MAGFest 12 Feedback thread

It's not a Con, it's a Festival! Except when it's a Stock! Or a Gen!
Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:20 am

  • Anything you want the staff and volunteers of MAGFest to know about your experiences this year?

    Go nuts.

    [edit by III_Demon]

    PLEASE KEEP THIS THREAD TO POSTING FEEDBACK ONLY. NO REPLIES, NO ARGUMENTS, JUST EVERYONE'S BRAINDUMP.

    we are paying attention to all of this.
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    ShinRa Actual
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:51 am

  • I was told this was due to the Astronomy convention directly afterwards, but I did not like that most of the bands were Thursday night, and during the day the rest of MagFest. I would prefer the bands to play Friday and Saturday nights. It doesn't interfere with other panels, and its a lot more fun.

    Also I noticed that the colossus roar was far less common this year. Is magfest trying to put a stop to it altogether?
    jamisonia
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:42 am

  • My only suggestion are better control of the content being presented at the panels / discussions. I went to the horror games brainspace round-table discussion and it was a complete waste of time, there was no control over the attendants and it was akin to giving everyone in the room a mic. Ended up leaving about 10 min after it started. Not really sure how to fix this maybe have a more controlling moderator?

    A couple of the panels I went to were disasters, don't really want to mention which ones as I would feel bad calling them out. But one in particular was reading word for word everything that was on the powerpoint even things in ( ) that should've been inner thoughts. It was very cringeworthy when the panelist kept saying that he would tweak everything so that it would be better next year.

    Other than that everything was awesome, the marketplace felt way more open with more space to move than i imagined it would be when first seeing the map. Everything had a better flow this year and the way less roar was very welcomed to my ears.
    astrostasis
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:18 am

  • With the HUMONGOUS jump in attendance this year, it would be great to see the number of arcade cabinets increase too. I enjoyed the previous years arcade more because I can, for the most part, play any game when I wanted to and not have to wait in a line. MAGFest is just going to get even bigger, so more arcade games would be awesome!

    MAGFest had more of the convention center this year. It will be awesome when the whole convention center AND hotel be under the control of us MAGFest-ians!!! LETS GO MAGFest 13!!! :lol:
    Hello Moon
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:47 am

  • Good things:
    -Seriously excellent use of space down there-I was worried when I saw the map, but if anything it was better laid out then last year in the market/console/arcade area.
    -Also, big ups to the maintenance guys down there for keeping most of those machines (especially the pinball and the hydraulics in Rail Chase II) active. There was a huge selection down there this year, too, lot of interesting stuff like Rail Chase II or Sound Voltex I'm genuinely sad I probably won't be able to play until next year.
    -Super Art Fight, as always, more or less validated the entire cost of attendance/room/travel. Please never stop inviting them. Change the name of the event to SAFfest if they want you to, even.
    -Much less crap left in the console and arcade areas. Props to the staff for that.
    -I really liked all the people just setting up and playing instruments or turntables or chiptune setups in the halls. The resulting gatherings and dance parties made things far less difficult to navigate then I would have assumed, and it meant there was music and energy everywhere all the time. That's a good thing!

    Bad things:
    -Really need to whip some of the volunteers in shape. Watched a volunteer just casually chat with a pair of attendants who'd smuggled booze into the dealer's room and were drinking it in plain sight in the console area. I'm not trying to get all prudish about the drinking here, but seriously if you're actively doing it in places where the fest/hotel don't want you to, that's not cool.
    -Also again with the drinking, but if you are very drunk, and talking loudly about your hotel roommate drama in the middle of a panel audience, there should be a fest rule that says it's okay for other members of the audience to beat you to death with their chairs.
    -Another bit of attendee whining, but I feel like the "keep it down with the Colossus in the hotel areas at night" sign was effective. Could we also have one that says "hey jerk, look behind you and make sure there's not four other people waiting to play Elvira and the Party Monsters before you start up another three rounds, maybe?" in the arcade?
    -Some of the panels were, as mentioned, kind of train wrecks. The History of Adult Gaming panel, the one I expected to big the biggest trainwreck, was probably the best-handled discussion panel out of the handful I went into, and I do wanna give them props for actually offering a pretty mature approach to it when I was assuming it'd be just 'hurrhurr Custer's Revenge was weird hurrhurr." Some definitely do need to be more guided, and while I didn't go to any of the brainspace ones this year I'll assume they had the same problem as the last few years, which was trying to get too many people to speak in too short a timeframe.
    -I get that there's time constraints, and I'm sure competing for space and time with the astronomy convention didn't help. Still, it does suck that a lot of the concerts were earlier, competing with panels and reasonable mealtimes.
    The March Hare
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:54 pm

