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  1. #1
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    FG Con 12 - Feedback thread

    Well, the 12th FG Con is over...

    We're always looking for constructive feedback on how the convention went for you and any ideas you might have for future conventions.

    If you'd like to give feedback, please do so in this thread or PM damned or me if you'd like to keep it private.

    Onward to the next FG Con (the 13th time we've ran this), in October 2018!

    Note: FG Con is a free, non-profit convention ran by community members for the Fantasy Grounds community. It takes a large amount of our time and energy to organize this twice yearly convention. We welcome feedback, but please be aware that we are not looking to make wholesale changes to what we do now. We know our website and event booking system has some limitations (notably waitlists and communications) and that some communication can be improved upon (which we will try to improve). But we have got the system to a point that it works well (for the most part) for our requirements, and we know what we can and can't do with it.

    So, let us know what you thought! Please be honest, please but don't be argumentative and don't be upset if we don't think everything said is a great idea that we need to rush and implement immediately!

    For example: what did people think about Discord? Most of the FG Con admins hadn't used this before, so we know we can definitely improve upon how we use it and also provide further guidelines on it's use to GMs and players.
    Last edited by Trenloe; April 16th, 2018 at 02:08.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Discord

    Once past the initial learning curve - the interface, how to do things, etc. - I think that it worked well. Having the persistent text chat for some sessions was good for advertising games with free slots and for detailing any changes or information needed for the events.

    We just need to be a bit more organized - especially in terms of channel naming and how to use it.

    Unfortunately, the channel list doesn't appear to be able to be resized horizontally (at least I haven't found how to do this), so long channel names simply can't be seen until you actually join the channel itself. This presents problems for people trying to find the channel to their game.

    Discord really only have a 2 tier channel list architecture - you can put channels in a category, but that is it - you can't have sub-categories within a category. It would have been nice to have sub-categories to organize voice and text channels in a better for the convention.

    Some GM's aren't clearing their voice channel out after their game. I see 22 voice channels that have been left in the Discord server long after the games have finished. This doesn't help players trying to find the right channel for their upcoming game.

    Some games were ran on other servers. We ask all GMs to run their events on the same Discord server - the official Fantasy Grounds server. Some GMs and players have asked if they can run on their own voice servers (Discord or some other platform), and we politely ask them to only run on the convention assigned server. This makes it less confusing for players and GMs, allows moderation of problem users and dramatically reduces the admin overhead of the convention.

    As an example of the confusion and time wasting that can occur - a player asked 15 minutes before their event was due to start if it was running. I checked around, couldn't see a Discord channel or anything else relating to their game. I searched around a bit more and eventually thought I found a Discord ID for the GM. I pinged them and then found out that they were all fine - but running on another Discord server. Great that they were all fine - but I had just wasted over 20 minutes searching to see if this game was happening. If the session had been on the FG Con server, it would have taken me 10 seconds to find it and know all was well.
    Last edited by Trenloe; April 16th, 2018 at 02:32.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  3. #3
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Placeholder dos.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  4. #4
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    First, and most importantly, thanks to FG Con admins for organizing this twice a year. I really appreciate it.

    Discord vs Teamspeak -No strong feeling from my end (as a GM). I did wish that Discord voice channels allowed for text, but once in the game, FG provides text so very little lost value here. I did find that I think only one player had any issues with getting Discord working. I don't know what the exact details are. And though I think TS is a more capable platform, I usually have more players that have difficulty with TS than I did this time with Discord.

    I really appreciated the email on Wednesday with the emails of all the players. That helped make sure I was up to date (at that point in time) with who I had been in contact with.

    As you mentioned, there are some shortcomings with the booking system, but nothing that can't be accommodated for.

    Finally, had I thought about it, or been prompted, I would have been glad to help contribute to some sorts of player and/or DM thank you gifts. I doubt such would really make a difference for most GMs or players to get them play/run versus not. But some sorts of thank you's might help sooth some of the aches

    Thanks, appreciate what you and the FG Con team does.

  5. #5
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    Discord was a bit of a curates egg for me. I had several late cancellations but was able to fill empty slots quickly due to the number of potential players inhabiting the channels. However when players connected Discord just gave up and until the initial download of material was over I couldn’t communicate at least by voice. I never noticed this on TS. However this issue is really an issue with my crappy internet connection than anything else. There were no such issues in the game I played in as a player.

    I don’t see any issues with the booking system at all; it works flawlessly for me.

