Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post Con Wrap Up: Naka 2010

I just woke up from 12 hours of sleep. Boy was it needed.

Naka this year was great. Not the best con I've ever attended, but as with every con, it has its own bits of magic.

I'm what we at Naka call a Director. Other cons usually call this a Head of Staff. I'm in charge of setting up the gaming room and managing the staff in there. It's simultaneously one of the easiest jobs and one of the worst.

It's easy because there's never a super ton of stuff to do all at once. Most of our equipment is donated and the donations (both the promises of and the physical equipment) trickle in. I got there Thursday and with my staff, set up the fistful of stations with equipment donated by staff. That took an hour or two. Then we were free to hang around and do not much of anything.

Friday, more donations slowly came in and we set them up as they came. Sunday, we started pulling systems down in the early afternoon and packing everything up for people to pick them up. Pretty easy.

The hard part is keeping it all organized. We had roughly $20,000 of other people's equipment sitting in that room and keeping who brought what straight and knowing exactly where it is at all times is a logistical nightmare. I have a system in place that does pretty well with this, but some things never got labeled as they came in which made trying to figure out which controller belonged to which person a fun logic game.

Overall, I'm pretty sure we only lost 1 gamecube controller and a PS2 controller. Not as good as last year (only lost 1 wiimote), but still a pretty good record.

Aside from the game room, I was also the MC for the costume competition. Due to a snoring room mate, I was horribly sleep deprived for this and was only saved thanks to the grace of Red Bull. My co-MC didn't even have that much. He was having trouble keeping the order straight, and I was having trouble with pronunciation. Made for a good joke though.

Meanwhile, the audience just never got into it this year. I have no good reason why yet. I think it was partially due to the lack of the really good cliches ("Over 9000!," Carmeldansen, Rick Rolling, You Just Lost the Game, etc...) to hit the funny buttons. Another issue was poor sound quality on the pre-recorded dialogue the skits used. I couldn't make most of it out. Some also suggested that overly directional lighting made it hard to get into.

The two panels I hosted were both huge successes. The Bento panel almost filled one of the largest panel rooms we had. I had numerous people tell me that they had intended to go, but accidentally slept too late. The Anime Mythbusters panel did fill the room and had several people standing along the back wall. The panel was recorded and will be available as part of a DVD collection from the con here. I'll be working to get a copy of it and get it hosted on YouTube as soon as possible.

Other highlights from the con came from the after-party at which one of the con-coms (what other cons often call con-chairs) got rather drunk and it was quite interesting to see one of the meekest people in our staff start dancing, move-for-move to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".

I finally made it home around 8pm yesterday and after doing a bit of unpacking and catching up on all the internet business I missed this past weekend, I went to sleep. Twelve hours later and I'm still tired. My throat still hurts from shouting over people in the game room. And I still have to unpack.

The next con I'm looking to attend is Kawa Kon next month.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's my theory on the cosplay contest - the sound quality was awful mostly because the people running the sound had the bass cranked way up. You could tell that was the problem from the audience (actually, the two rows I was in talked about it and came to that conclusion). The evidence was in the skits that were simply music. They thudded and thumped, and you could hardly hear the upper registers. Someone needs a quick lesson in sound for live events or at least a simple "voices are in the 1K range" talking to before the show.

The other problem was the music played for the walk-ons. It droned and made every costume a bit less interesting. Some of it was truly awful and sleep-inducing. People around me would groan when a walk-on would come on, and a couple of other people commented on the droning music.

I don't mean to insult the contest, but it really was not the fault of the contestants, and it was honestly rather insulting to them that they were treated with such poor audio and lighting.