I would like to give you a review of our last convention with a presentation of EE. The aim is simply to give a feedback and hopefully to give comments and advice for other organisators.
EDIT : I realize that the review is pretty long sorry. I don't know if I write it for me or for you, so I just hope it could be usefull ^^Place
It was at Lille (France) between the 3rd and 5th of november, for the COnvention INoubliable (COIN), a convention dedicaced on all gaming stuff : roleplay game, boardgame, LARP and some "special" game like EE and Artemis. The COIN is free and regroup regular players and curious during the 3 days.Setting up
We were 2 to organized the EE room, we used around 10 PC with the debian netboot system of Daid. We set up 1 complete ship (5 stations + 1) and 1 or 2 single ships, depend on the number of participants. Sometimes, the ingeneering station was divided into 2 (power management and reparation), depend of the number of participants too. We use ligh effects with DMX and manual smoke effect, and we create separation between station (for example, science station could not see the main screen. And, finally, we added a cinematic screen outside of the room to show to others the play and to advertised them.
If you want to see the result : https://www.dropbox.com/s/7c5h2p8ik6g555z/20171104_162805.mp4?dl=0Mission
There was 2 phases : 1- during the day, quick mission and 2- during the night, pretty long mission.
1- The quick mission was based on the quick basic already done. The crew had 20 minutes to protect a station and itself and we scored at the end the number of kills. We were always at the GM screen, to add some more ennemy, to provide warp to some ennemy to keep tension and to discuss with relay by comms.
We organized around 25 quick missions, with inexperienced and experienced players.
2- The long mission was based on a solar system scenario I reused, and asked players to do some roleplay. They had some individual mission or behaviour. The mission had 1h30 to succeed. Sometime they had to do a road trip near Jupiter to catch some stuff, sometime they had to launch probe in the sun to detect anomalies. We were always at the GM screen too to improvise the mission.
We had a WARP problem system into the script : at long as they WARP, every crew members can be affect by a "WARP disease" which appear on their screen (sick, blind, paranoïa).
We organized 3 long missions, with mostly experienced players.Feedback from players
Around 120 unique players participed to EE.
We have a very good feedback from the players. Missions was dynamic, the stations were easy to understand but hard to manipulate. The scoring system was a good idea to boost them to be more aggressive (for quick mission, I think fighting is the main goal of the game).
For long mission, we had some very pleasant crews and they liked mission a lot. They liked the WARP disease system very good, because that add roleplay during calm period of the game. And because sometime, players had to get out their stations, another players could go to it for some individual mission. That worked pretty good and players didn't rest during all the mission.
Light and smoke effects was very apprecied. According to the players, the immersion was very good, instead of earlier when EE was organised "only" with tables and chairs (or like the Artemis room just beside ^^).
The 2 single ships was very apprecied because the crew became an armada and they could create more advanced strategy.
Players asked for more and more screens. We try, without success, to provide a window screen and it was appreciated. But players thinked that more screens, with informations, logs, windows, ... could increase the immersion. It is even more the feeling for the long missions.
Relay players complain that the comms window is too big and that he/she cannot see the map and doing everything else. Based on this problem, a lot of relay players stopped the conversation often without read our message. Also for relay, some inexperienced players have problems to understand what to do for this station, especially during fights. We added them main screen control to compensate. Hacking system was not very usefull, because it was a bit too long during a fight and the mini game is not very immersive.
Weapons players had some problems to see if beams are working or not. I don't understand why, because there is a change of color and the beam is visible on the main screen, but it was a frequent comment.
Helm players saw a lot of time that their systems were overheated or damaged without real problems on these systems on the engenerring station. I don't know if some other players have notice that.
We don't have comment from Science station, I don't know if it is a good or a bad thing. According to me, probe view and database were not used by players, because they didn't seem to be useful.
Engeneering players thought that the power management screen is more usefull than the classic Engeneering. With 2 screens, the engeneer is more able to do the job (even more if the shorcut are set up).Feedback from organisators
We were also very happy with this convention. We had no server bug and any crash so I was no stressful. The netboot system coupled with the autoconnect system are very pleasant to set up every new mission. We had a lot a problems with the keyboard shorcut file (coupled with the netboot). I don't understand because it worked before so I have to check it again. It was mostly a drawback for a regular player witch is blinded : it can only play power management if shorcuts are available.
The single ships was hard for us to manage, because the energy and the systems didn't repair themself. So we always had to cheat with the GM screen or to contect ourself in their ingeneering station to maintain them ok. So, when single ships are used, they had to be planned with auto coolant and auto repair.
We didn't use the tutorial mission because it is hard to set up in the same time of the autoconnect system. So each time we explain all the station separately.For the future
We plan to add some more stuff to EE to enhance relay station : separate comms and relay into 2 screens, and create a probe screen to follow a probe with a 3d vision.
Also, we want to increase the integration of single ships : prepare it in advanced, be sure that visuals are concordants, add docking permission with the "main" ship.
We also want to add even more possibility to the tweak system of the GM screen. For example, it is not possible now to change hull and shields of a orbital station.
I will provide each PR and branch into my github for these enhancement.Conclusion
Thank a lot Daid and all the contributors for this game. We could do a lot a different things with it. The GM screen is very usefull and, because the game is open source, I can now add and propose some changes, enhancement and translation into french.
We will organize the COIN next year and hope to provide more stuff, more screen, more fun !
Hope this feedback could be usefull for someone. If you have some questions or remark, don't hesite.
PS : sorry for the english mistakes