Forums  /  European Speedrunner Assembly  /  ESA Summer 2019 Feedback Thread
  CapitaineToinonCapitaineToinon

I sent an email to the Quality Hotel View about the ice cream machine, as you may read below.

Quote

Greetings honored reader,

This summer, I had the pleasure to spend a week at your wonderful hotel for the 2019nd edition of the European Speed 🌌 Runner Assembly. After acquiring the knowledge that 332 liters of milk were consumed in order to satisfy our ice cream addiction in the 2018th edition, it is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE we find out if we managed to fulfill the prophecy and exceed the 2018st edition amount.

This is a matter of great urgency. My calls weren't answered, so I hope you'll get back to me as soon as humanly possible.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration.

Sincerely, your ever-faithful customer,
CapitaineToinon.

They haven't answered as of today. @PlanksPlanks would it be possible to reach the appropriate staff members to resolve my problem?

call_me_zeroocall_me_zeroo likes this. 
  ShuriBearShuriBear

Pros:
- Venue is easy to reach!
- Close to foodcorners.
- I love it that the practise room and stream rooms are in the same big room so you do not accidentally miss anything when you're practising.
- Arcade room was a nice add-on.
- The Speedgaming tournament room this year was a lot of fun.
- Free PopCorn, water and ice cream. ❤️
- The breakfast was amazing, a lot of nutricious food.
- I loved the intermission break videos. I am sure this will inspire upcoming speedrunners.
- Stream 2 this time felt like an addition to stream 1 and not a "less known game stream".
- Good atmosphere. The people were nice overall.

Cons:
- Awful playlist during intermissions. Only one genre and a handful of songs.
- The hotel suddenly implemented some rules mid-marathon which caused some minor drama (which I will not discuss here, for the sake of not letting it getting out of hand. If the ESA wants to know more please reach out to me for the story).
- It was super messy at some point. Some of the attendees are pigs who do not clean up after themselves. I think ESA should be more strict on this.
- Bar closing at 23:00 is very early. I understand they do not want drunks in the hotel. But darn, is it early normally you only could get 1 or 2 beers in.
- I love memes and all (heck I even tried to go for a 0:25 before CK found a way to get a 0:24), but the Street Boyz crew was so loud that it was audible on stream and I think that is unacceptable.
- Not using a CRT for speedrunning. As a retro runner I rather play on a "old but trusted CRT" than a modern setup. There were a lot of problems during setup and my run because of this.
- The audio setup during my run was all but ideal. Im used to BSG's approach to audio and there were a lot more options. I might've had a bad expectation about it, but I thought that a bigger marathon would atleast have the same kind of level of expertise than a small marathon.
- The AC was on certain days waaaaay too cold. That at one point I am not even sure if it's healthy for a human being.

Overall I had a great experience at ESA and I am very glad I went! But of course an event cannot be 100% perfect so I hope the cons I expressed are considered into the next one. And if the ESA wants to elaborate on any of the points I just made, please hit me up. I didn't want this to be one big wall of text. 🙂

 
  CartinaCowCartinaCow

I've come up with some feedback, I originally didn't have much, but as the days pass you kinda come up with more.

+ This was my 5th consecutive ESA and there is no doubt the two years in Malmö has been the best ones, locationwise, travelwise and so forth. I really do hope you can keep this venue for a while even when growing.

+ I'm one of those that enjoyed Stream 2 in the same room, I did watch some runs during the Yakuza run on Stream 2 and honestly I was just smiling and laughing at the hype going on over there. Then again I wasn't the runner at the time so I'm sure it might have been more annoying for those.

+ The growth and the new people

+ The hotel, I mean this place is almost too good to be true in most regards, the amount of stuff they honestly put up with without being too harsh is refreshing

+ A weird one, a small pat on the back for smokers for actually staying away from the outdoor serving area, where you no longer are allowed to smoke. I was expecting this to be a way bigger issue for the hotel than it was

+ The arcade, good selection of games and such. The only complaint is that the "resting" time for the CRTs and pinball machines was inconvinient sometimes. Like some mornings waking up I wanted to pinball a little and then they were turned off until noon.

+ Game selection, Tennis might not be the hypest game ,but I think it's fun to have these little oddball games at times. It livens the mood a lot.

+ Me losing my credit card at one point and my backpack at another and got both back increased my faith in humanity

+ Locking the quiet practice room, while it probably makes me use it less cause I dont like bothering staff for things like that, but I was in the Quiet Practice room one of the earlier days and I defintely experienced the crowds of people being way too noisy, so I think you did the right thing locking it up.

+ Streaming Station location, I honestly might do streaming stations again with that location you had this year. I never liked sitting in the main hall at the station cause it felt really exposed. The small room with your back to the wall, felt much nicer.

+ Mr. Schnuffles wants to add "It was fine"

- Bar closing at 23. But I've heard this might be already sorted. There is a bar pretty close to the venue (SKAJ Bar), but feels like no one knows about it.

