Challonge Match Display - application helping tournaments run faster

Fizzi

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#1
Update 10/27/2015

Check gazugafan's post here for his really cool contributions to the software: http://smashboards.com/threads/chal...aments-run-faster.358186/page-2#post-20362946

Introduction


I'm a longtime tournament-goer but only recently did I have the chance to run a tournament of any size worth mentioning. In the time leading up to this event I thought a lot about what I could do from a technical standpoint to help a tournament run more smoothly.

The major thing that struck me as problematic was the way relevant information is displayed, or in this case, not displayed in the popular bracket hosting tools. I am personally a fan of Challonge. I think it can still be improved in many ways but the concept of being able to make your brackets live update to the masses is too appealing to pass up. Unfortunately, I don't work for Challonge and cannot implement these changes natively. Fortunately, Challonge provides an API which makes it rather easy to add functionality if one so desires.

This application is an attempt to make the most pressing information readily available via a clean and attractive user interface.

Features and Display

The Challonge website is great when you're interested in seeing an entire tournament bracket. As a player at a tournament, however, there's mostly one thing you're concerned with: "who am I playing and where?". This is a tool that makes this information available at a simple glance.
  • Displays current and pending matches prominently on screen
  • Matches become colored when the match has been called/assigned to a station
  • Matches are ordered by bracket depth
  • Timer indicating how long a match has been available to be called or how long it has been since called
  • Properly named rounds (Winners Final, Losers Quarters, etc)
  • Players can be tagged "missing" invoking a red coloring - obvious indicator denoting that player should report to a TO
  • All information, including station assignment and times, is persistent and synchronized across all views
  • Matches can be reported directly from the application


Using the Program

When the program boots you will be greeted by a log in screen. (Don't bother trying to use that API key in the image, it is not real)



Enter your API key. This can be found by going to the Challonge website, logging in, clicking your name in the top-right corner, clicking settings, and then going to developer API. For security reasons, the API key is not saved anywhere by the application.

If the tournament you are interested in bringing up is part of a subdomain, enter the key of the subdomain in the proper textbox. If the tournament is resident on your account, leave the subdomain box blank.

My personal recommendation is to use subdomains for your tournaments and then anyone you add as an admin to the group will be capable of bringing up any tournament from that subdomain in the application.

When the settings are correct, hitting next will bring you to the tournament selection screen.



From here simply select the tournament you want to display and hit next.

Suggested Method of Use

The program is designed to have two different views for two different types of people. One window for the players and one window for the TOs.

The match information screen should be displayed on a secondary monitor or projector and made as big as possible. The goal here is that players can come glance at the information and know exactly what is going on in the tournament.

The TO window should be on a monitor only seen by the TOs and is used to control station assignment, match reporting, player status, etc.

Future Features

Next to be worked on
  • Support for round robin pools
Ideas that may or may not be worked on in the future
  • Multi-event scheduling synchronization
  • Automatic pools -> bracket transition
  • Automatic seeding based on selectable criteria such as region, smashboards ranking, manual skill seeding, etc.
  • Port to android/iOS
Open Source

This program is open source. If you're interested in making contributions feel free to fork the project and do pull requests. If I like your changes I will incorporate them into the main branch.

You will need Visual Studio 2010. Getting the NuGet addon will also help.
GitHub Link

Downloads

Program is currently Windows only.

Current version
Version 1.3.1 (gazugafan) (12/17/2015)

Previous version
Version 1.3.0 (gazugafan) (10/27/2015)
Version 1.2.2 (2/11/2014)
Version 1.2.1 (9/3/2014)
Version 1.2.0 (8/16/2014)
Version 1.1.0 (8/7/2014)
Version 1.0.1
Version 1.0.0

