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The Prince is Dead – A Mini Post-mortem

Over at the Mount Royal Game Society, we just posted our final follow-up for The Prince of Arcade. For those that haven’t heard, the PoA was a showcase/party featuring about a dozen sweet indie titles, awesome music, beer, and beautiful people. The party was timed to coincide with the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS), though it wasn’t an official component of the latter. Instead, it was the inevitable result of a bunch of people lamenting the loss of GAMMA (which has since moved to GDC in San Francisco).

Here’s just a short laundry-list of all the wonderful things that occurred to me only after the various mistakes had been made / lessons learned.

The Good

  • By the Power of Greyskull, what a turnout!
  • Six, co-organiser of the Mount Royal Game Society, created a few Google Docs’ worth of documentation and spreadsheets. And kept them accurate. It was a fantastic resource to know what was done and what needed doing.
  • The staff at the Eastern Bloc were super friendly, super competent, and super amenable to helping us out. In fact, everyone involved was really excited about the project. It’s an intangible, but the good vibes were essential.
  • I never expected to be playing Nidhogg or A Slow Year, and yet there they were, graciously donated by their respective auteurs. Incredible. Might have something to do with our enthusiasm for the games themselves and the event as a whole; may have something to do with having Babycastles involved.

The Bad

  • I didn’t take enough pictures (thankfully, others did).
  • Equipment came together literally at the last minute.
  • The music was also arranged rather haphazardly (everyone involved kept shouting out band names, then finding they couldn’t make it out).

The Ugly

  • Nothing. Honestly, nothing. This event made me so happy inside.
  • Wait, scratch that. The coat check was a periodic nightmare. People arrived in waves by the metro, and we didn’t have enough coat racks, which led to a few frantic moments.
  • Still, happy inside.

Things to Remember Next Time

  • Start planning earlier.
  • Start seriously planning earlier.
  • Ask for help, and know what you’re looking for. Gradually, a number of people were added to our massive planning email thread, but for the most part it was initially a lot of brainstorming. A lot of those people would have been able to leverage their connections a lot more quickly (if at all) if we’d had a solid list of resources required (projectors, how many music acts, &c.) and asked them explicitly beforehand.
  • On a related note: don’t be afraid to ask. It can be somewhat intimidating for first-time organisers like myself to ask for the use of someone’s game, or equipment, or time, or whatever. But generally speaking, most people are actually kind of nice. Asking costs nothing. They might say no, but they might actually say yes instead.
  • Every financial estimate is an under-estimate. Always.
  • Every time estimate is an under-estimate. Always.

And hey! Did I mention the photos that I took at the event? Or the four seconds of video I accidentally recorded? The question is rhetorical and answers itself!

What a night.

Long Live the Prince.