My first time visiting Quakecon was very eventful and busy. I arrived around 3:30 PM on Thursday, August 12th and met face to face with all of the Quake-Live.TV staff for the first time. They were a pretty awesome group of guys and girls that helped me get over my first impression of the event itself as being overwhelmingly busy. After having soon figured out the amount of work the staff had, I knew that it wasn’t time to be hesitant in joining them, so I took a couple of minutes to stroll around and familiarize myself with the area with the help of the one and only, RottenRose. After she gave me the grand tour of the venue, we proceeded to the Quake-Live.tv booth to get straight to work, and work we did for the next few days.
I had pretty much gone unprepared because a couple of days before, I had had to make a pretty big decision on whether or not I wanted to take my PC or a laptop with me to Quakecon. I ultimately decided that I would bring a laptop with me so that I wouldn’t be tempted to play any video games while I was there, that I would strictly work. I am comfortable saying that we all busted our asses to make the falling pieces stay together at Quakecon, and that I, particularly, learned a lot of things that will help me with events in the future. And while my laptop wasn’t as well equipped for working on videos and overlays, it was much easier to have on hand than a wired PC and still functioned well.
Thursday night was probably the most enjoyable night I had with the Quake-Live.tv crew: we were invited to a VIP party which started around 8 PM and ended at 12 AM, although we ended up leaving the event area at about 9:30 PM and catching the last bus ride back to the hotel at 11:45PM. Immediately after we got back from the VIP event, some of the staff went straight to work with others that had not attended the event in order to continue working. As this was only the first night of three, things weren’t quite as hectic as they would become, but we were still busy. I also made so many new friends and developed a better bond with the staff members of Quake-Live.tv that it was hard to tell I was beginning to pull 12 hour workdays.
Now, in response to why Mattcom and I made an “after hours” video around 1 am one late, Friday night (while working), Mattcom and I spent about 6 hours trying to transfer videos off his computer onto my laptop to start rendering them, but unfortunately, his laptop kept memory dumping on us. We eventually gave up and went to help out with other tasks that still needed to be completed, but once we were finally able to transfer the video content on to an FTP server for me to download onto my laptop, I started to work right away on overlays and editing videos. It took about ten minutes to get a video off the FTP onto my laptop, then about another 30 minutes to mess with the audio and cut up the video. (Keep in mind that this was for videos that were anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes long.) After that, I finally got to render the videos, but what was I supposed to do when it rendered a 6 minute video in a whopping 30 minutes? After waking up at 7:30 AM everyday and working untill about 12 AM every morning (with little breaks in-between the work), we decided to just mess around with the BYOC setup we had in our booth. It was a nice setup going nearly to waste and did in fact need experimenting with to ensure solid streams, so we went ahead and multitasked on it while waiting for our videos.
Later in the event, we had four different locations in the Hotel: Grand Ballroom, Mainstage, QL.TV booth, and BYOC. The latter’s setup was moved inside of the BYOC’s NOC from our booth. Some of the staff had to move the BYOC streaming setup we had at our booth (located inside of the vendor area) to the BYOC’s network area. Moving and setting up the equipment required three people to get it done quickly and precisely. Also, at about 2:30 PM on Saturday, they told us we needed to set up three computers for streaming in the Grand Ballroom, which was where the re-stream of the Mainstage would be taking place. Now, if you’ve been to the Hilton Anatole venue before, you know that that’s not the shortest distance between the two, but we got our part done in less than an hour and the rest of the delay was due to not being able to get any internet inside of the Grand Ballroom. With all these setbacks happening in such a short amount of time, we started scrambling to keep shit organized, but the distance between our staff members and the inability to communicate with each other apart from text messaging was tough. Despite all of the shit that went down, we were still all having such an amazing time at the event, and so was everyone else attending the finals – and what an incredible finals those were!
But, after all is said and done, I believe that we’ve all taken away a lot of knowledge and wisdom from this event and that we’ve learned how much effort it takes to keep the event going, even when staring down a one way tunnel and going the wrong way. You’ll only see improvement in the years to come, so be sure to stay tuned and keep supporting Quake-Live.tv’s coverage of other events. We all do this out of the love for the game and the community!
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