Hello again everyone! Here's a report from Saturday at DakuCon. The convention is maintaining its small size, but is definitely busier here today. The attendee level feels appropriate for the size of the venue and people seem to be enjoying themselves a lot. I attended some more panels today, so let's talk about that first.
Theatrical Side of GMing
Karl "Uncle Yo" Custer presented a panel about theatrical tricks and methods that can be used to enhance the play experience of table top RPG's. Custer has experience in theater, haunted houses, and stand-up comedy, and often employs the stagecraft that he has learned to enhance the experience of his players. Some of the easiest tools to work with manipulate the lighting and atmosphere of the play space, the sounds that the players hear, and the physical objects that they interact with. Flashlights and candles in an otherwise darkened room create instant atmosphere. Musical cues and well placed sound effects can build an aura of dread. A physical prop, like a key or letter, can make an item much more memorable. Custer's presentation was very well organized and presented, and his advice was useful for all types of role-playing games, from more combat oriented Dungeons and Dragons to horror games and mysteries. If you have the opportunity to listen to him discuss this subject, I recommend that you take advantage of it.
Adapting Scripts for English Dubs
This panel featured Tiffany Grant discussing the process and challenges in adapting media from Japanese to English. Similar to our previous reporting on this subject, there are a few topics that tend to be difficult to adapt: songs, jokes, and idioms. These three items require careful consideration on a case by case basis. Having attended a lot of panels about this subject over the years, Tiffany did not add anything new to my personal understanding of the subject. However, she did present a good summary of the subject that would be interesting to someone who has not spent quite as much time in the convention scene.
Why We Hate Funkopops
Artists Mindy and Crystal discussed the particular design choices behind the Funko Pop line of figurines, and why they dislike them. Mindy started by presenting some background on the figurines, including history of production and some of the current rarest/highest priced figures. She contrasted the design choices of Funko Pops with Nendoroid figures and typical chibi aesthetics. Compared to typical chibi, the Pop figures have very thin and frail looking bodies. Many other chibi interpretations maintain overall character width while decreasing the character's height. This has the effect of creating rather stout or pudgy interpretations of the characters, and often adds to the cute factor. Finally, there was some discussion with the audience about the problems of collecting Funko Pops. Namely, that the market is likely to crash soon, similar to the Beanie Baby crash of the 1990's. In spite of some technical difficulties limiting the use of their prepared slides, Mindy and Crystal put on a good panel. They were friendly, informative, and entertaining. All in all, very good for their first convention panel ever.
In summary, today was another good day of convention. Panels are running on time, and even if attendance is sometimes sparse, the panelists are putting forth a good effort to make things interesting. Artist's Alley has had a mix of busy and quiet moments, especially when more popular panels are running. At the very least, the people who buy art are very excited about it. Chris is currently in the Cosplay Show, so we should have some great photos to look forward to soon. I'll be back again tomorrow to close out this convention. Have a great night and game on!