PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manchester

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markopoloman
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by markopoloman » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:09 pm

Not really had much time due to one thing or another. So here is a quick write-up from my weekend.............

The weekend started with the usual long drive from Poole, picking up Milton in Bournemouth and our new attendee Roy from Salisbury on the Friday afternoon..... 8 hours later we arrived in Manchester! It was at that point I realised my error in judging the distance from the hotel to EventCity :roll: Doh! Looked closer on the bloody map :lol:
The plan was to get in as early as poss to help with final setup - but we needed a pint! Just as my arse hit the seat in the pub my phone rang.... it was Chinnico saying he was in a taxi coming to meet us at the hotel! (He got from Italy to Manchester faster than I did from Poole!).
We turned up at the EventCity at around 11pm - first impressions were WOW! :shock: It's fecking HUGE!

Saturday morning was a bit manic - there were pallets and boxes everywhere! Mohikankid was playing dodgems in a forklift truck and the power tripped out on a whole bloody section :lol: And reports were coming back that the queue was getting REALLY long.....
I stood waiting - with the lads, for the mass rush through the doors. Moments later I was enlisted to help get thousands of cold gamers through the doors :o (and my God, there were bloody loads of em! I don't think I've ever seen that many people waiting in a queue before (and they were amazingy well behaved). A lesson to be learned for next time there - although I think I got one sarcastic comment from the thousand or so wrist bands I handed out :D

My little gang were due to work 11-3 on the Re-Play zone, but due to the late opening and masses of punters we ended up working right through till gone 9 and really enjoyed the whole thing. (and I actually played on one game!) We were then asked politely (well, mohicankid tried to persuade us........ but failed)to go on the pish... but we are not as hard core as them so went for a Chinese in the Trafford center...
It was an awesome day though - bumped into loads of forum members, had a good chat with Darran, Martyn Carrol, Boyo, Antiriad, dste (who shared our spacious room :lol: ), r0jaws (who shared our spacious room :lol: :lol: ), woodycool, resident Paul, mainvein, JSW, TwoHeadedBoy (who I really can't understand :oops: , Sscott, Sirclive, withcfinder, Dprinny etc etc (sorry if I missed anyone)...

Sunday was far better at the start. We overslept :lol: But arrived just in time for the doors to open (and it was much calmer and more organised.
Again, we worked all the way through on Sunday - and again had a great time. Highlight of the day was coming 2nd in the staff competition of Chompy Chomp Chomp! What a great game and got a great t-shirt too :mrgreen:

Anyway, on with the pro's and con's (as seems to be the thing to do)...

Pro's:
Loved the fact that the Retro section was the 1st thing people saw as they came in. It was a massive area and was really well set out - and put moaning minds at rest (for those worried Retro would take a back seat).
The Play Now area was good too - didn't see too much of it tbh though (snuck in a go on the Wii-U though and am really happy I pre-ordered it now).
The Pro-play area was ummm interesting! I think they need to be shoved into a separate area (at the end of the venue behind the curtains would have been nice!) Not a prude here - but the use of the F and the C word were excessively overused :roll: and the attitude of the 'organizers' was just as bad as the people playing the games. I got the impression that they considered themselves above the rest. I do understand why they were there though. Maybe next year the food and bar could be placed between them and the rest of the event?

Oh, the food and drink.....

PANTS. Yes, the Con's:

I walked down to grab a beer on the Saturday and joined the queue...... and waited. Then noticed that the ONE girl serving had a queue the other side too. 15 mins later I gave up and bought a coffee.... for £2.50 :? Looked at the prices for the food and decided that McDonalds in the Trafford Center (or Asda) was the best option. Who decides on what companies provide food & drink on the premises ? there MUST be better people than those! They could have made a shed load more money had they sorted the pricing out and had more staff...........

Overall I absolutely loved the weekend and really am looking forward to the next one. :D :D :D

(I am also looking forward to Boyo setting up something more 'oldschool' for the personal touch...... AND I'm sure Sscott whispered something in my ear about him doing something - and mentioning the Cheshire Cat Pub too...................................... :?: :?: :?: :? :shock: :wink: :mrgreen: )
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by jdanddiet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:17 am

Well...

