Saturday, December 6, 2008

Organizing a Lan Gaming event

Pragnya is the name of my college's "Tech Fest" The story of how this thing started itself is some 100 pages story, so lets not get to it :P At the end, it indeed "started off" and was its 3rd and final day. I am one of the 4 organizers of the "Lan Gaming" event for the fest. Its a 3 day event, being held all day long and that too in a lab of our college.

The games included in the Lan Gaming event are CounterStrike 1.6 (obviously :P ) , NFS MW, FIFA 08, Warcraft III (DotA) , and Quake III. The QIII in there, was there because of my request. I never see UT or QIII in any of the events of other college's, so I just put it there for players like me :) We planned to have Tournaments for CS and NFS, everything else was planned to be a regular "friendly" match which means that we basically set up all the systems in lan and the people visiting could play on Lan connected systems for cheap and have fun (generating income for the prizes)

Out of the 4, I and another person were like the main people handling the games and systems etc etc. I was there helping with all the hardware and networking things, being a college computer lab, we faced bazillions of problems, I was so happy that everyone of those problems we faced was easily fixable for me (not that the problems themselves were not too big :P ) All 4 of us spent the first 3 days of the week assembling, installing all games and stuffs on the systems. When the event actually started one of us was the registrations handler, the other was seeing all formalities and coordinating things, I was the NFS referee the other was the CS referee.

We organizers have "black t-shirts" and the simple volunteers who came in during the events were the "white shirts" once again showing that "Black is 1337 choice" :P So yeah, the white shirts were there to help us monitor the tournament matches, noting down timings etc etc. Really helpful bunch I must say, made new friends too!

On the first day I and another one of the organizers had to run up and down the college building for almost an hour to get the permissions letter signed by 4 different people out of which one was not available for 45 minutes. In The end however, we got signatures of one Associate professor, two Head of Departments and our principal to formally "get permission" for doing the thing and take responsibility for it.

I am trying to start "cut-short"-ing my blogs now, so that I can write things faster.. so lets just skip the majillion points of trivial details (in the inside, I don't think of them as trivial :P ) and skip to the main points!

One small point is that we allowed only the playing people inside the room, so there were 2 CS Clans and 4 NFS players in the room at any point and all others waiting outside in the waiting room, because all responsibility for the things in the lab was on us and we dont want nothing to be getting lost now, dont we?

*Satisfaction!

For the first time in our college's 10 year history a Lan Gaming tournament was conducted and I was very happy to be a part of it, and most of all, I was happy that I was a "big guy" in the whole thing, as I now had a part in making the thing as fair as possible. With no "college partiality", etc etc. I am happy to say that the whole thing went smoothly. Every match was under my observation and I didn't find anything objectionable being done, Its not like I had to go there and tell them to not do something wrong, everything was being done in a very fair manner. I was just making sure everything was going right or not by double checking everyone's stats. (self satisfaction)

*Sportsmanship.

I was actually thinking that I would come across a lot of un-sportsman people who would... you know do "un-sportsman" things and complain a lot at the end of the matches, but NO. They understood that we were on college systems, which are not built for total gaming, understood that there was lag and EVERYONE was under the same condition. Also they were very cool about going according to the rules that I set. They were not bothered by the delays and were patient enough to wait till everything was fixed! Its great to see people like that participating. One of the participants is in top 10 of the state, a very good national level player too. He was there helping us , after finishing his matches by setting up some systems and giving bits of info on how other colleges organized things.

*Collision Detection

The only thing that I found wrong in the whole event was that almost every participant in the NFS event went :O after hearing that there would be collision detection in the races. I've read the whole WCG rules and know that its "off" in their games. But I don't see any point in having a "LAN" game and turning collision detection off.

I was telling them "Why not just play on any non lan system without traffic or bots and we will note down your times" it's the same thing as not having collision detection. They were worried about the race start mainly, as NFS puts 4 players in a 2x2 order (hence back people hitting front people etc) but I told that "that's the way it rolls" you can't come all the way and say it's a LAN event and have a sissy "no collision detection" event. I told them its an "underground" event, so forget about world standards.

We had one volunteer observing each of the 4 simultaneous participants and made sure that no one did any intentional crashes.

*Fairness

The whole event was as fair as possible, Out of the qualified Semi-finalists we divided people accordingly, so that we don't see a final in the semis itself, and also such that the least tier people don't play with all the first tier people.

There was no HUGE a gap between people and no one had any complaints :) Due to some technical difficulties we had to make some changes and the competitors accepted without raising a fuss about it.

*The Moneh!

