Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Win2008 IGDC - Your Thoughts? (long; take your time)

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 18 Feb 2008 10:23:39 -0700
Hi, folks;

OK, there's one day left for judging the Winter 2008 IGDC and, after a
two-week extension, I have only 11 rankings. This has me pondering a few
things, from the immediate to the long-term:

What do we do now? I am inclined to try one more extension.
Q1) Should we extend two more weeks?

Even if I do, there's a fair-to-middling chance we'll have only a
handful of extra rankings. It strikes me that eight games in competition
means we'd want at least, oh, 16 to 24 rankings, to have a meaningful
competition. With 11 rankings, a largish family could be the determining
bloc in the scoring!
Q2) What is the minimum number of ballots we should accept to consider a
contest valid (as a ratio to the number of entries)?

If we do not get "enough" ballots, the competition would have to be
deemed null (like, I presume, the Autumn 2005 competition was).
Q3) Does anyone else agree with that, or should any number of ballots be
valid for final ranking? (See below; it's not uncommon!)

If we were to graph the participation history of the past IGDCs, it
looks like this:
It would seem that the following is true:
4a) There has always been a very small ratio of ballots to games, for
good or ill (around 1:1).
4b) The frequency of IGDCs in 2004-5 had no positive impact (or maybe
had an adverse impact? see Aug-05) on participation.
4c) The return after a two-year hiatus seemed to drive a LOT of new
participation (although nearly half of those ballots came from one
source: a school class).
Q4) Should I begin to run the IGDC annually ONLY?
Q4a) If so, what would be the best time of year to run it?
Q4b) If not, should I shift the twice-annual schedule around somehow?

Keep in mind that this is the general schedule:
Announce to Submission Deadline: 4 to 6 weeks (depending upon design
restriction, if any)
Submission to Judging Deadline: 4 to 6 weeks (depending upon
participation and promotion)
Total from Announce to Final Ranking: 8 to 13 weeks (allowing for
tallying delays)
= 2 to 2.5 months.

Also keep in mind things like traditional school calendar and college
schedules (breaks and exams, in particular), major conventions (conflict
or opportunity?), consumer spending cycles, whatever you think would
help or hinder participation.

Sorry this post is so long; but the time investment in the IGDC is
beginning to outstrip the return--I've prolly dropped, oh, twenty
minutes per ballot, managing and promoting the competition! I want the
purpose of the IGDC to be best-served, and it looks like that means

I'd like the IGDC to do a LOT more to:
* refine new games by having many playtesters' (i.e. judges') eyes on
each submission
* expand the breadth and depth of game types on Icehousegames.org
* promote progressive accumulation of complete Icehouse pyramid
* leverage pyramids as gaming devices that are distinct from playing
cards, building blocks, or existing board game pieces

In short: make the Icehouse System Looney Labs' top selling product, as
it deserve for its innovation! (Sorry, Fluxx fans, but Icehouse should
be in every home, school, coffee shop, and pub--some of which are places
that cards fear to tread!)