Skip to Content

About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

26 replies [Last post]
IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008

They have a limit of 1000 words in the ruleset.

I'm at about 1400.

If I stripped out the backstory and the examples, I'd probably just nudge 1000. But the game suffers, and the rules may not be as clear.

When writing rules, I always prefer to err on the side of being verbose and generous with examples. Still, this probably tells me that the game I'm working on is too dense for the competition. Not by much, but there you go...

Hedge-o-Matic
Hedge-o-Matic's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

I agree that rules writing is better served by being more descriptive, and I, too, am having a tough time with the 1000 word limit. But, from the judge's point of view a word limit is just sensible.

zaiga
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Wow, I'm at 558 words and I probably just made one of the simplest games ever! I can imagine you struggle with keeping under the 1000 word limit if your game is even a little more involved.

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
I agree that rules writing is better served by being more descriptive, and I, too, am having a tough time with the 1000 word limit. But, from the judge's point of view a word limit is just sensible.

Oh, I don't doubt it. But from my selfish point of view, I'd love it to be 1500 words.

I agree with Zaiga that 1000 words is on the short side. I suppose that a) they may only be looking for incredibly simple games, and b) this is a way to keep the number of submissions down.

I'm down to 1394. Hmmmm.

doho123
doho123's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

I probably wouldn't worry about the word count too much, as long as the rules size is reasonable.

Other ways to distill your work size down but keep your back story and examples; section off those areas with different colored and styled fonts. This way, for those who don't care for those type of things, they don't need to be read.

(actually, now I wonder how many words are in my ruleset.....)

Dralius
Dralius's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

I submitted my entry with 694 words and 5 jpg for the examples plus a record sheet. Could you make your examples clear with less text by using graphical examples? A picture is worth a thousand… well you know.

I totally understand their need to keep the rules short and simple. Last years competition had around 50 entries. I assisted in judging the piecepack group projects contest, having to read and understand 15 sets of rules with some needing editing or better formatting was a task in itself. I will never again complain that a game design contest is taking too long to judge.

CDRodeffer
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

My entry was also very close to the word count limit. Actually, it would be slightly over (1024) if the tables of numbers are included in the "word" count, but slightly under (938) if the tables don't count against me. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how the judge interprets that. I cut and cut to get down to that length, and would be sorely pressed to cut any more.

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

This just in from Erik Arneson... I asked him about word count at the Yahoo game design forum, and he answered thus...

Quote:
The word count restriction was imposed because we had received very long
entries in previous competitions, and it wasn't fair to ask our volunteer
judges to do that much work.

The judges will be instructed to consider how well each entry follows the
spirit of the rules, and the word count is part of that. But honestly I
doubt that many would see 1200 or 1300 words vs. 1000 words as a big
violation, so long as the rules are clear and well-written.

Bottom line: You've already done this much work. Send it in!

Cheers,
Erik

That's a good, reasonable answer. I'll still look for ways to keep my word count down, but if it comes to a choice between clarity and a small rulebook, I'll always choose clarity.

I appreciate everyone's responses; it's good to know I'm not the only one worrying about this.

Dralius, I'd love to create diagrams, but the con at which I volunteer will open in a couple of weeks, so I have to spend most of my attention there. Since I'm not graphically inclined, it usually takes me longer to come up with diagrams than others, so I'm not sure I'll get a chance to do it. A great suggestion, though.

CDRodeffer
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

IngredientX wrote:
This just in from Erik Arneson
Quote:
The word count restriction was imposed because we had received very long entries in previous competitions, and it wasn't fair to ask our volunteer judges to do that much work.
I'm sure I'm partially to blame for that. I wasn't thinking about rule length at all when I submitted Tea Party for the unequal forces contest. Sorry, everyone. My bad.

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

CDRodeffer wrote:
Actually, it would be slightly over (1024) if the tables of numbers are included in the "word" count

In this day and age (and on the internet especially), 1024 ought to be the 'nice round number' rather than 1000 ;)

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

My game has been submitted, at about 1200 words. Big thanks to Seth, who did a great job in trimming out all my redundant wordings. Man, I am one wordy SOB.

Good luck to everyone who entered!

