May 23rd, 2006

Match Game SF

Match Game: Audio Tapes Cut

Tonight after coming from from BASFA, I copied the one piece of Match Game music I did not yet have on tape from CD to tape, that being the "Plug" music that we play under commercials. And we will have commercials! Our sponsors include the Hollister in 2008 bid (Chris Garcia delivered to me a bag of Casa de Fruta stuff today), Emerald City (copies of issue #129 to all players), and, pending agreement in the next few days, Cargo Cult Books, which will provide a $20 gift certificate to one winner. (I haven't yet decided how to determine which game has which prize.)

An interesting cultural distinction between the US and UK came up while I was discussing the commercials with cherylmorgan. I think that having a commercial break in between each game, with one of the sponsors getting a 30-second commercial read by our announcer, will add some "realism" to the game and show that we have our act together. Cheryl suggested that if we tried having commercial breaks at a British convention, the fans would be furious at us for the crass commercialism, even though all the sponsors are "in the family" (a hoax Worldcon bid, a Hugo Award-winning 'zine, and a dealer who is a former Worldcon chair).

Meanwhile, back to the tapes. Already on tape is the Main Title music (using a custom remix of the title from the Classic Game Show Themes CD so that there are enough "whomps" up front to allow announcer Eric Larson to introduce the panelists), and the continuous "Think" music.

The CD that Andy gave me has a couple of other variations of the "think" music, and if I had sound editing software handy, I might have tried creating continuous loops of it to put onto other tapes, but I don't have time for this, so we'll have to use the relatively boring "think" music that just plays the loop.

I have the boom box and various audio cables (in case BayCon program tech do end up getting us a small sound board into which we can push the sound, rather than having to rely only on the boom box) now set up by the rapidly-growing pile of "send to BayCon" stuff.

Meanwhile, big thanks to bigblued, who produced the very nice animated GIFs of the Match Game SF logo!
Match Game SF

Match Game: Prize Determination

As I said earlier, we now have three sponsors (Hollister, EmCit, and Cargo Cult). Each are donating different things. Hollister has give us a bag of Casa de Fruta souvenirs, and I think every player will get something, but I'll have to work out what is a winner prize and what is a "lovely parting gift." Emerald City has donated a book, and Cargo Cult a $20 gift certificate redeemable at the CC Books table in the dealers' room.

Because we'll have two new contestants each game, I got to thinking about how to determine what the main prize for any given game is. Cheryl suggested giving each of the panelists an envelope with a prize printed on a card inside. Panelists won't know what prize they're holding. The winner of each game gets to choose a panelist who hasn't yet been picked, and the winner gets the prize in that envelope.

In the 75 minutes we have, we should be able to play as many as six games, particularly as the "bonus round" will consist of the winner simply picking a panelist, and won't have the "Audience Match" segment. That's about 12 minutes per two-round game. There is a possibility that we might not give away all of the prizes, of course, but I can't necessarily fix that. I'll prepare enough questions for six games (6 games * 2 rounds per game * 2 questions per round = 24 questions, grouped as first or second round based on difficulty.)

I think the revised game mechanics are thus:

Two new contestants each game, drawn randomly from the bag of names held by the Announcer.

While the contestants take their seats and get set up, the Announcer reads the inter-game commercial.

Two rounds of two questions each. Panelists who match in round 1 do not play in round 2.

If contestants are tied after two rounds, wipe the score and play one tie-breaker round (need extra questions in reserve for this).

If contestants still tied after tie-breaker round, go to sudden-death "reverse match": Contestants fill in their responses to a simple match (example: "Video __________") and we ask each panelist to fill it. The first contestant who matches a panelist wins. If both contestants filled the blank with the same answer, play another tie-breaker. (I have lots of tie-breaker questions, and I've never had to do more than two rounds of sudden death.)

Winner picks a panelist who still has an envelope and gets the prize listed in that envelope. Loser gets a Lovely Parting Gift courtesy of Casa de Worldcon. Both contestants get copies of latest Emerald City.

Whew! I think that I could probably use at least one production assistant (besides Eric Larson doing announcing and probably Lisa Hayes running the sound) to help keep track of all of this. If any of you reading this will be at BayCon and aren't interested in playing, but would like to help keep things organized, let me know.
Match Game SF

Match Game Setup Continues

bigblued is wonderful! She made a much nicer version of the Match Game SF logo that I will use with the show. I was also able to make a version that would fit on the back of the 4 x 6 cards that the panelists use to fill in their answers.

Speaking of the cards: I was able to feed those cards through my LaserJet 4 Plus by telling the printer that they were #10 envelopes and only printing on the "leading edge" of the image. The printer was mostly able to handle those cards, aside from two minor paper jams. This allowed me to print the 24 main game questions (and 12 tie breaker questions in reserve) up on the 4 x 6 cards with the round number and question type (A or B) on the back. If I do say so myself, it looks pretty spiffy.

I only had about 100 of the 4 x 6 cards with me today, but I have lots more at home, and will bring a bunch more with me to print the "response" blank cards on Thursday. The bare minimum number of response cards needed for six games is 144 (6 * 2 * 2 * 6), but I will print at least twice that, because I expect to do the game again sometime and the blanks won't go to waste. I will have to hover over the printer, though, because it will only hold about 20-30 cards at a time in the paper tray, so printing two gross of cards will mean a lot of refilling -- not to mention a chance of running out of printer toner.

I need to buy a box of Sharpie markers. I only have four left from the last time we did the show.
Match Game SF

More Match Game Tech

BayCon programming tech support says that they do have a data projector, and that it's not booked for the 11:30 AM Sunday slot, so they'll bring it along. I hope we can figure out where to put it in order to throw the graphics up on the wall appropriately. If that works, we'll be able to show the animated opening title sequence, including the "build" of the panelists' names as they're introduced. (I can't figure out how to reproduce the actual opening titles of the show without at least two video cameras and a bunch of extra equipment that is certainly overkill for this application.)

I only wish we had more time to rehearse the opening and the tech. As it is, we'll have to get it right with minimal rehearsal. Ah, live performance, gotta love it. Of course, even with all of the extra complexity I've layered onto this performance, we could still do it "manually" without sound or electricity. The game design is such that we can always fall back if the fancy plans fail.