Feedback on OMG Cup 2005 itself

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Perhaps now is a good time to jot down some thoughts about the contest itself.

I am mindful of the fact that this was a volunteer effort. I feel very positively about the contest, and not just because I was a finalist. I do have some constructive comments below, but I'm pretty sure they won't be considered very controversial.

Overall: went very smoothly. Limiting the number of sponsors was a great way to regain control of the contest, I felt.

Prizes: Freeverse was a great sponsor, very apropos, and the promise of possibly publishing the overall winner was a great motivator. Pure Static was also a good choice, again very relevant.

Voting/Judging: Went smoothly compared to some previous years! I found the fact that sometimes it asked for pwd and sometimes not was alarming. The first time it happened I thought my previous 20+ votes must not have taken! I soon found the answer in our forums though.

I think the two-phase contest, public voting followed by judging, solved a lot of problems we've had in the past. If there are too many games it overwhelms the judges. Whereas public voting alone can lead to strange results. I'm sure there will be plenty of debate on the merits of this system, but we should acknowledge that it is a difficult problem and that Carlos is really doing his best to solve issues from previous years.

Contest page: Here's are my first substantial suggestions.
a) The contest should not be at a generic URL like iDevGames/contest. This URL will almost certainly be invalid in future, and then all our webpages, games, readme's and versiontracker entries will point to the wrong URL or nothing.

b) The OMG home page should not have been the rules. It should have been some kind of up-to-date news page, with links to the rules, calendar, downloads, and voting. Everything important, including downloads and announcement of winners are kind of buried.

Schedule: this worked well, I think. Plenty of time to play and vote in round one. Giving the finalists time to add polish before round two was especially helpful to me.

MacWorld/publicity: Having the sponsor announce the results at MacWorld looked great on paper. But I don't think it worked out well in practice. It's probably fixable though.

I think that announcing late on Friday was a bit of a fizzle. Aside from general MacWorld fatigue, booths start packing up on Friday, and people start heading home (this includes reporters.) In some cases the OMG announcement had to belatedly be covered the following week (I'm thinking specifically of IMG's podcast and iGameRadio.)

Also, if the results were known by Freeverse a little earlier perhaps they could have invited the grand prize winner out to MacWorld?

(Were the OMG finalists (or any other entries) on display anywhere at MacWorld? I never heard whether they were or not.)

There may also be an issue of potential judges being busy in the weeks leading up to MacWorld. Carlos is a better judge of that than I, but I got the impression that he had to scramble to fill out the judges ranks. (You can't really tell by looking at the final list of judges though.)

Having said all that, I think the MacWorld tie-in can be made to work with some tweaking of the timeline.

= = =
To sum up, as both a contestant and a voter it seemed to me that it went very smoothly. I hope my comments above are helpful for future contests.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Carlos and to everyone who had a hand in organizing OMG 2005.

I must point out that it's ironic that I was a finalist, given that earlier I was one of the people leading the charge to get Carlos to restore all old website content BEFORE starting another contest! So clearly my suggestions should always be taken with a grain of salt, including the ones above. Smile

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #2
I like your suggestions and praise for the contest. I agree it went quite smoothly, and that the main page for the OMG Cup should not have included the rules. While developers are creating their entries, the home page should probably have a calendar / countdown. Once all games have been submitted, a prominent link to the downloads should be the page's reason for being. I had trouble on multiple occasions trying to find the link at which to download games - if I did, then certainly many other people did.

Inviting the grand prize winner to Freeverse's booth, if Freeverse would be up for that, would have been great. A nice photo op at least. Announcing the winner at the beginning of MacWorld would be the best, if possible. Those first few MacWorld news items, I think, garner a lot of interest. When did all the judges turn in their reviews? If it was well before the conference, I think moving the announcement up to the day of the keynote or even one day before would be good.

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All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
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Post: #3
funkboy Wrote:Inviting the grand prize winner to Freeverse's booth, if Freeverse would be up for that, would have been great. A nice photo op at least.

