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Old 2011-02-05, 13:20   Link #21
Hiroi Sekai
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Okay, who started the debate of good points without me?

Like I've been saying, I'm really against 2 separate themes; if Harper Lee and Shakespeare were to enter this competition, they'd be stifled by the fact that they can write about one thing but not the other. That's exactly my point; if we separate the themes, half the people will never see the 2nd theme brought back. Unification allows everyone to write about the theme at some point if they wish to do so.

That being said, I'm also against the idea of a coin flip. Felix made some solid points in that luck should not decide between the two winners; you may trust me to an extent but it's quite true that I could easily rig the toss to work in my favour. I'm not saying I would, but it's certainly a possibly that can't be overlooked. My suggestion is to have a small challenge between the two winners to decide who picks the next theme, like a riddle or tiny writing challenge. The other person doesn't necessary lose, they just don't get to pick the next theme. They can take pride in knowing that they still won in that month.

Having a theme cannot be helped. I've entered competitions where there was no theme set, and my goodness was it busted. The judges could be insanely biased by picking something they like over something with quality, and the fact is that when you're granted limited omnipotence with your writing, you will get writer's block in some way. Happens to me EVERY time this rule is set. We can keep it organized by having one theme; should people want to enter or not is not our concern.

That 3 votes point is quite a good one, felix. My main guess is that people are still composing. My entry was somewhat rushed to clear up space for my other projects and whatnot, but we should consider that everyone has their own writing speed and free time. The first week of entries has not even ended yet and we have a TON of views; something is happening.

In the rare case that we do only get a few entries, I'll set a certain variable that only allows 1 vote per person for that month.


Any other concerns, folks? I'm glad we're sorting these out.
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Old 2011-02-05, 17:00   Link #22
felix
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I am a little confused about this "2 separate" themes that keeps being brought up. I did bring up the topic last page, but nowhere there did I mention anything about being forced to pick just one of the two. Mario's post now is the second to use that interpretation.

But anyway, no matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
Having a theme cannot be helped. I've entered competitions where there was no theme set, and my goodness was it busted. The judges could be insanely biased by picking something they like over something with quality, and the fact is that when you're granted limited omnipotence with your writing, you will get writer's block in some way. Happens to me EVERY time this rule is set.
I can understand having no limitation may create a writers block. However, that doesn't address the point on the first page, about how a theme (as we have them implemented) seems to generate a lot of awkwardness, unreasonably favor the creator of the theme, as well as ironically create a different kind of writing block. Also, there have been plenty of people and discussion both here and the other thread who've voiced they want to write, but can't because of the limitations are unreasonable...

Which brings me back to the earlier point, isn't this contest about writing? If Harper Lee and Shakespeare were here they'd probably wonder the same thing.

Since currently we seem to have reach some pitfall in the debate whereas apparently we're going nowhere because we lack alternatives to please everybody I'll get the ball rolling and propose one...


Challenge System

The idea is simple, truth supports itself. As such, based on the general opinions in the thread (and the other thread), limits give better results. Thus, the statement should be able to support itself...

(for simplicity, namely avoiding floating point calculations, all units have been multiplied by 1000)

You may submit any entry you wish, the only limitation is that you follow the style rules and keep it all into one post. Once submitted your entry is given a base rating, which will be used in the voting phase. The base rating is awarded as follows:
  • 650 points, for entries that have more then 1500 words (poetry is not excluded).
  • 1000 points, for short stories
  • 1200 points, for poetry
  • 1250 points, for poetry that can be classified as haiku

Each contest contains a set of preset challenges. The challenges are picked by the winner or winners of the last contest. Challenges increase your base rating, equally they can decrees it. Challenges that increase the rating are called buffs, while challenges that decrees are called penalties. Be it buff or penalty the following are mandatory: challenge title, description, exception clause (when applicable), and points awarded or subtracted

