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Argen
08-18-2013, 06:00 PM
First off: A big thank you to the Crypto team for coming to GenCon to show off their awesome product. I had a blast playing the game and they did a heck of a job managing the line and keeping things moving after overcoming some original technical issues. The line only took about twenty minutes to get through after you re-entered when you were done with your match which was pretty tame.

However, I question the ticketing approach as a way to give out rewards. I loved playing and I went through the line several times. However, I have a fair amount of stuff I want to do at GenCon and many other people also wanted to play HEX. The ticketing system (two for winning one for losing for those unfamiliar and nine needed to accumulate all prizes) made me feel like I had to keep going until I got nine tickets so I could get all the exclusives. What was a fun, exciting demo of a product I'm very much looking forward to all of a sudden became a grind. It became daily quests.

Or, as a friend of mine put it, it became daily quests with a low spawn rate on the first day of server release.

There didn't seem to be a good reason for this. Why not just give out all the exclusives to folks who buy the wristband? Or make them play one game and then give them the rewards. This gets people who don't want to play a ton of games out of there faster and gives a shorter line to those who do want to keep playing.

Maybe I'm missing a good marketing reason for this but just wanted to throw my hat in the ring with my opinion.

funktion
08-18-2013, 06:13 PM
For what its worth, most other games i played at gencon required you to beat 6+ people in an hour long game and thirty minute line. In many cases you are playing against someone else who also wants that promo. This is is pretty standard id say, and the fact you still got something for losing was a bonus..not to mention it that you were getting to play hex. I played probably around 25 games and woulda done another 25 more if i had the time. I wasnt playing for the tickets at all.

It was only a chore if you made it one.

Barkam
08-18-2013, 06:13 PM
Given that this has already been discussed thoroughly by the community (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=26310&page=41) before Gen Con. CZE already made the decision on this topic by moving forward the way they did in Gen Con. It is what it is. Take it or leave it.

Maphalux
08-18-2013, 06:18 PM
I bet the HEX area was packed with a line the entire con. I imagine that is why. Seeing all those people interested in and playing HEX probably generated a lot of hype.

hex_colin
08-18-2013, 06:49 PM
For what its worth, most other games i played at gencon required you to beat 6+ people in an hour long game and thirty minute line. In many cases you are playing against someone else who also wants that promo. This is is pretty standard id say, and the fact you still got something for losing was a bonus..not to mention it that you were getting to play hex. I played probably around 25 games and woulda done another 25 more if i had the time. I wasnt playing for the tickets at all.

It was only a chore if you made it one.

Agreed! And... the line to play Hex was one of the best things about the Con - I met so many people I'd probably never have talked to otherwise. Even if someone went 2-5, it would have taken ~3.5 hours to get the 9 tickets they needed for one of everything - that's not a huge commitment out of 40+ Con hours.

hex_colin
08-18-2013, 06:55 PM
I bet the HEX area was packed with a line the entire con. I imagine that is why. Seeing all those people interested in and playing HEX probably generated a lot of hype.

It looked packed the entire time, but for the vast majority of the time on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday it took no longer than 30 minutes to cycle through the line and your game. Thursday was challenging early, but we got in 5 games in the last hour and a half or so.

A few of us discussed this while we were in line - 2 things could really have helped from a perception perspective:


Having a Disneyland-esque "time to the front of the line" sign so that people weren't discouraged
Letting people who picked up their wristbands jump the line and play first (which would have have had a negligible impact on the repeat players)

Stok3d
08-18-2013, 07:00 PM
While I wished I was able to park my rear down at a computer and never get up, it's not fair to everyone else. I had to get up after each game so to take a turn. As Colin mentioned, standing in line was a great opportunity to meet others. I too was able to talk to meet so many people as a result. Also, 9x tickets wasn't too much of a time sink to attain one of everything.

If I had to make one suggestion, the only thing I would add would be the ability to pass out nametags. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet everyone. I'd have welcomed the opportunity to name tag scan forum names to stop and say 'hi' for those I interact with often and haven't hadn't met in person yet. If a name tag was my biggest suggestion, then in my eyes this event was executed quite well.