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

IngredientX wrote:
My game has been submitted, at about 1200 words. Big thanks to Seth, who did a great job in trimming out all my redundant wordings.

No problem. I played a game of it with my friend. It wasn't the worst game in the world, but it lacked some fun. I imagine a lot of the contest entries would be that way. your game was MUCH better than anything my friend and I were coming up with though.

- Seth

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

sedjtroll wrote:
No problem. I played a game of it with my friend. It wasn't the worst game in the world, but it lacked some fun. I imagine a lot of the contest entries would be that way. your game was MUCH better than anything my friend and I were coming up with though.

- Seth

Yeah, that's the feeling I get from it too. It's pretty difficult to come up with a deduction game that isn't dry, especially with short rules and playable with common household components. Not impossible, though; I'm sure the contest winner will be a fantastic game.

CDRodeffer
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
Sharing Rulesets?

I don't know how many BGDF members might be in Erik's inner circle for judging this contest, but since the contest closes tonight, what would y'all think about sharing our rulesets with one another here? I'd be happy to share mine, and would welcome feedback from other designers, but don't want to post until it's discussed.

nosissies
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Re: Sharing Rulesets?

CDRodeffer wrote:
but since the contest closes tonight

Do you know something I don't know? The info online seems to say that submission closes at noon eastern time today. I had some crazy personal stuff this weekend which kept me from getting my rules together as planned. If the deadline has been extened I'd love to know.

Regardless, when I do get my rules put together I'll post them.

peace,
Tom

CDRodeffer
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
Re: Sharing Rulesets?

nosissies wrote:
CDRodeffer wrote:
but since the contest closes tonight
Do you know something I don't know? The info online seems to say that submission closes at noon eastern time today.
You are correct, Tom. The contest closed at noon today. My memory is really going these days:

2005 About Contest Rules

Dralius
Dralius's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Well now that the deadline has passed. How many of you got a game or two submitted? I feel that the strongest competition will come from our members. Besides that everyone gets 3 months free at the game table online so I’ll be interested in knowing how many new players I might expect to see there.

Kreitler
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

I managed to submit one entry. Coming up with a decent 2nd idea was pretty hard...

zaiga
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Dralius wrote:
How many of you got a game or two submitted?

I submitted one game. I'm really proud of the game. It's a very simple game, with just nine cards, but I think it works very well.

And you? Did you manage to submit a game?

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

I'd love to see the rules to Zaiga's game! I'm sure I'll say something like, "Oooh, why didn't I think of that!" when I read it.

In the meantime, here are the rules to my game. I hope there are no judges reading this thread... :)

http://www.bgdf.com/files/My_Uploads/IngredientX/book_of_secrets.txt

doho123
doho123's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!
CDRodeffer
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
Short Changed

I likewise hope that none of the judges are reading this thread, or if they are, they fairly judge all the entries on their own terms, regardless of what anyone here says. But that said, here's a link to my game as well:

Short Changed

Comments are welcome.

Hamumu
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Hey, that system in Courier X of having double pawns and storing a playing card under one of the pair to indicate what each pawn really is is exactly the mechanism I was using in one of my failed about.com ideas! It's the poor-man's stratego piece.

Although not as poor as my other idea: place two dominoes laying on their sides and stick a card between them. The dominoes (if you have fairly thick ones) hold up the card. Works really nicely... until you try to move it.

Dralius
Dralius's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Quote:
And you? Did you manage to submit a game?

Yes i did, Called Depth Charge. It’s my attempt to vastly improve on Battle Ship.

I'll get the rules up at my website when i get some free time.

Kreitler
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Does anyone know when the judges will post the results? I couldn't find anything about this in the original rules...

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Kreitler wrote:
Does anyone know when the judges will post the results? I couldn't find anything about this in the original rules...

Erik Arneson just posted on the Yahoo boardgame design list looking for more judges, so I think judging has either just started or will start soon.

This is hardly official, but I'd expect the results sometime around June. Of course, not being a judge or an insider, that could be wildly off.

Kreitler
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
About.com Deduction contest... ARRRGHH!

Thanks for the info -- I appreciate it.

K.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut