Forum posts

Forum: ESA Winter 2018

Thread: ESA Winter 2018 Feedback Thread

Started by: PlanksPlanks


Had a lovely time at ESA Winter as an attendee and volunteer. It truly felt like a throwback to 15 (my first event) where I felt that everything was super cozy and that it was easy to get to know and hang out with people. This event totally blew my mind because I wasn't expecting much but it turns out it was actually really, really great.

This year we didnt have a schedule for hosts or donation readers as we were quite understaffed on volunteers but I wanted to give a big thanks to all volunteers who did step up and say that they did a great job in rotating and being able to take initiative to help out. Many donationreaders and hosts were doing this for their first time ever or with very little experience and I think they all did the best they could to help the event and im thankful for their efforts.

I loved the stream layouts and thought that sound and video quality was good for the majority of the marathon. Tech did a great job even them being understaffed at times.

The event had a decent schedule but I understand the reason for it not being totally top notch is simply the fact that this is the first ESA Winter and it's also hard for people to get time off of work and that not many people knew what to expect of this event and as a result might have chosen to not go or submit. Which is understandable but hopefully more people will submit next year!

I hope everyone at home sincerely enjoyed watching the event and could feel the welcoming and relaxed vibe we had at the event. ^^

On a personal note I'm looking forward to the next Winter event more than the next Summer one, haha. (Although ofcourse im super hype for summer :D)

I'm gonna miss everyone I made friends with. It was so fun!

ZephyyrrZephyyrr, WiredwickyWiredwicky and 3 others like this. 

Forum: ESA 2017

Thread: What games would you like to see at ESA 2017

Started by: UselessBritUselessBrit

Anything fromsoft. I would love to see a Dark Souls block, I know it's bit of taboo considering it's not super friendly for marathons but it's super exciting to watch. Had alot of souls-people at ESA last year and if there is a big turnout of souls people this year perhaps a race in one of the games? That would be really fun imo. I'll also echo havrd - it would be really cool with Doom aswell.

MrTakahashiMrTakahashi likes this. 

Forum: ESA 2016

Thread: ESA16 Feedback Thread

Started by: PlanksPlanks

This is going to be so long..

Some backstory:

Last year was my first ESA and I loved it.
Suzie asked me if I wanted to host at some point because she was exhausted having had done most of the hosting on her own throughout a big portion of the event. I was thrilled that someone like me who was just an ordinary attendee without any experience of the GDQ-tracker system (which was quite complex and alot of work for a host to do on their own while hosting) could take on such a "large" responsibility and help out. So I gladly did and was impressed by how community-driven this event was.

Feedback As a host-organizer and what I did:

Because of my enthusiasm regarding the hosting-station mixed with perhaps the lack of initiative taken from other staff-members, Planks approached me less than a month prior to the event saying "Maral, can we speak about hosting? Would you like to coordinate it at ESA16? Making sure we have someone at all times" etc and I said Yes. I asked IrregularJinny to help me with this (and Alko because he did it all last year, but he was very busy with studies, so unfortunately he couldn't.)

I went through the feedback-thread of ESA15 to see what could be done better and the biggest issues last year were with the host-station standing empty alot of the times, people missusing the hosting station for self-promotion and shifts being way too long for hosts to handle/enjoy (8h+).

- So we changed it down to around 4h-shifts. Which I find is a good amount.

- I also created some guidelines that could be found on the hosting station table (and later on discord) to prevent exessive self-promotion happening again. I know the heart and soul of ESA lies with the community and "fun is allowed" so I didn't want to create "rules".. hence "guidelines" to follow, i'll include links to them in this post below.

- Last year the charity-paper we had on the host desk was a full on A4 provided by Doctors without Borders and people would read through it with the most monotone voice to then stop halfway because it was just too much ResidentSleeper information in one go. So I decided to make smaller/short blurbs about Save the Children instead, so that mentioning the charity wouldn't be a monotone/negative thing, but more positive and less harsh on the hosts/crowd. Because we had sponsors and such aswell that I was told needed to be plugged, I added short blurbs for those aswell so all hosts had all the information they needed at hand.

