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PAX Aftermath: PC Rooms and Tournaments

FallFall Registered User
edited August 2004 in PAX Archive
BYOC Room

The room itself was a perfect shape and size for a BYOC event of this size (80 spots). It offered exits that were easy to control, but also allowed decent circulation and space for movement. We ended up having enough room for almost 90 people to setup and play, but unfortunately we never filled up to capacity.

The BYOC room was amazingly stable and secure for an event of this size. During setup we realized there'd be a minor issue with connecting the Lanwerx systems and the BYOC systems on the network due to assigned ips, but a short walkthrough was written to explain how to configure your system to work with the network to be given to all who arrived. During the event I ran into one person who had a problem with this, and Bigred told me he ran into two himself. Three out of many? Not bad. Aside for this IP issue, we had no other substantial technical issues that affected the BYOC area during the event. Amazing!

The volunteer staff did an amazingly great (to the max and/or extreme) job with the BYOC at all hours of the event. Due to the unexpectedly low turnout for the BYOC room (it was around 40-75% full at all times) any problem was solved almost as fast as it came up by the volunteers working the room and the front desk. This level of efficiency allowed most of the staff to spend their time at the front desk answering questions and checking people in and out. They also were able to show off their creative abilities by making the world-reknowned Fruit Fucker and Div mural out of Bawls bottle caps. I'm sure you'll see a photo on these forums of their artwork. http://bigredwa.com/LPNW/IMG_0083.jpg

Thank you Matt B, Khahil, David, Darin, Jacob, Mike, Jason, and Ben! Without you, the BYOC room wouldn’t have worked at all. Also, thanks to the unofficial volunteer Jarhouse who helped Matt B (aka BigRed) with setting up the network. Best. Volunteers. Ever.

I also must thank BigRed for the system he provided to use as a file server to serve patches and game updates during the event. Not only was this convenient for those at the LAN, but this helped save us in a few situations involving game update errors. One row of the Lanwerx systems had CoD 1.1 installed, while all others had 1.4. Without this server the CoD tourney might have been in trouble. Another round of thanks for BigRed who helped save the network from lag by purchasing a switch on his own dime. Without this we’d have enjoyed a LAN running at the speed of your Mom’s 56k modem. Thanks Matt!

As my final round of thanks for the BYOC room, I must thank all those in attendance. We had no known reports of theft of any kind nor any malicious computer use. Awesome job, all around! Jesus would be proud.

Fall on

Posts

  • FallFall Registered User
    edited August 2004
    Lanwerx Room

    Lanwerx provided 40 Shuttle PCs that were trucked in from their soon-to-be open Silverdale location. All had many different games to be played on them, and there were over a thousand people who either played on them during free play or during tournaments.

    Prior to the event I was not sure how many Lanwerx employees would be coming to help staff things (I was expecting only one during peak hours) and amazingly we had nearly 3 or 4 at all times! This allowed the room to be monitored and managed quite efficiently allowing the maximum number of people to come in and play during free time. While tournaments bled into free play time, they were still able to get people playing on open systems without any complication.

    Many people were complaining that we didn’t have enough spots for them to play at all times, but that never was the plan. The most annoying problem that came up were the “locust” gamers who’d continually sit down at a station we’d announce was off limits and reserved for a tournament player. Pretty much every match for every round of every tournament had this issue, but I guess some people just don’t understand the concept of waiting. Still, the vast majority of people were patient and understanding and were seated at open stations.

    All through the night the Silverdale and Bellevue Lanwerx staff kept things running smooth and did their best to ensure tournament matches could be played and that free play was doled out with great justice. Silverdale: Victor (manager), Kyle, and James. Bellevue: Tom and Brooks.

    This was the first real test of the Silverdale hardware and staff under fire, and the result was an overwhelming success. Great job everyone from Lanwerx!

    Fall on
  • FallFall Registered User
    edited August 2004
    PC Tournaments

    The tournament line-up was Warcraft 3:TFT, Battlefield 1942: Desert Combat, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Call of Duty. Tournaments were scheduled to run from 10 AM Sat – 12 AM Sun and 10 AM Sun – 8 PM Sun, and all were planned to make the most of the provided Lanwerx systems as well as allowing for BYOC players to use their own systems. When I arrived on Friday the shipment of UT2004 hadn’t arrived yet, so the UT2004 tournament was looking like it wouldn’t happen.

    The opening Warcraft 3 tournament was pushed back to 10:45 after the delayed opening of the doors to the public and the massive traffic jam at the front. During a quick test of the Lanwerx systems that were to be used for the tournament, we realized The Frozen Throne (W3 expansion pack) was not installed on about 1/3 of the systems. This forced a change from TFT to RoC, and was a disappointment to many who hadn’t played RoC in over a year. Matches started at 10:45 and once we made it down to the final 16 we were able to offer TFT for use again if both opponents agreed to it. All but one match used TFT for that round, and all future rounds in the tournament used TFT.

    The second tournament was for the Battlefield 1942 mod Desert Combat. This was our first team tournament, and was going to be the first time the issue of assigning teams came up. The vast majority of participants in all team tournaments registered as an individual to be assigned a team, the result was a registration within a registration requiring a drawn out process to verify which teams needed players and were present as well as which players needed teams and were present. This part of registration delayed the start of the tournament by 45 minutes, but resulted in every single person who registered to get a team. Dedicated servers were setup for match play, but the integrated dedicated server client was not working as it should and after 15 minutes of trying to fix the problem we were forced to use listen servers to play. After the change from dedicated to listen, no problems came up during this tournament.

