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Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
As far as I know, it's not explicitly against the rules, but in past years some voters have said such comments bias them against the contestant, even when the comments are wholly positive. If they're even slightly critical, the dislike increases. Best not to for that reason alone.
I disagree rather strongly about whether someone "should" or "should not" need validation to keep at it. People need what they need, and it's different for everyone.
I have no doubt whatsoever that in some cases it can make the difference between someone continuing in a creative endeavor and giving up. I've seen it happen any number of times, with people that went on to become professionals in whatever particular field.
I've been around various creative worlds for most of my life, to a greater or lesser degree. Music, film, writing. I've encountered the idea that 'if you need validation, you aren't going to make it anyway' in each of them, but in my observation I've seen it proved wrong over and over again.
There are some people who are going to make it no matter what. Most people who are going to hit it really big are apparent early on. They have an intense internal drive that's integral to their personality. Those people may not "need" validation (though they quite often crave it intensely).
But the business isn't just superstars, there's a lot of rank and file pros that make the industry work. And some of those people actually do benefit from validation. It really can be the difference in making it or giving up. I've seen it over and over.
The top 100 list helped me last year.
In the three years of player voting, my progression has gone like this -
2013: Didn't get culled.
That top 100 was important to me, it let me know I'd entered something the voters liked and that I should keep trying. I'd enter anyway, but I was more motivated to work at it this year by knowing I'd come close last year.
Scott LaBarge wrote:
And a question about Round 2: Once our maps are up and public, are we allowed to talk about them, explain what we were thinking, etc.? Or is it like Round 1 and we have to maintain radio silence about our own item? I would think that since everyone knows whose is whose, there shouldn't be any problem in speaking up (judiciously), right?
The rules prohibit you talking about your own entry at all until voting has ended. Don't say anything about it or you'll be disqualified. Yes, this really happens.
The rules allow discussion of other entries, but voters frown on it pretty strongly. I'd say it's not a risk worth taking, but it's not even a risk - talking about other entries will hurt you, even if you're favorable. Don't do it.
Idle chatter amongst other contestants in here is fine, but don't talk about the entries.
I saw them a number of times as Mr Crowes Garden in tiny clubs, way back in the day. Then would go back to their house after for the party. At least I mis-spent my youth right, even if I can't hear anything any more. ;-)
I agree there were some posts that identified some items a little too well, but the problem is starting to get overstated a bit.
I'd say it was a handful of items that could definitely be identified from particular posts. The vast, vast majority of posts just weren't that specific. And even then some of those were merely neutrally checking off an item -"I saw the one with the longest name ever!", which gives no indication whether someone is voting for or against it. It's just a milestone of sorts.
There's also a tendency, quite natural, for people to think even vague comments are referring to your particular item. Heck, there were plenty of snarky comments that may have been directed at mine. Don't think I didn't have fleeting thoughts that they were. But the odds are very strong that they weren't.
Having said that, there were a few items that were both clearly identified and an opinion offered. That sort of thing is out of place and should be called out when spotted. Let's just keep the amount of it in perspective.
The reason to cull is to get rid of items that no voters will vote for. At a certain point, it's a waste of voting to rank items that will remain stuck on the bottom.
There's a few of those this year. The incomplete entries, mostly, and maybe some blatant joke items. But I'm not feeling the need for a cull as urgently this year. Far fewer "wasted" matchups in my opinion.
Still, maybe a small cull 7-10 days in is a good idea. Cut the real problems and keep the rest.
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Staves and rod are not what I'm talking about.
I mean things like 'This pencil, which has many magical properties related to being a pencil, also functions as magical stabby +1"
Gossiper's Gourd is the most interesting of the Top 32 to me, and it's even more interesting to see it wasn't on anyone's exit poll.
Historically the contest hasn't had a lot of room for "roleplaying" items, but it seems like the Gourd bubbled up in voting. It was well done, and it filled a certain roleplaying need.
I ended up voting for it more often than not, but I assumed it had no chance of making the Top 32. There were a few other "roleplaying" items I did the same thing with. I'm happy to see one of them get selected. To me that's as it should be. The game isn't all dungeons and combat, after all.