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[GDS] APRIL 2014 "Fool me once..." Comments and Questions

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richdurham
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Use this thread for any comments, questions, requests for clarity, etc., regarding the April 2014 Challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "Fool me once..."

-Rich

Mr.S
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Shit just got real.

Great editions to this month's challenge. I can't wait to get started!

JewellGames
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Lets do this!

I really like the premise of this one! I have never participated in one of these contests but I think this will be the month I give it a shot.

richdurham
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excitement

I'm glad to see some fresh excitement!

If you're new, I suggest looking back on some of the previous contests to get a feel for the writing styles (variable) and what kinds of approaches "win."

I say that loosely because it's really quite early in a game's life to judge it so completely. There are certainly some great potential games that don't come out on top, but the top votes are almost always full of potential.

That's why we're gong to immortalize them!

Zag24
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Submitted

I've submitted my entry. We've played it a bunch of times and it is really quite fun! We were laughing hysterically at one point.

Anyway, this is my first time entering this contest, so go easy on me.

I have a question about the 800 word limit: How particular are you about that? According to OpenOffice, my submission is 823 words. However I find that it counts every number as a word, plus it is counting the bold indicators, of which there are a dozen-ish. So for the actual content, I'm probably just about 800. Is that close enough, or should I find a way to squeeze out 24 words?

ruy343
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800 words

Whoa. It's 800 words now!

All I can say is that if the entry looks particularly verbose, sometimes people don't want to read it. Try to cut out as much of your entry as you can. Anything that isn't absolutely necessary has to go.

That isn't to say that 800 is too much. Presentation and clarity are in conflict here, and the 800 word limit helps you get the clarity aspect across easier. However, if it's too big, it might not get read as seriously.

I'm still going to stick with 500, and always be aiming for less.

JewellGames
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Entries

I'm really looking forward to all the entries since two-player games with the wife are the norm. My game from conception to paper took under 30 minutes and is a little different from the typical bluff game so I definitely have some testing and tweaking to do! Mine came in at ~750 words and I thought it was pretty barebones. What makes it tricky is that entries don't seem to have pictures which could greatly cut down on written explanations. I'll have to whittle it down some more to reach 500.

richdurham
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Word Limit: Standard 500 word

Welcome, Zag24.

I'm glad you mentioned 800 words now instead of the end of the entry time, because it's not 800 words. It's 500. Can I ask where you read this?

As stated in the OP:

"Word Limit: Standard 500 word"

This is the same as posted in the Game Design Showdown general description here

As for how strict, I do not suggest going over. In the past voters used it as a disqualifying mark, since they did not follow the rules, making it unfair for the others who struggled so hard to keep it in the 500 limit.

Since you've already submitted, you can use the web address given on the "entry recieved" screen to edit your entry. If you don't have it, you should submit again and add REPLACEMENT to the title field.

Zag24
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Oops. It is 500

Well, dang! I don't know why I misremembered it as 800 words, but the rules do say only 500 words.

I realize that the intent of the challenge is to give just the bones of the game. However, since the only pieces to my game come from a standard set of playing cards, I was headed all the way being complete, with the rules spelled out more precisely than was really necessary for this purpose. (That is, I am ready for the rules lawyers, I think.)

I guess there's also the question of whether my game qualifies as a board game, since it is not -- it's a card game. I hadn't really thought about that question until just now. Is that a problem?

Mr.S
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Zag24 wrote: I guess there's

Zag24 wrote:

I guess there's also the question of whether my game qualifies as a board game, since it is not -- it's a card game.

I take the GDS to mean table top game. I hope people agree because my submission is also card based this month.

Also, with as many entries as we get, you don't want to read 800 words from everyone. Half of the challenge is usually getting down to that 500 words.

richdurham
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Games in general

This may be "board game designer's forum" but that is meant in the broad sense that it does on Board Game Geek.

If it's an analog game (ie - not an electronic game), it probably fits. Most people here are familiar with the hobby games you'll see on Boardgamegeek, and design with that in mind. Where you draw the line is up to you as the designer!

