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Author Topic: [Forge Midwest 2007] Reflection  (Read 4147 times)
Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


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« on: April 23, 2007, 02:47:08 PM »

Heya guys,

I'd like to ask you guys a few thing about the hotel and how it facilitating your experience at this year's Forge Midwest.  If you get a chance, answer any of them you like for me and elaborate as much as you care to Smiley

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms? 

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?

Thanks guys! Smiley

Peace,

-Troy
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2007, 03:49:42 AM »

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms?

Very nice. Small beds! But comfortable. More comfortable than I personally need, but definitely comfortable.

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?

I'd be happy to pay less and get less, but it was good for what it cost.

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?

The nearest food was a hike. Or else a train ride. Hotel food was ass-kickingly expensive.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?

Absolutely.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?


Yes, although it got loud at times.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?

Dude. Robotic soap dispensers. Awesome.

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?

A little dour at times, but not rude.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?

Mostly. The freeway maze around O'Hare is a little intense.

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)

It was a little high for what we got: one room and some water.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?

Very positive. Got to meet new people, see old friends, and playtest stuff that's going to be hot. Plus an occasional beer.

What would improve it? Not much. Say a better bang-for-buck on the meeting room, and better access to food. Neither of those was disastrous, though.
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Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2007, 12:09:50 PM »

I was very pleased with the whole package.  The cost was, in my view, a very reasonable price to play to hang out and play games with kick ass people.

Two areas I'll offer further comment on.

1) I think a more ideal format would be 2 rooms instead of 1.  One "quieter" for your more "intense" roleplaying focusy type games, and one more "boisterous" for your "Gah, I stab him in the head" type games...and Jungle Speed.  This would definitely be in the "wouldn't it be nice" vs. "critical consideration" category.

2) I think for next year we need to determine some general location priorities.  You've got 1) travel convenient location, 2) cost, and 3) diverse inexpensive nearby food...I suspect this is one of those "Pick two" kind of deals.

At the Rosemont Doubletree we got pretty darn near the best possible travel convenience (for the widest possible range of attendees) being right at the airport, major highway, and major train line.  We paid up a little for it in the hotel, but we paid up a TON for it (in both time and money) for the food.  $20 breakfast buffets or hiking a couple miles to a dunkin donuts is not the best combination of food options. 

But food options like that are EXACTLY what is expected in a central travel location...because most business travelers aren't going to need to leave the hotel for food and their going to expense whatever it costs anyway.  Finding a more food friendly location probably means a less convenient location.

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Doyce
Member

Posts: 442


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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2007, 04:34:40 PM »

1.) The rooms were quite nice.

2.) The rooms were quite expensive. I make pretty good money, and if I hadn't found someone to split the cost, I might have rethought attending. (Thanks to Iskander for both proposing I go, and splitting the room with me!)

3.) Eh. I brought breakfast bars and I like yogurt, so the little coffee shop place was... as good as any other little coffee shop place in a hotel next to an airport ever is -- horribly overpriced, but again... that's how it goes.

4.) Could always find games: Absolutely.  I might suggest three time slots instead of four, is all -- I would have liked the game slots to have gone on a bit longer in most cases.

5.) The room was technically big enough, but noise was often an issue.  I'm not usually hard to hear, but I saw a lot of people having to lean in to hear me.  I'm about three quarters deaf in one ear, so I only got about a third of what was said at some tables (the Heroquest game comes to mind), but that's sort of par for the course in those conditions.

6.) The restrooms were fine.

7.) Hotel staff were just dandy.  Helps that I spend enough time in hotels for me work that I know how to get along with their SOP, but general I didn't feel like a second rate customer or anything of that nature.

8.) Even coming in from Midway, I had no real problems getting to the hotel easily and cheaply: 16$ shuttle from Midway to O'Hare, then a free shuttle to the hotel.

9.) I didn't think the room cost was CRAZY expensive, and I actually put some more cash down to help with the sales tax INSANITY.  That said... the tax thing was ... yeah, that's kind of insanely high.

10.) Very positive experience -- perhaps a lot of it was just getting to meet all these folks I only 'know' from the forum, but it was also the games and just spending time with folks that enjoy the hobby.

Thanks guys! Smiley

Peace,

-Troy
[/quote]
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--
Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2007, 05:40:41 PM »

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms? 
The rooms were nice. We got put on a smoking floor when I indicated non-smoking but the air circulation was such that I couldn't actually smell it in the room.

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?
About what I would expect for the hotel.

