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Gmcjam Future Discussion Topic


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#1 Nocturne

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:10 PM

As promised after the last GMCJam, I am starting this topic to discuss issues related to how it is run and it's future.

As you will no doubt have noticed, we have a shiney new sub-forum dedicated to this, which I am hoping will help get more attention and interest from the community as well as give us some more "breathing space" to do things bigger and better!

Now, there were a couple of issues that came up after the last Jam, and I think that the best way to get things solved and done to everyone's satisfaction is to deal with them one at a time, otherwise the topic will just get sidetracked completely! So, please TRY and stay with the subject at hand, and if something else comes up, PM me and request that it be added to the list for future discussion. For now the topics are:


How To Present The Games
RESOLVED: The GMCJam zip will now hold all games plus the game randomiser supplied by Blake.
Original Question:
Spoiler



Should we change the review system for voting?


Given that the last Jam had a rather poor turn out for voting, and it also had a record number of games, it's obvious that the review and voting system needs to be changed to encourage more people to participate...



The following are the themes for discussion, with each one being dealt with in order (see the sub-heading of the topic for the current issue under discussion):



Should we keep the Handicap? (from TheUltimate)

Should we ban monetary prizes (or cap their worth)?

New Forum Structure. One topic for each entry?
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#2 @Alex@

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

Now I generally play the games in alphabetical order to avoid missing them and can see where this idea of reviewer fatigue comes from. The games in the middle tend to suffer the most I think since some users make a decision to start from the bottom of the list.

I think if a general launcher for the games was created it could output a nice UI with randomly order games. This list could be generated on first run so that a reviewer could still pick up where they left oft and would provide a fair , or as fair as the random number generator is, way of presenting the games. If we made it a requirement to submit some sort of icon file and a text file with a quick description etc the user interface and launcher could load these and end up looking pretty nice.

The voting seems fine with me but I'll wait for some arguments for and against before I make any suggestions.
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#3 chance

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

  • How to present the games
  • Should we change the voting?

The new Jam sub-forum is nice. If nothing else, it makes it easy to find the old Jam topics. Of course, using a "individualized randomizer" would be a good idea. But with or without that, people must still play 80+ games, and review them. No way around that.

EDIT: Mark wants this discussion for later. Sorry for jumping the gun.
But the voting method is fine -- no changes needed. The voting method isn't the problem. Participation is the problem. We could adopt a screening committee of judges to select (say) the top 20 games. Then some voters could just play/review/vote those instead.

Edited by chance, 01 March 2013 - 10:33 PM.

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#4 Nocturne

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:31 PM

But with or without that, people must still play 80+ games, and review them. No way around that, unless we adopt a screening committee of judges to select (say) the top 20 games. Then some voters could just play/review/vote those instead.


Thats part of what I wanted to discuss with the voting, but i'd like to concentrate on the way of presenting the games first... One thing at a time please! I don't want to lose tack of ideas and arguments...

I think if a general launcher for the games was created it could output a nice UI with randomly order games. This list could be generated on first run so that a reviewer could still pick up where they left oft and would provide a fair , or as fair as the random number generator is, way of presenting the games. If we made it a requirement to submit some sort of icon file and a text file with a quick description etc the user interface and launcher could load these and end up looking pretty nice.


Hmmm. It would be better if the user didn't have to add any type of extra file. I have enough with unzipping and installing games at the moment for the standard zip!!! But a nice app for presntation is a good idea...
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#5 chance

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:39 PM

Thats part of what I wanted to discuss with the voting, but i'd like to concentrate on the way of presenting the games first... One thing at a time please!

Sorry for jumping the gate. (I saw the bold text about voting and didn't read the rest.)


More awareness among participants that they are EXPECTED to review and vote would help. In other words, we can emphasize that it's poor sportsmanship to expect your own game to get reviewed, while you not reviewing other games yourself.

Public humiliation is very powerful.

Edited by chance, 01 March 2013 - 10:41 PM.

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#6 TerraFriedSheep

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:50 PM

More awareness among participants that they are EXPECTED to review and vote would help.


I agree I think there should be emphasis on this- people must realise this is a Jam, not a competition, and hence it's about giving as much as receiving.

However, we are getting huge interest in the Jam, and with so many games being entered it can be overwhelming to have to think you need to play and review them all.

What I'm going to put forward is that Jam entrants can team up into reviewing teams of 2, 3 or 4 (or however many needed) in order that that team plays and reviews every game. So if there were 80 entries, a team of 4 would only need to play and review 20 each. These "reviewing teams" can then decide amongst themselves whether to recommend their top few games for the rest of their team to try before voting, or just vote based upon the 20 games that they played- so long as they all cast their votes.

