Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quakecon 2005


August 9th, 2005


We decided to leave from Kent, Ohio on August 9th to allow plenty of time in case we needed to stop for sleep or anything. Alkali, Archangel, and Archangel's roommate showed up at our house around 8:45am. I was like "Okay fuck that" and promptly sent them away. Actually, they woke us up and we needed time to do some last things before leaving. We finally got going around 11:30am. The length of the trip was about 20.5 hours, and was completed at 8:00am on the 10th. We didn't stop for anything other than short stops for gas and food. The trip went from Kent to Columbus, to Cinci, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and finally Dallas. That was a hell of a lot of driving. Rick and I drove in his parents' Jeep Liberty, and the others were in Schultze's Mazda 6. We got bored after a while (like 30 minutes) and started watching movies in the Liberty. We watched like 4 episodes of Family Guy 4th season, the Family Guy movie, part of CKY1, Pirates of Silicon Valley, and Freedom Downtime. We also shot like 60 minutes of video just of driving. It will be a few weeks before we get video up on this site, but expect that to be good.

August 10th, 2005

Right now we are wasting time in the hotel on the free wifi. I am creating this website and Rick and the others are watching some WOW video about a tralala. We should be sleeping from the trip, but that's too boring. Around noon, we packed up and headed off the Fry's Electronics. We had heard of this famous place in such webcomics as Real Life Comics. It was really cool. It was like a best buy and a phillcaps(sp?) put together. And it was huge! I bought Quake II since I'm supposed to be in the tournament on Thursday, Rick bought an LED light and Adam bought a power inverter for his car. Later we went to the Gaylord Texan to check it out. There was already quite a line there, so we brought out all of our stuff and joined it. This was at about 2:00pm local and we didn't know when the line would ever move. Well, as it turns out....The line got about 50 million times longer! I can't explain how big the line was with just words. We're at one of the largest resort/hotels in Dallas and the line was all the way from middle of the hall all the way to the edge, and then turning around and going all the way to the other side of the hotel, and then going outside for quite a distance. We spent 7 hours in the same spot, getting to know the people around us and watching movies. There were electrical outlets along the edge, and about 1000 computer geeks, you can imagine what came next. After about 2 hours, the circuit breaker was out and we were bored of our asses. We found Nebbish and talked to him. He lives in Dallas now. He told us that the line should get going around 9:45pm.

August 11th, 2005

At 4:00am we started moving! At this time we had been in line for 14 hours and it showed. It was hot. It was loud. There were a bunch of drunk idiots being loud and shouting "Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh" like it was two years ago. The computers were heavy and awkward to move around all the registration desks. We finally got into the BYOC and just left afterwards to get some sleep. Waking up around 11:30 again we were excited to get to the BYOC and LAN it up. That is what we have gone through all the pain for. Parking at the hotel is expensive so we wanted to eat before we got there so we wouldn't have to leave for lunch. We went to a fast food place named "Whataburger" and it was a lot like Wendys except weird. Rick and I both got triples, since we knew we weren't going to eat for a while. Well, we can both eat triples at Wendy's, but this thing kicked our asses! It was the biggest damn burger I have ever seen from fast food. Not so cheap either, but it's really good. We went to the Gaylord after. We had been in the BYOC early in the morning, but with everything turned on and people active, it's like a whole 'nother world. I really lack the words to describe how big this LAN Party is. I am really dissatisfied with the way the tournaments are being held. They tell everyone to meet at the tournament area at 3:00pm and so everyone is standing around not knowing what to do. A lot of people leave. Finally, around 4 the qualifing rounds are posted with the times of the matches. I have a Doom3 match at 4 and Rick has a Quake2 match at 4. We both wait around for people to show up, but so few actually do. I got "by"s for both my D3 and Q2 matches. Rick actually had to play in his match and qualified. LAN Parties are strange in that if they are really small, you have to work very hard to get everyone to play a game. If too few people play, the game is not fun and everyone quits. Once the LAN party hits a certain number, it begins to shape itself. Here at Quakecon, the largest LAN Party in the world, you can play any game you want whenever you want. I'm not even exaggerating. There is always some other server playing what you want, and if there isn't; make one and people will soon join. Wow has been disabled because the shear amount of web traffic it would create. Plus, if Wow were left uncheck, the fragile balance of games that is the life of the party would dissolve and that would be disappointing for us who travel 1,190 miles to get here. It's so nice to be able to jump in and out of games with a ping of 8 at any time you want. Very different than normal LANs. I love it. Tim and Schultze have been playing C&C Generals or something by themselves the whole time. They could have done that at home. I may have missed the Doom3 second round in the tournaments. No big loss if so. Quake2 begins at 9am.

