The Museum of Dungeons & Dragons Is A Go! Funding Begins - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    Man, I wish there was a "like" button!
    There is - the little green "thumbs up" at the bottom left of each post. Gives the poster XP.

 

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    The best option would be the one where the most people will visit the museum.

    ...

    We don’t want to put it somewhere completely unconnected to the game, though.
    The point is that these two are almost definitely mutually exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    We would be happy to consider somewhere in the NE US if there was a connection to the game.
    You mean other than the fact that maybe about 15% of most D&D players worldwide probably lived in the NE?

    One person in 8 in the US live in NY, PA, or NJ. It's the most densely populated part of the US with several other high population nearby states (Ohio, Virginia, Maryland). NY alone has as many people as Illinois and Indiana combined. People travel to this region for a lot of other reasons.


    This limitation of there having to be a gaming connection will mostly likely prevent you from picking a location where the most people visit it.

    What is your goal? Having a place where the most people can visit (which in turn can introduce more new people to the game), or having a place connected to the game?

    As an example, Lake Geneva is an hour and a half out of Chicago. For hardcore D&D players (or even former players), sure, a three hour round trip is a worthwhile drive to get to the museum if they are in Chicago for some reason. But, not for non-hardcore gamers. For those people, a three hour round trip might not be worth the effort.

    A better place to pick than Lake Geneva is on the western side of Chicago within 15 minutes or so of O'Hare Airport. You'd get a lot more people going through that area (and you would still be about an hour or so from Lake Geneva to get some weekend support by long time gamers and former employees from that area). Illinois is the fifth most populous state and has a lot of people going through it, especially near Chicago (which is also fairly close to Indiana and Michigan).

    Indianapolis has very little going for it population-wise or tourist-wise.

    Florida has it's own set of issues (not centrally located, one attraction amongst hundreds, hurricane area, no connections either).

    Renton is probably the last place you should pick.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    As for the draw, Wikipedia says that approximately 20 million people have played D&D. Most of them remember it fondly, and would love to re-capture a piece of their youth.
    First, this is a worldwide figure, not a US one. If you don't place it near a tourist site or heavy population area, you will get very few people from outside the US. And, a tourist site could mean other things. A major amusement park for example.

    Second, 20 million people have played D&D at some point in time in the last 38 years. At it's 2E peak, it was estimated worldwide at 8 million. 3E sold about 4 million copies. But, try to get a game locally these days and it's not always easy (even difficult or impossible), even in higher population areas. A lot of D&D has gone online precisely because the hobby is shrinking. Gaming stores have closed. I know of a lot of former D&D gamers who do not game anymore because of life, or who do not play D&D anymore because of other RPGs or other easier hobbies (like MMOs).

    The game has shrunk quite a bit. Sure, people will visit if they are traveling nearby. But, very few of them will go out of their way to fly to Hicksville US to visit a gaming museum. It's the difference between limping along from year to year keeping the museum afloat, and having a stellar museum for decades to come.
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  • #13
    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    As an example, Lake Geneva is an hour and a half out of Chicago.
    But, its an hour and a half from Chicago, an hour from Milwaukee, and gamers from as far away as Minneapolis and even Indianapolis could make a day trip of a visit to the museum. There are positives and negatives to each location, and were just trying to make sure that everyone sees all sides

    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Indianapolis has very little going for it population-wise or tourist-wise.
    Well, tourist-wise, it IS the home of GenCon. As for population, its less than a days trip from St. Louis, Columbus, Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, etc, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Florida has it's own set of issues (not centrally located, one attraction amongst hundreds, hurricane area, no connections either).
    To address your thoughts: one attraction amongst hundreds is absolutely true, but were unlikely to appeal to the same crowd as, say, airboat rides in the Everglades. Hurricanes can be prepared for to minimize losses, and they almost always give days or weeks notice. There is a very strong connection to D&D Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D, taught game designing (based in large part on his work with D&D) at Full Sail University for 20 years in the Orlando area.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Renton is probably the last place you should pick.
    There is a very strong 3rd- and 4th-edition connection here, and its a large city in its own right with a decent tourist flow. In fact, an online contact in Sweden said that of the 4 locations were considering for the museum, its the one hes most likely to get to.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    the hobby is shrinking. Gaming stores have closed. I know of a lot of former D&D gamers who do not game anymore because of life, or who do not play D&D anymore because of other RPGs or other easier hobbies (like MMOs).
    Which is why we want to appeal to those who remember it fondly. We want to remind them how much fun they had. Maybe they get back into the hobby, maybe they just have a fun few hours at the museum but it keeps the game alive in their minds and in the world.


