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Houston gaming podcasts - Max's Minions & The Gauntlet

gaming convention con

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#1 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:03 AM

@Hal has mentioned his desire to start a gaming con in the Houston area on several occasions. Getting sufficient traction just from the limited number of RPGMP3 affiliates in the area is probably unfeasible - but what if the site teamed up with a couple of other local RPG Actual Play podcasts?

For example, you could try reaching out to The Gauntlet... (Also available on Facebook.)

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...Or Max's Minions.

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#2 Hal

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 11:27 AM

You know - thats not a bad idea :)

 

Houston has a comic con and a small gaming con at Rice but nothing the size it deserves :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#3 Sênstaku

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:19 PM

less than $200 to fly from Atlanta to Houston...

 

I'd consider going to a con with you guys at it :)


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#4 Telemergion

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 11:01 PM

Over $500 to fly from Winnipeg to Houston. 

 

I'll be there in spirit.


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#5 BigJackBrass

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:18 AM

I'm not even going to check the airfare from Manchester...
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#6 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:43 AM

You know - thats not a bad idea :)
 
Houston has a comic con and a small gaming con at Rice but nothing the size it deserves :)


Even if you don't get a con up and running, you could consider making guest appearances in each other's podcasts.
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#7 Bullock Borneoake

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:27 AM

I wasn't kidding when I said it'd be a bad idea to volunteer to sit in the same room as our DM, Cameron.  He's an insufferable Brit that actively tries to kill us.  The fact that our podcast made it past two episodes is still a shock to me. :)

 

Someone at Comicpalooza reached out to us about our podcast back in January, then never followed up after we replied and we got no further response when we contacted their Social Media department in April to inquire about that, so we're figuring they had no interest in promoting or doing anything with us.

Which is fine.  We wouldn't do anything with us either, to be honest.

When the subject first came up, we had no idea what they wanted with us to begin with: doing a "live" version of the podcast, a la Acquisitions, Incorporated, was not something we were prepared to do, nor did we think we could pull it off.  It's amazing how much editing can make you sound entertaining and turn six hours of dreck into three hours of something marginally tolerable. :)

That, and our fan base isn't exactly what we'd call large.  As best I can figure, it's about 1,000 listeners, give or take a 100.  And almost none of them are actually in Houston.  We actually maintain a sizable (and confusing) contingency of fans in the UK and Australia.

I don't know what we'd bring to a convention, but I'm always up for entertaining options.


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#8 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 08:55 AM

I wasn't kidding when I said it'd be a bad idea to volunteer to sit in the same room as our DM, Cameron. He's an insufferable Brit that actively tries to kill us.


Wow! Sounds like he might be your long-lost twin brother, @Hal. ;)

Maybe we should send someone over to the Max's Minions forums as a diplomatic envoy, now that they've graciously visited us.

By the way @Bullock Borneoake, was your podcast inspired by The Thundermans show? ;)
 

I don't know what we'd bring to a convention, but I'm always up for entertaining options.

Perhaps it would be more worthwhile to do some kind of special crossover podcast episode? Some of the audio contributors on the site, including the site owner & Grand Poobah himself, Richard "Hal" Halpin, are located near the Houston area, and might be able to arrange a physical face-to-face tabletop gaming meet-up. (Hal's been complaining about the lack of IRL tabletop roleplaying opportunities lately, as opposed to the online G+ hangout roleplaying sessions he's been doing - and recording - with people from as far away as Canada and the UK, to sate his urges.)

Even if Hal can't make it, @TheGlen might live a little closer to the FLGS that Max's Minions' use for their regular gaming, IIRC. Glen is something of a gaming celebrity - for example, you may have heard of the list of Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG. :P , Plus (judging by the audio sessions he's participated in, here on the site) a very entertaining player.
 


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#9 Hal

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 10:45 AM

Ooooh Houston gamers on the site and podcasting games no less :) Local people who feel my pain :P

 

Monkey - I wasn't quite sure where to post a general hello on the Minions forum... also I hate to seem self promotional :) But you are good at that stuff right? :P

 

I'll drop our buddy there a message :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#10 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:44 AM

Monkey - I wasn't quite sure where to post a general hello on the Minions forum...


Madame Pagoda's Bathouse and Massage Parlor sounds like a nice, friendly place for a few introductions. :) (You'd think someone named "Pagoda" would own a boathouse, instead of a bathouse...)

 

also I hate to seem self promotional :) But you are good at that stuff right? :P


Your an American, now! You've gotta be all self-assertive and larger than life, and drop all those silly British inhibitions, like "manners" and whatnot. ;)


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#11 Bullock Borneoake

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:13 PM

Answered, received, acknowledged, etc.