Example challenges:
Everyone loves a pervert! [Buff]
Your story/poetry must contain or imply the presence
of a pervert; or otherwise show perverted actions.
Story: +50
Poetry: +100
Moonwalker [Penalty]
Everything must happen during the night, or the
presence of day not implied in the current setting.
Day with out daylight is permitted.
Story: -50
Poetry: -50
Wordsmith [Buff]
You must use the following words somewhere
in your text: <list of 3 to 10 words>
Story: +100
Poetry: +100
Loudmouth [Penalty]
You may not shout.
Story: -50
Poetry: -50
Anon.inc [Penalty]
You may not name your protagonist. If you do
not have characters the penalty does not apply.
It is not necessary for your character to actually
not have a name; only that you keep it secret.
Story: -50
Poetry: -50
Harem [Buff]
Introduce more then <number> of girls over
the course of the story.
Story: +100
Attack of the clones [Buff]
The word with which you start the first verse
must appear in every other <number>ed verse
Poetry: +100
Mai Recycling [Buff]
You must have a character with the family
name <name> and the following description:
<physical description only>
Story: +100
Kiss of death [Buff]
Someone must die.
Story: +100
Poetry: +100
Sharpshooter [Penalty]
No too characters can exchange more then
<number> replies.
Story: -100
Small world theory [Buff]
You must have the following place names
whenever you refer to a location:
<list of ambiguous names>
These may be interpreted as anything you
wish in your story; only the presence of the
name is important. You can have others as
long as you have these. If you must have
at least two (and no other locations) to
qualify.
Story: +300
Poetry: +300

etc etc

Any kind of writing habit or writing strategy is valid, however any kind of forced writing is invalid. The following are examples of invalid challenges:
Ninja wars [Buff]
Your story must contain ninjas
Story: +100
Robots [Buff]
Your story must contain robots
Story: +100
Oblivion [Buff]
Your story must be about death, destruction
and the apocalypse.
Story: +100
All of these are invalid because they force a plane for the story, and equally force a direction. A challenge should be no more then a point in space which the writers are free to intersect via any plane or direction they desire. A good hint of this is the complexity of deciphering if a challenge is met, if it requires thinking, it's probably not very good.

Anyone can submit a challenge, the process is as follows:
  • challenge is submitted to general discussion thread
  • a grace period of a week is given to offer support or debunk it
  • based on feedback the contest operator chooses to add it to the list of challenges.
Winner(s) choose from the available set of challenges. Obviously if they want their own, they would have had to submit it at least a week prior; and it would have had to be accepted. Only a few limitations apply when choosing.
  • you may choose as many as you want
  • the total Buff bonus must not exceed +500
  • maximum points awarded (though buffs) to story must be equal to that of poetry
  • you can add up to 10 penalties
  • no two challenges must be mutually exclusive

Once chosen Buffs are given each their own color. Contestants need only color the "proof", such as words, character names or a notable sentence to get the reward.

Voting Phase

Everyone is free to vote for as many people as they like. As long as you vote for at least one. You can not vote for yourself since that is already counted by default.

Everyone's rating is then calculated. Your buffs are added directly, however penalties work differently. If penalties exceed -200 points they are simply taken as -200 points. With your rating calculated, it is then simply multiplied by the number of votes you got. Everyone's score is then compared and winner(s) decided.



Notes on system:
  • the idea is to make it really easy to win if you play by the rules
  • if the rules are not helping, then you can always discard any of them (if you think it's more advantageous)
  • this allows for any kind of entry to be submitted
  • because challenges are writing oriented they are a much more direct way of improvement (compared to some random theme)
  • because challenges are precise entries are far more similar to each other (from a writing point of view) then compared to the theme system now where entries seem to just do their own thing, and similarities are barely there
  • challenges are mechanical, so doing them is accessible to anyone and helps explore certain creative corners.

Keep in mind this is just a proposal. I tend to... overly engineer these things, so don't treat it as some kind of final product. I'm sure there are other methods we could use as well; that have nothing to do with the one I just described.
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Old 2011-02-05, 18:20   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
I am a little confused about this "2 separate" themes that keeps being brought up. I did bring up the topic last page, but nowhere there did I mention anything about being forced to pick just one of the two. Mario's post now is the second to use that interpretation.
Ah. I assumed that the themes would have been limited to whichever category they came out of. Sorry for being hasty there.

Quote:
*large idea*
I like the idea of challenges, but the mixed point-vote system rubs off me the wrong way. As suggestions for writing and a way to get people involved, certainly, it sounds like fun. Making it contingent towards success, I'm less enthusiastic about.

I'm more or less okay with what we have now, honestly. A general theme gives a good amount of legroom while not be too constricting. If having multiple winners is a problem, let it go to run-off or, as papermario said, leave it up to a challenge of some sort.
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Old 2011-02-05, 18:29   Link #24
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupimviet View Post
I like the idea of challenges, but the mixed point-vote system rubs off me the wrong way.
The basic idea is to have a mechanism that can be ignored, but is disadvantageous to ignore. I'd prefer it simpler as well — but it's tough making something both simple and work with everyone. Can you elaborate on the bold part. Not that I don't understand the basics of what you're saying.
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Old 2011-02-05, 22:37   Link #25
lordshadowisle
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I like the idea of using challenges to encourage the incorporation of certain story elements. I feel that felix's idea can work, but the proposal seems a bit unwieldy, and should be simplified. In particular, the proposal of new challenges seems to open room for contention, and may be slow.