  • I too like the random setups of music people playing in the halls etc. It blew my mind when I walked out of the triforce quartet to see a dude on a Korg Electribe series playing the mortal kombat theme to going down stairs in front of the marketplace and seeing a dude playing the Mortal Kombat theme on his DJ setup. Please allow that to keep happening I got lots of laughs and energy from hearing them.
    astrostasis
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:04 pm

  • I had a great Magfest but I had some issues too.

    The good.
    I got to talk with some really cool Staffers randomly, I think they were all Security. But I also lived in the Arcade So yeah. Market place was set up nicely again. easy to get around and I didn't get bumped into. I believe that where Magfest items were being sold had moved too I like that it was super easy to find.
    I LOVE my Magfest Hoodie! it was actually pretty warm when it was 15 degrees last night after work.
    Registration was great! I like where it was moved. It was fast mid-day Thursday. <3

    I have some inbetweens
    I enjoyed the music in the hallways but I wish Staff would regulate how loud it is.
    Arcade area felt a bit cramped on the back wall.

    ok the bad.
    What was going on in the Games area? There was some kind of webcast or what have you going on. it was REALLY annoying. sorry but when there are 400 games and people being loud already why on earth would you then add people talking on top of that? My favorite game is Jubeat so I was there a lot every day. This is a rhythm game so you need to hear the music. You can barely hear what was being said anyway and then being right under the NGA speakers too (they were loud and clear) but only used when they were starting a tournament. It was really overwhelming to have them talking about random things all day long.

    everything else
    I can not believe we had to have signs to request that we respect other hotel and con. center people. I understand why we had signs just sad that we have to spell it out like that.

    This is what made my weekend better ... The colossus roar - almost nonexistent ! I was so happy.
    I kind of wish all the console games had signs so I would know what I was playing
    Solstis
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:15 pm

  • Had a great time this year!

    A couple notes/feeback items;

    1: Magfest Scarves Shortage
    PLEASE let us buy the scarves online somehow. I was told that there was some issue with shipping to get 400 or somthing more scarves to the convention. They looked amazing but it was a super sad moment arriving friday morning to see they were sold out already. If there can be some sort of market on the website that would probably bring in lots of interest, if anyone else is as gung ho about the scarves as I was

    2: Noise during Panels
    I feel like there were many panels, sadly including voice actor panels that you really want to listen to, where the doors in the back of the room were wide open the entire time and people were loudly talking in the hallway. This was very distracting and in some cases where there were mic difficulties in the panels it made it super hard to hear the speakers. This noise was not limited to outside traffic as well, there were a many times were volunteers and audience members would stand in the back of a room during a panel, talking rather loudly the entire time. It is possible they thought that sitting in the very back couple rows was not audible, but it carried. Please if you have to have a loud or normal conversation, take it outside? Wheaton's law, "don't be a dick" should apply to all cons, not just PAX.

    3: I love you, MAGfest, this was honestly the best one I've been to yet!

    4: Panelists and Presenters need to introduce themselves
    This happened more often than I thought it would. Panelists and Presenters probably assume that 100% of the audience showing up knows who they are. They should still be considerate to friends of the audience members who brought them there, and potential new followers who are just checking out whats going on and give a clear "hello my name is ___ and you might know me from ____" and so on. About 50% of the panels I went to were good about this.

    5: BATHROOMS
    Not sure if this is accurate (as I'm a girl) but I was told that for a while there was no soap downstairs in the mens bathrooms, near the expo hall. With the MAGflu spreading like the PAXpox this year, that was kinda scary to hear. There was also a severe toilet paper shortage often near the expo hall, at least in the ladies room.