Zag24 wrote:
I guess there's also the question of whether my game qualifies as a board game, since it is not -- it's a card game. I hadn't really thought about that question until just now. Is that a problem?

anonymousmagic
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Card games definitely qualify

Card games definitely qualify from my perspective. However, I've seen cards used where not using them could have resulted in a more innovative game.

Whatever you do, try to create something original in theme and gameplay if you want my vote.

Mr.S
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New Submission Form

Hello everyone,

I can't seem to get the new submission form to load on either of my internet browsers. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you get it to work?

Thanks.

richdurham
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Checked on browsers

Hi Mr. S -

I just checked the link on Chrome, IE, and Firefox (all for windows), and Chrome for Mac. Seems to be loading just fine?

Anyone else encountered this issue?

Mr.S
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submitted

Ok, it worked on my co-worker's computer. I don't know what is wrong with mine... oh well. It has been submitted.

nazcagames
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I didn't run into any

I didn't run into any problems with submitting an entry (Using Chrome).

richdurham
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Reminder to get entries in!

Hi all,

Reminder to submit your entry for the April GDS by the end of Tuesday the 8th "Eastern-why-am-I-still-using-this" time?

Koen Hendrix
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Whoa! 18 entries! A busy one

Whoa! 18 entries! A busy one this! :)

richdurham
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oh yes

And with the increase in entries, it's even more important to have clear writing. Readers are less likely to spend time struggling to understand your game when there are 17 more to read.

Be clear, be concise, be high-level.

richdurham
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On voting

Please use the link in the [main contest thread here](http://bgdf.com/forum/game-design/game-design-showdown/gds-april-2014-fo...) to submit your votes. You will need to type the name of the entry you're voting for, so i suggest copy-pasting from the entry's listing.

schattentanz
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Yay!

I'm in!

Quite excited :)

I pre-typed it in MS Word to have a real time word count working with me. It counted 499 words, but I guess numbers have not been counted. So I hope, I still qualify :)

The whole concept of this GDS is just great - I really like it :)

Kind regads,
Kai

Edit: Just noticed .. I'm too late .. :-/
Well, maybe next time ..

Radium84
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Timeframe

When will the results be posted?

richdurham
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Should be sometime today

Voting closed out midnight last night, but there is still some setup that needs to be done before they're posted.

Radium84
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The anticipation is killing me!

Can you at least give us the first letter of the winner? :-)

davidwpa
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Who were the lucky designers?

Did I miss it this month or didn't you publish the designers' names on the thread like was done in the past? I would like to know whose designs we saw.

Thanks,

David

Mr.S
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New Critique Format Critique

Before I get into it, I think we should all give a big thanks to richdurham for running this contest. It can't be easy with this many entrants and must take a lot of time. I also really liked the additions to the challenge this month, but....

Could we go back to the previous critique format?

This new one seems quite messy. The best part of the GDS is to have your games critiqued by other designers. In the new format, most of the games will not be critiqued. It also rewards the 'lowest' ranked submissions while ignoring the middle of the packers. To find our submissions in the mess is also quite difficult as people are titling their critiques by medal and not by game title. I think the new format takes away from what makes the GDS fun. Which brings me to another point: most of the time I forget which entry I voted for. Don't get me wrong, I put a lot of effort into it and write reviews for all of the games during evaluation week. But I can't remember all of the game or in what order I put them in by the time we have critiques. Don't worry, I wrote them down this month.
Thirdly, the new format is not conducive to discussion. Seeing as how this is a forum, I liked how the previous format allowed for discussion about each day's entry. Although, there were few threads of dialogue exchange, the possibility was there. The new format is too difficult to respond to critiques because there may be five different submissions being discussed at once.

But, I am not the only one participating in the GDS. I would like to hear other people's opinions. Someone tell me I'm wrong. Please critique my critique of the new critiques format.

Mr.S
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davidwpa wrote:Did I miss it

davidwpa wrote:
Did I miss it this month or didn't you publish the designers' names on the thread like was done in the past? I would like to know whose designs we saw.

Thanks,

David

I would also like to see the designers. BTW, mine was Cunning and Conjecture.

