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nijineko
11-01-2009, 12:56 AM
you know you want one...

... search your feelings, you know it to be true.










=D

MarshamSane
11-01-2009, 01:05 AM
I would go for one in person, especially if based in washington or oregon. but online...no thanks.

spidey
11-01-2009, 01:08 AM
Sure. You could have a dealer page with physical products and PDF downloads to purchase etc... Scheduled online games using Skype and GSC where observers are encouraged. A few prizes and contests. Have a couple of special guests. Why not? Could be fun.

Hockey_Hippie
11-01-2009, 01:18 AM
I'm all for an Online PnPG Con. I think it is a workable idea that can be successful if well-planned. Pvt Msg me if you need help.

outrider
11-01-2009, 04:10 PM
I would agree with Marshamsane. I would prefer a live convention. It would be nice to meet all the people whom I have been in contact with.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-01-2009, 04:20 PM
I'm all for it for a real location. Online... not so much, but that's just me. Keep us up to date.

yukonhorror
11-02-2009, 10:55 AM
A live one would be nifty, but I most likely wouldn't be able to go. But you could probably get the guys from D3 games and crafty games to help sponsor.

Richard Littles
11-02-2009, 11:03 AM
I think it would be pretty interesting to see how it plays out. It's definitely a good idea that could be based around a virtual convention world with voice chat. This idea has potential, but I'm not a programmer to say it's definitely doable as a 3d virtual world.

spidey
11-02-2009, 11:51 AM
you know you want one...

... search your feelings, you know it to be true.










=D
In my opinion the question isn't whether you'd prefer a live in person con or an online one. Obviously most everyone would prefer a live in person one. However, 99% of the members on this site would be unable to attend a live con as we are spread all over the world. The question is whether an online con has enough interest and whether it is feasible and worthwhile to do.

I mean... It's like me asking you "Would you like a hamburger"
and you say "Yes, I'd love some lobster thank you" and I say I know you
like lobster, but I'm asking you if you want a hamburger."

yukonhorror
11-02-2009, 04:24 PM
online or no, great place to introduce ppg classes/tutorials/workshops (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13423).

If online, I don't mind holding a little intro on the basics of maptools for players and GM's.

cplmac
11-02-2009, 08:17 PM
And I am sure that each regional P&PG Con would be trying to convince Farcaster to make an apperance at thiers. With that in mind, if we would get one arranged here in the Pittsburgh, PA area, we are calling dibs on Farcaster now.:D

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-02-2009, 08:57 PM
online or no, great place to introduce ppg classes/tutorials/workshops (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13423).

If online, I don't mind holding a little intro on the basics of maptools for players and GM's.
I'd sign up for that class.

Hockey_Hippie
11-02-2009, 10:37 PM
I think Spidey has hit the nail on the head. We, or most of us anyway, frequent this site because of lack of local gaming resources. Sure there is some "I just moved to (insert name of big North American city here) and am looking for local players", but there are many more of us for which face to face gaming or attending a live RPG Convention is not an option for whatever reason, be it health, money or time or something not mentioned here. This is for all intents and purposes an online community. We should play to that strength. The technology is available to make an online con a success as long as it is well thought out and executed. I've said it before, if it is decided to do an online con, I can lend some experience with event planning. A live con, probably not because that would require me to be on the ground and that is not an option for me at this time.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Hey folks,

Just me being an insomniac but was doing some thinking as to how we might set this up.

First off, we would have to make sure we had a very fast and bulletproof server with a whole lot of capacity because if there is one thing that would turn this into a farce it would be having the site go down mid-con or even lag somewhat. I don't know exactly which of you folks in red is in charge of that end of things for this site but it would be an absolute must to cover our butts there.

Secondly we would need someone to contact all the game companies we would be interested in inviting to this event. Furthermore we would need to decide if there would be a 'booth charge' for their attendance. Most if not all other 'live' cons do charge for booth space which goes a long way to covering their costs. If the server plan we now use is not up to the standards we need to pull this off, 'booth fees' would go a long way to help defray the costs involved in whatever upgrades we would need.

Thirdly, we are going to need at least one person with significant web-design skills (see below). As I don't know most of you and least of all the staff of this site, that person might already be among us, but I probably don't know him/her.

Fourthly, we are going to have to decide on a date. From a purely logistical point of view I doubt there is any way we can think of doing this anytime before mid-2010. That said, if we do do this, in my opinion (for what that's worth) mid-November 2010 would be the best time for a couple of reasons. First off it would be six weeks before Christmas which would work out well for the game companies in general and especially well for anyone rolling out a new product at that time (and I'll bet that is the majority of them). Secondly, at least in the upper hemisphere where most of us are located, November is a month usually cold enough to keep people inside, but not so bad as to knock down trees and powerlines (and cutting off internet connections). As well, as far as televised sports, not much happens on weekends in November after the baseball World Series ends (at least in North America. I could be way off base here as far as other continents are concerned. Anyone know how the football [soccer to us new worlders:)] season plays out in Europe that time of year?)

At any 'live' con I've been to (when I was rich and mobile) many game companies had their own demo/tourney games going on right at their booth. We should also do this and we can by providing a link to a chatroom where said game is being played. Now the chatroom would be set up so only those running or playing in the game would be able to type in the room. Perhaps a separate room could be made available and someone (from the game company) can explain the game as it is being played. Now I know that in PNPG chat you can chat in the main room and private message at the same time. I also know you can't be in two different chatrooms at the same time. However, while I can't direct someone to such a beast personally, I do think the technology is out there to make it possible to be in two different chats at the same time. It's just a matter of finding it.

Now obviously watching a bunch of people in a chat room without any visual context of what is going on is probably not as entertaining as someone might like. Ergo, being able to 'staple' an ap like maptool in the 'gameroom', to be seen by all is probably a necessity.

As far as running games in Skype (or other voice tech) is concerned, I do think that ap should be represented at the con, but I think it should be up to the game companies as to whether they want to use chat or Skype to run their games. My feeling is that most if not all will choose chat simply because that technology has been around longer and everyone is used to it more so than Skype.

Should that prove to be the case, perhaps a good suggestion would be to contact the makers of Skype itself and see if they want to rent a 'booth' at the con. In fact, I'd go so far as to say any company with a decent RPG ap on the market should also be contacted in this regard. As well, we could also approach any online RPG media outlets out there as well with the same proposal (anything from an ordering platform for your favourite RL RPG magazine to publishers of novels that fit in with RPGers interests).

As far as other features on the game company sites I think we should basically set parameters as to how much space on the server they would be allowed to use and let them design their own site with the exception of a few things

1) The 'game room' as explained above. If a company wishes to have more than one game room (or more than another pre-determined amount of game rooms), we probably should be able to charge a higher rate for that (more server space, more work for whoever is designing the template). Keep in mind that the game companies should be encouraged to use as many of their own people as possible in running/explaining the games. One they probably know them better and two they would be getting paid for it.

2) Each game company site should have multiple chat links for sales representatives (I suggest three). Again, if the company wants more, then a higher rate should be charged.

