The Tiebreak Blog

Feature Spotlight: Army List Submissions

16th March 2018 in Feature Spotlight

This week a new feature has launched to allow army list submissions for events. You now have the option to ask attendees to submit lists for an event and have them display on their event mini site on player profiles.

What are list submissions all about?

Army list submission is a feature I’ve wanted to get in place for a long time now. It allows players to submit the lists they are planning to use at an event.

Many events ask for lists to be submitted ahead of time, typically setting a deadline for them to be submitted. This allows you as a TO to check everyone’s list is valid ahead of the event.

In addition to this, some events like to publish the lists that are being used online for everyone to see.

How does list submissions work?

As a TO you have a new option within Settings called List Submission Settings. In there you can choose to turn list submissions on, along with a number of settings such as when they should be submitted by and how many lists you would like to receive.

As a player, you will see boxes to enter your lists into when you go to Manage Entry in your account. You can copy and paste these from whatever system you like to use to create your list – there’s usually a “copy as text” option available.

As a TO, you will see a new option under Manage Event called List Submissions. This section gives you an overview of your attendees and their list submission status.

There are 3 statuses:

  1. Pending – these attendees have not submitted their lists yet
  2. Submitted – these attendees have submitted their lists but haven’t been approved yet
  3. Confirmed – these attendees have submitted their lists and you’ve confirmed their lists are correct

Any of the attendees can be clicked on to view their lists. When viewing lists you have the option to mark them as valid or invalid.

If a list is valid, click the Mark as valid button and it will show the time it was validated. Once all lists have been validated for an attendee they will receive an email letting them know.

If a list is invalid, click the Mark as invalid button. You’ll be able to enter a reason to let the attendee know why. They will receive an email letting them know, and will be able to resubmit the list.

When your event is live each attendees lists will display on their player profile.

Hopefully you will find this new feature really useful and it enhances your events. I’m always looking for new things to add to the system so as always let me know in the comments if you have any ideas or feedback!

Don’t ignore data entry

14th March 2018 in Running events

This is the first in a new series of posts focusing on running events. Whether you’re planning to run a new event or you’re a seasoned veteran, hopefully there will be something for everyone in this series.

This time I’m going to discuss the importance of data entry.

Do I need to plan data entry?

It’s easy to overlook how important data entry is when planning an event. Especially when you have so much to organise as it is. Data entry happens on the day, but you can’t ignore it during the planning stages.

You need to have a clear picture of how data entry will work:

  • How will players give you their results?
  • Who will enter the results into the system?
  • Do you have a computer ready for them?
  • What software are you using?
  • How long will it take?

Even with systems like Tiebreak taking care of all of your scoring and pairings, you still need to ensure you have a device to enter results on and an internet connection available, along with making sure your event’s scoring is set up and ready to go.

How long will it take?

Speed is the objective here, the faster you can get the results in the system to smoother your event will run.

For smaller events time isn’t usually an issue. Entering 8 game results per round can be done pretty quickly.

When it comes to larger events however, you need to have everything running smoothly.

I’ve worked data entry for many large events of 100+ players, and you start to notice trends with how results are handed in. It can vary between game systems slightly, but generally you’ll have a big rush at the end of each round.

This poses a problem for data entry. You want to get the results in and the next round generated as quickly as possible. You also want it to be accurate and for the person in charge of data entry not to get overwhelmed. If players are bringing score sheets, you can have a big queue form too as they wait to get them back.

Having a tray or basket for players to leave their score sheets means people won’t hang around as much. If players need their sheets back you can make a note of their table number and hand them back when it’s quiet or during the next round.

Tiebreak also has a “Print Round Sheets” option which will print a results slip for each table. At the start of the round you can walk around and drop them on the correct table, and then when results come in players don’t need to wait around for the sheet to come back.

It’s always sensible to build it a little bit of contingency between rounds too just in case you have some last minute results to enter.

Entering results quickly and correctly

Being familiar with the software you’re using will help speed up data entry a great deal. Tiebreak for example includes a search bar, where you can search by a player’s name or the table number to quickly jump to the appropriate game.

Accuracy is also important too. Taking a couple of seconds to double check the result you’re entering is probably one of the most important steps.

Conclusion

Accurate and fast data entry is one of the most important aspects of your event running smoothly.

It’s important to plan how the data entry process will work. How players give your their results, who will enter them and whether you need extra time in your schedule for it.

I’m always thinking of new ideas for the data entry process on Tiebreak to help speed up the data entry process and help with accuracy. Having the on screen results screen match the paper version, and searching for games for example. Even writing this article has given me another idea to add to the list!

If you’ve done data entry at an event in the past and have any tips or ideas let me know in the comments below.

June Updates

1st July 2016 in Development Blog

The last couple of months have seen fairly substantial updates put in place, and while there are a number of big updates on the way, they are all work in progress for now.