Edit: Spelling

Edited by TerraFriedSheep, 01 March 2013 - 10:52 PM.

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#7 @Alex@

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:54 PM

I understand being hesitant about requiring participants to submit any extra files or changing the way users submit (Requiring the participant to make a Zip file in the correct or standard format). I do think a launcher is good way forward since it can be used for any and all future jams if correctly built but I don't think its the only way forward. I've seen some users suggest appending a random number to the beginning of the folders name so that the systems file browser will automatically order them in this way, but one would either have to do this pre-zip file uploading in which case the issue of bias could be called into effect or done on a per user basis which would require the creation of Jam specific program. If we were going with a Jam specific program I believe a nice user interface would be a lot move inviting.

I personally don't find public humiliation or this expectancy idea to be particularly motivating with the anonymity of the internet but it would likely motivate some users.

Edited by @Alex@, 01 March 2013 - 10:55 PM.

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#8 chance

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:09 PM

More awareness among participants that they are EXPECTED to review and vote would help.

I agree I think there should be emphasis on this- people must realise this is a Jam, not a competition, and hence it's about giving as much as receiving.

I suppose Nocturne could present the Jam this way -- even going so far as to de-emphasize the competition, and emphasize the reviewing/learning aspect.

Originally, I feel the Jam was perceived this way. But we've slowly drifted into a "competition" mindset, where ranking is too important. Perhaps we can reduce that mindset by eliminating the 1st, 2nd, 3rd... Nth ranking. Instead, just have a "winner's group" of (say) 10 games.

Edited by chance, 01 March 2013 - 11:11 PM.

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#9 TeamSteeve

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:20 PM

More awareness among participants that they are EXPECTED to review and vote would help. In other words, we can emphasize that it's poor sportsmanship to expect your own game to get reviewed, while you not reviewing other games yourself.

Public humiliation is very powerful.

So you're saying that people should not participate unless they have time to review all the games.
That's a good way to make people feel alienated. :dry:

I understand being hesitant about requiring participants to submit any extra files or changing the way users submit (Requiring the participant to make a Zip file in the correct or standard format). I do think a launcher is good way forward since it can be used for any and all future jams if correctly built but I don't think its the only way forward. I've seen some users suggest appending a random number to the beginning of the folders name so that the systems file browser will automatically order them in this way, but one would either have to do this pre-zip file uploading in which case the issue of bias could be called into effect or done on a per user basis which would require the creation of Jam specific program. If we were going with a Jam specific program I believe a nice user interface would be a lot move inviting.

The only thing that worries me about having a program that the users must run is that some users might skip running it and just open the games folders themselves. Perhaps the games could be kept in a folder named "DO NOT OPEN" and the executable could be named "RunThis.exe". I don't know, what does everyone else think?
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#10 @Alex@

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:22 PM

I think a big part of competitive mind set is the escalation of prizes. We started off giving small prizes and went into steam codes and promo codes and other such prizes with monetary worth. I'm not saying we should restrict these prizes in any way, its nice to see the community show such generosity. I've just handed out some promo codes earlier this week to some the winners of the previous jam.

I do think the "Winners Circle" idea is one that is worth exploring, but by putting less emphasis on ranking would that result in fewer or more reviewers. What I'm hinting at is that perhaps without the perceived importance of rank users may be lead to believe that reviewing the games and therefore voting is less important as a vote might not be as meaningful. With any sort of voting system on the forum it wouldn't be hard for someone in the competition mindset to just tally the results themselves and I'm not sure there aren't members that would do this but I feel I'm starting to jump the gun here.

Edit - To Address points made by TeamSteeve

My idea would be to keep the jam games stored in a sub-directory with the executable meaningfully named in the directory above something like GameMakerCommunityJamLauncher or whatever abbreviation was decided. Users could still go through and look at the games manually, this is an inherent risk with the idea unless we were to obscure the games from them and I don't think that's a route we want to take.

Edited by @Alex@, 01 March 2013 - 11:29 PM.

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#11 Lune

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:31 PM

We always tell people to submit a game, even if it's unfinished and they only worked two hours on it. It's quite a step up from that to then ask them to spend ten or more hours playing through all the games and voting on everything.

So is it better to have lots of these incomplete games, or fewer entries and a higher voting ratio?
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#12 Nocturne

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:34 PM

De-emphasising the prizes I thin is certainly a good idea, and I will certainly focus future Jam announcements this way. However, I think that we NEED to choose an overall winner, as (surprisingly enough) I don't think anyone would be 100% satidfied with being in the "winners circle". Also, please remember that I was never in favour of posting a listing of places above the top five or so, but it was you guys (the GMCJam participants) that insisted on this. I would also agree that removing prizes with a fixed monetry value, like steam games, may be a good move too...