    6: FREE Bag Check
    Bag Check this year for the manditory no bags/drinks/purses in the concert room made things soooo much easier than having to run to your room or car outside to stash your belongings. Downside to making bag check manditory is if your wallet is in your purse, or backpack, and you go in the concert room and want to go to the band merch tables inside, you are stuck waiting for downstairs which might not always be accessible. Just a minor inconvenience.

    7: PROM
    I didn't know about magfest prom actually being a 'prom' event until I was there surrounded by people in fancy gowns etc. I saw a concert block listed as MagProm on the schedule but assumed it was just a name for opening night bands. Maybe this was something only talked about on the forums? I don't remember finding this info on the 'events' on the website. Would have loved to plan for it is all... fancy duds... fun times.. mebbe next year:)

    8: JAMSPACE hidden secret?
    It feels like we hid the jam space faaaaaaaaaaar away this year, and due to the location it was closed often due to concerts going on literally next door. Is it possible to have it further away next year so people can still jam at all hours?

    9: No Burgertime:(
    My favorite arcade tabletop, the multi game one with Burgertime on it, is no longer with us or was not able to make it to the con. Very sad about that. I miss you, Burgertime!

    10: MAGFest rules omg omg I love you MAGFEST!!!!!!!
    -Bonnie
    "music and multimedia,
    zombies and operas,
    beeps and boops"
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    blackcatbonifide
     
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:38 pm

  • Hello Moon wrote:With the HUMONGOUS jump in attendance this year, it would be great to see the number of arcade cabinets increase too. I enjoyed the previous years arcade more because I can, for the most part, play any game when I wanted to and not have to wait in a line. MAGFest is just going to get even bigger, so more arcade games would be awesome!


    I have to give the usual disclaimer here; The arcades that MAGFest itself owns can be counted on one hand. Everything else that comes to MAGFest is brought by individuals who are gracious enough to share their collections with us. If there's games you want to see at MAGFest that aren't coming, or more games in general...we need more people willing to bring their machines in. If you have (or know someone who has) machines that can come to MAGFest, here's some info; http://magfest.org/bringarcadegames


    blackcatbonifide wrote:1: Magfest Scarves Shortage
    PLEASE let us buy the scarves online somehow. I was told that there was some issue with shipping to get 400 or somthing more scarves to the convention. They looked amazing but it was a super sad moment arriving friday morning to see they were sold out already. If there can be some sort of market on the website that would probably bring in lots of interest, if anyone else is as gung ho about the scarves as I was

    Most of our ordered supply got stuck in customs. We are looking into making them (and other merchandise) available, but I don't have any details (or promises) at this time. Check our front page and social media outlets for updates.

    blackcatbonifide wrote:7: PROM
    I didn't know about magfest prom actually being a 'prom' event until I was there surrounded by people in fancy gowns etc. I saw a concert block listed as MagProm on the schedule but assumed it was just a name for opening night bands. Maybe this was something only talked about on the forums? I don't remember finding this info on the 'events' on the website. Would have loved to plan for it is all... fancy duds... fun times.. mebbe next year:)


    MAGProm was new this year, and did get an announcement on the front page and on facebook. It did not migrate to the Events page, which on further examination, has some outdated info from last year, too.

    If it makes you feel any better, It was supposed to be Bond-themed, so I showed up as a bond villain with a gaff-tape eyepatch. Everyone kept asking me why I was a pirate in a suit.
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    ShinRa Actual
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:13 am

  • I'm going to try to keep this to 3 good, 3 bad, even though I'm sure I could think of a lot more to say. The good thing about the "bads" is they are all more personal gripes that aren't really a staffing issue or anything, and more just things that kinda upset me individually. All around this was a fantastic magfest, probably my 2nd favorite of the 4 I've been to so far, with last year being the worst. I'm super excited for next year already, and it hasn't even been a week!

