Forums  /  ESA Summer 2018  /  ESA Summer 2018 Feedback Thread


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  Planks

http://i.imgur.com/NneENhL.png

Hopefully you are home and beginning the process of rest and recuperation from ESA. Packing up this weekend was far easier than last year, thanks to so many of you hanging back to help pack up on Sunday, so we thank you enormously.

As an organising team we have many thoughts (almost all good!) on ESA this year, but before we share them, we need as usual to listen. Please use this thread to post your thoughts on any part of ESA, whether you watched at home or were an attendee. It is important you are critical if needs be, so we can effectively plan for next year.

We will be feeding summarised feedback to the hotel, and they will be providing a group response in due course. If you have specific complaints hotel service that require a personal response, please email them directly as we can not handle individual points.

All on site attendees will shortly also receive a short multiple choice survey by email with a comments box. Comments made here will remain private to the organising committee.

If you have already written a pastebin, please copy/paste it here. It helps us out a lot to have all comments in one place

See you next time!

Planks

JackOfHearts, RoboSparkle and 16 others like this. 
  Monojira

Gonna keep it shorter than previously:

Contents

[Hide]  

Positives:

- The venue. Holy heck, what a nice venue. The size of the floor is perfect for the setup. Great use of all the side rooms as well. Anything less would have been an issue but you guys truely made the most out of what we got and it showed.
- The location. Just perfect. Food close, trains close, activities nearby.
- The hotel. Compared to the service at the previous years this was such a huge improvement. The hotel staff was amazing! Big shoutouts to them + the services they provided (free ice cream, coffee, popcorn, water,...). It also wasn't too pricey afterall.
- The schedule. Of course, I might be biased. But the schedule felt so much nicer and more balanced than the previous years.
- The overall viewing experience. Almost perfect, with only the lack of a comfy couch in first row for both streams.
- The community. No hostility, so much room to connect with people. There were basically no stream monsters, everyone was a fan and dedicated to the community. A lot of positivity and support for the charity as well. It made this event feel even more connecting and the group of people around felt like family to me.

[Hide]  

Mehs:

- Broken ACs and very small beds were a bummer. Next year I might just book a single for myself to avoid this issue. Still, the only thing that was nicer at Scandic compared to QHV were the beds imo.
- Security + Badge controls should have been enforced from day one the way they were enforced on the last day. I guess it was a learning experience from everyone involved and the situation was handled very well by everyone but next year a dedicated badge / security team might be needed.
- Hosting signups were a bit... inconclusive. I've talked to hosts and host organizers to hear both sides of the story and I understand both sides. The 4x 4h initial requirement was a bit off-putting for people that had several runs / commentaries or only stayed a limited amount of days. I understand that a lot was done to accommendate for those people and that scheduling is hard, but a more communicative approach for hosts during signups (giving preferences for time slots/days or mix between hosting + dono reading and also maybe a reduction to 2x4h for a smaller discount and a bigger discount for dedicated hosts of 4x4h would be nice).
- Additionally, while the timeslots were a lot better than run specific hosting, alterations and adaptions should be made beforehand for especially long games. Also, hosts should be given the option to also declare donation reading if they feel up to the task.

I hate to give negative feedback as well but a single incident in regards to chat moderation was sort of souring my personal experience, even though I havent been involved. While the situation was handled on site from what I heard, some people should maybe cut down on their egos and try to not overstep their boundaries. Overall, the entire organisational team felt super connected to the participants and the volunteers and it did feel like a close family, hence probably why negative appearances by certain people became so much more noticeable and impactful.

I had an incredible week and I was blown away by the improvements. Having been to both GDQs and ESAs as well as smaller events in the past, this has been the single best marathon experience for me so far. So much love for all the volunteers, organizers and runners. โค๏ธ

NoobSalmon, RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  eNt91

I will skip the positives as I generally agree to what most people liked and even loved about this year's ESA Summer - as in the location, hotel, etc.

