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May 31, 2011, 06:01:38 PM - ORIGINAL POST -

I was at ACME yesterday, and things got really out of hand with the coin line.  There were somewhere between 8-15 people who wanted to play at any given time, something like six quarters up, lots of frustration, and very little satisfaction with this system from anyone.  When xenonscreams asked me how we do lines here, I honestly didn't even know what to tell her, since our rudimentary attempts at coin lines are often foiled by the fact that quarters all look the same.  Tongue

BACK IN MY DAY, we used to do card lines.  I don't know if I could convince everyone who plays around here to transition to this method, but it was much more cut and dry and significantly easier to understand.  Each person used a different card so they were easy to identify (even if it wasn't something like a business card with your name on it, people generally knew who used, say, the Safeway club card.)  This is my proposal.  I'd like to hear other suggestions, though!
Read May 31, 2011, 07:26:48 PM #1

I was at Gameworks yesterday, and it was a ghost town from 9pm on. Almost every machine open. :O

When did we stop using card lines?  I remember doing that at Acme every time when it first opened...
Read May 31, 2011, 08:20:50 PM #2

I don't know when or why we stopped.  I mean, nobody played for awhile, so maybe we just all got into bad habits?  Either way, I highly advocate going back to the card system.  Smiley
Read May 31, 2011, 09:59:31 PM #3

Pennies, nickles, dimes, and if each of those is already in use, than I start marking one side with a marker or something. I don't think it's that hard, really. Just make sure each player uses some kind of object that doesn't match someone elses'.
Read May 31, 2011, 10:42:27 PM #4

This would work too.  The main problem is that people aren't doing this, they're just all putting up identical looking quarters.
Read May 31, 2011, 11:02:03 PM #5

It seems like there usually aren't enough people wanting to play at once to justify a coin line.  Yesterday just might have been special since it was Memorial Day.

I'm thinking those coin racks might actually be part of the problem.  They encourage people to use similar-looking coins rather than distinct cards.

Yay, random (sort-of) first post.
Read May 31, 2011, 11:11:20 PM #6

Also, not a first post so much as a first post under your new username.  Grin

Memorial Day was definitely special, but I went to ACME every day this weekend just trying to find a time that nobody was there so I could play a bunch of sets all at once, and it was packed every one of those times.  I think ITG is just experiencing a surge in popularity (potentially as a result of all of the new content?)
Read May 31, 2011, 11:49:11 PM #7

Whenever I actually save my spot for a place at Acme, I'll typically bring a 1 ¥ or 100¥ coin, to remain unique.
Read June 01, 2011, 09:42:28 AM #8

It's all about the Canadian currency. Also, then people know you're about to start cheatin'.

I kid, I kid. I <3 Canadians.
Read June 01, 2011, 10:05:26 AM #9

You know, I do actually have some Canadian arcade tokens.  Maybe I'll start using those. Grin
Read June 01, 2011, 10:16:54 AM #10

Was the whole arcade packed or just ITG?  I was sick the whole weekend and couldn't (or shouldn't) have gone.

I really don't see how new content would appeal to anyone other than the regulars; I stick by the theory that it was just Memorial Day weekend and many people were free.  If it's like this the following weekends I'll be convinced.
Read June 01, 2011, 10:19:08 AM #11

Just ITG was packed.  Most of the other machines were fairly well neglected; even Street Fighter didn't seem to have much of a line.

ITG was pretty much packed WITH regulars - it's just that normally one or two go at once, but all weekend pretty much everyone was going at once.  I dunno, could have just been memorial day but I suspect it's more than that.
Read June 01, 2011, 10:26:57 AM #12

In that case, I'd say both factors played into it.  New content would probably make regulars come out of the woodwork.

And dammit, I wanted to use yen coins.  Though I think cards are cooler, unique, and helpful to the purpose of a line.
Read June 01, 2011, 11:54:58 AM #13

What are you guys even talking about? What coin to use to hold your place in line?

Jeez you must be bored...

Not that I'm not....

The lines fine just stop being oblivious as to who's gone before you. If you haven't gone since someone else has, then you're ahead of them in line, unless you're doing your first set and then just make sure you go right before the person that's playing when you arrive. Its that simple, so just pay attention and don't just sit there and obliviously socialize and there's not a problem...

And for the record, my favorite's my Chuck e Cheese token Wink
Read June 01, 2011, 02:01:51 PM #14

The coin/card line is meant to be robust in the light of the following:
- Players "obliviously socialize" near the machine; remember, not everyone here plays ITG as a super-hardcore interest, some go to the arcade to hang out with people and get in a few sets while they are at it.
- Player isn't there when they are up: whether they're on the phone, working on the machine, playing another game, "obliviously socializing", or are in the bathroom, their turn is simply deferred until they get back and the line just keeps working.  Even if it's just that a player wants a few extra minutes of rest before going, it's easy to defer a turn with a single authoritative line; not so much is A trades turns with B, but C has been going after B and must now be told what's going on.
- Player B is after Player A, Player A leaves for the day (possibly while Player B is getting some water); the card line is a physical thing, and the new order can easily be determined, since A's coin/card has been removed (even if it's still there, it can be deferred indefinitely with no impact on turn order).
- Two people both claim to be next; with no physical line, the crowd debates over who is next and the machine sits idle while a whole bunch of people try to figure out who is really next, with a physical line, there's a physical line that somebody would have to tamper with if they wanted to make such claims.
- C joining the line just jump onto the end of the line and don't have to figure out that A just went and won't have to convince B that he now goes after C rather than A.

