Author Topic: Suggestions for next year  (Read 1316 times)

Anton

  • Froppy
  • #mwchat Admin
  • Power Star
  • *****
  • Hypnotoad
  • kero?
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2018, 12:08:45 PM »
Not home right now so I can reply more fully later if necessary but I don't think we NEED an alternative.  The point of phasing out tokens is that it's a task that's more effort than it provides reward, and replacing it with just another that's functionality useless just defeats the point and is not anything I want to pour time and energy into when instead we can focus on things for people to participate in to begin with.

I am a fan of figuring out a solution for Biggest Missed Opportunity, though  :bowser:



Czario

  • Am I Russian or Italian, though?
  • Dry Bowser
  • ******
  • Luigi 64DD
  • I play Tetris, I guess...?
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2018, 02:14:23 PM »
I'm personally not a big fan of that idea because it feels like it would exacerbate a problem that already exists and is well-documented. Namely the problem of carry-over points moving focus away from the present and into the past. We've had numerous complications arising from people who would just never spend their tokens and continue sitting on vast sums of them, and in response we would have to crank up the token output every year just to keep them relevant. Imagine how much it would intensify this problem with a system where you can't even get rid of the points you accrue at all.

It would be fine the first year, but then in the following years you'd have one group of people sitting on all the points, and on the other side you have an influx of new faces who can't ever catch up to the ones on the top and will potentially get discouraged because their contributions don't matter numerically. We would have to introduce inflation to combat this, and eventually it would collapse under its own weight, just like the token system almost did.

Additionally, I feel like this might potentially encourage a sense of elitism among the leaders of the board. This is kind of similar to what happened with post counts, where people got uppity because they had a higher number than others. Or occasionally we get someone coming in here who signed up in 2007 or so, and they parade around saying "My join date is earlier than yours, worship me". People use stats like these in this mannner. This is not an environment I want to create for the awards. I don't want to give people a way of saying "I have more points, ergo I am really important to the awards and you are beneath me". Every contribution is appreciated, regardless of its size, grandeur, or numeric quantifyability.
This is not something I had considered. I can see how this can be a problem, but we have managed to keep the post count rank, so the question is whether it can be done without having the negative consequences you stated. Unlike how Tucayo put it, the mindset of my idea was more personal satisfaction that you got to a given title rather than satisfaction that you beat others. It's nice to amass a bunch of points so you can feel satisfied that you've participated a lot, so it's about seeing how much you personally can get rather than competing with others. If post count rank can done without elitism, then hypothetically my idea can be as well. However, if it's too hard to prevent stuff like this from happening, then it may not be worth implementing. LB's idea may help, but you wouldn't be able to get very far in one year so it may not be a satisfactory solution.

Not home right now so I can reply more fully later if necessary but I don't think we NEED an alternative.  The point of phasing out tokens is that it's a task that's more effort than it provides reward, and replacing it with just another that's functionality useless just defeats the point and is not anything I want to pour time and energy into when instead we can focus on things for people to participate in to begin with.
The main reason I came up with this idea is because I get satisfaction on seeing the number of tokens I get. Seeing all the tokens from individual events add up to a big total makes me feel like I really participated in the awards. It wasn't really intended to be about prestige among others like a leaderboard, just a personal achievement. I thought that if the token system already exists, it shouldn't be too difficult to continue it with a different purpose that basically already exists through token totals, just without the names of ranks. However, I may have underestimated how much work it takes to run the token system, so I understand if the Rank idea would be too much work for too little reward.

It's true that the prize system does not need to be replaced per se, but the whole point of this discussion was to find a different way to provide incentive for participating, so it all comes down to whether people need an incentive or will participate in events for their own sake (I am in the latter camp as I've said before). The tokens can be an incentive of themselves with my idea, but if there too many problems with the idea, we can use a different replacement or have no replacement if it's determined that people will continue playing in tournaments for their own sake.