You will drink that fancy coffee... :wink:
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ReplayRetro
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by ReplayRetro » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:51 am

[quote="sscott" I'm sure a few people didn't make the call (felgekarp for one) but I do hope in future more of our 'community' will be able to make it.[/quote]

I missed the sunday photo too, didn't hear the tannoy, pitty as it looks much better than the saturday shots lol,

I guess i'll throw in my 2p about the expo here then;

Pros;
+Great to see retro wasn't an afterthought and held up well against the now play event, like the way people had to walk through it to get to everything, was great to see so many people who were probably only really there for the new stuff giving the old a go in a kind of "while its there" way
+Pinball area was much better spaced this year, far less cramped despite there being what felt like at least double the tables! absolutely loved that i got to play several tables this year
+Same with the arcade area, vastly improved on previous years
+Food quality, considering last year the food smelt awful and we had to walk passed the stench of it all the time, this years food was of a vastly higher standard
+Venue, the size of event city really helped this event blossom, personally i think manchester is a bit of a hell hole but at least Event city is in the worthwhile part
+The newspaper thing, what a fantastic little idea to promote the event and replace the magazine, you did a great job here! was it distributed in manchester before the event? if not then that would be a great advertising tool to consider for next time? good work whoever thought of this idea
+Cosplay, i wasn't sure i'd be interested but it added loads to the event! seeing so many costumes here and there made the event feel a bit more special and the effort some of these people make is astounding! i'll be joining in next year but will be nowhere near as good as them
+Nowplay, again this was a great addition for so many reasons, was great to get hands on with the Wii U and other new releases and this will only get bigger in future years as no doubt it was a success for those involved
+Far more shops to browse and buy from, there were some great bits and pieces this year, really wanted a set of those mario and luigi winter hats but they'd sold out (should of bought them straight away i know, i know
+Was glad to see there was no crappy after event being pushed this year, the last 2 didn't really work for various reasons (although the pub quiz in the first year was better than the whatever it was meant to be in year 2) and the extended main event opening time was a much better idea giving people a chance to play on things they hadn't been able to earlier on, perhaps next year something akin to the quiz could return in a casual sense for those that hang around till late but its not essential at all.

Cons;
-Ok everyones said it but it's the queue, and not just the act of queueing, i really don't have a problem with that (i'm english after all, its what we do best!) my issue is more with the crowd control aspect. It was great that we were informed why we were going to be late in and the fact is it was beyond your control so people just have to accept that, but the queue snaked around without any attempt at control, leading to people jumping in everywhere in groups of friends which wasn't fair to those of us who arrived early, then when the doors did open people at the back of the queue were getting in first because the back was where the front was so they just forced across! as a result it felt like for arriving early we were punished with having to wait untill the people who strolled up at the last minute had gone in. So crowd management is definitely something to look at and i'd be shocked if event city couldn't advise you on that for next time
-Food, while it was much better this year it was badly staffed, the poor girl working the bar told me they hadn't expected it to be busy so put minimum staff on,(had they not seen the ticket sales information? or the size of the venue?) i queued longer for food than i did for the Wii U and that really is stupid, next year if that company want your business again perhaps they should promise improved staffing? if they can't do that then there are many catering firms out there who'd bite your hand off and i'm happy to recommend. Yes the food was expensive but its a captive audience so it was always gonna be, and at the end of the day it was quicker to go to the cheaper trafford centre food court anyway.
-Pro gamers- or "swearing olympians" this is a family event appealing to people of all ages, personally i don't mind a bit of banter and swearing but when c*nt, f*ck and many others are literally every other word int he sentence then it's unnecessary and unacceptable, some of these people should have been ejected from their tournaments and the event in general. A real shame as i'm sure many of them were as unhappy with others as i was
-While the increased number of vendors was brilliant am i right in thinking console passion still has the majority of the rights to sell games & consoles? if so i totally understand that they sponsor the event but surely there is room for others with more varied stock?? i spent hundreds of pounds in previous years and this time found their stock to be dull spending about £20 on a few bits, i had been really looking forward to picking up some gems and left their stall disappointed, and besides competition is healthy in business, maybe another key seller should be able to step in?
-The projector games guys have been a favourite part of the event for me in previous years, but this year i felt they'd been shoved in a corner, it was hard to play as the screen was so low down. This is a really cool little stand and should be taking pride of place in the retro area like it did at the norbreck
-Signs around the venue with an event timetable as was around in previous years would have been nice, these could have easily been altered when the timetable fell behind on the first day


