The Final Update

Gaelcon is only days away, set on course, full steam ahead and hopefully no icebergs!

The world has had a rough enough year, but this year’s committee have done sterling work in the face of it all to bring together a weekend which should allow everyone to relax and have some fun.

We have many of the usual crop of RPG writers back but also a few new faces, including international contributors with some new and interesting experiences in store.

Dublin Gaymers are back with boardgames, Tony from ReRoll is providing some Magic and Lorcan and the Battletech crew are back (my autocorrect insists his name is Lorca: is there a Discovery there?)*

Joining us this year with two great collaborative mapping sessions is Jog Brogzin: he’s broken new ground in collaborative mapping projects and his sessions provide a chance to play the mapping game in a new way

Also new are the serious historical board wargamers organized by Rob Brennan: this is a first time event introducing people to playing proper wargames and we’re grateful to them for putting this on

We have panels, again, starting with a late night panel Friday with the stars of the Adventuring Party and some IGA old hands to talk about the history of the con. Panels over the weekend will talk about issues on the gaming world: content creation, myths and other topics before we finish Monday with the “Future of the IGA” panel

Saturday night is Quiz night with Graham and Sunday is the Charity Auction hosted again by Brian “Dublin2029” Nisbet with VIP tickets for every con we could nag into donating, including next year’s Gaelcon which will be pitched by next year’s Con Director.

There’s not much more for me to do this week, except thank my committee again for a great year.

Mike

*Editors Note: I can’t believe I let him keep this joke in.

Gaelcon33 Update

Gaelcon 33 is falling nicely into place for the October weekend. We’re taking on the feedback from last year with the goal of making the convention run smoother, but a lot of the core team will be the same. (It being fairly difficult to do the traditional recruitment tactic of cornering people in the pub and asking them to sell their soul.)

Headline news is that Brian Nisbet has agreed to lead the auction to new heights of taking your money (for charity), Graham Turner will be our quiz master again, and Colm Lundberg will be running a new version of Radio Gaelcon with a surprise twist which we’re not releasing yet.

The call for RPGs is out, and if you have a game you want to run you can submit it here; https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSOdFcgIw0W4v5DKx8jVXwLVn1A5TVOkXr0kVvxpDfUQhkGQ/viewform

Isabella Storey-Cosgrave is RPGs Czar again, with two new assistants. New fresh RPGs are coming in through the submission form, and we are also happy to have people who simply would like to run games – games written by others, games from the archives, even published scenarios which you just fancy running for folks. People willing to run entry level games for new players are particularly welcome, as we would like to have some of those in the programme. If you have specific questions about RPG’s or LARPS you can always Email RPGs@gaelcon.com,

Rian Boyle is back leading special events – quiz, auction and panels – which all went excellently last year. Rian is also in charge of CCGs; we will run at least 1 tournament because while face to face CCGs may be back in many local game shops, not everyone will be able to get to those so online events will be important for people. Card games is an area where we also would welcome more hands:- people who can judge and can drive tournament running software well are going to be needed during the con so please do shout if you have those skills.

There are teams working on other areas like staff, trade and logistics – we’ll introduce them as we get closer to the convention. The call for staff for the weekend will come out in early September, but in the meantime folks who want to help out with any part of the con can give us a shout – email chair@iga.ie

In the lead up, some things are happening during August. Colleagues at Octocon have an online panel on writing RPGs on Wednesday 28th July which is obviously of interest to gamers. Gaelcon have two events coming up: Xander Cosgrave will lead a short session on writing a programme blurb for your convention game on August 5th and then we are working on a longer Gaelcon workshop on developing a full convention game on August 12th. Both will be on the IGA Discord. – links and more promo will appear closer to the event, but if you want to get in the IGA Community Discord right now, click here https://discord.gg/pXAx7zZRqZ

Gaelcon 33 will be online this year.

