Ideas for next contest... how can we improve it

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by catchthefloaty, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. catchthefloaty

    catchthefloaty Villager Member

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    ok so this is a thread we we can add suggestions so teh next contest goes much smoother.....

    first suggestion... instead of a vote system, we only have the option of rating the game on certiant critera. you must put 1 to 5 on story/graphic/ gameplay/ fun... grade them the same way that judges do.
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    To be honest and from experience judging contests before (not RM related though), it's better to just remove any non-judge voting...
     
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  3. BlackMage

    BlackMage The Warlock of Darkness Veteran

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    I think it's good to have a voting system similar like the one in Ludum Dare.
     
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  4. catchthefloaty

    catchthefloaty Villager Member

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    thats always an option. but if there is non-judge voting... it shouldnt be reduced to a one click process.
     
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  5. ??????

    ?????? Diabolical Codemaster Veteran

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    I dont think this discussion is even required as with the amount of people who attempted to cheat and all the confusion caused by the event - it seems unlikey they will do another.

    If they do - no doubt they will put much more thought into it.
     
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  6. Tiarali

    Tiarali Villager Member

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    They're already looking for cheats - in THIS competition.  I have got to say, these guys are doing a really good job of listening to the community and responding quickly.

    competition screenshot.png

    To make the contest better?  Well, I think it's already pretty good.  My biggest issue is just that this is going to be a very long month for me as I wait.  I don't have a hope of winning myself but I've been playing and reviewing other peoples' games, so it would be nice if I'm familiar with the winners, if that makes sense.  So I guess it would be nice if there were some smallish community events on the forums or something for those people who are hanging around waiting.  Or feedback on how the judges are going.  I know they can't give a lot, but I haven't seen much on which judge is judging which genre (I heard touchfuzzy was dl'ing the non-rpg genre), or a statistic about how many games got booted in the initial play through (ok, I might not want to know that one, oy, lol), or how many games they've played so far.  I don't know.

    But, as I said, they have done a really excellent job of responding to the community - it's just that a month is a long time to wait!  And also, I think community members are doing a good job by encouraging each other to review games.  I'm enjoying Indrah's youtube playlist.
     
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  7. ??????

    ?????? Diabolical Codemaster Veteran

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    Yea and so they should!!

    Too many people slaved the month away putting together viable entries. It would be a real shame if a 'cheating' game gained a prize over a legitimate game :)

    Also - thats cool that they extended the people choice voting period :p
     
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  8. VoxPopuli

    VoxPopuli WatchFire Veteran

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    I would like to put in a good word for the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest.


    I sincerely believe that this is a worthy and commendable initiative.


    This contest is undergoing its "maiden voyage" and, as with all first efforts, yes, there will be bumps in the road, process difficulties and technological hiccups.


    The IGMC is a wonderful opportunity to motivate and inspire game makers worldwide, to help a good cause (Humble Bundle), and to further the interest in game creation at all levels. I hope that there will be future contests and we (the game makers, the artists, the resource providers, the players) band together to address any issues we uncover in a constructive and supportive way.


    Beyond the 2014 IGMC I hope to see and want there to be a 2015, 2016, 2017 etc. IGMC.


    From the outside looking in, I can see that a small band of hard-working people were putting on a really big show for the first time. Thus, all around this is a tremendous learning experience. And from lessons-learned the second contest should be smoother, and the third could streak like greased lightning.


    I too believe that there are improvements that can be made, but my approach is to analyze everything, take notes, then put together some constructive suggestions. I am in the process of doing that now. However I am going to wait until the end of the contest to see how it plays out before airing or submitting my proposals -- and again, these suggestions will be aimed at furthering what I think is a great event.


    This is my take on the 2014 IGMC ...
     
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  9. Mihel

    Mihel Veteran Veteran

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    I don't really see anything wrong with the contest itself, just in the way the site is designed.

