Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

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

  • From"Avri Klemer" <avri@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 19 Feb 2008 09:52:10 -0500
I know I was waiting until after the announcement to list feedback, in line with what everybody did last time out.
One possible issue I see with the current contest may be the quality of submissions . . .
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Icehouse] Win2008 IGDC - Your Thoughts? (long; take your time)

I guess we have to ask ourselves, do we really care (as a community) about new icehouse games? If a contest is not enough to get feedback for new games from the community, then what is? Maybe a review contest with prizes? (I was actually thinking about doing something like this for the piecepack comunity, which suffers from the same problem: lack of feedback).

After the relative success of last competition I thought things were looking up, but I must say I'm pretty disappointed.  It doesn't matter how creative we are as a designer community if we aren't  able to actually playtest the games and offer feedback. It's bad for the games (that don't have a chance to get better) and bad for the designers (which don't have a chance to see flaws and become better designers).

We should all think about this...

At least, I hope the people that submitted rankings all share their thoughts and feedback after the contest is over, because there's almost no feedback at all right now.

BTW, I'd say go ahead and end the competition and announce the winners. If a 1:1 ratio was accepted as valid before, it should be accepted now too, shouldn't it?


On Feb 18, 2008 6:23 PM, David Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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!)

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