For me, there is almost more appeal to the tokens then there is to the prizes as they link all the tournaments together and create a tangible way of telling how much I participated in the Awards, which is personally satisfying. Without them, tournaments feel like their own closed thing with no reward outside themselves, so there's less motivation to play in as many as possible. However, it is possible to get a similar satisfaction by simply looking at all the tournaments you played in; it's just tokens provide an easy-to-see numerical value to it, with how well you did in the tournaments factored in. With all that said, I personally would continue playing in tournaments if both prizes and tokens were removed without replacement and I feel that the majority would do the same.           

Kazooie

  • Red-crested Breegull
  • Core 'Shroom Staff
  • Star Spirit
  • ***
  • Gabumon
  • "That's nice."
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2018, 02:32:22 PM »
I'm personally not a big fan of that idea because it feels like it would exacerbate a problem that already exists and is well-documented. Namely the problem of carry-over points moving focus away from the present and into the past. We've had numerous complications arising from people who would just never spend their tokens and continue sitting on vast sums of them, and in response we would have to crank up the token output every year just to keep them relevant. Imagine how much it would intensify this problem with a system where you can't even get rid of the points you accrue at all.

It would be fine the first year, but then in the following years you'd have one group of people sitting on all the points, and on the other side you have an influx of new faces who can't ever catch up to the ones on the top and will potentially get discouraged because their contributions don't matter numerically. We would have to introduce inflation to combat this, and eventually it would collapse under its own weight, just like the token system almost did.

Additionally, I feel like this might potentially encourage a sense of elitism among the leaders of the board. This is kind of similar to what happened with post counts, where people got uppity because they had a higher number than others. Or occasionally we get someone coming in here who signed up in 2007 or so, and they parade around saying "My join date is earlier than yours, worship me". People use stats like these in this mannner. This is not an environment I want to create for the awards. I don't want to give people a way of saying "I have more points, ergo I am really important to the awards and you are beneath me". Every contribution is appreciated, regardless of its size, grandeur, or numeric quantifyability.
This is not something I had considered. I can see how this can be a problem, but we have managed to keep the post count rank, so the question is whether it can be done without having the negative consequences you stated. Unlike how Tucayo put it, the mindset of my idea was more personal satisfaction that you got to a given title rather than satisfaction that you beat others. It's nice to amass a bunch of points so you can feel satisfied that you've participated a lot, so it's about seeing how much you personally can get rather than competing with others. If post count rank can done without elitism, then hypothetically my idea can be as well. However, if it's too hard to prevent stuff like this from happening, then it may not be worth implementing. LB's idea may help, but you wouldn't be able to get very far in one year so it may not be a satisfactory solution.

Actually, there WERE issues with post counts being used for obnoxious behavior. The actual numbers used to be displayed in the open, but then were later hidden away and can now only be accessed from profiles.

I'd rather not re-open that can of worms, to be honest.

"To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation."
 --G. C. Lichtenberg

Grima

  • Tactician of Ylisse
  • Core 'Shroom Staff
  • Power Star
  • ***
  • GBAToad
  • do you ever yearn for the soft touch of a pancake
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2018, 09:17:08 AM »
(talking out my ass here) the problem with transitioning to forum-based rewards imo is that the current forum software might not lend itself kindly to stuff like custom ranks, smilies and what-not without constant updating or modifying. i've always thought it'd be nice if marioboards got an update to something more modern, but that's something i dont see porple really having much need to change in the near future and would open up a new list of problems with transferring things over so that all the nicely formatted presentations working on simplemachines dont implode on something else, probably

Hooded Pitohui

  • Two Sides to Every Coin
  • Core 'Shroom Staff
  • Blooper
  • ***
  • Live the life you can't have.
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2018, 10:22:57 AM »
I am very glad though to hear that people want to play games without needing to be bribed! :wario:  Prizes definitely don't have to be gone away with entirely and banned as a concept, but could perhaps just be used as incentive by the tournament host themselves as a grand prize for 1st place, or a "thanks for playing", or something.

