Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss a new type of event format we’ve been experimenting with that will hopefully appeal to everyone!
NOVA just came and went and it looked like a blast! Everyone I have seen speak of it says they had a great time and can’t wait to go to another gaming event which is music to my ears! At Frontline we are all about promoting community. We run events that appeal to competitors and the hobbyist. The thing we’ve learned in running all of these different kinds of events is that what really matters is not so much the format as the experience.
You ask any regular event attendee (whether “WAAC Attack” or “Fluff Bunny”) what their favorite aspects of going to these big events are, and I will bet dollars to donuts that one of the top reasons they list is that it allows them to see people they only see at big events. That is one of the main reasons some of us fly all over the country to go to tournaments/cons/whatever. It’s about the social experience and camaraderie just as much if not more than the competition (only 1 person wins, after all).
Also, if you ask folks that don’t go to events why they don’t, one of the main reasons will be money, but also that it takes them away from their families/work/etc.
So, we’ve been working on ideas to try and focus on the universally appealing aspects of event attendance and also to mitigate the negative aspects.
I have had an idea for a while to have a tournament that only had a few rounds of play, with longer rounds for leisurely games, and plenty of time off to allow attendees to enjoy one another’s company and to explore the area that they’re in. I know that any time Team Zero Comp goes to an event in a new town, one of the things we enjoy most is heading out to explore the local night life! Nothing like enjoying your favorite pastime all day with buddies, and then going out for some brews and a laugh with them at night! Events are a great way to meet people you only talk to online and to make new friends!
While I agree that Swiss pairings are the best format to determine a true victor in a competitive event, the simple fact is that tournaments with 6-8 rounds just wipe people out. I know I have a tendency to drop day two of events if I am out of the running to win because I am super tired (often as a result of the previous nights’ beers with friends!) and the idea of playing all those games of 40K when I know I won’t win just isn’t appealing as I’d rather watch the top tables and chew the fat with friends. Games of 40K simply take a long time to resolve, and they are very mentally draining, and even physically if you’re standing up on a hard surface all day.
Getting up at the crack of dawn isn’t that great either, particularly on a holiday weekend. I know both years I played in the Adepticon 40K Championships Finals, getting up at 5am to play was about as fun as a kick in the nuts! Now, I totally understand why they did it and I’m not knocking it (they want people to be able to get done early enough in the day to be able to fly home that Sunday) but it’s pretty rough. A lot of us who went to the Golden Throne last year in Vegas didn’t even make it day two because it kicked off so early and we were just getting home a few hours before the event started!
So, the idea we’ve been toying with is to run an event in Las Vegas (that in and of itself is reason enough to go, right? Who doesn’t like Vegas?!) however, we also want to bill this as an event to bring the entire family too, or friends, significant others, etc. that aren’t into the hobby, but will enjoy Vegas. We’d start the event in the afternoon to allow people time to sleep in or enjoy family time in the morning, and only play 2 rounds per day at 2.5 to 3 hours per round, with a championship round for the finalists. This way, we would have folks getting done in the early evening every day allowing them time to go out and eat, hit the town, see attractions, etc. We’d have organized events such as group dinners or trips to watch shows for the families, or pub crawls for the attendees that enjoy that type of activity. We’d also have hobby seminars, etc. for those not interested in hitting the town but that want to enjoy more hobby time.
We think this will allow folks to get the best of both worlds: playing some great games of 40K and enjoying Vegas with their peers and non-gaming loved ones. This makes it a much easier sell to the wife/husband, too! By confining it to a Saturday-Sunday event, it also means the largest number of people can go and be a part of the community outside of their local store.
One of the other most common reasons people say they go to big events is to see all the awesome creations of the attendees! I know I love seeing all the amazing creations of hobbyists and big events bring together a huge variety of extremely skilled artists. We would want to recognize this and really give the creations of those who’ve spent long hours on them the recognition they’re due in addition to the generals who’ve spent long hours honing their skills.
As for tournament format, we’d likely have to use battle points due to the shorter number of rounds or build in a similar structure to stratify the field, but we’d be sure to include recognition for theme, appearance, etc. in addition to play to reward all aspects of the hobby.
What do you all think of this? Would an event with less time spent on the actual gaming and more on the socializing appeal to you? Especially if it were in Vegas? We’re going to run an event 4th quarter (most likely October) and it will be in Vegas, we’re just looking for feedback on the format that people would most enjoy attending. Let us know as we think this may be a great, alternative format to the Swiss/all-day events that are more common. We love those super competitive tournaments, but there is room for all kinds of events. The more folks we can bring together, the more fun everyone has! We recently ran this format on a trial run at Celesticon this past weekend, and the folks that came really enjoyed the shorter day and more casual rounds.
Thanks in advance for the feedback!