So here is what I think could be improved:
- the main stream only had one speaker while the second stream had two, which led to the one speaker being wayyyyy too loud for most of the event (and it was especially bad during the SM64 relay whenever Chrism was talking)
- the beds in the rooms were way too soft; I know some people like soft and comfy beds, but it's bad for your back and I actually have back pain now after ESA which I haven't had in forever
- there were way too many CRTs compared to LCDs; I know they are pricey, but IMO it should be a priority and I'm glad that was addressed during the closing speech
- the stream and projector game screens were way too dark; it was often impossible to see anything during dark scenes in games

Not sure if anything can be done about the beds but I know you guys are awesome and will do your best do improve ESA even further ๐Ÿ™‚

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  MLSTRM

Pastebin containing my feedback along with other stuff, as duplicating information is inefficient ๐Ÿ™‚

https://pastebin.com/tyMVfnAs

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  BaalNocturno

All of the good stuff has been pretty much said allready, same goes for the negative stuff.

+ The energy levels and enthusiasm this year was absolutely amazing, which wants me to support the event again/even more with runs now than before (and i hope im not the only one who feels that way)

Really minor negatives:
- Mafia definatley needs a bigger room hahaha
- Stream 1 needs the couch back tbh, its more comfy if you're sitting for longer

 
  CounterPillow

As a viewer, my only big complaint is the chat mods.

During the GTA LCS run, one of the missions involved a truck with the company logo "Liberty Sex" on the side. The runner Nozlar referred to this as the "sex truck", mentioning it multiple times. Anyone who typed "sex truck" in the chat, however, got a 10 minute timeout. That is to mean that any message even just referring to the truck as "sex truck", with no offensive content whatsoever, was met with a 10 minute timeout.

I think that's just dumb. Chat mods shouldn't enforce rules any more strictly than the venue (or the game) itself does. There is nothing offensive about "sex truck". Yet, these GDQ rejects think they run the show.

RoboSparkle likes this. 
  SixRock

Heyo!

ESA Summer 2018 was the first on-site gaming event I've ever attended. I stayed for 3 nights, so my experience wasn't "full", but here's my thoughts:

The venue was quite honestly amazing. I was surprised by how much the organizers managed to fit in there, without making it messy or narrow. Access to everything was simple and well organized. The free stuff was of course a sweet cherry on top?

Atmosphere-wise I couldn't ask for much more. It was everything everyone hyped it up to be. I felt at home as soon as I arrived. Everyone was super chill and friendly.

The only minor negatives I can think of are:

-Chat moderation. It seemed at times a bit too strict, and at some points a bit lazy. No disrespect to the people moderating of course, but some decisions in chat were a bit strange.

-Badge control. People from outside the event are bound to enter the arcade area or the gaming area, but nobody should have to be afraid of their stuff being stolen or messed with. Some sort of security near entrances would help, especially with common badge checks.

All in all the event was one of the best experiences of my life. All the people I met, including making new friends, all the new speedgames I witnessed and got interested in, and all the support from everyone there made those days incredible.

Thanks for ESA Summer 2018, and see you next summer!

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  Adamcake

Well, I have to say well done on hosting such a fantastic event this year. You've improved so much on previous events - Where do I begin?
Having the event at a hotel instead of a big open room is a really irreplacable part of the experience, speaking as a multiple GDQ attendee. And on the subject, wow, that hotel and location was incredible.
The arcade and PC/gaming rooms were something that I felt was missing in previous ESAs. Really glad to see you've evolved past just having one big room with a bunch of computers.
I absolutely love the idea of the streaming stations provided by Elgato, only wish I'd found out about them sooner so I could've reserved better times on them. Hope these will return.
Game schedule was fantastic. I've felt that other speedrun marathons have had really weak game lineups in recent years, so it was really refreshing for there to be so many games I actually wanted to make time to watch.
Now, the free ice cream and popcorn was really above and beyond. I don't know how a venue can be so comfortable offering that to 400ish people, but they did it anyway. Although - I hope I don't sound too entitled saying this - is there any particular reason it was only available between 3-9 pm? It seems quite short and arbitrary.
I can't not comment on the complementary breakfast provided by the hotel, either. Can they please tell me where they get their pancakes and the strawberry jam? I need more of those.