Dammit! Winning so you can choose the next theme should be enough!!!

I also worry that obliging the people that enter to also review is asking for a lower participation. I mean, with a community this big, there really SHOULD be enough people to share the burdens of making the games and reviewing the games without resorting to a rule like that...
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#13 chance

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:35 PM

So you're saying that people should not participate unless they have time to review all the games.
That's a good way to make people feel alienated. :dry:/>

I didn't say that. Nevertheless, what about the alienation of those who made games... but got no reviews?

I don't want to alienate anyone. However, I DO feel that participants should think twice about entering if they know they won't be reviewing any games -- for whatever reason.

Again, if the Jam is presented as an opportunity to "learn from reviews", then the reviewing task becomes the most important one. So yes, people should be discouraged from participating without offering reviews.

EDIT: @Nocturne: I understand your concern about reducing the turnout. But I don't think it will have that effect. Nobody will be required to do anything. Just strongly expected.

Edited by chance, 01 March 2013 - 11:37 PM.

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#14 speedchuck

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:43 PM

What I'm going to put forward is that Jam entrants can team up into reviewing teams of 2, 3 or 4 (or however many needed) in order that that team plays and reviews every game. So if there were 80 entries, a team of 4 would only need to play and review 20 each. These "reviewing teams" can then decide amongst themselves whether to recommend their top few games for the rest of their team to try before voting, or just vote based upon the 20 games that they played- so long as they all cast their votes.

I've done this, and it worked very well. I would not have reviewed that jam otherwise.

De-emphasising the prizes I thin is certainly a good idea, and I will certainly focus future Jam announcements this way. However, I think that we NEED to choose an overall winner, as (surprisingly enough) I don't think anyone would be 100% satidfied with being in the "winners circle". Also, please remember that I was never in favour of posting a listing of places above the top five or so, but it was you guys (the GMCJam participants) that insisted on this. I would also agree that removing prizes with a fixed monetry value, like steam games, may be a good move too...

I like knowing that I placed 12th this time, and I like the full rankings that you put out. I hope we don't get rid of that. As for the prizes, I would prefer a limit on the monetary value to a ban. It's nice of people to be so generous, and I was thinking of actually contributing to the prize pool next time.

On a side note, I wish that the 'Best Reviewer' trophy was still around. It motivated me when it was here.

Edited by speedchuck, 01 March 2013 - 11:44 PM.

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#15 GameRoom

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:53 PM

Personally, I play them in random order and delete the folders when I'm done. You could also try having multiple .zips with a random number at the beginning of each folder name. Each version has different numbers.
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#16 TeamSteeve

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

So you're saying that people should not participate unless they have time to review all the games.
That's a good way to make people feel alienated. :dry:/>/>

I didn't say that. Nevertheless, what about the alienation of those who made games... but got no reviews?

I don't want to alienate anyone. However, I DO feel that participants should think twice about entering if they know they won't be reviewing any games -- for whatever reason.

Again, if the Jam is presented as an opportunity to "learn from reviews", then the reviewing task becomes the most important one. So yes, people should be discouraged from participating without offering reviews.

EDIT: @Nocturne: I understand your concern about reducing the turnout. But I don't think it will have that effect. Nobody will be required to do anything. Just strongly expected.

Have there been any games that got no reviews?

I'm fine with some people participating but not reviewing. I do agree that more reviews are better but if somebody won't have time to review, I still want them to enter a game.
You say you don't want to alienate people, but obviously people will feel alienated if they're "publicly humiliated" for not having the time to review.

I think more emphasis on that reviewing is important and that we have a system that makes sure it's still fair when people can't review all the games is what's needed. I don't think it's a good idea to expect everyone to put lots of time into the jam.
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#17 chance

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:55 AM

I'm fine with some people participating but not reviewing. I do agree that more reviews are better but if somebody won't have time to review, I still want them to enter a game.
You say you don't want to alienate people, but obviously people will feel alienated if they're "publicly humiliated" for not having the time to review.

I should have expected at least one person to miss the obvious hyperbole. :P

Jokes aside, nobody would be officially chastised for not reviewing. But we should emphasize the importance of reviewing. We should present the Jam as mostly about the reviewing/learning process. And we should strongly encourage participants to review games (as many as they can).

