Game Scheduling

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Game Scheduling

Postby Kenny » Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:37 pm

I hope this post doesn't sound too criticising (or long), I don't intend for it to be, I'm just highlighting what I think is a weakness in the current LAN setup.

I've been coming to these LANs for many a year now (he said, easing into a comfortable chair with pipe and slippers), my only complaint would be with the lack of game organisation.

From my experience, there are plenty of players, and plenty of people playing the games to have a really good LAN, but the problem is that people aren't playing the same games at the same time.

The current method is that people call out that they will be "Running a blah blah game in 30 minutes" or whatever, which is fine in theory, but falls over in practice for two reasons:
-- Some people won't have the game installed, and will insist on ferreting around their big bag o' kit for their install disks, and
-- other people will have been playing the game on and off hoping for others to join in and will be bored of it.

This approach is very flexible, and gives a nice, relaxed environment at the LANs, but can be frustrating.

I know attempts to schedule tournaments have been made in the past, but then you get the same problems with the people from point one above, not having it installed at the appointed time, and you can get too few people in a tournament to make the game worthwhile.

My opinion is that there should definitely be a staff organised schedule, but one that is separate from any tournaments, just for games.

Time slots will be defined and have games assigned to them, and then at those times, people play. The important point is that if no-one actually plays the game at that time, it really isn't a problem.

It would provide a skeleton framework around which other games can be planned and played. It would mean:
-- We wouldn't get this "drib and drab" effect of gameplay, which results in never more than 4 or 5 people in a game at once.
-- People with limited hard drive space will be able to install the game prior to the scheduled time.
-- Maintains the casuality of the LAN without leaving the occurrence of large team games to chance.

Games can be interlaced by type (FPS vs RTS etc.) or by machine spec required (Prey vs. UT Classic) means that people can have something of interest to them regularly, with breaks in between. Some slots could be left open for any game.

Some longer games of course, such as Generals, will require more than one slot.
Less popular games can easily be scheduled for off-peak times, 9AM (too early), 3PM (lunchtime) etc. and very popular games can be given more than one slot.

From LAN to LAN, the games that are being played / requested more can be given more slots.

I would suggest two hour chunks from 9AM to 1AM each day, this gives a good number of slots (14, I think) for the number of games that are regularly played.

I would opt for this schedule information to be distributed on the placemat sheets on each table and on the walls. The information on the forum / site would be missed by many people who don't / can't be bothered to read the forums, and it's a terrible pain to have to get up and look at the board, and the information on the board mutates over the course of the LAN anyway (not a criticism, just the point of view of a cynical LAN goer).

This system won't combat the small group of people who always complain 2 minutes before the start of a game that they haven't got it installed, but it should help. Maybe recommend that people try to connect to the server 30 minutes before the game to check their version / install the game, and to be in and ready to play five minutes before.

I have discussed this idea with a few other LAN goers who share the same point of view

The final schedule should be decided in a communist way by the staff, you ask one hundred people what they think the schedule should be, you'll get one hundred different answers.

Having looked at the games mentioned around on the forum, and my own (admittedly limited) knowledge, I would suggest something like:

Fri 9PM : Insane Racing (easy, non-committal game to get people going)
Fri 11PM : UT2004 CTF (popular game leading into the night)
Sat 9AM : Tiberian Sun / Red Alert 2 (something niche, people can get up for these if they want)
Sat 11AM : GTA Vice City (MTA mod) / UT2004 Deathmatch
Sat 1PM : UT2004 Onslaught
Sat 3PM : Generals (could be six hours or so)
Sat 5PM : Battlefield 2 / Call of Duty 2 (FPSes whilst people are still Generalising)
Sat 7PM : MOHAA / UT2004 RPG / Q3A (for the people of the id side of the fence)
Sat 9PM : Prey Multi player (a big new game for the peak hours) / UT GOTY (for those unable to play Prey)
Sat 11PM : Counter-Strike Source
Sun 9AM : Serious Sam 2 Co-Op (easy fun for the bleary-eyed)
Sun 11AM : Fear (no idea, never played it)
Sun 1PM : UT2004 (Hill Billy Barn, crazy weapons for the closing hours)
Sun 3PM : (Left empty for packing up etc.)

(World of Warcraft doesn't get a look in, my personal view is that it is not a game for a LAN.)

I'm not saying "it will be played like this", nor even it should be, and I'm sure that some of these slots would get no-one playing, which wouldn't be a problem.

One last point, the final schedule should be decided in a communist way by the staff. You ask one hundred people what they think the schedule should be, you'll get one hundred different answers.

I'm just putting forward an idea on which people can give their own opinions. Feel free to comment.

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Postby Nitro » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:36 pm


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Re: Game Scheduling

Postby tomuk5 » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:54 pm

Kenny wrote:(World of Warcraft doesn't get a look in, my personal view is that it is not a game for a LAN.)

i quite agree with your views on WoW players :)

nice planning of slots, hell id love to see a system that that implemented IRL, but the chances of staff implementing it is slim to nil (no offence, you just dont have the time and i can quite understand that, what with server setup, food, electric, patches and updates prep in the week leading up to the lan)

i do also like the idea of a tib sun/RA2 slot, in which i can have my ass handed to me on a plate :D

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Postby mikethegreek » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:10 pm

we are going to have a chat about this

i cant say any thing for sure yet but it looks like we may do some thing along these line,
prob not as many slots as like tom said we dont have the time but we will see what we can come up with

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Postby xconspirisist » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:51 pm

Last time I organized most of the big games. Got together enough people, but I'll help and and prod people this time as a reminder. Less slots - but the theory is good if we have lots of posters up with the times on. Good on you Kenny.

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Postby AlienX » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:15 am

This is a good idea and i agree with you 100%, the LAN needs some sort of gaming timetable to make players WANT to play - Ovisually if i wanted to play TA with some other people when MOHAA was on that woudnt matter, but still


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