Nice to hear we're finally nearing the end of this championship
. Below is an answer to [name removed]call for feedback regarding it
I did not participate in this Minelive tournament as a player, but i did in the previous one, and though i can't call myself as the organiser of that one, i was quite involved in it.
The main positive thing with the first tournament, compared to the second, was that the organiser (minesweeperlive admin) had set very clear deadlines as to how long each stage was going to be, though these proved to be overly optimistic in some cases they were extended with just a handful of days, not any more! This meant that the users were informed from the beginning how long the tournament was going to last and by registering to the tournament had committed to play a certain amount of games in a certain amount of time, if they didn't respect this commitment they were out... Today, on the other hand, you have no right whatsoever to blame Kamil if he can't play for the next month because he is on vacation, because you didn't tell him the final was going to be in July(!!!) when he applied for a tournament in April...
The main positive thing with the second tournament was that the quality of the opposition was really high! Ours was open to all minesweeperlive members which meant a much more varied starting field.
A negative thing both tournaments shared was the relative failure of the group stages.
In the first tournament the group stage was supposed to last 10 days, with admin allowing himself 2 days of gap to put together the results and make the draw for the final round before the start of the quarterfinals. In reality the group stage was extended to two more days to 12 total, eating up the 'gap days', with the quarterfinals starting as planned. 21 players were to partecipate in the group stages, with three groups of 5 and one of 6. Less than 50% of the games were played in the end (22/45), with one group (incidentally the bigger one!) standing for the bulk of those with 13 out of 15 possible.
In the second tournament the group stage was to last three weeks (if i remember correctly), 16 players partecipating in groups of four, yet i doubt more than 50% of the games were played come the deadline ([name removed]please correct me with the actual data as i don't have access to it), despite having more time, less games to be played and the advantage of having only world ranked players, which one would have expected to be less inclined to forfeit games and probably to make communication easier...
The greatest success story we have from the group stages is group 4 in the first tournament, a group containing 6 players: two from the U.S. (one on the Pacific time zone, one central), one from the UK (GMT), two from mainland Europe (CET, inluding myself
) and one from Australia. Instead of every player contacting the other five independently (which would have resulted in 15 different communication channels) we started a thread in the forum where all the players posted their availability and tried to get together as many players as possible on a single occasion. It wasn't easy of course, considering the number of time zones involved, but it was sure much more efficient than trying to agree on 15 different meetings, in one particular meeting we got done with half of the groups matches! It required the players accepting a compromise of playing at unfavorable times, but this didn't influence the outcome of the group.
The final stage of the first tournament was (overoptimistically) planned to last four days. It lasted 10 instead, which means the finalists played roughly a round every three days, something quite acceptable. This meant also that more public could be present in the channel those days and assist to the live updates of the games (it would be really cool to watch the games for real of course, but we don't have that privilege as yet). From the public point of view the second tournament was not good at all, as though I actively tried to be present at matches, i managed to assist in only one from the group stages...
To summarise, i have come up to the following points from the experience of these two tournaments:* the tournament shouldn't take more than four weeks!
(seriously, playing minesweeper is not that demanding, neither physically nor psychologically, what takes time is agreeing a date/time suitable for both players and the more time they have in their hands the more it will take...)* hard deadlines are a must!
( i would suggest two weeks for the group stages and three to four days per round following that, but that can be discussed)* having forum threads
instead of every user privately contacting the others improves the communication efficiency and could provide for more games played, better meeting deadlines, and more public being present at the group stage games. * having someone who acts as an official organizer
(preferrably one not playing as admin was last time around, but it worked ok with [name removed]too). I would want from him/her to even try to get actively involved to make sure matches are played and things run smoothly, rather than just stay passive and disqualify people when deadlines have passed.* The players should be asked to make some comittments before registering for the tournament
. I would propose the following:
A player should
- be prepared to play about a match every three days for the duration of the tournament.
- check the tournament communication channel (e-mail/forum/guestbook/whatever it might be) frequently during the tournament, at least once a day but preferrably more often.
- be prepared to compromise on a playing time that might not be their most suited.
- be prepared to play multiple matches in a short interval of time if needed.
- play on the agreed time/before the deadline even if they don't feel "on form". (In real tournaments matches don't get postponed if a player has an injury or is in poor form... the player can either chose to retire and come back next time or play anyway... postponing is not an option)
* Talking about enhancing the public experience, is there any possibility for the admin, or someone else for him, to improve the software to provide some live feed of the game? that would be surely amazing! If not, even some kind of replay to watch afterwards would be really interesting!
This was what i had to say from my experience in both tournaments, feel free to comment (agree or disagree
or come up with other stuff from your own experience.