judging the Comp

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Nick

unread,
Oct 16, 2006, 1:47:14 PM10/16/06
to
Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to judge every game in the
IF Comp detracts from the overall enjoyment one should have?

The comp this year has 44 games and the judging period is about 45
days. Allocating two hours for each game - that's almost two hours a
night. Every night. If you're out one evening, that's four hours the
next night. Isn't that a bit overwhelming on the judging process?

Now I know - not every game will take the full two hours to play
through and one doesn't have to judge every game. But I would like to
judge as many games as I can. I hate to miss out on that one or two
jewels in the comp.

So I find myself almost speed reading at times, or consulting the
walk-through or hint system as soon as I am unable to progress. Rather
than explorer or experiement or even think - I give in to whatever
means necessary to push the game to it's conclusion. I know that's not
the way these games should be played. I feel judging robs me of some
of their enjoyment.

Should I just accept the fate that too many of the Comp games will be a
blur in my mind in the efforts to judge as many comp entries as I can?

Would the Comp ever consider a less demanding way for judging?

Nikos Chantziaras

unread,
Oct 16, 2006, 2:44:49 PM10/16/06
to
Nick wrote:
> Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to judge every game in the
> IF Comp detracts from the overall enjoyment one should have?

If you feel like playing *all* of them, then you should accept the
consequences. :)

I never played more than 15 IF Comp games.

Eric Eve

unread,
Oct 16, 2006, 3:50:35 PM10/16/06
to
"Nick" <xyzz...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1161020834....@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to judge every game in
> the
> IF Comp detracts from the overall enjoyment one should have?
>
> The comp this year has 44 games and the judging period is about 45
> days. Allocating two hours for each game - that's almost two
> hours a
> night. Every night. If you're out one evening, that's four hours
> the
> next night. Isn't that a bit overwhelming on the judging process?

I suspect that for many people it will be.

> Now I know - not every game will take the full two hours to play
> through and one doesn't have to judge every game. But I would
> like to
> judge as many games as I can. I hate to miss out on that one or
> two
> jewels in the comp.

That, of course, is the main problem with what I go on to point out
below. One way not to miss out on the jewels is to go back and play
any top scorers you didn't judge after the comp is over.

> So I find myself almost speed reading at times, or consulting the
> walk-through or hint system as soon as I am unable to progress.
> Rather
> than explorer or experiement or even think - I give in to whatever
> means necessary to push the game to it's conclusion. I know
> that's not
> the way these games should be played. I feel judging robs me of
> some
> of their enjoyment.
>
> Should I just accept the fate that too many of the Comp games will
> be a
> blur in my mind in the efforts to judge as many comp entries as I
> can?
>
> Would the Comp ever consider a less demanding way for judging?

The rules state that you have to have to play and rate at least five
games for your vote to count. That's far fewer than the full 44 that
have been entered. The competition organizer encourages, but does
not require, that judges who don't think they'll be playing all the
games should play the games in random order (and provides a means of
randomizing that order), so that with a sufficient number of judges
each game should get reasonable coverage. So I'd say the Comp
already considers a less demanding way for judging - it basically
allows for judges to play however many games they feel happy playing
(provided it's at least five).

The only alternative would be to limit the number of entries
somehow, or to weed out the weak ones in advance, but this has been
discussed in previous years and no agreement has been reached that
either of these would be a good idea.

Another option you have as a judge is to be quicker at dismissing
games that fail to impress you after the first few minutes. If it
doesn't look that good after five, ten, or fifteen minutes, then, as
I understand it, you're perfectly within your rights as a judge to
give it a low or mediocre score and then move on to the next one.
That way, you'd have a better chance of spending your limited
judging time playing games you consider good, with a greater chance
of hitting on the gems. Two hours is the *maximum* you're allowed to
base your score on; there's no minimum.

-- Eric


Dan Shiovitz

unread,
Oct 16, 2006, 3:56:32 PM10/16/06
to
In article <1161020834....@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

Nick <xyzz...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to judge every game in the
>IF Comp detracts from the overall enjoyment one should have?

To address your last point first:

>Would the Comp ever consider a less demanding way for judging?

It already does -- you only have to play five games to vote.

>The comp this year has 44 games and the judging period is about 45
>days. Allocating two hours for each game - that's almost two hours a
>night. Every night. If you're out one evening, that's four hours the
>next night. Isn't that a bit overwhelming on the judging process?

