That's a wrap! Now what about next time?

Hey everyone,

I’d like to make JGO Comp a reoccurring and hopefully growing thing, so it would be great to get suggestions, comments, complaints, etc. about it.

A few questions:

  • How often would you be interested in a contest like this?
  • What do you think about a once per year 60h contest and a one per year 1 month contest, 6 months apart from each other?
  • How was 60 hours for you? Do you want it longer? Shorter?
  • How were the dates? What about the starting and end times?
  • Was the theme okay? I know a few of you thought it was very difficult - is that a good or a bad thing? I typically try to find themes that get your noodle going and force some very unique or different ideas. Would you be happier with a more generic theme?
  • How can we get more people interested in it for next year?
  • How can we make it more fun?

Now please give me any suggestions or comments you may have for changing the rules, the contest itself, etc.

The voting should have more options. Voting ‘thumbs down’ feels very harsh, especially if somebody finished a game under such tight constraints.

I’d suggest:
[x] 5 stars
[x] 4 stars
[x] 3 stars
[x] 2 stars
[x] 1 star

Yeah I think you’re right. I was aiming to follow the style of Rotten Tomatoes, but it doesn’t really work in this context.

TBH I’m probably going to stick to the 4k contest, but it is worth commenting that methods of scoring have been discussed heavily in that context, so it would be worth checking that out rather than rehashing the same discussion.

I agree totally - I voted ‘thumbs up’ for the games I liked, but I won’t put a ‘thumbs down’ on anyone who made the effort to participate - it feels like posting ‘this is crap, why did you bother?’ on their thread.
If ‘bunnies’ had been my idea I’d have been quite upset by the 4 neg votes it’s got so far (hey you neg guys, what’s not to like?)
With the star system at least a 1 star vote is still positive, even though it’s only 20/100. That feels better than the ‘thumbs down’ -100/100 we’ve got this time.

PS re thread title: pardon my pedantry but isn’t it ‘That’s a wrap’ rather than ‘That’s a rap’? (from ‘that wraps it up’).

I’m with Simon. Couldn’t put a thumbs down on any of them.

I think Google might have the right idea with the upcoming Android Dev Challenge 2: 40% user vote, 60% judges vote, with voting is split into 4 equally weighted sections. Oh, and $2million in prize money would be good too. :wink:

Sure, Vanilla Ice made some good songs, but Snoop Doggs latest, now… That’s a rap! ;D

@SimoneH: Couldn’t agree more. (As I am the absolute leader in collecting “thumb downs”! :smiley:
Ok, to keep the “lead” I just added some negative votes on my own (Just kidding, don’t ban me :D))

@demonpants: I think that is a good suggestion - with the 2 compos! 60 hours would have been ok for me. And one month would even give me enough time to include some gameplay! lol :smiley:

Ok…party-people! Time to start the (work)day and keep on rocking…

I was one of them, and I already posted in the thread to say why I didn’t like it.

I agree that the thumbs up/down voting is a bit harsh and would suggest more options would be good.

This is the first time limited competition I’ve entered and I found it quite difficult to complete within the timescale. I’d been banking on an easier theme and more reuse of previous code, especially as I didn’t have the whole weekend free. On the plus side, it was really nice to be able to do some decent graphics/sound (compared to Java4k). On the minus side, I’m not good enough to turn in a really polished game in a weekend. I’m still pleased to have turned anything in at all. Would I enter another one - probably - although only if I had a fully clear weekend.

I think my ideal competition would run over a month and have a limitation on code size, but no limitations on graphics, sound. It could be packaged in two separate jars, one for code, one for resources. A theme is not essential, but ok.

Lastly, thanks to Demonpants (Eli) for organizing the competition. :slight_smile:


Thanks to Demonpants for organizing this competition and congratulations to all who participated.

Now for the answers to some of the questions.

I think that two times in the year can be good. For the dates, it should be May and October, that will allow j4K to continue its Dec-Feb peiod.

The timespan felt a bit shorter, but games like “Cat on a Wire” and “Bend Hero” show that completing a polished game can be done in 60 hours.
I’m on GMT-4, that wasn’t a problem for me. I had personal issues that didn’t allow me to complete my entry.
As I said before, a 6 moths separation is right, but it needs to let the Dec-Feb period free.

Bending was a devilish theme, and I think that many people didn’t participate because of this.
On the other hand, a difficult theme makes really funny the process of desingnig a game for those who dare to do it.

