Jump to content

Feedback about ReaperCon '16


GuyWithCoolBackpack
 Share

Recommended Posts

Every year I receive emails from a fair number of people who, after classes sell out, inform me that since they didn't get the one class they really wanted or perhaps enough classes to justify the trip, they want either the 4-day pass refunded, or just to yell at me. I'm a little sensitive to this issue.  

 

Every single year we have added class seats over the previous years, making it more likely that a given member could get one or more classes**. We implemented the 8 classes per badge rule to prevent hoarders who were buying 14-18 classes, intentionally double booking, so that when they arrived on-site, they could decide which one they felt like attending (yes, this was happening, I can see their records in the database). We increased classroom size from 6 to 8 to 12. We increased the number of total rooms available to have classes in from 8 to 11. We added more instructors this year than ever before. 

 

** In 2014, if all classes sold out, we would have sold 462 class-seats.

   In 2015, if all classes sold out, we would have sold 932 class seats.

   In 2016, if all classes sold out, we would have sold 1015 class seats.

 

I am looking at adding site logic to prevent double-booking, while still allowing those who purchased multiple passes (say, me & a spouse, a friend, a child) to take separate times. (although the key impetus here is that after the angry-I-didn't-get-Hot-Chicks emails ended, 90% of the reaperCon emails I got were "oops I double booked can I swap A for B". It is my hope that this logic would decrease the incidence of this, although it wouldn't be perfect (My wife and I could still accidentally buy 2 seats when we only wanted one), thus freeing up a small number of seats for others.

 

 

I am strongly debating an option to have each badge associated with one person, so you would log in, buy your 2 passes, assign one to you one to your partner of choice, and then when you buy a class you have to assign it to you or to them. YOU can only have 1 activity (class or game) per time slot, your second/third/etc. badge could also each only have. 4 badges, 4 classes, each assigned with a name, and each instructor given a roll call. this might be more complex than it's worth, I have to think about it and then decide whether to bother asking the board to approve the changes.

 

Which is, i think, beside the point anyway, I don't know, I'm out of coffee and it's not even 10:30...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 233
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I am strongly debating an option to have each badge associated with one person, so you would log in, buy your 2 passes, assign one to you one to your partner of choice, and then when you buy a class you have to assign it to you or to them. YOU can only have 1 activity (class or game) per time slot, your second/third/etc. badge could also each only have. 4 badges, 4 classes, each assigned with a name, and each instructor given a roll call. this might be more complex than it's worth, I have to think about it and then decide whether to bother asking the board to approve the changes.

I'm honestly surprised it doesn't work this way already (I haven't had the opportunity to attend since 2007, so I'm out of touch).

 

Which is, i think, beside the point anyway, I don't know, I'm out of coffee and it's not even 10:30...

Good god, man, you're not superhuman! More coffee, stat!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were a bigger guy who knew how to fight I would suggest throwing all tickets into an arena with random weapons laid out around it.  Then let us loose and whatever we get in hand...if we survive...we get to keep.

 

Instead I will say I am happy with the current setup but would like checks to keep me from buying too many of one class when things are sluggish during the mad rush. I caught it this year before going through the checkout because I was shocked at the price I saw.

 

Brian, if you do make big changes like you mentioned for next year can you have some kind of trial run a month or so before they go on sale?  I would be more than happy to help out in testing any new additions so we hopefully have fewer problems during the actual sale of classes.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every year I receive emails from a fair number of people who, after classes sell out, inform me that since they didn't get the one class they really wanted or perhaps enough classes to justify the trip, they want either the 4-day pass refunded, or just to yell at me. I'm a little sensitive to this issue.  

<snip>

I'm sorry Bryan. :down: I'm well aware that class-spot allocation is a Hard Problem. (And when I say that, keep in mind that I work for a company that periodically has to invent new statistical models to describe work we're doing, and we regularly take the work we've done and present it at academic conferences - what I'm saying is that anything beyond first-come, first-serve is a genuinely hard freakin' problem to solve.) I should have been more clear that my comments were coming from a context of being aware of the difficulty and constituted casual pondering and interest in said challenging problem, rather than any dissatisfaction with the existing process. I know you deal with a lot of crap and I didn't mean to add to that pile. :down: 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year, when it came time to buy our passes I decided I wanted to buy one on my own account. That way I could attach my classes easier and the wife could do her classes. I found this way much easier than the previous year where we just put it on her account.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those curious, TPTB are tentatively in support of my proposal to have individual members assign their classes to each badge in their party, and thus prevent double-booking.

 

I am working up a proposal for how the database architecture would need to change to support this change, and a few other behind the scenes changes that I won't go into.

 

 

Right now the proposal is that when you buy your admission ticket, your badge gets a serial number, for record keeping, and YOU assign it a name. Any valid string that suits you, although honestly if you're just a singleton then your name/handle is easiest, and if youre a family, then using the name or codename for your family members is again, easiest. Then, each class, meal, or game that you purchase is assigned not to YOU, but to your serialized and named badge. example; "Painting With Brushes by Painter McWeaselfur",'Bryan', 1224;"Painting with Psychic Powers by Neo Thereisnospoon",'Shannon', 1225;

 

'Bryan' ('1224') could not have 2 classes that take place at the same time. Nor could I schedule a game slot while I have a class. I could buy a class at the same time as 'Shannon' ('1225'), however, because the computer knows that she is not me. Likewise, 'Bryan' (1397) is also not me.

