Automatic Team Rebalancing, Why is LASERTRON 10x Better, Axe Throwing Safety Testimonial

Topics:

1. NOW PLAYING!  Automatic Team Rebalancing

2. Why is LASERTRON 10x better than ALL the others?

3. Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance CEO Cameron Linder shares safety video on LASERTRON’s Axe Throwing attraction

1. NOW PLAYING! Automatic Team Rebalancing

LASERTRON has developed and installed fully automated team rebalancing software at both of our entertainment venues located in Buffalo and Rochester, New York. 

Exclusive to LASERTRON, the new Automated Team Rebalancing software enables our LASERTRON players to experience highly competitive and exciting team games while ensuring that each team wins multiple games within a session. 

Team Rebalancing begins by pairing players with their preferred partner during the initial sign-in process. Then, during a session – whenever Team Rebalancing is required – our software ranks and swaps the appropriate pair of players or solo players from each team. (see game display below).

Before I go any further, it’s important to define what a session is in the world of LASERTRON and specifically for the two LASERTRON venues we operate. 

A session is a scheduled window of time for our arena that our guests reserve either online using our Center Manager Pro Online Booking software or in-person at our check-in counter. 

Sessions last for 30-minutes and players typically play 6 to 7 games, back-to-back, within the allotted time. 

Offering sessions is not new, we have been selling 30-minute sessions exclusively since the day we opened our Buffalo center 33+ years ago. We have never sold single games.

We currently charge $25 dollars for one session, which is our lowest option. This option is a win-win, because our guests get more uninterrupted playing time and we get more revenue per player. In addition, we only have to brief, suit up, and un-suit players two times per hour. Less turnover of players means we sell MORE minutes of arena game time per hour

On the other hand, if a location only runs single games, there will be much more suiting, unsuiting, entering, and exiting of players, which increases the amount of time that the arena is not being used. This means an operator will sell LESS minutes of arena game time per hour and will generate LESS revenue.

It’s important to note that the ability to sell a 30-minute session for $25 dollars is directly tied to the quality of the overall LASERTRON playing experience. At our Buffalo and Rochester venues, we have relentlessly improved both of our LASERTRON experiences – they are by far the most advanced, immersive, fun, and exciting arenas to play in the world – period! 

If you are an owner or developer of an entertainment venue and are intrigued by the boldness of that last statement or believe that seeing is believing, then let me know when you can visit one of our venues and I will personally give you a tour. 

To prepare for your visit, you can read the 10 primary reasons why LASERTRON is 10x better. 

    2. Why is LASERTRON 10x better than ALL the others?

    In the last seven years, we have developed and installed a relentless stream of small, medium, and large upgrades in both of our arenas as well as other improvements within our venues that maximize our guests’ overall experience (i.e. gaming software, system hardware, sector updates, lighting & sound effects, audio, informational displays, obstacle upgrades, etc.). 

    Here are the 10 Reasons why our Buffalo and Rochester LASERTRON arenas are 10x better than all the others that exist in the world today!

    1. LASERTRON Specializes in Large Multi-Level 100% LED Illuminated Arenas

    If your goal is to build a laser tag attraction that will stand the test of time and outperform all the others, you have to go BIG, because size does matter. Our LED arenas are significantly more vibrant than the dim, blacklight effect in other arenas – this enables operators to utilize large viewing windows along the playing field wall, which turns the arena into a giant billboard that screams PLAY ME! Both of our arenas are over 9,000 square feet and multi-level.

    Some people think size and multi-level doesn’t matter or they believe “good enough” is a viable long-term option. They might also think a 150 foot oval go-kart track with go-karts that max out at 5 mph is a good idea or 6 holes of outdoor mini-golf is good enough. They might even think that 25 used arcade games is going to enable them to compete with a Dave & Busters or that four 20 foot long bowling lanes shortened to fit the space they have available with plastic seating makes their center a preferred bowling destination.

    The reality is that “good enough” NEVER IS, because almost everyone over the age of 10 (probably 6) knows what “good enough” looks like – it looks mediocre and it’s NOT impressive. It’s important to point out that our current guests will only keep visiting our “good enough” entertainment center until a new entertainment venue opens in our city or town and does it better than us or our guests simply get bored with our mediocre attractions. 

    If our goal is to provide our guests with a laser tag attraction that can stand the test of time and outperform all the other laser tag arenas in our city, then we have to build one that is 10x better than the average laser tag experience and at least 2x better than the best ones that exist today

    2. Fully Programmable Arenas

    Our LASERTRON arenas are fully programmable and 100% LED illuminated. We have 15 Sectors in our Buffalo arena and 17 Sectors in our Rochester arena. 

