Well, that was an interesting experience.
AnimeNEXT is now about 2 weeks removed. It was a wacky night for us there. A few days before the con, as you saw on Facebook, news came that our 60-minute show got expanded to 90 minutes to make more use of the panel room by the last couple panelists in there. Unfortunately, we were lucky to get in just the 60. We first got crossed up with another group who were told they were in our room at the same time we were supposed to be there, so that ate up time. And then, it took a while to get the video set up properly to get The Challengers up and running. Fortunately, we have a very patient and awesome audience who stayed with us every step of the way. This crowd was led by Lisa Cornelius Young, one of our AnimeNEXT faithful, and Justin Cohen, a contestant from last year’s NEXT run of Anime Press Your Luck. We thank you guys for all your support.
Speaking of The Challengers, that show is the reason why I haven’t posted about NEXT until now.
First up, a big thank you again to Jon Nielsen of Florida Whammy Entertainment for helping us put this program together in 7 weeks(!) to get us to play the game as tribute to the late Dick Clark. We were literally up until 4AM the night before the con trying to make sure the program worked without any bugs in it. I don’t know how we managed, but we did. When we went to play the game, I had to call Jon to get it to display on screen properly. It was my first time working with Visual Basic as opposed to Flash, and Jon runs his programs on a double-wide monitor setup. But now that I know how it goes, we’re cool, and who knows, we may keep The Challengers in our library.
But if we do, we’re definitely changing one thing… THE QUESTIONS WILL BE EASIER! When you see the video down the line (we’re still editing I-Con, too, don’t worry), you’ll see that our contestants were just not hitting on anything. Search the premiere episode of the actual Challengers on YouTube and that’s what happened to us, only worse.
Now, after this happened, I posed a question to myself: Was the game too hard, or did we just have Dumb Contestant Syndrome for that game? So, I tapped into my inner Uncle and did… RESEARCH! I took the questions to several of the students at my high school last week who are huge anime fans. Of the 4 of them that played the game (3 in a standard game and 1 solo player), only 1 of the 4 managed to finish with a positive score. Furthering the research, Jon Nielsen played the same game this past weekend at MetroCon in Tampa, and one of their players finished in the red as well, with the others posting very low scores. All in all, what this concludes is that the questions will become simpler, and our criteria for what defines easier and harder questions will be reassessed. So, to our NEXT players, if you happen to read this, you can rest easy, it wasn’t just you.
But everyone still enjoyed the game, even if it was a washout. PYL went very well, as it always does, so we got to finish on a high note. We didn’t get to do Card Sharks, sadly, but people still got to see the cards, and they loved them just as much as I-Con did. To be honest, though, I don’t think we could’ve done Card Sharks in our very small panel room, anyway. But what can you do?
Videos will be coming soon. Thanks to everyone that came, and we’ll see you guys at Otakon!