 

Thus preventing double-booking, and reducing the incidence of day-one ticket sales being as chaotic, since that day about a dozen tickets were returned to the pool, but only after the majority of users had stopped looking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that there were 6 seats and 600 people trying to get into Hot Chicks, so I didn't complain.  One of these years I will get that class. Meanwhile I am taking really good classes from other artists. 

 

What I would most like to see is an integrated class and gaming schedule. That is where I messed up this year, flipping between different parts of the website. 

 

I wonder if a 3rd party event management service would be helpful. Our local con uses https://tabletop.events/

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that there were 6 seats and 600 people trying to get into Hot Chicks, so I didn't complain.  One of these years I will get that class. Meanwhile I am taking really good classes from other artists. 

 

What I would most like to see is an integrated class and gaming schedule. That is where I messed up this year, flipping between different parts of the website. 

 

I wonder if a 3rd party event management service would be helpful. Our local con uses https://tabletop.events/

This new system would be able to spot class-game conflicts as well.

 

An integrated schedule is something we've looked at, and given the popularity of Gaming now (it didn't used to be as large of a draw) is probably time to start examining.

 

Complexity of the class and game grid is going to be a major issue for me to tackle, and I'm exploring several solutions to make it simpler and more mobile-friendly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

 

I'm not sure any of you tried, I'm sure some did. The instructors are very approachable when they are at their chairs and they can help you on questions about your classes. If you tell them you didn't make it in to a class they will more than likely give you a handout they used. I would think most of them would even give you some other direction. They are all very helpful and they like questions. They are their for you, to talk too. You shouldn't be afraid you might bother them. The know not every one can make it to a class. If they can't get you the help you need they probably can direct you to someone open painting that could help you. This is just my thoughts based on what I have encountered over the course of many ReaperCons.

^^^This^^^

 

I couldn't imagine what it'd be like sitting at the Artist Table and feeling like I'm on display.

 

 

Surreal, very, very surreal.  

 

 

 

Seconding on having other entries ready! Or on time.....  :rolleyes:

 

Artists~! I mostly talked to Izzy and the sculptors, but I learned that they don't bite, and they have a lot to teach! Everyone is also very kind. It was a relaxing Sunday morning - I picked a table right next to the artist row and caught little bits of conversation drifting by as I practiced my sculpting. So many kind words and encouraging advice. :wub:

 

I bugged Andy the most, haha. I tried sculpting fur, which taught me three lessons: what happens when my layer is too thin, when I start trying to add detail too soon, and when my sculpting tool isn't lubricated enough.

 

Derek's class was also surprisingly easy to follow. Just gotta get the practice in now!

 

Izzy can sing in accents and pirates and it's GLORIOUS.

 

I learned that I miss my art family a whole, whole lot....

Did you ask them to bite you? I'm sure some of them would have if you'd just asked...

 

 

Not I; I make it a point not to bite pretty young ladies.  It just never ends well.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Seconding on having other entries ready! Or on time.....  :rolleyes:

 

Artists~! I mostly talked to Izzy and the sculptors, but I learned that they don't bite, and they have a lot to teach! Everyone is also very kind. It was a relaxing Sunday morning - I picked a table right next to the artist row and caught little bits of conversation drifting by as I practiced my sculpting. So many kind words and encouraging advice. :wub:

 

I bugged Andy the most, haha. I tried sculpting fur, which taught me three lessons: what happens when my layer is too thin, when I start trying to add detail too soon, and when my sculpting tool isn't lubricated enough.

 

Derek's class was also surprisingly easy to follow. Just gotta get the practice in now!

 

Izzy can sing in accents and pirates and it's GLORIOUS.

 

I learned that I miss my art family a whole, whole lot....

Did you ask them to bite you? I'm sure some of them would have if you'd just asked...

 

 

Not I; I make it a point not to bite pretty young ladies.  It just never ends well.

 

What about vaguely attractive middle aged men? :poke:

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

 

 

 

 

Seconding on having other entries ready! Or on time.....  :rolleyes:

 

Artists~! I mostly talked to Izzy and the sculptors, but I learned that they don't bite, and they have a lot to teach! Everyone is also very kind. It was a relaxing Sunday morning - I picked a table right next to the artist row and caught little bits of conversation drifting by as I practiced my sculpting. So many kind words and encouraging advice. :wub:

 

I bugged Andy the most, haha. I tried sculpting fur, which taught me three lessons: what happens when my layer is too thin, when I start trying to add detail too soon, and when my sculpting tool isn't lubricated enough.

 

Derek's class was also surprisingly easy to follow. Just gotta get the practice in now!

 

Izzy can sing in accents and pirates and it's GLORIOUS.

 

I learned that I miss my art family a whole, whole lot....

Did you ask them to bite you? I'm sure some of them would have if you'd just asked...

 

 

Not I; I make it a point not to bite pretty young ladies.  It just never ends well.

 

What about vaguely attractive middle aged men? :poke:

 

 

Would depend on how hungry I am.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...