Over in NZ and other places, they have a concept call “Games on Demand”. Now frankly I’m not too sure how it works over there as I’ve never done it, but the feeling I get is that anyone who isn’t playing in a session can wander over to a Games on Demand room and play a pick up of something interesting. Which sounds fine in theory, until you study it a little. What happens if an odd number of people turn up (seven, nine, thirteen)? What happens if people turn up after play has commenced (15 – 20 mins late)? What happens if people wander over there, only to have no interest in the games being offered?
At Pheno, if I were to offer a games on demand room, I see all of the above problems with an extra couple:
- Because everything is pre-booked, people disappear when they don’t have session on.
- I can’t run anything all con.
- This would be a trialist thing (see my comments on blurb writing for an explanation of the four roleplaying groups), so I doubt there would be excessive interest).
- Firstly, I talk to my friends and see if there anyone who might be interested in helping me run one or two sessions (so I know how many teams this thing could take).
- Next, pick a four or five indie systems those GMs know or might be willing to learn over the next year (I’m thinking maybe one better know system like Fate or Houses of the Blooded and a few quick and dirty systems, with an emphasis on those easy to pick up.
- Sketch out a characters, premise or plot for those systems that need it (not all will I suspect).
- Figure out what to call it – will calling it Games on Demand confuse people who know what that is given this is a variation?
- Get the thing prescheduled, write up a blurb explaining what this is and gather teams online and Friday night as normal.
- For every X number of players, make certain I have a GM (I’m thinking I GM per 4 players given the variability of ratios in Indie games). I’m aiming at a maximum of 40 players (although I doubt this would get that many. Over two sessions that’s four friends, more if people only want to run one session.
- Get a large room off the con organisers. At the start of the session, find out who wants to play what. Divide the players into teams and send them off with a GM. We can all play in the one large room I hope.
- The end
Do you reckon this will work? If not, what can I do to fix the hole?