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Inactive File => Endeavor: Game Chef 2010 => Topic started by: lumpley on September 10, 2010, 06:28:46 AM



Title: Welcome!
Post by: lumpley on September 10, 2010, 06:28:46 AM
See the official site for the rules: gamechef.wordpress.com (http://gamechef.wordpress.com).

Welcome!

-Vincent


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Kevin Allen Jr on September 10, 2010, 06:55:27 AM
Can I just say that there is something wonderfully nostalgic and warm about this happening on the forge. Really looking forward to the experience.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jason Morningstar on September 10, 2010, 10:28:55 AM
Somehow this year feels good, like rolling in a pile of leaves.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: R00kie on September 10, 2010, 12:20:57 PM
Hi Guys.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 10, 2010, 04:19:10 PM
It's on like Donkey Kong.

Ingredients are up:
http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-contest-rules/


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Vulpinoid on September 10, 2010, 09:29:50 PM
Good luck everyone.

Let's see if "Team Forge" can make a winner.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 16, 2010, 09:36:26 AM
Hey Folks,

Hope the cooking is going well!  Looks like we have quite a few participants this year and a lot of tasty games on the burners.

I've posted the submissions guidelines, since I know a few chefs have other commitments this coming weekend and need to submit their games early.  However, there's no need to rush.  If your game isn't done yet, definitely take the time to finish.  On the other hand, let this be a warning and the time to make major decisions if you still need to make them.  Scrap things that aren't working and that you won't be able to finish in time.  Focus on what you've got, what works, and the core concepts behind your game.  Make sure the basics are solid.

In any event, that's all the advice I have.  Can't wait to read them!

http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-submissions/

See you at the finish line.
MC Jonathan


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 18, 2010, 11:17:06 PM
Hey Folks,

You've done a lot of hard work.  I know because I've seen signs all over the internet and know there's a bunch of you laboring quietly on your own.

Now's the time to push through to the home stretch and make something you can turn in.  It doesn't have to be perfect; it doesn't have to be pretty; it just has to be done (for now).  And, believe me, turning something in, even if it doesn't end up being a Finalist, is a major accomplishment and something you should feel good about.

You may be tired and a bit burnt out at this point.  But you can do it.  You're almost there.  Do whatever you need to do.  In the words of the immortal Tim Gunn: MAKE IT WORK.

Love and kisses,
MC Jonathan


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 19, 2010, 10:25:55 PM
Hey Folks,

I'm going to bed now, since it's nearly midnight here.  Everything has to be turned in by the time I wake up.

Good luck and I'll see you on the flipside!

Master Chef Jonathan


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 26, 2010, 05:56:02 PM
Hey Cats,

I've got the first 5 reviews up and am going to try to get at least another five done before crashing tonight.  It's going to be a long week!

http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-submissions/

I'm hoping we're not going to have to delay the playoffs and will do my best to get through them all by the first week in October.

Some folks have been asking about whether playing your own game counts for the playoffs.  Of course it does!  Please, play your games!  More details about the playoffs will be posted as I get closer to having all the games through their initial review.  There may even be a "best game that Jonathan overlooked" category, where we see which non-Finalist game sees the most play or has the most write-in votes.

Anyway, back to the grindstone.
Master Chef Jonathan


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 28, 2010, 11:15:45 PM
8 more reviews up!


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 07, 2010, 09:13:33 PM
I'm hoping we're not going to have to delay the playoffs and will do my best to get through them all by the first week in October.
I think it's safe to say that, with 46 reviews yet to be posted, that dream has died. Not that I blame you -- it was a pretty tall order to begin with. Any new estimates on when we'll get our list of finalists?


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Revontuli on October 11, 2010, 10:34:20 PM
Jonathan, what's going on? You reviewed the entires up until #13, and mine is #14, so I'm getting antsy... :)


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 13, 2010, 11:25:11 PM
:-)


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Tamara on October 14, 2010, 03:22:40 AM
I'm new here, this is my first Game Chef, and I'm not really versed in the local code of conduct, so I apologize if I'm out of line.

