LARP at Play: The LARP Production Triangle

I realize I may be preaching to the choir here, however I’d like to pass on a lesson learned regarding LARP production. It’s a lesson taken from the Project Management Triangle and revolves around the project requirements of Good, Fast, and Cheap (the Project Management Triangle typically uses Time, Scope, Cost). In any project you have control over two of those options, but not all three.

In the image:

Project_Triangle

  • Good is the quality of the final product (can be your LARP as a whole, or just a part of it, like a website)
  • Fast refers to the time required to deliver the product
  • Cheap refers to the total cost of designing and building/creating the product

The triangle reflects the fact that all three properties are interrelated, and it’s not possible to optimize all three. There will always be one that suffers.

If you pick:

  • Fast + Cheap = Inferior
    Quick turn around time and well priced, but not high quality work or workmanship. Don’t expect this to last beyond the game if you were hoping to use it again or to look exactly like the snazzy example photo you provided.
  • Fast + Good = Expensive
    Quick turn around times and high quality work or workmanship, but not well-priced. Expect to pay a pretty penny for this option.
  • Good + Cheap = Slow
    High quality work or workmanship, but not a quick turn around time. You’ll need to be patient with this option.
  • Where all three intersect
    Dream on, you don’t control all three. Pick again.

I share this because I know many LARP organizers/owners/GMs want to get the biggest bang for their buck, however that can, and often does, come with a price. I feel understanding how Good, Fast and Cheap are interrelated I think can help organizers better understand when speed should be foregone for cost and quality or quality should be foregone for speed and cost, for examples.

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