Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Suggestions for future Icehouse Game Design Competitions

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 4 Nov 2009 16:04:12 -0600
David Artman writes:
>On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 3:38 PM, Dale Sheldon <dales@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>> Maybe we should be less like a science fair, and more like the academy
>> awards? Instead of "here's the submit window", rather go with "anything that
>> came out in the last year is up for consideration".

>Not a bad idea... but that could well mean MANY more games up for judging--8
>on Existing Game History (as far as I can tell) and umpty-score on Games In
>Development. Without a submission process, what will winnow down that list
>(note that the Oscars has a selection committee, as does the People's Choice
>Awards, which is more like the IGDC in terms of judges)?

What I've seen in commuity-oriented awards that use this kind of
structure is a triplicate or duplicate approach:

Mythopoeic (has a committe, but largish and volunteer one):
	 Anyone in the commuity (members of mythsoc) can nominate
	 eligible items.  Over the next 3 months, the judges try the
	 various things on the long list (usually about 40 items; and
	 we're talking novels; but not everyone reads everything).
	After those months, there's a voting period that results in
	 4-6 items on a "short list" -- -everyone- who votes in the
	 final awards (about another month later) should read
	 everything on the short list.

The Pegasus (has a committee, but they just determine themes, decide
on eligiblity, and tabulate votes.  Also, they're really small):
	There are, again, three stages, though they're less formal than
	the Mythopoec ones.  Early in the year, a "brainstorming poll"
	is distirbuted and, eventually, tabulated, which contains
	entries for suggestions for both the current categories and
	for next year's "floating caetgories".  The results are
	published (stripped of ineligible entries, but have no
	substantive results.
	Stage two is nomination -- -anything- eligible can be
	nominated, but the brainstorming poll results are a useful
	place to look for ideas (and have a good idea that others
	might be looking in the same place), so while the
	brainstorming poll has no -official- influence, it does have a
	lot of actual influence.
	And stage 3, of course, is voting.

The Hugos use a very similiar approach to the pegasus, but there's no
(official) brainstorming poll; instead, there are two stages: open
nomination and results.

>That also kills design-restricted competitions, not that I reckon that will
>much matter this time around.

Does it have to?  I'll note that I mentioned "floating categories".
The idea here is that there are two categories of award that change
every year -- in the Icehouse space, those could easily be theem
awards.  "Best Game using a Chessboard", "Best game involving
real-time play"; "Best game involving at least 5 distinct colors"

>shift in basic qualifications. More generally, that removes all of the
>excitement and challenge of "design NOW" which has consistently generated 5
>to 8 new games twice annually

Now this is a big issue, and a good reason to have the desire for an
annual award not kill design competitons.  They're really different
things, with different goals and results.  Competitions spawn new
games, and quickly--some of them won't be very good, but some will.
Awards, by contrast, are much better at promoting and recognizing the
-best- new games.

Totally different things.

I'll note that every annual award I list above uses a "things made
last year" (except the Pegasus, which uses "things made last year -and
earlier-" to avoid failing to recognizing worthy works just because
they've got good competition in their year).  I do think that annual
awards work best on a body of work in the past, though I could be

>I'm all in favor of something that shakes the IGDC up and makes it something
>in which folks want to participate, PARTICULARLY folks not on this list or
>the wiki. I'm just not sure that "Best Of 20xx" is the way to transition it.

I think doing both might work -- that way, games designed for the IGDC
have another, bigger chance at recognition.

>Huh... The neat thing about Best Of is that it doesn't really take much
>coordination at all: make a Gmail account for it, announce it, and tell
>folks to email their Top Three (or whatever) and accumulate them for, oh, a
>couple of months (start soon!). Then run Condorcet over it and, voila!,
>results without the fuss.

I think multi-stage concordet works better here; a nomination period
really does help winnow things down.   But otherwise...yeah.

       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
--^--   "Did you know, if you increment enough, you   /,`.-'`'   -,  ;-;;'
 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
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