How about the winners of the story and poetry sections each add in two challenges? Not enough challenges? Also include the previous month's challenges, but make them contribute less points. The winners will have some advantage, but since they only know half of the new challenges their advantage is not as great.
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Old 2011-02-06, 03:27   Link #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
The basic idea is to have a mechanism that can be ignored, but is disadvantageous to ignore. I'd prefer it simpler as well but it's tough making something both simple and work with everyone. Can you elaborate on the bold part. Not that I don't understand the basics of what you're saying.
That's the part that is getting just under my skin, with the challenges. I'm good with the idea of providing a general framework, but I can't think that supplying what to write by linking it to winning is a good thing.
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Old 2011-02-06, 06:52   Link #27
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshadowisle View Post
In particular, the proposal of new challenges seems to open room for contention, and may be slow.
Sorry for the confusion, when I said a grace period of a week, I meant that as a minimum and maximum time. After a week it gets the thumbs up or thumbs down by the contest organizer (in our case papermario). So there's no slowness. You also are not forced to submit just one, or wait a week to submit another. The week is simply counted from the first proposal post.

Of course the challenge can be re-worked based on feedback and it can be proposed again. Also, because anyone can submit, even if say something silly like half of them don't make it happened, we would still have a ton of them.

Additionally, if they are contested, that's all for the best; that's what we want. It means contests would have very refined challenges, that everyone can work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshadowisle View Post
How about the winners of the story and poetry sections each add in two challenges? Not enough challenges? Also include the previous month's challenges, but make them contribute less points. The winners will have some advantage, but since they only know half of the new challenges their advantage is not as great.
Oh, in the proposal, you have a pool of lots and lots of challenges and winners pick only some of them. (in case there was some confusion about that)

Anyway, I'm not against the idea. The only problem I see is that, the challenges would be less refined since winners would propose them on a whim. They would still have to go though papermario, but if the way SotM works is any indication, this kind of system tends to get rusty over time, ie. sometimes papermario might not have enough time, delays might happen, etc. Community powered systems just are more responsive then any one person.

Also, the pool for picking challenges would be very very small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupimviet View Post
That's the part that is getting just under my skin, with the challenges. I'm good with the idea of providing a general framework, but I can't think that supplying what to write by linking it to winning is a good thing.
So... you want to make them mandatory?

To make a analogy, in my proposal, replace all base ratings with 1000, and add two penalties each, one of -1000 for not using the theme, and another of -1000 for not writing within 1500 words (remove the -200 limit on penalties) and voila, the current system. Considering I only made things harsher, what does that make the current system...

Note that I clearly stated you don't have to do any of the challenges! You can play as the underdog, even go over the 1500 word limit. If you can show us you can get the 2 times greater number of votes then any other (and that's in the best case scenario) then I really think it's a fair win. Currently you could be a Shakespeare, if your entry doesn't have something like "unicorns" (example theme) then you lose by default.
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Old 2011-02-06, 07:49   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
So... you want to make them mandatory?
Point taken.

I'm not necessarily against it, since it sounds like it could be fun times if the challenges aren't too advantageous. I'll pass the buck to the runner of this here contest.
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Old 2011-02-07, 00:56   Link #29
Hiroi Sekai
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Wow, I appreciate all the work you did to come up with such a concept, but we're already straying from the "simple writing competition for everyone" idea. Like I said, I want to run with just one theme and one winner for a few months; we're brainstorming like mad over simple speculations at the moment. What if the two sides can be evenly matched? I've won several contests of free writing by entering 3 line haikus. Majority of the entries were stories too, if you were wondering. And by the way, this is a writing contest, you're right! That's exactly why we need to promote creativity, but not let it roam wildly beyond control.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the idea and think it would be quite interesting if we weren't making this apply to everyone. If this was a more serious competition, other little tidbits would be included for sure, but we're just trying to have fun here, nothing else. It should be very simple: each month has a theme, the community decides on the best entry. That entrant picks the next month's theme, and the only major limitation is that you must use 1500 words or less (in order to allow voters to...vote, instead of having them read for hours on end).

You say that having the winner choose the next theme is advantageous for them, but is it really? They have a couple of days to decide or they basically forfeit that right so that the competition can move on. I don't know how imaginative you are, but I can't come up with an entire concept that works without problems in that timespan.

