Suggestion for rule change: prize distribution

Posts: 338
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #16
Prefacing this one by saying I entered uDG more for the glory than the prizes, so let it be known there's no conflict of interest here.

The sentiments mentioned so far in this thread that I agree with:

- The people who rank lower overall will tend to "need" the prizes more than the people ranked higher.

- Changing rules after a contest deadline is bad form. This should have been considered when writing the rules to begin with.

- Distributing prizes to everyone EXCEPT 5 people is far worse than distributing prizes to ONLY 5 people. Now you're singling devs out, and by the "needy" logic, those devs need the prizes more than anyone.

- Distributing prizes to everyone defeats the entire purpose of this being a contest, which is a kick in the shins to anyone who DID enter to win fabulous cash/prizes.

- We aren't going to please everyone.

And my thoughts:

- Looking through the results from uDev 2004, the top three overall + the top three in each category resulted in 9 games. IIRC, the game that won Editor's Choice as well as the Honorable Mentions were allowed to pick one prize from the pool at the end of the first round. That makes 14.

- In the scenario where Dev A places first, Dev B places second, and Dev Z places 20th, and both B and Z want prize X. If A wins X for Z, this is hugely unfair to B, who also wants it, and placed higher than Z.

- In reading the rules, the prizes are distributed to the top three in each category, but you can't choose a prize more than once per round. So increasing the places doesn't increase the number of prizes to highly placed entries. (And if it did, this only reinforces the hoarding we're trying to abolish here.)

- In determining what's fair we should really be replacing all the "needs" in this thread with "wants." When all is said and done, no one really "needs" any of this stuff. All 20 teams were able to successfully complete a game. And the level of quality is leaps and bounds above previous years. When I say I "need" a prize, that's not what I mean. I really mean I want it. Not to mention that some of these prizes are not stuff you "need" at all to make a game; there are some luxury prizes too, such as the cash. Just something to take into consideration.

So as far as a solution is concerned, I do not agree with the amendment as originally brought up. I do however like the idea of opting out of the pool if you're not in it for prizes.

I say we keep the rules as they are, but allow for winning devs to opt out of the prize pool at any time, which will allow other devs in.

So here's my thought: We construct the list of winning devs as stated in the original rules. 1,2,3 spots overall, then the 1,2,3 spots in each category. This is your main list. So say there's 8 devs in it for sake of example. These 8 distribute prizes as stated in the original rules. In addition to these 8, the remaining devs are listed in order of overall rank. So now you have your main 8, and your alternate 12. At any point, a dev on the 8 can opt out, which bumps everyone below him up a spot, which in turn bumps an alternate onto the main list where they can begin picking prizes as the new #8.

This way, we still conform to the original rules, the winners who want stuff can still get their stuff, winners who DON'T want stuff don't have to deal with getting stuff, and it now opens up the prize pool to folks that weren't originally in it, by way of the winners who don't want stuff charitably giving up their spot after a point of that winner's choosing.

EDIT: Final thought to an already tl;dr post. Keep in mind that this rule change TAKES SOMETHING AWAY from people. While I agree that everyone's a winner just for going the distance, I will also say the people who are going to earn the top three spots in each category earned their spot. From their perspective, being promised a prize for three months, earning that prize by placing 1-3, and then having prizes taken away is simply unfair to them. If they're not in it for the prizes, then it's no-harm-no-foul, but if they are, then they're going to be very upset and rightfully so.

Justin Ficarrotta
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Posts: 683
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #17
I would also support Justin's proposal. It sounds clean, easy, and fair. People in this thread have pointed out problems with my proposal that I really didn't think about, particularly the fact that 15 winners excludes only 5 people. In the end, I would just hate to see a small number of people get saddled with a bunch of stuff they'll never use. Justin's idea makes perfect sense for that reason.

As for the prize distribution cabal, Mattness got my meaning perfectly. It's not about robbing winners of prizes, but avoiding stepping on each others' toes.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Posts: 625
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #18
Sounds good to me.
And, no one should walk away empty-handed. By participating in this contest, they not only got publicity that they might not have gotten otherwise, but they were compelled to actually finish a game, which(as corny as it sounds), is a reward in itself. Not to mention the collaboration with other members.

- Lincoln Green
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Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #19
Nobody has been given any prizes, yet, so the proposed rule change does NOT take something away, as you can't take something away that hasn't been given.

Extending the winning ranks gives everyone a reasonable chance to legitimately win a prize, so with the proposed 10 placements per category, there is a reasonable chance that even entries that rate low overall can place in some category. For the top 3, there will be a clear correlation between overall rating and score in each category, but I believe less so for the middle ranks.

Personally, I would give prizes, as there's so many of them, by considering all category ranks per round, down to the last person. The winners still get to chose their top prize, and noone would be left out.

So basically, keep steps 1-3 as per the rules, but extend the per-category prized ranks. That way, noone has to play charity, and somebody placing high overall and in the categories will still get 4-5, or up to 7 prizes per round, and first picks. Don't seriously tell me there's more than 7 prizes in the pool any one person would want badly. If you're greedy, you can chose the top valued prizes first to maximize your profit, if you're not greedy, you will be happy with your top picks even in the first round only.

Unless, of course, you think somebody placing last doesn't deserve a prize. I do, all 20 entries left have put considerable work into their project, regardless of how high the game scores.

IMO, distributing the prizes more evenly gets lesser performing entries more motivation to continue their work (or enter next time), which I believe is one of the missions of the contest.

Winners had always had the option to say they've had enough prizes, nobody is forced to take stuff they don't want.

As for changing the rules after the deadline... prizes have been continually added during the duration of the contest, and rules *have been* altered, so there's no reason not to change the rules one more time.
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