The only negative I can think of that's worth voicing is the hotel's policy of no outside food on the first 2 floors. Naturally, food groups are a big part of these social events, and when we've all gone out to Dominos at 9:30 pm, what are we meant to do with our pizza? Sit and eat it on the street curb? Sure we're allowed take it to our hotel rooms, but none of our rooms were big enough to house a party of 8. It would've been really nice if they'd have the dining area open or something, just anywhere that we can sit and eat our food without having to go back to our rooms in small groups.

There are probably even more positives that I'm forgetting. Seriously, thank you for such a great event.

Tezur0, RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  AxelSaGo

Negatives
- The biggest complain that i have is the temperature of the stream room, it might be just because of me being used to higher temperatures, but it felt pretty cold there compared to the rest of the rooms and i had to wear a jacket just for it.
- Not having an actual coach for the co-comentators.
- As said in a comment above, too many CRTs, the TV ratio should be a bit more favorable towards LCD TVs.
Positives
+ Arcades, specially Star Wars pod racing were really nice!
+ Really cool atmosphere at the event overall, good people.
+ Free ice-cream machine was great.
Overall, I'm really happy with the experience and I hope I can see you all again next year!

RoboSparkle likes this. 
  Baunsgaard

Didn't make it the event, cause of some issues that happened during my trip. But I'm sure that the event was good, especially the stream was very good.

Mass housing is really required, since people are coming a long way and it's already expensive. It's not very my cup of tea, that I'll have to find any apartment rooms somewhere in the city. I don't have the money for the hotel rooms, so that's definitely required. It's nice if you just could walk for a few minutes, and then you would be there. Then people don't have to leave late night, look for busses etc..

EDIT: Didn't mean that it is required, but it would be nice to have for future events.

 
  Irregularprogramming

I loved the event way better than previous and I think the venue played a big part in that.

A big negative I felt was the viewing experience on stream one for me at least was very much negatively influenced by the bright studio lights, I ended up not watching runs that I wanted to watch because of them. I understand that they need to be on the current runner and people on stream but did all of them need to be on all the time and do they really need to block the screen?

I had constant vision blotches in the main stream hall because of them.

I actually felt it was a big plus that the hotel did not allow outside food, I can say a lot of good things about the community but I know from experience that they would not be able to handle eating on the top floor without it being as gross as last year.

RoboSparkle likes this. 
  crazycharlieh

Mass housing isn't "required". It's nice to have, but it isn't required.

Bring back the couch, unless the aim was to get all the commentators sitting in Arozziยฎ gaming chairs? In which case, fair enough?

I dont know how many CRT's were brought to this event, but you could probably half that number next year, even if you dont replace them with an equivalent number of low latency digital panels. You could probably reduce that even more if you could provide a few OSSC's and panels. Many CRT's sat unused.

We could have utilised the speakers built into the venue a little more maybe? They worked great for Quiplash (even if everything else gave up) so maybe we could hook them up for just voices have have the one speaker be game audio only?

I'm not a particular fan of the hosting layout, a desk or a couch works much better than two separate chairs. I feel like we're just reinventing the wheel here. the three monitor setup however (info, stream, chat) was just about right.

RoboSparkle, Fatzke and 2 others like this. 
  Shigan

Hey ESA this year was really a masterpiece in all speedruns events I attendee so far. For feedbacks here is my list :

++ The venue. Quality Hotel View was really an awesome place for this event. With some surprises at some times ๐Ÿ™‚. As a venue it was definitely a A++
++ The runners : everyone was really cool at the event. Feels like a family. ESAids already strike for me bro ๐Ÿ™
+ The game list : really a good one. Didn't here of some games before and it was a surprise on Stream some times and it happened to be good games always
+ Tech crew : shotout to them. All of you did great jobs ๐Ÿ™‚
+ the room : it was really enjoyable to have this arrangerement of rooms. The quiet room was a thing too. Maybe you should put headsets on this room tho to be really in a quiet mood only with the game ๐Ÿ™‚
+ the location : the train station nearby was really good. Same goes for Emporia and Max ๐Ÿ˜›
+ you can see stream 1 directly in your room (but why not stream 2?)
- maybe some couch on Stream 1 room could be a good thing. Chairs were not that good if you sit down for 3+ hours
- the 70 stars relay race was definitely an awesome thing but it was too bad that some people messed that much during the race. It kills a bit the hype at the end especially
-- quick n crash was fucking too loud bro ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I will probably have nightmare of this ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It was really an awesome event overall. Can't wait to be part of ESA 19 ๐Ÿ™‚

SixRock, RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  etholon

There were a few things that bothered me during the event but nothing major. Mostly room size and purpose.

