GiTD [#31] Game Reviewing and Critiquing

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NOTICE: PLEASE READ

This thread is for reviewing Please use the second thread for voting.
VOTING THREAD

Entrants:
3ndl3ss: Douse

feartehstickman: Wizard Element Defence

saybox: SayBox’s Super Duper GiTD Entry


Theme:
Element(s)

Start:
Thursday 28th March (8pm EST, 5pm PST, same times as previous GitD competitions)

Deadline:
Sunday 7th April (8pm EST, 5pm PST)


IMPORTANT

This GiTD competition is being hosted by myself, MossyStump. UG is allowing me to do this, to try out some new ideas for the competition. Please read the rules, as they are very important. Also please note, due to the nature of some of the proposed changes, I will not be participating in this GitD as a competitor

NEW PROPOSED RULES: (Just for THIS content, before being evaluated through further discussion)
Once voting begins, there will be TWO threads. One for voting, and only voting, and one for reviews and critiquing.

As for random/independent/alt/friend voters, it will work as follows: There will be no immediate change, BUT, if a victory is determined solely by their votes, it is up for dispute ONLY by the winners, and will be carried out through contact with the host, and discussed privately with all parties until there’s a resolution.



Information:
For those who do not understand the rules of GiTD, you have 10 days to create a game based on the chosen theme. Once the deadline has passed a new voting thread will be created where users will vote for the person’s game who they think should win. Using an engine is acceptable as long as the person submitting it creates the majority of the game. You may work in a team of up to 2 people. (Let me know if you have a larger team and I’ll see what I can do)

The usual rules apply for using existing code/graphical assets/libraries.

Want to join the GiTD Mailing list? Just leave a shout on UnknownGuardians profile and they’ll message you any time a GiTD contests begins, voting begins, and the results of the voting.

 
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It took me far too long to realise that you weren’t UG.

Anyway, I’ll await the theme. Hopefully I can actually make something decent this time.

 
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why thursday, does it take eight days to choose a topic? :C
(ik there is much more than just choosing the topic, i am just eager to get into making a game again)

 
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Well, you can still develop games outside a contest ;). Mind you, I guess I should be doing that here … it turns out a full time job plus several other things I’m responsible for doesn’t leave much time for that …

 
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I can’t say I’m happy with the new voting rules. I think I understand why they were made — it’s to try to counteract dubious voters who may be alts or close friends of a contestant. Nevertheless, one of the things I look forward to is reading the feedback on the entries. Whenever I participate in a GitD, I value the critiques more than the actual votes themselves. Sadly, we won’t be having those anymore. My biggest motivator for joining a GitD has just been taken away. :(

 
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The critiques should still exist. The “voting” thread, under Mossy’s idea would just remove your 2 votes from the thread but keep everything else.

Also, note that Mossy said his idea was up for debate, so debate!

 
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Expect several people to vote on this thread anyway, due to not reading the above, forgetting about it, or whatever.

The new voting rule only affects first place votes? That seems a bit… weird. Anyway, I thought getting people outside of this community involved in the GiTD voting was desired; which makes that rule even weirder.

 
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How do we know that this isn’t MS’s evil plan to rig the votes in secret so he wins every contest? But in all seriousness, I think we should have a thread just for votes and another for critiques.

 
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Originally posted by ST3ALTH15:

How do we know that this isn’t MS’s evil plan to rig the votes in secret so he wins every contest?

I know this was said in jest, but it does raise the issue of non-transparency. By PM’ing Mossy the votes, there will be no way for other parties to audit the vote count. I’m not trying to cast doubt on Mossy’s integrity in any way, but I believe that a voting rule should be sound enough that even if we change the people involved, it will be acceptable. Would you guys accept the rule if instead of Mossy, it was I who would count the votes sent to me and me alone? Remember that many of the voters in the GitD’s that I joined were generous with their criticism, so would they trust me to count votes in favor of their entries? (As an aside, I loved all the critiques that were made on my GitD entries, but that’s beside the point I’m trying to make.) What if it were someone else doing the counting, such as one of the voters of questionable identity in the last GitD? Would you trust them?

