Online Competitions & Jams
Discussion about the MONTHLY CHALLENGE OCTOBER - Time: the leading cause of death
4:11pm 30 Oct 2012
4:15pm 30 Oct 2012
So I agree with no private sections for openness.
I also agree that when we have "heated discussions" we should not bog down everyone's perceptions with it, especially newcomers.
Any suggestions for solving both concerns?
And saying "don't present oppositional views" simply isn't a solution.
I guess a saving grace right now is that mgsa, despite intentions, isn't very noob-friendly (yet), and as such we're in much less danger of scaring new people off, cos there simply aren't very many of them. So before we "go bigger" we should try and iron out many things, including how comps work.
Also, we should change the name of this thread to reflect the content of the discussion, so it won't ambush so-called new members. "Discussions around the challenge format", or something. Do we need
for that, or do we have moderators who are able to make changes like this? (while I don't like the power dynamics of some moderator systems, a system like this should have a few for in case of things like this. We're not gonna censor everything but we should be able to change things needing changing without having to wait X period of time for post orginator, that's separate discussion altogether though.)
4:22pm 30 Oct 2012
One thing I would like to suggest is to try and emphasize the meet-ups more, get more newcomers to actually go there and actually met the people in person. I realise that this will solve the problem for only a very small subset of the people that actually use the site but I would like to see that happen.
And I don't know much about web development, but I saw that 2 members posted intro threads and got a hearty welcome. So maybe take a person that just registered to a automatic(optional) "Hi, my name is..." thread that they can almost just click ok and start their first thread. It might encourage them to make their first post without the pressure of trying to think of something interesting to say.
4:29pm 30 Oct 2012
The moderators can change the thread title, but it's not something I agree with because that's how stuff goes missing.
I'm less concerned with scaring new people with a heated discussion than making sure the discussion is not a negative one or condescending (which is
's main concern). What does concern me is your thoughts that MGSA isn't noob-friendly; what makes you say that?
I think this is a good discussion to have and MGSA is in its infancy so we have lots to sort out about what activities we drive and what motivates us.
Maybe what we need to have is a segment at the next community meeting to come to a face-to-face consensus rather than dragging it out on the forum?
4:37pm 30 Oct 2012
4:37pm 30 Oct 2012
I've raised the user-friendliness thing and discussed it to death via our mail conversations so I'm not gonna drag it out here, but the basic gist is that mgsa is "only a forum" right now, which means people can choose to browse and see things at their own leisure.
Noobs who however aren't committed are likely going to arrive, see nothing on the home page that they are interested in, assume that it's a small community of "discussions", MAYBE click discussions and read the first couple of topics, MAYBE find something they're interested in, and MAYBE return.
None of the experience was "designed" to be the "main menu" for "Game Development in SA", which is what mgsa should be, I think.
Been working on that with the committee.
2:28pm 31 Oct 2012
One quick thing about the "dilution issue" being raised: bear in mind that the problem of too many competitions / challenges isn't just from the developer's side, there's a certain level of fatigue when you're required to playtest / look at /comment on a whole lotta entries and maintain tabs on them too.
I generally do my best to keep abreast of any new prototypes on the forums, but the community seems to have hit a critical mass where I can't keep regularly playing and meaningfully commenting on every single submission (and with the comp art threads in particular, I've found myself occasionally just throwing out a heart and moving right along). I feel a little guilty about it, but when there's enough new stuff going on I really find myself needing a breather.
That said, rather too much than too little, I suppose ... :P
But yeah, it would strike me as unfortunate if we end up producing 100 games with 1 comment each, rather than just a dozen of 'em with meaningful discussions involved (though now we're heading into the territory of useful prototyping discussions and how far to take a project and blah-de-fukken-blah, I may chat about this a little at tonight's CT meetup).
2:50pm 31 Oct 2012
, I feel the same way. I have only played Radventure and MiniCiv the past weekend and haven't even gotten around to giving any feedback nvm meaningful feedback. I want to play all the games and also build all the things...but it really is time and energy consuming.