- Could you be more clear with food rules, drink and such rules? I always get half confused what I am allowed to bring into the venue/hotel. Alcohol? Hot food? Subway sandwich (hot/cold)? Soda? Snacks?

- The NES Corner size is somehow becoming a problem, people were almost hijacking seats and TVs just to get a chance to play a little. Leaving the console on is no longer a gurantee people don't touch it, which used to be a unwritten rule in my opinion. It's always a bit eh to come back from a 3 minute smoke break/leg stretcher/bathroom visit and you lost your TV/Console spot. Not sure how to approach this issue however.

- You do a great job teaching tech how to run stuff and it was somewhat smooth this year, but there seems to always be some obvious thing missing that they weren't told about. This year it was the monitors, I felt like Grukk was one of the few that actually knew how to work the flatscreen monitors and get the right picture. Many tech are speedrunners themselves right, they should know how important aspect ratio and picture quality can be for the runners. A lot of the extra setup time was exactly this, trying to get a monitor to behave for 15 minutes, then spend another 10 replacing it. If there are known monitors that are just perfect for OSSC and such, why not just get 4 of those instead of some off-brand, I suppose sponsors plays a part. Also what the hell was that screen tearing thing that was on a lot of runs. It was always screen tearing and then the screen died a couple of minutes later. Once sure, but repeatedly?

- An freaking ashtray, I understand smoking is banned near the hotel and all that. But dear god was I paranoid the whole week about all the smokers putting the cigarettes in the big thrash bin. It's a fire waiting to happen at this point. A bigger size ashtray would probably last for the entire week for all the smokers.

- During one run of the NES block there was a good 10 people standing near the right side PCs, chatting and talking and blocking peoples views. Could you make the area near the PCs/Consoles a runner/commentator area only? No loiitering kinda thing. It's a shame if the audience are blocked by people standing in front of them.

- Me not finding time to get the Edenal selfie.

EdenalEdenal likes this. 
  havrdhavrd

Just a quick reply to CartinaCow about a crowd loitering around the computers. This was the Awful Relay crew setting up and practicing that run. 27 runners. Sorry we made noise, but we had to do it at some block when pcs would be free

 
  PunchyPunchy

a lot of my heavier feedback has already been received/is better discussed in private so I'll just keep this more small-scale

+ Jubeat is Very Good. the music game gremlins approve, expanding this ain't a bad idea if it's within your means. Good quality headphone amps and headphones already provided, top stuff.

- Arcade was really humid and sweaty? I know I ball pretty hard on rhythm games and all but I really shouldn't be THAT gross after a few sessions of Jubeat, it's not that intense a workout. Some fans in there wouldn't hurt.

- yeah there weren't many PCs which is wack for an event with mostly PC games

? Moving Stream 2 to the main hall was kinda good in the sense that it helps Stream 2 to feel less like the red headed stepchild of the event, but it also came at the cost of eating like a third of the space in the main room. I find this especially egregious given Stream 2 is not even being used all the time.

- i'm partially responsible for the street boyz thing and even i got annoyed at the pop offs from it near stream1 lol. someone literally ran up to me while I was commentating a game to inform me of coolkid hitting 24. Cool and all but bro, time and place.

even if street boyz wasn't the thing there though I don't think having anything that close to either stream is a great idea, there's a reason stream usually goes in its own space.

- still really hate the lack of a hospitality room, eating outside in the midst of wind sucks ass

- i know ESA doesn't get enough donation volume to cover all the airtime but I felt like I heard more ViewSonic plugs than actual commentary sometimes.

- been over this before but I'm still pretty confident you guys bury your own lede pretty hard when you schedule two hella donation-bait things on separate streams (i.e the double header of BigJon and Froob Yakuza $20), like I can't imagine that wouldn't work better as just a sequential block

- setup takes longer than is ideal and idk why

- at the risk of sounding like a callout, you guys gotta get more aggressive about cutting people off when they go over time. I was just after FFX-2 and those guys went 20 minutes over estimate and then played the entire ending sequence for like another 15. Someone needed to vaudeville hook yank that shit off well in advance given the marathon kept running insanely late.

- part and parcel to that, the marathon kept running insanely late due in part to not-aggressively cutting people off when they run over time but also allowing people to do weird pre-ambles and post-run glitch showoffs and stuff that aren't factored in. Keep these things to a minimum, they add up.

aight that's all I got for now prolly

 
  Oh_DeeROh_DeeR

This was my 3rd consecutive ESA and my experience this time around was very different from the prior years. I didn't have a run this time, so I felt like I had a lot more time and opportunity to take in impressions and reflect better on certain things. I'll try to keep it upbeat and constructive, even when critiquing things, so I hope nobody feels inconvenienced by anything I write. If anything needs clarification, feel free to message me on Discord and I'll edit if necessary.

I'll start with the cons if I may and also keep the main focus of this post on the parts that seem improvable.

Contents

[Hide]  

Negatives

• As soon as I entered the stream room, I was a little bewildered: both streams in one room. My first thought was that that was a terrible idea on several levels - and that initial assessment unfortunately proved to come true.

