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RPG Contest #28 Supplemental Questions

RPG Contest RPGC28 Poll

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22 replies to this topic

Poll: Help decide the future of the RPG Contests! (36 member(s) have cast votes)

How many winners should each RPG contest have?

You cannot see the results of the poll until you have voted. Please login and cast your vote to see the results of this poll.

Would you rather the Bionicle RPG forum continue the contest or move to a judging system?

You cannot see the results of the poll until you have voted. Please login and cast your vote to see the results of this poll.
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#1 Offline Black Six

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 06:37 AM

Here are some additional questions to get your feedback on the future of the Bionicle RPG Contests. Your responses are appreciated.
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#2 Offline Zakaro

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 07:35 AM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]I feel that there should be 4 RPGs running at a time, so that there's more variety and more chance to get your RPG up and running. [/font][/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]However, moving to a judging system would also be good, as that would be less reliant on the masses and their bias towards hosts instead of the RPG itself, as sometimes happens. [/font][/font]

[color=rgb(128,0,128);][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]Zakaro  [/color][/font][/font]


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#3 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 07:42 AM

I quite frankly somewhat approve of a bias towards the starter. Let's think of it this way: an RPG is not just the story, it's also the game. Often people will vote for a GM whom they know to be skilled, rather than an untested noob. While this does hamper new blood, it also ensures the the RPG voted on in such a manner would actually be run well by someone who knows what he's doing. 

 

However, the type of bias that made War Zone win by a mile is meh. 

 

So, four RPGs and Contest. I was tempted to go with two.


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#4 Online Own Personal Quixote

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 09:23 AM

Five RPGs and Judging. If there are yet to be contests, I don't see how allowing more RPGs would hurt. And I would not like the contest system to remain, anyways, considering a game's feel upon first sight and following play are often very different things.

 

No contest.


Edited by Mr. Peanuts, Jun 24 2013 - 09:24 AM.

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#5 Offline delilah

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 12:29 PM

I think the forum should move towards judging, simply due to the fact that contests have been unable to consistently provide strong, lasting RPG's for a very long time. If the system's not working, we should change it.

 

Basically, what Mango said. :)


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#6 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 01:00 PM

What are we supposed to do if we can't call ourselves Contest RPGs anymore, people? Sheesh, just think about that. :P

 

The problem with the judging system is that, if we implement it in a similar manner to the OTC Forum, we will have too many RPGs to support the population of the RPG Forum. It's a fact that can't be avoided. Simple fact - we don't have enough people to support an inflated RPG population, and the contests keep us limited to three. Any more and RPGs will start dying off. The only ones to succeed in this scenario will, let's be honest, still be the RPGs of people who are believed to be more "capable" or whatever, which will actually make it harder for new people to come along then the current system.

 

The only way the judging system would work is if we combined it with the contest. Perhaps a group of judges would be able to convene and discuss the RPGs, and be able to cut down the total number, and perhaps decide on the themes with each other? The problem here is that it opens up to bias with regards to which RPGs would pass through or not if any of the judges wished to make their own RPG, or if a friend made one. So on and so forth.

 

That's my two paragraphs; one cent each.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#7 Online Baltarc

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 01:11 PM

[color=#800000;][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Any more and RPGs will start dying off.[/color][/font]

 

Oh, right, like they aren't dying off already.

 

Like Eyru said - if the system doesn't work, you change it.


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#8 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 01:18 PM

 

[color=#800000;][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Any more and RPGs will start dying off.[/color][/font]

 

Oh, right, like they aren't dying off already.

 

Like Eyru said - if the system doesn't work, you change it.

 

 

There have been plenty of bad systems. Doesn't mean they've always been replaced with something better.

 

It's easy to claim that changing something will fix it, but you need to actually think of a change that's going to work. The system does need to change, but you can't just say "we'll switch it to judging!" and hope that will fix everything. Instituting the OTC system on this forum will not address our needs. We need to keep a cap on the total number of RPGs, plain and simple. I'm very much for having a run limit of some form (as it stands, three months per contest, and I believe it's up to four consecutive contests... so a year, in theory) as well.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#9 Offline Simon the Digger

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 01:26 PM

I, personally, feel that we should stay with the contest format. Judging does not work well as a system, be it here or in the OTC, because it allows for too many games. Take a look through the old OTC topics, there are many, many games that had a great concept but had to compete with too many other games to survive.We simply don't have the players to support such a system. We do need to find a way to revitalize interest. But I believe that switching to a judge system will do more harm than good.
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#10 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 01:58 PM

Addressing the point of new blood: perhaps it would be better for the GMs if they must serve at least in one RPG as an assistant GM first, just to ensure that they actually know what they're doing? I don't know. The idea of gaining experience before running an RPG does appeal to me though.

