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[GDS] MARCH 2014 "And make mine random!" 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 March 2014 Challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "And make mine random!"

-Rich

ruy343
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Clarification:

So if I understand correctly, there must be a spinner, but it doesn't matter what type of spinner or any modifications that I make thereunto. Is that correct?

richdurham
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Pretty much

You've got the idea of it. So long a the spinner still randomizes something, you're good. Of course the challenge is to us the spinner in a way that only a spinner can as opposed to other randomizing components like dice.

Mr.S
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Heads Spinning From Spinners

Hey, I just wanted to say two things about this months showdown.
First, I really enjoyed the challenge. It was interesting to see how designers interpreted and utilized spinners in their designs.
Secondly, as a whole we need to do a better job with spell checking and grammar. Do you know why employers toss out resumes with spelling errors? It's not the spelling that is the issue, it's the fact that the person didn't care enough about the job to carefully look over what they wrote before submitting it. If you have a poorly written submission, it tells me that you don't care about your game. I mean, if you aren't going to put effort into writing your game, why should i put effort into reading it? Furthermore, it is difficult to understand some submissions because of poor grammar.
I recognize that it can be difficult to get your design down to 500 words, so I can see how taking a few short cuts could help. These spelling errors did not completely affect my decisions on games, but it may have been used as a tie breaker.
It's not hard to download a word processor, like Microsoft Word.
Please check your document before submitting it.

anonymousmagic
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Mr. S: We should remember

Mr. S: We should remember that internet forums are an international affair and that for some it is near impossible to reach a reasonable level of spelling.

And let's not forget that word processors are great spellers, but not necessarily at grammar. I can no longer count the number of times my grammar checker made a bad suggestion.

There are also a lot of regional varieties of English. What seems wrong to you might be perfectly acceptable across the pond.

Other than those caveats, I totally agree.

Corsaire
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Unless they accidentally make

Unless they accidentally make me misunderstand something, spelling and grammar have had no effect on my voting.

Mr.S
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'Tis true, and it's

'Tis true, and it's interesting to have games designed from all over. I am an ESL teacher in Korea, and a traveler. I have heard plenty of broken English. Most entries were fine. But “fases”, really?
I don’t think the spelling mistakes actually changed any of my medals this month, but it’s the lack of effort that disappoints me. It doesn't take much to just toss it in a word processor.

ruy343
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As an Entrant

As an entrant, I just wanted to say that I apologize for the errors in my entry. I did proofread it, but I noticed that an error or two got through after I had proofread. I was a bit hurried in my entry because I'm getting married in a month and have a lot on my mind. I'll strive to do better in the future.

Mr.S
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Congrats ruy343

An early congrats then!

Yes, I went back and copy/pasted the entries and found that some of the grammar mistakes were not caught by Microsoft Office.
In the "Formatting Your Submission" section, it says to use an editor. If things escape that, I think it is forgivable. But some entrants missed this step and it doesn't seem like that much effort to do.
The real point I am trying to make here is that if you want to be taken seriously, you have to put effort into your work. This is not only for GDS, but for all areas. I'd hazard that most people on this site want to have their games published. The GDS is a great way to prepare for the process. You must get your idea across quickly and clearly.

melx
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why not to let it be pure

why not to let it be pure fun?
If Your prototypes are ugly and Your rulebooks have some grammatical issues - that doesn´t mean publishers bury You if they clearly see the fun points of Your games.

Uh I also found plenty of mistakes on my submission... probably not perfect English, too - sorry!

Corsaire
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It is one of the best things

It is one of the best things about the challenges, you can get a wide range of POVs and pet peeves towards your presentations. Everyone is likely representing some aspect of publishers one may face if that is the path you are pursuing. Like my pet peeve is unoriginal content where a simple Google search should have screened out the concept. I sometimes wonder if someone even checked BGG or Google before submitting, but then I remember I've rushed a few submissions and figured the lumps will come out in the reviews.

Mr.S
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commenter criteria collection

I think it would be interesting for participants to post their own criteria for the challenge. What are you looking for from the submissions?

