|Neil Spicer RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor|
|10 people marked this as a favorite.|
So, I've made an initial pass through every item submission so far. For those following along, here are a few general observations and conclusions I've made:
1) Good Stuff! - As usual, we've got some great entries! Lots of Superstar-caliber creativity on display. It'll be fun to see who rises to the Top 32 over the course of the public voting. I have a few favorites I'd like to see make it into the contest if for no other reason than to see what the designers behind them can do in future rounds of the competition.
2) Auto-Rejects - There are also quite a few rejected submissions this go-around, and it's primarily because a lot of people didn't bother reading the rules. I've flagged a number of rings and staves for rejection. I've also seen cursed items, intelligent weapons, and yes...even minor artifacts...all of which are identified in the Open Call as being ineligible for the contest. But people submitted them anyway, presumably in an effort to take the road less traveled. There are also several submissions that went over wordcount. Those get rejected right away. You should never flirt with the maximum words allowed. It's like standing too close to the edge. One little misstep and...ouch!
3) Ill-Advised Risk-Taking - There are also a lot of submissions which ignore the excellent advice Sean has given over the past several years. People still love their backstories. People still struggle with avoiding Spell-in-a-Can design. There are still items which I'd consider "joke" items. Good naming is still a challenge. There are items that are way overpriced, and there are items which clearly abandoned the defined rules for pricing in favor of ballparking it. While that may work out sometimes for wondrous items, I'd say not so much for the weapons and armor/shields category.
4) Template Use/Abuse - Several submissions still struggle to apply the template correctly. Everything from miscues in where things go to how stuff should be worded and how things should be formatted. The latter isn't a dealbreaker, of course, but it visually separates the good entries from the rest of the pack.
5) Look Before You Leap/Submit - It's clear that some folks failed to hit the "Preview" button to get a sense of what their submission would look like to those voting on it. At least one entry tried to do BBCode formatting (including fancy URLs), but accidentally relied on backslashes [\] rather than slashes [/] so the whole thing looks pretty garbled. Some folks are also trying to put BBCode in the thread title, so that's going to cause some folks to standout in a less flattering way during the public vote. This stuff can be coached and cleaned up in the real world of freelancing, but in terms of putting your best foot forward for consideration for Top 32, it's best if you get everything as clean and polished as possible.
And that's it for now. I just figured as we close in on the submission deadline, those who submitted long ago might appreciate a bit of insight into how things are taking shape. It should be a fun period of public voting. Game on!