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Rating irregularities

A topic by miracleJester created 88 days ago Views: 1,151 Replies: 40
Viewing posts 1 to 23
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These past few days I've been noticing the number of ratings of multiple games (including mine) rising a lot, without any new downloads recorded. This happened again today with even more games, so I believe it is bots. Hopefully that won't impact the affected games negatively

Yeah, it seems like they've been aware of the problem. Hopefully they won't have trouble removing fake votes from the totals (and banning the person/people responsible, obviously).

This is actually a really important matter to talk about.

When it comes to marketing campaigns, I believe most of us were not prepared at all - I, personally, thought that with votes and support from family, friends and the community that played my games for the past ten years, it would be enough to be at the first positions, at least in number of votes... 

What a surprise it was, when I saw a lot of games jumping ahead... I thought about giving up, but I didn't. We all should expect a big challenge: some Devs work/study at places full of people with computers, some Devs know a lot of people, some have solid Fanbases and so and so on...

==//==

I believe transparency is a big deal, and now that the subject was brought up, I must say: I agree, the thought of bots and cheating upsets me sometimes, because, man, creating an actual marketing campaign is nervewrecking, we're running around almost 24/7 in order to promote the Game - not only in the Internet, we're doing it in the real world as well, and it's really frustrating, people don't care, not enough to actually download and vote, but what would be the point of giving up half way?

And we almost gave up for a lot of different reasons. We now regret the misspell in the Game's name: we thought it would be clever, but it just makes it harder for people finding the game; We regret not including a second language option (English is not our primary language, we lost a lot of people, potential voters, because of this)... We tried a more mature artstyle only to find out that most of the people we talk about prefer Anime style... The game's strongest point: narrative... probably one of the hardest elements to promote "Ah yes, our game looks rough and simple, but the ending is really good, you should play for an hour despite all the lack of visual appeal! It'll be worth it, you have my word, sir!" =D

If there's cheating, let's hope that the judges will see through it... 

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I know Momo Bomber had a new LP video go up recently (from Liberty), so it is possible to get votes without more downloads just from people watching. Did Princess Debut have one recently too?

If it is bots at work though, that would be a real shame :T

In my case, I didn't have any new downloads OR  page views, I also didn't have any referral links showing up from youtube. So I'm leaning towards those overnight ratings being illegitimate, lol.

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I think the dashboard gives statistics for the game page, not the submission page. You can tell this by looking at the ratings or comments. I'm not sure if this is true for the download count or not. There are definitely two different download buttons - one on the submission page and one on the game page. The rating spikes are still peculiar though.

Good to know!

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What struck me as weird was that between now and two days ago there were 2000+ new ratings. It was a very sudden uptick. Also in terms of downloads, I tested it myself by downloading straight from the rating page. It counted that as one extra download

i try the downloads and nothing happen, no number to show me or were you talking about your game's download?

It is in the analytics section of your game

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now that you mentioned it I did get 10 random ratings on my game in a single day when all I was able to get otherwise were a mere 12 and I did not promote or even send a link to a friend in a week something is certainly fishy (btw this is NOT me saying that I forged anything I DIDN'T) I also checked the youtubers who were testing games on their respected channels but still my game wasn't there in conclusion I think it could be one of two things 
1_ either a group was kind enough to try their best at giving game a huge rating boost

2_ or maybe someone IS using bots on other people's games to get them disqualified thou that wouldn't make sense since a lot of the games that got a boost weren't too popular (I saw that including my own game so please don't get mad or anything this is not an insult)

I've been keeping a list of IGMC game ratings since the start (rating amount, the only thing that is public info) for my own amusement (I like statistics) and gotta say, things have been rather weird :D

Yes; my thought is the 'popular' vote thing probably won't be accurate or fair really and (IMHO) probably shouldn't be a thing for future IGMC contests. For $5,000, people will be tempted to cheat and fudge and votebot and all manner of stuff. It comes down more to marketing rather than what the best game really is, which shouldn't be the point of a IGMC.

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The judges have mentioned in other threads that it -IS- about marketing (and that's not a bad skill to have especially in the current state of indie games where there's lots of games fighting for attention. It along with social networking are essential.) This isn't the first time IGMC has had a voting component, I'm sure the organizers know well enough to watch for any suspicious activity, bots, or duplicate accounts and such. Especially on games in the running for the top 3.

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I've been investigating the issue with the itchio admin. We've identified fake accounts and will be removing their votes at the end of the voting period.

I am also view raiting boost 1 day ago, around +12 rates. I am also try to pitch game in different media webs but this is really strange issue. I think if so many users pages rated then target not a boost rating of one game but make drop rating this user games to significant low rating level  :( Sorry for bad english.

This happened early to me 12/4 around a 10 jump... In fact as of right now... downloads almost finally equal votes... Glad it's not just me and it's being looked at.

From ~5000 to ~7700 I'm still 13 downloads and 13 ratings.

