By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
NeXus Con is a new event organized by Dwayne Morash who simply wants to introduce folks to gaming (in all its various forms). The show will be held at Saanich Commonwealth Place on August 27th, 2016 from 11am to 9pm, and it is an intimate type of event where it will be capped at 40 or so people
New players do not have the opportunity to simply try games out without buying, and this show hopes to change all that by flipping the formula traditionally found in conventions. Most shows require a separate entry fee just to play in tournaments. This event dispenses with all that and it’s going to be more like a meet n’ greet spotlighting the favourite games of past and present.
Morash is the founder/editor of Game Nexus, a local news and information site for all things related to games. Just like this website, there will be video games, tabletop miniature battles, role-playing games and collectable card games to try out. For a reasonable fee of $25, attendees can sample the best in what gaming has to offer. Trends change like the roll of the dice, and the goal of Morash is to provide a quality event minus all the hustle and bustle of one that is corporate run. He gave me a heads up about this event, and I had some questions:
What prompted you to set up this type of convention?
After we launched our website (www.enterthegamenexus.com) in February, we always knew we would be stepping into the convention scene. This event is a way for us to test the waters and also create an exciting event that is manageable with our small team. I have run events like this in the past and found that the social energy and fun can equal a large convention despite being hundreds of bodies smaller.
Will you need volunteers? If people are interested, are you the person to contact?
Yes, I am the person to contact (email@example.com) for anyone who wants to get involved. This event has a very specific cap on a number of bodies we can have occupying the space.
What kind of games do you plan on getting demoed?
At this event, we will be showcasing approx 12 tables for miniature wargaming ranging from popular systems to lesser known properties. All games will have a “Community Ambassador” on hand to guide/demo new players and facilitate casual matches for those who bring their own figures. We are still looking for more ambassadors for various tabletop games that we are running.
We are also running RPG sessions in three-hour blocks and they will be held in a private studio that is attached to the main space. Feedback from past conventions was that RPG sessions were drowned out by all of the crosstalk. That is a by-product of the larger “Arena style” conventions that we are able to avoid. Sadly we can only host 3 sessions over the duration of the event.
How big is the space so gamers can shuffle around trying games?
The “Upside” lounge is an event space inside of the Commonwealth Arena. We chose this space for its aesthetic first and foremost. It’s about the size of a small nightclub and comes equipped with a full kitchen, a separate room/studio, and a dedicated relaxing area with large couch and flat screen TV (we will have retro video games playing all day). We are zoned for approximately 50 bodies in this space and there will be lots of space to sit down and eat (i.e. dedicated eating tables). The entire space has a real lounge feel and that was what drew us to it versus the traditional arena or conference room.
I do not expect vendors or guest speakers to be here, but is there a plan to offer some product sales for forgetful gamers not having enough dice, pens, papers or counters to pick up sometime in the future?
We have reached out to local vendors and offered vendor space at no charge but the value is hard to convey with such a small event like ours. Our challenge is that we do not have the name recognition as an event organization nor does our event have a large enough footprint to present value to local retailers to roll out a “Booth.” We have planned for it and can accommodate a table/booth if a vendor wants to get involved in that capacity. I suspect that because we are sort of redefining what a gaming convention looks like with our “non-tournament” and casual approach that our local vendors are being cautious, which is totally fair.
Will you have an area set aside for mobile gamers? (i.e. PokemonGO, Nintendo 3DS?)
The space has lots of seating for attendees who are not actively playing any tabletop games or are between matches. We have spectator benches as well as cafeteria seating and the aforementioned Retro gaming area with a big comfy couch. Mobile gamers will have lots of space to kick back, relax and play some games. We may also have something special planned for all the Pokemon Go players who are in attendance.
When the show expands, will LARPing be offered?
LARPing — if I am getting this right — tends to be more conducive to an outdoor space and not interior. I could be wrong. We are planning on growing the size of Nexus-Con events, but we have a very specific strategy on how we want to do it. We are not simply looking at the quantity of bodies to define our level of success at these events. If we can bring 50 gamers together and give them a great experience, then we have succeeded. We will grow at a pace that ensures that every gamer who walks through the doors is getting a quality experience. Slow and steady as they say, right?
For updates, please visit their Facebook page here.