I know there’s been a poll but I don’t think we fully discussed it outside the context of “Let’s make PoV happy/give him a break”.

After all, WE ARE doing a Ludum Dare and it’s also WITHOUT his participation. We are the ones who are going to deal with PoV’s choices and making LD on our own. (nothing mean spirited)

There IS itch.io to consider, there IS the old ranking system, there ARE options.

Yes I know we already voted this thing – but perhaps we rushed on the decision?

* The importance of the voting system *

I mean – what has driven LD and it’s amazing feedback? We are being naive if we think that the voting system has no value here. It’s the voting system that complements the social perception of what is an entry in Ludum Dare, how good is it, and in turn – giving attention to those who stand out. Isn’t it a huge part of this? Why do people even bother to give feedback? Yes, some people are nice and give comments but honestly the rankings are a promising part of the incentive to do so.

The coolness system, the ranking comitment – you have to rank to get ranked, and rank about 20 for the ranking to be vast and informative enough to calculate the final rating of each entry as a “fair” feedback. You have the responsibility and personal interest to do so.

Yes, your prize is your product, but without feedback doing it together as a part of a jam is almost meaningless.

I mean, do it in your free time. It’s the same – you still have your product. There’s no particular reason for doing it while tons of others are doing it as well. It’s actually pretty inconvenient.

I mean – I hear that the system isn’t really working well, and that the new site should be the representitive of Ludum Dare and so on… but if so far people didn’t notice. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be that bad to have it just once more working.

So once again – are we sure we want to make this Ludum Dare without the rankings?

Must we really prevent the use of it in all costs?

(I believe there IS time to change this!)

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35 Responses to “Are we really sure to give up on the ranking system for this LD?”

  1. ajayajayaj says:

    Totally agree, was thinking of writing a post, but decided against it. But, I think it might be too late because we have less than 5 weeks left, and there is a lot of planning to do. Also, ratings would require PoV to help, because it requires server access, which only PoV has. Itch.io is one thing that could help make an unoffical voting system, as I mentioned in a comment on there, but I’m not sure if the Itch Dare is actually going to happen.

    • g_o says:

      Still, you must admit that itch dare is the probably fairly easy to make practically.
      As much as I could gather, they have the custom jam system so really it’s the community itself that’s resisting not the logistics.

  2. HolyBlackCat says:

    Yep, I think we rushed this decision. LD without rating is a bit meaningless.
    I know the rating/coolness system has been abused before, but there is no alternative. If there is no coolness, are we really going to play each other’s games? Also, at least for me, a rating progression is an important part of the LD because I like to see if my skills have improved.

    • g_o says:

      Bingo!
      That’s pretty much what I mean. I have serious doubts it would be worth it to join this LD without the ranking systems and it’s disappointing me. How come one decision of PoV is possibly breaking the community and LD?

    • Ethan Allwood says:

      I completely agree. Part of the reason I participate in LD is to get feedback on how well I did and what I can improve on. Without this, the only incentive for me to participate is the fun challenge of making a game in one weekend, which i could do on my own anyways. Without ratings/comments, I’m really not sure if I would enjoy LD as much as i do and this might be the first time I actually don’t participate since I started.

  3. Strike says:

    I would of course prefer a rating system. But I would also understand if there is not.
    To be honest, comments are more relevant and important to me.

    • IAmSpencer says:

      I think what g_o is trying to say is that they don’t feel like people will leave any comments if there is no rating system.

      To be honest, I can see where that idea is coming from. Personally, I like the concept of LudumDare, and the “collab-vibe” of the event, so I’ll most-likely be joining regardless of whether or not there’s voting. [ plus, I really enjoy playing so many awesome games! ]

      But, if we’re speaking truthfully, I do predict a decline, at the very least, in comments due to people not having to ‘bump’ their coolness. Maybe I’m wrong [ hope so, I’m like you. Comments are my favorite part of LudumDare. ] But I feel like a lot of people are just gonna upload their game and move on. Which, to be fair, might not really be a big issue.

      So we might end up with fewer comments this time, or even none at all [ unlikely ], it doesn’t really matter I guess. There’s always next LD!

      • g_o says:

        You know saying “there’s always next LD” is exactly my point – because saying that right from the get-go pretty much says “The current LD is meaningless and shouldn’t be made”. And I find it saddning because I WANT a Ludum Dare! I haven’t participated in an entire year!

