MAGFest 12 Feedback thread

It's not a Con, it's a Festival! Except when it's a Stock! Or a Gen!
Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:18 pm

  • I really appreciated being able to go a much shorter (read: instant) supporter line to pick up my badge. I didn't see signs for it, but the staff member yelling about it saved me from a line I had no desire to be in. I hope that stays part of being a supporter, because I wouldn't do it any other way now. I'll throw my money at you if it means I don't have to stand in lines.

    I wasn't really a fan of how many people were let into the merch area/arcade with open beer bottles. That seemed like a recipe for a disaster, but door staff didn't seem to care. (They let people in with open glass bottles, but refused to let people in morphsuits in without shoes on for a while? That seemed very backwards.)
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:45 pm

  • This was my second MagFest, last year being my first so I don't have that many years under my belt to compair. I just wanted to make a few points. We will be coming back next year since we still had a great time and loved meeting new people and hanging out with old friends.

    - There needs to be a better system on sharing games in the arcade/console room. There were several people who parked in front of games and were there hours later when I rechecked. When I did get the nerve to ask if people would share they were pretty rude honestly. (I'm shy when it comes to confrontation.. :( ) So this sort of dampened my mood. I was told the best time were between 1am and 10am... So it's either become nocturnal or not play... I know the rudeness of people is not magfest staffs fault it was just surprising to me.
    - That also being said there needs to be a better system for the light jousting as well. Sometimes the same group of four-five people just rotated the light staffs which made it hard for everyone to join in the fun. I hope this comes back next year.
    - I've heard other people say and just wanted to repeat. The rhythm/drum/techno etc. games need to have their music sound up higher! I couldn't hear most of them which is part of the fun. Also need to be in a space that works for the longer lines since there is always a line for these. People were pretty crammed in the back areas.
    - Tournaments in the arcade area need to be marked a little better. I couldn't find the ones I wanted to check out because of this.
    - Some staff needs more training if you have that haha. I actually asked someone where the challenge consoles were and he led me to some guy and told me he could tell me. Turns out the guy he told me to ask was there for his first magfest, was not staff and didn't know there were challenge consoles ><
    - The panels I did make it to were pretty bad and I feel bad saying this. There needs to be some sort of screening or something because most of them I snuck out halfway through after sitting in line to get into them.

    I think that's it! I've been to the gaylord for several cons so the size/mapping/food/etc. complaints I think are just normal at this point and not your fault :)
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:04 pm

  • The Good:

    Tom Hyre was really on the ball this year, constantly checking in with me (a panel runner and all-around talent handler) and making sure that everything was okay on my end.

    Security was on the stick when it came to a known harasser of my friends/talent that apparently decided to attend this year. I don't know whether he ultimately got ejected or not, but that they were made aware of and promised to keep an eye out for him put my mind at ease. :mrgreen:

    Plenty of space for panel attendees this year, so lines were more of a "ensure a good spot" necessity and less of a "make sure you can actually get in" need.

    There was just the right amount of breakdown in between panels; that I could just plug my phone into the PA system and play my Pandora as ambiance speaks a lot to the intuitive audio setup in Panels 2 this year.

    Loved the console setup in the game room this year; was nice to be able to plop down and play some Scribblenauts just so I could show my friends how to create nuclear Corgis.

    Michael "Skitch" Schiciano's panel was easily my favorite one this year. While the Pub Quiz was fun to run, and the Meet N Greet made me happy where I got to see TGWTG producers and their fans interact on a one-on-one basis, Skitch's panel was very informative, funny, and all-around wonderful. I hope he does it again next year.

    The Bad

    The TGWTG/CA/Blistered Thumb scheduling this year was outright balls-out bonkers, with the panels being scheduled for either early morning (for us, anyway) or really late at night; the only exception to this was the Movie Reviewing panel, which admittedly was outside of my overseeing purview. The panel participants grumbled about this to me, and I shared their frustration. I understand space was limited this year, but this extreme lack of a timing spectrum is ridiculous, and I hope things are a bit more evened out for MAG 13. Silver lining: The amount of open time in between these two extremes allowed for ample opportunities to film crossovers.

    The flimsy "Panelist" ribbon was already starting to fray and come apart after the first day. What happened to the horizontal, small "PANELIST" ribbons from years past? I was anticipating one of those, not a "county fair" style dangle ribbon. Silver lining: I loved the "I <3 MAGFest" ribbon, and I'm definitely chipping in again for one for next year.

    The maps should include, in addition to "PANELS 1/2/3/4/etc," the name of the rooms. Some of us are pretty horrible in reading/interpreting maps, but if a room name (such as Cherry Blossom, Potomac, Prince George's, etc.) is given, that'll help things along.

    Overall, this was best MAG to date, if not a bit surreal due to circumstances both behind the scenes and the fact that this was my first year running panels. I'm already looking forward to MAG 13.
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:09 pm

  • First I would like to say I hope the event had more attendants this year. I and many other had the problem of the snowstorm that hit the northeast coast and I know some that didn't come to the event because of it.

    The Good
    1. I love the setup of the arcade and console gaming spaces, everything seemed organized and not segregated.
    2. I love the lighting, last year the game area was so dark and dim, it felt like 2am all the time. I really like the space it was in this year.
    3. Cell phone service! Last year I had to walk outside in the bitter cold to make a call to someone that was inside the convention hoping that they would get the message somehow. This year there was no problem at all getting service.
    4. The idea for games on film, I love the way this place felt like a movie theater and it had a bunch of good artist.
    5. I love the Roooaar! I love the sign as you walk through the hotel loby that basically says no Roar lol.

