Unofficial Round 4 Exit Poll


RPG Superstar™ 2010 General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Alex Martin wrote:

I am actually a little amazed by these results. Two of the four don't surprise me, but I thought for sure Richard would be in among them.

Good luck to (4) finalists. To the rest, well done work in any case.

Yeah, Richard not making it was a big surprise to me too.

Anyway, congrats to all 8 finalists, and major congrats to the top 4! I'm sure you'll all be hearing from Paizo soon. :)

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

If I recall right, this follows the trend of earlier rounds - all but one match the poll, and there's one surprise.

If I were to ever make it into the top 32, I don't know if I'd be able to watch the poll. Ugh.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

gbonehead wrote:

If I recall right, this follows the trend of earlier rounds - all but one match the poll, and there's one surprise.

If I were to ever make it into the top 32, I don't know if I'd be able to watch the poll. Ugh.

It's tough, I can attest.

That being said, I also wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

gbonehead wrote:
If I were to ever make it into the top 32, I don't know if I'd be able to watch the poll. Ugh.

Well, it's sure easier when the polls put you near the bottom. It's the poor suckers at the top and middle that must have it rough. :)


Congratulations Watcher! (and everyone of course) Always good to see your spooky eyes in the forum :)

Seth... *wince* - but I agree.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

So, with regards to the exit poll and the actual voting, for this round, I did a specific type of comparative analysis I've never done before. I won't go into details about either the analysis or the results, but I will tell you this: compared to actual voting percentages, a higher percentage of people here are saying that they're voting for the ones that are perceived as popular, while a smaller-than-actual percentage is admitting to have voted for the ones that are perceived as unpopular.


Vic Wertz wrote:
So, with regards to the exit poll and the actual voting, for this round, I did a specific type of comparative analysis I've never done before. I won't go into details about either the analysis or the results, but I will tell you this: compared to actual voting percentages, a higher percentage of people here are saying that they're voting for the ones that are perceived as popular, while a smaller-than-actual percentage is admitting to have voted for the ones that are perceived as unpopular.

Keh? Maths hurt brain... So are you saying that people said that they voted for the popular ones actually voted for the less popular ones but don't want to say.....?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka AWizardInDallas

Sounds like he's saying that those who voted for those perceived as popular are more likely to register a vote in the exit poll than those who voted for the unpopular. Seems to indicate some minor peer pressure or embarrassment factor on who to vote for...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka AWizardInDallas

Also sounds like maybe exit polls create a minor bandwagon effect too, though I have no data to base that on or know to what extent. However, I can envision a visitor short on reading time just hitting the exit poll and deciding to vote for the tops rather than actually reading the entries. In real voting plenty of people make uninformed voting decisions because they lack the time for extensive study. :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

It makes sense to me that people wouldn't say they were voting for the most unpopular entries. Who wants to be the only one voting for an obvious loser?

I wonder if that means those entries that show just 1 or 2 votes at the bottom of the polls actually got a higher percentage of votes, but people didn't want to admit they voted for them?

Either way, I don't think the exit polls would make a difference in who progresses or not.

I just hope most people had a better rationale for their votes than who is leading in the poll.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Richard A. Hunt wrote:
Sounds like he's saying that those who voted for those perceived as popular are more likely to register a vote in the exit poll than those who voted for the unpopular.

I wouldn't go quite so far as to explicitly say that. I will say that I think the data supports that conclusion, but it doesn't actually prove anything.

Richard A. Hunt wrote:
Also sounds like maybe exit polls create a minor bandwagon effect too...

I'd say that the data actually contradicts that conclusion. If there's a bandwagon effect, it looks to be in the exit poll more than the voting booth.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka AWizardInDallas

Vic Wertz wrote:
I'd say that the data actually contradicts that conclusion. If there's a bandwagon effect, it looks to be in the exit poll more than the voting booth.

Actually that makes a great deal more sense, because that's where the "known" votes are. Interesting.


Richard A. Hunt wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
I'd say that the data actually contradicts that conclusion. If there's a bandwagon effect, it looks to be in the exit poll more than the voting booth.
Actually that makes a great deal more sense, because that's where the "known" votes are. Interesting.

Just a thought too - maybe people are using their social networks to encourage people to vote for them. Those people are registering with Paizo specifically to vote for their friend's entry, and aren't likely to post in the exit poll. That might offer a hypothesis for why there'd be more actual votes for people at the bottom end than suggested in the exit poll?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 9 aka Zynete

La Femme Nikita wrote:
Just a thought too - maybe people are using their social networks to encourage people to vote for them. Those people are registering with Paizo specifically to vote for their friend's entry, and aren't likely to post in the exit poll. That might offer a hypothesis for why there'd be more actual votes for people at the bottom end than suggested in the exit poll?