    The Good

    1) The way the space was utilized this year (since it seems like you guys had a lot less to work with) was amazing. I was worried looking at the map, but you guys made it work. Kudos!
    2) The selection of games this year seemed a lot better than the last few, and more things seemed to be working. Maybe this was just me and I could be remembering incorrectly, though. From what it seemed, though, vastly improved.
    3) Allowing drinks in the game room again this year was VERY necessary. While I admit to being one of the individuals who likes to drink and have a good time at magfest (though I like to think I keep myself in way better check than some people who are rude and disruptive), it was also awful last year that I wasn't even allowed to bring in a bottle of water when I actually had just that. Thanks for relaxing it this year, it was MUCH appreciated.

    The Bad

    1) It might seem like a minor things to mention, but the supporter badges were AWFUL this year. Not only did I find myself preferring the design of the standard badge, but the supporter badges seemed cheaply made (with pretty much a sticker folded over the top) and I've already had plastic peeling off the face of the badge. Even though I paid the extra price for supporter in part to help support an event I love, I also did it because I liked the idea of the custom, nicer badges, which seemed completely reversed this year. (On the other hand, the swag bag was awesome!)
    2) The guest list continues to disappoint me. I understand that many people get excited to see some of the guests, but it just seems, especially with music acts, that it's the same year after year after year. I understand that only so much can be done to book music acts (and the video game related band list is probably fairly limited), but the list always just seems... very lackluster. I'm hoping to see more industry guests (voice actors, developers, etc) and less youtube personalities in the future.
    3) I... actually can't really think of something else to put as a bad that doesn't also have a good side to it as well (for example, while I love seeing magfest grow, I think the current rate of growth will quickly make me want to stop coming, because I enjoy smaller, more "personal" conventions/events a lot)
    ninjembro
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:44 am

  • This was my 4th MAGfest and each year its gotten better.

    The Good:

    - Moving panels to the larger conference rooms. At no point did i feel like i was going to get shut out of a panel or needing to line up an hour ahead of time because of that fear.

    - Board game rooms placement upstairs: It fits well up there. Its no longer tucked away and there was always plenty of room to play games

    - Machinae Supremacy: Thank you for getting them to come to MAGfest. The show as amazing and the highlight of my weekend.

    - The no Colossus roaring signs: Perfect and well designed. People were respectful this year and kept it in the appropriate spots.

    - Registration: I think i spent more time checking into the hotel front desk (that had no line) than i spent at registration. Really quick and simple process.


    The Bad:

    - Arcade area size: It felt like fewer arcade machines this year than previous years. I'm not complaining too much about this because there were plenty of good machines there and i completely understand the statement mentioned above.

    - Random dance parties in the hallways: I love them don't get me wrong. But having them in major entrances and chokepoints where it becomes a massive traffic and safety issue is in fact a problem. For instance. At one point one of these parties happened near the bottom escalators in front of the gameroom entrace and merch booth. Naturally a massive crowd formed and it became a problem for people trying to enter and exit that bottom floor. Later on i think that party was forced to move because of that but there are plenty of other places for them. There was plenty of open space near the closed doors and restrooms by the arcade area. Again the random dance parties are great, I just think there needs to be a few designated "no party zones" at certain spots.

    - Sound quality during panels: Probably my biggest gripe. Some panels were hit and miss when it came to sound quality. I understand mic/sound malfunctions happen but there were a few instances that bothered me. For instance at the AVGN Panel, the stage that James and Kyle were at had 6 microphones set up (for 2 people). Yet during the Q&A session attendees needed to shout their questions as loud as possible in a very large conference room. You mean the tell me there wasn't a mic available for people to line up and speak into?



    ----
    I'll post suggestions some time in the future.
    Bladesofsteel
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:45 pm

  • I'm going to echo the need for microphones for questions from attendees. The conference rooms were pretty large and most of the time I had no idea what the panelists were replying to, in particular at Girls in Geekdom.

    Did the Music as a Game Mechanic Brainspace even happen? I went there 5 minutes before it was supposed to begin and there were just a bunch of people talking about Star Wars. Left 15 minutes later.

    Sound was a really big issue for me. First I want to say I understand that you probably have to work with what the hotel provides or a limited budget for equipment, but for every activity I went to that involved microphones, it felt like someone just set the speakers to 10 and called it a day. The Comment Hate panel felt like I was being shouted at the whole time, and the Machinae Supremacy gig was painful even with earplugs on. I almost left because it was just blaring noise. At the other end of the spectrum, hearing Triforce Quartet play unplugged in the Atrium was godly. And the DJs in the halls seemed pretty reasonable with their sound levels for the most part.