I think this will change the public mindset -- and restore the Jams to their original intent.
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#18 TeamSteeve

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:30 AM

I'm fine with some people participating but not reviewing. I do agree that more reviews are better but if somebody won't have time to review, I still want them to enter a game.
You say you don't want to alienate people, but obviously people will feel alienated if they're "publicly humiliated" for not having the time to review.

I should have expected at least one person to miss the obvious hyperbole. :P/>

Jokes aside, nobody would be officially chastised for not reviewing. But we should emphasize the importance of reviewing. We should present the Jam as mostly about the reviewing/learning process. And we should strongly encourage participants to review games (as many as they can).

I think this will change the public mindset -- and restore the Jams to their original intent.

Agreed, as long as you don't give people a hard time (officially or unofficially :rolleyes: ) for not being able to vote. I think that giving people a hard time would make other people who have not been involved in a jam yet, feel like the event is too elite for them.
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#19 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:48 AM

Okay, I can happily word the topic for the Jam in such a way as to state that reviewing is highly recommended and one of the main goals of the Jam. That's not a problem and I'm very happy to do this. I can also easily create a random number generator and add a prefix to each game as I add it into the Jam ZIP, as long as that is acceptable to everyone?
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#20 TeamSteeve

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

Okay, I can happily word the topic for the Jam in such a way as to state that reviewing is highly recommended and one of the main goals of the Jam. That's not a problem and I'm very happy to do this. I can also easily create a random number generator and add a prefix to each game as I add it into the Jam ZIP, as long as that is acceptable to everyone?

I'm very happy with that. :thumbsup:/>

EDIT: Oh hang on, I don't think I read that properly.
The randomiser needs to be on the user side, not your side. Otherwise there's no point to it.

Edited by TeamSteeve, 02 March 2013 - 08:03 AM.

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#21 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:15 AM

Oh... I see! Then that's slightly more complex... but, yes, I could probably do that and have it included in the zip file.
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#22 dadio

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:43 AM

First off *love* this new GMCJam section.
Very, very cool to have fast access to all previous Jams in one place.

Should we change the voting?
I've kinda come to appreciate the voting system at this stage. I think it "works" (it's not perfect cos of low voting turnout, but better than any other system I can think of...)
Personally, (I've said it before) but I really think that it should be a set requirement of entrants to at least vote/give thoughts on their top 3 games. *Or* that in order to be eligible to place in the top 3 slots, then you must have at least voted/given thoughts on your top 3 games.
I have a feeling that chance's ideas on encouraging people to review & vote & wording things differently won't have much an effect. (I know 2 peeps in this house for instance who just didn't feel like wasting time last time, who likely won't even read any new intro or review-&-vote-ecouraging thing next time...) so yeah.

Tying eligibility to place in the top 3 positions to having to vote/review for at least the top 3 could be a good solution.

I think the committee/someone else picking out a best 20 thing is the wrong way to go about changing anything & would actually put off many people who tend to place lower than that (because it would likely reduce their plays/feedback).

Should we keep the handicap?

*Yes!* Why wouldn't we? That's all part of the fun... coming up with creative solutions that take into account both the Theme & Handicap.

Should we ban monetary prizes (or cap).
*No!* Because I'd guess that those prizes help motivate quite a few peeps to even bother entering... I'd reckon we'd get a higher turnout with better/more substantial prizes... the more the merrier I say.
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#23 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

Oh, nice one dadio! As expected, you just wipe your sweaty backside with the planned discussion and answer everything at once, and so derailing my carefully planned topic and turning it into a free-for-all conversation that I have no hope of ever tracking. Posted Image However, your points are valid and I'll try to keep them in mind WHEN WE REACH THOSE POINTS TO BE DISCUSSED!

Oh, and I love how you nicely managed to answer everything EXCEPT the actual question that we have to answer right now which is how to better present the games so that everyone gets a fair chance at getting a few plays...



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#24 TerraFriedSheep

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:56 AM

Okay, I can happily word the topic for the Jam in such a way as to state that reviewing is highly recommended and one of the main goals of the Jam. That's not a problem and I'm very happy to do this. I can also easily create a random number generator and add a prefix to each game as I add it into the Jam ZIP, as long as that is acceptable to everyone?


I'm happy to see that the reviewing/feedback part of the Jam is going to get more emphasis.

As for randomising the order of games, it is important to make every person who is playing the games have as different an order to the next person as possible- and to make this happen as simply as possible.

One way to do this would be go down the route of once again emphasising that it would be good if people had no particular order in which they played the games- just giving this issue some exposure in the initial topic post might help shake up peoples play order.

