Post LAN Thread

7th - 9th November (# signed up, # paid)
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egg99
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Post LAN Thread

Postby egg99 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:32 pm

Finally found five minutes to get round to this! Just wanted to leave some feedback for my favourite people:

Super duper pro points:
1. Anniversary cake - ok, I appreciate this can't happen every LAN, but I thought it was a lovely touch and got a few people talking in the queue whilst deciding on which fabulous cakes they should try. Nice job :)
2. Steam Playlist - it was really nice to be able to see what everyone was playing (newbies didn't necessarily have people on Steam and it was a quick and easy way to see everyone). Sometimes the list got a little small due to numbers, so would it be possible to have the most played games at the top so people can pick and choose that way?
3. Cards Against Humanity - need I say more?!
4. Goose's fridge - seriously, bring that again.
5. People - awesome as always.

There were only two niggling little things, and they sort of fall into the same category so I may as well talk about them at the same time: the amount of actual, competitive gaming and the distribution of prizes. Was it just me or were both rather sparse this time? I think the two are fairly well linked... Fewer games = fewer prizes. Last year, we had those amazing coloured envelopes with prizes inside. You guys also knew we needed to play enough games to get through them all, so that encouraged a more pro-active approach to getting the punters into a match. Plus, people wanted to win those things! I know you don't want the weekend to end up super structured, but would it be worth setting up a timetable of events for the most commonly played games, just to ensure the chance to deliver prizes isn't accidentally missed?

That's really the only thing I noticed and, to be honest, I was having way to much fun to give much of a damn! Thanks again for all your hard work, staff!
Love Egg x

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby mikethegreek » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:12 pm

I was waiting for someone to post this :)

1. Anniversary cake - ok, I appreciate this can't happen every LAN, but I thought it was a lovely touch and got a few people talking in the queue whilst deciding on which fabulous cakes they should try. Nice job :)

The cake was fantastic. We would all like to make it happen every LAN but like you said its just not possible :(

2. Steam Playlist - it was really nice to be able to see what everyone was playing (newbies didn't necessarily have people on Steam and it was a quick and easy way to see everyone). Sometimes the list got a little small due to numbers, so would it be possible to have the most played games at the top so people can pick and choose that way?

Agreed this is very useful. it has already been tweaked to show the most played games first.

As for prizes, Ya we know we are not sure why we didn't do any of the games, it just didn't happen for some reason.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Freelance » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:56 pm

Westlan is always a bit weird in that before every lan people always come up with a big list of games they want to play, and often they are in small groups that know each other, but it's an extremely rare to non-existent thing that a game besides CSS/TF2/HL2DM will get a lot of played by a lot of people. Doesn't matter if an alternative is free or the latest hot game (with lan), it rarely gets a look in.

I know this suggestion will get the staff cursing my name (well, more than usual) but could they consider an alternate seating plan (arrangements of desks) to encourage people to talk to each other. Maybe if a lan looks like having less attend it, play with a different layout. As noted above (cupcake queue), people talk when they're in close proximity, and maybe the current rows get in the way of it. One thing I'll note is that when I'm seated more towards the front, I can't as easily just glance over what other people are playing and see what to join, although the steam group listing goes some way to remedy this, but isn't a full solution.

/2p

Oh, and I think I caught something nasty while I was there. Bleh.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby mikethegreek » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:59 pm

feel free to suggest a better table layout. we have tried loads before and the one we have now is the best we can think of without losing loads of spaces.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby xconspirisist » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:55 pm

I'm totally open to the idea of a new layout, just throw something together in mspaint if you'd like - but you need to aim to fit in 62 people and ideally, have them within view of the projector. Our cables can pretty much accommodate any layout.

4. Goose's fridge - seriously, bring that again.


This had me in stitches - glad I didn't do anything, but this was some funny shit!

As for the projector, I'd love to make some improvements, but I shot myself in the foot by coding it in C# - which is a language I really don't like(!). The web interface is also pretty terrible, some time I need to rework a lot of it, but it works, so I'm not that compelled!

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby egg99 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:49 pm

I'm not sure there is a single seating plan in the world that would make some gamers talk to others. Too many are just too shy. The plan as it is really lends itself to chatting to the people around you (or maybe that's just because I'm on the long row rather than the horizontals). People just have to go out of their way to move/talk a little.
Has anyone had a perv at other LANs' seating plans to see if they use anything better?

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Freelance » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:02 pm

Actually I'm wondering about a slight variation to the previous layout as a first attempt.

Old:
Image

New:
Image
(this seems to lend itself to smaller venues)

Then to adjust for attendance there's some balance between row length and number of rows. You could even add a break in rows to aid movement around the place, that might also have a side effect of getting people travelling past people not on their row. Also don't restrict the rows at one end (i.e. right up to the stage or more desks).