    Being our first MAGFest, we had a really hard time finding the registration desk following the map. We could have asked of course, but we used the opportunity to get familiar with the location. Everything was pretty straightforward after the first night.

    It's easier for me to notice and point out things I didn't like, but I wanna say this was my first MAGFest and it was excellent in every way, from activities to structure to staff and people's attitude. Massive props to everyone.
    Salvatos
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:09 pm

  • Hello, all! I wanted to give a shout-out to the guys who headed up the costume contest. What a great idea to have it be an audience-driven tournament-style fighting game! Great Magfest signature, and it made it incredibly entertaining to watch. For having it done at the last minute, it went incredibly well and I enjoyed the whole thing. And I loved that even those who weren't picked for brackets stuck around and supported their fellow cosplayers who were. There were a good 70-some people who entered, and another 100+ people in the audience there even at midnight, and it was incredible to see such awesome people appreciate the work and fun of cosplaying. If it could be moved to an earlier time slot, I'm sure it would be even better!

    In addition, I wanted to say this was the best Magfest so far for me, and I've been coming and playing my flutes in the hall since Magfest 8. I was Zhaan from Farscape this year running around with a few other Farscape cosplayers, and I wanted to thank you all for welcoming our costumes with such joy. I loved finding out that people were as fond of Farscape as we are, and it brought happiness and warmth to my heart that this show is remembered with such adoration and nostalgic love.

    "Blessings of the Goddess upon you all," as Zhaan would say. Y'all are frelling awesome. Never change.
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    Leoma-silfren
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:16 pm

  • astrostasis wrote:My only suggestion are better control of the content being presented at the panels / discussions. I went to the horror games brainspace round-table discussion and it was a complete waste of time, there was no control over the attendants and it was akin to giving everyone in the room a mic. Ended up leaving about 10 min after it started. Not really sure how to fix this maybe have a more controlling moderator?


    I actually went to the Horror discussion and after getting over that, it wasn't a panel but a discussion, I rather liked it. I also went to "Is Good Writing Important for Game Design? " and "Genre Killers" which I like both of those, perhaps even more than they horror one. I did think it was weird that the people who seemed to be assigned to be moderators kept having to leave in the middle to do other things. I think it would be nice that each discussion have a an assigned moderator who stays there the whole time. Over all though, a great concept I'd love to see more of.

    astrostasis wrote:A couple of the panels I went to were disasters, don't really want to mention which ones as I would feel bad calling them out. But one in particular was reading word for word everything that was on the powerpoint even things in ( ) that should've been inner thoughts. It was very cringeworthy when the panelist kept saying that he would tweak everything so that it would be better next year.


    The panel I'm thinking about, that was like this, was the "Obscure J-RPGS You Should Play (Available in America)" panel. Never have I've been so conflicted about a panel. I really wanted to like it, but in the end it was pretty much two hours of boredom. I've run several panels myself at anime conventions. Including one about the Shin Megami Tensei series, which I was able to talk about the whole series in an hour. The host of this Jrpg panel I found pretty likeable and funny, but dear god had diarrhea of the mouth. In two hours, 5 games (series) were covered.

    So, here are my real critiques:
    1) Needs self editing. Talked way to long and in to much detail. This would be fine in a one topic panel, but this was not. 5-10 minutes on each subject would be more than enough. There should be no need to take up two hours to talk about 5 games.
    2) Half hour long intro into collecting games. Not really what I went to the panel for. Again to long and just reading from a power point. I can see this intro for an anime con panel but felt unnecessary at a video game con. Could have been talked about more concisely and in at least half the time.
    3) Slides could have used less text and more (and larger) images of games. The panel the host is talking already the text can be helpful but unnecessary.
    4) This one is bit more of my own point of view but they games talked about were not that obscure. Again, I think this comes back to anime con vs gaming con. The obscurity level would be fine at an anime con but needs to be stepped up for a gaming convention.
    5) Pro/Cons list for each game kind of a subjective time waster. The things one person likes about a game can be something another person hates. Time could have been better spent on talking about how to get said game (buy off ebay, PSN, Xbox Live, etc.)