Change Log

Version 1.3.1 (gazugafan) (12/17/2015)
  • Added XML output
  • Improved API Key security
  • Now shows end results when tournament completes
Version 1.3.0 (gazugafan) (10/27/2015)
  • Added support for outputting stream overlay files
  • Added one-click reporting
  • Added settings and about pages
  • Ability to save Challonge API key and subdomain
  • Can now manage station list without modifying CSV file
Version 1.2.2 (2/11/2014)
  • Added feature which notifies the user if a new version of the application exists.
  • Improved UI responsiveness and error handling when executing a task.
  • Prevented crash when trying to load a Challonge two-stage event. These events are still not well supported by the application.
  • Fixed bug where players using their Challonge account and default username would show up as blank.
Version 1.2.1 (9/3/2014)
  • Auto-Assign feature now more intelligently assigns stations
  • The station list no longer supports priority numbers, instead station types can be provided (see post #22)
Version 1.2.0 (8/16/2014)
  • Improved Organizer Window user interface
  • Can now report matches with scores
  • Added station priority used when auto-assigning stations
  • Optional automatic actions for when a new match is detected
  • Long player names are now resized to fit in display box
  • Player panel will now appear red when player is missing even if the match hasn’t been called
  • Added slider to information screen which controls the size of the text
  • Program now has really random icon (until I can think of something better)
Version 1.1.0 (8/7/2014)
  • Improved ordering of matches
  • Added scroll bar visibility on display view
  • Added TO window which is the new control panel
  • Marking players as missing must now be done from the TO window. The display window is intended to be just a simple display.
  • Added support for calling matches/assigning stations from the TO window
  • Added the ability to report matches from the TO window (entering scores currently not supported)
Version 1.0.1
  • Matches are now additionally ordered by round code
  • Minor bug fixes
  • When players are marked as missing, a timer starts to indicate how long they have been missing for
  • If a match is reported which contains a person marked as missing, the missing status is cleared

Special thanks to Juggleguy and Zankoku for helping test the project and providing feedback on features.
 
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Juggleguy

Smash Grimer
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#2
I want to vouch for Fizzi's work on this GUI. Just used it last weekend at Super SWEET for the Melee Doubles bracket and found it incredibly useful for match calling purposes. I'm really looking forward to any further development and I recommend other TOs give it a test run asap.
 

Fizzi

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#6
Version 1.0.1 Released
  • Matches are now additionally ordered by round code
  • Minor bug fixes
  • When players are marked as missing, a timer starts to indicate how long they have been missing for
  • If a match is reported which contains a person marked as missing, the missing status is cleared
 

sleak-

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#8
im assuming to use this program, it would best be used by displaying it up against a project for everyone to see, in which case, is it possible to add the designated tv/station for the players to go to?
 

Fizzi

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#9
im assuming to use this program, it would best be used by displaying it up against a project for everyone to see, in which case, is it possible to add the designated tv/station for the players to go to?
I outlined two ways I've heard people use it in the methods of use section.

The station assignment is on my list of future plans. I've had a lot of requests for it so I will prioritize it rather highly.
 

Fizzi

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#11
I've been messing around with this but the timers don't seem to be working properly. Anyone else having this issue?
I responded to your message but I'll post this here too in case anyone has the same question.

It's hours:minutes, no seconds. I didn't think quickly updating seconds were that important when considering whether to DQ someone. I assume you'd only do it after like 10 minutes have elapsed or something. So when you'd see 0:10
 
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#12
So I tried using it last night for Clarendon but didn't find it too effective. The main reason for this was that I was unable to scroll through the match list (there was seriously no scroll bar for some reason), and they were sorted such that winners bracket matches are on top. Losers bracket matches need to be prioritized to keep the bracket moving, but I couldn't use the program to find those matches because I couldn't scroll down to them. I think it would be awesome if this program simply sorted matches by priority rather than winners bracket on top, losers bracket on the bottom.
 
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Fizzi

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#13
Actually you can scroll through the list using the mouse wheel - I realize that with no visual indicator this is currently not at all intuitive. I do want to add a physical scroll bar as well I just have yet to find a clean looking way to do it, I will work on it.

I also agree that match sorting needs to be improved. The reason I had winners in the top was because in the early rounds, the winners bracket feeds into the losers bracket. By sorting them this way I think it normally led to more populated matches towards the top. I'll try to think of a better way to sort matches.

Thanks for the feedback, I will certainly try to improve it such you find it more useful.
 

