Take A Lesson out of a Sports Coach's Playbook
By taking a lesson out of a coach’s play-book you can be a more effective live gaming Commanding Officer (C.O.).
A good C.O. has to juggle many roles:
There is a cycle in live gaming. Part one is preparation and planning, part two is mission briefing, part three is running the live gaming, and part four is the after-action review.
A C.O has to wear many hats such as game master and gatekeeper. Just like being a sport’s team coach, a C.O often has to perform many roles such as:
In the case of live gaming, this includes ensuring the battlefield (playing area) has no hazards, the participants are wearing the correct outfits, proper safety instructions are provided as part of the briefing and staff supervise the games to ensure the safety rules are followed.
The Australian Sports commission national coaching accreditation scheme code of behavior has many relevant elements to a professional live gaming C.O.:
It takes planning a live gaming session before you can actually run the games.
Planning ahead helps the C.O make the session more enjoyable and thrilling for the gamers and more profitable for the battlefield operator.
Effective planning helps ensure the C.O. has all the required materiel needed in order to run good games. They need to:
The first step in the preparation and planning process is to understand the needs of the gamers.
If the session is for an 8-year-old boy's birthday party and the session will be full of youngsters then they will have different expectations and equipment mix, compared to a group of teens or young adults.
When someone calls to book an event of books online we ask the person what sort of event it is for.
We have 6 categories:
We also ask for the average age of the group, or the age of the birthday person. We also track, using the "Battlefield HQ" booking software how many times they have booked, so we can garner their skill level.
On-site the C.O can also glean the physical fitness levels of the group and the environmental factors such as weather (e.g. if it is very hot or very cold, or if it is raining) to influence how they manage the event.
The C.O also needs to be aware if there is any illness, disability, injury or medical condition that might impact on the gamer. Indeed, the C.O needs to do a site inspection to ensure that the battlefield is clear of hazards.
Part of the C.O being inclusive is to select the appropriate genre or semantics (appropriate language) depending on the group to be entertained. For example, is the group consists of elementary school-aged kids then the genre should Battlefield TAG. Or if the group is for teens or adults then consider using the Battlefield LIVE genre.
The SATR 3 series system has better support for duplicating the modern first-person shooter games and for older groups, we should take advantage of these features to deliver a better live gaming experience.
So, the terminology changes.
|Battlefield TAG||Battlefield LIVE|
|Reactivate or Respawn||Respawn|
|Elimination||Team Death Match|
|Red Team||Alpha Team|
|Blue Team||Bravo Team|
Another way to adjust the games to be inclusive is to change the difficulty settings. There are four options:
During a two-hour event, we run four 15-minute games between two teams. Overall across the session, where is there the four rounds of games, the C.O. needs to strive to ensure that one team does not win all four rounds. Sometimes, one team needs a little boost. To handicap the other team the C.O. can adjust the difficulty levels or the hit rate.
We stipulate that every player who is under 18 needs to ask their Mum or Dad or carer to sign, and anyone over 18 can sign for themselves a membership form. This form gathers the name, address, contact details of every player and also is the insurance waiver so they are aware that there is some risk in patriating in an adventure activity.
There is a clear procedure that C.O needs to follow when starting a laser tag event; from set-up, registration of gamers, mission briefing, to the specific game briefing. On arrival a mobile laser tag event, the C.O, and crew needs to unpack and set up the equipment prior to the gamers arriving.
When the players do arrive, they need to be "enlisted" or registered for the event, this includes taking any cash for tickets and collecting the membership forms. Next, the gamers are checked for long pants and covered shoes, and if needed issued with camouflage outfit rental.
The general briefing covers topics such as:
With SATR3 there are literally hundreds of games to select from.
However, there are a few basic games that are tried and tested for certain types of groups. If most of the kids are aged 6-8 years old, keep it very simple, just run first a pair of Elimination games.
Then if they are handling that ok, run a single point Domination Game.
If the kids are aged 9-11, run Electronic Capture the Flag for the first 2 games and then run 2 Domination games. If the numbers are over 20, run 3-point Domination.
With Battlefield Tag do not use perks, mystery armor or mystery box.
If there is an older age group always start with electronic capture the flag with a perk box for each team. Generally, the 2nd hour should be 2 x 15-minute advanced Team Death Match or Rush missions.
However, in hot weather or an unfit group, just two x Domination missions are a good idea. With Domination, if adequate Domination boxes on hand and there are 20 or more players, then play 3-point Domination mission. This is better than one point for larger groups.
Depending on the terrain and if it is an older group then another alternative is the V.I.P Escort. With the VIP escort mission make the weaker team the ambush team.
Playing different games keeps up the interest of the players, enables them gamers to use their skills, and enables tactical awareness and decision-making.
At the end of each round, the C.O can use his or her Master Controller to issue a sound effect - such as "Alpha Team is Victorious" so players know who won.
Depending on the time-table of the session, a C.O can undertake an after-action review. This could be as simple as asking gamers if they had a fun time as they return their equipment and/or camo outfits.
For a corporate team building activity, C.Os might offer a more thorough review. With SATR3, C.Os can get team results in real-time on the Controller screen.
If a live gaming C.O can plan, brief, run and review games just like a sports coach then they will be well on the way to building a fantastic live gaming business.