breakpoint 2004
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     survey results

Results of the visitors survey held after Breakpoint 2004

As you may know, the location used by Breakpoint 2003 and 2004 is subject to destruction. Actually the state of germany (owner of the location) and the city of Bingen are fighting about it for years already. While the state of germany would like to further use it, the city of Bingen is blocking any further usage of it, trying to force the state to break the area down. Getting the permission to do Breakpoint 2004 at the Bundeswehrdepot again was real hard political work.

In the past quite a few people have complained about the drawbacks of the location - heating problems, no running water etc. On the other hand lots of other people expressed how much they love the freedom the area gives us (the bonfire, being as loud as we want...). Our goal now was to find out if we should fight to get the location again, or if we should move into a hall the city of Bingen offered us. This is why we created this survey. While we were at it, we also added some more optional questions to get some feedback on how the party could be further improved.

390 of our visitors have participated in this survey, and we got a broad range of comments. Almost everyone taking part in the survey took their time to give detailed comments on what they liked and hated. Thank you for this valuable feedback.

In the following paragraphs we will now show you the survey results, along with some comments by scamp, the mainorganizer of the event (in italics).

Question 1: All in all, how did you like this year's Breakpoint (BP2004)?

Worst party ever   1.3% (5)
Not so good   3.3% (13)
OK   6.9% (27)
Pretty good   31.8% (124)
It god damn rocked!   44.9% (175)
I did not attend. Shame on me.   11.8% (46)
TOTAL   100.0% 390

Commment by scamp: Ok, so it looks like people liked Breakpoint 2004. Good :). By the way - the 5 people calling it "Worst party ever" more or less are the same people that got thrown out due to pissing on other people etc. Yep guys, faked names don't help that much when you are using the same IP for the survey as on IRC...

Question 2: For comparsion - how did you like LAST years Breakpoint (BP2003)?

Worst party ever   1.0% (4)
Not so good   4.1% (16)
OK   8.5% (33)
Pretty good   20.8% (81)
It god damn rocked!   29.2% (114)
I did not attend. Shame on me.   36.4% (142)
TOTAL   100.0% 390

Ok, people also liked BP2003, but prefered this year's party. So obviously we have met our goal to improve on the points criticized last year.

Question 3: Should we try to switch to a different location for 2005?

BP2005 should be at the military depot or a comparable location again. I want bonfire, boozing outside and tons of noise! Without this, I won't attend BP2005.   13.6% (53)
I'd really prefer to stay at the military depot or something comparable, but I'd also visit BP2005 if it would be inside a hall.   44.9% (175)
It's not so important. I will attend BP2005 whatever location you choose. I trust you and stuff.   16.4% (64)
The military depot is nice, but I really would prefer a warm and clean hall. The bonfire is not so important for me. Still, I'd visit BP2005 even if it would be held at the depot.   16.4% (64)
The military depot is too rough for me! I want a clean warm hall. I don't care about outdoor action.   7.4% (29)
Whatever you do, I won't attend BP2005 anyway. You guys suck.   1.3% (5)
TOTAL   100.0% 390

Well, we don't really have a clear result here. We can see that the majority of our visitors loves the outside action, the bonfire etc and wishes to keep that. On the other hand it is clear that a huge chunk of our visitors doesn't really like the drawback the location gives us. This is also reflected in the comments we got - even people that voted for staying at the Bundeswehrdepot expressed wishes like "make it warmer", "give us showers", "put up the bigscreen at a higher position", things that clearly are impossible at the current location. For me the conclusion of this question is: We should try to find a different location that allows us to at least keep some of our outdoor features, while still providing a better infrastructure. The hall the city of Bingen is offering us as an alternative doesn't have this. It will be something next to impossible to make everyone happy. Luckily the majority of our visitors trusts us to find a place to party at. As I've already checked out lots of locations in the region and talked to a hell lot of politicians and political parties, I know this is going to be a tough job. More on this topic later.

Question 4: Please rate the following features of this year's Breakpoint (BP2004). 1=sucked, 3=fair, 5=rocked.

Average rank
1 2 3 4 5
Party feeling  (4.3)
Organizing quality  (3.8)
Entrance fee  (3.0)
Food quality  (2.8)
Bus shuttle service  (4.1)
Free swimming/showers  (3.9)
Outside action/Bonfire  (4.2)
Hotel reservation service   (3.7)
Amount of competitions  (4.0)
Big screen  (3.9)
Audio equipment P/A  (4.1)
Second stage / boozing tent  (4.0)
Drinks & Beer selection/prices  (3.8)
Party network  (3.6)
Internet connectivity  (3.0)
Sleeping hall (heating etc)  (2.4)
Main hall (heating, design)  (3.0)
Helicopter flights  (3.5)
Fun compos and surprises  (3.3) awards  (3.8)
Security team  (3.7)

