Forums  /  North American Speedrunner Assembly 2018  /  NASA2018 Feedback

What did you think of this years event? What went well? What could be improved?

We'll have staff comments at a later point in time.

SteveTheWizardSteveTheWizard, sadfapssadfaps and SnowfatsSnowfats like this. 

i enjoyed nasa 2018 and will go through bunch of categories and talk about things that made it great or not so great. i am also going to make comparisons to nasa 2016 as oppoed to nasa 2017 because i did not attend nasa 2017. the more details i can provide, the more nasa can improve:

lets start with the hotel:
the hotel itself and all of its amenities for both guests and the stream/practice room.
for the number of attendees who attended nasa, the stream and practice room were big enough to house more than enough people during peak hours when nasa attendees were at nasa. the hotel had many options when booking and you could get a cheap room, or a suite with a kitchen, which were nice. the internet was good (and essential as i am from the us and needed to avoid roaming charges), the rooftop bar was a nice chill place, and there were always snack or beverage options at the hotel. no flaws or gripes with the hotel at all.

food options: there were many food options during the day, (from chinese, to burger king, to the grocery store, to a restaurant grill and bar) and a 10 minute walk to a 24 hour mcdonalds at night. nasa 2016 perhaps barely edges out nasa 2018 food options, but its comparing an A+ to an A, so no complaints there.

places you can walk to besides food: the alcohol store is a 5 minute drive but too far to walk imo. there was a laser tag place, which a went to and had a good time, a trampoline park, which i dont think anyone went to, and a thrift store which i also didnt go to but heard good things about.everything else is a drive away and the hotels arcade and bowling, which i definately woulda been down for, was being renovated (but will be open next year at nasa if its the same location). overall id give this a B+, and convert it to an A+ for next year due to added bowling n arcades.

the places that are nearby that people drove to:
were basically niagara falls and canadas wonderland, pretty much it. the draw of niagra will be less so next year cause i already went, and canadas wonderland was a solid time and it will feed into my next bit.

organizing non stream events:
the fun at nasa happens outisde the stream room a lot, and nasa really stepped up their game with the risk legacy and naeglaria organizing a trip to canadas wonderland via a sign up sheet he walked around with. shoutouts to mash for the risk tournament and id love to talk to him some more about what future games/tournaments/prize pool stuff we could do. i feel like if nasa staff cme out and pinned in the discord, posted on twitter, linked to it on srcom forums or twitch, than the external events that we may have can come to fruition better. i tried to get some mtg drafts going, with mixed success, and i feel like some staff member with stronger 'get the word out there' powers and made it feel more legitimate to any random person at nasa would enable larger participation. i also brought a bunch of items to nasa and left them in the casual room for other people to use and would bring up another important idea id like to happen at nasa....

formally organizing who's bringing what for the casual room...
crts, cards (like i brought), practice pcs, consoles, power strips, board games, etc.

not saying there was a shortage, but a far as i know, the only thing that people really know about thats like, informally documented by staff as a practice room amenity, was pvtcbs practice pc, and maybe ices vr setup. it would be nice in the future to have like a google doc people can submit of what crts theyre bringing for example, so we can have enough shit to satisfy and it is also an if needed anti theft mechanism. this is probably my singular biggest suggestion along with perhaps a staff organized tournament or high score challenge, maybe get a sit on top arcade jetski game or a car racer arcade game (if the funds are there) and have like a high score/best time competition for prizes, thatd be really cool.

social behavior:
nasa is very accepting and lenient. and chances are, if you are some socially awkward autist, youll meet other socially awkwaard autists too and feel included no matter what. i think that if there is ever a bad apple in a bucket of good apples, and threatens to poison the bucket, the powers that be have two options: either ban the bad apple, or attempt to turn the bad apple into a good apple, and i think nasa staff does a good job of choosing the right option of trying to cure the bad apple vs exiling the bad apple to rot. thats the metaphor im using, and i have encountered really no bad apples at nasa to begin with in 2018 so that isnt too relavent, but its the social policy nasa seems to have and i whole heartedly agree with it. also, i hope drinking is allowed definitely but controlled in the aforementioned way if someones drank too much at next nasa

runs accepted vs runs declined: nothing to add good job guys just complimenting for no reason

badges: same as bove

tech: same as above

chat: chat got bad during crash 2 run. i frankly dont give a shit on specifics of what chat rules are n where that line is but there definitely was moderation and bans/timeouts that were needed at times and didnt happen.

travel: eh, its worth it to me to go to nasa despite a 7 hour drive and need for a passport, but for those where it makes or breaks their attendance, incorporate that heavily when choosing next nasa location. i care more about nearby amenities.

if you have good standing with the hotel and they liked having us rent conference space, im in support of same location next year and that may simplify improvements.

and thats all i can think of for nasa, ill post again if i have anything to add

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Pros: The Sacrifice run and the Oregon Trail run were the highlights of the marathon for me, I would love to see more FUN, less serious runs like that at future marathons. The music selection in between runs was top notch, using remixes of video game music was a great idea. The layout of the stream was good and the video quality was fantastic.

