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Shrapnel - new blog entry by Tim Brooks

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Anonymous
July 12, 2005 12:23:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hi,

Tim Brooks - "Big Boss" at Shrapnel has written another blog entry :

http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/

Interesting points :

- Origins 2005 : less attendance than previous years - and what he
thinks was the main cause : gas prices :) 

- Call to developers to talk to them first before going the
self-publish road.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
July 17, 2005 6:07:10 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

<eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1121181801.303133.65820@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> Tim Brooks - "Big Boss" at Shrapnel has written another blog entry :
>
> http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/
>
> Interesting points :
>
> - Origins 2005 : less attendance than previous years - and what he
> thinks was the main cause : gas prices :) 
>
---------------

Possibly one such cause, though IMO not the only one.

I would daresay, as a visitor of Origins this year & two years ago, that
another factor might have come into play: the cost for the registration.
Last time I paid $20 for a one-day visit, the cost this year was $60 for the
whole four-day shabang or $20-30 per day.

And that wasn't the end of it. There was a fee (yes!) to register for most
individual gaming & lecture events, the latter being what I had really
attended for. From my view, it was well worth paying an added $3 to hear
one of David Glantz's presentations on the 1941 border tank battles (he did
several separate lecture subjects based on this one theme), but how many
leisurely gamers are enthused to shell out yet AGAIN so to play in some game
event? "Your mileage may vary" is certainly the working term, but
logistically, it wasn't fun for the onsite registrees to first wait in line
to register, get into another line to request tickets and pay the fees for
chosen events, and then get into ANOTHER line to pick up the event tickets.

As compared to many other hobby-related conventions I have attended,
including HMGS in earlier years, the cost for Origins seems relatively
exhorbirant. Granted, I can see what were the main cost drivers in getting
the Columbus convention center reserved and printing up catalogs, etc., but
I am of the impression that a "diminishing returns" point has been crossed
about how much to put into Origins set-up vs. how many are willing to pay
again for it next time.

Regardless, I don't think either that Origins was quite so much a comparable
"ghost town" from earlier years as Tim has suggested. I will take him on
his word that the exhibitors hall was not elbow-to-elbow in crowds, but busy
enough, and the vendors themselves put on a strong showing. I did enjoy
seeing members of the Matrix crew hold sway in demonstrating their wares,
and when I bought a couple of titles, they even threw in a earlier product
(Starships Unlimited) as a freebie.

The thing that needs to come across more than what I saw from Tim's article
is not the participation just in the exhibitors hall, but those staging and
playing various game types. The miniatures games grouping had some good
shows, though not as epic as what I've seen in earlier years. One also has
to measure the RPG, boardgaming, and cards-game categories, all of which
also had their shows too but I'm unqualified to say how the participation of
these compared from earlier years.

But in lump sum, if indeed the overall Origins participation was down from
earlier years, again I think that registration costs could have played a
role. Or, as Tim also noted, maybe the 4th of July holiday weekend wasn't a
good time to align to.

Anyway, I don't plan to attend next year (as to make Tim's point?!). Unless
if I can provide a seminar event for the Origins War College. ;-)


------------
> - Call to developers to talk to them first before going the
> self-publish road.
>