Another potential way would be to have a clickable link- in the games topic and/or a shortcut in the zip folder to a simple webpage that has the list of entries uploaded to it, and at the refresh of the page it presents you randomly with a different game title. If someone had a website they'd be willing to host this on for the jam voting duration, that would be great, if not maybe I'd look into finally getting my website started to be able to host this feature.

Just a couple of ideas which require little effort from the reviewer which might help- I think the less the reviewer has to do to shuffle the order the better.
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#25 Guest_z_*

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:04 AM

Wouldn't that mean you woudl have to download each game separately?

#26 Blake

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

Oh... I see! Then that's slightly more complex... but, yes, I could probably do that and have it included in the zip file.

Guess what Mark? I saved you the effort and made it for you! Here it is. All you have to do is make sure that you put it outside the folder with all of the game folders in it. So you would have a GMCJamX folder and inside that you would have my application and a GMCJamGames folder with all of the game folders inside that (hope that makes sense). And then obviously when people download the zip, they need to run the application before they start playing the games.
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#27 GameDevDan

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:33 AM

Skimmed the topic, will read everyone's posts later... just thought I'd chip in on these first:

Should we change the voting?

Nope, it seems fine to me.

Should we keep the Handicap? (from TheUltimate)

No, only if we have a repeat of jam 5 where there are two winners. Handicaps are a lot harder to come up with and follow than themes.

Should we ban monetary prizes (or cap their worth)?

Yes. No one should be giving away actual money, the jam is all about fun anyways :D I don't think people should stop giving away steam games etc. It's not quite the same thing. But a limit on the value of those (say $40?) might be necessary.
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#28 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:36 AM

To bee honest, I think that we should try and steer people away from reviewing and rating ALL the games.

We use the SSE voting system after all, which has the benefit of accepting and calculating positions based on all votes by all people without the need to to vote for each and every game.

I'd be happy with more voters playing fewer games. It would mean less pressure on everyone to get through all the games, and most of them would get at least ONE play or a review anyway as everyone will choose different games to play...

AND those that have the best dev blogs, presentation and ideas will be those that get the most plays, which is a good way to get people to try harder too... Crap looking games, games with no dev blog, and games that don't use the theme or are obviously not original or well thought out will get less plays.

It may seem a bit harsh, but lets face it, if this thing is to grow we will need to accept the fact that not everyone can (or wants to!) play and review every game. I'd be happy with between 3 and 10 votes and reviews from everybody if it means I get loads more people playing and reviewing.

The key here is that SSE permits this!!!
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#29 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:43 AM

Oh... I see! Then that's slightly more complex... but, yes, I could probably do that and have it included in the zip file.

Guess what Mark? I saved you the effort and made it for you! Here it is. All you have to do is make sure that you put it outside the folder with all of the game folders in it. So you would have a GMCJamX folder and inside that you would have my application and a GMCJamGames folder with all of the game folders inside that (hope that makes sense). And then obviously when people download the zip, they need to run the application before they start playing the games.

Yes! Thanks Blake! I remembered seeing this in a previous topic, and was hoping you'd post it here again. I'll give it a couple of tests (and if others could too, that would be great!) and if it's acceptable I think it will solve a lot of problems...
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#30 Blake

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:48 AM

Yes! Thanks Blake! I remembered seeing this in a previous topic, and was hoping you'd post it here again. I'll give it a couple of tests (and if others could too, that would be great!) and if it's acceptable I think it will solve a lot of problems...

I made it just now :P Only took me like 15 minutes. But yeah, let me know if I screwed anything up and I'll fix it. It's works fine on my end.
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#31 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

In that case SOMEONE made something similar... And I just tested yours just now. Simple and works, so it seems like a nice enough solution. Posted Image

EDIT: i have added it into the main post...
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#32 TerraFriedSheep

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:14 AM

Oh... I see! Then that's slightly more complex... but, yes, I could probably do that and have it included in the zip file.

Guess what Mark? I saved you the effort and made it for you! Here it is. All you have to do is make sure that you put it outside the folder with all of the game folders in it. So you would have a GMCJamX folder and inside that you would have my application and a GMCJamGames folder with all of the game folders inside that (hope that makes sense). And then obviously when people download the zip, they need to run the application before they start playing the games.

Yes! Thanks Blake! I remembered seeing this in a previous topic, and was hoping you'd post it here again. I'll give it a couple of tests (and if others could too, that would be great!) and if it's acceptable I think it will solve a lot of problems...


Works nicely, Blake! At first I was trying to get it to work in a folder with all the folders in- but it has to be in a folder which has a folder in it with all the game folders in.

This pretty much blows my previous posts suggestion out of the water- this is a really simple easy way to randomise the game orders, nice job!