There are 2 perspectives for me on this topic, one entirely subjective and the other more practical.

Personally, I loved the cozy atmosphere in the separate stream 2 room at ESA2018. I kinda understand the idea behind opening up stream 2 to a broader on-site audience, but I don't think it was at all necessary. Of course, I wasn't there for all runs last year, but when I was, the audience situation always seemed appropriate for the respective run/community. So I don't see the need to either inflate or spread out the audience, respectively. For the Twitch audience it doesn't make a difference. Liva's opinion about this should count above all else, of course. I'm just an onlooker.

More objectively, and just as expected, the aural experience with 2 streams side by side was close to a disaster (and I'm not even talking about the Noise Boyz). Whenever I found myself watching a run in the audience (full spectrum from 3rd row to last row), I felt like the audio from the respective other stream was at least bleeding in, and sometimes simply drowning out what you were actually trying to listen to. In my opinion, that's a systematic miscalculation and I don't see this working out at this particular venue, ever.

• Piggybacking on the prior topic, the general sound mixing inside the stream room seemed rather suboptimal. Runners and commentators were usually very hard to understand because the on-site mixing just wasn't balanced well. Same for the short intermission exhibition reel. I haven't watched any VOD, but at the event, it sometimes seemed like audio was completely missing on those; that's how quiet they were. When asking tech about it, the short version of the answer was "We know, but it's fine on stream." I doubt that anyone involved saw that aspect as the solution to the problem.

• Many have mentioned the main venue AC set to too low temperatures and I want to echo that. Unfortunately, I caught ESAIDS this time around, so it became even more noticeable to me.

• Speaking of ESAIDS: of course, everyone is responsible for their own health first and foremost, but having sanitizers on site, especially in places with a high turnover rate (Arcade, ice cream/water/popcorn area, stream room) could at least help preventing a few people from catching something. Usually, the presence alone makes people more aware of what they touch how and when.

• My biggest critique point this year: the game selection. (I admit that I'm a little biased on this, but hear me out! I even went back in time and brought some pie charts back with me and filled them with contemporary numbers.)
I understand that PC games have a bigger share on the European market in general than, e.g., in the US. That's not the point. I believe that a game selection committee should be interested in providing a wide variety of games on different platforms and give a variety of communities a home at ESA. In my opinion, ESA has gone in a different direction over the last couple of years. This year, e.g., game selection was very heavily biased towards PC games (of course, I understand, really) and NES (yes, the NES community is healthy in Sweden, but they're not the only one out there). Let me illustrate that with the aforementioned pie chart. Here's the distribution of all games in the event, on both streams, grouped by platform.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/426280590333968396/610154335032311809/screenshot.315.png

Quick summary: 56% is PC, 12% is NES, everything else is <5%, several of which with only 2 or even a single run in the whole event. That's not how you invite communities to your event or provide a diverse selection for the viewers. To support my point, here's the same pie chart, but this time filled with data from SRC and grouped by the total amount of entries per system on the site. (This is not the most exact scientific approach, but the big numbers even out factors like mis-/multi-labeling and give the correct general idea.) The difference is quite obvious and you can clearly see that the distribution is much more homogeneous.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/426280590333968396/610157718354919452/screenshot.316.png

Of course, you're dependent on what people submit, BUT, as I've said before, you set a certain tone with your decisions, which influences how smaller communities view the event. It's easy to get discouraged from submitting something yourself, if you never see any of your games featured, or if you can't hope to meet some of your friends from your own community there, because the overall incentive to attend is just diminished for everyone if you don't feel represented by the event.
It would also help diversity if there weren't so many runners with several runs in the event. In 2017, I got 2 runs in myself. I'd have happily given one of those spots to someone else: I'm talking for myself here, but having to prepare for one run is usually already stressful enough. A one run per person rule could be something you might wanna look into. Exceptions could and should, of course, be possible for people coming over from overseas and/or particular cash cows for the sake of the charity. As long as everyone is open about it, drama potential should be minimal.

• Runner briefing and general rule phrasing. This kinda ties into game selection as well, since escalations caused or enabled by people with a history at the event are always also 50% the fault of the ones who give them the stage. That said, with the rules as vague as they are, it's hard to blame anyone for not knowing what they're allowed to say and what not. There are many good points about this approach, but if you know that someone is likely to have a different perspective than you on what's appropriate and what's not, please make it extra clear with them what you expect from them! This is a learning experience and I think the per-case approach is the right one. It just also has to be applied in obvious cases to avoid the annual drama.

