First I want to thank R˙chean for offering the position to me -- I had to decline as I am very involved in my kids activities right now (they grow up too fast) and it takes a lot of my time and I didn't think I would have time to devote to running the Gencon events the way they should be run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R˙chean View Post
...
Matthias Maccabeus has PMd me with a high level of interest for taking this over.

I think this is a great idea because he has a strong local community in Nebraska. I think that will be important. That is how it started, too; it was the Dallas group that started the events with GB on lead. We just lost a few Dallas people along the way.

So the Nebraska group taking over seems like a good idea. We will evaluate as we move forward but as I said the biggest hurdle is the want to do it. MM and his guys have been to GenCon enough to have a pretty good idea what they would bet getting themselves into.
Great to see interest from Matthias Maccabeus. As R˙chean already said, I will continue to help out in anyway you need: storing the tiles, set-up, tear-down, GM roles, etc.

And as I've said numerous times -- THANKS to R˙chean for running the events again this year!
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Old July 6th, 2011, 10:53 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Well, I hope that Matt will consider a 2-on-2 tourney for 2012...

And thanks for running this year R˙chean! And to Matt for taking the rein for next year!
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Old July 8th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Perhaps a committee should be formed? Maybe if the load was split between a group of 3 or 4 perhaps it would ease the individual burdens?

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Old July 8th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Re: GenCon: the future of the Heroscapers Gaming Group

Maybe, that is pretty much what happens anyway...more or less.

I lean heavily on dignan all year; I pretty much bounce everything off of him. I have also engaged players such as MM, Mattser, Jexik, lonewolf to bounce ideas off as well. Those same guys also helped me pick the maps.

We sort of have been doing it by committee, just in private and I have been making the final decisions.

Putting someone in charge of maps and another in charge of prizes, etc..is certainly feasible. However, for submitting events, managing GM badges, and working with the GenCon reps, it still should be a single point of contact. The very last thing we want is 2-3 different people all submitting events under the Heroscapers gaming group tag. Someone has to be the lead.

A must read for all 'Scapers!
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