The Adventure Begins…

Today is the day.  All the plotting, scheming, budgeting, marketing, and general malfeasance comes to a screeching halt this morning as the wave crashes down upon us and the Tsunami arrives with terrible fury.  Of course, in our case, terrible fury arrives in the form of a sprawling manse fitting at every end with gaming tables, eager gamers, and more fun than you can shake a broken oar at.

TsunamiCon has arrived.

We open the doors at noon today, and our scheduled games kick off at 1 pm.  We will have plenty of room for more gaming, so if you want to bring something of your own or sample one of the many offerings from our Game Library, you’ll have no problem finding a table.  If you haven’t purchased a ticket, they’re available at the gate.  It’s going to be a cool day, and the venue has a concession stand with hot food, snacks and soda, and there will be beer for sale this evening.  Opening Ceremonies are at 5:30 pm, so if you’re stuck at work today you still have time to get here, and Mikey Mason will be performing live at 6 pm.  Altogether, I expect you to show up, be on your second-best behavior, and help us celebrate our love of tabletop gaming for the next THREE DAYS STRAIGHT.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

#tsunamicon2016

The Hour is Upon Us!

As always - despite the challenges, the long nights, the endless fretting over budgets and schedules and promotional details - organizing our community's annual tabletop gaming convention has been an honor and a genuine pleasure.  Since our earliest days we have struggled to evolve, reaching beyond the boundaries of our local paradigm and welcoming gamers and guests from across the nation to join us at our tables and help make our con a truly memorable experience.  We strive to provide a broad range of activities, games new and old, popular and virtually unknown, both at the table and more socially invested, with world-class entertainment, service to our broader geek community, and an excellent and eclectic marketplace.

With only a few days to go, I'd like to highlight a few of our special gaming events:

ALIENS is a fast-paced and easy-to-learn miniatures war game set in the universe of Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus. You portray Colonial Marines trying to save the missing Hadley's Hope colonists of LV426. Game Master Allan Grohe from Black Blade Publishing supplies the minis and terrain; bring your own d10s and Pulse Rifles!  The game is quick-moving, very easy to learn, and ridiculously fun, and kids are welcome to join in the fight.  Allan's custom-made terrain and cool minis make it and immersive and exciting experience, and you'll have a good time whether you win the challenge or all die trying.  You can find the setup near the Black Blade Publishing booth in the Great Hall; just drop by with your friends and let Allan know you're ready to play.  You can also sign for a game in advance via our event registration page.

Mounting Pitons to Hold the Grill is a fun and hilarious live-action roleplaying event running all weekend during the con.  It only takes four players to run a session, and several sessions are scheduled on Friday and Saturday. Players choose a character class with unique powers and adventure across various locations throughout the venue. Each party will have two hours to complete a Major Quest and several minor Quests, and then everyone is welcome to return on Sunday afternoon for the grand finale!  Mounting Pitons is a mashup of Lord of the Rings and Monty Python's classic Arthurian farce, and promises to be an unforgettable experience!  You can sign up now via our event registration page.

mountingpitons2

ntye1

No Thank You, Evil! is an extraordinary tabletop game of creative make-believe, adventure, and storytelling designed to introduce children of all ages to the world of roleplaying games. Each player creates a character based on a couple of cool, descriptive, imagination-firing traits. You could play a princess, a robot, a spaceman, a dinosaur... all sorts of fun character concepts with cool abilities to help them save the day.  Jonikka will be demoing No Thank You, Evil! throughout the morning on Saturday, and parents are welcome to sit in with the kids and even create characters of your own. Demos will usually only take around 60 minutes.  Bring your kids out to play and you can even enter a drawing to win a deluxe edition of the game, so you can continue the adventure at home!

Lots of cool events are happening this weekend at the con!  Get your badges early at a discount and plan to join us for a fun and fantastic weekend of gaming goodness!

T-Minus Four Weeks to the Con!

postconslider3

With less than four weeks to go, the convention planning is simultaneously heating up to a fever pitch as the weekend schedule takes shape, and cooling into a deceptive lull as the production phase – ordering swag, print materials, finalizing the programs, and so forth – winds to a close.  We’ve grown our Game Library, worked with the community to build a game schedule, and worked on features, In the coming weeks we’ll be turning a lot of our attention to boring, operational details… everything from sound equipment to schedules for streaming content to table stands and placards.  It’s not sexy, but the details are what really create a quality event and make the experience memorable.

