Stage Design Help Files

This page contains some help files for Stage Writers.
See below for an example file in Excel that I use for stage design.
(Once you download the Excel file, note the bottom two tabs for the sample graphics.)

I also have some graphics to use in any program you like.

Some Stage Design "theory"

Let us first consider a "generic" stage. Two pistols loaded with 5 rounds each, rifle loaded with 8 - 10 rounds, and shotgun shooting 4 rounds. The target sequences are the common ones such as sweeping all appropriate targets or "Nevada" sweeps.
Is that fun? Yup, but we don't want them to all be that. So we add "extra challenges."

The folks that got me into this game gave me some great advice that helps to keep stages fun - with variety, but not making it so tough that folks get discouraged. I call this the Three Challenge Rule.

From experimentation, these "old timers" found that having up to three challenges added fun variety to the game. But a stage with more than three, or several stage with three, are too much for many folks. The number procedures and misses in the match start to climb significantly. Folks will accept a few misses, but at certain point the fun-factor goes way down.

So what do we mean by "challenges?" Any significant change from the generic stage. Here are some examples:

So if you have a stage where you stage your long guns in scabbords and require a spoken "line" between shooting your long guns, you have added three challenges. Or you can have them shoot the first pistol left to right, then the next pistol right to left - that's one added challenge.

General Recommendation:
You can have 1 and two challenge stages pretty much all day and folks will enjoy it. Add one stage with 3 and it is great. But if you have several stages with 3 challenges or go beyone 3, and folks will struggle through the match.

An interesting sidelight is WHEN folks have trouble. They often survive the "tough stage" or two, then have an increase in misses and procedures on a following easy stage. So keep this in mind as you analyze the after match performance. (I always anayze each stage for the number of misses and number of procedure penalties. If I see a an an average of well over 0.5 misses per stage, there may be a stage design problem.)

Some good hints from Grandpa Willie SASS #26996:

Example Stage in Excel Format
Look at all the worksheets (tabs at bottom) UPDATED
Small BuildingMedium BuildingLarge Building
BarColorful Bar Hay Bail
Start BoxBox B Buck Board Wagon
TableSquare Table Table 3
ChairTable & Chair Horse
Shotgun TargetShotgun with Flying birdShotgun Knockdown Target
Rifle TargetPistol TargetTexas Star Target

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