It raises the question of what a people to do if they want to only review a certain amount of games (re: team reviewing I mentioned on first page) and don't want to have to download every single game? There is a risk of over-complicating the set-up, so perhaps if people are going to review in teams they should find a way of deciding amoungst themselves which games they are going to download?
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#33 TeamSteeve

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

In that case SOMEONE made something similar... And I just tested yours just now. Simple and works, so it seems like a nice enough solution. Posted Image

EDIT: i have added it into the main post...


Yeah I posted some code two jams ago, then this jam I made a couple of different versions of ones that would do things like unpack the games from a password protected part of the .zip so nobody could bypass using the randomiser, etc.
I think in the end I was really just practicing file system functions for myself. Anyway Blake's is all good so let's use it! :thumbsup:
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#34 chance

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:31 AM

Agreed, as long as you don't give people a hard time (officially or unofficially :rolleyes: ) for not being able to vote.

Wait... I can't give people a hard time? But... that's what I do. :huh:

OK, I agree we shouldn't abuse anyone with a legitimate excuse -- like an asteroid hitting their house. But seriously, a little good natured prodding among friends never hurts.



I can happily word the topic for the Jam in such a way as to state that reviewing is highly recommended and one of the main goals of the Jam. <snip>
...as long as that is acceptable to everyone?

Acceptable to me (with the hopes that "highly" is replaced by "strongly" recommended). Your attitude, more than anyone else, can influence member's behavior. So I hope you emphasize the importance of this.
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#35 makerofthegames

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

I like how all the previous GMC Jam topics are in this forum now...Though, it's a bit late to help me at any point soon..as it could've been useful when I was tracking down the top 3 of most of the Jams to send raocow....Though, in the inevitable future where he returns to playing some of these games it will be a help!

EDIT:

I think that we should try and steer people away from reviewing [...] ALL the games.

Don't ruin the Jam, Mark.

Edited by makerofthegames, 02 March 2013 - 06:40 PM.

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#36 chance

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:58 PM

I think that we should try and steer people away from reviewing [...] ALL the games.

Don't ruin the Jam, Mark.

I don't think he meant that the way it sounds. I think the point is that people shouldn't be discouraged from participating, just because they cannot review every game.

Obviously, it would be great if we all played/reviewed every game. But realistically, we can't expect that from everyone at this point. However, I DO feel that members should be strongly encouraged to review as many games as they can. And to vote.
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#37 Nocturne

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:38 PM

I think that we should try and steer people away from reviewing [...] ALL the games.

Don't ruin the Jam, Mark.

I don't think he meant that the way it sounds. I think the point is that people shouldn't be discouraged from participating, just because they cannot review every game.

Obviously, it would be great if we all played/reviewed every game. But realistically, we can't expect that from everyone at this point. However, I DO feel that members should be strongly encouraged to review as many games as they can. And to vote.


See I disagree with this... I would rather have 60 people review 3 to ten games each, than have 10 people review 60 games... So, I don't think trying to encourage them to review as many as possible is the way. I think trying to encourage them to review a MINIMUM AT LEAST and then make further reviews an option that is greatfully recieved a better approach. And I thik that most of you seem to have skipped my post, as my proposition was far more than that...

To bee honest, I think that we should try and steer people away from reviewing and rating ALL the games.

We use the SSE voting system after all, which has the benefit of accepting and calculating positions based on all votes by all people without the need to to vote for each and every game.

I'd be happy with more voters playing fewer games. It would mean less pressure on everyone to get through all the games, and most of them would get at least ONE play or a review anyway as everyone will choose different games to play...

AND those that have the best dev blogs, presentation and ideas will be those that get the most plays, which is a good way to get people to try harder too... Crap looking games, games with no dev blog, and games that don't use the theme or are obviously not original or well thought out will get less plays.

It may seem a bit harsh, but lets face it, if this thing is to grow we will need to accept the fact that not everyone can (or wants to!) play and review every game. I'd be happy with between 3 and 10 votes and reviews from everybody if it means I get loads more people playing and reviewing.

The key here is that SSE permits this!!!


I have been thinking about this long and hard since before the start of the previous Jam, and after the (lets be honest here) poor turn out for voting in that Jam I'm even more convinced that this is the way to go.
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#38 chance

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:49 PM

I think the point is that people shouldn't be discouraged from participating, just because they cannot review every game.

Obviously, it would be great if we all played/reviewed every game. But realistically, we can't expect that from everyone at this point. However, I DO feel that members should be strongly encouraged to review as many games as they can. And to vote.