3) A way to pay for product that doesn't involve a credit card. First off, there is a lot of paranoia over identity theft in cyberspace these days. Secondly, there are some of us that plain don't have a credit card and probably won't be getting one any time soon. Paypal is the method I think most people know. Not sure if there are others like it.

I would suggest that the companies be encouraged to keep their game rooms in constant motion. People should either be in there rolling a character up or playing at all times. As far as what scenarios should be run in the game rooms, I'm thinking that in a demo scenario, allowing an hour to roll up characters for the entire party should be sufficient as long as everyone does the same thing at the same time in a step by step fashion. An adventure of maybe two hours probably more tilted to hack'n'slash (face it folks, when you rolled your first D&D character, you couldn't wait to use your sword/spell/bow/mace) as opposed to role-playing should be sufficient. Hack'n'slash also provides the game company more of an opportunity to demonstrate their game mechanics than something tilted more towards role-playing and they do want to sell stuff remember. I would also suggest that it be written into any contract we draw up that each company provide at least one tournament scenario per day per game room and provide 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes (not for each session mind you, but overall) (which I'm guessing would probably be online store credits which by me is quite fine). Basically, they would need to come up with two scenarios as they could run the demo scenario ad infinitum as different people would be playing it all the time.

As far as registering for game play, my opinion is that this should not become available until one hour after the previous game has started. It's not a foolproof way to keep people at the con but if we allow pre-registration, folks are going to show up for their game only and then get the hell out of dodge. If they have to be there to register anyway, they might hang around and check out other products while waiting for their game to start. My feeling is that planning for that one hour gap would allow potential demo gamers to watch how characters are rolled up but not give them a glimpse of the scenario itself (I'm thinking it would be pretty easy to ban someone temporarily from the demo chat room(s) who has registered for the next one once they have registered as they have to leave the chat to register).

Another thing that would help us out a lot is if we had a 'celebrity' among us for a live chat, be they author or game designer. Now there are two sides to this coin. While yes it would definitely give us credibility in running this con, said person also benefits whoever is bringing him in. Do we give that client a discount on their booth? Waive their costs altogether?

Another thing we haven't touched on is on-site advertising (only in the form of banner ads, none of this pop-up stuff). Yeah I know, banner ads are ugly, crass and commercial but the money to put this on has to come from somewhere. In my experience, money generated by those are calculated by click thoughs (IE the more times someone clicks on a particular banner ad (which would be linked to their 'booth'), the more money we make from the people whose ad that is.) If we sub-divide the con into 'rooms' with no more than 16 'booths' to a room and had four rooms in addition to the main lobby we would be able to generate 10 different banner ad spots (top and bottom of page in the main lobby and four rooms). As probably many of you have noticed, a lot of banner ads are actually several different banner ads on a loop so that every time the page is opened the ads rotate. This would allow us to have more than 10 ads assuming lobby and four rooms.

Anyway, just some idle thoughts in my head after staying up all night. Sorry for the manifesto length post. When I write my auto-biography, it will be on the back of a bubblegum wrapper:)

HH

spidey
11-03-2009, 10:33 AM
you know you want one...

... search your feelings, you know it to be true.










=D
What about the online sensation "Second Life" or something similar? It's totally free. You can have a large convention center of your own design complete with video, meeting, or gaming rooms etc. People already use it for D&D and other RPGs. Each person has their own fully customizable avatar with which to walk around the convention. There are countless places to advertise. You can have walk-ins from strangers that just want to check it out. The idea is novel enough that a news reporter might even want to do a story on it. It's so crazy it just might work.

Hockey_Hippie
11-03-2009, 10:40 AM
Ok, just talked to spidey about what exactly 'Second Life' entails. It sounds really cool but I'm wondering about just how much work would be involved for a game company to set up their own booth in Second Life. I've never tried it and maybe I'm wrong here, but I'm thinking that the work involved doing that will turn some companies off attending.



What about the online sensation "Second Life" or something similar? It's totally free. You can have a large convention center of your own design complete with video, meeting, or gaming rooms etc. People already use it for D&D and other RPGs. Each person has their own fully customizable avatar with which to walk around the convention. There are countless places to advertise. You can have walk-ins from strangers that just want to check it out. The idea is novel enough that a news reporter might even want to do a story on it. It's so crazy it just might work.

yukonhorror
11-03-2009, 12:33 PM
this might give us a chance to break the record again. We could probably crush that 470 number (assuming the server doesn't die again)
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I'd sign up for that class.

refer to the link and maybe it can get held regardless of a ppg con.

I think maptools could also be used in a live game so you don't have to lug around maps and figurines.

cplmac
11-03-2009, 01:19 PM
As I understand it, Farcaster was able to find what caused the site to lock up last April and has since changed the default setting to eliminate that problem.

Etarnon
11-03-2009, 01:28 PM
I've seen these online cons run okay online as long as you have didicated DMs, and rooms to meet.

For years, I have been a part of the Neverwinter Nights community @ Neverwinterconnections, a large NWN player run community.

We set it up so that one server was a central meeting area with links to 15 to 20 other servers where games were running on a schedule, thus spreading the bandwith for a few hundred people out to multiple servers.

Second life would be do-able, except that second life is not really jump in and play, takes a while to get set up and speed really degrades past a certain amount of players after a certain point.

It works okay for meetings. I used to use it to play D&D in a VR Game room, via chat. But in the end, in person was better for the group I ran.

Benefits to second life are voice and a visual workspace. There's some amazing things that people do with art, color, and structures there. Plus things like VR Games or attractions. When my wife and I played SL two years ago, I did okay as a home / apartment and buildings architect, with a tiny VR Design firm.

Drawbacks are a lot of people there are wrapped up i the sex industry, and the whole place is semi-rated R, to X in some areas. So you'll find these people wandering and and out, unless you have a secured area rented, which takes real money, and a somewhat complex access / key entry list, which takes time to set up.

Big corporations heard of all the hoopla, and paid big bucks to have VR designers hook them up, only to find that it wasn't what was advertised.
So those guys left, and some of their corporate edifices are there. abandoned.

Anyone who really wants to deal with second life, spend a week there, and see for yourself.

It's still not, in my mind, a mature industry, and is still struggling to find itself, basically it is to me a big social experiment in how do mass amounts of people interact in a VR world.

Anyway, that's my experience. ymmd.

yukonhorror
11-03-2009, 01:52 PM
As I understand it, Farcaster was able to find what caused the site to lock up last April and has since changed the default setting to eliminate that problem.

He said he fixed what happened in April, but it could crash for an entirely different reason.

My comment was more of a joke than anything.

Anyhoo, carry on.

Suggestions for sessions:
Independent game developers on this site could give a rundown on their games (like that crusader's super hero system by LastCrusader)

Hockey_Hippie
11-03-2009, 09:51 PM
Hi there again folks,

As some of you might have noticed I have been pigeon-holing people in the chat room with this thread for the past day soliciting their opinions on the idea of an Online Con as a whole and also any suggestions they might have on how to improve on the suggestions I posted earlier today.