Stok3d
08-18-2013, 07:03 PM
Having a Disneyland-esque "time to the front of the line" sign so that people weren't discouraged
Letting people who picked up their wristbands jump the line and play first (which would have have had a negligible impact on the repeat players)


Great ideas. I hadn't considered either. I wonder how many non-backers shy'd away because of the wrap around lines. They weren't as bad in time duration as they appeared really.

Kami
08-18-2013, 07:12 PM
I suspect that once the tablet client is available, lines will be a moot point. :)

Gwaer
08-18-2013, 07:12 PM
I felt bad asking everyone if they did the forum thing and what their handles were. But seeing some posts from people in attendance I really wish I had done it more and didn't miss meeting some of you.

kaffis
08-18-2013, 08:27 PM
Great ideas. I hadn't considered either. I wonder how many non-backers shy'd away because of the wrap around lines. They weren't as bad in time duration as they appeared really.
I'll tell you that at least one backer did.

A friend and I are both backers, and had plenty of other stuff we were looking to check out at GenCon, some scheduled, some not.

But most of all, we wanted to get a game or two of Hex in against each other. So our schedules further limited the time to time we were *both* free. We had about 45 minutes before my #2 event (an Edge of Empire session with another friend that we lucked into by some miracle) of the Con by the time we met up with each other for what would be the last opportunity of the Con (yesterday; he was busy for all 4 hours the LAN was open today with ticketed workshops) when we approached the LAN area and saw the line wrapping around the booth. Knowing I had to get to my event, we kind of looked at each other and shrugged. I ended up getting my wristband so I could come back today (and pick up 9 tickets in about 3 hours, with MUCH shorter lines that I discovered did move pretty quickly regardless), but he decided to save the $10 if he couldn't play a match or two against me.

The ideas Hex_Colin mentioned would've been great. We really had no clue the line was moving that fast, and if the CZE staff had been able to say "we'll fit you into the next available pair" when we were getting our bands, we would've done so, played a round against each other, gone to our events, and then come back later. Which would've been much more satisfying to him, especially.

Anyways, nice to meet some of the community (I think I did actually play against McKizz based on the picture he posted in the other thread) in the process, but I wanted to chip in here and give these two ideas a thumbs up.

Dralon
08-18-2013, 10:06 PM
The system, once the Thursday tech issues were worked out, was fine. Hex was not the longest line I waited in at this con, most things required some wait. I waited longer to purchase the pathfinder card game, for a pathfinder demo and for food multiple times. Standing in line at cons is part of it. I waited because the reward for me was worth the wait. That is always going to be an individual decision and I do not fault CZE at all for the system they used.

Now hindsite being 20/20, Hex_Colin's idea of "Get wristband-go to front of line" would have been a great idea. This would have been great to also grab those non-backers, who hadn't already bought their ticket, and knew they could try it out quickly for 10 bucks.

However I can think of no other game at the convention that did this, so I'm not surprised CZE didn't think of it either.

I too wish I had been better at putting forum names with people I talked to. I love that I was able to meet many of you, but I am sure I talked to many others of you and have no clue what "forum name" was attatched to you.

hex_colin
08-18-2013, 10:13 PM
Now hindsite being 20/20, Hex_Colin's idea of "Get wristband-go to front of line" would have been a great idea. This would have been great to also grab those non-backers, who hadn't already bought their ticket, and knew they could try it out quickly for 10 bucks.

Credit where credit's due - this particular idea came from a group discussions between myself, funktion, and BossHoss. :)

Madican
08-18-2013, 10:15 PM
Get wristband, go to the front of the line is a terrible idea. It causes a traffic jam. Consider someone who's been waiting in line for twenty minutes. They get to the front and suddenly ten people buy their wristbands. He's pushed back. And then more people get the wristbands. Then more. Then more. Every time pushing everyone in line back.

That's a very bad idea. It can easily turn a guaranteed half-hour wait into an hour or more depending on how many people are buying wristbands and at what pace.

Selix
08-18-2013, 10:20 PM
The only change I want was that they run it 24 hours from the time Gencon starts till closing time Sunday. But Crypto's staff were already looking haggard by the end. Should be easier next year when the game is out and stable.

