June 2018 Event Follow Up - Complete with TL;DRs!

Hey Wattsons,

We have gotten a lot of excellent feedback from y’all in the last week. We are happy to hear about so much that has happened that was good for you, and honestly we couldn’t ask for a better first event. We were braced and expecting things to not go as well as they did, and a lot of that is thanks to the kindness, patience, understanding, AND initiative of our players. We are grateful to you all being the people you are who want to see us succeed here in Georgia.

We always want you to feel welcome to provide your feedback because we are here to entertain you. Of course, not all feedback can or should be positive, and constructive criticism is incredibly important. I wanted to provide some information based on the feedback we’ve received to help us all have more fantastic LARP experiences together in the future.

The first thing I want to clarify is our stance on Character versus Character interactions. As a Storytelling director, I will personally be highly focused on telling story that does not set characters directly against each other. Moral quandaries, choices you make as your character to react to those stories we tell, and personal character development will be more than enough to fuel any conflict you personally would like to instigate.

Because of this, we want you to know that we consider ourselves a Character Versus Environment heavy game. Right now, while we gauge the comfort of our players and build Out of Game relationships with each other, we want each physical/violent CvC action to have a marshal present. We don’t all know each other or have faith in each other on that level. I think that, as we grow to be a good community of players who pride ourselves on sportsmanship and respect, we will see amazing Character versus Character conflict that we will remember for years to come, and will shape the story of our game.

I come from a background that is extremely CvC heavy and its a play style I personally enjoy. However, I have seen many good and honest players feel alienated and unsupported because of the unwanted bleed that accompanied those moments. While we are adults here, and we have to be responsible for our own self care, its best for players who engage in these conflicts to take a sense of ownership and responsibility for supporting your fellow player. If you’d like to talk to me about my extremely strong and formative LARP experiences with character conflict, send me an email at dystopiarisinggeorgia@gmail.com, or meet up with me at a social and I’m happy to share why this is so important to me.

TL;DR - CvC is totally cool at Dystopia Rising: Georgia, but if it comes to physical conflict grab a Marshal EVERY time. Our Storytelling team will not be sending out stories with the intent to instigate or direct CvC actions.

Because of the nature of Atlanta, Atlanta traffic, and our lives, we’re going to push back Game On to 10PM. Since we are limited in our ability to get onto the site before 2PM or 4PM, another hour will help us all be ready to be in play at 10PM. Our original intention for setting Game On so early is because we have an early check out time, and wanted to provide our players as many hours of game time as we could. We think that in relationship to comfort and preparation for us as game runners and for our players to get on site, 10PM will be beneficial to us as a whole.

TL;DR - We’re moving Game On to 10PM.

It is extremely important to us that we reduce disposable water container trash and that you work with us to keep reusable water bottles on your person. LARP is, unfortunately, often a very trash heavy hobby and taking responsibility where we can would be incredibly valuable to in reducing that trash. I was personally saddened to see multiple instances of plastic water bottles sitting on tables without anyone attending them, and that other players had to pick them up off the grass, etc.

Please help me in taking responsibility for improving this, so we can have a more immersive environment, and reduce trash. If you need a reusable water container, we have our blue brew phyreps bottles for brew crafters you’re welcome to keep and reuse. If you play a brewer, we encourage you to keep your brew physreps filled with water as well.

In relationship to this, the second most common piece of feedback we got was on the availability of water. We currently have two large water containers and two mobile water containers we use for Monster Camp and modules. At this time, we aren’t in the position to take responsibility for additional genre appropriate containers as we try to map out our long term storage plans. But I think its important to remember every sink and every working spigot on the AH Stephens State Park site is potable. The water fountain is there in the tavern for convenience, but the sinks are totally an option too. Please feel free to refill your water bottle at any of these points. There’s ice in the kitchen, too!

I definitely want to help our players feel like water is more easily available. If you would like to us help maintain more places for your fellow players to get water, we will give you 20AP for adding a genre’d cooler to your belongings and will update our list here to reflect this. This is in line with our focus on rewarding y’all for maintaining awesome kit that helps us maintain our setting. Do be sure to put your name on these containers and email address somewhere low visibility if it gets forgotten or misplaced, because we won’t be able to keep it for you.

TL;DR - Please help us reduce water bottle trash by bringing reusable containers. Please don’t leave your disposable water bottles in public areas as they become litter. We do have reusable bottles for brewers to use on site if you do not have brew physreps. We will give you 20AP if you add a genre water cooler to your kit to help each other stay hydrated. All water from taps on site is safe to drink. There is ice in the kitchen for everyone to use.

One of the places where we struggled the most were providing effective guidance to players who came for their NPC shifts who were not comfortable participating in the types of modules we were focused on at those time slots, especially in the evenings or at night. As a new Storyteller Director, running Ops at full tilt I wasn’t able to immediately adjust to individual player needs. For this, I apologize, and want to ask for your help going forward.

If you have specific restrictions or concerns such as:
- Makeup allergies
- Hygiene concerns
- Noncombat or are uncomfortable in combat
- Medical restrictions
- Anxiety

Please reach out to us and let us know at DystopiaRisingGeorgia@gmail.com so we can accommodate you in any we’re able to, which will help us be ready for your needs before your shift.

The other place where I personally want to take responsibility for a less than stellar experience was cleanup. Real talk, we didn’t know how we should have divided and organized the site because of our limited access and time spent there before the event. Because of this, we assigned marshals to areas on the fly. This led to unfortunate communication problems we were not prepared for in the rush to be ready to get out of dodge.

We will be focusing on making this a better process going forward and appreciate your help with this. We ask that, should you keep large amounts of stuff in the refrigerators or the kitchen during the event, that you plan to join the Kitchen or Dining Hall Clean Up crews so that you can have immediate and direct access to your things to make sure that they are appropriately removed from those spaces with your observation or direct action. The first step of clean up of these areas will have to be those items being removed from refrigeration, in order to sweep, mop, and reduce foot traffic for inspection by our park rangers.

TL;DR - Cleanup could have gone better and we’ll make it better. If you want to keep your stuff in or around the Dining Hall or Kitchen past 10 AM, please join the Dining Hall or Kitchen Clean up to make sure you can be a part of the process to move them. Those items must be out of those areas as soon after 10AM as possible to avoid additional foot traffic after sweeping and mopping.

The last item I want to address today, and is probably the most important item on the list is about the nature of feedback in general. In order for us to be able to act on feedback, we need to know who we can reach out to if necessary to gather more information on the nature of that feedback so we can learn more about what led the submitter to have a specific experience. When we receive anonymous feedback, we have no way to find out more to pursue why that feedback was left. For me personally, it makes me feel powerless to provide players individually or as a whole a better experience.

Because of this, its important that we inform everyone that we cannot act on anonymous feedback and effectively that means we have to discard it. However, we also want to know more about how we can make you feel safe in leaving feedback. All feedback provided to us will be treated respectfully and privately - we will not out anyone who brings us their commentary in private, and will also listen to how you specifically want a situation resolved, though we cannot guarantee that course of action. We hope that we get the opportunity to gain your trust in the future so you feel that you can talk to us about your game experience.

TL;DR - We cannot use or act on anonymous feedback. Please tell us about how we can help you feel safer leaving feedback privately so we can help make your experience better.

Thank you again for making Dystopia Rising: Georgia’s first event successful and being kind and understanding players. We want you to have fun and enjoy the post apocalypse story we put out there for you.

Storytelling Director