Cons: The ending of the marathon was a little anticlimactic, the last run was fine but I was hoping to see a better send off like the Contradiction: Spot the Liar! run last year. I also wasn't particularly fond of the panels, I got bored and tuned out but maybe that's just me?

Other than that I don't really have much to complain about, all in all it was a great marathon and definitely my favourite NASA so far. Thanks to all the staff and attendees that made this happen, hopefully I'll be able to make it next year.

MASHMASH likes this. 

This was my first speedrunning event and the first event that Gravity Rush Remastered has ever been run, and the opportunity to run that game was just such an amazing experience just because of how much effort our community has put into the game we have been dying for the chance to show it off. Due to financial limitations I wasn't able to come for a longer period of time or see much more of the event myself personally, but I am forever grateful just to have the chance that you guys gave me.

That being said, quite a few people had mentioned to me that they felt the event from a viewer perspective was rather unprofessional. I heard complaints that runners were not prepared and that that the commentary was pretty cringe-worthy. I know that these people were mostly just memeing and having fun, but I do believe that for events like this to grow there should be a more serious and professional approach when it comes to how the runners conduct themselves on stream. Being at the venue itself was fun, but I felt like there was a lack of support from the rest of the community. I only really had the time in my schedule to come and do my run because my trip was very short, but I think we as a community should be watching and supporting eachother's runs more since we all would appreciate having others watch and support us.

Overall I had an incredible experience and certainly would love to return to run Gravity Rush Remastered again if given the opportunity, and if I have more time and money next year I would love to stay and watch a lot more runs.

TheyflowerTheyflower and MASHMASH like this. 

Just some feedback from a viewer: I was enjoying the games and the laid back commentary, but the constant references to GDQ put me off. I understand that to a certain extent, either factually or just perception, NASA was formed as a sort of foil to GDQ, which I actually think is the right response. If you don't like the culture of one event, create competition and provide an alternative. I can handle most of the GDQ hate from degens in the chat (though you probably want to try to shut that shit down), but I left every time the couch commentary decided to forgo talking about the game (the runner probably didn't enjoy that, since they made the long trip to run a game in the event, the bare minimum you can do is draw some attention to the game being played), and just focused on their anti-GDQ routine they had rehearsed.

Suffice it to say, I wasn't able to stay and watch for any long patches of time because of that.

Goose's speedlore went really well. I saw some strange things on the schedule and said "there's no way this will work" and a lot of them worked quite well. I commend the committee in charge for taking some risks, in light of how entertaining a lot of it ended up being.

MASHMASH likes this. 

I had a blast at NASA. But if it was just me and my speedpals sitting in the Boston Pizza parking lot for a week I'd probably still have a blast, so I will try to separate that from my feedback on the event itself.

Lurk already knows much of my feedback since we discussed it at length yesterday, but here's a few points.

1. NASA needs to decide what exactly it wishes to achieve. Does it want to be a legitimate speedrun event, or does it want to simply be a friend reunion? Because right now it's somewhere in the middle, leaning more towards the latter. I heard many people express the view that "I don't need to practice, it's NASA, who cares if I beef it". GDQ, for all its faults, still has some kind of prestige associated with it, and people want to do well when showcasing their game. NASA has a casual, party atmosphere, which is fine for attendees but if anyone tunes in to see informative and skillful speedruns, they may leave disappointed.

2. Make it clear what kind of behavior won't be accepted at the event. At this point, NASA still seems to be very much associated with 4chan-ish shitpost culture. By no means do I want NASA to become some kind of heavily-moderated "SJW" (for lack of a better term) event, but I also fear that being so close to the other end of the spectrum is off-putting to a lot people. I don't mind this kind of stuff online, but it should stay online. I think most people will agree that the "happy pride month" meme got a bit out of hand, for example.

3. More stuff like the Dragster tournament. This was my favorite part of the marathon itself, and I'd love to see other content that breaks away from the usual marathon format. The stream room was sparsely populated for much of the event, and Dragster was a good incentive to fill up the room.

