Saturday, August 25, 2012

Geekfest 2012 follow up

Last weekend we ventured up to Killeen, Texas, for the third annual GeekFest. Geekfest is a small regional convention hosted by Central Texas College in their Mayborn Planetarium. They have had great attendance each year in part because you can enter for free! There is a fee for additional events at the con, but this is a great marketing tactic that has paid off. Also Geekfest is probably the strangest convention I've been to with varied demonstrations from the school's competitive robot builders and a geeky cake decorating contest shuffled in with the cosplay competition, video and tabletop gaming rooms, and karaoke in the main hall.

We've been there every year, the first as patrons, and then last year as vendors. This year we have an increasingly interested player base at home, and will have more experience in running a con game. We have more props too. I think we should do it as a continuing learning experience, and who knows? This might be the year we get the locals to pay attention. 

By locals we're referring, at least in part, to the other boffer larp group that dominates the small town of Killeen. They play a game similar to Amtgard that is very focused on fighting without the level of roleplay we've been shooting for.   Their leadership has a low opinion of our game, or at least seems to to me, but some of his players showed some interest in what we offered. Our demo's were scheduled right after them in the same room. Everyone tried to be professional, but sparring out in the courtyard lead to my players taking regular shots to the head and overpowered hits from one of their players. I heard tell he was new.

Our own RP demo didn't go well either. The players we had were either very introverted, or quickly bored, and tended to wander off rather than attempt to engage with each other. I know larping outside of hitting with sticks can be scary. We just need to find a better way to create interest on a low prop and manpower budget. We could do something larger if we had a room to ourselves for hours of set up and take down, but that isn't what we got. I think next year we'll need to establish a better arrangement.

Still, we had a great time in the dealer's room, chatted up a lot of people, and enjoyed the enthusiasm of this convention. We're definitely coming back next year with something new to present.

My Town - Geekfest 2012 from Ten17media on Vimeo.

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