While I do like the idea of having some forum-specific reward system that Luigi64DD and others have brought up, it definitely does seem that there are quite a number of logistical and technical challenges which would make it difficult or perhaps not worth the effort to implement. That said, I want to focus on addressing what Anton said above.

Discussion of encouraging tournament hosts to donate prizes to keep the system sustainable came up during one of the AC meetings this year, and I think that's a very reasonable request. It isn't a requirement, so it's not like people should feel like it would create any obstacles to hosting a tournament if they can't provide one or don't want to provide one. Moving to a more individualized prize system, where hosts can choose to provide a prize for their tournaments, would take the unnecessary burdens on the Awards Committee and its members and would allow Awards as a whole to keep some means of incentivizing participation and effort.

Now, getting to the point I wanted to add to that discussion, I feel that, even if the move towards a more individualized prize system is made, an Awards Committee run prize pool should continue to be maintained. This pool wouldn't be for distribution as it was in past years. Instead, it would basically just exist to serve as a central pool of prizes, which I could see having some use for the following reasons:
  • If someone doesn't want to or can't host a tournament but still wants to donate something towards Awards, then it serves as something they can put their donations into.
  • If a tournament host can't provide a prize themselves but would like some kind prize, they could request to take and use one of the prizes in the central pool
  • One issue I could foresee is the restrictions on region for some of the gift card prizes. Say someone hosted a tourney and put forward a prize of an E-Shop gift card, but that card would only work in the EEA & Switzerland. If someone from NA or Australia were to win their tourney, they'd have an issue. If there were some central pool of prizes that included near equivalent cards that could work in NA or Aus., then the host could work with the AC to arrange a swap of sorts. They donate the EEA card to the central pool and, in exchange, take the NA/Aus card to award to the winner of their tourney.
  • Finally it just allows the AC to continue to serve as a middleman for prizes, if necessary. Although, admittedly, having a central prize pool isn't strictly a necessity for this.
And, honestly, I think even this could quickly run into problems in a few years. If everyone who wants to host a tournament requests to withdraw prizes and no one is actually donating them or willing to provide their own prizes, the central pool would obviously run dry very quickly. If there aren't enough prizes being put in it to allow it to actually serve the function of being something a small number of hosts could draw upon and being something that would allow for conversion in the case of region restrictions that I described above, then it would obviously be better to scrap it because the effort to have it and upkeep it wouldn't be justified. Really, the point of having such a central pool for the next year or two would be to see if it would actually be beneficial when moving towards a more individualized prize system. If it quickly becomes clear that it's not going to work or that it's unnecessary because it's never used or the individualized system works fine without it, then it would be dropped.

I think M10 should be changed to Favorite Music Track. Having an award for Favorite Vocal Song seems unnecessary to me since vocal songs haven't been a big part of the Mario franchise. This would be different from M1 since that is for entire games while M10 would be for specific tracks.   

And, regarding my thoughts on M10, I think keep that as vocal song, but definitely specify that in the award name, as seeing how well received Jump Up, Super Star! and Break Free: Lead the Way were, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more in the future, and potentially add a separate award for Favourite Instrumental Track? That might be a bit of a music overload, and I guess it might be hard to pick out options, plus you'd have to consider all of the different versions of a song (i.e. N64 Rainbow Road music, which I imagine would be popular, but different people would prefer different versions of it, some prefer the original, others the Mario Kart 8 version, and I personally like the F-Zero version of it the most), and naming it could be difficult, as I doubt everyone would know the proper names for all of the songs, particularly anything that's used in a game with a World 1-1 level naming system. It's something to consider, at least.

