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Messages - Ziggy

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Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: April 01, 2011, 08:11:56 PM »
How early will things wrap up on a sunday?
We expect to close on Sunday around 6pm.

I've updated the list of OHR links to include Canberra, which is set for 1st of May.

Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: March 28, 2011, 04:58:13 PM »
I've updated the above list with a link to the Brisbane OHR, which is this coming weekend. Be sure to get along and try for your OHN9 seeding points!

Meanwhile the OHN9 website it finally coming to completion. ETA is this weekend. I'll let everyone know as soon as it's ready. :)

Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: March 20, 2011, 10:06:33 AM »
Following on from the success of the OH APAC regional tournaments in 2010, OHN is introducing a new series of regional events in the lead-up to OHN9 in May 2011.

The OzHadou Regionals (OHR) is a series of qualifier tournaments for the annual OHN tournament. Players have a chance to secure seeds at OHN in advance by emerging victorious at OHR events. The OHR tournaments will be taking place between now and May 2011 at various locations around the country (see below).

The top 3 players at each OHR tournament will be awarded ranking points which will be used when seeding the brackets at OHN9 for Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs Capcom 3. Only OHR winners will be seeded by rank for these two games! Everyone else will be seeded by region at OHN9. If you want to be ranked going into the nationals, you will need to score points by attending and placing top 3 at one or more OHR events.

OHR Tournaments

Here is the list of official OHR tournaments (and their organisers) for 2011.
Check back here for dates, venues and other details for each OHR event as they become available.

Random Discussion / The Trouble with GGS - an Open Letter
« on: March 19, 2011, 01:40:54 PM »
After reading this GGS tournament thread during the week, and also reading this community building blog entry on SRK, I spent some time thinking about how things at GGS have unfolded over the last few years. Everyone knows I'm an opinionated and long-winded fellow, but I'm hesitant to talk about this topic because I've long since retired from the competitive scene as a player. Then it occurred to me I could just write it off as "my opinion" and leave everybody else to ignore it if they wished. :)

Disclaimer: My thoughts here are my own, based on personal experience, a bit of reading and talking to numerous people. This isn't about asking for change - I won't become a GGS regular regardless of the response to this thread, so it's absurd to think this is about making me happy. I'm just sharing my point of view, and people can dislike it or ignore it at their leisure.

GGS has been a bastion for the Sydney competitive fighting scene since its opening. It provided a home for the 3S community after Playtime closed and has been at the centre of tournaments great and small ever since then, enjoying strong support with new titles such as SF4 and Tekken 6, and even expanding to provide on-site consoles for titles like SSF4 and MvC3. However video games are not the core focus of the GGS business, and their integration has not been executed in the most efficient manner. There are four aspects of the GGS fighting game situation that warrant review: the timing of gatherings, frequency of tournaments, customer service and the long-term view of the business model.

Friday Nights
Everybody that visits this website knows that if you want to play fighting games with top/keen Sydney players, you should visit GGS on just about any Friday night and you'll find a challenger at the least, and often a tournament to join. What they might not know is that they'll be sharing the room with a small army of MTG players, as Friday night is when GGS runs its weekly Friday Night Magic (FNM) fixture - a mainstay of their core business.

A Friday night at GGS makes one thing abundantly clear - GGS is not an arcade or a console lounge. GGS is a gaming store of the card/miniatures/board games/etc variety. The video games are there to use up spare capacity. When you go to GGS to play fighting games, you are not the primary customer for the business.

Friday nights have been favoured because they suit the people running things and/or some of the attendees who are in the city on a Friday night anyway. These numbers are always going to be constrained because of the lack of physical space when running things alongside FNM. This has been the situation for a very long time now.

If people are serious about weekly organised gatherings at GGS, then the Friday night model cannot be sustained. It doesn't offer room for growth, it conflicts with GGS core business, and it doesn't suit the growing number of people who face a long, late night commute to even get to and from GGS on a Friday.

Walk-in casuals on a Friday make perfect sense. You can always do that in any arcade, and the forums allow people to confirm attendance in advance. It's more about convenience in that case anyway so it doesn't matter if you pop in after school/work on a Friday and nobody is there since it wasn't out of your way to begin with. But making the core local tournament/planned casual play scene revolve around a cramped Friday night is never going to work.

If people are keen then weeklies should continue, but they need to run during GGS off-peak times because doing it any other way is only hurting the people you are trying to retain.

Too Many Tournaments
Weekly gatherings are definitely a good idea for a scene that is keen to play, improve and grow. They should be as regular as possible (i.e. same time and day every week) and be no more frequent than weekly to avoid dividing people's time between too many gatherings.