Cory_Jones
08-18-2013, 10:23 PM
Ya, this an example of an idea that seemed cool but in the end didn't accomplish the goal, mostly because win or lose people where just having fun playing the game, it didn't need the extra spice of "competitiveness "
I take responcability it was my goofy idea, I really didn't want people to feel like they HAD to stand in the line to get the stuff they wanted, my original goal to give winning the game an exciting reward while still giving the defeated player something so they could eventually also get what they wanted

Lesson learned :)

-chj

Cory_Jones
08-18-2013, 10:24 PM
Also I like Colin's idea, that would have been a nice way to get new people in at least once quickly

hex_colin
08-18-2013, 10:24 PM
Get wristband, go to the front of the line is a terrible idea. It causes a traffic jam. Consider someone who's been waiting in line for twenty minutes. They get to the front and suddenly ten people buy their wristbands. He's pushed back. And then more people get the wristbands. Then more. Then more. Every time pushing everyone in line back.

That's a very bad idea. It can easily turn a guaranteed half-hour wait into an hour or more depending on how many people are buying wristbands and at what pace.

I was there plenty over the 4 days. The scenario you describe would have happened 2, maybe 3, times the entire weekend - wristband "sales" were a trickle all weekend. Also, even 10 people buying their wristbands at the same time would have resulted in a few minutes delay for people who'd already played, and likely had been in the line pretty frequently. People were cycling very quickly and very smoothly. Most games were sub-10 minute affairs (because of the relatively low complexity of the decks). Longer games were people data mining :P (Gwaer - I'm pointing at you ;) )

khamelk
08-19-2013, 07:56 AM
Letting people who picked up their wristbands jump the line and play first (which would have have had a negligible impact on the repeat players)



I know that happened for at least 10 people, though not quite first in line. After I meet my quota of a full set early Friday morning I started jumping the "never played" people in line up to my spot and taking the end of the line again. It was pretty cool to watch peoples reactions to getting to go to the front of the line (some even hadn't put their wristband on yet). I want to say thanks to the rest of the people in line who allowed this to happen to. Unlike other lines I saw (cough cough wizkids) everyone was very cool and polite in the line. There was lots of education and sharing while we lined up too.

billybogota
08-19-2013, 03:17 PM
Not gonna lie, I went into "Hex fiend" mode Saturday and Sunday -- dumped some events so I could play all day, both days. :) Definitely worth it.

Gwaer
08-19-2013, 03:28 PM
(Gwaer - I'm pointing at you ;) )

Okay, I admit, I sat with a couple of Uzume's out getting random bunnies (Unique was bugged so you could have out as many as you could get)

I will say that I never let a timer get below 20 minutes while doing it. I was very careful to not take up any more time than an average game. The only thing that came from it was the blood bearer too. I randomly got both the boltpaw, and the highborn the first time I played the bunny deck, out of the first two rounds after having uzume. =P

Nthanel
08-19-2013, 03:38 PM
I felt bad asking everyone if they did the forum thing and what their handles were. But seeing some posts from people in attendance I really wish I had done it more and didn't miss meeting some of you.

Psh, Not me. I talked to anyone nearby about Hex. In line I would talk, in the halls, eating lunch. Where ever and who ever I could get to listen. Sides I was more interested in finding those pesky elusive non Backers. I wanted so many more new people there. I hear we got a few but not as many as I would have liked. I wanted to see what guild where there, who from the forums would appear. I was pleasantly surprised about how nice in person some of these generous people actually are. Blows me away, it really does. If I was better off I would be doing the same things. Keep it up though guys!

Gwaer
08-19-2013, 03:44 PM
I was never in line anywhere other than the hex line. And usually I was around you in the halls, so you could do the proselytizing for the group.

I literally did nothing this weekend but play hex. Didn't buy anything, didn't get any gencon coupon souvenirs. Just Hex'd. I pretty much stopped taking tickets on saturday, and gave them all to my opponent whatever the outcome was.

ossuary
08-19-2013, 03:55 PM
So you'll hook me up, right? ;)

Rhyahn
08-20-2013, 05:53 AM
I didn't feel like the tickets were a chore at all, I would have stood in line to play every game I played anyway. I ended up earning enough tickets to get the alternate art for 4 cards, but changed my mind on the way to the turn in and got a second set of rewards for a friend who couldn't make it to Gen Con.

raynbow
08-20-2013, 08:53 AM
I didn't feel like the tickets were a chore at all, I would have stood in line to play every game I played anyway.