    • g_o says:

      As @IAmSpencer said and as I said before – it’s about the true incentive to leave a comment.
      I’m totally with you on that one, especially considering that I usually get ranked pretty low and so the ranking system doesn’t mean to me THAT much except for it’s obvious feedback.
      It’s about the social psychology that ties LD to what it is that is breaking if we take away the ranking system, which in turn, unfortunately will not produce comments. The coolness system, though abused, encouraged people to take a look at a game that didn’t look too good. Think about what would happen to new comers?
      Without the rating system, only very very nice people, which are literally doing a favor would comment on their game. That’s bad. Very bad.

  4. pixzleone says:

    I agree, the feedback in form of comments and ratings is what makes LD so awesome for me.
    I mean I’m in no matter what, but I feel like there’s no real point for people to play my game / me to play theirs without any ratings.

    • g_o says:

      Indeed. This pointlessness is what bothers me. I can feel that it’s just not going to be a real Ludum Dare.
      And I’m sure we all want the experience as full as we can. And I don’t think it’s a lot to ask from PoV or to organize it ourselves.

  5. sorceress says:

    Re: Ratings and server access

    The ratings system was built by Phil Hassey, and is part of WordPress. It doesn’t require server to use activate it, and I do have sufficient wordpress permissions to use it in it’s entirety, and I did use it for MiniLD 44 previously See here, It functioned without problems, and did not require server access.

    Why the rating system requires server access has not been made clear to us, although PoV claims it to be necessary for running an LD, and we must accept that on trust. Perhaps on rare occasions the system breaks and requires fixing? Perhaps server access is needed to look at or modify the raw voting data, for whatever reason?

    Re: Fears of less feedback

    I have been aware of this from the beginning, and my team have been looking for a way to address it. The idea we have is to focus on comments instead of ratings, and so we are building a system that will highlight games in need of comments. The more games you leave comments on, the more comments you should receive in return. Hopefully this will give users the same motivation to play one another’s games, and feel satisfaction from taking part and showing off their work.

    Re: No ratings

    I have received several private messages from people who are interested in building an alternative rating system, and I do think this is a wonderful idea. Several things in LD have arisen not by administrative decisions, but by community members taking the initiative to create something. Most famously: the theme slaughter was invented by Sosowski back in 2011, to help us pick out good themes for the theme voting, and this has now become a standard part of LD’s timetable.

    There are three issues with this idea however:

    1) I don’t feel it would be proper to integrate external code into this website (via javascript), so any solution would have to be standalone. This leads to 2+3.

    2) It may mean we cannot authenticate users, and such voting systems would be open to the public. People smarter than I tell me there are ways to “connect accounts” without violating (1).

    3) I don’t feel it would be proper to make any external voting system(s) “official”. But it(they) would be there for anyone interested to opt-in.

    • g_o says:

      Great info, thanks for bringing it!

      About PoV’s hiding information – I already talked about his kinda protective and “selfish” approach that tries to make him a cruicial component of LD. Him not supporting us and advicing us about how the procedures are made and how votes are maintained is just him sawing the branch he’s sitting on, breaking LD and the community.

      So I read the solutions you proposed and you’ve got some ideas there but I’m still not entirely sure they are as simple as re-enabling the old voting systems.
      I think I can sum it as: the solutions revolve around rebuilding the same systems as the old system, or make wrong assumptions.


      First of all I’ll address the fear of less feedback solution.

      What you are proposing here is obviously a way in which the system is going to promote users who are commenting, or at least relying on the idea that people want to get feedback so they have some sort of an incentive to comment themselves.
      There are some problems with this solution.
      In the case of building a system who promotes commented on entries or users it’s pretty obvious you’re just rebuilding some sort of coolenss system. This coolness system is even kinda more complex in its nature since you need to now secure and be very careful about calculating something as large-numbered and (system-wise, not feedback-wise) low-importance as comments.
      A comment is a light feature that is easy (as it should be) to post publicly anywhere and in any amount. You’ll need to think of a clever way to prevent people from spamming and “false feedbacking” in order to gain coolness, as well as making deals of commenting (which is no hassle at all) and all sorts of trickery.
      As for the personal interest – indeed, there is a personal interest but there’s lacking that commitment and strict feedback. We need to remember a few things here: almost clearly there are more votes than comments in each LD. The voting it anonymous, whereas comments are not.
      It’s going to be very tough to get the right feedback from comments since also there’s the thing of – status quo – you’ll comment good stuff I’ll comment good stuff. Or alternatively – trashing one another’s game as part of the competition (though I don’t believe it would happen, but I also didn’t believe people played with the coolness system).
      Also not all people would actually bother with this method. Remember that giving a good feedback using a comment is way harder and exertive than ranking. The assumption that indeeed people will bother commenting when they see people already commented on their game is kinda okay but I don’t think we can rely on it so much.
      Once again I’ll mention the lack of commitment that will make it hard for new comers to get feedback because a not-so good looking game will not be bothered to get a good feedback without the voting incentinve and commitment of balance.
      What’s more that what you’re saying isn’t even THAT relevent! After all we get the entire goodness of comments either way! The entire point of voting is having another medium to give feedback in, and it’s coolness system is already there. So as said, I think it’s way harder to calculate coolness based on comments, as well as retaining the nature of comments in LD as a “pure” feedback medium rather than spammed and perhaps competitive one.
      I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying it would take a lot of work and change the nature of the comments section. For bad or for good, I can’t tell yet.
      Still, we must consider the reasoning that itch.io does offer us a custom jam system with rankings.
      And also, once again – the ranking system is just another feature and medium, enabling the old system can only add to the experience.
      Perhaps, enabling the old ranking systems without the top #100 lists and so on could be an acceptable solution. It won’t compromise the feedback on one hand and on the other there would be no reason for one to play with the system because then he would just make a fool of himself.
      In short – lots of possiblitys, rebuilding in such a short notice sounds a bit not practical and hard.

