Capturing live feedback from an event

I don’t know whether anyone will have insights into this, but I thought I’d throw it out there: towards the end of the month, the London IF Meetup is doing a session focused just on the comp games. ( … 225866960/ ). It looks like it’ll probably be well attended (yay!).

Considering the perpetual Saharan thirst of authors for More Feedback, I’m wondering if there’s a way for us to gather some responses to the games and get them back to the authors who can’t be physically present when we play.

The last time I tried to do something where players could interact with games and then I tried to get feedback to absent authors, it didn’t work quite as well as I might have hoped: we put pads of paper next to the machines and encouraged players to write down a few thoughts after trying something, but people often forgot or didn’t have a lot of insights in that moment. So I think the authors who were able to be present in person probably got a lot more out of it (though I did try to do some writeups afterwards, and coordinate some others via SPAG).

Is there a better way? I know other groups do gather to play and discuss games; have any of these attempted to capture that discussion for later?

You could always do a raffle for something small and silly (like a plastic viking helmet or a witches wig or other cheap halloween costumes), where the ‘raffle tickets’ are notes on individual games (so if you play ten games and write ten sets of comments, you get entered 10 times). If the prizes were cheap and silly, it would keep the atmosphere friendly and fun. If you wanted longer feedback, you could use preprinted fill-in the blank forms or require a minimum of a paragraph’s note.

Or you could save transcripts and have people type in their responses as they go.

Audio or video recording might be better for getting people’s off-the-cuff impressions, but of course that carries a lot of logistical overhead that little note pads don’t have.

Not to mention that some people attending might not be comfortable with their reactions being recorded.

I will be attending, so I can convey back to the author’s board any specific reactions and comments I heard said about their games.

Perfect situation would be recording an audio file of two or more people playing from the same computer. Transcripts is probably more feasible.

You could organize a hashtag? So that people could tweet their thoughts about games under that hashtag and we could find them all easily. That way its low pressure, but still searchable for us. You wouldn’t need to set up any extra stuff either.

Ideas for the hashtag: #LondonIF or #UKIFComp or #UKIF

I wouldn’t have people be recorded in-game; I would just briefly interview them and get short impressions on video, documentary-style. No surreptitious filming of people while they do stuff.

Oh, that makes a lot more sense. The suggestion otherwise seemed–very out of character from what I know of you!

It probably wouldn’t work, but recording their voices along with the game screen like a Let’s Play would be the most helpful…if not the thing most participants would probably want to do.

I actually do like the method where people write just a list of running stream of consciousness comments like Jenni Polodna when something sticks out as weird or bad or clever or funny.

In the end it turned out that we spent all our time on games whose authors were actually present. This was cool, but did not allow me to test any of my theories about information capture for the masses. NEXT TIME, etc.