 

I do support the idea of a 'mixed' system. I'm not sure of details, but I have to side somewhat with Lev here.


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#11 Online Own Personal Quixote

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 02:08 PM

[...]

The problem with the judging system is that, if we implement it in a similar manner to the OTC Forum, we will have too many RPGs to support the population of the RPG Forum. It's a fact that can't be avoided. Simple fact - we don't have enough people to support an inflated RPG population, and the contests keep us limited to three. Any more and RPGs will start dying off. The only ones to succeed in this scenario will, let's be honest, still be the RPGs of people who are believed to be more "capable" or whatever, which will actually make it harder for new people to come along then the current system.

We already have too many RPGs for the forum, quite arguably. The contest RPG is a model that is steadily dying, judging by the recent numbers of contest entries and the closings of recent contest RPGs for a lack of players. People simply don't treat BRPGs the way they used to, part of that being the contest system; the popularity aspects inherent in the format as well as the themes discourage many RPG creators from submitting. In summary: the system is broke, so it should be fixed. And, in rebuttal to your point above: why assume the change is negative? It could just as well be the saving grace of the forum. Heck, who says the institution of a judging system need be permanent? We could attempt its usage for a Contest RPG season or two and see how it goes. If a good chunk of players dislike it regardless of whether it's an experiment or not at any point, they can petition B6. 

 

I take issue with your conjecture that we should have "too many RPGs" under a judging system anyway. BRPG is not a forum possessing the same patronage of OTC, which is the only viable comparison in the realm of BZP's RPGs. Who's to say we'd have many RPGs even under a judging system? Even if the system encouraged more submission of RPG entries, the judges might well be strict or many RPG authors yet unwilling to send in more entries. The system would be better about encouraging more entries, but simply because it promotes the act more doesn't mean that it will cause an incredible influx of RPGs. 

 

The only way the judging system would work is if we combined it with the contest. Perhaps a group of judges would be able to convene and discuss the RPGs, and be able to cut down the total number, and perhaps decide on the themes with each other? The problem here is that it opens up to bias with regards to which RPGs would pass through or not if any of the judges wished to make their own RPG, or if a friend made one. So on and so forth.

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If you don't want bias, then you might as well leave. People have biases in contests, too. At this point, nearly everyone in BRPG has a sort of friendship with another, and to say that people don't already judge RPGs based on the character of its creator is prime falsehood. And while contest RPGs are chosen by people who can remain as anonymous as they like, providing no reasons for voting nor culpability should an RPG fail, judges would have incentive to let good RPGs pass in order to keep the position of judge due to the public responsibility owed in such a system. I wouldn't mind your hybrid system advised here unduly, but I fail to see why it would be at all better than the judge system. To quote Calvin and Hobbes: "a good compromise leaves everybody mad." And your suggestion, as outlined in the quote above, is quite the compromise.[/font]


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#12 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 02:21 PM

On the other hand, one decision leaves one side madder than they would be in a compromise. 

 

And frankly, if the decrease in RPG activity was due only to popularity, then we'd be long dead. The type of SPIRIT popularity is rare. We've had roaring activity with the contests, and I like them. One reason would be the sense of community they bring: we'd lose that.


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#13 Offline Zakaro

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 03:13 PM

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]I'll go ahead and shove my opinion in, after having read through these posts and thought about it a little. Forgive me if I'm wrong with interpretation. [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]The main thing we seem to be talking about is our ratio of RPGs to Activity, with some bias concerns thrown in as well but since bias effects both sides we'll talk about that later. The people siding with changing to a judging system are saying that either a judging system wouldn't really effect the amount of RPGs being set up or that the increased number of RPGs would only help the forum, while the contest-siding people seem to feel that any more RPGs introduced would just be more to watch flounder and sink away. [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]Perhaps we could combine them, in someway? Maybe, like Lev said, if we combined the judging and contest system, as in have a panel of judges approve each RPG that goes into a poll, and then the top x get to go up, it could work. [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]I'm not really sure. [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]Maybe it's that people give up on the RPGs too quickly. Perhaps it's that the contest RPGs seem to get deprioritized, becoming less important in too many people's eyes and just getting abandoned in favor of the ever-lasting BZRPG. [/font]

 