    Sectors are an important part of what makes our LASERTRON arenas come alive. They are the focal point for all five of our core games and are designed to morph into the game format selected. 

    Each Sector has its own built-in arena controller board and each Sector is 100% LED illuminated. Every Sector comes with a monitor that displays real time game scores, an arena map with real time Sector updates, plus an independent sound system – all three are used to update players on important pre-game, in-game, and post-game information about the overall game as well as specific information for their team, squad, individual player scores, instructions, etc. Sector sound and lighting effects are also integrated into the arena environment in many different ways to raise the level of realism and the intensity of the game.

    Each Sector can become a Recharger/Re-spawn Area, Base, Headquarters, Domination Sector, Hill, Battle Royale Squad starting position, or some other yet to be thought of feature.

    Each Sector has the ability to control multiple targets and has additional outputs to expand the number of sensors and LED lighting. Sectors also receive incoming Supply Drops and give the Supply Drop to the first player who enters the Sector. Each Sector has the ability to sense and identify the presence of a player or players, and much more. 

    In addition to the independent sound system at each Sector, there is a global sound system that provides global sound effects, announcements, audio tracks, and is also split to enable Red and Green team sound effects, announcements, instructions, and atmospheric soundtracks. 

    3. Lifetime Warranty on LASERTRON Arena Obstacles

    Our arena components and obstacles come with a Lifetime Warranty, which is NOT available from any other arena supplier

    In fact, warranties from other arena suppliers are notoriously short-term and don’t cover wear and tear of the glowing paint and wallpaper which makes up 95% of the arena walls and obstacles. The typical themed laser tag arena is not designed to stand the test of time.

    The long-term cost of ownership of a LASERTRON arena is far less expensive than any other arena supplier.

    Need proof – just ask any arena supplier what it will cost to repaint or re-wallpaper all the fake, cartoony artwork, or graphics on all the arena walls when it gets scuffed, worn off, and just plain beat up. Then ask them how much it will cost to fix up or replace the beat up or broken walls and obstacles. If you’re guessing almost as much as the original arena, you’re pretty close.

    4. REAL not Fake Arenas

    Our LED illuminated arenas are REAL with pulsing, strobing, flickering, and color changing LED illuminated obstacles plus sound effects and audio announcements that occur based on real time player and team interaction – not painted or wallpapered walls and obstacles with artwork or graphic scenes that are fake and add little to the game play experience.

    Our goal is to create gaming environments that are 100% real and purposely designed to maximize each player’s playing experience.

    Approximately 95% of our arena obstacles are made out of our custom, high-tech, design patented, rotomolded parts. These parts are made out of high impact plastic materials. This is why we can offer our clients a Lifetime Warranty on our arena obstacles. 

    Our arena components are also designed to interconnect with each other, which enables our arenas to be reconfigured as well as be combined with new components to create new and more complex obstacle designs. 

    The complexity and coolness factor of our LASERTRON LED illuminated arenas have gone up dramatically over the last seven years. Most importantly, we continue to make ongoing investments that will enable us to continue to raise the bar for our clients as well as our own venues. 

    If your goal is to attract mostly kids, then painted or graphic wallpaper themed arenas might work at least for a while. However, the typical arenas built today are not good enough to attract a high percentage of 18 to 35 year old adults. Once the kids and teens have a choice, they are going to pick the high-end arena designed for adults – and why wouldn’t they?

    Once again, it’s important to note that our LASERTRON LED illuminated arenas and obstacles look great for decades while other arenas start to show wear and tear quickly and often within the first year.

    5. Player Equipment Fully Integrated

    Our arena and game equipment are fully integrated with each other to maximize all five of our core games (Base, Headquarters, Battle Royale Squads, Domination, and King of the Hill). 

    These five games are the same multiplayer games played online by over a billion players and are by far the most popular multiplayer games. Our guests can actually play these games in our fully immersive, programmable, LED illuminated REAL arenas.

    No other arena designer or laser tag equipment provider can even get remotely close to what we can provide when it comes to an extremely high-end, 100% turnkey LASERTRON experience. 

    6. 30-Minute Sessions

    At our two venues, we only sell 30-minute sessions for a minimum of $25 dollars. In addition, our entire game play experience is 100% automated from start to finish. Once the players begin to enter our arenas, the game system takes over for the entire session. 

