Audio … 2.94 … What ?!

Posted by (twitter: @lesterpig)
September 18th, 2012 1:24 pm

Hi everybody !

So I’m a bit disappointed  about the results of my game…

Even if lot of people like my game’s music, I’ve reached only 2.94/5 points in audio… What ?! To my mind, this is a bad result. Very bad. I spent a lot of time creating the music, and only 2.94 … that’s not cool for me.

But… How were the results calculated ? I guess this is not a simple average of all votes…

So. I don’t know if I would participate to another ludum. I’m really disappointed…

24 Responses to “Audio … 2.94 … What ?!”

  1. Jedi says:

    It always works like this. I told people I wasn’t competing and to give me all 1’s or N/A’s. Somehow, without even having audio, I got 1.43 in Audio.

    People’s ratings tend to follow what they think about a game overall. People also seem afraid to leave negative feedback, which can make for a bit of a shock when the ratings come. If you stick with LD and learn what you can, you’re ratings WILL move up; I’ve seen it happen!

    • Raptor85 says:

      THIS this is a huge problem with the current rating system (which actually, the problem is partially because it’s a simple average of votes and not all games recieve the same number of plays), your feedback will, aside from crash bugs, almost always be 100% positive, people are terrified of leaving real feedback when they dislike something, probably in fear of “retaliation” since the feedback isn’t anonymous. A lot of people also seem to base their ratings in all categories around how they overall liked a game (look for games that score high overall, they’ll score super high in categories they didn’t even take part in, which tells me most people rate games by “i liked it – all 5’s”, “it’s ok – all 3’s”, or “i didn’t like it – all 1’s”

      Honestly this really needs to be looked at, for the vast majority of people in the compo you get few plays, meaningless results, and little to no feedback on the game itself, a dozen people chiming in with “awesome! I love it” doesn’t help you improve your games at all. People say repeatedly “it’s not really a competition, it’s not about the scores!” but the second the compo is over outside of the top 50 scores the rest of the games essentialy become ignored and the vast majority leave without even having decent feedback!

      I think we need to move to anonymous comments when rating plus required comments, with a way to flag a rating that didn’t leave a real comment so the rating can be removed for gaming the system. (like someone rates and just types something random in the comments field since it’s required) Especially since it was implemented where the number of games you rate makes you more visible the QUALITY of the ratings has gone wayyyy wayyy down since people are rushing through games, obviously not even really playing them just to get another rating on the list. For instance my LD22 entry, which was the last compo before that was implemented, i only recieved 44 votes but about 20 comments, and almost EVERY comment actually talked about and discussed my gameplay, some flaws in the ai, and such. LD23 with the new system now, 100+ votes and around the same number of comments ( a HUGE drop in the comments/ratings ratio), but now half of the comments talking about loving the music and graphics (both of which i scored around 2 on) and the majority of the rest obviously had only given a glance at the game, playing for a few seconds tops, LD24 roughly the same (the majority of the thought through comments were from people on IRC i specificly asked to check the game out, plus i didnt really advertise the game around this time as i didnt feel it worth it after 23). Personally I find it rather pointless to have more ratings on my game if they’re not going to be useful to me in any way , because now i get the definite feeling people are “playing” the games as fast as possible in an attempt to get their game more visible.

    • Haette says:

      “People’s ratings tend to follow what they think about a game overall.”

      That’s gotta be the case, I was confused as to how my own game got the audio rating it did, and now I’m actually kind of upset because this deserves better. A lot of feedback for Disease mentioned bugs and slow play which probably dragged everything else down. That, and the song is like eight minutes long and rather quiet, so I imagine few people actually sat and listened to it. It’s a shame too because it really is good, reminds me of Timesplitters or Perfect Dark.

  2. Jedi says:

    p.s. In LD-score-land, 2.94 is a good rating!

  3. Raptor85 says:

    For the record too, having checked out your music, it’s very good, sets the mood very well, it’s easily better than the majority of those even in the top 25, imho what happened was people fired up your game, moved around the first room, closed and rated, and since your music starts slowly and builds up, doesn’t kick in the other instruments for a few seconds most people probably in their rush to get more ratings never actually heard your music track past the intro ambience, you should definitely have gotten closer to 3.8-4.0, 2.9 is close to what I got and my music was mostly procedural!

  4. johnfn says:

    Your music is good, but it takes about 5 minutes to get to the good bits. Maybe you should have moved those closer to the beginning. The opening is pretty weak and if that was all I heard I would have voted pretty low, but once it really kicks in it’s definitely a 4/5. I heard somewhere that the first impression is the most important thing in LD, and I think that’s true.