Although a "schedule" was made and perhaps this wasn't communicated enough it was never a schedule "set-in-stone". By this I mean if ANYONE with better knowledge/interest or relationship with the upcoming game/runner wanted to host, all they could do is ask the pair currently incharge of the hosting station and they'd be given a greenlight to host. Or if anyone felt unfit to host they could contact me and I would find a replacement. Jinny was also a host-organiser but since he wasn't at the event for a large portion of the time, I didn't add him on the contact-list. The "schedule" was there to make sure the hosting station never stood empty.

A huge mistake on my part was when someone asked me to make the call (when the schedule got delayed) regarding if hosts should keep their slots as they were meant to be (time-wise) or if we should follow the schedule block/game-wise. I chose block/game-wise and it was just a decision I made on the spot without much thought into it and it was clearly... NOT THE RIGHT ONE. It affected so many of you (including myself) in a negative way and I'm really truly sorry about that.

In retrospect so many things could have been done better and I thought doing something like this for next year would be a great improvement: If the scheduling team brings out the schedule early i'll be able to have all the volonteers actually assign themselves to the specific runs they'd love to host via a google doc (this would be really great since the best synergy and entertainment is created this way) and then ontop of that also create a time-based 2-team like this year that are in charge of being around the hosting area those hours to make sure that someone is hosting there and if in nobody assigned themselves to a certain run then they will have to host the empty slots in that block.
Does that seem like a good idea?

So it will be like a google doc that all hosts have access too and will be able to just add their names to certain runs while still upholding with the security that the hosting area will never be empty and since it's such a community driven-event i'd still like it to be open for people to have the ability to TRY hosting even if they have never done it before.

Lastly I'd like to thank EVERY SINGLE volonteer who hosted and tried out hosting this year. Too my knowledge we managed to take away the biggest faults from hosting last year while still keeping it fun and that's really good, Thank you all. I realise many of you were "put on the spot" because of the lack of communication between the tech and hosting-station aswell as the tech-issues and because of this were put in a position where you had to improvise and go with the flow at your own expense- It's not an easy thing to do infront of thousands so thank you for pulling through and doing your best!

What we should take with us into next year is working on some way to establish a better communication-system between hosts and tech as it's what's needed the most after this event. I'd also like to see the hosting station.. not so dull, if the area would have been setup in a way where you could see the venue and people sitting there it would have been much cozier for people at home to watch. Hosting station doesn't need to look "professional". I kind of prefer the older set-up. At first when I arrived to the event (after stream had started) I was sceptical to the idea of having interviews, not sure who even came up with the idea, but as time went on, some of the interviews were actually pretty great. Let's ditch the microphones you attached to the ear or whatever, those sucked and brought more hassle than good. The best way is to keep it simple, with the big mic people could pass around.

For next year it would be great if in the game-submitting process people would add a note if they'd like to be interviewed or not. Because not all people do. It allows us to know who'll have an interview and allows the scheduling team to put their runs before a 4-ppl race or something that takes longer to setup. It also allows hosts to be ready and know that x-people wants to be interviewed and can prepare questions in advance or even better, communicate with the runner about the questions prior, which will help create a nicer vibe for people at home.

Also a big shoutout to; Pac, eidgod, Paranoia & Moggelix for joining me in my mission, buying random shit from their own pocket-money (spraycans and shizzle) in a desperate attempt to make the hosting area a little nicer/more fun. You guys rock! Although I understand AMVX feedback, it's not cool that only SA was shown most of the time and perhaps we went a bit overboard with some of the random things we bought, I think the SA could have been sorted by just adjusting the camera properly. Either way I think it was better than what it was prior to our attempt at spiffin it up.