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?
This depends. It was fairly easy if you wanted to spend too much money. I went hungry for parts of the convention. I would have been fine with forewarning. I could have brought peanut butter and bread. I figured food would be easy to find in Chicago.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?
I didn't spend anytime not gaming during the scheduled time on Saturday. On Sunday it didn't work out but that was due more to miscommunication on times and such.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?
Yes, but I think if we had got 50 people like last year folks would have had to go to their rooms to play.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?
Absolutely. Very well maintained.

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?
Better than I expected.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?
Finding the hotel was fine. Parking was trickier to figure out and maneuvering from parking to the hotel was more difficult. this was a minor one time inconvenience.

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)
I'd pay more. I think the price to size ratio though is poor.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?
It was excellent, if we added two more days it could challenge another well known conventions slogan.

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Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.
jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2007, 06:27:20 PM »

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms? 
Very nice.

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?
I've paid more for less.  I thought the price was reasonable.

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?
Easy enough, a bit expensive which wasn't too surprising considering the location.  My main complaint would be the slow food service.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?
Oh, yes.  More so than last year even.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?
Yes.  Although I agree with the above comments about the noise level.  There were times when it really was difficult to hear people sitting at the same table.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?
Yes. 

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?
Fine.  I particularly liked that they had no problem with us moving out of the designated gaming room and into the lounge Saturday night.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?
Yes.  I really appreciate that it was close to public transit.

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)
No.   But, I'm a little concerned by Doyce's answer to this question.  Above, Doyce said, "I actually put some more cash down to help with the sales tax INSANITY.  That said... the tax thing was ... yeah, that's kind of insanely high."  Can someone clue me in on this -- did anyone get saddled with unexpected charges for the meeting room that was not covered by the monies collected by Matt?  If so, I'd like to pitch into any fund to help alleviate that burden.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?
It was great.  I'm looking forward to next year. 

Julie
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Tod Olson
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2007, 07:04:18 PM »

I'd like to ask you guys a few thing about the hotel and how it facilitating your experience at this year's Forge Midwest.  If you get a chance, answer any of them you like for me and elaborate as much as you care to Smiley

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms? 

Pretty nice.

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?

Just fine. Better than what I usually get at comparable conference hotels.

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?

Not many options outside of the hotel. But the hotel staff managed to recommend a couple places within walking distance.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?

Yes.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?

Yes, but as mentioned above, it was sometimes hard to hear over the din.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?

Just fine.

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?

Just fine. Helpful and courteous.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?

Easy to find, and close to public transit.

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)

The cost was fine.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?

Pretty darn good. Looking forward to next year.

-Tod
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GamerChick
Member

Posts: 19


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 09:08:45 AM »

Heya guys,

I'd like to ask you guys a few thing about the hotel and how it facilitating your experience at this year's Forge Midwest.  If you get a chance, answer any of them you like for me and elaborate as much as you care to Smiley

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms? 

Very nice, if too warm.  Comfy bed, liked the free-standing shower.  I got a decent deal by prepaying on the internet, helped more by Amanda deciding to come along and pay half.

Quote
2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?

$126, including room tax.  Which is why my secretarial self (and friend) left Michigan at about 4 am on Saturday.  No way could I afford Friday night.

Quote
3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?

It was hard finding affordable/diabetic friendly food.  Next time I'll bring a cooler of food/snacks and not worry about it.

Quote
4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?

I really wanted to play Primetime Adventures, as did several other people, but no one was running it. I tried very hard to wheedle Ron into running Sorcerer, but he demurred, indicating it doesn't work well in convention settings.  He did take the time to demonstrate the mechanics for us, though.   I enjoyed the games I played (Dogs In the Vineyard, Blood And Bronze, It Was A Mutual Decision).  I wish I could have played more, but one needs to sleep!

Quote
5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?

Yes, but it was very noisy, and the prevalence of facial hair (on the guys, of course) made lip-reading very difficult.

Quote
6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?

More than adequate, and very convenient (across the hall).

Quote
7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?

I've traveled for business and for gaming, and often there's a big gap in the way I'm treated, depending on my attire.  Not this time - the hotel staff was pleasant and very helpful.  And we got warm cookies. 

Quote
8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?

Yes to both, but in the case of parking only because I coughed up extra for valet.  Hey, I'm an old lady with bad knees!

Quote
9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be afraid to say yes if it was)

About par for small conventions.  I've run a lot of small conventions (75-125 people), and given the cost of the facilities, they generally come out around $35 to $40.  I certainly felt it was worth the price just to hang with these fascinating and fun folks. 

Quote
10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?

