Sunday, 15 March 2009

What Happened And What's Next?

Where did it all go wrong?
  • Timeframe: While four weeks is possible (the last one started in a week, but already had players, location, etc), I hadn't counted on having to spend so much time looking for a place. London Metropolitan University doesn't have a sci-fi soc that I know of, which suggested that reaching out to Met students would be a timewaster. However, it was taking a full week to go from 'can I meet your group to talk about this?' to 'well, that's interesting, but we can't do much. Try these guys'. Once that repeated itself couple of times I ended up too short on time.

  • Bad risk assessment: I don't know London and its gamers as I haven't gotten out much (or at all) in term time. I thought that things would actually be easier to set up in as big a town as this (in fact, that was one of the few things I saw as good about moving to London. I was wrong in my unfamiliarity, basically, and lacking a basic network of people to help me get moving.
  • Ambition: I know this links to what I've said already, but I think that I was too ambitious in my plans. If I had run a World of Darkness or Call of Cthulhu game, I think that I would have found it a lot easier to get players; after all, both games are well known and have strong followers. Fading Suns...does not. Its fans are serious, but the overall numbers are small.
As I've already said, on an objective scale I could have done more but, subjectively speaking, if I'd been able to all that, then I would have.

Still, that doesn't matter. The question is what do I have?

  • I stirred up interest: UCL want me to turn up at the new year and basically do a stall showing the game as part of their union events. And there's others - I got an email from someone after the event, who wants to know if I ever do it again (she heard of it from the Maelstrom mailing list. News must have travelled, because I didn't put it there.

  • My ideas: They haven't gone away - and focusing on them has only made them better.

  • Timing: Once this semester is over, I have summer holidays to work on things at my own pace. I think that achieving a critical mass in interest will take longer than I ever anticipated and certainly more time than I had. As UCL and Imperial were saying that nothing could be done at short notice (roughly a month ahead), I have the luxury of not trying to get everything done at short notice.

  • My props: I got a call yesterday afternoon saying that they were ready to be shipped. The universe does have a sense of humour. But I can still get hold of them and I still have ideas for stuff. For example, our housemate threw out some polystyrene pillars on which I am going to do a post, but basically I'm turning them into alien markers.
What do I do now?

Despite the frustrations and, ultimately, failure, I do still think that I have something. While it's not a full game, it would seem that such an aim was too high anyway. I've still stirred up interest and I have people who want so see me succeed.

As such, I have decided to keep the blog beyond the project deadline and work on it over the summer with the aim of making presentations and running a game in Year 2.

Keep watching this space, I guess...

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