Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] IGDC Winter 2009?

  • FromDavid Artman <david.artman@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 23 Feb 2009 17:05:16 -0500
OK, I reckon I should have made three threads. :}

* Should we have one?

Yes--DUH! Game Chef has AWESOME entries nearly every year, and they don't "dust off old designs" (much)--the terminological restrictions make that (almost) impossible. It's a contest amongst designers to design with creative constraints, NOT to have a "free" venue for playtesters of their Idea of the Month. That's why I've always felt open design were weaker--any old idea cropped into the running. And, further (to really drive the point home with anecdotal evidence), creativity is not "stifled" by a good set of terms; quite the contrary (from what I've heard over about eight years of Game Chef chat--many years of which produce best-selling indie RPGs).

So I reckon it's clear where I stand: we haven't done terminological; and I think it would rock. At the least, we'd get some strongly themed games... and note that terms can be mechanical in nature as well, allowing for some mix and match; e.g.:
--Pick three: Ice, Martian, Branch, Turnless, Balance
(Note: These would NOT be used--they are chosen because of a TON of popular, published games that would qualify under them.)

* Categories

I think they would not only make it easier to "focus" judges and build their own confidence in how they are ranking (hopefully leading to more judges!), they also make any voting system at least a tad harder to game (in the sense that someone has to "justify" a net score, and others will see it and be able to say, "What, dude? You think ICEHOUSE has no depth of strategy or replayability?!?" for example). Not that a ranking would be discounted if "suspicious"; just that categorical points could expose someone gaming the vote by virtue of no one else even being close in points, for various specific categories.

I think, further, that folks respond well to the "poll" nature of categories, rather than having to just sort of say "Well, I guess I like this one better."

* Condorcet vs Points

See Categories above: we could easily just do Average Points to rank (and quickly compare against Condorcet; or even check against Total Points, to see if it matters). In fact, maybe some sort of "combined" determination using Condorcet, Average, and Total would be best--the former is (was) pretty fair to non-votes (i.e. games not played or ranked by a given judge); the Average takes into account how many folks played it (good- or ill-feeling they might be); and Total... well, hmmm... I need a math head to deal with this, actually. Seems that just being played (and scored at all) would give advantage in Total (and maybe in Average, but neutral in Cordorcet).

* IGDC Coordinator

I am relatively well rested, and so I'd be glad to deal with the paper work. And if we can sort it out soon, it could actually conclude (design phase, at least) in Winter (3/22). I could live with three weeks to design, especially under constraint. The "Mini Game Chef" next month is a two-page RPG, with ONE WEEK to write (and presumably at least test once, for glaring holes). Our games are RARELY more than one index card in length, let along two pages. Most of what I write is idea to playtest in a day, maybe two with a rewrite.

Anyhow, I'd collect the votes and do the wiki-work (and the math, if not Condorcet; I'd call for an "impartial math head" to handle that). That's all an IGDC Coordinator really does, other than to cajole other Iceheads to post all over the web, to get participants and judges. (And, yeah, make his own announcements at a spot or two.)

*Stray thoughts (should make other threads, but maybe they'll trickle out on their own?)

"12-stash" - Yep, I got Stacktors! ready to submit, if we go that way. 13-stashes, actually (added pink Abilities back in August).

"More entries better than few" - Interesting. A good new thread (start it for me, plz? I am still on moderation, it seems). I disagree wholeheartedly, having seen judging trends. Look back over the recent IGDCs--VERY few judges rank every game, lacking time to really play eight or ten. A tight group of four (and 6 weeks+ to advertise and judge) would mean more meaningful rankings (or more thought about points values for Categories like replayability).

"popular game" v. "popular designer" - I think some folks worry that Famous Guy will get all the love, or Lady with Fifty Friends With Time To Ballot-Stuff or Teacher With Students Playing Their Game (*wink*) would sweep just due to peeps throwing in toss-in ballots (another thing Categories might mitigate, as the folks would show their not-having-played ignorance, in compared to average judges' points allocations for unfavored games).

Ugg... too long, sorry. Thanks for reading this far.