Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Throwing In The Towel

So, for those of you following the local LARP news, two games have had major upheavals in the past few weeks.

For one, Mike, the owner of NCN, is stepping down from duties related to the operation of NCN. He's still the owner, but he's taking a break from the logistical duties regarding the game.

Additionally, Raging Gargoyle Games (Bloodlines) is now on Hiatus, due to low player turnout.

Running a game sucks ass. It's a ton of work, and unless you have made some sort of breakthrough that no one else in the US has pulled off, you probably don't make too much (if you even break a profit at all).

And yet, people tend to overextend themselves for the games they love, the games they run. And I think that helped cause some of the burnout that causes games to change administration.

For this reason, game owners need to reach out more to rely on others. Sure, you won't get the EXACT result that you're looking for, but in general you will be able to find people who will meet your goals the best way they know how.

So, let this be a word of advice to game administrators everywhere. Learn to delegate. Having your vision slightly changed when run by others is a lot better than pulling the plug on your dream altogether.

Additionally, I applaud both the owners of NCN and Bloodlines. You guys lived the dream, and I hope you get a chance to live the dream again.


  1. In my experience, it's more the other way around. There is more work than there are people willing to do it, or people who are able to do it, or people who follow through once they say they'll do it. :) A LARP is a hobby to most involved, and almost everyone is a volunteer. It's very hard, in my experience, to pin people down to reliably pitch in - they just have too much real life to want to ruin their fun with work :) So I'd turn this around - if you want to make sure your game keeps running, ask what they need help with, and/or think about how you can contribute!

  2. I just want to clarify here that NCN will still be running events as normal (and you should all come to our next event in December :-P ).

  3. @Karin

    The problem is that people tend to have a certain way things need to be done. Getting people to run things identical to the way that person does them is very difficult. However, accepting help that might not be exactly what you had in mind is easier to get.

  4. This is not just a problem in LARP either. It comes with any voluntary club, program, game etc. No matter the sport it... At LarpCraft I'm taking the success of my other sports to combat this and rolling it into a promoter section that all are going to be free to use. It addresses such things as mentioned above and will also touch on the facts of how to keep the game alive, marketing, media, grants, insurance and many other subjects related to tourism and getting more people in the game regardless of the rule set used.

    Our family has been helping clubs like this since 1986 and we have helped start thousands of clubs and hundreds of parks in other sports. Based on research over the last 20 months, LARP groups have nearly identical issues.

    So why don't I have this done? I'm working on our worldwide game system specs first and it is almost done after 2 years of work and play test. Bill speaks the truth about letting others help form the game. LarpCraft is a band of users from many different game systems and while the main parts of LarpCraft are not game based (rather a resource for players and game admins) we do have a system we use for our own games.

    Each club has specific needs of course and we are online much of the day and night to help folks get going, start groups etc. We are even helping with a lot of the stuff that gets players more addicted their first time out... I could go on and blog in this blog but I won't. Bill is the master and we all enjoy reading his blog though LarpCraft!


  5. As a note, the month to month grind of running was wearing me down for a while and I have been putting people in key positions to prepare for this time. the suddenness of the announcement was instigated by a few very bad players that threatened to force me to choose acting unprofessional or just stepping down, so I decided rather than acting in a way that was unbecoming of an adult and owner of a business I decided to go ahead and take the step immediately, but this was not something that was not coming anyway.
    There are some very talented people that are already in place and have really blown me away with their desire and ability to step in and make NcN even better than it was.
    I always envisioned it to be a player run organization, and these fine people are going to make it just that. Events are going to be still running, I will still be present and many if not all as a player. I will not be involved in the day to day operations but will be maintaining the legal entity of a NERO chapter and all that entails.
    I believe this is going to end up being an improvement for NorthCoast NERO. It a great group of motivated, creative, and smart players that will be running things that will bring a new influx of energy and creativity to NcN. The 2012 season is booked and will be posted soon.