First off, I'd like to apologize to anyone in the chat room who found my constant asking/discussing to be annoying in any way. I just really like this idea and think if done right it could be a real boon to this site in particular and gamers and anyone involved with RPGing in general.

Secondly I'd also like to apologize in advance to anyone who's suggestion I now mention who doesn't get credit for it. Rest assured, my ideas for the most part were mentioned in the last post I put up. Anything new mentioned here is 95% likely not to have come from me. It's just that I talked to a lot of people in the past 24 hours and I can't remember exactly who said what.

What I'm going to do here is re-print my last post in it's entirety and in italics add in the suggestions to various parts of this endeavour where they fit in.

Here goes:

First off, we would have to make sure we had a very fast and bulletproof server with a whole lot of capacity because if there is one thing that would turn this into a farce it would be having the site go down mid-con or even lag somewhat. I don't know exactly which of you folks in red is in charge of that end of things for this site but it would be an absolute must to cover our butts there.

There have been suggestions that we approach Second Life in an effort to hold the con on their site/server. Some people really like the WOW factor that something like that could provide. Etarnon, however, who sounds like he has had the benefit of a lot of experience with SL, points out a lot of potential pitfalls with using SL at this time. As someone who has never used SL I can neither confirm or refute his findings. That said, my feelings, especially in the first year of something like this which to my knowledge hasn't been done to this extent before, are that we need to make this as easy an experience for the gamer to attend and play as possible. To me, this means as little cash outlay as possible, preferably free and a technological platform that has been dumbed down to appeal to the widest possible demographic. As I have said, I've never used SL, but as popular as it may be, I'm betting more of our target demographic are familiar with chat rooms than they are with it. If SL irons out the problems mentioned by Etarnon at some future date and there are more gamers using it (possibly at some point in the future the admins might consider some kind of way we can quantify the users of various online technologies via their search engine parameters), SL might be a more viable solution (this again, is only my opinion, for what that's worth).

Secondly we would need someone to contact all the game companies we would be interested in inviting to this event. Furthermore we would need to decide if there would be a 'booth charge' for their attendance. Most if not all other 'live' cons do charge for booth space which goes a long way to covering their costs. If the server plan we now use is not up to the standards we need to pull this off, 'booth fees' would go a long way to help defray the costs involved in whatever upgrades we would need.

During the discussions I've had in the chat room with various members some things have come to my mind (which probably wouldn't have but for those discussions) as far as what kind of terms we should be including in the rental agreement for game company 'booths'

First and foremost I think the basic 'booth package' should include 1 game room (equipped with dual chat rooms and maptool) 3 chat vendors. Additional numbers of either of those items should be reflected in an increase in 'booth fees' Now, while I can use WYSIWYG web-site editors, I am by no means an expert. However, if I am not mistaken we could probably make a basic web-page template with 1 game room and 3 chat vendors and then add on additional pieces as we need them in the form of self-contained modules (I believe that is the term correct me, please if I am wrong) that would fit together with the basic package in a way akin to lego blocks.

Secondly, once they have rented a booth, the game companies would be completely responsible for their booths content. Contractually this would include the constant flow of activity in their game room be it with a demo scenario, a tourney scenario or with a live guest presentation/Q&A session. While the latter would be optional, each game company should be obligated to run one tournament scenario, per game room per day and supply prizes (see below). In addition to this they would be obligated to provide all game room/vendor staff, be they GMs, OOC instructors in the second chat room or chat vendors in the 'shop'. Finally they would be responsible for putting in a Paypal machine in order for people to purchase goods.

Thirdly, once they enter into an agreement with us, they should also be obligated to run a banner on their company site advertising their upcoming appearance at our Online Con. This would allow us to reach a lot of people this site would not normally reach with word of our event and every one of those would have to have access to a computer (or else they wouldn't have seen the ad in the first place).

Now there are no doubt some of you that might think, why on earth, especially if said company has their own web portal, would they rent a 'booth' from us especially with all those conditions?

The long and short of it is this. We can supply those vendors with the unique experience of real time interaction with gamers from all over the world and they don't have to leave their offices to do it. And unless I badly miss my guess, we can give them that experience for between 25 and 40% of the 'booth fee' they would pay for a similarly sized RL Con. Throw in whatever expense they would incur renting vehicles, paying for gas/tolls, lodging and food if they were to attend a RL Con plus whatever wages/time were spent on setting up and tearing down their booth and all of a sudden this is a pretty good investment.

Thirdly, we are going to need at least one person with significant web-design skills (see below). As I don't know most of you and least of all the staff of this site, that person might already be among us, but I probably don't know him/her.

Fourthly, we are going to have to decide on a date. From a purely logistical point of view I doubt there is any way we can think of doing this anytime before mid-2010. That said, if we do do this, in my opinion (for what that's worth) mid-November 2010 would be the best time for a couple of reasons. First off it would be six weeks before Christmas which would work out well for the game companies in general and especially well for anyone rolling out a new product at that time (and I'll bet that is the majority of them). Secondly, at least in the upper hemisphere where most of us are located, November is a month usually cold enough to keep people inside, but not so bad as to knock down trees and powerlines (and cutting off internet connections). As well, as far as televised sports, not much happens on weekends in November after the baseball World Series ends (at least in North America. I could be way off base here as far as other continents are concerned. Anyone know how the football [soccer to us new worlders:)] season plays out in Europe that time of year?)

It was mentioned to me that mid-November 2010 might be pushing the envelope as far as run up time, suggesting that 2011 might be more reasonable. Myself I think it depends on the planning of the event and the commitment by the folks putting that plan in action to execute it in a timely manner. That said, the year doesn't matter so much to me so much as the time of year. I've thought a lot about this particular question and I can't think of a better time during the calender year to do this.

At any 'live' con I've been to (when I was rich and mobile) many game companies had their own demo/tourney games going on right at their booth. We should also do this and we can by providing a link to a chatroom where said game is being played. Now the chatroom would be set up so only those running or playing in the game would be able to type in the room. Perhaps a separate room could be made available and someone (from the game company) can explain the game as it is being played. Now I know that in PNPG chat you can chat in the main room and private message at the same time. I also know you can't be in two different chatrooms at the same time. However, while I can't direct someone to such a beast personally, I do think the technology is out there to make it possible to be in two different chats at the same time. It's just a matter of finding it.

Now obviously watching a bunch of people in a chat room without any visual context of what is going on is probably not as entertaining as someone might like. Ergo, being able to 'staple' an ap like maptool in the 'gameroom', to be seen by all is probably a necessity.

As far as running games in Skype (or other voice tech) is concerned, I do think that ap should be represented at the con, but I think it should be up to the game companies as to whether they want to use chat or Skype to run their games. My feeling is that most if not all will choose chat simply because that technology has been around longer and everyone is used to it more so than Skype.