• Schedule and setup. Before the actual event had even started, the schedule had already said goodbye - and it never came back. Sounds a bit harsh, but I can't put it any more nicely. If it hadn't been for stream 2 as the last resort, the event would have been a whole day behind. I don't know what the issues were. Runners poorly prepared? Tech poorly prepared? Hardware failures? I don't know what it was, probably a mix of all of those, nor how to prevent that.
From my personal runner experience with setup in 2017 and 2018, I had the impression, that there was a lot of over-complication going on with (analogue) console setups (and some reviews above have voiced similar impressions for this year). You know beforehand what consoles will be used (and if you don't, you can ask), so there shouldn't be any surprises on stage. Let's be honest: there will always be surprises with this kind of thing, but I think a little flexibility can help the situation. I'm unsure about this year, but last year everything had to go through an OSSC and ideally (if not exclusively) already provide an RGB signal. I don't know why the specs were that strict. S-Video provides the same image sharpness, just the colors are not as clear/vibrant. I saw quite a few RetroTink2Xs at this event in practice areas and in the SpeedGaming room. That's one relatively uncomplicated alternative to the RGB/OSSC setup, the latter of which apparently can be very finicky. Disregard this if that was already implemented this year. Another suggestion: crowd source RGB-ready consoles from attendees, if you really have to rely on that kind of signal. I hardly know anyone who wouldn't be okay with having their console used for a run by someone else. It's just a different take on volunteer work and could be organized with a spreadsheet way before the event.

• Music selection. Sure, this is a matter of personal taste, but why is the selection what it is in the first place? I personally don't see much overlap between EDM and dubstep and the ESA target group. Game music/remixes work great as intermission music.

• Hotel room AC not working. There should at least be a note that they're not working. Hotel staff surely know about it, so it should be easy to coordinate a general announcement.

[Hide]  

Things I'm indifferent about:

• Noise Boyz. If you feel bothered by anyone in particular, just ask them to turn it down. Most attendees are mature enough to respect that. That said, having the initial setup in an already noise polluted environment wasn't the best idea. Learning experience, moving on.

• Elevators/staircases. Nothing that can be done about the elevators. In case of not working room cards for the staircases, it was possible to ask at the front desk and have your card replaced. (On the first few days, it was actually the sensor on the door itself that was malfunctioning, which got fixed when brought up to the hotel staff).

• Bar closing times. I don't see any demand for action there for the ESA organizers. If the hotel doesn't want to earn more money, it's their choice. Maybe there's an internal, binding regulation that we're not aware of. In the end, everyone's responsible for themselves when it comes to food/alcohol/smoking.

• Sponsor/charity plugging. I understand that it's a necessary thing to do to keep the event running in the future and have some doors opened for it. At least we didn't have to deal with manipulative tearjerker videos this year, so that's a plus for me.

• PC room. Whenever I was there, there was some free spot somewhere, or you could at least ask someone to make some space/move their laptop, etc., so I can't echo the complaints others have voiced. I do agree, though, that it's not helping if it is treated as a spare parts depot and removed devices are never brought back.

[Hide]  

The good stuff

I'll keep this one short.

• Hotel. Uncomplicated, inexpensive, accommodating.
• Arcade. So much fun! Special shout-out to Edenal for keeping the pinball machines working!
• Breakfast. Would be perfect if the scrambled eggs weren't so damn runny.
• City. Lots of food places and free time activities. Great public transport.
• Feasel. Incredible how professional someone can be while still helping out anyone who needs help. I echo everyone who asked for a team for him next year.
• Info desk. Always friendly and helpful.
• New lanyards. No scratchy neck anymore.
• Train ticket machine lottery. Funny idea by the city of Malmö to randomize whether or not the machine will accept your credit card. Still printing invalid tickets also seems like a fun idea that nobody I know could have come up with.
• The things I forgot to mention probably belong in this category, too.

CapitaineToinonCapitaineToinon likes this. 
  SajikiSajiki

I will focus on the negative critique but first want to mention that this event was extremely fun, well organized, and many things have been improved from the last couple of years:) So here we go:

First and foremost: why are there 6-10 PC's for hundreds of people? This has been my (and many others') main complaint every single year since 2016 and while in 17 it was somewhat better, it just doesn't feel like it has been tackled enough. I also don't really want to draw a comparison to the CRTs in order to avoid a console vs PC argument, but still: there are a good 30 or so screens in the venue, why are there only a grand total of 10 PC's when the game distribution in the marathon is clearly different to that? Why were there no PC's in the main hall like last year, why no PCs in the quiet practice room, why did PC's keep disappearing so that at the end of the week there were only a solid 6 left? This creates a really bad atmosphere where people who need to practice have to ask other people to stop fooling around and those fooling around to feel bad about what they're doing. Especially since the event is focused on exactly that: socializing and having fun with friends. On top of that, being forced into that tiny room makes you feel so disconnected from the rest of the event (though that has been an even bigger issue in växjö tbh). Last year it seemed liked there were at least 4 in the quiet practice for free use and 4 or so in the main hall on top of the ones in the pc room.
One more thing about the pc room: it is already kind of small and described problems make it difficult to practice or play in there - why does there have to be an arcade rhythm game machine in it which makes really loud and obnoxious sounds? Perhaps that could be installed in a hall or in the arcade room?
Also people setting up emulators and consoles on those already limited PC's would not be frowned upon if there were simply more in general. On top of that, ocarina of Time practice with sound blasting through that room feels so much worse when everybody else can use ear plugs or play without sound. The room is just too small for that.
I realize how harsh all of this sounds and the only reason I'm voicing it like that is because it has been an ongoing issue over the years which doesn't seem to improve much.