    The Bad
    1. I don't think people could find the games on Film area and other panels room. It seems ridiculous but I found myself trying to figure out where a certain room is.
    2. Games, I wish Saturn Bomberman was there!
    3. I read other people complaining about this and I will do so as well, most of the things and panels I wanted to see were on Thursday and Friday instead of the main day Saturday.
    4. More tournaments, but make them easier to access and organize for the event. Maybe on the site or on a app.
    5. I would like a notification system to remind people of a panel that they may have been interested in. I missed 15 minutes of on cause I was on a roll in Goldeneye.
    6. Some of the controls for the multiplayer games and tv screens were disappointing.
    7. it ended. I didn't want it to end :(
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:56 pm

  • 3rd MAGFest for me
    -The "No Colossus Roar beyond this point" sign was a good idea but I think people thought it meant no Colossus roar at all and got pissy when people did it
    -I did like where the board games were
    -DJ Battle was awesome!
    -No Powerglove :(
    -Might just be me but it felt like there were consoles and arcade machines. I'm not complaining, just a thought.
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:27 pm

  • 1. It's a big con, why aren't there better guests?
    2. A new Smash Bros. game is coming out this year. PLEASE prepare for this in advanced. Brawl was the most popular game by far this year (on consoles) and since there is nobody around to moderate how long leaches camp at a screen, make it so they don't have to and completely fuck the place out with WiiU's and new Smash Bros. copies.
    3. What gives with the challenges? They were so much harder than last year. And who in their right mind labeled that Kholdstare challenge "normal"? You mean the Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels challenge was the same difficulty? That's crackers. The Kholdstare challenge was stupid hard. Don't do that. It's maddening.
    4. I loved the idea of the MAG bucks looking like rupees. It'll be hard to top that next year. But you should totally top that next year.
    5. Can you put up some access points for the ten million kids with 3DS's?
    6. Do the panels have any kind of screening process before they're scheduled? I went to one panel where the guy running it basically went wall-eyed and chirped for an hour.
    7. My buddy brought a baseball bat as part of his cosplay. He carried it around almost all day Friday and nobody said a word. Around 8 we went downstairs and some security dorks descended out of the sky like slighted Cuccos and had him run to security to get it checked out. There, the frailest old slip of a woman I've ever seen in my life told him she had to "check it for weight". She picked up his bat and like a toddler handling a pipe wrench she almost killed herself with it. She then told the King Securi-Dork that it was WAY over the limit and said we had to take it back to the room. As we did our walk of shame through the concourse I noticed 27 Scout cosplays, all parrying Louisville's at each other like blindfolded children with a pinata. I stopped and asked two of the Scouts if we could compare bats and lo and be-fucking-hold their bats weighed the exact same. We contemplated going back to argue the point that maybe kinda sorta possibly Security was a coven of idiot dumpster pigeons who had less business working in con security than a running dryer full of cinderblocks, but we remembered the training we had received in high school that taught us that if there's anything in the world more stern and ridiculous than a challenged nerd, it's a challenged nerd with authority. And it wasn't but mere minutes after that that we saw a man hoisting a seven foot buster sword made out of plywood and galvanized rebar in the air, so we knew there was no chance in hell of us working this out. Could you please get some sort of uniform cosplay weapons policy? Like, maybe just say no wooden bats at all? Cause it doesn't look like Geriatron is gonna cut it.
    8. Could you post something on the website or send us something in an email of what the hotel's policies are? We got our asses crawled all up in one night because we hung a towel on the railing. The only thing telling you not to do that was some practically invisible decal on the inside of the glass door.
    9. More nerdcore. I know so many nerdcore artists that would love to play, but keep getting shut out so that another megaman themed band can play us covers. I love Random and he always does a great job, but there are so many nerdcore artist with the exact same type of material out there that would absolutely rip up the stage. And rappers love to do collaborations. So they'd work together in and out of their sets. This would create a more engaging experience for the audience AND provide better crowd "coverage" for the lesser known artists performing.
    10. There was a typo on one of the events that said something like "Wrestling Cosplay Tournament". What should've been the sweetest fucking thing ever turned out to be just another console tournament. Your mistake let us down. We were drunk. That shit would've CHANGED OUR LIVES.
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:45 pm

  • Good notes:

    1. The best thing this year is how the theme of the event was actually used to a great effect. This is the only event (anime cons, etc) where the theme made any difference at all aside from the art on the website and program.
    2. The Bit Brigade concert this year may have been the best thing I have ever seen. Please never stop inviting these guys.
    3. I really enjoyed the panel with Dr. Hank Chien about Donkey Kong. It was really interesting to hear his perspective on playing Donkey Kong.
    4. I had a really great late night game of Zelda Four Swords with other people that could actually figure out what was going on!
    5. I really enjoyed hearing Tommy Tallarico speak on his experiences on creating music in the 16 bit era.

    Bad notes:

    1. The challenge table was just about near impossible to access unless it was somewhere in between 3-5 AM. Since space and equipment is an issue, I would really suggest a time limit (or at least discretion from the attendant) if someone is trying the same challenge over and over again. If someone is really on a roll and completing a lot of challenges, then let them have at it, but something has to be done about people claiming the stations for hours at a time.
    2. While I could appreciate the spontaneity and "open-ness" of the people who enjoyed the hall dancing, it really did create traffic issues. There was a dance circle that broke out at the bottom of the double escalator and it was extremely difficult to get around it.
    3. It seems that MAGFest is getting to the point where people are coming in serious costumes instead of just stuff put together just for fun. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, you also get the issue of people stopping to take photos in the middle of hallways and causing lots of traffic problems. This is a problem that even anime cons do not deal with well. The Colossus signs seemed to work decently, so I would suggest trying to put up signs warning to not take photos in middle of hallways and to instead go to somewhere out of the way or at least against a wall. By the way, I did love the Nightcrawler suggestion on those signs :-)
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:08 pm

  • I think you guys did a great job this year. Playing some of the crappy DOS games got me wanting to play some more crappy DOS games. Can you set up a few more machines w/ some LucasArts, Interplay and more Sierra titles next year? Also, we need the game documentation to play. Didn't see it out there.