Should that prove to be the case, perhaps a good suggestion would be to contact the makers of Skype itself and see if they want to rent a 'booth' at the con. In fact, I'd go so far as to say any company with a decent RPG ap on the market should also be contacted in this regard. As well, we could also approach any online RPG media outlets out there as well with the same proposal (anything from an ordering platform for your favourite RL RPG magazine to publishers of novels that fit in with RPGers interests).

Now below I have suggested 16 'booths' per 'hall' of the con and when I wrote that I was thinking of simply 4 rows of 4 icons linking to each of the vendors in that hall. However, it was suggested that we contact the RPGA and ask them to run an event at our event. This is a brilliant idea because not only might it be novel to them and thus an attractive proposition, it would also lend our event buckets of credibility.

In a perfect world (this is just me throwing spaghetti at the wall folks), we would have a three day con and ergo be able to run a three day RPGA event. On the first day you would have 8 'tables' (more on tables in a minute) with X amount of players, each running part A of the same scenario with the same PCs. Those PCs would be scored. Only the top 4 people running any particular PC would advance to part B of the scenario taking place on 4 tables on day 2. They again would be scored and those scores added to the day 1 scores and only the top 2 people running any particular PC would advance to the final part C of the scenario taking place on 2 tables on day 3. Again they would be scored and the top 3 scores would get prizes. Now again, this is just me putting stuff out there without talking to anyone about anything. I'm sure there are variants on scoring/scenarios etc. I'm just expanding on an idea given to me during my discussions in the chat room.

As for 'tables'. After some consideration and discussion with others, might I suggest the following adjustment to 'hall' layout. Instead of 4 rows of 4 vendor icons we should remove the four middle vendors (move them to a different hall) and open up those 4 spots for open online games and include the RPGA event in those parts of the hall. These games, run by whoever wanted to run them would be open to everyone. The table would have to be booked in advance by the GM running the game for X hours (probably no more than 4 at any one time) but the spots at the table would be open to anyone. Each table would be equipped with a place in which to enter the name of the adventure/genre/system/world/players desired/spots still available and a countdown clock to the starting time. As well depending on booths available/number of open games expected we might move any publishers with special guests into the 'middle of the hall'.

As far as other features on the game company sites I think we should basically set parameters as to how much space on the server they would be allowed to use and let them design their own site with the exception of a few things

1) The 'game room' as explained above. If a company wishes to have more than one game room (or more than another pre-determined amount of game rooms), we probably should be able to charge a higher rate for that (more server space, more work for whoever is designing the template). Keep in mind that the game companies should be encouraged to use as many of their own people as possible in running/explaining the games. One they probably know them better and two they would be getting paid for it.

2) Each game company site should have multiple chat links for sales representatives (I suggest three). Again, if the company wants more, then a higher rate should be charged.

3) A way to pay for product that doesn't involve a credit card. First off, there is a lot of paranoia over identity theft in cyberspace these days. Secondly, there are some of us that plain don't have a credit card and probably won't be getting one any time soon. Paypal is the method I think most people know. Not sure if there are others like it.

I would suggest that the companies be encouraged to keep their game rooms in constant motion. People should either be in there rolling a character up or playing at all times. As far as what scenarios should be run in the game rooms, I'm thinking that in a demo scenario, allowing an hour to roll up characters for the entire party should be sufficient as long as everyone does the same thing at the same time in a step by step fashion. An adventure of maybe two hours probably more tilted to hack'n'slash (face it folks, when you rolled your first D&D character, you couldn't wait to use your sword/spell/bow/mace) as opposed to role-playing should be sufficient. Hack'n'slash also provides the game company more of an opportunity to demonstrate their game mechanics than something tilted more towards role-playing and they do want to sell stuff remember. I would also suggest that it be written into any contract we draw up that each company provide at least one tournament scenario per day per game room and provide 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes (not for each session mind you, but overall) (which I'm guessing would probably be online store credits which by me is quite fine). Basically, they would need to come up with two scenarios as they could run the demo scenario ad infinitum as different people would be playing it all the time.

As far as registering for game play, my opinion is that this should not become available until one hour after the previous game has started. It's not a foolproof way to keep people at the con but if we allow pre-registration, folks are going to show up for their game only and then get the hell out of dodge. If they have to be there to register anyway, they might hang around and check out other products while waiting for their game to start. My feeling is that planning for that one hour gap would allow potential demo gamers to watch how characters are rolled up but not give them a glimpse of the scenario itself (I'm thinking it would be pretty easy to ban someone temporarily from the demo chat room(s) who has registered for the next one once they have registered as they have to leave the chat to register).

Another thing that would help us out a lot is if we had a 'celebrity' among us for a live chat, be they author or game designer. Now there are two sides to this coin. While yes it would definitely give us credibility in running this con, said person also benefits whoever is bringing him in. Do we give that client a discount on their booth? Waive their costs altogether?

Another thing we haven't touched on is on-site advertising (only in the form of banner ads, none of this pop-up stuff). Yeah I know, banner ads are ugly, crass and commercial but the money to put this on has to come from somewhere. In my experience, money generated by those are calculated by click thoughs (IE the more times someone clicks on a particular banner ad (which would be linked to their 'booth'), the more money we make from the people whose ad that is.) If we sub-divide the con into 'rooms' with no more than 16 'booths' to a room and had four rooms in addition to the main lobby we would be able to generate 10 different banner ad spots (top and bottom of page in the main lobby and four rooms). As probably many of you have noticed, a lot of banner ads are actually several different banner ads on a loop so that every time the page is opened the ads rotate. This would allow us to have more than 10 ads assuming lobby and four rooms.


Anyway, again I apologize for leaving anyone out here, I'd like to thank at least the ones I remember talking to (I've had 2 hours of sleep in the past 28 hours): spidey, outrider, Juno-Ome, kitsune 1842, Ashene, Fly By Knight, pruttm, Richard Littles, Lyranis. I know there are others but my brain is on tilt right now. Sorry again.

Etarnon
11-04-2009, 09:39 AM
Well, I seriously suggest you take a good week or three and explore second life, before you confirm to yourself that is how you want it to go. Period.

Also, your ideas are well thought out and presented, it's a good structure to base around, for a virtual con.

Seems like the only reason you are not advocating a live con a la gencon is that this reduces the distance for travellers to zero, thus, as you say, enabling "The World" as it were to participate.

My first thought beyond the above is you are, with a VR setup cutting out pretty much all of the minis business games like 4th edition, and perhaps saga star wars, and such. And some of that is bread and butter for some of the bigger companies.

Here in Pittsburgh, with a city of about a half million people in the metropolitan area, the hobby shops struggle to find 75 people total in the city (spread among 4 hobby stores), to man up the chairs at Worldwide games day every quarter, to advertise the new WOTC books, despite ads, flyers, word of mouth from local gamer organizations weeks in advance, and all of that, just to play 4th edition, in pre-published scenarios, which are all free, with free minis.

I'm not trying to detract from your idea, just poking it in places for structure.

As with NWN Con over the years, I helped out where I could.

I'll do that here (again, as I can), but I again urge you to personally make an account (they're free or were, last time I played, which was about a year ago) and begin visiting SL way ahead of time, as there are some serious limitations to bandwith, etc from the environment installed graphics, in game ads, clutterred spaces, etc, plus the riff raff / interlopers issues.