      Re: Re: No ratings
      Well, the solutions offered here are really just rebuilding the systems.
      Are we sure we want to do that? Especially with the really complex nature of it – external systems with account linking and all those heavy stuff that sound to me like a very long pen-testing horror.
      So I’m not finding it a good solution.

      • TomKeegasi says:

        About the ‘rating-system’, asuming their main use-case really is to give feedback to -developers- and not for anything else (like ranking or finding ‘good’ games easier); wouldn’t the best (long-term) solution be, to make the voting results private for each game.
        So users can still vote (and comment) normally, but the voting results / aggregated scores would only be visible/accessible to the developer himself and no-one else. This would also mean disabling any kind of sorting based on the now hidden scores.

        Note: I’m mostly talking about a long-time solution here, feedback appreciated. :)

        • g_o says:

          Actually thats exactly what I meant when I said that we can remove the top 100 list.
          The thing of making it completely private is something I was considering comcerning the point of someone running a script aggregating the results to the top 100.
          But I still gotta check that. I’ll come back to you thanks for striving for a real and reasonable solution.

    • g_o says:

      I just wanna add that – we’re still not sure why we gave up on the old system. There is no real good reason to give up on the rankings to have new systems to begin with. After all, itch.io and the old system offer us logistically easier solutions as well long-time refinement and testing.

      Anyway, the case that we come up with a simpler solution that does require programming – I will gladly help if you’ll accept my assistance.

      Lastly, please update me in any case.
      I (of course) still prefer LD to have SOME system of feedback incentive rather than none at all.

      • sorceress says:

        we’re still not sure why we gave up on the old system.

        I feel this has been answered several times already, but to reiterate: PoV expressed some concerns about ratings. Then we had a poll where the community weighed up what was said, and showed greatest support for LD without ratings. So that is what we are doing, and why.

        itchio *may* have been considered under the “hosted elsewhere” option, but the poll revealed strong opposition to that idea, so it was not looked at in any greater depth. ie The community would much rather have a jam with no ratings, than see the jam being hosted elsewhere. That’s something we have to respect. It’s less about “what works”, but about “what the community wants”. :)

        • g_o says:

          Yeah, you are just telling me the facts we all know.
          Still, I’m asking if perhaps we gave up too early and from the comments here it seems that people don’t really wanna give up the voting system this easily.
          It’s silly to say that we need to respect the will of the community when I don’t think it’s really what the community wants. I wait for the opposing voices to arise in this post and they just won’t come.
          My hypothesis is that people just got carried away by the words of the only leader they knew, and not what they really wanted. Now I know I can’t know that, but I think that if enough interest arises and concrete points as well then there shouldn’t be a problem to change anything.
          Even more the entire “we’ve already decided” philosophy is really awful. So tommorow someone will decide to commit suicide because he throught someone who was announced murdered in the news was his brother and then the next day he finds out it wasn’t him and he was just taking a walk without his phone.
          I don’t think that if he’d say “no I’ve already decided” it’s a healthy logic. It’s even kinda silly.

          Once again – what’s wrong with having the old without the top 100 for example?
          If no one recognize this as a representitive of something except sheer feedback I don’t see the problem.

        • rnlf says:

          I don’t think the poll result really says “people want an LD without ratings”. The intro text to the poll was relatively biased and put a very strong emphasis on PoV’s statement and fear mongering.

