Constructive Feedback for EMC Games

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Kephras, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. So here we are in Week 2 of the Games, and after a bit of digging around, I didn't find much in the way of event discussion (even within the main thread). This should give people a place to discuss the pros and cons of each event, so that we can help make future events even better. I'll provide my own analysis for the events, but I welcome you all to add your thoughts as well.

    Disclaimer: This thread is intended for constructive criticism only, to help improve the quality of the Games as they progress. It is not intended for complaints regarding staff.
    Horse Race
    -Layout: An ascending oval marked with hazards and obstacles. Players began at the bottom of the track and worked their way upwards around the ring. Two pitfalls, halfway around and directly before the finish line, resulted in starting over if the player failed to make the jump.
    • Relatively short course. Skilled riders could make relatively quick runs, allowing competition to progress smoothly and efficiently.
    • Diverse obstacles catered to a variety of skills among riders. Jumping and ground movement were equally important.
    • Event horse kept everyone on equal footing, stat-wise.
    • Track was easily observed from stands, allowing observing players to enjoy the event and cheer on their server's riders.
    • Crowd Control. Use of fireworks, Cupid's Bow, and items thrown on the track served to disrupt the competition and distract riders. Fireworks also contribute to second issue:
    • Lag. Numerous fire hazards, fireworks from observing crowd, and potentially other track issues caused several players to experience significant lag, in some cases causing them to forfeit the competition entirely.
    • Pitfalls. In the two places where pitfall traps were located, these ran straight to ground level and necessitated riders to start over from the beginning. In several instances, they "timed out" for their run, unable to complete it.
    -Personal thoughts:
    • Pitfalls are fine, pitfalls that cause you to start over from scratch are not. Their purpose could have been served just as well by a floor below the horse's jump height, allowing a rider to back out and attempt the jump again, rather than cycle through the entire course to that point.
    • Lag issues are a serious concern for some players. Tracks should be designed with this in mind, and things like fireworks and Cupid Bows disabled to prevent interference.
    Foot Race
    -Layout: A long, narrow, winding trail of netherrack, pockmarked with packed ice and soulsand, enclosed in a glass tunnel. Course was designed with a heavy Nether theme, including mock Fortress and a "King Ghast" sculpture in the center.

    • Course is challenging, but can be completed by all competitors without restarting.
    • "Nether" design is fitting and looks awesome.
    • Long winding course. Completion takes upwards of five minutes. Lack of diversity in obstacles makes this course tedious as much as challenging.
    • Observation is poor. The course twists back, around, and under itself, and the Nether Fortress motif blocks visibility for numerous portions of the race.
    • Tight quarters. Narrow path, sharp turns, and overhanging glass serve to further impede runners.
    -Personal thoughts:
    • Entirely too long. I and others voiced concerns about the length, and Krysyy informed us of the reasoning (Time dilation, helps to string out the runners and separate competitors by seconds rather than miliseconds), however in my opinion the course could be about half as long as it is currently and still fulfill that purpose.
    • Too much Fluff. The Nether Fortress and Ghast are cool-looking, and it's clear a lot of attention and detail has been paid to both. Sadly, they also serve to impede the viewing crowd, meaning this event is not one the audience will get much out of except at the start and finish lines.
    -Layout: A narrow trench at one end of the field, an array of increasingly distant targets with redstone lamps and buttons to indicate a shot. Three minecart targets timed at various intervals to appear, and a final 'hidden' target which only appeared behind piston doors for a brief moment.