If a voting rule were to hinge primarily or solely on the integrity of the person(s) doing the counting, I say that the rule is unstable. The rules that have been applied in the past GitD’s may not be perfect, but I still prefer them over the proposed new rules.

Anyhow, that’s just my $0.02. I’d like to hear what others have to say.

 
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I’m pretty sure that the idea behind private voting is to discourage people from just voting for what everyone else votes for, however I’m a big fan of transparency, so I’m not sure I like it. While I don’t think Mossy will rig the votes to suit his diabolical plan to rule the next contest, the room for doubt will always exist unless everything is presented publicly for everyone to see, as has always been the case in the past.

 
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Quick note, I’m not participating. Probably should have written that in the OP.

The whole idea of the voting being made private was to encourage more people to critique the games, without possibly being swayed (intentionally or not) by the numbers in the posts, to focus more on reviewing the games in the later stages, as opposed to just popping in and voting. ALL VOTES, would be made public at the end of the contest (possibly before (1-2 days), what do you guys think?)

The point of the voting rule for both votes being worth 1 point, was indeed to try to prevent any outside people to just come in and vote a winner due to relationship statuses. I don’t see why this would be a problem, but none of this is set in stone of course.

“The new voting rule only affects first place votes? That seems a bit… weird. Anyway, I thought getting people outside of this community involved in the GiTD voting was desired; which makes that rule even weirder.”

You’re completely right. I don’t think this would impede this, the only difference is that outside voters wouldn’t be able to completely sway the competition drastically. Two people still get votes, but non-community members wouldn’t be able to bridge or extend a gap between contestants should it come down to two people.

“If a voting rule were to hinge primarily or solely on the integrity of the person(s) doing the counting, I say that the rule is unstable.”

Now that you mention it, I completely agree. What if there was a way we could separate discussion and voting until the end? I’d still like to opt for the private voting idea, with the votes being publicly displayed afterwards. Maybe possibly before the contest ends, by a day or two?

 
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Originally posted by MossyStump:

The whole idea of the voting being made private was to encourage more people to critique the games, without possibly being swayed (intentionally or not) by the numbers in the posts, to focus more on reviewing the games in the later stages, as opposed to just popping in and voting.

I do want to believe that some voters will publicly post their reviews of the games and PM their votes separately, but I have my doubts. The proposed voting method might discourage people from posting their critiques since it would clue others in on which games they prefer, which seems to be what the new voting scheme is trying to prevent. Besides, as dragon_of_celts mentioned earlier, some people may post their votes publicly anyway for not having read the new rules. Will those votes be invalidated?

Originally posted by MossyStump:

ALL VOTES, would be made public at the end of the contest (possibly before (1-2 days), what do you guys think?)

That may solve the issue of accountability as long as voters verified the entries they voted for. Most probably wouldn’t bother to.

However, a thought came into my pessimistically morbid mind. What if something terribly, irrevocably bad were to happen to you before you could post the votes? People on Kong may never know what happened. It’s unlikely to happen, I’m sure (knock on wood) but not impossible. The mere fact there is a reasonable possibility that this may happen shows that the scheme isn’t foolproof. There has to be some sort of backup plan.

Originally posted by MossyStump:

The point of the voting rule for both votes being worth 1 point, was indeed to try to prevent any outside people to just come in and vote a winner due to relationship statuses. I don’t see why this would be a problem, but none of this is set in stone of course.

What if they vote for only one entry instead of two? Will that be considered an invalid vote? If not, then this is a loophole that can allow people to give their contestant buddy an edge without having to worry about voting for rivals who may be in the lead.