I'd truly prefer a one-theme, one-winner competition. Trust me, we're doing all of this because we think poetry doesn't stand much of a chance against short stories. The truth is, those who are bold enough to try probably have enough skill (and will receive enough criticism) to have a standing chance. If we try this for a few months and it really doesn't work for some reason, then I'd come to the one-theme, two-winner idea. Like I said, 2 themes means that non-poets will never be able to write about the secondary theme, and vice versa for the others as well.

In the end, I'm just asking that this stays...a competition for fun. Write something creative, have fun doing it, and if you're not picked, at least you get a good supply of constructive criticism and brownie points for trying. Take them in and try again next month. When we overcomplicate things, then we start to lose the crowd, for we start to lose the core idea of this contest.

And hey, I'm just ranting my points here; stop me if I'm being rude or if I'm incorrect in any way. I don't mind the creative opinions at all.
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Old 2011-02-07, 06:01   Link #30
felix
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I would like to agree with the idea of letting it run for two months as-is and then debate it further. However from my experience over the years, this only leads to arguments such as "it has already been running for so long, too late to change it now" or "this should have been brought up earlier" or "it would be too strange to change it now". Time breads complacency. There have been a fair amount of complaints so far, not attempting to solve them is not going make them solve themselves and it is only going to cement a reputation of the current status quo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
but we're already straying from the "simple writing competition for everyone" idea.
Can you be more precise and possibly compare and explain the differences that don't tick with you. My objective with them is allow for everyone to participate with their own style should they wish (which I'm assuming you're not against), however to come up with other proposals I'm going to need some help in the form of more exact feedback of what is wrong compared to the current format. Otherwise I can't really attempt any improvement over the last.
[edit] Also small correction, just so nobody gets the wrong idea here. If YOU or anyone has another idea or any idea, I would like to hear that too. Anything that just solves the current problems is fine by me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
Don't get me wrong, I really like the idea and think it would be quite interesting if we weren't making this apply to everyone. If this was a more serious competition, other little tidbits would be included for sure, but we're just trying to have fun here, nothing else. It should be very simple: each month has a theme, the community decides on the best entry. That entrant picks the next month's theme, and the only major limitation is that you must use 1500 words or less (in order to allow voters to...vote, instead of having them read for hours on end).
  • I'm not having fun with these theme wrench
  • the hole "shared point between entries", I'm not seeing it
  • promote creativity? I had to force in a lot of nonsense, unreasonably move forward in time — and when I think back at the original concepts I had to scrap because of the theme I don't feel any sense of improvement
  • other people would seem to be forced out of the context because of the 1500 limit

I can see your point about reading them; but it's not like your forcing or guaranteeing they are read if they have 1500 words or less, either. People will happily read what they like, and will equally happily ignore what they don't like. Skimming though the story is also an option, and doesn't really care how long your story is. If having them longer means they have a chance they won't be read, then just adds one more to the handicaps for them. To guarantee they would be read you would have to be something like 200 words.

Here's another little fun fact. Discussions on this board can rage for pages with overly long posts. If people were so allergic to reading would this really be happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
You say that having the winner choose the next theme is advantageous for them, but is it really? They have a couple of days to decide or they basically forfeit that right so that the competition can move on. I don't know how imaginative you are, but I can't come up with an entire concept that works without problems in that timespan.
They don't think of a theme, then a story. They think of a story, then a theme. This means the winners always completely bypass the theme restriction, and are free to write what they like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
I'd truly prefer a one-theme, one-winner competition. Trust me, we're doing all of this because we think poetry doesn't stand much of a chance against short stories. The truth is, those who are bold enough to try probably have enough skill (and will receive enough criticism) to have a standing chance.
Um… in the proposal poetry is actually at a almost unfair advantage to short stories. Heck, if you write more then 1500 words each vote for poetry counts as practically double.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
Like I said, 2 themes means that non-poets will never be able to write about the secondary theme, and vice versa for the others as well.
This again? Can you explain where you got this idea from; I'm sure I corrected the confusion a while back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
In the end, I'm just asking that this stays...a competition for fun. Write something creative, have fun doing it, and if you're not picked, at least you get a good supply of constructive criticism and brownie points for trying. Take them in and try again next month. When we overcomplicate things, then we start to lose the crowd, for we start to lose the core idea of this contest.
Mario, you're already alienating anyone who wants to write something like fanfiction, by pressing on with a theme. You then also went against the majority in the other thread who were against the word limit (time and time again). You say "losing the crowd," but "ignoring the crowd" is probably worse. These limitation are beyond "just for fun" and you yourself stated you've based them on other very elitist contests (at least from my point of view, based on what you were describing).