    - Don't put a Most Popular list right on the front page. This way popular submissions have the permanent advantage of getting more exposition, which in turn makes them more popular which gives them more exposition... It's a never ending cycle.

    - Don't put a Most Popular list in every single page. For the reasons stated above.

    - Make a bigger Random Submission section right at the top instead of making people scroll to see actual games. Yeah, the little introduction thing is nice but that can be moved a bit down to make games the focus of the page.

    - Don't make registration this easy. I know malicious people will still find ways to register multiple accounts through obscure computer magic, but it would at least reduce the number of disqualifications and fake votes the mods have to comb through.
     
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  10. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    I think this is at least considerable. More precisely, players can give scores regarding presentation, gameplay and fun factor(or even penalties, but that may go too far or just out right unfeasible) much like what the judges will do:

    http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/index/rules

    In addition to what others have said here, I'd like to add next time the rules may add an something like an advice like this despite I'm not good at these details nor the related technical issues:

    "You may want to encourage those voting your game to leave comments in your submission and/or watch the videos in the submissions if any and/or like your game in Facebook and/or Twitter to make the votes more convincing."

    Normally comments, likes and video traffic(if there's any video)combined should be at least not significantly less than those of votes, if not just greater than. So having an extraordinarily high votes to like/comment ratio itself is already a at least weak warning signal.

    In regard of Facebook likes, it's around 1.28 billion users according to wikipedia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook). Even taking multiple accounts into account, there should be at least nearly 100 million real unique users as nearly 12.8 accounts per real unique user on average is just beyond ridiculous. Such a huge number makes extremely high vote to like ratio(like 600+ votes but less than 10 likes) at least clearly suspicious as it's extremely unlikely.

    Twitter has around 400 million users so the number of Twitter likes may not be as meaningful as that of the Facebook likes but I still think it's at least worth noting.

    This can't stop spamming entirely but at least the cost and difficulty to do so is probably significantly increased if the users registration is also made not so easy like what the others pointed out.

    For the video traffic, if there's any video in the submission, it's unlikely that most voting the submission won't even watch the video.

    The primary purpose of this isn't to stop spamming either but to remind participants that they can better protect themselves from such suspicions if they do as many of these "precautions" as they can.

    If that's not enough, something like the below may be added although I'm afraid that it may go too far or can't be implemented or overburden the judges:

    "If the number of votes is clearly disproportionate to that of the comments and likes in Facebook and Twitter combined, judges reserve the right to ask the participant to explain the lack of comments and likes combined. Judges also reserve the right to disqualify these cases directly or at least those failed to give a reasonable explanation. All these will be handled using case-by-case approach."

    One problem is to know if they're speaking the truth as albeit unlikely, there maybe really some rare cases that most voting the submissions don't use Facebook and Twitter and don't even register as users there. I don't know exactly, but it seems that these are nearly if not just impossible to verify. It maybe too harsh or even unfair to just neglect these cases and regard them as cheaters without exceptions. That's why I think a case-by-case approach maybe a better choice here.

    Another problem is this may further encourage those wanting specific participants to be disqualified to spam vote their submissions(it can and might be happening now but I'm just pointing out this possibility), but this can also further encourage all participants to ask those voting their submissions to leave comments there and like the submissions in Facebook or Twitter as well, so in case someone does spam vote their submissions, they at least have these comments and likes to somehow defend themselves unless those spam votes just go crazy.

    Moreover, those using spam votes to attack others usually just use this means on their "personal enemies" or those having most or nearly the most votes.

    The former case should be rare as entering the contest needs to have an actual game and few doing that will mainly or merely aim for this. Normally they'd instead focus on making themselves win or at least have a better reputation. They could have attacked their targets in better places or using better means instead of using this much more costly and risky approach.

    The latter case should be able to be countered somehow if many of those voted their submissions commented or liked them as well, as the spam votes have to be really overwhelming to make the vote to comment/like ratio seem suspicious.

