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Forums - Website Topics - Ideas for improving our year-end awards thingy

Machina said:

OK I misunderstood, my bad. I thought you were saying the community winner was something other than TLoU 2 and that the staff had forced a TLoU 2 win in order to prevent the real community winner from winning the award.

Yes, TLoU 2 was a lot less popular with staff than the community, which is why the overall result was fairly close. TLoU 2 won the community vote with 25%, to AC's 18% - so a 7% margin of victory. After the staff totals were added it narrowed to 0.5%. But AC wasn't the staff's first pick either (like I said, it was Ori), but logically would have been had our aim been to 'defeat' TLoU 2, rather than us individually voting for our own preferences.

Okay, very much against my better judgment, I'm going to break my previous pledge not to respond to follow-up posts by just adding one final point here:

If my proposed changes had been in application for 2020's VGC awards thingy, TLOU2 would have won for AAA Game of the Year by a comfier margin and through a transparent process that I at least suspect might have conferred greater legitimacy to its victory, and also Ori and the Blind Forest would have won a parallel Indie Game of the Year award, matching the staff's pick for the ultimate award. Thus I ask you: under these circumstances, would we not all have been happier with the outcome?



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Jaicee said:
Machina said:

OK I misunderstood, my bad. I thought you were saying the community winner was something other than TLoU 2 and that the staff had forced a TLoU 2 win in order to prevent the real community winner from winning the award.

Yes, TLoU 2 was a lot less popular with staff than the community, which is why the overall result was fairly close. TLoU 2 won the community vote with 25%, to AC's 18% - so a 7% margin of victory. After the staff totals were added it narrowed to 0.5%. But AC wasn't the staff's first pick either (like I said, it was Ori), but logically would have been had our aim been to 'defeat' TLoU 2, rather than us individually voting for our own preferences.

Okay, very much against my better judgment, I'm going to break my previous pledge not to respond to follow-up posts by just adding one final point here:

If my proposed changes had been in application for 2020's VGC awards thingy, TLOU2 would have won for AAA Game of the Year by a comfier margin and through a transparent process that I at least suspect might have conferred greater legitimacy to its victory, and also Ori and the Blind Forest would have won a parallel Indie Game of the Year award, matching the staff's pick for the ultimate award. Thus I ask you: under these circumstances, would we not all have been happier with the outcome?

I'm glad you responded. Although I did take offence at the accusation that we conspired to swing the vote a certain a way, I think I let my anger get the better of me, and also don't want you to feel like we're piling in on you.

Back to the topic at hand here. My three main points about why I like having a staff voting component still stand. Increased community legitimacy for this and future results isn't enough to counter-balance those in my opinion. I think being able to say to the haters that TLoU 2 won by 7% rather than 0.5% isn't really worth all that much, and certainly won't change their minds about the game.

On transparency. It'd be no more or less transparent than the present system because both rely ultimately on trusting the person who hosts the poll and the staff publishing the results. It'd be more reflective of the community's opnion, certainly, but that's not the sole point behind our GotY Awards.



Jaicee said:
Machina said:

OK I misunderstood, my bad. I thought you were saying the community winner was something other than TLoU 2 and that the staff had forced a TLoU 2 win in order to prevent the real community winner from winning the award.

Yes, TLoU 2 was a lot less popular with staff than the community, which is why the overall result was fairly close. TLoU 2 won the community vote with 25%, to AC's 18% - so a 7% margin of victory. After the staff totals were added it narrowed to 0.5%. But AC wasn't the staff's first pick either (like I said, it was Ori), but logically would have been had our aim been to 'defeat' TLoU 2, rather than us individually voting for our own preferences.

Okay, very much against my better judgment, I'm going to break my previous pledge not to respond to follow-up posts by just adding one final point here:

If my proposed changes had been in application for 2020's VGC awards thingy, TLOU2 would have won for AAA Game of the Year by a comfier margin and through a transparent process that I at least suspect might have conferred greater legitimacy to its victory, and also Ori and the Blind Forest would have won a parallel Indie Game of the Year award, matching the staff's pick for the ultimate award. Thus I ask you: under these circumstances, would we not all have been happier with the outcome?

So you complaining, because the game the community voted for won in the end, but you wanted to see bigger margins? Who cares?

A polarising option always has an edge in systems with positive voting (you vote FOR something). Call it the Donald Trump effect. If a lot of people hate a game like TLOU2 and a lot like it, then the haters will not get it down in voting, as they cannot vote *against* it, but all the ones who liked it will be more sure to vote for it, because of all the hate. I personally would've prefered another game to win, alone because Neil Druckman exploited and crunched his workers for the game, while acting all smug about it. Game development certainly needs much better ethics, and for that reason I would've preferred another winner. But the polarization and hate (lots of it for absolutely stupid reasons) made sure it got a lot of awards (not only on this site). But I understand that I cannot dictate the votes of others, so I didn't complain. Now you complain because of ... margins?