Our hopes for Gaelcon 33 changed as the news changed from week to week, but we have decided that we must have an online event. Various things influenced our decision:

  • The news about the pandemic and the vaccination rollout changes from week to week
  • We don’t know when we might have certainty about the numbers possible in the venue – we can’t predict when we might actually have solid information on which to base a plan for a physical convention.
  • Our intended venue is now part of the hotel quarantine system, and no one can predict when that might end. There is a plan for the civil service to have a team managing the process for 12 months, so that doesn’t bode well for us.
  • Given the rising cost of venues and the uncertainty about the pandemic and its aftermath, there is a significant financial risk if our numbers were to be limited – in fact, this cost is going to be an issue in the future, venue costs are the bulk of the cost of running Gaelcon, and and if they continue to spiral as they have, we may have to bump up the weekend price in future years
  • A hybrid event is technically possible, but in practice complex, and we weren’t willing to gamble the success of the convention and the enjoyment or accessibility of it trying to make major event of the year on making hybrid work successfully. That said, hybrid is the next challenge to overcome, and we might run some smaller, experimental hybrid events when we have enough people with the skills and time, without detracting effort from Gaelcon.
  • Several other events in the Fall have already opted to go online; the broad consensus seems to be that in-person events won’t be possible before December.

We have two main threads of ideas for themes, and we need to pick one soon, but I’m open to suggestions. Two strands were suggested: Resurrection/Rebirth/Renewal/Renaissance and Gaelcon with some sort of digital/online theme like Gaelcon-nected? Gaelcon Matrix, or Gaelcon Infinite. The VIP ticket holders lead on this choice, but your opinions and ideas are welcome.

I have some people already “volunteered” for the committee, and I will be approaching some other folks, but I am open to offers of help with preparing the con, whether on the committee, as writers or simply as staff. I have a form here for folks who’d like to get in the loop early, whether you want to help out form now, or just put a name down for helping on the weekend

In other news, the formal company registration to register the IGA as a Company Limited By Guarantee has been filed and accepted. Obviously, something which would in normal times have taken an hour in an office was stretched out over some time, and we have a few things to do yet like new bank accounts, but we will be able to have a genuinely open body with a wider membership. This wider membership means that we can move forward with more events and a broader range of things happening than we’ve been able to do in the past with our limited committee.

Finally, if you want to stay in touch with the IGA Community, don’t forget to Join our Discord

Mike Cosgrave

chair@iga.ie

Gaelcon Progress Update

Planning for Gaelcon Online (October 23rd- 26th) is ongoing and we have progress to report!

 

Discord

The core technology platform will be Discord. This is familiar to many gamers and has been used for several major online events already this year – Worldcon with over 3,000 people, and Gencon with far more people. We’re using a tight set of well established bot to manage roles, dice rolling and RPG scheduling, and these are running smoothly on our test server. If you want to talk about things now, We have the IGA Community server that people are very welcome to join here, https://discord.gg/JNXw8Gr .

RPGs

Lots of RPGS, unconstrained by physical rooms, free from the, ahem, odour, of people who’ve been playing for three days in a room with no ventilation. Limited only by the number of GMs and their imagination. You don’t even have to wear pants (as long as your not using video). Many of the games will use Discord in various ways, but some will also use other Virtual Tabletops.
Writers submissions are open at :
https://gaelcon.com/online/rpgs-submissions/

Gaelcon Pub Quiz in your living room (or wherever)

To be hosted by the irrepressible Graham Turner, a veteran of running several online quizzes this year. We have the tech spec and we’ll be testing this shortly on Zoom – even though we know it works

Gaelcon Charity Auction

This year we will set a new record for the most money raised for charity during an online Gaelcon Charity Auction. Last years Host, Brian Nisbet will be leading this effort – Brian has run online charity auctions internationally during lockdown, because Irish gamers are the best at everything. Again, mainly on Zoom, which you all know how to use

Radio Gaelcon

Colm Lundberg will be hosting Radio Gaelcon this year. Years ago, this was a pair of record decks in the corner of the main Gaelcon venue but now it’s going to be live to the world. Colm has lined up a gallery of gaming industry names for interviews and chats on Radio Gaelcon including Robert Schwalb, Nicole Lindroos, James Wallis, John Kovalic and Peter Adkinson with more to come,

Boardgames

Using Tabletopia and Jackbox. Buckets of games to play, and actual prizes for the most different games played, most different people played with and actual tournaments for some selected games. We’ll be looking for people to help host these.

More Stuff Coming

More coming soon- Battletech, Magic The Gathering online, traders and Artists, Game company promos and demos, cool stuff for the Charity Auction – watch out for the next update!