This is a throwaway account. I don't want anything I say here in the community during the voting period to affect my game. There's the danger of trolls, or perhaps someone decides to rate my game highly for the wrong reason. Good luck to you.
Recent community posts
I said in my original post that I didn't want to call out specific projects because I could be wrong. I even wrote at the end "Look and decide for yourself". I don't have evidence, that wasn't the point of my post. The point is to raise awareness so people here in the community and the judges themselves will carefully look and reason if they believe a submission has fraudulent votes.
I'm glad you could have fun and make progress on your game. But everyone has their own reasons for entering the contest especially when there's large cash prizes on the line. You basically attacked me by saying my concerns were invalid/pointless because the chances of me winning are low and I should just have "fun". If we're going to participate in this contest, we should all be concerned about whether or not things are running appropriately.
Another user here made a post about games that were submitted that were created before the contest started, which got the judges attention and they took action. Just because they have run the contest before doesn't mean they will catch every instance of cheating if it isn't pointed out. "If the fact there could be cheating bothers you," -- Any contest could theoretically be cheated, that's not what bothers me. I just want the assurance of knowing everything possible is being done to crack down on it. If you vote in an election you expect your votes to be protected and measures to be in place to prevent cheating, but you still know and accept it's possible. However, if people told you they didn't care about cheating or weren't going to do anything about cheating you most likely wouldn't participate would you?
Lastly, the defeatist attitude here is sad and probably why most people here will never find success. I raised the concerns because I do believe I can win and I want to compete on an even playing field. My question for all of you is: If you don't have confidence in your work, or aren't willing to fight for the work you've done, why even bother submitting?
I don't want to point out certain games publicly to shame them, but I noticed some submissions with an absurd number of ratings that don't seem to match up. I have looked at every single game submission into this contest. There are a few submissions that seem to have the highest number of ratings out of all the games I've seen in the contest by an extremely LARGE margin, yet I can't seem to find any reason for this. The games have little mention here in the community, lack comments/feedback, and I googled them and couldn't find any press mentions or anything that would justify the large number of ratings. Even worse, I went to the Popular Games category on Itch and had to scroll down so far to even find the games, scrolling past dozens of other submissions to the contest that had way less ratings. If these games are so popular to have so many ratings, then why are they not at the top of the Popular Games page?
So what I'm deducing here is that there are games in the contest that possibly have fraudulent votes. I'm sure the judges will look into this but I wanted to bring it to the attention of the community as well. People will be discouraged to participate in the future if its so easy for someone to potentially cheat. Or there could be some other reason I haven't considered or accounted for to explain the votes and it's nothing but an overreaction on my part. Look and decide for yourselves.