Zankoku

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#14
Generally the best method of running matches is to prioritize the "earlier" rounds - so like, Wnners' R1, Losers' R1, Winners' R2, Losers' R2, Winners' R3, etc.

So if you run all the matches in a single column as laid out by Challonge's format for a double elimination bracket, things usually work out okay.
 
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Fizzi

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#15
New version release!

Version 1.1.0 Change Log
- Improved ordering of matches
- Added scroll bar visibility on display view
- Added TO window which is the new control panel
- Marking players as missing must now be done from the TO window. The display window is intended to be just a simple display.
- Added support for calling matches/assigning stations from the TO window
- Added the ability to report matches from the TO window (entering scores currently not supported)

Here are screenshots of the interfaces, hopefully most functions are self explanatory:

Display Screen:


TO Window:


In order to load stations into the program a new line delimited .csv must be created. One simply way to create this file is through Google Docs Spreadsheets as shown in the following screenshots:

Format is a single column with station names. I recommend using the auto-numbering feature if you are adding stations with increasing numbers:


How to download csv file:


Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/h73f173djctxdaw/Challonge_Match_Display_1.1.0.0.zip
 

cemo

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#16
I think the station manager is a great addition, if you don't have the luxury of setups you need to be efficient with the ones you do have. At least until you get passed any bottleneck points.
 

Juggleguy

Smash Grimer
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#17
Hmmmmmmmmm... :p

@ Fizzi Fizzi Upon a first test runthrough, this seems godlike. Tons of improvements over the last release, and I can't wait to try it out this weekend at a local I'm hosting.

One small criticism I have is that the progress meter at the bottom of the display (ex: 48% Complete) is a bit misleading. It's based on the number of sets completed instead of the number of rounds completed, so TOs will currently think they are ahead of schedule when in fact they're not. For example, when 75% of the sets in a double-elim bracket have been completed, the tourney is actually still less than halfway done in terms of time, due to the queueing nature of the double-elim bracket and the fact that later sets can't be played concurrently. So I think the progress meter should be based on rounds, not sets.

I will follow up with any more thoughts after my tourney this weekend. Thanks again for all your hard work.
 
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Zankoku

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#18
Since the station file is just a single name per line, why the CSV restriction? Might as well let people write a TXT file, unless the intent here is just to take advantage of the auto-numbering feature on a spreadsheet application.

(also, version updated on compilation sticky)
 
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Fizzi

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#19
Hmmmmmmmmm... :p

@ Fizzi Fizzi Upon a first test runthrough, this seems godlike. Tons of improvements over the last release, and I can't wait to try it out this weekend at a local I'm hosting.

One small criticism I have is that the progress meter at the bottom of the display (ex: 48% Complete) is a bit misleading. It's based on the number of sets completed instead of the number of rounds completed, so TOs will currently think they are ahead of schedule when in fact they're not. For example, when 75% of the sets in a double-elim bracket have been completed, the tourney is actually still less than halfway done in terms of time, due to the queueing nature of the double-elim bracket and the fact that later sets can't be played concurrently. So I think the progress meter should be based on rounds, not sets.

I will follow up with any more thoughts after my tourney this weekend. Thanks again for all your hard work.
Interesting comment about the progress meter... The data for that actually comes straight from challonge itself. It's the same progress value seen on the challonge website. I could potentially design a better progress meter in the future. In fact going further with that train of thought I could maybe monitor how quickly matches are being played and estimate the remaining time to run the tournament...

Thanks for helping spread the word by the way :).

Since the station file is just a single name per line, why the CSV restriction? Might as well let people write a TXT file, unless the intent here is just to take advantage of the auto-numbering feature on a spreadsheet application.
That was indeed the intent... Hence why I suggested Google Docs in my post. That said I can very easily make it accept *.txt as well which I actually considered doing but didn't do. I'll add it for the next release.

In fact, even as it is now if you just go to all files and select a .txt it will work lol.
 
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Fizzi

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#20
Well... I've been working on this quite a bit recently. I've got a new version for you guys.