Many people have said it but still: having both streams in the main hall set up the way they they were made it arguably a worse experience for everyone. Especially the speakers for both streams were so quiet (I assume to reduce feedback) that it was impossible at times to understand the runner even without the general background noise in the hall (looking at you, street boyz). I understand the idea of integrating it as much as possible and I really liked the view is the busy hall behind the stream last year but you either need some sort of noise cancelling walls (especially for stream 2 where the noise was actually so loud it would be impossible to even follow the runs) or improve the speaker volume. Additionally, I really liked stream 2 room last year, it was super comfy and fun to watch runs in there. At the same time I understand the argument to make stream 2 more of an actual offline stage experience so overall I'm pretty neutral when it comes to that.

The temperature in the venue, the PC room and the hall was really low in my opinion, it made me regret not bringing a shirt more than once. I don't know if that's a general complaint and I guess too cool is better than too warm.

Okay another point that may sound harsh when it's just my personal opinion of course so take for what it's worth: I don't like the seriousness of quiet practice room and even less I like the way it was conveyed, with a sheet of paper with millions of exclamation points on the door, an angry @everyone in the runner discord, the complete exclusion of non-runners from the room and someone from staff watching the room constantly. I don't know what has happened in there which made staff feel like this was necessary but I felt like I was treated like an idiot even though I had done nothing. I do believe people can talk to each and handle and resolve situations like this when most of them are adults. It seems like a generally solvable issue without having staff so heavily involved into it. Last year we live practiced the Jedi academy three way race with two way commentary in there and disturbed nobody but would have disturbed a lot of people anywhere else. At gdq, people practiced a 20 player mega Man relay in the quiet practice room and it was fine, so communication is the key here. I believe a serious practice atmosphere can be created without banning any sort of talking and third person in the room, it's not a library after all.

Another thing which I personally suffered from so I'm quite biased:
What made you prefer taking out runs from the schedule in order to fix it over moving runs from stream 2 to stream 1 when the schedule would be on time? This seems like a terrible idea when you consider that it completely changes time slots and might mess with runner availability and create viewer confusion when they suddenly have to be available at an entirely different day.
On top of that (and that's by far worse) why were the only 6 or 7 runners that had setup games not informed about what that would even mean? A copy pasted discord message about what a setup game is and that your run is a setup game would be enough for that. Maybe it was my own fault for not informing myself about it but I was practicing run and commentary a lot during the marathon and got informed by a friend 2 hours before the run that it would probably be moved while I didn't even consider that possibility beforehand. So when it was announced maybe a bit after that, I had to tell all of my friends and viewers at home they would now have to watch a different stream 5 days later. I have no issue with being on stream 2 but this seems like it's poorly handled 😕 I also don't understand the game selection for the setup games which seem to be like mostly well received and well known speedgames but that's a different story.

Stream 2 being ahead by 45 minutes is also a BIG no. It's fine when the schedule is a bit behind but being so far ahead that at the scheduled time, the actual run is already over is extremely unfair for the viewers who set an alarm or made an appointment only to find out they missed the run because it's already over. There's no shame in showing the audience for 5-10 minutes after a run if it finishes early. This goes additionally poorly with stream 1 being behind by hours and generally no way for the people at home to find out in the schedule by how far it is ahead/behind.

Some more minor complaints which are not very important 🙂
Coffee/tea would be important for some people to get at night or in the morning when you have to stay up or get up early for the crazy time slots and shifts.
I really disliked the badge this time.. anime... 😡 (sorry to the people who made them!) Also it would be nice to have them laminated again like in 17 because they're pretty destroyed by the end of the week.

Overall I really like the location, the vibes and everything, it's still my favorite week of the year and that's also the reason why I take so much time to formulate all my very personal complaints here. Because you're doing a fantastic job! Thanks 🙂

KottiKotti, NoobSalmonNoobSalmon and praskOopraskOo like this. 
  Mr_BroodMr_Brood

First of all, I liked the event as always. Staff and attendees were amazing as always. Loved the new improved arcade room.

However there are a few things I'd do differently for the next event.

- stream 1&2
As mentioned by a lot of ppl already it was a bad idea to do stream 1&2 in the same room. Plenty of argument have already been made for that.

- No chat for the runners
ESA is still at that period where reading chat is doable. Answering questions from chat and interacting with it can be used to enhance and improve viewer experience, as they feel part of it.
Inform the runner what the can and cannot say just like you do that with normal commentary.
This leads to my final point.

A better code of conduct.
I think the current code of conduct is mostly fine, tho it lacks some clear cut rules.
Things you cannot say or talk about. Just more general picture would be nice. This is a more minor point but it would be nice to see a more detailed guideline, and not a "just behave normally".

