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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 June 03, 2011, 12:32:22 AM #26

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.  

This happened in Colorado actually. One arcade I used to frequent was really nice to the community and set up a white board next to the DDR Extreme and we all would put our names up. Only problem is you better write small if the board isn't that big :p

it works a lot better because your NAME is clear and visible. I say go for it.
Just hope to god it doesn't get stolen

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 01:56:17 AM by Keby »
Read June 03, 2011, 12:35:29 AM #27

Yeah, honestly, I'd probably talk to the few people who were there the most about monitoring the markers and then see if we could get permission to actually wall mount the board (or otherwise affix it to some part of ACME.)

It's cool to know that this method was actually attempted (and worked) somewhere! Cheesy
Read June 03, 2011, 02:11:49 AM #28

Unfortunately, it's ACME.  I'm betting the marker and whiteboard will get stolen on a regular basis.
Read June 03, 2011, 11:53:33 AM #29

Laura and I can set up our spare whiteboard when we're there, and if that system seems to be working smoothly, we can figure out what it will take to get something more permanent set up.  No need to go all out before we confirm that it'll actually help.
Read July 03, 2011, 06:33:41 PM #30

Remember when some of you guys said we didn't need this thread?  We need this thread.  Please no derailing, because this is a serious topic; off-topic posts, including "we don't need this thread," will be moved. Smiley

As xenonscreams pointed out for us earlier in the thread:

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.

Today we were using the "remember who goes in front of you" method of line, when somebody put up a coin and then proceeded to yell at Tony for trying to take his turn, since he didn't have a coin up.  We explained that we'd been rotating and what the rotation was, and the guy in question didn't accept that.  He literally tried to take Tony's set by force by GETTING ON TONY'S PAD WHILE HIS USB WAS LOADING.  It was not pretty.

We've been bringing a whiteboard for busy times, and that seems to work pretty well.  We'd be happy to find some way to mount that to the ACME machine, or agree to all stick with coins, but truthfully I don't care what we do as long as we have one single system that everyone has to abide by so nobody has to get their ass kicked over dance games. Tongue


« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 06:49:15 PM by SomeLauraChick »
Read July 03, 2011, 07:05:26 PM #31

Today we proved that the "don't be an asshole" system fails as soon as a single asshole shows up.  Which is what I happened to mention when this system was proposed.

What happened today was particularly problematic because the player who showed up had met at least 2 of the 4 players who were waiting (myself being one of them), and still insisted that it was his turn, despite clearly knowing better.  When confronted his argument was "the coin line is always right, otherwise there wouldn't be a coin rack on the machine".

I was going up for my last set before leaving anyway, so after Laura helped diffuse the situation, I just waited for his set to finish by calling Bill and asking that the coin rack be removed from the machine (since it's been in general disuse lately), then played my last set and left, rather than letting things get further out of hand.  It's stupid for a dispute over arcade lines to get physical (or even to yield a yelling match like it did today), but it almost got there - I don't think I would've thrown the first punch (but was getting defensive enough when he approached me that I can't guarantee that) and I was honestly waiting for him to touch me so I at least had a thin excuse to retaliate.

Again, there's no reason for stuff to happen like it did today, but it does validate this thread's existence that the details of line management have not only led to confusion in the past but has now led to a player intentionally cutting in the line and ignoring multiple players telling him to back off and wait his turn.
Read July 03, 2011, 09:38:39 PM #32

Wow, I'm really sorry that happened. I mean I've never heard of anything like that happening over a coin line Sad

I know it's acme, but if you guys could somehow get a whiteboard up for lines/tounry use that would definitely help the situation. Especially when lost of people show up. I know I don't go to ACME much anymore, but I'd like to help solve this problem because there is no reason a dispute should become so heated over who's turn it is.
Read July 03, 2011, 11:35:42 PM #33

I'm with Keby. In my nearly a decade of playing, I have NEVER seen turn confusion get anything close to this. If a regular coin line is too confusing for people at Acme, then just use a white board. Personally, I always considered the board to be more confusing than a coin line.