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Mnementh said:

Was there really that much quarreling? Can't remember, although I followed the thread.

I am generally not a big fan of an elite group having more power to decide than the community, but it seems in this case the result is pretty close. Probably as staff is still part of the community. Also we have a purely community decided thingy.

I like your idea for two awards per category, I just see a problem in the definition of Indie and AAA. This will inevitably lead to discussion, but maybe we can agree on something.

Anyways, the genre categories for the games were often odd. That is due to the fact, that VGC don't want one game getting most of the awards. That is something I applaud. But the result of one game only fitting into one genre category made it difficult, as genre often is fluid. How about this: every game can be nominated for each fitting category, but it will be eliminated in all genre categories except the one it gained the most votes. That way not one game dominates all categories, but the community is also the one deciding via it's votes which category is the most fitting.

Yeah, I can see the definition of Indie and determining whether games x, y, and z qualify as one as being a point of heated debate. It's the main reason I'm not 100% sold on the category. Plus there'll probably be AAA games made by what are technically Indie developers, which would qualify, while an AA game made by a technically non-Indie company wouldn't qualify, and that I can see annoying people.

I hadn't thought about that idea for genre categories! It's actually pretty good. The main downside is that it will probably mean a lot of votes basically going to waste across a number of categories. It would certianly make my life easier though, because picking a single genre for all these games is a huge pain in the ass - each year I get so many 'but xxxx doesn't bleong in this genre' posts. Man, I try my best, but there are hundreds of games and most I haven't played myself, so I usually go by the Wikipedia description, which can often list 3+ genres :/



Mnementh said:

So you complaining, because the game the community voted for won in the end, but you wanted to see bigger margins? Who cares?

A polarising option always has an edge in systems with positive voting (you vote FOR something). Call it the Donald Trump effect. If a lot of people hate a game like TLOU2 and a lot like it, then the haters will not get it down in voting, as they cannot vote *against* it, but all the ones who liked it will be more sure to vote for it, because of all the hate. I personally would've prefered another game to win, alone because Neil Druckman exploited and crunched his workers for the game, while acting all smug about it. Game development certainly needs much better ethics, and for that reason I would've preferred another winner. But the polarization and hate (lots of it for absolutely stupid reasons) made sure it got a lot of awards (not only on this site). But I understand that I cannot dictate the votes of others, so I didn't complain. Now you complain because of ... margins?

I knew it was a mistake to reply. Stupid!

I think you're misunderstanding the essence of what I was getting at, which was the issue of trust in the basic fairness of the process. Or at least it became an issue for me anyway because I couldn't help feeling like the staff was trying to actively subvert the more popular outcome in the single most important category. It was more a concern about the perceived intent there than an issue of what the final outcome wound up being. I guess nobody else has felt the same way though, so whatever. It was just me.



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Machina said:
Mnementh said:

Was there really that much quarreling? Can't remember, although I followed the thread.

I am generally not a big fan of an elite group having more power to decide than the community, but it seems in this case the result is pretty close. Probably as staff is still part of the community. Also we have a purely community decided thingy.

I like your idea for two awards per category, I just see a problem in the definition of Indie and AAA. This will inevitably lead to discussion, but maybe we can agree on something.

Anyways, the genre categories for the games were often odd. That is due to the fact, that VGC don't want one game getting most of the awards. That is something I applaud. But the result of one game only fitting into one genre category made it difficult, as genre often is fluid. How about this: every game can be nominated for each fitting category, but it will be eliminated in all genre categories except the one it gained the most votes. That way not one game dominates all categories, but the community is also the one deciding via it's votes which category is the most fitting.

Yeah, I can see the definition of Indie and determining whether games x, y, and z qualify as one as being a point of heated debate. It's the main reason I'm not 100% sold on the category. Plus there'll probably be AAA games made by what are technically Indie developers, which would qualify, while an AA game made by a technically non-Indie company wouldn't qualify, and that I can see annoying people.

I hadn't thought about that idea for genre categories! It's actually pretty good. The main downside is that it will probably mean a lot of votes basically going to waste across a number of categories. It would certianly make my life easier though, because picking a single genre for all these games is a huge pain in the ass - each year I get so many 'but xxxx doesn't bleong in this genre' posts. Man, I try my best, but there are hundreds of games and most I haven't played myself, so I usually go by the Wikipedia description, which can often list 3+ genres :/

That does sound like a good suggestion on the genre picks!

