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TOPIC: General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer

General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #1

Hello Columbus and Origins, it's been a few years but in some respects it was like coming back home to the con where i started real gaming.

-Tuesday was initial setup day, 1st time I've done build before and it was very 'educational'. Little nervous when Jon cook handed me and Jesse a map and said start placing the trees and cross bars per the map. 6 hours and i could barely move my arms. Also where it was noted that Origins was wrong in the sense to get to TD you had to go to back of Hall C under our big banner to go through the doorway in the air wall. Not the main off the aisle way doors for Hall D. Origins was nice in sense we were able to get GM badges and tickets after build instead of fighting the herd on Wed when the con actually started.

-Wed was electrical and actual room setup of the various puzzles and combat stuff. I never knew our lighting system was called 'borg' units. Very cool as i've while i've volunteered for years its always been front end on coaching staff. Kinda cool to both build and setup my training room,

-Thur, So many empty runs, so bored yet so draining. I figured a slow day but not that slow, think a lot of attendees got mixed up about part 1 and part 2 and that they couldn't play Beholder unless they did Deeperdark 1st. I was fairly busy working Deeperdark but my counterpart in Beholder had multiple double bubble breaks due to no show/unsold parties. Sat was almost a direct flip of this where i became bored/dead and beholder was very busy/sold out runs.

-Fri, Better start to the day and general busyness. Saw more veterans, figured decent chunk of us came out for a 1 night stay at Origins to do a run or 2 and see the con. There are some veterans who if i didn't know any better i'd say were sleeping in the hall somewhere as it was all but guaranteed that every 2 hours i'd see them in one training room or the other. This is also the day we now had to hear the general con announcements over the speakers, this would go on for the rest of the con.

-Sat, Patience with Gama/Origins is wearing thin. Several issues affected TD due to issues with the con. New issue today was found that if you go buy another event ticket Origins would print out all previous tickets even if the events were over! We (TD) had no way to see what was the original or new ticket. This led to what we thought was a run with 16 tickets turned in. Not sure if due to oversold or someone cashing extra reprinted tickets. Shoutout to our staff that worked things out and people were able to be moved to other runs.

We ended up starting tear down early on Sat (instead of on Sun) as way to give volunteers more time to visit the con on Sun or get a jump on long drives home. Origins strikes again as we did 3+ hours of teardown in the dark due to communications foulup of no one able to turn on the lights in our hall.

-General notes:
Hyatt was nice as i remember and Big Bar on 2 is still the busiest spot in the center in the evenings. Food court remodel was nice but still partially closed off, particularly where the coffee shop used to be where we did token meetups in the past. Food options away from the food court was a mixed bag of cheap and expensive with no real middle. North market is still awesome but the limited hours means its pretty much lunch time only.

Barely's nice that's a directly across from convention center and food is decent if slightly on the pricey side. I saw their sign on Fri and felt insulted. They put a coupon for free pint glass in the coupon book you can redeem after you buy meal or drink over there. Their sign on Fri said they're sorry but they only had 2000 glasses and they're gone. For a con last year that had 16k attendees that's bad planning they should be called out on. Especially as they're right across the street from center and advertise with Origins.

Bourbon chicken vendor right out from our doors meant easy access to food at least was nice fallback option for us.

Air conditioning in our hall felt very weak as the rest of our hall was under construction/remodel with bay doors open meaning we sweated a fair amount over the con. Also the caution tape and bucket in room 6 deeperdark was not a prop (water leaking from overhead pipe).

Vol specific feedback,
Treasure enhancers being checked in training rooms. Would appreciate coaches tagging what players have enhances. I don't necessarily need the counts i would just like to know who to call out and check while in the training room. Nearly every single run i had to explain to newbies what treasure enhances were and why i'm asking. Costs me time in training sucked a little. Also will need better light, i nearly and think ultimately wore out my own inspection light that i brought with me.

We tried the 1 hour bubble instead of the (2) 24min bubbles. I'm not fond of it personally, inevitably you loose a few minutes on either side and it's not a true hour. Also means i'm going 4 hours nonstop. If it was a little longer say 1.25 an hour then it may be better to give honest hour to go get food. I'd rather keep the 24min personally.

Somehow or in scheduling would like to make sure there is a way for volunteers who want to play can. Wil worked with the coaches but would be nice as this sounds like a issue at the smaller cons as well.