Keep up the good work!

call_me_zeroocall_me_zeroo likes this. 
  360Chrism360Chrism

Can we put more Hand sanetizer bottles like everywhere? Next to elevators, info desk and ESPECIALLY in the arcade.

Loved the event otherwise heh

 
  YvathacalYvathacal

Loved the event, just got a few small things regarding the hotel.

The AC was not really functioning in the arcade and in hotel rooms. Did not help that it was impossible to open the windows (hotel did not have the handle for it, ha). Also, not sure what happened but water literally started pouring down in the boardgame room at least twice during the event.

The elevators are straight from hell. Most of the time only two were working and 7 out of 10 times they were or full or it would take 5 minutes to get on the elevator (plus also quite dirty). It would be nice if the door on the event floor to the stairs was accessible from both sides instead of just one way.

 
  Ya-GGYa-GG

4th time attendee, first time volunteer.

ESA Summer 19 was a good week for me, despite the fact that the busy pc room was stressful to use with a run that happened the final day of the marathon.

+ The Speedgaming room added a huge upgrade to most of the tournaments' ideas or entertainments done at ESA.

+ I'm reading your feedbacks, and as part of the Infodesk, I'm glad that our work made it very useful & helpful for a lot of attendees.

? I don't know where to put this, but some people asked the Infodesk about tech people to setup a game on stream, host or donation readers... Maybe a different color of the badge can make ESA staff more remarkable inside the crowd, so they are easier to spot if we are looking for them ?

- As a volunteer, I agree with the fact that the vouchers can't please everyone as a compensation. If you become tired of the burgers or the drinks from the bar, it's difficult to use them all for your own satisfaction.

- ESA becoming more and more popular + less pcs than last years (some were dedicated to the speedgaming room) + A lot of pc runs on the schedule resulted in a very complicated pc room. Between the runners + Speedgaming attendees who wanted to practice and people who wanted to have fun, the different needs went a lot incompatible. Clear rules on the PC room may solve the issue, but the situation seems a bit complex. Without any laptop, the pc training might have been stressful for some people.

- The Street Boyz issue, their gaming place was completely too close from Stream 1

- Quiet practice room was a tough place to deal with this year. If I remember ESA Summer 18 correctly, people used to care more about the silence of the room when Stream 2 was next to it.

Thank you for your attention.

 
  CapitaineToinonCapitaineToinon

Quote

I sent an email to the Quality Hotel View about the ice cream machine, as you may read below.

[...]

They haven't answered as of today. @PlanksPlanks would it be possible to reach the appropriate staff members to resolve my problem?

Fellow speedrunners,

I am afraid I have some sad news to share with you today. After getting an answer yesterday stating that they would answer as soon as possible when the hostess responsable of the ice cream machine would come back from holidays on Wednesday, they were able to answer my urgent request today anyway.

Unfortunately, despite our tremendous efforts, we weren't able to fulfill the prophesy and beat the 2018nd record, as explained in the following e-mail that I had the misfortune to receive today.

Quote


Hi again Antoine!

I was able to get the requested information already today, and unfortunately you did not break the record from 2018.
Last year you guys ate 350 liters of ice cream, this year only 290 liters.
But you get a new shot next year! 🙂

Med vänlig hälsning/Best Regards

Carolin Landgren
Assistant Meeting & Event Manager

May the ice cream god have mercy upon our shameful souls.

CapitaineToinon.

call_me_zeroocall_me_zeroo likes this. 
  thevkthevk

This one comes from me as a restreamer and not a runner. The schedule and games were expectably good, always something to cast at ESA. But the setup times were over the top! I understand some older games are difficult to set up, but come on! Please do something about the setup times (they were good on Winter '19 IIRC), they mess up the schedule of the event and of the restreams alike.

 
  crazycharliehcrazycharlieh

I have put the largest section of my feedback in a separate thread, so here we go with the remainder;

Who’s idea was this floor plan? You don’t have to change everything all the time. Putting the tech crew behind a projector screen was a terrible idea. Last year they could see everything that was going on easily without having to run around, but now, even something as simple as a thumbs up required having to move all the time. It’s clear to me that this contributed to the long setup times. It also meant there was much less seating area and you can’t see the stream from the whole room. Now, I speculate that this might have been a cunning ruse (fewer chairs means it looks busier on stream more of the time), but let’s face it, it’s never going to be packed 24/7. The organisers themselves know that for someone attending, the stream is actually only a very small part of the event. IMO, the floor plan from 2018 was far better.

At first, I was pleased with the decision to have both streams in the same room. In theory it’s great, However, it was brought to my attention after my run on stream two that i could barely be heard over the noise coming from stream one, which kinda puts a downer on things. Don’t know if that can be fixed or not, but I know I’m not the only one not happy about this.

Hosting going back to the desk set-up was great though.

Is one of the largest side rooms being dedicated to chat modding really necessary? The thing is (and this a personal opinion) chat it’s fine. Most of the things that turn it “bad” (excessive copypasta etc) can be filtered easily by a bot. Giving them their own office means they’re just going to sit there and think of ways to feel important, unless someone other than ESA is now trying to have a say in how things are done.

