Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome

Posted by: Rapture

Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 12:20 AM

Hey all,

Me, and two other people are opening up a gaming center soon. As gamers our selves we already have a pretty good idea about what people want but we can never really have to many opinions or ideas.

Gaming PC Specs
Intel 2.4c 800mhz fsb cpu
Kingston 512mb hyperX dual channel memroy (pc3700)
ATI Radeon 9600 pro
black 19" crt monitors
Speakers and headphones if wanted
optical mice, 60gb 8mbcache HD's
Big cumfy chairs

Server specs x2
Dual 1.8amd processors
1gb pc2100 ecc ram
80gb x2 harddrives (raid 0)


Full T1 Line, network compromised of nothing but switches running either 1000mpbs or 100mbps.

We are still compromising a full list of all the games we are going to offer but if anybody has some other suggestions on anything post up. I'de really love to hear all the different opinions and get a better understanding of what different customers want.

thanks
Posted by: Infinite

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 03:43 AM

I think running gigabit ethernet is overkill, and not worth the cost(you seen what gigabit ethernet switches are worth? ). Stick with 100mbit, there's lots of bandwidth to go around.

Infinite
Posted by: Crime

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 03:45 AM

ok, 1 question...
why just PCs ?
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 04:16 AM

Infinite: We got some pretty nice deals on 1000mb switches, the NIC's themselves are dirt cheap, and the cat5 cable is the same price no matter what. All in all in only ended up costing a few dollars more.

Crime: what do you mean just PC's? We do have a 50" hdvt, 2 ps2's, and possibly one or two arcade games (not sure if we got um or not). The main focus is going to be PC gaming though.
Posted by: jonconley

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 03:53 PM

Make sure to keep us filled in on how it goes. I hope to do this if we ever get some retail space.

I would suggest coming up with something for tournaments. Hosting a tournament say ever month or two months. Advertise with flyers @ college campuses, B/N, coffeehouses, other places.

You can get a feel for interested people. Pick a popular game. Have a cheap entry free and a not so bad prize. Ex. give them a little money, hardware and say a bunch of free playing hours at your place.

You can contact related area businesses and see if they will sponsor tournaments. (Sell you the games/hardware at cheaper prices in exchange for being featured in ads about tournament). Helps save alot of money. Some even pay part of advertising costs.
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 07/31/03 05:16 PM

Jon: The tournament thing is exactly what we are going to do. Once a week have a tourney and a big one every 3 - 6 months. Prizes will range from video cards, free game time, rice mods for computers. We haven't worked out the exact details about the tournaments like what game each week and so on but the entry fee will be small and and early sing up discount will also be available.

I'll keep ya update.
Posted by: Crime

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 02:12 AM

go with xbox and xbox live or just use gamespy, people like diversity
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 04:38 AM

The ps2's were free.
Posted by: Infinite

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 06:55 AM

Quote:
Infinite: We got some pretty nice deals on 1000mb switches, the NIC's themselves are dirt cheap, and the cat5 cable is the same price no matter what. All in all in only ended up costing a few dollars more.
cat5 won't do gigabit ethernet. OK, well it will, but your asking for all kinds of trouble if you do that. cat5e, maybe on a good day. cat6 is the bare minimun I would recommend as a network engineer (so I got one year left in my diploma :p ), I wouldn't use less unless you want to deal with all the phyiscal layer shit that is just no fun.

A small thing, I know, but you should use the right stuff for the job

Infinite
Posted by: loanbanker

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 08:10 AM

Depending on the game the licensing fees can be large. Just something to keep in mind.
Posted by: Gremelin

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 09:11 AM

So no *nix machines for *nix gaming? At least supply the geeks man!
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 10:41 AM

Loanbanker - Licensing for all our games is about $5500. If after a month of the center opening we are going to implement another that cost $2000, so it's $7000 for all the games.

Gizmo - The servers are going to run redhat and I know my work computer is at least going to have putty....must...use....vi
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/01/03 10:42 AM

btw: thanks for all the inpurt
Posted by: Cold Sunn

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/02/03 06:25 AM

I'm sure you don't plan to, but don't use Blizzard games. You probably know about their lameass Metallicock-like licensing bullshit.

A local gaming center has free events like showing of movies. Besides the hourly rate, they have all day passes, and a bring your own computer deal.

You definately have to have Half-life (with Counter-Strike mod), BF1942, and UT2K3. These are the top 3 games there and among my gaming peers. I am sure you plan on having them anyway.

I also recommend that star wars game (I don't play it or care about it, but I know several people that do), HL2 when it comes out, and D3 when it comes out.

Sell energy drinks and snacks. UL (the local center) only sells Bawls in the way of energy drinks, I think this is a mistake although they probably get them cheaper because of their contract. Red Bull, Omega , and KMX are good choices to me. (Selling them at a flat 2.25 sounds nice) I think a case of energy drinks, or a variety pack, would make a great prize. About a 50 dollar value, that would easily be covered by the entry fees. Energy mints would be a good seller I think, but of course, not as fast as drinks. X-IT , Warp , and Penguin mints are all good choices (with the exception of Green-T mints by Warp, they are shit.)