    Like, I said the panelist seemed very nice and was pretty funny, but needs to work on being more concise.

    Overall though, I had a great time this year. I liked it more so then last year, my first year. And I really dug the brainspace discussions. I am also interested in a scarf, by the time I went to pick one up on Saturday they were all gone.
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    Brand
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:07 pm

  • The Good:
    1. "Marketplace" had more stuff this year, and actually had a table with reasonably priced games

    2. Tournament schedule was really varied

    3. I am sorry to the staff, but I liked that panels went up against the concerts

    4. Mages was a fantastic idea

    The Bad:

    1. I felt like consoles got a bit of a short end of the stick this year, it felt like there were a lot less than last year.

    2. I don't have a smart phone, I don't think paper is dead, when I went to con ops to get a paper schedule the person there was condescending to me, and I found out later one of my friends for the same thing. I was going to bring this up at the feedback panel then the con chair basically said that you should have a smart phone and the above paper is dead line.

    The Ugly:
    1. Those challenges were a heck of a lot harder than last year, I beat 0 this year and 10 last year.
    mitamaking
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:53 pm

  • Good stuff:
    - Hotel staff were awesome, much more accommodating than least year.
    - security (magfest) did a really good job and prevented a mosher from elbowing me in the head
    - bands were great as always
    - it seemed a lot more friendly (although I suspect that was due to it being my 2nd year and running into a ton of people I knew)
    - great theme
    - MAGES was really good, I hope you bring it back
    - The panel on how to do chip tunes I really liked
    - The video game dj battle was awesome, you should bring it back
    - Guidebook (I love that thing, it has maps and events and I don't forget about stuff I wanted to see)

    Other Stuff:
    - The arcade setup was cooler last year with it being in it's own expo hall so it could be darker and more arcade-y. I suspect this was a function of the space constraints.
    - There seemed to be more liquor in the events, which doesn't bug me but might if I had an underage kid there
    - Some of the panels had a lot of a/v tech issues, which may be somewhat unavoidable
    - When it was over I realized I should have volunteered, tho that's more of a me critique than something about the fest itself
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    JayMadison
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:57 pm

  • Ok one more good thing, the hall concerts were great :) Keep doing those.
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    JayMadison
     
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:08 pm

  • I lied one more good thing: Great idea about selling magfest mech online, I bet it would be a big hit.
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    JayMadison
     
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:51 am

  • I had an issue with people playing in the hallway it made it very difficult to move around. There was a point where when you went down to the Dungeon (the double staircase with the hallway to the hotel Floor 1), the only way through was to walk directly next to the speakers with your ear up next to it due to the huge circle of people in the middle.

    The exit of the Dungeon was annoyingly placed and always out of the way. I understand crowd control issues, but having to walk past there when the doors were constantly being opened and closed by smokers was very difficult due to the freezing temperatures. I'd like it if the Entrance was two-way in the wee hours of the morning when the area's pretty cleared out.

    I understand about the Astronomer's con, but Hall C was shut down with little notice. They had to cancel a JS Joust tournament because the organizer had no idea what was going on (he ended up running free play until being kicked out). A WWE game tournament had to move into the game room near its end because of it too. Some signs alerting everyone about it would have been very helpful.

    I loved panels during concerts. Literally no one I know attends the concerts, it seems in my mind to be a different crowd entirely.

    I'm sad the skeeball machine was never fully set up.

    If I had known that Neil deGrasse Tyson was going to be there Monday night for the astronomer's convention, we might have booked our room for an extra day... (they had some $50 one-day-only public rate).

    Registration took forever this year. I remember the last two years the line for pre-reg was just ~20 people long when we got there. This time we had to stand for about an hour. Meanwhile hotel check-in was empty since everyone was in reg line, which only helped the one person in our group who needed to pick up the room.

    I never went to the board game/LAN rooms because they were so far out of the way I forgot about them. The same for my roommates.

    Parking tickets were confusing for multiple cars. There were signs and a booth about pre-paying parking, but my friend called the hotel and it said they will show up on the bill instead? I'm still confused on that.