Speaking of which, can you give me a link to this "3 line haikus" contest, and the other four (I think it was). I want to see for myself what kind of community those were run in, what kind of standards they have, etc.
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Old 2011-02-07, 09:47   Link #31
felix
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I'm not retracting the previous proposal, but to simplify discussion lets try a systematic approach; as just throwing something out seems to not fair well.

A. What type of entries/content the contest needs to be able to support:
  • long stories
  • short stories
  • seemingly unending stories
  • monologue
  • dialog
  • poetry
  • haiku
  • fanfiction
B. What type of writters:
  • unexperienced (like myself)
  • experienced (like say papermario)
  • fanfiction writers
  • enthusiasts
  • people with strange/original styles
C. Additionally the following goals apply:
  1. everyone should have a chance of winning, regardless of style or experience.
  2. somehow the contest needs to help writers become better, aside from simply giving them a place to write.
  3. for fun there should be a common point to some of the stories. Something the reader can easily identify.
  4. there needs to be some kind of prize to the winner that influences the next contest.
  5. there should be (preferably) only one contest, and only one winner

Tackling one goal at a time, for the initial goal the following (independent) systems have been proposed so far:
  1. limit everything to only 1500 words
  2. limit everything with word count, but by category
  3. split everything into major categories (no limit)
  4. weighted voting (ie. a vote for a poetry entry counts more then a short story)
(a) doesn't meet goal 1 and conflicts with a lot entries in A and B (it can also be considered biased towards poetry)
(b) mitigates some problems of (a), seems to conflict with goal 5
(c) fails goal 5
(d) is probably undesirable, because it applies the solution of "unfairness" to goal 1

Anyone got other ideas?

-------------------------------------------------
[edit] gonna post before I forget

e. word rating

Explanation

Set a baseline wordcount and a base rating, you then have a exponential reduction formula; basically the more words you use the lower your rating. However the formula works exponentially, so it gradually takes less and less away (it will never reach zero, and in theory should never go bellow the baseline). The idea is the more words you use the lower your rating, thus encouraging you to make use of every little word you have.

The current system doesn't really encourage say poetry from trying to use good wording, but in this one it doesn't matter what the source is, less words just equal higher rating. You are encourage to write say short stories that are 200 words or less and so forth; not just big ones as with the current fixed limit.

The rating follows the same principle as the proposal I gave above. It's a multiplier for your votes, so higher is better.

Goal 5 is accomplished because the rating that is obtained from this in combination with votes will be almost never equal to someone elses. The rating numbers would just never be equal, and calculation would be able to go in floating point precision where as even with distorted votes, you would still have a difference of things like 0.005 and so forth.
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Old 2011-02-07, 11:25   Link #32
lordshadowisle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

e. word rating

Explanation

Set a baseline wordcount and a base rating, you then have a exponential reduction formula; basically the more words you use the lower your rating. However the formula works exponentially, so it gradually takes less and less away (it will never reach zero, and in theory should never go bellow the baseline). The idea is the more words you use the lower your rating, thus encouraging you to make use of every little word you have.
The exponential reduction formula may work but it probably can be simplified. The issue it has is that the exponent and constants must be properly tuned so as to not give particular forms of writing a significant advantage (eg, nanofiction, poetry). Basically someone has to go and fit ratings to word counts via regression! It may also be relatively inconvenient to compute the rating offhand.

How about something like rating brackets? Eg (just throwing penalties and word counts up randomly), -0 points for up to 500 words, -50 points for each 100 words beyond that up til 1500 words, -50 points for each 250 words beyond that up til 5000 words, and no or a small penalty beyond 5000 words.
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Old 2011-02-07, 11:43   Link #33
felix
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Oh actually making a formula is simple, you just do something like add the baseline
baseline + (any formula that exponentially goes towards 0)
The problem with doing a stepped rating is you encourage behavior like "word cutting" (which keeps popping up at the moment in the entry thread). My opinion is given a fixed step, people will try to make their work worse, just to reach that step. I'd rather they just try to improve tacking "less words" as just a nudge in the right direction. Also your threshold scheme defeats the idea of wordcounts acting as unique IDs and making ties hard to happen; but that's of less importance.

