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Trenloe
June 29th, 2012, 16:53
Hello everyone,

Sorry we've been quiet for a while on this - we didn't manage to get the con website up to the standard that we wished so we are not going to use it for managing the convention - we're going to use the standard Fantasy Grounds game calendar (with a couple of modifications made for the convention only).

High level details of the convetion, with links to more information and individual discussion threads:

Dates: Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd July.
Times(1): anytime from Friday evening New Zealand Time to Sunday evening Hawaii time - so we have a global Friday evening to Friday night convention.
Times(2) - what does Times(1) actually mean??? 3am Eastern Friday July 20 to 6am Eastern Monday July 23 - just over 72 hours. 24 hour gaming!!!
Location: virtual! GMs will host games from anywhere in the world using the Fantasy Grounds II virtual tabletop (VTT) software - Version 2.9.
Cost: Free to play. Although, if the GM has a full Fantasy Grounds license the player will need to purchase a lite license which will allow you to play in all Fantasy Grounds games both during the convention and afterwards. If the GM has an Ultimate license then players don't need to purchase anything - just install the unregistered client (available under the "Downloads" link).
Games covered - anything at all! It's up to the individual GM what they run.
Communication method - voice or text. We ask everyone to use Teamspeak for any voice communications - a commercially hosted Teamspeak server has been made available for the convention: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?p=127693. We know that GMs have their own personal favourite voice software, but we ask them to use the Teamspeak server during the convention so that everyone only needs to download and setup one voice client, people can congregate in the gaming lobby, and initial game kickoff can go quickly.
Language - whatever the GM wants to run their game in! GMs - please make it especially clear if you are not running the game in English, players please double check the language of the game you will be joining.
I'm a GM and I want to run game, how do I sign up/advertise my game? Post the game in the Fantasy Grounds Gamecalendar - more details in this thread: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16808
I'm a player how do I find and join games? Look at the game calendar - all games for the convention have _FGCon_2012 at the beginning of their title. Make sure you check the game time! More details in this thread: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16811

Trenloe
June 29th, 2012, 17:38
If you think there is anyone interested in joining the convention, or you frequent other forums, please post a link to this thread there... Thanks.

:)

ddavison
June 30th, 2012, 06:18
I've stickied the message.

Sharpevil
July 2nd, 2012, 00:14
I'm a bit confused. If I've got this right, FGcon is basically just a big call to GMs and players to get a bunch of one-shots going?

mgholson
July 2nd, 2012, 01:13
Isn't that pretty much any Con?

damned
July 2nd, 2012, 01:35
the aim is to try and attract some new players to FG and to let players join a game/genre/ruleset that they wouldnt normally play - just like a normal con...

Mgrancey
July 2nd, 2012, 03:44
Not just that, depending on the systems and such; Conventions are usually when big events go off or for tournaments and at two local-ish conventions (same group one in spring one in fall) there are a couple people who get together to play stuff they usually don't, like AD&D all weekend.

Trenloe
July 2nd, 2012, 06:46
Not just that, depending on the systems and such; Conventions are usually when big events go off or for tournaments and at two local-ish conventions (same group one in spring one in fall) there are a couple people who get together to play stuff they usually don't, like AD&D all weekend.
The idea was basically floated around a few months ago that it would be cool to try and get lots of games going over a weekend - for FG vets to try new stuff and also to try to get newbies playing on Fantasy Grounds. So, the main push is for a bunch of one-shots to be played over the period.

If a bunch of people want to play AD&D (or anything else for that matter) all weekend that's cool too - although it's hard to poke people with a virtual stick to keep them awake! ;) Mind you, there's nothing stopping you doing marathon sessions with Fantasy Grounds now (con or no con). :)

Trenloe
July 11th, 2012, 20:32
The voice server for the con is now up and running, details here:

http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?p=127693

Trenloe
July 15th, 2012, 22:55
http://www.facebook.com/Fg2Con

Like it, share it, post about it...

:D

(Thanks to madman for putting this together)

Bloodlust
July 18th, 2012, 12:20
Next time this is oraganised can I suggest that all games are listed as GMT and then people can work out their own timezones from that. As it is now I am looking at the list and having to calculate for each one - including some I've never heard of. If they were all set to GMT then it wouldn't matter where anyone was because each person should know their own GMT (-/+) variation.

With that said, I can't find any low level (1-3) games open for Pathfinder Society Organised Play. I can play any time over the weekend except GMT: Saturday 1am until 11pm.

damned
July 18th, 2012, 12:35
just curious - but *most* of the games are listed at GMT and *most* of the PF games are for levels 1-3...

Bloodlust
July 18th, 2012, 12:52
Pathfinder or Pathfinder Society Oragnised play (ie. you get a chronicle sheet)?

