Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

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

  • From"Ryan Hackel" <deeplogic@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 18 Feb 2008 15:49:23 -0500 (EST)

Emptying my brain of various thoughts...

1)  The IGDC does help good designs bubble to the top.  Most of the previous winners have been quality games, and at least one IGDC is warranted.  Four per year like it had been in '04 was way too much.  I'm not sure twice a year is even a good idea.

2)  I've been saving most of my feedback, beyond rules questions, for the wiki, after the voting deadline.  I felt it to be improper etiquette to dish out the dirt before weigh-in.  Hopefully my feedback can help two games with potential be all they can be.

3)  I only played four entrants this year, including my own.  I felt that overall game complexity was higher than the previous contest (summer '07).  I also feel the 2HOUSE-ness of many entries was dubious, so the returns on a design restriction wasn't worth it, to me.

4)  It sounds like what we really need is focused attention on the design and playtesting of one specific game.  ***Here's an Idea... the annual Pyramid Project.***  Take one promising game, and have the community adopt it for 12 months.  Each year, the community nominates unpublished games, and we choose, by voting or discussion, one game to focus our collective attention on.  It's the game we playtest with friends, try out at cons, give feedback to the designer throughout the year, and try tireless for one year to improve while promoting.  

This has many advantages over the IGDC.  We don't splinter our time and attention among six or ten different games.  We focus on one game with the most consensus, one that the whole Icehouse community can get behind.  It doesn't hinge as much on large group participation.  And it doesn't demand as much attention from one individual as the IGDC does.  In the end, we have at least one more good game we can hold up to the greater gaming industry and say confidently, "this one's worth it".

What do y'all think of that?


 --- On Mon 02/18, David Artman < david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:
From: David Artman [mailto: david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
To: icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:23:39 -0700
Subject: [Icehouse] Win2008 IGDC - Your Thoughts? (long; take your time)

Hi, folks;OK, there's one day left for judging the Winter 2008 IGDC and, after atwo-week extension, I have only 11 rankings. This has me pondering a fewthings, 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 ahandful of extra rankings. It strikes me that eight games in competitionmeans we'd want at least, oh, 16 to 24 rankings, to have a meaningfulcompetition. With 11 rankings, a largish family could be the determiningbloc in the scoring!Q2) What is the minimum number of ballots we should accept to consider acontest valid (as a ratio to the number of entries)?If we do not get "enough" ballots, the competition would have to bedeemed null (like, I presume, the Autumn 2005 competition was).Q3) Does anyone else agree with that, or should any number of ballots bevalid for final ranking? (See below; it's not uncommon!)If we were to graph 
the participation history of the past IGDCs, itlooks like this:http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p2ulvGM7SZjfqrt9v8e25OgIt would seem that the following is true:4a) There has always been a very small ratio of ballots to games, forgood or ill (around 1:1).4b) The frequency of IGDCs in 2004-5 had no positive impact (or maybehad an adverse impact? see Aug-05) on participation.4c) The return after a two-year hiatus seemed to drive a LOT of newparticipation (although nearly half of those ballots came from onesource: a school class).So....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 designrestriction, if any)Submission to Judging Deadline: 4 to 6 weeks (depending uponparticipation and promotion)Total from Announce to Final Ranking: 8 to 13 
weeks (allowing fortallying delays)= 2 to 2.5 months.Also keep in mind things like traditional school calendar and collegeschedules (breaks and exams, in particular), major conventions (conflictor opportunity?), consumer spending cycles, whatever you think wouldhelp or hinder participation.Sorry this post is so long; but the time investment in the IGDC isbeginning to outstrip the return--I've prolly dropped, oh, twentyminutes per ballot, managing and promoting the competition! I want thepurpose of the IGDC to be best-served, and it looks like that meanschange.I'd like the IGDC to do a LOT more to:* refine new games by having many playtesters' (i.e. judges') eyes oneach submission* expand the breadth and depth of game types on Icehousegames.org* promote progressive accumulation of complete Icehouse pyramidcollections* leverage pyramids as gaming devices that are distinct from playingcards, building blocks, or existing board game piecesIn short: make the Icehouse System Looney 
Labs' top selling product, asit deserve for its innovation! (Sorry, Fluxx fans, but Icehouse shouldbe in every home, school, coffee shop, and pub--some of which are placesthat cards fear to tread!)David_______________________________________________Icehouse mailing listIcehouse@lists.looneylabs.comhttp://lists.looneylabs.com/mailman/listinfo/icehouse

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