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TOPIC: The Future of TD

The Future of TD 15 years 5 months ago #13

Another option is an Intro adventure that is VERY affordable ($8 ) and only 4 rooms or so (1 hour with Inn) to give people a taste of TD.


Yeah, the idea with this was not to increase revenue. Basically, this would provide a taste of TD to people who might not want to spend $20 and 2 hours on an unknown. $8-10 and 1 hour might open the door to people who are reluctant. The materials, floorspace, and volunteers would be halved as would revenue. So it would be a wash financially. The idea is just getting more people in the door.

We all know what will happen when they are done. They will love it and will be back for many more adventures in years to come! :)

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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The Future of TD 15 years 5 months ago #14

That sound you guys all hear in the background is my printer making a copy of Jeff's post that directors work part-time. That is going to come in very handy some day :lol:

As Jeff mentioned, volunteers are the glue that holds this together. I am always amazed at how many first year volunteer come in and do an incredible job and go way above and beyond on how much they do. As crazy as that sounds, not only do those same folks want to come back again they often as to do more! Thanks!

Jeff also mentioned how thrilled we were yet again with the response from the players. We appreciate your interest and enthusiams and we are all looking forward to this years events.

Lee
bur BUR bur BUR<br /><br />PS I can't spell, don't be suprised when you read my posts...<br /><br />Head D.I.N.O.

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #15

Another option is an Intro adventure that is VERY affordable ($8 ) and only 4 rooms or so (1 hour with Inn) to give people a taste of TD.


Yeah, the idea with this was not to increase revenue. Basically, this would provide a taste of TD to people who might not want to spend $20 and 2 hours on an unknown. $8-10 and 1 hour might open the door to people who are reluctant. The materials, floorspace, and volunteers would be halved as would revenue. So it would be a wash financially. The idea is just getting more people in the door.

We all know what will happen when they are done. They will love it and will be back for many more adventures in years to come! :)

-Douglas


The only problem with this logic that I see (at this very late hour) is that TD is already selling out. Its demand is beyond its possible supply, so why offer a discount run to entice more?

It seems to me the only choice is for TD to expand more!! :P (easier said... ) TD simply needs to get some famous guest appearance/volunteers and charge a premium. I mean, nothing fancy... oh say, Peter Jackson to play an NPC in the Tavern... or Gary Gygax to be a DM in the final room... or Peter Adkison to offer up games of chance in the tavern... or, or... :P
Cheers, Stuart O.  + Thats the short haired, short statured, no beard, Indy Stu ...+ "Nemo saltat sobrius"

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #16

Stuart,

Right. My suggestion was for the long-term strategic plan to get even MORE people to sign-up! For the short-term plan, it goes without saying that TD needs to expand next year. :P

I like 4 adventures converging in one final room! I would run all 4 and I am sure most people here would as well.

So, Jeff? Whats the plan? :D

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #17

Jeff is probably thinking differently than I am but my current plan for TD is to live through this year.

If TD is going to expand we need more people to step up and join us as volunteers. The growth of TD is limited among other things by the number of volunteers we have. We always have these great ideas and plans that get cut due to lack of staffing (and/or money, time.) Sometimes it really hurrts to hear a complaint about something you knew was a problem but you were too stretched to do anything about it. I actually have switched my life around to the point I work a real part-time job and do TD almost full time. (I'm lucky I can do that, thanks Todd.) I don't expect others to do that but we need your help to make this project that we all love become bigger and better.

Sorry if this sounds emotional but TD is a major portion of who I am and what I do. Or it could be the paint fumes getting to me. ;)
Jenn<br /><br />Recovered Wench

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #18

Jeff is probably thinking differently than I am but my current plan for TD is to live through this year.

If TD is going to expand we need more people to step up and join us as volunteers. The growth of TD is limited among other things by the number of volunteers we have. We always have these great ideas and plans that get cut due to lack of staffing (and/or money, time.) Sometimes it really hurrts to hear a complaint about something you knew was a problem but you were too stretched to do anything about it. I actually have switched my life around to the point I work a real part-time job and do TD almost full time. (I'm lucky I can do that, thanks Todd.) I don't expect others to do that but we need your help to make this project that we all love become bigger and better.

Sorry if this sounds emotional but TD is a major portion of who I am and what I do. Or it could be the paint fumes getting to me. ;)


*points to above*

Exactly what Jenn said. TD is quite resource (manpower) intensive. As Jeff pointed out it is more than the few GenCon days for many of them as set-up begins on Tuesday. I was lucky enough last year to have a flexible schedule to give that time. This year, I recently started a new job and literally negotiated in my offer extra time-off for TD and GenCon. I was hoping to also do SoCal, but now the vacation timing is a bit less certain.

So gather your friends and send them to Lee and Jenn!!
Cheers, Stuart O.  + Thats the short haired, short statured, no beard, Indy Stu ...+ "Nemo saltat sobrius"

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #19

Jeff is probably thinking differently than I am but my current plan for TD is to live through this year.

