Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Final update regarding VIP grand opening party, new streaming policies, and current status of the arcade

To say things have been stressful is a complete understatement at this point.  Being in a position where you are granted what is basically an opportunity to provide for the fans is such a huge responsibility and burden to have.  I fully understood this situation and still went ahead and tried to succeed in terms of running a Kickstarter campaign just in hopes that I could keep a location healthy and thriving for many years to come.  There were points prior and during the fundraising process that I questioned myself and whether or not this was a wise choice in life.  On one hand you have an arcade that has provided a ton of entertainment for many people both as a physical location and online through live streaming.  On the other hand, it was definitely not a profitable business and was draining me mentally, physically, and financially.  Ultimately I did launch the campaign and with the support and love from arcade lovers we were able to raise enough money to make a huge change here.  After many months of planning and about a month of hard labor we are now looking at a project that is roughly 80% complete.  Many of you that follow our blog and instagram account are up to date as far as the remodeling process and the many problems we have overcome so far.  We managed to finish just about everything cosmetically that we set out to accomplish which includes redoing the flooring, patching and painting the walls and ceiling, and most importantly redoing the restroom from hell!  We also added new gaming cubicles for that more professional and organized look and reworked our overhead lightning so people won't have an epileptic seizure from the flickering that used to occur.  There are two items that we are still waiting on though.  One being the truss metal beam system that is not only for awesome decoration but will provide us with the ability to place more lighting to create even more of a special feeling environment for everyone.  Another main item that is not quite ready is the stage/stream station.  This particular unit is being custom made and hopefully it will be ready within a couple more weeks at the latest.

For the most part we have received very good feedback regarding the direction we took in terms of overall appeal and cleanliness.  I can honestly say that arcade is almost too bright and clean at the moment.  But clean is usually good so let's hope our patrons have some respect and try not the wreck the place.  The restroom has been coined as "glorious" by many and I hope my attempts to bring some class to the place haven't gone unnoticed.  I feel as though my ideas and insight have transferred over from thoughts to reality pretty well.  I am normally my toughest critic but I do feel a sense of satisfaction when seeing the almost complete product and with all the positive reviews we have had so far I would hope to believe that I am not senile yet.  I have put in maximum effort and poured out my heart into this arcade.  I am honestly doing this for the people and as I have said before, I grew up in an environment of arcades and gaming and only wish for others to have the chance to do the same.  Although time changes things drastically, one thing that won't change is the positivity that comes from competitive human interaction and the importance of improving yourself.

I have put myself under too much stress in setting a date over and over for those who are waiting on our VIP grand opening party.  At this point I must postpone it one last time to Friday, September 26th.  By this time there is no excuse not to be 100% done with everything we have been waiting on and the arcade will be fully operational.  Although we have been open for events and tournaments it is very clear that we are not equipped to operate normal business hours as we are still waiting on the delivery of equipment and more arcade machines that are being repaired.  Also by setting this date a month away hopefully people can better plan and make sure they are here!  As previously stated, this party will include a DJ as well as food and drink.  So come hungry, thirsty, and prepared to have some fun.

Man oh man this blogpost seems to never end, but there are a couple more things that I should address.  We have only been open for 4 days and already there have been things being posted and dramatized quite heavily on various forums.  For starters, I would like to explain our streaming situation here and this is not a place where I am looking to chastise or single any one out.  Our goals here at Super Arcade are to bring games and gaming to a wider audience.  At the same time we are also seeking ways to infuse our loyal scene with increased prizes and pot bonuses.  To accomplish these goals we have finally organized our own twitch channel which is temporarily under the channel superdojo and a youtube channel under SuperArcadeFGC.  Eventually the twitch channel with be under "superarcade" and we will make the proper announcements once the change occurs.  Until then please follow us and tune in for all the content we will be bringing to the community.  You guys might ask, so where is the problem in all of this?  Well first off let me say that Super Arcade and Level Up Entertainment have a streaming partnership and Level Up will still be streaming Wednesday Night Fights, The Runback, and the Melee edition of Super Smash Sundays.  Every other stream will be held on our channel and we will have multiple streams available to help bring more exposure for the games that don't get much air time.  Prior to this change we have had other people doing a great job providing the work required to bringing the fans and community live streams that benefited everyone.  I would personally like to thank the hosts of IEBattlegrounds, Mando and Binkley, the host of our anime tourneys, Joshua Moore aka Jyosua, hosts of SoCalTekken, Vietnam Tom and JustFrameJames, and also a few others who have helped us which include Numakie, Rotanibor, and Wild Wallace.  All of these people have helped the arcade and although it may seem as though we are taking away something from some of these individuals, we are striving to bring the scene to a bigger front and achieve bigger and better things for the community as a whole.  To go into detail a bit further, I do understand that these people have put in hard work for the community and although they will no longer be streaming here on their own channel, their efforts have not gone unnoticed and hopefully everyone will understand our goals and help us push forward to reach them.