    I've these rather immature ideas as I've seen some of the submissions with most votes have such vote to like ratios causing the submissions to be suspected by some others, although those suspicions themselves can be malicious. Those votes maybe all legit or given by someone else to make them disqualified, but those vote to like ratios make me wonder if they could have asked at least some of those voting their submissions to like the submissions in Facebook and/or Twitter as well to better protect themselves from being suspected. As it seems to me that there are actually quite a few submissions having such vote to like ratios, I really suspect at least some of them maybe actually involved in spamming votes even though I won't judge any of their integrity.

    The main point of all these is to encourage the participants to do as much "disclaimer" work themselves as possible. These are just very vague ideas which maybe proven to be complete nonsense, but these are my 2 cents :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2014
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  11. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    I think the contest is a great idea, quite apart from the cash prizes.  The latter won't apply to me this year anyways, because I see how much effort other people with far more skill and experience than I put in.  

    But, for many of us, it's the first time we ever completed even a small game, and that is a significant milestone.  After all, the vast majority of games started on RPG Maker never even get close to finished.

    And for those of us who at least make it far enough to get professional feedback, that can be invaluable.  Knowing that, say, your maps are OK but your dialogue is weak, or your puzzles are too strange, will be extremely helpful.  And, for those who are very skilled, the exposure within the community will be a huge help.

    Changes I'd recommend:

    I would narrow the scope of the contest.  If the intent is to promote RPG Maker, it's reasonable to say "Contestants must use RPG Maker version X or Y, using only the resources found in the native RTP to that version."

    I think a contest like that would be far easier to verify, and could show any potential but not-yet-fully-committed haters that amazing games CAN be made with just the RTP.  

    Even if it wasn't as large a cash prize, say, $500, it could motivate game developers to use the existing resources in very creative ways.  
     
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  12. Housekeeping

    Housekeeping Veteran Veteran

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    I think this contest is fantastic, and there are some cool ideas in this thread.  Here's what I'd do to improve it (some of this has already been said):

    -Leave the voting for the people's choice up to the developers.  That means there's no appealing to established fan bases or friends and family.

    -Maybe limit the voting to five or so per user, and make the voting the last week of the contest, which will encourage playing a larger amount of games prior to voting.  By limiting the vote, there'll be less quid pro quo.  There might be a problem with too many games dispersing the vote, though, so this is a tough call.  Maybe this will be curved by some of my later suggestions.

    -Developers shouldn't be able to vote for their own game.

    -Have a thumbs up/thumbs down system that is available for anyone.  This way, there's way less incentive to appeal to outside influences since there's no prize for "most thumbs up" or anything--it's just an indicator of whether or not people liked the game.

    -Have a bit more transparency with the judging, particularly the weeding process.  If a game gets weeded out, it would be cool to know that--both as a developer so you'll stop stressing out over the contest and as a player so that you'll know which games are terrible/unplayable ahead of time.  This will narrow down the pool for the popular vote so that voters can focus on the games that might actually deserve a victory.  It'll also give players a smaller list of games to choose from; I think it's easy for players to dip into the games randomly and feel discouraged.  Or, with the current system, they may play some of the "top" games and think, "if this is the best of this competition, why bother playing anymore?"

    Anyway, that's what I've been thinking.  Again, though, this contest is pretty rad.  I'll participate in it again if it becomes annual, even if they keep it exactly the same.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
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  13. Mesonyx

    Mesonyx That Guy Who Made That One Thing Member

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    I think some additional prizes/categories would be nice -- nothing as robust as the current prize packages, of course, but I think it'd be neat to see prizes for certain "best" items: Best Gameplay, Best Art or Best Writing, etc.

    I've played plenty of games that did one of those things really, really, really well, but fell short in other areas. Those contenders should by no means qualify for the bigger prizes, but it'd still be cool to see their efforts recognized.