4. As far as location, I don't think this one was bad, but definitely felt more inconvenient than last year's. Transportation was the key issue, I flew into Hamilton which is about 30 mins from the hotel, but most people flew into YYZ which is over an hour's drive. Last year we had the option of taking the GO Train which was extremely convenient.
This is a personal note, but I would be happy to have next year's event somewhere other than Ontario. To me, Ontario is like the epitome of dull, being surrounded by car dealerships and Cash 4 Gold stores is purgatory. I'd be happy for a slight change of scenery.

Overall, good stuff, but I think next year is going to be key in determining whether NASA can continue to succeed in the coming years.

BroBuzzBroBuzz and MASHMASH like this. 

The venue was awesome. Being in walking distance from just about everything and less than an hour drive away from literally everything else was so good.

The over estimate meme is alright if it happens a few times but it went too far this time to the point where the entire schedule was delayed by ~5 hours. In the future it's probably a good idea to make sure runners give higher estimates with more room for error or take other measures to keep NASA on schedule.

Risk legacy was super fun when it happened but getting people together to play a game was usually pretty tough.

Cutting down on the tasteless shitposting (i.e. the unfunny "jokes") both ironic and unironic in the tw*tch chat is something that I'd love to see. There were definitely times where seeing some of the stuff we let fly in there made me uncomfortable and it definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the event. There was definitely some actually funny shitposting that took place but it was like a pearl in a mountain of poo.

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This comment has been redacted by the moderator team because it contained offensive slurs.

DawnOfSolaceDawnOfSolace, SquakySquaky and MASHMASH like this. 
(edited: )

I was at NASA 2019 from wed to really early Saturday and was at NASA 2018 the whole week.

Also I did not proofread this oops.

First I want to say that the marathon location was amazing but full disclosure my gf and I rented a car. I understand that others had more difficulty due to it's distance from YYZ in Toronto. Within walking distance there were two bar/restaurants open until 2am, a 24 maccas, BK and Tim Horton's nearby plus that pizza place. There were a few more places within walking distance too. Food availability was nice. As a craft beer nerd and bartender I loved that just a short drive from the venue there was an LCBO and a small downtown strip with even more food options, including two nice to-go places one for burritos and one for pitas. There were two craft breweries one of which also had food and in the opposite direction from the venue as that downtown was the lake where there was another craft brewery. Quite happy with the food, drink, and booze options near the venue.

BroBuzz makes several great points about about the community surrounding NASA. I enjoy having the leniency to be an adult in regards to how I speak and act which is what drew me to NASA in the first place. I'm not afraid to talk when I'm there. Chat did get a bit outlandish at times. I've been watching the VODs for runs I missed and they got pretty bad with the anti-gdq commentary and sometimes the pride month comments took a weird turn. For the most part I felt it worked out but I also feel as if the chat moderators could stand to timeout-slap people a bit. Emphasis on the time-out not bans. Meme duration timeouts would be nice to see like banning a user for the duration of a run, banned for a day, banned until you went the fuck to sleep and woke up again (6-10hrs) and stuff like that if they're being a shit. Permabans are garbage imo. Banned until next NASA or banned for current marathon duration could be like the worst unless they were being really malicious or something. That's just my thoughts on the subject.

The marathon ending when it did sucked and it directly contributed to my decision to leave on Saturday. Flight availability and price on Sunday was kinda terrible for me but admittedly I did budget poorly and recently get fired from my job. My other option for leaving would have had to have been Monday (cheaper than sun flights) which meant another day of food, hotel, and car rental which didn't balance out even with the cheaper monday flight. Then there was the question of what do I do in the post marathon time as the crowd was thinning. Felt like I would be forcing myself to kill time potentially. I'm sure I'd have just hung out and had an ok but it seemed not the greatest use of my money. Plus people who had to work on Monday would be stuck with having to leave on Sunday in any case and the best flights are always early flights. Timing felt awkward there.

Schedule delays oof. I'm a big fan of goose and was excited to be able to there for Speedlore. Since it's a speedrun marathon I expected things to get a bit behind. Yes setup blocks act as a bit of a buffer for that sometimes but still it happens. It got more behind than I expected. Goose's Speedlore and Enasper's MS3 runs (also Quo's kirby 64 which was before I arrived) were runs I really wanted to see but I almost missed Metal Slug because of how late it went. I left to make my flight right after it ended, ~3am end time and my flight was at 6. Some no-hard-feelings run kills may be a solution or getting better estimates for runners. I like to imagine we're all adult enough to handle having a run cut short, cancelled, or moved for the sake of marathon integrity. Show must go on and what not.

Marketing for the event sucks. When I had a run in it in 2018 (Diablo 3 any%) I had to explain to everyone I told about it what NASA's marathon was. It's understandable when I talk to those outside speedrunning communities but even within speedrun communities I would encounter streamers who didn't know about it. We as people who had runs, attended, or otherwise were involved could stand to all pitch in and talk about it more. Hype up the fun stuff we did and so on. People think the event is cool when they find out about it in my experience. Word of mouth seems to count for a lot when the speedrun community is split up across as many streams and discords as it is.

