Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hi there, from Tony and Craig! Extra red text
New line bolded
Hi there, from Tony and Craig!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

After scouring the net for tournament analysis I found a shortened double elimination format that claims shorter running times and balanced amount of games per player. It is also asymetric, which usually is a nono in creating an unbiased tournament structure.
I whipped up an excel spreadsheet to test the final finishing positions and potential players who could be at a position to check it out.

With the format given, a perfectly seeded 5th place is biased against as he exits one round before he should have, giving 6th place the spot. I fiddled around with the seedings to produce 2 more seeding patterns, one to give 2nd the largest advantage when they eventually drop to the loser's bracket, and one that gives 5th place back to 5th while keeping all other in the right finishing position, and maintaining the maximum seeded matchup spread.

Gah! looks like you can't load up files onto blogspot :/

Sunday, November 05, 2006

eSport @ StLukes

The first week of eSport at StLuke's is now over, and with practice rounds of TrackMania keeping the students entertained it seems that it's a winner. Although most hadn't played the game before, by the time the Tuesday lunch break had closed on the first session, the numbers had swollen from an initial 10 to ~30 filling up the room and giving it a go. The Thursday session was a little more sedate with people knowing a bit more what to expect, although getting them into the official server seemed a pain. It's good that they are enthusiastic, but I can see that there will need to be some tighter rules on what they can and can't do in the classroom when the official comps start next week.

WCG Wrapup

The dust has settled once again on an eventful WCG, this time with Italy hosting the grand final at the Monza track. Overall it went Ok. Probably needed to ramp up a notch to keep up to the times of ever increasing competition, but adequate enough not to drop the ball as the reigning world event. I wish I got to see more of Italy. Claudio offered an opportunity for me to get in early and tour rome for a week before the event. That would have been perfect to make the trip more than just an apartment and stadium in some other country, but the timing of work and family didn't quite let it happen.

The travel in the area was pretty bad. I didn't know how out-of-the-way the monza track would be, but in retrospect there's a lotta noise to hide away. It took me 6 hours to get to the hotel from the airport on arrival, although my shoot-from-the-hip approach to public transport was partly to blame for that. Claudio probably made the most fuss about it. Maybe he felt the pressure of it being in his home country and took anything going wrong personally? Even things like the transport weren't that bad, just inconvenient. I really, REALLY wanted to get a ride around the Monze circuit itself. They were offering free hotseat laps in BMW's during the day, but the only time we had free, on the sunday after it finished, they had packed up :/

Coverage on the other hand was up a notch from last year. Sky TV did a number of broadcasts, although I didn't get to see the end result. The Cyberstage areas worked well, with games played upstairs in the competition area and commentated downstairs on the big screen in front of a seated audience. The main stage still had the players up on stage and had to deal with the whole plausible information issue, but I haven't seen a system yet that delivers both players and a commentatable game to the general public, so I'm not too fussed. Best of both worlds I guess. WaaghTV also went out from the WC3 area, enough to hit server limits for most of the days we broadcasted. It seemed Toby was still disturbed by the fact that even with 2 games a round going out that people spectating from home still wanted more, and once again took it to heart. Even I get frustrated with some things WCG do, but you need to know what is out of your control and be prepared for the things that are in your control. I hope it's just something you get with experience as his intentions are noble.

The tournament itself went smoother again this year.Having 1/2 the referees from last year back again certainly helped with the orientation, and Andrei, a former team leader, helped out greatly as someone else with a perspective from both sides of the advertising barriers. There seemed to be less information getting to the players this year. As returning players from last year quickly fell into line with the demands of WCG finals, new players still were getting to grips with basic tournament etiquette. No real issues though, apart from Sky's yellow card that kept coming up over and over ...

The flight home was coincidentally the same one that the Australian team, New Zealand team and 6 other referees were on. Made for a great reunion down the back of the plane drinking up the free booze and wangling 1st class meals from the hostesses. Even though I got to sleep a fair bit on the plane, it still hit pretty hard the next day at work.

Avatars for WCG referee page

Hopefully this avatar will be Ok for the WCG referee forum that is being set up. It'll be good to catch up with the referees again and plan for next year.