We've had over 100 Participants, with ~65 for NFS and 11 Clans for CS. The participation number was quite good! Not only was this our first Lan Gaming event, but due to some mistake the event was not even mentioned in our event's website or the poster. In other colleges its around 250 or something, so relatively we did pretty good! All registration money was in the hands of the person who handled the registration. I always worry when it comes to money matters. The main thing being the doubt if the person who is collecting is a honest person or not. In almost every event I've seen till now, there were people who kept eating some of the money. I was having my doubts if there would be one now too.

But all these days working with them and seeing how they behaved, I was assured that they are good people and not someone who would eat away the earnings of the event. Not only that, but also the organizers of all the other events and the main co-ordinators are cool people with no intention of cheating out any of the money into their own pockets.

Maybe its because this is the "Tech fest" and not the college's "cultural fest". Why does it matter? Because every event is something related to things like paper presentations, programming competitions Robotics etc. so that means that only geeks and nerds are the organizers :P Not those meat heads, who somehow just by seeing you can say that will do something like that.

*What to DO with the Monnies.

Once everything was collected and registrations were closed, all the money was given to the appropriate authorities. The college decided that they keep 30% of the earnings and we use the remaining for the prize money... we had to reduce the NFS and CS prize a bit because of this (we were giving 1st and 2nd prize ) but the participants were cool with that.

*NFS Rules

The NFS Finals was won by the person in blue sitting on the far left. It sure was a great match, I planned the finals' scores in such a way that any mistake can lead to a total turnover of points and make the one in lead, loose the game. We faced a lot of problems during the finals as one of the connected system was always closing automatically as soon as the match started. We tried several combinations of 4 computers and after a lot of trials somehow got everything working smoothly.

The first Circuit race was 20 minutes long and tested the stamina of everyone, next one was a curvaceous sprint testing the players control and handling, then the third was a traffic filled collision having drag race. Drag is something everyone has trouble finishing, and it felt awesome seeing them play like that, going under the truck and all :P

*End

The CS winners had to leave because they had another tournament, after trying a lot to try and get them the certificate and prize before hand, and not succeeding I gave them the prize money out my pocket and asked them to leave for their tournament (for which they paid a lot to register and were getting late ) I took their prize money for myself :P

The certificates could not be given to the winners as the tournament ended at 2 PM and certificates were written and locked by 1PM. They will however get it on Monday :)

*Other things!

Well, I first of all used one of my designs to make a poster for the Lan Gaming event. Made this in under 20 minutes, and it sure caught everyone's attention :D Other than that, took print outs of tables that I made to note down all the preliminary rounds' timings. Helped in framing questions for the "Tech Quiz" and some general help here and there too. All organizers got free lunch everyday too! The lunch was excellent in our canteen. And it felt great that we all organizers were being rewarded like that.

We spent 3 days installting various games in all the systems, and today when it ended, we spent around an hour deleting every game from every system in a synchronised and quick manner, the work was done leaving now trace of it ever happening, just so that people dont sit and play those games during normal lab sessions, hehe.

Well, I think I am missing some details but I guess this is more than enough, will keep making shorter posts if possible, hehe. All in all, the event was awesome and it had a great surprise in the end which I will save for later. It was the first time our tech fest was so huge (only the cultural fest was a big thing, till now) it did go pretty well, but will surely be better next time! There were many things wrong with the timing and promotion and (lack of) sponsorship for this event.

Any doubts or anything, feel free to ask :P

Heres the poster I made

Check out the full gallery here!

Pragnya '08

2 comments:

sathyasays said...

Nice job! Love the wallpaper!

PS: When are you going to shift to WP? Haven't been posting so many comments just because of this stoppid blogger shit. Get rid of blogger. Move to WP. You can import your blogger posts easily. (Nope Blogger can't do the reverse)

Reeteshifier said...

Thanks man :D

As for the shifting to WP thing.. I dont know..I guess it will be when the free WP hosting is as good as Bloggers.

I love formatting and making my entries as apt as possible. and hence am a major fan of Apture.

I also modified a lot of the CSS to my liking. the WP person doesnt give any kind of modification or anything to me when I host it there. Its like a locked system.

And the x10hosting servers are blocked in so many locations where some of my friends see from. so thats not an option too.

So until I see that Its worth it for me to invest on my own hosting service I dont think I will be doing a WP blog.

I dont know why I think a lot while spending and this is one of the most delayed decision ever!

Just hope Preshit's hosting contest's results are favourable! XD

Btw, you have a google ID right? comment is so easy here, just be logged in using your Google ID and you need not do anything but just write the comment :D