    Two of my roommates had to pick up the paper schedules in the Fest Ops room, as was advertised on your website. The person who was staffing the table for it was rude about it to both of them, with a "...You don't have a smartphone?" in a bad tone.
    tim_pkmn89
     
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:14 am

  • mitamaking wrote:The Good:

    2. Tournament schedule was really varied


    If this is referring to the Consoles area schedules, then thank you! We were rather pleased at the diverse array of tournaments people suggested this year.

    mitamaking wrote:The Bad:

    1. I felt like consoles got a bit of a short end of the stick this year, it felt like there were a lot less than last year.

    We definitely had less space (everyone in the Expo Hall did), but I think we actually had more consoles out on the floor, at least on the old school side. I brought home A LOT of stuff from yard sales this year.
    Mike_TV
     
    Posts: 21
    Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:40 pm

Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:24 pm

  • This was mine and some friends' first MAGFest, and we're already pumped for next year! It was a great time for sure, but here are some good and bad standouts.

    Good:

    - Well organized vendors and arcade (for the most part).
    - Good lineup of bands and panelists.
    - Hallway dance parties!
    - All around great atmosphere with everyone having a great time, so many things we enjoyed that I'm not splitting into multiple bullets.

    BAD:

    - Not much of the staff seemed clearly labeled. This made it incredibly difficult to ask for help navigating (more on that next).
    - The map layout was pretty solid, but certain things just didn't make sense, and not labeling the map based on the HOTEL's name for rooms made things extremely confusing. Sure, the Dungeon is by the Lost Woods, but what are those rooms called in the hotel?
    - Certain things weren't properly signed. Where Panel 1 was located on the map, there was no sign. The sign was all the way down the hall. More signs such as "Panel ___ THIS WAY -->" or "LOST WOODS DOWN THESE STAIRS" along with staff helping direct people would be helpful.
    - I agree that microphones for panels would be nice. It was a struggle to hear audience questions.
    - Selling merch online after the festival is a great idea I hope you guys end up doing.
    - Some of the contributors and staff were extremely poor at their jobs and no one was around to hold them accountable. There were tournaments that started as much as a half hour too late, as well as tournament organizers not being located anywhere for questions. Refunds were also a huge mess (a friend of mine lost his first pass and later found it - getting a simple refund for the new pass like they told him he could took far too long). Much of the staff I encountered was very sweet and knowledgeable, but there were many bad apples that no one was around to address.
    - A more cleanly organized order system for the arcade would have been nice. There were people starting new games right after they finished others, and no clear way to establish your spot next on a game. Not a problem with the more popular games, but there were a bunch of lesser known games that were hard for me to get a spot on because there was no good system in place.
    - Many people would not shut up during the panels. Staff should be on the lookout for people babbling while others are trying to listen.

    NEUTRAL:

    - Keep an ear out if you haven't already for suggestions in panels! Such as the suggestion that Starbomb perform at the next MAGFest. I'm sure you guys were listening just fine, but I figured I'd mention that things like these do get brought up in panels, and it would be a shame for a great appearance suggested at a panel to go unbooked because no one relayed it back to staff!


    I know it seems like I have a lot to gripe about, but I had an AMAZING time. It was overall a very well run festival and a great time. I also realize all of these things may not be easy to fix, but I figured it's better to bring everything up than just not say anything at all. Thanks a lot, everyone, can't wait for next MAGFest!!
    Timescape
     
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:12 pm

Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:42 pm

  • I posted this on the Magfest Reddit and someone said I should post it here as well:

    Disclaimer- This was my first time at MagFest so I have no idea what deviated from years past, only what I saw this time...
    I would love to see a centrally located "information center" with a message board so semi spontaneous events and "matchups" could be posted (kind of a "looking for munchkin players Sat 3:30 meet at Boardgame checkout" "TF2 team needs player, contact X" "Zelda Jam in the Jamspace at 4pm all instruments welcome")

    The information desk would also have information about where tournaments can be found- we weren't sure where the poker tournament was going to happen since it was just going to be in one of the rooms on the top floor and the games checkout guy wasn't sure either. The person at the info desk could also push information to other areas (i.e. group text or voxer or something to other staff members)