    I absolutely agree with Trenloe’s point about channels. The only ones that should have been visible were the ones in use at that time for games being played at that time. Many channels were set up too early and were not cleared after they were done with.
    If you need to contact customer support or if there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea here http://fgapp.idea.informer.com/

  6. #6
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zacchaeus View Post
    However when players connected Discord just gave up and until the initial download of material was over I couldn’t communicate at least by voice. I never noticed this on TS. However this issue is really an issue with my crappy internet connection than anything else.
    Yeah, I think for those GMs with limited upload, the default channel bitrate of 64 kbps may be a bit high. I don't know what the voice quality changes to if you reduce the bitrate, and if this would even help in this situation. If you're saturating your upload link, it may not matter what bitrate Discord is using.

    EDIT: Teamspeak uses on average 8 - 15 kbps bitrate. So this may explain why this issue hasn't been seen with Teamspeak. Discord can be set to this level - but I don't know the impact on voice quality. That is something we can look at. Why does Discord set it's default at 64 kbps? Maybe they want the majority of people to have great voice quality? Maybe it doesn't work too well at lower bitrates? I don't know the answer. Maybe something we can investigate before the next FG Con, assuming we stick with Discord (which we probably will).
    Last edited by Trenloe; April 16th, 2018 at 03:04.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  7. #7
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Oh, maybe a FG Con lobby would help. Rather than people just using the General chat, an FG Lobby or similar would give a dedicated place to hang out waiting for games or to be on hot standby.

  8. #8
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    My history of involvement with FG Con is limited; it always seems to take place on a weekend when I have commitments that can't be moved around. Happily, this time I was finally able to wedge out some time and run a C&C game on Saturday night.

    This was the first time I've used Discord for voice. I had a bit of trouble getting it to recognize my microphone; I had it working before game, but come game time, it wasn't being recognized again. This caused about 15 minutes of confusion that wouldn't have been the case had I been using TeamSpeak. That said, it is proper to have all Con events hosted in the same place and, when I had a last minute cancellation, I was able to fill the spot in under five minutes via Discord. I guess TeamSpeak would still be my first choice, but I don't shy away from using Discord in the future.

    I had the pleasure of having six great players in my game; everyone was great, on time, played nicely in the sandbox, etc.... Rob2e even did a live stream!

    I think there might be a place for some guidelines on how to construct a Con game. It is different from simply running a regular game. In hind sight, I would have done a story entry that got the group to the point where the "meat" of the adventure took place. This would cut down on some role play opportunities, but we would have spent more time beating stuff in combat.

    The emails from the organizers were a welcomed touch. Those really helped me know when I should be communicating and cut down the learning curve to using the website as a GM.

    One thing might be nice is if there were a coordinated effort to stream more Con games and get them out on social media. Then have them all available at the same landing page somewhere.
    "If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, censored, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished and criminalized...

    If all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance -- you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest."

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  9. #9
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    Discord was great for me, but everything was already setup for me from previous games. I recall the initial mic setup being a little tricky, but overall I prefer Discord over TS.

  10. #10

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    First and foremost, thank you so very much @damned and @Trenloe for the massive amount of work you both do for this convention twice a year! I always have a fantastic time and appreciate every moment of your generosity. Secondly, thank you to every GM who stepped up to run events. None of this would be a thing if it weren't for all of you!

    Feedback: I already ran these by @damned yesterday in private but I'll repeat it here:

    • Advertising. You two have the actual numbers to dispute this, but this one "felt" smaller because I really didn't see any advertising anywhere until just a couple days prior to the con. The internet is a big place, so it's definitely possible that advertising was happening and it just never crossed my path. But the fan-cons over on Roll20 get pushed hard and now that FG is starting to grow a lot more noticeably, it is my belief that the promotion for this event should be prioritized from all parties concerned. That means I have to do my part too as a fan.
    • Streaming. Turns out there were two livestreams of the final game I played in, but only one streamer bothered to ask our consent to be streamed. Streaming might be new-ish to Fantasy Grounds but it's been A Thing™ for a number of years now, and most of the frequent and/or popular streamers out there know better than to just stream other people without asking first. This definitely needs to be a thing we require of any streamers -- respect others' right to privacy and if they decline, either don't stream the game, find a way to mute their voice(s) from the stream, or some other solution. This wasn't an issue in my game -- everyone gave consent to the one streamer who asked -- but I myself don't always give consent to be streamed.


    Additional fg-con.com features I thought of that would be nice:

    • Ability to sort and/or only display events by ruleset
    • Ability to only display events that have available players
    • Ability to be notified if a full event suddenly has an opening
    • Ability to book a "reserve" slot. The layout on the site currently makes it appear this can happen, but at least from my experiences, once the event hits the player max no one can sign up anymore.
    • I suppose similar to the above, should there be a way for a GM to basically say "observers are welcome" even if there are no player slots remaining?
    Last edited by Talyn; April 16th, 2018 at 18:00.

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