The weekly GGS gatherings have always revolved around tournaments. This was likely inspired by weekly RanBats in Japan and the US, where the major local  scenes are very much larger than the humble, widely spread Sydney scene.

In a smaller scene like Sydney, weekly tournaments are overkill. Many people can only gather to play once a week, and if every time you gather to play it's "tournament time" then when exactly do you get your offline casual training matches? The answer for some is "you don't". That means you fail to help people level up because there's not enough time between brackets for reflection and analysis. People need a chance to just get together and try/share ideas in a relaxed setting. Tournaments are great things for measuring your progress, but they sap the will from those who are struggling to understand the game and derive fun from just sharing with other keen players.

Local tournaments should be monthly in a scene as small as Sydney, meaning the other 3 weekly meets are a chance to train and learn. By making tournaments monthly you provide a regular goal for people to target each month, and those who want to avoid tournaments can still come and play without feeling too much pressure. It also gives the organisers more time to just relax and play games themselves!

Service with a Smile
Sydney has a long history of being unfriendly that has nothing to do with our scene. Playing online is also a minefield of hate messages that can take the shine off what is supposed to be a fun, yet intellectual, pass-time. Not everyone in any scene is going to become best friends with everyone else, and for the most part the Sydney community has a lot of respect for each other. However at GGS the players aren't always put first. Reasonable expectations are not being met and it will continue to turn people away.

We all accept that video games are not part of the GGS core business. I believe everybody is cool with that. What's not acceptable is when our scene tries to work with GGS to minimise our impact on their core business only to be treated like we're not welcome at all.

To give a basic example, events like S3 and Saturday team tournaments were negotiated with GGS management to be held during off-peak periods. OzHadou would pay for floor space that was exclusively for video game activities over a given time frame, with the understanding that space would also be left for GGS core business that might walk in off the street. Time after time GGS has chosen to break terms and favour last-minute core business arriving in off-peak times over OzHadou. This includes Sunday morning CCG tournaments that weren't supposed to happen, and casual CCG/wargaming being run in OzHadou-allocated space when a weekend tournament was supposed to start.

This sort of disrespect for the video game customers is a major source of discontent. People work around it, but the frustration builds over time when organisers give up their personal time and travel 1+ hours just to have their (paid and booked) plans interfered with. GGS management need to realise they are going to lose the video game income (such that it is) if they treat these players like 2nd rate customers (at best). Keep making the fighting game players feel unwanted and sure enough they won't bother coming back. This extends to the GGS staff, some of whom seem to think their job doesn't extend to servicing the video game players at GGS.

In it for the Long Haul
Arcade games are expensive. Consoles are not as expensive, but still cost a fair bit money in large quantities, especially when monitors and sticks are thrown in. Rome wasn't built in a day, and no arcade or console lounge will pay off their investments overnight.

If business is slow, jacking up the prices isn't going to help with the bottom line. GGS' advantage lies in directly servicing the community, not undercutting the competition. People will pay if they are being given the community experience they expect, but poor conditions and/or service at premium prices isn't going to work.

GGS already offers a lot of flexibility and freedom that the city arcades can't/won't offer. But the walk-in traffic of those arcades cannot be rivaled by GGS. What GGS needs to do is leverage community features better to maximise participation during well-timed weekly gatherings. This means things like wall-mounted viewing TVs for spectators, in-house direct feed video capture equipment and live streams for monthly tournaments need to be serious priorities, not much-promised undelivered pipe-dreams. These things cost money too, but investments have already been made in these directions by GGS associates and OzHadou, and the community is able to pitch in too if given evidence that GGS will support and justify their contributions (i.e. through well run tournaments and regular gatherings).

A healthy GGS video game business with a long-term view on customer service and revenue forms the foundations for Sydney major tournaments like OHN, not to mention justifying the very existence of the OzHadou website itself. So long as long-term goals go unrealised at GGS the foundation of OHN will be undermined, and is in danger of being eroded to the point of no return.

Since shortly after the close of Playtime, GGS has been the mecca for the Sydney competitive fighting game scene. Organised casual play and tournaments would never have existed for the current generation of fighting games - SF4, MvC3 and Tekken 6 - if not for the open support GGS has provided for the fighting game community. GGS has faced criticism on numerous occasions over the years. Support waxes and wanes not just because of what games are available or how keen the local players are, but also because of the way GGS and its partners (business and community) handle the video game component of its business.

Weekly gatherings are the best way to go if a scene of keen players exists. Since video games are non-core business for GGS, the weekly gatherings need to tie-in to fixed off-peak periods and leave the players to commit to making themselves available at that time. Without these planned meets, walk-in traffic will be all that remains, and the cabinets and consoles at GGS cannot survive on walk-in traffic. The tournament frequency needs to be scaled back to monthly so that players have more gatherings where they can just focus on education and fun rather than competition in a bracket.

