Hydra 2018 feedback

X-posted from Facebook by request of @Scott. Formatting has been added.

Hello all, recently I sent out 2 surveys. 1 to all attendees and 1 to all GMs. Here is the feedback from the Attendee survey along with some of my comments. Thank you for everyone who took the time to respond.

Be aware this is rather long.

21 people provided feedback, 2 anonymous

Did you have fun at Hydra?
Everyone said yes they enjoyed it.

What did people enjoy?
A lot of specific games mentioned which I will feedback anonymously to the GMs. The relaxed friendly environment which is down to all of you attendees. The late night socialising. The playing spaces available. The longer breaks. The shorter games Sunday. And the food.

What did you not enjoy?
Only a few answers here, some specific to people so will deal with these in the background. Mention of being specific about what a game is when being pitched. And working on potentially different rooms or more set dressing for games. And concern about the length of the break between 3 and 4.

Did you Feel safe?
Everyone responded that they felt safe at Hydra.

Did you enjoy the food?
Everyone who had the food there said they enjoyed it. There were some comments on improvements that I will be talking with the chefs about. These included making the menu available sooner than the few weeks before hand that I managed to get it up. Larger portions would be good. And something hot for breakfast. Less bread options. And more options for Snacks. These are all good feedback and somethings that I spoke with the cooks at the weekend about. We will see what we can do. In regards to the snacks, I will look at options but they will always be limited as I have been burnt in the past by buying too much and no one buying stuff and having it left over afterwards.

Were you happy with the game selection?
Mostly positive, one person who wasn’t and I will follow up with them about what they would like to see.

What was your favourite game to play this year?
Large Variety of answers. Which I will comment back to the GMs and keep in mind for future.

What kinds of games would you like to see more of at Hydra?
Comedies. Boffer Larps. Historicals. Traditional Theatre Style. Games that really use the variety of spaces at Hydra. Fantasy games. Emotional Contemplative games. Sci Fi Games. Horror Games. Nerf games. Zombie. Nordic games. Experimental Larps. More games written for 2 hour slots. Urban Fantasy games. Outdoor games. Flasghips. Games with an ongoing element (Kestrel, Dry Spell, World that Is). Greater variety in specific rounds (rather than all Sci Fi, Horror, comedies etc.)
Some of these got more than one mention. And as you can see a huge range mentioned here and something that one person said they didn’t enjoy as much others wanted more of. So GMs hope that gives you some ideas of reaffirms your idea would work at Hydra.

Did you like the timetable or want to see a change?
Liked the timetable, loving no Flagship. Would like the timetable displayed somewhere (specific games each round and not just schedule). Shorten the gap between rounds 3 and 4. Easy to follow and plenty of time between each round. Friday starts too late. Decent amount of time between rounds without being too much. Bit more time on Saturday lunch break for costume change. Evening slots good for longer games. Like the later start Friday as it means can arrive in time even with heavy traffic. Like the leaving camp by 4:30 on Sunday. Like 2 hour games Sunday. Like having a stream of continuous games on Saturday.
So most people like the timetable as is. A few conflicts on things like Friday night start time. I agree having the schedule printed up is needed and I will do that next year.
Friday isn’t an issue next year, but may bring the games forward half an hour (will see).
Will look at options for Saturday. For instance maybe extending the lunch break a little and reducing the break in the evening or starting the evening game at 7 or 7:30 rather than 8.

I asked how people felt about having a series of games running over the Saturday.
A couple of people responded with preferring standalone games. Several people didn’t have an opinion on this. And around 70% loved the fact they could play in a series or 1 long game or dip in and out as needed. I think it is something that we will look at for future years on a case by case basis depending on what the GMs have to offer.

Malcolm tried offering short form games in the evening, would people like to see this again.
About a third of respondents didn’t see this as their kind of thing. But 66% would like to see them offered again, but more notice and structure would be good.

Will you be coming back?
20 people are yes and 1 person is a maybe depending on games on offer.

Any other Feedback?
A lot of positive feedback about Hydra, thank you for this.
A few comments about it igniting the spark to write and GM again which is fantastic to hear.
A couple of comments about Kestrel and having a series run like that and wanting that format again.
Someone suggested making sure to have water, cups and jugs available in every game. And I think this is a great idea and will purchase more of both for next year.
People asking when they can submit games… Well feel free to email them to me now. I keep a spreadsheet of what I have and who I will chase for next year. I will open the website later.
A push to promote the event earlier. This is valid, I can be better about this, and do things like chase GMs earlier and work on the flyers. One of the things I try to avoid in the community is distracting from other peoples events and games, which means not promoting or chasing people right before or after another event. I am also aware that other conventions (and there are more now) are also chasing GMs to submit games for their events. It may be something I need to start earlier in the year anyway, the sooner I have GMs, and the sooner I have blurbs on the website the more excitement it builds with the players.
Another piece of feedback I got was to maybe reduce the amount of games at the start and then open up games as we get the numbers rather than GMs having to pull games. It’s always an interesting challenge, you want the variety and the choices for players, and for players to get the games they want rather than opening up a new game and then people potentially wanting to swap. One of the issues that all events are having lately though is slow uptake from players, and it makes it a struggle for event organisers and GMs, if there is one thing I could do is to encourage you all to support the games out there and sign up early .

Thank you again for all your feedback. I do take it onboard and it is used to try and make Hydra better each year. And thank you again for attending.