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larkinvain

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
I have an upcoming con (2nd year doing this) and was wondering what everyone when teaching a crew how to play quickly. Right now we just go through the stations and have  a looping video. Looking for ideas that are out there. Thank you.
ogremasch

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Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #2 

I've never been to a Con where Artemis was being played, There is one coming up near me (Conglomeration) that Has an Artemis Bridge that I thought about attending but I couldn't get the time. Any way, I would be interested in making an orientation / flight instructor video to be played to those waiting to play the game.

 

 

Thompsolonian

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Reply with quote  #3 

Greetings! Welcome to the CON Hosting world!

Our Setup (see facebook HMS Artemis Bridge Simulator) has been at quite a few conventions, and this is what we have been doing since day one:

1) Have a schedule of sessions ready prior to the convention. We've found that one hour blocks with a 45 minute game provides ample time to learn the game, and have enough turnover for the next group.

2)Figure out a decent difficulty setting for a learning crew. We try to keep the difficulty around 4 to 6, this really depends on the average age of the members working. Too easy and they either bore easily, or finish the mission too quickly, too hard and they get frustrated and want to quit or never play the game again.

3) Placement of crewman. We recommend that people who have never played before get their feet wet at either science or Comms. We always provide an assistant or two of our own expereinced players in the room to assist with questions, or to hover around people who are stuggling and give them pointers. This seems to work really well even with a brand new person at engineering or weapons.

4) Quick rundown. It helps to have either an expert player give a quick rundown, or have a scripted introduction to the game prior to the start. This should only take about 5 minutes at the max, to include about 30seconds at each station for a crash course on what the console does. You would be surprised at how many people retain information on-the-fly, for those that don't, see #3

5)Be encouraging. Don't just sit off to the side, roam the bridge, tell people (to include the captain) that they are doing pretty well. Keep a smile and be ready to answer any questions, even if they're a repeat, it will be appreciated in the end.

6)Captain's chair. If at all possible, NEVER place a brand new person in the Captains seat. Although the least amount of work, it helps to have someone who has played some or all the stations at least once sit in that chair. Captains need to know what to ask for and form whom, and for a brand new person that knowledge just won't be there. If there is a fresh player in that seat, play the executive officer and hang over their shoulder and offer suggestions, plans, strategys, and even repeat the order in a more assertive tone if necessary. If you are going to do the latter, let the Captain know prior to the game that things can get loud, and may need either them or you to repeat it louder.

7) Have fun! Things break, people aren't perfect, just remember that everyone is there to try something new out, or just have fun. Keep that smile on your face and provide answers to any questions about the game asked. Remember that "I don't know, let's find out" is an acceptable answer.

 

Let me know what you think! This is the approach we have had for our conventions, and our simulator is a HIT, it's always full.

LawsonThompson

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Posts: 625
Reply with quote  #4 
I've got a radio voice and good stage presence (as does my wife), so training on-the-fly is quite comfortable for us. We strive to create an "experience" and never just set up Artemis and let it sit. 

We also have laminated tip sheets for each console available for review BEFORE your mission comes up.

For each mission at Dragon Con 2016 (all 50+ of them... whew!), I gave a briefing of about 1 minute per console, then let the crew sit down and take control. Here's what the final piece of the briefing sounds like:



I stay up next to the captain for the first few minutes, show Science how to scan, show that Engineering can boost scanning power to make it go faster, then give quick pointers as the mission progresses.

My script is, "Weapons, select the LRS button to put the long range scanners on main screen. Science, tap any grey icon, then Scan to identify friend or foe. Crew, as you can see, the sector map is laid out like a chessboard. The game will progress at the pace of a chess game, except the enemy keeps moving their pieces without waiting for you to make a move."

"Situational awareness comes from Science scanning ships once to ident friend or foe, and a second scan for tactical intelligence. Science, see that green circle progress indicator? Does it seem slow to you? Engineering, can you help with that? Slide sensor power to 250, and activate some coolant flow to keep it from overheating. How's that, Science, better?"

Then I ask the captain to select a target: Helm is pretty much on their own for a while because the joystick and throttle are quite natural; I go over to weapons and show them how to load torpedos, and then how to lock an enemy when the first ship comes in range.

After the first 10 minutes of the mission, I'm pretty much just whispering little hints to crew members if I see they're fumbling ("The sliders are for power: the dots are coolant!"), to nudge the Captain into a sense of urgency ("A win condition is destroying ALL enemies!"), or to ramp up the role-play ("Comms, advise the captain of what the reward of that side mission is; it'll be useful!") I stay nearby to field questions.

We purposely lay out our bridge with enough room around the sides that we can take newbie crew members queued for the next mission and give them a brief view of each console's action with a game-in-progress. Or, I'll show the bridge station tutorial and narrate it.

I've not resumed my work on an updated training video, but the draft is here:



IMHO training videos are best watched BEFORE entering the mission area: give the audience enough room to watch a game in progress and they'll learn pretty quick by watching the errors of the previous crew!

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