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]Could a system of 'test runs' and establishing work out? Have the contests decide a group of RPGs to run for 3 months or so. If, at the end of the 3 months, the RPG is still going strong and working out, it could take a more solid slot? That of 6 more months, or even a year? [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]I dunno. Maybe we just don't have enough BioRPGers that actually play the contest RPGs to sustain them anymore. Too many differing opinions creates a loss of players, which in turn as more and more players slip away the RPG just dies out. [/font]

[font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"] -_-[/font]

[color=rgb(128,0,128);][font="'comic sans ms', cursive;"]Zakaro[/color][/font]


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#14 Offline Fighty

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 03:33 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]Correlation does not imply causation. Just because Bionicle RPGs have started to decline with the contest model still in use does not mean that the contest model itself is responsible. Honestly, I'd blame peoples' busy schedules, a declining interest in Bionicle in general and less-than-stellar entries for the inactivity in the RPG forum before I'd blame the contest format. If you'll recall, the contests have also given us fantastic RPGs like the Gate, AMG and The Island. RPG contests are exciting, and they give more life to the forum than a judging system would. Contests also give RPGs a nice, "seasonal" feel, kind of like a TV show, with each contest bringing about a new "season" of the RPG.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]As I see it, there's only a small dedicated playerbase left in the RPG forum that isn't growing substantially. Unless people are willing to devote time into lots of different RPGs, increasing the amount of RPGs is not going to help anything, because you'll just be spreading the playerbase even thinner across all the different RPGs. If anything, fewer RPGs would actually be better, but I don't think that's going to fly.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]And when I mentioned "less-than-stellar" entries, that was not a jibe at anyone. All the entries I've seen recently range from great to serviceable, with no garbage RPGs to speak of. However, it's been a long time since I've seen a really inventive RPG; an RPG that defied conventions and got me genuinely excited to play it.[/font]


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#15 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 03:55 PM

I'm for keeping the contests.

 

Yes, the current system has it's problems (a lot of them, sometimes), but I don't think judging will fix them, so it is not the change we need. Our current problem is the small player base, and games not holding their players long enough to run the full term. With this in mind, we need a system that selects the RPGs that the most players like and want to play, a system that generates anticipation and excitement in the lead up to new RPGs beginning, and a system that allows players to feed back on how prospective games could be improved to attract more players.

 

That sounds an awful lot like a contest system, doesn't it?

 

To compare, a judging system would select games that a few people think are great, and their opinions might not line up with the players', so there would be no guarantee that the winning RPGs would have good player-pulling power. It would also (largely) keep ordinary players out of the process, cutting down on the contest atmosphere, something that definitely draws me into games, and I suspect has a similar effect for others. Finally, the judging system gives much more weight to the judges' feedback than the players' because the judges are the only ones with the power to approve games. Under a contest setup, authors need to consider any and all feedback, no matter where it comes from, which, ultimately, will make for better games for everyone, rather than games tailored to a few people's tastes.

 

So while I agree that some change might be good, even necessary, I don't think a judging system will solve the forum's problems. Something else may, and if so I'd be very willing to test it out (perhaps this contest/judging hybrid?).

 

And Shawn Spencer already took the second part of what I was going to say, so I'll leave it there.


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#16 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 04:06 PM

We already have too many RPGs for the forum, quite arguably. The contest RPG is a model that is steadily dying, judging by the recent numbers of contest entries and the closings of recent contest RPGs for a lack of players. People simply don't treat BRPGs the way they used to, part of that being the contest system; the popularity aspects inherent in the format as well as the themes discourage many RPG creators from submitting. In summary: the system is broke, so it should be fixed. And, in rebuttal to your point above: why assume the change is negative? It could just as well be the saving grace of the forum. Heck, who says the institution of a judging system need be permanent? We could attempt its usage for a Contest RPG season or two and see how it goes. If a good chunk of players dislike it regardless of whether it's an experiment or not at any point, they can petition B6. 

 

I assume the change is negative because one must always prepare for the worst when preparing for a change like this. In summary: the system is broke, this solution isn't any better. And I'm sorry if you feel that way about themes, but I don't. Unless you'd like to show me how the RPGs that result from a theme contest are worse than those from a regular contest, then the accusation that they hamper anything is empty. Total number of submissions, while I would like to see it higher, does not affect their quality. Personally, I think the standard this contest was higher than last contest.

 

I take issue with your conjecture that we should have "too many RPGs" under a judging system anyway. BRPG is not a forum possessing the same patronage of OTC, which is the only viable comparison in the realm of BZP's RPGs. Who's to say we'd have many RPGs even under a judging system? Even if the system encouraged more submission of RPG entries, the judges might well be strict or many RPG authors yet unwilling to send in more entries. The system would be better about encouraging more entries, but simply because it promotes the act more doesn't mean that it will cause an incredible influx of RPGs.

