I guess that if we want community prizes to work, we'd need to make it better organized. Reward responsibilities aside, we're all people and I wouldn't be bitter towards someone who didn't give the prize simply because they forgot the Jam from nearly month ago.(or, again, the voting closed not just before these two weeks when award-giver had plenty of time to do stuff, but much later than expected, just when they're about to get busy with, say, school)
First of all, I've noticed that prizes will likely fall in one of the following categories:
- general goods
; for example, specific Steam games, Marketplace assets, apps, generic (not dependent on winner) medals etc.; the sort of thing reward giver can have prepared in advance
- specific works, public
; for example, fanart of character from winner's game published e.g. in discussion topic, love letter for the winner; the sort of thing reward giver must make *after* they know who'll receive it, rather than prepare in advance (the fun thing about public rewards is that they don't really need to be approved by the winner, but rather are presented to community)
- specific works, private
; for example, tileset requested by winner, fanart of character from winner's game sent by PM, medal that is related to winner's game somehow
Also, the winner themselves might be determined by voting results
or personal preference
; it determines when the giver will be able to tell the winner (which is particularly important in case of specific works). E.g. "the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 13th place" or "whoever wins best use of restrictions award" are winners known after publishing voting results. On the contrary, "game with the plot I liked the most" or "the game I gave the first place" is based on personal preference, and the giver will know the winner once they close their votes. There might be tricky cases like "the most helpful reviewer" (since reviewing is closed after voting), but usually it will boil down to one of these two.
Yet another thing is when the prize can be given. For example, I'm pretty sure the top three places haven't got their prizes from Snail_Man yet, since it'll be granted in this Jam game (also: specific work, public, determined at voting result).
There's also one more thing: in many cases (especially for non-public rewards) some additional information is needed from the winner - like, Steam username, tileset request or an address to send the medal to (because why not? O.o"). Therefore, it'll be necessary for the winner to contact the giver, anyway.
So, first of all, once the results are out, one person gathers all the information needed to find the winners, and sends a message to each winner detailing what boons they got. For example, Jack & Peps could receive such message (I'm being very mean now, I know):
(it's a work in progress, mind you)
Note the structure: first, there are typical Jam rewards being mentioned. Then, there are some public rewards, usually involving featuring the winner or their character somewhere in some work; but more importantly, they don't require winner's involvement to be granted. On the contrary, the rewards from the following paragraph require some additional information (like Steam ID for game, address to send medal to or the character to draw) - so putting aside the "it's up to giver to deliver the reward stuff" thing, the winners still must respond somehow, anyway.
I guess the information that needs to be given could be included in the message itself, but I decided it's better to be careful with that; I, for one, wouldn't want to send my home address to FortyEightKay to find out he can't make the medals, after all. Still, it might be a good idea to make clear beforehand what sort of information the reward giver would require to perhaps take it into account somehow when preparing message for TEH WINNERZ (or explicitly state that they'd prefer the winner to claim the prize; especially applicable if the prize itself isn't expected to be something everyone would be interested in; why bother sending a nice message when it turns out the winner rejects the prize, and the whole situation becomes very awkward? I guess it's a case when it's better to be ignored rather than being told that the reward isn't appreciated, or something).
I'm not quite sure whether preference-based (rather than results-based) rewards should be included in the message; but I guess in such case it's better to leave it to the reward-givers.
Right, reward-givers. I guess some good person should send them messages, too, so that they wouldn't completely forget that something like GMC Jam existed. For example, let's say that the following message would be sent to dadio
(that, too, is a work in progress)
With friendly reminders like these it's much easier for the reward giver to prepare themselves etc.; plus, they might remember to send a message to the winner after a few days if the latter doesn't claim the prize (e.g. to make sure whether the winner is interested in getting the Steam game or would they pass it to someone else). Or they might just admit they can't make the prize after all (though I'd prefer such situations to happen as rarely as possible), but still, it's not like they completely forget. These messages might be particularly important for preference-based rewards, since it's the giver that can tell who'll be receiving it.
Some of you might wonder why do I detail all that organisational stuff, that perhaps appears to be needlessly complicated and such. Well, I'd guess settling the matters between the winners and givers personally would be enough, but considering that somehow rewards became a problem, it doesn't work as well. Plus, if it hasn't been a problem before, that might've been because winners and givers just didn't care that much. If the winner doesn't care about the prize, and the giver doesn't care about the prize (perhaps they both forgot about the Jam long ago), then the prize becomes meaningless.
However, if there's one entity (like that imaginary "GMC Jam Rewards Task Force") that cares about the rewards being delivered, their rank becomes higher as well - after all, it means that someone will keep track on these matters and make sure that all winners and givers are properly informed after Jams results. And with people being reminded that something like community prizes exists, it's more likely that they'll be eventually delivered (or being complained about for not being delivered, but it also makes them more important if they were to be completely forgotten about).
Additionally, it's more convenient for winners - they would receive one general message with information what they should expect and whom to nag (userpage links attached), rather than having PM box overflowing with reward givers' messages. It's more convenient for givers since they don't have to send N+1 messages for each winner which can be a daunting task for N high enough, discouraging from giving the prizes altogether (add to that fear of rejection and things aren't pretty). Overall, with such party as GMCJRTF the rewards handling would be smoother and more effective.
(on a side note, can we get 1/vote scoring this time rather than mIRV? It would make ties more rare, and ties can be a pain when it comes to giving rewards)
Oh, and finally: um, don't be too hard on rewards givers, either. While the last time things didn't go as expected (might have something to do with general reward hype and arbitrary goal of first 25 places getting something; admittedly, I got quite involved in that, too), they were generally meaning well and wanted to make the event even more fun. I'm not telling to pretend everything's fine; rather, to give "Be careful when making a promise like that" sort of message instead of "You're a terrible person for not giving your reward D:<", or something. Otherwise people might find the whole reward-giving business too intimidating and drop it entirely, rather than be more thoughtful about that. Or just stick to very impersonal, dull rewards such as Steam games (not that I find these a bad reward or something, but I find original, personally made rewards way more interesting).
(plus, if we get too bitter about the prizes, the atmosphere around Jam won't be as fun; and it's the fun the Jam should be about)
Edited by Alice, 15 October 2014 - 08:32 PM.