I still say everyone pulls out a quarter, writes their initials on it and uses those as their "place holder". I cannot see how this is confusing, and the solution only costs each player 1 initial quarter, then that's it.
Read July 04, 2011, 12:58:02 AM #34

Suko, where do you have a pen standing by with which you can write on a quarter? Carry a sharpie to the arcade?  (asking honestly)
Read July 04, 2011, 06:46:03 AM #35

Tony, I was wondering who called, and now see it's you.  If you guys get there first, feel free to tear the coin holder off the ITG if you wish.  Otherwise we can yank it when we make a run that way.  Whatever you guys all want as a system there is cool with us, of course. 
Read July 04, 2011, 10:36:55 AM #36

Suko, where do you have a pen standing by with which you can write on a quarter? Carry a sharpie to the arcade?  (asking honestly)
Actually, I usually have some kind of pen on me, 'cause I bring my backpack to the arcade with my DDR stuff in it...But even if you don't have a pen handy (which I bet the front staff would let you borrow for 5 seconds), you just make one ahead of time. I used a custom poker chip for a long time when there would be 5+ people waiting to play in Pullman. If you keep that quarter in a special place in your wallet, you should always be good to go.

Or, if you don't have that, then just use a penny, nickle, dime, or even a cheating Canadian currency. Either way, it will be enough to differentiate each player.

P.S. Most US quarters now have different states represented on them. It could be used in the same way. (you're quarter was the deleware one, his was montana or whatever)

This situation just doesn't sound sound difficult or confusing to me...

P.P.S. How does a white board work? Do you put your name on a list, then erase it when done? And if so, how do you know who is next, because it won't be whoever is at the top (unless you erase and rewrite the entire list after each set). Sorry, but I've never seen the white board system in use and I don't know how it works.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:39:15 AM by Suko »
Read July 04, 2011, 12:37:48 PM #37

I still think that with the coin rack gone, cards would be by far the best way to go.  They never failed in the old days; the only way they failed really was when someone cheated to be in two lines at once, like when IZ got Extreme and people cheated by being in line for both machines.
Read July 04, 2011, 01:03:01 PM #38

I don't really see being in two lines at once as cheating, especially if there's a long wait.  Just as long as you only go when your card is up...

But yeah, I loved card lines.  Definitely a good option.
Read July 04, 2011, 01:54:23 PM #39

I think each person should pee on the machine (preferably the side you want to play on). This is an effective means of marking territory for many animals and mammals, so it should work fine for us dance geeks.
Read July 04, 2011, 02:09:07 PM #40

The problem with people being in two lines for Extreme was that, well, they were in two lines for the same game, and hence got to play twice as often as the honest players who only were in one line.  Not to mention it only exacerbated the problem of ridiculously long lines at that time.

Being in two lines for different games I don't see as a problem though.

This is getting off topic; my point was that other than this small debacle (which IIRC was resolved when someone brought it up on the BBS and we agreed to not do it), card lines always worked.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 02:13:20 PM by tadAAA »
Read July 04, 2011, 05:12:25 PM #41

As I gather it, the problem was that people weren't actually using the coin line to hold their place, and were rather sticking to just knowing who's up next like we very often do. As Tony said, this is the "don't be a dick" system, and yes it failed when the person in question (a friend of mine actually, but we're not on great speaking terms, though I did send him a short message about it) was an ass about it.

The problem wasn't that the coin line "failed" or was ambiguous who was next, it was that it wasn't in use. Replacing it with a card line wouldn't solve anything; it's easy to differentiate between players with coins, just don't all use a quarter or remember what number you are on the queue. The white board is superior, but of course has the problem of randoms writing all over it or the pen being stolen or whatever.

I just really dont think taking the coin queue off wouldn't ultimately solve anything unless we worked out a good way to make the white board work...

I agree with Suko though ultimately,
I think each person should pee on the machine (preferably the side you want to play on). This is an effective means of marking territory for many animals and mammals, so it should work fine for us dance geeks.

Oh and you should be able to be in queue for ITG and still play DDR as long as no ones actually waiting to play DDR. You shouldn't be in "queue" for both games, but it should be fine to play a set of DDR while you're waiting if no one else wants to play on it. But I rarely if ever have really seen this an issue in practice.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 05:17:19 PM by Gerrak »
Read July 04, 2011, 05:50:20 PM #42

The reason removing the coin slot from the machine was brought up was so that nobody thinks that Masterman Vending "endorses" a particular method of line that he doesn't actually care one way or the other about.  The dude in question yesterday said something like "Well, Bill put this here for a reason, so it's your problem if you're not using it."

But yeah, ultimately, it seems like this WAS just an isolated incident, and it's not like Tony's blameless either... the reason I stepped in is that Tony was enraged enough that I was legitimately concerned that he was about to pummel this guy into the ground, which is kinda a problem with him.  Tongue  I guess all I'm trying to say is that having some consensus, at least on the forums, about which method to use will greatly reduce the risk of incident.   
Read July 05, 2011, 10:52:01 AM #43

I definitely agree that this seems like an isolated incident and the coin rack was only an issue because of the "Bill endorses it" claim.  It's probably not necessary to take it off, but it gets the point across to the player in question and prevents such claims in the future from any player who would try.