Given we also want simplicity I'm all for your hybrid threshold idea. Though how about a lower threshold at the start. Let's take my little writers quote in my signature, curtsy of Mr. Wright as a example of "small" entry:
Quote:
I would hurl words into this white darkness and wait for an echo,
and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words
to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
(it is 44 words)

So how about the threshold be: 0, 50, 100, etc
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Old 2011-02-07, 15:28   Link #34
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Man mario you must live in the complete opposite time zone as me. Well since that's the case, while I would have preferred to bring this up later so as to not clog the discussion, in the interest of time there's no helping it and we'll just have to do it the hard way.

First of all, this was brought up in the entry thread: we need a official word counting script
I propose the following site: http://www.wordcounttool.com/ just because it seems to specialize in it.
The second order of business is the word count. Since the other thread we have been bickering over it, so I propose the following solution. We use a external official and renowned writing contest/award as the source for our word count limits. This way we can rely on the experience and professional opinion, instead of guessing.
I propose the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) which have been running since 1965. SFWA members select the Nebula Award winners each year for the best short story, novelette, novella, and novel. The following is their classification for each:

Novel
a work of 40,000 words or more
Novella
a work of at least 17,500 words but under 40,000 words
Novelette
a work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words
Short story
a work of under 7,500 words
They also have a category for Scripts but we don't care for those.

It's very clear the limits are way too small even by professional standards, so instead of 1,500 it should at least be 7,500. However the question is should we allow up to Novelette status works? ie. up to 17,500 which is incidentally pretty damn close to what was requested in the initial thread by another member.

We can safely ignore novel and novella since the forum post limit is around 50,000 characters, which is probably not enough for those two. I don't think we should allow multi-post entries.
I only gave a example, papermario, you said repeatedly (in every post? ) how you've been to so and so many contests, if you know of a more prestigious english oriented organization that works as well.

Of course if anyone else knows of another that works too.


Oh and, it should be a organization that has been active for some respectable period of time. The advatage of using the limits of prestigious contests is that we can rely on their wisdom for the past decade or so and thus using them as reference would mean the entire issue of word count doesn't require debating.
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Old 2011-02-08, 05:15   Link #35
felix
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Just gonna throw this out there:
baserating - (ln(wordcount / 50) * 100)

It's not perfect, but:
1 500 - (ln(50 / 50) * 100) = 1 500

1 500 - (ln(100 / 50) * 100) = 1 430.68528
Difference: 69.31472

1 500 - (ln(200 / 50) * 100) = 1 361.37056
Difference: 69.31472

1 500 - (ln(400 / 50) * 100) = 1 292.05585
Difference: 69.31471

As one can tell, it basically subtracts 70 points every time word count doubles.



1 500 - (ln(7 500 / 50) * 100) = 998.936471
If value goes under 1000 (baseline) it's taken as 1000 (baseline).
If it goes over 1500 (baserating), it's taken as 1500 (baserating).

I've made the current formula work with 50 (as minimum) and 7500 (as maximum).


Now lets have a little fun! I'll use the current entries and see what we get:
felix — 1 500 - (ln(1 458 / 50) * 100) = 1 162.72021
papermario13689 — 1 500 - (ln(880 / 50) * 100) = 1 213.21011
wassupimviet — 1 500 - (ln(1 540 / 50) * 100) = 1 157.24853
lordshadowisle — 1 500 - (ln(1 515 / 50) * 100) = 1 158.88523
shelter — 1 500 - (ln(167 / 50) * 100) = 1 379.40292

I'll add the math for the system lordshadowisle proposed as well. He doesn't mention it but I'm gonna assume one starts out with 1500 points (since we're subtracting). I'll also take "every 100 words after that" to mean you need to have 100 extra words to incur the penalty, ie. 99 words is fine.

felix — (9 * 50 penalty) => 1050 points
papermario13689 — (3 * 50 penalty) => 1350 points
wassupimviet — (10 * 50 penalty) => 1000 points
lordshadowisle — (10 * 50 penalty) => 1000 points
shelter — (no penalty) => 1500 points
Opinions? Suggestions? Other proposals?
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Old 2011-02-08, 05:57   Link #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
Just gonna throw this out there:
baserating - (ln(wordcount / 50) * 100)

It's not perfect, but:
1 500 - (ln(50 / 50) * 100) = 1 500

1 500 - (ln(100 / 50) * 100) = 1 430.68528
Difference: 69.31472

1 500 - (ln(200 / 50) * 100) = 1 361.37056
Difference: 69.31472

1 500 - (ln(400 / 50) * 100) = 1 292.05585
Difference: 69.31471

As one can tell, it basically subtracts 70 points every time word count doubles.