The audio level of the arcades were at times a bit distracting but not too bad a couple of days in when an ok balance was found.

The board game room was a bit too small during prime time and MTG tournament. The tournament room was not at all suitable for anything tabletop even though I was encouraged to sign up for using it which means that for the 3-4 hours the MTG tourney went on we stole the board game room for that. There were a couple of nights when groups turned around at the door because all tables were filled.

I never saw the tournament room be used for much other than 2-6 fighting game setups except for the one night of mario kart. The size of the room was not really utilized.

The quiet practice room was too close to the arcades and stream 2 to be consistently quiet and was often not really quiet anyway as it was sometimes used for groups practicing or just playing games. Iโ€™m guilty of that one aswell during some QUBE2 practice. It could also have used some monitors for HD consoles not hooked up to computers.

Fatzke likes this. 
  English_Ben

Since almost all of the positives have been covered I'll just add a couple of things on that I believe would benefit us all next year.

Scheduling
- As part of the scheduling team, there were many instances of people @ ing the scheduling PC directly rather than the team itself. This is very inefficient as the PC is not always occupied, but if you @ the crew, we will be able to see it on our phones and deal with whatever needs to be done.

Hosting
- Might be a small thing, but I feel like most people saying "shoutouts to our sponsor X or Y" left a bad taste in my mouth. To me this seems very informal and as a partner I would much prefer getting "we'd like to thank our partners over at X or Y" rather than this 'shoutout'.
- I can't think of a logical reason why hosts should have to deal with incoming donations before they reach the donation reader. I am fully aware that the idea was for hosts to act as a moderation team of sorts while the actual moderators were asleep. But why have this at all? As a donation reader you should be able to use your initiative and determine whether something is ok to read or not. May sound harsh but if you do not possess this skill then I don't believe you should be reading donations at all, it's not exactly hard to figure out things like "Mike Hunt" and "My Knee Grows". The latter even got read out anyway during GTA3 so the system clearly needs more work.
- Maral and Ladaur need some stress taken away from them, while they do a fantastic job at the current scale of the event the burden appears to be too much. Multiple instances of the hosting organisers rushing around constantly dealing with issue after issue because nobody else could/would until 3am and it isn't fair on them.
- I agree with Charlie regarding the hosting station, the couch is much better than the chairs. If you don't want a couch then the ESAWinter setup would be a fine substitution. The TV screen placement inconvenienced me as someone with low vision, but I won't dwell on that as I am a very small minority. What I would like is somewhere to put a laptop like last year so I can read from that instead. This was especially bad for me when I was put on the spot to read information about save the children, I couldn't read the screen and there was no documents about it so I basically had to say no and look like a fool.
- I already offered this solution during the event but I will relay it again as it wasn't utilised. Make a spreadsheet for the sponsors and have the hosts mark when they have plugged them and when, instead of each host having to ask the previous ones what they did/didn't plug.

Badges
- This was promised last year and never delivered so I will relay this again, give badges for volunteers. This year I put over 20 hours of my own time into making this event the best it could be during the week, and I still had to walk around with an attendee badge covered in stickers that made it look forged. Not only this but those stickers weren't given out until several days in, so if someone was looking for say a member of the scheduling crew at the event they would never get anywhere because there was no way to tell us from a normal attendee.

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  Amateseru

Second ESA and it was great c: I'll try to be a meano and find some downsides though:

-CRT TVs. But you guys already know what to do about it. I'm running old games (OoT, SM64...) and I play on a LCD screen (Haier TV 56cm). it works really well, pretty cheap, you can plug composite, HDMI, VGA etc... And I never felt any input delay. So yeah you can definitely get rid of the CRTs imo ๐Ÿ™‚

-The Promo code about Dominos. Yeah that sounds weird to complain about this but why do we always have promo codes for unhealthy food ? it's bugging me a bit, especially for that kind of event.

