Instead of waiting around until I’ve figured out how to be a great director then finally writing my blog, I’m going to keep you guys updated on how it works. Of course there are details I’ll have to leave out as I don’t want to spoil anything for you. For my first post on this topic I’ll be covering a lot of the startup, but before I can even get to that first I should tell you how I became a director, or at least how it happened on my end.
The first LARP I attended was Dystopia Rising, July of 2014. So yes, I’m still a baby in the larp world, but that shouldn’t matter and if it does then maybe you need to go back and read a few of my other blogs before you start thinking I shouldn’t be where I am. Anyway, that very first game all I knew is I wanted to be a director one day and when I make a decision it means I really do care (for anyone that knows me I can hardly ever make a decision, so when I do I’m almost always serious about it). I worked my way up in positions at DR when I heard they were looking for people to staff Utopia. I had read a little about the game, it seemed pretty cool and I figured why not? I already loved Dystopia, so why wouldn’t I love Utopia?
I sent out a message asking to apply. I didn’t know what I would end up doing, I just wanted to be able to help out in any way I could. I was told I would be a quartermaster, which sounded pretty cool. A few days later I got a message asking if I’d rather be a writer for the event. After having heard my name pop up as an applicant it seemed I was better suited for this. I immediately accepted the offer, super excited to now have a larger role on such a new and exciting game. After that first game I was asked to help with combat at our Dexcon event (you can read all about my combat experiences in my other blog). Then there was the July event where I was asked to help oversee that combat which had been styled very differently than I was used to in Dystopia, but it was done in a way that worked much better for the game.
At this point I had already expressed interest in running a game. I had already helped create a part of this world and now I wanted to really have my own to work with. Me and two others were told we would be in charge of putting together the next game. We set out to make it become a thing. Not long after we began getting serious on how to piece it all together I received an email offering me a director role for Utopia Descending’s Connecticut chapter. This was it. It’s what I had wanted since that first game. Almost. I was a director now, but I didn’t have anything to show for it yet.
The first step, and so far the hardest step (as most others will probably agree) was finding a location. I can’t even tell you how many places I emailed, had conversations with, set up visits, that just never happened. I was getting frustrated, everyone was fully booked for all of next year, the prices were waaay too high, or they just didn’t have the right sort of place to run this type of event. Then it happened, I found a place that was affordable, we set up a date to meet, everything was working out. On our drive up (it’s a little over 2 hours from where I live) I get an email asking to reschedule. After talking it out a little we managed to keep it for that date and time (my work schedule wouldn’t have let me come back for about two weeks). We show up, meet with the guy, take a look at the place, and oh was it such a great place. Finally everything worked out. We found our location and we booked a date.
With that out of the way, it was time to focus on literally everything else. Here’s where Utopia gets crazy but in a fun way. Utopia is designed to be very social media heavy (though you can still enjoy the game without that aspect). If the players are expected to be posting on facebook, then so should the corporations. I currently run 5 in game pages and one general page for the game. It’s only been a few days since I’ve started with these and I’ve already learned a few tricks. You can schedule a post out for the future! Do you know how amazing this feature is when you’re working full time and still need to get your posts out there? I can do everything in a day and have my entire week of social media scheduled! Here’s a quick breakdown on the past four days of social media for me:
Day 1: Create the pages. Oh facebook you just know how to make everything SO GOSH DARN FRUSTRATING I WANT TO SCREAM. Though like I said, facebook does offer some pretty cool features that at the same time make my life much easier. I made sure each page had a post so people had something to look at.
Day 2: Facebook, you’re still not making anything easier! I started scrolling through other facebook pages like Walmart and Target to get an idea of what they post. This is something I studied in college (We spent a semester talking about Sharknado and multi-platform promotion for it, yes I had to watch Sharknado 1-3 in class and promote a new fake Sharknado movie). Though before I hit the multi-platform, maybe first I should at least get the facebook pages running smoothly.
Day 3: People know these pages exist now. They’ve gotten a few likes and shares. But I needed to find a better way to get the name out there. What’s the best thing that people do to advertise their facebook page? A contest of course. Rather than starting the contest immediately, I wanted to give players a chance to be prepared. The pages were new, they may not have seen them yet, and if they’re new to the game they probably don’t have a character page yet either.
Day 4: Need to make sure each corporation gets a little bit of love. While there may not be something to post from each page every day, at least one or two of them should be posting a day while rotating between which ones are posting. This way no corporation is ever left out. Another aspect I wanted to add into their posts is visuals, videos, articles, things that people will spend a little more time to look at rather than read a quick post and move on. Each corporation should post some sort of visual every now and then to help keep people engaged.
Future plans: Once I have the proper equipment the corporations will start to produce their own content. What’s more exciting than seeing new unique materials coming from the game? This also would hopefully help encourage other players to do the same and produce their own content (which some already do and it’s AMAZING!)
So there you have it. A little bit about being a new director for a new game. Stick around for more articles on my director adventures as well as some other cool things mixed between. Thanks for reading everyone!