Why is that?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

From the very first Tsunami GameDay event in Wichita nearly four years ago, I’ve always planned big.  Even then, I treated a small free event like a big deal, with online game registration, live podcasting, in-store savings and prizes.  We printed flyers and advertised on social media, via our podcasting network, and on industry forums. It was profoundly satisfying to soak up the excitement, and I’ve striven to keep every GameDay since on a similar level.  We even limit them to strictly seasonal events to help retain a sense of anticipation and focus on devoting more resources to each outing.

TsunamiCon is, of course, on a whole new level.  From our very beginnings, we’ve always planned the con as a three-day event at a major venue.  We partner with local hotels and catering companies, we organize live entertainment and featured events both on-site and extracurricular, and we produce a selection of commemorative swag for attendees to take home, if they so desire.  The costs are frankly staggering, and we’ve yet to make a single penny (last year, in fact, we ended a little in the red), but it’s been worth it.

So that being said…. boring operational details, here I come.

Be sure to spread the word, let your friends and family know about the con, and plan for an amazing weekend.  We have lots of games on the schedule, a ton of giveaways, some very cool vendors, and some really fun events planned for this year’s convention. And as always, if you have a question that you can’t find an answer to on the website, you can check our FAQ or drop me a line at [email protected].

 

T-Minus Five Weeks to the Con!

romanhelmavatarAs we head into Labor Day weekend, the celebration begins in earnest.  This is the wave we have been waiting for… we’ve gnashed our teeth and held our breath and offered sacrifices to the many gods of gaming, and at long last TsunamiCon has breached the horizon.  Many of us will revel in games and fellowship this weekend!  Plans will be made!

The past week has seen a sizable shift in focus on our social media outlets as we highlight the upcoming events on the TsunamiCon schedule and urge attendees to start signing up for games.  And the scheduling is far from over!  If you have a game to list on our conplanner page, delay no longer!  And while your thinking about TsunamiCon weekend, allow me to direct your attention to a couple of other items:

Firstly, our Game Library has been growing by leaps and bounds.  The list presented on the website is by no means comprehensive, but we’ve steadily been taking inventory and adding games to the list so you can get an idea what will be available at this year’s event.  If there’s something you’d like to try that you don’t see on the list, let us know!  We may be able to procure a copy!

Secondly, we’ve added a Play-To-Win section to the website where we’ll be showcasing a few of the games that will be available as Play-To-Win prizes at the con.  These are games provided as prizes by TsunamiCon sponsors and publishers who want to share their wares.  Some of them will be available to check out at scheduled demos, and all of them will be available in the TsunamiCon Game Library to play at any time.  Try out one of these games and sign up for a chance to win a copy!

T-shirts and dice have come in, and we’ll be picking up the pint glasses tomorrow.  After a little bit of calculaion, we think we can squeeze out a couple more VIG tickets, too, so pick them up now if you want the good stuff!  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, and be watching for some audio and video casts next week as we highlight some of the big events.

 

As always, if you have a question that you can’t find an answer to on the website, you can check our FAQ or drop me a line at [email protected].

 

T-Minus Eight Weeks to the Con!

romanhelmavatarThis past weekend, the TsunamiCon management team hosted our community’s seasonal GameDay event at The Burrow: Gifts For Geeks in east Wichita.  It was a day full of fun and gaming, with lots of RPG action, a few new faces, and a good time for everybody involved.  A few of us even had some birthdays to celebrate, so everyone had cake!

The importance of this event for us, however, is that we were celebrating our small victories over the course of the year:  the continued support of our local community, the hard work that’s about to pay off, and managing to pull a game con out of our hat in the face of enormous adversity.  With less than two months left to prepare, we nevertheless intend to make it the biggest and most successful convention yet.

If you poke around the website, you may notice a lot of updated information.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Venue page now includes a map of the facility and a breakdown of the rooms we’ll be using to host the event.  I’m not going to kid you… the scope of it is mind-boggling.  Now we just need to fill it with gamers.
  • We added a Hotel Reservations page with information on this year’s very affordable housing block and the information you need to book your room.
  • We’ve updated the Game Library to include a list of the games provided by contributors and staff for this year’s event.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, as we continue to acquire new games for attendees to try out and share with friends and strangers at the convention this year.
  • We’ve updated this year’s Special Guests to feature game designer Ryan Z. Nock from EN Publishing.  He’ll be running games, hosting panels, and generally being a great guy.
  • We added the Conundrum Cafe to our Featured Events.
  • We updated our Vendors page to include a form submission that allows you to select the details of your desired vendor space and submit them directly for approval.
  • And finally, we have update the Marketplace page to include scheduled exhibitors for TsunamiCon 2016.

