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Lesson Learnt

A topic by iwansquall created Aug 12, 2019 Views: 559 Replies: 12
Viewing posts 1 to 11

1. This is NOT popularity contest
I thought, this is basically to make game that have good first impression and fit the theme enough for player to give perfect score. Less people = less variance on scoring. (I didnt even reach 30 rating for my game while I already rated more than 60 games, i guess karma didnt work for me)

2. More rating is a curse rather than a blessing. 
The more people player playing your game, the more chance for a more harsh people to rate your game. I could see some good game getting lower rank because of super high rating. (Though, I prefer more people to try my game, but i guess there are just too many games)

3. Open to abuse
Again, just my conspiracy. If you managed to have many jammer teamed up and forming an alliance, you can easily make sure that the team vote each other perfect scores. (Probably not same thing, but you see these "rate mine and i rate yours" on the forum")

4. Be harsh to your competitor
Your games can be ranked higher if you put yourself on highest standard when rating on other game. You dislike a design or mechanic? Give it 1 star. (FYI, there are couple of games i gave perfect score btw, im not that harsh tbh)

Am I salty? Probably, as I have been negative throughout the voting session too. I tried to make a meme thread to cheer me up, it didnt help. Anyway, do I have fun doing gamejam? Yes. Did I have fun with voting session? No. At this point probably I dont care about it anymore. This will be probably my last post here (until next jam maybe).


Hahaha ,I agree with you 100%


About 4., I feel pretty bad about my rank and scores, and I think one of the reasons to that was that when I voted, I was in a mindset of, this was made in 48 hours, if I even enjoy it I will immediately give it 3.5+. Usually 4+.

And then I saw a stream where they (the streamers) played a game, and it looked really good and they had fun, and then they rated and gave a "solid 3" in all categories. I would have probably given:

Design: 4-5

Adherence to the Theme: 5

Originality: 2-3

And that's just not what most people do.

And now I do feel a little salty that people that made games with ONLY ONE BULLET or ONLY ONE BUTTON which was literally mentioned in Mark Brown's video, get higher originality than mine.

I have spent some time focusing on tweaking the main mechanic of my game and got 3 in design.

If I would have rated my game according to my standards I would have probably given myself:

Design: 4-5

Adherence to the Theme: 2-3

Originality: 4-5

And I think I am honest with myself.

I just feel stupid for playing and rating 118 games. Some have been in a rate 4 rate, and I've enjoyed many of them, but I have done that since I wanted feedback, but no-one had given me feedback about the main mechanic balance, or even anything else than "Make AI" "Make better UI" and things I already know (thanks for the feedback anyways, by the way). 

The comments painted a picture that was very different to real life. Most people said they enjoyed it.

But maybe they just rated according to a different scale.

And that's the real problem with the voting system. Because people didn't treat it as a basic question, does it adhere to the theme, etc., but other people did, and also some people just rated on a different scale, the ratings just mean nothing.


I think the most important lesson I learned is that you have to work in a big team and have amazing artists. It's impossible to do well working alone, which is a little unfair in my opinion, but makes sense, and is not against the rules, so whatever. I never rated popular games, instead choosing small creators and beginners, to give them some criticism and a bit more of a chance. I tried to rate games as fairly as possible and disregarding art completely, but in the long run, first impressions are what matter the most, but giving 1 star just to benefit yourself is incredibly childish.

The voting was really fun for me, because I for to play plenty of creative games! Even the bad ones at least gave me an opportunity to talk to the creator. The feeling of community is the main reason I do jams.

I'd rate my own game a 4 in design, 4 in theme and 3 in originality.

I'm gonna participate next year, even though there's no way in hell I'm getting close to the top 100, because the challenge and community are what keep me going.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

In summary of this thread:
The system is flawed, people more so

Somewhat sarcastic jokes aside everyone will inevitably have their own subjective bias towards things; what is original/etc. to me is not necessarily the same to anyone else. Maybe I won't agree with them, but it's hard to say someone's opinion is wrong in most cases. And yes, some people did make games based on one of Mark's examples, but is that so bad? It's not original in the basic idea, if you really want to look at it that way, but how it's executed can be. 

Besides, end of the day most (if not all) of us put a lot of heart and soul into making our games, so things are going to sting (to put it midly).
And I mean, what would you rather take from this: the results of an arbitrary rating poll, or the fun making your game and seeing the cool things other people made?

Honestly speaking:
Is this partly to convince my tired childish mind? Yes.
Am I satisfied with my result? No, but I'd say most of that stems from knowing what I couldn't add, couldn't change, couldn't fix, and the pointless worry of "would that have improved things for me?"
And in the end, what do a few stars really say about your own game?
I'd say not a lot; I got much more from feedback in the comments, and I can actually do something constructive with that. Jam's over, doesn't mean I'm finished with the game, not by a long shot~

Side note: if it helps, look at the rating system like Amazon reviews. I'll leave it to y'all how to interpret that~


I think your idea of "popularity" is a little too simple. No matter what categories a jam host gives, the popular voting on a major jam WILL be a popularity contest, but not based on raw number of votes. The winners will be who ever has the most enthusiastic players.

This is why I try to say something concrete and negative about any game I play regardless of whether I enjoyed it. In the absence of an actual monetary prize (which jams occasionally will have), the actual most worthwhile part will be what the participants learned. Yes, that includes whatever amount of exposure the host promises. Further, the majority of participants will have more need to learn what they're doing wrong than what they're doing right, because whatever they did right is ingrained enough to do under pressure. 


It would have helped a lot if it was possible to do anonymous comments. There were a few games that I didn't like, but I didn't want to give negative feedback, especially if I didn't have any positive feedback to "sandwich" it with, so I stayed silent and gave a bad/mediocre rating. This is because leaving a I was concerned that if I was too harsh, the creator would play my own game with a bias against it and leave a bad rating. It felt like people did this to me, the comment section in my game was very positive, with "needs better graphics" as the #1 complaint(which I thought was good because according to Mark Brown that should not affect your score), but despite that, I only got two stars for design. I would have benefited if people were more open to giving feedback about my game's problems.


I did not give anyone 1 star, things you wrote, are just not cool


I did give some 1 star ratings if I felt the game really lacked something. Giving a 1 star doesn't necessarily need to be in bad faith.


Honestly, this went really badly compared to my usual rating in game jams, but considering I really half-assed the game I'm not surprised.

Regarding the voting system. There must be a better way of dealing with votes. There are just too many games and just picking games to play at random isn't very efficient.


I think the solution is more randomness! Don't show people how many ratings a game has or the comments, all you should have to get your opinions from is the game itself. Every rating and comment should be hidden from everyone but the dev until the jam is over. I think this would increase honesty in ratings by a lot.


I didn't encounter a single game that was 1 star on any category but I only played 56 games. I did encounter like maybe 3-4 games out of that 56 that I thought were 2 star in some ratings. To me 1 star is like absolutely failed, were you even trying. There were maybe like 3-4 games I thought were top notch 5's all around, and then the rest varied mostly around the 3 -4 mark. 


The fact that my sh*tty little game is ranked higher than some of the MUCH nicer and better looking/playing/feeling games I saw in the jam makes me not super confident in the ranking system. I think a simpler voting system would be better (maybe just like/dislike, what does 4 stars even mean? What separates 3 stars from 4 stars?)

While not a gamejam, Steam Greenlight had a thing where they just feed you a random queue of games and you could only vote yes or no. I think that for larger jams that's the way to go. With enough rates, it will average out to a usable score.