Here you will find the latest news and announcements in the weeks leading up to the convention. Check back often for the latest information!
The month or so since the Kickstarter ended has, predictably, been busy here at TsunamiCon HQ. The first priority was collecting info from backers and working up a strategy for Kickstarter fulfillment based on our needs. There’s a lot of back-and-forth going on as we sort out details, but I think everyone involved is pretty happy with the experience and excited about the convention. The money always takes a couple weeks to show up, as well, and then there’s merch to order, flights and hotels to sort out, products and services to plan, supply caches that need to be built, and so on and so forth. To be fair, the details would get a touch boring. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot to do.
While the busy work may not be all fun and games, however, the convention is exactly that! Game masters have begun submitting their initial offerings, and you can expect to see the gaming and event schedule take shape over the next several weeks. Once we reach an arbitrarily determined point of saturation on said schedule, we’ll open event registration – starting with VIGs and, soon thereafter, all registered attendees – and let you reserve seats. You’ll need to buy your badge to get “tickets” for any given game, but you’ll also save a few bucks on the badge by purchasing it in advance, so it’s a win-win.
We are still actively on the hunt for exhibitors and event sponsors, so if you know anyone who might enjoy peddling their wares or purchasing sponsorships or advertising at the con, please let them know where to find us.
So, two things we still need more of: Game Masters and Volunteers. Both opportunities include significant discounts on your badge. Notably, for every four hours you sign up for either duty (or combination, for that matter), you get $10 off the badge. For 12+ hours of GMing and/or volunteering at the con, your weekend pass is free. If you want to take advantage of this option, simple purchase your badge and select the appropriate discount code for your volunteer hours. You’ll see the codes listed on the screen where you add the badge to your cart. Then you’ll need to either register your games on the site before August 31st or fill out the volunteer application so that we know when you’ll be available and how you can best assist us.
Please continue to spread the word and let folks know about the con. Thanks!
On Monday night, we crossed the threshold and officially hit our funding goal for TsunamiCon 2017. We then shot confetti out of a cannon. We then fought over who was going to clean it up and whether or not it was a good idea to shoot cannons off in our living room.
But ultimately, we were happy.
TsunamiCon has certainly been a challenging pursuit over the past few years, and I finally feel like we’ve laid the crowdfunding foibles of 2016 to rest. And the best part is, we’re not done… we have some very cool stretch goals, and the barrier to achievement is very low. We now add class and quality to our con with every new backer, every pledge, every ticket and T-shirt sold. And that’s not a small thing. In fact, it’s kinda huge. Either way, we’ve won… now it’s just about making the win even bigger. Here’s a couple ways you can help:
Volunteers: Volunteers are the lifeblood of any convention. Too few, and your organizers are working overtime just to stay on top of things. Too many… well, as an old game master of mine used to say, “heavy ordinance is not a problem.” It’s important to us that we have our bases covered AND that you understand how much we value your commitment. Consequentially, there are three reward levels on the Kickstarter campaign geared specifically toward volunteers. Each of these rewards includes a 3-Day pass to the convention discounted for the number of hours you’re willing to commit:
You’ll notice that the verbage includes a discount for GMs, as well. That’s because we’re offering the same price break for Game Masters who schedule their games in advance and cover the requisite hours of play.
Vendors: The TsunamiCon Marketplace has always been a fun and eclectic environment characterized by a broad selection of game vendors and designers, local artisans and craftsmen, and artists and authors. It’s a great place to get your name and/or product in front of local and regional gamers, show off your designs or innovations, or spread awareness of your product, cause, or brand. We’re able to offer the best price ever for vendor space this year, and now is the best time to get your foot in the door. If you’re interested in securing a booth at TsunamiCon 2017, be sure to pick up the appropriate reward on our Kickstarter page and fill out an Exhibitor Application.
Most of all, spread the word. TsunamiCon 2017 is happening this October, and we plan to make it bigger and better than ever!
We’ll even leave the confetti cannon at home.
With the first two weeks of our Kickstarter campaign down, we’re currently sitting at 74% of our basic funding goal, which is excellent. Anyone who has ever run a Kickstarter will bemoan the quiet period in the midst of the run when pledges just trickle in, and we’ve been weathering it fairly well. That being said, we do have some ground to cover… and some important stretch goals waiting just the other side.
So let’s talk about some of that.
