Week 6: Event Planning and Stress Testing

Stress Testing

This week we were excited to begin to stress test our project for the first time at any kind of scale. We wanted to run this stress test internally as much as possible for ease of planning, so we made use of headless clients running simultaneously on each of our computers. Jim and Alan created a headless client server that would simulate the network load of ten simultaneous users. Among our team running several copies of this application, we simulated 80 concurrent users.

Performance during the stress test was overall very stable from a network perspective. The primary bugs that we ran into were extant ones from the project itself, and not issues with the networking. With the current setup we anticipate being able to accommodate 150 concurrent users stably, but are working on expanding that up to the 300-500 user range.

BVW Implementation

We have also started to work on using some of the existing, and most stable BVW projects to experiment downloading from the virtual festival space. We’ve decided to use a project from round two, team 17. This world makes use of a microphone so it is a good choice as our project will also use their microphones periodically. This gives us a chance to test how the two programs will interact with one another.

Pre-event Experience

From an event planning perspective, we’ve been thinking ahead to the moment of first contact with our invited guests. We’ve been planning from the outset to try and send something physical out as a piece of swag to our guests. We want to try and connect people physically as much as possible to our digital experience.

Thinking about the typical festival, and talking with some previous attendees, one of the most important aspects of festival for so many was, unfortunately for us, the food and drink. While we can’t exactly send hors d’oeuvres out through the mail, we are looking into things like customized tumblers for a cocktail, encouraging guests to come to festival with their own drinks.

A photo from the Festival in 2019, people had a great time chatting over food and drinks. (We encourage all guests also prepare food and drinks on the day of the event this year.)

We also looked at earbuds in a customized box. The main reason for this is in part to ensure that everyone joins the festival with headphones of some kind to limit the amount of cross contamination of audio when entering into voice chat. We wont be able to make use of the same background noise eliminating features that Zoom has, so when people are chatting in our world, background noise is much more prevalent and feedback from the speakers is as well.

While we’d love to have this as a part of the experience, we are also sensitive to those who do not want to get something that they would not use, so we can offer it as an opt in choice during the RSVP.

What’s Next?

Beck had reached out to the alumni that agreed for further followups from our first survey at the beginning of the semester. We’ve arranged some interviews with alumni to shine some more insights on how to design the virtual festival while keeping what makes the festival…, out beloved ETC Festival!