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Forums  /  Midwest Speedfest  /  2017 in retrospect
  theoblivinator
Just wanted to share my experience about what happened at Midwest Speedfest 2017. I had a blast and the good out-weighed the bad.

The Bad:

Procrastination of planning the event:
Life gets in the way; that’s a given for everyone. I just think (and confirmed many had the same thoughts about it too) waiting until two weeks before the event to start planning things wasn’t a good idea. Hopefully in the future there can be many months of planning in advance and schedule/equipment lists can be finalized well before the event.

Tech/Marathon experience of folks who set-up and ran the event:
I wouldn’t say this was our fault. Most of us had little to no experience doing an event like this. This definitely showed as Friday’s start time crept up and slipped past us as we worked on sorting out issues with the set-up. I believe we were around 2.5 hours behind and still had several issues to work out when IcePlug just said fuck it lets go (props to him for pushing though, if it would have been up to me I would have continued to work out issues before starting, likely causing an even larger delay). The best thing to come out of this was all the knowledge we now have leaving the event which can be used in the future. We all came out smarter because of it.

Also everyone had amazing patience when we were setting up. It was mostly myself, Immawakka, IcePlug, Sleepwalker92, and Prolix making a few trips to Micro Center. FingerQuick and JustCallMeWade initially had all the hardware set-up; it was streaming issues that we were working on. Tensions and frustration was definitely high and everyone kept a cool, calm, level head about it. That was awesome!

Equipment:
We had to scrape by with what we had. I wish I had brought both of my monitors instead of just the one. Huge shoutouts to Prolix for making a few trips to Micro Center for a few cables and splitters that we needed. We definitely have more knowledge about what hardware it takes to run an event like this so that is a plus. Definitely having some better speakers for the audience, maybe some HD capture cards and some more computers to monitor video/audio feeds would have been great.

The Room:
Having to share a room with routy tournament players wasn’t ideal. Obviously everyone there was apart of the same con and we all came to have fun, but many viewers complained about the cheering and jeering being picked up from our microphone when people were trying to run. This was especially bad during Saturday afternoon. In the future it would be so much better if Midwest Speedfest could get it’s own small room.

The Good:

The Con:
This was my first time going to a con ever. It was a lot of fun and I should have checked out the other activities more than I did. Loved the arcade games, playing with the puppies that were up for adoption, watching a bit of the Splatoon 2 tournaments, and browsing the vendors. The hotel was plenty large for everyone there, my room was great, and the provided internet was perfect. Overall just very clean and cool. I definitely want to participate in future 2D Cons.

The Marathon:
Once the marathon was up and running, things went pretty smooth from there out. There were some hiccups (my run on Saturday night was delayed about an hour due to audio issues again lol) but overall we had plenty of viewers on the stream and as a live audience. Everyone clapped and cheered. The game selection and runner commentary was great. The laid back attitude of and everyone just going with the flow even if the quality was diminished a bit was awesome. We all took turns running the stream and changing layouts, throwing out tweets, chatting with the viewers, and just having a really good laid back time. Huge props to all of us.

The people:
This little section alone outweighs all the bad I just talked about. Everyone there was a pleasure to meet and work with. I’m glad we all pulled some weight and got this things up and rolling. All the runs I watched were entertaining, everyone knew what they were doing. Immawakka, Finger Quick, and JustCallMeWade showed up Thursday and got the initial set-up done. Prolix and myself were there early Saturday with remaining equipment and set-up. Sleepwalker and IcePlug jumped in to help also and we all got along and made it happen. Couldn’t have done it without you folks.

Huge shoutouts to CoolMatty for stepping up and pushing us in the right direction and getting things rolling. This would not have happened with him and his experience. Also shoutouts to Ouro for getting us some layouts to use.

I can't wait for next year and other future events. This really sparked an interest in doing more of these in the future. I know there are a few talks going on in the discord about stuff for the fall too, I'd love to be apart of that. I also would like to look into getting equipment of my own so maybe I could host a marathon all by myself of some sorts, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself.

It was great meeting all of you, I'll cya next time. Take care everyone and stay in touch!
imawakka and Sleepwalker_92 like this. 
  Super modseckswrecks
I can't deny that things happened and life got in the way. I don't really want to turn this into explaining everything I've struggled with on a day to day basis for nearly 20 years now, so I'll just leave it at saying that it was best for everyone involved that I was not there.

Submissions have traditionally been left open until rather close to the marathon since we've always viewed it as less of a "attend if I get in" marathon and more of a "what can the people who will be coming run" sort of process. Also our submissions lists have historically been rather light. That being said I do agree that there should have been a lot more pre-event planning and now that there are more than just Myself and 1 other person actually interested in helping make the event actually happen rather than attending those kinds of scheduled, organised planning sessions can happen.

As far as setup and equipment goes, those were basically the main reason why the decision was made to call it off. Tony and I remember the headaches of the first year, we didn't want to simply thrust those onto people on such short notice.
Between the two of us have all the gear that would have been used for the marathon (outside of the TGM stuff), including a MUCH better audio setup. Our gear library is, of course, not entirely complete. We could use better mics for the audio setup (proper headsets so runners can hear self/game clearly) and some kind of PA system for the in room audience (last year tony had borrowed one of these from a friend https://www.amazon.com/Fender-Passport-Conference-PA-System/dp/B00J4VTD04) but since we've never done any kind of fundraising this has all been out of pocket expenses for us

The room is just, well without us breaking free of 2Dcon I just don't see us ever really getting "our own" space. In 2015 the entire con (outside of a room no one knew existed) was in one space, I had a band playing a concert 40 feet from me during one of my runs. In 2016 we shared a space with the LAN gaming setup, which actually worked out pretty ok, the audio we picked up was mostly from the hall outside, rather than people in the room itself being too rowdy. With the audio gear I intended to use there would have still been the distraction element for the runners, but the stream itself would have sounded much cleaner.

That covers what I can really comment on from the OP, and I plan on making a new thread with regards to organizing things moving forward.

Everyone who came together to pick up the pieces I left behind did a fantastic job, you should all be proud of yourselves. It absolutely exhibited what I initially hoped the marathon to be, a community effort to have fun playing video games with a timer running. I hope moving forward that community energy can be used to help organize the event in a more horizontal fashion and less of a "seckstatorship"
 
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