We were the people there with the stroller (thanks by the way to the guys on the last day who let us line jump to get a stroller-convenient computer). Getting the tickets was a little bit of a hassle for us. We had fun playing, but we probably would have only played once or twice or just demo'd the game in the hall briefly if it hadn't been for the promos. We ended up playing just enough to get the mercenary for each of us because it was just too much with the kids.


P.S. Hex is not unique in this, we make lots of tough choices at Gencon because we bring the kids, but we also wouldn't do it without them, they're a blast.

P.P.S. For those that witnessed the great baby swan dive/belly flop on Saturday? night. We got her checked out, she's fine except for an impressive bump.

Nthanel
08-20-2013, 08:55 AM
Thats good! Glad she is ok! =D

McKizz
08-20-2013, 09:29 AM
Agreed! And... the line to play Hex was one of the best things about the Con - I met so many people I'd probably never have talked to otherwise. Even if someone went 2-5, it would have taken ~3.5 hours to get the 9 tickets they needed for one of everything - that's not a huge commitment out of 40+ Con hours.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Colin, Funktion, and HossBoss more personally. Those connections and new friendships far surpass any digital goods received. (I met a few others from the forums too.)

I would like to echo the previous sentiments of Colin and Funktion.

It was quite easy to get all of the rewards, including a playset of the alternate art. I overheard some people discussing how they wanted to sell the promos and whatnot. If that was their intention, I could see how that might become a chore standing in line to get "as much as you can" worth of items.

For me, it was more about familiarizing myself with the decks, cards, mechanics, and which steps to use different abilities (and set priority stops). Everything else was pure bonus. I'm not sure everyone else's intentions, but my goal is to promote Hex to as many people as I can. I used my tickets so I could grab sleeves, promos, etc for my brother and close friends. I enjoy the social element of TCGs, and I want to play with my friends. What better incentive to get them started with Hex than give them GenCon promos.

Also, it's my understanding that this year's GenCon promos are said to be digitally available as treasure chest rewards during next year's GenCon.
As far as I'm concerned, the more popular the game becomes, the larger the community will grow, the longer it will be around, and the better it will get. Being an MTG player for ages, I'm already in love with the game. I love the fact that it will save my dungeon progress, including the PHASE that I'm in, when I log out. From parents to a busy professionals, this makes the PvE element much more engaging and rewarding. Now you don't have to sit down and worry about not having 30-45 minutes to run a dungeon like in other MMOs. Amazing Kickstarter rewards. Great gameplay. Crisp, clean interface goals. Enjoyable mechanics. Developers that CARE about their players and show it. The more we promote as a community, and the more welcoming and compassionate we are as a community, the better the game will become. /soapbox #SharingIsCaring

(As an aside, thanks to the individual(s) responsible for taking care of our military men and women serving overseas who didn't have the chance to get promos.)

Nthanel
08-20-2013, 09:33 AM
^ This right here.

Argen
08-20-2013, 10:43 AM
It was quite easy to get all of the rewards, including a playset of the alternate art. I overheard some people discussing how they wanted to sell the promos and whatnot. If that was their intention, I could see how that might become a chore standing in line to get "as much as you can" worth of items.

This is a pretty cynical view. I wasn't trying to get promos to sell, I was trying to demo the game a little bit, get all the rewards, and still do the massive amount of other things I do every GenCon.

ossuary
08-20-2013, 11:06 AM
He never said you were doing that. He said he overheard someone saying that, and was commenting on it.

Jinuyr
08-20-2013, 11:24 AM
The line to play the game and earn tickets was never a problem and in fact it was a great experience. I got to meet people in the same guild, other guild's members and officers, and most importantly, new players. The brief wait gave me many opportunities to get people excited about the game.

In the end, I played 25 games, won 57 tickets, but also met a lot of new people and even gave many tickets away on Saturday to show new comers just how great and helpful of a community we are here.

Captain_Obvious
08-20-2013, 12:01 PM
This is a pretty cynical view. I wasn't trying to get promos to sell, I was trying to demo the game a little bit, get all the rewards, and still do the massive amount of other things I do every GenCon.

~Sometimes you just can`t contain the guilt~

hammer
08-20-2013, 12:03 PM
~Sometimes you just can`t contain the guilt~

Do you always state the blinking obvious

McKizz
08-20-2013, 02:27 PM
He never said you were doing that. He said he overheard someone saying that, and was commenting on it.

