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Doubts about Freedomware Gamefest 2008

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I'll just say it. I am not entirely sure I want to be the one organizing Freedomware Gamefest 2008. On one hand it is a bit tempting because I'll have the experience from the 2007 and learn from mistakes made. On the other hand it is so huge and often time consuming while I really have a lot of other interesting things I want to be doing in this network.

I didn't decide anything yet, but I have my doubts.. So if it does happen that I decide not to be the main organizer of the 2008 fest I will still remain available for helping with a lot of things, such as promotion, web site hosting and maintenance etc. Basically, I'd be looking for someone else to be the main organizer and I would be just a co-organizer (at best).

It's been an interesting, but also a frustrating experience so far.. and what's starting to really spill my glass over is a skirmish I just had with one of the tremulous clans who apparently doesn't like the rules, the groups we made... bla bla bla.. It is true I don't know the teams, I don't know the games that good and I relied on the community for everything. But when communities are as divided as they are (tremulous between no-camping and yes-camping, armagetron on high-rubber vs low-rubber, to just state a few cases) and you get a lot of feedback from one side and less feedback from another - it's risky business..

I can shout all I want that "if you wanted something done differently you could've just contributed more feedback", but a response I'm getting from that is "well we would tell you if you asked"... So either I should ignore such an observation or I failed to really clearly communicate with people. I would think that numerous emails I sent, including those inviting people to post feedback, don't count as communicating.. I am being a bit sarcastic now, but I suppose I had to come to each and every player in person and wrote them a nice plea for help; "would you please, pretty please, come and say something on these rules"..

And still at the end of the day, I can't please anyone..

But it's just a tip of an iceberg.. The whole slowness of scheduling matches, issues with availability across timezones, essentially bad timing of the fest as a whole (last exams and then the freaking end of year), the amount of deliberation we had to go through just to come up with SOME rules that still don't appear to be as clear as we may want them to be.. meh.. I said it before and I'll say it again.. when I first started planning this event, if I knew it was going to be this complex I would seriously re-evaluate the worth of all of the time-cost and perhaps just moved on to the next best idea..

Maybe I'm not the right person to organize such ambitious things.. or maybe it simply comes down to that simple mere fact: if you never done it before and on top of that it deals with a field you don't have experience with - it's better left to someone else.

Comment if you wish. Maybe there are some of you who can weigh in on what's wrong here and perhaps even suggest someone (or yourself) as the next organizer.

Cheers

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Joined: 2007-09-10
1 -- You've done a much

1 -- You've done a much better job than I would have (I wouldn't have done the job Smiling ).

2 -- It's probably premature for anyone to commit to organizing this next year. I would like for a project to stay alive so that we all have a place to post ideas and other contributions. Who knows what may happen in a year's time? Also, maybe some other group will have the wonderful idea of hosting a "freedomware gamefest in 2008." Smiling

As stated elsewhere, I want to continue building on this gamefest, so I am willing to help out anyone with interests in another gamefest or to tap into libervisco's offer.

Disclaimer: a year is far away and I may too be busy with other things then, so at this time I am only expressing interest and not making a commitment.

3 --
>> But when communities are as divided as they are (tremulous between no-camping and yes-camping, armagetron on high-rubber vs low-rubber, to just state a few cases) ...

You may not like the idea, but I can see how having two distinct tournaments to handle each of these "irreconsilable" differences would solve the problem.

If people don't mind, maybe we can put those two tournaments on hold for a couple of weeks to see if we can split each of them to get four total.

If the availability tool and maybe some other things work out, it might make the tasks involved in starting the new tournaments easier with more participation from the groups.

4 --
>> the amount of deliberation we had to go through just to come up with SOME rules that still don't appear to be as clear as we may want them to be

I think I'm a guilty party here. Without appreciating what I was doing, I helped zap you of energy.

5 --
>> I said it before and I'll say it again.. when I first started planning this event, if I knew it was going to be this complex I would seriously re-evaluate the worth of all of the time-cost and perhaps just moved on to the next best idea..

I've definitely benefited while you took abuse. A main gain for me was learning about really fun games I probably would not have tried for a while. Another main gain was that I like the idea of the fest and want to contribute. All work you did is work that people that feel like I do will not have to go through in the future or are more prepared to handle.

I know this must not sound very encouraging.

6 -- For the remainder of this tournament, scheduling seems to be an ongoing issue. One suggestion is that we post a description of availabilities (like the text file you provided recently in the tool's thread) accessible from a link on the main game fest webpage. Assume that people will have the same availability for any tournaments they are participating in at a given point in time. Also, open up a wiki page with instructions for individuals to only modify their own availability. This page will be the same or similar to the one linked from the game fest site.

