ShuffleComp: Disc Two Musings

As I currently see it, this year’s ShuffleComp will be essentially the same as last year’s. It may start a bit earlier, because Spring Thing submissions won’t be delayed this year, but I’m not sure I’ll change any other deadlines. There are a couple of “spins” I’m thinking of, though, so you can weigh in with your thoughts:

1: Songs that were submitted last year, and especially those that have already been made into games. Currently I will suggest that entrants can submit any song, but I will stronly encourage not submitting songs that were already translated into games, and also warn that authors may be disinclined to choose songs that have already been used.

  1. Awards/Acknowledgements. I was also thinking of including a few more awards but, so far, I can’t see how my ideas would work. First, I would like to somehow acknowledge someone who submitted the eight songs, wrote a game, but didn’t have any of his or her songs selected. Kind of a consilation prize, "None of my songs were chosen, but at least … ". This could be something like “The song that wasn’t made into a game but should have been” Award or Best Playlist Award. Second, I was thinking about recognizing a games that really seemed to catch the essence of the song(s), or for which the link seems tenuous. Both of these ideas may not be practical, though. For example, the first may be tough if there are a lot of entries, and the second is very subjective. And they depend on everyone listening to all the songs, which may not be desirable or fair.

Anyway, go ahead and post your comments or any other suggestions.

Neil

Well, a few things to decide include

Can people just donate songs or pseudonyms without actually entering?

I like the idea of a people’s choice of songs or pseudonyms that should’ve made it. It might be awkward if nothing happened.

It might be possible to have separate awards for just plain recommendation, or song faithfulness. It will allow people not to worry too much about the tradeoff between fidelity and throwing in something that is way cool.

It would be interesting also to have a best random playlist or pseudonym group award. Again, these could be posted anonymously, and people could maybe vote for several of them, or hand out vote awards from 10 points on down to 1, or something.

I also think that an upper limit of 1 or 2 games suggested in the previous year might be good.

I feel like the opportunity to see your suggested song turned into a game is a huge benefit to participating. It seems a little less fun to participate if anyone has that chance.

I’d prefer song/pseudonym donation to be limited to participants, or at least for nonparticipants’ contributions to be deprioritized, so they only get distributed to latecomers or something.

I second all of this.

It might be good to require that all participants must tell up front which song(s) their entry used. Last year there was one entry that said “play to find out” and I could bet a good sum of money that it also got the most votes because people were curious to see if it was their song that was used. (This is not an accusation towards the author: I’m sure the side effect was unintentional. Just that everyone should be on the same line and I don’t like "play to find out"s in general.)

aschultz wrote:

I also think that an upper limit of 1 or 2 games suggested in the previous year might be good.

The only issue I have with this is that it seems I would have a helluva lot of work checking each song against the rather extensive list of songs submitted last year.

cvaneseltine wrote:

I’d prefer song/pseudonym donation to be limited to participants, or at least for nonparticipants’ contributions to be deprioritized, so they only get distributed to latecomers or something.

I agree that you should probably only be able to submit songs and pseudonyms if you plan on making a game (although people could still “cheat” by submitting an intent with their songs and never plan on writing a game). Maybe I should ask entrants to choose their songs within a few days and send me a list of the rejects. I could reshuffle these and distribute them to latecomers. In this case, though, can authors add songs from their playlist later in game development?

Neil

I don’t have an issue with authors having to declare which songs they’ve used. I’ll mention that in the rules.

aschultz wrote:

I like the idea of a people’s choice of songs or pseudonyms that should’ve made it. It might be awkward if nothing happened.

What do you mean by it might be awkward?

aschultz wrote:

It would be interesting also to have a best random playlist or pseudonym group award. Again, these could be posted anonymously, and people could maybe vote for several of them, or hand out vote awards from 10 points on down to 1, or something.

I’m not sure like people voting strictly for their favorite songs, at least officially as part of the Comp. This is an IF community after all; it seems that gaming should also be considered.

Neil

Oops–what I meant is, it would be a little something nice for people to see if people liked their ideas, but nothing could be done with them. It might be a kick for people who thought they had good ideas. I’d like it to be informal.

I agree that gaming should be the main thing, but all the same, an informal review or poll might prod people to make something after this is done. I don’t know if the benefits outweigh the nuisances, though.

I’m also curious about what people can do if maybe they had a game they couldn’t complete for ShuffleComp last year, but the idea worked out this year. I don’t think it should be part of the comp, but I was wondering if there could be any way to give them a shout out? Sort of like ShuffleComp did with Barbetween last year?

Just thinking here as well: I’d like to see some creative awards given out such as Best Use of Lyrics or some such. Or, perhaps there could be awards like you’d find in a music awards show such as Best Country Work or Best Punk Work. Again, just thinking out loud. [emote]:ugeek:[/emote]

I remember being a bit surprised, and then feeling sort of bad, that mine was the only “play to find out” entry! Sorry if I irritated anyone with that. I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t list the songs up front, but I think it was because the connections were all fairly tenuous and I didn’t want to distract people. I guess it didn’t occur to me at the time that people would (naturally) be interested in seeing right away if their songs played a big part in a game, and I was considering the songs as more digested, transformed, and mostly unrecognizable private prompts.

Last year, the trick was that not every participant submitted the full eight songs - surprisingly many, in fact. So to ensure that everybody got eight songs out, I had to either draw on non-participant songs or - once I ran out of those - supply extras of my own. Which was fine by me, but I felt slightly dodgy about it. So I think there is definitely value in non-participant song submissions, as long as it’s understood that they’re the reserve pool.

(The returned-songs mechanic, on the other hand, got used not at all - nobody showed up after the start deadline and wanted to play too, which I had expected to be a problem.)

The way I was going to do it, this time around, was to say ‘a participant can submit at most two songs that appeared in last year’s list.’ That might be over-fiddly, but I think it has a nice balance between ‘aww, man, I really wanted to see a game made out of that one’ and getting to discover new songs.

Yeah, I remember the reserve pool working out pretty well last time. Is there any reason we couldn’t use it again?
(Note: As someone who has already picked out 8 songs each for the main and reserve pool, I kinda sorta am heavily biased.)

Oh dang, I was this close to going over this quota. In fact I’m still not sure I’m out of the woods. Excuse me while I check the full song list.

Note that I am not running the event this year; I am making suggestions, not foreshadowing rules.

On the Reserve Song List:

I’m surprised that many entrants didn’t use their full complement of songs. I thought people would be removing songs to get eight. In fact, I was thinking I could ask for an official list of eight and two backups for the reserve pool. But if many entrants can’t find eight, then maybe I can ask for more backups from entrants. I can still allow a reserve list from non-entrants, but I would only use those songs as a last resort.

On double-dipping:

I guess if I can get my hands on a searchable list of all the songs submitted last year, it wouldn’t be a big deal to enforce a “at most two songs from last year” rule. In fact, I think one rule will be “don’t submit a song that was made into a game last year”. Ineligible songs will be removed from your playlist without warning (but could be replaced with a song on your backup list, if you provided one); I’m not sure I want to spend time chasing entrants for eligible songs.

Neil

The list of songs submitted last year is in this google document.

And it’s even alphabetized. Well, if you’re going to make it that easy … Two songs from last year. Tops.

Oh, man, I should also start dreaming up pseudonyms.