You could of course, rent a server from the SL people, and build a Convention hall, but again, that's a pretty good chunk of change for the rental fee (even for a month), plus if you want hundreds of people, connectivity issues, since each client has to handle graphics from the whole place, plus the characters moving around, plus voice, plus chat, etc.

And it's not really like a flash chat, where you log in and go, and start typing.

Okay, off soapbox.

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 09:47 AM
My suggestion at using Second Life for the con that it would be on a server that isn't hooked up to the current servers they have running. There wouldn't be access between the two.

yukonhorror
11-04-2009, 09:50 AM
doesn't second life cost to own an account?

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 09:52 AM
doesn't second life cost to own an account?

No it doesn't. The thing that he wants to look at is the ability to run a virtual con using their graphics engine.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 10:59 AM
After hearing Etarnon's experiences with SL, I am kind of leery of going down that road at this time, not just for the technical 'dumbing down' reasons but also because of the site morality issues he raises. The last thing I want to have happen is to have this site and RPGs in general (which as we all know have an image problem dating back to the first DM Guide cover with some people, most notably the ones who snuck out behind the barn growing up to look at right wing religious porn) connected to what those same people might view as a virtual porn city. That will do none of us any good. There might not be many of them, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in volume. Don't confuse being a member of the religious right with being technologically stupid. They have geeks too :).

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 11:03 AM
After hearing Etarnon's experiences with SL, I am kind of leery of going down that road at this time, not just for the technical 'dumbing down' reasons but also because of the site morality issues he raises. The last thing I want to have happen is to have this site and RPGs in general (which as we all know have an image problem dating back to the first DM Guide cover with some people, most notably the ones who snuck out behind the barn growing up to look at right wing religious porn) connected to what those same people might view as a virtual porn city. That will do none of us any good. There might not be many of them, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in volume.

Which wouldn't be a problem if it's on a separate and unconnected server. It wouldn't intersect with the regular SL servers at all.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 11:24 AM
My first thought beyond the above is you are, with a VR setup cutting out pretty much all of the minis business games like 4th edition, and perhaps saga star wars, and such. And some of that is bread and butter for some of the bigger companies.

Here in Pittsburgh, with a city of about a half million people in the metropolitan area, the hobby shops struggle to find 75 people total in the city (spread among 4 hobby stores), to man up the chairs at Worldwide games day every quarter, to advertise the new WOTC books, despite ads, flyers, word of mouth from local gamer organizations weeks in advance, and all of that, just to play 4th edition, in pre-published scenarios, which are all free, with free minis.

Actually, I'm aiming to have as many gaming companies and ergo different games there as possible. I suggested a basic 'booth' package of 1 game room and 3 chat vendors. There is nothing stopping company X from saying "We have 4 different games we want to push here so let's rent an extra game room and run alternating demos for all 4 games." In fact when we make contact with those companies we should make our pitch with that in mind and remind them of the fact that the more people know, the more likely they are to spend. At that time we can also remind them that if they show up with canned adventures as opposed to newly written ones it will probably not only reflect badly on their demo numbers, but would deny them the opportunity to roll out an additional product to the public (the newly written demo adventure be it an RL or Virtual product in it's saleable form) and bill it as 'first played in the inaugural <insert name of our Online con here>' which for novelty sake alone, is kind of a neat claim to be able to make.

As for small hobby shops, they are not our target demographic as far as the vendor pool we want to tap into. We want the actual game companies (GCs). Now it has been argued that the small GC start-ups who are still 'working out of their garages' won't be able to afford the booth fees involved. At this time, I cannot for certainty say what those fees will be in dollar terms. All I know is that I suspect our overhead for this will be a lot lower than for an RL Con and I have every intent on 'helping the little guy' where possible, especially those who are members of this site. I think it would be highly counter-productive for us to hold an Online Con and not have games written, developed and playtested by our own people there.

All that said, until we get a better idea on the costs of putting this event on, there is no way we can get into tangible booth fee figures. Right now we need to work on determining that before anything else.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Rich it's guilt by association. The folks who would stir up trouble for us are not going to make that distinction. In fact, they will go as far as they can to blur that line. That is how propaganda wars work. Actual facts are secondary to the appearance of facts.



Which wouldn't be a problem if it's on a separate and unconnected server. It wouldn't intersect with the regular SL servers at all.

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 12:19 PM
As a word of caution, I'd wait to see what Farcaster has to say about this since it is ultimately his decision. It is also his decision regarding who he wants to have on a con committee and how the con would take place. No one has been appointed, to my knowledge, by Farcaster to represent his interests in this endeavor.

yukonhorror
11-04-2009, 01:08 PM
As a word of caution, I'd wait to see what Farcaster has to say about this since it is ultimately his decision. It is also his decision regarding who he wants to have on a con committee and how the con would take place. No one has been appointed, to my knowledge, by Farcaster to represent his interests in this endeavor.

well said

but I wouldn't let that be a deterrent from some logistical discussions. I am sure Farcaster would appreciate someone spear heading the details (assuming he is down)

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 01:26 PM
well said

but I wouldn't let that be a deterrent from some logistical discussions. I am sure Farcaster would appreciate someone spear heading the details (assuming he is down)

My concern was that certain things were being set in stone without any consideration to all the ideas presented and without Farcaster's input. I believe the first order of business should be Farcaster appoint a committee of people he knows and trusts to run put the con together. Putting forth ideas of what people would like to see in the con is a great idea, but the rest needs to be checked at the door due to the requirement this needs Farcaster's blessing to even begin to be worked on.

yukonhorror
11-04-2009, 02:05 PM
I agree. I knew that was the point you were making. Hopefully nobody is getting their heart set on details. But I think the discussions are still worthwhile, because the official committee can read them, consider them, and make official decisions.

As for organizers, I will officially decline :). But I will offer to hold a workshop on maptools.

As for the people who have put forth ideas, I think it may be worth your time to contact Farcaster and see if he wants to endorse the idea in general. If says no, after all of the grumbling, you won't burn anymore time planning a con that won't happen.

But I have a great idea for a date: April 1st. Reunion of the dreaded server crash.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 03:05 PM
I have been in contact with Farcaster already. This is all still in the talking stages folks.


My concern was that certain things were being set in stone without any consideration to all the ideas presented and without Farcaster's input. I believe the first order of business should be Farcaster appoint a committee of people he knows and trusts to run put the con together. Putting forth ideas of what people would like to see in the con is a great idea, but the rest needs to be checked at the door due to the requirement this needs Farcaster's blessing to even begin to be worked on.

yukonhorror
11-04-2009, 03:23 PM
and what's the word from "the man"??

