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Christmas "Connections" Contest 2021 - [ Winner "Iris" ]


nbohr1more
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Connections Contest Vote Format  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Story Quality and Theme ( Stars )

    • 1
      1
    • 2
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 4
      1
    • 5
      6
  2. 2. Gameplay Quality ( Stars )

    • 1
      1
    • 2
      0
    • 3
      1
    • 4
      1
    • 5
      5
  3. 3. Visual Quality ( Stars )

    • 1
      2
    • 2
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 4
      1
    • 5
      5


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Unfortunately, it looks like my FM is not going to meet the deadline.  We had a pretty big health scare in my family over the course of the past month which has (rightfully) been the focus of most of my free time.  Building out this FM has been a nice escape from the stress when I got some free moments, and I'd hoped to scale back and release something beta-quality for the contest that I could polish up later.  I got 95% of the way to that goal but won't have any time to get back to this until after next week.  Thankfully it's sounding like our situation is going to turn out OK, but I wanted to pop in and wish everyone the best of luck finishing off their FMs.

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That's sad to hear, but obviously your family needs to come first. I hope we can still get to see that mission, even if not for the contest. If you need a beta tester, let me know!

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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It's not too late to appeal for an extension.

Other participants simply need to agree to it.

(We've done this in previous contests.)

Likewise, if @thebigh wants to augment the contest mission, they would be free to do so until the other participants released theirs.

We've struck this sort of deal before so it can be done again.

@Goldwell @DeTeEff @Wellingtoncrab @kingsal @Amadeus  @jonri ???

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

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I'm fine with the deadline being extended, but barring any suddenly-discovered map breaking bugs I probably won't be messing with it any more. Sometimes you just have to know when to stop fiddling ;). Feel free to put it into the mission downloader if you like.

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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I think having the deadline be the 2.10 release date would also be a viable option, and it would make sense to extend the deadline if 2 out of 6 contest FMs (by goldwell and jonri) won't make it for RL reasons. This would of course require an expected 2.10 release date to be set. Note that the team recently agreed to wait with the 2.10 release until some time after the contest FMs have been released to see what bug reports appear when a wider circle of players has access to them.

Regarding fairness - the contest rules IIRC didn't mention that authors couldn't team up or had to start from scratch, so we have 1 multi-author FM and 1 FM that was already in the works long before the contest. I think it would be good sportsmanship for those 2 FMs to adhere to the original 28th deadline as closely as they can - but ultimately we want to have polished FMs that enrich TDM, so maybe those FM authors should just list what they did after the 28th so voters can take it into account if they wish to. I believe this is mainly the video briefing for the former FM and my reworking of the "Hitman" script as well as bug fixes for the latter FM.

By the way, I'm now also listed as an author for the FM started by Amadeus and Bikerdude since I've contributed substantially to its development by way of my offer to assist all contest participants with implementing new features and solving problems they run into.

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We should also reconsider how the scoring system will work for this contest. Realistically we might have around 30 voters per FM, so if we dole out 2-6 additional perfect votes per new core feature or asset used the contest will be primarily decided by the length of the feature list, not the quality of the FM.

The way contests usually handle this is to reflect in the voting criteria how well the FM adhered to the contest theme. Either as a separate voting category or rolled into one of the existing categories like "Gameplay" (i.e. use of new features) or "Story" (i.e. connection to other FMs). In this case we will need to agree on a wording for how voters should vote in each of the voting categories (Gameplay, Appearance, Story and maybe Contest Theme).

This is complicated by the fact that most voters probably won't know whether a feature is newly added to core or they just didnt come across it before in the FMs they played. We might still want to reward a small(!) bonus per new core feature to guarantee at least some recognition for the effort and risk of implementing these new features.

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On my end I was not “in it to win it” so to speak - I just liked the idea of participating as it gave me a firm deadline to actually try and finish the thing and I liked the concept trying to incorporate some kind of continuity with the whole mod into the mission. I was also looking forward to getting the voters scoring results. On the first point the contest absolutely paid out for me in spades - as who knows where the thing would be without it.

I have a long list of polish bugs to squash, readables to proof read and some mechanics added in the late stage like the X-ray glasses could use some fleshing out so at the end of the day I am still happy if I don’t make the contest deadline and don’t qualify. I am very confident I won’t be far behind and I am looking forward to playing everyone else's missions!

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9 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

It's not too late to appeal for an extension.

I would If it was just a couple days, but since I won't be able to make any additional progress at all until after next week I didn't think it would be fair to ask for that long of an extension.

