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  • #1 ✎ 202 PesticidePoison Good Page Hidden Achievements Spring 2017 Contest Runner Up I placed 2nd in the SmileBASIC Source Spring 2017 Contest! Programming Contest Avatar Taboo I didn't change my avatar for 180 days Website I'm not suggesting a contest or a theme for a contest, I am suggesting an idea to improve contests So I thought of an idea to improve contests since contest entries seem to be...Fewer. (At least last time) Anyway, my idea was for there to be multiple theme ideas, (Flight, industry, etc) and then users vote for the theme they want, or maybe users suggest themes, and then the best ones get picked and put on a poll for users to vote on. Maybe toy around with this idea and see if there are ways of improving it. If anyone else has any ideas for a way to better the contests, or an idea to improve mine, then post below. Posted
  • #2 ✎ 1443 12Me21 Admin Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Second Year My account is over 2 years old Website Posted
  • #3 ✎ 817 Lumage I'm going to say this as a normal user having given up my title. Every time a contest is run, the theme seems to get a degree of "I can't work with this" and "this isn't what we want." It seems less and less necessary to have contests at all. The prizes come from random's personal money, which is fine, but it's not up to him to submit good entries. I see less "the themes aren't good" and more "I don't want to be creative about it." Is it really that hard to incorporate colors in a meaningful way? Color, Industry, Flight. A lot of thought went into the plausibility of these themes for generating high quality work. Instead you try to stretch it to the point that you're not even working within the theme (genuine clarifications, of course, are not an issue). Many of you do fine, and aren't afraid of having original thought/looking around for inspiration, but the rest just seems to be this
    People are only complaining because this theme actually requires effort lol.
    You can delete this if you like.
    Posted
  • #4 ✎ 1045 randomous Head Admin Robot Hidden Easter Eggs Second Year My account is over 2 years old Website Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies
    I'm not suggesting a contest or a theme for a contest, I am suggesting an idea to improve contests So I thought of an idea to improve contests since contest entries seem to be...Fewer. (At least last time) Anyway, my idea was for there to be multiple theme ideas, (Flight, industry, etc) and then users vote for the theme they want, or maybe users suggest themes, and then the best ones get picked and put on a poll for users to vote on. Maybe toy around with this idea and see if there are ways of improving it. If anyone else has any ideas for a way to better the contests, or an idea to improve mine, then post below.
    We tried that with setting the contest dates. The contest we did that with (this last one) had the 2nd fewest entries and votes (the april fool's contest had fewer votes and the winter contest had fewer entries). I don't think people know what they want, and allowing people to vote on everything just makes it take longer to get started and makes the people who didn't get their way upset at the people who did. If the admins just select the theme, then the only people to be mad at are the admins.
    Posted
  • #5 ✎ 1443 12Me21 Admin Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Second Year My account is over 2 years old Website Coming up with good game ideas is really hard impossible for most people, even when there isn't a theme. I think the reason that people try to stretch the theme so much is because there are way more ideas that *almost* fit the theme than ideas that perfectly fit. Also, it's much easier to move away from something than it is to move towards it. When I first started my entry, flying was the main game mechanic. Then I realized that it wasn't very good so I started focusing on other features like water physics, since that was easier. tl;dr we all most people suck at designing games things. Posted Edited by 12Me21
  • #6 ✎ 202 PesticidePoison Good Page Hidden Achievements Spring 2017 Contest Runner Up I placed 2nd in the SmileBASIC Source Spring 2017 Contest! Programming Contest Avatar Taboo I didn't change my avatar for 180 days Website Hmm...I have to say I agree with you lumage, I didn't think of it that way at first, but now that I understand the situation a bit more, I can agree with what you said. I remember the voting for when the next contest should be, and I agree with you as well random, the admins should decide everything when it comes to contest dates, themes, etc. It would probably be better and simpler that way...People shouldn't be "Mad" at you or anyone for the theme selection, it's your contest, so it makes sense that you should decide what the theme should be. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to explain this to me. Posted
  • #7 ✎ 68 Simeon Scholar Received for knowing a great deal about programming topics Achievements Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies I think it would be much more successful if there were a larger number of smaller prizes... as well as code limitations. When we see Nathaniel's submission and compare it to the best we could do, it's clear that there is no point in joining the competition, unless if there were more prizes, more of a chance of winning something. And I really like the idea of limiting the program to fit into a single screen, because it then tests our compression skills, and would add another challenge; focusing on how capable we are at coding as opposed to how well designed and broad we can make our submissions, which takes serious time. With that said, I would really like to see a way for us users to donate money to the competitions as well, through some secure service, so that we aren't constantly sucking money out of you guys, and don't feel guilty in any way. Posted Edited by Simeon
  • #8 ✎ 56 brilliance360 First Week Joined in the very first week of SmileBASIC Source Website Spring 2017 Contest Participant I participated in the SmileBASIC Source Spring 2017 Contest! Programming Contest Deep Sleep Hidden Website
    When we see Nathaniel's submission and compare it to the best we could do, it's clear that there is no point in joining the competition, unless if there were more prizes, more of a chance of winning something.
