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Hosting a Gaming Event


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Recently I was spit-balling some ideas with a friend of mine who owns a cafe, and I suggested that he should do a classic (video) gaming night, as he already hosts board game night, multiple music events a month, and classic film night. Being friends of a lot of the patrons who frequent his shop, a classic gaming night just seemed like the natural thing to do. I'm already going to donate some machines and software to the cause, just gotta see what I have, and of course I get to have some say into how things work as I would be the co-host.

Anyway, can't say I've been to a lot of gaming nights or gaming setups at public venues, so I'm not sure what the dos and don'ts are, not sure what kinds of things people would be looking for. I'd love if I could sneak some modern homebrew stuff into the mix too, alongside the true classics, but maybe that's something that I'd do a few times in, rather than on the first night.

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

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Multiplayer games that allow either co-op or head to head are the norm for these types of events, as they get more people engaged.

Single player games are usually a bore unless you get someone who is ungodly good at one and it's a game that everyone knows. Like, if someone knows how to beat Dragon's Lair from start to finish, that might get everyone excited. But those are few and far between, IMO.

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The new NES World Championships for Switch coming out has local multiplayer for 8 in a knockout mode which looks pretty awesome. 8 bit era games are also more approachable for casual gamers or people who seldom pick up a controller. Can never go wrong with MarioKart or Mario Party either. Splatoon is pretty cool for shooters with a chill vibe. Make sure there is comfy seating, enough controllers, food and drink, and you’ll have a good time

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Events Team · Posted
51 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

I can tell you why I don't go to my local ones. I don't want to touch a controller last used by someone eating nachos.

That's pretty much the main reason.

I'd be more likely to go to an event with nachos.

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Well the kitchens gonna be open as well as all the taps for beer, also gonna be mixed drinks. So foods all covered, some of the best western food in the city. So I'm just going to be focused on the gaming side.

Does PS have any good games for this sort of event? Or just N64?

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I think it mainly depends on the target audience you’re planning a party for. If for hardcore gamers, relatively challenging games and with co-op/versus mode might be ideal. Conversely, if for casual gamers, then there’s a ton of party games that I can suggest eg. Wii Sports, Eyetoy games, DJ/Guitar Hero, Band Hero, Singstar games. 

Another suggestion is to ask a few of the participants what games they like to play on party night, so you can narrow it down to the right kind of consoles/genres to pick. 

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PS? You mean Playstation? Here's some recommendations.

Some decent fighters on the PS, like Tekken 3, Rival Schools, the Street Fighter Alpha games, Tobal No. 1, Bushido Blade, Street Fighter EX, Bloody Roar, and Soul Blade.  I also liked Battle Arena Toshinden 2, but not everyone does. I remember Pocket Fighter and Darkstalkers 3 being fun, though some might prefer DS 3's Sega Saturn counterpart.  WWF SmackDown 2 Know Your Role could be fun for any wrestling fans.

For Mario Kart fans, there's Crash Team Racing.

Bust-A-Groove for rhythm game fans. 

Captain Commando with a multitap for three player, beat 'em up fun.

Medal of Honor Underground for some multiplayer, FPS fun.

I think the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games have multiplayer.

Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo for anyone who maybe likes puzzle games.

The Lost Vikings 2 is a puzzle, platformer that has co-op. 

Metal Slug X for run n' gun fans.

The Winning Eleven games for soccer fans.

Herc's Adventure has co-op, people compare it to Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

Elemental Gearbolt and the Point Blank games for light gun fans.

Trapt Gunner is an interesting game to play multiplayer.

That's all I can think of.

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Editorials Team · Posted

I haven't done anything like this at a commercial business or anything, but I've done larger ones at my home with 3 or 4 simultaneous TVs.

My general advice from a logistical standpoint, to avoid downtime, and limit troubleshooting, or issues with hardware and software, or cord lengths, or TV size issues, or anything else, is to prioritize maybe 1-2 UHD TVs set up with a Switch and maybe a PS4 or PS5, and use those for as much as possible.  Whether that's games on the NSO apps, or modern remasters of retro stuff, or just buying retro styled things like Duck Game or one of the newer Bombermans.  There's also anthologies for many older couch co-op things, like the Genesis, Ninja Turtles, and Capcom fighting compilations.

And then have one CRT that's hooked up to the NES and GameCube and what not.  So you only have one station where everyone has to be more tightly huddled, and you have to deal with cords and managing hard copies of games.

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