Feedback to the staff thread

Fuck. the original i was typing up got deleted. anyway, here’s my rewrite.

Here’s the thread to post your suggestions and whatnot to the staff on what worked well at evo and what you felt didn’t work out very well and why. Here’s to hoping evo can be even more dope next year.

First, i’d like to thank wizard and james chen for letting me run marvel pools, as it gave me something to do other than throw away money on slots. also, thanks duc, shinjn, and tinh for pitching in, especially Duc running 4 brackets at once like a true champ. Anyway, while running pools, here are some observations i’d like to address:

  1. Dreamcasts: Last year, James described the blue boxes as “out of control”. This year, I only ran into 1 blue box through all the pools i ran. it was taken care of easily by both players agreeing to continue. Knowing that cabinets are now out of the question, i’d say DC’s are clearly the best option from now. Pools ran smoother than they would have on Xbox. The one blue box we had was far better than any controversy and bitching that would have ensued from people losing 2 characters and a meter for alpha countering in. Overall, I’d say your system is working out pretty well, James.

  2. People who play multiple games and have pools running concurrently. I think this did slow us down a little, but that really wasn’t much of the main problem. I think the bigger problem was people who could get dqed for not being able to show up to their pool on time because they were busy with another pool. And communicating between stations is tough because you’d have to go through a thick crowd just to get to the staff area or the other station. So what i’d like to suggest is anything that can allow the staff area and each station the ability to communicate with each other. Walkie talkies, network pc’s via AIM, or anything. This could save players and the staff a lot of hustling through the crowd.

  3. Sticks. Another thing that could have delayed some of the pools was people not having sticks available. I was wondering, do you guys still have some of those red octane custom sticks you had last year available? I realized that a large percentage (including myself) if not close to half of the players didn’t have their own stick and had to run about looking for one to borrow. According to the rules, if they couldn’t find one, they’d have to go get one from the staff. However, there usually wasn’t one available from the staff because they were all borrowed. So if possible, i was wonderin if the staff could have a few of those sticks from last year available next year. They are better than nothing.

  4. Rules. While you guys do have the rules posted up on the website, i was wondering if you can include the rules in the Evo programs as well as there were players who weren’t familiar with the rules. Just to make sure there aren’t any surprises. This point will lead into section 7.

  5. People jumping in for casual on the stations while we are trying to run pools. This was a minor problem, but a problem nonetheless. I think you should have some sort of marking on the ground or divider barring off the pool stations from anyone who isn’t in the pool. I had one pool where one match got sabotaged because some idiots fucked with the button configuration before we could get the pool running. One other suggestion i have to keeping this from happening is to have a few more byoc setups, so that they can do their shit somewhere else.

  6. Memory Data. Make sure the data on the memory cards loading the data have the options set on the tournament settings. the marvel memory card did have a few settings off like the speed. this was taken care of eventually

  7. Judges enforcing the rules. Alright, i’ve been running marvel tourneys for a while now. And controversy regarding some rules does happen to pop up every now and then, forcing me to make decisions that sometimes make both parties happy, pisses off one party, or ends up pissing off both parties. Now, it’s hard for me to put this into specific words since my thoughts on this issue really isn’t just black and white. Basically, i think there should be a system for judges so that they can be realistic in their rulings. To make this more clear, i’ll provide some example situations. These are kind of exaggerated, so bear with me.

A. Player A and Player B are playing a marvel match. Player A (let’s call him Phat for now) is totally mauling player B (let’s call him Kai). Phat almost has all 3 characters full while and Kai just lost his first character and is now down to half his second character. Phat is rushing Kai down when all of a sudden, someone accidentally steps in front of the machine for a split second. Kai, seeing a chance for a Get out of Jail Free card, starts crying like a little ho to restart the match. Now, what would should the judge do in a situation like this? If i were the judge of this, i’d just sock Kai in the face. But regarding the match, most of the time, it would get start over from the beginning. But is that fair to Phat? Anyway, while most judges would restart the match from the beginning, i think we can try to develop a system that gets into specifics like this. For a situation like this, i’d say they restart the match, but have Phat kill off one character, then they can start at the judges signal with both their point characters at opposite sides of the screen.

B. Phat and Kai are playing their match. Phat wins the first game, then changes his team the second game. Phat wins again and Kai waits til the end of the match to complain for a rematch. Again, Kai is playing the get out of jail free card and needs to be socked in the face. Phat changed his team, but it was Kai’s fault for not reporting it and phat should take the win.

