Thanks guys. I didn't realize how chaotic it felt to be in the audience. From up on stage, having such a packed crowd just looked great!
Lots of interesting ideas for how to alleviate it: limit on avatar size, more audience space, a seating area (not sure I fully understand this suggestion), some easier way to track yourself...
I worry that some of these suggestions would be quite a lot of work for only marginal improvement (like, if we get 40 people online instead of 30-some, that will consume any benefit), but since it seems to be a widespread concern I will definitely give it some thought. I did think about adding a second room, probably a balcony area, but I think the disadvantages of splitting people up into separate groups outweighs the advantages. And I do have to mention that there is already a feature to track yourself, or any other particular avatar: click on a name in the participant list (top-left drop-down), and they'll be marked with an arrow.
Also, for some reason I couldn't get it running in a window above 640 x 480. In order to make it bigger, I had to go to full-screen mode.
Not sure why that might be. I'm not doing anything unusual with the graphics, so it should be just like any other AGS game where you set 2x, 3x, etc. filters to make the window bigger (I assume your screen resolution is bigger than 1280x960). Someone else mentioned having this problem before or during the ceremony, so I tested it and it certainly worked on my machine. Could it simply be that the AGS 3.3 winsetup is a bit unfamiliar? (I think the other person eventually figured out he wasn't using winsetup correctly, but I can't imagine you'd have that problem.)
@Snarky, check out your PMs for my logs.
Just a quick idea I had... I thought it was quite fun to use the client when beta testing, sorry I didn't make it to the awards, but I thought it would be fun to use it for normal irc chat, just with a new BG, of course... maybe a lounge with some sofas and a bar... on a sunny beach... or something.
Sure. I'll open-source it when I have time to take out the not-for-release assets and clean up the documentation a bit (of course, Dualnames's code from last year is already available), and anyone is free to adapt it for everyday use. Though I personally suspect that without the novelty and custom content from the ceremony, it might get old relatively quickly, and people would find it easier to just use text chat.
On the subject of avatars, I'd also like to see the MC and award presenters represented by unique avatars. Multiple Indy sprites is very confusing!
Yes, I totally agree, and this was something I had hoped to address. But it's a tricky problem, because of the way the program works under the hood. The Indy's (Indies?) are people who are just on IRC text chat, not using the game client. So of course they haven't chosen an avatar, aren't clicking to walk around, or anything like that. The AGS client is creating a virtual character for them whenever they're on stage (whenever they've been granted special IRC channel privileges), and tells them to move to certain positions when particular events happen. Since it's all done without any user input, and because none of the logic is synched but is all done locally on each client, I don't want to introduce too much randomness (like picking a random avatar), which might easily have unpredictable effects or cause confusion (if some people are seeing bicilotti as Nelly and some as Oceanspirit Dennis, for example).
I had thought one solution might be for me (or whoever hosts the AGS side of the ceremony) to set the avatar for them, but first of all it's difficult to implement given the architecture of the system, and secondly, having experienced what it's like to actually run the multimedia in real-time, I think it would be too stressful.
A better solution (that occurs to me just now) might be to simply predefine unique avatars for certain screen names (bicilotti and other likely suspects), which should at least cut down on the confusion somewhat. You could also split it by IRC mode (so that hosts/+m(oderators) get a different default avatar than presenters/+v(oiced) participants, and so on). Or you could hash the nick into an avatar ID (though probably only from a subselection of the avatars). And IRC people could get a special command to override their avatar if they wanted to (something like "/me becomes benjordan"), though of course they wouldn't see it themselves... Hmm. Yes, it's possible.
I also want to improve their automated positioning so they're not all standing on top of each other, and so that they make better use of the podium. I did make a start towards this (basically refactoring the existing code into one self-contained module and adding a little bit to it), and would want to flesh it out and tune it more in future years.
So, yes, this is absolutely high on the todo list.
Perhaps implement a timed "cooldown" on chat input? I didn't notice if the "mute" command was in effect during the presenting of awards, or if it only works in IRC, but it might be a good idea to curb the haphazard nature of the onscreen text.
I don't quite understand what you're proposing. The way it works currently, during the "mute" sections (which appear to AGS participants as "*QUIET DOWN* *QUIET DOWN*" and end with "*APPLAUSE* *APPLAUSE* *APPLAUSE*"), anything people in the audience type is not added to the chat log, but only appears over their heads. (Therefore, it's not seen by IRC-only participants.) This allows official announcements (presenting the nominees and winners, and the acceptance speeches) to not be buried in other chatter. Do you mean you don't want it to be displayed at all? That's how it was in (IIRC) the first year of the online AGS ceremony, but it turned out to be quite frustrating to have to spend so much of the time not being able to speak. Maybe I'm missing your point.
This is really good input. Keep it coming!