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20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:29 am
by Claeris
I posted this as a reply to poopidoop asking me how it went in another post, and decided it warranted its own thread so I moved it here.

poopidoop wrote:Hey, i meant to ask you but forgot; if you took pictures in the shop on 9/9.19 i kinda wanted to see em if you were up to sharing. thought it was cool you set up the quake cast anyway :D.

For context, I run a retro game store in Silverdale, Washington and I orchestrated a 20th anniversary party for the store. Originally, I wanted to offer contests with prizes and custom anniversary stickers, but the budget barely let me get enough consoles to keep people happy. One thing I advertised heavily was free play on Dreamcast consoles all day (as opposed to our usual pay-to-play model) and we happen to have a couple of expensive games in stock like Jojo's and Power Stone 2, so I wanted people to come in and get a chance to play what they've missed out on. I brought my own console from home and a handful of my games like typing of the dead and gunbird 2. This is how it all went down.





So here's how it all went down. That monday was my normal day off, so I showed up around 4pm (lol) and worked the last four hours until we closed. I brought some little ceasar's for everyone and hooked up my system with the dreampi and all that fun stuff on the counter by the door and this one guy, the one with the long hair and the hat, had apparently been waiting on me for HOURS just to play Quake because he didn't believe it was real from my advertisements. So I got it all set up and that's when I found out... nobody was on.

So that's when I hopped in the chat room there and asked you guys to hop on so the customers could check it out, since there was like 25+ people on according to dreamcast now but they were all playing PSO. While that guy was playing Quake with you all is when I was troubleshooting my keyboard with you guys, so while you were all helping ME in the chat room on my laptop, he was killing you all as you idled lol.

He got bored after a bit and switched to typing of the dead and by then I got my second keyboard going (not the broken one, that's still broken). The side goal of the party was to boost sales and that one guy was just annoying the shop's owner and he didn't even buy anything! Sales that day were like triple a normal monday, though.

While this was all going on, I had two tvs hooked up in our gaming lounge and our pre-release retail kiosk running soul calibur. I was constantly going back and forth with those groups and getting my system going because they were constantly asking to switch games, turns out speed devils doesn't boot if your disk drive isn't tuned right, blah blah etc. So during the four hours I was there, these are the only pics I took: one of the setup, two screenshots to advertise the event on our social media stuff, and another of that whiney dude playing quake online. I was too busy to take more but I really wish I had.

Overall, it went fantastic. A couple of our regulars, two brothers, had been there earlier in the day and got to play the dreamcast for the very first time and they loved it so much, they ended up buying one of the two systems we had for sale. The other one was claimed the day before, but I asked very nicely and both people decided to pick the systems up the next day, so people could still enjoy them for the party. I really appreciated that.

I'd spent the whole last few weeks trying to get ahold of more systems on a tight budget. I ebayed one. I asked other game store owners I know in the seattle area and they were all out. I had our repair guy get one on offer up and he picked it up and said he was going to bring it by around 3:30 that day, but he never showed. So that left us with just the two. And then a couple days before the event, I had a customer come in wanting to buy one of our two units. Thing is, he wanted it for the gdemu mod.

I got him to agree to come back tuesday and he called during the party (he was at work so he couldn't come) to see how things were going and I thought to ask him, since he planned on taking the working drive out anyway, I asked if I could just keep the drive and offered a discount for it and his response? "Sure, you can keep that and I'll bring you two more!" Turns out he's been doing this mod to flip them for a profit. I saw it as a win for me since I could revive the next dead console I ran across.

When he came in the next morning, he not only brought me one pulled gd-rom drive, but two systems as well. He told me that they weren't working right. One was giving a green picture, and the other would boot but there'd be no picture at all. I said I'd take them for parts and thanked him for the drive, cut him a deal on the console he bought, and after he left I put the drives back into those systems to see what they were doing and they both worked absolutely fine. I mixed and matched and still, all good. So I basically got two consoles for super cheap.

The only problem: none of these had screws for the drive or the shell. So I mixed and matched, did what I could, and got one system fully screwed and the other without. I sent the owner to lowes with one of each type to get some more and he keeps forgetting, then he said he did it but lost them in the car, and then he said he forgot again. So now we have a system in the store that we can't sell.

