Success! Adelaide’s first video game party complete
Posted on June 19, 2014
In the best news since September, I can happily report that we recently delivered the first Game Truck Australia party last Saturday. It was the 8th birthday party of Wilby Durward, son of Corey and Katherine, and it went really well. Corey was the very first person to book a party via the Indiegogo (crowdfunding) campaign, which means they got the first Game Truck Australia experience.
There is a bit of an interesting story behind the event. Due to delays in construction, the van for Game Truck Australia was not quite ready, but I had committed to a party for Wilby. When I spoke to Katherine about the situation, I felt I had to be honest about the situation with the van and I offered a couple of contingency plans. I thought it was only fair that I offer a full refund, since I was not able to deliver the product as promised. One of the other options was for me to bring the equipment around to the Durward home, as long as they had enough space, and set up all the consoles and TVs to get as close to the gaming party they had hoped for.
The week before the party I visited their home to check out the space and talk them through my plans. This was a good opportunity for Corey and Katherine to get an idea of how I planned to run the party, and for us to consider how the space would work, what games we would offer, and how we’d organise breaks etc.
On the day we had to work hard to get all the equipment set up – we hit a bit of a wall with getting the controllers synched to the consoles, but this is something we definitely won’t have to worry about when the van is ready. Once we got all the kids on the consoles, it took a few minutes to get them all into the game but then they were flying – most of them were pretty experienced and the rest learned quickly. A short break allowed for a few morsels of food to be inhaled before another session with a different game, and before we knew it three hours was up.
Apart from the challenge of getting things working properly there were very few hiccups. Only one player felt he was being griefed, and the incident didn’t recur; some players got a bit restless and ready for a change of game around the break. After the break we had two different games going on simultaneously, which created envious eyes, but we managed that. Finally, I think I may have to invest in some earplugs – especially in the closed environment of the van!
The positives on the other hand were enormous. The few parents who were around for the full time were amazed that 20 8-year old boys remained so focussed for three whole hours, and a roomful of adults were able to enjoy a glass of wine with just a little rowdiness from the other end of the house. One group of players had an epic win in their game which created a very positive buzz, and a little bit of eSports in the lounge room. My own best memory, though, is that of kids calling me over to show me whatever most recent awesome thing they had done in the game. The energy and fun in the room was palpable.
All up, a great success. Thanks to my friend and technical advisor Marcus for helping me out on the day, and special thanks to Katherine, Corey and Wilby for not only putting the trust in me to book the first event, but staying patient with all the challenges and remaining open to the best I could do for them. I look forward to seeing them redeem their free party voucher so we can relive the experience properly – in the van!