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Dani’s Gen Con 2013 Schedule!

May 20, 2013 1 comment

With Gen Con Event Registration going live, I figured it was a good time to get my schedule online. I’m very excited to be a 1st time Gen Con GM and a 2nd year Seminar speaker. While at Gen Con, I’ll be spending time promoting two things, Green Ronin Publishing and Hostile Work Environment. Outside of my RPG sessions and my Seminar, you can find me at the Hostile Work Environment booth #460. We’ll be promoting the various film projects, highlighting the Kickstarter project, “The Devil Walks in Salem”. Psst. You should back this project. RIGHT NOW.

How to find me? LOOK AT THIS HAIR. 

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RPG1345630 – “An Arl’s Ransom″ – Sold out
Thursday, Aug. 15th 2:00pm Marriott : Santa Fe 2
The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG.

RPG1345631 – “An Arl’s Ransom″ – Sold out
Friday, Aug. 16th 1:00pm Marriott : Santa Fe 1
The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG.

RPG1345632 – “An Arl’s Ransom″ – Sold out
Friday, Aug. 16th 4:00pm Marriott : Santa Fe 7
The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG.

SEM1345635 – “Building Community from the Ground Up: Tips for Small Game Studios″ – 87 tickets left
Saturday, Aug. 17th 11:00am Crowne Plaza : Victoria Stn A/B
Building a community can be a big challenge for the small game studio. Join our panelists for a lively conversation focusing on the positive & negative aspects of managing a small studio’s community.

RPG1345633 – “An Arl’s Ransom″ – Sold out
Saturday, Aug. 17th 4:00pm Marriott : Santa Fe 8
The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG.

RPG1345634 – “An Arl’s Ransom″ – Sold out
Sunday, Aug. 18th 11:00am Marriott : Santa Fe 6
The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG.

E is for Events – #AtoZChallenge

April 11, 2013 Comments off

I’m cheating again, so I can get caught up with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. I wrote this when I was in Austin, back in 2011. The dates/places have changed up, but I’m still hosting these kinds of meetups. And I face the same challenges regarding inclusiveness in gaming/game events. I will miss my Board Game/Beer Geeks Meetup here in the San Diego area once I’m back in Seattle next month.

I already know I failed my mission just a bit in regards to my recent claim. I promised to write a blog post each day of the week for Speak Out With Your Geek Out, but I failed. But I swear, I have a great reason! Why? I was hosting the Girl Geeks Of Austin Monday Board Games & Brews event! Each Monday night, we have a group of women who drop by the Black Star Co-Op. So, it’s actually combining numerous geek things. Board games, craft beer and sustainable/local foods. And it is a co-op! One of my birthday prezzies to myself will be to buy a membership there. Such fantastic people.

Games we play!

I’ve posted before about why I started the game night. I’m all about supporting ALL people playing games; I believe everyone can find the right games and great people to play with. The difficult part – If you don’t already play games with people, how do you meet people for games? How do you find games? Board games can get pretty expensive; it is hard to justify buying a game if you don’t know anyone who plays them.

I’m an organizer geek; a nexxus. I LOVE bringing people together to do amazing things. I love meeting new people when I host an event and watching people discovering new people. It cheers me to see people make friends, share their info and talk about planning exciting games, dinners or whatever with each other. I like turning people on to new games and new beers. I like to encourage women & girls to play games.

Great Divide Oak Aged Chocolate Imperial Stout

Back to my Board Game & Brews night. Many of the women who come to the game night have never played board games. Or they’ve done family games like Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble. There is nothing wrong with these games; for many people it is the first taste of gaming & socialization. Yes, even with family!

But many want more. They’re interested in games they see around. They want to not be talked down to or ignored in a game store. They want to do something creative and they want to socialize with other like-minded geeky people. No matter your geeky bent, while you’re doing a geeky activity, you get to learn more about people. You get to meet others who grok (look it up) you.

I’m not great at teaching people to play games. I yawn when reading rules. I am best learning as I play, so I usually stick to pretty easy to explain games that I’ve played a lot. Or some casual card games. Fluxx, Poo, Apples to Apples & Guillotine and many others are easy to teach and easy to learn. Then there are some dice games like Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice and some board games like Tsuro and Dixit.

How do you get started with your own group? Meetup.com is fantastic to start in finding a group. Volunteer to host a meetup. Most meetup group owners are DELIGHTED to find more people to host events. I know I am; I can’t do everything and be everyone. As example, we have people who do fiber arts and I do not. So I encourage our fiber arts geeks to host their own meetup event on our same group page.