Assumption #1. The ingredients and the whole competition thing are there, among other things, to create a deadline (deadlines increase productivity) and to provide inspiration. All in order to produce in a week what normally (in the everyday lazy mode) takes a month to create - a workable first draft of a game. 59 of them, to be exact.

But it's still a contest, right? I mean, you can't just say "Yeah, sure, it's a <airquotes>contest</airquotes>, but since the deadline was there only as an illusion and a source of psychological tension, you can just relax. Being a finalist doesn't really matter anyway." Because does. I don't have a naturally competitive personality, but when I choose to participate in what was announced as a competition, I automatically switch into a competitive mode. Winning suddenly matters. Creating a game is cool and extremely gratifying but I won't get closure until the competition is resolved, one way or the other.

Assumption #2. When people enter a contest they 1) expect it to have a winner and 2) hope to win themselves. The more the judging process stretched, the more anxious the participants feel, until the pressure becomes too tiring and people just don't care anymore.

So, here's what I don't get. Is it OK for the one and only judge to just disappear? I mean, how hard can it be to pop in and say "Ooops, guys, grad school, I'll be away until October 16th" or something. I know many people might say that Jonathan has it hard enough as it is, with such a huge responsibility on his shoulders, and how it's not his job and he doesn't owe anyone anything. But I think he does. And it kinda is his job, or it became his job when he has willingly decided to host Game Chef. Since we're all gamers here, I daresay he entered into a social contract with all 59 of us. "You guys try to do your best and meet the deadline, I choose finalists and review all the entries in a timely fashion." By the end of September, I assume, since the playoffs were supposed to end by November.

Am I wrong? Am I the only one who cares so much? Trust me, I don't enjoy the tension. Is it me, taking this too seriously, or Jonathan, not taking this seriously enough? He was the host of Game Chef 2009, right? The one with no winner. And wasn't it grad school overlapping with the contest that prevented him to close the contest properly?

Maybe it's not customary here to make any demands on the judge, and I should just be grateful that Game Chef exists at all, and that Jonathan agreed to host it. I am. Grateful. God forbid, maybe something serious has happened in his life, and I'm bashing a man who genuinely has more pressing concerns.

I guess I just expected more discipline.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Baxil on October 15, 2010, 08:46:09 AM
Without directly responding to the "social contract" issue - I don't have a problem being patient; gods know that, with my track record, I'd be a flaming hypocrite to say any different.

But I'm a little concerned at JWalt's disappearance.  He hasn't posted anything to The Forge, or to the Game Chef site, or to his blogs, since his 9/28 announcement upthread.  I'd like to hear that at least he's okay.

(In a worst-case scenario, maybe we could ask a previous Head Chef to delegate an alternate judge?)


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Renee on October 15, 2010, 12:58:21 PM
Agreed.  I'm a little concerned too.  Missed datelines are common in the rpg community but his absence is conspicuous enough to be worrisome.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 15, 2010, 06:44:46 PM
I just communicated briefly with Jonathan via Google Chat. He's been sorely beset by work and school, but he plans to post 'round the Web tomorrow and update everyone on his status. In brief: He's planning to have everything reviewed by Halloween.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 15, 2010, 06:55:22 PM
(A thousand poxes upon whomever has disabled editing. Nothing against you personally, but c'mon.)

Okay, I thought I'd remembered this correctly, but hoped I'd be wrong. From the Game Chef 2010 rules:

Quote
The Game Chef Finalist that has been played the most by the end of October (Halloween!) wins Game Chef 2010.

Initially, I only had one problem with this: The number of times a submission is playtested by the public is pretty meaningless, IMO, when it comes to determining which game is the "best." Best-case scenario, we'd only have two weeks to playtest, what, let's say a dozen games. That's nearly one a day. I don't know about anyone else, but these days I don't manage a dozen RPG sessions in a year, let alone a fortnight. I have a kid -- I can't go galavanting off every night for two weeks to playtest games and leave my wife at home to deal with everything by herself. But let's say I could do that. Now I've played every finalist game once. So... that's a 12-way tie, then.