          Also, the up/down-vote nature of the poll may also have been inappropriate. If we had first had a simple yes/no poll about “should be have LD36 in August” and then a second poll with three options “Normal”, “On ludumdare.com without ratings” and “On itch.io” the result may have been very different.

          People who just wanted to make sure that LD36 will take place have probably upvoted both, Rated and Unrated, while people who were fooled by PoV’s irrational fears have probably only upvoted Unrated. If all those who preferred Rated but upvoted Unrated as a fallback would have to choose a single option (after it had been established that LD _will_ take place), the numbers would have been very different.

          It’s too late to tell now, though.

          • sorceress says:

            The intro text to the poll was relatively biased and put a very strong emphasis on PoV’s statement and fear mongering.

            I wanted to make sure that people knew PoV’s statements, and didn’t just cast a vote without reading/thinking. I’m sorry if the poll came across as biased, but it was not my intention to create a bias, only to inform and make clear.

            Also, the up/down-vote nature of the poll may also have been inappropriate.

            The way I see it, it allowed people to express their feelings for each option independently, and didn’t force a choice. For example, if someone felt positive towards multiple options, but were forced to pick only one, they would be unable to express themselves properly. Meanwhile, people who want make a definite choice, could upvote one option and downvote the other three. So collecting 4 responses per person seems more versatile to me. It allows us to see which option has most support.

            If all those who preferred Rated but upvoted Unrated as a fallback would have to choose a single option (after it had been established that LD _will_ take place), the numbers would have been very different.

            Perhaps. Upvoting one just incase something else doesn’t get enough votes is a form of tactical voting. If people don’t express their feelings honestly, they must accept the risks and consequences of not doing so.

            It’s too late to tell now, though.

            A different voting system may (or may not) have yielded a different result, but it is uncertain which system would yield the truest result. We have what we have. Thanks for your comment. :)

          • g_o says:

            YES. Perfectly described.
            I totally agree and I think a black and white clear poll should be made

    • Stuntddude says:

      So if I understand correctly, you’re saying that (assuming you guys are able to implement it in time) there will be a sort of coolness system still, but for comments instead of ratings? If so, then that nullifies my only major reason for being apprehensive about the lack of ratings.

      Truth is, I don’t care too much about what score I get, but I really love the idea that by playing many other people’s games and giving feedback, I can get others to play my game and give feedback in return. I think there are probably a lot of people who feel the same. As long as that aspect of Ludum Dare is still in place, I’ll be much more likely to participate.

      • sorceress says:

        Yes, that is what we are doing, and we already have this new coolness system built and ready to launch. More details will come closer to the event :)

        Working within the limitations we’re faced with, my team are trying to make this LD as complete and as enjoyable as possible.

  6. Enough of the whining about the voting and rankings. It’s not like they are taking the commenting ability away. I’m just happy that we are having a Ludum Dare in August.

    • g_o says:

      Enough with being naive that anyone would bother to comment on your game.
      And are we really having a full LD?
      I cannot stress enough the amount of times votes revealed my weakneses compared to the comments
      Remember you get the comments either way. The voting is an extra dimention of feedback which is bound to be a driving competitive force but also a very honest and promising feedback since its anonymous

      • Pitƶik4 says:

        Weren’t opt-in anonymous comments introduced recently? Last LD, I think?

        And we’re going to have a version of the coolness system but with comments this time, right? That will provide incentive for people to leave comments. And even if it didn’t, you’re being terribly cynical by assuming that no one will leave comments if there isn’t incentive to play others’ games. You’re assuming that 1. no one would want to play LD games just for the fun of it and 2. no one here is interested in helping others out.

        It’s been a very rocky road for PoV lately. We may not have noticed any problems with vote manipulation so far, but that’s because so far they’ve been able to keep it in check. He had plans to make the switch before it became too big of a problem for this site to handle… in 2014.

        He originally planned to run Ludum Dare 33 on the new site. That was a year ago. He had to keep pushing the migration back further and further, and at the same time it was apparently getting more and more difficult to manage moderation of the event itself on the current site.

        Now consider the situation from PoV’s perspective. Ludum Dare just gets bigger and bigger. It’s been a Real Thing for many years now. And Real Things attract trouble—the kind of trouble this site was never, ever meant to be capable of addressing. All it would take is one person with a clever plan to throw everything entirely out of whack. Someone like that could come along at any time. I think the question in his eyes is “When?” And the only answer we have so far is “Not yet.” That’s not exactly reassuring.

        We COULD use the old judging system, we COULD use itch.io, heck, we COULD pull out the unfinished new site and try to use it. But there are very valid reasons to avoid all of these options.

