Tax Hope, and Booth Layout

I spoke with a new accountant this morning, recommended to me by some other indie devs. I have to say, I'm feeling much more confident after speaking with him. His familiarity with games and Steam, GST, and cross-border tax preparation leaves me thinking he may be a better choice than a bigger firm like KPMG. Vastly cheaper, too. Hopefully, I should have that choice resolved soon.

Once that and some other PR/email work was done, I switched to booth layout work. Now that I know my working parameters, I can start mapping out the space, immovable barriers, and pieces to see what fits where.

So far, the good news is that my city backdrop, fake tree/shrub corner, tarp shelter, and trash barrel all fit with room to spare for a gaming station or two, plus storage and walking space. I think that'll be easy to fit.

The bad news is that I have a 6'x2' table which seems a bit awkward in this space. Here's a rough mock-up:

IMAGE( Welcome to scavenger camp #1.

Everything is to scale, and the overall space is 10'x10'. The sides are 3' high curtain dividers, and I made them 6" thick to be on the safe side. Similarly, the back wall is an 8' curtain on rods, and I've made it 1' thick in case it has to accommodate outlets or other utility stuff. In reality, these will be much thinner, so this is more conservative.

You can see the tree(s) and tarp shelter in the back left corner, a DMC cityscape banner across the back, and a trash barrel in the middle. I pictured the 40" tv being in the back right, at eye-level. And in the front left corner, there's a standing banner sign I plan to have made (7' high). I think this setup covers a good range of viewing angles, since at least one interesting thing faces anyone in a 135 degree arc.

My trouble is that 6'x2' table on the right. I'm thinking I may want two playable stations for the game, and maybe an iPad for either data collection, info, or a tablet version (if working). Putting the table too far to the front would block access to the campsite, but would make fitting two players and stations, along with other materials easy. Putting it further back opens up the space, but makes anything beyond a single player tricky. (Especially if our lunches, luggage, and similar items are towards the back.)

The table comes with the booth, which is why I didn't choose a different size. It may end up just being stored off-site someplace, if I decide to get smaller tables.

Anyway, this is the plan so far. It's alright, but it's going to need revising. Good thing I have time left to think it over!

Have a good night, all!


Entharion's picture

Looks like a good start!

I'm wondering: Is the back of the booth in fact an actual wall? Or do other booths set up on the opposite side of the curtain? If it is the latter, there may be up to 3' of 'unclaimed' area between two curtains that run the length of the aisle. It is possible to store some things in this area, but the space would be shared with the booth opposite, so trust/security could be an issue. Since you will likely have little or no inventory, a small (but heavy) lockbox of some sort may prove handy. It could even be something you pick up at a store that is local to the convention (and possibly return afterwards ;p).

This would free up more options without using the table supplied; like having the play-station free-standing as you considered earlier. If you go that route, I'd suggest having the screen a bit above eye-level, depending on the stand. That could allow more of the screen to be visible to passers-by, considering the player would be standing in front of it. Don't expect to be able to hang the TV from the back or side: They are usually only sturdy enough to support the curtains.

Also, unless the left side is a wall (rather than another booth), the vertical banner may hinder the view between and through the sides, which could pose issues with the booth regulations. If nothing is mentioned in the paperwork you get, you might not find out for sure until you are on-site (or ask ahead of time). Security crews can be picky sometimes. ;)

dcfedor's picture

Thanks, Entharion!

That back wall is a curtain divider, and another booth will likely be on the other side. So this is good info to know.

As for the play station, I'll have to look into standing options. I can get a 7' rolling TV stand with a relatively small footprint, so that can be in the back. A standing keyboard/mouse setup could be tricky, though. Especially if there are people with various heights (e.g. kids, lanky folk, wheelchair-bound, etc.) I may be able to find something cheap and adjustable. And that might work for a station #2, as well.

I haven't heard any regulations about through-visibility yet, but that foreward banner is easy to rotate or move, if need be.

I'll probably try some non-table layouts today, and see how they work.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games