8 - Teams
I have planned Quests
for crowds and individuals over the years. I have experimented with many
ways of grouping people together. This is what I have found to be CONSISTENTLY
true for all age groups:
A single participant - If he were the only one participating in the Quest,
I would still advise having someone going along with him, even if that
means you. Funny things happen. Exciting things happen. It can be disappointing
for someone to laugh and/or get scared all alone.
Teams of two - This can potentially work very well for smaller groups.
I have found, though, when a disagreement occurs about what to do or where
to go and there is no one to 'break the tie' the pair may return a bit
Teams of three - Not ideal at all. It definitely breaks the ties, but
it also creates the 'third wheel' effect in a most powerful way. Two people
end up getting more excited than the third, leaving the third out of several,
if not all decisions. When all is said and done, your participation ratio
will drop from 100% to 66%.
Teams of four - The best for groups of 15 or more. The dynamic of four
seems to solve all problems. Although there is an even number of votes
when deciding on certain actions, the individuals tend to be more open
minded to possibilities when there are more people involved. No one is
left out, for if two members are speaking to each other, two others are
able to engage in a conversation of their own.
Teams of five and larger - Forget it. Enter the 'committee' effect. Teams
hardly achieve anything as a group because they cannot agree on any action.
Factions within the group form and things can get ugly.
You could very well create a Quest that is so fantastically different,
that some of the above guidelines might not apply.
Now, where were we
oh yes, character to team ratio. Again,
an ideal number to try for is one character for every two teams. Why?
Mostly for the sake of traffic. By traffic, I am referring to the actual
movement of your guests on your Quest. This is deceptively more important
than it might seem at first glance You see, if you have a character that
demands five minutes of every teams' playing time, and you have 10 teams
playing, that leaves 50 minutes straight of this character talking to
teams, one team at a time. Imagine the chaos of four teams trying to ask
a single character multiple questions, all at the same time! Now, if this
character is one of the first you would like your guests to meet, that
would mean that at about the time one team is finishing up their quest,
another team is still in line waiting to speak to their first character.
If you aren't able to meet this ratio, it's not a deal breaker
are LOTS of ways to work around it. I've designed Quests before with NO
live characters. These are only guidelines.
Finish the course with Class
9: Some Final Notes