Commercial Comp Poll: Will you pay to enter?

It seems like the “Commercial Comp” thread has converged on a rough plan:

  • Somebody (probably me) will find a small panel of judges (probably three or five judges).
  • Entrants must provide their games to the judges for free.
  • In addition, each entrant must pay an entry fee of $50 per game. The fees will be divided between the first, second, and third place winners.
  • In addition, I’ll donate $500 to the prize pool (and others might donate as well).
  • The game must be generally available, either for sale or F2P.

The question of this poll is: will you enter such a competition? If not, why not?

I’d like to enter, but I’d be reluctant to fork out $50 for the privilege of entering.

I suspect that $50 may be a bit steep for a competition that has yet to earn its stripes. That probably depends on who you’re primarily aiming this at, of course; is it indies who are already monetising their games, or amateurs who are thinking about doing so? (Yeah, yeah, ‘all the above, whatever happens’, but the emphasis is going to shape things.

You’ve got an unfinished sentence in a critical place: ‘The game must be generally available, either for sale o.’

Does it need a prize?

Without a prize, I don’t see why anybody would bother to enter (at least for a brand new competition with no prestige behind it), or, indeed, why we’d bother to request entrants. A panel of judges could just blog their GOTYs and have the same effect: a nice pat on the back for the games, but no encouragement to write new ones.

Is this a competition or an award? I think an award makes much more sense for commercial entries, as there are fewer of them and they’re going to be released at different times.

I think a prize and a badge (for bragging rights) would be worthwhile. The prize wouldn’t need to be very big though.

Agreed with David. IMO something like $20 seems more reasonable for a moonlighting pro-amateur. But like maga noted, someone like Inkle will be far more amenable to $50 than the amateur.

A monetary prize encourages people to enter. A monetary fee discourages people from entering. Overall this balances out, except for the $500 or whatever that you donate. Seems like you might as well rely on donations entirely.

good gravy fifty bones are you kiddin’ me

Knock it down to ten and we’ll talk.

EDIT - Comment removed due to unnecessary sarcasm.

Basically, I think $50 is way too steep, in this context, for this sort of game, and just to enter a competition.

I think we probably have consensus on that and acually I apologize because my comment was not productive either.

I think that a lot more important is maga’s comment – are we encouraging new players in the commercial IF field to enter, or is the focus on those already working on commercial IF? What are eligibility requirements here?

Thinking about this some more, $50 really isn’t that much if you’re planning to sell a game. But I think most of the people on this forum are looking at it from a different angle.

Aside from that though, high comp entrance fees don’t really have a great reputation do they? In static fiction it seems like they’re looked down upon. They’ve got a lot of flak in the IGF too, though I guess that’s partly because many IGF games are free.

I think a better route might be to pursue a sponsorship of some kind, perhaps from a magazine or big game site.

Why the entry fee? If we had a competition with commercial games, people who sign up to be judges could be given a comp copy of each game. The prize for the winner of the competition should be a statue or something paid for by the Academy of IF Writers and Producers, which of course doesn’t currently exist. Maybe we need to create one and ask people for annual dues, which would be used to support trophy-making.

David C.

Besides the much much higher fee, how would this competition be different than the one hosted on the IF site

This came up in the other thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=10993

A commercial competition would not have have Spring Thing’s Rule #7: “Entries must be freely available to players. While you retain copyright to the game you enter, and are free to sell or otherwise distribute a commercial version, by entering you grant the Spring Thing and the Interactive Fiction Archive the non-exclusive right to distribute the competition version of your game for free, forever.”

This makes it a substantially different entity, as discussed elsewhere.