-Where were the huge TVs from last year ? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

-Some people leaving the junks around them ๐Ÿ˜• Not ESA's organitors fault of course. Next time make sure to put a sign with something saying "please don't let your goddam coffee alone for a night close the electrical outlets and runners' consoles"

But Overall the event was aboslutely great, I just had to complain because I'm french. On the other side we had:

+A very good hotel, really good rooms, no problems with the showers, beds, something unclean etc.... Shoutouts to the waiters and room cleaners.

+The location, nothing to say, it really can't be better.

+The general happiness of people

+The price, it goes with the hotel point in a way. Thanks to the promo code for the rooms, we got some very cheap rooms imo. I mean 345โ‚ฌ for 9 nights with breakfast included in such a quality hotel.... It is impossible to do better.

+The 2 streams, it's a really good idea. I've seen some people complaining about it, but I guess they're just jealous ๐Ÿ˜›

+I don't know what kind of tissu you used to prevent some tables to be damaged. But it was neat lol

+Probably a lot of things I forgot to write right now.

Shoutouts to the french community for being so enthusiastic
Shoutouts to the ZSR family, Zeldas are shuch great games, always fun to watch/play them
Shoutouts to the ESA Mafia, I love you โ™ฅ

Fatzke likes this. 
  Fnzzy

I agree with everything positive that has been said here. Just chiming in to share some thoughts about the PC peripherals.

The table cloth on the tables in the main room was in the way most of the time. The seams were constantly in the way, either blocking the mouse or the arms, and the texture made mice hard to use. Same goes for the coarse tables in the PC room.

The mice were pretty bad in my opinion. The ergonomics were fine (ambidextrous design) but the side buttons were a recipe for disaster. I constantly pressed the buttons on the right side of the mouse by accident, and these buttons almost killed the GeoGuessr run as well. It would not have been as bad if they wouldn't share the same forward/backward binds as the left side buttons, but for the future I wish we got mice with buttons only on the left side for the thumb.

The mechanical keyboards were a nice touch but some of them stopped working halfway through the event. I assume that the many people that used them caused dust and gunk to collect in the switches at a very fast rate, making them not register keystrokes. Next time, try looking for mechanical keyboards without floating key design or just get membrane boards. They aren't as nice, sure, but they would most likely last through the whole event.

Summed up: get better mice that have no annoying pinky buttons, switch to non-floating design mechanical / membrane keyboards, get some cheap mid sized mouse pads that could be purchased with the money you save by buying membrane keyboards, if you decide to go for it..

havrd likes this. 
  Goost

Shoutouts to the organisers for putting on a great event, especially considering how I felt towards ESA16/17 with regards to venue/location! I think this venue pretty much fixed all the major issues I had with those years that could be solved without moving the event out of Sweden ๐Ÿ˜‰

For some actual feedback:
- Had some issues with Eventbrite, mainly related to credit cards being the only option initially to pay with, as well as the site not really providing decent feedback on whether the transaction actually succeeded. I was able to log in with the details provided, but when I tried to refresh my info on the site, all my transaction details disappeared due to my (prepaid) CC being rejected due to lack of funds.
- I had a pretty rough run-in with the badge checks on the night I arrived, after the check-in desk had closed, which didn't make me feel too welcome despite being a long-time attendee. I was told that I had to leave for my room despite not having a chance to check in. I ended up having to offer an intermediate solution, since I knew Fatzke was around the corner, and asked if I could check in with him. This ended up working out, but still, the person I was checked by was a bit standoffish about it, and even after checking in, their tone was still a bit unwelcoming, a simple "welcome to the event" or something would've gone a long way.
Perhaps it'd be an idea to give the people who are responsible for badge checks the ability to actually check people in, so this doesn't happen again.
- The mice for the gaming PCs were all pretty annoying to use for people with a palm grip like me, due to the size and the side buttons being placed on both sides of the mouse, causing a lot of accidental misclicks, something which actually did happen during a few runs