At the risk of setting Ron off again, AWESOME!  (I kid, I kid... never give me an opening like that, Ron.)  It was the right combination of games and design discussion.  I even got some sleep!  I would do it again just as soon as I can afford it.  I certainly would like to do it again next year, though I'd beg for a weekend *not* opposite Penguicon.

Jae Walker
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Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2007, 09:35:22 AM »

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?

 It wasn't hard to find, but it was something of an inconvenience to get to. I don't mind long walks in general, but long walks that cut into my gaming time by a couple hours are less acceptable. And naturally, the food available at the hotel was scandalously overpriced, which was to be expected, but like other folks, I figured there'd be more nearby to choose from.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?

 Pretty much. I gamed less than I'd have liked to mostly because everyone was playtesting stuff, and while I did participate in one playtest and really enjoyed it, I came to play, not to test. I own something like 200 games that I cannot get any of my current batch of friends to play with me, so Forge Midwest and GenCon are my chances to play the ones I already own rather than the ones that aren't even finished yet. But that's a personal issue.

 Granted, this was also partially due to poor sleep management on my part.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?

 I liked the two rooms we had last year, both for space and noise reduction, as others have mentioned. But yes, the room was adequate for the number of people. Why so much fewer this time, I wonder? I figured if anything this would grow by the year.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?

 Yep. And they didn't have automatic-flush toilets, which is a plus. Even if they did have automatic squirt soap... which is odd.

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?

 Just fine.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?

 Easy to find, yes. Easy to park at, not half. The driveway is a little tricky to find- I mean, once you know where it is, it's fine. But I was not expecting to pay 33$ for parking for the weekend, that was ridiculous.

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)

 I'm gonna have to dissent with other commenters and say yeah. Last year set a precedent for a cheap, convenient, great time. This year was still great, but neither cheap nor convenient (for me). Between hotel food, parking, and paying more than I expected for the room costs (twice!), the con really put a dent in my finances for the week. I don't make as much as probably most of the attendees, which is all me, but 70$ is hard for me to justify for an event this size.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?

 Other than the above mentioned gripes, it was great. The trip into the city was unexpected, but fun (and I found a new Thai place to stop when I'm working out that way), the gaming I got in was good, and seeing faces both new and old was nice. Despite my complaints, it's tough to beat having a con practically in my backyard, and a chance to catch up with people more than once a year at GenCon.

Thanks guys! Smiley

 No, thank you guys for setting things up and going to all the work to organize. We can't appreciate it enough.
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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2007, 09:44:42 AM »

Heya,

Quote
5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?

 I liked the two rooms we had last year, both for space and noise reduction, as others have mentioned. But yes, the room was adequate for the number of people. Why so much fewer this time, I wonder? I figured if anything this would grow by the year.

One contributing factor, IMO, was that Camp Nerdly was two or three weekends right after Forge Midwest.  I think people had to choose between attending one or the other, and so the group was split.  I know I had to choose between the two.  I'm sure there might be other factors, but that's the one I suggest.

Peace,

-Troy
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TJ
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2007, 10:09:38 AM »

1.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how were your rooms?
Excellent.  Clyde even had room to set up his podcast studio.  As Clyde said, you couldn't even tell that we had a smoking room, but that may have had something to do with me cranking up the air conditioning.

2.) For those who stayed at the hotel, how what the nightly price for your rooms?
Pretty reasonable considering the location.

3.) How easy/hard was it to find enough food to eat during the convention?
Easy, but I ate at the hotel on Saturday and I cheated on Sunday -- my friend Char lives about 10 minutes away from the Doubletree, and she was kind enough to shuttle some of us non-natives out for pizza.

4.) Were you able to find a game any time you wanted?
I barely had time to take breaks between the games.  I only wish we could have stayed long enough to play Cat on Sunday.  Next time, Jae.

5.) Was there enough space in the convention room to play?
Yes; I agree that two rooms would be better.

6.) Were the restroom facilities adequate?
Yes.

7.) How did the hotel staff treat you?
Fine.  I hardly spoke to them though.

8.) Was the hotel easy to find?  Easy to park at?
Yes, and moderately difficult.  We had more trouble finding our way to Ron's house after leaving Sunday. Smiley

9.) Was the per-person charge for the convention room unreasonable? (don't be affraid to say yes if it was)
It wasn't unreasonable for the location; although I am accustomed to attending micro-cons for under $10 for a weekend.

10.) Could you describe your general experience at the con?
That much fun should probably be illegal.  I intend on returning each year come heck or high gas prices.
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