Saturday, March 5, 2016

Games and Dining in the Philippines

There has been a growth of Games and Dining places in the Philippines. Currently the are focused on Board Games, and it makes sense.

Boardgames and Dining

  • 5-8 usd per head for the meal
  • 45-90minutes of play and eat. 
  • Light and Little Prep, the games are there and its part of the service. 

Value to money over time can be pretty high for TTRPGs, since their books cost per hours they spend using them are pretty high. a GM who obsesses and does prep at 5-10 hours a week will get a lot of bang for buck for a set of books totalling 100usd for a number of months. While in boardgames which each cost 100-200usd which is great  if your income disposable income is at the 200usd per month and over.  

The Common Average Gamer are the following by my own experience
  • 20-40 years old
  • 300usd to 600usd, at about 100-200usd disposable income for games per month. Far less if they are family men. 
  • regular meal at work would be 2-4 usd, and about 1.5-3usd of transpo per day. 

Tabletop Games and Dining
  • 120-240 minutes of play
  • 0.9sqm or 9sqft per person of space. 
  • 8-15usd per head. If they will eat and play far longer than the average "table". People, assuming they are really burning a lot of energy, would be about 2usd an hour would be very low value for an establishment. I could imagine they would rather about 4usd an hour per head.
  • A lot of prep and books. eats more space. 
  • A lot of noise (a tragedy of the commons in noise and atmosphere). 

Light System and Prep for Tabletop Gaming.
I'm biased for lighter and more portable systems. Which is what I've been currently working on. One of the reasons is that of logistics. Light System, not just in rules but in tools, will help make the habit of play more accessible. 
  • Zone system for location. 
  • PC Cards and various other card systems that are designed to be easy being held constantly would be perfect. 
  • Light Systems that use very little clutter and reference tools would be best. 

Proposals for Gaming Spaces.
Spaces to run games outside one's home. As many gamers will live in small spaces to reduce the cost and improve their quality of life they cannot just run games at home. 
  • Public Common Areas. (While I advocate: its easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission; this is for a repeated event, and thus its better to ask permission first.)
    • Parks. A nice picnic blanket some drinks, and if the weather is right a game in a park. 
      • Velasco Park here in Salcedo is an example. Adequately Shaded, but come March to April, the height of the hot season i would recommend the malls or late afternoons. 
      • Ayala Triangle Park. 
      • Bonifacio Global City Parks.
      • Ayala Mall Parks
      • Aura's Roof deck Park.  
    • Common Areas of Malls. Ask the guard if you can have picnic there. Some common areas in malls, like little parks can be treated as parks. The wealthier districts have this. If there is space and convention to allow for picknic set up then it would be a great place to go to.  
    • Exclusive Village Parks
    • Waiting Areas. School waiting areas are free during weekends and after school. 
  • Cafe's.
    • Ask for Cover Charge. If you can talk to the manager and start a simple set of questions, ideally how much in drinks should you order to cover you and your groups stay would keep these places in business. No need to really haggle, if thats their cost of doing business look for a places that meets you and your groups price.
    • Cafe's are more cramped (about 0.7sqm or 7sqft), with small tables. But they are really meant for lounging around. 
    • Light System and Prep is needed.
  • School Premises
    • If you are an Alumni of a College, and have an Alumni pass, as well as can get access to guest passes for non Alumni Friends, then School premises are one of the best places to run games. The waiting areas are designed for studying.

  •  Restaurants. Gaming in restaurants is only ok if your group is helping it cover its costs. Ask the restaurant manager how much to cover your time play, but understand that they are running a business. Sadly restaurants who have trouble covering their costs will be the kind that would not turn away your potential business. So in most cases Restaurants entertaining Gamers are only going to be a rare circumstantial thing. 
    • The Base Rate of business failing is, sadly, why such gamers can always find a resto who will not turn away our business. 
    • As much as I would love games to be a source of value in a restaurant does not compute. If people playing in that Resto will someone how draw money - outside of food and services, then it may work. It boils down to a few people eating up 2-4 hours of table space that 2x-8x more people would pay to occupy that same space.  
While I want TTRPG Dining to succeed, I cannot make sense of it. The best I can do to help people game is to help them by referring them tools to cut their prep time, keep an easy set of materials, GMing techniques, and easy to learn the games rules and techniques. 

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