    This automation allows the referees to focus their efforts on making sure all the players understand how to play and gives them the time to help players optimize their skills and to make sure they play safely and understand the rules. 

    Sessions, as we mentioned earlier, enable players to play multiple games back-to-back. This is a huge differentiator when it comes to providing a dramatically better experience.

    One of the key benefits is players get more time to bond with their fellow teammates. With more playing time and multiple games played back-to-back, each player’s skill level and scores improve at an accelerated rate. Players who see their skills and scores improving from one game to the next are much more likely to return to play again.

    Players also begin to develop and implement better strategies by working with their teammates. They also share tips to score more points and win, which also increases each player’s desire to come back and play more.

    Important note: The length of a session is programmable. If you would prefer to run a 20-minute session or even shorter, all you need to do is tweak the session variables. 

    7. Fully Automated Real Time Game Adjustments and Feedback

    LASERTRON’s arena and gaming experience is fully automated and provides detailed instructions and feedback to all the players from beginning to end – including automatically starting and ending each game, adjusting game parameters between games to achieve the optimal minutes of play time per game, real time in-game announcements, activation of supply drops, sound effects, and much more.

    Most laser tag operators are unaware that games that run over 5 minutes are actually too long. If the goal is to maximize the intensity of each game, then every additional second over 5 minutes is likely to make the game experience less fun. 

    If the length of time for a single game goes too long, the average player will get physically drained from the intensity of playing the game. Most players need micro breaks between games to maintain and increase the fun and excitement of playing. 

    During a 30-minute session, we set the targeted game time to approximately 3.5 to 4 minutes, which ensures an optimal length of time. 

    Some game end times are unknown because they are based on a specific objective. For example, when playing a Headquarters game, the goal is for one team to destroy all the other team’s headquarters before they destroy theirs or the game clock expires, which is set to 4.5 minutes. 

    If the game time goes over the targeted time of 4 minutes or reaches that max game time of 4.5 minutes, the game computer automatically lowers the shield levels of all the headquarters for the next game to ensure that the next game finishes as close as possible to the desired game time, which again is 4 minutes. If the game happens to end faster than the targeted time, the computer will compensate by increasing the shield level for all the headquarters in the next game.

    These real time game adjustments help to significantly maximize the playing experience.

    8. New Team Rebalancing Software

    Before we developed and implemented our Team Rebalancing software, there was a really big drawback to playing a 30-minute session, which was the impossible task of dividing up players so the teams would be fair and competitive. 

    In fact, this is a major problem whether you are running sessions or single games of laser tag.

    The only way to create highly competitive team games is by utilizing real time data, which is only possible when running sessions with multiple games

    Our game system, in conjunction with our Team Rebalancing software, collects all the relevant data for every game during a session. It then uses this data to decide if team rebalancing needs to occur. 

    If the algorithm says Team Rebalancing does need to occur, the software selects the appropriate pair of players from each team and makes the swap before the start of the  next game. The game system autonomously talks to the players who are being swapped, tells them their new team color, automatically changes their vest color, and tells them where they need to go to start the next game. The game system also announces globally to all players that Team Rebalancing is occurring and displays the changes that are occurring on all Sector displays located throughout the arena. 

    Our Team Rebalancing software ensures that both teams are going to win at least one or more games with the optimal goal of having both teams win an equal number of games or at least as close as possible. 

    Unfortunately, for those locations that run only one game per session, there is no way to solve the single game problem of one team getting crushed by the other team. The players on the losing team leave the arena as 100% losers. 

    Even if players play another game, their chances of losing are once again 50/50. Trying to balance players for a single game is virtually impossible, which means far too often one team or 50% of the players in the arena are going to leave the arena with a negative experience. 

    There are many additional benefits to using a session format with multiple games. For example, players want to play multiple games of LASERTRON without having to leave the arena and go through the entire process of signing up and waiting to play another game or stand in line to play again. 

    In fact, standing in line or just waiting for the next game is likely to reduce the dollars spent playing laser tag, because many players aren’t willing to stand in line or wait to play again during peak times – especially if their team just got crushed. Players also don’t want to go through the briefing and suit up process all over again.

    A 30-minute session also makes it far easier to utilize online and in-store reservations. However, the shorter the session, the more difficult it is to process players. Shorter sessions also increase arena down time, which means less revenue per hour.

