I was checking through the ACen panel programming and noticed a pretty neat sounding panel called "Create Your Own Mega Man Robot Master!" My first thought was "Who is the super cool and obviously intelligent and (probably?) sexy person who put this panel together?" And then of course I remembered that it was actually me. After my experience at ACen last year I decided to submit my own panel, and it was accepted, so here we are!
So what is the "Create Your Own Mega Man Robot Master!" panel? Good question. I designed it as a three part panel.
Part one was a presentation on the history of classic Mega Man, which, in addition to being quite informative, was also used as my anticipatory set (teacher term!) I defined "classic" Mega Man as Mega Man 1-10 and Mega Man & Bass, which is to say, the games that used the original Mega Man as their main protagonist and focused on classic style 2D sidescrolling platformer shooter elements. I also gave some examples of robot masters and tried to define what makes a "robot master" is since, if I was going to be asking people to create their own, they should probably know what that term means.
Part two was an art segment where my stude um I mean... where the panel attendees had the chance to name and draw their own Mega Man robot masters. I supplied the paper and pencils, colored pencils, markers and crayons, and let them get to work.
Part three was where we got everyone's drawings together in one place for a showcase, as well as a little competition where people would vote for their favorite drawing, and the top three winners would be given prizes. No voting for your own of course! (I used a numbering system on the drawings / ballots to make sure this rule was enforced.)
Prizes! Magnet Man, Skull Man, and Bubble Man bead art!
All of this was tied together with some awesome classic Mega Man remixes playing in the background (during appropriate non-talking times) which were borrowed from OC Remix, the premiere video game music remix site on the Internet.
That was the basic plan, anyway, and we were mostly able to stick to it. "We" being myself and my girlfriend Shirley, who kindly volunteered to help out, and whose assistance I very much appreciated because man...
Things got nuts.
I guess my biggest mistake was assuming that, this being my first panel, and it being a sort of very precise and not necessarily mainstream concept (as opposed to say, a "History of Video Games" panel or something), and ACen not even being a video game convention per se, next to no one would show up for it. Although I tend to overplan, my "overplanning" in this case was thinking probably about 25 people would show up, and planning for 50 or so. Instead close to 100 people showed up. Definitely was not prepared for that. When I commented on this to one of the attendees, his response was "Hey, it's Mega Man!" Can't argue with that logic. But when your panel includes passing papers / utensils out, and collecting and displaying papers, and voting, etc. the amount of people matters. Not that I'm complaining about the turnout, having so many people show up was pretty sweet!
This is just half the room. There were a dang lot of people there!
Suffice to say Shirley and I were pretty much frantically busy the entire panel. Which, unfortunately, means we did not have time to take many pictures. So the few that we got will have to suffice.
With that said, I think things actually went pretty well, considering how blindsided I was. Although halfway through the panel my mind was still racing for a way to handle the voting in a quick and efficient manner (my original plan of having everyone just walk around the room looking at everyone else's work was just plain not going to be feasible with so many people) so I had to sort of brusquely move a bunch of people to clear a few rows to display the art, then call people row by row to come and vote. I really felt like a teacher managing a classroom during that part, ha ha.
We did manage to get everything done in time (barely... thank god for Shirley's assistance) and winners were chosen and prizes were handed out. It just so happened that we had a three way tie for first, and that each winner wanted a different robot master as their prize, so that worked out perfectly. A great time for everyone? I sure hope so.
Oh yeah, and my brand new Mega Man 2 robot master select screen t-shirt arrived literally like 5 minutes before I had to step out the door to leave for the con, which was awesome timing. I got to represent!
One of my new favorite shirts ever for all-time until the end of time.
Will I submit this panel again for ACen next year? Probably. Maybe even try it out at other cons too. And I definitely have reflected a bit on how things could be done better (cut the initial 'history of" presentation down a bit to make more time for the drawing portion, prepare art packets in advance, prepare room to display the art in advance, bring more helpers with, etc.) so hopefully next time it won't be quite as hectic. (Watch like 200 people show up...)
You're probably all wondering what the actual drawings looked like? I'll post the winners first, and then in the comments I will post some of the best and / or most interesting of the other drawings (albeit a bunch of people took theirs home with them so I had a limited selection to choose from.)
Winners! And me with an unintentional photo bomb.
Special thanks to anyone who attended the panel who may be reading this! It was a ton of fun to run. I hope to see some of you again next year?
You can check out the rest of my ACen 2014 coverage here! And if you're new to the site and it seems like a fun place, why not join us?
Pretty neat! I submitted "Liquid Man" for the Nintendo Power thing. I think I even included "what his stage would look like." He looked bit like Crash Man (which was already out..), but both Crystal Man and someone else (new guys) ended up looking like my guy, too.. HMMM...
I like Paper Man the best, probably. Mega Man's name is ROCK! PAPER BEATS ROCK, COME ON.