BTW, it's funny, I can copy-paste my sentence from previous year: "Just a note on the beginning: I didn't want to admin this big event first
". This year it was the same, but QNC started in Q3, QL, also in Q2 (later got cancelled) and Q4 (never started in real thou), and it started to be clear to me that if not me, than noone is going to do it. I was sad to see this situation coming, so I took it again.
But be sure that next year I am not going to do it! "This time for sure!"
So what were my main topics:
1) my free time
- I didn't want to waste so much time and nerves on QNC as last year
2) length of the event
- I wanted to make it finish quickly, in ideal state in 2 months, that's less than 9 weeks
3) communication with teams
- I don't like endless discussions and endless scheduling, I just wanted to get rid of this
- I wasn't satisfied with the format of the website of the event last year
- I wanted to make the coverage a little better than last year
So before starting the tournament, I thought quickly where do which changes how to satisfy all these topics. On one side I wanted to waste less time doing things and chatting on IRC while on the other side improving things like website and coverage which consume my time - so goals 4 and 5 go against goal no. 1.
So what were the major decisions I did which helped achieve the goals:
- new website - there already was quake.cz/NationsCup/ site, but that was listed as a fraud site everywhere (lol) + it wasn't maintained. So I downloaded HTML+CSS code from it (I asked for permission of the author too of course), inserted some PHP code into it, asked Zalon to host new site under qw.nu (thanks goes to Zalon) and set it up in one or two days.
later I've spent another day creating semi-dynamic content on the site to allow publish detailed results with links to demos, stats, scoreboard and even small map screenshot; it seems all these things are important to the visitors of the site, they just expect to see this all there; not sure about the detailed stats, but I am a big fan of them so I just put them in there not thinking about it too much
.. and it's kinda substitute for proper coverage (i'll mention it again later)
- length of the event - I learned from QNC 2008 and decided to make base groups strictly limited to 1 month, with absolutely no exceptions; and this payed off later. there were NO WALKOVERS in the first 3 weeks, in last 2 there were about 3 of them - but noone complained, it was just ok, inevitable I'd say; we moved to playoffs quickly and the overall feeling was that the event runs smoothly even if there were unplayed matches
- no communication - this was the "cheapest" decision; I just decided games will be played on Sunday because that's when they were mostly played last year anyway; this simple "strict" schedule saved so much nerves and communication everywhere; I also avoided talking to other people from the team than captains .. no more comments on this, just that it saved some nerves too
And I asked the captains to upload demos to chtv - this both helped get better coverage and saved a lot of time for me because the work was distributed to 10 other persons
- coverage - I tried to write at least one news post each week - summing up what games were played in last round (week), how did they go, what will be played next week and what can be expected (important was for me to make tips for people not familiar with QW, making sure they know which matches can end with close scores) .. so yeah lots of text written was for people outside of QW, hoping that someone who would like to get into QW finds it usefull, as QNC is a good exposure for QW
Sadly I didn't have enough energy for coverage of the playoffs, I did announce upcoming matches, but I didn't write reports for some of them. This was mostly because lots of people were observing the matches live, some matches had reports written by the captain himself (thanks Purity), also because there was commentary shipped together with demos and also because the results and stats published on the site are quite detailed allowing anyone to review quickly how the match went for each team.
But I still think this made the coverage a little imperfect, so if anything I'd improve even more, it'd be the coverage. Noone is interested in reading long exhaustive texts, but a quick summary of each map played is what's expected.
Admin stuff - I'm glad the only "admin intervention" I was asked for was when certain two teams didn't agree to play with pings 26 26 26 26 vs. 26 39 39 39 :-) And they quickly resolved this by themselves. I've spent some time thinking about what should be the guidelines on the ping issues and I've came up with this:
1) minimum ping (ping of the lowest pinging player) for both teams should be equal
2) you have to consider which "ping fights" will appear in the game; ok, it's "bad luck" if one player has bad connection and has significantly higher ping than the rest of his team; also QNC is not as complicated since all players from one team play from the same country.. but "ping fight" is when 13 ms player battles against 51 ms pinging player; you'd not allow this in duel, and it should also be avoided in teamplay - when possible; this means 26 ms vs. 39 ms is not important, so that situation I was called for was "ok" and my decision would be "play here, go ready".
So on what did spent my time?
30% site coding - next year can be re-used, no need to do it again
20% writing coverage
20% watching and enjoying the games live! :-)
15% creating logs, uploading stats
10% talking to captains
5% demos downloading and uploading to chtv played by the swedish team (hi votary)
1% actual "admining of the games"
Thanks goes to:
phil for commentary
zappater for being ready to step in when i was out of reach
And what's the "mental note"? If you noticed SK Gaming news, there was a note about Nations Cup. I think Nations Cups exhibit the game to wider audience, that's why the NC is important.
I've invested much less of my time into QNC this year, thanks to better decisions the event went better and it helped QW getting same attention as Quake Live (I am still amazed by this when I think of it).
"With little you can do much". QW is open community. If you think you are able to run small tournament, do it. If you think you can run large tournament, do it. Think good where problems can appear and try to avoid them before they appear. Lots of problems can be avoided quite easily, you just need to decide what is important and what is not. Make sure your tournament "looks nice" and "runs smooth". And QW will benefit from it, we all will
Besides, you'll be glad you did something for someone and players WILL thank you that you made something for them.
QW will not have milions of players, QW will not become mainstream like other games. But when certain small things are done properly, even the small group we have can have good fun and attract a few new players. Because, don't forget - we do it for fun, not to make QW competitor to WoW, that's impossible.
This is where I strongly disagree with Quake 2 Nations Cup admins. They decided that only 8 teams signing up for Q2 QNC is "not enough". I disagree because I think "enough" is "as much as the scene actually expects".
Be realistic. Little can be enough.