Samarkand
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I second Mr. S. I know I

I second Mr. S. I know I voted for at least 2 of the top 3 submissions, but I can't remember in which order I did it because that was a week ago and I expected to be able to critique each game.

The new format hurts the game in the middle of the standings, which is a shame because I think those are the games that need the most critique.

Zorblag
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I agree that the new critique format seems a bit disjointed.

So I'll throw my voice in as agreeing with those that liked the previous critique format. From a strictly self-serving point of view I know that I probably would have gotten more comments on my game than the two that have been given in the old format just because only two people gave the game a medal. Knowing what those who liked the game thought of it is useful, but knowing what others didn't like about it (which stopped them from voting) would probably be more useful to me as a designer. Under the current system there's no obvious place for others to share their thoughts if they didn't give it a medal.

In a less self-centered way I still plan to give critiques on the games that didn't medal for me (and have done that for Yes, Peas! already,) but having particular games on particular days would be less awkward in terms of where the reviews end up.

None of this should diminish from the fact that I absolutely appreciate the work done to make this happen and the need to adapt to a larger number of entrants when they get turned in. I loved participating in the GDS this time around and look forward to doing so again in the future! Thanks Rich!

-Zorblag R`Lyeh

richdurham
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Thanks for the comments

Hi everybody,

The comments here are exactly the kind of feedback I need for the GDS, so thank you all for making them. I'm really pleased that the GDS has grown to such unwieldily proportions over the last six months or so, and as you can see it isn't without growing pains.

To me, these are the best pains to have, if we're going to have any at all. It tells me that we have an enthusiastic community that wants more of what they're getting out of this competition - namely some good feedback, practice, and maybe a little recognition for a job well done.

This month the critique schedule didn't execute very well, and as a designer it was hard to follow your title (since you might be mentioned on three different days).

So next month we'll go back to the original critique schedule - in point order.

What I'll pose to you now, as designers, is to design a solution to "the critique problem" with these restrictions:

This is a monthly competition, and so the critique schedule will ideally end before the end of the month.

It must be able to accommodate upwards of two dozen entries comfortably The GDS is democratic, so the voting will always produce a bit of fatigue as some of you noticed this month with 18 entries. I don't see the GDS in current form ever accepting more than a couple dozen entries. At that point an entirely different system will be needed.

Designers should be able to easily track when their entry is being discussed

Commenters should not feel they need to comment on all 15 entries in-depth, as critique fatigue will likely develop. Last year when the GDS started getting more entries, I noticed that two or three dedicated people were commenting on every entry while many were commenting sporadically, and it felt unfair to put the weight of critiques on the shoulders of only a couple people.

Entries that did well should get some praise, and entries that need critiques get equal treatment

Those are the primary concerns - and I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you all again for making the GDS what it is!

Mr.S
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Critique Thread Proposal

richdurham wrote:
What I'll pose to you now, as designers, is to design a solution to "the critique problem" with these restrictions:

I don’t know how easy it is to change the format of the site, but my plan will not work too well for the current set up. I would like to see each entry have a sub-thread started where each can be discussed. I think that this will encourage discussion rather than just critiques. It will also encourage more repeat participation as reviewers can defend and question posted opinions. Hopefully, we will get some good discussions going on the finer points of design.
This idea probably won’t work in the current format as each game would need a new thread (24 threads?)! I don't think the format of BGDF was originally meant to accomodate this size of a challenge. If the format was closer to reddit style, it would be possible to have the vote tally followed by the entries. Reviewers would be instructed to post as a reply to the sub threads (not the entire thread) to keep things organized. In this way, you could quickly check up on the games you are following (or designed).
This idea also alleviates the time crunch factor as all entries can be reviewed at the same time. My suggestion is that the entries are posted in voting order. People read and post from the top down, so the entries at the top will naturally receive more attention. This gives a slight advantage to the medal winners.
Final thought – if something like this is adopted, I think it would be beneficial to post the original entry as the starting thread. It will be easier to reference and remember the original design. It will be much easier than having to find the game in the original submission thread. It’s really just a matter of space and copy/pasting.

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