    Jim and Debbie Hunton
    Curators, Museum of Dungeons & Dragons

    Email: MuseumofDnD@gmail.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfDnD
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    Blog: http://museumofdnd.blog.com/
    What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. - Albert Pike

  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    Well, tourist-wise, it IS the home of GenCon. As for population, its less than a days trip from St. Louis, Columbus, Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, etc, etc.
    Huh? If one is going that way, sure. I've been there exactly twice in my life, both of them as moving trips as I passed through the area with a Penski truck.

    But to do a 9 hour round trip from St. Louis, a 6 hour round trip from Columbus, a 7 hour round trip from Chicago, a 10 hour round trip from Detroit, a 4 hour round trip from Louisville, or a 10 hour round trip from Nashville is a bit of a haul.

    With today's gas prices, a 6 to 10 hour round trip (not including hotels, food, etc.) is about $50 to $85, let alone a ton of time in a car. Even more costly by air. I don't see many people doing this just to go see the Museum. I especially don't see many international people doing this.

    The western side of Chicago? That's a much better place because the birthplace is about an hour away. It's no big deal to state that Lake Geneva is 60 or so miles north.

    Do people really care about GenCon that much? Even if every single person who went to GenCon visited the museum each year, you're talking less than 40,000 people from that event the first year. I would suspect that many people who have seen the museum the first year wouldn't visit every year in following years. People who have seen it a few times would probably eventually pass. People at GenCon often don't have enough time to do everything at the convention center that they want to do, let alone driving some distance away to go to another location. So, you might be talking 5,000 to 10,000 people from GenCon per year a few years into the project. Maybe.

    Yeah, that's fair numbers. Course, if GenCon goes out of business (like it went into Chapter 11 a few years back) or moves location, then there goes most of the business with little backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhunton View Post
    There is a very strong 3rd- and 4th-edition connection here, and its a large city in its own right with a decent tourist flow. In fact, an online contact in Sweden said that of the 4 locations were considering for the museum, its the one hes most likely to get to.
    Yes, probably because Seattle is right next door. But Seattle only has 600,000 people. Very few people in the US would see the museum if it were in WA.

    Chicago has 2,700,000 people, the third largest city in the US. Just from local population, you would have a fairly consistent business by placing it on the western side of Chicago.

    New York City has 8,200,000 people (hence my push for NY/NJ, not because I now live there). A huge draw. Of all of the locations in the US, more people worldwide visit NYC than almost any other place in the US. No midwest connection to the game, but a thriving business that millions of people the world over would be able to visit at some point.

    Indianapolis? 825,000 people. Even adding in the type of traffic that you could get there from the other cities you mentioned, Chicago would still generate more traffic.


    My vote (and I realize that I don't have one), somewhere outside of Chicago #1 (due to proximity to Lake Geneva), or somewhere outside of NYC #2.

    There is a reason that GenCon is not in Lake Geneva. It is centrally located in the US in order to allow more people to drive there, but whereas GenCon is a yearly draw, the Museum will not be a "daily draw". The Museum will need foot traffic based on population (or tourist attraction).
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  • #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Huh? If one is going that way, sure. I've been there exactly twice in my life, both of them as moving trips as I passed through the area with a Penski truck.
    I've been there four times, and I live on a different continent to you. For me, if it's not where Gen Con is, I'll never go. I'm certainly not going to make a transatlantic trip just for a museum - it has to be where something bigger I'm already doing is.

    But non-US visitors like me probably shouldn't be considered too heavily. The odds are we won't go to it wherever it is in the US.

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    As a non-US person, the most likely place I would visit it would either be the NE (quite simply, I'm most likely to be there for work) or Gencon, if I ever go. I will say though, when I was last in Boston, I bothered to go all the way to Providence in order to get a rare guided tour of Lovecraft-related sites in the city arranged by the local historical society, so if the museum is an hour away from somewhere I might be, and transport is easy, I would probably go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    I've been there four times, and I live on a different continent to you. For me, if it's not where Gen Con is, I'll never go. I'm certainly not going to make a transatlantic trip just for a museum - it has to be where something bigger I'm already doing is.

    But non-US visitors like me probably shouldn't be considered too heavily. The odds are we won't go to it wherever it is in the US.
    No doubt.

    The reason I like western Chicago is that it has everything:

    1) A little over an hour from Lake Geneva (for semi-local gaming support for events).
    2) A roundtrip day trip from GenCon (for those GenCon folk willing to extend their trip by a day).
    3) A huge local population base.
    4) One of the largest airport hubs in the US.

    Granted, this adds 6 hours or so to anywhere south of here for a round trip day trip. But, Lake Geneva adds another 2.5 hours round trip for that while taking the Museum considerably outside of the normal Chicago population base for drop ins.
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  • #18
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    Indianapolis or Seattle are likely the only locations I'd visit. Seattle as it's closer to me (which likely makes me a minority of potential visitors) and Indy as I plan on returning to GenCon at least once more.