People might be able to keep perfect track of who they should follow in their heads, but that system falls apart in the real world.  We used to use card lines at Acme when it wasn't uncommon to have 6-12 people cycling, some of them playing other games between sets or disappearing to grab food, or who knows what else.  It worked pretty well - if you take too long to get back and miss your turn by a minute, you're up next; as an added benefit to everyone, this means people can feel free to pump money into Acme's other games if they so choose, since having your game run over by a minute doesn't mean arguing with a half dozen people about why you should be next nor does it mean waiting for the line to cycle another full time.  I intentionally avoid Acme's peak times whenever I can because playing DM between ITG sets seems to reset my place in line when it should not.
Read June 01, 2011, 06:33:26 PM #15

I don't want the government tellin' me how to operate the queue line for dance games. First it's this, next it's my gunz! I'll have NUN of it!
Read June 01, 2011, 10:13:58 PM #16

A rule that's always worked for me is "Don't be a dick."

Read June 01, 2011, 10:25:17 PM #17

A rule that's always worked for me is "Don't be a dick."


Seriously guys. We don't need a thread for this. Crap happens where things get screwed up sometimes. Boo hoo get over it.
Read June 02, 2011, 11:42:39 AM #18

Quote from: Tricksy on June 01, 2011, 10:13:58 PMA rule that's always worked for me is "Don't be a dick."


Seriously guys. We don't need a thread for this. Crap happens where things get screwed up sometimes. Boo hoo get over it.

True facts
Read June 02, 2011, 12:52:02 PM #19

"Don't be a dick" is not a sufficient system.  This is easily demonstrated by the fact that the turn order does consistently fall apart despite best intentions when there's a crowd.

I try my best to wait a proper amount of time between sets, etc., as does everyone else as far as I know, but when there's a giant line at Acme, the system falls apart amid the confusion and suffers immensely if one of the players decides to manipulate the line in light of that confusion.

There are also varying definitions involved; for example, those of us who tend to not watch the machine for the 3 full sets before going up again and pass the time by putting money into other games can (and have) lost many a turn (to the point that I had stopped going to Acme during peak times and only now go during peak time because it's always peak time at Acme lately) because others forget you were in line if you leave their line of sight for more than 5 minutes.

Personally, the line game has gotten to be such an very aggressive fight that I only play one or two sets of Drummania per visit instead of the 4-6 I used to, since I can't step away from the machine for longer than it takes to get some water and expect to have a place in line afterward.  This is not a function of anyone being a dick and trying to boot me from the line, this is a function of the confusion that handling the line so informally induces; people are generally glad to let me wedge back in if my turn was skipped, but it takes impractical amounts of effort to do so - if I only let the next player know what's going on, then everyone else is confused and thinks I'm trying to cut in the line, and whether or not they speak up, they do react by assuming the line has broken down and the next 3-4 sets end with 4-6 people walking up and debating amongst themselves for a couple minutes to figure out who's actually up.  And I wish I was exaggerating.

Also, to preempt anyone who makes this claim - "don't play Drummania, then" is not a valid solution to my particular problem.  I'm passing the time before I put my money into Bill's ITG machine by putting money into Bill's other machines; I'm not going to make some absurd claim that I'm somehow deserving of special treatment because I spend more money at Acme (If I had a sense of entitlement, I'd throw in that I'm the one who does all of the hacking work as justification moreso than "I spend more money at Acme"), but I am doing more to help the arcade by passing time that way than people who just stand there, and any system which inhibits - explicitly or implicitly - anyone's ability to play games and enjoy themselves at Acme is a flawed one.

The card lines we used to use at Acme worked perfectly, were 100% clear as to what was going on, and took far, far less effort than the shitstorm I've been seeing every other time I play ITG.  Also, the card lines were not some authoritarian requirement for all players at all times, just, as we got more than 5 or 6 people cycling (many of whom would play other games between ITG sets) we're get a line going - basically, the idea here is everyone should switch over the a card line as soon as there's any debate as to who is next and stop as the crowd thins enough that it's not necessary - if four players simultaneously approach the machine for their next turn, rather than debating it, two people can easily "not be dicks" by letting other players go and throwing up their cards to establish that they are going next and that the line has fallen apart and people should make a best effort to translate the existing turn order into a card line.

And Keby is right, sometimes things randomly get a little screwed up despite best intentions, and people can, and should, just deal with it.  The problem is that the line at Acme doesn't get screwed up randomly anymore, it gets screwed up consistently.