  • Pick a place you want to host an event. A shop, a pub, coffee shop. Get to know the people working there so they know to expect you.
  • Choose how often and what day you want to do your event. It doesn’t have to be weekly like mine.
  • Get yourself into Social Media so you can advertise your event. Good thing about Meetup.com? You can do so much in it.
  • Show up. Even if no one does, show up. When I first started doing the Monday Steampunk Meetups at the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle, I was there at a small reserved table every week. Eventually, one or two would show. And as the word got out, more people showed. I kept up with advertising it on the local steampunk mailing list. Having our small group talk to others at the other local events & conventions, brought more people out. After a few months, there was anywhere from 10-20 people ever Monday. Stick to it and it will succeed.
  • Greet everyone. No matter what else is going on, remember you are doing this for a reason. Make sure everyone is welcome. When you have regular people, you can dub others to be greeters. No one should ever feel unwanted for a social geek event.
  • Have fun. If you’re not, no one else will. You may try and try again, but eventually you’ll get the hang out of it. Sure, epople will “Why don’t we meet on X side of town?” “Why can’t we ever do Y together?”. I always say, “GREAT IDEA! You can put something together and I’ll promote it. Unfortunately, I can’t take on another event, but I want to help you succeed.”. AND MEAN IT.

Hello, I’m Donna and I’m a Geeky Organizer.

C is for Cantina Crawl – #AtoZChallenge

April 3, 2013 9 comments

So, yes. Star Wars Galaxies. Love it or hate it (I loved it), there was one part of of this game which really set it apart from others. And that was the Entertainer Classes. You could be a Dancer, Musician, Image Designer, or all the above. The best parts are when we had “Cantina Nights” on various servers and worlds. The epitome of the Entertainer experience, though, was the Cantina Crawl. It is really hard to explain what a Cantina Crawl is about, so I’ve included my favorite Cantina Crawl video, from Javier. He’s the master at these, I swear.

These started on the Bria Server, and the invite was out to all people who wanted to drop by from their on server and from other servers. There would always be a color theme and tone, plus there would be a schedule of Cantina visits spread through the event.

Gorath's First Cantina Crawl, planned out with the help of the German SWG players.

Gorath’s First Cantina Crawl, planned out with the help of the German SWG players.

My home server was Gorath, and I also found a home on Kettemoor. I spent my time between both servers, but mostly on my home server. I was part of an in-game band, called The Kreetles. We were busy almost every night of the week, performing music and dance for roleplaying events and other gatherings.

Rinna in a beautiful light

Rinna in a beautiful light

The more artful of Entertainers planned out elaborate routines, wrote “songs” to go with all the Star Wars music songs they gave us. Like for my Blue Rodian, Honeewoo, I “wrote” lyrics to go with Eiffel’s “I’m Blue”. Sure, that song wasn’t in the game, but you suspended disbelief. Whatever “song” went with the tune/lyrics/dance moves was good.

Bria Crawl - Attack of the Hawtpants

Bria Crawl – Attack of the Hawtpants. Yes, I’m the Blue Rodian.

The Cantina Crawls were a great bonding experience in-game and allowed non-roleplayers to hang out and just pretend to be “bar patrons”. Many didn’t know how to roleplay, but would be the “bartender” or “bouncer”. Didn’t have to say much, but felt part of the whole roleplay/entertainer experience. Heck, we’d even have patrols of Stormtroopers show up to “disturb the peace” and grief everyone who was an alien species.

Nurian, watching over the Gorath Crawl, on the planet Lok.

Nurian, watching over the Gorath Crawl, on the planet Lok.

The success of the Cantina Crawl also led to more silly persuits. If virtual dance/song bar hopping wasn’t silly enough, there were the “Wookiee Crawl” and “Rodian Invasion”. I missed out on the first Wookiee Crawl, where it was literally, Wookiees crawling on the ground, all over the place. I did, however, create the Rodian Invasion! I cannot remember the server we invaded, off the top of my head. But we sure had a blast. No rules in clothing or theme, other than we were smelly Rodians, invading various planets. We danced, we told jokes. Played music and talked in Huttese when we could. Thanks to The Complete Wermo’s Guide to Huttese, we did so brilliantly. All the while, yelling “RODIAN POWER” everywhere we traveled. Many folks on the server couldn’t just instantly change over to a Rodian, but many of them followed us around for the fun.

RODIAN POWER!

RODIAN POWER!

I will treasure my Entertainer friends out here in the Real World(TM) now, with SWG shut down. We still laugh and giggle about the good times we had in the SWG Cantinas. We remember the new friendships and community bonding as we danced and sang across each other’s servers. And I still sometimes “talk” in Huttese. I sure do miss my Entertainer pals, and those who supported our very very sandbox gameplay style.

Zyre & Iago, the wonderful pair who managed The Kreetles. Love you jerks. <3

Zyre & Iago, the wonderful pair who managed The Kreetles. Love you jerks. ❤

A is for Attitude – #AtoZChallenge

April 2, 2013 5 comments

I blame my schedule on the tardiness of Day 1 of the #AtoZChallenge! I have been AFK for over a week, and I’m still recovering from the most amazing time at GDC. I’ll have TWO blog posts for today to make up for it! Today’s post is the letter “A”.