Anyhow, I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade. I’m just looking for flaws in the plan that may have to be addressed. I’m still not optimistic about people giving their critiques, but we’ll see.

 
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I think it’s pretty universally agreed that elections in which the tally cannot be verified by independent observers do not qualify as “free and fair”. The height of the stakes and the trustworthiness of the person/organism running the election have nothing to do with it.

Second, having both the votes and the critiques in the same thread has never prevented anyone from writing extensive reviews of the submissions if they felt like it, nor were they prevented from simply posting their two votes and moving on. I don’t see what taking the votes out of the thread would change to that.

Third, an amalgam was made between “alts or close friends of the contestants” which I fundamentally disagree with. I’ve always been under the impression that registering an alt account to increase one’s voting power was against the rules, but that referring one’s friends to the contest so they can try out the submissions and vote as their conscience allows was not only allowed, but recommended. If GiTD becomes a popularity contest there is always the option of limiting the voting rights to the sole entrants.

Call me an elitist, but I’m already in favor of restricting voting rights to “people we know”, and by that I mean people who have been active in this forum over a non-trivial amount of time. If we’re going to restrict voting in any way I think restricting who can vote should come before who can see the vote.

 
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Voting and reviews are very unrelated. The only connection I can see between them is that people who vote feel obligated to write a review. IMO, if you write a review because you feel you’re obligated to do so, then one can question your sincerity.

As for cheaters, people don’t really have a motif! We’re all friends here and the prizes are trivial/non-existent.

 
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Originally posted by Ace_Blue:

I think it’s pretty universally agreed that elections in which the tally cannot be verified by independent observers do not qualify as “free and fair”. The height of the stakes and the trustworthiness of the person/organism running the election have nothing to do with it.

I don’t think this will be a problem. If the votes are rigged it will be blindingly obvious afterwards:

Originally posted by MossyStump:
After the voting period has been concluded, a spreadsheet of voters and their votes will be released to the public, along with the winners.

I don’t think this new voting system is necessary, but I don’t have any problems with it either.

 
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It seems as if it would be useful for the Kongregate forums to have a poll feature.

Or, perhaps, if something were to be run with GDR, so the votes can still only be made by Kongregate users, the system would be automatic?

I don’t know. I don’t really have any problems with the system as it is at the moment, but if you’re keen to change things up a little, there’s a couple of ideas.

 
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Partly off-topic, themes I’d love to work on a GiTD:
Guardian – as in defender, protector, or keeper
Growth – although I believe it’s been done already
Comrades – 2 or more individuals who share an activity or belong to a group

 
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I don’t think this new voting system is necessary, but I don’t have any problems with it either.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my opinion as well.

 
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Originally posted by Kewry:

Partly off-topic, themes I’d love to work on a GiTD:
Guardian – as in defender, protector, or keeper
Growth – although I believe it’s been done already
Comrades – 2 or more individuals who share an activity or belong to a group

I think we need a storytelling theme.

 
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OKay! As a trial I’m proposing this now.

Once voting begins, there will be TWO threads. One for voting, and only voting, and one for reviews and critiquing.

As for random/independent/alt/friend voters, it will work as follows: There will be no immediate change, BUT, if a victory is determined solely by their votes, it is up for dispute ONLY by the winners, and will be carried out through contact with the host, and discussed privately with all parties until there’s a resolution.

 
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Am I the only one who saw the private voting to serve as the purpose for suspense? In other words, it will make it so we have no idea who is going to win. I think that would make this more fun.

 
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I personally don’t have a problem with the private voting (particularly since he says he’ll reveal the votes at the end anyway). One of the reasons given was to not sway other votes — but that seems odd, considering we’re supposed to post our critiques (those won’t sway votes?)…

 
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Originally posted by dragon_of_celts:

One of the reasons given was to not sway other votes — but that seems odd, considering we’re supposed to post our critiques (those won’t sway votes?)…

We want to make sure people vote according to their sole opinions. And, be it influenced by a critique or not, a persons opinion is still their opinion.