    9. Adult Focus

    Our high-end LED illuminated LASERTRON arena experience is dramatically better because every improvement we make is specifically designed to impress adults and especially adults between the ages of 18 to 35.

    To be clear, the idea that the most important target audience for laser tag is kids is 100% WRONG!

    If you want to generate the highest revenue possible, you must provide an experience that truly impresses adult players. In addition, you need several other elements to attract 18 to 35 year old adults in order to keep them coming back frequently

    For example, a really nice bar for 21 and older Adults, decent food, great customer service, as well as other adult-focused attractions. 

    It’s critical that the overall venue look like it was designed for adults NOT kids. In fact, over 50% of the players in our Buffalo LASERTRON arena are 18 and older and over 60% in our Rochester arena.

    10. Center Manager Pro

    Our Center Manager Pro & POS system is another very important differentiator that enables us to provide a much higher-end guest and player experience. 

    Our Center Manager Pro enables players to register at one of our kiosks or they can use their mobile device. Players signing in provide us with their name, email, phone number, codename, and photo. We use their codenames and photos and display them during gameplay on monitors throughout the arena as well as outside the arena. 

    Our Center Manager Pro is a critical tool that enables us to maximize the player experience in many different ways including the pairing of players prior to the start of their session. 

    All of these factors are what enable us to provide our guests with truly Immersiveand very REAL gaming experiences – not a simulated experience in a cartoony painted or wallpapered arena designed for kids. 

    The fact that our lowest priced option is $25 dollars for a 30-minute session should be an important indicator that we do not operate like everyone else

    The reality is that almost everything we do is very different from how the typical laser tag arena is operated.

    LASERTRON – A High-End Brand and Proven Perennial Winner!

    The LASERTRON brand and style of game play has been developed and tested in our Buffalo and Rochester venues over many years. It has proven to be a perennial attraction. 

    Multiple generations of kids and teens have grown up playing LASERTRON for over 33 years in our Buffalo venue and they continue to play as adults today. 

    It’s important to note that our Buffalo venue is the longest operating laser tag arena in the United States.

    What most operators fail to appreciate is that adults 18 to 35 were kids who grew up playing laser tag – AND, they never stopped wanting to play laser tag!!! 

    Unfortunately, 99% of all the laser tag arenas that exist today are worse than the best laser tag arenas that existed 10 or even 20 years ago. How the hell is that possible?!?!? 

    The majority of entertainment center operators either believed or were sold on the idea that an average sized or even small laser tag arena (i.e. mediocre) was good enough or that laser tag was really just for kids and young teens, but this is a completely wrong thought process! 

    We have already proven that the majority of laser tag revenues can and should be generated from adult players (i.e. Over 50% of the players are 18 and older in our Buffalo venue and over 60% in our Rochester venue). Long-term, those percentages are going to continue to grow and are likely to top out at around 70% of all players being 18 and older. 

    Unfortunately, getting more adults to visit our venues is NEVER going to happen if we build mediocre laser tag experiences designed for kids.

    The reality is that most small, multi-level arenas (less than 5,000 square feet) as well as single-level laser tag arenas designed for kids are going to be replaced by other attractions like Axe Throwing or other social gaming experiences. And, the majority of these social gaming attractions will be focused on capturing the adult market, especially adults between the ages 18 to 35. 

    Important demographic changes are happening NOW!  

    We all need to acknowledge that birthrates in the United States and around the world are plummeting. In fact, building an entertainment center that targets families with children is going to become a weaker and weaker business model.

    What continues to amaze me is that laser tag arenas can still make money in spite of how crappy most are designed and operated. Too often, both the arenas and game equipment are poorly maintained or the games being played lack supervision by well-trained referees. In addition, the simplest and most boring games are being played all day every day, which are usually free-for-all or team free-for-all.

    The good news is that the best operators as well as new operators entering our industry can make a dramatically better choice.

    Adults, ages 18 to 35, are by far the most profitable demographic for a high-end laser tag experience and it’s virtually an untapped market! It’s important to realize it’s the 18 to 35 year old adults who have the money and the time to come out to play.

    Attracting adults can be accomplished with a branded LASERTRON experience – an experience that adults actually expected they would be able to play when they grew up. 

    Most importantly, their mom and dad can’t stop them from coming out to play again and again!

    3. Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance CEO Cameron Linder shares safety video on LASERTRON’s Axe Throwing attraction.

    Click here to see what makes LASERTRON’s Axe Throwing attraction the safest and best on the market!

    Thanks for reading!

    Jim Kessler

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