Therefore this month’s update brings a lot of smaller updates and bug fixes, a list of which is below:

  • Email communication tool (Read KB guide)
  • Player registrations (Read KB guide)
  • Custom factions feature is now in place (Read KB guide)
  • Changes to scoring methods
    • Choosing your event type has been redesigned slightly
    • Changed the way default scoring methods work, now when you select a scoring method and do not customise it, your event will use a centralised scoring preset. If you select to customise your scoring you will then be using scoring unique to your event
    • “Difference” field type now allows you to select the fields you want to calculate a difference between
    • New “Sum” field type, allows you to choose 2 fields to add together
    • New “Opponent Score” field type, allows you to select a field to mirror from the opponent’s scores
    • Read KB guide on scoring methods
  • When an event has passed it’s end date it’s status now automatically changes to “Finished”
  • When an event has finished the final standings is now the first page shown
  • You can now select from a list of attendees when adding players to convention events
  • Unique event URL checker is now in place
  • Moved “Order History” to Wallet and renamed “Purchases”
  • Renamed “Payment Methods” to “Withdrawal Methods” for clarity
  • Bug Fix: TO screen header no longer overlays the members dropdown menu
  • Bug Fix: Game system is now correctly saved when creating a new event
  • Bug Fix: Adding a player to a team in team events now functions as expected
  • Bug Fix: The system will no longer show minus numbers of tickets available
  • Bug Fix: Fixed a display issue on some tablets on event search

There are some exciting new features on their way next month so keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time – get rolling those dice!

Focus On – New Events Search

6th June 2016 in Development Blog

This month sees the launch of our new Events Search section, overhauled from the ground up to help you find events quicker and easier. Here’s an overview of what’s new:

Filter exactly what you’re interested in

The first thing you’ll notice is that you now have much more control over how to filter your results. Looking for Guild Ball events in June in Birmingham? No problem – you can now enter a location, choose any number of game systems to search for and enter a date range. Tiebreak will go away and bring you the events that match.

Save your searches

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to set all those filters every time you want to find an event? Well once you’ve searched you can save it for later. Just hit the “Save Search” link on the right hand side and it’ll be added to your account. Then, next time you visit you can choose it from your list of saved searches to quickly find events that matter.

Email alerts

But wait – there’s more! You can turn any of your saved searches into email alerts, so you can be updated daily, weekly – or even immediately – when new events are added that match your saved search. Just head over to the Saved Searches & Alerts section of your account to set them up!

Favourites

You may have also noticed a little heart next to every event in your searches. If you like an event and want to come back to it later, you can click the heart to favourite it. Then you can come back to all of your favourite events in you account whenever you like.

That’s the main update this month, we hope you find it a lot easier to find events you’re interested in.

Until next time!

Focus On – New Members Section

26th April 2016 in Development Blog

Amongst this month’s updates you will notice your members section has had a complete overhaul. Let’s have a look at what’s changed and why:

Splitting “Events You’re Attending” and “Events You’re Running”

The first major change is that Events You’re Attending and Events You’re Running now have their own dedicated sections. This should make it clearer where to find what you’re looking for. You can now gain a little more control over your events too with the option to Delete if required.

Wallet, Sales & Withdrawals

This is probably the biggest update in the member’s section – your “Wallet”. This section is mainly for event organisers who are selling tickets using out ticketing system, it’s now one easy centralised place where you can keep track of your ticket sales, how much is in your account and requesting a withdrawal when you need it.

Profile Pictures

Another new feature are profile pictures. You can now upload a picture to identify yourself on Tiebreak.

Email Preferences

In an effort to keep everybody up to date with what’s happening on Tiebreak, we’ll be sending out periodical emails giving you a run down of what’s going on (most of you reading this probably came from our April update email!). If you’d prefer not to receive these you can untick the appropriate box in this section. You’ll also find the option to stop balance updates too, and in future any other alerts or emails you might want to opt out of will be included here.

TRS ID

“What is this TRS ID?” I hear you cry! Quite simply, it’s a unique number that identifies you on Tiebreak. TRS stands for the Tiebreak Ranking System, but it’s not just used for rankings, your TRS ID is a way for us to ensure that anything on Tiebreak that relates to you and should be in your account is in there for you.

That’s about it for the new members section, thanks for reading!

USD Currency now live

15th March 2016 in Releases

Great news for our fellow gamers across the ocean – you can now sell your tickets in USD.

When setting up your event’s ticket sales in the Ticketing section when managing your event, you can now choose between GBP and USD.

We’ll be launching more currencies very soon too!

Tiebreak and the Future

22nd January 2016 in News

With the break of a new year I thought it would be a good time to look forward to the year ahead for Tiebreak, and also look back over the last 4 years since Tiebreak’s first creation.