  5. jaketgarut says:

    I did it better this time. No, best of all my LDs. Thanks for all folk!

    jaket kulit & jaket kulit

  6. Chaoslab says:

    Well at least you got to know your scores, I didn’t get the luxury.

  7. sorceress says:

    (1) For the most part, people are harsh with ratings. 2.5 is a typical score. This is unlike almost every other rating system where 70% (3.8 stars) would be typical.

    (2) This is in part a popularity contest. When a game gets hundreds of plays, it is because that person’s fans & followers are playing it. Fandom will bias their judgement (a halo effect), so they tend to get an extra star for being cool and awesome.

    (3) Since the majority of entries score between 2.0 and 3.0, one more star can be the difference between placing 50th, or 500th.

  8. Madball says:

    Nothing to worry about. My best score ever was 2.85. But looking at another games I keep participating wanting to do better every next time!
    According to my criteria, 3 is average. You need to make a great investment in music to get 4. For example, making a rhythm game, making a track for each ambience, using voice.
    You have a good music, but I think part of its goodness was in the ‘Mood’ category.

  9. Benjamin says:

    IMHO, the entire music worth 4-5 stars.

    The reason why you dont get them is not the rating system :

    – Some category have dependencies. For exemple, if my gameplay is perfect but my control sucks, most of the people will not be able to experience it. In your case the level is too big ( or the cell too slow ) the lack of events in the first steps of the game tends to make people giveup before they can hear the melody part of the song (which start very late). So either you should have shorten the intro of the music or make the starting of the game a bit more exciting.

    – There’s few sfx and their quality is not as good as the music. Sometime it’s better to not add sfx at all in this case. The first dna you take making you notice this lack of sfx, you realise that appart of the music you heard none of them before. And that’s mainly what you will remember while rating, especially if you left the game before the piano part.

    That’s just a theory on how you can only have 2.94 with such a good music. It’s quite the same as spending 12hours on GFX and behaviours of a boss battle that nobody will notice because of too high difficulty level.

  10. hamster_mk_4 says:

    Half the time I am not playing LD games with my headphones on because the sound in some games is really annoying. I give no sound a 1 star, any sound a 2 star, and non annoying sound a 3 star. 4 and 5 stars in the sound category go to games that really use sound to enhance the game play. Usually this involves clever or numerous use of sound effects.

  11. lesterpig says:

    Thank you very, very much for your comments :)
    It’s very interesting for me… I wanted to make my game slow and dark, but now I think this is not a good idea…

    So… #1 Rule : Polish your intro if you want a good ranking 😀

    • Jorjon says:

      No, polish your intro if you want a good game. You have to catch the player attention first. I recomend the book The Art of Game Design of Jesse Schell which has a chapter about “building up the hype” of your game. Basically, you need to start with some fancy things to catch up your audience, then go down, and start building up again.

    • Jedi says:

      I wouldn’t say it’s Rule #1. For LD#23, we got a little too carried away with the intro. It wrote a check that the gameplay couldn’t cash, and the overall experience was not a positive one for the player.

  12. Puzzlem00n says:

    Well, I’ve had time to think about ratings and such, and I personally have some ideas to offer. Not all of them relate to what’s been said here, but why make a new post?

    -The ability to only enter in certain categories. (This one’s for you, Jedi.) This way, if you have no audio and you know you don’t want people rating you for it, then don’t let them. This should come, of course, with results like “#6/400” and “#6/342” instead of “#6” for both so you can tell how you actually placed.

    -A cap on how many ratings a game can get. This would help in many ways, making sure averages are somewhat more even on most games (the cap would be low enough that most games could reach it, like 50 or so) and also moving people on to different games instead of the same thing everyone else tells you to.

    -Cut the coolness thing. At first, it was a good way to make sure you get rewards for rating games, but now it’s just a motivation for mindlessly going right over games and rating them for more hits. It’s not right. So, maybe we could do something else, more random? Maybe something that randomizes things every few minutes, but makes it slightly more likely you’ll be drawn if you don’t have many ratings? Or even just integrate that giant page of LD games in one wallpaper-like selection, like that guy who’s name I can’t remember did. (To be honest, does anyone understand how they decide what shows on the rate games page? Because it doesn’t seem entirely like a “coolness:ratings” ratio to me, but that could just be in my head.)

