Alright. We all knew this would happen. Again I prefer transparency when dealing with feedback. You can't improve or get proper constructive feedback if you aren't trying to be transparent. My feedback will most be of the tech, other staff members have or will cover the other aspects.

Now I want to start this off right off the bat, we get zero funding from anybody for these events. We have zero sponsors or anything of the like. This means everything is provided for by us. Dreamhack was a massive help in regards to this. They always asked what we would need and what they could provide to help. They were to provide CRTs but they went towards the smash event. They did provide the lav mics, the alienware computers, benq monitors and elgato capture cards stream tech wise. They also provided the tables, chairs, projector and speaker. That goes for anything physical anyways.

Due to a change in tech plans we had 5 weeks to plan and buy all the needed equipment. Going off of what we learned at NASA, we needed proper splitters to get the image from console to tv and capture solution. We needed this for multiple consoles and also have to deal with the image from HD consoles or PCs. I ended up buying the biggest piece of equipment which was an extron RGB Matrix. This by itself cost me 100 cad and I had to travel over the border to pick it up as if I shipped it directly to my house in Canada, it would of cost way more. On top of this BNC to RCA adapters had to be bought, and audio connectors as well that had to be soldered together. Time line wise me and ThoseCrazyGuys picked up the matrix the weekend before the main event. I had Monday and Tuesday off to play around with it. I had to pay around another 1-150 cad for all the adapters etc needed to have this matrix in working order. I didn't have the luxury of buying cheaper and then waiting as again, small time frames. Ordering anything from China has been taking a month or longer to reach homes in Canada. I can't send everything over to a mailbox in the states as I don't have time to take multiple trips to bring gear back and not get dinged duties.

So on top of this how were we to do HD consoles with HDMI. We bought HDMI splitters that even have confirmed HDCP stripping abilities. I bought a two pack of hdmi cables, and literally pulled a bunch from things around my house. I also pulled many component cable, rca cables, svideo cables etc. We even bought extra Nintendo svideo cables that are of confirmed good quality that do not have a checkerboard pattern. We bought RCA to 1/4” adapters, 3.5mm to rca cables, 3.5mm splitters, the list goes on. Our combined efforts meant we at least spent a couple hundred CAD combined. I bought most of the tech stuff as it would be useful in my own personal setup and have some use instead of staying in storage somewhere. We had to rent an audio mixer for the event, which only cost about $30 considering the price of the mixer was close to $1000.

As for how things went at the event, it was a mixed bag. We didn't even have the stream pc all set up and ready to go till about an hour or two before the event due to computer and internet issues that we needed to wait on Dreamhack to fix. Speaking of the stream pc, we didn't have our own. We used the alienware provided by dreamhack since they were about as good as our personal PCs, and we didn’t have the room to bring our own up. We didn't have the option of using internal capture cards however. Dreamhack graciously got us Elgato HD captures. I spent a few days googling them, everything pointed to showing it's possible to have multiple cards in junction together. Turns out it wasn't. If I didn't bring my Live Gamer Portable, we would have been screwed. The elgato software was prone to crashing whenever we wanted to do a change of some sort. The headphone splitters we had somehow were causing digital noise when we put it in the mixer. Luckily the BenQ monitors had a headphone jack, and the LGP also had a headphone audio out. This was our work around for PC audio. I still have yet to figure out a true way to have audio to runner and mixer. HDMI audio extractors exist and will be something I'll look into. Again cost is a factor. This led to the half hour delay for starting the stream. We also had issues with audio near the start. We couldn't push the audio on the mics all that much because the one speaker they provided to do local audio was to close and we were getting massive feedback. We later got extensions that let us move it much farther away but feedback was still an issue as we couldn't push things too high.

The rest of the first day was going at whatever pace. It came to the point where I needed sleep. I woke up 9am on Thursday to buy needed extra items. My plan was get sleep, wake up early enough because I still had to solder audio connectors for the matrix, then make it over. My sleep was interrupted my 911 calls from ThoseCrazyGuys because something as simple as moving the cable from SNES to n64 broke video. I later found it to be an issue with sync not passing through properly from matrix to the component convertor box and scaler. Probably my SCART to BNC adapter died. Changing the video layout to instead of splitting at RGB, and instead splitting at component resolved this issue. This however isn't something anybody but me could have figured out unfortunately. I couldn't/didn't have a chance to train anybody on the setup due to time constraints. Also with me just literally grabbing all available cables I had, it was a rat's nest. I had multiple 3-12 feet component cords dealing with everything. The consoles and equipment were max 3 feet away. This didn't help the issue. I ended up getting everything fixed and we finally got Space Station Silicon Valley going. We then had issues with the blue channel disappearing. The VGA to component out cable for my scaler was at fault as moving it fixed it, I feel I need to invest in a new one. I switched main cap cards again as the LGP doesn't like the HDMI from the scaler and things were back to good.

We also had issues with the cap cards on us just freezing. Actually it was literally any video device plugged in via USB. We realized we had some unnecessary items plugged in We finally got that resolved and we didn't have the cards freezing on us. I had to redo the setup to be composite for the triathlon (also because my RGB modded n64 got switched accidentally with pixel's but that's been resolved). Reminder I only got to sleep for maybe 3-5 hours max, and it was on the floor or a beanbag chair as I couldn't really leave in case crap hit the fan again. We ended with a bang on the triathlon and I got some good poutine and headed home.

If the event does happen again, we are going to be using a real stream pc, with internal capture cards. The Matrix will be properly labeled, the tech will be much neater and better explained. People will hopefully have the chance to learn the actual setup. Or maybe everything will be a train wreck again. I dunno. At least the stream quality itself was top notch when things worked.

TPositiveTPositive, pixel911pixel911 and 6 others like this. 

I would like to clarify something.

"feedback should be liseting to the complains and taking notes, Not responding to them and try to defend X thing you did"

This is silly. We want feedback to help us identify issues and we will be responding to things people say to explain why something happened and what caused us to make decisions. This is not us deflecting or making excuses we take feedback seriously when we discuss future events. Everything runners say in this thread will have an impact for both teams on how things are done in the future.

That being said we want transparency so we are going to respond with explanations.

Secondarily please don't make this into a hate thread. Most of the staff are fairly new to this and this is a learning experience for us. Please try to stay constructive with your criticism because alot of people put in alot of effort to make this event for the speedrunning community and all want to improve.

Thanks so much for helping nasa and no reset out on the first north American dreamhack speedrunning event. Now Let's work together to try and make the next one better!

TPositiveTPositive, pixel911pixel911 and 8 others like this.