    See you next year. You guys rock!
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:08 pm

  • First off, I want to say that I had a blast over-all. The weekend was worth every penny I spent, and every hour on the road.
    Now, on to more specific feedback!! I'll start with the bad, as I don't have much of that...


    - Need more DJ presence. I may be partial to this, but I think it would go over really well. The music wouldn't even need to be constrained to video-game remixes or anything, I just think that the folks over this past weekend were really into the idea of randomly dancing and having fun when they didn't have anywhere else they'd rather be. Some people, myself included, would actively seek that out anyway. They could fill some of the dead air through the day. "After-hours" would be another great time, when most bands and whatnot aren't used to playing. People are still amped up from seeing the headlining bands, and still have energy to burn. DJs are an easy set-up/tear-down option that allows a wide spectrum of crowd-pleasing genres to be played. If the problem is finding solid talent without costing an arm and/or leg, I can help you with that. I can find you affordable, if not free, options in the genres of trance, house, electro, trap, dubstep, jungle, dnb, breakbeats, industrial, and pretty much anything else out there.

    - No online store for merch. This isn't world-ending, but I know many people (some already listed in this thread) that would have loved to purchase some merch that was either sold out, or they simply didn't find the time to actually buy merch while at the event. I fall into the latter category. I typically make two merch runs at any event I go to. One during my "where is everything" tour of the place, then another on the last day. I completely forgot to make my second run, and missed out on buying any magfest specific merch. I really want one of the scarves....just sayin. ^.^

    - Lack of Arcade separation from other sections. I know there is only so much of that which you had control over, but the arcade cacophony being in the same room as the consoles and merch tables added a constant buzz on the earballs. It made some conversations tough to hold, and fatigues the ears after a couple hours combined between arcade, consoles, and merch. Again, not a world-ending item, and certainly not 100% under your control. I simply thought it bears mention for future consideration.

    - 10 minute slots for Chiptunes DJs/Producers. This may or may not be relavent to Chiptunes, but I know other genre DJs/Producers can't do anything in 10 minutes besides setup and hit play for one track. I know the sign said "+- a few minutes for setup/teardown" but, how mcuh does that really back people up after 2 hours of 10 minute blocks "+- a few minutes" each? I think I missed the really busy times, so I'm not sure. But I think it would flow better if the blocks were at least 20 minutes. If someone doesn't fill the whole time, the next artist might be more than happy to fill it, up to the end of their planned slot. If not, everyone has time to hit the restroom and not worry about missing anyone.

    - Not able to take an unopened bottle of water into the main stage area, but we can carry multiple topless cups from one side of the room into the middle of the crowd. This just kinda drove me a little nuts. I can understand no alcohol, no juices, etc. You don't want the carpet destroyed from people that drop/throw it on the ground, or the potential jerk that throws it on stage. But unopened water bottle contain the liquid far better than the provided paper cups. And it's more convenient for us that are on the other side of the room. I also understand that this may be an executive decision from hotel management, so it's not a totalk deal breaker.

    - It was super cold outside. Totally out of your control, but I really can't think of anything else that impacted me in a negative way badly enough to make mention. I can agree with some of the point made above, like the audio levels in the panels, but you can hardly expect the exact same person to circulate between all the panels and adjust the levels of each system so that they all sound perfectly identical. Some microphones for questions would be grand, though.


    - The Chiptunes stage. I'm not personally a *huge* fan of chiptunes, myself, but I think it's fantastic that there was a stage added for this!! I didn't catch many of the main acts there, but I do know people who were super excited by everything going on over there. I especially like how it was open for sign-ups for aspiring artists to showcase what they're able to do. Many of them may not have ever played those tracks for anyone before, and I'm sure that made their weekend. This must happen next year!! I'll actually make sure I carve out some more time to sit there a while, myself. =)

    - The tabletop/card games area. I loved how they were brought up into actual rooms, instead of down in the dungeon area. It has a more welcoming feel, for those that are trying to walk into a random game. Also, more comfortable seating arangements, and the different rooms are able to be set to contain certain games.

    - Free bag/drink check by the main stage. As much as I was upset that I couldn't bring in my unopened bottle of water, I was happy that it didn't cost anything to check it right around the corner. Good job on this. It's hard to be too disgruntled about that, as long as there's a free option to taking it all the way back to your hotel room or a trash can.

    - Cosplay "battle." That was a bunch of niftiness! Please bring that back! It was fun for the crowd, and I can only imagine how much fun the cosplayers had with it!!! A+ for this idea!

    - Super Art Fight. My o My. This was FAR more fun than my roommmate and I thought it would be. I imagined it would be kinda gimmicy, and I simply didn't have anything better to do, but she was closer to planning a nap while we sat there. By the end of it, we were laughing, clapping, and cheering. Baron von Sexystein or whatever his name actually was became our favorite. He had us ready to fall over with laughter! Please, for the love of Bob, have this again next year!

    - Mario Warfare. I walked into this curious about a kinda nifty sounding idea, ready for it to fail in some humorous way. I walked out texting my friends that they HAD to look this up on the web immediately!! I know they may or may not have more material to show by next year, but this, and the other "games on film" items were a sure hit with me. This one above all, but the others I saw were spiffy, too!

    Thanks again for the effort you put forth for this event!! I think I'll try to put in for volunteer time next year, at least. I'd love to be a part of this kind of event.
    For me it all started with two turntables and a mixer.
    ~Paul Oakenfold
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:22 pm

  • Oh!!!! And the "No Colossus roar beyond this point" signs were priceless!!