When I launched our first Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, I was building on the support of a community which was largely comprised of the Metagamers Anonymous listener fanbase. One of the cooler things I’d had the opportunity to do as a podcast producer was schedule interviews with industry folk who enjoyed talking about their persons and products. One of the more entertaining conversationalists on the show – in fact, we were lucky if we ever even got around to talking about his products – was Jim Pinto of Post World Games. It seemed only natural that Jim would be the first guest I tried to enlist as a stretch goal for TsunamiCon.
Four years later, I’m still trying to make it happen.
I’m going to shower Jim with a little praise now, which I’m sure will annoy him to no end. Jim has been a guest on the show three times, as much or more than any of the other excellent game designers I know. He’s an accomplished writer and designer who has contributed to every part of the hobby in some way and his name graces some truly memorable products. I have backed seven of his Kickstarters over the past few years and been very pleased with the products I purchased, and he has been a great sounding board for my own ideas and promotional efforts. He even designed the current logos for Prismatic Tsunami, Metagamers Anonymous, and all the logos for TsunamiCon, some of it on his own time and without asking for a thing in return. (For some of it, I paid him anyway.)
Our basic funding goal is only $3500 this year, which makes it more than likely that we’ll hammer right through our first couple stretch goals and be on the fast track to flying Jim down from Seattle. At TsunamiCon, he’ll not only spend some time visiting with folks and join us for the live podcast, but he has some very cool RPGs of his own that he’d love to show off to the Wichita crowd. I truly want to show Jim how much we’ve appreciated his patronage of our community and his contributions to our hobby with some Midwestern gamer hospitality at TsunamiCon 2017.
So let’s make it happen.
Happy Monday, friends!
The TSUNAMICON 2017 Kickstarter is now live! Here’s a breakdown of the reward levels available. Pledge early for the best prices ever for this year’s convention tickets, swag, vendor spaces, advertising, sponsorships, etc.!
Join us for yet another full day of tabletop gaming on International TableTop Day – Saturday, April 29th – at The Burrow! As always, admission is FREE, and there will be open gaming for RPGs and board games, with room for anyone to sit down and play some games. Features of Tsunami GameDay include:
- Advance registration for scheduled games
- Drawings for prizes and giveaways
- Amazing sales on all gaming products
- Sanctioned venue for the Unrivaled Boardgame Tournament
You can register now to run a game or get a seat at someone else’s table. Though you can schedule an event at any hour of the day, we recommend long-form games such as RPGs be scheduled from 1pm to 5pm OR 6pm to 10pm to maximize flexibility for players who want to play more than one game and have time to grab dinner in between.
Remember, TABLES ARE LIMITED! We can handle four organized games at a time. Please register your games AND advertise them on our Facebook event page. If you have any questions, contact us directly or post them to Facebook.
Yesterday afternoon at our Tsunami GameDay at the Burrow, a lovely geekworthy gift shop on the east side of town that hosts our quarterly and pulls out all the stops to make us feel at home, Liz and I posted a video via Facebook Live announcing the dates for TsunamiCon 2017. We couldn’t be more excited to be getting a chance to do this again, now launching our fourth consecutive year celebrating tabletop gaming here in America’s heartland.
When and where? TsunamiCon 2017 is happening October 6th, 7th and 8th. As always, we’ll be bringing you three days of gaming goodness with all the class and level of service you’ve come to expect. And best of all, we’ve been invited back to the amazing Wichita Scottish Rite Center! Ask anyone who attended last year’s festivities… the venue was as immersive and powerful as the staff was wondrously committed to making sure everyone had a great time.
What will it cost? We’ve worked hard to keep prices manageable, and I’m happy to say that we will not see any increase in ticket prices this year. Advance VIG tickets are now available. You can expect to pay $40 at the door for a weekend pass, less if you pre-order tickets online or pick them up during our Kickstarter campaign.
Another Kickstarter? Seriously? Yes. We take pride in bringing you a quality event at a great venue, and it’s costly. I am happy to say, however, that we are positioned better than we ever have been, and we will not need near the amount of money we tried to raise in previous years. Be watching for the Kickstarter in March or April. It’s your chance to get the best price available on ticket packages, convention swag, vendor space, and advertising. Every dollar goes to making the event great.
Fantastic! What can I do now? To start with, pick up your VIG ticket if you are so inclined. Then spread the word. Let the gamers in your life know that you’re coming to TsunamiCon. Get everyone on board. The bigger and better the event, the more fun it will be for everyone involved, and the easier it will be to grow on in the years ahead.
Thanks for checking in. And game on!
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.
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.
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!
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].
As 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.