I had 4 players, none with any Fate experience, though one said that they played a Spirit of the Century in a con game years ago. I told them I had no preconceived notions of the genre or type of game and that we'd collaboratively figure it out as we went along.
I gave each of them 5 fate tokens, and two small hand-held white boards. I told them that the first board was for general ideas, and that if there was unanimous consent we could move those to the other board to be permanent. However, at any time you could spend one fate token to "pin" an idea to the permanent board, either a new idea, or one copied from the first board. However, at any time you could also spend two fate tokens to remove an idea pinned on the permanent board (anyone have a better name for these two boards?)
The players quickly suggested either historical, or magical realism, or both. The idea "The South may rise" was proposed. One player paid a fate token for New Orleans, and another paid one for 1830s. There was a bit of a discussion for a while on what was interesting about 1830s New Orleans, but after a while one of the player threw in 2 fate tokens to kill the 1830s — he was concerned that with slavery being such a part of the environment that he'd be so strong on an anti-slavery / revenge mode for the game and he didn't want to play that. The players ended up settling on early 1920s New Orleans, more Magical Realism than Urban Fantasy (in particular, no vampires). One player threw in a token saying "I want a twist", I said that I would take care of that, so that was added as well.
Next we dived more into specifics, and they decided they all wanted to be spies from different nations, all drawn to New Orleans. They all wanted cover as musicians, and agreed it was the multicultural aspects of New Orleans that appealed to them. A title was proposed for the "The Voodoo Queen & the Pirate Gold Rag".
Three issues were raised: "Black rebels are seeking pirate gold" (pirates being on the old 1830s idea board), the player characters were "seeking to be relevant", and the "the Loa are restless". Scenario aspects for each of these issues were quickly chosen, after a push that these be aspects that could be used both ways. — "Alligators everywhere!", "Not young anymore", and "Careful what you ask for".
We then settled on 3 places, 6 faces and a few items.
Now it was on to character generation. They decided to be from multiple countries, and that they would all have some reason to be older. They all came up with with nice High Concepts that reflected that: "Faded Femme Fatale (American Black)", "Jesuit Ethno-Musicologist (Italian)", "Last of the Gentleman Spies (English)", and "Cashiered Foreign Legionnaire (French, but ran to Legion away from a murder charge in America)".
After the High Concepts, they had no problem with Troubles: "Race matters", "Polylingual malaglot", "It's a small club", and "A chancy shot". Then I had them role-play with one other player for each of their remaining aspects, for a total of 2 more aspects (meaning each player had a prior experience 2 others, but didn't know a third).
I was quite pleased with how quickly they came up with good aspects despite mostly having D&D playing experience. Some of my favorites: The Femme Fatal had "Not broken, just bent", the Englishman had "Plays the unwritten game", the Jesuit had "Jazz calls out to me". There was some good improv roleplaying for their back stories.
To this point I was extremely pleased how well it went. However, we quickly got bogged down in FAE Approaches — I've talked here about problems with them in the past (I like the idea of approaches, but they default set confuse people). However, I was able to lead them through. but I felt I was a bit forcing them rather than truly helping them understand and choose them.
They also got quite stuck on stunts. The two templates provided in FAE don't have a lot of examples, and they had a hard time creating them. We spent far too much time getting them right. Next time I think I'll be better prepared by adding a third template that I saw here once, and have a lot more examples on hand.
Then we got to the meat of the scenario, using the places, faces, and items they created earlier using fate points. They got their fate points back, arrived at the Blue Bayou Hotel & Parlor in the Garden District, met each other, and interacted with a Revenuer who was keeping an eye on illicit sales of alcohol. They went downtown to the French Quarter and boarded a gambling/speakeasy steamboat "The Lucky Tide" and met "the new kid", an up-and-coming musician and joined his band.
We had to call it a night at that point, but they had a blast and were really surprised how well the creation process worked and we got starting playing in about 4 hours. I think they were all intrigued and we'll probably continue the play at the next game convention we all attend next Labor Day.