If TD is going to expand we need more people to step up and join us as volunteers. The growth of TD is limited among other things by the number of volunteers we have. We always have these great ideas and plans that get cut due to lack of staffing (and/or money, time.) Sometimes it really hurrts to hear a complaint about something you knew was a problem but you were too stretched to do anything about it. I actually have switched my life around to the point I work a real part-time job and do TD almost full time. (I'm lucky I can do that, thanks Todd.) I don't expect others to do that but we need your help to make this project that we all love become bigger and better.

Sorry if this sounds emotional but TD is a major portion of who I am and what I do. Or it could be the paint fumes getting to me. ;)


Jenn,

I understand what you are saying but TD can grow without volunteers. It just needs outside the box thinking. It needs to be approached like a business, looking at the pricing structure is a good start. Like I mentioned in another post, TD sold out in what 2 days at $20? An increase in price (from $20 to $25) would more than pay for 30 people to work the whole weekend.

I understand that you want to make TD as good as it can be. We all want the same thing. But I am fairly confident that people want more content, more adventures, and recent sales pace proves it. And there are people right now that are not playing TD that want to because TD sold out too quickly. Personally, I see a lot of untapped potential for revenue streams. And it doesn't have to all be this year. TD will be around for years to come and it does not have to depend on volunteer effort. Certainly, nothing to take a way from volunteer dedication and support. Its awesome! But TD can grow, it will just take a reevaluation of it in a business sense. Its good for TD and it is good for the TD adventurers.

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #20

Doug,

Can I borrow your crystal ball - I need to make some stock investments... ;)

You said: TD will be around for years to come and it does not have to depend on volunteer effort.

I think you need to tread carefully here, my friend...are you asking volunteers how they feel? Are you aware of how many are new to volunteering and how many are repeat volunteers? Are you aware of how many hours volunteers put in - in total? I know you and Raven worked the token guide - that took some time, I worked the clocks for the Tavern town - but look at all the things that are mission critical to making TD happen. How many people are working those things? I think that answer might surprise you - let alone the details involved - storage, ordering, moving, coordinating, etc.

Bottom line: TD is very heavily volunteer driven and dependant. Were you serious with the suggestion to pay "new" people to come in and add to the force? How does that work when you continue to NOT pay the core volunteers??? I think that would destroy the morale and team TD has worked to build.

I am just getting my toes wet volunteering and I see a tremendous amount of work - which if we - the players/faithful are not careful in appreciating or at least refining our critiques (take rumor tokens for example) we may burn a few people and their creative drive.

You said: But TD can grow, it will just take a reevaluation of it in a business sense. Its good for TD and it is good for the TD adventurers.

But is it good to people that GIVE away their family time or free time or resources? Ever hear of a non-profit organization struggle to make things happen? - I have...used to work for one - it's goal...helping people, now what is more important than that? Sorry I don't mean to get emotional here either...just take a step back and remember it is one thing to have a MBA and do the Monday morning quarterback thing - it is another to have the people hanging by the phone looking at piles of foam or colorplast or paint or whatever and ask them to risk limb or health or at the very least give up time and energy to make something so that people they do not yet know can have a good time. And you suggest bringing in new help-for pay...tread carefully...

If it were me - (and I too play Monday morning QB) perhaps I would send a 1:1 e-mail to Jeff with suggestions - that might be more appropriate than a public forum. :?:
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #21

Gary (all),

It is apparent from your and Jenn's post that this is a very emotional issue. Let me again say that True Dungeon would not have had this success if it were not for the support and dedication of the volunteers. They are the foundation for getting True Dungeon off the ground. But this is not a non-profit organization (at least that wasn't my impression).

But let me ask a question:

Moving forward, what should be done next year when TWICE as many people want to play TD? Four times? Eight? This is where things are headed. You can do two things to meet the increase in demand. You can increase supply or increase price.

Increasing price would yield more revenue, more revenue means more options which means more people needed to either add more content to existing dungeons or more dungeons or possibly even profit for True Adventures.

Increasing supply isn't an option with current volunteer effort, at least that is what I am hearing.

So, where does that leave True Adventures and Jeff? Well, a decision has to be made. If the same setup (3000 slots) is used next year, TD will sell out in 1/2 the time that it did this year and even more people will be upset. If you don't think TD is moving that direction, check the time it took to sell out this year compared to last. No crystal ball needed.

So that leaves an increase in the price or the supply. But either road you pick will need more labor. Unless Jeff and True Adventures is content with the status quo which I certainly hope isn't the case.

Again, True Adventures owes its existence to the volunteers. We wouldn't even be having this conversation if it weren't for them. But move forward, can TD count on consistent volunteerism year-after-year? What happens if the volunteers go away? Should TD go away?

