Category Archives: Anime Mini

In Sickness And In Health…And In Sickness Again

Hello friends. Did I mention that I have major issues with post-con blues? Well you can pair that a propensity to be sick and you’ve basically described the past 6 months or so. I actually feel somewhat fortunate that I wasn’t able to get into Katsucon as a panelist because I would’ve just been a total wreck.

What wasn’t a total wreck were my first three game shows of 2017. Setsucon hosted Name That Tune and Wheel of Fortune while Anime Mini saw the initial foray of Doge! Much Press Very Luck. All three were successful although opinions may differ on the latter.

Next up is Tekko, and it’ll be busy both on and off the floor. Right now the only thing I can confirm is that Saturday morning will see the return of the Most Unusual Mix to the WPTS airwaves as part of the new Alumni Show. The rest is up in the air.

That being said, I can’t wait for yeas or nays, I’ve been busy getting a new friend of the company in Nightengale Needles and undertaking some super big projects that you will be hearing about very soon. Watch this space.

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The One That (Almost) Got Away

This is a story about a typo. It’s about how a typo cost me a lot and nearly cost me everything.

My friends in the convention industry have a term for dealing with the problems and incidents when trying to handle thousands of less-than-ruly otaku. They refer this type of management as “putting out fires.” Over the 10+ years I’ve done programming (only formally for about 6), I’ve had to deal with a lot of fires myself. Panelist no-shows, tech no-shows, audience no-shows, life crises, tech crises, and a whole bunch more. Despite all that, I’ve adapted and adjusted and as long as there was an audience, I ran my event. There’s a sort of subconscious pride in knowing that I’ve kept this “streak” up. I had never really dwelled on it, but I’ve seen what happens when someone is unable to run and it’s not fun for anyone. The panelist is defeated, attendees get discouraged, and a level of trust between the two parties is removed. It’s a blow for both the speaker’s reputation and the con’s reputation. Everything gets lost to the fire.

I just had an encounter with that myself. Knowing that I was doing my Doge Wheel of Fortune at Anime Mini six days after I would return from Japan, I tried to make as much of the game in advance as I could because I knew that I would be in no shape to do anything after 10 days of vacation half a world away.

I had no idea how right I was going to be.

One of the faults of my Wheel program is that I haven’t yet fully accounted for punctuation in puzzles. My game runner had brought this up at a previous con and I had an idea for a fix, but I didn’t really get anywhere, and as things often do, it got back-burnered for other things.

Fast forward to June 2016 and Anime Mini. In the middle of a game, there was an error with a puzzle loading. This was news to me, as I had left the game code untouched, except for a couple of updates for prize values and presentation errors. I also didn’t QC the code as I normally did because I was still too jet-lagged to bother. I stared at piles of code for 15 minutes trying to figure out where the snag was, but I wasn’t finding it. Panic started to set in. If I wasn’t able to fix the issue, I would have no game, no panel. My mind raced figuring out contingency plans, I actually said out loud that I wasn’t sure how I could fix it.

Finally, I realized I should check other parts of the game. They all worked, so it was isolated to the one puzzle. I checked that puzzle’s file and I saw the issue. That punctuation fix I started was still there, not yet undone. I changed it back, and the game ran smoothly after that. My panicked statement had sent 3/4 of the crowd out, but there was still enough to have a good time my three players all won fun gifts, and the game still fit within its hour timeslot.

To date, that is the closest brush with disaster I have ever experienced, yet I was still able to put out the fire.

A Learning Experience

So here is what happened in the first 3 1/2 months of 2016 in no particular order.

  • I moved across town into a larger space
  • I was sick
  • I changed shifts at my job
  • My job changed entirely
  • I went to four conventions
  • I did programming for three of them
  • I survived the Mildly Annoying Katsucon Fire of 2016

So yeah, I’ve been busy. Unfortunately, that has led to little time to maintain this space, but here is your catch-up report.

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Been Such A Long Time

It has been a while, more than I would like to have had. Between a combination of work life, social life, and personal issues, I had completely abandoned this blog to focus on other things. That shouldn’t be okay. Hopefully, I’ll get better at that in the future. Failing that, I promise that if I make enough money, I’m hiring a PR person.

While this blog fell silent, my conventions schedule did not. In the past, I had only gone to four shows, whether as panelist or just an attendee. This year, I’ve done five—Setsucon, Tekko, Saikoucon, and Blurriecon, plus attending Intervention which was fun and informative and worth going to at least once—and I’m not done yet. Next weekend, I’ll be helping staff the Megaroad Toys booth at AUSA like I did last year, but this time holding a special business card exchange on Saturday. Those in the know will know why, but you can come up and say hello all weekend. Two weeks after that, I’ll be at the inaugural Anime Mini debuting my very doge version of Wheel of Fortune. I hope it’ll go smooth because I have big plans for Wheel, which I’ll probably elaborate on in future blog posts.

Speaking of blog, there have been a few maintenance items. I have now listed my list of shows where I’ve done programming. It’s been 10 years since I started, so it kinda makes sense. There’s also been some basic sidebar maintenance and some editing here and there. I hope you all can enjoy my exploits in full once again, and I plan on seeing you back here much sooner than the last time.