I checked and overnight I went from 23 ratings, to 37 ratings. That's an extremely high jump. Considering that I had 2 views, and 2 downloads yesterday.

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I also noticed the exact same thing this morning, having had a sudden jump from 13 or so votes to 21 votes overnight, whilst having a total of 2 views and 1 download the last few days. Since I am fairly certain I know who that download is because he left a comment, I am also fairly certain that those votes were given by someone else who did not download the game. 

Hopefully those votes will be void anyway, as it should not be difficult to filter away votes from people who have not even downloaded the game, although the only one's who knows for certain are the organizers.

It would be nice if they could simply filter those fake votes away ASAP though, as even if they were to not count towards the final score they remove the entry from the  "Games in need of ratings" tab. Personally that is the most annoying part in my opinion, as it reduces the amount of verbal feedback I get from people who actually play the game that I can use to improve it.

Rating boosts happening again =/ 

But the number of views and downloads remain the same... 

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Practically all top games got boosted. I'd like to know what's hapenning now (guess I'm not the onlyone). Got suggestions on solving the fake votes.

I see that the amount of ratings are still changing. While I still believe the top 10 won't change much (if it even does), this means the organizers are probably still checking that all the votes are in order

I saw my game jump to 69 votes from 32 after indrah’s LP

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I'm a bit disturbed that my game had 15 ratings yesterday morning, but now that results are out it only has 9?

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A lot of games had a significant drop. (We lost 24 ourselves. There's one game that lost like 200.) There were nights where every game gained like 5 votes at the same time though, so everyone losing ratings to bots was bound to happen. Still sucks to see the number drop, but don't let it discourage you.

We tossed a lot of questionable votes. In the end, the winner was pretty clear though. Can there still be some vagaries in the rankings further down. Yeah, with some of the close titles absolutely. But for the top 1-5 games we are pretty certain.

Deleted post

Umm excuse me I know it's not important anymore but my game was sorta removed from the contest's history for some reason I didn't update it or mess with I haven't even opened it's page for over 2 month is there a reason why this happened

sorry I know it's over and all it's just that it's my first jam ever and I was kinda proud of the stupidity I made

thanks in advance 

What game was it?

Petster demo

Fair enough, if anyone did use a bot on our game to make us feel like we had a chance, that's a shady little shame lol, but ah well. Excited to see the rest of the results :)

My game lost votes from 52 to 28 this is very strange. Above i write about anomaly 12 votes from unknow source, but other this is my community votes gathering from twitter, steam, googleplus and eveonline (yes yes yes, i try use every space for advetising). So 52-12 = 40 and  soooooo 40 - 28 = 12 somewhere losted .... Strange ..... . Other my question: is publisher try to contact with other dev which dont placed at a top of rating?

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The fact people did use bots to manipulate the votes should be enough reason to disregard popular choice as a way to handle one of the jam's prizes.

Even if the team manages to track down the main offender behind this the results have already been tampered.

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That and most people who don't have a following. Some of us make games for free, put in the hard work by never asking for money but lose to people who gota following through kickstarter or other means which is something most indie game dev don't do.

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I'm not sure where you're getting that from. If you look at the top winner of the popular vote, they have one game on itch.io (the contest game) and no paid games, they don't link to any kickstarters, and they posted in their thread how much leg work they did to boost their ratings and get more exposure.

Besides, even if someone did have a preexisting following, why wouldn't Degica want someone like that under their publishing name. That following is going to bring in sales. Again though - looking at the winner of the popular vote, that wasn't the case this year.

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the top game is one of the odd ones, the langues you see in the comments are not even once english and if its anything where i live, gaming cafe are not a few miles, you have to go far to find it. Itch.io has it recorded as a member since the start of the game jam, that is why we cant find anymore information on the person, he could have follows or such before.

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They basically got boosted in visibility by a few popular outlets in Brasil. At least one of them had 1000+ views and followers, and most of the people in the comments actually say stuff like "Coming from X's channel!" and similar, so it is very likely this is all legit.

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we can see the number of votes on the submission page, its 228 votes.

One channel has 87 views on the video with a subscriber number of of 868, subscribers, not much about it.

I believe the most of the numbers belong to Game Chinchila fans who did not vote because they liked the game but their youtuber asked them to do it. Which is the very thing called having a following.

what's wrong with watching a let's play and then voting for the game? You still saw the game. Especially when it comes to story driven games, I don't see why this is a problem. I voted for several games through secondhand experience, either by being on stream with a friend or watching a video later. I don't think these sorts of votes are the ones people are questioning, at least in my opinion, those are still valid.

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yes they are valid but the fans are not real, they were told to do something and left. This is common in Kickstarter, steam and social media post. The people who voted will not return to play the game, they were told to do something by a person and then they had nothing else to do for that game. Some might still be following but lots of the fans are just vote and leave kind of people.

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Kiara was let's played by a decently sized channel and the video currently has over 11 000 views with 125 comments.  And Kiara got what, 30+ ratings? So having your game out there doesn't necessarily transfer to ratings :)