In my case, I rank games based on how interested I am in playing them. This has a lot to do with uniqueness in mechanics and theme.
I might be more of a stickler for theme than most 'judges'. If you use space, zombies, pirates, or Cuthulu you better have a very unique mechanic in your game to get me interested.
And when it comes to mechanics, it is tough to sell me resource collection / management. Also, avoiding cards will earn you extra marks as well. I like cards, but it's difficult to make some games without cards. If you can accomplish that, it will not go unnoticed.
Finally, fluff can be tiresome. Adding extra components and mechanics to give you more game won't give you more points from me. I should feel like the mechanics and components are necessary for the game.

fnord33
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I hate that I missed this. I

I hate that I missed this. I was thinking of a tile based Mr. Magoo game with a spinner that dictates the direction he goes.

richdurham
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Good thoughts

Everyone does have their own criteria; Mr.S - sounds like you might take points away if it's grammatically poor, which is a perfectly valid stance to take. This is as much a contest on how well you convey your game as much as it is on the game's design itself.

Is it negative thing to treat this GDS like a game of Apples to Apples? By that I mean: In AtA, players who want to "win" (who does that?) will adjust the card they play towards what they know of the current judge.

This is fine, too, if you are trying to pitch a game to a publisher and want to adjust the theme or gameplay to suit that publisher's style before presenting it.

In this case, where we have multiple judges all judging simultaneously, it is much harder to adjust your entry to suit the "publisher" that is judging it. It must appeal on some other level.

  • Is it how well it matches the design restriction?
  • Is it how innovative it is?
  • Or how cool the theme is?

What are your criteria?

Mr.S
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last clarification

I suppose I should clarify on my grammar stance.

I am not basing my medal decisions on English skills. I don't think that is what the showdown is all about. It's all about the games.
I WILL dock points for poorly written Word/English skill games. I mean, that's like having a farm with no animals.
Also, a poorly written submission can be difficult to sort through. There are many submissions to go through each week and I put a fair amount of effort in making thoughtful critiques as I go through them. If I don't feel the person has put much effort into the submission, why should I put effort into figuring it all out? I would much rather give points to someone who has obviously put a lot of time and effort into the challenge.

ps. I am not a grammar nazi.

SugarPillStudios
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My Take on Judging

My take on judging is to find the most fun and innovative ideas that fit within the space of the design restriction. I avoid voting for games that sound boring, too similar to pre-existing games, or that ignore the design restriction. I guess I would be surprised, if this is very different from the norm.

In terms of grammar and spelling, I try to put about the same amount of effort into considering each entry. So I spend more time considering the potential and depth of games that are more clearly communicated. This is partly out of a sense of fairness, and partly because I think that reading too deeply into a submission (by searching the design space around a proposed idea) blurs the line between judge and designer.

It will be interesting to see how the GDS evolves, as it continues to grow. Or maybe it will reach some kind of equilibrium(?), where there are no more participants willing to spend the time reviewing the number of entries submitted.

davidwpa
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critique question

Are we critiquing everything at once this month or are days being assigned again?

anonymousmagic
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davidwpa wrote:Are we

davidwpa wrote:
Are we critiquing everything at once this month or are days being assigned again?

I asked richdurham the same question in a PM. He'll post a schedule shortly.

richdurham
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Days are assigned

First time people have been super-anxious to get to the commenting! I'll take this as a good sign.

The critique schedule is posted!

SugarPillStudios
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Sorry guys. My bad.

Sorry guys. My bad. I'll work on that self control in future contests :). I can also try deleting my comment in the other thread, if people would prefer that.

anonymousmagic
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I don't see any need to

I don't see any need to delete your comment. Unless rich says otherwise, keep your comment. It's valuable feedback for all the designers.

richdurham
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It's fine

I just meant that this is the first time that candidates actually asked about the schedule so they could get to it.

Your initial feedback is welcome, I'm sure. Just expound on those points when that game's day arrives.

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