That's what I'm having a hard time trying to find?

damned
July 18th, 2012, 12:58
read the descriptions in each entry - a number of them mention PFS.

phantomwhale
July 18th, 2012, 14:56
Or take a look at the google spreadsheet that was put together. It's really good for getting a graphical overview of what's happening.

Bloodlust
July 18th, 2012, 15:05
Or take a look at the google spreadsheet that was put together. It's really good for getting a graphical overview of what's happening.

Spreadsheet?

Link?

Thanks :)

phantomwhale
July 18th, 2012, 15:31
It's in a thread in the same forum category as this thread, with a name like "google spreadsheet calendar" or something. Would post the link, but I'm on my mobile, so it's not so simple browsing for me !

Dakadin
July 18th, 2012, 16:14
The post mentioning it is here: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showpost.php?p=127418&postcount=7

The actual spreadsheet is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuS4bmZlL0uUdEhLRnQyUFp3cGtkU3g5Ti1jWHZMO Gc#gid=0

Trenloe
July 18th, 2012, 17:34
Next time this is oraganised can I suggest that all games are listed as GMT and then people can work out their own timezones from that. As it is now I am looking at the list and having to calculate for each one - including some I've never heard of. If they were all set to GMT then it wouldn't matter where anyone was because each person should know their own GMT (-/+) variation.
It is certainly something we hoped to have up and running for this con, but we couldn't get it organised in time. EDIT: A more clear calendar/time indicator will be a priority for future events.

We have asked GMs to include GMT as their primary time in the Gamecalendar - this has either been missed, or there is still confusion over exactly what GMT is! ;-) Hence one of the reasons why a spreadsheet was put together to try to help indicate timeslots and times across a few common timezones.

For players who are still confused about the process of finding games, please read post #1 of the "Players - Finding a joining games" thread: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16811

This includes a link to the timeslot spreadsheet.

Bloodlust
July 18th, 2012, 18:08
Thanks :)

Also, if DMs could post if it is PFS (Path Finder Society) not just Path Finder, that'd be awesome.

I've joined a couple of games that are Path Finder but I do not know if there will be chronicle sheets or not.

Trenloe
July 18th, 2012, 18:25
Thanks :)

Also, if DMs could post if it is PFS (Path Finder Society) not just Path Finder, that'd be awesome.
Perhaps the ones that aren't posted as PFS aren't PFS??? ;)

I see only one game for the FGCon that *could* be ran as PFS that is not detailed as a PFS game - but is not a PFS scenario, it is a module that has been sanctioned for PFS play. As it is not tagged as PFS, I'm guessing it isn;t PFS.


I've joined a couple of games that are Path Finder but I do not know if there will be chronicle sheets or not.
I see you signed up for 4 Pathfinder games, 3 of these are indicated as Pathfinder Society games.

I'd say the rule is if it isn't shown as Pathfinder Society, then is isn't Pathfinder Society. We can't expect every Pathfinder GM who is not running a PFS game to post "Not PFS" on their games! :)

If you have any questions regarding a specific game - PM the GM or post in the game thread (if there is one).

damned
October 12th, 2012, 05:22
So guys - when are we planning the next Con for?

Trenloe
October 12th, 2012, 07:14
So guys - when are we planning the next Con for?
I was thinking something around the end of January. There will need to be some things put in place that were identified during the last con:

A way of displaying all of the events in the user's timezone. This was the big take away we all got from the previous con!
Ability to print a schedule of everything the user has signed up for (GM or player) for the convention.
Flexibility for GMs to add their own events. This was available last time via the Game Calendar, whatever method we use for the next one needs to have this features.
Advertising and Smiteworks support.
More flexible GM/Player messaging - FG forum PM's aren't flexible enough (can only PM 5 people at a time, mailbox is limited to 50 messages, some users never realise they have PMs). Ok, this isn't a biggie - but a nice to have.

Anything anyone else can think of?

Last time it was amazing how quickly 3 months went by in terms of preparation time and we just weren't as ready as we had hoped for.

Any thoughts on a weekend at the end of January/Early February anyone? Or, another time?

Talen
October 12th, 2012, 13:39
I would suggest avoiding the week of the Superbowl, but otherwise, no other thoughts on timing. In terms of things that worked well, the con lobby area of the team speak server remains an excellent feature.

Blackfoot
October 12th, 2012, 14:32
More flexible GM/Player messaging - FG forum PM's aren't flexible enough (can only PM 5 people at a time, mailbox is limited to 50 messages, some users never realise they have PMs). Ok, this isn't a biggie - but a nice to have.
On this note... if it were possible to get email notifications of postings to calendar threads, that might help this situation.
Basically 2 pieces there.
GM notification that someone has 'signed up'...
General notification of new messages on the calendar for everyone who is 'approved'.
This might allow for some general avoidance of PMs in many cases.

wbcreighton
October 17th, 2012, 22:07
I noticed that there is another virtual convention for Roll20.net coming up in November.