They also sell snacks that you can eat at the computer, but you'll get in trouble if you dirty up the place or equipment. You aren't allowed to smoke or bring food in.

Put out ads on local radio stations, especially the college station. And also, until things pick up, have your friends game for free to make it look a little more popular and to keep people from showing up and playing by themselves.

One last thing before I stop overwhelming you with what I would like to see in a gaming center:
Offer maps (for CS and such) that are exclusive to your center. Of course, you wouldn't be able to run them on a server open to internet players or (if people like the maps enough) servers will start popping up with your "exclusive" maps on them. I recently started mapping in CS, it took less than a week to get the hang of Valve Hammer Editor (with the help of tutorials) and make 2 maps that I feel are complete. I don't know about other games, but this seems like a free way to offer something other gaming centers don't have.

Keep us up to date. Give us a website link if you can, or if you don't have a website, maybe someone on this site could design one for you. (for free, don't pay someone 800 dollars for a decent site)
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/02/03 09:49 PM

Wow coldsun thanks

Let me try to answer/comment on everything you had to say.

You are soooo correct when it comes to blizzard. It's like $5000 for 3 years + $10 per cd. Since we really wanted some blizzard games (warcraft3/starcraft) we kept at it and found a better deal. $500 for 1 year, 1 game license + the cost of the game. So instead we are going to do two of those through blizzard in order to offer more games. We might get diablo 2 after the initial month of being open as well.

Valve (half life, cs, etc) we got a decent deal with and the licensing automatically gets us HL2 when it comes out (FReeeebbieeee). The cost of the license was almost worth it just for that.

Other games we are planning on having is ut2k3, MOHAAS, Soldier of furtune, BF1942 and more after the first few months of opening.

I never really thought about actual energy drinks, mainly only regular sodas (coke, mnt.dew, etc) but that's a great idea. Once we get our re-sellers permit I'll be looking into how much those things cost (might even just buy um at a store). Good call on the prize giveaway also.

Marketing is going to be our biggest struggle I think. For right now we are getting a "comming soon" banner that we can put up outside the store while we are working on everything, and we are also going to get a "now open" one that we can put up there after we are open. From experience those seem to pull people in well. We are going to try to get air time through radio stations n'stuff but me not knowing where to begin down that road I'm worried we might not get any plugs. Besides those we are planning on having "coupon" ads, like 10 - 20% off if you bring it in or something along those lines and getting ads places in highschool & college newspapers (it's usually free).

I've made ut2k3 maps before, I'll do one after we are open.

I'm working on the web site right now actually. http://www.deliriumgaming.com unfortunatly you can't see anything except for comming soon I'm almost done though, just gotta finish up a few more things and it'll be set to go.

thanks
Posted by: pergesu

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/02/03 11:46 PM

Have a grand opening, with game time being 50% off the first week. Then after a while get up to full price, but have like a happy hour at slow times, where it's cheaper.
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/03/03 01:48 AM

yes, we are planning on doing all of those as well.


Does anybody have any input on weekly/monthly tournaments should be set up? Gameplay type, ladders, etc. I'll be honest, I don't really know how it should be done...
Posted by: Cold Sunn

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/04/03 12:54 AM

That's awesome about the Blizzard licensing.

I'd hold off on the weekly tournies until things really pick up. The monthlies could rotate what game you do. CS one month, UT2k3 the next, etc. You could have a Team Tournament and an Individual Tournament, although for CS and BF1942 you would have to do team rotation and such, something special so that the individual deserves the prize.

You could have the tournies at the beginning of each month. After the winner is announced, you could give the details of the next tourny. I suggest you mix it up a little, like: UT2k3, but with the Quadjump, Vampire, and Arena mutators on. You could list the maps that will be played, except for the maps that will be played in the subfinal and final rounds. The final round could be an exclusive map that was only tested internally. This way, no one-map-whores shouldn't win.

The entry fees for team's could be based on how many members they have, but you'd have to have a range for teams. For CS it could be 8-12, or have different sized tournaments. That could be another thing you change.

You could use the big screen TVs to show the top player(s) point of view. More people coming to watch, more people buying your milkshakes.

Another suggestion: The only two places that would NOT benefit from a milkshake machine are Hell and Arizona. I think that Banana, Coffee, and Chocolate milkshakes would sell. If you can work something out, or it is already legal, you could make Starbucks Doubleshot milkshakes, or Frappachino milkshakes.

I'll edit this post with an image explaining how I think a UT2k3 Individual tournament should work.
Posted by: jonconley

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/04/03 06:23 AM

this all sounds cool. can't wait to hear how it goes. keep replying to the thread rapture.

cold sunn: your fascination with milkshakes, borders on disturbing
Posted by: Crime

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/05/03 03:35 AM

yeh, fuck paying for anything....

anyways, whats this place called ?
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/05/03 07:07 AM

cool, more replies. Let me try to answer all of them...

coldsun
Good point about waiting for the weekly tournys till things pick up. What about every other week? We don't plan to be SUPER slow in the beggining so we want to be able to offer as much as possible to make the best first impression we can.

