Thanks for your feedback about this year’s event. We’d like to talk a little about some of these points and ask for further feedback on our proposed changes.
We didn’t have a very good year keeping to schedule on stream 1, and there’s a range of plans we are already setting up to try and reset on this next year. There was no one big thing that caused us to go long vs schedule, just lots of little things that were a mixture of technical and human.
Code of Conduct
This will be significantly revised for 2020 with more explicit rules put in place for some areas.
This event always was going to have growing pains. This is the first Summer event for five years where we have been wholly self sufficient in PC stock. We think this is the correct long term move, the loaners we have had in the past were growing old beyond the point they could be reasonably presented as gaming PCs. This year we bought and built 20 brand new systems, however unfortunately this was not enough.
The plan going forward is to continue to buy five to ten new systems for every event, so that we have a rolling replacement program of strong gaming PCs. Unfortunately, this is a significant expense, and one that we can’t afford without increasing the price of attending ESA. Each PC is 500 to 800 euros, this renewal program may constitute 20% of the event budget for Winter. Further on in the post we will talk about this a little more.
Stream room layout
Your feedback has been heard loud and clear and in the future there will be two changes made to the stream room. Next Summer, all practice and casual gaming setups will be moved out of Oresundshallen into other spaces in the hotel. Secondly, we will use the dividing wall to provide partial or full isolation of one stream room from the other, depending on how flexible the arrangement is.
Quiet Practice and PC room misuse
In the future all side rooms will have a named contact person to address issues of misuse with.
An incremental improvement action plan has been developed to build upon the success of this event in the future.
Next year there’ll be big changes to the arcade. We need to travel smarter, about two thirds of our transport to ESA this summer was taken up by arcade cabinets, particularly the racing games.
ESA’s current stock is made up of cabinets we’ve been able to pick up at relatively low cost within Sweden. We have investigated the pricing of further imports, and importing machines 1 by 1 is neither cost nor time effective. The upfront spend to bring about six more high quality machines (we’re talking SDVX, Bishi Bashi, Scotto, Pop’n, maybe DDR HD) is about €20,000.
We are therefore considering if the arcade should either
1) Stay with the current selection of games, minus the driving cabinets which we can not afford the space to bring.
2) Buy a container of the above games from Japan, with a heavy focus on bringing modern and music games to ESA.
We would prefer to go for option 2, however for this to be at all possible we will need to develop a business plan where the arcade becomes closer to self sufficient. A part of this would be charging for credits. In this arrangement, we would still bring the pandora’s box multicabs and they would remain free to play in a different area from music games.
The hotel has a licence until 1 am, and we will talk with them to try and secure later opening hours next year. This will be on a “use it or lose it” basis, so long as people are drinking this should be no problem.
We’ll be moving back to more of a ticket based system in 2020. More details will be announced in due course.
Main room - We know it’s colder than the rest of the space, but it’s pre-set by the hotel and can’t be changed.
Hotel rooms - Again, unfortunately a fundamental design issue with the hotel that is outweighed by the positives of being there.
Sponsor plugs vs donations
We have a balance to strike. If runners shout for donations and there are none, something will be said. We are looking to build next year on the indicator LED we trialled so the runner can be kept silently informed.
Next steps - Ticket pricing
As may be clear from this post, there are a couple of areas we want to improve upon that have direct and significant cost to the event. As a result, we would like to bring in the concept of a supporter ticket. This can be viewed as a donation to event finances with a few perks. Long term we would anticipate three tiers, however for winter we will be selling just one. The perks will be a t shirt, a special supporter name badge, and a bundle of arcade credits if we go pay to play.
The ESA Winter pricing for general admission will be as follows
40 tickets at 80 euros
40 tickets at 90 euros
Thereafter at 100 euros
The supporter ticket will be an additional 30 euros
Tickets go on sale from 1 Sep @ 3pm CEST from https://www.ticketfairy.com/event/esa-winter-2020/
ESA continues to punch above it's weight in production quality. We are a bootstrapped event (no investors) and know from the positive feedback that you wrote that what we offer is phenomenal value, and phenomenally valuable to the speedrunning community in Europe.
We're in this for the long term, and we hope you are too.