Might be a good idea to check it out and see what we can learn.

They will also have artists doing tutorials during the con.

http://www.aethercon.com/index.html

They seem to ignore the global time differences altogether. ;-)

Trenloe
October 17th, 2012, 22:27
I noticed that there is another virtual convention for Roll20.net coming up in November.

Might be a good idea to check it out and see what we can learn.

They will also have artists doing tutorials during the con.

http://www.aethercon.com/index.html

They seem to ignore the global time differences altogether. ;-)
Thanks for the heads up - I'll check it out... :)

Skellan
November 11th, 2012, 23:32
Is there any more info about this?
I will reserve some space in my action packed social calendar

wbcreighton
November 19th, 2012, 03:14
I didn't try to play in any games at Aethercon but I did hangout in the chat room a little bit.

There are two reviews of the event that I have seen:

http://wampuscountry.blogspot.ca/2012/11/aethercon-aftermath.html

http://skirmisher.com/node/1569


Very ambitious event, a bit too ambitious from from I have seen.

Their convention interface was very kludgey. I think that aspect of a con has to be right. We need a simple streamlined way to schedule events, update the schedule, and view it.

damned
November 19th, 2012, 04:29
i read those... and posted about FG2Con too :)

i think some of the things that help FG is the community has been established longer so there were possibly more people to draw some assistance from, and the people that did run it are nice smart people and they did a good job, they were also flexible - original booking site wasnt quite right so moved back to FG Calendar.

i think we should throw out some ideas as to what could be done better for next time - that is if we are still planning a next time!

phantomwhale
November 19th, 2012, 04:54
We should definitely do another one - but ideas on how to do it better would be great. Maybe GMs / players could comment with 1-2 good things and 1-2 bad things

For me, good things:

- Having the Calendar to visualise the timetable was really useful, and keeping the FG calendar for actually tracking players / attendance and adding details was very sensible
- Having pre-generated characters all ready to go was essential to getting a reasonable session within the time
- Free teamspeak server, this just MADE things work. Awesome idea.

Bad things:

- I was still a little short of players on the day. I didn't feel I'd really had a chance to reach out to my players beforehand, give them a quick paragraph of what I was planning and make them feel a little more involved before the game began
- I found it hard to feel like I was "involved" in a conference. It's a very tough nut to crack, and possibly not a showstopper, but anything more we can do to tackle this would be great.

Other thoughts:

It would be nice to have a better visualization again - perhaps even as something more automated (e.g. a web app that parses the FG calendar and tracks all events with the word FG2Con in them) ? I reckon that could be a fun, weekend project at some point !

I wonder if any "non-playing" events around the conference would work ? E.g. extension coding workshops, hackathons, future ruleset discussions, "unconference" style talks ? Trying to think of something non-playing and non-coding too...

Also event advertising - whatever happened at AEthercon, the advertising was pretty good !

I'm certainly hoping to run another game next conference (Australia didn't appear to have a large number of players / games in it's prime time spots !) and hoping to get involved with one or two more.

-PW-

Blackfoot
November 19th, 2012, 05:05
Certainly the community here is what made FGCon come off. It was great how folks stepped up to do things and bring it together... I know I for one hadn't planned on doing too much with it and found myself wanting to help out my friends and help make the thing go smoothly. I'd mention names but I'm sure to forget someone important...

Bottom line.. it was lots o fun and I definitely look forward to doing it again.

damned
November 19th, 2012, 05:21
Aethercon did do a good job of getting message out there - and then they might have ruined it for everyone that follows trying to get word out on those sites.

I got most of my players for my session from a Meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-DnD/

I also threw it out at penandpapergames.com where I have picked up 2 players for campaigns before but go ZERO interest there.

Good things:
Once calendar format was sorted it was quite easy to use.
TeamSpeak
Number of Games
Organisers

Things to improve:
More people from outside this community needed for games.
Spread word in other forums and communities - I know a couple of people did this but didnt get a huge response - I think we have to keep doing it.
Maybe get this scheduled as a roughly 6monthly event to try to build traction.
Get some banners done up for use in signatures/blogs etc
Nice how to guide (PDF or Blog) on getting started which covers:
1. registerring on site
2. download and install FG
3. download and install TS
4. settings in TS (use a mic/headset, voice activation, run setup wizard)
5. maybe we could get a test campaign that was available for 2weeks (or more) before the event so that people can log in and throw dice and roll up character etc - be wowed by the interface?

Other events that could be done?
Maybe a Google hangout where an experienced DM shows how to run a game and can answer questions?
I love the idea of extension/programming workshops!

