[NL] Public, free, accessible EE setup at near Den Bosch. 4th of June

Ok, this is a bit short notice. But I only got conformation yesterday.

We'll be showing off our touch screen based EE setup at the opening festival of "Spark lab":
http://www.sparkcampus.nl/lucas-de-man-bert-pauli-en-huib-van-olden-openen-gezamenlijk-het-spark-lab-op-4-juni/ (Dutch warning)

It opens up at 12:00, at "Graafsebaan 3 Rosmalen" (near Den Bosch), entrance is free. Everyone is welcome. And there will be a lot more to see (there are 25 "projects" that are being shown)
I'm running a single bridge. As that is the amount of hardware I have. I've got 3 people with me that will help me run the bridge, and that are used to the setup. So everything will run super smooth!

So, if you want to see our setup, play the game with us, or meet up with me and tell me that I'm a horrible person. This is your chance!

Comments

  • Nice.
    Too bad I'm in the US (and don't know Dutch).
  • kwadroke said:

    Nice.
    Too bad I'm in the US (and don't know Dutch).

    Got any tips? It's the first time I'll be running on a event. Not sure what to expect except for inpatient people :-)


    I already make a quick variation of the "Basic" scenario, which uses an easier player ship (Phobos, has front missile tubes instead of the side tubes of the Atlantis) and less enemies, only single station to defend, which most likely will result in shorter games. Hope to run around 30 minutes a game in the initial games to get people going.
  • daid said:


    Got any tips? It's the first time I'll be running on a event. Not sure what to expect except for inpatient people :-)

    Depending on how many people you have waiting, you might want a sign-up list for the games.
    I found that games should last around 20-25 minutes so games can run every 1/2 hour. Usually a couple of us show new players the functions of each console before the game. It usually takes about 5 minutes or so if we have multiple people showing what each console does. We'll watch over their shoulder to make sure that they understand what's going on and guide them to make the right choices.

    Usually new players have a little problem getting started, but, by their second game they have things down for their console. The biggest issue we see with new players is that the shields either don't get turned on when needed or turned off; if it's being run completely by a new crew.

    We usually captain the games since new players don't know what to do on their own station, much less the entire ship during a game. Sometimes we just give stations busy work; mostly Engineering. We'll have them turn up some systems when we go into battle and back down when we are done.
    Once a player has played 2 to 3 different stations they can usually captain games themselves.

    You need to watch for some players who don't like to speak up. If there's vital information that they have sometimes the captain doesn't hear it. We'll try to shadow them and direct them the best we can.
    Keep an eye on engineering. People, especially kids, love to start turning things up and down. Usually up, which will usually damage systems before you know what's going on. Weapons is the next one to watch. Again people love pressing buttons before they're told what to do. You'll end up with all kind of stuff loading/unloading & firing.
    daid said:


    I already make a quick variation of the "Basic" scenario, which uses an easier player ship (Phobos, has front missile tubes instead of the side tubes of the Atlantis) and less enemies, only single station to defend, which most likely will result in shorter games. Hope to run around 30 minutes a game in the initial games to get people going.

    95% of the time we just run the Basic Scenario. Only if people have played the game several times do we change.

    I need to dust the cobwebs off this scenario and update it for the new ships (and so I can use it myself again). It's was modified for use in convention like settings.
    https://github.com/kwadroke/EmptyEpsilon-scripts/blob/master/scenario_20_con-basic.lua
    It has a timer that after 25 minutes, the Kraylors win unless all of the other ships are destroyed. There's a 5 & 1 minute warning to let you know that time is running out.
  • Small note of warning, you are adding science database entries from that script, this is no longer supported (As it didn't work right, only the server had these entries)

    I like the random callsign selector. I'll be stealing that one ;-) as well as the mission timer.

    We have a red rotating beacon, which we can hook up so it lights up when shields are up. This really helps in giving the players a clue that the shields are not up or staying up when they should not.
  • edited May 2016
    daid said:

    Small note of warning, you are adding science database entries from that script, this is no longer supported (As it didn't work right, only the server had these entries)

    Yeah, I'm aware of it. It was something I was trying out.
    daid said:

    I like the random callsign selector. I'll be stealing that one ;-) as well as the mission timer.