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 04:09 PM
We're still in the talking stages only, but I think any official word from Farcaster should come from him. That said, the fact that we are at least in the talking stages is positive. I do want to make one thing clear though. I am not, I repeat am not, trying to steal a march on anyone here. You folks, or almost all of you folks, have all been here longer than me. As such you probably feel and rightly so that there are members here you trust more than me (trust has to be earned and I have not earned yours yet) to be involved with this project (should we get the ultimate go ahead). All I'm doing with Farcaster at this point is giving him the benefit of the event planning experience I have in framing up the process. Naturally anything I suggest is ultimately subject to his approval over everyone else's (it's his ball folks). That said (and I'm only speaking for myself here, not Farcaster) I have always been and always will remain open to suggestions (in fact there are probably some of you that frequent the chat room who are sick of me being 'open to suggestions' :))

HH

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 04:23 PM
We're still in the talking stages only, but I think any official word from Farcaster should come from him. That said, the fact that we are at least in the talking stages is positive. I do want to make one thing clear though. I am not, I repeat am not, trying to steal a march on anyone here. You folks, or almost all of you folks, have all been here longer than me. As such you probably feel and rightly so that there are members here you trust more than me (trust has to be earned and I have not earned yours yet) to be involved with this project (should we get the ultimate go ahead). All I'm doing with Farcaster at this point is giving him the benefit of the event planning experience I have in framing up the process. Naturally anything I suggest is ultimately subject to his approval over everyone else's (it's his ball folks). That said (and I'm only speaking for myself here, not Farcaster) I have always been and always will remain open to suggestions (in fact there are probably some of you that frequent the chat room who are sick of me being 'open to suggestions' :))

HH

If talking is all that you're doing then I have no problems with it. Every suggestion that I've gave has been dismissed out of hand by yourself which causes some concern because you appear to be ignoring what people who are in the publishing business and have con experience have to say. This is Farcaster's show and his decision on how to approach it. It's entirely up to him regarding if this will be web based or a 3d virtual world. If it's only the publishers that pay for booths or to have the costs split between attendees and the publishers. Before anything can be done a committee has to be appointed by Farcaster to oversee things and work closely with him.

*Note: I am speaking as an individual and not for D3 Games.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 05:24 PM
Actually Rich it was your talking to me about the small GCs that alerted me to the problem that might occur as far as their finances vs booth fees were concerned. And because of that conversation I have already suggested in this forum that were it solely up to me (which it isn't of course) I'd do everything I could to make sure the little guy especially one who is a member of this site like yourself was able to be represented in the event.

I think the suggestion(s) you think are being dismissed out of hand really boil down to Second Life vs Web-Page/Chat Room as a platform for the Con.

I've explained my views on this on this forum. They are twofold.

Firstly, chat room technology has been around a lot longer and a lot more gamers are familiar with it than they are with using Second Life. More familiarity means and easier, more enjoyable, experience which means more attendees.

Secondly, based on the experiences of someone who has had an account on Second Life over a period of time, there is a big question as to how the general public, Corporate America and the Religious Right views that site. Combine that with the shaky image that RPGs have historically had by folks who just plain don't understand us and don't want to and it could very easily turn into a public relations nightmare. It only takes one person to blog that 'Satanists and Porn Industry Hook-Up At Online Sinfest' and it is out there and there is nothing we can do about it.

Accuracy and facts have nothing to do with it. If someone wants to warp the truth to serve their agenda on the internet, it happens.

I have also mentioned on this forum that using Second Life in a future Online Com is something to consider providing they clean up their image. Would I do that if I were dismissing the idea out of hand?

Remember, this is the first time anything like this has been attempted online. Purely my opinion here but first impressions are everything, especially when you are trying to build a brand which is exactly what we would be doing here, whether we realize it or not. Assuming we go ahead with this, people are going to equate everything PnPG does after the Online Con with the Online Con. And with the image traditionally associated with RPGs we really need to be careful here. Provided no one steals a march on us we will be the first organizers of an online gaming convention. That alone would make us pioneers. Again, the final decision is not up to me, however were it so, I would be unwilling to risk the reputation of this site on something that could backfire as easily as Second Life could.

I have not dismissed your ideas out of hand. They've been on the board in my posts and in my pvt msgs to Farcaster. They've also been discussed in the chat room. If Farcaster tells me tomorrow to go check out Second Life, then that's what I'll do. It's not something I would do were it up to me, but it is not up to me.

I hope this clarifies things

HH

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Actually Rich it was your talking to me about the small GCs that alerted me to the problem that might occur as far as their finances vs booth fees were concerned. And because of that conversation I have already suggested in this forum that were it solely up to me (which it isn't of course) I'd do everything I could to make sure the little guy especially one who is a member of this site like yourself was able to be represented in the event.

I think the suggestion(s) you think are being dismissed out of hand really boil down to Second Life vs Web-Page/Chat Room as a platform for the Con.

I've explained my views on this on this forum. They are twofold.

Firstly, chat room technology has been around a lot longer and a lot more gamers are familiar with it than they are with using Second Life. More familiarity means more attendees

Secondly, based on the experiences of someone who has had an account on Second Life over a period of time, there is a big question as to how the general public, Corporate America and the Religious Right views that site. Combine that with the shaky image that RPGs have historically had by folks who just plain don't understand us and don't want to and it could very easily turn into a public relations nightmare. It only takes one person to blog that 'Satanists and Porn Industry Hook-Up At Online Sinfest' and it is out there and there is nothing we can do about it.

Accuracy and facts have nothing to do with it. If someone wants to warp the truth to serve their agenda on the internet, it happens.

I have not dismissed your ideas out of hand. They've been on the board in my posts and in my pvt msgs to Farcaster. They've also been discussed in the chat room. If Farcaster tells me tomorrow to go check out Second Life, then that's what I'll do. It's not something I would do were it up to me, but it is not up to me.

I hope this clarifies things

HH

As I've explained to you before, chat technology lacks the wow that a 3d Virtual World has and will not generate the amount of people needed to make it a success. Anyone can put together a webpage con and it won't wow people. What is needed is the wow factor and the only platform that can do it is a 3d virtual world with people able to use customized avatars.

Also, the suggestion for using SL as the engine to power this as a low cost alternative and to talk to the company that runs SL to see about them setting up a special server that is not connected to their main SL servers was dismissed. No one outside of the committee has to know that Second Life's main servers are involved and only credit given to the company supplying the server and software.

Booth fees won't pay the costs since it has already been explained to you that the bulk of the publishers out there are small publishers with a small budget dedicated to actually attending a Con. The only company that I know of that has deep pockets is WotC and they already run two cons, so I don't see them sinking any money into a third. With a 3d Virtual World, charging attendees a small fee, in comparison to the hundreds of dollars they would normally spend at a live con, is not a lot to ask. They get the full experience of a real con in their living/computer room without having to spend 100's of dollars to attend.

Finally, the advantages of combining something like GSC with a 3d virtual world will enable players to feel immersed which a web based one lacks. The 3d virtual world will be accessable 24 hours a day and allows for the freedom of movement by the attendees. With a navigation system that all 3d worlds use players couldn't become lost and miss their games. Each individual room in the 3d virtual world can be decorated to reflect the theme of the game that will be played inside with people being able to change the look of their avatar to conform with the game's atmosphere. This is something that cannot be replicated in the slightest bit with a web based chat. The advantages the 3d World and the stability of the servers clearly outweighs any supposed advantages that a web based chat has.