    This is a totally random suggestion but it would also be cool to have like a "magfest" backdrop to take photos against for folks who cosplay or just want a kickass facebook photo (which also advertises the event to other people) [the redditor I mentioned said this would be great for tourney winners as well]

    Signage and wayfinding could have used a major improvement. I love that magfest has its own names for places but I would love it even more if the building's equivalent was also available (i.e. Dungeon = Prince George's, LAN = Potomac) several in my party never figured out the layout of the building and being able to have the comparison between the guidebook map and the Gaylord map screens would have been AWESOME for them. As an added bonus this would clear up some of the more hard to find rooms- LAN, Jamspace etc.

    I know this was at least partially due to the overlap with the astronomy convention but splitting up some of the sound dependent events (rockband, JS Joust, the Dance games, places where there will be tournaments) with some of the non sound dependent events (Merch, Indie) would help with sound dampening and making it easier to hear those items.

    Something totally minor and that I could fix myself: trying to get a few headsets for the consoles would be freaking sweet- prior to Magfest I considered myself someone who didn't like FPS, I played Halo with my SO and found I REALLY enjoyed it, but had wished we could hear each other a little better, or that I could have heard the game. These could even be added on a "checkout" basis- although they might help spread "magflu"
    Growlzie
     
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:07 pm

Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:47 pm

  • I spent most of my time staffing so I can't say much for panels. I really enjoyed MAGfest this year, and as always, it's a great start to a new year.

    Staff hotel rooms:

    Why did we have to pay a $250 incidental deposit at check-in? It wasn't necessary to do last year. Myself and a number of people encountered this.

    Room assignments felt like a major random cluster. I signed up to set up, but received no notice that I was rejected. Yet a friend got a Wednesday night room and didn't even have any Wednesday shifts.

    Merch:

    I understand the merch situation, and it sucks that it came to be very limited for staff. With the variety of items we have now, we may as well have an online store.

    Other:
    The limited space was dealt with nicely, and I'm happy it turned out better than I expected. It'll be great to see everything back to normal with more space next year. I'll continue to staff and help make MAGfest great. Hoping for another increase in attendees next year!
    User avatar
    DangoDanita
     
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:31 pm
    Location: Harrisonburg, VA

Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:51 pm

  • 1. Figure out registration. Great for streetpasses - bad for morale.
    2. Bad signage
    3. The "line of tape" in the main stage concerts. You need a bar. A real bar. Something people can get against and still leave room for media. Someone almost got kicked out of Super Guitar Bros for standing on the tape. Super Guitar Bros... really?
    4. Some people don't have smartphones. More schedules put EVERYWHERE. Hand them out when people get badges maybe.

    Everything else, was stellar (in my experience). Great job this year!

    I can't believe the first post is asking for less concerts. HA. Pick your poison. There were panels this year? ;)
    sophomorejinx
     
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:43 pm

Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:59 pm

  • The March Hare wrote: The History of Adult Gaming panel, the one I expected to big the biggest trainwreck, was probably the best-handled discussion panel out of the handful I went into, and I do wanna give them props for actually offering a pretty mature approach to it when I was assuming it'd be just 'hurrhurr Custer's Revenge was weird hurrhurr."


    I was one of the two individuals who ran that panel, your feedback is greatly appreciated and thank you for the compliment. Now then onto my view on MAGFest

    The Good:
    Once again tons of great games to play
    New games I had never even heard of before
    New and old vendors returning keeping everything fresh
    The treasure chests hidden well
    Great Guests
    Great Panels
    Great Bands

    The Bad:
    Scheduling the concerts early on Friday kinda sucked. Had to choose between ArmCannon and Video Game Improve. Neither of which should ever be missed.
    The Scarfs selling out sucked but I hear there will be more so I can wait

    Ok so I didn't have really many bad things on my end because well its MAGFest. Hope to see everyone next year.
    First ever lifetime badge holder to MAGFest, Donator of the 6 Player X-men Arcade Machine, and Responsible for the Colossus Roar
    ssjleviathan
     
    Posts: 6
    Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:29 am
    Location: Manassas, VA

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