While it is true that we should not need a thread for this, we clearly do need one given how the amount of general confusion and accidental turn-skipping has been increasing lately, despite efforts to keep a line moving smoothly.  Laura and I are both tired of it and want to fix it; Laura stated in the first post that things were so bad (in an admittedly extreme case) that she couldn't tell somebody else how the line was even working, when a few people are saying it should be obvious as long as you aren't a dick - those few people are clearly wrong, because it definitely was not obvious, else there would have been no confusion.

If nobody else can at least be cooperative and instead of saying "there's no problem, just deal with it", they could, for example, explain why the current system works and my and Laura's frequent observations (more than 2 people approaching the machine and having been frequently asked by people if I know who's up or if they should just go) are somehow not the norm, then I'd be glad to back down and let the thread die.
Read June 02, 2011, 01:54:20 PM #20

Seriously guys. We don't need a thread for this. Crap happens where things get screwed up sometimes. Boo hoo get over it.

Alternately, you can find out why things got screwed up and try to keep it from happening again.  Personally, I prefer that solution to crying about it or telling people to "get over it" on the internet. Cheesy

I'm with ancsik on the fact that we do need this thread (go figure, since I authored it. Tongue)  The entire community used to be organized with regard to the way it did lines as a courtesy to one another, and it does not do this anymore. "Don't be a dick" isn't a sufficient system to combat legitimate confusion over whose turn it is.  Therefore, we need to talk about it.

Dissenting opinions are fine, but "seriously guys, we don't need a thread for this" isn't a dissenting opinion, it's just derailing the thread.  Don't derail the thread.

One last thought: If you don't regularly play on public machines, then posting in this thread just to be contrary and derail is kinda a dick move in and of itself, so please take your own advice. Smiley

« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 02:10:28 PM by SomeLauraChick »
Read June 02, 2011, 02:09:03 PM #21

Yeah things have been kinda chaotic lately, but really, I'm happy that so many people are playing : ) It's worth it to deal with a little confusion.
But yes, I will try to stop using normal quarters for my place in line.
Read June 02, 2011, 02:12:19 PM #22

I'm happy so many people are playing too... don't get me wrong!  The wait it worth it for me if I have people to play with.  Smiley  I just want to see if a little bit of effort can eliminate the confusion issue all together. 

I'll probably start using tokens from arcades that use tokens or something.
Read June 02, 2011, 11:46:45 PM #23

Man, I've been all over the US to play this silly game my favorite system so far is:

  • Base case: The line is empty.
  • The newest player is always inserted at the front of the line.
  • Each player remembers the player in front of him.
  • If a new player comes in when it is supposed to be your turn and plays before you, that player is the new player in front of you.

It gets kinda messed up in a few situations. One thing that sucks is when it's almost your turn and like fifteen people walk in the door. It also gets messed up when people skip out on turns or go do other stuff. Also if you're shy it can be hard to step in when you just show up.

Quarter/card lines are cool but I do think it's important that they are agreed upon. There's no dick move quite as bad as sticking up a quarter when a line is already established and then hopping in front of someone who had been waiting in that line just because he didn't put a quarter up.

On a side note, it'd be kinda fun to paint a specific quarter for quarter lines if we do end up doing that :X

One more addition: If a card line or quarter line ends up happening, maybe I'm an outlier 'cause I'm ADHD as hell, but it absolutely drives me crazy when people put quarters/cards on the machine while I'm playing a song. oh my god there's a ninja emoticon  Cool Cool Cool

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 12:01:20 AM by xenonscreams »
Read June 03, 2011, 12:01:25 AM #24

I'm not sure how I feel about "new player is inserted at the front of the line."  On one hand, it sucks to be the new player and show up to a huge line and have to wait, but on the other, it sucks to wait in a huge line only to be bumped back even further by a newcomer.  I suppose that in light of the fact that these both have good and bad to them, I can't really comment other than to say doing it that way is not what I'm used to.  I'd be willing to try it if everyone else was.

Honestly, my only real issue with your favorite system is something you already addressed as problematic: the whole "what if the person steps away from the machine?" thing.  I'm a huge fan of Bill making as much money as possible, so the idea that someone playing one of his games might block them from playing another one of his games just kinda doesn't sit right with me.  I think it's actually a great system if a small group of people who all know each other are there, but it could be a problem with sufficiently large groups or people who don't read the forums.

I definitely think that interrupting an established line by sticking a quarter up is a dick move, and would never advocate anything like that.  I just think that it'd be cool if whoever gets there when it's empty sets a good precedent by putting a coin up so that others follow suit.  Smiley Alternately, Tony and I own a spare whiteboard that we'd happy to donate to the ACME ITG community if people just want to write their names in order or something.  I've never seen that done, but I'd imagine it'd work fairly well. 

I'd totally be up for customizing a coin.  That actually sounds really awesome.  Cheesy
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