I will refrain from further posting in this thread until Farcaster adds his two cents.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 06:09 PM
As I've explained to you before, chat technology lacks the wow that a 3d Virtual World has and will not generate the amount of people needed to make it a success. Anyone can put together a webpage con and it won't wow people. What is needed is the wow factor and the only platform that can do it is a 3d virtual world with people able to use customized avatars.

I'm not denying that SL or any other 3D Virtual World has the WOW factor. It does there is no question about it. But that wasn't the basis of my arguments


Also, the suggestion for using SL as the engine to power this as a low cost alternative and to talk to the company that runs SL to see about them setting up a special server that is not connected to their main SL servers was dismissed. No one outside of the committee has to know that Second Life's main servers are involved and only credit given to the company supplying the server and software.

Now if this is the case, IE being able to set up a separate Virtual World off site and in no way connected to the main Second Life site (I have no idea if it is or not), then sure that makes this idea worth checking out for sure. Moreso that the technology problem, the reputation problem is what convinced me not to back this suggestion. If we can remove that like you say, it's a different ballgame in my eyes.


Booth fees won't pay the costs since it has already been explained to you that the bulk of the publishers out there are small publishers with a small budget dedicated to actually attending a Con. The only company that I know of that has deep pockets is WotC and they already run two cons, so I don't see them sinking any money into a third. With a 3d Virtual World, charging attendees a small fee, in comparison to the hundreds of dollars they would normally spend at a live con, is not a lot to ask. They get the full experience of a real con in their living/computer room without having to spend 100's of dollars to attend.

Again, until we figure out the costs of this enterprise, talking about who pays for what is pre-mature.


Finally, the advantages of combining something like GSC with a 3d virtual world will enable players to feel immersed which a web based one lacks. The 3d virtual world will be accessable 24 hours a day and allows for the freedom of movement by the attendees. With a navigation system that all 3d worlds use players couldn't become lost and miss their games. Each individual room in the 3d virtual world can be decorated to reflect the theme of the game that will be played inside with people being able to change the look of their avatar to conform with the game's atmosphere. This is something that cannot be replicated in the slightest bit with a web based chat. The advantages the 3d World and the stability of the servers clearly outweighs any supposed advantages that a web based chat has.

Ok, here I get confused. You say above that you want a Virtual World completely cut off and separate from the Second Life site but now are saying that the Virtual World would be accessible 24 hours a day. What would people do when all the booths were closed and no scenarios were playing? Are you expecting that all the game companies etc supply personnel to run their booths around the clock for three days? Do you expect the folks who eventually put this thing together to also work out a schedule to be around 24 hours a day? (I'm not being facetious or sarcastic here, I really do want to know what your thoughts are so as to have a better understanding of your idea).


I will refrain from further posting in this thread until Farcaster adds his two cents.

HH

Richard Littles
11-04-2009, 06:44 PM
I'm not denying that SL or any other 3D Virtual World has the WOW factor. It does there is no question about it. But that wasn't the basis of my arguments

Glad that you agree with it.


Now if this is the case, IE being able to set up a separate Virtual World off site and in no way connected to the main Second Life site (I have no idea if it is or not), then sure that makes this idea worth checking out for sure. Moreso that the technology problem, the reputation problem is what convinced me not to back this suggestion. If we can remove that like you say, it's a different ballgame in my eyes.

I believe I said that back on page 2 and in chat when you asked me. The company that runs Second Life can set up things on a different server. I even stated that you should ask them in chat.


Again, until we figure out the costs of this enterprise, talking about who pays for what is pre-mature.

Then why did you put up the booth prices to pay for this on page 2? If you didn't want a reply to this point then you shouldn't have posted payment to begin with.


Ok, here I get confused. You say above that you want a Virtual World completely cut off and separate from the Second Life site but now are saying that the Virtual World would be accessible 24 hours a day. What would people do when all the booths were closed and no scenarios were playing? Are you expecting that all the game companies etc supply personnel to run their booths around the clock for three days? Do you expect the folks who eventually put this thing together to also work out a schedule to be around 24 hours a day? (I'm not being facetious or sarcastic here, I really do want to know what your thoughts are so as to have a better understanding of your idea).

HH

Not everyone in the world operates according to your schedule which is US time zones. With a virtual world the servers, games, etc... can all be on a 24 hour schedule allowing people from all over the world to connect to the convention. Just because the convention is on a separate server doesn't mean that it can't be operating 24 hours.

A dealer's area can be automated via a shop bot that can be made available. Granted that there isn't anyone alive operating it, but companies can still make sales. Hours of operation for when the company personnel will be there can be posted for all to see.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 07:33 PM
Glad that you agree with it.




I believe I said that back on page 2 and in chat when you asked me. The company that runs Second Life can set up things on a different server. I even stated that you should ask them in chat.

Ok, I did not equate 'different server/ different portal' with different site altogether. This I freely admit is because I'm simply not fluent in server lingua franca. When you explained it to me above, I got a better picture as to what you were proposing.




Then why did you put up the booth prices to pay for this on page 2? If you didn't want a reply to this point then you shouldn't have posted payment to begin with.

It was a suggestion I made based on the educated guess that our overhead would be a lot lower than an RL Con and that a lot of RL expenses associated with a vendor attending a RL Con would not apply here. Would I be totally opposed to charging an con entry fee or special event fee to certain things? No, but our overhead willing, I'd like to avoid that. This is basically where I'm coming from. I just think that the people making money off of this event should chip in before the people spending money buying their products should. Again only my opinion.



Not everyone in the world operates according to your schedule which is US time zones. With a virtual world the servers, games, etc... can all be on a 24 hour schedule allowing people from all over the world to connect to the convention. Just because the convention is on a separate server doesn't mean that it can't be operating 24 hours.

I understand that. It wasn't the 'staying open' thing that was my point but the 'what do we do while we're here and no one else is' thing (see below).


A dealer's area can be automated via a shop bot that can be made available. Granted that there isn't anyone alive operating it, but companies can still make sales. Hours of operation for when the company personnel will be there can be posted for all to see.

OK, this, again due to my ignorance of such things, is new to me. Had I known that something like this was possible, I would have never asked that question.

I'm not omnipotent, what I can offer is experience in event planning. What I can't offer is technical knowledge. To that end one of the first things I suggested to Farcaster was for him to find someone who is fluent in exactly these kind of things. Because that guy is not me.

HH

cplmac
11-04-2009, 07:57 PM
Has any thought been given to the fact that there could be people in different time zones and working different schedules that would be working on this endeavor? With that in mind, as much as I would be able to, I could possibly lend my accounting knowledge if needed. I would let the technical stuff up to you folks that a vastly more knowledgable than myself.

Hockey_Hippie
11-04-2009, 08:06 PM
Has any thought been given to the fact that there could be people in different time zones and working different schedules that would be working on this endeavor? With that in mind, as much as I would be able to, I could possibly lend my accounting knowledge if needed. I would let the technical stuff up to you folks that a vastly more knowledgable than myself.


