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TOPIC: Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con

Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #1

We have decided to invest $30,000+ on a complete re-vamp of our sound and light effects systems. We are buying high-end speaker systems, receivers and adding powered sub-woofers into the mix. We are also controlling these devices with raspberry Pi mini-computers, which means we will have a lot more options moving forward. We did test of a dragon roar, and I could feel the reverb in my chest. We did a test of a person speaking, and the speech was much easier to understand. We feel the upgrade is warranted, and we can't wait to thrill you with the new sound experience.

To pay for these upgrades, we are going to have to raise the ticket price at Gen Con from $78 to $80 for the three main adventures. We are going to raise the sealed quest adventure's price to $58, as well. This price better reflects the much better props and sets from the N-series, and it will help pay for the new spfx systems, too.

Thank you for your support and understanding. These details will be announced via newsletter in a few weeks.
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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #2

Grumble grumble.
You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #3

I can live with a $2 increase. $10 on the retro doesn’t effect me, but ouch. I wonder how it will play out.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #4

A true upgrade of the sound system is long overdue, and if it accomplishes its goals, it will be more than worth it.

$2 at GC doesn't bother me really at all. I think all tickets will still be gone in an hour or less.

Raising the limited event by $10 feels a lot more significant, and very much less "entry level"

Either way, I'm in.
First ever death in True Horde
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-Incognito

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #5

For the sealed dungeon, can we get something setup to allow extra boosters, or include a second with the price change? My vipers run last year went well with just 1, but I would have liked to be able to buy a couple extras just so the party had some extra gear.

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #6

Really looking forward to improved sound - it's such a shame when the well scripted audio clues / prompts get lost in the background noise.

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #7

It's too bad about the price increase, but improved sound would be great. That was the biggest weakness last year (and most years), it was almost impossible to make out what was being said over the speakers. It will be wonderful to have better and more audible sound. :)

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #8

Fantastic news on the sound improvements!
$2 for the main runs increase is fine. The $10 for the sealed quest is concerning. I would rather see a bigger increase on main runs and no change (or even lower cost) in sealed quest. The sealed quest needs to stay relatively inexpensive to draw in new players to be willing to try it. Once they are hooked, they'll (like us) pony up for the more expensive primary runs.

Ultimately, we should compare the pricing for TD to similar experiences like escape rooms. Typically, they range from $30-$40/hr. TD being two hours makes sense for $60-$80. Escape rooms have the financial benefit of not having massive logistics and fewer actors (although actors are volunteers - TD has to pay for support for them (oversight, insurance) plus badges and hotel comps.)

I suspect we're nearing the upper end of the pricing possible, though. Beyond inflation adjustments, we're hitting a point called "price point elasticity" used in product design. Essentially, you know you are at the optimal price point for your product when 20%-30% of your user base complains vocally about the pricing but still buys. You lose a small percent of them but make it up in higher revenue per ticket. This assumes that the people who bail aren't replaced by other players. GenCon seems to keep selling out regardless of pricing so, odds are, the business model could support additional price increases.

The real question is how do the other cons end up profitable? Origins, for example, had a massive number of completely empty runs last year at a lower price point. Conservatively, I'm guessing 20% of the tickets didn't sell - likely much higher. Selling all those out would mean dramatic price reductions - I'm guessing even with those, they wouldn't sell out because there isn't enough interest at that con. I wonder if GenCon is viewed as where revenue for the year is generated to be profitable overall and the other cons are just done for fun (possibly at a loss).

I'm glad to see the continued investments but am concerned about the intro run scaring people away.

Fred

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #9

Cool! Looking forward to help set it up. :)

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #10

Fred K wrote: Fantastic news on the sound improvements!
$2 for the main runs increase is fine. The $10 for the sealed quest is concerning. I would rather see a bigger increase on main runs and no change (or even lower cost) in sealed quest. The sealed quest needs to stay relatively inexpensive to draw in new players to be willing to try it. Once they are hooked, they'll (like us) pony up for the more expensive primary runs.

Ultimately, we should compare the pricing for TD to similar experiences like escape rooms. Typically, they range from $30-$40/hr. TD being two hours makes sense for $60-$80. Escape rooms have the financial benefit of not having massive logistics and fewer actors (although actors are volunteers - TD has to pay for support for them (oversight, insurance) plus badges and hotel comps.)