When I have some time tonight (during editing), I'll be able to go into a bit more detail.  Stupid job. :)


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#12 Hal

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:16 PM

Cool :)

 

I've run duel GM games in the past - it either goes very well or is total disaster... KABOOM!

 

Hal :hal:


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#13 Sênstaku

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:19 PM

Self promotion is easy Hal, just lose all sense of shame.


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#14 Hal

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:25 PM

I have always been terrible at it - It makes me feel pushy and rude :(

 

Also I guess I lack a little confidence to do it - which is weird because I can talk in front of 100s of people with no problem... :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#15 Bullock Borneoake

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 07:57 AM

Self-promotion always makes me feel... I don't know... sleazy?  I mean, you have to sorta do it, but then when you do, you feel kinda dirty... I always get that feeling of being an attention whore or something.  It's weird.

 

So, as far as gaming cons go, Houston right now, as far as I know, has three basic options.

 

  • Owlcon - which is pretty much the granddaddy of them all, but it's small and not easily accessible to the masses.
  • Comicpalooza - which I've never attended, so I don't know how the gaming stacks up there
  • Space City Con - which I attended last in 2013; the gaming was erratic, schedules were virtually meaningless and the Pathfinder and miniature war gaming folks essentially dominated the whole thing for two days.  Not enough space, not enough coordination, and there wasn't "something for everyone", which I think is important.

Now, my son and I attended PAX South in San Antonio in January and, while definitely slanted more towards the electronic gamer, they at least had the tabletop gaming sorted out right.  A massive library where you could freely check out games using your driver's license; multiple tournaments staggered throughout the day, huge sections carved out for the MtG and other card-game folks.  A big vendor section set up right outside the gaming where you could peruse, talk to game makers, demo new games, learn to play stuff, and buy right there on the spot.

If I had to "build" a gaming con, the PAX South format is what I'd use as a baseline.


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#16 Hal

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 10:02 AM

Yeah - I agree PAX probably has it correct and also has a bajillion dollars (and I am talking a old Imperial bajillion here) behind it :P

 

Still think Houston has the population and the space for a good sized con focused specifically on gaming...

 

Hal :hal:


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#17 Bullock Borneoake

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 10:41 AM

Absolutely, Houston could. And you could put together something in the spirit of PAX South without the eleventy zillion dollars required. Start off modest, grow year-to-year.

The trick is building a con for the love of gaming, not to make profit. The reason why Space City Con left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth was that it was obvious that gaming was an afterthought since there was no money to be made in it, or at least no "value-added" benefit. Whether or not you got to sit and play what you wanted, assuming they had what you wanted to play, seemed inconsequential; they got their money out of you for your entry, that's all they cared for. Sure, PAX made a metric buttload of money, but you got the feeling everyone there, attendees, vendors, and volunteers alike, were there for the gaming.

I'd love to be a part of something like this and I know others that would, too. Question is, what would it take to get something like this off the ground?
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#18 Hal

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 03:06 PM

It would take a lot of organization and a lot of calling in of favours and back scratching. Lindsay has experience organizing gaming cons - she organized and ran a con for about 800 gamers back in the UK when we were at university :) And that was a full weekend that included RPG, card gaming, wargaming and LARP :)

 

Just finding an appropriate venue for a starter con may be an issue in Houston. We have a lot of small venues and a good few MASSIVE venues but our mid-sized stuff is a little limited.

 

Getting some big name vendors to commit to something would also be a big win. I think I can pull that off pretty well assuming the date selected works well with all the other things that draw their attention :)

 

I have wondered about a winter time con - rather than something in Con Season but I am not sure how feasible that might be :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#19 Bullock Borneoake

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 04:04 PM

Well, we have mild winters for the most part, so that probably wouldn't be too much of an issue.  I could imagine, off the top of my head, that Steve Jackson Games would likely be an easy get being based out of Austin.  They were in full force at Space City Con and PAX South.

As for venues, yeah, medium-sized.... this is the first thing that came to mind: http://www.berrycent...et/about/venues


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#20 Hal

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 08:24 AM

I know where that is :)

 

I used to live off Louetta... I would have concerns with it not being close enough to the center of the city - but then there really isn't anything in the center of the city :P

 

I did cast around for venue ideas a while ago. Getting a handle on the level of interest that can be expected initially is always an issue. Ideally for gaming we would need a place with lots of little rooms that groups could game in. Like a university or college campus :)

 

Hal :hal:


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