    • Open course setup. Great view from stands meant a competition worth watching as well as participating in.
    • Redstone-timed course. The actual course was exceptionally designed and offered a diverse challenge in both moving, stationary, and timed targets.
    • Clean design. Course was built with a minimum of architectural 'fluff' and meshed well with the arena. Nothing to distract or impede the competition in progress.
    • Single-player timed course. Not a con of itself, but made practice turns somewhat tough to organize during busy hours.
    • Unintentional multiplayer! The initial design of the practice system made it difficult to tell if someone was already on the course, and would allow multiple players down into the pit. This was later fixed.
    • Redstone system. Timers, hoppers, triggers, and other redstone circuits presented potential lag problems to low-end computers*.
      *Disclaimer: I do not actually recall hearing lag complaints while observing the ccompetition
    • Minecart woes. For a good portion of practice, the minecart targets were unreliable or not functioning at all.
    -Personal thoughts:
    • Best event so far. Most 'cons' I can list amount to nitpicks or minor technical difficulties, the course and the event were well-designed and fun to try and watch.
    • I don't think the water-trap half of the competition was really necessary. Hard to tell if it added or detracted from the event though, as some players got higher scores on the water run.
    • Damn that gold target was tough! I conducted some experiments in single-player and found that the recessed corridor where the trigger buttons were placed meant even a properly aligned shot had a good chance of sticking in the ceiling rather than reaching its target. Not necessarily saying it should have been easier, but in terms of design it was poorly positioned.
    -Layout: A long spiraling course around the bowl of the Games Arena, from bedrock to ceiling height. Construction echoed the levels of Minecraft, progressing from End and Nether into underground, overworld, and sky.
    • Course was beautifully designed and largely easy to understand.
    • Extra tiers were cut into the Arena observation area, allowing spectators to watch participants' progress more effectively.
    • Inconsistent "checkpoints." While there were some places where it was possible to fall and resume your progress, these were not effectively laid out - in some cases, failing one jump meant running a large portion of the circuit all over again, while the fall before it would have allowed you to resume progress with less time lost.
    • No "free run" testing phase. This event was kept under wraps until the day of trials, with no practice permitted. This resulted in some confusion for the initial runners, particularly in the more "open" sections of the course. More importantly, it did not give staff time to smooth over trouble spots until the event itself.
    • Poor organization. The event was intended to be run on a server-by-server basis, with everyone competing at once - the first "winner" from each server would advance to the finals. This plan was scrapped in favor of a timed progress-based method when the length and difficulty of the course proved too much for the participants.
    -Personal thoughts:
    • While the course itself looked amazing, it suffered from too much form over function. In particular, failing at the cloud layer and at certain points in the Underground would result in runners starting almost from scratch. Not one person was able to complete the course during trials.
    • The single biggest flaw was keeping the course hidden until the day of trials. Allowing practice would've given staff a much better idea of how long trials would run, time to fix particular "trouble spots," and adjust the course to allow proper checkpoints - in particular, failing a jump on the Cloud layer could result in starting over from the Nether level or lower.
    Pig Racing
    -Layout: A "farmland" circuit of wheat fields, hay stacks, farmhouses, and brick walls.
    • Gorgeous course design. It was intuitive, challenging, and easy to spectate.
    • Nothing at present. Further feedback encouraged.
    -Personal thoughts:
    • No complaints. I wasn't present for enough of this event to form a solid opinion, but from what I did see, everything ran as smoothly and efficiently as you could hope for.

    Villager Tennis
    Mob Arena
    Boat Race
    Nether Spleef
    PVP Tournament
    Ender Pong

    Feedback will continue to expand and adjust to incorporate further events. Please share your own thoughts, and remember: be constructive!
  2. I can't wait for my event! Villager Tennis! Only a month to go, give or take a week!
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  3. Heh... well when it's up, it'll be part of the discussion above.
    In the meanwhile though, hoping to hear everyone's thoughts on the events we have seen. :)
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  4. I loved the horse race track, though i felt cheated because the name was, Horse race, yet it had jumps, falls, and water, ect.... When i first signed up I thought it was going to be similar to the Kentucky Derby and we would be racing alongside other racers. :/ Maybe renames are in order? something like Horse Obstacle race or something...

    The falls were a problem though, considering some people would lag and couldn't make the jump, then they had to start over.... pretty much the same things Kephras talked about...

    The footrace is another story, i love the idea that racers can not fall and have to start over, but my first time was 7mins. So i ran it again and didn't even make it a fraction of the way through, after my stopwatch hit 1:30 I was extremely bored and just quit. I ran it multiple times after and couldn't get under 5 mins. ._. to me its just way to long and tedious to even practice i mean after 2mins my mind drifts off and i just go clean my house and come back later. (btw i hate cleaning so you must know i was really bored)

    All the decorations were awesome but i feel as if their not needed, they hinder the crowds view and cause more lag. When the audience is watching they don't really care for the decorations they are more focused on the racers. Though I give props to the builders they worked hard on them.
  5. I did not bother watching it, but seeing as this is the first Empire Olympics Games, I am guessing the next one will be better lag wise or just fall flat on its face.
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  6. I also noticed with all the fire around, I was getting a solid 30 fps. I can't imagine what worse computers would get :L

    I also think the course impedes the viewing area like you touched on, but I suppose it still looks really cool.
    Kephras likes this.
  7. I'd like to think there will be future EMC Games, but I'm also fairly certain that the Staff will be less inclined to go through with it if their efforts are met with pessimism and derision. Hence my repeated emphasis up top that feedback needs to be constructive, even if it isn't necessarily positive. If something is bad or wrong, don't just say it is, but explain how you think it can be made better. :)
  8. I have a great PC that is for gaming and I still had lag and in some spots about 20fps ._. I turn all my animations off too, its just when I get around a lot of flowing water, fire, lava in any state I seem to lag and get low fps.