The “A” is for ATTITUDE.

Just a few smiling faces for our end of show picture!

Just a few smiling faces for our end of show picture!

I just spend the most amazing week with the best people in the world. I was accepted again in to the Conference Associate Program, aka the official volunteer program of the Game Developers Conference. It is an amazing program, and I’ve been lucky enough to participate more than once. 2013 GDC was not only my 3rd in the program, but my 1st as Staff! Being staff is the same as being a CA; we’re all the same. We just have more paperwork. 🙂 And we support the CAs whilst they’re working hard in all the jobs they do. We also take off our Staff shirts and put on a CA tshirt to sign up for extra jobs, or to sub out when someone gets a job interview or some other amazing thing they don’t want to miss.

Being a CA takes a LOT of attitude; a very positive attitude! A willingness to go above and beyond. Having a great positive attitude doesn’t mean you bring an ego or any sort of sucking up. You truly have a positive attitude and believe in helping people. You can be an introvert and still show attitude. You can be an extrovert and involve others in being positive.

When I first joined the CA program in 2010, I sat through the first meeting with all 400 people. There was an amazing vibe going on. My cynical self was scoffing inside; it reminded me of a cult, really. I quickly found out that these people are NATURALLY positive. Or they force it and want to work on it being natural. I felt that being older, I would have a difficult time. Just the opposite. No one cared about my age, my looks, my weight, or anything other than we’re all here with positive attitudes about…everything.

Cards Against Humanity Time!

Cards Against Humanity Time!

I quickly fell in love with the program. The love & positive attitudes, even when exhausted or ill, really made me take a look at myself. How I quickly always saw the negative in just about everything. It was a struggle, I tell ya, to learn to love so openly. I waited for the shoe to drop; it really can’t be all this awesome. The shoe? It was that I had to face going back to the “real world”. The challenge would be to believe in myself, believe in others, and be more aware of love happening around me all the time.

I started out on a more positive life back in 2006 when I moved to Seattle to help my mom. I was working on not being a big jerk, and learning to love myself again after years and years of hatred in my heart. I was always looking for something to bring me happiness, instead of finding within myself. I learned how to set boundaries and cut loose the negative hateful people. My first year as a CA finally helped make the circle complete.

Sure, I’m still cynical and snarky. But not in a self-loathing or place of hate. I recognize my privilege and do what I can to help others. I started mentoring from a place of love & respect. As I am fond of saying, DO ALL THE THINGS! And I do them out of love.

I never thought I would carry a positive attitude in 95% of my day, every day. And I have to thank those who believe in me and love me.

All 80s all the time! Check out the Class of GDC pictures on the Official GDC Flickr page.

All 80s all the time! Check out the Class of GDC pictures on the Official GDC Flickr page.

Why Your Facebook Promotions Are Fail

February 15, 2013 1 comment

Now, it’s not that Facebook Promotions fail; it’s that so many companies fail at running them. Large companies or small companies suffer from the same issue. They do not understand Facebook Promotions Guidelines, which also go along side the Terms of Service (ToS). Many great posts have been written about the terrible “like” and “share” contests & giveaways. However, the people reading them tend to be those who work in the social spaces. Which isn’t always the person or the team who’s responsible for the Facebook page.

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Many companies run Facebook pages without knowing enough about the law regarding promotions and contests. Especially contests, which are considered gambling in some states and countries. If you are a business owner, it behooves to you know the social media tools and trends. Or at least, hire someone who does. An intern who has never dealt with a legal team might not even know what laws they’re violating. And it’s your business on the line, not theirs.

I’m not going to repeat what some very smart people have said, but I’ll give you some great links:

These articles pretty much cover the Guidelines with Facebook. There are many other issues to think about, and they’re all legal. Gambling laws, privacy laws, COPPA, and all kinds of things come into play when running a giveaway. Even more so when it is an actual contest. There’s NO way I’m going to give you legal advice on this, but I will refer to you this great article about the legalities of giveaways (sweepstakes) and contests. It’s a good read. It’s an article from 2009, but it’s still solid and applicable today. Structuring Online Sweepstakes and Contests: New Challenges for Marketers

Again, most business don’t really think much about the legalities when they want to do a giveaway or contest on social media. They sometimes assume the person running their social site (in this case, Facebook) knows these things. It’s incredibly important for small businesses to know their responsibility and liability. More so for larger companies; as people tend to report “big names”. They might have a serious grouse; they might just be a troll. Or they might be a pedantic rules nerd like myself. Okay, so I haven’t reported you. I promise.

Seriously though. Take a look at what you’re doing with your social media spaces. Make sure you’re following their ToS, Promotions Guidelines, and that you’re following all applicable laws. I really do want you to succeed! 

Categories: Community, Main, Social Media
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