    Lake Geneva is a nice idea but is too small to sustain a sizeable museum by itself. There's a hair over 7000 people there. It's tiny.
    If you're already travelling cross country then, yes, it's a small detour to hit. But unless you live in the 2-hour-drive circle around Lake Geneva it's too far to hit except on a dedicated trip. There's no other reason to visit what is really a very, very small town. And as gas prices increase, I think the days of the summer long trip across America, hitting the various sights, will dwindle and die. The out-of-the-way locations are going to become harder and harder to support.
    That leaves dedicated visits, people coming just for the museum, which will be fewer in an isolated area.
    The one possible advantage is the likely lower rents, which might help keep the museum going compared to areas that receive more visits yet have far higher rent.

    Indy makes the most sense. It's central so it's not that much farther out of the way than Lake Geneva from several other major cities. Still doable for a lengthy day trip or overnight weekend trip during most of the year. And once a year there'd be the big boom of GenCon that can sustain the museum during the slower dry months.
    You can have shuttled trips from GenCon and guided tours as Con events. As there'll be ex-TSR and current and former WotC employees present you can have guest tour hosts as special events. Imagine having Jeff Grubb or Tracky Hickman talk you through some of the displays. That'd be a fun auction item each year.

    Yes, there are larger cities that might boast higher populations for potential visitors, but these are largely arbitrary choices. Judging from the "where are you" chart, the best places would be New York, London, Toronto, and Chicago. Not exactly tied to gaming in any meaningful way other than population. And also not exactly lacking in other sights to see during a visit.
    Let's face it, if I'm in New York or Chicago for the weekend, there's going to be a very long list of potential activities fighting for attention and a D&D Museum - as big of a geek as I am - might struggle to make the list.

    As for Florida... it suffers the same problems as above, and then some. If you do go to Orlando you spend a 5-days out of the week at Disney World and then a couple days squeezing everything else in. The museum would be competing against Universal Studios, Sea World, Medieval Times, and more.
    Plus as a western Canadian, California is my destination of choice, as flying to Orlando takes a full day so you blow two days of holiday just travelling. It's so far out of the way that it's going to be time and cost prohibitive for half the continent.

    * * *

    Onto the fund raiser itself (a KickStarter by any other name...).
    The rewards are really disappointing. I can see why it's only raised $370.

    What do I get for my money? What tangible reward do I earn?
    None under $75, where I get a book for my efforts. Okay, and a thank you letter. This feels like the "reward" for attending a wedding...

    The name on a wall and plaque are nice, as are the free admission, but this means nothing to me if I don't know where the museum is and it looks like there's a 50/50 chance (higher from the informal poll conducted here) that it might end up in a location I'll never visit.
    Yes I can drop into the museum for free and see my name on a wall with a thousand others, but I'll need to spend $400 in airfare, rent a car, and get a hotel for a couple days to see it.

    Or I can spend $120 and get a $20 canvas tote bag. Wow... Won't the people at the local Safeway be impressed by my limited edition D&D museum tote bag? Or the $160 T-shirt. All stuff I could conceivably get at the museum gift store for far less.
    Then there are the passes to conventions and GenCon. Neat... but not exactly unique as I can get those for myself pretty darn easily.
    The prints are a neat idea. But also pretty darn pricey at the $200 mark. Especially since you could by them directly from the artist at a quarter of the price.

    Okay, I'm being a cynical bastard. I know the point of the fundraiser is essentially a charitable drive and investment where people should pay for no reason other than to pay and support a project. But the lack of unique collectibles or show-piece items makes it harder to feel the urge to invest. I can't show my friends my name on the wall on the D&D museum. I can't display it in my gaming room.
    A book detailing the making of the museum is okay, but feels a little like something I'd buy as a mid-price souvenir at the museum.

    The gaming community is large and creative, and there's still time for some attention-garbbing stretch goals. Some neat perks donated by interested parties.
    Last edited by Jester Canuck; Sunday, 18th November, 2012 at 07:49 PM.
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    I still think near the mall of America and one of the busiest airports in the world is a good idea. I do not think for one minute that Lake Geneva is a good idea, but I fear that will be the choice by a survey of fans, moat of whom have no idea how to run a tourist attraction.

  • #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    The gaming community is large and creative, and there's still time for some attention-grabbing stretch goals. Some neat perks donated by interested parties.
    Hey, we're open to ideas. The perks can be edited and added to along the way.

    And don't forget, the book will list the name of every backer, and the artwork will be specifically signed thanking you for supporting the museum. So, although you might be able to get those later (or through other means), the one you get through the fundraiser will be special and unique.



    Jim and Debbie Hunton
    Curators, Museum of Dungeons & Dragons

    Email: MuseumofDnD@gmail.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfDnD
    IndieGoGo: http://bit.ly/ZQIdu6
    Blog: http://museumofdnd.blog.com/
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