Anyway, yeah, I know that exactly what constitutes and indie game would be the subject of debate, but most people have a basic concept of what an indie game is and subjectivity really only exists at the margins. So I wouldn't figure it would be any more than subjectivity or debate around the categorization of a given title as "indie" than there is surrounding any given title's genre classification anyway. Anyway, I would favor a broad definition of "indie" that includes both games that are self-published by their creators (the traditional definition) and also those that are published by outside companies or institutions that afford total creative freedom to their developers (a more expansive, modern definition that also makes sense in that the player's experience with the game is unaffected by the distinction). I would be in favor of defining everything from as pixelated as Kamiko to as 3D as The Medium or Hellblade as an indie game. Oh well, the idea has been rejected anyway, so whatever. Just wanted to clarify what my thoughts had been.



I like the second point, it would ensure more breadth and exposure for smaller productions.

Never caught wind of the drama as mentioned in the OP, but I commend anyone who wants to help improve our community and speaks their mind in a productive way. The discussion itself I'll leave to the parties involved and those who have any insight into the matter.



Didnt feel it was controversial at all, but if we are looking to polish the whole thing a bit, I do feel you should stop the "only 1 game per genre" mentality. And your categories are a bit all over the place, where was "best horror game of 2020?" Because TLOU2 shouldve been in both action/adventure and horror, and its weird that it wasnt because you didnt even bother to do a Horror category.
In fact, dont do "action", "adventure", "action/adventure" as separate genres. Specially if you are still gonna stick with only 1 game per genre.
And maybe dont include your GOTY nominees in your "most disappointing" category. TLOU2 winning GOTY and the being the second place in "most disappointing" gives the legitimacy of the whole thing a bad taste. This is common sense, no one else does that.

But more importantly, create the "Hollow Knight award" for the Indie game of the year.



I'm glad this thread exists, because I wanted to propose something back when the current awards were still active, but I didn't do it in the end. Basically, I saw that a few changes and additions were made after the voting had already begun and I thought that it could be nice to make a thread (like a week or two prior to the voting) that would include a list of all the candidates for each category, so that the community could help improving it by suggesting some game inclusions, changes in certain categories if needed, etc. So actually the same thing that was going on in the voting thread, but in a dedicated one that could also serve to get the community more involved in the whole process and therefore generate some more anticipation for it.

As for the indies stuff, I really like the idea of giving them more visibility, so I've built a little on the suggestion of making an extra category just for them. My idea is more general, however: making a series of monthly threads dedicated to indies and other smaller productions. The purpose of these threads would be to make a list of as many quality small or medium productions released in that month as possible, so that the community would choose their favorites. These favorites would then be considered nominees for a poll that would be included in the thread of the next month, and the most voted game of the poll would be a candidate for indie or small/medium production game of the year.

To explain this in a more practical way, let's say that there's the March Indies Thread, when 23 games were released meeting the criteria of the thread, therefore a list of 23 games is made. Of those 23 games, however, there are eight that people are talking about and which are even getting some praise, while the rest is mostly ignored. When April comes and the April Indies Thread is made, this new thread will include a poll with the eight games that people were talking about in March, and people will choose their favorite out of them. Then, when the VGChartz game awards begins, all the monthly winners of the year (or just some of them, if there's some kind of pre-selection) will be the nominees for their own category.

And the good part is that, even if a game didn't win the yearly awards, the polls of the monthly threads would be always active, so even those not-so-popular-but-still-good games would have their chance to bright outside of the yearly contest. Besides, the main point of this wouldn't be which games won or not, but the visibility they'd get: these threads would work as some sort of a growing database, where the links to the previous months (and years, if this ended up happening and was succesful) would be included in the new ones, so that people would have constant access to a lot of direct feedback on many quality small/medium games, including (but not only) those which were preferred or considered the best by the community at the time they were released.

Also, as an extra suggestion if this idea came to fruition (because asking is free =P), I don't know if it would be possible to make a monthly article highlighting the currently favorite games of each of these threads, but that would definitely give them more visibility.

The drawback of all this, however, is that the OP of these threads would need to have a little of dedication to them, updating the lists when new games were announced or proposed, taking notice of the ones people were talking about the most, etc. Also, another drawback is that this would be about indie games, so the participation might not be too high. But if someone wanted to do this, I'd be quite a lot interested, to the extent that if this suggestion is not good or doable enough to become something official, I'd consider creating those threads myself, even if not for awards purposes - just to have the list of games always there.



I have periods of social disconnection, it's a part of me that I need and keenly embrace. I'll still log in and read news and threads during those times, but I won't be (very) active on the site, so I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause (late answers, bumps or the like).

Also...

Please, feel free to correct my English.