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Hugo Mini-Comp....?
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
Posts: 878
Location: Aurora, IL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Don't y'all think that if raising visibility through games is the way to go, that one's efforts could be better spent by entering a game in the annual Comp (or SpringThing) when the largest number of people are most likely to see it?


Yes and no. Aside from it's virtues as a language, I think one of the better things hugo as a language has going for it (or potentially has going for it) is right here. A non-usenet location regularly frequented by the language's developer and pretty much everyone who's ever produced a game of substantial length. A comp would point out the fact that there's an active community supporting the language. It would also, I think, serve a an incentive for people such as myself who keep meaning to finish something and release it but generally wind up procrastinating indefinitely. The built in audience a comp implies might also serve to incite a new author into choosing Hugo for his summer release.

Actually reading this I think the first thing everyone needs to decide on is what the heck our goals would be with this thing, as I think to some degree we're on different pages.
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Roody_Yogurt



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well put, Debaser.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to say this, then the site died, but then it was back up and now it's now:

I am in favor of whatever method allows me to take one of the half-finished games from my drive and -- after finishing it -- enter it into this competition or presentation or what-have-you. So I am sort of coming at it from that angle, heh.
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Roody_Yogurt



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
Posts: 1993
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was telling Robb earlier that I would like one aspect of the comp to involve a "progress log." Robb would set up a hidden base here on joltcountry.com for entrants where we would be required to give weekly updates (preferably on some particular day of the week, to encourage last-minute coding) with just stuff like how many lines of code we've written, what concepts we're bashing our heads against, and just general overall progress information.

I wouldn't enforce such a rule to the degree that someone would be disqualified if they missed a week, but I think we should put all we can into this comp towards keeping momentum going and actual coding.

I'm becoming of the mind that there should be no scope or topic guidelines. Everyone should enter what they most want to write, whether it be heavily-commented-for-beginners code or some whimsical adventure.

So other than waiting a bit to see if people like the progess log idea, I think we ought to set a deadline day and run with it at some point in the near future.
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roody_Yogurt wrote:
I'm becoming of the mind that there should be no scope or topic guidelines.

I could certainly agree to that. If everyone is pigeon-holed into one concept or theme, it might be trickier to get people to work on it, particularly if they already have ideas floating around.

Roody_Yogurt wrote:
So other than waiting a bit to see if people like the progess log idea, I think we ought to set a deadline day and run with it at some point in the near future.

That progress idea is not bad from my perspective. I think it would help people get going and, further, would give an indication if the the comp is actually going to have any participants.

- Jeff


Last edited by Cryptonomic on Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hugella



Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 58
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second the no scope/topic rule.

Also, I think the progress log/design diary is a great idea. It'd be fun and interesting to read other people's experiences, and motivating to get one's own act into gear.
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just add my support to everything in Roody's post. The log is a great idea on a variety of levels.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can use the old base on here for ND for that very purpose!
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Roody_Yogurt



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm thinking we should maybe get this thing rolling soon. I was suggesting to Robb that we have it start off next week (to give those that haven't already started on a work-in-progress some time to do some final game design; I'd like everyone to start coding at comp start time), and I thought a good end date would be Memorial Day (even though we might not do that plane ticket prize idea, I like the idea of having the comp finished by summer).

That gives us just more than four months which is not a lot of time for a big game (although still possible).

I'm thinking comp entrants should also be the judges, doing the "Miss Congeniality" thing. Maybe we can come up with some clever way to solve any possible ties.

In the coding secret base, maybe everyone should have their own coding thread to help maintain readability.

The prize has yet to be determined. Suggestions welcome.

I think once the comp (which I jokingly called "the all things to all people comp" to Robb given that it's going to encourage different types of games) has been finalized a bit more, I'm going to announce it to the people over on the ifMUD that might be interested (mostly two people that I know of).

I was thinking that we wouldn't announce it to r*if, but if people think that'd be better, hey, majority rules.

An alternate idea to the judging thing could be to do a scoring system like pinback had at one of his old sites- coding and updating your thread gives you 5 points, releasing source code gives you 100 points (more for commented code), releasing a full game gives you 500 points, betatesting could give you points, and so on.

That way, we could have a running score that may keep people going.

I don't actually know if complicating the rules like that would help people. I'd like to hear what you all think.
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roody_Yogurt wrote:
An alternate idea to the judging thing could be to do a scoring system like pinback had at one of his old sites- coding and updating your thread gives you 5 points, releasing source code gives you 100 points (more for commented code), releasing a full game gives you 500 points, betatesting could give you points, and so on.


I suppose there has to be some system. The very nature of a competition presupposes that there will be some barometer of measure that is used to indicate how games fared in the competition.

I would think some sort of judging beyond just points might be necessary but maybe I am wrong on that. Perhaps the points are one aspect of the judging because it speaks to the work put into the game. In other words, the tangible elements can be scored on a scale: releasing source code, releasing commented source code, providing design notes (in the thread), etc.

Other elements of judging could be based on things that are not so much on a scale, but are things like originality of concept (or cleverness in variation on a concept), implementation of certain aspects (like NPCs), satisfaction felt by the end-game, cleverness of puzzles, etc. I am not sure to be honest. I am just thinking of those things that I think about when I "judge" a game in my mind.

Granted, these latter elements are all going to be based on the "eye of the beholder" but, then again, it seems many IF competitions would have to be based on that unless the judging process was normalized.

Maybe then the intangibles are put against the tangibles and that is how a full "scoring" is achieved? In other words, technically anyone has a chance to get all the points. But the intangibles are what perhaps sets the individual games apart?

Hmmm. At this point I am clearly speaking "off the cuff" and without much rigor of thought. So I will stop now. I guess I agree that perhaps too much complication can hurt rather than help. That said, it depends on what the focus of the competition is.