I will try to keep advancing the avail tool and maybe help explain what it is doing so that others can more easily contribute to it. Give me two or three days to get back with more definite information and/or an improved version.

7 -- I noticed from (I think it was) a nexuiz community that these tournaments tend to take weeks and months. Probably because of the time zone differences and because of the newness of it all.

8 -- One major difference I see for future game tournaments is that maybe the web site and tools will be accessible from the beginning. Also, there would be a base rule set to work from.

This was also a very large undertaking because it attempted to cover many games/communities and because many participants were new to these.

If libervisco and any other organizer was overwhelmed, I think the end users would have been too had they tried to keep up with all the details. In this sense, a future tournament will probably be less about getting input from individuals (in all aspects of the fest) and more about providing a few thought-out and tested options that most would be able to live with. Maybe have a forum section for those that want to participate on developing the fest and a separate section for those that don't. The key being that there can be nothing on the developer's forum area that would be needed by the typical user. For example, as a participant and nothing more, I would not want to keep up with which forums are currently taking orders Smiling. And I would want it to be immediately clear if information was newly added (or feedback was currently required) by looking on the main web site in one area only (eg, in an "important news" area).

Maybe one of the bigger difficulties with this tournament was that there was a significant amount of need for game fest development to occur (since this is quite new), and this was mixed with the channels to which a normal user might prefer to have been limited.

All in all great work!! [apparent sarcasm intended for humor purposes only Sticking out tongue ]

libervisco's picture
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Jose wrote: It's probably
Jose wrote:

It's probably premature for anyone to commit to organizing this next year. I would like for a project to stay alive so that we all have a place to post ideas and other contributions. Who knows what may happen in a year's time?

Well, that's a good point to keep in mind. I have my doubts, but I don't want to prematurely say or decide anything. I am somehow hoping that, once this fest is over, even if it ends up finished in January (universe forbid later) 2008, we can look back and finally feel like we accomplished something big.. But in the process to coming to that keeping motivated is proving to be a challenge..

Well we're chugging along anyway. I suppose one of the things to learn from this is that I shouldn't be too sensitive to occasional complaints and problems that arise... When thinking of it cool-headedly, it's practically impossible for something like this to go 100% smooth. A gaming event organized by a non-gamer..

Jose wrote:

You may not like the idea, but I can see how having two distinct tournaments to handle each of these "irreconsilable" differences would solve the problem.

How did you know I might not like the idea? Eye

Well.. it's a nice idea actually, but the thing is, another tournament means a whole other set of groupings and scheduling not to mention servers with those specific settings. So perhaps it's better to just go with the rules we're going with and if someone doesn't want to play because of that so be it, but of course they should determine so before things are starting up. In this case only ones who have a chance to back out are AA gamers, as AA is still in that dreadful "preparation stage". Yah.. I'm getting to it.

Jose wrote:

I think I'm a guilty party here. Without appreciating what I was doing, I helped zap you of energy.

You may have, but it's hard to complain when at the same time you helped so much.. hence only ways I could complain was through subtle signs. Laughing out loud I'd say it wasn't just so much that you made it seem more complex as much that you showed me just how complex this could get and gave me some solutions to work with in such cases... I guess I'm just not sure where the former ends and latter begins though, not that it matters much. Smiling

Jose wrote:

One suggestion is that we post a description of availabilities (like the text file you provided recently in the tool's thread) accessible from a link on the main game fest webpage. Assume that people will have the same availability for any tournaments they are participating in at a given point in time. Also, open up a wiki page with instructions for individuals to only modify their own availability. This page will be the same or similar to the one linked from the game fest site.

Solid ideas, though it's more difficult to change when things already got going. I don't see many more people posting their availability on these topics so putting up a list and a wiki page may simply be converting the existing data to a perhaps a bit more readable form, but I would still probably have to do what I'm doing now.. communicate potential times of matches via IRC, email and forums.

So I guess we can try something like this, at least a wiki thing linked from the site, but in the midst of the game as it currently stands I'm not sure how much would it help. I'm already putting up some set and considered schedules on tournament pages, like for example tremulous page.

Jose wrote:

8 -- One major difference I see for future game tournaments is that maybe the web site and tools will be accessible from the beginning. Also, there would be a base rule set to work from.

Yes.. that's definitely a benefit..