See I disagree with this... I would rather have 60 people review 3 to ten games each, than have 10 people review 60 games... So, I don't think trying to encourage them to review as many as possible is the way. I think trying to encourage them to review a MINIMUM AT LEAST and then make further reviews an option that is greatfully recieved a better approach. And I thik that most of you seem to have skipped my post, as my proposition was far more than that...

Actually, I think we're both saying about the same thing. We both agree that people shouldn't feel they MUST review all the games. And we agree they should review as many as they personally feel comfortable with. (That's what I meant by "as many as they can".)

The details of how many games a particular member reviews should be left up to him. The main goal is to get more people to review and vote -- with whatever approach they choose.
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#39 TeamSteeve

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:11 PM

<snip>

I hear what you're saying about the "better" games getting more plays and that's just the way things are when you have lots of games for people to play, but the randomiser should help keep things pretty even anyway and I really don't want to make aspiring game devs feel like they're never going to be on the same level as the more experienced ones.
I would rather review the new jam members' games than the regulars'.

Anyway with a user side randomiser and the SSE voting (which I like), I think all will work out well. :thumbsup:
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#40 chance

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:41 PM

I would rather review the new jam members' games than the regulars'.

I feel the same way. :thumbsup: Not only in the Jam, but every day. I try to review a few games each day, and I sometimes select games that have been overlooked -- perhaps because they're beginners' games, or perhaps just because they aren't popular genres. Likewise, I sometimes omit reviews for games that already have lots of attention.

For Jam voting, however, I pick the "best" (i.e., my personal favorites, since this is obviously a subjective choice.)

So if a time comes when I cannot play/review all the Jam games, I'll probably use a combination of the randomizer, games that are overlooked, and screenshots, to determine what subset I choose to review.

EDIT: removed /> clutter.

Edited by chance, 02 March 2013 - 11:42 PM.

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#41 DanRedux

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:53 AM

I have 2 solutions for this.

1) Suppose the jam spans 500 hours, 300 of which are high-traffic. We get 100 jam entries. Now, my idea is that we have a "Spotlight", a focused jam game, that cycles through all 100 entries every 3 hours during high-traffic hours. This way, throughout the whole jam, the games will each get 3 hours of spotlight time where as many people rate it as possible. You would present the games in the opposite order they were submitted, as there's a tendency for games released early to already get a bit of a fanbase just from the screenshots and teasers.

In other words, the spotlight goes up when the voting begins, for the next 3 hours everyone rates the game in the spotlight, then the next game goes into the spotlight.

The pro here is that it's really quite fair- Every single game gets 3 hours of spotlight time. The con is that it's a lot of work- Several staff will need to be on-board so that the spotlight is changed every 3 hours, and blank during night-time hours. (Night-time, or low-traffic hours, could even be used to advertise a game that didn't get enough rating just to boost how many ratings it has.) Ideally, with this, every game gets roughly the same amount of votes and no one needs to feel obligated to vote at all.

2) You set up a php script that provides a randomly-organized zip file every download. This is completely possible and means that everyone who downloads the zip gets all the games in a random order.

The pro here is that it's a perfect system, extremely fair and still very convenient for the voters. The con, however, is that it's cpu-intensive, so the server hosting the .zip would have to be quite powerful.

Edited by DanRedux, 03 March 2013 - 02:04 AM.

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#42 chance

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:53 AM

The pro here is that it's really quite fair- Every single game gets 3 hours of spotlight time. <snip>

I think the "fairness" is debatable. The GMC membership spans many time-zones, with member numbers varying widely among different parts of the world. Inevitably, some games would be "spotlighted" during peak members-online times... while others would appear during very quiet times.



2) You set up a php script that provides a randomly-organized zip file every download. This is completely possible and means that everyone who downloads the zip gets all the games in a random order.

I think the solution already posted accomplishes the same thing, without any overhead. Each member downloads the same .zip file, and then run the "randomizer" program to create his own personalize random order.
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#43 DanRedux

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:37 AM

For number one, the spotlight only occurs during peak hours, so even if there's only enough time for every game to get 1 hour of spotlight, they all still receive equal attention and roughly the same amount of ratings.

Also, generating a randomized zip file with all the games in a random order is superior simply because people HAVE to have it in original order, with no need to run a randomizing program. The overhead isn't too much to handle, but it's not negligible. It just has the benefit that there is no pre-existing file structure at all- It's completely randomized the moment you download. As it exists, you could not run the program and just open up the games (as some people might, we can't be certain), still favoring certain games. We could potentially encrypt or compress all of the games and have the program decompress them into a folder structure again, as using a randomizing program only guarantees fairness if it MUST be run before a person can access the individual games.
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#44 Nocturne

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:01 AM

Please remember that the Jam is run in the main part by me, and I cannot be "spotlighting" games every few hours (I do have a life outside of the GMC!!!), although the idea has merit I admit.