1 500 - (ln(7 500 / 50) * 100) = 998.936471
If value goes under 1000 (baseline) it's taken as 1000 (baseline).
If it goes over 1500 (baserating), it's taken as 1500 (baserating).

I've made the current formula work with 50 (as minimum) and 7500 (as maximum).


Now lets have a little fun! I'll use the current entries and see what we get:
felix — 1 500 - (ln(1 458 / 50) * 100) = 1 162.72021
papermario13689 — 1 500 - (ln(880 / 50) * 100) = 1 213.21011
wassupimviet — 1 500 - (ln(1 540 / 50) * 100) = 1 157.24853
lordshadowisle — 1 500 - (ln(1 515 / 50) * 100) = 1 158.88523
shelter — 1 500 - (ln(167 / 50) * 100) = 1 379.40292

I'll add the math for the system lordshadowisle proposed as well. He doesn't mention it but I'm gonna assume one starts out with 1500 points (since we're subtracting). I'll also take "every 100 words after that" to mean you need to have 100 extra words to incur the penalty, ie. 99 words is fine.

felix — (9 * 50 penalty) => 1050 points
papermario13689 — (3 * 50 penalty) => 1350 points
wassupimviet — (10 * 50 penalty) => 1000 points
lordshadowisle — (10 * 50 penalty) => 1000 points
shelter — (no penalty) => 1500 points
Opinions? Suggestions? Other proposals?
I actually like how this looks, seems simple enough. I'd like to stress that this would only be used to decide on who picks the next theme, not who wins the competition; let's leave that to the voters. Also, I have a small concern that anyone who writes poetry or shorter amounts will almost always come out on top. Given they do have to win the actual competition for it to apply, but it still seems somewhat unbalanced. Also, any ideas on what we'd do in a rare case of tied scores?
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Old 2011-02-08, 06:18   Link #37
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The rating scores seem close enough for votes to still be (largely) the determining factor, which is good. We should try to think in terms of votes; i.e. 5 votes for an entry with 1500 words is about equal to 4 votes for an entry with 80 words. Personally I don't think that there'll be too much of an advantage or disadvantage for typical entries, though the disparity will be obvious between a haiku and a lengthy epic.

Don't forget though that challenges also come into play. We'll probably want challenges to partially or completely negate the length penalty. Lengthy works should be able to pick up points from meeting challenge criteria, whereas short works make up the difference with through having less length penalties. Some form of cap should be in place to prevent people from gaming the system.
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Old 2011-02-08, 06:33   Link #38
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@felix

And whoosh, I've been plopped right back into ninth year math. Oh, logarithms, how I've not missed you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshadowisle View Post
The rating scores seem close enough for votes to still be (largely) the determining factor, which is good. We should try to think in terms of votes; i.e. 5 votes for an entry with 1500 words is about equal to 4 votes for an entry with 80 words. Personally I don't think that there'll be too much of an advantage or disadvantage for typical entries, though the disparity will be obvious between a haiku and a lengthy epic.
I'm not so keen on having someone with less votes win the competition, regardless of length. I think that this should decide who gets to pick the theme if it comes down to a tie between two or more entries, and that we'd use (somewhat enlarged) brackets so that the difference doesn't come down to piddling words.
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Old 2011-02-08, 07:32   Link #39
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
I actually like how this looks, seems simple enough. I'd like to stress that this would only be used to decide on who picks the next theme, not who wins the competition; let's leave that to the voters. Also, I have a small concern that anyone who writes poetry or shorter amounts will almost always come out on top. Given they do have to win the actual competition for it to apply, but it still seems somewhat unbalanced. Also, any ideas on what we'd do in a rare case of tied scores?
For a second there I though you said something really smart1 — then I realize what you actually meant. If you just want it as a tie breaker just comparing wordcount will yield the same result; there's no need for the computations since wordcount is the only variable.