To get more people there are two options: more time, or easier theme.
Maybe we should nominate/vote for themes, as in the 4 elements contest.

I agree with the “thumbs down feels harsh” comments, so is a +1 for the 5stars rating.

Wikka wikka yo yo yo… (that’s a rap)

I can’t believe I made that spelling error! Thanks for pointing it out. :slight_smile:

Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I’ll definitely give more thought to the scoring next time - even if it had said “Bonus Point!” and “No Bonus Point!” that sounds like it would have been a lot better than thumbs up and thumbs down. I personally gave those out based upon comparisons with the other games - I believe I gave the top 3 thumbs up and the bottom 4 thumbs down. The bottom 3 even included Bend Hero, despite it being a great game and very polished, I just found it pretty boring and unforgiving, and happened to like other games more. So obviously I should have at least presented the scoring system this way to make it easier for everyone else.

Two contests per year sounds great. We’ll have to figure out some prize we can award that is a “renewable resource,” because I really don’t think we can count on people to donate $250 and a bunch of games every time.

Some quick thoughts:

  • Great fun! Thanks for organising it. :slight_smile:
  • 60h is about right, as it gives a bit more slack than the usual 48h so you don’t feel to pressured to start as soon as the theme is announced.
  • Theme was very tricky, especially because (IMHO) encourages a couple of ‘obvious’ game ideas that it’s hard to get away from. Something like the 4-elements competition might be more forgiving (where there’s a list of themes/elements and you’ve got to use a certain amount of them).
  • Alternatively, some kind of pre contest theme voting to narrow down the possible theme might work, and also build up pre contest suspense.
  • Thumbs up/down works, but feels a little too binary for me. I’d like to be able to provide different marks for at least a couple of categories (i.e. technically good but gameplay so-so).
  • For a first time the turnout (and completed entries) was pretty good I think. Inevitably you’ve got to build up to having more and more people take part (would be interesting to know how many people took part in the first 4k competition).

Winner chooses the theme of the next contest?

That’s a great idea - we can start that this time maybe. How about all participants choose themes, then we vote top 3, then the winner gets to choose one from those 3.

That’s a very very bad idea.

Isn’t the point of telling the theme as late as possible, that nobody can start early?

Idea 1. => if the winner gets to choose privately, HE has a major advantage (of like… months)
Idea 2. => if everybody gets to pick 3 themes, and the winner picks one, EVERYBODY has a major advantage, as the themes potential theme is known.

Now, everybody that claims that ‘same advantage for everybody’ is no problem, well it is, in this TIME-restricted contest, those 60 hours would be meaningless.

So… no… only an ‘independant party’ can choose the theme.

The winner should get something else, like… a place in the hall of fame of this contest (where is it!) and a few java game serials - just like J4K.

I got to agree with that. If you knew in advance what the themes were likely to be, you’d plan ahead (like any good coder!).
The thrill of this contest is the unknown theme and the time limit!
I do think there needs to be some thought behind the themes though: ‘Mona lisa’ is way too specific and ‘Beings’ is way too general. ‘Bending’ was a good choice as it can be (and has been) interpreted in many ways.
I’m tempted to say: ‘the winner chooses the theme but can’t compete for that year’ so a coder would choose but couldn’t plan ahead - but then if I won, I’d hate not being able to have a go next time! Hmmm. Tricky…
I reckon an informed independant party is best.

Which might also help stop the same few people winning again and again…?

As I see it, the contest is just a bit of fun, so I can’t really imagine anyone being that devious about picking themes. (And if they were it would be pretty obvious…)

Still, just an idea.


I think you guys all have good points. I was already considering the “power” of allowing the winner to pick the next theme, hence the reason I thought doing something like having the public whittle it down to 3 choices then getting them to pick it might work all right. But Riven is right when he said that we shouldn’t give the winners any sort of unfair advantage, given that they’ve already won, anyway. So, the question becomes, I think, how do we give the winner some sort of theme-voting honor without giving them a noticeable advantage in the next competition? Not being able to compete that year obviously “works,” but I think it would be really stupid to do. Then you would, in the worst case scenario, just have the same winner every other year. Might as well always let anybody enter, then leave it up to the amateurs getting better to make it a win for them instead. After all, a certain theme or time period is all that someone else needs… which is one of the reasons why having a big say in the theme is a big advantage.