A nice idea but very costly if someone from outside the US was to win it.
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Post: #4
To clarify, I'm not saying that Freeverse would have to pay for it, just that they would give fair warning to the winner and have a spare exhibits pass on standby. Or maybe they should simply invite all the finalists? Basically it just gives the finalists/winners a chance to promote themselves and their games, shake hands with the sponsor, and maybe stand by a Mac running their game for a day.

I don't see many people spending the time or money to go, though I personally would have been happy to go IF I'd won. On the other hand if I'd gone and then come in last place I might have been pissed. Whereas I can see that it would ruin some of the suspense for all the finalists if the winner was told ahead of time that they'd won.

So that particular suggestion may be unworkable. Just thought I'd toss it out along with my other comments.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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I agree with Matt on all his points. This was the first contest since UDG 2001 (or was it '02?) that I wanted to enter, a publishing deal is $exy.

The Macworld announcement should not be a last minute thing, judging should be done a month or two ahead of time, winners notified, then set up who will represent the contest, OMG, and iDevGames at the show. The general public is not going to jump up and down about the contest and its winners, so withholding this information from the teeming masses makes no difference.

The Macworld announcement is really all about riding the media buzz bandwagon and milking that cow for what its worth.

I think the Mac developer show is more important to this community than Macworld anyway. How many people here really give a rats ass about Epson's latest line of printers and Microsoft's next version of Orifice? Thats the kind of stuff that happens at Macworld. We dev, the dev show caters to us.

Other shows to consider, E3 and GDC, two major trade shows for the games industry and the Mac dev community does not represent at all.

I agree Friday (or last day depending on show schedule) is the WORSTE day to do anything aside from last minute schmoozing at MacWorld, that goes for any trade show. Make announcements right after lunch the first day, give the reporters and public the time to read about it and then follow up on it.
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igame3d Wrote:...GDC, two major trade shows for the games industry and the Mac dev community does not represent at all.
Actually, I know for a fact that Apple WWDR attends the GDC. They just don't have an official presense because they don't get funding to be there. When I went to the GDC I saw many game devs around that I met at Apple developer events.

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Apple also attends E3. They have the world's best hidden and tiniest office room there, although it's more for meetings with devs than to show stuff off to the general show goers.

You'll usually find quite a few Mac Devs at both events though.
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igame3d Wrote:The Macworld announcement is really all about riding the media buzz bandwagon and milking that cow for what its worth.

I think the Mac developer show is more important to this community than Macworld anyway.

Hey, very interesting point there. I hadn't thought of WWDC.

WWDC is probably a better show to attend for us as developers, to make industry contacts, attract other developers to our site, and learn stuff. But I think MacWorld is a good fit for announcing the winner and getting attention from the kinds of people who might buy our games, if we publicize well. (We had a demo Mac with uDG entries on it a few years back, got a fair amount of attention as I recall.) Pros and cons either way.

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Zwilnik Wrote:Apple also attends E3. They have the world's best hidden and tiniest office room there, although it's more for meetings with devs than to show stuff off to the general show goers.

You'll usually find quite a few Mac Devs at both events though.


I'll be at E3 this year. Wink

The brains and fingers behind Malarkey Software (plus caretaker of the world's two brattiest felines).
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Malarkey Wrote:I'll be at E3 this year. Wink

Hopefully so will Adam and I.
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Post: #11
If you want to see what the OMG cup looks like, visit this link:
http://dev.freeverse.com:16080/monkeyblog/

Carlos A. Camacho,
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iDevGames
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Post: #12
Carlos Camacho Wrote:If you want to see what the OMG cup looks like, visit this link:
http://dev.freeverse.com:16080/monkeyblog/

That is a very pimped-out cup.

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Post: #13
Nice cup, but how about the free games we were promised? It's almost 2 months since the OMG cup...

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Sage
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Post: #14
We all got an email about it, I saw your email address in the CC list as well.
Something about people outside the us, problems with p&p but he was asking for a mailing address.

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unknown Wrote:We all got an email about it, I saw your email address in the CC list as well.

I didn't receive anything Annoyed

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