Version 1.2.0 Changes
  • Improved Organizer Window user interface
  • Can now report matches with scores
  • Added station priority used when auto-assigning stations
  • Optional automatic actions for when a new match is detected
  • Long player names are now resized to fit in display box
  • Player panel will now appear red when player is missing even if the match hasn’t been called
  • Added slider to information screen which controls the size of the text
  • Program now has really random icon (until I can think of something better)
Once again, I recommend playing around with the new features to figure out how they work.

One important thing to note is how the auto-assignment function works. I have added support for a new column in the spreadsheet data which denotes the priority of that station.



When there are multiple matches available to be assigned, using the auto-assign pending function found in the Matches toolbar (or hotkey F1) can simplify the assignment process. Stations that do not have a priority number will never be auto-assigned. The auto-assign procedure automatically looks for matches that have players with low seeds and assigns those matches to the stations with the lowest priority numbers. In the example shown above, the Stream set up will get assigned to the "theoretical" best match. Then perhaps the stations with priority 2 are recording set ups.

Here's a screenshot of the new TO window:


Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/3cast3ccn6w3g5c/Challonge_Match_Display_1.2.0.zip
 
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Fizzi

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#22
New version release with one very important change. I have modified the way the station list works. Previously, when using the auto-assign (F1) feature, matches with a combined low seed numbers were far too prioritized, hindering the actual intelligent running of the tournament. In this version I have removed the station priority number in exchange for a station type field.

Here is an example:


The available station types and their functions are as follows:

Stream: This is for a stream set up. These will be prioritized by the Auto-Assign for high level matches (low sum of seeds). These will be ignored by the New Match Action Assign option.
Recording: This is for a recording set up. These are prioritized just like streaming set ups but with lower priority. Also ignored by the New Match Action Assign option.

Premium: This is a high quality station. Perhaps the TV is good or it is in a location where people can watch. These stations will be prioritized above other normal stations.
Standard: A standard station.
Backup: This is a low quality station. Prioritized lowest.

NoAssign: This is a code that can be used which means the station will never be automatically assigned by anything. The only way to use this station is to manually assign it to a match by selecting it from the list and assigning a match.

Options and Actions:



New Match Action Selection

This selection tells the application what to do when a new match becomes available.

None - This option will take no automatic action on receiving a new match. I recommend using this option if you have a detailed station list with stream and recording set ups. If this is the case, periodically press F1 to auto-assign matches in a more intelligent fasion.

Assign - This option will assign new matches to available normal stations immediately. I recommend using this if your tournament has numbered set ups but all the set ups are effectively the same. Using this option, stations marked as recording or stream will never be assigned to unless done manually. Keep in mind it will still be necessary to manually assign or press F1 at times if a new match comes up and no station is available at the time.

Call Anywhere - This option will call new matches immediately with the term "Any" for the station. This should be used if you are not tracking station availability or you do not have station numbers. I recommend using this for locals where you know the players will make an effort to play their matches.

Auto-Assign Pending (F1)

This is the power action of the application. It will intelligently determine, based on the available matches and stations, how to assign the matches. Matches with low combined seed numbers will be prioritized for Streaming and Recording stations within reason. If the high level matches are too far ahead of the rest of the tournament, they will be ignored for the time being in order to ensure the tournament continues to run smoothly. Premium, Standard, and Backup stations will strictly prioritize matches that are the furthest behind in the tournament.

Call Pending Anywhere (F2)

This will simply call all pending matches with the station marked as "Any". These players are then expected to find their own set ups to play on.

Clear All Station Assignments

Pretty self-explanatory. Clears all current station assignments, uncalling all matches.

Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/czbi9dqoj6gxj8b/Challonge_Match_Display_1.2.1.zip
 

flannel_K

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#24
Just found this today and started mucking about with it to see if I'd like it for running my tournaments... and I do. :D

Really cool interface, I can immediately tell this will be reducing a lot of confusion at events. I see you already have plans in the future for multi-event scheduling, which is cool. Only thing I can think of, and it's just something tiny and nitpicky: any way that when matches are scheduled in match display that it can update the "match in progress" flag for a match displayed in the bracket on the challonge website?