I don't envy Jeff at this time. He has some difficult business decisions to make. But what do I know; I'm just an engineer. ;)

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #22

Thanks for your concerns and opinions about the future of True Dungeon. Two years ago it was just me and some local friends throwing together this event. We were not sure anyone would show up, as it was so last minute that we did not even make the pre-reg window.

Now...things have changed. Most of it for the good...as people have embraced our efforts, and that is great to see. It is a validaton of our hard work, and that feels good.

My biggest worry is that all this success will hurt or ruin True Dungeon. It might erode the great team spirit that all of us share, and I can already see a slight change in behavior of some of the volunteers. This is perfectly understandable as they continue to work on something that demands more and more of their time. It seems the harder they work...the more successful the event...and the more time is demanded. We have several volunteers putting in many hours of work each week just to get ready for this year's massive event. If people keep pressuring them to do even more in 2006 they would be justified in making this their last TD.

To be perfectly candid, I don't see how we can personally invest more time into TD to make it bigger in 2006. I think we have hit the limit.
Personally, I wish I could do more, but I have a full-time job, a tolerating wife (who helps out a lot), and a very cute 3 year old that deserve my time. I seriously doubt that TD will be any bigger in 2006 -- maybe even smaller if some volunteers decide to do less work. It will all be up the volunteers post-GenCon. Pleast treat them well during your time with TD!
Your efforts might just keep TD rolling along.
Token Conjurer
Geek Dreamweaver
Nerdomancer
Author of the never-to-be-released "The Secret of Trees"

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #23

Doug, (all):

But this is not a non-profit organization (at least that wasn't my impression).


I was trying to draw a parallel I guess you missed it?

what should be done next year when TWICE as many people want to play TD? Four times? Eight?


What happens if THIS YEAR at INDY 50% of the volunteer force exhaust themselves to the point they don't want to come back...and what if only 25% of those numbers can be replaced??? Can you even hope to run more adventures???

We can "IF" this thing all over this forum. Would you be happy with TD in existance and only meeting half the demand or NOT in existance at all?

The law of supply and demand does not really apply perfectly to a volunteer organization or non-for-profit ones. Demand does not dictate FREE work sources. Do I think TD can increase it's price for the next con - sure! Do I think this is the best interest at this time - maybe a small $5 hike.

But if you pay one person - you may have to pay them all - volunteers remain - OR would they if some were being paid and some were not???

But move forward, can TD count on consistent volunteerism year-after-year? What happens if the volunteers go away? Should TD go away?


If you are asking me if TD can count on consistent trends in volunteers - I would say NO...don't count on something unknown when you MUST deliver a product to paying customers. Unless you want a high risk of having to be in the position to hand out refunds - I think Jeff looks very carefully at what he can expect in person-power...and he determined (at least for INDY) that he could put on two runs...

Should TD go away if there are no people to run it...?umm? do I really have to answer that question? I shudder to think it would come to that.

OK - it all makes sense, why we butt heads and seem to always have a difference of opinions - I always argue with engineers...you see in my last positon I was a project manager...hahaha :lol: But don't get me wrong, I respect your opinion and only engage for the betterment of TD. If I am wrong I am happy to admit so and learn from the experience.
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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The Future of TD 15 years 4 months ago #24

Thanks for your concerns and opinions about the future of True Dungeon. Two years ago it was just me and some local friends throwing together this event. We were not sure anyone would show up, as it was so last minute that we did not even make the pre-reg window.

Now...things have changed. Most of it for the good...as people have embraced our efforts, and that is great to see. It is a validaton of our hard work, and that feels good.

My biggest worry is that all this success will hurt or ruin True Dungeon. It might erode the great team spirit that all of us share, and I can already see a slight change in behavior of some of the volunteers. This is perfectly understandable as they continue to work on something that demands more and more of their time. It seems the harder they work...the more successful the event...and the more time is demanded. We have several volunteers putting in many hours of work each week just to get ready for this year's massive event. If people keep pressuring them to do even more in 2006 they would be justified in making this their last TD.

To be perfectly candid, I don't see how we can personally invest more time into TD to make it bigger in 2006. I think we have hit the limit.
Personally, I wish I could do more, but I have a full-time job, a tolerating wife (who helps out a lot), and a very cute 3 year old that deserve my time. I seriously doubt that TD will be any bigger in 2006 -- maybe even smaller if some volunteers decide to do less work. It will all be up the volunteers post-GenCon. Pleast treat them well during your time with TD!
Your efforts might just keep TD rolling along.


Jeff,

Thanks for the response to this thread on the Future of TD. I can certainly understand the bind you are in; given that you are overwhelmed both in the explosive growth of TD and the immense work required to keep it running. And having a 2 and 4 year-old myself, I can especially relate to the pressures of fatherhood.

But stating the obvious as is evident by the incredible ticket sales, TD is growing and does have the backing of players to support that growth. For the sake of everyone involved (especially the over-worked volunteers), hopefully all options are being considered to keep TD going at a sustainable pace.

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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