Let's say instead we fall in love with Finalist #5, and play that one another seven times instead of moving onto #6. So now #5's in the lead, but we've had no experience whatsoever with more than half of the finalists. How exactly is that a fair assessment of... anything?

Now, of course, I have another problem with this plan -- namely, that there won't be any finalists until Halloween, making this play-as-much-as-you-can-by-Halloween thing utterly meaningless. As it stands, the four current finalists have a huge lead, in that they've been declared finalists for weeks now, and therefore people have had more of an opportunity to playtest them. Say #59 gets a finalist spot -- will it even matter?

So it would seem that now we are totally without a metric by which to select a winner. Whatever happened to a panel of judges sorting this thing out? Was that so wrong?

As has been said, it's not totally about the competition, but it's at least a little about the competition. With no practical way to determine a winner, where's the competition?


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Renee on October 15, 2010, 07:18:28 PM
The judging was hard on people in the past, and not necessarily the most objective means either.  There isn't going to be a perfect solution.  Part of the play-test thing hinges around your ability to advocate for your own game (publicizing it, getting people excited about it, etc.), as well as just flat-out making a good game that grabs peoples' attention and makes them want to play it.

As far as the first 14 having an advantage, I presume the clock wouldn't start ticking until all of the finalists are announced.  But to a certain extent I agree; maybe no reviews should be posted until all of the finalists were determined.

All of which is a moot point because Jonathan has gone absent.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 15, 2010, 08:36:44 PM
The judging was hard on people in the past, and not necessarily the most objective means either.  There isn't going to be a perfect solution. 
I dunno -- hard judging sounds pretty good to me.

Part of the play-test thing hinges around your ability to advocate for your own game (publicizing it, getting people excited about it, etc.), as well as just flat-out making a good game that grabs peoples' attention and makes them want to play it.[/quote]
Despite that, surely you see the problem with relying on sheer frequency of play alone. Convincing someone to play your game instead of someone else's is hardly a matter of game design. It really seems like it's emphasizing the wrong thing. If I'd known it'd be a marketing contest with a side helping of game design, I would've given it a pass (again).

If it were "Play these games and give them a rating from 1 to 5," you'd keep the democracy element in a way that actually makes sense. Because if I think a game is great but don't have a chance to play it five times as much as another game I don't like, then I have no way of showing my support.

Quote
As far as the first 14 having an advantage, I presume the clock wouldn't start ticking until all of the finalists are announced.   But to a certain extent I agree; maybe no reviews should be posted until all of the finalists were determined.
Well, there are two ways it can go with this clock-starts-ticking thing:

1. All sessions played before all finalists are announced don't count toward the total... but with several more games to be playtested, the odds of those first four getting X playtests again are pretty slim.

2. Everything counts, which means that the early finalists get a lot more lead time than the late finalists. And considering that the original playtest deadline was Halloween, chances are someone out there was already playing these games in anticipation of that.

So yeah, the only fair way to have done it would've been to announce the finalists at the end instead of piecemeal.

Look, let me make something clear: I don't expect to be a finalist myself, so I don't really have a dog in this fight. I just have a problem with the mechanics, as it were, of the contest. And I find it especially ironic that the voting method is this time-intensive when Jonathan himself is so swamped with RL concerns that he's had no online presence for the past 2+ weeks.

Quote
All of which is a moot point because Jonathan has gone absent.
Like I said, I expect we'll hear from him one way or the other tomorrow.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Renee on October 15, 2010, 09:12:17 PM
Will he be around tomorrow?  He hasn't been here for weeks, but I hope he does show up.  I was/am a little worried.