I'll be taking all your tournament suggestions and incorporating them into ours. I already had some ideas about how they were set up/organized but wasn't positive I was on the right track. Your suggestions tell me I am.

As far as the TV's go we are going to have a multimedia projector mounted on the ceiling that will have the ps2, cable, and computers hooked up to it. We'll pretty much always have it on and displaying games, etc.

I dunno about the milkshake idea but we will have a re-sellers permit so we can sell those cold starbucks drinks not a problem. Right now we had in mind just sodas/powerdrinks but if the other guys think it might work we'll go for it. The thing is our target customer base is middle school & highschool so I don't think many of them drink coffee based drinks.

jon
I'll keep this as up-to-date as I can. Once we start putting all the computers, networks, etc together I'm going to be extremely busy.

Crime
Delirium Gaming
Sneak peek at the website http://www.deliriumgaming.com/html/
Don't laugh at it...it's not even CLOSE to being done. I just wanted to get the basic portions of it in there so I can edit them later on without worrying to much about anything else.


Updates
We finished our final purchase list and are expecting to get the retail space with-in 1 - 3 days. From then we are going to order all our stuff and put it all together. I'll be moving to Sacramento for this damn place.

adios
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/05/03 07:14 AM

Oh yeah, does anybody here live in sacsramento?
Posted by: $500,000 Bentley

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/05/03 07:58 PM

for the tournaments use a knockout ladder and dont just give a prize to 1st place. have lots of snacks(nuthin worse than being hungry as shit when ur tring to play). get old arcades like super mario, contra etc. good luck this idea sounds like the shit!
Posted by: hKzKnight

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/06/03 03:44 AM

Damn i missed alot over these 2 weeks.
Posted by: Cold Sunn

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/06/03 05:23 AM

I would think college kids would be the biggest demographic for gaming places, but at the one here they are high school and middle, like you say. If UL sold Red Bull or Omega, I would buy two every time I went. Milkshakes, well, everyone loves milkshakes. Haha, I don't know, it was just one of those things. Maybe I am the only one that loves milkshakes, I just wish more places here sold them. Like, my bedroom.

If I liked the place (and lived near it) I would try to attend the biweekly tournaments. If things pick up fast, I say go for it. I don't think I have the best way of doing a tournament, but for a 32 player UT2k3 tourny, this is how I would do it:



I forgot to edit that post and put it in.

Bent is just trying to score some snacks for after he gets stoned.
Posted by: hKzKnight

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/07/03 05:16 PM

Sell Bawls and get everyone totatlly wired hehe. Sounds cool these plans and were (like state) would it possibly be held?
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/07/03 11:13 PM

California, Sacramento

IF anybody lives around there let me know. I'll hook it up
Posted by: Gremelin

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/09/03 06:00 AM

Rapture, we could schedual a montly UGN Tourney ... Where it's you vs us, each month it's a diff game, etc... make it say 4v4 on whatever...

Oh, and if you get AoE/AoE II/Galactic Battlegrounds/Diablo II and set it up so i can play over the net, I'll join in ...
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/09/03 06:12 AM

ahh gizmo....we have been trying to get ahold of microsoft for the longest time to see about licenses because we really want AOM. I used to play Age of kings all the time. Very fun games. We'll be able to host tons of different tourney because of the TWO dual amd servers we got I'll let ya know :p
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/09/03 06:19 AM

btw: Diablo II we want but the licensing is so gawd damn much you don't even know. It was insane
Posted by: infinityfsp2002

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/14/03 06:58 PM

I wouldnt let people play BF1942 over the net, it eats bandwidth totally. Have a big screen showing the tournament games, with someone being spectator and moving the camera around.

God i wish there was somewhere like this near me, id be there all the time.
Posted by: dashocker

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/15/03 12:19 AM

What are you planning on using the PS2's for? I reccommend getting a few multitaps . You can search for games compatible with the multitap here . I think this would be a great way to increase your revenue without spending too much dough. And it wouldn't hog any bandwith either. Lemme know what you think and good luck - I think your idea has loads of potential.
Posted by: Rapture

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 08/15/03 02:22 AM

Infinity:
a dedicated T1 will be able to handle BF1942 easy at about 40% utilization. Trust me, I've worked out every last detail you could imagine as far as that goes. We have a 50" hdtv TV that will of course be able to view any computer (mirroring) for tourneys and so on.

dashocker:
Right now we have 2 ps2's w/ the i-link and both have ethernet adaperts for online gaming. Haven't had time to look into the multitap thing. Main focus right now is the gaming PC's and the games we'll be having. Don't want to lose site of our main objective.

So as far as updates we went and looked at 8 different retail locations. Everything should be settled about teusday-wednesday of next week. I'm very dissapointed in how long it took to get a place though. I need this place to be opened ASAP.

later
Posted by: X-Caliber

Re: Opening up a gaming center, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc welcome - 10/27/03 07:03 PM

Hey there,
I'm am working on starting a Gaming Center in Indiana and was wondering how yours is working out?