-------------

Tim could've done a bit more to relate what were these game subjects in
specific. Otherwise, I can't gauge as to whether if the developers did opt
for someone else to do the publishing, what would motivate them to first
approach Shrapnel?
Anonymous
July 17, 2005 6:07:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Elgena/Ed" <eedurkin@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:i3jCe.2697$dX5.1452@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
>
> <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1121181801.303133.65820@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> Hi,
>>
>> Tim Brooks - "Big Boss" at Shrapnel has written another blog entry :
>>
>> http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/
>>
>> Interesting points :
>>
>> - Origins 2005 : less attendance than previous years - and what he
>> thinks was the main cause : gas prices :) 
>>
> ---------------
>
> Possibly one such cause, though IMO not the only one.
>
> I would daresay, as a visitor of Origins this year & two years ago, that
> another factor might have come into play: the cost for the registration.
> Last time I paid $20 for a one-day visit, the cost this year was $60 for
> the whole four-day shabang or $20-30 per day.
>
> And that wasn't the end of it. There was a fee (yes!) to register for
> most individual gaming & lecture events, the latter being what I had
> really attended for. From my view, it was well worth paying an added $3
> to hear one of David Glantz's presentations on the 1941 border tank
> battles (he did several separate lecture subjects based on this one
> theme), but how many leisurely gamers are enthused to shell out yet AGAIN
> so to play in some game event? "Your mileage may vary" is certainly the
> working term, but logistically, it wasn't fun for the onsite registrees to
> first wait in line to register, get into another line to request tickets
> and pay the fees for chosen events, and then get into ANOTHER line to pick
> up the event tickets.
>
> As compared to many other hobby-related conventions I have attended,
> including HMGS in earlier years, the cost for Origins seems relatively
> exhorbirant. Granted, I can see what were the main cost drivers in
> getting the Columbus convention center reserved and printing up catalogs,
> etc., but I am of the impression that a "diminishing returns" point has
> been crossed about how much to put into Origins set-up vs. how many are
> willing to pay again for it next time.
>
> Regardless, I don't think either that Origins was quite so much a
> comparable "ghost town" from earlier years as Tim has suggested. I will
> take him on his word that the exhibitors hall was not elbow-to-elbow in
> crowds, but busy enough, and the vendors themselves put on a strong
> showing. I did enjoy seeing members of the Matrix crew hold sway in
> demonstrating their wares, and when I bought a couple of titles, they even
> threw in a earlier product (Starships Unlimited) as a freebie.
>
> The thing that needs to come across more than what I saw from Tim's
> article is not the participation just in the exhibitors hall, but those
> staging and playing various game types. The miniatures games grouping had
> some good shows, though not as epic as what I've seen in earlier years.
> One also has to measure the RPG, boardgaming, and cards-game categories,
> all of which also had their shows too but I'm unqualified to say how the
> participation of these compared from earlier years.
>
> But in lump sum, if indeed the overall Origins participation was down from
> earlier years, again I think that registration costs could have played a
> role. Or, as Tim also noted, maybe the 4th of July holiday weekend wasn't
> a good time to align to.
>
> Anyway, I don't plan to attend next year (as to make Tim's point?!).
> Unless if I can provide a seminar event for the Origins War College. ;-)
>
>
> ------------
>> - Call to developers to talk to them first before going the
>> self-publish road.
>>
>
> -------------
>
> Tim could've done a bit more to relate what were these game subjects in
> specific. Otherwise, I can't gauge as to whether if the developers did
> opt for someone else to do the publishing, what would motivate them to
> first approach Shrapnel?
>
>

I stopped going when it settled in Columbus. I don't mind seeing Venice and
dying but Columbus?
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Anonymous
July 17, 2005 8:06:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

>>
>>
>
> I stopped going when it settled in Columbus. I don't mind seeing Venice
> and dying but Columbus?
>

LOL ;-)

It does work for me, being only 60 miles away, so the gas costs weren't
that much of a hit in my case. But the point is taken well, why not rotate
it some? That's what IPMS (plastic modelers) does for its national
convention, for that matter major regions like the Pacific Northwest,
Midwest, New England etc. each get their turn. This time (in a few days,
actually) it's in Atlanta, and IIRC, per-day cost to go in is $10.
Anonymous
July 17, 2005 8:06:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Elgena/Ed" <eedurkin@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:XlvCe.70$lX2.20@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> I stopped going when it settled in Columbus. I don't mind seeing Venice
>> and dying but Columbus?
>>
>
> LOL ;-)
>
> It does work for me, being only 60 miles away, so the gas costs weren't
> that much of a hit in my case. But the point is taken well, why not
> rotate it some? That's what IPMS (plastic modelers) does for its national
> convention, for that matter major regions like the Pacific Northwest,
> Midwest, New England etc. each get their turn. This time (in a few days,
> actually) it's in Atlanta, and IIRC, per-day cost to go in is $10.
>