As for the PHP randomiser script, I am currently hosting the Jam games on my own web pages, hosted by Green Geeks, so I don't think that server power would be problem, however I'm not sure that this approach is necessary. basically, I think that most people will happily use the randomiser included with the games zip and those that don't... So what? if the majority do, then having a few that don't makes no difference whatsoever to the results.
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#45 newkill

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

Should we keep the Handicap?

Yes.

Should we ban monetary prizes (or cap their worth)?

Don't ban, but add a cap to their worth, so that the focus of the Jam is not to win, but get and give feedback.

New Forum Structure. One topic for each entry?

This seems a good idea to me. :)
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#46 TeamSteeve

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

For number one, the spotlight only occurs during peak hours, so even if there's only enough time for every game to get 1 hour of spotlight, they all still receive equal attention and roughly the same amount of ratings.

You also need to think about it from a reviewer point of view too. The high-traffic times might be the worst time for some reviewers.
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#47 GameDevDan

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

A cool idea for a tool to go in the folder if anyone has time to make it would be an exe that randomizes the game folders, displays them as a list of text fields that you can write the reviews in and save your progress. Then, when you're done reviewing there's a button that generates a TXT file you can copy into a post on the GMC when it's time to vote.

In fact, I might make this myself, If I can figure it out...

(Alternatively, Mark, you could create a word / text document with the names of every game in for people to review as they please so it's easier to copy reviews onto the forum. But that's quite a bit more work for you and obviously wouldn't be random...)
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#48 TerraFriedSheep

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

A cool idea for a tool to go in the folder if anyone has time to make it would be an exe that randomizes the game folders, displays them as a list of text fields that you can write the reviews in and save your progress. Then, when you're done reviewing there's a button that generates a TXT file you can copy into a post on the GMC when it's time to vote.

In fact, I might make this myself, If I can figure it out...

(Alternatively, Mark, you could create a word / text document with the names of every game in for people to review as they please so it's easier to copy reviews onto the forum. But that's quite a bit more work for you and obviously wouldn't be random...)


Blake posted an exe on page 3 that adds a random number to the start of the game folder names, which could potentially be included in the zip file in the future. The added features you suggest could make the reviewing process as a whole a much easier to manage task. I'll quote it if you want to take a look :)

Guess what Mark? I saved you the effort and made it for you! Here it is. All you have to do is make sure that you put it outside the folder with all of the game folders in it. So you would have a GMCJamX folder and inside that you would have my application and a GMCJamGames folder with all of the game folders inside that (hope that makes sense). And then obviously when people download the zip, they need to run the application before they start playing the games.


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#49 Derme

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:59 PM

I'll come back later and reply with more detail, but a couple things...

- I would absolutely LOVE to play all 80 games, however last Jam I spent a huge amount of hours and I only got though around a third or less of the games! Therefore I think the voting system has to change, so we get more people voting and playing, but still keep voting fair.

- Keep the Handicap, I thought 'No Humans or Humanoids' was a fantastic way to spice things up.

- New Forum Structure. One topic for each entry? YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.
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#50 Yal

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

I personally think that we should have a rule stating that you must leave a vote in order to be able to revieve votes. To be honest/blunt in my usual way, I'll admit that I thought this way during the voting period: "Maybe I should vote in the GMC Jam? But... why? It'll just give my opponents an advantage." forcing people to vote, however, could end up with tactical people voting games they figured would have small chances of winning up high to fill their vote quota as well as not voting their competitors' games high. I personally employed this tactic in the RPG4D competition just in case (because we were forced to vote in order to be able to win, and I was more focusing on winning than having fun).

Assuming people think as I did then, making votes obligatory might be a problem, especially with glorious prizes at stake (as at the RPG4D competition). I have no real idea on how to avoid this issue.

EDIT: Gosh, ninja'd by 3 people?! How long did I take typing this thing?

I really like the new forum structure, by the way! For topics: I like the idea of putting all Jam game topics in the same place, it'll prevent non-jam games released near the jam to get shoved down the drain by the crowd.

One suggestion: partition the GMCJam forum board up in sub-boards (one for each future jam: JAM 10, JAM 11 etc) and put old Jam topics (game and official voting/attention) there once the Jam ends, plus an OLD JAMs board for all the old official topics (I assume you don't want to move all game topics from the past two years there, and having 9 sub-forums with 2 topics in each is unnecessary).
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