As more and more areas come under shelter in place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have been mulling over ways to support our international demo team.
In ordinary times, we don’t allow demonstrations held online to count towards earning SlugCrew points. However, for folks who can’t leave their homes, or who can’t gather in groups, this means they can’t run SlugCrew events at all right now.
To that end, we’re opening up SlugCrew to include events hosted online from now until July 31, with some stipulations – read on to learn more!
Your Online Event
You can run a demo on Tabletop Simulator, or give folks a walkthrough on Twitch, Zoom, Discord or some other platform – as long as the folks in your demo can clearly see the cards and hear your guidance, whatever method you choose is fine.
The online games you report MUST be demos! That means that you must be teaching people how to play the game. If nobody at the (virtual) table is a newcomer, you shouldn’t report the event. Additionally, ONLY one SlugCrew member can report for an online event.
Reporting Your Event
In order for an online event to count towards SlugCrew, there needs to be a public solicitation for the event on a public-facing web or social media page associated with a venue at which you could normally run such an event in person. You must provide a link to that post in your Crew Comments. Please only post with permission, and respect the rules and members of the groups you post to.
Remember to include information that guests to your event will need in order to attend, such as links to your Discord server and so on! If you don’t want to post those details directly, leave a ‘breadcrumb trail’ for interested parties such as your email or an invitation to DM you so you can tell them what they need to know privately.
That sounded a little stuffy, didn’t it? Here’s an example; John Crew wants to host an event online, and his local game shop, The Game Store, has a Facebook page. John asks The Game Store if he can toss up a post on their page advertising a Red Dragon Inn demo on Discord and Tabletop Simulator, and TGS gives him the thumbs-up. John makes the post, and saves the link for his reporting later. His event goes off, and 3 store regulars show up to learn Red Dragon Inn! John’s reporting looks like this;
Name: John Crew
Date: [Date of John’s Online Event]
Location: ONLINE, on behalf of The Game Store
Phone: [Phone number of The Game Store]
Duration: 2 hrs [The time John spent teaching the game]
Number of Players: 3
Number of First-Time Players: 3
Games Played: Red Dragon Inn
OP Tournament?: No
Tavern League?: No
Crew Comments: The Game Store is my usual spot to host a demo, and you can find my post here; www.facebook.com/hypotheticalgamestore/postid=numbergarble. I used Tabletop Simulator to host the game. Gerki stole everyone’s money. It was great!
Advice on Online Events
When it comes to running things online, a host often has to cobble things together from an arrangement of hardware and software. Our advice is to not use hardware or software that you’re not yet comfortable with, and to test the combination you’ve settled on using before your event to make sure things are working together!
You may also need to give your guests a little extra conversational time to prevent people talking over each other because there aren’t any nonverbal cues to go on. Be patient, and help people who may be struggling with a simple ‘You were saying, Jane?’ or a ‘I think Bob had a question?’
Advice on Venues
While we style SlugCrew as an in-store program, we understand that some areas don’t have a friendly local game store, or in this case, their FLGS lacks a Facebook page or similar space where you could advertise your events.
In ordinary times, we clarify to SlugCrew members that to qualify for points, a SlugCrew event has to be 1] open to the public (ie not invitation-based) and 2] held in a public space (ie not someone’s private residence). We want people to be able to discover your demos, and see your players having fun out in the open! Of course, these aren’t ordinary times, but hopefully this puts the rules relaxation in context.
If you would like to run online SlugCrew events, but there’s no FLGS website to post your event to, please consider alternative venues like your local library, a university center website, or even a friendly local pub’s forum! So many folks are working to stay connected right now, and you can help each other with some fun events. As above, please post with permission and respect your community members.
Considering the risks, we want to strongly discourage SlugCrew members from running ANY in-store, face-to-face demos right now. Please don’t put your health on the line to run SlugCrew events – we have also suspended orders for our in-store events for the foreseeable future to help discourage gatherings that may spread COVID-19.
Hopefully soon we can all go back to providing great in-store, in-person gaming together. In the meantime, stay safe, and game on!