Yeah, kind of. On the other hand, I think it's the majority that don't
take two hours (although admittedly this depends on how fast you
play). Personally I averaged about 75 minutes per game this year, I
think.


>Now I know - not every game will take the full two hours to play
>through and one doesn't have to judge every game. But I would like to
>judge as many games as I can. I hate to miss out on that one or two
>jewels in the comp.

Identifying the jewels of the comp is what playing after the scores
are released is for! People who play during the comp are basically
agreeing to "waste" time playing a lot of mediocre games in exchange
for the chance to be pleasantly surprised on occasion.

I guess I think of it like a film festival, where there are a couple
ways to participate. One is to wait until it's over, and wait til the
ones that got judges' awards come to your local theater. Another is
to go to the festival, cut your sleep down to four hours a night, eat
nothing but granola bars for the week, and see every film you can. Yet
another is to go to the festival, make a little vacation of it, see a
film or two a day, and spend the rest of the time hanging out in town
watching celebrities. They're all reasonable ways to do it and only
some of them are going to work for you.

Personally I'm very much in the second camp here -- I actually like
rearranging my schedule entirely around the comp, and routinely play
two to four games a night, every night, until I'm done. But I realize
this is the exception. It seems like whatever you do, the point is to
decide how much time you can spend playing games, and then work out
the way to have the most fun doing it.

I think too many people fetishize the "must play games in random
order" thing. I think people should feel free to play whatever games
they want, and not worry about being "unfair". If you skip a game
because it's by a sucky author or has a sucky title or didn't include
a blurb, that's just as much a problem with the game as is having bad
puzzles, and I am a-ok with the game being penalized for it.

If you only have time to play five games this year, great. Pick the
five with the best-looking titles or by the authors with the most
melodious names and try those. Ok, you'll probably still get a stinker
or two, but if you play five games and get two good ones, you'll come
away with a good feeling about the comp and be just as qualified as
anyone else to vote. Or instead of playing games on the first night or
two, spend the time opening every game up and playing five minutes --
pick the ones that are the most interesting and come back and play
those for another hour and fifty-five minutes.

The point is here is not to feel bad about not having infinite free
time, it's to find a way to make the best of the free time you do
have.

--
Dan Shiovitz :: d...@cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW

Richard Scipione

unread,
Oct 20, 2006, 12:15:23 AM10/20/06
to
On 16 Oct 2006 10:47:14 -0700, "Nick" <xyzz...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to judge every game in the
>IF Comp detracts from the overall enjoyment one should have?

>The comp this year has 44 games and the judging period is about 45
>days. Allocating two hours for each game - that's almost two hours a
>night. Every night. If you're out one evening, that's four hours the
>next night. Isn't that a bit overwhelming on the judging process?

As much as I'd like to be able to play and judge every game in the
comp, I just resigned myself to playing whatever my limited time
allows.

>Now I know - not every game will take the full two hours to play
>through and one doesn't have to judge every game. But I would like to
>judge as many games as I can. I hate to miss out on that one or two
>jewels in the comp.

Really you're only missing out on judging those games, as they are
obviously available for playing later. My feeling is that I'd rather
give the games I do play a fair chance and the time they deserve. If
that means I can only judge five games, so be it.

>So I find myself almost speed reading at times, or consulting the
>walk-through or hint system as soon as I am unable to progress. Rather
>than explorer or experiement or even think - I give in to whatever
>means necessary to push the game to it's conclusion. I know that's not
>the way these games should be played. I feel judging robs me of some
>of their enjoyment.

I don't worry about not reaching the end of the game before the two
hours is up. There are bound to be some players (myself included) who
take longer than average to get through a work of IF. My problem with
the two-hour rule is that I find it a little restricting to my more
laid-back play style. I almost feel a little guilty when I haven't
finished a game at the end of the time limit because more than likely
it was my fault more than the author. As a result, I don't factor
whether I finish a game or not into my score.

>Should I just accept the fate that too many of the Comp games will be a
>blur in my mind in the efforts to judge as many comp entries as I can?

My advice would be to accept the fact that you won't get through all
of the games in the comp during the judging period and really enjoy
the ones you do play. When it's all over, go back and play whatever
you missed. In the end, you'll have to decide what is best for you
and what you think would be the most fair use of your judging power.

>Would the Comp ever consider a less demanding way for judging?

I guess mine would be one of those less demanding ways.

Regards,

Richard

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages