Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Ice Game Design Competition 2007

  • FromBrian Campbell <lambda@xxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 16 Apr 2007 10:50:36 -0400
On Apr 16, 2007, at 2:05 AM, James Hazelton wrote:

I'm glad that someone is able to take up this responsibility. I think it is important to have an individual by name who can head up a project and be accountable. That said, I also think it would be a good idea to have a small cabal of associates who also have access to voting records, to head off termination and even delay. Were such a cabal to be formed, I hope my name is considered.

That might be a good idea; we'll have to work out the details on how to organize this, and make sure that no one who's entering the competition has access. One question is whether the organizers should be able to vote on the competition; if not, and we have too many organizer, that may significantly cut into the number of votes we get (in past competitions, we've had as few as 5 or so voters, since it's frequently hard to get enough people together to playtest enough games for voting to be worth it).

Brian, you make a lot of good points; while I disagree on some points, it looks like we are on the same page for most things.

Disagreement is fine; that's why I sent this out, to see if anyone else had any thoughts on the pros and cons of my various suggestions.

1. Things from the old competition should be cleared up, but if we are going to have two formats this time around (see below), it would be overkill to redo the last competition as well. Certainly it is only fair to allow the games to compete. You might go so far as to guaranteeing a spot on the ballot for those games (this is assuming that there would be a primary to see which games get to compete--after this long, there may be too many games for everyone to get on the ballot).

In the past, we've never had any sort of qualifying round, and I don't see a need for it this time around, but if we did decide to do that, I'd definitely guarantee a spot for the last round's entries.

2. While I agree that the Wiki is an invaluable tool for the community and it would convenient to use it for the competition, I think it is important to make sure that game submission and voting can both be done without membership to the Wiki. I am assuming that we will get mentions on Looneylabs.com and Wunderland.com, so no doubt there will be a good number of potential voters who want to participate, but not enough to sign up for something. There should be an email option as well for anything that requires membership to the Wiki.

Wiki membership requires so little effort (fill in a form with your username once and password twice) that I didn't see this as much of a barrier, but if that is too much of a barrier I can certainly accept submissions via email.

3. Once or twice a year is, in my opinion, more preferable than quarterly. I don't think every game made in the time frame should even be allowed on the ballot, necessarily. The Icehouse Null Game was in the first competition--how? Fewer competitions a year will increase the average quality of the games.

I don't see a problem with there being games like the

4. I strongly disagree with adding prize support to the competition. The traditional "prize" of having your game recognized on likely printed is good enough. A Crystal Caste set would be enough motivation to get someone to cheat, and even a set of ZPIPs or a fancy piecenik set add something to the game that I'm not sure is proper. If it were a Looney-supported prize--say, off-coloured pyramids or some cash--I may feel different, because then it could be more in the line of reimbursement for printing rights.

I understand your concern; this is the part that I'm least sure about. I have seen this working for many years in the IFComp, without cheating problems as far as I know, and they have prizes that range up to $400. We may want to find out more about how they run that competition, to see if they do anything special to prevent cheating, or if it's just not a problem in their community. I would hope that it wouldn't be a problem in our community, but I don't want prizes to poison the friendly atmosphere, so I agree that we should be cautious about this if we do decide to do it.

5. I very much like the idea of a dual-format. This is in line with what I was suggesting earlier about having a Treehouse-centric ballot and a separate open ballot. This time the themed format would be Treehouse, and next time it could be Volcano caps, or tarot cards, or whatever. For all the reasons you mentioned, especially fostering creativity in games, I think it is a fantastic idea.

Great! Given that Carlton also mentioned basically the same idea, it sounds like this is something that a lot of people want.

Thank you for your input! I hope I can get this up and running as soon as possible, and hearing your thoughts definitely helps me plan it out and get a feel for what people want.