A look back

Since 2012 Tiebreak has come a long way. The system has expanded and improved immensely over the years adding more and more features along the way. It has been used at some of the biggest events in the UK. It’s changed our expectations when we attend events, having all the information we need at our fingertips. Ticketing and Rankings systems have been developed to enhance the service too. If I could I would thank each and every one of the 1,215 members who have so far registered on the site, either as a player or an organiser – or indeed both!

2016

And so what does 2016 hold for Tiebreak? Many of you will be aware that Tiebreak is built, managed and run by just one person. I do this because of my love of wargames, and my enjoyment of competitive play. If I could dedicate all of my time to Tiebreak I would but in reality this isn’t the case. That said, I feel there a lot many facets of Tiebreak that need some love and attention, and a number of goals I feel the system needs to achieve in 2016. Below I’ve listed the main goals for Tiebreak in 2016.

Communication

One of the biggest places I think Tiebreak currently falls down is in communication with it’s members, and the wider world. This blog is a prime example – you’ll notice it’s not updated all that often. Well I think that should change. I’d like to open Tiebreak’s doors a lot more and keep everybody up to date with anything that goes on here. So that’s goal number 1 right there. And I’m not talking “Guess what I’ve had for lunch today” – useful stuff, like reports of events, or insights into future releases etc.

New Features & Requests

New things are added all the time. And the list of ideas for new things keeps growing and growing. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t think of something new that could be an awesome addition to Tiebreak. Therefore I will shortly be launching a new section of Tiebreak that lists  potential new features. All the ideas for improvements or new features will be listed along with your chance to tell me which ones to build next via a voting system. Not only that but the community will have the chance to suggest things too – so it won’t just be my ideas any more.

Squashing Bugs

In a similar vain to the features system above, I will be launching another new section for bugs. Unfortunately every piece of software encounters things that aren’t quite working properly. Equally, Tiebreak’s grown to the point now that updates can have an unforeseen knock on effect that I’m unaware of. The best way of dealing with these and patching them up is to ensure it’s easy and obvious for members to report them. That way I know they’re there and I can stomp them out! This, again, will be completely open. So it you’ll be able to go in and see if there are any known bugs, or look back over bugs that have been fixed in the past (you know, if you’re a curious one…or have nothing better to do on a Saturday night!).

Regular Updates

I’d like to move to a more regular update schedule. Right now when new features are built or bugs fixed I just push them live when they are ready. However I think it would be sensible to do this on a regular basis. This, of course, will be posted and announced, so you know what new features have been added or what pesky bugs have been squashed!

This isn’t to say that if you spot a bug it won’t get fixed until the next release date – critical updates and bug fixes will continue to be fixed when required. But again, I feel this kind of thing should be posted about so everybody knows it’s happened.

Beta No More

One of the biggest goals of 2016 I feel is to finally get out of Tiebreak’s seemingly perpetual Beta state. I started this post reflecting back over 4 years of Tiebreak, however in 4 years I think it’s a shame Tiebreak hasn’t been unleashed into the wild and used to it’s full potential. That will change in 2016, and instead of 20 or 30 events every year let’s get Tiebreak running every event!

I could list here everything I want to do to improve or expand Tiebreak, but this post is already long enough and you’ll see that once the feature list section is online anyway.

If you’ve got to the end of this post then thanks for reading – let’s make 2016 an awesome year for tournaments!

 

Good Luck Jamie Perkins!

5th June 2015 in Events

The current Tiebreak No. 1 UK Warmachine & Hordes player Jamie Perkins travels to the US this weekend to compete in Privateer Press’ Iron Gauntlet World Finals at Lock & Load Gamefest. The event is being broadcast on Twitch from 6pm UK time, look out for him on the feed sporting this fancy shirt!

jamie_p_shirt

Good luck Jamie!

First UK Guild Ball Tournament

1st June 2015 in Events

This weekend saw the first UK Guild Ball tournament take place. 16 players fought it out on the pitch over 4 rounds to crown the first ever Guild Ball champion – congratulations John Stubbings!

Tiebreak were there on the day as the official tournament software for Guild Ball events. If you’re running a Guild Ball event then keep your eye on Tiebreak, our system is about to launch with the Guild Ball tournament system built in!

Here’s some photos from the event:

IMG_2131 IMG_2132 IMG_2133 IMG_2134 IMG_2141 IMG_2140 IMG_2138 IMG_2136 IMG_2147 IMG_2148 IMG_2149 IMG_2150 IMG_2153 IMG_2146 IMG_2145 IMG_2144 IMG_2143 IMG_2142

Heartbleed Update

24th April 2014 in News

It’s been all over the news recently, the “Heartbleed Bug” that is being reported to be one of the Internet’s biggest security threats, even affecting some of the biggest websites out there.

Here at Tiebreak we have patched our server to protect ourselves and all our members from this issue.

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