The schedule reveal could do without being a group discord call where everyone talks over each other and screams with joy at every game. Perhaps one or two of the schedulers talking through the process and saying why they decided to accept each run. Many people just turned it off this year.

$25% assumes that everyone who donates will be donating with something funny. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with the gift of comedy, and many donations ended up falling flat. If you must persist with them for their pure donation harvesting ability, perhaps let there be a longer estimate on the run, or some other failsafes like disallowing ones that take the runners hands away from the game.

Someone denied the use of the name “JD Farts” as a name for the character in Fallout 4. Why? What on earth is wrong with that? “How Ridiculous”, a youtube channel whose hosts are youth pastors in Australia have the occasional fart joke in their videos. Why deny that?

Please, for ending and opening speeches, have cue cards or some other kind of prompt so that people are not stood in front of the camera thinking for ages. If you’re dedicated to production values, this is a serious flaw.

One of the senior hosting guys could do well to not talk down to people with snide comments.

<b>None of the preceding points should detract from the fact that I had a great time, just as I have every year previously. Thank you to everyone involved.</b>

call_me_zeroocall_me_zeroo and EtemEtem like this. 
  GikkmanGikkman

This was my first ESA, and I'll start by saying I had a blast. People I met were super friendly and inviting. I'll definetly go again.

I'll try to list some pros and cons, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Just the things I can think of from the top of my head.

Pros:
+ Venue: Great venue, nothing to complain on. Easy to get to, fresh, good amenities.
+ Air conditioning in the main hall: I know some people mentioned it being too cold, but personally I prefer it over the alternative. It can easilly get warm and sweaty in a large hall like that, and I prefer it feeling fresh and cool.
+ Tournament room: Really fun, and a great job by feasel.
+ Boardgame room: Also really fun, and it was a great way of meeting a few new people my first few days
+ Arcade: I loved the arcade- and pinball machines! I think having them in a separate area was a good idea too, since they tend to be pretty loud.
+ Community intermissions: Awesome concept. It does need some more polish though, like common splash screens maybe to show who made the intermission and such, to make them feel a bit more coherent. Also, check their audio levels, it was often hard to hear. But a great concept!

Undescided:
Stream 1 and 2: I like this setup, but the audio bleed was troublesome at times.
Text-to-speach on stream 2: I see where this comes from, getting voulunteers is hard. It was a bit hard to hear it though, but it might be possible to fix. Risk of more sound bleed though...
Music choice: It was a bit stale to just hear the same songs over and over in intermissions, and they didn't really feel like they connected to the event

Cons:
- Coffeein the main hall opened late: I know, I know, but I wanted a cup of coffee at 7 and I couldn't get one 😣
- Retro corner was cramped: It was a lot of people there, and a lot of consoles and CRTs. It would probably have needed some more room to fit everything.
- Hotel bar closed early: Mentioned several times already, but it kinda put us in a spot where nothing could be bought after 11, but you couldn't eat or drink anything in the hotel, and there was nothing near by. Maybe put a tent outside where we can eat and have a drink?
- Street boys by stream 1: I get the hype, and the runs were really fun, but it did get a bit too loud from time to time. Moving the Street boys area was a good descision.
- Audio levels by stream 1: Sometimes it really hurt my ears to sit by stream 1, even if you were seated a bit back and in the middle. The highs were very sharp sometimes, especially when donation readers cut in.
- Schedule shifts: It was very hard to time runs, both on stream 1 (which lagged behind) and on stream 2 (which often far ahead).

 
  whateveruwantwhateveruwant

As a viewer, I liked the event. But I feel like commentators who are more proficient in english should be chosen. sometimes i dont understand what they say or what they are trying to say (grammar)

 
  SeductiveSpatulaSeductiveSpatula

Another great event, and I'm truly digging the location both geographically and in terms of the venue itself. Having attended since 2015, these past two events have definitely been the best I've seen of ESA, and I'm as always already excited for the next one.

I will primarily be talking about my views and concerns regarding stream 2, and then the end will just be some quick points about other stuff.

-STREAM 2-
First allow me to just say that I absolutely love stream 2 and ever since Liva got on and has been in charge it's been a damn delight both as a viewer and runner. This year I only interacted with Liva and Thiefbug, but both of them were super helpful, friendly and did such a great job of making things comfortable for you as a runner. This has been my experience every year I've dealt with stream 2, even when I made a bit of a mess for Liva and crew last year, and I can't state enough how much I appreciate this.

I understand that the technical setup is considerably less complicated than stream 1, but it's so nice to just have things run smoothly and have whoever is at tech be nice and accommodating. That's not to say tech on stream 1 is not, but it can often feel chaotic and hurried. Once again I understand that with the complexity of stream 1 this is likely inevitable, it's just a point of note.

Alright, on to the meat of this section.