    They offered a bit of comedy for those of us that actually enjoy the roar. Not because of the "lookit these guys, trying to control us" factor, but because the signs had a general fun feel to the guideline. Making a point while causing a chuckle.

    It also stopped people from roaring in the wrong areas fairly well. Not to say they would have done it just to be a jerk, but they might be having fun with friends, and their exact locale may not come to mind when they decide to let loose a bellowing roar. Seeing these signs would remind them of where they are, and they might even begin talking quieter, to boot.
    For me it all started with two turntables and a mixer.
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:29 pm

  • I made a post on the /r/Magfest subreddit for some feedback so I guess I'll copy and paste the responses here as well:

    My issues this year were:
    The gaming room had too much going on at one time, the dealers room being one half, along with the indie game developers being mixed in, the other side of the hall used for the Game Room where Rockband and the Kinect games were being played didn't seem to be utilized to its full potential.

    The size of the LAN: I was in the LAN room 2 years ago and while the internet connection wasn't the best, there was more than enough room in the downstairs hall for everyone, I would say possibly double the amount of space that there was this year. I never asked as to why it was moved this year, but I'm assuming it was for technical reasons.

    -Totally agree with that first point, it was kinda crazy in that one room with games and arcade cabinets AND places to buy stuff. That said, I think it was because they had that other convention going on that weekend? Like they kinda HAD to leave that kinect room empty because on Sunday they had to move everything, so they didn't wanna space out the hard to move stuff too much.

    -It seemed to me this year there was more overlap between concerts and panels both of which I wanted to see... Was there some kind of decision people made that they were OK with panels and concerts going on at the same time? I could be wrong, but last year I distinctly remember not feeling like I missed so much (and I barely stood in any signing lines).

    -I know it might be a lot to ask, especially since it's just for one game and its participants, but can we get a better version of the Pokemon league thing next year? It was a great idea, but really poorly executed. Basically, the contest was: over the course of MAGfest you could find gym leaders hanging around (people with orange scarves) and challenge them to a 4x4 doubles battle in order to earn a badge. Then on Sunday the people with the most badges got to play in a finalists tourney. Problem is, there were too few gym leaders and too many challengers! I heard talk of several leaders just flat out leaving the fest thereby not giving anyone a chance to challenge them. A couple of the leaders (the poison one in particular) were also quite rude to me (in fairness, probably due to being overworked).

    Not sure how you can fix this exactly (they already had a 1-challenge-per-day rule) except for more leaders! Maybe before next year they can look for more volunteers to play?

    There seemed to be a lot more broken arcade games this year. I don't think I ever saw either of the Xmen arcade games running.

    Is next year going to have the same problem this year with the overlapping events? Because it seems most of the stuff that apparently went wrong or worse than other years was due to lack of space/time or conflicts having to do with the event that followed. From what I heard at the feedback panel and organizers explanations, a lot of that stuff was only a problem this year because of this.

    Also, this was my first MAGFest so I haven't experienced how it was done previously but apparently from what I heard on the feedback panel, panels and concerts never conflict with each other but this year they decided to run it like this (by choice or time/space constraints because of the overlap). Personally I like to be able to go to panels and the concerts and not miss out on stuff because a concert is going on but it seems that it has gotten to a point where this is not possible anymore (I don't know). I know its impossible to see everything at big events but this was one of the things that was being discussed that resonated with me.

    If its possible for Jam Space/Shredspace to have/anounce a schedule or upcoming jam sessions it would be great. I know its not something that gets scheduled like concerts but it would be nice to keep checking something that would tell me if something is going on instead of having to go there (take time to walk all over the convention center and miss out on other stuff) every time and not find anything only to then miss out on awesome things like TPIH doing a Megaman 2 speedrun (luckily I didn't).

    Other Stuff:

    I hope the arcade guy brings NBA Hangtime next year.

    Lords of Thunder! They were awesome at the PAX East Jam Space and I was hoping to catch them again. Oh well, I hope they make it next year.

    Sound for Knights of the Round was a little off.

    Triforce Quartet should make it next year and get a bigger room/Main Stage (Second Stage room was borderline dangerously packed).

    It wasn't clear where to get the supporter stuff (maybe I missed the info). Luckily I was able to get my stuff before the merchandise store closed on Sunday.

    Band merchandise was kinda hard to spot. Some of the stuff was available only after the concert in the back of the Main/Second stage but some was also on the marketplace. This is probably not something fixable or up to the event.

    These are just minor things I really had an awesome time and I'll be making this a yearly tradition.

    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)

    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)

    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"

    A quick way to find out the Wi-fi password/access to the wifi. There was GaylordConference center, but it required a username and password. Most conferences provide that, and it would have been really nice, especially for those with hand-held games wondering around meeting new would give the ability to connect.

    Maybe if I had asked around more I could have found that info, but having it posted somewhere would have been great.

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Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:04 pm

  • The good:

    It was great to have an area for retro computers. Got to play Oregon Trail for the first time since elementary school, and Zork for the first time ever. I'd love to see more of that in the future...

    Liked the addition of more non-video game arcade attractions, like Flash Beats and air hockey and more pinball. It's too bad skeeball was never set up, but I appreciated the try!

    The separate tabletop area was nice and huge, and it really seemed to pay off in terms of attendance. Way busier there than I ever saw it before. Also appreciated the presence of organized RPGing (Light Weight RPG and Pathfinder Society).

    I was a little worried about the new setup for the main rooms - arcade/consoles/indie games/vendors in one big room, and the room next door empty - but it worked out. Stuff like Artemis and Johann Sebastian Joust and the attendee tournaments made good use of that empty space. (Too bad we lost it on Sunday.)