 

The judges can be as strict as they want, but they have to explain themselves. They can't just say they don't like an RPG and not let it get passed. Given time, the RPGs can easily be raised up. Frankly, having four or five RPGs would be too much for this forum to sustain, and there are at least five good writers who want to make an RPG on this forum. I will point you to the contests if you wish to disagree with me on that.

 

Unless you can select a group of judges whose reviewing tactics are even harsher than mine, then any RPG can be covered in chocolate glaze and passed through. And there will be too many given time, and because people will be spread out too far, the total system will suffer.

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If you don't want bias, then you might as well leave. People have biases in contests, too. At this point, nearly everyone in BRPG has a sort of friendship with another, and to say that people don't already judge RPGs based on the character of its creator is prime falsehood. And while contest RPGs are chosen by people who can remain as anonymous as they like, providing no reasons for voting nor culpability should an RPG fail, judges would have incentive to let good RPGs pass in order to keep the position of judge due to the public responsibility owed in such a system. I wouldn't mind your hybrid system advised here unduly, but I fail to see why it would be at all better than the judge system. To quote Calvin and Hobbes: "a good compromise leaves everybody mad." And your suggestion, as outlined in the quote above, is quite the compromise.[/font]

 

Oh I judge the heck out of an RPG in lots of ways, but the creator is generally an afterthought. I'm more prone to get angry at someone using yellow font in their RPG than anything else. I just can't stand yellow font.

 

The system I propose is better than a basic judging system because it maintains a set number of RPGs at any given time. But to clarify the system...

 

This is my proposition - 

Hybrid Judges+Contest System

 

At the end of every RPG contest, the next RPG contest would be announced. If there's a theme, a new theme is announced (I would prefer to see one either every two contests or once per contest; perhaps B6 could choose one once per year if he desired just to throw things off, otherwise the judges could). If there's no theme, then nothing to worry about.

 

People have two free months to work on their RPGs, which means there is more time available. Two topics would be available - a regular Planning Topic for incomplete RPGs or formulating the ideas, and a Preparing Topic (name is a WIP) to work on finished RPGs so they're ready for the contest.

 

Once the third month comes along, a Submission Topic is opened where people can submit RPGs for the judges to look over and comment on. An RPG would need to have at least the majority vote in order to be accepted into the contest at all. Submissions would be accepted for two weeks time, at which point they would be closed off and the judges would discuss which RPGs would be sent to the next round. If there's a theme of some sort, then something along the lines of "most creative use of a theme" could help be the deciding factor. Once the judges are done, a single polls worth of RPGs (at least six, at most ten) would be posted on here for people to vote on their three favorites. Runners up may take over if an RPG becomes inactive.

 

If we have contests running longer than three months, we may need to adjust some of those numbers.

 

I'll add that I agree with most of what Shawn Spencer said.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#17 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 04:41 PM

I like your suggested theory, Lev, although IDK, I'd like it a little more contest oriented: like you work on your RPG, get it critiqued and approved by the judges, and then it would go to the standard preliminary/final polls.

 

It would be interesting, on an only somewhat related note, if there was a sort of RPG Critics club: at the least a few people like Lev willing to go on review frenzies. (and yes, I'm aware that the old RPG CC died, mainly because I didn't have time or energy to run it, and there weren't normally enough requests.)


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#18 Offline Princess Anna of Arendelle

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 05:06 PM

I think the forum should move towards judging, simply due to the fact that contests have been unable to consistently provide strong, lasting RPG's for a very long time. If the system's not working, we should change it.

 

Basically, what Mango said. :)

 

Five RPGs and Judging. If there are yet to be contests, I don't see how allowing more RPGs would hurt. And I would not like the contest system to remain, anyways, considering a game's feel upon first sight and following play are often very different things.

 

No contest.

