Monday, January 26, 2015

MAGFest 13

This one will be a bit shorter than the past several, the reasons for this should be made abundantly clear to you if you keep reading.

So, a few months before MAGFest was even scheduled to happen, I went to go sign up for shifts only to discover that yet again, whoever it was that had promised to mark my shifts as "worked" in the staffing system had failed to do so, and I had to annoy some people to get into the database.  Chalking this up to the fact that I usually staff Teardown, which ends after the staffing system is taken offline, I decided to go for Setup this year.  My shifts got entered, but it was due to some organizational changes involving individual departments actually having access to the staffing system so department heads could actually mark shifts as "worked", get this, DURING THE EVENT.  Anyway.

Daily summaries and all that after the break.


Not much to say here, I got up at 7 PM, printed off a copy of my shift sheet, packed my shit, and left.  Because I left late in the evening, I didn't actually get to the Gaylord until half past midnight on Friday.  So...


Picked up my badge and proceeded to hang out.  My first staff shift was at 8 AM, which was what led to my strange departure time.  Anyway, I flipped my 3DS' wireless switch to the "on" position, where it would stay for the rest of the event.  Even before things really got started, there were tons of StreetPasses to be had, and the number only rose as MAGFest officially began.

On a number of occasions throughout the event, I would get stuck in a loop of processing StreetPasses.  Mostly for Smash Bros, which seemed to pull StreetPasses out of its ass.  I was getting StreetPasses that registered for Smash Bros, but not StreetPass Mii Plaza, essentially.  Also, my 3DS started acting up every time I swapped a cartridge out, taking a random amount of "way too long" to recognize that the cartridge had been ejected and another had been inserted.  Trying to launch the "ghost" cartridge would make it wake up, but if I waited long enough it would figure it out on its own.

After my staff shift and grabbing some breakfast from the staff suite, I checked into the hotel and dumped all my stuff in the room.  Roommates were pretty cool.  As it turned out, two of us had the same idea, to bring a power strip so we could have extra outlets.  Hotels often lack free outlets in the places where people actually want them to be, and surprisingly, given the sheer amount of money that the Gaylord has, they're no exception.  You'd think they could afford to put extra outlets in the rooms...

Also, parking this year was unreal.  I think the Gaylord basically made MAGFest staff pay the same rate as anyone else who parked in the garage.  My budget for the entire event was $140, and parking took $72 of that.  So basically, I didn't buy anything for the entire event.


As per usual, I take the early morning console room shifts to get some easy, stress-free hours that get weighted so I can more easily get to the amount required to get a comped hotel room.  I basically had two three hour shifts back to back every morning starting on Saturday at 2AM.  Once I got off at 8 AM, I would go up to the staff suite, grab some breakfast, and then head to my room and get some sleep.  As it turned out, one of my roommates had shift hours staggered just right with mine such that he was getting up to go to his shift as I was coming back from mine, so I always had a bed available.  I went to bed at 9 AM.  If you're counting, that means I was awake for around 38 hours.

Waking up just before my alarm, which I'd set for 7 PM, would also be a theme of this year's MAGFest.  Because I'm not a moron, I would of course take a shower and apply deodorant.  Anyway.  Once I was presentable, a short trek to the staff suite for dinner was in order, followed by going to the arcade and/or game room and playing games.


Staff shift at 2AM, ended at 8 AM, got breakfast, went to sleep.  You know the drill by know.  Sunday's description, if I actually typed it out, would look a lot like Saturday's.

At some point during this evening, while I was hanging around the Rock Band 3 setup, someone noticed my shirt (this shirt) and asked me where I got it.  I told him, and in doing so, I have now passed this shirt on.  I saw someone wearing it at MAGFest 12, went home, and bought myself one.  I wore it at MAGFest 13, and told someone else where they could buy it.  Anyway.


Fun was had when I walked by the 8 TV LAN mode Mario Kart Double Dash setup and decided to hop in when a controller became available.  It all came back pretty quickly, despite not having played the game for at least a decade.  This is how I filled time until my shift began.  After that, same old, same old.  For the most part.

In consoles, the last day of the event always has a bit of a staff party, and this year was no exception.  As one of the maybe three or four sober staffers there, I got to do most of what the others would normally do.

When the shift ended, I went into action.  Since I didn't have a teardown shift, I had in fact staffed my last shift of the event.  Also, since I didn't have a teardown shift, I didn't have a room for Monday night, so I needed to check out of the hotel by noon or so.  I got my shit together, put it in the car, and talked to the guy at the check-in desk.  As it turned out, since I was the first one leaving from the room, it would've caused issues for the others who were still using the room if I actually checked the room out at that point, so I just left.