The layout right now just has it so you only really use your own row, and everyone is looking one direction (no real reason to look backwards, you'll only see the boring side of monitors)

I was wondering about the idea of pods/clusters of 6/8, or some concave arrangement of desks, but that seems more weird and awkward than useful. Generally the idea is to make it easier for more people to see more peoples' screens and maybe move around.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Gooseman » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:57 pm

regarding my fridge - YOU BASTARDS... think of it like this... i helped free up some space in the main fridge.

regarding seating plan.. i dont believe we can add more spaces to the lan.. though with how big westlan is getting, it would be nice to increase capacity!

the only suggestions that we could have is to make the desks so you are opposite the other person, like the old layout, leave the current layout, but make the ones going across the hall double. In order to gain the space needed though, would need to move closes to the stage, and hence remove the server area... But with those rows.. but by doing that, you loose the usefulness of the projector unless the seating is realigned, so everyone can see the stage, or projector, with a 90 degree turn of the head. this is probably not practical.

Tornis.. I have to say that i must preferred the lan like it was.. im not a hardcore gamer. yes i pushed for the ut2k4 rpg. but the other games felt alot more fun than being in games where there is a prize to win.

Board games ... well card games... cards against humanity as Egg says needs nothing saying.... this could be a good torni though! couple of tables going at a time. plus "coup" was a nice touch. Many thanks to Neo for bringing them!

environment was great. i had a very good time. One thing i would like to make a point to.. that my bed being let down WHEN PEOPLE were asleep there too. is out of order to the people in that area. you are not causing a problem for me, as its a few minutes to pump up. but the people that will be woken up by it. in the end i had to offer them earplugs. If your jealous of my bed... well you have seen it setup enough times... get their early enough and take my space!

Pojector... needs a few upgrades (Xcon i know you dont like the code its in, but tough!) its buggy.. the shoutouts dont always clear themselves, I think a queue of 5 / 10 waiting shoutouts would be good. maybe a priority system for "i need help" and give your name, might be worth considering. maybe to make that suggustion fairer. make it a box "i need help" and it then disables your shoutout ability for 1 minute, and displays your requirement in red? suggestions only, Steam list was good. but need to limit it to only the people at the lan.. i know you can do it... so dont be lazy!

All in All a very good lan, and a good 10th year in Budleigh, and a good 10 year anniversary of me attending as well (referring to the year, my 10th year anniversary lan was SL 32 at the beginning of the year!)!

If there are many more close to capacity lans, maybe it will be worth to look into other locations? the way the lans are going, they will only get bigger and better!

Thank you to all the staff, and especially neil for putting up with my complaining, Xcon for sitting next to me, and Neo for putting up with me and playing card games with me!

Goose

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby mikethegreek » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:37 am

the biggest issue with any table layout is cables.
We cant do pods of tables, cabling becomes complete mess. same things for pulling the desks away from the stage, our power is on the stage so its a no go due to cable runs.

We have no plans to expand the numbers at the moment, yes we could fit more tables in but we would have to hire them and we would have issues with sleeping space.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Merson » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:28 pm

I'm coming to the March LAN so if you want me to round up a few games for prizes let me know.

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Freelance » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:26 pm

Regarding the cables on the floor, are there any H&S/electrical regulations you have to follow or is it just about durability/wear and tear/things not fucking up? Products do exist for this scenario, and can be helped with tape/mat/etc.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Luck_dragon66 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Having been to many a Westlan I have seen how the different table layouts in the past have worked out, I do feel the current layout is best for letting people know what is going on by using the projector.

The old Budleigh layout with two rows of double tables would help people talk to those directly opposite to them, but as screens get bigger people don't get to see who is sat opposite any longer and having the old layout also splits the hall into 2 groups, this can be handy for some games but not for getting people talking to each other.

Some of the best Lans have been the mini Lans we had at Lympstone, the tables were set up in a circle and you could chat to everyone in the room, but these where small Lans with very small numbers of people, this would mean that everyone was always in the same games, this just does not work with the bigger events.

To get people chatting to each other outside of the group of people they know, the only real way of doing this is to randomize the seating, you will always get chatting to new people if they are sat next to you, the problem is everyone wants to sit with the people that they know.

The only option I can come up with to sort this would be to have people group up in 2's or 3's when they sign up and then randomly spread these groups around the room, this way everyone has one or two people they know with them, but there is a good chance that someone close to them will be someone outside of their normal group.
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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby egg99 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:07 pm

Why can't people just speak to each other? :(

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby Gooseman » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:08 pm

egg99 wrote:Why can't people just speak to each other? :(


That's what Steam is for!

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Re: Post LAN Thread

Postby egg99 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:13 pm

I talk to people via computers all the time; I go to LANs to speak to people irl :)

Can't we just keep the seating plan how it is and play an ice breaker game or something? XD


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