Definitely giving this a shot for managing my next tourney, gonna see how it goes. I think it's just what I needed, so thanks :]
 
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Fizzi

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#25
Just found this today and started mucking about with it to see if I'd like it for running my tournaments... and I do. :D

Really cool interface, I can immediately tell this will be reducing a lot of confusion at events. I see you already have plans in the future for multi-event scheduling, which is cool. Only thing I can think of, and it's just something tiny and nitpicky: any way that when matches are scheduled in match display that it can update the "match in progress" flag for a match displayed in the bracket on the challonge website?

Definitely giving this a shot for managing my next tourney, gonna see how it goes. I think it's just what I needed, so thanks :]
Yeah setting the in progress flag is probably doable. What does that flag do on Challonge anyway?

I haven't worked on this in a little while though so I can't guarantee I'll get to it soon.
 

flannel_K

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#29
Yeah setting the in progress flag is probably doable. What does that flag do on Challonge anyway?

I haven't worked on this in a little while though so I can't guarantee I'll get to it soon.
Oh, it's no rush, like I said it's just one small little nitpicky thing, not really a requirement haha. It just changes the match's marker in the bracket from white to orange on a bracket display page on challonge, not a very big deal at all, though it'd be cool if it marked it for the sake of an embedded bracket on a webpage.

Been playing around more since my first post and really enjoying it - again, thanks for this, going to make things a lot more peaceful for me next tournament :p
 

MANZilla

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Apr 17, 2014
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#30
... is this really not that popular? Because i think this is amazing.

I run small locals in my area, and i offer assistance to the bigger ones. I tested this out yesterday, and with a projector screen or just a big *** HDTV, players can see who theyre playing and they'll know if someone isnt around.

Is there any way to add a "Playing another game" feature in there? Like if theyre melee match is up, and they're playing WII U and Doubles.
 

_glook

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#31
Is there any way to add a "Playing another game" feature in there? Like if theyre melee match is up, and they're playing WII U and Doubles.
I agree that would be great. Fortunately, one of the future features listed is "Multi-event scheduling synchronization". Unfortunately, the author has said he doesn't have much time with this. Fortunately, the project is open source.
 

Fizzi

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#33
Was using this today on my locals scenes first official tournament and most of the names came up blank and i ended up keeping track in notepad.

http://pcsmash.challonge.com/feb2015
I think in the most most recent version posted on the website people with challonge accounts using their default names show up as blank. I have actually since fixed this issue but I don't think I've released it officially.

https://github.com/JLaferri/ChallongeMatchDisplay/commits/master

According to this it looks like I fixed it in October...

This should fix the issue: http://www.mediafire.com/download/om62s9aufd1xpgk/Challonge_Match_Display_1.2.1.1.zip
 

_glook

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#34
This was a big hit at the tournament I helped with. There is a slight usability issue though: the venue I was at had spotty internet access, and whenever the internet would drop and you try and record a match, the program would crash. I'm not sure what a good solution to that would be. Despite that, people really liked it. Thank you so much for developing this!
 

Fizzi

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#35
This was a big hit at the tournament I helped with. There is a slight usability issue though: the venue I was at had spotty internet access, and whenever the internet would drop and you try and record a match, the program would crash. I'm not sure what a good solution to that would be. Despite that, people really liked it. Thank you so much for developing this!
I've been meaning to improve this actually along with the UI locking up when reporting takes a while. At the very least I'll give you an error message box if communication failed instead of the application crashing. Thanks for the support, I'll try to improve that aspect soon!
 
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Fizzi

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#36
Well I finally got around to releasing a new version :). No major feature additions but some general UI improvements.

Here's the change list:

Version 1.2.2 (2/11/2014)
  • Added feature which notifies the user if a new version of the application exists.
  • Improved UI responsiveness and error handling when executing a task.
  • Prevented crash when trying to load a Challonge two-stage event. These events are still not well supported by the application.
  • Fixed bug where players using their Challonge account and default username would show up as blank.
 
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thundrio

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#37
Wow I have wanted to create this exact program for the longest time, awesome job. I'm excited to see where this goes moving forward (and maybe I will try to make some additions myself).
 

noe3

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#38
I was planning on making a similar application on mobile. I think ill be leveraging this for a windows phone app I'll be writing for my local scene.
 
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