I wanted to make a point on this, but I actually feel like BBQ Turtle already said most everything important that I was going to say. I thought it was pretty clear from the nominee options that M10 was supposed to be about vocal songs, and was rather surprised to see all of the instrumental write-ins. Of course, I suppose the issue there was one of naming, which is something that can be fixed pretty easily by making it ""Favorite Vocal Song" next year. While I get where 64DD is coming from about vocal songs not being a focus on the series, I still think the number of nominees and the variety of sources show that there's been enough of a place for them to have their own Award. Now, that being said, new vocal songs have been, for the most part, few and far between in the franchise. If we go the next few years without any additions to that category and votes keep staying in the same place year after year, then I think it would be more reasonable to look at changing it.

As for a separate award for Favorite Instrumental Track, I think BBQ Turtle already made the two main points I was going to bring up. With the sheer number of them and the lack of one clear name for most of them, it might not be a particularly workable idea. I can't speak on behalf of the vote talliers, but I imagine that slugging through the write-ins for that award would be quite the task, having to try to hunt down obscure bits of music that go by a variety of names, some official and some probably just outright made up for convenience. While there's probably a list of solid nominees you could refer to pretty unambiguously (SMB3 Athletic Theme, SMB Underwater Theme), I still think there might be too much confusion for the voters with the quantity and the naming issues.

fantanoice

  • Vee vee
  • Power Star
  • ******
  • Happy Holidays!
    • View Profile
    • Twitch
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2018, 03:53:21 AM »
A couple of these points have been mentioned already but getting my brain dump out there.

I liked the idea from a past year where we could donate the tokens to charity. It would help people get rid of tokens that have been sitting there for years rather then have them 'disappear' through 'balance/adjustment' - an idea that bugged me a lot because you worked hard for those tokens.
Perhaps we have, like, 3 charities to choose from and we vote for the distribution.
Eg:
Charity A - 5 votes
Charity B - 10 votes
Charity C - 3 votes
18 votes total
$y is the pool of money
Divide $y by 18 to get $x.
Charity A gets $5x
Charity B gets $10x
Charity C gets $3x
Not sure the best way to fund the thing outside of people volunteering. Anton paid for the most/all of the last one iirc. Maybe offer a paid 'Forum Sponsorship' rank where the proceeds go to it?
Another thought is we could have the pool of money from donations and people use their tokens to vote for distribution, rather than each token equaling a new donation.

I liked how there were a number of tournaments this year that could be played in people's own time. It seemed to be a lot less hassle than dealing with heaps of timezones (for both hosts and players) and I hope we see more of them next year.

I don't think all the prizes should be moved to gift cards because they don't work in all countries.

I also don't really like the idea of having individual prizes for tournaments because it means someone can invest heaps of time into every tournament, not place and not get anything. But someone else could join one tournament, kill it and get something really awesome. Doesn't make sense when the first person has done more for the community.

I'm debating whether we could introduce some kind of 'entry fee' (not money necessarily) for joining in the tournaments to cover prizes. That could be anything from donating a game, money to the charity, doing an awards presentation, making some graphics, etc. Just something to give back to the event rather than just taking. It could easily turn into something Elitist / Exclusionary which is the opposite of what you want but throwing the idea out there in case there's someone who can expand upon it.

Leaderboard idea is cool though I'd rather free games tbqh. :P It also heavily favours people who have been here for years. We could go full 00s forums and offer custom userbars / trophies for participating / placing in tournaments. Not sure what SMF has to offer but there are heaps of trophy mods for various forum software. XenForo has them built right in. SMF does feel super dated these days (I will forever be annoyed at not being able to preview my signature when editing) and I'd definitely like it to move to something more modern.
RIP B. "Walkazo" Dalziel. December 16, 1991 to March 27, 2016.

