Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Re: Ice Game Design Competition 2007

  • FromBrian Campbell <lambda@xxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 16 Apr 2007 15:24:37 -0400
On Apr 16, 2007, at 2:34 PM, David Artman wrote:

I agree with Carlton, however, that a theme competition (where theme
isn't a purely mechanical requirement, like "use Volcano Caps") isn't
necessarily restrictive or even likely to result in several identical
games. Many times, the theming will be simply flavor--much like all the
"Martian" games, for which martianess certainly is not a mechanical
element. I'd say the more abstracted the theme terms, the more likely
folks will latch onto them in wild and interesting ways. Also, the Iron Game Chef contest typically offers two sets of four terms, and one picks
which three terms from ONLY ONE of the sets that one will use. (Plus,
not all Icehouse games are board games.)

OK, I can see that. I feel like we're going to need to do some experimentation with the format of the "themed" contests, to see what really works for people. I'd really like to have a few that have just minimal restrictions, like Treehouse set, Martian Coasters, or the like, just to be able to recognize the games that complement the current product offerings, but I'll also try out more of an Iron Game Chef style competition. I feel like if I do three contests this year, one of each type (open, single restriction, Iron Game Chef), we can test the waters and see what works, and settle on a particular set of formats next year. Also, I should stop calling them "themed" contests, since it's not really theme I'm talking about, but any sort of restriction in general, whether it be theme, mechanics, components, etc. Maybe "restricted" competitions? That sounds too negative; I'd rather have a positive term that indicates that the point is to inspire people.

As for award logos/graphics, I would just put out a call for submissions
and then let folks vote on their favorites. I'd recommend keeping them
around 100px x 100px, so they aren't too obtrusive. Of course, someone
has to (permanently!) host them, for them to show on the (broken) wiki.

I can host any graphics necessary for the competition on my own domain (or we may be able to host it on the icehousegames.com domain, which was used for the previous contests). I'm not sure we need to have a contest or voting for these; I'm not sure if we'll get all that many people doing graphics, it may be easier to just find someone good and have them do the graphics.

I'd might be nice to also have a 10px x 10px version of each, for adding
to links to the games, as opposed to the large graphic, which should
only be used on the game's main page.

Yep, this sounds like a good plan; 16x16 px graphics may also be OK, though they won't fit quite the same into text.

RE: 1 game per person may be entered in each of the two contests - I see
why you'd want that (avoid spamming fifty lame games, trying to get a
win), but it also seems less "open." Brian's "voter self-correcting"
notion will tend to make someone lose, who spams games: voters won't
slog through five games from one designer, if the first couple are poor

Yeah, I agree. Why would someone want to submit more than 1 or 2 games per contest? It means that at most one of them can win, as opposed to the possibility of all winning if you submit them to different contests, and it may make people get sick of your games.

RE: entry for the 2nd contest of the year closes prior to announcing the
winner of the previous contest - That sort of clashes with the idea of
"can resubmit" for open and themed: how could I know I should resubmit
if I don't know if I've won or lost, yet? Surely, a game can't *win*
both contests, right? What were you really wanting from this?

I'm thinking that maybe the rule would be that you could submit your game to one themed contest and one open contest.

Finally, I wonder if we might consider having more than one
winner/winning category, for each competition? Have folks rank games in
the following Awards:
* Most Fun To Play
* Most Innovative
* Best Presentation
* Grand Champion

I was thinking about this, but I don't think that given the number of games we've seen in prior contests, that there will be enough games to really support this many categories. How about if we hold off on this until we've seen how many entrants we're getting. If we regularly get 30 entrants, categories would be great. If we regularly get 5-10, you really just want to have one winner.

WHEN we gonna open submissions?

I'm going to open submissions as soon as I get all, or at least most, of the details worked out, hopefully in the next week or so.

Things I need to work out:
1) Wait for some more discussion here on the list to make sure everyone who wants gets a fair say
2) Write up the rules, and post them on the wiki
3) Either post the rules again on the old IGDC web page, or just link to the wiki from there 4) Work out the schedule of contests for this year, so people will know what's coming up.

WHERE will submissions have to go--wiki, e-mail to organizer, wiki +
notify organizer, wiki with the [[Category:2007Contest]] tag?
HOW long between start and end--when does submission acceptance end and
voting begin?

For the first contest, I plan to have a relatively short submission period (1-2 weeks); I mainly want to get some of the backlog from the long period with no contest cleared out. For later contests, especially the restricted and Iron Game Chef style contests, I feel like a submission period of a month, or maybe even a bit more, would probably be good, to give people enough time to design and playtest games that fit the criteria.

WHAT are admissible games--I am curious if a derivative game would be
admitted, like Ikkozendo?

I feel like I'd want to have a guideline that games should be new games, rather than just minor variants, but that still leaves a lot open for interpretation (like Ikkozendo, which would be in the grey area). For that grey area, I'd say just leave it up to the voters; I won't reject a submission because it's too small a change, but voters might not be thrilled to play a rehashed older game. The only actual rule would be that the original game must be appropriately credited in the derivative, and if the derivative is close enough, the author of the derivative must have permission of the author of the original.