So thats about it for now as I will be posting our hours of operation on our twitter account.  Thank you all for your continued feedback and support and hopefully we will see most of you here in the near future!  Thanks for reading and talk to you all again real soon!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Important Update for Friday Night 8/15

With the steady bombardment of issues we have come across I must delay the grand re-opening for at least 2 more days.  For those of you wanting to visit us tonight and have a pass from our Kickstarter, I would like to express my deepest apologies.  I will be here tonight along with my crew after we take out the people who are coming to our VIP dinner, but all other festivities are not going to happen.  If you would like to stop by and hang out, feel free to do so, but do not expect a functioning arcade to be in place.  I must maintain my commitment to our guests for dinner, but due to more unexpected delays, I will not be able to have an arcade ready for you all to visit tonight.

Once again, those who were invited to our VIP dinner party, this is still taking place and please arrive somewhere near 7:00-7:30 pm at the arcade.  For those of you who were coming for our grand re-opening, this will not be taking place but we will be at the arcade tonight if you would like to stop by and just check out the place as it stands currently.  I will definitely have a weekend set aside for you guys and most likely will make it next Saturday night  the 23rd.  There will be food and beverage along with a DJ so at least there is something cool to look forward to.  Once again, I apologize for all the inconvenience this has caused as today's issues have hindered our ability to open.

Thank you everyone for reading and more updates will definitely be coming ASAP.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The final steps of chasing a dream......

Wow.  Just F*ing wow.  That pretty much sums up the past 3-4 weeks that I have spent here at Super Arcade.  There's an old adage known as Murphy's Law and all I have to say about it is, "Murphy, you suck!"  As most of you know we closed the doors to the old Super Arcade on Wednesday, July 9th.  We then packed up some of our games and were headed off to EVO.  Let's just say that weekend was very uneventful and was the first set back of many to come.  To set a foreground to all this let me start off by saying I have attended EVO before it was even called that.  I was a die hard Street Fighter player and competed at the highest levels since somewhere near 1992.  I put my heart and soul into becoming the best and with a ton of devotion and dedication I was fortunate to achieve many of my goals as a competitor.  Now with all that said, I have known the EVO staff forever and ever.  I was one of those guys who helped move arcade cabinets around before everything went to console.  I was one of those guys who helped set up chairs the night before the finals.  I was one of those guys who carried tv's and set up tables so that the people in attendance would be able to compete and enjoy their experience at the tournament.  All in all, I just loved the game, the scene, and seeing people share the same enjoyment out of all the things I had grown to love.  But one thing that was different about this for me compared to many others, I did this my way.  I was always very vocal about a lot of things and I was never one to stand down when my views or opinions were questioned.  Sometimes I argued ignorantly and with just spewed nonsense, but most of the time I brought my views to the table and tried to generate a serious discussion in hopes of either resolving a misunderstanding, or just completely shutting down someone for spitting their own nonsense.  Anyhow, this attitude is was brought me to where I am and sometimes it can be for the worse.  In this case I suppose it has become for the worse as I have been segregated to an extent from being a part of many things that people I grew up with in the scene are now involved in.  

I can go on and on about certain things that have happened over many years and talk about how I haven't agreed with many situations that have brought the scene to where it is today.  But by me doing so, it would harm the images of some and then it would just become a childish he said she said type ordeal.  So I will show that I have grown as a person and just let things go.  From time to time I will share stories on stream about how things used to be and just act like a typical old fart who's talking about his youth while the 09er's just find me borderline insane in my rants :)  I can tell all you youngins one thing though.  When you hear an elder tell you things like "one day you will understand" or "once you get to my age this is how it will be," take that advice and make use of it.  Things do change with time and it's up to you whether or not you make the best of it or if you just follow in the footsteps of those who made the same mistake prior to yours.  A lot of mistakes are avoidable and procrastination or lack of care can lead to many issues, but as I have come to realize more and more, you can really only count on yourself when something needs to be done.  In the unfortunate case that I am not a professional carpenter, nor am I a professional engineer, I had to rely on people to help me get work done for our remodel.  Myself along with a couple others have taken care of the flooring, electrical work, painting, ceiling work, and the amazing restroom.  These were all things that required hard work, a bit of experience, and just pure will power basically.  Another thing I would also like to state is, for the help I required, plans were made months in advance and partial payments were made to ensure there was no loose ends on my parts.  Well low and behold, all 3 parties that I needed all fell through and I was stuck here just twiddling my thumbs waiting for deliveries.  My new display counter is apparently made of only the finest of wood in the rain forest and is brought in by helicopter only.  My custom cubicles are designed by Albert Einstein and then hand crafted by the Keebler Elves.  And the arcade machines I am bringing in....  those are custom built in North Korea and infused with only the most advanced microchips and only available to NASA.  I mean gimme a break dude, how do all 3 people I am counting on fail so hard?  Well, it happens lol, and Murphy's Law is a mofo.  Then while working on the restroom of course we run into more problems.  I order a toilet from amazon because no one in the local area stocks the special one I wanted to install.  The toilet is what they call a 2-piece, but when it arrived it was in 4 pieces.  Real cute right?  Man, I can just go on and on about all the little nonsense that has taken place here but we almost at the end of it and no point thinking about the bad.