I know it's acme, but if you guys could somehow get a whiteboard up for lines/tounry use that would definitely help the situation.

We have a small (around 12x8) whiteboard in our car that we intend to mount on the side of the machine, I just haven't had a chance to run to a store and buy something to mount it with.  The board itself is easily mounted (3 or 4 relatively wide velcro stripes would do it), but I still need to figure out the best way to tether a marker (something that makes the marker hard to steal while allowing for fairly easy replacement of both the marker and tether in case someone does steal it, let it dry out or whatever else might happen).

As for how a whiteboard line works in the first place - it'll really be up to who's there.  It still won't be the "endorsed" method to the point that someone can step in and claim you're not in line if you don't use it, but the couple tries we've made have proven effective.  I'll probably print something up at some point that says the whiteboard is optional and any line format is fine, but players are encouraged to move the current line onto the whiteboard if somebody asks them to do so.

So far, we've been treating the list as a cycling ordering and not erasing anyone until they leave - the board is magnetic and came with a pair of magnets (which we've marked as 1 and 2 - we'll tether them once the board is mounted) which are used to show the current and next player (who is encouraged to play with the current player to speed up the rotation, but nobody's been forced to play with someone else if they don't want to for some reason - a policy I'm happy with, since my taste in charts does not line up with the majority of players).  People have been writing their names on the board sparsely (1-2 lines of space between each name) for the first 4-5, so that new players' names can be put just in front of the current player, and then the order is maintained perfectly.

If a fair number of people are leaving only a set or two after joining, the whiteboard will probably be a little clunky, especially since it'll be mounted on the side of the machine and therefore awkward to get to while someone is playing.  On the other hand, when we've had 6-10 players rotating out for a couple hours, it's been very easy to manage.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 10:57:25 AM by ancsik »
Read July 05, 2011, 02:02:53 PM #44

I still think this is all you need...
Read July 06, 2011, 05:18:57 PM #45

I would have mounted the coin holder on his mom and put up two quarters.  People can be such assholes.

I always put up non-quarters on that holder if it was being used. Nobody ever said it had to be a quarter...
Happy Redneck
Read July 07, 2011, 03:55:19 AM #46

I think each person should pee on the machine (preferably the side you want to play on). This is an effective means of marking territory for many animals and mammals, so it should work fine for us dance geeks.
Read July 08, 2011, 09:19:34 AM #47

Per Bill's comment, the coin rack is now in my car.  I'll hand it off to Bill on the 16th at the tournament.
Read July 11, 2011, 10:08:14 AM #48

Honestly, I'm a big fan of the "coin the size of or smaller than a quarter" system. It's always worked well for me.

I got to acme while a few other people were there and I went to put a coin up and found the coin rack to be missing. I then tried to put the coin on the little tiny ledge under the screen and my coin fell down several times.

This is really annoying.

Please put the coin rack back up. I'm not going to use a card. I've had those fall down too.
If you don't, I am literally going to walk up there and try for two minutes to put a coin up while everyone waits for me to get out of the way.
Read July 11, 2011, 10:10:52 AM #49


The day after it was taken down I went there and.... well.... put a coin up to hold my place in line... I think anyone who thinks this is the "endorsed" way of doing things and hence can cut in line if people aren't using it has to be an autistic DDR kid.
Read July 11, 2011, 11:47:35 AM #50

The lip of the machine worked fine for years before the rack.  It's apparently become a bit loose on the left side, right under where the rack had been - we were using cards (much thinner than coins) the other day without issue, but the cards were lined up more toward the right of the machine, not the left.

If there's an easy way to tighten up up the lip (or to fill it in) to keep stuff from falling in, then we'll fix it that way.  If there's no reasonable way to keep stuff from sliding under the lip, then the coin rack will go back up.

As for Gerrak's comment "endorsement": say what you will, but somebody tried - I doubt he actually believed what he was saying and he had figured it could be used as a thin justification to try and refute counterclaims.  Honestly, the worst expected case (there's little reason to expect a fight to start, and if somebody tried to get Acme staff to intervene, they probably would believe that the rack was endorsed by Bill, since that conclusion requires the least effort on their part) is that he goes when he was supposed to and the best is that he goes sooner (and potentially even gets people to leave sooner, meaning shorter lines), so it's automatically worthwhile to try if there's no one there you really care to remain on friendly terms with.

Again, I really have to doubt that this was somebody believing something incorrect and was in fact somebody thinking he could cheat the system without repercussions.  The removal of the coin rack serves both to protect the players (including casual players who may not know better) and to send a subtle message that his actions will not go unnoticed.
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