I'm going to be heading home for Christmas, so I've done the next few comics in advance, sans Monday (Christmas Eve) which will be filler. Christmas is, traditionally, the only day I let myself take a day off from the comic. So I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday, and get lots of shiny new video games and toys.
I also want to take a moment and remind you that after December 31st, the cost of registration for Digital Overload goes up to $50, and the shirts go up to $10. If you register before December 31st, you can get your badge for $45, and the optional event tee-shirt for $5.
Additionally we are going to be offering priority check-in at the event for those who registered and paid any time before December 31st. Basically if you registered before the 31st, and you are at the event by 6pm Friday when doors open, you will be placed in a separate line that will be checked in first. So essentially those who register first will have an opportunity to get into the event hall and start setting up first. But remember, you would have to be at the event by 6pm, because when the doors open we will be closing the priority check-in line.
As far as event check-in as a whole, that has been one of our top priorities for improvement this year. We actually started working on revamping the system while we were still checking people in to the 2007 event. I'm sure some of you remember that line, which just kept getting longer and longer. We have no interest in letting that happen again this year if we can help it. Our online registration and at-event-check-in systems have been rebuilt and streamlined to function together, and we will be having more check-in stations at the door. You can still play a large part in how quickly check-in moves, though, by making sure your account information is up to date prior to the event.
Another thing I wanted to talk about briefly is event atmosphere. I've had a couple of people mention to me that they wanted to attend Digital Overload, but were worried about just not being able to compete against a bunch of super hardcore gamers. A hardcore competition environment is definitely something Digital Overload is not, and I will never steer it in that direction. We have tournaments for those that enjoy some competition for prizes, but they are mainly for-fun tournaments. A trophy, some free swag, some bragging rights, but priority number one is about having fun. And tournaments are only a small percentage of what goes on at Digital Overload. Ninety-percent of the event is freeform gaming.
Plus our console and tabletop gaming sections are growing each year, so there's something for everyone. SUMO will be providing the Digital Overload with those great beanbag chairs again, which were a huge hit last year, and we'll be giving people a bigger chance to take one home with them. Speak Servers will be giving the entire event VoIP, so communications will be easier than ever. Game Overdrive will be on hand again for all your last-minute gaming merchandise and energy drink needs. Privateer Press will be not only sponsoring the WARMACHINE tournament, but also sending an official volunteer up to run it and also run demos for people that would like to try the game out. And we've got a lot more sponsors to announce in the coming weeks.
Registrations at this point are already way past what they were at the same time last year, so we expect it's going to be an even bigger event in 2008, it should be lots of fun.