And what you said further on makes sense; the next tournament will have a good foundation to build on. That's really the best thing that's going for it and best reason to attempt it. I guess the reasoning is, if we could do it once, no matter how imperfect it was, we can do it better again.

Well.. we'll see.. when the time comes. Now I just want to pull this one through. Smiling

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>> Well.. it's a nice idea

>> Well.. it's a nice idea actually, but the thing is, another tournament means a whole other set of groupings and scheduling not to mention servers with those specific settings. So perhaps it's better to just go with the rules we're going with and if someone doesn't want to play because of that so be it, but of course they should determine so before things are starting up.

Another approach would be to make half the number of matches be of one type and the other half of the other. Maybe the first set of qualifiers would be of one type, then servers get adjusted once for the remaining time of qualifiers.

Tournament would be a little more complex if we wished to keep the servers fixed for long periods of time. Maybe if we had two servers in the various regions (EU, US, etc) we could keep one set always with one group of settings and another set with the other.

>> I don't see many more people posting their availability on these topics so putting up a list and a wiki page may simply be converting the existing data to a perhaps a bit more readable form, but I would still probably have to do what I'm doing now.. communicate potential times of matches via IRC, email and forums.

Speaking only for myself, I find it a bit difficult keeping track of when new requirements come up except by reading the "show what's new" section of nuxified. And doing so is not ideal because of all the "noise" and important items I may not have yet taken care of fall off the front page as they age a bit. Also new replies sometimes get lost for one reason or another (like refreshing the page without having first looked for all "new" replies).

Maybe there is currently an easier way, and if so ignore this comment. If this is the main way, however, I would benefit from having a single page that lists all "matters that need your attention". Maybe the list would grow but the items would stay in their same location so that by quickly scanning it, I would know if there was something new. So existing "need your attention item # X" would never add new requirements. This way, I'd know by looking at the top of the list if something "else/new" needed my attention.

Also, couldn't we assume (to keep things simpler for what is left of the fest) that everyone will have just a single availability no matter the tournament. If so, a single page to list avail once and for all would be the way to go.

>> Well.. we'll see.. when the time comes. Now I just want to pull this one through.

We have some good players that have stepped into the ring, so it's now too late to step back out. Through one means or another we have to see some of these final tournament matches through. If not for the USD value of a top prize, titles and bragging rights are at stake. Smiling

[Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are in the interest of future as well as the current game fest. A suggestion may not work out well now, but it's sort of on the record for other tournaments.]

libervisco's picture
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Jose wrote: Another
Jose wrote:

Another approach would be to make half the number of matches be of one type and the other half of the other. Maybe the first set of qualifiers would be of one type, then servers get adjusted once for the remaining time of qualifiers.

Luke_Jr suggested something like that for AA, where it is actually easier to implement that sort of thing. As for other tourneys, at this point probably not because they're already in progression (it's basically too late). For the next fest.. anything's possible.

Jose wrote:

Speaking only for myself, I find it a bit difficult keeping track of when new requirements come up except by reading the "show what's new" section of nuxified.

That's why I sent an email to everyone involved where I clearly specify both the tournament page and a corresponding scheduling. I doubt it is hard to just click on that email link and post your availability. The fact that some didn't isn't justifiable IMHO by that it is "too hard to do". I don't buy that.

I agree it may be a bit confusing from the perspective of Nuxified.org or Freedomware-gamefest.com (clicking on the "show new posts" and all), but that's why I cut through that with an email. It's not ideal, but it's what we've got right now. We can and will improve that for the next fest (whoever "we" ends up being).

I just think it should be an user powered thing, through a simple form where they can select time tables, rather than requiring organizers to transcribe.

Jose wrote:

Also, couldn't we assume (to keep things simpler for what is left of the fest) that everyone will have just a single availability no matter the tournament. If so, a single page to list avail once and for all would be the way to go.

Makes sense.

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I have been neglect with

I have been neglect with emails (I am not that popular except to spammers), so I just checked and saw the page with all the links (dec 8 ).

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Joined: 2007-09-10
>> I will try to keep

>> I will try to keep advancing the avail tool and maybe help explain what it is doing so that others can more easily contribute to it. Give me two or three days to get back with more definite information and/or an improved version.

Haven't coded very much yet, but did start today. The important thing is that I have redefined the product in my mind to something that I think is useful and that I can implement in a reasonable amount of time. Not everything is ironed out, but I should be able to code fairly regularly from now on.

Will something be ready in around 2 days? Maybe. Or maybe more like a week.

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