As for the judging and all the rest...*shrugs*...it's not like the rules weren't posted.  They could have been a little more precise, and it's all been disrupted by Jonathan's hiatus, but I knew from the beginning it was going to be a bit of a popularity contest/marketing contest.

But seriously, they've tried a bunch of different judging techniques over the years.  It's always been pretty subjective and when you're drawing 59 contestants and you're one person trying to make it all work, you basically have to either choose to discontinue Game Chef entirely or let it be the imperfect mess that it is and hope people still enjoy the creative challenge. 


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on October 16, 2010, 12:02:11 PM
Hey folks,

Everything's fine.  Life is just being overwhelming right now.  I did 5 reviews on Thurs and plan to do at least 5 more today before posting them and some other GC-related content tonight.  I've set myself a plan so I can have them all reviewed by Halloween.

I appreciate the frustration of folks who put a lot of time into the contest and don't have a review yet.  I'm just trying to make sure I put a near-equivalent amount of time and energy into the reviews as people put into their designs.

I assume from Mike Holmes' smiley face that overwhelmed Game Chef judges is a tradition nearly as old as Game Chef itself.  But rest assured!  All will be well in the end and next year I'm already planning on having a bunch of other judges announced before the contest begins to help out.  Both here and in the Murderland contest I ran a couple years back, I was naive in expecting merely modest participation (22 games last year, remember, but 60 this time around).  That's my fault and I will endeavor to do better in the future.

Both last year and this year I also had scheduling problems where Game Chef had to be run right before grad school started back, which hasn't helped.  In 2009, I didn't get named Master Chef until very late in the year.  And this year I was driving my girlfriend and our dog from Boston to Seattle for most of the middle of the summer, so I couldn't really run the contest in its classic July slot.  Again, that's something else that we'll fix for next year.

Plus, if you're already sick of me, don't forget that the standard Master Chef term limit is 3-4 years, as established by Mike and Andy.  So someone else will be in charge soon enough, if you want to hold out hope for that :)

These aren't meant to be excuses.  All problems with the contest rules and judging are my responsibility.  But remember that the experience you have with Game Chef, no matter what happens, is not up to me, it's up to you.

Best,
Jonathan


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Tamara on October 16, 2010, 12:38:27 PM
I'm glad you're all right. And I'm sure no one wants to replace you or anything. I was just getting a little anxious. Sharing the responsibility with other judges next year is definitely a good idea. It is a lot of work, everyone understands that.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 16, 2010, 01:33:22 PM
I was naive in expecting merely modest participation (22 games last year, remember, but 60 this time around). 
If I had to guess, I'd say that this year's contest had so much more interest because it actually had rules. The reason I enter contests (and I doubt I'm the only one) is because the artificial constraints breed creativity and inspire me in directions I wouldn't have thought of before. Last year's contest -- "Do whatever you want and take as long as you like -- and you're all winners!" -- was... well, less than inspiring, so I didn't enter. I know that was the case with at least a few other people, as well.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on October 17, 2010, 09:50:14 PM
I've posted the next 5.  I have more done but I need to re-read them again before posting and didn't want to make everyone wait.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Revontuli on October 18, 2010, 01:48:05 AM
Great to hear you're okay, Jonathan! I just read your review of Gulliver, and will go on to the other ones! Your work is much appreciated!


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 18, 2010, 02:08:32 PM
:-)


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on October 23, 2010, 09:56:45 PM
Posted the next five.  Got more on their way.  Should be at least past the halfway mark by the end of this weekend.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Mathew E. Reuther on October 24, 2010, 10:03:47 AM
My two cents as someone not involved at all is that I think that you're probably expecting too much. Which is not to say you have no valid points.

Suggestion, if I may?

Stop worrying about it, because the outcome of this competition means approximately nothing but the acquisition of a rather insignificant set of bragging rights.

Would it be nice to win? Be a finalist? Yeah, sure.

Will those things functionally help you in any way?

Unlikely.

