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[GDS] February 2011 Game Design Showdown - "The Dice Gods Must Be Crazy" - Comments and Questions

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jumpseat
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What a great array of game ideas!

Wow! For me its really hard to pick what to vote for because there is such a huge array of great work! I think what I'm going to have to do is just narrow it down on first impressions and what I think COULD be a great game (ie a great or different idea); trying to actually get into the detailed strategies and mechanics seems way too big a task by Friday. Does that sound like a good call?

jumpseat
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sedjtroll wrote:drktron

sedjtroll wrote:
drktron wrote:
I think what people are getting at is that the way the voting system is now it is to ones advantage not to vote at all. If I vote for ten other entries it is like a -1 vote for myself (I advance everyone but myself). Now if everyone votes the inherent disadvantage evens out and the system works. However if I abstain from voting im better off (I don't advance the other entries in relation to my own).

Personally I think this is not in the spirit if the contest so im going to vote anyway and I encourage everyone to do the same.


How about if you don't vote, I disqualify you from winning?

Or worse, if people enter and don't vote, I could quit running GDS at all, and see how they like that (if they don't want to participate anyway). The other option is probably better though...

Could you just make it if you vote, your entry gets a vote? And how about only members that have been a member for the last couple of weeks at least. :)

jekow
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not that it matters

For this first round I'm picking who kept closest to the spirit of the specific design requirements along with which seem like they could be good games with some more work.

In the spirit of fun and honor I am voting for the designs that I would like to see win if mine doesn't.

I don't see a problem here.

drktron
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sedjtroll wrote:drktron

sedjtroll wrote:
drktron wrote:
I think what people are getting at is that the way the voting system is now it is to ones advantage not to vote at all. If I vote for ten other entries it is like a -1 vote for myself (I advance everyone but myself). Now if everyone votes the inherent disadvantage evens out and the system works. However if I abstain from voting im better off (I don't advance the other entries in relation to my own).

Personally I think this is not in the spirit if the contest so im going to vote anyway and I encourage everyone to do the same.


How about if you don't vote, I disqualify you from winning?

Or worse, if people enter and don't vote, I could quit running GDS at all, and see how they like that (if they don't want to participate anyway). The other option is probably better though...

Whoa...I never meant for my post to be so inflammatory. I was just elaborating on why some people may of wanted to change the voting format. Im fine with whatever sytem you want to use. My main point was that not voting is not in the spirit of the contest and that I hope everyone votes.
Im sorry if it came across differently :(.

tatewu
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Do I have to select 10? Can I just select 5 or 6 designs?

Do I have to select 10? Can I just select 5 or 6 designs?

Zomulgustar
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another option?

An alternative (perhaps less offensive?) might be to let all games over a set number of votes proceed to the next round, rather than having the cutoff determined by rank. This would require no additional book-keeping, yet remove the conflict of interest.

In case I left any doubt earlier, I too have every intention of voting regardless, but feel that it's important that we represent our community with a robust ruleset.

sedjtroll
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Something like that

Zomulgustar wrote:
An alternative (perhaps less offensive?) might be to let all games over a set number of votes proceed to the next round, rather than having the cutoff determined by rank. This would require no additional book-keeping, yet remove the conflict of interest.

In case I left any doubt earlier, I too have every intention of voting regardless, but feel that it's important that we represent our community with a robust ruleset.


I don't believe I've announced how many entries will go to round 2. I am hoping there will be an obvious cutoff point when looking at all the "top 10" votes.

sedjtroll
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tatewu wrote:Do I have to

tatewu wrote:
Do I have to select 10? Can I just select 5 or 6 designs?

Please select 10.

sedjtroll
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drktron wrote:sedjtroll

drktron wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
drktron wrote:
I think what people are getting at is that the way the voting system is now it is to ones advantage not to vote at all. If I vote for ten other entries it is like a -1 vote for myself (I advance everyone but myself). Now if everyone votes the inherent disadvantage evens out and the system works. However if I abstain from voting im better off (I don't advance the other entries in relation to my own).

Personally I think this is not in the spirit if the contest so im going to vote anyway and I encourage everyone to do the same.


How about if you don't vote, I disqualify you from winning?

Or worse, if people enter and don't vote, I could quit running GDS at all, and see how they like that (if they don't want to participate anyway). The other option is probably better though...

Whoa...I never meant for my post to be so inflammatory. I was just elaborating on why some people may of wanted to change the voting format. Im fine with whatever sytem you want to use. My main point was that not voting is not in the spirit of the contest and that I hope everyone votes.
Im sorry if it came across differently :(.