Outside of these fairly minor points, I do have to echo what a lot of people have said:
+ great hotel, with a lot of supportive staff
+ overall solid location, really easy to get to due to being next to the first train stop in Sweden
+ decent food options nearby
+ the scheduling team continuing to put on amazing runs during prime time that could've been a massive risk
+ people were nice as usual; even though it felt like people were hanging out a bit more in their rooms than previous years
+ some nice arcade options; if you could get the Black Knight 2000 pinball machine next year it'd be perfect!
+ board games board games board games

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  joka

Overall everything was a massive improvement over previous years, so I'm going to be very nitpicky and only mention the two things that I can think of that bothered me a little bit:

- Stream audio was way too loud inside the stream room the last couple of days. Especially the hosts. I know I'm not the only one that noticed this ๐Ÿ™‚
- The @everyone tag was used too much on discord during the event. Please use it only for super important announcements and just leave it out for other, minor announcements.

That's it..
๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Niss3, RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 
  Harpa

The event was great, and an improvement on last year (which was my first ESA), although last year was awesome already. Since lots of things have already been said, I'm just gonna focus on some things that I felt were improved this year and other things that could still be improved:

Improvements from last year:
- Instead of having one big room with most things inside it, everything was a bit more separated this year, which was good, especially since it kept the stream room focused on the run (whereas last year you'd often have lots of noise from elsewhere during runs)
- The audience layout for stream 1 was much better, since this year it was accessible from both sides (instead of only from the right as in 17) which lead to people actually sitting in the center (and therefore on camera, which I'm sure looked much better on stream)
- It felt like tech was really on point this year, both stream 1 and 2, which made the stream look quite professional (well-timed cuts, fewer awkward pauses etc.)
- The stream 2 room was in a much better location this year. Last year the room was quite far, but this year you could just walk by the room to see if anything interesting is on (the schedule screens were nice too).
- Free ice cream is good. I like free icecream
- Travel-wise, Malmรถ is probably the optimal location in Sweden

Things that could be improved:
- A big part of the viewership still seemed unaware of stream 2, although I'm not sure how to solve this (maybe more prominent advertising of stream 2 on stream 1?)
- It seemed like the PCs in the quiet practice room were often all occupied later in the week, whereas the CRTs usually weren't. My run was early so this wasn't an issue for me, but it seems like runners with runs later in the week might have had a problem getting a spot in the room.
- Board game room and mafia room could have been bigger
- Regarding the Mario 64 relay race: I wish there had been a website with a list of the stars everyone had been assigned and maybe a short video of Fuzzy/Chrism doing the star and explaining it. It feels like that could save Fuzzy (or whoever is available for explanations next year, if the relay returns) some time (since for a lot of stars a video would be enough explanation) and avoid confusion. Maybe you could also have the relay runners give a short feedback as a sort of early "check-in" at the beginning of the event to avoid issues like catalyst apparently being signed up by someone else. I also think the "experience" options in the sign-up could be a little more intuitively worded. Instead of Beginner, Intermediate and Pro you could have options like "I've never played the game", "I've played it casually", "I have done speedruns of it" or "I'm a top speedrunner". I feel like that could help divide people a bit further and prevent people from being too far in over their heads. That being said, the race was still really fun and one of the highlights of ESA
- We managed to guzzle down pretty much all the Red Bull Monday. I mean, it was free, so I can't complain, but maybe there's a better way to ration these? (Or just have Red Bull give us more :P)

Things that weren't really good or bad but are worth keeping in mind:
- No mass housing meant the event was a lot more expensive this year. I don't think mass housing is appropriate anymore, it felt like it was already over the limit last year, but the heightened cost might mean that the event is not affordable for some people, which is important to keep in mind. No idea whether there are any options for cheaper accommodation that could be offered by ESA directly though
- I still can't decide whether the food situation was better or worse this year. After 23:00 your only options were McDonald's or the hotel baguettes, which were okay but quite expensive for the amount. I liked the dinner they offered at Fortnox last year, since it at least gave some variety, but your options were also very limited later in the day. I like that the stream room was food-free this year though, since it kept the area cleaner.

RoboSparkle and Fatzke like this. 

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