Here you will find the latest news and announcements in the weeks leading up to the convention. Check back often for the latest information!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
With less than six weeks to go, the waters recede ahead of the oncoming storm. A wave appears on the distant horizon, and excitement builds as we prepare ourselves for the inevitable strike… TsunamiCon is coming.
This week it’s finally time to start shifting gears. We’ve been hard at work planning the events that your convention organizers, volunteers, special guests, and local GMs have in store, and the schedule has started taking shape. In the coming weeks, you can expect to see us highlighting specific events, telling you more about them and inviting you to take part. You expect to see some video promotion, audio features through our podcasting network, blogs and social media posts, and so forth. In fact, if you skate on over to event registration now, you’ll find a collection of different RPG offerings, some miniature gaming and other tabletop games, LARPing sessions, and more!
Also, swag has been ordered, and we’ll only be able to sell a few more VIG tickets, so if you’re interested it’s time to make your selection. Some of the swag has already shown up… *grins*
We also have even more prizes coming in from companies such as Atlas Games, Czech Games Edition, Looney Labs, Cheapass Games, and more! 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@example.com.
Another week down, and the convention looms ever nearer as the summer heat finally starts to give way to pleasantly warm days and cooler nights. October will be here before you know it, and with it TsunamiCon.
Our focus over the past week has primarily been the event registration schedule. Over a dozen new RPGs have appeared on the site, and we’re expecting nearly as many more in the week or so. Highlights include a panoply of Shadowrun missions helmed by RPGKC Castellan Brad Kelley, a few games run by TsunamiCon management personnel, and an exciting chance to game with one of our special guests at this year’s con, game designer and scribe Casey Christofferson. You should expect to see some D&D Adventurers League hit the schedule this week, along with some Call of Cthulhu sessions, more Savage Worlds and Fate, and even No Thank You, Evil! for the kiddos.
I also mentioned in a recent article that the VIG Gold package had expanded to include a couple more goodies, including a commemorative pint glass. I’ve ordered some extras to sell at the con, but the best way to ensure availability is to pick up one of our few remaining VIG tickets.
Updates on the site are numerous, but subtle. A lot of cleanup and improved functionality and aesthetics on some of the landing pages. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week, we’ll start taking a closer look at individual events. So get excited. It’s almost Go Time. (Did I really just say that…?)
Every year, TsunamiCon offers a special selection of high-end tickets for attendees who want to show their support for the con and get the most out of the experience. We call these packages VIG memberships, and they come with a few perks. These tickets package together your basic weekend pass with our standard TsunamiCon swag, the T-shirt printed with this year’s logo and sponsors and a commemorative dice puzzle emblazoned with our logo and the date, and we sweeten the deal with a dedicated “VIG Lounge” where attendees can relax, enjoy some provided refreshments throughout the day, or even get involved in some additional gaming with other VIGs away from the noise of the con.
The Silver Level VIG earns the aforementioned rewards.
The Gold Level VIG gets a few extras. This year, we’ve added a commemorative TsunamiCon 2016 pint glass to the gold package, as well as a $5 token for the TsunamiCon Marketplace. As a Gold-level member, you also gain access to an exclusive D&D adventure designed and run by TsunamiCon management staff. This is an adventure that has yet to be published, and you will among the first
victims intrepid heroes to give it a whirl. We’ll also buy you dinner after the con on Sunday evening, where you can hang out with TsunamiCon staff, special guests, and the cast of Metagamers Anonymous.
Because we order the swag and plan our exclusive games (and dinner!) based on volume, we have to limit the number of VIG tickets available. We’ll be reaching our critical mass very soon and can only offer them for a limited time, so get them now while you still can!
Over the past few years, one of our most frequently revisited topics on the Metagamers Anonymous podcast is the art of running “con” games. In contrast to the sprawling campaigns we enjoy in our everyday gaming or even the limited series arcs we like to run for four of five sessions at a shot, con games are designed to be completely encapsulated in a specific period of play, typically four hours. Needless to say, the strategy for running effective convention games is only marginally related to the art of the campaign, as it serves an entirely different need and requires an alternative form of investment from the participants.
Many GMs approach this practice with a sense of apprehension, whereas other game masters find the format infinitely more rewarding. Either way, there is definitely an art to running an effective con game.
In the strictest sense, a con game is a singular scenario or streamlined adventure. It can often be winnowed down to three or four scenes or story points, with a strict observance of the time required to move from one sequence to the next. Fluid games are popular at cons, as they provide players a sense of agency while giving the GM a largely reactive role. Alternatively, many con games are on rails, driving the story from scene to scene in order to derive the greatest story potential from the limited scope of the game. Most fall somewhere in between, with players bashing through the GM’s hooks and obstacles as willing accomplices in the developing scenario.
For some games, numerous examples of suitable con games are available for GMs to explore, and they are no less challenging to manage. Take any two dungeon masters with a copy of the very same D&D Adventurers League scenario and you may still end up with radically different experiences at the table. This is because every adage invoked in campaign design regarding the chaos of player engagement is magnified in a four-hour game, wherein players are expected to have a more casual commitment to their characters. Gamers can play it fast and loose, plot holes are virtually irrelevant, and character death is often celebrated.
With TsunamiCon approaching fast, it’s time to accept the challenge. As a game master, you play an essential role in our community, and a game con is the perfect environment to celebrate it. Players are ready to sign up for this year’s events, so get your games listed now. It only takes two scheduled games to earn the GMs badge discount, and running at least one game each day of the convention will net you a free weekend pass.
This 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!