I didn't mean for my reply to sound so harsh either... heh.

Really though, I think "if you don't vote, you can't win" would be a decent rule in general - it absolutely gets rid of the abusive behavior you were worried about, and it forces people to participate fully in the GDS if they want to win - not just post their entry and disappear.

There's still the possibility of people gaming the system and voting for games they think are bad, so as not to help their true competition beat their own game - but that's sort of a prisoner's dilemma as well, because if everybody did that, the weakest entries would advance and none of the strongest entries would :)

To be clear, I'm not going to impose such a rule. Everyone should just vote for the ones they think are best and don't try to game the system. It's not like there's a money prize to be had.

sedjtroll
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Deadline for round 1 Top Ten picks extended through weekend

I am extending the deadline to get me your top ten picks through Sunday. Some have expressed that Friday is too soon to really go through all 38 entries, and I suspect some people would prefer to do it on the weekend anyway.

bhazzard
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Critiques

Perhaps this is user error, but I can't figure out how to post on the critiques thread. Is it not open yet?

joni
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bhazzard wrote:Perhaps this

bhazzard wrote:
Perhaps this is user error, but I can't figure out how to post on the critiques thread. Is it not open yet?

I think critiques will first be opened for posting after the voting is done, to not affect anyones opinion...

rcjames14
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Strategic Voting

sedjtroll wrote:
Everyone should just vote for the ones they think are best and don't try to game the system. It's not like there's a money prize to be had.

There is some quite interesting theory written on voting systems in political science about 50 years ago [google arrow's impossibility theorem] which tackled the question of whether there is a perfect voting mechanism. It turns out that all voting systems are imperfect... meaning there will be some feature about them that we would consider undemocratic.

So... someone will always be able to game the system.

The founders tried to circumvent this problem in the electoral college by requiring each elector to cast a vote for two different people. It was assumed that everyone would vote for their own man, and then the person whom everyone liked would end up being the second vote. The top vote getter would be the president and the other man... The vice president.

This system eventually became our president and vice president system as parties formed and states cast their votes together for the same man. But political parties were not necessary to game the system... a wise elector would vote for his man and the worst candidate. Unfortunately, if everyone does this, then the worst man is elected. So, they were counting on people preferring to be ruled by the best man as opposed to the worst man... If they couldn't have their man.

But the temptation to 'cheat' and vote strategically for the worst man never disappears. In fact, it gets progressively stronger the closer you think your man is to being elected if the best man doesn't.

Zomulgustar
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rcjames14 wrote: It turns out

rcjames14 wrote:

It turns out that all voting systems are imperfect... meaning there will be some feature about them that we would consider undemocratic.

Of course, Arrow's decision of what criteria were important was undemocratic, too, and some inequalities are more unequal than others. ^_^ As strange as dependence on irrelevant alternatives is, I'll take anything within spitting distance of Pareto optimality over First Past the Post any day.

rcjames14
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Blended Forms

Zomulgustar wrote:
As strange as dependence on irrelevant alternatives is, I'll take anything within spitting distance of Pareto optimality over First Past the Post any day.

Lately, I've become a fan of a mix of procedures. As long as each is majoritarian in some way, I think there's something to be said about having a variety of games.

I've been sort of tossing around the idea of a popular veto. Where all laws must be approved by a majority of the citizenry. Of course, the task of crafting laws and treaties, administering them and adjudicating them would still fall to our elected officials, but they would first have to be approved by citizens in a popular vote. The ancient Athenians had something like this themselves which they used to great democratic benefit. But, a number of other regimes in recent history have used plebiscites to consolidate dictatorial rule. So, it is hard to foresee all the consequences of something as simple as a popular veto.

hotsoup
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Another difficult problem is

Another difficult problem is that fact that democracy was never originally intended to function on a scale as large as the US is now. In Athens everyone could know their government personally and make more informed choices, whereas that's nearly impossible now. Not to mention that when you have 300 million people, the odds of making laws that are appropriate, effective, and just for all of them, or sometimes even a majority of them, are pretty slim. The same would go for plebiscites.

Ok, stopping. Don't want to turn this thread into a political debate.

joni
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hotsoup wrote:Another

hotsoup wrote:
Another difficult problem is that fact that democracy was never originally intended to function on a scale as large as the US is now. In Athens everyone could know their government personally and make more informed choices, whereas that's nearly impossible now. Not to mention that when you have 300 million people, the odds of making laws that are appropriate, effective, and just for all of them, or sometimes even a majority of them, are pretty slim. The same would go for plebiscites.