The weather threatened to snow as I drove back home, but fortunately it stayed as rain and the drive was thankfully uneventful.

Other Stuff

Since I had my 3DS on me the entire weekend, and it has an Activity Log, let's take a look at that, shall we?

On Thursday, things were mostly uneventful, carrying my usual pattern of a bit of activity in the morning and a bit of activity in the evening, with none in the middle of the day since I was asleep.  It registered 2161 steps, and barely any activity in any actual software title.

Friday, however.  I was awake for all 24 hours of Friday.  Therefore, I have activity for all 24 hours of Friday.  It dips off in spots, where I was likely sitting down taking care of StreetPasses or talking to people or whatever.  It registered a grand total of 19085 steps.  That's right, 19 thousand.  Also, I pretty quickly switched over to leaving Smash Bros in my 3DS, so I've got a lot of play time in that, just from StreetSmash and periodically going to the trophy store to buy trophies.  I spent just over 3 hours in Smash Bros, around an hour and a half in StreetPass Mii Plaza, just under an hour in Bravely Default (part of this was me randomly deciding to fight the Adventurer boss a couple of times for shits and giggles), and then miscellaneous amounts of time in Notifications, System Settings, and other things (that so happened to include Ridge Racer 3D).

Saturday wouldn't get anywhere near the activity I had on Friday.  There's a big 9+ hour gap in activity where I was sleeping.  It registered 5870 steps.  Just under an hour was spent in Smash Bros, a mere 18 minutes in StreetPass Mii Plaza, and a curious 12 minutes in Nintendo 3DS Camera...  perhaps you'll see the reason why that's the case, eventually.  Other minor amounts of activity in Notifications, Ridge Racer 3D, etc.

Sunday's activity graph looks a lot like Saturday's.  The number of steps registered is also very close, being 5196 steps.  An hour and 13 minutes were logged in Smash Bros, with StreetPass Mii Plaza clocking in at 26 minutes.  Notifications took 15 minutes for some reason, and then there's others that include Ridge Racer 3D.

Monday's stats go right up until the point where I sat down at my computer to type this post.  They therefore include miscellaneous walking around while refilling the car's gas tank, and a trip to Cook-Out.  4262 steps have been registered thus far.  Smash Bros clocks in at 25 minutes, StreetPass Mii Plaza at 16 minutes, and then 5 minutes of looking at Notifications.

Stuff I ended up with

Like I said before anything even began: I didn't actually buy anything.  ScrewAttack's merch table was depressingly not actually a merch table, but just a demo station for a game.  So, no AVGN DVD or physical copy of the movie for me.  However, I did end up with things.
  • Part of staffing so many hours gets me a MAGFest t-shirt, so I have that.
  • The console department head brought in these things which are basically sticks with a propeller on one end, and you can spin them with your hands and launch them into the air.  They got a surprising amount of use during the console room's downtime (5-8 AM) when there were probably more staffers in the room than attendees.  I grabbed one, since we were encouraged to do so.
  • I got 5 M-Points.  The reason why I have them will forever be shrouded in mystery, but I did legitimately obtain them.  They're kept under lock and key anyway, since they function as money in the merch area.  I didn't actually have the time to spend them, but whatever.
A rant

So, you may notice that aside from sleeping, staffing, eating, and playing games, I didn't really do anything at MAGFest.  There's a reason for this.  Ever since adopting the digital guidebook thing for people with smartphones, they've been gradually trying to do away with paper schedules.  I did manage to find a paper schedule.  On Monday morning.  I took a look through it, and I could tell there was no effort put into it whatsoever.  It was just a jumbled mess of "lol this happens in this room at this time".  Not even the vastly superior table with shading for every other half hour and columns by event room and rows by time of day.  So basically, I didn't go to any panels or anything because I HAD NO FUCKING IDEA WHEN ANYTHING WAS HAPPENING.  Not everyone has a fucking smartphone, assholes.  Also, a map?  lol.  No, no map.  You could use the Gaylord's touchscreen info thingies if you were in that one area of the hotel, and elsewhere there were boards up on easels with the room layout, but I never found anything I could carry with me.  Please, PLEASE bring back proper paper schedules and maps.  Paper is recyclable, the environment isn't going to die if you print off a few thousand copies of a schedule and the room layout.

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