(This is crossposted from our regular feed at the Prismatic Tsunami website. If you’re uninterested in pending gaming conventions in the midwest, feel free to skip this one.)
Now that 2014 has arrived, we’ll be talking a lot more about TsunamiCon in the coming weeks. At this point, I feel it is important to let you know where we’re at.
The Vision: Wichita has cons. We have scifi cons, anime cons, steampunk cons, comic book cons… the list goes on. Of course, they vary in magnitude, and many of them offer gaming… but there are currently no gaming cons. Certainly not on the scale we want to offer. We imagine a convention capable of entertaining as many gamers as our surrounding environs can throw at us. We want big rooms for tabletop gaming, organized tournaments for CCGs and minis, LARPs!, live entertainment, specially organized RPG events, a dealer hall/artist alley, cosplaying contests!, rooms for private panels, live media coverage, a VIG gamers’ lounge, a ton of swag and awesome prizes, and MORE! Did I mention LARPing?! We want to give you the biggest, most exciting gaming convention this city has ever seen… Let’s field a few questions. You… in the front.
Will the Wichita gamer community support this kind of event? Absolutely. The gamers here in our city are a fun and enthusiastic bunch with a real passion for their hobby. We’ve met quite a few of them at our Tsunami GameDay events, and we know that – statistically speaking – they represent only a fraction of the local population of tabletop gaming enthusiasts. AND of course, we hope to draw participants from all over the midwest and beyond! This is going to be HUGE.
Will there be games on site for us to try, or do we have to bring our own? You can certainly bring games to share, but we intend to have a nice library of board games and card games for anyone to play, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help you get started. The chance to try out something new is an important priority for many gamers, and we take fun very seriously. And of course, if there is anything you want to bring along and share, feel free!
Will RPGs be prescheduled events or open gaming? BOTH! We’ll have a web-based scheduling program that allows you to register your games and register to play in other peoples’ games, AND we’ll have plenty of opportunity for you to just show up, sit down, and play! It’s a great place to meet some friends and get something going, or just bang around trolling for empty seats at someone’s table. (But we DO encourage you to pre-register if you’re really into the RPGs.)
Will there really be LARPing? YES!
What if my geekdom is Doctor Who or Firefly… Will there be a place for me at TsunamiCon? Seriously? Of course! Yes, we’re a gaming con… and as such, we want to celebrate everything that we and our fellow gamers have in common. A con is a great place for a meetup, and you can be sure to find stuff in the dealer hall to tickle your particular fandom. Want to plan a gathering or special event? We’ll work with you to make it happen. Want to play a Firefly or Doctor Who RPG? Well… guess what. *grins*
Will there be parking? *blinks* Next question.
Will there be other events surrounding the con? I’m glad you asked. We have a panoply of ancillary events planned… including some promotional events and fundraisers in the weeks before the con. We’re thinkin’ about some special movie events and social gatherings, and of course a pub crawl. Definitely, a pub crawl.
Will you have a volunteer program? Oh, yeah… without volunteers, it’s hard to make an event of this scale become any sort of reality. We’ll have a plan in place for people who want to comp the price of their badge by serving in the trenches.
Isn’t this all going to be very expensive? Um… yes. Yes it will. And we have every intention of keeping our ticket prices down to a reasonable level. The first step to making this event a reality is to raise the money, and to that end we plan to crowdsource it. Once we have the weekend of the con firmly booked, we’ll launch a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell the badges. This will be your opportunity to get the most for your gaming dollar, as Kickstarter backers will get all kinds of perks, extra swag, and con cred. It will also lock you in at the best price for badges and offer great deals on hotel room packages, vendor space, and promotional opportunities.
How can we help? Like I said, we aren’t even booked yet, because we need money to do that, too. We need to secure the venue and get all our legal ducks in a row. You can REALLY help us out by picking up one or our two V.I.G. (Very Important Gamer) contributor levels for early adopters who help us get started. They are both an excellent value, and will include special VIG badges, plenty of swag (including a TsunamiCon T-shirt… by which point you’ve already made bank on the investment), and access to special events. Your name will be listed on the hallowed scrolls (or at least on the website and in the programs), and you will have earned the eternal gratitude of the entire community. Furthermore, we will take every opportunity to sweeten the deal with more swag or special events even long after this opportunity has closed.
The Bottom Line: If we want an honest-to-gods REAL, high-quality gaming convention right here in the heartland, we have to pull together to make it happen. Once we get rolling, we’ll need volunteers to help organize and run the event, help with promotion, spread the word, and generally help make it successful… but right now, we need capital. If you KNOW that you’ll be making a point of attending TsunamiCon, getting your hands on that silver level VIG package is a fantastic value. And if you want to help us out now and still volunteer at the con, we’ll make it worth your while. I promise.
So let’s build a convention!