Good point on the time zone thing. As far as your accountant's skills, someone like that is definitely needed for something this size.

HH

Farcaster
11-04-2009, 11:55 PM
I appreciate all the enthusiasm you guys have about this, but to go forward with something that is sponsored by P&PG and has the P&PG name, I feel like I would need to be very involved with the whole process. Right now, we have a few other exciting things in the works that you should start seeing in the coming months, so this just isn't a really good time to launch into something like this. I don't want to close down the brainstorming though, as I think that is all very positive, but let's not get too far ahead of things right at the moment, since it may be some time before P&PG can divert its attention to such a massive undertaking.

yukonhorror
11-05-2009, 09:12 AM
thanks FC for the official ppg opinion.

on a side note, what things are underway??? :eyebrows::wink:

Farcaster
11-05-2009, 11:24 AM
It's a surprise and it wouldn't be much of a surprise if I told you, would it? :p

cplmac
11-05-2009, 11:48 AM
It's a surprise and it wouldn't be much of a surprise if I told you, would it? :p


Why do I get the image of Farcaster sitting at his desk, looking at the computer monitor and rubbing his hands together while saying, "Ancient Chinese Secret".

nijineko
11-05-2009, 04:37 PM
i'm glad to see there is interest. many cognizant points have been raised. fair forewarning: i'm sick and so somewhat muzzy. my responses may likewise be scatter-brained.

i agree that given the means and ability, many would prefer a live con over an online con. I also note that as an online community widely scattered over the world, that an online con has certain advantages to our community, which others have covered.

i will put in my two cents in about sl or second life. to my knowledge, linden labs does not sell or otherwise provide the software necessary for independent servers. they are interested in attracting business, but the reputation is something worth being concerned about. i have an account on sl, though i rarely log in, unless i am looking for friends. in my experiences, the sl community can be split up into the following groups: undead/goth and 'friends', furries and other anthros, gor-ean slaves and masters, designers and builders, and the rest are the curious, confused, lost, and just looking.

there are enough skilled and talented builders, artists, and designers that i visit collecting tutorials, how-to's, tips and other pointers for 3d design. the various regions support ratings from pg through 'unlimited'. in order to have a space on sl, one will either need to rent it from an existing owner, or to purchase it from linden labs (don't forget your monthly dues). they only use "linden dollars" which they will happily sell you in exchange for real money. furthermore, the free accounts cannot be "landowners". in reality, the more spectacular the setting for a given area the longer a load time it has, and the less likely people are going to wait around for it.

my thoughts were that unless linden labs unbent enough to cooperate in making a con, and also could provide an enforceable "dress code" for avs (avatars), that sl might not be the ideal choice....

one thought i had in conjunction with the skype idea was to set up a ventrillo server. free, completely configurable, supports chat and voice, and multiple channels. used in combination with multiple instances of maptools or gametable, a convention could thereby be set up.

since farcaster has clearly indicated that it will not be sooner, but might still be possible later, and based on my understanding... planning a convention can take half a year or more. so why not plan and test out our ideas as a community and then we can report the results back to farcaster for his use in any future decisions.

also, i think that it is important to keep in mind what the various vendors we wish to invite would want to advertise or sell. what software platform(s) will be used, will determine what we can do link/advertise/etc wise for vendors. nailing down what services can be provided for vendors, sellers, visitors, ect is an important step that needs to be accomplished before we can realistically talk about price point for admission for anyone.

for an alternative to sl, blender is free, has a large support community, and has a built in game engine, and some networking support. however, i don't think it is mmo scale yet. in line with that idea, there are a number of proto-mmo communities out there trying to develop opensource or inexpensive mmo options. worth looking into for the long-term. i am, of course, in favor of something that supports *nix, mac, and windows.

in conclusion, i think that farcaster might support this if we could give him more information and playtesting data, and only if we present such to him later than sooner. we need to explore what software(s) might provide what we are looking for, and then have a group of us playtest it.

so.... form a community unofficial committee, form a plan of information gathering and research, split up the resulting responsibilities, return and report, collect data, repeat testing until positive results are found, and then write a report to turn in to farcaster for perusal at his leisure.

sorry for any fuzziness. ^^

yukonhorror
11-05-2009, 05:04 PM
sounds good. Again, I don't want to organize nada, but will offer a tutorial on maptools.

Etarnon
11-05-2009, 05:23 PM
undead/goth and 'friends', furries and other anthros, gor-ean slaves and masters, designers and builders, and the rest are the curious, confused, lost, and just looking.

Nijineko nails it right there, but add in:
- Nude strippers and their patrons
- Simulated virtual sex / orgies
-Pop Culture axis drifting to Cyberpunk types

And the dress code thing is a key, since anyone can walk around essentially naked, or weird / Strange.

So an age limit, etc.

Just a lot of things with SL that really, in my mind detract from it.

There are good things too, some as I said before great digital art, and amazing VR work, but the negative things just started to outweigh, so the wife and I left.

Hockey_Hippie
11-05-2009, 10:07 PM
also, i think that it is important to keep in mind what the various vendors we wish to invite would want to advertise or sell. what software platform(s) will be used, will determine what we can do link/advertise/etc wise for vendors. nailing down what services can be provided for vendors, sellers, visitors, ect is an important step that needs to be accomplished before we can realistically talk about price point for admission for anyone.

for an alternative to sl, blender is free, has a large support community, and has a built in game engine, and some networking support. however, i don't think it is mmo scale yet. in line with that idea, there are a number of proto-mmo communities out there trying to develop opensource or inexpensive mmo options. worth looking into for the long-term. i am, of course, in favor of something that supports *nix, mac, and windows.

in conclusion, i think that farcaster might support this if we could give him more information and playtesting data, and only if we present such to him later than sooner. we need to explore what software(s) might provide what we are looking for, and then have a group of us playtest it.

so.... form a community unofficial committee, form a plan of information gathering and research, split up the resulting responsibilities, return and report, collect data, repeat testing until positive results are found, and then write a report to turn in to farcaster for perusal at his leisure.

sorry for any fuzziness. ^^

I'll volunteer for the playtesting group (if you'll have me) but not the platform choosing committee. I'm thinking my technical idiocy might make me a good guinea pig (IE 'If stupid can do it, anyone can').

HH

nijineko
11-07-2009, 11:59 AM
Nijineko nails it right there, but add in:

to my fortune, i've not run into any representatives of the groups you mention, at least not knowingly, or in (out?) of "uniform". but then i'm fairly limited as to what sort of places i visit. so far i've only been to places known and recommended by people known to me, and who know my limits.




I'll volunteer for the playtesting group (if you'll have me) but not the platform choosing committee. I'm thinking my technical idiocy might make me a good guinea pig (IE 'If stupid can do it, anyone can').

i know that i have some experience researching the various 3d offerings (thus far for my own purposes, but i could easily use the information to aid this effort as well.) if anyone else has some experience, they are welcome to speak up.