- Jeff
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Roody_Yogurt



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
Posts: 1993
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my mind, the focus of the competition is solely to motivate everyone to go out and write the game they've been putting off. For some of us, just getting into a coding regime will be a major victory towards our future aspirations. On the other hand, having a good number of complete games by comp end time would go a long way towards both amusing ourselves and showing potential authors and players that Hugo does indeed have a fair amount of interest.

I think I've seen a couple comment that Hugo must have the highest ratio of good-games-to-crap-games of any IF language, and while I've unintentionally contributed to the "crap game" side of it, if people just go out and write the game that they would like to play (as opposed to authors who write games for creation's sake or seem to even get a little of a power trip, thinking that potential players are almost obligated to put up with whatever shit they put in there), that kind of effort really does speak to people.

We put out five of those kinds of games in this comp, and I think we could CHANGE THE WORLD.
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally, wouldn't mind pushing out the final deadline to July or August. There's a balance between allowing too much room for procrastination on the one hand, and not enough time to produce something worthwhile on the other. I have no clue where that balance lies but, as a number pulled out of my rectum, "6 months" sounds good; assuming most people will be starting from scratch. If we are going with the log thing, I don't mind if everyone isn't coding from Day 1, as I would actually be curious to read about how different people end up approaching the design phase (or if they just start coding off of a basic idea and wing it).

What's the date on the Spring Thing? Although it's not a key detail, I'd ideally like to see us spaced out a fair distance from either of the major comps, as well.

Assuming, for a moment, Roody's perspective of just motivating people to produce; is scoring even strictly neccessary? A simple blood oath that we'll all be done by a strict cutoff date so we can present the whole thing as a compilation might work just as well, and would save the prize investment. Then again, I'm not sure I want to discount competition as a motivator for producing quality work, especially if everyone's peaking over each-others shoulders to some degree.

I'm definitely opposed to the idea of an arithmetic scoring system based strictly on visible work put in. I get where you're coming from on it, Roody, but it threatens to turn the whole enterprise into a bit of a chore.

Here's, at the present moment, my ideal image of how this thing would work:

We each set up our threads on Sunday with a basic rundown of where we're starting from (absolute scratch, designed but not coded, half-complete, etc.), and maybe some sort of basic idea of what we're going for in terms of final product. Encourage Sunday updates from everyone, though no biggie if you miss a week for whatever reason. At deadline time, everyone who's in is in, then we allow a couple weeks to a month (depending on number and length of entries) to play eachother's games and decide on a winner by simple vote. No voting for yourself. Winner should be picked based not only on best final product, but also on the quality and quantity of contributions to the rest of the comp (good, regular logs, commented source code, we could even include things like helping eachother with coding issues and the like). After that, maybe we write brief blurbs on each other's games and release the whole thing as a zip file to the community at large.
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bruce



Joined: 04 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roody_Yogurt wrote:
Maybe we can come up with some clever way to solve any possible ties.


Biggest tits wins.

Bruce
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debaser wrote:
Winner should be picked based not only on best final product, but also on the quality and quantity of contributions to the rest of the comp (good, regular logs, commented source code, we could even include things like helping eachother with coding issues and the like). After that, maybe we write brief blurbs on each other's games and release the whole thing as a zip file to the community at large.

I could certainly agree with this as a general concept. Thus, for me, it really becomes not so much a competition on the game itself, but rather the focus shifts more to the process by which the game is brought to life. And that, interestingly enough, can speak to beginners or those who are more familiar with Hugo right from the start.

I think the motivation here is not so much a competition, really. Rather it is just getting people to committing to finish some game by some pre-determined time. The aspects of "keeping it visible" (such as the progress logs) are a good way of forcing individuals to decide if they want to focus on the task and complete it. Since you mention the design phase of things, I almost think of it like this:

People come up with their game concept and the "requirements" for it. They then work on the design phase to whatever extent they want. Then they implement the design in Hugo code. At the end of the time period, the requirements satisified are a good indicator of how well the author did. Did they meet the requirements they originally stated for their game? Did they have a lot of scope creep? Did they have to remove a lot from their original concepts and slim the game down? Did they "over-extend" - making requirements for the game that were too hard to satisfy in practice?

(By the way, my background is in quality assurance and testing and so I am approaching this "competition", for myself anyway, as a sort of development lifecycle exercise.)

- Jeff
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds good to me. I've opened up a base here for the comp.

I'll start things off ASAP over there with a listing of where I am in the game dev cycle.
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Roody_Yogurt



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to apologize that I haven't been posting to this as much as I should. I've been juggling a lot of things lately and therefore don't want to work on any of them most of the time.

Anyhow, yeah, I didn't really like the points thing, either; I was just suggesting it as a novel approach.

So when should the end date be? I like easy-to-remember holidays.

Also, the main reason I wanted coding to start so soon is because I feel coding itself affects and influences the game design (and to some extent, everything before that point is unquantifiable). Plus, it's when your wheels are really touching ground and you can figure out if there's any traction.

I think we just need someone to suggest some "official" start and end dates then run through here and the couple people on the ifMUD that might be interested and run with it.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

July 4th? It's on a Monday, so those of us who would like the weekend for last second changes would have the whole of it before submittal time.
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Roody_Yogurt



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good for me.
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs to the sky on everything since my last post. And I see you've made the new base. It's on like neckbone!
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Lysander



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...Could you please, please, please hold off starting on this thing for... I don't know, a week at the most? Ideally start around Valentine's day? I've got sixty bazillion school things I need to do right now that would seriously cut into my "GAEM"-ing time for the first few weeks. And--well, I'm already starting out handycapped, lololololz, I don't want to start out behind too. Narmean? (TM; c 1999-2004 Robb "B" Sherwin)
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