Any good boardgames made with that idea?

hotsoup
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Not a bad idea, actually. You

Not a bad idea, actually. You could have some sort of solo game where you had to keep the country happy while it's population grew and diversified. Might be interesting. It could end up forcing players to the realization that you just have to aim to please the majority or your base in order to stay elected and keep the country intact.

sedjtroll
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hotsoup wrote:Not a bad idea,

hotsoup wrote:
Not a bad idea, actually. You could have some sort of solo game where you had to keep the country happy while it's population grew and diversified. Might be interesting. It could end up forcing players to the realization that you just have to aim to please the majority or your base in order to stay elected and keep the country intact.

Not to break up the discussion of voting systems, but maybe it should not occur in the GDS questions/comments thread...

dobnarr
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Rules violations

I've been enjoying going through the entries for the competition, but I've been troubled by those that have violated the rules. These range from major infractions (including components not allowed in the restrictions, going way over the 800-word limit) to minor (having pictures bigger than the allowed 400 wide by 600 tall), but they are all not right.

I'm not going to grudge anybody a pencil and paper to keep track of score - I think you can reasonably assume people have that around in their homes, and it's a convenience - not necessary for or integral to the game. A completed sudoku board or a gameboard with letters and number indices are much more problematic. These are not trivial items - they're specific, and in the case of the Sudoku board, completely integral to the game. If the designer wanted to substitute a 9x9 grid of numbers printed on a half card, that's fine, but it should be in the rules that way, because it would be very small and awkward to use.

Likewise, there are two entries that have significant backstory and flavor text present in italics that goes well over the 800 word limit - this clearly violates the rules, rules that the other entries obeyed. I've frequently had to cut such things out of my rules to reach the limit, and to have this rule not applied here seems very unfair. The admonition not to read italic text isn't effective; it is impossible to ignore it completely, and many (most?) readers won't attempt to ignore it anyway. The additional text clearly adds a great deal to the mood and feel of the game.

Though not as important, the image sizes are frustrating, too, because I and others have always carefully manipulated my images to be 400x600 or smaller, and some here are much larger (double the pixel size, in one case).

I don't mean to disrespect the designs that incorporated these things - they're generally quite good games, the extra components are used well and creatively, the extra text is descriptive and fun, and the bigger pictures easier to see. But those who adhered to the rules are disadvantaged by these extra-legal parts of the entries in ways that will not necessarily be clear to those judging the entries.

I realize the contest is a labor of love by the organizers, and that there were scads of entries this month, probably too many to police, but I really think that in a game competition, of all things, we should be able to hold to and enforce the few rules that are in place.

onihero
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ahh

Most infractions seem to be minor. I dont believe its that big of a deal (like a lot of people using 400 tall, 600 wide instead of 400 wide, 600 tall).

It is a friendly contest with no prize after all. Nothing really to get bent out of shape over.

dobnarr
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Not what I was getting at.

Agreed on the triviality of image orientations, although if we're going to permit 600x400 in addition to 400x600, then why not say so in the rules? I'd be for this change; I've sometimes put images in sideways just to meet the rules restriction.

The other things I mentioned are more serious, and in my view give a significant advantage to those entries, or (more importantly) remove the possibility to do those things for people who followed the rules. Who knows how much more awesome some of the entries would have been if they'd been given an extra 800 words for flavor text, or a free bonus component?

The last part of your comment I totally don't agree with. If I were playing chess, and I said, hey, my pawns can move backwards, but don't worry, it's just a friendly game without important results, I doubt you'd want to play with me much. Just because not much is riding on it doesn't mean it's not important to those participating.

drktron
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rules violations

To me the best way to regulate the rules violators at this point is to not vote for them. I know I struggled to cut my entry to 800 words so the entries that went way over this didn't get my consideration. The pencil and paper for scoring didn't bother me. Its up to each voter to determine how far each entry can bend the rules. I still liked reading over those entries so I'm glad they they were listed even though they didn't get my vote.

Im sure im not the only one who considered the entry rules when voting so I wouldn't worry too much about being disadvantaged. To me the point of the contest is to share,evaluate and critique each others game ideas anyway.

jekow
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.

The GDS rules language says things like 'should'. It does not say 'shall'. This is an important distinction. The other important point, which is related, is that there is no mention of disqualification if the person does not adhere to the rules.
Should is a suggestion
Shall is a command
And there is no 'or else' wording.