 

 

[color=#006400;]Yeah, these contests seem to be quite broke, I think a judging system would be better at determining which rpgs will last. [/color]


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#19 Offline Fighty

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 11:38 AM

[color=rgb(0,100,0);]Yeah, these contests seem to be quite broke, I think a judging system would be better at determining which rpgs will last. [/color]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]It's a non sequitur to say that just because an RPG won a contest and then failed that the contest was the reason that if failed. It would be like your car breaking down and you changing the air freshener from 'pine' to 'lemon zest' in the hopes of repairing your vehicle. Just because you had 'pine' air freshener in your car when it broke down does not mean that the air freshener broke your car. There is a problem, you're just proposing the wrong solution.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]As it is, the one thing that would above all else reignite the RPG forum is increased player involvement, and unfortunately that's not something that the BZP administration has much effect over. Any RPG, no matter its degree of competency, can flourish if its players are dedicated to making it flourish. I remember back when I participated in the Ben 10 RPG in COT; that was one of the most barebones RPGs I've ever experienced. If it was much shorter the host could've put the whole thing in one tweet. And yet, because we loved the premise so much, my friend and I poured countless hours into it, creating story arcs, developing characters, interacting with each other, etc. That RPG should have died but because of the passion of just a few people it thrived.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]The things that the RPG forum could use most right now are creative, dedicated players and GMs who foster their players' creativity rather than hampering it.[/font]


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#20 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 01:49 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]The things that the RPG forum could use most right now are creative, dedicated players and GMs who foster their players' creativity rather than hampering it.[/font]

I agree wholeheartedly with the above passage. The format in which RPGs are chosen is just one facet of the problem; you can't ignore the blame that GMs and roleplayers share. To have an active RPG forum, you need active roleplayers and GMs who genuinely care about what they're doing.That said, I don't think the choice between contests and judging is very clear-cut. Both systems are listed in the poll as the only choices when there are many alternative methods that could fit underneath one of those umbrella terms.For example: We could have a system wherein only three or four RPGs are allowed at a time, but a revival date is instituted, and any time an RPG becomes inactive for a set period of time (say, two months), a replacement is chosen either via voting or judging. Such a system would allow a trial-and-error approach to running RPGs that theoretically should result in higher quality ones getting the chance to run longer, but more manpower would be required for monitoring the system.If the above system, or something similar, can't be placed into effect, I would prefer that we retain the current contest system.

Edited by Legolover-361, Jun 25 2013 - 01:49 PM.

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#21 Offline I Am Ultron Six

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 03:08 PM

Since its increased player activity that we really need, I suggest we cancel the BZPRPG and force everyone who wants a BRPG to play the contest winners :P


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I am Ultron Six, a cybernetic intelligence created by Doctor Henry Pym. My imperative is to bring peace and order to this world. I am about to fulfil that imperative; for the extinction of humanity…begins now.

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Soon the earth will no longer be habitable for any biological organism: Man, woman, child, plant, animal, fungus or bacterium. All life will cease to exist. This is not a threat, there is nothing you can do to stop it. The process has already begun. I receive no pleasure in this, it is simply the only solution. There must be peace and order, the end of life on earth will ensure that. Goodbye.


#22 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 07:14 PM

Since its increased player activity that we really need, I suggest we cancel the BZPRPG and force everyone who wants a BRPG to play the contest winners :P

 

Honestly, it's pretty much guaranteed to increase the player activity, though I imagine some folks would go off on a rant and say they'd never come back to the forum if that happened. :P

 

But they weren't playing the contest RPGs anyways.

 

[font="Verdana;font-size:12px;"]For example: We could have a system wherein only three or four RPGs are allowed at a time, but a revival date is instituted, and any time an RPG becomes inactive for a set period of time (say, two months), a replacement is chosen either via voting or judging. Such a system would allow a trial-and-error approach to running RPGs that theoretically should result in higher quality ones getting the chance to run longer, but more manpower would be required for monitoring the system.[/font]

 

Unless we put ninety advertisements per page so Black Six can make this his full time job, we can't do a voting system with this. We would have to do judging with this.

 

Now, the issue here is - what happens during those two months? Let's say the RPGs run well. Then that means we have RPGs running for a very long time without anyone new coming into the mix or any new stories. If they don't? The scenario is the same as it is right now, with long breaks of time where one or more RPGs are inactive.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#23 Offline delilah

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 11:03 AM

Now, the issue here is - what happens during those two months? Let's say the RPGs run well. Then that means we have RPGs running for a very long time without anyone new coming into the mix or any new stories.

 

If an RPG is popular enough to be played for a very long time, then I don't see why it's a problem to keep it. None of the RPG's we've seen recently have been popular enough to be played for much time at all. If we get to the point where RPG's are actually running for multiple months in a row, I'd say we'd be doing something right. If people want to play it, they should get to play it.

 

On a related note, one of the issues I personally have with BRPG's in the current system is that they only last for three months. That's not a long time at all; it's hardly enough time to set up and execute a plot and develop characters: an RPG usually requires multiple seasons in order to tell a cohesive story. A three-month RPG often doesn't seem to be worth joining, because it feels like I've only just started playing, and then it's almost over. A wasted investment, if you will.


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