C. Phat and Kai are playing again. This time, after some idiots perform situation #5 as described above. Therefore, Kai’s assist buttons are switched. Now during the match, Kai doesn’t press his assist button til he’s already gotten in the heat of battle mindset. Therefore, when he sees the wrong assist come out, he thinks “okay, i just made a mistake and pressed the wrong button. it’s the other button to call doom” and doesn’t even bother to notice that his team order doesn’t correspond to his buttons. eventually, later in the match, he does take notice to his team order and instictively tries to call doom point blank for anti rushdown and gets sentinel drones instead. he gets snapped back, and dies. Now what happens here? Is it really Kai’s fault that his buttons got switched? Phat’s clearly not at fault here. At evo, i did run a pool that had a situation like this. And it was probably one of the harder situations to handle. In the end of the match, we did take care of it as both players made an agreement to restart the set at 1-0 in favor of one of the players.

Anyway, I guess what i’m saying is that Judges really need to be prepared for these situations and be able to make realistic decisions without caving in to a players bitching or bullying. At the same time, sometimes they have to be realistic and be able to compromise a little outside of the book when a player raises a valid point. Getting into specific situations would probably have you guys splitting hairs and take forever and could go just about anywhere. But i think we can get somewhere with this

  1. Running semis right after pools on friday. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I really don’t think it was that necessary as we finished marvel semifinals on time on saturday only running it on two setups. If we used 4 different setups on saturday, i think we could’ve gone through the whole marvel semis on time. Going through pools is probably the most grueling part of the tournament next to fighting matches in the late semi finals. By the end of it, everyone was tired and really needed to restock on adrenaline. We were pretty much mentally spent and hoping for some rest. I hope you guys can see where i’m coming from on this.

Stuff I really don’t have suggestions for:

  1. Game pausing. Is there a way we can turn off pausing in any game? I lost two games in 3s when the pause button went off while i was shaking my stick and setting up my Denjin. Both times, my opponent was halfway stunned and in the corner and connecting it would’ve actually won me the round. Both times, my hand was nowhere near the start button either. I accepted my losses because i knew the rules, but damn. That sucks. :sad:

as far as the start button goes. its highly recommended to redrill holes on one of the sides of the stick so it doesnt get in the way from all that spazzy mvc2 mashing.

my gripes were from pool play. stations werent numbered. so when they announced for pool number 25 to play, you had no clue were to go. that slowed things down a lot. it was like “find your opponents and go play somewhere”. and that was a bitch cuz a lot of people dont even know their opponents at all, or what they look like, and what not. it was really frustrating just finding a pool. and like what was said above, too many casual gaming going on while pools were trying to get organized. like 90% of the time, most stations, atleast for 3s, were having casual matches. so much valuable time was lost cuz most people had no clue where their pool was, and constantly looked around aimlessly. granted, the players are at fault too for not being where they need to be.

another problem were the loud speakers. it was all bass. so when someone was on the mic, it was very hard to understand what was being said, especially in the back of the ballroom.

the other big problem was blocking off stations. it made everything really shitty to play in. everyone is bunched in on you. people getting in front of tv’s while trying to get thru the crowd, or straight up bumping into you while playing. it was really irritating and a big distraction.

i still had fun overall. its no easy task. i dont have the patience to run an event like that. hats off to everyone still despite problems.

I’m just throwing out ideas for the game pausing stuff:

  1. Disconnect the start button from both controllers. Cut the wire, remove the quick disconnect, whatever. If you need to reset or whatever, make sure a DC pad is nearby, unplug one of the controllers, plug in DC pad, do whatever.

I guess that’s the only idea that I can come up with…

Good feedback, thanks. Pools suck, period. It’s too hard to run them efficiently for more than 100 people. The system we use next time will let us run fewer games simultaneously, and let people play their initial games when they want to, not when the pool schedule says so.

are you going to go back to the evo2k3 format?

We did have sticks for the tournament, but to not go into great detail, let’s just say that the American Government was afriad we were smuggling in stuff from foreign countries or something and held onto them. Either that, or they wanted to run their own kick-ass tournament.

And everything you said about Pools is true. Like ink says, Pools suck-ass. Especially when a game like 3rd Strike EXPLODES and ends up with 68 pools. 68 POOLS. Something will be done about that.

As for people jumping in front of TVs during pools, that was a fault of the table setup, but the table setup was set up that way to accomodate both Evo and MLG. We hope we can go back to the original format of Evo2k4, with TVs on the edges of the room.

But thanks for the feedback, and even more importantly, THANK YOU for helping run the Pools. You are my hero, seriously. But I’ll get more to that in a later post.

  • James

id just like to throw out that a seperate free playu area this year was a step back from 2k4. i think 2 different rooms are ideal if at all possible. good shit disqualifying people this year serious step foward.

one major problem we ran into was the hotel, no where was it stated that the hotel would take a deposit on the room along with the payment for it. i cant speak for anyone but ourselves but this caused a serious delay and alot of stress for us. something that could have been avoided if we knew about the policy b4 hand.
great year guys. =D

Overall, my experience with the tournament itself was fine, but I had more of a problem with the location. EVO was really tough on people with tight budgets this year, and I would prefer for it to be somewhere with somewhat cheaper hotel fare and more options for nearby places to eat.