 

8 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

On my end I was not “in it to win it” so to speak - I just liked the idea of participating as it gave me a firm deadline to actually try and finish the thing and I liked the concept trying to incorporate some kind of continuity with the whole mod into the mission.

This was entirely my reason for participating as well, and on that front the contest has indeed been a success for me.  I'd rather see the finished missions get put out there in time for 2.10 to get the extra testing, and for those who have much more solid entries than myself to get scored fairly.

9 hours ago, thebigh said:

I hope we can still get to see that mission, even if not for the contest. If you need a beta tester, let me know!

Definitely!  With two FMs nearing beta it might even be a double feature!

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9 hours ago, Dragofer said:

I think having the deadline be the 2.10 release date would also be a viable option, and it would make sense to extend the deadline if 2 out of 6 contest FMs (by goldwell and jonri) won't make it for RL reasons. This would of course require an expected 2.10 release date to be set.

I agree. Waiting to release 2.10 until there is a stock of missions, but also extending the contest deadline to accommodate 2.10, seems like a bit of a circular dependency. IMO it might be best just to set a 2.10 release date, put the contest deadline a week earlier, and just go for it.

9 hours ago, Dragofer said:

We should also reconsider how the scoring system will work for this contest. Realistically we might have around 30 voters per FM, so if we dole out 2-6 additional perfect votes per new core feature or asset used the contest will be primarily decided by the length of the feature list, not the quality of the FM.

I possibly misunderstood the scoring system, but I thought it meant that the asset/feature bonuses were either rewarded or not, and not included in the voting.

Thus if I include features from 2.10 and 2.09, and an asset from 2.10, and average 3 across the board in the voting my score would be 6+5+2+3+3+3 = 22 of a possible 28.

I think nbohr1more also has bonus points for the "connection" part but I'm not sure how that works.

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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11 hours ago, Dragofer said:

We should also reconsider how the scoring system will work for this contest. Realistically we might have around 30 voters per FM, so if we dole out 2-6 additional perfect votes per new core feature or asset used the contest will be primarily decided by the length of the feature list, not the quality of the FM.

The way contests usually handle this is to reflect in the voting criteria how well the FM adhered to the contest theme. Either as a separate voting category or rolled into one of the existing categories like "Gameplay" (i.e. use of new features) or "Story" (i.e. connection to other FMs). In this case we will need to agree on a wording for how voters should vote in each of the voting categories (Gameplay, Appearance, Story and maybe Contest Theme).

This is complicated by the fact that most voters probably won't know whether a feature is newly added to core or they just didnt come across it before in the FMs they played. We might still want to reward a small(!) bonus per new core feature to guarantee at least some recognition for the effort and risk of implementing these new features.

 

2 hours ago, thebigh said:

I agree. Waiting to release 2.10 until there is a stock of missions, but also extending the contest deadline to accommodate 2.10, seems like a bit of a circular dependency. IMO it might be best just to set a 2.10 release date, put the contest deadline a week earlier, and just go for it.

I possibly misunderstood the scoring system, but I thought it meant that the asset/feature bonuses were either rewarded or not, and not included in the voting.

Thus if I include features from 2.10 and 2.09, and an asset from 2.10, and average 3 across the board in the voting my score would be 6+5+2+3+3+3 = 22 of a possible 28.

I think nbohr1more also has bonus points for the "connection" part but I'm not sure how that works.

 

Let me clarify.

The plan was originally to use the bonus features to add a number of perfect votes to the score capped by the following:

Two feature awards ( based on the highest two TDM versions used ) ( added to either game-play or visuals )

One asset award ( based on the highest used TDM version ) ( added to visuals )

One "Connection" award ( based on voting for how connected the mission is to other missions 1 - 5 ) ( added to story )

So 6+5+2+5 = 18 perfect votes biasing the average.

 

So if only 30 people vote, a maximum of 60% of the vote scoring could be due to the rewards.

To reduce the impact of this, I would multiply the vote score x2 then multiply the amount of votes x2 then add the bonus perfect votes to that doubled vote count. Therefore the features would only account for 30% of the votes.

If 30% is still too high, please let me know what bias threshold we should use as the cap for low voter turnout.

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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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On 1/27/2022 at 6:39 PM, Dragofer said:

We should also reconsider how the scoring system will work for this contest.

In general, changing the rules of the contest at the end of it is a very bad thing to do.
The rules should be fixed after the competition starts.

If anyone cares about the results, changing the rules now will be bad for him, since he tried to improve on a different goal function. And people probably won't confess that they care if you ask them 😥
If no one cares, then changing the rules is simply pointless 😁 you can as well have no rules at all, and then invent various criteria and rank the missions based on them.

