It's a talk by Bob Schaffer, who was "Mister Universe" on GC for the SF bay area re-cast of the WHO game and. My rambling asides are in italics and I take some pretty egregious summarize|rephrase|totally-change-meaning liberties with other folks' words, too.
- It's Bob–
- –oh wait, it's Debbie? Relevant plug:
- In 2012, Bob was national coordinator for DASH 4.
- Very simulcasted, by golly. Not an overnight game but Very simulcasted.
- Speaking of relevant simulcastish albeit-day-hunt experience: With Rico, a Rose Hulman vs Harvey Mudd hunt. Created BANG 25, the Back-to-School BANG, which was re-used as a SNAP. DASH local coordinator once, national coordinator once, and reprising that role.
- But this was first time as a re-caster (versus a simulcast-collaborator or creator-whose-stuff-gets-reused).
- Tricked into re-casting WHO by Corey.
- Who was it?
- Team Bloodshot. One Longshot (Bob himself) and five Blood and Bones: Rich Bragg, Scott Krueger, Mike Holzbaur, Rico Fisher, Robert Cheng
- "Major major major" support from The Burninators adapting puzzles/mechanics for smooth play in Bay Area.
- Game-day support from Seattle GC and a bunch of bay area sweetie-pie volunteers (many of whom had played in the original game up in Seattle)
- Seattle GC had a guess about how long it would take to set up re-cast.
- Since Bloodshot et al hadn't played the game yet and didn't want to be spoiler-ified, took that guess on faith: set date in November.
- Seattle game was in June.
- Bay area effort kinda started in July, ramping up to major effort in October.
- [I kinda wonder what stuff got done earlier than later. How long does it take to learn how to make a phone menu? How long does it take to research bay area glassblowing for goodness' sake? (How long does it really take versus your guess at how long it might take?)]
- Seattle got first pick.
- Bay area then got to see applications of folks who prefered bay area; or who prefered Seattle but didn't make it in.
- Still, had room for 20 teams but only took 17.
- Early on, big info dump from Seattle GC:
- After the Seattle game happened, so no spoilers
- Clue materials, documents, puzzle bible
- Recommended changes [I'm impressed Seattle GC was sufficiently ego-free to do this]
- Big Picture Decisions
Stay true to the original
- [Because, duh, original was awesome]
- Epic adventure: don't lose that!
- This was a good decision to make early on because it guided future decisions.
Could have been more work.
- [If teams had received glass eyes in the parking lot of some random opthamlogist's office instead of at a glass gallery, would we have noticed the lack of coolness? Nah. But did we appreciate the coolness? Yeah.]
- Aw, he's saying could have been more work but wasn't because Burninators and Seattle GC helped out so much. Such a mensch pointing out helpful volunteers.
- [Wait, doesn't that mean it was more work, but folks were willing to do the work?]
What about the videos?
- Videos shot using actors from Seattle GC; what to do
for bay area? Options?
- Re-use videos but use bay area actors for live scenes? How to explain why Salmonman et al look completely different on camera versus real life
- Re-shoot videos with bay area actors? But original videos were awesome; Seattle GC had poured a lot of love into their characters.
- What we did: Seattle GC actors flew down to bay area. [Nice. Hmm, I guess this is why we can't quit our day jobs.] This was enormous.
- Videos shot using actors from Seattle GC; what to do for bay area? Options?
Feedbacks drove changes
- Look at player chatter after Seattle Game.
- Since bay area GC had played in Seattle Game, had picked up some idea of things that were worth hella effort to preserve and/or could use fixing.
- What changes made?
- "More transparency around scoring"
- [Oh that is so Bloodshot.]
- Clarify Friday night event: not scored, collaboration good
- [Now I'm imagining what happened when the more competitive-minded players played in Seattle. hee hee]
- Original GC didn't have so many sites available at once: so pack leaders might have to wait for a site to open; stragglers might get skipped over sites.
- Bay Area GC was willing to commit to watching more sites, yay! Teams thus experienced less "bottlenecking", yay!
- But rough on the actors. Waiting at one site for
stragglers, then rushing to get to next site ahead of
- Awkwardness: local GC committed to keeping more sites open before decision made for Seattle actors to fly down
- Tweaks to puzzles to smooth things out. But not all.
Folks had said that Internet Troll [meme] puzzle
was long. But it was awesome. [and a nice easy
crankable puzzle for the bleary morning hours]
- Awkwardness: Bay Area playtest took place in days leading up to Hallowe'en, and puzzle after Troll was in Half Moon Bay, where everyone for miles around drives to buy pumpkins. Playtest team, stuck in traffic for 1.5 hours, gave up and turned around, finished playtest at Google HQ instead of planned sites
- Internet Troll actor couldn't fly down from Seattle. So
bay area teams interacted via internet: chat and email. And
that seemed apropos.
- [Yeah, I'd assumed that worked the same way in Seattle. I guessed that "actor" was needed in the back room, and thus was only used for videos. I guessed wrong.]
- Enough bay-area-specific material to justify having a
local version of the puzzle bible.
- e.g., local owner, local construction tracking
- Track teams with
Google Latitudesite volunteers texting and chatting.
- [O HAI my Google Latitude avatar onscreen! I am famous!!]
- Don't trust GPS+Latitude too far: If it shows teams mysteriously floating in the bay, that's probably not really happening.
- But mostly, site volunteers would text/chat Bob with updates and Bob would relay useful info to other volunteers.
- Enough bay-area-specific material to justify having a local version of the puzzle bible.
Recasting: the advantages
- Lotsa content already created. Maybe original GC already cajoled Neil Patrick Harris into recording some awesome videos—so you don't have to.
- Original event: A very thorough playtest for your event.
- Helpful volunteers: GC and players from original game.
Recasting: the disadvantages
- Less creativity, more logistics.
- If you don't have good communication w/orginal-GC, many opportunities for wheel-reinvention. So it's worth it to communicate well with original-GC.
- Instead of your favorite bay area location, you're using the closest-analog-to-someone-else's-favorite-Seattle-location.
- Daylight Savings Time transition weekend: Rich Bragg had to re-write a bunch of code to handle the transition.
- [Thank you, Rich]
- You save on clues if you can re-use stuff that "original GC" made.
- But food and lodging are still pretty expensive. And locations.
- Turned a profit! [Buh wha? That never happens.] So sent that up to Seattle, because overall Seattle GC put a lot of their own money into this game.
- Both original-GC and recast-GC thought "the other side"
had done more than their share of the work on the
- [Huh, humans don't usually think that way.]
- Got to share an amazing experience with the bay area, opening it up to folks who wouldn't/couldn't travel.
- Both original-GC and recast-GC thought "the other side" had done more than their share of the work on the recast.
Someone off camera who we didn't get to see or hear in
the video ?who was this? asked: How did you solicit
getting out-of-towners (beyond the actors) to fly down?
- That just kinda worked out. They asked Rich if they could come and he said "yes".
- [Lesson learned: get mensches (menschen?) to play in the original game]
- We did ask the actors to fly down
Some Seattle person whose name I don't know ?who is that
guy? comments: I flew down from Seattle to play in bay
area. And it didn't feel like some awkward re-cast. It just
felt like a great game. Thanks.
- Wow, thanks for that awesome feedback.