Correct, ossuary. Thank you for clarifying. :)

Rhyahn
08-20-2013, 06:03 PM
P.P.S. For those that witnessed the great baby swan dive/belly flop on Saturday? night. We got her checked out, she's fine except for an impressive bump.
Oh man, I was sitting next to your husband when that happened so I couldn't see what happened, but I heard it all right. Glad she wasn't hurt.

raynbow
08-21-2013, 08:19 AM
Oh man, I was sitting next to your husband when that happened so I couldn't see what happened, but I heard it all right. Glad she wasn't hurt.

We don't always watch her as close as we need to, because we're not used to having a daredevil. Our son never climbed out of anything. If you saw him when we were playing Hex, half the time he just laid on the floor playing with a toy. He was probably in the way, but at least he wasn't a danger to himself or others.

Our daughter on the other hand..... Sigh.... If you'd asked us 10 minutes BEFORE that happened which of our kids would be the first to the emergency room, we would have said her, and won!

A friend came up behind me and was playing with her, so I turned to play the game. She was apparently having so much fun with our friend that she tried to climb out of her stroller and fly to him. Or something. I'm not entirely sure, but the end result was the belly flop off the stroller tray.

Stok3d
08-21-2013, 08:38 AM
Is it possible that the child spotted an open chair for Hex and was trying to reserve the spot?
Or is possible that you were playing the Blue Tempo deck, child saw the blinking charge for "Add flight to target troop" and was too late to realize you didn't target her?

:) I'm kidding of course and as a fellow parent I'm trying to keep the conversation light-hearted. The story reminds me of the time my child did a "swan dive" in our bath tub, caught his chin on the faucet, and needed 4x stitches... Yep, wife blamed me for that somehow too! At least a bump and a good story is all that came out of it for you :)

ossuary
08-21-2013, 10:21 AM
Our 2 year old son is a bit of a climber, but he has incredible balance (we've caught him jumping up and down on the arm of the couch without falling), so we usually don't worry about it TOO much except to get him down as soon as we see him getting ready to start jumping.

The one time he ever DID fall, he suddenly decided he could climb onto the footboard of our bed (normally he just likes to jump in the middle, it's bouncy), which is just far enough away from our dresser that he SHOULD have missed it, and just landed on the carpet. Except that at that exact moment, my wife HAPPENED to be putting away the laundry, so the bottom drawer was open, and he smacked his forehead right on the wood of the drawer on the way down. One purple lump the size of a lime and one panicked drive to the emergency room later (no fractures, no stitches), and we swore to never let the little fool climb higher than his hand-washing step stool ever again. ;)

Barborin
08-21-2013, 04:16 PM
The only thing I didn't like about the tickets were the people who were playing just to get them. I had a few times where I'd wait in like for 15-45 minutes, and sit down. I'd make a few good moves, or my opponent would get resource screwed, and would just concede rather than finishing the match we waited forever to play.

jimmywolf
08-21-2013, 05:55 PM
The only thing I didn't like about the tickets were the people who were playing just to get them. I had a few times where I'd wait in like for 15-45 minutes, and sit down. I'd make a few good moves, or my opponent would get resource screwed, and would just concede rather than finishing the match we waited forever to play.


while it a shame they concede rather than finishing the match, they knew faster i get this over with, more players get too play an i get another shot.

was the mentally am sure, since time was limited. alpha will be more relaxed an players will sit threw too the end am betting.

Gwaer
08-21-2013, 06:02 PM
Wow, Not a single person conceded a game I was a part of. =( I kind of feel like I didn't play well enough now.

ossuary
08-21-2013, 07:01 PM
A 91/91 Mushwocky is never poorly played.

Argen
08-22-2013, 07:12 AM
He never said you were doing that. He said he overheard someone saying that, and was commenting on it.

Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification.

hex_colin
08-22-2013, 08:01 AM
Wow, Not a single person conceded a game I was a part of. =(

Me neither. I was involved with multiple games where the outcome wasn't in doubt, but we still played it through anyway. Actually, good job I did, in at least one case I ended up winning a game I thought unwinnable a few turns earlier (top decking FTW!).