Origins as a player,
I sincerely hope we come back as i'd love to work one con and play the other. Felt very much like old home week as i saw a fair few former players come back who have dropped out due to costs/gencon being crowded. Most of our issues devolve down to registration/ticketing, if that can be fixed we can very well find a home here in Columbus for TD.


New sliders are awesome, just had to modify my speech in training to account for veteran players who haven't seen them yet. They have a tendency to roll if you flip them though, may be corrected as the felt wears in over time.

Also note that the player mats are starting to get out of date, my newbie run in point (where i had brought prebuilds for everyone) question kept coming that they had more tokens then slots on the mat.

For players in general Origins is very much a slower paced con, and generally by 10pm the con is functionally quiet. Gencon runs 24/7 with scheduled events running all hours Origins is much quieter by comparison. Much more a find a open table and play with friends kind of con. Also note the reg and customer service basically closes at 9pm unlike Gencon where there is always someone at a desk to deal with. I like Origins a lot but they seem to have the same style of issues year to year and honestly why i quit going years ago.


Shoutouts:
Will, thanks for being a competent boss and working to allow the coaching staff to rotate around and get chances to play on runs later in the day if they wished to. I felt bad for DM's in the rooms for the most part as they were unable to play a run. I'll selfishly admit that will be a drawback for me and maybe others as a volunteer i definitely want to play each side at least once to just see the rooms at con i'm working.

Yancey, Awesome job as a assistant coach who really stepped up and covered for me when i was behind. Like to meet up some time as you're another local player i didn't know lived up here in NE Ohio.

Barry, motorized wheelchair, you know why...

Laz, thanks for the training on treasure enhancers and can we get you a hat that says assistance adventure/coach coordinator? I know your dislike of shirts.

Troy, Mike, Wil, Jen: How you kept backend going despite misplaced or forgotten totes i'll never know. Best statement from a friend of mine was when i told him that the whole dungeon came off 1 semi truck.

Sorry for the long post but it was a long but fun week.
We're all the kind of people who enjoy the game on a "meta" level. We like talking about the game year-round. We buy tokens. We enjoy crafting. We get together during the off-season if we can. We are a very skewed demographic that way. -Raven

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #2

Wow long but incredibly detailed post. I agree with everything you said. Well done on journaling the entire experience.
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truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=583&id=247486

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #3

Thanks for sharing this! It brings back memories of GenCon SoCal (the only time I was a full-time Vol and worked the Build as well as the dungeon)

There's a special magic in taking the contents of a Semi-trailer and turning it into a whole world - living in that world for 4 days - and then taking it all down again.

Super huge shout-out to ALL the volunteers who worked Origins! I wish I could have been there to help, but from what I keep hearing from folks who attended, you put on an amazing show. You Rock!!! :D
"THERE WILL NEVER BE A TOKEN EQUAL TO A GOOD BRAIN!"- Smakdown

Check out these awesome resources:
Cranston's Character Generator for iDevices or Android
Amorgen's Excel Character Generator
And the ever-useful Token DataBase , expertly maintained by Druegar.

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #4

This was my first time doing teardown and it was pretty interesting. I definitely enjoy the DM part more but probably so do most volunteers (enjoy their normal volunteer job more).

I'll consider volunteering for Origins again next year, however the way it worked I wasn't able to make any runs. Since I was in room #7 I should have thought to try and work out buying out the first run of one of the days. I would have loved to do a solo run as well with all of the empty slots but again I couldn't do any runs nor could we ghost any slots.

My only other grief was I was hoping to experience more of the rest of Origins, but between the heavy volunteer schedule and the shifting teardown plans it was pretty tough. I thought teardown was going to be from noon to 4PM on Sunday (perhaps a mistake on my part), and then it ended up happening Saturday night and then Sunday morning. I had to miss another planned event and also miss part of the teardown due to the shifting schedule. Perhaps this is largely because it was our first time at Origins though.

In any case I had a great time, and I definitely hope True Dungeon returns to Origins next year, in which case I'll most likely attend, and most likely volunteer in some capacity.
My online token shop: www.tdtavern.com

We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #5

My experience with volunteering at the smaller cons is that it is tough to get any runs in. Druegar and Laz were very gracious is giving me flexibility by stepping in for me in coaching to allow me to do an end of shift run each day.

