Big Bad Con 2011...in review

Nov 9, 2011

Phew, just after Big Bad Con I was booked to run an Apocalypse Galactica game (re-skinning Apocalypse World to Battlestar Galactica), which I didn't start working on till after Big Bad Con. Since then I've been catching up on old Actual Play reports, trying to get Narrative Control back in action, and planning the Improv For Gamer events in January. Phew.

Still, I've had some time to review the feedback for Big Bad Con (and wow, was there a lot of it), so I'm going to start sharing that now, in a multi-post thread that will cover online feedback, suggestions made to me in person, and the feedback forms filled out at the con. I'm going to start with that last one because it's already collated and ready for publication. I received 237 forms, considering we had around 90 games (exact number unknown due to open gaming), that's an average of over 2.5 forms per game. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

On a scale of 1 to 6, 1 being very displeased and 6 be being very pleased, the averages looked like this:

Con reviews

Sign-ups (getting in games): 5.47 Logistics (finding everything): 5.49 Environment (noise, space): 4.70 Amenities (nearby eating): 4.26

Game reviews

Game System: 5.26 GM Preparedness/Presentation: 5.42 Fun with the other players: 5.45

Results

What I took from this was that folks ranged from pleased to very pleased with the con and all the games being run. We had great GMs, great players and great games. Where the con suffered somewhat was in environmental factors (noise, heat, available space) and the amenities (hotel and local food options). To my great pleasure, there were only a handful of folks that had a problem with the noise, so I think the pipe and drape did a good job, but it created a new problem which was air flow being blocked and the rooms getting hot. That and a whole lot of other bits will go in my final review of what to keep and what to change for Big Bad Con 2012.

Below is a list of specific comments made about the con.

