What did you think of the Comp '07 open discussion?

I’m curious if people liked reading reviews during the judging period, didn’t like it, or were indifferent.

Personally the Comp felt much more ‘active’ with all the discussion, compared to last year. I suppose last year there were discussion forums too, here (?) and at ifMUD, but I liked everything being out in the open.

And I managed to avoid reading about games I hadn’t played yet, and most reviewers did a good job of avoiding spoilery review titles and what not.

I didn’t see much of a discussion. I only looked here and enjoyed reading the reviews, but I didn’ have the feeling there was an open discussion (which I would probably have liked even more).


I would have liked there to be an even more open discussion. As the author of an IFComp game, I would have liked to be able to take part in the discussions myself instead of just being forced to observe. I know all the reasons given for this in the past - authors taking part in discussions during the judging period could influence how the voting goes, blah, blah, blah - but now we can have discussions out in the open, I don’t really see what harm allowing the authors to discuss them would do.

But yes, I liked the discussions about the comp games, few and far between that they were. I didn’t avoid playing any because other people had said how bad they were and I didn’t automatically move other games that had received glowing comments higher on my to play list. But it was interesting seeing discussions of the comp games at a time when the comp was running and the games were fresh in my mind, not after the comp is over and I’m struggling to recall half of what the games were about.

It didn’t seem to me that there was much discussion anywhere – just reviews, like Bob said, and maybe a few comments afterwards (but only sometimes). It may take a year or two before the rule change really sinks in for people.

I was going at a pace that stretched 28 games over the entire length of the judging period. So, I liked being able to read and respond about individual games in a stuctured way here, and in some blog posts elsewhere. I think more discussion would have made this less manageable, where it’s almost impossible not to see other people’s opinions for games not played just in trying to join discussions for games I have.

It doesn’t seem like any of the entrants were against the discussion this year, and it’s probably more important that the authors feel judging is fair than that the judges do. So hmmm. I guess I’m dodging the initial question.

I liked reading the reviews, but only after writing my own for a given game. There were some I didn’t even check (such as Inky’s, which are structured to group “highly recommended” separate from “recommended” and “not recommended”) just to avoid opinions and external bias.

What I’d like to see in the future is somebody who just doesn’t care whether they’re subject to spoilers or others’ opinions, who would work with a “sticky” post that links to individual reviews as they’re posted elsewhere. Basically “John Doe posted a reveiw of Game X at This Link.” No details, no opinions, just that. Maybe even format this post in sections alphabetically, and edit it to post each new individual review in the proper section. Then, somebody like me who just wants to zone in on a specific game at a specific time could follow along and see them all. Reviews posted elsewhere without spoiler space near other reviews would, of course, be out.

You’re right that most (blog) reviews never got more than a few comments. This is what I meant by all the open discussion anyway.

Another thing I really liked were the play lists that some people posted on this forum – it’s not like it was really significant in any way, I just thought it was neat.

Maybe that would be a good idea for a separate thread all its own – that is, a list of games people are playing/have played throughout the year. Though I admit even I am not the daily blogger/library thinger/del.ic.iouser who would update that on a consistent basis.

edit: I also admit I have a habit of trying to do things I am not cut out for: Playing now

Well, five of the nine One-Room Competition games (out now - avventuretestuali.com/orgc/orgc-2007-eng) are in English. I’m really tempted to play and review those (the deadline is pretty generous – December 22nd). I’m undecided, though. I need to get cracking on something else I’m working on, plus my wife bought me a bunch of new games for my b-day (including Super Mario Galaxy and Silent Hill Origins – which I want to spend some free time on).

I’m not sure why, but I’ve kept lists of things I’m playing, reading, or watching, for the past year or two. I think I had originally planned for it to be on a blog or something, but I’ve just never gotten into blogging.

I certainly enjoy reading the stuff of people who can blog consistently.

Merk, what do you think about stickying the Playing Now thread? I wonder if anyone else would find it entertaining?

edit: it could be cool if ‘playing now’ meant any game, IF or otherwise.

I guess it could be sticky. I’m not sure how much interest people would take in it, though. I thought the IFComp play lists were a good idea (when listing all the games in order played) because the authors could find out when their game was coming up next.

Right now, I’m playing Metroid Prime 3 (Wii), Grim Fandango (PC - with my wife), and Mega Man - Powered Up (PSP). But I’m not sure anybody really cares but me. [emote]Smile[/emote]

Well, you just had me googling Grim Fandango. [emote]Wink[/emote]

another edit and I’m done: OK, that game sounds hellz cool.

Yeah, it’s pretty fun. It’s Tim Schafer’s last game before leaving LucasArts. We’ve only been playing a couple hours a week (and sometimes, not even that much). We’re not even quite half-way through yet.

As an author I was a big fan of being able to read reviews during the comp rather than just at the end. I would have been even happier to see heated debate and threats of physical violence around the forums as well.

On one hand, open discussion was really cool, of course. On the other hand, I had more problems managing my spare time this year than before. Previously, I’d go through all the Comp entries, writing my comments, and then read other people’s reviews (after the Comp was over). This year, I was too much tempted to read the reviews “in-between”, which made me much slower at getting through the list of games. I’m not sure I’d be able to play all the entries if there were as many as in 2006 or 2005.

On the other hand, it’s entirely a matter of personal orderliness. No one can prevent me from doing it the usual way if I wanted to, so the only person to blame for problems arising if I’m not doing so is myself:).

I quite liked seeing what people thought of the games. I wasn’t able to respond at the time(having co-authored the Chinese Room) but it was interesting seeing responses. I think it made for a more engaging competition time.

Another vote here for author participation during the judging period, even if it’s restricted to an authors-only forum/topic. Either way, though, it’s great to be able to read reviews. I got a few comments/reviews by email (big thanks to those who took the time to do so!) but I think a public medium like this forum, which reaches a wider audience, is probably a more attractive option to most reviewers.

-Chris C.

Firstly, and somewhat off-topically, Grim Fandango is truly a thing of beauty. As a fairly non-plussed man, I know that something has been done well when I start to empathise with the plight of skeletal noir sub-characters who haven’t even appeared in the story.

Back on topic, I enjoyed reading the reviews as I went through the games, and managed to steer clear of anything I hadn’t played (right up until the point when I realised I didn’t have time to play everything and didn’t care anymore). I can see the logic of the non-author discussion rule, but really, is it required? Anyone who cared that much could pimp their game with a pseudonym with minimal risk of being found out.

Now that would have been something, wouldn’t it? [emote]:D[/emote]

The more I think about it, the less I support the no-discussion rule for authors. At first I thought it was just to create a ‘level playing field’…but, for what exactly? At the moment it seems like all the rule does is remove a large number of IF players (proportionate to the typical number of judges) from any discussion while the Comp is happening, and I don’t see that as a plus.

Any amount of ‘foul play’ by an author certainly won’t endear them to other judges, regardless.

Perhaps the rule is meant to protect authors from themselves?

To a large extent, it’s both to keep authors from lobbying publicly for votes and to keep authors from being accused of doing that. I’d rather have the focus on the games themselves than how the authors are behaving.

So why not just ban authors from publicly discussing their own games?

I guess you could say that ‘lobbying for votes’ can involve both promoting/defending your own game as well as criticizing the games of fellow-authors. Raising the score of your own game via lowering that of others.

While I like to think community standards would hold authors to fair criticism of other Comp games, who’s to say what’s fair, not fair, misinformed, and so forth?