    Thank you for dropping the rule against bottled water in the main rooms. That was a big turn-off last year.

    Was neat seeing Thinkgeek's display for the Nvidia Shield. Just don't start getting corporate on us!

    The bad:

    Consoles are still the weakest area. Everything seemed pretty much the same as last year, down to the same games on display. The only new thing I saw was a pair of Xbox Ones. Also, still too few fighting games (which I assume was why people brought their own for the table in the empty room).

    The new space for tabletop was nice, but I did miss having it right next to the other game areas. It was also a little sad to physically separate tabletop gamers from video gamers, I liked the idea of having some crossover.

    The ugly:

    Turning lamps upside down and leaving garbage in the halls (pizza crusts? really?) is so immature. Glad it had stopped by the end.

    The Colossus roar appears to be dying out... I think I'm OK with that.

    Suggestions for next year:

    Swap out console games that don't seem to be getting much attention at least once. If not that, here's another idea: since the retro computers had multiple games available, why not do the same for consoles? Or at least have a list of available games for each console at each table. People should be pleasantly surprised at the games there, not bored.

    Try to have more fighting games set up. They're usually busy, so it's really hard to play when there's only one or two screens per game.

    Organize demos for various board and card games in the tabletop area. Light Weight did this, and it was great, so why not do that for people who want to try Settlers of Catan, or Elder Sign, or other games? As is, even with "open gaming", it can be hard to find people to play a game with for the first time, unless you bring friends with you...
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Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:34 pm

  • VeraFX81 wrote:5. I would like a notification system to remind people of a panel that they may have been interested in. I missed 15 minutes of on cause I was on a roll in Goldeneye.

    The Guidebook app does this.
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    ShinRa Actual
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:27 pm
    Location: Mt. Vernon, VA

Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:08 am

  • 2nd Magfest so can't go on a lot, but:

    - Arcade seemed to have more games even though it was in a smaller space. Didn't bother me at all, I liked it, less walking.
    - Random DJ/Chiptune stations were awesome!
    - Dealer area was much better, and there were some places that actually had good prices.
    - Colossus Signs... I like the roar, but these were appropriate.

    - Early Saturday morning panels... I missed a few because of going hard on Friday night.
    - Registration, last year was much quicker. And the pre-reg line was longer than if you had just showed up and purchased a ticket on site. Thought that was backwards.
    - System linked consoles seemed less this year. Maybe it was a space issue, kind of sucked though.
    - That screen with the projector behind it for tournaments... Good idea to save space, but that was a terrible screen. Sorry to the people who were playing Goldeneye on there when the lights were on.

    - Is there a link to all the games on film that were shown. And or a place where anyone who recorded a panel can post the links.

    All and all, well done, had a blast again. Looking forward to next year.

    - Nick
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    Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:17 pm
    Location: Northern KY

Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:45 am

  • One more thing that i was reminded of today and i can't believe i've forgotten about this because of how serious it is.

    - Hallway/Panel/Gaming Room Sleepers: Every year i see this but i didn't really think much of it and i wasn't aware of the level its become until a few of my friends and i compared stories (including from someone who did this 2 years ago). There is a fair amount of people out there that come to MAGfest without places to crash/stay at and they choose to either sleep in hallways or in the various gaming rooms. This is done either by choice (because they don't want to spend money on hotel rooms) or people just don't have places to stay at for whatever reason. I understand that people take naps while friends are playing games (god knows how many times i've crashed during LAN parties) and that this is one of the downsides of a 24hr constantly running show.

    Past years (including this year) i've seen people crash in quiet hallways on various floors of the hotel with just a pillow and a blanket (or sometimes less). Other years i saw people crash in the board game area on any unused table. This year i mostly saw people sleep down the narrow hallways underneath the double escalators leading to the Dungeon. I also did see some people fall asleep in panel rooms but they were usually awoken by staff or someone else (also you can't tell if they were crashing there or just tired). I've also heard of people sleeping in their car in the parking lot but not so much this year (and thats outside of the hotel).

    I see this as a huge concern here. Not only do i forsee it as a huge liability problem but also it looks awful on the show itself. I don't like to talk in "what if" scenarios but what if god forbid one of these people sleeping gets messed with in any way (theft, assaulted ect) i fear that MAGfest and the staff would be held responsible for it.

    Sadly there isn't an easy solution for this. There are plenty of extreme measures to take but none of them i want to see happen (like no 24hr or forcing to register your dwelling arrangements at badge registration). I know there is a place on the forums for Roomsharing and people are encouraged to use it. But I feel that this isn't enough and that the staff/security need to do a better job at curbing this from happening, by either patrolling and waking people up that are squatting in spots. Attendees need to also be encouraged to report and be on watch for these people as well. A friend of mine even called the front desk to have someone check on a person sleeping down the hall from her room.

    Again i wasn't aware of this until i realized the grand scale of it but i think that this should be looked into more deeply. Because i fear that its crap like this that will get us kicked out of the Gaylord National.
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Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:08 am

  • This was my second MAGFest, and there definitely were some problems, one being the merging of the vendor and game rooms. Last year they were all partitioned off to the vendor room, game room, and tabletop room. Putting them together made everything loud and it was tough to talk to anyone really. Made everything feel really disjointed.

    Also they need to either police the attendee-run tournaments more or don't do them. The Brawl Max Minus whatever one was ridiculous. The dude had to start his wii up 5 times before it booted correctly, and he had a tiny megaphone where no one could hear him. As he was crossing people off in the crowd, I can imagine multiple people were there and just couldn't hear anything he was saying, harkening back to the rooms being altogether problem. Also, is it too much to ask for a regular staff-run Brawl tournament?