I know for the final round what I'm looking for.

Is it, 'a quick playing light game primarily made of dice'?
If yes, it gets my consideration.

however,
If it is not a light game (too complex)
If it is not quick playing (seems too long)
If it is not made primarily of dice (the other components seem either more integral or there are more of them).
then it doesn't get my consideration.

I'm not so sure that in this self-selected group of people that flavor text, image size, and word count tremendously affect the outcome of the contest. If it were the 'general public' voting, I wouldn't be so comfortable.

Yamahako
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Yeah I didn't vote for any of

Yeah I didn't vote for any of the entries with more than 800 words within an 80 word tolerance for differences in word counts between text editors. I certainly would have presented differently with a larger word limit. But we can police it ourselves. It was actually nice to be able to have something to lower the number of entries I had to seriously consider. Even then it was really hard because of all the great entries! Thanks Seth for putting this on :-)

sedjtroll
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jekow wrote:The GDS rules

jekow wrote:
The GDS rules language says things like 'should'. It does not say 'shall'. This is an important distinction. The other important point, which is related, is that there is no mention of disqualification if the person does not adhere to the rules.
Should is a suggestion
Shall is a command
And there is no 'or else' wording.

At present, the only "or else" in the Game Design Showdown is the risk that voters will not vote for entries that do not adhere to the regulations of the contest.

In the future we may re-word the challenge posts, or re-work the rules and be more strict about them. For the time being though, I do not have the time to pre-police each entry and disqualify those I don't think comply... fortunately the voting mechanism more or less takes care of this itself.

ilta
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What DrKtron said

drktron wrote:
To me the best way to regulate the rules violators at this point is to not vote for them.

Yes, this. One of my early GDS entries was 1100 words, it was duly noted by the editor (probably Seth, I forget) and got very few votes as a result. That's a shame because it was actually a good game (it's on my back burner for further development in fact), but I deserved not to win that month's GDS.

In general I've found that flagrant rules violators rarely get many votes (each GDS has one or two such entries), and I personally don't give votes to extremely long entries, entries that break the rules or fail to meet the components, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about the entries that break the rules.

As for "should" vs "shall" I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with that poster. Where there is only "should" and no "shall" (that is, "should" is the strongest form) then the only rules you're playing by have to be more than the suggestions that you imply. Otherwise you don't have rules at all, but a bunch of ideas and suggestions about an ideal entry. Here, I think "should" is used to keep the tenor of the GDS friendly, but the rules are the rules and it's bad form to break them.

Zomulgustar
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apology and question

Hopefully my de-anonymizing at this point won't do any further damage, but I apparently owe you an apology. Any extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, I did not consider that others might have difficulty ignoring the italicized text. If I had not assumed this to be trivial, I would have submitted the version I had prepared without it. I had no intention of putting anyone else at a disadvantage... only, as originally stated, to share. If it doesn't equally disqualify me from your feedback and blessing on future development, I would rather bow out of the competition proper than run the risk of succeeding and being considered a 'cheater'.

For future reference, is there some way to pose public questions on how to handle 'edge cases' such as this without revealing the identity of the game's authors in so doing? I was actually trying to be respectful of the anonymity of the competition by dealing with my questions via PM...

Yamahako
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I certainly think cheater is

I certainly think cheater is a harsh term. I doubt anyone was trying to gain an undue advantage consciously by exploiting rules enforcement. I plan to give feedback to everyone I can muster up time for - because there were a lot of games I was impressed with and a lot of games that I could offer suggestions about (and hope to receive some feedback myself of course). I used following the rules as closely as possible as part of my criteria for judging but in no way is meant to reflect poorly on the character of people who didn't follow them as closely.

jekow
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in the end...

I would rather have more submissions where some are not 'following the rules' as closely and have the option of voting or not voting for them than have just one person throw them out because they didn't follow the rules to a T.

I think we're all here to try to make the most kick ass game we can right?

My previous post was simply a commentary, but my actual opinion is more submissions = better with only a very light hand used to disqualify submissions. For example the contest is about a chess style game and the submitter submits a game about Jenga style dexterity...yeah I would support Sedj rejecting that submission.

I would not call anyone who bent the rules a cheater either.

aside... has a Mashup contest been done before? Like, take a popular abstract strategy game and mix it with an abstract popular dexterity game to create a new abstract strategic dexterity game.

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