    – This idea is actually Sorceress’s, which she made a few days ago, but no one really reacted to it. Cut categories and make them more broad. This actually makes the very first suggestion I made unnecessary, but that one is more of an idea for if this doesn’t happen. I’ll list Sorceress’s new category ideas (with one name change):

    QUALITY: Much better than Overall and Fun, it even could serve as intuitiveness or controls and so much more. It has a much better ring to it, and implies a little bit less “popularity contest” than overall. This category would still be considered the “overall” of the LD.
    FEELING: (I don’t think “emotion” implies humor enough.) Humor needs to be cut, and this is the way to do it. Mood has a lot of people that don’t like it because certain games don’t have it, and a lot of people don’t like humor for the same reason. But almost every game has one of them, and so this is perfect.
    AESTHETIC: This solves a number of problems. Graphics just implies people should vote for people who have really hard work on graphics, not ones that compliment how the game is meant to be. For example, no matter how well clean white squares fit into your game’s feel, people will rate Graphics low because you didn’t do much work on them. With Aesthetic, people understand that they’re rating how well its look fits in the design. And audio just fits in there so well.
    IDEA: Personally, I absolutely hate the theme category. Who on earth is to say that a certain game doesn’t fit the theme? So many people went around telling people games about mutation and adapting things (including my own game) had nothing to do with evolution. There was even one about the evolution of a character’s mindset that got comments about having no relation to the theme. I don’t like it. So, idea takes it, mashes it with innovation, which is in essence your idea, and puts it together. It may not seem like an obvious mash-up at first, but it works well if you consider it for a second.

    Now, you might argue that this gives you a lot less opportunities to win, and see how well you did specifically. Well, that’s true, and it might make a lot of regulars lose the categories they’re famous for winning over and over (especially for humor and graphics). But I personally think it gives winning a lot more weight. Winning something like Audio is okay, but winning Aesthetic would be huge. Instead of a top three medals, we could even it out with a top five or more. (Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum? I like that.)

    Well, that’s it. They’re radical ideas, but this rating system needs radical fixes.

    • johnfn says:

      I’m not a fan of this idea because I don’t think we need to trim the number of categories. It’s not like having a humor category makes other categories worse. It’s just another way for people to be rewarded for their efforts. If you can convince me that having less categories makes judging better somehow, then I might get on board, but as it is I don’t think that’s true.

      • Puzzlem00n says:

        (I’m sort of tired, so I’ll make this quick.) Well, for one thing, it gives the rater more time to think about each category, instead of just saying, “Audio was okay.” These categories, being broader, are far more introspective, and thus will hopefully yield more accurate results and ratings. More importantly, however, it just makes it all a lot neater and clearer. As it was originally said, the idea was “Keep it simple, stupid.” People will always be having arguments about categories not covering things or covering the wrong things and yada-yada-yada with these current categories. If it’s broader, it can be kept simple, less confusing, less prone to debate, and all-in-all just more friendly.

    • sorceress says:

      That suggestion I made was actually a bit tongue in cheek.

      While there is some validity to it, and some philosophical depth, I don’t think it can be taken very seriously as a rating system. My thinking was along these lines:

      – Fun and Overall are *very* highly correlated, so they are more-or-less measuring the same thing. There’s no real need to have both.

      – Graphics and Audio. Some games don’t need sound (like a visual novel). And some games don’t need graphics (like a blind game). There is also “Presentation” which is not currently measured. Even if a game has no graphics or sound (like a text adventure), it still has a presentation. Aesthetics covers all of these three factors. All games are measurable in terms of aesthetics, and it doesn’t discriminate against particular genres.

      – Mood and humor. For similar reasons, not all games strive to be these things. There are many more emotions than humor that we might want to evoke in our players. eg, Anger, or Fear, or Compassion. All games are measurable in terms of emotion. An emotion category doesn’t discriminate against particular genres.

      – Theme and Innovation. I personally find it hard to score high in theme category, no matter how much time I spend refining my game idea. It seems likely that I score low in Theme because my games are not innovative. So it may seem like theme was bolted on as an afterthought. To me this highlights a relationship between theme and innovation.

      So a good take on a theme kind of requires a game to be innovative as well. In that sense, it’s similar to the problem with Fun and Overall, in that they are both measuring related things. There’s not a strong need to have both.

      • Puzzlem00n says:

        All I know is, if I were to make a new game jam right now, I would definitely use those categories.

        I’d also call it The Strawberry Jam, assuming that isn’t taken.

        (To be clear, this would probably never happen… But it would be cool if someone could take every complaint about the LD rating system and make a new jam based around fixing all the problems.)

    • SiENcE says:

      I’m with you on the Quality rating. I polished my game and the leveldesign but intead i limited my ideas for theme and innovation.

      I don’t got a 3 value :-( not even for the music … which is pretty sad.

      I played several game with bugs and without real gameplay because lack of time. For me thats no game! Sorry but quality or polishing takes much time and there is no real rating, which is very sad.

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