Stick to worrying out the design of your games, and not about what prizes you might win. I'd love to win a Hugo or Nebula for my writing one day. I'm not going to concern myself with that however, as I'm busy doing things that are requisite to ever realizing something like that result.

Best of luck with the contest. I hope you get some good feedback from it. Far more valuable than winning.



Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on October 31, 2010, 11:12:45 AM
I've set myself a plan so I can have them all reviewed by Halloween.
So, uh... how's that going?


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on October 31, 2010, 10:04:25 PM
Between Halloween and the MLS playoffs, I got significantly less done than I thought, but I just posted five more long reviews as well as my concrete, day-by-day plan to get my portion of the judging wrapped up by next weekend.  All that is right here:

http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-submissions/

2010 Game Chef Playoffs will start on Sunday, Nov 7th and we can probably go ahead and say that anything you play that weekend counts as far as the playoffs are concerned.  I'll try to post the official playoff rules in the middle of this week, perhaps on Thursday, which is typically my day off.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 01, 2010, 10:47:59 PM
Posted the five I assigned myself for today, so we're up to #35.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 03, 2010, 11:57:45 PM
Posted another 5, up to #40.  I'm behind a day, schedule-wise, but I was taking Friday off before, so I still have time to catch up.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 04, 2010, 01:43:16 PM
In case folks are interested, Dave M responded to my feedback with questions about how he could make his game better, so I offered to help him workshop the resolution mechanics (at the very least) over on Praxis.  Right now, we're just at the early stages, digging into the mechanics trying to find where the actual resolution happens, but it should be really interesting and hopefully helpful for other folks to watch.  Everything that we're doing, folks should be able to do with their own games -- stripping away everything and then building your mechanics back up -- which is really helpful to do when you're trying to go from an alpha draft to something that you're going to playtest extensively (a beta draft, basically).

The workshop is happening over here:
http://story-games.com/praxis/comments.php?DiscussionID=382


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 06, 2010, 05:23:58 PM
Up to #46. Going to try to power through the rest before Monday.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 07, 2010, 04:48:54 PM
Playoff rules are up here, including guidelines for submitting updates.
http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-playoff-rules/

More reviews to follow tonight, with maybe the final few trickling in tomorrow.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on November 09, 2010, 01:06:46 PM
Playoff rules are up here, including guidelines for submitting updates.
http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-playoff-rules/
I'm not clear on how we're supposed to record how many groups have played it? Is it up to us to recruit and track groups, or is there a central location everyone can go to report in?


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 11, 2010, 02:01:43 PM
Now up to #52 (including yours, Tamara)! Going to try to get through the final 7 today and post full Playoff guidelines tonight.  Hopefully those will answer any questions.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Tamara on November 11, 2010, 02:35:47 PM
Thank you, Jonathan! The feedback is great, really. I can honestly tell you my heart pounded faster when I read your thoughts on the rules than on the Finalist bit. You've made some excellent points and pointed out issues I wanted to work on (no mechanic for endgame, no clear explanation on wounds etc.), but didn't, all in a very clear way. I hope the 1.2 version will be better. Again, thank you. This kind of criticism is priceless.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 12, 2010, 10:05:10 PM
Down to just #57 and #58.  Will do those tomorrow and post expanded Playoff Guidelines.  Yay!


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Baxil on November 13, 2010, 04:58:43 PM
Jonathan: I agree with Tamara - your feedback has been constructive and very useful, whether we were finalists or not.

Thank you very much - and thanks in general for the enormous amount of work you've put in, writing solid reviews for 59 games.  Participating in Game Chef has been an excellent experience (despite the delays), and you deserve your share of the credit.

Now to start picking some Finalists to play!


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: devlin1 on November 14, 2010, 11:21:48 PM
Congrats to Jonathan on finishing the reviews! That could not have been easy. Thanks for doing it, man.


Title: Re: Welcome!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 17, 2010, 09:50:27 AM
Just posted an official announcement of the 2010 Game Chef Playoffs in this thread:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=30691.0

Vincent, can we make that a sticky?