Shrapnel - new blog entry by Tim Brooks

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
5 answers Last reply
More about shrapnel blog entry brooks
  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
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