How to Run an Online RPG Convention

Jul 15 2012

 

'Magnum, P.I.' by Mira Hartford on Flickr

‘Magnum, P.I.’ by Mira Hartford on Flickr

Indie+, an online RPG convention on Google+, finished today. I was one of the four sponsors who co-ordinated and ran the whole thing: 21 games and  7 panels scheduled for all hours of the week, including integration with YouTube, Google+, and a wiki.

A few weeks ago, we put out a call for potential hosts, asking them to add potential games or panels to our wiki. Once the new Event functionality appeared on Google+, we switched to that: we asked hosts to create an Event for their game or panel, then share it with our Indie+ page on Google+. We then re-shared those Events with our followers, and updated a Google Calendar and a schedule on the wiki.

Why did we have both a Google Calendar and a schedule on the wiki? Because we didn’t think about having a GCalendar initially, then someone set it up for us. We couldn’t integrate the GCalendar into the wiki, and folks had been told to fill out the wiki. So we ended up maintaining both.

Then we discovered some misleading terminology and unfortunate functionality within Events. An “Event On Air” couldn’t be streamed live, for example, and starting a Hangout (live video chat) from within an Event blocked it from live streaming, too. So we had to ask hosts to manage the Hangout separately from the Event.

Each sponsor took responsibility for one major element of the con: panels for one person, games for another, etc. This turned out to be a mistake, as we had games spanning a fairly wide range of time zones, so the Game Guy (me) couldn’t always be around to help.

So we leapt over stumbling blocks, and stumbled plenty ourselves. The result? 13 games and 7 panels happened, which was recorded into a total of 36 hours’ worth of indie RPG games and discussions.

Because we went ahead and did it. FILDI.

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