Hello! If you haven’t been following along, I disappointed some people yesterday.
My plan was to bring in people doing amazing things in the community in to the core Ludum Dare judging. This was met with opposition. I started over, clarified the message and the intent, and it went a lot better but there was still opposition.
After mulling it over, I’ve decided not to do it.
I agree that yes, it may compromise some of the integrity of the event letting people in that didn’t participate. This was a trivial feature to add to the current Ludum Dare voting (it’s already working, something I did back in December), but it’s clear it is just not the right answer. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do more for these people, but I’ll find another way.
Fundamentally, the issue I’m trying to solve is to be more inclusive. I decided the group I was going to champion this time were those that go out of their way for us. You can find a list of 4 such people/teams in this now defunct post. These people are awesome, and they have my respect and admiration.
But sometimes I need to be reminded that what’s best for the community are the things that affect more people. This was one of those times.
I don’t mention this too often, but I’ve turned down many offers for prizes. Cash, Hardware, Software, Unity Licenses, and just the other day it was Books. That part I figured out a long time ago. I know the integrity of everything we’ve built here at Ludum Dare breaks when the winner gets a car. Maybe some day we’ll do raffles, but prizes for Ludum Dare are off the table.
This was my mistake singling out a smaller part of the community to give preferential treatment. My bad.
Lets talk about something else.
Plan B: Adding a separate Community Vote category
This is a concept. No code has been written.
Instead of opening up the main vote, I propose we add 1 more category: A Community Vote.
The way this will work: All users that did not participate in Ludum Dare can give each game a single 1-5 Star rating in this category. This requires a Ludum Dare account.
It’s worth noting: you CAN opt-out if you like.
At the end of the event, in addition to the usual 8+1 ratings for each game, you’ll get one more score, a score from the greater community.
And oh yes, there will be problems.
If you thought it was tough getting votes in normal Ludum Dare, get ready for public Ludum Dare. With regular Ludum Dare, we at least have an incentive for voting (you get votes in return). For the public vote, there is no incentive. It’s a bit like going back to the dark ages of Ludum Dare, before Coolness directly affected visibility.
The other problem is that… well… browsing games here on Ludum Dare sucks. This is a fact. As an outsider, you’re better off using Itch’s browser to find games. The internal system we use to judge games weighted by coolness does work, but given how it works, it only makes sense for participants.
And of course, it can be exploited. Almost anything can. Welcome to the Internet.
This is a new idea.
We don’t yet know all the benefits, downsides, or what this will even tell us. Maybe it will tell us what games are trending and popular outside Ludum Dare? That’s actually useful. We don’t know this information right now.
Again it’s completely detached, and has no barrings or consequence on the existing vote. Your Ludum Dare purity is safe. FWIW, everyone has always been allowed to comment on Ludum Dare games. All this adds is one of those 5 star vote boxes for other users. Maybe you’ll get more comments and feedback too?
The judging system we use today was not conceived in one night. It was iterative. It took us years to find the right balance, to figure out what did and didn’t work.
So, if you weren’t a fan of my small experiment, would you prefer a really big one?