[Scale-planning] next year's ballroom bash

Lori Barfield itdirector at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 21:52:30 PDT 2011

On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 9:34 PM, Phil Dibowitz <phil at ipom.com> wrote:
> Signs. Obviously we needed tons and tons of signs so people could find the
> place.

so noted.

> As to the actual event itself, overall I was very happy with it. However,
> that's not terribly useful feedback, so in the interest of providing
> feedback, I'm going to be bit picky here. Take it with a grain of salt,
> because they're really not complaints, I enjoyed it!

thanks, i enjoyed it, too. :-)  but without a critique, how can we
have even more fun next year?

> My least favorite was the mini-airhockey tables. This may just be because I
> have a deep love of airhockey, but it was _very_ difficult to play on those
> tables. And I don't mean "have a serious game" I just mean casually play.
> The small table was a minor problem, the pucks getting stuck under the
> mid-court things, and teeny-tiny um, thing you hold to hit the puck.. was
> really hard to hold. I heard this from the 2 other people I know who tried
> as well.

yup.  played quite a bit of mini air hockey myself.

i confess, we just set those up as an inexpensive way to add
atmosphere and give folks something to do while waiting to play laser
tag.  the plink-plink of the ping pong ball and the chuck-chuck
chuck-chuck of the hockey pucks really did add energy to the room.
but if we actually have bona fide air hockey aficionados in the group,
let's do it right.  next year we'll look at the cost for renting full
size air hockey and foozeball.  we certainly have the space!

> Laser tag would have been significantly better without all the mirrors. I'm
> fairly certain just pointing at random surfaces was enough to kill people.
> The quality of the laser tag system, was admittedly a bit low, but I think
> that's not unreasonable for portable laser tag. This was frustrating for
> several people.

to be honest, i thought the mirrors would make laser tag more
unpredictable and fun, especially for inexperienced geeks who would
normally be at a disadvantage.  however, we discovered that laser
taggers know that the reflection from simply shooting at a wall will
cause a kill. :-/  (this explains why arenas always have black walls.)
 so it isn't a perfectly competitive indoor party game.  but i think
it was still a hit.  after the announcement was made, i like the buzz
that it created even among the non-players.  and even the hilton staff
were excited about it.

> I didn't play the Wii setup, but heard good things.

based on how busy the systems were, and the atmosphere it created, i
believe we can call it a success.  i especially appreciated how hard
the guys from Games2U worked.  after getting the games up and running,
brian set up music in the laser tag room for us for free.  then they
kept both game systems going strong all night long (though btw, we
only paid for one).  everyone who needed to learn how to play got
special attention, which i think reached out well to some SCaLE
spouses.  and whenever there was a gap, those two gents kept things
going constantly....often by playing that dance game with my 9 yr old
daughter, sara.  as my son pointed out, it was hilarious seeing that
big guy dance against her.  he was such a good sport and never stopped
smiling all night.

> Overall, I would call it a huge success and I had a lot of fun. I look
> forward to what happens when you have more than 2 weeks to prepare. :)

again, thanks.  i had a lot of fun, too.  with all this time to get
input from the community and the rest of the volunteers, the party
will be full of newness next year.


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