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50 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

If anyone cares about the results, changing the rules now will be bad for him, since he tried to improve on a different goal function. And people probably won't confess that they care if you ask them

The goals of the contest are unchanged (connect to other FMs and use new core features), its just about making sure the reward for using new features doesnt weigh more than the voting. Its also not the first time it was mentioned.

And I'm a little surprised that most of us don't seem to really care about the contest aspect. I don't really mind since I generally prefer collaboration over competition, but I was around to see the Vertical (2010), Beginner (2012) and Halloween (2015) Contests and it felt to me like most participants were in it to win it. Ofc the outcome was only symbolic (i.e. no rewards except a title below the avatar) but I think people just enjoyed the good-spirited competition aspect and the voting at the end was an important part of that experience.

Well, maybe that's just not feasible here with several of the participants dropping out and an uneven playing field overall in terms of mapping experience (12 years after TDM's release), number of authors and prior work on the FMs.

On 1/28/2022 at 12:45 AM, nbohr1more said:

To reduce the impact of this, I would multiply the vote score x2 then multiply the amount of votes x2 then add the bonus perfect votes to that doubled vote count. Therefore the features would only account for 30% of the votes.

Yeah 30% of the score sounds alright. My feedback would be that it's quite easy to max out the reward since you only need 2 features and 1 asset (i.e. volumetrics, secret tracking and a cabinet1-type furniture piece). Could reward use of more features by giving fewer points per feature, i.e. 2x and 1/2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies if I missed it, but when does the voting for this contest close?

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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I was thinking 2 weeks after the 2.10 release.

The Moddb article will invite more players to check out the contest missions so that should improve the number of votes.

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@Dragofer @Amadeus @kingsal @thebigh

Would it be alright to add Wellingtoncrab as the final entrant to the contest, or do you consider the mission release too late now?

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

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I have no objections, so long as the voting still closes two weeks after the 2.10 release.

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{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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Hmm...

So looking at the history of this thread, I made a rule stating that if you declare pre-existing work and other participants agree to it then you can join. Given our limited number of mappers, that is a practical consideration that makes sense here.

After reviewing further, Iris was in development for a bit longer than I remembered.

As such, I am wondering if @Jedi_Wannabe mission can also be included?

The only reason why it wouldn't is that he did not declare his participation in the thread.

( Sorry to keep negotiating, from a promotional standpoint a bigger contest looks better in an announcement article. )

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Again, no objections here.

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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I originally thought it silly to join the contest because my map was in development(on and off) for like 4 years, and I had no real connection to any other FM.  I hadn’t read beyond the first page because I was so busy with IRL stuff and I didn’t expect to release anytime soon. So to be honest I am woefully ignorant of what transpired up until this point in the discussion (I’ll read the whole thread on my next break) but if the end goal is mod exposure for an article on ModDB, then Builder willing, I’d love to join. Didn’t feel worthy to enter a contest with my first FM but I just want more folks to play the mod.

As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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@nbohr1moreI did see your prior deleted post saying I did not belong in the contest and I admit it did sting a bit, as while perhaps not the intention it read like I had misrepresented what I had been doing. I would say from my perspective I have been quite consistent in that I do not care about the contest aspect at all, but that I wanted to use the deadline as motivation to finally finish my WIP mission, which as far as I knew at the time was kosher with the rules. What wasn’t is that I certainly missed the deadline.

I also spent the time incorporating the new 2.10 features, releasing assets for the contest participants and adding connection elements into the story as broadly these seemed good for the mod, just like encouraging participation and participating in the contest was.

That is it from my perspective. I certainly did not intend to conceal anything or wish to cause any issues, nor did I think my chances were particularly good I would make the contest deadline or even win such a thing.

Thus I am happy to participate in voting, to have the mission rolled up in promotional stuff related to the contest, etc if that is also helpful, but I would respectfully ask to not be considered for any placement as so far I find even discussing it has been quite deflating.

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No no, the fault is all mine.

My apologies.

I forgot about the agreed upon waiver and thought that I had screwed up by not being clear enough in the rules. ( I am perpetually in the mode thinking I goofed up somewhere. )

I just wanted the process to be as fair as possible.

Iris is an amazing mission and quite worthy of any award it receives. I think it has a good chance of winning and deserves its place in the contest given all the extra diligence to be compliant and efforts to incorporate 2.10 features.

I humbly ask permission to let it compete as planned.

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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

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  • nbohr1more changed the title to Christmas "Connections" Contest 2021 - [ Winner "Iris" ]

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