All in all another fantastic event! you should be proud of yourselves for what you've achieved and i'm sure if you take guidance from what people are saying in this thread then next year will be truly epic
thank you for your efforts guys, another great year for gaming, here's to the next one
Visit www.youtube.com/replayretro . why? well erm, cos it would be awfully friendly of you to take a look i guess, you don't have to though, nobody will make you *sob sob*

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by mohicankid » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:20 am

un-sticky'd
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

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Scapegoat
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by Scapegoat » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:32 am

sscott wrote: I'm sure a few people didn't make the call (felgekarp for one) but I do hope in future more of our 'community' will be able to make it.
I was another one who missed the call, damn that rubbish PA.

Having worked at large non gaming events in the past and seen how nasty Joe Public can be I was amazed by good nature of the people who came to the event, the exceptions being the people hogging the pinball (a single person starting a four player game for themselves just so that they can stay on for longer? Selfish Billy-no-mates swines) and the EGL lot, just a bunch of rude and arrogant kids (organisers included) whose attitude was totally out of step with the rest of the event.

I had a great time volunteering, and the Replay guys should be proud of themselves, things have really moved on since Huddersfield 3 years ago.
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by MikeFishcake » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:47 am

It will be interesting to see what the EGL guys have to say about the negative opinions people have about the parts of the event they were overseeing. I had quite a lot of criticism for them last year, which they seemed to take on board, although that was mainly about the organisation of the competitions.

Maybe we need a 5th area next year - "Swear.Play" for people who are unable to speak for longer than five seconds without a swear word falling out of their gobs.

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by psj3809 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:49 am

MikeFishcake wrote:It will be interesting to see what the EGL guys have to say about the negative opinions people have about the parts of the event they were overseeing. I had quite a lot of criticism for them last year, which they seemed to take on board, although that was mainly about the organisation of the competitions.

Maybe we need a 5th area next year - "Swear.Play" for people who are unable to speak for longer than five seconds without a swear word falling out of their gobs.
I'm no prude, but swearing non stop like that while you're playing games at a public venue is embarassing. Plus there were a fair few kids around with their parents. The ones i saw swearing like idiots are one of the main reasons i never bother with current gen online gaming as its full of these idiots with tourettes.

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by SirClive » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am

Any future EGL/Pro.Play area will have that taken into account so that you don't have to walk through there to get to other things such as food and talks.
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Scapegoat
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by Scapegoat » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:53 am

SirClive wrote:Any future EGL/Pro.Play area will have that taken into account so that you don't have to walk through there to get to other things such as food and talks.

So you're sticking them in the car park? Groovy! :D :twisted:
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by r0jaws » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:56 am

Only if it's raining.

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by jdanddiet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:35 pm

If it snows they can have snowball fights and use all those naughty words up.
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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by markopoloman » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:13 pm

Hmmmmmmmmmm Caption competition with no prize!

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by DPrinny » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:09 am

ReplayRetro wrote: -Pro gamers- or "swearing olympians" this is a family event appealing to people of all ages, personally i don't mind a bit of banter and swearing but when c*nt, f*ck and many others are literally every other word int he sentence then it's unnecessary and unacceptable, some of these people should have been ejected from their tournaments and the event in general. A real shame as i'm sure many of them were as unhappy with others as i was
Give them a break, its the only words they know

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Re: PLAY EXPO (formerly Replay), 13-14 October 2012, Manches

Post by woody.cool » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:30 pm

felicemaggie wrote:Amstrad CPC6128 (thanks to Duncan Woodward / Amibay for bringing that)
Damn! Now people know my real name ..... I'm gonna have to go underground now!

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