We can see that people are happy with the party and its organizing. They are not so happy with the entrance fee. Well, people never are happy paying money. And as Breakpoint is totally non-profit, there isn't much we could do about it (other than getting more sponsors, which people also don't like too much or removing features - people would hate that). People also complained about the food. Most people thought it was better last year. I agree to this, we'll probably switch back to last years food booths. Our guests really liked the special features Breakpoint had. As expected, they aren't so happy regarding the sleeping hall and the heating. Again we see that the location really has some top-notch features while lacking quality in other areas. People also liked our security team, which is a really good thing compared to the headaches the security gives people at other big parties (remember the ultra violent security team at M&S...). Alltogether it seems that the only thing our party is lacking to be perfect is better heating and a warm&clean sleeping hall. Sigh.

Question 5: What of the following features would you like to see improved for BP2005? 1=no improvement needed, 5=focus on this, goddamnit!

Average rank
1 2 3 4 5
Party feeling  (2.0)
Organizing quality  (2.3)
Entrance fee  (2.5)
Food quality  (3.1)
Bus shuttle service  (1.6)
Free swimming/showers  (1.8)
Outside action/Bonfire  (1.7)
Hotel reservation service   (1.4)
Amount of competitions  (1.9)
Big screen  (2.3)
Audio equipment P/A  (1.9)
Second stage / boozing tent  (1.9)
Drinks & Beer selection/prices  (2.1)
Party network  (2.2)
Internet connectivity  (2.7)
Sleeping hall (heating etc)  (3.4)
Main hall (heating, design)  (3.1)
Helicopter flights  (1.5)
Fun compos and surprises  (2.5) awards  (1.9)
Security team  (1.6)

Again we see that the most important thing we need to focus on is fix the heating and sleeping hall problems. The only way to improve this situation is switching locations. People also want better food. While I've personally never seen a demoscene party with better (tasty&cheap) food, we will try to focus on this topic. Interestingly, internet connectivity seems to be important for quite a lot of people, too. This is quite surprising as most die-hard sceners always say that this isn't important at all, and also M&S didn't have this. We'll try to keep providing at least minimum internet connectivity for future Breakpoints. Also Breakpoint still needs improvements in the entertainment and compo area. We still didn't have enough action on the big screen. This is something we already were aware of, but sadly we again didn't really manage to fill this gap this year. This is something we really have to work on to get back to the level M&S offered.

Question 6: How did you like ATI's presence at the party?

I hated it. The ATI banners got on my nerves, and the workshop sucked. I'd rather pay a higher entrance fee than getting this kind of sponsorship.   3.1% (12)
I didn't like ATI's presence, but oh well, it helped the party...   10.8% (42)
I don't really care.   28.2% (110)
ATI did a pretty good job. Invite them again.   41.0% (160)
Those guys are a great addition to the scene! Let's work together with them more closely.   14.1% (55)
TOTAL   97.2% 390

Over 55% of our visitors loved ATI's presence at the party, with only 3% hating it. That's really good news as working together with them was a real pleasure for us. We would be very happy to see them back supporting us at BP2005.

Question 7: What do you think about Breakpoints relaxed policy regarding alcohol at the partyplace?

I don't like people drinking at partys. Alcohol should be forbidden.   2.3% (9)
Drunk people inside the main hall suck. You should at least make sure drunk people stay outside.   17.7% (69)
I don't really care.   10.3% (40)
I really like the mixture of creative/productive and boozing/partying people at Breakpoint. Let's keep it this way.   64.1% (250)
Boooooze! BOOOZE! That's what it's all about!   4.6% (18)
TOTAL   99.0% 390

As could be seen at the party, people love it being able to have a beer while sitting together with fellow sceners. We will definately keep making this possible. It also can be seen that people dislike alcohol abuse. This gives me the feeling we did the right thing throwing out the few people (hi S!P lamers) that totally misbehaved due to alcohol abuse. We will keep enforcing our rules in this area at future parties, getting a little more strict while keeping the freedom for those who like having a few drinks with their friends.

Question 8: Should we allow external submissions to competitions from people not present at the party place?

Don't allow external submissions. It's unfair, those guys are not paying the entrance fee. If they want to release at the party, they should be part of it.   56.4% (220)
I don't really care.   13.6% (53)
Allow external submissions, but don't give out prize money to the authors if they win.   20.5% (80)
Allow external submissions.   8.2% (32)
TOTAL   98.7% 390

This rule, set up by our experienced competition team, obviously is fully backed by the scene. So this probably won't be changed.

Comments on the feedback given / FAQ

We will now try to address a few concerns and questions that were frequently given in the comments block of the survey. Take those answers with a grain of salt, they are the personal opinion of scamp.