I know a couple of people hung out in the chat rooms just - chatting! I think some scheduled chat events could work - would need to have a couple (2) of people who committed to the chat to ensure some traction. Keep these short - max 1 hour and the topics should be posted in advance - eg D&D Next, Creating your own Module (not technical - more about balance and challenge0 that sort of stuff.
You cant re-create the Con feel as the Skirmisher guy said - people arent there - looking for something to do in between sessions. In between session they go brush their teeth, go for a run, walk the dog - whatever. There is no way to trap them and divert them to things they didnt know they were interested in :)

Definitely what it needs is enough volunteers to ensure that no-one gets over-burdened and that no-one is irreplaceable. Real life always happens.

bennis1980
November 19th, 2012, 08:57
With luck we do get enough volunteers to spread the work load around. I had a blast at the last FGcon, although there was a problem with attendance at some games (the solution is obviously get the word out).

What went well:

There was no shortage of games: I had no problem finding a game (actually 5 games) that suited my timezone. It was nice to try different rulesets and see different GMing styles. I learnt a lot from this.

It was very social: Not quite like being in the pub, but it was great that lots of folks hung around the TS chat room and had the banter. If we could encourage more of this for next time.

The visual calendar with time zone comparions: I'm really surprized this hasn't become the norm for the official Gamecalendar. It was really essential (well done the person who put it together)

Teamspeak: Really, this is what brought it together. If we were reliant on skype for the games it would have all fallen apart.

(There were more good thing, I can't think too clearly at this hour of the morning)


What could be improved:

More players from outside: We really need to showcase FG to potential players who are maybe put off by the price and rank it in comparison to dice rolling apps and map/token handlers that are available for free. We all know FG is more than that. That's why if Smiteworks gives temporary ultimate licences to all full licence holders for the weekend of the event, we can advertise it as a fully FREE event.

We make the effort to fill games lacking players: If you are GMing, make sure you play at least on game for every game you run. That way we won't be completely overrun with GMs :)

A separate section/tab on the FG website with dedicate calendar/timezone comparison thingy: Come on lads, this cannot be hard to do. Smiteworks needs advertising to begin at home. A big banner advertising it everywhere you go on the website. You know the event will be well run (like last time)

Ideas for what volunteers could do: damned made a few great points. 1. Test sessions on the run up to the con from two weeks before (hosted in rota by as many experienced GMs as can volunteer - needs to be spread out). 2. At least 2 people manning the chat room at any given time over the weekend of the event (another rota here). You need meet and greet people for nervous folk that just need to ask a few questions, and to encourage people to stay on the TS chating. 3. What ever else you want me to do (I can't sing, I can't dance...)

wbcreighton
November 19th, 2012, 19:33
Lots of really good points so far.

Getting the word out:

I know that lots of the FG users don't frequent the FG forums and wouldn't have even known that there was convention, so I'm not sure how to reach out to those people.

It brings up an interesting point about how Smiteworks reaches their current client base. Do they have a newsletter ? If they do I don't receive it. I don't understand why they don't have a pop up window that comes up with news about Smiteworks when FG first starts up or when connecting to a game. A very quick advert about the newest modules or rulesets that have been produced. If they did that then we could also advertise the con. :)

I think the only way to get some traction with other forums is to start advertising early and update often. The other thing to do is to get the publishers that have rulesets to support the convention. We need to get the publishers of Savage Worlds, Pathfinder (if possible), etc to get onboard and mention that they are supporting the convention. Maybe the odd prize could be procured as well.

The demo version:
This is a big issue to me. For those of us who don't have an Ultimate license, how can we get players to try FG if they can't join our game ? I have never tried the demo mode so maybe it can do more than I think. Anyone know how it works ? Is it possible to get a temporary Ultimate license for the weekend ? The question was asked before but I don't remember if it was answered or not.

Blackfoot
November 19th, 2012, 20:25
As to getting the word out... perhaps Smiteworks could help us with that... at least as far as getting the word to FG users who don't use the boards.

Two options that come to mind are,
a splash page message in an update that gives a link and info about the con in big pretty letters...
or
an email blast to registered users with a nice graphical or simple text message regarding the Con.

wbcreighton
November 20th, 2012, 05:41
Here is a link to another Virtual convention that ran at the beginning of the month:

http://indieplus.org/doku.php?id=start

bennis1980
November 29th, 2012, 18:07
Any more news on the next convention?

Blackfoot
November 29th, 2012, 18:09
I think we are currently working on trying to pin down a good date.
I believe the idea of sometime in the spring is being kicked around.

Other issues related to improving the Con as a whole are also being discussed.

bennis1980
November 29th, 2012, 18:12
Let me know if you need anything done.

Trenloe
May 13th, 2013, 07:24
This years con (31st May to 2nd June) is getting going - see details here: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18749