        • g_o says:

          Don’t know about the anonymous comments but they still require more effort, I’d like to claim.
          A good feedback from comments isn’t the most simple thing.
          Indeed I’m kinda cynical but not as extremely as you portrait.
          You only think of the reasonable scenarios.
          You forget that there are tons of entries no one would probably have played if not for cooling systems and all the other encouragments. I KNOW that there will be a super simple game of a new comer and he’ll have to get the basics of tips and all sorts of beginners’ lectures we all must give and you’ll be lying if looking at some unpolished game you didn’t sigh or think twice before entering. I’m also talking as one with awfully unpolished results and so I know people feel the same way about my game and so I cherish each comment, but once again the votings are bigger in numbers and moastly give another medium of feedback AND competition incentive ADDED to the comments. And to me personally it gives a clearer picture of where i fucked up and it seems im not the o ly one.
          Again the redoing of coolness system isn’t solving anything just reiterating PoV’s procedures. Not the cleverest idea nor the best of reasons – the old system’s right here. And also itch.

          I ger PoV’s perspective but there’s one thing to get straight. He’s NOT LD.
          He wants you to think he is so he’ll keep getting patreon instead of doing whats liberal and logical to do.
          Now I’m not saying a man shouldn’t make a living of his sorta creation, but he’s just taking LD away from us when the community is what made it worthwhile all along. Surely not this shitty wordpress.
          So I wanna get things clearer instead of trying to project some bad guy imagery over me.
          PoV is not taking part. Anything we do shouldn’t effect him. He’s not relevent we are the one organizing this LD so if something is taken away from LD or fucked up it’s OUR problem while he can sit and watch us from aside.
          Its our interest. I don’t wanna be a cynic but it all smells and it’s also pretty easy to notice.

          • Pitƶik4 says:

            I think the coolness system with comments will work just fine. It’s much easier to identify phony comments than phony ratings. And you missed the point of what I was saying about PoV. I wasn’t saying “Let’s humor him because he’s so important to the event.” I was saying “We should listen to him because he’s actually correct.”

            • g_o says:

              Can we just for once try to a tiny more elaborate here
              First of all PoV being correct is probably the biggest assumption of this LD so far.
              But what it is he’s being correct at? And why do you think he is correct?
              And what are the costs of his proposition?

              • Pitƶik4 says:

                That comment was short because I was just explaining how you misunderstood my previous one. Reread that one if you want an explanation of what I think he’s correct about and why.

            • g_o says:

              I woildn’t ask otherwise :/

              • Pitƶik4 says:

                What I’m saying is that I already addressed your questions in my previous comment, i.e. this segment:

                ——

                It’s been a very rocky road for PoV lately. We may not have noticed any problems with vote manipulation so far, but that’s because so far they’ve been able to keep it in check. He had plans to make the switch before it became too big of a problem for this site to handle… in 2014.

                He originally planned to run Ludum Dare 33 on the new site. That was a year ago. He had to keep pushing the migration back further and further, and at the same time it was apparently getting more and more difficult to manage moderation of the event itself on the current site.

                Now consider the situation from PoV’s perspective. Ludum Dare just gets bigger and bigger. It’s been a Real Thing for many years now. And Real Things attract trouble—the kind of trouble this site was never, ever meant to be capable of addressing. All it would take is one person with a clever plan to throw everything entirely out of whack. Someone like that could come along at any time. I think the question in his eyes is “When?” And the only answer we have so far is “Not yet.” That’s not exactly reassuring.

                We COULD use the old judging system, we COULD use itch.io, heck, we COULD pull out the unfinished new site and try to use it. But there are very valid reasons to avoid all of these options.

                ——

                That’s the what and the why of PoV being correct about things. It’s only a summary, of course, and DDRKirby(ISQ) has now put into words most of the things I think about the situation.

                I think you’re vastly overvaluing the matter of using an ancient, easily cheated system to get numerical rankings for a single event of a triannual game jam. It’s not a big deal. People skip LDs altogether all the time and come back just fine for the next one — we don’t need to have our rapid prototyping skills assessed quantitatively every four months. It would be nice if we could, but there are real concerns here which I don’t think you’ve done much to address and which many of us believe outweigh the luxury of having ratings in August.

            • g_o says:

              How should I put this… nope I still don’t undsrstand what are you arguments… =/
              Srry I seriously don’t jnderstand what you’re claiming..

  7. Skipi says:

    I’ve always found the rankings a useful metric for showing improvement in subsequent entries. Not to mention it is insanely encouraging if you work hard and rate high in a category.

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