    I think an RPG Maker category (or just more categories in general) would also improve the contest, but I feel like it'd be difficult to set hard rules on an RPG-Maker-only entry. For example, is coding in Ruby allowed, since it's not technically an RPG Maker feature but still enabled within the framework? Can we do palette swaps of current RTP assets? If so, can we use Photoshop to combine 2 pure RTP sprites together? Does official RPG Maker DLC count?

    And as far as showing the "haters" what can actually be accomplished with RPG Maker, I feel like the ability to use custom scripts and assets is the power of RPG Maker. Take, for example, the absolutely adorable Oh! Ko! -- anyone who's worked with RPG Maker can see its wheels turning beneath the surface, but the finished project looks nothing (for the better, I might add) like an "RPG Maker game."

    If we limited the resource list to only what's included within any given RPG Maker, we'd probably get some really creative stuff, but only after wading through 600 generic fantasy RPG's (and maybe 50 attempts to cleverly subvert the genre's conventions) featuring the exact same cast of characters.
     
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  14. Ultim

    Ultim Kartoffel. Veteran

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    I suspect the top-voted games cheating.EUA is wayyyy better than Hellmut and Ars Harmonia.Oh! Ko! is wayyy better than those too
     
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  15. kartersaint

    kartersaint Ornate Brain Veteran

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    Just wonder the current status of Earth Under Attack. The most buzzing game before the contest (deadline) is now... ;sigh;. Somehow the life is not going what you want.
     
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  16. naruzeldamaster

    naruzeldamaster Veteran Veteran

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    I understand that my game was buggy, unpolished, and rushed for the deadline, on top of that I did a dipshit thing with my files and lost five days of progress.

    But you know what? I simplified the parts that I lost anyway and submitted it, because I think the story is what makes a game enjoyable, if you can live with a few noob bugs (I mean come on, first game people, and zero experience with the program to begin with!) I really hope you all at least enjoyed Tales of The Heart Chapter 1. Do I care if I win? Don't make me laugh, I can at least say I tried, you learn more from losing than you do from winning anyway.

    I've spent most of this month refining chapter one and trying to improve on the things that it lacked. Before I even start on chapter two, because there were some bits in the story that were rushed and I'm more comfortable working on my own schedule. Expect a massive update to my game sometime late this month or early next month. They will mostly be bug fixes and technical things, but the story will have some small edits too. All around I'm having much more fun working on my game with no deadline. Will anyone pay money for it? Probably not,  will anyone enjoy it? Unlikely but possible.

    As long as the judges at least leave comments on the story and presentation of said story (despite using default RTP content and a couple dlc's...) that's all I really wanted. Especially with Ed Greenwood being one of the judges.

    The updated story will be played a bit more seriously, but it still has the same humor it had before, it's just not as dominant over the rest of the story.
     
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  17. kartersaint

    kartersaint Ornate Brain Veteran

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    I was also the one who targeted him. But as the game version is crashed, I think I need to give up my anticipation. Well...
     
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  18. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    That's true.  It would be very difficult to say "What are the resources people are allowed to use?"  There are tons of DLC packs for RPG Maker, music, tilesets and so on.  I'd just like to see some way to minimize cheating.   Of course, I wonder if having smaller cash prizes for more categories would reduce the odds that someone would try to cheat.

    I agree that having Ruby-based scripting in-engine is a huge plus, since it allows developers, with effort, to modify a great deal of built-in behavior.

    Maybe what would be nice is to have specific sub-categories, sort of like the Oscars, each with a small cash prize.  Such as:

    1. Best Fantasy RPG

    2. Best Sci-fi RPG

    3. Best Horror RPG

    4. Best Detective/Mystery RPG

    With the volume of submissions as a guideline, there could be a variety of sub-categories.

    It would be fun to think that, perhaps by next year, since my RPG making skills will have improved, I might have a chance at winning at least something small.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
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