    Steal away. :)
    daid said:

    We have a red rotating beacon, which we can hook up so it lights up when shields are up. This really helps in giving the players a clue that the shields are not up or staying up when they should not.

    Good Idea. I might make a web display using the http_server for that.
  • Ok, we had a decent run. Played quite a few games.

    Lessons learned:
    * Kids below 10 come in 3 forms. "Perfect players", "Afraid to touch anything" and "Pressing all the buttons all the time"
    * 4 station setup with "Operations" instead of science/relay works really well for simple combat oriented rounds.
    * The "Stalker" ship could randomly spawned, and because of it's warp drive it was on you quickly, before the players got their bearings on how to control the ship.
    * People enjoyed it, even if they lost.
    * Have a backup plan for your backup plan. I forgot the power supply of the laptop that I wanted to use for the main screen. I did bring a spare desktop as main screen, which did not boot at all... We solved it by hooking up a macbook running linux connecting to the server trough wifi. As I did bring a WiFi router. Which pretty much saved the day.
    * I think the DMXSerial implementation has a problem somewhere. I had relays connected and those would occasionally click on/off very quickly. We didn't use this hardware in the end, as the USB connection stopped working from time to time, and we didn't want to spend more time on it (I only finished the hardware wiring the day before)
    * A scenario that first explains a few things before the action could be useful. As we didn't have people queuing up. So no time to explain it, and we had to explain during the action.
    * DARKNESS. It's hard to get a room dark enough during day time. Which brings me to the next point.
    * TAPE. Bring tape. We all forgot to bring tape with us, so we could not tape anything down. Cable wise we where fine due to very long network cables that we brought. But blacking out the windows would have been so much easier with some tape and cardboard.
    * Power strips. We did bring a few, but we could have used more. We came out just fine. But we where almost 1 socket short.
    * The defeat message should be a bit delayed for extra effected when the player is destroyed. Allows for missiles still to "land" and the explosion to finish. Also allows you to win with a properly timed self-destruct.
  • edited June 2016
    daid said:


    * Kids below 10 come in 3 forms. "Perfect players", "Afraid to touch anything" and "Pressing all the buttons all the time"

    Sounds right to me. We usually have a higher number of kids playing than adults.
    daid said:


    * People enjoyed it, even if they lost.

    I've seen that too. It also gives them a goal to win next time.
    daid said:


    * Have a backup plan for your backup plan. I forgot the power supply of the laptop that I wanted to use for the main screen. I did bring a spare desktop as main screen, which did not boot at all... We solved it by hooking up a macbook running linux connecting to the server trough wifi. As I did bring a WiFi router. Which pretty much saved the day.

    I try to have at least 2 spare computers if possible, as well as extra cords.
    daid said:

    * DARKNESS. It's hard to get a room dark enough during day time. Which brings me to the next point.

    Darkness does work better, especially if running a projector. Plus it makes it feel more immersive. It will also make your lighting work better. I've been rolling some plans in the back of my head for a portable "room" for bigger (and brighter) events so we can have more control over how bright it is for players.
    daid said:


    * TAPE. Bring tape. We all forgot to bring tape with us, so we could not tape anything down. Cable wise we where fine due to very long network cables that we brought. But blacking out the windows would have been so much easier with some tape and cardboard.

    Gaffers Tape works the best. It's more expensive than Duct Tape, but it comes off cleanly. Duct tape leaves behind gunk on floors and cords. Some places don't like you using Duct Tape, like Hotels & Convention Centers. At least here in the US. I get my tape at music stores that sell DJ and Stage Lighting like Guitar Center. Amazon has some too.
    daid said:


    * Power strips. We did bring a few, but we could have used more. We came out just fine. But we where almost 1 socket short.

    I try to have more than we need. You might not know the layout of the place you are running your setup. You might need to spread the computers apart in a different manner than you were planning for better use of the space.
    Also bring extra extension cords. You don't know how far, or many power outlets you'll have unless you checked out the space previously.
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