August 12, 2005

We woke up around the same time this morning, but it took forever for us to get to the convention. Admitantly, it was mostly my fault because I wanted to get some headphones at Fry's. We got to the Gaylord at 1:10 after Fry's and Whataburger. Both Rick and I had Quake 2 matches at 1:00pm in the loser's bracket of the double elimination tourney. We didn't really care about our places in the tourney, because it's Quake 2 after all. If it were Quake 3, I'd probably be trying a whole lot more. This disqualified me from the tournament, although we learned later on in the day that no one showed up to Rick's matches either and he actually advanced two more rounds beyond that without even playing. Today was a lot like yesterday without the intial overwhelming sensation of "OMG! It's the largest LAN Party in the world!". It's still the largest LAN Party in the world, but it's not overwelming anymore :D There is hardly any Call of Duty here. CoD is a huge hit at the DGS LANs and stuff, but not so much here. I don't know if it's really easy to hack, but there are some people here who are so good at the game, or just plain cheating. I've been playing a lot of q3 instagib to come to the conclusion "wow! I'm really good at instagib". Today I was on my own a lot more. For some reason I didn't want to play on my own computer so I hung out at the Razer display. Razer is a mouse company that was extremely popular when I started gaming with the AGL, around 11th grade or so. They make super precise and sensitive mice for gaming. I was playing q3 on their computers with the Razer Copperhead mouse, which uses a "laser". It was pretty cool, and since my dual optical mouse is wearing itself out, I think I'll probably pick one up in September. The Razer computers were pretty crappy for a technology demo, I thought. I was getting 30-40 fps on 800x600, with low detail in q3. That's the kind of performance I got when q3 was new, in 1997. When you are showcasing technology, ESPECIALLY in a place like Quakecon, you don't want anything to hinder the performance. Obviously the video card was lacking, but people may attribute the lag and slowness to the mouse and that's not what you want. One of the funniest things about Quakecon is how crazy people go over free stuff. You'll see people walking around with 4 or 5 T-Shirts and if another one is thrown out to the audience, they go crazy, pushing each other and stealing from children. At midnight they announced in all their intelligent glory, that Newegg.com was sponsoring breakfast for free near the sponsor booths. At that moment, about 2500 people got up all at once and ran to the newegg display. Yelling "Free food" seems to be worse than yelling "Fire!". Rick was playing a lot of Battlefield 2. They got 64 player games in all day. I tried to play, but it kicks me to the desktop every time, just like the demo. Adam, Tim, and I played Doom3 in coop mode in the single player. It was fun but got old kind of quickly. Rick was also playing Flatout near the end of the night, which is a game that has you do a lot of little games all featuring driving around, smashing your car and getting projected hundreds of feet out of the said car. All of these cool computers here make me want to upgrade mine again. I haven't bought anything for it in forever. I want to get a new processor and case at least. What will tomorrow bring? Let us see...

August 13th, 2005

Today's schedule seemed comprised of only one thing: The HardOCP Workshop. Rick wanted to go to this a lot, and of course that was fine so we all decided to actually get to the hotel a little earlier than before. I had almost forgotten how much fun waiting in line again is. We were in the front of the line to get into Quakecon, and in the front of the line to get in this workshop, but the only thing that mattered is that we wait a freakin' long time without doing anything. I actually left the line to go play some games in the BYOC, but was brought back by Schultze saying that I needed to be there to get a ticket. I wasn't all into this workshop, but I figured what the hell. I'm at Quakecon and I don't know when I am coming back. So I went to stand in line with them and there were no tickets just yet, just a lot of boring. Nebbish started throwing Do-rags into the crowd, which of course went ape-shit trying to get them, later realizing what they had just won. Generally speaking, this isn't the type of crowd that normally wears them. So I was thrilled when he handed me one of my own. The perks of knowing the people high up... Finally the line started moving and we were handed tickets as we entered the door. Some corporate people talked about their "awesome" new products. Only logitech and the physics card people were interesting. The AMD presentation was appauling. Then they finally started giving away free stuff. I badly wanted some form of payment for the four hours that were just stolen from my Quakecon expirience. My brother won an AMD SLI motherboard, so that would have to do. Three days of gaming really does eventually start to get old. There is only so much Q3 instagib you can play. Looking back, I should have played some more UT2004. Much of the day was spent figuring out how to get home. Around 2am, all of us checked out of the BYOC, looking back one more time at the biggest LAN party in the land and went back to the hotel.

August 14th and 15th, 2005

Around noon began the giant hike back to Ohio. Schultze made it his job to piss everyone off, especially Rick and me. I guess I can attribute it to less sleep in the last few days, but I wasn't seeing major changes in the rest of us. After one last Whataburger expirience, we hit the road. Schultze was driving really fast and all that like normal. At this point I was tired of his driving style, and we gave him directions home without us. This ended the large group to Quakecon, and Rick and I drove home together. This time the trip worked out more like we imagined. One of us slept while the other drove. It was fairly uneventful, but there was a huge storm around 10pm. It was really cool with lots of lightning and several near-death expiriences. (jk) Around 8am we got home and slept for the rest of the day! All in all, Quakecon is amazing and we all want to go next year! You should come!
Posted by eclipse on 08/16 at 01:35 PM
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