As many of you may remember, after i57 we released an opinion piece on what we felt needed to change to improve the overall experience of future iSeries events. The piece was built around my own personal opinions and conversations I had with various players and managers during and after the event. The article made it to Multiplay and they got in contact with an official response to the points raised. It is great to see them release in-depth information about the event and why some things are how they are.
Battlefy & Discord
We’re constantly looking to improve the way we run our tournaments at Insomnia, and we feel that the Battlefy system has the capabilities to help us do that for the future. We think it’s a great system to use and we can pass along your feedback on improvements to the Battlefy team including the inclusion of round scores in match results.
Our intention was that Discord would be the sole communication platform during tournaments. It’s a great platform and we were pleased with how it performed. With that said, it’s hard to change people’s habits in the space of a single event. We will aim to make it clearer to players that Discord is the only official digital method of communication with admins.
We have already had a great deal of feedback regarding this and we will always strive to make the experience cater to as many people as we possibly can. We understand that not every BYOC attendee enjoys having the esports stage in the same hall, but there is a large portion of attendees that do enjoy having the content there and we want to be able to provide a great experience for both. Going forward, we will work to ensure that the audio from the stages is managed to provide a great experience for those enjoying the stage content, and those in the hall itself.
We’ll address the idea of splitting the event further on, but there are a few points in this section we wanted to talk about separately.
The pub quiz tickets were introduced as prior to them being in place this we had several near misses in terms of injury due to the inability to accommodate everyone at the event who wished to attend. We would love to be able to have everyone that wanted to take part be able to but it is unfortunately not possible. The reality is that we have a certain capacity of people able to attend and this means that unfortunately some will be left out. All of the proceeds from the tickets for the Pub Quiz goes to the Special Effect charity. Multiplay makes absolutely no money from it.
The parking charge is an NEC decision. Our team actually negotiated it down from £5 per day to £5 for the whole weekend, but couldn’t remove the charge as a whole.
Within the past five years, we have done everything we can to ensure prices go up as little as possible. From 2011, the price for BYOC itself has risen from £92 to £99, with EAS remaining unchanged. With regards to the price of indoor camping and the increase in expense than the outdoor camping we used to offer, the experience of camping has evolved along with the event as a whole. Originally we provided a plot of grass for people to pitch tents, now we have a fully enclosed area, with security at the doors and shower and toilet facilities available. We have also had to comply with increasing regulation and oversight. These events aren’t underground where we could get away with sleeping under desks anymore! We do appreciate that not all may see these changes as a positive but we feel strongly that those wanting to BYOC and camp should be able to as comfortably as possible throughout the event and feel that the increase in the cost has accurately reflected these changes.
The cost of the weekend is also altered for a great number of people due to the discounts we offer such as our Student Discount or the Early Booking Offer and each event a large chunk of BYOC in particular pay much less than £99, taking advantage of our early bird or loyalty discounts. These offers provide a way for a wide range of people to save money on the event as a whole, not just those who BYOC or camp or simply wish to attend the expo.
Prize pools for BYOC tournaments were once determined via a ‘prize fund contribution’ from the BYOC ticket price for each player who participates. To improve the player experience we now set higher baseline prize pool before the event. Five-player team games generally set as a base £5k and when a sponsor comes on board, they are given the option of upgrading this with a prize fund contribution.
The Insomnia Truesilver Championship is our move into higher prize money esports tournaments and reflects a how serious we are in our commitment to to providing high quality esports events. We are always looking to what we can do next with every game and we’re sure you’ll really enjoy the kinds of things we have planned!
The Insomnia Gaming Festival is a unique event in the UK, with many facets coming together to create a celebration of all things games, where people come together to share their passion. All sides of the event exist to support each other, with no one being the sole focus. Over the past two years, our esports team has tripled in size and we’ve made improvements to the esports experience at the event, including increasing our financial investment in prize pools (you may have noticed base prize pools actually starting at £5k, where as before we used to start all tournament around £2,500 with scaling) with the option of sponsors increasing the figure (which is where some of the prize pools previously referenced come from).
Exhibition has been part of Insomnia for many years now. Recent years have seen it grow in size and scope significantly but we believe it is bringing a whole new audience to the show; the gamers of tomorrow. We are already seeing new people coming into the BYOC, having had their eyes opened in the exhibition. We believe they should be welcomed as part of a true festival of gaming. BYOC will always be the heart of the event and we will strive to allow the attendees to have the best of both worlds; a great BYOC experience, but lots more to experience should they wish to have it.
We feel that we have one of the best BYOC experiences currently available and we care a great deal about it. Our move to the NEC was not simply motivated by one aspect of the event, but every aspect. We strive to provide a great experience for all wanting to attend our event in any capacity and work tirelessly to improve every facet of the experience. We want BYOC to grow significantly and we have a venue that could finally see us hit the sort of numbers other huge BYOC events achieve.
We continue to work with attendees and organisers alike to improve the experience, with a focus group held at the previous event to source community feedback, as well as taking in feedback online post-event (from posts like this and various Facebook threads and emails) being only a few of the many ways we aim to improve. We don’t take feedback at face value and all the feedback we do receive, whether good or bad has an effect on the way we plan for future events and we hope that we can continue to provide and improve the experience for those wanting to attend.
We hope this goes a way towards explaining things, and while some of you may not agree with the decisions we make, we hope this shows just how committed we are to the BYOC, especially the competitive experience. As a team we care deeply about esports and the BYOC at the event, and will continue to work towards making the experience as good as it can possibly be.
Thank you for taking the time to collate and give us your feedback.