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Low voter turnout for GDS this Month -

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sedjtroll
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Guys, was the topic for this month's GDS not attractive enough? There were only 3 entries, and only 2 voters so far.

Is it the time of year? Because if the GDS isn't something this community is interested in participating in, then maybe there's no need to go through the motions month after month.

I know there was a server outage last week, and I've extended the voting deadline in case anybody was unable to log in and wanted to vote. Remember, you don't need to enter the GDS to vote in it! Let's give the guys who did put together an entry a hand by at least voting for your favorite, if not posting some comments in the critique forum!

I hope next month's GDS goes a little better...

Thanks,
Seth

richdurham
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Don't count it out yet

It is probably the the time of year, since November had significantly more entries. It would be a terrible loss not to have the GDS; it is one of my favorite parts about the site.

That said, If my BGDF history is correct the GDS did not start as a full-rules posting with images and a 800 word limit.
This might be the key:
How many entrants have entered before? How often do non-entrants vote? Does the number of non-entrant voters decrease as the number of entries goes up?

Without seeing any numbers I'm going to assume the obvious and say that as the entrants increase, the number of voters drops to equal the number of entrants. This month being a surprising exception.

So lowering the effort needed to vote without entering (And enter, for that matter) by returning to an earlier form of the GDS might work here.

I'm suggesting two rounds:

In the first, entries would be limited to maybe 150 words and be theme-primary mechanic descriptions. Just enough to whet appetites. The you post the entries as a thread with a poll (can that be done with the infrastructure on BGDF?) and the top 4 make it to the next round. In this round the format returns to the modern format of 800 words and up to three images.
Votes on this round are conducted as in November with gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Oh and a sweetened pot of a prize, perhaps we can see if Game Crafters or SuperiorPOD are willing to award credit to a winner, with any in the top 4 getting a smaller prize?

My hope is that the low intitial word count will keep non entrant voters from simply saying "Too long to read" and clicking elsewhere. Also, with the second round only "favorites" will be fully read and voted on, hopefully retaining some of the voters.

Thoughts?

dobnarr
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Time of year

For me it was time of year - I had an idea I was working on, but just no time to get it done in a week what with kids' concerts, special events, shopping, etc.

I found the combination of theme and mechanic a little tricky this time, too - the mechanic was a difficult one, which is good but challenging, and Christmas and Christmas irony (in the U.S. at least) is so pervasive it was hard for me to come up with something that seemed at all fresh. Hitting both of those targets took me a few days' pondering, and by that time, I didn't have enough time left to put together a good entry at this time of year.

Evil ColSanders
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The questions you asked where

The questions you asked where both the answers. If you have a bad month, it's a whiff. Don't look at it as a reason to drop the whole monthly contest thing unless you're looking for a reason.

PierreNZ
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Definitely time of year.

Definitely time of year. Wrapping up (pun kinda intended) a lot of things at work, heaps more to do at home getting ready for summer. Hardly got the chance to even half-read the entries. Will revisit and post comments once holidays start over here.
Also, like i said, misread the deadline for submissions so only have half a game ready :-(

KViki
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both theme and time of year

Apparently, everyone was busy this time, including me. It's the end of the year, we have things to comlete, someone has the exams... But i was disappointed about the last two GDS titles. I dislike America, so first the background of the voting GDS put me in a bad mood and when I saw reindeer... read and closed the browser.

Anyway, the last time I posted a GDS design, i didn't find the time to vote, as there were 10 entries and I didn't want to read them all through, think and vote. When there were 3, I wasn't among them (but it was the reindeer problem).

KViki

ilta
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Yeah, I'm a frequent entrant

Yeah, I'm a frequent entrant but like others couldn't come up with anything fresh and was already pressed for time given the end-of-year craziness (in my case, I'm in a theatre company -- rehearsals for my next play are just starting up and I'm now the marketing director, too, so any design energy is going into the postcards and eblasts and such).

I have been intimidated by the number of entries of late -- 800 words * 10 entries is just terrifying. It shouldn't be since I read plenty but I want to come up with good feedback for everyone, and that's work. I do feel that in the past year, the submissions have gone from brief sketches of ideas into full-on game rules, with criticism to match. Some have even been prototyped! I've probably driven some of that myself, and I think it's why I've been generally successful in the contests that I've entered -- a standard-styled rulebook looks pretty spiffy held up against some other guy's three paragraphs. I honestly wonder if there's a way to put that genie back in the bottle.

But yeah, I wouldn't say that 3 entries in December is cause to call a halt to the proceedings.

sedjtroll
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ilta wrote:But yeah, I

ilta wrote:
But yeah, I wouldn't say that 3 entries in December is cause to call a halt to the proceedings.

I was more thinking the lack of voting... you guys have raised some good points about the volume of reading that would have to be done in order to vote fairly, and the scope creep of the entries.

I the idea of a smaller amount of text - more like the original showdown, to encourage more voting. Maybe the entrants can flesh out their entries afterwards.

Cogentesque
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Heya Seth As somewhat of a

Heya Seth

As somewhat of a lurker / regular (?) on this site I have to embarassingly say that I have never once even read a sentance to do with the game comp.

For me and my shallow ways: I don't think its "exciting" enough? Not sure how to change that though. Perhaps things should be sold with more gusto or something? I honestly have no idea, but just to say that yes, I have never designed, voted for or even read a thread to do with the games comp. But I simply do not know why :(

sam

sedjtroll
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Cogentesque wrote:Heya

Cogentesque wrote:
Heya Seth

As somewhat of a lurker / regular (?) on this site I have to embarassingly say that I have never once even read a sentance to do with the game comp.

For me and my shallow ways: I don't think its "exciting" enough? Not sure how to change that though. Perhaps things should be sold with more gusto or something? I honestly have no idea, but just to say that yes, I have never designed, voted for or even read a thread to do with the games comp. But I simply do not know why :(

sam


That's OK Sam, I don't think the GDS needs to be something that every member participates in, but it would be cool if there were more voters than entrants, in order to get a more realistic feeling of having won the vote!

So how can we accomplish that...

larienna
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I have never really been

I have never really been interested in the GDS. For me, designing a game in a month is an impossible feat. So participating would just put an enormous amount of pressure for no good reason because I need time to think accurately.

magic_user
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My reasons - or is it excuses?

I will enter if (a) I have time and (b) inspiration hits within the first two days. I have voted only when I have been able to read all the entries and had time to "play" them in my mind.

The reason I enter when I can is because of the mental exercise I get. I also (occasionally) get some of my co-workers to playtest my games. They always come up with ideas on how to improve the games. Sometimes they point out an existing game that is "just like" mine. That usually makes me want to play it. I guess the mental exercise and the socialization I get from participating make it worthwhile.

Note - for a while I entered regularly (I was laid off). My entries scored higher almost every month. It was very fulfilling to see my progress as a designer validated. Alas, I have never won a GDS.
:-)

Jim C.

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