I love volunteering but I also like to run. I hope we can find some way to facilitate this for GHC this year.
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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Last edit: by Harlax.

General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #6

Kirk Bauer wrote: Since I was in room #7 I should have thought to try and work out buying out the first run of one of the days

How fun would it be to play with a group for six rooms, then upon entering room seven, SURPRIZE--I'm your DM! :evil:
Have you looked it up in the TDb ?
Please post TDb corrections/suggestions in this thread .
If I write something in teal, it should not be taken seriously.

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #7

We really should consider not calling the dungeons "part 1" and "part 2." We say it doesn't matter what order you do them, but a lot of people don't believe it. So just leave that part nebulous.

"You've passed through a portal to an outpost in Fantasyland. To earn passage to Tomorrowland, you must run a patrol. There are two routes to choose from, and either will take about a day."

Just call them the Northern and Southern routes or something. It doesn't really matter anyway, does it? Maybe something like that would even out demand for the two adventures.
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #8

What, no shout out for giving you the absolute best arm workout ever?! XD

Seriously though, great post! I think we definitely have some kinks to work out in the Origins space, but everything that happened is surmountable. There's always a little bit of unknowable stuff that gets addressed in a new space. Some of the problems can be solved as Origins learns what it means to have an event like True Dungeon in its hall, and some of it will be better handled as our Columbus player/volunteer base grows.

I'm not privy to the knowledge of how the agreement might look with Origins, but I personally loved the space, and I can see all kinds of potential! I hope we get to come back for years to come!

Thanks again for the great post. Enjoy those sore arms. You're welcome. ;)

-Jon
True Dungeon NPC Coordinator

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #9

Druegar wrote:

Kirk Bauer wrote: Since I was in room #7 I should have thought to try and work out buying out the first run of one of the days

How fun would it be to play with a group for six rooms, then upon entering room seven, SURPRIZE--I'm your DM! :evil:


Exactly! If I can work that out with Jeff next year I will :)
My online token shop: www.tdtavern.com

We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #10

Raven wrote: Thanks for sharing this! It brings back memories of GenCon SoCal (the only time I was a full-time Vol and worked the Build as well as the dungeon)

There's a special magic in taking the contents of a Semi-trailer and turning it into a whole world - living in that world for 4 days - and then taking it all down again. ...


Very cool to see how exactly we build out an empty hall and then run it for the rest of the week.

Harlax wrote: My experience with volunteering at the smaller cons is that it is tough to get any runs in. Druegar and Laz were very gracious is giving me flexibility by stepping in for me in coaching to allow me to do an end of shift run each day.

I love volunteering but I also like to run. I hope we can find some way to facilitate this for GHC this year.


Very much this, what i was leery of when i heard from volunteers who worked GHC and TDC was the inability to run. I figured we had enough coaching staff and was able to do end of day run all 3 days (thanks again to Yancey who covered for me).

Jon Cook wrote: What, no shout out for giving you the absolute best arm workout ever?! XD

Seriously though, great post! I think we definitely have some kinks to work out in the Origins space, but everything that happened is surmountable. There's always a little bit of unknowable stuff that gets addressed in a new space. Some of the problems can be solved as Origins learns what it means to have an event like True Dungeon in its hall, and some of it will be better handled as our Columbus player/volunteer base grows.

I'm not privy to the knowledge of how the agreement might look with Origins, but I personally loved the space, and I can see all kinds of potential! I hope we get to come back for years to come!

Thanks again for the great post. Enjoy those sore arms. You're welcome. ;)

-Jon


All i can say Jon was glad i packed muscle relaxers for this trip. I wasn't quite sure if it was trust or being handed the short end of the stick when you left Jesse and I the map and got told to keep going.

Overall agreed that no issue was insurmountable this con. I'd like to know we are coming back to Columbus hopefully, ideally and i doubt i'm the only one who'd love to work 1 convention full time and play the other. While tiring i did dig doing full time volunteering.

All i ask and i'm far the only one is for the love of whatever Deity you believe in that we get a different or better registration system.
We're all the kind of people who enjoy the game on a "meta" level. We like talking about the game year-round. We buy tokens. We enjoy crafting. We get together during the off-season if we can. We are a very skewed demographic that way. -Raven

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General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #11

Kirk Bauer wrote:

Druegar wrote:

Kirk Bauer wrote: Since I was in room #7 I should have thought to try and work out buying out the first run of one of the days

How fun would it be to play with a group for six rooms, then upon entering room seven, SURPRIZE--I'm your DM! :evil:


Exactly! If I can work that out with Jeff next year I will :)


Well that would a twist on the "traitor npc" trope.

If you do it, role play the hell out of it.
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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

General feedback from a Origins (TD) Volunteer 2 years 3 months ago #12

Matt wrote:

Raven wrote: Thanks for sharing this! It brings back memories of GenCon SoCal (the only time I was a full-time Vol and worked the Build as well as the dungeon)

There's a special magic in taking the contents of a Semi-trailer and turning it into a whole world - living in that world for 4 days - and then taking it all down again. ...


Very cool to see how exactly we build out an empty hall and then run it for the rest of the week.

Harlax wrote: My experience with volunteering at the smaller cons is that it is tough to get any runs in. Druegar and Laz were very gracious is giving me flexibility by stepping in for me in coaching to allow me to do an end of shift run each day.

I love volunteering but I also like to run. I hope we can find some way to facilitate this for GHC this year.


Very much this, what i was leery of when i heard from volunteers who worked GHC and TDC was the inability to run. I figured we had enough coaching staff and was able to do end of day run all 3 days (thanks again to Yancey who covered for me).

Jon Cook wrote: What, no shout out for giving you the absolute best arm workout ever?! XD

Seriously though, great post! I think we definitely have some kinks to work out in the Origins space, but everything that happened is surmountable. There's always a little bit of unknowable stuff that gets addressed in a new space. Some of the problems can be solved as Origins learns what it means to have an event like True Dungeon in its hall, and some of it will be better handled as our Columbus player/volunteer base grows.

I'm not privy to the knowledge of how the agreement might look with Origins, but I personally loved the space, and I can see all kinds of potential! I hope we get to come back for years to come!

Thanks again for the great post. Enjoy those sore arms. You're welcome. ;)

-Jon


All i can say Jon was glad i packed muscle relaxers for this trip. I wasn't quite sure if it was trust or being handed the short end of the stick when you left Jesse and I the map and got told to keep going.

Overall agreed that no issue was insurmountable this con. I'd like to know we are coming back to Columbus hopefully, ideally and i doubt i'm the only one who'd love to work 1 convention full time and play the other. While tiring i did dig doing full time volunteering.

All i ask and i'm far the only one is for the love of whatever Deity you believe in that we get a different or better registration system.


Definitely trust. We have to delegate and trust the volunteers to get everything up as quickly as we do. The build leads try their best to keep everyone moving and on task, as well as train and correct the small mistakes and such that crop up. Believe me when I tell you I know it's hard work. I averaged something like 10 miles and 20k steps per day last week! :) The True Dungeon Workout is hard core.

I absolutely get where you're coming from. The perks of TD volunteering are pretty awesome compared to a lot of other organizations, but it can be a lot like having a full time job, especially at a smaller one-shift con like Origins or GHC. It's hard to squeeze in other games unless you stay up late. But exhaustion is a real possibility if you do that. At this point, I'm kind of all in on True Dungeon, myself. It's the main reason I go to cons. The love of the game and all that. I get a little time to swing around the hall, but I'm on shift the whole time as needed. I always tell people when they volunteer that it's an incredible experience, but you definitely work hard. Like, Jillian Michaels hard. XD

All that to say, at the bigger "two-shift" cons like GenCon, it's easier to get away for a bit and see the con as a volunteer. Perhaps when our Columbus base grows a little, it will become far more manageable. You can't know how much we appreciate the volunteers this past week. Made it happen efficiently with low numbers, and I think we made an impression at Origins.

My recommendations if you're on build crew are: Gloves, Hydration, Good Shoes and Socks (and even sock liners), and at least a week or so before the con, do a little weight training (or just body weight) and walking to get the soreness out of the way so you can enjoy your week. All of that will leave you in far better shape on day 1 of the con.

Again, thanks for the help last week. You and Jesse both were great to have. Also I agree on the registration system as well. Origins has a little work to do, I think, in order to accommodate an event such as ours.

-Jon
True Dungeon NPC Coordinator

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