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Discussion and Tips: Contests:

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Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:24 pm

This is going to be a longer post...with some commentary in it...to help clarify what I'm trying to say. I'll try to break it up a little, but there are good things in here that you will want to read. (I'm bolding things so you can find them easy and ignore my commentary if you wish.)

With the CCC coming soon…there will be some changes. Yes, changes, good changes. So I’m going to give everyone a few tips, tell you what I can, and try and help make everything fun again.

1) Read the category descriptions very clearly and follow them. Then re-read them, and re-read again. And before you submit your entry, please double check them again.

I know it sounds silly, but everyone gets carried away in their idea for a build sometimes and you forget to check. I’ve done it. You really don’t want to build something really great and not win because you didn’t follow them. And more importantly, not ruin your fun because you got upset because you didn’t do as well as you thought you would.

2) Double, triple, quadruple check your photo rules and sizes. Some contests, like the CCC, have restrictions size and number of photos.

Being disqualified or put on the naughty list…is never fun because you missed this one…I speak from experience…when I could compete…I forgot to fix that once. It was really embarrassing.

3) Time frame and judging…we are extremely aware that the time frame for judging is too long and we don’t like it either. We have a plan to change it this year.

Hey guys…here is a little thing no one realized…last year you had not one, but two new admins judging. It takes a little bit of time to figure it all out.

4) There are things within the judging process that does tend to slow us down. The people on the “naughty list” in particular.

We have a naughty list so people can fix their entries…trying to be super nice and let people enter when we could just say “too bad for you!” and disqualify you. We don’t want that. We honor you and your builds and the time you took to do them. Sometimes it takes over a week to two weeks to get all of those entries cleared up so we can start.
I’m hoping this post can help us out a bit with that. It would be nice if you could help each other out with that. If you see a friend on the naughty list, offer to help them. The faster we get the naughty list clear, the faster judging happens.

5) Another thing that slows things down, particularly the announcement of winners is the fact that images have to be edited to remove the backgrounds.

If when you are getting your pictures ready, if you could think about that and the fact that a plain background makes editing easier, that could help too, even if it is just for one image. Not to mention sometimes the more complicated the background, the harder it is to see the details of what you’ve built.

You have certain number of photos you can submit to a contest, but you can take however many you really want, we all do. If you want them all fancy for presentation and the beauty of art, maybe think about if those shouldn’t be included in the judging ones

6)The place you host your photos is another issue that slows us down.

Not to be a Flickr loving person, but overall it seems to be the most stable place for your photos. Brickshelf goes up and down. MOCPages…is SLOW for some of us. If you wait until the last possible minute to put an entry in, and it is on brickshelf, we have to wait for it to be made public.

7) Finally, if you need help, please contact one of the staff.

We are around. It may not be an instant answer but we will get back to you. Private messages, posts on the forum, or just pop into chat (remember you need to be in "safe" mode). We want this to be fun.
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Re: Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:33 pm

This is meant to be a discussion as well as a thought provoking thread with some insight. We, the staff, are and do listen to you. This is why the changes will be happening this year.

So you know, I've been listening to the comments about the CCC for as long as I've been around. They have been heard and we, the staff, are addressing them. The work that goes on behind the scenes doesn't get seen, and we often forget that. We also forget that you want to know about them.

I can't tell you them, yet...but if you would please give us a little bit of time...when we announce the CCC, you will see them. And I really hope you are excited as I am to see the changes.And please know, as I said above, we are completely aware that judging takes us too long. It is foremost in our minds and we have a plan. We ARE actively working on it.

So make your comments, ask your questions. I will answer and tell you everything I can. If I can't tell you yet, I will tell you that.
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Re: Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby soccerkid6 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:05 pm

Thanks for this post, Blue. I'm very excited to see what changes are implemented in this CCC, it sounds like it will be even better than previous CCCs which were amazing.

As far as questions go, I've always wondered if there is a specific criteria for the judging? According to the CCC page:
"Submissions will be evaluated based on Creativity, Playability and Details. Judges may also consider how well the entry fits the spirit of the category. An entry may be moved to the miscellaneous category if it does not meet key category requirements."
So from that, I take it that there are 3-4 categories builds are judged on: Creativity, Playability, Details, and how well the builds fit the CCC Category. But do some of those categories carry more weight than others? For example, MOCs that are extremely playable, but not as detailed, usually don't seem to do as well.

I'm aware that each judge probably looks at things a little differently. Just something I've wondered about in the past :)
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Re: Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby Bluesecrets » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:20 pm

But do some of those categories carry more weight than others? For example, MOCs that are extremely playable, but not as detailed, usually don't seem to do as well.


Nope. Nothing weighs more than the other. Other than that, I can't answer a lot of questions about judging, except that it is never done lightly. Every entry is scrutinized. We even have a misc category for those entries that have missed some criteria, so they can still compete. Judging is HARD...seriously hard. I can't even describe how difficult it is to do. That is part of the reason it takes so long...we spend the time it takes to look at all the entries.

If you want to know the one thing I noticed that is a huge determining factor, it is following the category descriptions. If it says "include parts of a castle such as a moat, a throne room, etc." and you don't include those, it makes it SUPER difficult. Your build can be amazing, but you didn't follow the descriptions or requirements. Other contests would disqualify those entries. We don't. We have the misc category and the naughty list to help keep everyone in the contest. But if your build doesn't have the requirements...it isn't going to do well in judging, not matter how amazing it is.
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Re: Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:13 pm

soccerkid6 wrote:So from that, I take it that there are 3-4 categories builds are judged on: Creativity, Playability, Details, and how well the builds fit the CCC Category. But do some of those categories carry more weight than others? For example, MOCs that are extremely playable, but not as detailed, usually don't seem to do as well.


Hey,

It probably varies from judge to judge. Think of those as guides to help you start building, not as a rigorous set of judging rules with set scores per criterion that add up to some overall score. It's also going to vary greatly based on the category. For instance, a few years ago we had a "tapestry" category where people made mosaics. Obviously these wouldn't be at all 'playable'. Also, IMO 'Details' and 'Playability' work in opposite directions - the most 'playable' MOCs are often the simplest - so there is some tension between the different criteria.

Ultimately it comes down to 'build a great MOC'. Generally speaking the best MOCs rise to the top in judging. There may be some disagreement because of the inherent subjectivity in judging between this person and that on whether A is the best in a category and B is the second best versus the other way around, but there's generally a pretty solid agreement that A and B are among the best. Of course 'build something great' isn't much to go on, hence the suggestions of details, creativity and playability.

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Re: Discussion and Tips: Contests:

Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:04 pm

Ultimately it comes down to 'build a great MOC'. Generally speaking the best MOCs rise to the top in judging. There may be some disagreement because of the inherent subjectivity in judging between this person and that on whether A is the best in a category and B is the second best versus the other way around, but there's generally a pretty solid agreement that A and B are among the best. Of course 'build something great' isn't much to go on, hence the suggestions of details, creativity and playability.


Agreed, but "build a great MOC" only covers so much. If a required detail is missed, it doesn't matter how great the build is, it won't do well. So maybe it should be "build a great MOC that fits the category descriptions and requirements."
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