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Subject: Multiple concurrent Contests rss

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Lloyd Krassner
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I'm all for multiple game design contests going on at the same time. I know there are some arguments against it. I was wondering if the Admins have a position on this. May be a non-issue, there are so few contests to begin with
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Joe Mucchiello
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Warpspawngames wrote:
I'm all for multiple game design contests going on at the same time. I know there are some arguments against it. I was wondering if the Admins have a position on this. May be a non-issue, there are so few contests to begin with

When we use to have multiple game design contests at the same time, the contests would be low yield: 1-3 entries tops. When we moved to limiting contests to one at a time, we started getting large numbers of entries: 30+. Since then it has dwindled to 15-20 entries per contest.

This has nothing to do with the admins. It just us, the folks who post around here frequently. There is no mandate against multiple simultaneous game design contests. It's just the current tradition. If you really want additional contests, there are plenty of game design contests external to BGG, such as the monthly ones at the BGDF forums. Or campaign against the current tradition. There are no rules beyond the rules of civility.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Something else to keep in mind is this. Though two contests may be running at the same time. One or both might not appeal to anyone.

IE: A contest using only dice wont appeal to a designer who prefers cards. Forced designer-artist pairing wont appeal to certain designers even less than volountary pairing contests. etc.

A contest with too stringent rules on how you can enter will see a vastly lower participation.

Before the current submission system there was occasional pressure on people trying to start a contest to not start one up if it conflicted with so-n-sos itenerary. Probably didnt garner much goodwill either.



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Joe Mucchiello
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Omega2064 wrote:
Before the current submission system there was occasional pressure on people trying to start a contest to not start one up if it conflicted with so-n-sos itenerary. Probably didnt garner much goodwill either.

Actually this is how it works now. I wanted to make it THE RULE. Instead we've been using only the social pressure of not stepping on each others toes since Jan 2011 when the design forum was created. I created the sticky thread in Mar 2011 as a way to take the conversations in the various "what do you think about a contest like this" threads and turning them into an actual schedule. I've added advice to the sticky thread saying "ask about interest" before announcing a new contest. Other than that, there still aren't any specific rules.
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John "Omega" Williams
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The problem with making it a rule is that people will get locked out of ever getting their contests running. And its meaningless when contests can vary so wildly in who they will appeal to.
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Joe Mucchiello
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Omega2064 wrote:
The problem with making it a rule is that people will get locked out of ever getting their contests running. And its meaningless when contests can vary so wildly in who they will appeal to.

There hasn't been a contest that was canceled due to lack of time on the schedule.

As I said, it's only a matter of proper social etiquette. If the number of people wanting to start contests increased, then people holding contests should reduce the time of the contests perhaps. Give and take. You are correct it doesn't need to be a rule. But it should be a strong guideline. And as a guideline, it should inform the polite discourse used to generate the schedule.

Likewise, if someone wanted to make a long term contest, say six months lead time, then overlapping contests might make sense. Just avoid overlap at the contest end date, to give time for people to playtest these long development games.
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:

There hasn't been a contest that was canceled due to lack of time on the schedule.


One forum I used to hang around on ran forum-games of Mafia/Werewolf/Miller's Hollow/whatever. People would come up with their own themes and variants on the rules, and take it in turns to run a game. We went through the same process of trying to avoid simultaneous games, and predicting when games would finish and plotting out future games...

In the end, the thing that worked best was just to have a running queue thread, in which people would register their interest to run a game. When a game finished, the forum admin would contact the next person in the queue and give them the necessary forum privileges to run their game. If they weren't around at the time, it passed to the next person down the queue from them. Maybe something similar could work here, at least for smaller contests?
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Joe Mucchiello
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You mean this? Sticky - Current Contest Info
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:


I get the distinct impression, looking at that thread, that potential contest-runners need to decide on the dates for their contest before mentioning it there - which isn't quite what I was suggesting at all.

The thread I remember from that forum would just have people posting things like:

Quote:
I'd like to run a game too, it'll be called 'X', so the queue now looks like:

Person 1 - Game U
Person 2 - Game V
Person 3 - Game W
Me - Game X


When a game finished, people could go to that thread, look at the most-recent queue post and take the top name, and that person would start running their game.
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Joe Mucchiello
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Bichatse wrote:
I get the distinct impression, looking at that thread, that potential contest-runners need to decide on the dates for their contest before mentioning it there - which isn't quite what I was suggesting at all.

Well, yes, because in theory you should know when your slot in the contest is. This is not like scheduling games were we don't know when the prior game ends. We know when the prior contest ends.

Also, just announcing "Hey I want to run this contest" doesn't really work. You need to get buy in first in the forum. Since we don't schedule overlapping contests you should not start a contest unless you are sure more than one person will submit designs.

I don't really see how this is so onerous. There's a bit structure. But it's not like you have to read five pages of rules to post a contest. Here are the three easy steps:

1) Post to see if there is interest in your contest idea
2) Look at the schedule and pick a future slot, negotiate with other contest starters if necessary
3) Get added to the schedule
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:

Well, yes, because in theory you should know when your slot in the contest is. This is not like scheduling games were we don't know when the prior game ends. We know when the prior contest ends.


Except when they get extensions, which happens not infrequently! And then the hypothetical next contest organiser needs to decide whether to delay or to start up anyway, and if he delays his end-date gets pushed back as well, and so on.

jmucchiello wrote:

I don't really see how this is so onerous. There's a bit structure.


I understand the process completely; my point was more that if people are worried about contests getting locked out, obviously not everybody does, and the approach I outlined is a much more straightforward one. Obviously, yes, people entering the queue would have to get buy-in on their contest idea in the first place still, but I get the impression that not everyone is 100% happy with a fixed and dated schedule for whatever reason.

(To be honest, I get the impression that we could probably actually do with a couple fewer contests in general, to avoid burnout. I hope that the big gap between the end of the last one and the end of the art phase of the current one will give designers enough of a break. ;-)
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John "Omega" Williams
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Depends on the contest. Of the recent batch, I've only taken interest in one. The rest didnt appeal.

Which is the real determiner factor of participation. Any given contest is likely going to only appeal to XYZ people while ABC will be looking elsewhere.
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Joe Mucchiello
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I should point out that except for my contest that is running now, the "solitaire2" contest scheduled for July, and the "1st annual 2 page contest" there are ZERO other contests waiting in the wings. No one is chomping at the bit begging to be squeezed into the schedule. So what is the point of overlapping contests when there is no backlog of contests?

Additionally, Gamer10150512 discovered posting first and getting feedback about his contest (the 2 page contest above) enabled him to create a better contest.

As for extensions, tradition holds that extension require the permission of all the existing scheduled contests impacted by the extension. I extended my art contest freely because there was nothing scheduled after it. When my contest ends in March there's nothing scheduled until July (unless the 2 page contest becomes finalized).
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