Also, as contest organizer you have a responsibility to take feedback and clearly reply if you agree, or don't agree and why. I feel you're ignoring more then half of what's being said, and also avoiding answering obvious questions and inquiries. Each post now you've just been skirting the discussion and just repeating your opinion, again; with out even defending against the rebuttals broth against it. If this is just some indication you're just giving us the black eye and just don't know how to tell us "shutup, all your opinions are invalid" because of something petty such as standards, by all means please just take the most direct approach. Silence will not solve problems, and having a pointless discussion is disrespectful to everyones time.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I come from a wikipedia like system. In this sort of debate, should the organizer(s) not listen a debate is pointless; and will just carry on forever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshadowisle View Post
Don't forget though that challenges also come into play. We'll probably want challenges to partially or completely negate the length penalty. Lengthy works should be able to pick up points from meeting challenge criteria, whereas short works make up the difference with through having less length penalties. Some form of cap should be in place to prevent people from gaming the system.
The two systems can't really balance each other out. In theory, one would think if you have few words you can't meet the challenges, but in reality you should be able to easily use only few words, and still do the challenges. The challenges would have to be limited to the increments (ie. the number of challenges you can do that will count is based on the number of words you have), which may work with a slight variant on your system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupimviet View Post
I'm not so keen on having someone with less votes win the competition, regardless of length. I think that this should decide who gets to pick the theme if it comes down to a tie between two or more entries, and that we'd use (somewhat enlarged) brackets so that the difference doesn't come down to piddling words.
What do you think of lordshadowisle system? Technically it would be "you can write as much as you want, but you get penalties if you don't meet challenges at key wordcounts." Anything short would thus have few to no penalties; while something long would require you to do a lot of little things the higher you go… There are a few variations on this, the system: could be mandatory, optional (to avoid losing rating); as well as fixed challenge order (ie. at 100 this, at 200 you do this), or author decides (ie. at say 200 doesn't matter which challenge you do).

Personally I like the idea of optional/author-decides. The system would be equal to all, as long as "you play by the rules" as it were. Of course like I said in previous posts, if someone thinks they can win, bearing the handicap, they should be allowed to.

Amusingly just like my proposal, lordshadowisle proposal is also compatible with the current state of things, in the sense the current system is a corner case of his system. Basically, the current system is mandatory/fixed-order variant, with one challenge (the theme) set at 1500.

An alternative would be to alter the voting system. But we probably don't want to mess with that…
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1 have the person who wins and the person who picks the next theme/challenge/whatnot decided seperatly; thus balancing out things like poetry with longer stories, etc.
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Old 2011-02-08, 13:52   Link #40
Hiroi Sekai
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Okay, if you want the entire story then I am more than willing to comply. First off, I don't have lots of free time; you'll notice I don't multi-quote or anything on this topic. I'm usually posting in between breaks. I apologize if I miss things but this is not the only thing I do with my life.

Second, I slowly lose support over some of these ideas because they keep changing. From the start I wanted one winner and they would choose the next theme. Then multiple people complained that poetry would have difficulty over stories. I've complied by starting a discussion to try and come up with a two-person method, and now apparently we're trying to go back to one winner? If your excerpt is your opinion, what's the point of winning if we're going to choose somebody else to pick the next theme? We've only been switching between ideas over and over and I think you've been ignoring my words as well; if it works, I don't want to deviate from the original idea. There is one contest winner, and they choose the next theme. I fail to see why this wouldn't work; shelter's poem in all honesty would have my top vote at the moment. Good poetry will not always lose over a short story.

Also, 1500 words does not change because readers need to read one entry, and move on. Allowing a 7500 word count is way too much, as many others have said in the original proposal topic. Learn to summarize; this is a competition, not a publishing company.

Another reason why many of the suggestions are not addressed is because they've come up before. And we discussed them. And then we moved on. As I said, check the proposal thread; we covered ground on the word count and I even upped the limit to 1500 for everyone who said I should (which was majority). Now I'm being pushed to up it to 7500 or even make it unlimited. As I've said over and over throughout this topic, that's too many, 1500 stays.

Ultimately, I see not the reason for long suggestions and debates. Have a competition where all the entrants are forced to follow the same rules; whoever can comply and be liked by the majority wins and picks the next theme. With the current ground we constantly tread, I feel we're getting nowhere as well, but only because we've covered this so many times. Just a note that it's in my nature to ignore something if I've seen and answered it multiple times already. Another post about changing word count and it will probably won't be considered.

Seriously, I appreciate all the ideas that everyone's coming up with, but I ask that we keep the word count at 1500 (there is good reason to) and that you can remember that this is a simple forum contest; if any of you were planning on walking away with a Pulitzer Prize from this, I'd have to tearfully inform you that you won't. Also, as I've said multiple times as well, I want to run with the original idea for the first few months. We only need to discuss further IF something fails; if I see poetry in at least third place anywhere, there's no need to change it.

Finally, I noticed that you said your entry was quickly forced and you were troubled. That would be good reason to look over it, summarize and edit, no? Even to this point you still have almost another week to change it and come up with new ideas.

I apologize too if I sounded rude, but I needed to get my point across and stop this retreading of old ground. Why not go with the original idea and see how it works out first? I think you'd be surprised. That's my suggestion.
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