Wii are the champions / Wii will, Wii will rock you!
August 20, 2008 8:17 AM   Subscribe

I need help planning a Wii Sports and Guitar Hero competition.

I volunteered to organize the whole thing, and now am a little overwhelmed. This will be an on-site work competition for charity. The idea is that there are two competitions: one for Guitar Hero (Rock Stars) and one for Wii Sports (Jock Stars). Ideally we'd have two brackets each, one for amateurs and one for pros. There are approx. 700 employees, and getting 50 of them to sign-up would be a success.

Has anyone organized one of these before? Any tips/tricks/things to avoid? How do I entice people who've never played before? How many TVs/Wiis shoud I have? How should I set up the brackets? What should the prizes be? Help!
posted by kidsleepy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you use Rock Band instead of Guitar Hero? That can get more people involved.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:08 AM on August 20, 2008

I would suggest finding one or two other people to help you organize this - have a small committee. One person can go out and solicit the prizes for the competition, one person can coordinated getting the TVs and Wiis, and one person can be in charge of advertising. Or however you want to do it. :) It would be a lot less work for any one person.
posted by All.star at 9:29 AM on August 20, 2008

Best answer: Wii Sports is pretty egalitarian, but with potentially 50 players, you may have the one guy who plays GH at home dominating the competition by playing on Expert, even among the pros. Some people take it very seriously.

You may want to consider having a performance-based competition for Guitar Hero, i.e. have the audience judge the winner based on how willing they are to look silly while playing (playing behind their back, on their knees, etc), rather than by score. Otherwise, you may get pros that hit every note, but just stand there, instead of rocking out in a manner which is entertaining to onlookers.

Get a couple wigs, hats, feather boas for people to wear so that they may headbang properly. Or, if they're standing stock-still, to have onlookers dress them up while they're intently focused on the screen.

Also, have soap, water and towels nearby and prominently displayed if there is any food involved. Nothing kills it faster than getting handed the cheeto-dusted controller.
posted by Durhey at 10:30 AM on August 20, 2008

Best answer: I have run a Guitar Hero tournament before, as well as other console based tournaments. I have a stack of disjointed thoughts regarding your questions, so I'll do my best here.

On Prizes:
Prizes are always fun! Give out prizes to the person with the most points. Give out prizes for the person who shows up in the best costume. Give out prizes for the 'best performance'. Emphasize this. A 'competition' will quickly weed out anyone who knows that 'Jim' is clearly the best at guitar hero, and really, there is no point in trying to go against him. Push the 'crazy costume awesome fun' aspect to maximize participation, but maintain the points based competition so you have a structure. I think your amateur and pro brackets will really help with this. Good prizes include a 'how to play guitar' book, real guitar picks, guitar straps, faceplates for the guitar hero guitar (can be purchased at EB games or wall mart or the like), crazy rocker wigs etc. For Wii sport prizes, some ideas of the top of my head include small handheld weights, sweatbands, and dollar store plastic medals on ribbon.

On Structure and Keeping Everyone Happy:
For every game competition I've had, the worst thing that can happen regardless of the tournament structure, is for some poor kid to get knocked out right away by the best player, or the same two people always playing against each other. You want to have some way of 'ranking' everyone, like a pool (where everyone battles everyone in a smaller group, and then based on wins/losses/points from all the small groups, are put in an elimination tableau according to rank).
If you can get everyone to sign up in advance, you can create your 'pools' in advance as well and have everything ready to go on day one ("Dave and Judy, you are playing song x at station #1." "Carol and Mary, you are also playing song x at station #2.")

If you do elimination rounds, at each 'level' everyone should play the same song. Be sure to do your research on the songs (wikipedia identifies the difficulty of each track) and pick appropriate difficulties for each elimination round. I found it easiest to literally judge by points - it sounds a little harsh, but I would hate to loose with more points just because I was focused and the other guy was goofing off, working the crowd and barely played at all. 'Best performer' should be a separate prize with a separate category.

For your amateur bracket, decide what you mean by that. Are all songs on easy mode? Is the 'final' on Medium? For your pro bracket, the same thing. Are all songs on expert? Do you start at medium and work your way up to hard and expert at each elimination round?

On Rockband Vrs Guitar Hero:
Making people form teams for rockband is harder than individuals in guitar hero. Getting enough equipment for rockband is harder then getting equipment for guitar hero. Having said that, having a single rockband game set up for 'free play' for anyone who gets eliminated in the competition is a lot of fun.

You want to be as consistent as possible. Use the same version of Guitar Hero on each console, try to use the same console as much as possible. How many you can set up is pretty dependent on how many consoles/guitars you have. If you have people 'battle it out' you will need GH 2 or 3 as GH 1 vrs play is pretty lame in my opinion, and is uneven as far as notes distributed etc. For me, it has worked to have around 1/4 the number of machines as participants. Therefore at the worst, during your first round, only half of the people are standing around watching. (As there are two people per machine playing at any given time).
Furthermore, make sure you have adequate space between each machine so the sound doesn't interfere too much.
posted by billy_the_punk at 12:10 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

regarding the scoring...

Either go for SOLELY performance based, or points based but maybe with a best performer prize. Billy is right that a combination of the two aspects into one score won't work well.

Also, if you have a projector, make it so. Also make sure the wii works properly in the room you are planning... too much sunlight can interfere.
posted by utsutsu at 12:30 PM on August 20, 2008

Response by poster: billy - that was exactly the kind of advice i needed!

i do have a small committe, but i wanted to have some ideas before we had our first meeting. props are a GREAT idea. this is for a yearly fund-raising event reminiscent of spirit week and there is always a bunch of people dressing up (pirate day last year was hugely popular).
posted by kidsleepy at 12:08 PM on August 21, 2008

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