Today, at the request of a customer, I took the unit out of our kiosk thinking to gut the screws from that one, but it turns out they're hex instead of the retail unit's phillips, so I wanted to keep that together.

So that's how that crazy couple of days went. Sorry I didn't take more pictures, I really regretted that.

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:30 am
by Claeris
Side story, here's the kiosk I was talking about:


Some guy was moving so he'd been in and out of the shop trading random things in and on the last day before he moved, he called and was like "I found this dreamcast thing in my garage, I forgot I had it. You guys want it?"

Of course we did!

Ultimately I want to say the final cost we paid him was $350, but there was likely more in store credit cashed out as part of his week-long stint of trades. I think it ended up being $350, at least.

Of course I had to ask him how he got it. He said he used to work for Amazon back in 1998 and at the time, the site was just starting to branch into selling games and such instead of just books, so Sega sent one of these retail kiosks along to their office like they would any game store. The guy remembers telling the sega rep "Uh, we're not a physical store, we just sell online" (unheard of for the time, really) and the dude was like "well, you sell games, this can help you advertise from experience" and he dropped off a handful of games and left. So it sat in an office with cubicles and such, only ever being casually played on breaks by adults, for about five years until the guy retired and his manager said he could take it with him since it kinda became his 'thing' anyway. So, it went to his house for the next decade and change, only being played by friends and family. It was never in a game store, or a walmart, or anything like that, so it's in *fantastic* condition. It's an absolute gem.

The system itself is the same pre-release model that people might have rented from blockbuster the summer before the system's launch. It has a dummy modem plug, one I intend to replace with an actual model for a permanent dreampi installation someday when we can afford it.

This same guy brought in a TON of games that day. I'm not sure if any of them were given to him with the kiosk though. Among them were a CIB copy of AFO with the voice module (which I jumped on and replaced with my personal copy on the store shelf, the owner is still mad at me for that but I did it right! I bought it and then traded a thing in! ;D) and Gunbird 2, which I also bought and cried at my wallet for like two weeks after.

It's been sitting in our pay-to-play lounge since about a week before the party. The saturday before, Brad found a pair of dreamcast light guns at goodwill, one with a jump pack in it, and he jumped on those. We didn't happen to still have our copy of HOTD2, so I burned that and Confidential Mission for the party to show off the guns on the kiosk (it's like the perfect height for that), but people were more interested in soul calibur, powerstone 2, and jojo's.

So there you guys have it, the full rundown on the event and the awesome kiosk at the store. Sorry for the long winded posts. I sometimes write stuff lol

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:42 pm
by poopidoop
awesome, thanks for posting that glad it was a good time for the most part.

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:19 pm
by deluxux
haahhaha I was one of the guys idling, very cool setup! Maybe you should have a friday night hotseat on quake. and triple check that hardware before you log on. I have a "bad fuse" (most consoles do) but my KB still works if you replug it 3-4 times.

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:01 pm
by beanboy
Nice read. Very cool! :D

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:10 am
by Claeris
deluxux wrote:haahhaha I was one of the guys idling, very cool setup! Maybe you should have a friday night hotseat on quake. and triple check that hardware before you log on. I have a "bad fuse" (most consoles do) but my KB still works if you replug it 3-4 times.

I never did figure out what was wrong with my american keyboard. The wireless one probably just needs a cleaning, but the japanese one works fine. Part of the problem is I also had to run the shop solo that day after Brad left so I was a bit overwhelmed by how much there was to do.

One of my hopes/goals is to get that kiosk online but brad doesn't think it's worth the investment and he might randomly just sell it one day. I'd have to always bring my own system and pi which would be a pain.

Re: 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:56 am
by 247
Sometimes i go to a comics shop (not so) near me, and i sometimes hang out with the shop owner for a while to speak about comics.I like that because means it's more than just a place to buy things (in fact i am a customer from more than 10 years now, even if there are some nearest shop)
I say this because i really love your story, and the way the day went, i'm nowhere near silverdale but if i was i would surely have popped in to say hi :)