I'm extremely happy with attendee behavior at NASA. This time like the time before it was peaceful, there was good banter, memery, and a lot of fun memories generated from it. Everything mafia-game related is fun if I'm playing or just watching. People were polite. What social awkwardness that was present was not the bad kind and everyone seemed to work around eachother's quirks nicely. No one from what I've seen so far in VODs or in person seemed to excessively talk over the runner during their game. People who did make comments from the audience seemed to be quite respectful about when and how they went about it if they did so. Staff was wonderful and easy to talk to.

Having other events such as speedlore, tech panel, how to make a marathon panel, mafia (at all, even if it was during a run), and the dragster tournament were really nice additions. There is potential too much of that would ruin the novelty but one of those alternate things in a day's schedule I feel would fit nicely as a change of pace. It also serves as a break for those purists only into runs since then they know they can afk then. It's something I really liked seeing added to the marathon but I do have a concern about how it could potentially take it over and turn it into more of a convention than a speedrunning marathon with a few addons.

The venue itself was nice but I disliked not being able to have alcohol in the conference rooms. When I asked MASH (everyone else was at Wonderland when I arrived and Aries setting up a run so MASH checked me in) if there were any notable rules changes from last year to this year and he mentioned the alcohol change I had a bit of a concern. One of the things I like about NASA is that people tend to congregate socially in the event rooms. I thought maybe this time people would all be hidden away in hotel rooms clique'd up and leaving the conference rooms empty. That turned out to not be the case as I still saw plenty of people around doing things. I did miss the novelty of having a beer or cocktail while hanging out though. I'm told this was a venue policy so I understand there was no control over that which is fine by me. Heck drinks or no doesn't impact my enjoyment of the event. Thinking about it while I was there a "drink responsibly" rule could stand to go a long way though in the event there are venues in the future which are alcohol friendly. I remain thankful for how it was treated at NASA 2018 where we were trusted to be able to drink and not fuck everything up. Personally I really appreciated. That went ok, mostly. Things were great here even without alcohol openly present.

Other non-booze venue comments. In the social room the high ceiling was really nice. Good airflow all the time and it never felt stuffy even when a bunch of people were present playing mafia. Heat management was also better for that reason. With the room being the size it was mafia could get loud and the volume of the game didn't overpower other conversations. Having the colored lights in the stream room really added to it and adjusting the brightness of the lights was nice to see as well. The big table in the back of the stream room was a good addition to the setup.

Tech is something I want to touch on because watching the VODs back on my computer post-marathon there were many runs where the volume was too low. Sound quality was good and the sound balance was good but it was overall very quiet throughout the marathon. I feel a bit bad about it but I did enjoy watching Dark Aries dive for the volume controls during speedlore because of all the different youtube video volumes. That was unexpected and I sort of am kicking myself for not thinking to warn Aries about it or mention that possibilty to goose prior to the show. I'd seen goose's shows before and knew that was a thing that could happen but didn't think to bring it up to anyone. Stream audio is the most difficult thing to deal with though and other than volume I felt that audio quality was good and consistent throughout the marathon. Adding speakers to the stream room was a nice change too.

Lastly I'd like to suggest an on-site event calender or other notices for social things and also for them to be more firmly planned prior to people arriving at the marathon. The two times I've been to NASA it's been part speedrunning social stuff and part vacation for me. I did some touristy stuff with my gf and there's always specific runs I want to see or as in 2018 a run I was doing that affected how we planned our schedule for the week. Wonderland seemed like a great thing to do but each time I either didn't know about it in advance (2019, but I wasn't checking the forum often) or had already made plans (2018). If the side events were known not necessarily what exact time but at least the day they were to be happening, even if tentatively, before the marathon starts it would be helpful overall imo. A whiteboard or a printout on site and including the mention of side events in the main marathon schedule post would be really cool to see. I want to put emphasis on including it in the main marathon post. Sometimes people are lazy that's all they check. If you list side events right next to the schedule people looking at the schedule for runs for any reason will also see what else is going on at the same time as the runs. This means people don't need two different pages open side by side or to tab back and forth between. Also including it beside the marathon run schedule means that people not at NASA who view the schedule see that there are side events going on which helps advertise that there are other things to do at the marathon and perhaps inspire people to attend the following year.

NASA events have been awesome both times I've attended. Looking forward to being there next year hopefully with a better budget and time to practice runs to submit.

DawnOfSolaceDawnOfSolace, SkeletonBillSkeletonBill and 3 others like this.