A magical unicorn pony for future shufflecomps?

I may have suffered from a misconception as how Shufflecomp operated. From the announcement thread:

What I took from that (and I freely admit this may be a delusion shared by me and nobody whatsoever) was that we would submit games on May 1st, and then the organiser would create some [mailing list/google group/hidden forum/magical unicorn pony] where we could all pseudonymously test each other’s works before they were released May 12th.

In practice what happened was that we worked on a game until May 1st, submitted a copy, worked on it more until May 12th, then submitted another copy. And if we privately managed to find beta-testers at any point, that’s great. And the May 1st submissions don’t actually count as submissions(?!)

(Juhana kindly stepped up to create a beta-tester ring, but – at least in my case – it didn’t work out. I was only assigned one person’s game to test; that person never contacted me; I couldn’t test anything.)

In short: given the likelihood of future shufflesque happenings, is there demand for a venue for future pseudonymous all-entrants-test-each-other’s-games beta-testing?

(Would this have been a more timely question two weeks ago? Yeaaah. But the thought nagging at me about the comp didn’t click until yesterday.)

I could see the confusion about the initial (May 1) submission still counting for the final version even if you didn’t follow up with a later submission.

I did not personally assume that the organizer would be responsible for additionally organizing beta testing; I had understood that to be individual game authors’ responsibility. I didn’t join the beta testing ring because I was sick and could not guarantee the time commitment, although I did beta test one entry through private arrangement, and likewise had my own game beta tested through private arrangement.

If all entrants had to commit to test every game entered, that seems potentially prohibitive in terms of time (jobs, other commitments)? But it would be an interesting thing to try so long as it was made clear as a rule from the outset. My concern would be that beta testing is potentially more time-consuming than “just” playing a game, because you’re actively helping the author to look for areas for improvement. But I’m willing to be persuaded otherwises.

Mutual testing would absolutely have to be an opportunity, not an obligation. (Everyone tests as much or little as they like.) [emote]:)[/emote]

This seems something like idea behind game-testing.org (though admittedly there it’s less pseudoanonymous and less automated).

I would be interested in seeing this happen, or making it happen if need be. But I don’t know how to set up a complex web form like this that interfaces with a database, and it has to be modular and expandable enough to adapt to new formats or at least handle more events in the future, including potentially multiple events at once, and then there’s the ongoing issue of hosting.

But, yes, I would like to see this. [emote]:)[/emote]

Wait, future-reading yhlee’s post, I realize you weren’t asking about an automated system at all, but rather a comp where everyone must write-and-test each other’s games pseudoanonymously. I worry as yhlee says that in event of unanticipated demand (as in Shufflecomp, ahem!) this may prove unexpectedly arduous.

How about if all artists would be guaranteed that the number of artists they would be linked with would be limited to 3-4 only? Either all-play-each-other’s games, within each group, or shuffled forward ala Juhana’s system.

Err, or not, as you just clarified!

Really, I was just offering to provide such a service if Shufflecomp 2: Electric Boogaloo were to become a thing that exists.

It probably will. Or, more accurately: I would like there to be one mid-level, fun-times comp (along the lines of Apollo 18+20, Cover Stories, Shufflecomp) every year, with changing or rotating themes; and a short, brisk testing period seems to be a critical element of those, so having a single architecture for dealing with that would be very useful.

So there won’t be a Shufflecomp next year? Aw, but I had so many good songs that were never used!
(So, uh, what other themes are you considering?)

I didn’t say there wouldn’t be. There might not be, depending on what other ideas come up. There’ll certainly be another shuffle at some point. But my sense is that the novelty of the thing was an important part of its popularity, and it would be silly to plan it as an annual event.

As for other themes: soooooo not thinking that far ahead right now.