Indie game storeFree gamesFun gamesHorror games
Game developmentAssetsComics
SalesBundles
Jobs

Voting Irregularities

A topic by thegodgamer created Dec 04, 2018 Views: 587 Replies: 18
Viewing posts 1 to 5
(+2)

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. 

(1 edit)

To be perfectly honest, there are many many different possibilities as to why entries may have absurd amounts of votes but no following or no game in the popular games section.

1: It is totally possible to get your friends and or family to play and vote for your game. Naturally friends and family are going to rate your game a high rating because they love you.

2: The ratings of itch.io are different then the ratings for the igmc. This means that the number of ratings in the igmc DOES NOT affect the games in the popular games section. 

3: Sadly the peoples vote is usually the hardest win to acquire because to win it, you kinda have to have some sort of following and be a super awesome marketer to win it. People sometimes vote through screenshots without even playing the game. (Please don’t do this.)

4: Lastly, the number of ratings an entry has might be different then the high rated games. I don’t believe there is a way to check, but I think how they determine this voting thing is by the games that have the highest amount of ratings not votes. This means that a game could be given 50 ratings but they all could be 1 star ratings and a game with 20 or so 5 star ratings would do much better in the people’s choice. 

It will be weighted. Basically we'll be doing something that causes all game ratings to be pulled slightly towards 2.5, but the more votes the game has, the less it will get pulled. So a game with 50 ratings will more than likely stay pretty close to the rating it has, where as one with 10 ratings would probably move farther.

(1 edit) (+1)

Kendallfire is right. Plus think a lot of games have one person who put it out. For me I was lucky to get my office and my friends to play and vote but I’m one person. Someone with 5 people working on it for example... well imagine they got their friends and family to play and only those people voted it would still outnumber pretty much all of us. Plus I mean like KendallFire said if you’re a good marketer you could have a lot of votes too. Nothing really to get around this. I’ve found I’m atleast just enjoying seeing all the different games and ignoring the voting. The ones I’ve played I find the ratings really don’t reflect the quality. Some of the best I’ve played on here so far have some of the smallest number of ratings. 

(+3)

I'll be honest, I've thought of the People's Choice as a marketing award from the beginning. But being good at marketing is its own skill, and one I suggest that indie game designers who want to make commercial games learn to some degree or another.

(8 edits) (+2)

I think it is really good for it to be a marketing award but I'm sure it would be an 'ask your friends to vote you' award instead. The more people that worked on the game the more ratings you'll get from more known people. Think you should take a look in the analytics of games to know what are normal 'marketed' ratings and which are just friends voting boosting your ratings. (just edited)

(1 edit) (+2)

I absolutely understand your reasoning but there's very little a newcomer or really small dev could do marketingwise to compete in this category. Don't you think this will simply end as the "who had the biggest patreon crowd at the start of the competition"-award?

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound ungrateful. If that's more or less the intention of the People's Choice award, that's absolutely fine! 

(+1)

Degica has run this contest multiple times. Why don't you trust them to try to handle cheating. If the fact there could be cheating bothers you, don't enter contests with public voting. The contest has over 300 entries odds are you going to be disappointed if you expect to win. Instead you should have fun with the development and you either have a finished game or the start of a game.

(1 edit) (+1)

I trust them handling cheating and just hope it is a marketing choice instead of asking friends choice.

This. We just joined this jam because it had no theme/any engine/1 month to do stuff. We knew that there was no way for us to win because we are amateurs at best. But we wanted to test ourselves and the rest is history.

(+4)

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? 

(+1)

Well said! 

(1 edit) (+2)

The post about games that were created before the contest started gave specific evidence. You haven't listed specific project you feel have problems. Even if you had, you have no evidence. In that case, I think it would be better to message the contest organizers directly to ask to look into them. I'm personally more inclined to wait and see.

Don't resort to attacking people. It's not defeatist attitude to say you won't win. My game is too incomplete. While it has a good framework, I don't think people will see my vision. Others may have played other games and decided those games are better. I submitted my work because I enjoyed the contest and made progress on my game idea. If I win, that would be great but it's not why I submitted.

(+1)

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. 

(+1)

But no one can look for themselves. The only ones who can look at the information is itch.io and maybe the contest organizers.

I'm sorry if you feel my post attacked you by saying your concerns aren't valid. It wasn't my intent although in reading it again I could see how it might be construed that way.

It's all good. Ultimately I want to say good luck to everyone, and I'm sure whoever wins this contest will most definitely deserve it.

So what is your game? I don't see one under your account. I assume you are a member of group which submitted a day.

(+1)

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.

(+1)

Well if it is a contender with significant number of ratings, I may not play it as I'm focused on trying those without a lot of ratings. Good luck.