I was a little disappointed with the BYOC setup, but this has already been addressed and MLG will probably divide things up a little better at the next EVO. It was great to see so many non-mainstream games represented (Groove on Fight, Asuka 120%, and SHAQ FU), and hopefully it will be a little easier to hold tournaments for these games with just a little more space available.

I think we all agree that the new SF anime was garbage, but there’s nothing quite like verbally destroying a shitty movie with hundreds of other fans :stuck_out_tongue:

My favorite EVO moment besides the surprisingly exciting Marvel final was playing both RF and MOV at Shaq Fu for a good hour or so. I don’t know what it was, but they were astounded that such a bad fighting game existed :stuck_out_tongue: ZOMG Shaq Fu for EVO 2k6!

Overall, most of my problems with this year (also my first year) were the budget constraints, and the limited BYOC, but I’m sure that this will be sorted out next year. Thanks to everyone I was finally able to meet from GCC, SRK, and #gamecombos, and a big shoutout to the EVO staff for keeping things relatively under control under stressful situations.

Personally, I had a horrible time with the tourney itself this year. This was my first Evo, and I traveled from Iowa to go to it, which, as you may have guessed, wasn’t cheap. So, as you may also guess, I’m pissed. But I’ll try to keep as much emotion out of this as possible and keep the perspective of a tournament runner/organizer (which I am, though it’s only here in the Midwest, and only in a small part of it).

– Casual matches/TVs. As previously mentioned, a LOT of TVs were being used for casuals. Now, I’m not against casuals. In fact, I’d say that 25% of the TVs there should have been used for nothing BUT casuals unless in the case of an emergency (running out of time, too many people entering, etc.). However, what I saw was ridiculous. Over HALF of the TVs were used for casuals.
Now, this isn’t a huge problem in itself, as I very much feel the need for people to stay warmed up, have a good time, meet new people in a friendly match, etc. BUT, the matches were WAY behind schedule, and the 3S matches were forced into one-match rounds…which makes the game far more random and far less interesting. Because of how the casuals were dealt with, the tournament itself suffered greatly.

– Tekken 5. More specifically, the casual Tekken 5 scene. The T5 rounds didn’t even START until 5:50 or so, which is also when my T5 POOL was supposed to start…Pool 21. Again, a lot of stuff could have been freed up if Tekken 5 was run at the same time as or shortly after the start of Tekken Tag.

– Disqualifications. I don’t have a problem with disqualifying people. As a matter of fact, I encourage it. But with a very specific ruling on it beforehand and an unwavering, iron-clad fist to enforce it. For 3S, one of the people didn’t show up until half an hour after the start of our pool. Now, if he had a reason (was playing in another pool), I’ll retract the following statement. But if he doesn’t…then I feel as if they were pulling favorites, and that my entry into the tournament meant less than his, though both paid the same amount to get in.

– Time/Delays. The tourney itself didn’t start until nearly 11:00, an hour and a half after it was supposed to start. Why? I’m still unsure. Release forms? That could have been easily taken care of by having someone agree to something online or during the registration the night before. Handing out tags? I promise you that people would be willing to pay an extra dollar or two to have tags mailed to them. Need people to run pools? Ask for volunteers. I would gladly have helped.

– Rules. Yes, you have the right to change the rules on the fly as you see fit. But some of the rules made the games completely random and over before they even started. 3rd Strike needs to be 2 of 3 matches. Tekken 5 needs to be 3 of 5 rounds. CvS2 has just as much need for 2 of 3 than MvC2 (at least in the brackets), and some would argue even MORE need.

– MLG/Halo 2. Now, I admit, I was one of the people booing when they announced the Halo 2 finals. In fact, I was one of the first couple people booing (and that kinda started something I felt a little bad about after that). But they are gamers, and I respect that. So keep in mind that, when I bring up Halo 2 as a problem, I don’t mean it as something personal.
A lot of the space was taken up by the Halo 2 crowd. I don’t mind that they had the amount of TVs that they did. Halo tourneys take for-effing-ever (I’ve hosted a few). However, the TVs could have been pushed a LITTLE closer together. The need for spectator space for them was slim to none, whereas people were fighting tooth and nail for spectator space for the fighting games.
My other solution to that would have been to start stackin’ chairs up in the corner until a time when less TVs and space were needed. People can stand or sit on the ground for a while if they need to.

– Seperation of spectators and competitors. This NEEDS to be done next time. No question. It’ll also discourage people from jumping in for casuals. So will clearly marking all the TVs needed for pools.

