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The Wizard's Desk

The Wizard's desk is a blog space where our staff and creative leads offer their insight and experience on engaging with DrachenFest US! We're excited to share what we can, so pull up a seat!

Df-2023: Thank you & Survey

Moments before the Opening Ritual of 2023

THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU, for making DF-US 2023 such a spectacular experience. Arriving at Cooper's Lake, we considered this our "second first event". From the opening ceremony to the final battle, it was unforgettable. We were so impressed with the learning and growth we witnessed during the event, as players learned to re-calibrate and play better with each other!

After the “Week of Joy” (a traditional 1-week-long post-event recovery period) it’s natural for people to focus on what needs to be fixed. We see discussions happening which demonstrate a shared eagerness to make DF-2024 even better, and we love that! We’re with you!

To use an RPG metaphor, there are two different "skill trees" that we are, collectively, leveling up at the same time…

  • One of them is the DF organization - we, the staff & refs, recognize that we must continually learn how to run DrachenFest. Our methods for operating a game of this scale and style must develop and evolve over time. We borrow from some wonderful German “source code”, but this festival is unique, and our approach must be too. We don’t have it all figured out yet! But we’re listening and thinking.

  • The other skill tree is the player community developing its own safety & play culture. Some of this learning happens during the event, but much of it is happening now, as we collectively discuss what the festival should feel like. To that end, we are especially grateful for the DF players who teach others a safety-focused and "play to lift" mindset. Referees can’t create event safety by themselves! It takes buy-in at every level. When players experience this attitude in each other, it builds trust and eagerness to play together.

Over the next few months, we'll be running our Retrospective cycle--we'll collect feedback, analyze it, and decide what should change for next year. Here's the rough timeline:

During the week of July 10th, DrachenFest-US 2023 players will receive a survey via email. This is your opportunity to give us detailed feedback! Please give us an honest impression of how things worked from your perspective. We will read every single comment.

We’ll give everybody 4 weeks to fill out the survey. During this time, we’ll collect internal feedback from our referees and operation/project teams. We’ve also got a stack of medical / safety / plot reports from the event itself.

With all these data in hand, we’ll move into our Analysis phase in mid August. Feedback submitted after this point can’t be considered. The data we receive will guide our updates to policies, training procedures, and game documents. You’ll see some of our work next year, as we unroll the content for 2024, including an updated rulebook, warbook, and playbook. We’ll also periodically release thoughts and updates via the DF blog. Tickets for next year will go on sale by late Summer / early Fall.

After winning the Great Competition, the Green Dragon now rules this world, ushering in an era of wildness and growth. DrachenFest is growing fast, but we hope she won't make it too wild for us.

-The DF-US Staff

After the Final Battle, the Dragons (and Dan) roost at the castle

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