    This one is the most important one for me: CONTROL THE HECKLERS IN PANELS BETTER. I'm so tired of being really excited to see something and having it being constantly interrupted or talked over by some asshole directly behind me yelling something out they think is funny or trying to put in their two cents when whoever you're seeing is answering a question. Either sit there and be polite like an adult, or you should be kicked out.

    You know what we need? Big scary bodyguards as security. Not the scrawny nerdy guys (no offense you guys do your job well), but big guys who are willing to carry someone out of a panel to set an example for the rest of the hecklers. If Egoraptor can't go to the bathroom and come back without some girl grabbing him, this is a problem. These guys need to be more well-protected.
    I had a great time, but some serious revisions need to be made. MAGFest 11 was perfect.
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    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:04 am

Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:46 am

  • Another MAGfest has come and gone. Sigh. Post-fest depression has already set in for me.
    But you asked for feedback, not whining, so feedback it is!

    -First, and most important (for me at least), the staffers in the tabletop area (especially Rick and Ricky) performed their duties fantastically, as always. Tournaments were started on time, my boardgames were well taken care of, and check-in/check-out of board games was much more streamlined this year, so I felt more secure when I left several of my sets with them.
    -I was totally pleased to see The Megas come back again this year.
    -Tape lines on the ground are not an acceptable replacement for a barricade. I was standing in the front for The Megas and I felt like I couldn't move for fear of crossing the stupid tape line. Put up an actual barrier, as you have in years past. It will make for a better show and a more enthusiastic crowd.
    -Thank you for moving tabletop away from table flipping for charity and the arcade. It is hard to think while surrounded by all of that noise.
    -The theme and MAGswag bags were great this year. Except the green metal whistle. That thing blows (pun intended). It doesn't even make noise.
    -Loved the Colossus/Nightcrawler signs. That was a cute way to handle the situation.

    That's pretty much all I can think of off of the top of my head. But a little birdie told me that MAGfest is probably going to be moved to later on in January next year because the hotel is more expensive on New Years. I really REALLY hope that does not happen. I think it will drive attendance down, especially from people who come in from out of town and college students. The MAGfest dates are perfect as they are because they are at the tail end of most people's winter break and you do not have to miss coursework to attend. If it is moved to later in the month, I know that even I would be less likely to attend, and I have been coming for 5 years now.

    Just a thought.
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    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:17 am

Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:00 am

  • Also, it would be great if we could get round tables (or at least rectangular tables that don't have a split in the middle) for the tabletop room.
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    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:17 am

Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:55 pm

  • Hello Magfest crew!

    This year I found that the volunteers were extremely apathetic and had a few negative experiences when we had to line up for panels and events. I understand fully that the volunteers are exactly that, and are offering themselves for the good of the con, but they were often short-tempered, unorganized (not informed) , and even missing when we needed them. This resulted in a few instances where people waiting for panels lost their places in line or even couldn't find their designated line at all. Perhaps improvements in training and morale can be made so that the volunteers are working better!

    There were many good improvements that I saw including the LAN room being placed further from the loud arcade room, queue rooms for the panel 1 line, larger rooms for the panels, and as always the supporter badges were beautiful. I was asked repeatedly "OMG how'd you get that?".

    This was a great year, and Magfest continues to be my favourite convention, love the party atmosphere and the attendees are all so funny! I also seem to be part of the 1% that were sad to see such a decline in the colossus roar.

    Until next year!
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    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:11 pm

  • Great time only a few suggestions: Only one exit in the game/market place room was extremely annoying! Also having tabletops upstairs was inconvenient and also way to quiet so I never went there...having it in the gaming room was much more fun! The hotel staff was awesome and very understanding they even said we had the whole hotel for most of weekend, it did feel that way, thanks! Restaurants were great this year not over crowded and had specials. Missed having a big headliner on Saturday night like last year Machinae Supremacy was awesome but not like the previous concerts. Saturday’s overall was pretty lack luster schedule wise....
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:49 am

Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:58 pm

  • Well, here goes:

    -The panels for the most part were absolutely atrocious. We went to "Obscure jRPGs You Should Play," and I imagined there'd be some talk of games like Treasure of the Rudras or Seiken Densetsu 3, but no, it was 45 minutes of "disclaimers" and then a train wreck of a description of Ar Tonelico. Where was the one that said that there'd be 45 minutes of bullshit? We had to leave that one. The "History of Adult Gaming" was handled well in the sense that they approached the topic maturely, but they also ignored an entire segment of the "History" section, and pretty much made lame jokes. That one we stayed for, but purely for the entertainment of watching the awkward responses from the audience. Definitely need some better panels that are informative AND entertaining, not nauseating.
    -I felt like for the size of the event, there really weren't that many vendors there, at least, ones actually selling games. TMG took us hours just to get through all the piles of games, here we were done looking in about 30 minutes.
    -Definitely need more arcade games, those things were camped so hard it's not even funny.
    -A more coherent layout for the things outside of the vendor/arcade area.
    -Perhaps a drink voucher for buying a ticket? I paid $32 for two mixed drinks. Absurd.
    -The exit from the arcade/vendors was obnoxious. It felt like I was piling in for a trip on the Amistad trying to get out of there.

    As for the Pros:
    -The bands that played were pretty excellent.
    -I got some decent games for a bargain (though again, more vendors would be wonderful)
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    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:43 pm

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:34 pm

  • As always, I love Magfest!

    My biggest sadness is that it's over. :) The year is a long wait!