Comments

Had a problem orienting map to find building Five I wish there was something walking distance for food. This was just fun. Oscar is an energetic GM. This game was pure action. I prefer separate games rooms but this was nearly as good. No free coffee, no interwebs. Heroquest is cool Best LARP of the con (so far) Awesome Preparation Great Job! Awesome Absolute Greatness It was a lot of fun! For my first con, I'm glad that I chose this game! I had a great time May want to move Big Bad Con to MLK Weekend in January GM & Other Players = Awesome. Con Obligation = Very Smooth Sailing OMG! Bags, Bikini-Girls, Mai-Thai, and Destruction HELL YEAH! METALICA SHIRT HELL YEAH! THAT WAS AWESOME! Absolutely (with regards to Big Bad GM nomination) Air Conditioning was not up to the task Great system, fun table, good GM First Time Game - Nice Job for that Great GM. Too hot back there. So awesome! Fun Game Fun rehack of 40K Dark Heresy Great game concept and fun characters. Little more description of the game and more concrete launching point would have helped. Tons of fun. Game kept me guessing and creeped me out a little. Yay! Mike is Awesome In hotel food was better than the usual con food. I think it was worth the wait, but it's definitely slower Game was fun, GM was very helpful in understanding system Awesome Had a great time. I walked in. First time playing BW. It was awesome. Fantastic GM - The mood was awesome, with truly awesome horror moments. Highly, highly recommend Great, fun game Biased toward the GM, but she was sick and probably deserves kudos just for running. Hotel great, food too expensive. Fun with other players was impeded by a single player and a weak GM. It wasn’t helped by the weakness of the system Had good access to GMs, and they were very on top of things and coordinated Schedule Conflicts made it difficult to fill the game - time slot was odd A large system reference sheet would be very useful One of the players just kept wandering off. Very, very distracting. GM dealt with it well. Poor game. Not Prepared, no consistent rules. GM didn't seem to understand the system or have prepared the game. Need fans to keep rooms cool, too hot. Great game, us players kinda sucked, otherwise great. Way Cool Glade to be here Well run, interesting story Walk Up Works Noise is an issue - But my hearing is poor. GM had a good outline of the story. Needed to have more details worked out. I had fun, and that was important to me. GM was extremely create and well-prepared Great GM, A+, would buy again, etc. I want to play more of that Willing to Volunteer. Thinks there should be Fixed Breaks between games. Focus on 4 hour blocks Great Group of Players. Absolutely excellent GM. Great GM The game's strongest point were from the players. The organization just wasn’t there from the GM's part The game was wonderful. The horror of fairy tales with the darkness of Penny was incredible GM All Stars Fun Scenario The GM took breaks on schedule - Mid Combat :( First come, first served is bitching. The program was amazing. Lenny was awesome. A follow the wollf on twitter (on the sign). Define the hashtag #BigBadCon Main Staff shirts it ID "ask me" people. Mark BART stations on the map. Most Awesomely Le awesome! Fun game but short Better automatic cancellation of games. Being able to see more than just 'today's' openings Boardroom 5 today was *much* better (quieter) than last nights game in board room 4 with 3 other games going on. Best game ever Excellent time crazy, crazy tale The hotel bar and restaurant have poor food and service Fucking A, this game was awesome! Other games have no chance despite not having played them; the Spirit of Metal Game was that frickin awesome! God Damn! Rock On! Changeling was fun! All the players and the GM really to the their roles really well Amenities rated poor because I'm a Vegan. Zany, wacky, improve fun! I really like games with minimal rules. Excellent, though a non-cliffhanger ending would have been nice Excellent prep; modular + smart 6 and 8 hour games too long for the con. Less opportunity to play other games. Start 6 hour games at 8 am. Character sheet not legible. GM reading adventure. Need a car for time saving and variety Get this GM Back! The game was absolutely fantastic and everything that I hoped for! Excellent homebrew based on the fate system; GM is extremely passionate & motivated! Had a wonderful time GM didn't have the book. Oops. Otherwise, the presentation was fabulous. Every choice had significant weight to the story Something silly about Sean's eyes Reg system gave me stress dreams. Seriously. Love ability to sign up ahead of time both as a player + GM. Help our game a lot and I like knowing what I am going to do ahead of time. The GM id a fantastic job balancing fun, awesome and tension. He's a great GM Alan is a very good GM It's a snaaaape! A snape! Great job Excellent Game Awesome Game - How can I complain when the game offered a threesome! Very fun and vastly different than other games I've played - Awesome Awesome first time GM Good props and dramatic atmosphere GM wasn't familiar with the system GM seemed exhausted, trouble concentrating. Game amounted to characters meet in a bar, then go to a place with an encounter. Done. No plot, very little story. Fantastic Fun. Thanks Other games nosier today than last night. Narrative systems are cool! Curtains between tables a big help. Special Diet (no good vegan food) General comment about the con. Sessions are too long. Making a block four hours would be nice. Recycling! Impromptu, most polite GM I've seen. some rules questions. System/GM created separation in character stories and downtime for players. Great story for long term campaign not for con game. Need to time players stories together early. This is not to say I didn't have fun. I did, only an improvement. People in corner quite loud. Sophie soft voice. Good game. Great fun Awesome! Much fun, easy to play, entertaining. The games was the best Apocalypse World I played at a con. However it was very difficult for the battlebabe to user hot or cool to resolve social situations. My attempts kept getting shot down. Super fun, pulpy as hell. Excellent Game Awesome! I run Cthulhutech, but nobody is skilled like Wayne This is a blast. Great game, one of those which makes me want to play session II. More classic carl.

Big Bad GM

Great props, cards, character sheets The noise of the other game was noticed. I enjoyed the "secret ingredients" for the game. Rolling fairy tales into cyberpunk was pretty awesome. Game moved forward smoothly, despite not having run the scenario beforehand. Meandering game, didn't go anywhere, didn’t do much with the ingredients or the pics were brought up. Perhaps better prep for the GM, to understand what they will receive. More on-site food options. Very fun event, our game was a bit disjointed. Didn't really get into the fate system too much It was loud in the room and the announcements were distracting. This was a blast. I'd play in Big Bad GM again . I'd also come back to this con anytime. ;) Would be better with private rooms. Fate rocks. Great Game! Mike was great, always pushing us to embellish our aspects and actions. Yeah First come First Serve! The posters were beautiful. I like the "group" feel of the competition. Lots of energy and fun. I think Morgan did an awesome job of pulling in all the elements of the competition on the fly - that must have been hard! And I loved having the judges wandering around - it added a really cool energy. I don't know if everyone (all cons) do this sort of GM competition but it was awesome. Great Idea! Awesome impromptu story by the GM.

Illustrations by Eden Parkinson
Website by Colin Fahrion

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