I suspect we're nearing the upper end of the pricing possible, though. Beyond inflation adjustments, we're hitting a point called "price point elasticity" used in product design. Essentially, you know you are at the optimal price point for your product when 20%-30% of your user base complains vocally about the pricing but still buys. You lose a small percent of them but make it up in higher revenue per ticket. This assumes that the people who bail aren't replaced by other players. GenCon seems to keep selling out regardless of pricing so, odds are, the business model could support additional price increases.

The real question is how do the other cons end up profitable? Origins, for example, had a massive number of completely empty runs last year at a lower price point. Conservatively, I'm guessing 20% of the tickets didn't sell - likely much higher. Selling all those out would mean dramatic price reductions - I'm guessing even with those, they wouldn't sell out because there isn't enough interest at that con. I wonder if GenCon is viewed as where revenue for the year is generated to be profitable overall and the other cons are just done for fun (possibly at a loss).

I'm glad to see the continued investments but am concerned about the intro run scaring people away.

Fred

i play a lot more at the smaller cons than I do GC. for that reason price. I would rather spend more on tokens. I still do runs at GC not like I use to do.
that allows more new players at GC too
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Last edit: by lazlo_hollyfeld1985.

Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #11

lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote:

Fred K wrote: Fantastic news on the sound improvements!
$2 for the main runs increase is fine. The $10 for the sealed quest is concerning. I would rather see a bigger increase on main runs and no change (or even lower cost) in sealed quest. The sealed quest needs to stay relatively inexpensive to draw in new players to be willing to try it. Once they are hooked, they'll (like us) pony up for the more expensive primary runs.

Ultimately, we should compare the pricing for TD to similar experiences like escape rooms. Typically, they range from $30-$40/hr. TD being two hours makes sense for $60-$80. Escape rooms have the financial benefit of not having massive logistics and fewer actors (although actors are volunteers - TD has to pay for support for them (oversight, insurance) plus badges and hotel comps.)

I suspect we're nearing the upper end of the pricing possible, though. Beyond inflation adjustments, we're hitting a point called "price point elasticity" used in product design. Essentially, you know you are at the optimal price point for your product when 20%-30% of your user base complains vocally about the pricing but still buys. You lose a small percent of them but make it up in higher revenue per ticket. This assumes that the people who bail aren't replaced by other players. GenCon seems to keep selling out regardless of pricing so, odds are, the business model could support additional price increases.

The real question is how do the other cons end up profitable? Origins, for example, had a massive number of completely empty runs last year at a lower price point. Conservatively, I'm guessing 20% of the tickets didn't sell - likely much higher. Selling all those out would mean dramatic price reductions - I'm guessing even with those, they wouldn't sell out because there isn't enough interest at that con. I wonder if GenCon is viewed as where revenue for the year is generated to be profitable overall and the other cons are just done for fun (possibly at a loss).

I'm glad to see the continued investments but am concerned about the intro run scaring people away.

Fred

i play a lot more at the smaller cons than I do GC. for that reason price. I would rather spend more on tokens. I still do runs at GC not like I use to do.
that allows more new players at GC too


I could see cutting back at Gen Con even further this year. If I can get both E1 and E2 at Origins and E2 and E3 at GHC, all I really need at GenCon is E1 and E3.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Update on New Sound Systems and Gen Con 4 months 2 weeks ago #12

For someone that has had to deal with the old sound systems I am greatly appreciate the upgrades, my only concerns are from a tech perspective I feel like you are probably usually pI 3 or 3+ boards and security on those can be kinda meh, if you leave bluetooth and wifi open on for them, I am not sure how you are doing your speaker system IE all hard corded via usb or what not or using bluetooth but with so many people having cell phones and how easy it can be to break in to them when they are not getting updated frequenty the chance for losing entire dungeons due to tech glitches if you leave them open is going to be an issue. I would also suggest having a way to reclone and update machines and having backup pi's for bigger cons because though they are robust a good kick to the board can break them.

I would suggest using these cases www.adafruit.com/product/2253 pretty robust and you can buy different color tops for them to easy identify which sound board the dungeons are for and then putting a sticker or something on for room #.

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