    The third tournament was for Counter-Strike. This is the largest tournament we hosted for the PC, and was the most lengthy and involved one at the PAX event. The tournament ran from 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM with matches averaging 30 minutes each. The biggest setback was at the start, and was caused by the sheer volume of participants who had registered without a team. Luckily at this point in time the megaphone was ready to be broken out and the “angry mob” was able to hear what was going on and who was to play on each team. After an hour past the scheduled start, the first matches began. In order to allow 4 matches to be played at the same time (40 people/40 provided systems) we used listen servers. Unfortunately, CS is not the most newbie friendly when it comes to managing a match even when it comes down to entering a single command. As a result the server hosts had mistakenly done the following: changed the map mid-match, restarted the map mid-match, and shut the server down all done in different matches. We quickly stopped the matches and setup dedicated servers which meant we could only play 3 matches at a time, but also ensured that all those matches would be run perfectly smooth. Sure enough, all future matches went perfect and we finished early. By early, I mean early in the morning and way past the scheduled finish. 4:00 AM!

    After a long night the fourth PC tournament of the event was rolling around, Unreal Tournament 2004. Unfortunately, the Unreal Tournament 2004 tournament never happened. While the announcement came Saturday afternoon over the PA system and we had plenty of signs and schedules posted around the PC area, many people were surprised when they showed up at the start of the event without registering and found out UT2004 was no more. Personally, I was surprised that they thought they’d just waltz into a tournament when it started without registering and expect to play, but hey, that’s just me. As was also announced via our posters, schedules, and PA announcements, the fourth tournament was now Halo PC. Still, the vast majority of participants were extremely friendly and understood the situation. The tournament started without a hitch, but after forty minutes into the second match we realized something was up. Sure enough, the awesome game had no time limit! We were playing CTF Pro Classic which had a time limit of 20 minutes, but the match was not ending. All future matches required us to setup a custom gametype and went off fairly smoothly. One problem did come up when a match ended in a tie showcasing another awesome feature of PC Halo. Instead of stating who won by the obvious tie breaker (kills) the game just shows an ordered list of players. Both teams were quickly doing the math to see who won and I was writing things down (addition is hard to do after being up over 40 hours), right then the systems were rebooted and all records were lost. Both teams insisted they had won, and I could only go off of the partial list I had written down. Hopefully this wasn’t in error, but the loser still finished tied for 4th ensuring their team a prize.

    The final tournament was Call of Duty which started out with half of the provided systems needing to be patched despite the assurance that they all had v1.4 installed before being setup. After the patching was done, everything went fairly smoothly. One minor mistake came from the dedicated server wanting to never remember the settings we had used resulting in a game timer being set to 30 minutes instead of 15. We called the match with 15 minutes left and all was right in the world. Finals for this tournament went on at the same time as the Omegathon Doom 1 round, and a few of the Omegathon spectators were extremely annoying standing on the tables the Lanwerx systems were setup on to watch people play Doom for an awesome prize despite being repeatedly told to get the fuck down. At that point in time I was so tired that I think I was cheering more for the dumbasses to fall over and break their legs than for the outcome of the match.


    The final stats for the tournaments were as follows:
    We had 764 tournament spots open with 712 registered AT the event.
    Of 712 people who registered for PC tournaments, 533 signed up without a team.
    Of 712 people who registered for PC tournaments, 526 participated in the tournaments.
    Of 526 participants, 31 were eliminated due to forfiet.
    Of 31 eliminated due to forfiet, 10 left for Halo 2, 5 for the RvB panel and viewing, and 16 were probably abducted by aliens (or just forgot to show).

    Fall on
  • TheMountieTheMountie Registered User
    edited August 2004
    i wanted to enter the warcraft 3 tourny, since i was actually ranked in ROC

    how sad was the tourny, cuz all i remember from roc was wyvern tech, hippo tech, bear tech, and...sorc rifles, AND mass ghouls lol

    TheMountie on
    Dear PAX, next year may i have an enforcer shirt instead of just a staff badge. Love, Tyler.
  • FallFall Registered User
    edited August 2004
    RoC was only used opening rounds since we needed 32 systems to be used to make up for the delayed opening. It was a disappointment, but all matches were extremely quick. The quick play implies that there were no high-level matchups resulting in a good player being eliminated early on due to the rather cheesey rulesets, so while RoC was lame it really didn't change the outcome.

    The guy who came in 4th explained that RoC actually made it much easier to deal with undead due to Dispel wands doing a good job of dealing with some of the more popular forms of attack. Other then that, the players who placed really didn't change their playstyles too much between the RoC and TFT round.

    The guy who did win (Tel Arin) was a beast, and I think he played Undead.

    Fall on
  • TheMountieTheMountie Registered User
    edited August 2004
    word, mass ghouls + necros is lame.

    forgot about wands...

    i was watching people play and i was like nice that guy is creeping..
    WHAT THE FUCK ?!!? that creep gave 28 gold???

    oh shit...they are playing roc...

    fuck this shit.

    TheMountie on
    Dear PAX, next year may i have an enforcer shirt instead of just a staff badge. Love, Tyler.
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2004
    Fallout:
    I beleive I provided the file server (lpnw2) for pax ;). Disco (BLE) provided 3 other game servers and a 24port network switch though.

    BigRed on
    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • FallFall Registered User
    edited August 2004
    Yeesh, sorry about that mixup Red. I guess that makes sense considering Dave had left and the server was still up. Yet another way Red helped solve a problem at the event before it even started.

    Fall on
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