Another thing I was incharge of was helping create the new tracker we were using. To my knowledge we needed a new one (and I've seen some people give great feedback regarding the new tracker, Thanks everyone!) Planks designed most of it and in my own experience this worked soooo much smoother for hosts than the previous tracker did although alot of changes could be made to make it even better (and there will be!).
The big worry (understandably so) for some people was that with this tracker we used G2A's Payment processor. The reason we used this was because it allowed for more payment methods than just creditcard or Paypal aswell as lower-fees than just a standalone paypal integration = more money to the charity. Although we did raise more than last year (I'd say we crushed it since we also had about 4k average less viewers at all times.)
It still stopped a good portion of people from donating because of G2A. I'm already looking into implementing a standalone paypal option aswell so that people are not put in a position where they'd have to compromise their moral standground to do something for a good cause. I completely respect, understand and agree that something should be done about this. So consider this noted.

Big shoutout to Planks for all the time and effort he put down on making the tracker. I feel like Planks worked really hard on this event and barely got any rest because of tech issues at the event. So a big hug to Planks, he's probably still exhausted.

As an Attendee: (i'll try keep this short)

+ I loved the wristbands this year, they were soooo pretty.
+ I loved all the sofas you could lounge and watch the stream in, great idea, if only we had a projector and showed this awesome area in the bg when hosting that'd be neat.
+ Challenges. Love that initiative. I really like the beezy challenge, thanks shrimp. P.S nice poster.
+ I like the T-shirt. Normally I don't wear event-tees around but this one had a really nice fit and looks kinda cool.
+ The people. Although I feel like time went by so damn quickly and I barely got time to hang with anyone it was still nice to see everyone.
+ The 4-player overlay was pretti cool.
+ Riku and Tompa's Piano playing. Next year there should be a segment where Riku or Tompa are the hosts but with a Piano just playing music

- I can only really echo what other people have said but for me personally I felt this venue wasn't very "intimate" and seperated people. Perhaps it is something we can't avoid as we grow larger but what I really liked about our past venue ESA15 was how close the venue was to town, lake etc. But with this venue (unless you had a car) sometimes going into town/hotel/lake became a dealbreaker in terms of going back to the venue. Which made people group up and one of the best things at ESA15 was how little people grouped up.. if people were at the lake/town/whatever you could just go there and join them in a heartbeat.
But that doesn't really work in växjö as the city is kinda shaped in a different way I guess. Atleast with the venue's location. But perhaps this could be fixed like Max mentioned in his feedback with better setup organization at the venue etc... growing pains 😃
- Would have been cool with a projector showing the stream in the venue.
- Security check. We had the manpower yet it seemed like nobody checked if we had wristbands or not so it would have been really easy to get in and take stuff. Luckily this was a small town and probably people who'd be willing to go steal like that werent even aware of the event, but in the future they will be if we have it there so security should probably be a lil better too.
- Lanyards, I don't get it. If we have wristbands then there's no need for lanyards. Most people just wear them one day and then take em off. I loved the band that came with it. It was pretty, but I would like for ESA to not put down their budget for lanyards again as it seems to have only costed the organisera extra hassle, effort, money and time.
- The air. I don't really notice stuff like that normally but it definitely hit me when hosting at some point how the air in the hall would really drain the energy out of me because of poor ventilation. I think the lighting of the venue made the venue look dull and dark too.
- The Tyr-flu. Took me legit 9 days to recover. (this isnt a serious complaint btw)
- The overlays (apart from 4player that one was kewl), whats wrong with our previous overlays?
- Intermission screen with no ETA of when stream would come back and no nice music in the bg, it scared people away like CRAZY. Nobody wants to watch that 🙁

Okay It's late and I'm not thinking properly anymore and I feel like most people said the most important things and we all know what can be improved but here's one last thing I'd like to add that I believe is probably the most important/valuable feedback I can give to organizers. There is no doubt in my mind that organizers worked hard from all ends, none at all but it was and is crystal-clear even to a blind person that this years ESA wasn't handled as a Team. The lack of communication was through the roof and it affected the event tremendously in a negative way. All organizers can do a stellar job and I personally think all organizers at ESA do a stellar job when focusing on their own skills and areas but without the very needed communication and openmindedness between them it all falls apart. If you want to organize a really good event everyone needs to put their differences and ego aside and be willing to listen to eachother and take in feedback aswell as give. Only then can you truly be a team and successfully move forward. Become a team again please. I love ESA. I hope this is not taken the wrong way, I have the best intentions when I say this.

