Based on this, here are my current thoughts for next year, what stays and what goes (most likely):
Staying for sure:
-Game of the Year is getting lots of traffic, should definitely stay.
-Genre polls are surprisingly popular. May need to up the requirements (maybe 10 games instead of 5) but this is going pretty great, honestly.
-Worldbuilding, short game, long game.
-Twine game: really popular category
On the chopping block
-Author’s choice vs player’s choice. As many predicted (unfortunately, not me), there is little difference between the two categories and they have caused much confusion. Next year I plan on combining them unless there are strong reasons not to.
-Language polls. Lot’s of 0 votes! That’s a bad sign.
-Most system-based polls. We’re seeing 0 votes in Inform 6 and low votes overall in these categories.
-Retro games: Only 1 vote in each category.
-Feelies: It’s hard even to track which games have them.
The polls listed above aren’t guaranteed to be killed off next year, as there is still plenty of time to vote (we’re only a few days in!) but just wanted to throw the current plans out there.
Please keep the languages other than English! Well, OK, if there’s no vote, there’s no point, I get it, I’m still trying to convince others to vote.
Myself am a bit reluctant to vote for the French award, since one of the eligible game is mine, and I don’t find it entirely fair, for me or the others. (And the ratio eligible authors/eligible voters is higher than English, I think.)
Also, since the community is quite small, even a handful of votes is significative.
Finally, I think the player/author is confusing. I mean, in French, I’d say most of us have a game on IFDB, so it seems a bit pointless to vote twice.
Anyway, just writing quickly what I think, I have no magic solution, but I’d really like the language awards to survive.
I was surprised that the poll votes (for players) was public. That may put people off voting.
2022 wasn’t the best year for retro adventures, compared to a really great 2021… It would be a shame if the retro award (being one of the more distinct niches) was dropped. A little more promotion could be done on all the various forums before hand, with a bit more notice next time. The same goes for the various language communities… If you work in advance with people in specific communities, such as the Spanish adventurers, then hopefully you’ll see some more interest.
I understand, we have about the same problem in the Adrift community. However, I don’t think who is winning should be taken too seriously. A competition where you can either vote for a game or not might give very different results than if scores were given. You have the option of explaining why you like a game and the comment will stay there even if it doesn’t win. So I more see it like a celebration of the best games, including the underappreciated ones…
Could be. On the other hand people get to comment on their vote and so it isn’t just the XYZZY Awards over again. Reminds me, I should add some more comments…
EDIT: Some people did not vote because of this so it should be changed. Still it would be nice if voters could leave a comment.
I see it the other way around, actually. My problem is, I do think my game has enough qualities that it could be nominated by others. Obviously, I won’t vote for my own game. (“Hey, I liked my game because, you know, it was the best.”) But then, since our community is quite small, voting for someone is a bit like voting against myself.
In understand that it’s not that important, I should just vote for the other games I liked. But I still feels a bit “off”.
I would vote if there was other votes, but right now I’m still reluctant. Well, I’ll think about it.
I’ve only been voting in the Author polls because I’ve been a bit squeamish about voting publicly, but given that most other authors seem to be voting in the Player polls, I should probably just get over myself. I agree it doesn’t seem to make sense to keep them separate in the future.
Anyway, I’m unfortunately pretty busy right now, but I’d really like to try to get to some of the German and Spanish games and get some more votes on the board there before the polls close.
It seems like this may be one of the unintentional impacts of public voting. Perhaps something to consider for future IFDB Awards. Also, the necessity of an account registration to vote may help promote the IFDB in general, but also represents a minimum threshold of investment that some casual voters may not be interested in meeting. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t previously thought, “Meh, nevermind” when encountering an account registration prompt.
As for the public voting, I forget the arguments in favor for it; I’m sure cogent ones were made, but I’d have to find them again. Here’s a nightmare suggestion: maybe the votes are public only if a user chooses to leave a comment with their vote? Otherwise, the votes default to anonymous? I dunno. Like I said, I can’t even recall the case made for public voting in the first place, so this could be a terrible idea.
I feel like the Underappreciated category is confusing. As someone newer to the community, I don’t have my finger on the pulse of what others appreciate or don’t, and there’s kind of a self-defeating logic to it. Like if a game wins, it didn’t really belong there.
I understood this as being for games released outside of a competition (since games released outside of comps tend not to get as much attention, and can’t get awards that way) or games that were in a competition but didn’t get an award or place near the top, etc. I think the name of the category was previously something like “Outstanding Unawarded Game.”
I’d lean towards private as folks hypothetically always have the ability to publicly share who they voted for if they’re so inclined.
At the same time, keeping the vote totals public would be best, as it signals to folks which polls need some more TLC and allows the relevant communities to rally in response to an initially low voter turnout.
Ok that makes a bit more sense. The only issue I could see there is that we don’t have XYZZY awards for last year yet, so it could be odd to have a game win that award and then later have other awards.
As mathbrush and bg said, the original proposal was a bit more objective/empirically easier to determine, along the lines of “Outstanding game which has not yet won any awards”.
The issues with that, as far as I remember, were that a) the XYZZY awards are given retrospectively for the last year and occur at varying times, so might or might not count into this in any given year; and b) a game could get multiple user-contributed “ribbons” in the Spring Thing comp, and it wouldn’t be clear whether that should count as an award in the relevant sense (they show appreciation, but are not results obtained in direct competition with the other games, unlike the “Best in Show” ribbon).
Hehe, yeah, that’s right, in a way. One could think of it as “It was heretofore publicly less appreciated than it deserved, but now the collective appreciation officially lifts it out of its former state. By dint of winning this, it can by definition not win a similar prize in the future.”
(Of course, to win this, it must have been privately appreciated, otherwise people wouldn’t have voted for it. Hence the “publicly less appreciated” clause.)
100% agree, it put me off voting. I voted in the Author’s categories but if they get merged and the votes remain public I probably wouldn’t vote in the next one. I don’t mind admins knowing but I do not like fully public votes.