As usual, we want to remind you to schedule your games for TsunamiCon as soon as possible!  Attendees will soon be planning their weekend and will want to sign up for your games, so be sure to get them listed.

And as a reminder, VIG tickets are still available for a limited time!  These tickets will not be available at the gate, and you will also find that our ticket prices on the website provide a discount on the badge for buying in early (even day passes!).  Visit our online store and grab your tickets today!

 

T-Minus Nine Weeks to the Con

metanonhelm2With TsunamiCon clearly on the horizon, it’s time to take a moment to inhale sharply the sense of excitement and apprehension.  What adventures await the unwashed masses as we descend upon the hallowed halls of the historic Scottish Rite in downtown Wichita?  What stories will we have to tell our children and our grandchildren?

Well… for that matter, you could just bring them along.  *grins*

TsunamiCon planning is in full swing, and we’ve had some very exciting developments in the past week or so.  So let’s get to it:

TC16VIGADMITONGAs per our agreement with the venue, Venue 332 at Wichita Scottish Rite is an official corporate sponsor of TsunamiCon 2016.  They’re easily as excited about this event as we are, and they’ve taken additional measures to try and elevate our event.  We now have access to pretty much the entire facility… and that means more than enough space to suit everyone’s needs.  To keep the noise levels under a bit more control.  To move our entertainments and cosplay contest into the auditorium and our VIG Lounge into one of the coolest rooms in the house…

… Which brings us to our VIGs.  If you have ever considered taking part in our VIG program, now is an excellent time.  These specialty tickets are still available for a short while, and they are a fantastic way to get the most out of the convention.  You get all the swag, you get to hang out in the lounge and graze on the victuals and hobnob with the other VIGs, and more, depending on your level of involvement.  It’s a great way to show support for your local convention, and it’s a fun way for us to show you how much we appreciate your patronage.

Artemis-52Innovative gaming experiences!  Sounds cool when I say it like that, doesn’t it?  We have some very cool things happening this year, including the reappearance of Allan Grohe’s phenomenal ALIENS tactical miniatures RPG.  We also have some original LARP-like events happening this year, like Shaun Duncan’s original scenario The Purge, which plays out throughout the day on Saturday, and a hilarious live-action event based loosely on Monty Python’s eponymous Arthurian reenactment.  And finally, we’ve added the extraordinary Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator to our schedule for this year’s convention, which allows you and your friends (or you and a group of complete strangers, for that matter!) to take over the bridge of a starship for a unique and very personal gaming experience.

And all of this if FREE with your TsunamiCon badge!

So let’s get started, shall we?

TsunamiCon 2016 Kickstarter is LIVE!

kickstarter-logo-k-colorNeedless to say, a lot of work goes into managing a Kickstarter campaign:  building the page, doing all the math, figuring up reward levels and stretch goals, finding a way to express everything your project IS in just a handful of words and graphics.  Your selling an idea.  Selling a dream.  A concept that hopes to capture the imagination of enough eager contributors to fund your project and make it a reality.  This work starts weeks – or even months – before you ever see a page on their website.

Today, TSUNAMICON LLC launched our third Kickstarter campaign for our third annual tabletop gaming convention in Wichita, Kansas.  Despite our best efforts, the cost of running a con seems to go up every year… or at least, the amount we need up front.  Consequentially, our Kickstarter goal is the dead minimum we need to pull this off in 2016.  That’s a sobering realization, to say the least.  Our advantage, however, is a strong gaming community and two excellent events under our collective belt.

Today I urge you to check out our Kickstarter page.  Peruse the reward levels and find a way to support the con.  Pledge now, and you’ll be charged when the campaign is over.  Simple, effective, and so important.  Then SHARE.  Send everyone you know to check out the Kickstarter page and urge them to get involved.  It’s a fantastic event that brings joy to our community and gives us a chance to spend three freakin’ days playing games with family, friends, and total strangers, and generally enjoying life.

Final Days for Early Deals

TC16VIGADMITONGAs we march toward the launch of our upcoming Kickstarter campaign, you have a few days left to get your early VIG tickets at the pre-Kickstarter price. This price goes up once we launch the campaign! As a VIG (Very Important Gamer), you get your weekend pass, exclusive convention swag, and access to the VIG Lounge – a sanctuary where you can retreat from the noise and excitement at any time and graze on some of the complimentary snacks and soda we keep on hand. It’s a fun way to be part of the con and get the most out of the experience. It’s also a great way to show your support for your hometown game con.