– Pools. I don’t see a reason not to have these, as I think this is a great idea that gives new players more tourney time. Also, it doesn’t add THAT much time to the tourney. Let’s review.
With, say, 320 people, there are 64 pools of 5 people. Each pool will have 10 match-ups, so there are 640 match-ups. With the brackets following (64 winners, 64 losers), we have another 182 match-ups before the final 8 (if my math is correct). That’s only 192 more match-ups more than a standard double-elimination tournament, and only if we have THAT many people. With, say, a tourney of 160 people, both numbers are halved, so that we only have 320 match-ups in pools and around 100 more match-ups after the pools.
Also, having all five people there and ready makes the time between those matches go by much quicker. It seems a bit more time-consuming to have to call each pair up to a TV one by one than it does to have 5 people go up to a TV, play, and have the other 5 be waiting right afterward. So I say keep the pools and just make sure that there’s ONE more TV for those matches (as the pools seem to add roughly 1/4th of the total matches for a normal double-elimination bracket).

I guess that’s it for now. I tried to keep as much emotion out as possible, and I’m sorry if I seemed a little pissed throughout this. And I know that I’m just an unknown from Iowa. But there were 5 of us that came from Dubuque, Iowa, and we all practiced and paid our tourney fees…and we expected what we paid and traveled for.

P.S. – I was the random Akuma player in pool 41 for 3S and the Asuka player in pool 21 for T5. If any of you seen me at my worst there, sorry, but this weekend was crap for me. Though I DID KKZ Tragic and Paulee.

Michael Connolly

Kai, that avatar is hot. I just wanted to say that first.

The game speed issue happened to me. I had to give up a game where I was up a character and doing infinite on Sentinel before people said anything. That was rather gay, IMO. If you (the player, not the crowd) don’t notice that shit immediately and say something yourself, then the match shouldn’t be stopped, like if you don’t say anything about a button going out. I didn’t notice the speed change cuz I hadn’t played a game all day until that match.

This kinda leads into the whole people jumping in for casual stuff Kai was talking about. The easy answer for that is actually enforcing no casual whatsover on tournament stations, even before the tournament starts. There is more than enough space for casual/money games between BYOC and hotels so I don’t see the problem in trying to find a place to play. The tournament stations should be strictly off limits.

Also, I wish there was a better system in place for people that didn’t have their own stick. Like keep the extras at the station instead of at the staff table. It would have been nice to not have to run around and try to bum a stick, possibly from a stranger at that. I know that if I had my shit, I wouldn’t let anyone I didn’t know WELL touch it. That’s what I expected from others so I wasn’t crying about it. Whatever, I can’t do anything about that.

As far as judging matches is concerned, I feel that top players or someone at least that still plays the game as their main game should be judging. That way, if there is no agreement between the players when there is a conflict, this guy could make a qualified decision if needed. Going by the letter of the law isn’t always the right move. Anybody who went to NEC in Philly last year would agree, as so many blue boxes and pauses caused people to lose matches that they had otherwise won because they had to start over. I’m talking about shit like 5% Cyclops vs a full Cable team w/meter - no fucking way there is a comeback there.

The only real gripe I might have would be the announcing during the finals. Doing shit to hype the crowd is one thing, but some of it felt way too biased, even bordering on disrespectful. That’s just IMO, so take that for all it’s worth.

Other than all that, everything was cool. I personally had a good time and I can’t hate on anybody doing something as difficult as running a major fighting game tournament.

yeah, people booing halo 2, that was in really in bad taste, people don’t stop to think that mlg actually gives money to evo and shit, so when the fighting game community thinks it’s cool to hate, it makes EVERYONE look bad

I agree that the MLG/Halo crowd had a bit too much space on Saturday. They had fewer people and fewer spectators while we were crowded to, like, a quarter of the room. I had to stand on a chair just to see matches, and, when it came time for me to play, getting to a station was a bitch and a half.

Also agree that the pools system isn’t very efficientand it was downright unfair to many of us. I was in one of the first 3S pools where we only got one game per match. Luckily for me, I did get out of my pool, but I know that I could have had a much better shot on the guy who beat me, had it been best 2 of 3. At the same time, a lot of people got, like, instantly disqualified because they had two really good players in their pools. My friend had Mago and AneurysmX in his pool; there was no way he was getting out of that one.

I dont remember being in a pool with Mago…

Then I guess it was Choi (even worse :lol:).

some quick suggestion ideas:

I’d suggest that staff members use walkie talkies. I didn’t see any during the tourney, not sure if they were in fact used…could save a lot of time and leg work.

On the projection screens that display pool information, maybe display players names? might allow people to alert others? our group of friends all wrote down a “master list” of who was playing what…so we constantly had to keep a list in our pockets.

all i think is casuals and pool matches need to be seperated… i couldn’t tell who was playing pools and who wasn’t. it would make it easier on everyone if the BYOC and pool matches were seperate.