  • The audio/PA was too loud/distorted - We'll try to work on this. But bascily, demo parties ARE loud and that's how it should be. The acoustics in the military depot hall are really crappy, probably this will improve by itself if we switch to a different location. We got tons of comments regarding this, so rest assured we'll take care about it.
  • Why not move the party to somewhere in the north / go back to Fallingbostel? - The main reason is pretty simple: I happen to live in Bingen. All "local" Breakpoint organizing is done by me. The organizing team is coming from all different parts of germany, so the location organizing and everything related to it (food, shuttles, power, toilets, showers, hotels etc) is is more or less a one-man job. For organizing such a party, you need tons of connections. For example you need to talk to politicians, especially if you wish to do such a event on holy easter weekend, which is forbidden by law. You also need all kinds of suppliers, and you should know them good to get decent prices etc. You need to visit the party location a few hundred times to manage everything. All this is impossible if the location isn't somewhat near to where the main organizer lives. Yes, I too loved the location in Fallingbostel. But it's just too far away. If people really wanted the party to move away from Bingen, than this would mean finding someone seriously willing to take over all the work. The head team of M&S, that did all this work in back then in Fallingbostel, didn't break up for no reason. They meanwhile all more or less retired from the scene. Sad, but true, M&S is dead, and you'll have to live with that.
  • The quality of the competitons pre-recorded sucked big time, and especially ruined some of the Amiga compo entries - Yes, it sucked. While the quality of SVHS seemed to be ok for the past few years, it just doesn't cut it anymore these days it seems. According to our competition team, showing everything live is next to impossible. We are talking about some of the most experienced and respected people in the scene here, so you should think twice telling them they don't have a clue how to run competitions. We fully understand the scenes need of improvement in this area, and it will be improved. We are looking into digital recording for next years Breakpoint. Trust us, we've heard you.
  • It was too cold / there wasn't enough heating in row XY - Perfect heating is impossible at this location. We've spent thousands of euros for heating, and still it didn't cut it. There is no way this could be further improved at this location. If this is important for you, then you should have opted for a location change in question 4.
  • System X doesn't belong in competition Y - Our competition team is thinking about changing the competition categories completely for next years Breakpoint. We'll see what comes out. We already know this is something you can't make everyone happy with.
  • More space between the tables please - Sorry, but this is a stupid request. It's not like the hall is made out of chewing gum so we could just stretch it. If you think you need more space, then you should have voted for a location change.
  • Showers at the party location. The swimming pool should be nearer. The party place should look more like Star Trek. Etc. - (Yes, there have been some really unrealistic wishes in the comments ;) - See above.
  • The entries in competition X were of low quality. You guys suck! - It's really stunning that some people have the nerves to blame us for lack of competition entries or quality. Please remember that we are organizing the party. We don't have time to write tons of competition entries. And no, it's not our responsibility to keep the XY hardware platform scene alive. This is YOUR job as a visitor!
  • M&S had much more live action and surprises - Yes, this is something Breakpoint still is seriously lacking. The entertainment section of our team is much too small and needs to be extended and improved. This is something we need to get help on. If you have got some good ideas, why not join our team?
  • The party was lacking fast competitions - Yes it was. This needs to be improved for next year. Again this is more or less an issue with lack of organizer resources.
  • The network was too chaotic - Actually the network team was more or less non-existant. Two of the most important organizers in this area quitted the scene and bp team prior to the party. If you are a skilled network guy, please join our organizing team for BP2005.
  • The entrance fee is too expensive, especially for people from eastern europe - Yes, we know that 40 Euros are a lot of money for many people, especially from the east. But the party is location in Germany, in an expensive country. There is nothing we could do about this. We are trying to save whereever we can be using cheap suppliers and connections. But organizing a party of this size can't be done much cheaper. I'll now give you a short list of where your 40 euros go into:
    Power equipment2.00
    Truck rentail for transportation1.00
    Tables and chairs3.50
    Party tents, stages, floor in sleeping hall7.00
    Security team1.00
    Location rental1.00
    Shuttle services4.00
    Swimming bath1.00
    Power usage2.50
    Internet connectivity3.00
    Waste disposal1.00
    Heating equipment3.50
    Heating oil4.00
    Gaffer tape&other construction things1.00
    Construction equipment1.00
    City fees0.50
    Traffic signs0.50
    Other stuff1.50
    Yes, from the 40 euros entrance fee we get per person, we have to pay 52. And this is not counting in the girls getting in for free etc. This year the 12 euros minus per person was payed by our sponsors. Last year it was payed by the organizing team out of their own pockets. So please: Think twice before telling us the entrance fee is too high. We can't lower it without removing something from the list above, which you probably wouldn't like.

The tons of "great party, thank you!" kind of comments are not reflected here. Yet we would like to give a big thank you back to those guys who made us feel warm inside ;)

That's it for this survey. Thank you for reading this, and see you at Breakpoint 2005.