<< Watch Pokemon Let's Go! Eevee Nuzlocke Stream >>
Ask Me Stuff

Anton

  • Froppy
  • #mwchat Admin
  • Power Star
  • *****
  • Hypnotoad
  • kero?
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions for next year
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2018, 06:56:09 PM »
This all might seem too Debbie Downer or something but I just want to address each thing with my intentions or what seems likely.  I do appreciate the thoughts and input since that's what we need to find a solution :bowser:



The charity was a unique circumstance re: Walkazo, and I doubt that kind of energy will happen towards a charity again in the foreseeable and desirable future.  That whole donation was a solid $1000 USD, and was supported by several people who dropped a few hundred all themselves, and that's nothing I can ever expect or call for again reasonably.  I got basically no donations this year, barring 5 generous people who donated a couple games or gift cards each, and I can't expect or rely on donations in the future as a result of this and the last few years of this trend.  A smaller charity system could work out, too, but as it always comes back to we'd just need people to be funding that in the first place.

The issue with region locks is something we can't really control on our end.  Steam games worked out great to circumvent this, but now that's a bust.  Humble Bundle offers opportunity for this, but it's just not as easy or cheap as Steam Season Sales, but can be plagued with invisible region locks that I'm not aware of until I send out a code and someone can't use it.  There's really nothing else possible to do that would be open for any region; the closest is the general PayPal gift card thing which has a few select countries and regions, and then NA/EU Nintendo gift cards.  An entry fee I can see just blocking people from wanting to do any tournament at all.  Having a tournament host make a required donation was my idea, but that even feels like it would discourage some people from hosting.  This is all speculative, of course, and could be different if/when it's implemented, and input from people who would want to host tournaments would be useful in figuring out which way would be best.  I do like the idea of someone locking in for a presentation, though, or some other kind of indirect offering :pgp:

As for people joining a lot of tournaments and not doing well vs people joining one and doing well, netting them a higher prize, there's uhhhh really nothing I can do about that that would be fair to the person who did well.  This already happens anyways, as you can see the people who've won tournaments tend to pick first for prizes as they've earned more tokens.  This is more of an issue of Steam screwing things up leaving almost no opportunity to get smaller prizes for people who participated in general but didn't win.  Gift cards are the easiest thing to do, and are reliable, and just cost more to invest in from the start instead of a $10 bundle of like 12 games.  Albeit it subject to what each country has available, PayPal does allow an American like me to buy an Australian gift card to use in Australia, for example.

As for forum-based stuff, I can't speak on that at all since that's not my jurisdiction, but doing that would necessitate a level of cooperation that currently doesn't exist.  It's possible in the future, but not something we can bank on as our set solution.  Someone in a more qualified position would have to spearhead that.

The problems to tackle here are sustainability and finances; we need to know what we've got to be able to set up a system, and all we know right now is that what we have isn't sustainable.  It would also be lovely to get something more streamlined.  The thing here I want to emphasize, but can't figure out a way that doesn't come off as overly-stern or brutish or whatever so please don't take it that way as all I mean by it is just setting the reality of the matter is that we are under no obligation to give anyone any prizes for anything at all whatsoever.  This is on a volunteer and donor basis and no one can or should be compelled to fuel the prize pool to allow for a system where everyone can get a significant prize.  It's a very nice community feature that supports participation and inclusion and I would love to see it continue as-is, or as it once did, but doing so would require financial support that I just don't have, don't see people willing to do, and can't require people to feel like they have to in the first place.  If an alternative system can't be figured out for prizes that can function in a fair and sustainable way for more than just a single year, it's perfectly valid to just not have any at all, and still continue on with community tournaments.  It remains possible that a centralized prize system could be removed and just leave it up to tournament hosts to set up whatever kind of prize system they want to provide for their own tournament, with the Awards staff having a more focused pool of general funds and prizes to help supply it in part.

Awards needs a sugar daddy.  :wario:



Also, I did enjoy the tournaments that were easy on peoples' schedules and time zones, and would also like to see that trend some more.  I can't say that another SMO photo scavenger hunt will happen again, but stuff in that form is pretty lax in terms of scheduling.  The only issue is guaranteeing significant-enough participation in the first place, but the potential for more people to participate in the first place is greater.