    I very much liked the layout this year. Boardgames were given a lot of space, and everything for the most part seemed to be over on that offshoot part of the hotel, which I liked for some reason. I loved, loved loved just walking around and coming across people playing musical instruments in the hallways. They are always good, beautiful to listen to, and it does your heart good to see so many people stop and lend an ear. I didn't have any trouble getting by when I needed to, they were either well wrangled or kept themselves tucked aside in such a way that neither the performers nor the audiences caused me any trouble. One afternoon I just walked around soaking up the ambiance of fellow gamers enjoying what Magfest had to offer and sharing it with each other.

    I liked the no roar signs, the roar gets very annoying after the 20th time you've heard it and it definitely seemed to cut down on it without wiping it out completly, so that's good.

    Probably my only low note was line wranglers. On occasion (not every time) after a line started to form, say an hour before the panel or what have you, it would form in such a way that it hugged the wall. Now, there were tape markings on many of the floors to show how to make a snaking line, and that's all well and good, but I think when the line hits the point when its long enough to go past the first row of the tape, a wrangler should go to that turn and let people know they should follow the tape markings and wrapped around that way. I didn't find that any guest had a problem with doing that when told. The problem came when 10-15 minutes before seating, the wrangler came and saw a line that wrapped all along the walls and then back up the hallway, and didn't quite know how to handle putting it into the tape outline. People got told to go every which way, and the line gets folded in on itself sloppily, so that people at the end are jumping the people in the middle, not even meaning to do so, but because the wrangler is putting them in the que that way. I started taking notice of this early on, and thought at first that the wranglers didnt get there early enough to do anything about forming the line, but after watching it happen several times, I've noticed that they do seem to be there, just not actively handling that aspect until its nearly go time. Theoretically it would only take them checking on the line every 10 mins or so, to make sure the wrap is happening as it should. just a suggestion to think about.

    I have one more suggestion too-how about a room that has 24 hour just watching stuff as its schedule? You could show let's plays (which I think would be the most awesome choice) or internet reviews or video game shorts or machinima or music videos or anime (pokemon? advent children? or even non video game related) or a mix of all that and more. I at times at the con felt it would be nice to just have a place to go sit for a bit and unwind, but still be in the con, still enjoying con things, rather then going up to chill in the room and not wanting to come back down because lazy, but still wanting to come down because magfest ^_^ And I know there are lots of things to go see and do, but sometimes rather then a panel or a concert you just want to watch without participating, enjoying what others created.

    As always I loved what I got to see of the That Guy with the glasses/Channel Awesome crew, Blister Thumbs and others, though I would love to see more of their panels, and a wider variety of them if we could get them to come. The times they got put in this year were weird too, like for instance Linkara's panel was at midnight, and even then there was something put after it so it felt a bit short. I did love that they were put in larger rooms this time too, we love our reviewers and I'm glad folks weren't left out in the cold so to speak.

    I love all the artwork and artcrafts in the dealers room, the knitted and sculpted and painted works were great ways to get a real original bit of fandom fun. It's a bit of a chore how far the exit was from the entrance, though not an impossible distance ;)

    The things that I love the most this year is how much I enjoyed the Games on Film room. I could have spent the whole con there. ^_^ In particular, Mario Warfare and Rise of the Fellowship were well worth the price of admission all by themselves. When I got home I went straight out and bought Rise of the Fellowship. I'd buy Mario Warfare too if I could find it for sale. ^_^ Great stuff! Please keep finding and bringing us such excellent gamer made films!

    I just found out about the Magprom, I would have loved to attend but I never saw anything about it. I usually go to Magfest every year with a roomful of friends, and lots of other friend attend the con, but its hard to find each other with so much awesome stuff going on. Most of us get there on Thursday and have at the con at full steam, only finding out post con that we hit some of the same panels but didnt realizes the other was in the audience if we didn't see each other by chance. If we could get schedules a bit earlier, even with the understanding that they would be subject to change, it would be great because then we could plan to see a few events together well before Magfest even started. Any chance of that happening?

    I just really want to say thanks so much for all the hard work you guys do. Running a con cant be easy, and you guys do a great job of giving us an excellent time every year. ts so great to be able to meet and enjoy what I love with folks who love it too from all over the world. The music, the games, the people, you guys do it all so well. Really, truly, thank you.
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    Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:41 pm

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:40 pm

  • Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

    - As a merchant, I was very glad to have a separate entrance and exit to the vendor hall. It really helped improve the flow of traffic, and got people walking by our table that would have normally diverted around it entirely. So thanks for that.

    - It's very surprising to me to see how few people have remarked on attendees' behavior in the hotel. I've been coming to MAGFest for 5 years now, and have stayed in the hotel for 4 of them, and in that time have not experienced such a high level of disrespect as I saw this year. Sure, in the past there's been ruckus. But this year, the noise in the guestroom hallways was beyond compare (louder, and lasting much longer throughout the night). There was vandalism, trash strewn about (as someone else mentioned), people peering on the floor... I had a couple of friends leave the convention early because of how out-of-hand the behavior in the hotel was. I know that it's not really possible for MAGFest to control this behavior, but I hope they can find ways of trying to prevent it (sounds like the "no alcohol in the convention areas" rule got pretty lax this year), and to hold accountable those who are caught acting that way.

    - I would really like to see some preventative measure against camping out at the games. I know several people who never got a chance to play anything this year because a slot never opened. I'm not saying there should be time limits or anything extreme, but maybe a staff member could patrol and gently suggest to camped out players that they move along and give others a chance.

    - Someone else mentioned the cold. It's obviously silly to suggest that MAGFest has any control over the weather, but I do wonder how things would be different if the convention took place over spring break instead of winter break.

    - All this being said, MAGFest is still hands-down my favorite convention. It's easy to list out things that didn't go well, but that's just because the list of things that DID go well is so much longer. I hope you guys keep doing what you're doing.
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:09 pm

Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:41 am

  • ssjleviathan wrote:
    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.