    Another, perhaps easier solution to this is to simply not allow public sharing until within two days of the end of the submission period. Personally though, I saw Thrust and felt inspired to just make something different, something that was better for a different reason (though I didn't have as much time to dedicate to my program as I would have liked), so I didn't have a problem with this.
    Posted Edited by brilliance360
  • #9 ✎ 42 kantackistan You might consider emulating the way Global Game Jam does themes. Often times they are vague at best - sometimes the theme is an image, or a sound effect, or even an entire sentence. There's a full list of all the themes they've ever used at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Game_Jam#Event_themes - But noticeably, the themes are never restrictions. Just something to get you inspired. There's a sort of magical moment right after the theme reveal when everyone goes "What the ****?! How am I going to make a game out of THIS?!" - and the results are always extremely unique as a result. Instead, each Jam also has optional modifiers, which is where you see things like "Only use 4 colors" or "No written language" or "Entire game is under 4kb." Granted there's no prizes for GGJ, so the modifiers are just there for fun. But you might be able to work that in - Maybe you get a 4% bonus to your total votes for each modifier, or whatever. That way you kind of pick your level of insanity - you get rewarded for being bold and clever, but if you think you'd be able to make a better game without the modifiers, you only lose opportunity cost. Posted Edited by kantackistan
  • #10 ✎ 817 Lumage While our themes may not be as good as "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are," I'm hesitant to agree with this because I doubt that it would actually result in better entries. It's the attitude of "I don't want to work with this so I'll give up" rather than the GGJ's "this really boggles my noggin but let's see where I can go with this." Posted
  • #11 ✎ 202 PesticidePoison Good Page Hidden Achievements Spring 2017 Contest Runner Up I placed 2nd in the SmileBASIC Source Spring 2017 Contest! Programming Contest Avatar Taboo I didn't change my avatar for 180 days Website
    Another, perhaps easier solution to this is to simply not allow public sharing until within two days of the end of the submission period.
    That would be a bad idea for a loads of reasons, for one thing there's a pretty big time zone difference between a lot of people here, (It doesn't matter too much, but it can play a part) and if something was to happen to that person IRL like a power outage or internet problems, then they wouldn't be able to post enter they're game in time...(For me it's storm season, I just had a power outage) Something like a week MIGHT be an idea, but even then it might be inconvenient for some people, but I digress.
    Personally though, I saw Thrust and felt inspired to just make something different, something that was better for a different reason (though I didn't have as much time to dedicate to my program as I would have liked), so I didn't have a problem with this.
    I agree, people should stop complaining. It should inspire you to try to make a great game like it, not have you saying "Aw fiddle-sticks, I'll never be as good as him, golly, why do I even try?"
    While our themes may not be as good as "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are," I'm hesitant to agree with this because I doubt that it would actually result in better entries. It's the attitude of "I don't want to work with this so I'll give up" rather than the GGJ's "this really boggles my noggin but let's see where I can go with this."
    Idk about people responding "I don't want to work with this", but I can see some people (me) saying "How am I suppose to work with this?". The using only 4 colors idea is interesting though (Also, I'm feeling more and more thankful for SBS's themes with every theme I see that the GGJ had)
    Posted Edited by PesticidePoison
  • #12 ✎ 51 seggiepants In my opinion, it would be best to do away with the theme and let people program what they want in a given time frame. I know that programming contest sites like to have themes, but I have never been fan of them. I do like the virtual camaraderie and having a finished program however. There have been several times I thought of participating in Ludum Dare, then decided to skip it once I found out what the theme was. Or skipping it after spending an hour or two thinking and not getting an idea I wanted to spend time on. In fact I was lurking during the Industy contest and skipped it because I had no good ideas I wanted to put time into...sorry. I may be a single data point, but I will say the cash prizes don't really motivate me. It is almost better to not win so I don't have to claim things on my taxes. So if that is a burden I don't mind if we drop that. Everyone can feel free to be a counterpoint here, but I saw more interest in the badges than the cash/prizes. If you must have a theme, please make sure that it can be done in a wide variety of game styles. Specifically it should be something that can be done in a manner like an early arcade or text mode game. There are A LOT of people who have very little programming experience, so take it easy on them. I know on MiiVerse there are a lot of people who have a terrible time just getting sprites on the screen. Can we talk about attitude? If you are saying things like: "People are only complaining because this theme actually requires effort lol" or "Your entry must have at least some effort put into it. I will not give out badges to entries which were obviously made only to receive the badge" you are coming off in a bad light and driving people away. When people ask questions about the theme, and what does and doesn't fit it. You should answer in an obvious and straightforward manner. Don't be cagey. Don't give half answers. Don't tell them they are free to stretch the theme, then get mad when they do. You should be listing several examples on the announcement post of ideas that match the theme from a variety of game styles. If you expect works of art you are setting your expectations way too high. Finally, if you are an admin for the site and didn't make a game for the contest, you should be embarrassed. You shouldn't be asking people to do things that you won't do yourself. (I don't actually know off hand who is or isn't an admin but I only see one admin in the last contest's list of entries.) I was going to suggest additional voting categories like most fun, best use of theme, most advanced code, graphics, sound, etc. but maybe that is more effort than it is worth. Posted
  • #13 ✎ 817 Lumage
    You should be listing several examples on the announcement post of ideas that match the theme from a variety of game styles.