But yeah, rather too busy than the other way around. Everyone just have to up their game(I'm so punny) I guess. :)
3:17pm 31 Oct 2012
I've been fashionably expressing an insane amount of jealousy that a certain Simon-style game was easily getting a dozen replies while MinCiv rotted in a corner, but these past few weeks have helped me put some important thought into the way a prototype is presented and what sort of things people have the time to play through / provide meaningful feedback on.
It's a really weird to think about it now, but back in the day Game.Dev was always small enough for everybody to comment on every game all the time because there was such limited activity. The size, enthusiasm and participation of today's community in comparison is quite unbelievable (and even compared to just a few months ago, the overall number of projects posted here has shot up an inspiring amount).
TL;DR I don't think we need a comp every month, though I totally see what
is trying to outline (also not saying that he's advocating a particular point, just that he summarised a rather interesting avenue in this topic).
Looking forward to the Radventure commentary, I'll have another (more accessible) version up soon. :P
I still need to give
some feedback on the Rook's Keep beta ...
3:26pm 31 Oct 2012
I need to get my Rook's keep feedback up as well. One thing that I have been doing is just looking at the amount of feedback that a game gets. When there is a lot of activity and I feel I need to do other things I let other people handle it. Unless there is something I really want to add to the discussion.
4:01pm 31 Oct 2012
4:55pm 31 Oct 2012
Yeah I've been feeling the fatigue too. And will only increase as I get into a new job. I'm gonna make my points (hopefully) brief:
1) While it'd nice that everyone comments on everything, it's hardly realistic, as such we can expect people to pick n choose.
2) There are two choices from 1): A) Am I interested in this game, and B ) Do I have comments on this. Either of those resulting in a no will result in fewer comments, and that doesn't mean the game sucks.
3) Also it sucks if the whole community is relying on a few to provide feedback, and sometimes I wonder if having a few who're stronger at feedback continually give strong feedback is good - it feeds the cycle of people waiting for those few, and fewer people jump in, ending up relying on the fewer again.
4) Simpler things are simpler to give feedback on. Things like Minciv and Radventure are super well put together and as such are harder to "critique", and a lot of people I bet simply go "oooh" and leave the commentary to someone else (like point 3 again). That, again, doesn't mean the complex games are less cool.
I haven't got solutions to these points, but I do think that presentation could play a large part in reducing fatigue... When people come to the site and see 100 unread things, they go "meh". At this point everyone would say "why don't you use the category filters", and I'll ask "who actually uses those?" - I could be entirely wrong, or I could be right in saying that people just don't take notice of those filters, due to presentation.
4:10pm 31 Oct 2012
Point 4) has been very prominent in my thinking (naturally :P) and probably doesn't have an elegant solution aside from working harder.
Point 3) looks to be workable, though. I actually think that a talk at one of the local meetups about "great feedback habits" would be really useful to the community as it stands now (I've shoehorned it into a CT talk tonight, though I wish I'd thought of it as a broader topic a little sooner).
4:17pm 31 Oct 2012
4:17pm 31 Oct 2012
I think it also helps the people playing if you say exactly what you expect from the feedback? It's hard for people not designing the game to really see what changes have been made since the last build, if they were subtle at least. So maybe posting like two to three exact questions you would like answered it gives more focus to the playtest and the playtester will probably expand on that with their own thoughts as well.
4:51pm 31 Oct 2012
I have found the question-based approach to work incredibly well.
5:16pm 31 Oct 2012
5:16pm 31 Oct 2012
The fatigue factor will only get higher if this community is successful. Have you seen TIGSource forums for example.
If we are successful, and I hope we are, it means more people here making more games and leaving more comments. It feels a bit bad not giving feedback to some people, but if we grow then there's really no way round that.
And competing for attention is a good thing in general. Though that's where splitting up the forums into different categories and different competitions allows users to give more focused feedback to a smaller group of projects. We're not at the point yet where we need that, we're only just at the point where it's impossible to respond to everything, but we'll get there.
(I guess I'm saying that having multiple competitions, if it separates and groups community members together (if it can do that?), is the opposite of dilution. I'd rather get deep feedback from a small number of posters than shallow feedback from everyone on the forum)