Also naegleria mentioned in his feedback that some staff were unhappy with the amount raised. Whoever this staff-person is this is directed at you: I think that's bullshit because we raised more than we ever have before by over 4000 dollars with about 4-5k less in average viewers. I think we crushed in terms of fundraising and ya'll should be proud of yourselves for creating an event that has enabled so much good for the worlds neediest children. With matching that was over 300,000 USD.

I don't know if i'll be given the chance to be responsible for hosting again next year or not but whoever does - i'll be willing to help you out ^^ Something I've noticed with these events is that alot of people have alot of valuable feedback to give but not alot of people take initiative to actually help out. Which is very needed. There's only so much a handful of people can do, don't forget that all organizers are volonteers too! Anyway, Thanks for this year.

On a positive note- I guess we set the bar pretty low this year so next year is gonna be.. awesome? 😃

NordNord, SeductiveSpatulaSeductiveSpatula and 9 others like this. 

Forum: ESA 2016

Thread: ESA16 Photo/Video-thread

Started by: maralmaral

Like last year, it would be nice to have one collected place with all our photos/videos from the event.

I didn't take many this year and didn't bother sorting out all the BS in there but here are mine:

Looking forward to seeing yours.
Thanks for an awesome event and see you next year!

MelisMelis and SerSanjuSerSanju like this. 

Forum: ESA 2016

Thread: Runners: Your Donation Incentives

Started by: maralmaral

@Noz noted. It's no problem 🙂 Do you want MP3 Radio to be a donation war? So someone might donate towards MP3 radio then we put it on and then someone else donates towards non-mp3 radio and then gotta change depending on what is in the lead at that moment? What do you think about that?


Forum: ESA 2016

Thread: Runners: Your Donation Incentives

Started by: maralmaral

@joka - Here is a list

And i echo what Alko said. We are using a much simpler and smoother tracker this year.

AlkoAlko likes this. 

Forum: ESA 2016

Thread: Runners: Your Donation Incentives

Started by: maralmaral

Hi everyone!

This thread is specifically made for runners during the marathon. We are this year able to accept donation incentives for any content that will not make you run over-estimate by a large amount.
These take the form of two sorts:

Donation goals
Donation goals are where there is a target $ amount and the goal is complete when this is met. These incentives are used to show off short bonus content, demonstrate a special talent during setup time, stupid stuff (shaving your head), singing/dancing or enabling an option at the start of the run to change the appearance of the game and more.

Bid wars
Bid wars have no target amount and are used to encourage competitive selection for variables in your run. We can close a bid war at the start of a run, for example for file names, or leave it open right to the end, for example radio station selection in GTA. We have the ability to add write-in options from viewers to your bid war.

If you would be so kind and fill this form with your incentives;

I will contact you to verify any additional info once you submit your incentives. Please share this information with runners that might not check the forums/discord very often.


Edit: Thank you SuccinctAndPunchy for a very important question!

The charity of choice this year is Save the Children.

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in over 120 countries for nearly 100 years. Save the Children aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. Save the Children invests in childhood - everyday, in times of crisis and for our future. They are one of the most trusted, efficient and effective charitable organizations in the world and have received Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating for 14 years in a row.


AlkoAlko, SerSanjuSerSanju and 2 others like this. 

Forum: ESA 2015

Thread: Post any and every photo you took at the event.

Started by: MelisMelis

My photos, I didnt really sort them before putting them online so gonna go ahead and apologize for excessive food pictures and selfies if there are any in there. Had a really good time at ESA, Thank you everybody for a lovely week ❤️

Edit: wait.. I must have been really tired when I posted this yesterday... 😛 THIS is the album, geez 😃 my bad!


Forum: ESA 2015

Thread: Master Thread

Started by: flickyflicky

The discount code for the hotel doesnt work for me.

"This booking code does not exist." 😮 halp?