Here comes some useful info.  We will be taking out a select bunch of people from our kickstarter to a VIP dinner tomorrow evening.  We will also be having a "soft" grand opening for another group in our kickstarter project.  A soft grand opening is technically a half assed opening where stuff is not complete, and this I definitely apologize for.  Many things are currently not in my control as to having a time frame for completion so we are forced to just make do with what is here already.  Our opening has already been delayed for a week and we need to get the wheels turning again asap.  Our weekly tourneys will be starting right up this coming Wednesday and Thursday, and we will also be hosting our Friday night casuals once again.  We will also be hosting our bi-weekly anime series known as "Rebel-Up" and our weekly Super Smash Sundays as well.  I am going to assume everything we were promised will be here on time, but just incase it isn't, we will have our doors open to the public starting this Saturday and keep working until everything is finished.  And since I still have a weekend in the schedule with no tournaments attached to it, I will probably dedicate this day for people who supported us via kickstarter.  More info will be coming real soon, and thanks again for reading!

Mike Watson

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Almost there........ sort of.......

So things are coming along pretty well here at Super Arcade in terms of our remodeling process.  The flooring is just about complete as we have completely replaced it's 20 year old predecessor.  The floor used to be an old darker blue tile and is now a much brighter and cleaner looking white tile with some dark accent in it.  I was skeptical at first about the color but after laying down a few different colors, this seemed to be the best choice.  The walls and ceiling are done for the most part and if you have been following our Instagram you would have seen the outcome.  I think the overall look of the place has improved greatly and I am actually really satisfied that my visions have unfolded into a reality.  The arcade is much much brighter already as we have painted the walls with a light gray accented by some bright blue, red, and black color.  The lighting is going to be worked on this week and should take about 3 days.  We currently have fluorescent fixtures in the drop ceiling that have issues with flickering and just overall not bright at all.  I am still deciding on a choice of either updating these fixtures with LED or just replacing the ballast and the egg crate diffusers to maximize the output of light.  Regardless, I will be testing both options out and that issue will be done soon.  Now onto other issues....

So you would think that with months and months of planning and such a huge time frame in terms of giving notice, what could go wrong?  Well, sometimes you have to count on people for certain things such as customizing furniture, bringing in arcade cabinets, and building a new display counter.  I had originally planned on an opening date of August 8th, but now that just went out the window.  On Friday I received word not only from 1 of these people i was counting on, but all 3!!  What the hell is going on here?  This is not only frustrating from a point where I can't open on time, but it completely throws a wrench into everything.  First off, I have been at the arcade almost every day since Evo ended starting at roughly 8am and working till at least 5pm and sometimes going as late as midnight if my body permitted.  I figured as long as I kept on my schedule and did my part that there would be nothing to worry about. Wrong!  So my display counter isn't going to be ready till the 14th, my custom desks/cubicles won't be ready till the 15th, and some guys I was depending on to bring me some arcade cabs I had requested informed me that they were too busy to bring the cabs in by the 8th.  Really great news right?  Let's try not to unload so much fun on me at one time please.......  So in attempts to keep morale high and not worry too much I will try and take any good I can out of this situation.  During all my planning I never found a situation where I would be in a huge rush.  I believe I laid out all the groundwork decently well and fit everything into a logical time frame.  But since I have another week to work on things maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

Some good news here though is that our infamous restroom is about 90% done.  I spent a good amount of time designing this portion of the arcade to make sure it came out that much more special.  With a combination of light and dark ceramic tiles as well as some glass decor, I don't think there will be anything to complain about.  The people that have seen this restroom already can vouch for me when I say, it's probably nicer than the one you have at home and compares to a nice Las Vegas hotel restroom.  And when i say nice, I consider the LVH and Tropicana to be trashcans.  We have an electronic paper towel dispenser and an electronic soap dispenser.  We have a new light fixture that is bright, and I won't ruin any more surprises, but let's just say, the toilet we have is something you have probably never seen before.  Let the rumors begin............

So all in all, unfortunate news that we are not going to be open for about another 2 weeks.  Good news is that when we open we will be amazing!  Thanks for reading up on our progress once again and I will post more news as soon as it comes in.  Talk to you all real soon!