The first phase game of signups for Big Bad Con 2017 opened at noon today. That means that everyone can register for two scheduled games, plus any number of quota-exempt events, usually the larger events.
As is now customary when Big Bad Con opens the floodgate to game signups, the team was monitoring the server for response and signs of failure. Since its inception in 2011, Big Bad Con’s game offerings and attendance have increased steadily; in the early years, signup time became a sort of self-inflicted DDoS attack. Every year there is increased effort to do better and limit the chances of server failure as well as booking collisions, when extremely popular events become overbooked.
This year I got a lodge seat to see the process handled by Big Bad Wolf Sean Nittner and Back-end/App Developer Jeremy Tidwell (Webmaster/Front-end Developer Colin Fahrion was on a plane at the time). They had secured extra computing power for the expected onslaught, and we had more registered guests than ever at this point.
We did have about 15 to 20 overbookings for a handful of events that filled up quickly, particularly the big four-table event of Night Witches. I had managed to snag a spot, but as staff I cancelled out to let someone else enjoy it when I saw how coveted the tickets were. (To be honest, if I had had the logistics available, I would have had this event run by four women and have given priority to women and non-binary players. But I don’t know how I would have managed it.)
We contacted the victims of overbooking to apologize and let them know they could book something else, all within the first few minutes of signups.
Next Saturday, September 23 at noon (Pacific time), everyone gets access to two more games in their quota. And in two weeks, on Saturday September 30 at noon, quotas will be lifted; in addition, games in the Teens room will now be accessible to all. The signups are rolled out gradually like this to give a chance to everyone to get into games that appeal to them, not just to the people who were available for a short and specific period.
In the mean time, if you booked your two quota events: remember that there are several events that will not count against your booking quota. These are mostly larger events (usually for 10 attendees or more) such as:
- Many of the LARPs
- Most Panels, Seminars, and Workshops
Micro-games and party games such as:
- Jackson Tegu’s Thank You Kindly ,
- Jackson Tegu’s Morning,
- Jared Sorensen’s Action Castle II: Return to Action Castle,
- Jared Sorensen’s Action Castle III: Beneath Action Castle,
- Jared Sorensen’s Parsely game catalog.
Of course there will also be drop-in events at the convention, such as:
- Games on Demand,
- Play To Win,
- Tell Me About Your Character, and
- Open Gaming.