UberCon X Followup

UberCon has once again come and gone. While our numbers weren’t what we’d hoped or expected, a lot of that can be tied to the current recession, and not having the hotel contracts in time to promote the event early on. We can’t do much about the recession, but this time at least we have firm dates for UberCon XI — October 24-26th. I can’t be positive I’ll make it out for it (I’ve made it to the past two by the grace of friends in a more financially beneficial place than I am), but it would certainly be nice to see everyone again.

Overall, I’d say the con was a great time — it’s good people, and everyone seems to have fun. I met a bunch more Avatarians, though frankly I lost count ages ago. I’m fairly positive I’m over 100 at this point. (The list of MUDders who attended can be found here.) I actually ended up hosting two panels (well, one and a half, one of the panels was on plans to shift some of the geography of Avatar around, and pulled in a whopping two people and took about 10 minutes… the other one was very well attended, as it was a roundtable discussing plans for the ranger class revision). As is usual, I didn’t really play any games, but instead spent a lot of the weekend simply running around and checking up on people, making sure they had what they needed, and doing general chit-chat. I like being “at large,” and honestly don’t think I’d have nearly as much fun if I was locked into an official role.

Some highlights: getting to see a lot of friends I’d not seen for anywhere from six months to several years, or even had never met in real life before at all; observing the midnight game of “It’s Midnight… are YOU a Werewolf?”; wading through a two foot long chocolate eclair from Harold’s with Timothy Zahn and a dozen other friends; and, of course, the late night parties and diner runs that all seem contribute to the COMPLETE lack of sleep that happens at the con.

Adding Forums

It’s not ready for primetime yet, but I’m making progress towards my goals for the site. I’ve installed and hacked Vanilla (the hack is a minor one — there is a tutorial on the Vanilla website on integrating Vanilla with WordPress, so it has a shared user database. This means you register ONCE, and you get the ability to post in the forums AND leave comments in the blog. I consider this a Good Thing™, given how much of a pain it can be to get folks to register in the first place.

Speaking of registering, yes, I’m sorry, you’ll need to re-register. I’d managed to accrue a ton of spambot members, so I ended up doing a purge of member accounts when I shifted everything else around, rather than try and sift through who is a bot, and who is simply someone who made an account but never comments.

The forum can be found here. As you can see, I’m not done tweaking the theme for it. I thought about waiting to install the forum until the theme was complete, but meh, I wanted to continue to make forward motion. The move to ZenPhoto is the next big technical mucking I need to do, and that I AM putting off, until I finish chatting with Mickey regarding her gallery, which I still host, though she’s mostly moved on to her Flickr account. One of ZenPhoto’s few drawbacks currently is its support for multiple users, so while I don’t want to kick her out or anything, if she decides she’d rather just host everything on Flickr, it’s one less hoop I need to worry about (for the record, if she does move, I’ll be setting up an automatic redirect, so links to her gallery will point you to her Flickr account instead).

UberCon X

April is nearly gone, and I’ve not really posted much. Partly, yes, because I was working on a site redesign, and more than a little bit because I was simply a slacker. But also, because I’ve been out in the Baltimore/DC area for almost all of April, helping prepare for UberCon X, which is coming up in a scant few days, in Edison, New Jersey. I was flown in for the purpose of chasing down sponsorships and corporate contacts, a task which I seem to do alright at, even though I really hate doing it. I should have been focusing on landing a job, and getting settled into Portland, of course, but I was explicitly asked, flown out, and put up to do this (and it’s not like I don’t have a vested interest in making sure the con stays afloat and successful, friends aside), so in the grand scheme, there are worse things I could be doing with my time.

Being a wee bit more tied to the con than I have for the past several, I know that Erica and CJ won’t be making it this time around, which bums me a little bit, but is the way things go sometimes. UberCon has a new guest director, Alyssa (who has been involved with the con since day one as the RPG director, so I have at least some faith will stick around and do a good job), who has managed to line up Timothy Zahn for a rare east coast appearance. This should be fun because it’s always nice to get a good headliner, and also because his affiliation with the expanded Star Wars universe suggests that there will be a decent turnout of stormtrooper-armored fans at the event.

Welcome to the new Critical Games

Apologies for the lack of posting the past month or so. As you can see, I’ve merged Wandering Ways and Critical Games into one blog, and will be moving forward from there. There’s still a great deal to do before all the kinks are worked out, but I felt that with WordPress 2.5 now out, it was time to finally put the new design up and through its paces.

Things that are still on my TODO:

  • remove the Gallery2 installation, swap it out with a ZenPhoto install
  • install Vanilla
  • finish theme tweaks, update links and blogrolls
  • finish cleaning up the site backend
  • start posting some more (for realz)

Anyway, more later!