    Certainly! Please understand, that wasn't a slam on you guys-I had no idea who was running the panel when I checked it out. I was going off the usual response to sex in games and some other Magfest panels past. Was really well done, I'd definitely go to another.

    Omonom wrote:It's very surprising to me to see how few people have remarked on attendees' behavior in the hotel. I've been coming to MAGFest for 5 years now, and have stayed in the hotel for 4 of them, and in that time have not experienced such a high level of disrespect as I saw this year. Sure, in the past there's been ruckus. But this year, the noise in the guestroom hallways was beyond compare (louder, and lasting much longer throughout the night). There was vandalism, trash strewn about (as someone else mentioned), people peering on the floor... I had a couple of friends leave the convention early because of how out-of-hand the behavior in the hotel was. I know that it's not really possible for MAGFest to control this behavior, but I hope they can find ways of trying to prevent it (sounds like the "no alcohol in the convention areas" rule got pretty lax this year), and to hold accountable those who are caught acting that way.

    i can agree to the trash out in the hotel areas, definitely-it was bad out in the halls by the time we got up to our floor Thursday evening, and the tables up on the second floor above the hotel's front desk were gross. I did give props earlier in this thread for keeping the console and arcade areas cleaner, and I'll hold to that-but yeah, the hotel was not in the best of ways.

    That said, I didn't feel like some of the rest of it was as bad-Only saw one flipped light fixture, nobody was stealing receivers from the public phones and replacing them with bananas, I didn't see any public vomit piles, etc. I'm not saying they didn't happen, but definitely they eluded my notice.

    Problem is the only real solution is to get people to stop being dicks somehow. None of it's actually excusable when I say that, but it's just a bad norm. I'm to understand the hotel is happy to slap on an extra charge to the room for cleaning bills after the fact-they got names from people signing up for rooms this year. Something to be done on those lines for people who're caught vandalizing? Get their badge numbers, match up to the names, and go from there.
    The March Hare
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:29 am

Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:52 am

  • This was my second year at MAGfest and I really didn't have any huge problems.

    The Good:
    -One of the best things I saw this year were the number of cosplayers! So many well done costumes, even the ones I didn't recognize the references from looked amazing! To all cosplayers, from the minimal effort ones to the all-out ones, keep on cosplaying please! :)
    -Machinae Supremacy performing in the concert hall was also a highlight of my weekend. Also my first concert ever, and what a way to break that cherry!
    -Most of the set up was pretty good. Tabletop upstairs confused me at first, but it really fit well up there!
    -Random DJs and dancing in hallways was nice to run into in the late hours. I like the previous suggestions of having more late-night entertainers for those nights when one is just so amped to do things.

    The Bad:
    -This one is at the con-goers, don't be a jerk! Throughout my floor where I was staying, there were a bunch of overturned lamps! My roomies and I tried fixing some, but a few were so loose, we were afraid we'd damage them further. We have a great place at the Gaylord, stop trying to ruin it for everyone!
    -Whoever pulled the fire alarm on Friday morning, I really hope you were kicked out or banned. I can only imagine they thought it'd be funny to recreate the annoyance that happened last year. Thankfully, the hotel staff neutralized it very quickly, so kudos to them!
    -I miss having the little designated table for portable systems that was present last year. It was nice to just be able to sit down there and eventually some people would show up for some multiplayer gameplay. I know one can easily use portables anywhere, but without a designated area, you had to actually bother someone to see if they wanted to play something. With the little table set-up, you generally knew the person there would be more likely open to playing something.
    -Don't hate on the dumbphone users; not everyone has one (by choice or not). I printed out a schedule at home to keep on tabs for things, but forgotten about a map, and had no idea where I could get one. Ended up wandering around aimlessly looking for panels (and ended up going to none).
    -There was a lack of chairs available in the game area. Often I had to snag a seat being used as part of a line for some game (which i felt bad about taking). I could of sworn last year, there was a bunch of chairs against the walls ample for the taking. Couldn't see any this time.

    The Neutral?
    -I didn't get what was up with the people talking on a couch in the game room, but found it rather annoying. Felt like I was eaves dropping on someone's personal conversation that they wanted to broadcast around the area. The idea behind it could have been cool if it was more about general announcements and talking of what was going on currently at MAGfest, but more often than not, I just heard people talk about their experiences with whatever game they were playing or something. Every now and then, they tried to incite the colossus roar, which got more annoying.
    -I liked that things were a little more lax on the liquids in the gameroom but I really think they should be kept on one's person to be allowed in, and not allowed to be placed down anywhere. I know that sounds harsh, but the reason why is because often drinks were forgotten and a few spilled onto floors, resulting in sticky flooring. That makes me nervous for the dance games a bit, since no one wants sticky dance pads.
    -I didn't have any problems with lines for the most part. Most people seemed to be willing to give up their spot when asked. I had a slightly aversion more to people demanding to take a spot when I had just gotten to play a game. In one instance, I was playing one of the dance games and this machine was set up for 3 songs per play (compared to the 2 songs per play for most the others I encountered). Someone asked me to quit "hogging the machine" for playing all three songs. Another instanced involved playing brawl when I had just sat down to play, a group of four others said, "hey, how about you four give it a rest and let us all play?" I understand wanting to play with your friends and all, but that came off quite rude. Not to mention, usually its a courtesy of losers out, winner can stay in when a line is concerned.

    I didn't run into any loud hallway disruptions on my floor (other than the lamp flippers), but I only was ever on my floor or in the game room.

    I like the idea of a 24 hour gameplay room for unwinding, but still able to socialize. I felt bad when I ended up tired and decided I may as well go to my room.

    Also it looks like I had more complaints than I thought, but I guess bad memories stick with you easier than good ones. I had a great time overall, still!
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