It used to rotate. I remember Philadelphia and LA.
Anonymous
July 17, 2005 11:07:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Elgena/Ed" <eedurkin@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:i3jCe.2697$dX5.1452@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
>
> <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1121181801.303133.65820@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> Hi,
>>
>> Tim Brooks - "Big Boss" at Shrapnel has written another blog entry :
>>
>> http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/
>>
>> Interesting points :
>>
>> - Origins 2005 : less attendance than previous years - and what he
>> thinks was the main cause : gas prices :) 
>>
> ---------------
>
> Possibly one such cause, though IMO not the only one.
>
> I would daresay, as a visitor of Origins this year & two years ago, that
> another factor might have come into play: the cost for the registration.
> Last time I paid $20 for a one-day visit, the cost this year was $60 for
> the whole four-day shabang or $20-30 per day.
>
> And that wasn't the end of it. There was a fee (yes!) to register for
> most individual gaming & lecture events, the latter being what I had
> really attended for. From my view, it was well worth paying an added $3
> to hear one of David Glantz's presentations on the 1941 border tank
> battles (he did several separate lecture subjects based on this one
> theme), but how many leisurely gamers are enthused to shell out yet AGAIN
> so to play in some game event? "Your mileage may vary" is certainly the
> working term, but logistically, it wasn't fun for the onsite registrees to
> first wait in line to register, get into another line to request tickets
> and pay the fees for chosen events, and then get into ANOTHER line to pick
> up the event tickets.
>
> As compared to many other hobby-related conventions I have attended,
> including HMGS in earlier years, the cost for Origins seems relatively
> exhorbirant. Granted, I can see what were the main cost drivers in
> getting the Columbus convention center reserved and printing up catalogs,
> etc., but I am of the impression that a "diminishing returns" point has
> been crossed about how much to put into Origins set-up vs. how many are
> willing to pay again for it next time.
>
> Regardless, I don't think either that Origins was quite so much a
> comparable "ghost town" from earlier years as Tim has suggested. I will
> take him on his word that the exhibitors hall was not elbow-to-elbow in
> crowds, but busy enough, and the vendors themselves put on a strong
> showing. I did enjoy seeing members of the Matrix crew hold sway in
> demonstrating their wares, and when I bought a couple of titles, they even
> threw in a earlier product (Starships Unlimited) as a freebie.
>
> The thing that needs to come across more than what I saw from Tim's
> article is not the participation just in the exhibitors hall, but those
> staging and playing various game types. The miniatures games grouping had
> some good shows, though not as epic as what I've seen in earlier years.
> One also has to measure the RPG, boardgaming, and cards-game categories,
> all of which also had their shows too but I'm unqualified to say how the
> participation of these compared from earlier years.
>
> But in lump sum, if indeed the overall Origins participation was down from
> earlier years, again I think that registration costs could have played a
> role. Or, as Tim also noted, maybe the 4th of July holiday weekend wasn't
> a good time to align to.
>
> Anyway, I don't plan to attend next year (as to make Tim's point?!).
> Unless if I can provide a seminar event for the Origins War College. ;-)
>
>
> ------------
>> - Call to developers to talk to them first before going the
>> self-publish road.
>>
>
> -------------
>
> Tim could've done a bit more to relate what were these game subjects in
> specific. Otherwise, I can't gauge as to whether if the developers did
> opt for someone else to do the publishing, what would motivate them to
> first approach Shrapnel?
>
Hello

Ed, I would agree more with your comment that the way the events were
handled could have been a lot better and the cost was also higher. I plan
to bring this up when we talk to the Origins convention staff for next year
show. I really do not think that gas prices had much to do if anything with
a low turn out. I was told by many of the exhibitors from the show said
this happens every time the 4th of July falls on weekend. Lets face it
family members are going to have issues with their love ones being away on
such a family holiday. Now throw in the fact that it falls on a weekend and
many gamers have a no win scenario with all the family events going on.

Origins staff claims attendance was up, I will say that exhibitor hall did
seem a little light at times. Even if at times it seemed slow Matrix did
have record sales at the show again this year.

Columbus is not a bad place for a convention the hotels and food prices
are fair and the traffic is not insane. We have gone to much smaller
conventions and in fact spent more money on both food and hotels. I think
its really important that the game companies get out to these conventions.
Its great to meet our customers. Our developers came far and wide just for
that reason. Roger Keating and his wife Joyce from SSG attended all the way
from down under as did many of our other developers. I agree that moving it
around would not hurt.

Last year we just were exhibitor and this year we helped sponsor the War
College. Since we were able to give some input and the Origins staff was
willing to listen all helped make this year War College the success it was.
We had a fun working on it this year and plan on doing so again next year
God willing.

Since we are on the topic of conventions I just wanted everyone to know we
will be at the following shows.

Matrix Games will be with "The Last Square" at Historicon (www.hmgs.org)
July 21-24, 2005

We will have our own area at World Boardgaming Championships (WBC)
(http://www.boardgamers.org/#wbc) August 2-7, 2005

We will also be at this year GenCon (www.gencon.com) August 18-21, 2005.

We are considering some other conventions as well. If you have ideas on a
good convention let us know on our forums
(http://www.matrixgames.com/support/forums.asp). We hope to see you out
there this year but if not happy gaming.

David Heath
Matrix Games
!