WGDC final event through the eyes of the organizer
The WGDC competition finished with a warm informal meeting of third-party developers in Minsk. Below is a short diary of one of the organizers, photos and many videos.
The award ceremony in Minsk was supposed to be the final chord of the entire competition, and we tried very hard not to let the guests invited to Minsk. There were 53 people in total: in addition to 16 teams and participants who became winners, another 24 teams (participants) from those who did not have a little bit of prizes.
The main challenge in preparing for the event was to coordinate the delivery of all participants to Minsk. Given the wide geography of their residence (Hanover, Prague, Moscow, Kaluga, Minsk, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Lviv, Chelyabinsk, Kharkov, Novokuznetsk, Grodno, Ufa, Krasnodar, Sumy, Karlovy Vary - and this is still an incomplete list), it looked scary on paper, but in fact our logistics did pretty well. Wargaming tickets for the plane from the indicated point were acquired by the participants of the event themselves, and the costs of the trip to the airport were already covered in Minsk.
Officially, the event began on Saturday, December 13, but the participants began to arrive in Minsk on Friday morning and finished closer to midnight. The last representatives of Habr arrived from Moscow on Saturday. Wargaming employees greeted arrivals at the airport and shuttled them to two hotels - IBB and Bonhotel. Why were there two hotels? It was not possible to find so many rooms in one hotel in Minsk. And to constrain participants unfamiliar with each other and settle them together - it would be somehow rude. Our shuttle ran from one hotel to another on a schedule, the journey time was only 15 minutes.
The weekend program was designed with the expectation that Saturday will be dedicated to the case (a conference with presentations by Wargaming representatives and WGDC participants and professional communication), and Sunday - to entertainment (excursions, buffet and award ceremony).
Honestly, when planning the Saturday conference, we were afraid that it could become a formality with readable leaflets and awkward pauses and breaks between them. In fact, everything turned out exactly the opposite: if it were not for the strict regulations, heated discussions could last for hours.
In the IBB hotel, we had the opportunity to use three rooms at once, there were a lot of presentations, we wanted to talk a lot about something, and until recently we thought to divide the participants into interest flows. At that time, it seemed that this was the only way to do everything. As the events of Saturday showed, it is very correct that they did not. Everything in time helped us to clearly follow the timing of the conference and moderate the event director Nastya Blokhina. We used the two remaining rooms as meeting rooms: one for the activities of the press, the other for communication between the participants.
The conference was opened with a welcoming speech by Andrey Yarantsev, head of the Wargaming publishing division:
Then, system architect Maxim Baryshnikov talked about the architecture of Wargaming.net services:
At the beginning of the speeches, the participants seemed a little constrained, but after Maxim's speech they began to boldly ask questions and fully engaged in the discussion when discussing the next 11 reports, which were interrupted by two coffee breaks (most likely even sandwich breaks). Time until seven in the evening flew almost imperceptibly. In many respects, thanks to such developer presentations:
Take a close look at this speech by Andrey Karpushin. Those who considered the prizes of his Armor Inspector and Battle Assistant undeserved should be very ashamed after that.
Of course, this is far from all the most interesting. You can watch any of the 13 appearances in a special playlist on our YouTube channel . They are quite voluminous, but worth the time spent.
A whole series of performances was followed by dinner. It would seem that the time for the participants to relax and get distracted, but the guys broke into groups and continued to enthusiastically discuss their current projects and joint cooperation on the future. I have a lot of experience in organizing events, but I have not seen such interest even at meetings with players.
The closing day began a little crumpled: according to our schedule, breakfast was supposed to start at 10:30, but in hotels, contrary to common sense, on Sunday breakfast at 10 a.m. was already ending. We really fought for our guests, but the train, unfortunately, left.
However, we more than made up for lost during the day. At 12:15 the first group left the IBB hotel, then upon arrival at the Bon Hotel the guys divided into two groups - about half went to the Stalin Line, the rest went on a sightseeing tour of Minsk with a visit to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. We collected applications for excursions in advance, but before leaving the participants could change their mind and switch places, there were no restrictions.
The group that went to the Stalin Line was already there an hour later. First, a tour of the complex was waiting for her: the guides told how everything was arranged and how the Line worked during the war. After the tour, the guys could shoot from small arms (AK and the “three-ruler”). Then everyone divided into two groups and went to ride StuG'e and PT-76. At the end, everyone was waiting for lunch in the field kitchen.
At the same time, a city tour took place in Minsk: from the National Library to the central part of the city. The end point was the Museum of World War II. The guide to the museum was Yuri Reytar Fedchenok, our historical consultant. During a walk through the halls of the museum, he once again proved that he is the best. On that day, all the museum's full-time guides were busy, and we asked Yura to help us. He has never been to a museum, but he knows the story very well. And once again it turned out that Yura saw some objects and immediately gave historical references. People who were ordinary visitors to the museum, in the end, began to approach and listen to Yura, then guides who also listened and even made notes in notebooks joined them.
Those who stayed in Minsk lost their pleasure in trying weapons and military equipment during the war, but they were waiting for lunch at the Lido bistro restaurant.
Both groups returned to the hotels at approximately 5.30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and everyone had the opportunity to rest for at least another hour, take a shower and prepare for the award ceremony.
It was opened by welcoming representatives of Habr, whom only an hour after that was waiting for the plane to Moscow.
Then the awarding began. The host announced the winner or winner. WGDC Project Manager Igor Olehnovich presented prizes to teams and personalized letters to their participants. The participants themselves a few more words about their project. Then - in addition to the first day souvenir set - absolutely everyone who came to Minsk received diplomas of participants.
On this the official part was over, and the buffet was started. Again, we thought about the concept of the event for a very long time, considered pathos with red carpet and “Oscars” or a retro party in the style of the USSR, but, in my opinion, we chose the right format. A minimum of pathos, a warm lamp atmosphere, a buffet, without exaggeration, an excellent cover band Feedback, a small show from the cooks, joint photos in Happy Box and a lot of informal communication until one or two in the night.
The overwhelming majority of participants got up on Monday at 6: 00-6: 30: morning flights to Moscow and Kiev were waiting for them, from where they transferred to flights to their homes. Despite the early hour, there were no delays and overlays. The only adventure awaited a bit later Dmitry, a participant from Karlovy Vary. He was going on a flight to Prague, and one of the cars broke down on our way to the hotel. In a hurry, an hour and a half before the flight, I had to order him a taxi. After a couple of hours, I dialed Dmitry's number to make sure that everything was fine, and his phone already in Czech reported that he was in flight. Managed.
The final event and the competition for this were completed for us. We really tried, and I hope everyone enjoyed it.
In the end - the final video, which will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of what was happening in Minsk.
If I missed something in my story, you can supplement me in the comments or ask any questions.