Kickstarter Didn’t Work Out - On to 2015!
Most Excellent Gamers of the Chicago Area,
You have responded so positively to the prospect of a gaming convention here in our home town! We’ve gotten a lot of offers of help, advice, and encouragement; and there is obviously a healthy appetite for ValorCon here.
That said, our Kickstarter Campaign is clearly not going to hit its goal for 2014; a result of having too little time from conception to implementation. While we had high hopes for a grassroots launch this year, we knew this was a possibility. We are now switching over to the next phase for ValorCon, which is to move it to October 2-4 in 2015, and focus on a more traditional launch campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign did get us noticed by many members of the Chicago-area convention community who have approached us with offers of advice, several of whom have joined our team. Between their contributions and the sponsorship opportunities a longer time frame affords us, ValorCon 2015 will be a stellar show, one that Chicagoans will be proud of, have confidence in, and most importantly, have fun at!
Thank you for your support and interest. Stay tuned to our social media sites throughout the year for continual updates. We look forward to seeing you in ’15.
You and 190 MILLION fellow Americans play games! That’s right, you’re in the majority, just like people who sleep at night and eat food.
That’s because games are fun, and sharing that fun with your friends and thousands of gamers like you is an incredibly awesome experience which we want to bring to Chicago!
Being the biggest city in the US within reach of both coasts and everything in-between makes us the perfect gaming nexus. You’ll get to try new games, compete in tournaments, take group lessons, see veteran players go head-to-head, engage with publishers as they demo upcoming titles, and attend panels with industry leaders and gameplay experts.
Whether you're interested in learning, casual play, or tournaments, we've got you covered! We offer hundreds of tabletop gaming seats and access to an enormous library of "check-out" games. There will be scheduled demos, scheduled gaming, and tournaments for 19 "spotlight" games. Some of these are more mainstream with the largest player followings:
Some of them have more die-hard followings:
And still others haven't even come out yet:
PC, Console, and Mobile Gaming
In addition to our competitive PC and console offerings (see below), there will be live demos, expert panels, classes, social gatherings, and opportunities for hands-on gameplay of selected MMORPGs, RPGs, Action, Adventure, Puzzle, Sandbox, and Simulator games. These include, but are by no means limited to:
Surprise! There's a lot more to games than killing and destroying things. A significant portion of our programming will focus on creation - whether as a player using in-game tools to create housing or crafting items, or as a modder using external tools to create skins, maps, items, and storylines, or by crossing over into game development. Whatever appeals to you, we'll have demos, discussions and expert Q&As to keep your Right Brain well fed!
While many of our "headline" games are universally known, we are also opening up a significant area to independent developers, where you can see, hear, and play a huge variety of awesome games you might not have heard of, from small local start-ups to teams from around the country.
Competitive Gaming Arena/eSports
With the size dependent on hitting our stretch goal, our eSports Arena offers competitive tournaments for ten of the most popular First-Person Shooter, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, Electronic Trading Card, and Fighting Games. Team-based tournaments will have sign-up forms on our website well in advance of the show. We will host a forum for players without teams, and teams which need players.
On PCs, you'll find League of Legends, DOTA2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Our PCs will also be used for Hearthstone tournaments, which will allow bring-your-own mobile device players to participate.
On our consoles, we will offer Titanfall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Battlefield 4 tournaments, as well as Injustice: Gods Among Us, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition tournaments. More details for the Fighting Game crowd will be forthcoming regarding controller policies and such.
There are a number of games which will be released after ValorCon is over, but which we hope to entice publishers to feature at our show. Our chances of success improve as more tickets sell:
Of course, there will be plenty of vendor booths to shop at. Our current floorplan will accommodate about 50 exhibitors. Most will be in the Vendor Hall, which will be open until early evening. The rest will be lining the outskirts of our Town Hall. Speaking of which...
Rather than cramming in as many vendor booths as possible, ValorCon features an open Town Hall area where people can socialize, dine, recover, and enjoy live performances by local comedians, musicians, and other entertainers on a central stage.
Panels, Guests, and Activities
Our Panels & Speakers team is hard at work ensuring our session rooms are stocked full of experts, industry insiders, and celebrities for you to interact with, and that they are relevant and interesting to you - our gamers! As we get closer to October 3rd, we will post regular updates to the featured publishers, guests, panels, gaming activities, cosplay events, and performers. Our current list of programming tracks is:
ValorCon At Night
At night, we'll be dimming the lights, switching on fire-code safe LED firepots, and doing some gaming in the darkness. Werewolf, Ravenloft, or whatever you'd like to play from our gaming library - the tables will be open all night. And for the amorously adventurous, we will be partnering up with a geek speed dating service to take advantage of the atmosphere. (Details to follow.)
Changing Gaming Culture
ValorCon is also a place where we can make a difference in gaming culture. Our staff, volunteers, special guests, and panelists are chosen in part for their welcoming attitude towards all gamers, with particular attention toward women, LBGT, and disabled players. Our programming reflects this same belief: that building an amazing gaming convention is only worthwhile if everyone feels equally at home and part of the community. We are designing activities to make it easier for new players to connect with games they will love and people they will enjoy playing with. Our efforts to connect with the local gaming scene are creating new opportunities for independent game publishers to showcase their creations, local businesses to connect with new customers, and aspiring developers to further their careers.
Our Venue: The Hyatt Regency in Downtown Chicago
The Hyatt at 151 E Upper Wacker Drive is right on the river, next to Michigan Avenue and Chicago's Magnificent Mile. One thing we love about conventions, like DragonCon in Atlanta, is the unique and exciting feel of its hotel setting. It has grown organically, spreading through one hotel, then the next, giving it a personality and ambiance which you really don't get when building a con in an large expo center like McCormick Place or the Stephens Center in Rosemont. We chose the Hyatt because it offers the same kinds of nooks and crannies small groups can occupy, as well as a variety of large and beautiful gathering spaces. It offers the sprawling space a show like ValorCon needs, and neighboring venues to expand into once the show hits capacity in the future. The location is close to public transportation, and being on the riverside, offers a host of restaurants, landmarks, and public spaces to explore if you need to take a break. There is a video here of the hotel on Hyatt's website. Here is a floorplan of the show if we meet our first goal. We will expand to another floor if necessary, so expect some changes to occur:
It's Your Choice
YOU get to decide if this happens! Come join us and help launch the most awesome gaming event Chicago has ever seen. Buy a ticket, and tell your friends to get one too. And even if you can’t come, click like on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter - every bit of publicity helps!
Risks and challenges
Building a convention is a plate-spinning exercise. Any number of our guests, speakers, panelists, exhibitors, sponsors, service providers, staff, or volunteers might back out with very little notice. What we have done is to put together a thorough framework which, with your support, stands a very good chance of coming together as planned. We cannot promise anything with 100% certainty, but come October 3rd, we will deliver an exciting, engaging, fun, and safe experience which will look and feel much as we have described here, with doubtless a fair number of revisions and additions. And as you can probably tell, we have a great team of dedicated planners who are committed to producing a convention that exceeds the minimum we have outlined here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)