    Also I lag when people are setting off fireworks within a certain radius. During the horse race someone was setting off fireworks right by the arena and you could only hear them really good when you would race to the far side of the track away from the spectators. I tried to tell everyone but the only answer i got was "There is no fireworks" so instead I went to look and at the entrance someone was standing in the corner of a res and spamming them. :|

    Though I can run a bazillion things on my pc at once it seems minecraft just takes everything, heck my Dad has a gaming PC he ordered online and I tried it on his once and it was still horrible. I can only imagine everyone else with just everyday pcs..... xD
  9. I will comment when I get home....
  10. *Just like to add that at the time, I was under the impression the event courses had been built "in a vacuum" so to speak, with no testing or feedback prior to being built on-server.
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  11. To provide more insight to this, this is true, however, I personally did not lag one little bit at the horse race. It was just, you know, 90% of my screen was covered in hearts to the point where it took me nearly 4 minutes to do the course opposed to my other two runs which were solid 1 minutes. I don't really care, as I was away from home during the finals anyway, but I did find it quite insulting when krysyy said
    to me, it came across like she didn't care I was at a severe disadvantage.. I hope this doesn't come across too harsh on you, but I did find it quite messed up.
    britbrit3197 and PandasEatRamen like this.
  12. Thanks both of you for more input on the subject, I'm not the two of you so I can't put everything in, just how I see things. :)
  13. So I have some constructive ideas relating to the event this weekend. The Foot race.

    I ran through the course 2 times and have some suggestions. I think it would be a good idea to have a measured number of signs indicating the proper direction of travel. Maybe like 6-10 signs that will read 'wrong way' if a player mistakenly got turned around. It would be very difficult for people watching to even tell if it happened.

    If possible, for spectators, a walkway that circles the entire course, the current area isn't very good for viewing anything but the start and finish of this event.

    For client side lag issues, I suggest that players: turn off extra sounds (this helps a little), adjust for reduced particles, and reduce view distance to minimal. With the way the course twists and turns, I can't see any distance ahead anyway. Reducing screen resolution within your desktop windowing system can have a huge effect on render speed. The course doesn't require any great graphic detail to negotiate, so if you want max performance, plan ahead.

    Best of Luck to everyone who participates and thanks to staff for all their hard work and time.
  14. Thank you for the (mostly) constructive criticism. I will keep these ideas in mind for the other events.

    iHaro: I have searched my chat logs backwards and forwards to find that conversation. During the event I could not change anything because I would have to have everyone rerun the event because ANY small change would cause everyone to claim it was not fair across the board.

    As for the conversation between Kephras and I, if you included the rest on that conversation, you would see where we were talking about the testers I had and the miscommunication there was a bit confusing.

    Finally, the Empire Games Medallions are supposed to be difficult to attain. They are special and will have to be earned. The courses are made so that you have to earn them. If you don't want one, then you don't have to compete.

    ALL of the courses will be difficult and will take time to train/compete. The medal will go to those that put forth the effort.
  15. My suggestions:

    Add signs indicating the directions you are supposed to be going ... it's one thing with the lag disconnecting individuals ... but not knowing what direction to go once you rejoin - that's a tad cruel.

    Remove the lava and fire ... visuals are one thing ... but enducing fps dropping is not what was intended in the games .... the games were supposed to be about the events, not the visuals....

    Replace lamps with glowstone ... again, just to raise fps .... lamps require redstone .... glowstone doesn't

    Add lighting outside near the boards ... you can't see them at night time.

    Add lighting outside near the stalls - you also can't see them.

    Add stairs or a ladder or something on the edges of the stands .... so people can climb up to the next level

    replace portals with something - portals alone cause an fps drop

    these will make the race and arena more durable - and less likely to crash your client

    it might not be bad in some areas when you're by yourself ... but when a lot of people join - players cause lag just by speaking and being near you
    Kephras and PandasEatRamen like this.
  16. Also I wanted to point out, I' been on top of the arena I can't remember how i got up there, but there is a glass dome thing going around it. Its kinda hard to explain this, from the outside its a glass top going around, on the inside its a wall blocking it. Maybe they could punch out that wall, because the thing is already hollow, and put a glass wall up in its place and make it where viewers can watch from up there too?

    The stand are ok but during the horse race I couldn't see the starting line
  17. Signs added. Fire removed. Lights added to booths. Portals removed.

    Lights for results won't be there until the event results are in...
    I don't want to add a way for people tp move up the stands to minimize people jumping and moving around too much...
    Kephras and PandasEatRamen like this.
  18. That's a lost cause anyway krysyy. :D People just block-glitch to get where they wish, or dash madly back and forth in their row. Thank you for taking some of the other suggestions into consideration though.
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  19. Thanks Krysyy!
  20. Yay! Lag reduced, more people can have a better chance.
    OrangeDuck607 likes this.