Having both streams in the same area is naturally a double-edged sword. On one hand it's nice to have them in such close proximity so people can hop between the two with ease, however the bleeding audio and distraction is unfortunate. I have no idea how big of a deal this was for the stream viewers, but on-site this fluctuated between minor inconvenience and a very real issue.

I assume the primary reason for putting the them so close is to show that the two streams at ESA are equal, but let's be entirely honest; they're not. Let me explain what I mean and why this isn't necessarily a bad thing:

The two previous years in its own, smaller, room, stream 2 has had a way more laid back and comfy feel to it. This is something I personally absolutely treasure, but I realise it might not be important to a lot of other attendees. By moving the stream to the big hall this feeling is completely lost and replaced with... what exactly?

Stream 2 has fantastic games every year, but the schedule has and will most likely continue to favor stream 1 (I don't see why it wouldn't), and as a result stream 2 generally has less stream viewers as well as a smaller physical audience. Well one of the things we got by moving to the big hall was more chairs, which just means more empty seats for most runs, which is always a sad sight.

Next I think the text-to-speech donations are fine and has a decent meme potential, but beyond that it just adds to stream 2 feeling like less of a priority.

In my opinion having the bigger "main stage" stream 1 and the smaller, comfy stream 2 gives the event a nice variety, and I would personally love to see ESA double down on this rather than try to force the little kid to stand right next to his bigger, more successful brother. Maybe there could be a middle ground between last year and this one. Stream 2 still in its own area, but maybe a bigger room than last year if possible. I think that would be wonderful.

I would also like to echo something other people have mentioned. I feel like having a set of games on stream 2 that could move to stream 1 if they end up ahead, will leave a way better taste in people's mouth than being "downgraded" to stream 2 because of delays.

As one final note I feel like stream 2 was horribly under-advertised on stream 1. I know that sponsors are important but hearing the same ad read 2-3 times in a 1 hour run seems a bit excessive and one of those reads could certainly be dedicated to just briefly reminding people that there is a second stream going on as well. I forget, but I do seem to recall squad streaming being used this year, which is great. I just feel like we can still do more to advertise stream 2. An idea I talked with some friends about was during intermissions maybe showing a picture-in-picture with a live feed of the other stream. I think this could be a great addition and something to consider.

-QUIET PRACTICE ROOM-
I honestly have no idea what horrible tragedy happened that turned the room into what it became, and maybe the reaction was completely warranted. However from my point of view it came off as excessive and frankly hostile at times. Basically having to ask for permission to enter, while minor, is another hoop to jump through and the whole situation made me feel treated like a school kid. Then having what was essentially a guard at the door just added to this feeling and made the entire experience very off-putting. I witnessed people doing their necessary communication at a level barely above that of your average mechanical keyboard and getting yelled at for it. Yes, it's supposed to be quiet practice, but this isn't a library.

If it's gonna be like this, you might as well have a time sheet where people can sign up for blocks of practice, and maybe add a comment if they actually need to practice commentary or communicate with fellow runners or commentators so people who need absolute silence can just avoid those slots. I just think there are better ways to deal with this area than passive aggressive signs and having people guarding the room.

-PC ROOM-
Not much to say that hasn't already been said. Not enough computers, not enough space, people put a bunch of other stuff in the room for some reason, and machines just kept disappearing.

For practice concerns I am well aware that people can just ask to use machines when people are doing other stuff, but the thing is a lot of people won't and they shouldn't have to. Will there ever be enough pcs to satisfy everyone, probably not, but it can definitely be a lot better.

-STRAY THOUGHTS-
- One thing that I miss from both streams is a dedicated monitor for chat. I'm not sure if this is something other people care about, but I quite liked having it for keeping up or checking in on chat both as a runner, commentator, or even just spectator.

- Street Boyz were loud boyz. Awesome that you're having a great time, but you are for some inexplainable reason right next to the stream - have some restraint. Everybody knows this by now, and I doubt something similar will happen again.

- Setup for games on stream 1 this year seemed like a bit of a mess. Constant big delays and tons of small issues. Gamefeeds being swapped, no game audio for the majority and even entirety of certain runs etc. Also the buttons for starting and stopping the timers also didn't work out at all for races.

- There wasn't enough communication between tech and runners. For several runs, the runner would be live and not be aware for a good few seconds and it's all just kinda awkward.

- With the way stream 1 was physically set up this year there were way less seating and for some of the bigger hitters, there simply wasn't enough. It also in my opinion made the event appear way smaller on stream.

- I suspect this will sadly forever be the case, but guys, take care of your own frigging trash. Most of you are in your 20s, it's about time you start acting like it. Already on the first day the floor in the main hall was covered in PopCorn and there were paper cups absolutely everywhere. Embarrassing honestly.

- I have no idea how plausible this actually is, but it would be sweet to have access to stream 2 on the hotel room TVs as well.

Maybe this seems very negative, but if this is all I have to comment on, then from my perspective you're doing pretty darn well 😛 See you next year folks!

NoobSalmonNoobSalmon likes this.