However, there may be a case where someone votes just as the majority does, and thus they’d be voting according to the majorities opinions rather than their own. That’s what we really want to remedy.

Originally posted by MossyStump:


Once voting begins, there will be TWO threads. One for voting, and only voting, and one for reviews and critiquing.

I must point out, that if people post critiques during the voting process, it will be painfully obvious which game they voted for based on their reviews.

EDIT

Oh wow. I am an idiot. Never mind this, just keep scrolling down…

 
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I was just informed of this thread and here are my thoughts.

First off, I was under the impression the whole goal of GiTD was to get more people involved in every part of the competition. It seemed to me that more developers submitting games and more people voting would help the competition grow. The more it grew the better it would be and the better it would serve everyone involved. The more people involved would mean more voters, which would mean the developers would get better feedback and more recognition, which, in turn, would attract more developers and game submissions, which could potentially attract the eyes of some sponsors, which could have meant better prizes. I realize this is wishful thinking, but still, I thought it was the goal or idea of doing all this.

I realize I’m somewhat new to the GiTD voting segment and, also, not super involved in this forum, which seems that I’ll be penalized for both. I feel this is hardly the way to achieve anything I mentioned in my first paragraph. If this competition is going to grow at all and not stagnate and die, new faces need to be brought in. The complexity, of what was a simple competition, is now going to discourage anyone new. I feel anyone that just wants to try something new and help others is going to pass this up if they have to learn somewhat complex rules. New people not having the same voting power would definitely be a turn-off, as well, for obvious reasons.

Of course, the private voting method will also turn people away for obvious reasons. I’d imagine a close competition will have sore losers and lots of skeptics, especially since everyone involved in the process will not know and trust Mossy enough to let him handle the votes privately by himself.

It seems that the reason for changes was alt abuse and ‘close friends’ of the contestants. Both would have been no factor as the competition grew, as I outlined in the first paragraph. More reasons seemed to be that voters would be swayed in one way or another. That’s just going to happen no matter what. It’s normal. If a potential voter is swayed by what someone had already said in their critique, then what can you do about it? The answer is certainly not penalizing the excellent critique. Isn’t that a good thing to have fantastic critiques? By making the public thread discussion private that only eliminates half of the issue. You can’t stop people from discussing these things privately in private messages or even public chat. The impact of such would only decrease, again, as the competition grew in size.

It seems that the big reason for making the voting private is paranoia and a fear of all these conspiracies, which is silly. I, obviously, do not understand what the big fear of having these new, ‘outside voters’ is.

It’s coming off like this competition, all of a sudden, is exceptionally important and carries a lot of weight. I know I said that was the goal, but let’s be realistic right now. Most everyone involved knows each other and the prizes, from what I’ve seen, aren’t tremendously valuable. Sometimes there isn’t even a prize, besides bragging rights and feeling good.

I don’t understand the concept of having two threads. The one for voting and another for the critiques. How is that any different than what was previously had? This is a perfect example what I said earlier. It’s just making GiTD far more complicated than it should be.

In summary, I know I’m new to this, but maybe that’s good in this case. I’m sure you all have done this many times and I’m hoping eyes from outside the circle are something you would want. As of right now, the biggest prize and draw for GiTD is the critiquing of games, and I feel like these proposed changes would squander that entirely. It may even go to the point of people not seeing the purpose of critiquing any longer, and that won’t help anyone. That idea of the competition would only make this a popularity contest even more, exactly what you are trying to avoid. I hope I don’t offend anyone, nor come off as a jerk about this.

With all this said, if these new rules are put into place, I, for one, will not be voting in this competition any more. It’s not because I’m peeved, but because I did this as a side hobby in my extra time. I enjoyed thinking I was helping someone and that was a huge reward for me. These new rules make me question if that will still happen and if that does indeed happen, I have no reason to vote any more.