The GOLD VIG level includes some additional perks. Every year, we run some exclusive gaming events on Sunday just for our Gold-level VIGs. These are original adventures penned in house and run by one of our management team, and you get a chance to check it out before it goes to publication. Additionally, we’ll invite you to an exclusive dinner on Sunday night with TsunamiCon staff, guests, entertainers, and the cast of Metagamers Anonymous.

Finally, if you want to secure a booth in our TsunamiCon Marketplace, we’re extending our 10% pre-Kickstarter discount for a few more days. TsunamiCon is a fun venue with a crowd that generally shows up on Friday afternoon and evening and sticks around for the whole convention, giving you plenty of opportunity to ply your wares when they wander away from the gaming tables. Many of our returning vendors are also game designers who enjoy numerous opportunities throughout the con to demo their games and spread the word to the local community. If you’re interested, or if you have any questions, drop me a line at [email protected].

Be watching for our Kickstarter announcement very soon!

Where To Begin…?

TsunamiCon 2015 is fast approaching! You’re ready for 3 solid days of gaming goodness this October, so how do you get started? Let’s start with the basics:

We will assume you already know what TsunamiCon is: a three-day convention that provides attendees with the best variety and highest caliber tabletop gaming entertainment Wichita can offer, with demos, tournaments, and gaming experiences to serve the needs of hard-core hobbyists and amateur gamers alike. We expand on this core product with related activities and entertainment, including cosplay contests, miniature painting, live geek comedy, and so much more.

If you need to know more, you should definitely poke around the website and see what the convention is all about.  In the next couple weeks, you’ll start to see new gaming and event schedules appear, with tournaments, demos, organized play, casual gaming, panels, cosplay, LARPs, and more!  If you want to run some games, all the better!  You can submit your game now on our Submissions page.  Note:  If you plan to run a couple games, you can get a nice price break on your weekend pass.

You can find the basics on our Registration page, including the hours of the con, links to buy tickets and reserve your hotel room, and a general rundown of what you can expect as a TsunamiCon attendee.  Finally, follow us on social media for regular updates.  Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!  And if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, let us know!  It’s your home town game con.

The TsunamiCon Experience

 

My wife is currently taking a marketing class, and while she was discussing one of her current assignments last night I was reminded of something fairly profound.  I’ve made an effort to market the convention as exactly what it is, at least on the surface.  It’s an event at a hotel wherein you get to play games all day long for three amazing days.  We’ve added a bunch of features and events to give the convention a robust appeal, from demos and tournaments to panels and cosplay.  The end goal is to make the convention as memorable an experience as possible.

Therein lies my recent revelation.  The appeal of a game con is that it’s more than what it is… it’s an experience.  You get there as early as you can and spend up to 16 hours packing in all the gaming you can take.  You sit down with friends and strangers and check out games you’ve never played before.  You fit in a few of your favorites, maybe even teach some of your fellow gamers how to play!  You try out That One Thing you’ve never gotten around to playing before.  You grab the occasional snack to keep yourself moving, maybe take a break at some point to get a real meal at the hotel restaurant or one of the nearby eateries.

You take a few minutes to check out the vendors, sign up for drawings for new games and gaming products, maybe relax for a few and watch the cosplay contest or attend a panel on game design.  At the end of the day, maybe you’re exhausted and head up to your room, or maybe you meet up with some folks who are gaming in theirs!  Maybe you hit the hotel bar and have a few drinks with new friends, talk about the day and make a mental checklist of the games you still need to check out.

Either way, you get to do all again tomorrow!

TC2015long

A Game Con isn’t just an event, it’s an experience.  I’ve been heartened by how many people still talk about last year’s TsunamiCon and the great time they had.  Right now – in Wichita – it’s a unique opportunity to spend an entire weekend doing what you love, and doing it in style. With friends, with family, and with an amazing opportunity to connect with so many other gamers!

We’re closing in on our funding goal, but we only have a few days left to make it happen.  Help us bring the TsunamiCon Experience back to Wichita this fall.  Buy your tickets now via our Kickstarter page and help us cross the finish line (we have to hit 100% to get any of the cash!).  We’re so close… now we just a need a little more love to make it real.

To sweeten the deal, we’re going to put our Kickstarter backers into a hat (yes, you’ll all fit… trust me…) and give away a hotel room for at least one night of the convention!  So now you can get a great price on your ticket and have a shot at winning a hotel room for the con!

Back our convention, and experience TsunamiCon with us again this fall.  You won’t regret it.