    If this were to happen there's fear that people would be stuck on the ideas presented. It might be helpful for the people that really can't come up with anything, but priming for similar entries doesn't sound like a good idea.
    Finally, if you are an admin for the site and didn't make a game for the contest, you should be embarrassed.
    While it only really affects two users, there's an issue with transparency here. High level admins (including randomouscrap) can view poll votes (usually in the case of contests to prevent cheating). Maybe it seems minor. What's less minor is that (and this one so far also only affects randomous and myself) someone has to run the contests, which includes theme decision. That means at least one person has to know the theme ahead of time, so it would be unfair for them to compete. The current head admin (Lacks) has stated that he wants to have nothing to do with the contests and not be told the themes for exactly this reason so that he might be able to enter without it being unfair.
    attitude
    The question is whether the contest administration attitude toward theme is wrong or whether the community attitude toward the given themes is wrong. Note that "community" may very well refer to a vocal minority like GGG. I don't know.
    "Your entry must have at least some effort put into it. I will not give out badges to entries which were obviously made only to receive the badge" you are coming off in a bad light and driving people away
    This is just to prevent people from submitting filler entries for a badge. I don't see the problem with that. A similar situation is that monetary prizes aren't distributed if too few entries are received. Whenever that issue comes up, someone suggests (jokingly, usually) that they could submit several junk entries to reach the quota. Either way, the next contest won't have any of these issues.
    Posted
  • #14 ✎ 202 PesticidePoison Good Page Hidden Achievements Spring 2017 Contest Runner Up I placed 2nd in the SmileBASIC Source Spring 2017 Contest! Programming Contest Avatar Taboo I didn't change my avatar for 180 days Website
    The question is whether the contest administration attitude toward theme is wrong or whether the community attitude toward the given themes is wrong. Note that "community" may very well refer to a vocal minority like GGG. I don't know.
    I will go ahead and point out that I haven't had any problems with the way the contests are, and that I have no complaints, the whole reason for me suggesting a form of change was because it seemed like other people were having a hard time with it...If not enough people like it, (And don't participate in the contest) it effects the people who do enter and enjoy the contests. (AKA Me)
    There are A LOT of people who have very little programming experience, so take it easy on them. I know on MiiVerse there are a lot of people who have a terrible time just getting sprites on the screen.
    Going easy mostly depends on the people voting, not the admins, if someone makes a tiny game that is poorly made, or a just plain bad one, then chances are most people aren't going to vote for it.
    I may be a single data point, but I will say the cash prizes don't really motivate me. It is almost better to not win so I don't have to claim things on my taxes. So if that is a burden I don't mind if we drop that. Everyone can feel free to be a counterpoint here, but I saw more interest in the badges than the cash/prizes.
    I don't think much of them ether, but they are a good motivator, and a good reason to make a quality game. It might be a nice idea however if maybe the prizes were scaled down a bit, mostly for the sake of random, or since people like you don't seem to care about the prizes as much. Maybe 1st place $20, 2nd place $10? Idk, I'm just throwing ideas on the wall at this point.
    Posted Edited by PesticidePoison
  • #15 ✎ 131 Warrior Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies It would be neato if we did something like lundum dare where you have 48hrs to create a game of any kind Posted
  • #16 ✎ 1443 12Me21 Admin Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Second Year My account is over 2 years old Website
    It would be neato if we did something like lundum dare where you have 48hrs to create a game of any kind
    Everyone procrastinates so much that I'm sure they don't even spend 48 hours as it is.
    Posted
  • #17 ✎ 131 Warrior Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies
    It would be neato if we did something like lundum dare where you have 48hrs to create a game of any kind
    Everyone procrastinates so much that I'm sure they don't even spend 48 hours as it is.
    Still would be neat what would come of it. Who knows, maybe a really cool high score based game might pop into existence.
    Posted
  • #18 ✎ 817 Lumage Short time limits means automated submission end, I think. And, like 12 said, it's probably not as good as you think lol. SB doesn't have the libraries available to make something nice in a short time. At least, I'm not the type of person that would lose sleep for that kind of contest. On the other hand, extreme style contests would probably close the gap of skill level. (but remember that contests are just to trick people into producing content for the site) Posted
  • #19 ✎ 193 Shelly
    Short time limits means automated submission end, I think. And, like 12 said, it's probably not as good as you think lol. SB doesn't have the libraries available to make something nice in a short time. At least, I'm not the type of person that would lose sleep for that kind of contest. On the other hand, extreme style contests would probably close the gap of skill level. (but remember that contests are just to trick people into producing content for the site)
    I never thought of that. How much do you guys make from running ads? This might be a stupid question.
    Posted
  • #20 ✎ 306 ToadIsTheBest Avatar Embargo I didn't change my avatar for 90 days Website Video Games I like to play video games! Hobbies Intermediate Programmer I can make programs, but I still have trouble here and there. Programming Strength i have a suggestion: A CONTEST ABOUT CATS! Posted
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