FallCon Q&A Mailbag: Game Selection & Diversity

FallCon Gaming Society - Thursday, August 14, 2014
Settlers Mech Miniatures

In today's Mailbag blog post, we look at FallCon's overarching vision and how we view community-driven game diversity at the convention. 

A few months ago, David wrote in to us:

"In the beginning FallCon game selection was more community-based: seeking moderators interested in running board games that generally interested the community as a whole, providing a wide variety of games that interested a diverse group of gamers. Over time this focus has changed and is now primarily a 'Euro' games convention featuring those games that the organizing committee have an interest in. I'm curious as to why this change happened?"

In 2010, the core organizing committee undertook an exercise to clarify FallCon's vision and goals. As part of that exercise, we developed a vision statement which we now summarize with the following equation:

People + Games => Better Communities, Families, Relationships

There's no doubt that in aligning ourselves with the above statement that there have been subtle and perhaps not so subtle cultural shifts. However, our event selection process has been fairly consistent for the last decade or so. It is rooted in the vision statement above in that event selection is based on game-focused and people-focused criteria. 

Game Criteria
The "Euro" and "Ameritrashy" side of the schedule is indeed selected by the core organizers. As stated on our website, we select games based on the following criteria:
  • games that are recognized as best in class
  • games that are highly replayable and with interesting themes
  • games that are fun, challenging and social
  • games that we (the organizers) would want to play ourselves
Teachability is also a factor we take into consideration. Beyond these criteria, we do aim to provide a variety of game genres, depth, complexity and themes. With the addition and expansion of the gaming library and HOT games, we provide access to games that might be difficult to acquire or to teach in a large group sessions. As such, we've seen the diversity of games at the con increase.

People/Community Criteria
The people criteria manifests itself in two principal ways. First and foremost, we aim to support the games that have the strongest appeal.Thus we take into consideration the number of people who register for past events. If an event is under-registered (e.g. 2 registrants for a 10 person event), we tend to make note of this for the following year. SInce we're dealing with limited volunteer resources and space, we do ultimately make decisions based on how our attendees vote with their feet. So if having more minis games on the schedule is a desired outcome, ultimately we need those players to show up. Fewer miniaturists attending and fewer people willing to organize miniature events begets fewer miniaturists.

Secondly, we aim to support the games that have a strong outward-looking community. We do the con to grow the hobby and want to support others who share our vision. 

Thanks David for sending us your great email. It's provided us an opportunity to talk about our vision for FallCon, something we likely don't do enough. We're passionate about games and the hobby, just as you all are. We're confident our vision reveals this passion and we're eager to engage with other passionate gamers who want to grow this fantastic community of ours.

Jasen 

Photo courtesy of Tony Case on Flickr








FallCon Q&A MailBag: Family Gaming

FallCon Gaming Society - Tuesday, August 05, 2014

As we approach the early bird deadline (psst! it's Aug 31), I thought I'd take the opportunity to answer some of the common questions we get via email every year. Let's start with a few questions related to Family Gaming.

Adam wrote: 

"In regards to the family pass. What consitutes a family. If we live under the same roof? Anyone who will be coming to the event together?"

For the purposes of the con,  we consider "family" as a couple living together along with up to 2 dependent children. That said, we're not going to be too pushy when it comes to asking for marriage certificates, IDs and proof of residency under a single roof. In fact if you want to spend a romantic weekend with your girlfriend/boyfriend at FallCon and you want to get in under the Family Pass, we're not going to stop you. Whether you and your significant other live together or not, is none of our business so we won't be asking. :)

Marc wrote: 

"I’m very happy that I’ll be able to attend FallCon this year. Are there any special family events scheduled over the weekend? I’m just trying to figure out if I should get an individual pass or a family pass."

Rampage
For the last few years, we have scheduled entire stream of games that are family and non- (or new) gamer friendly. This year the selection consists of Augustus (Friday evening), Forbidden Desert (Saturday morning), Rampage (Saturday afternoon), 7 Wonders & Sushi Go (Saturday evening) and finally, Looping Louie or Crokinole (Sunday). 

All of these are games that we've been playing readily and happily with our family and we think of them as "sure bets" when it comes to family gaming. Beyond these specific games, other "standards" on the schedule might also be of interest (Catan, Ticket to Ride). And of course, there's the library which contains a huge number of excellent family games.

It's also worth noting that our family contingent continues to grow year after year. Personally speaking, this will mark the Robillard's third year attending the whole weekend as a family. The kids enjoy gaming with other kids (with the parents nearby playing their own games). As of this posting, we have 23 family passes sold. It's exciting to see other families choosing to spend quality time around a boardgame and we're glad FallCon can play a role in making that happen over the course of a special weekend.

Jasen






2014 Game Design Finalists Selected

FallCon Gaming Society - Monday, July 14, 2014
As scheduled, our Canadian Game Design Award judges submitted their Video Evaluations in late June and we're very pleased to announce the results. 

Out of 21 game designs submitted, the following 5 game designs have been advanced to the Finals:

It was truly a banner year in terms of submissions with very stiff competition to get into the final round. There are some heavy hitting designers in the list above. Congratulations to the finalists and best of luck to those who submitted games in the contest.

We're now in the beginning of the next round of evaluations with our friends at Snakes and Lattes in Toronto. We're very much looking  forward to announcing the winner for the 2014 Canadian Game Design Award at FallCon in October. In the meantime, it's never to early to start planning for next year!

Brent





2014 Registration Now Open

FallCon Gaming Society - Friday, July 11, 2014

As many of you know, we opened up our early bird registration last weekend and the response has been great so far. At time of posting, we already have over 50 registrants and most of them are Weekend Passes. I'm also happy to see more and more people taking advantage of our Family Pass.

In addition, as of 11:30am this morning, the Auction Manager has gone live. This means that every registered pass holder can allocate up to 10 games to their auction slots, but only until the 400 auction slots have been filled. We expect the 400 slots to be fully allocated to Early Bird registrants by the end of the weekend. So if you haven't registered yet and want to sell some games at the auction, NOW is the time to register.

Jasen





What is FallCon?

FallCon is a boardgame and tabletop miniatures convention for the masses held every fall in Calgary. Consider FallCon a philosophical extension to those fun Friday game nights you spend with family and friends! Against a backdrop of fun and friendly competition, gamers young and old are invited to join us in playing some of the best games available today.

October 3-5, 2014


Commonwealth Centre

3961 52nd Avenue NE #1177
Calgary, AB



Pass Info

Weekend Pass - $50

Family Weekend Pass - $80

Friday Pass - $20      6:00pm-12:00am

Saturday Pass - $30   8:00am-12:00am

Sunday Pass - $20     9:00am-4:00pm


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