MACE 2015: The Gaming Coordinator Review

There was a lot of anticipation for MACE 2015, especially from me considering the advancements I made in OGRe and all that was planned.  OGRe is still not perfect but it works well enough that it is getting easier and easier for people to get a seat at tables they need to while at the same time get an idea of what games are playing sporadically or on flexible schedule.  One day, maybe will have a complete list of games in our library so more people can have a better idea of what is there, but for now, we have OGRe.

Lots of plans were made, lots of expectations were set but as my instinct told me, many were not totally fulfilled.  However, other things were surprisingly successful.   We added a lot of new things, tried a few new things, and saw old things resurrected once again.  MACE 2015 on total was a success and I am very proud of what we have built here in 19 years.  We had a good balance of scheduled and unscheduled/pick up games.  We had a great turn out of our unpublished games, as well as previews to Kickstarter games.  RPGs went very well. I would say that 80% to 85% of our scheduled non-organized play RPGs made, and the Organized Play did very well especially Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League.  I love the fact that D&D is back!  We did struggle finding DMs on both the PFS and D&D AL side but I think it all came together in the end.  Thanks to Mac, Nathaniel, and Tim for their hard work in the Organized Play areas.

Amazingly, Live Action Role Play has returned to MACE.  Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, LARPing was a cornerstone of MACE.  It has been a while since we had a decent World of Darkness LARP.  Finally, thanks to the advent of the Underground Theater, we have the beginnings of a good Live Action event at MACE once again.  Thanks to the UT group including Tonya and Freddie for organizing our first WoD LARP in a long time.

Of course, thanks to Stephanie Shinn and her crew, we had a great Warmachine and Hordes event.  Despite a few setbacks, we still had a great start to new miniature events for Malifaux miniatures.  Thanks to Dawn for her help there.  Unexpectedly, we had an awesome turnout for Star Wars X-Wing.  Thanks to Chris for running that.  I am very happy with the growth of our miniature gaming.  Even on the historical side,  things are starting to come together.

Board games, especially the board game library and pick up games were crazy this year.  I think the Flea Market tables were used more for pick up games then flea market stuff (although I heard that the flea market did well).  Changes will be made next year to accommodate that, for sure.  For instance, by next year the hotel plans to remodel the area under the escalator, taking down some walls and making it more open.  This will give us more room to place more open gaming tables.

Other successes included the Buy a Little Luck idea which was only intended for Friday but it turned out that the Savage Worlds players wanted it all weekend.  We will plan for it all weekend next year.  The Mage Wars tournament went well, thanks to Ben.  Most, if not all, the game publishers that attended were pleased.  Jeff can speak about the Dealers but I know I spent $100+ in the dealers room.  Artemis seemed busy all weekend as well.

I have to apologize for the minor issues we did have.  We had a considerable number of cancellations (more than normal) as well as several no-shows.  Those really bother me and those that simply did not show up without letting me know are not going to be allowed to run for us again.  Everyone should have known their schedule as it is accessible in OGRe and if not they could have asked.  I expect every GM to know their schedule and show up on time as it is a commitment to you as much as it is to me.  I am very disappointed with some people.

Because we left online registration open all weekend, it made it easier for people to register on their own.  We are going to continue to push that and close onsite registration on Sat night.  Obviously, I am going to develop more features to make it easier for people to activate and register, have a work station there for at least Sat night for people to do it on their own and leave contact information for people to contact me. but things tend to slow to a crawl by Sat night.  For MACE and probably MACE West, on site registration is going to start closing between 6 and 8 pm Saturday night.

Thank you very much for a great weekend.  You all are very gracious and kind.  I do appreciate the kudos and the accolades.  It would not have been possible without the support of my lovely and gracious wife, Stephanie, as well as my patient and understanding volunteers Megan and Heath.  And of course, thank you to Jeff and Karen, for forming a great company and giving me the opportunity to do this.  I already thanked all the GMs but I can’t thank them enough, at least the ones that showed up.  And thanks to all the players that were patient with us at gaming registration.  We were pretty slammed Friday and Saturday, probably more so than ever before, despite having an online solution open all weekend.

I did get a chance to game a little – Fortress America, Sheriff of Nottingham, and Charles White’s Templar Savage Worlds.  All were very fun and thanks to all that played in those games with me.

We don’t have the exact numbers yet. With so many pick up and flex-schedule games, I have no real way of precisely formulating everything all together.  As an estimate based on what I have in the database, I would guess we had between 650 and 750 tables of games, averaging about 5 to 6 people per game.  This does not include the LARP, the Kids Room or Artemis.

It was an enjoyable weekend, once again.  It took me a full day to recover but that is a good sign.  Thanks to everyone!  See you at MACE East!