The GGS staff need to show that they welcome the video gamers instead of treating them like second-class customers, with management demonstrating that they value the revenue from these people by holding to their promises on resources reserved for fighting games during off-peak hours. Growth and sustainability of the video games needs to be structured on a long-term business model where updates to new games are a matter-of-course, and upgrading services to the community (e.g. comfort, hardware, maintenance, etc) is consistently delivered over time.

There will always be room for improvement, and everyone understands that improvement takes time and money. It also takes a commitment to change and the will to see it through. Many of the things mentioned here have been static at GGS for a very long time, to the point where many would doubt that they'll ever change, or that there exists players in the wider Sydney area worth changing for. The proof will be in what comes next.

This is simply the opinion of one person who has come and gone. If you chose to read it I hope it inspired rather than offended. Don't get mad - get better. :D

Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: March 19, 2011, 10:09:32 AM »
Anything on DIY's and when the website will be up?

The website is well on the way to completion. We're really keen to get registrations open because it'll greatly help us with the rest of our planning. It shouldn't be too long now...

As always we will have plenty of space at the event for people to BYO gear and run DIY events during the course of the day. One thing I can tell people is we're aiming for a format more like EVO APAC (and EVO itself) where pools for the major games and full brackets for everything else (including DIY) will run on Saturday, while Sunday will be reserved for the finals of SSF4 and MvC3. There will of course be casual play on Sunday too, but it's not going to be like past OHNs where you would have brackets running all weekend long.

The main reason for this is venue expenses. In losing access to great prices at UTS we've been forced to source a new venue, and the best value for money we found is unfortunately very expensive on Sunday. Expect Sunday at OHN9 to be a half-day instead of the usual full-day and plan your DIYs accordingly by aiming to run them on Saturday. Saturday will be the usual full day from morning to late at night. Remember also that GGS is 20+ minute walk from the OHN venue, so once things are done at the venue people can head back over to GGS for continued gaming on Sunday night, where they have arcade AE and consoles available for people to play.

This should make it clearer to people why the line-up is somewhat smaller than past OHNs, but in many ways I think that's a sensible option given people's focus is mostly on the new titles. EVO has moved on and so have we, but like EVO we'll strive to give people a chance to run classics and other popular titles alongside the official OHN events.

Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: March 05, 2011, 08:48:02 AM »

I'm pleased to announce that Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion has been added to the official tournament line-up for OHN9. This tournament will be run using the arcade version at the OHN9 venue, 99 on York, and is being organised by long-time OHN collaborator Liger 7.

The OHN Team is working hard to get the official OHN9 website up so that we can announce even more of what's in store for OHN9. With MvC3 fresh off the presses and kicking into gear it's going to be exciting to see how the various regions stack-up in this latest iteration of the Marvel Vs series. Brisbane has always been strong in Marvel, but Sydney and Melbourne are already showing early commitment to the game. Who will be the first OHN MvC3 champion?

Keep an eye on this thread for more updates very soon!

Tournament Announcements / Re: OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: February 15, 2011, 10:45:28 PM »
What kind of numbers are we looking at to accomplish this task?
Around 100 entries (give or take).

We had over 100 for SSF4 at EVO APAC, so although it's a big number it's certainly not impossible, especially for a national tournament.

Registration will be online only and close a few weeks before the event, so we'll be able to announce a flight to EVO 2011 for the MvC3 winner before OHN9 happens, though perhaps not until registrations have closed. We will adapt to reflect the support that the scene demonstrates for this tournament.

Tournament Announcements / OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:19:39 PM »

It's been a while coming, but OHN9 is on the way!

OHN9 will be held at 99 on York on the weekend of 28th - 29th May, 2011. This new OHN venue is located in the Sydney CBD between Town Hall and Wynyard stations. In the coming weeks we'll be bringing you the OHN9 website, which will contain full details concerning the tournament games, schedule of activities and of course online registration.

The tournament games will be SSF4, MvC3 and T6:BR.

Register online by visiting the OHN9 website:


What about SSF4:AE (and other games)?
OHN9 cannot afford to hire AE cabinets, and since the AE DLC comes out after OHN9 we'll have to go with SSF4.

Tekken 6: BR is part of the official line-up, and some DIY events may also take place.

Will there be regional qualifiers for SSF4 and MvC3 like the OH APAC tournaments last year?
Yes, the OHR series has already started, and is going to run into mid-May. Check Tournament Announcements for details on an OHR in your region (if any).

That's all we have to share right now. I invite people to use this thread to discuss OHN9, and to ask any questions you might have. Please let us know what you'd like to see in terms of official tournaments, prizes, etc.

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