However, just that would be likely to hit all the entrants equally rather than just the "unpopular" contestants.

They might be doing what I was doing. Not reporting my vote so the person in the exit poll doesn't get moved up. That way if other voters would vote for an entrant if they are low in the polls, then there are slightly more likely to vote than if I had pushed the people that I voted for up the rankings.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

The people who post their votes and first establish the poll data aren't going to be as affected by that data, obviously. But those who come in later and see the polls might be more biased towards voting for the bottom, when they see something they like about to get eliminated, rather than voting for the top.

It could ALSO be that the people who are 'losing' in the poles are more likely to call for backup and thus garner invisible votes.

Could be a number of things.


(edited, spelling corrections)

Nicolas Quimby wrote:

The people who post their votes and first establish the poll data aren't going to be as affected by that data, obviously. But those who come in later and see the polls might be more biased towards voting for the bottom, when they see something they like about to get eliminated, rather than voting for the top.

It could ALSO be that the people who are 'losing' in the polls are more likely to call for backup and thus garner invisible votes.

Could be a number of things.

Given that voters had four votes this round, and that there were four Round 5 places, in theory those who wanted to vote for simply the entries which they liked to advance to the final round were able to do exactly that. What I'm saying is that irrespective of the apparent positions in the polls, voters had the option this round to 'pick their top four and vote for all of them'.

Now, the human mind can do strange things occasionally, and it's possible that some people might have tried to get their top five or six (or seven or eight even) into the next round, despite the fact that there were only four places in Round 5 (or even that some voters may have been superstitious/had a brainstorm and decided that they could best get their favourite four into the next round by not voting for them), but for those who noticed that there were only four places in the next round, and that they had four votes, they had the option to vote for each of their favourite four entries.

I suppose that it's possible that if an entry was apparently doing badly in the polls then that might have influenced some voters to like it more in the first place when determining their favourite 4... (people loving what they perceive as an underdog????)

Hmm...
;)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Yes, it makes no sense logically since we have as many votes as there are positions this round. But just the same, seeing something about to be eliminated might make you consider that entry a bit harder.

Now that I think about it, though, I think the real reason might just be that invisible votes are less discriminating than reported votes. The voting poll really just shows you the "regular forum poster" demographic. Voters who don't register are likely to go about things more casually, perhaps basing their decision on a cool image or bit of wordplay that catches their fancy, or on the contestant who used their favorite monster. And on top of that you've got the 'friend/family' votes (not to disparage- my mom certainly voted for me. :)). Even if we assume that all eight contestants got the exact same number of friend/family votes, that's still going to balance the overall voting pool away from the winners.


Nicolas Quimby wrote:
Even if we assume that all eight contestants got the exact same number of friend/family votes...

I'd be curious to know, if the other contestants wish to share, what (if anything) they did to garner support outside of the Paizo forums?

I'll share the tricks I used to help Jesse - click on the spoiler for the long-winded marketing campaign ideas.

Marketing Tactics spoiler:
I'll admit due to my fierce love for the hubbster, I pushed our friends as hard as I felt was respectable. We didn't want to market too aggressively, since ultimately it's about Paizo making money, and while our friends and family would buy anything Jesse wrote, I didn't think it would be entirely fair to Paizo to get lots of website registrants and voters for Jesse when ultimately they would be useless leads and non-purchasers of Paizo products. At the end of the spoiler, I've shared ideas I ultimately rejected...

We have a family blog, and I posted info with instructions on how to vote and a link to the voting.

I also tweeted a couple of times each voting round with a link to voting. I used bit.ly to track results, and saw quite a few unique users of the link through my tweet (I use twitter mostly for professional reasons, and the majority of my followers are not friends IRL... I'm a marketing consultant, and I wonder if that helped in that I've voted for those people for Webby and Blogger awards, and they returned the favor here...).

Both Jesse and I posted updates on Facebook, and we also tagged our friends in a Facebook note. At least a third of the clickers on the link were from Facebook. Also, we found that we got a greater response (measured by comments) from people due to tagging them in a note versus just updating our status... Now, that may be because we were getting down to the final rounds of the competition, too, or that I used abject begging?

I also emailed the same post from our personal blog to some of our less internet-savvy friends, like my mom and dad, who then forwarded the email to some of their friends...

Some tactics I was thinking about using but ultimately didn't (see opening paragraph for why)...

I considered drafting a press release to send to our local newspaper when Jesse made Top 32, hoping he'd get in a "people in the news" section. I also would have sent the release to our local affiliate television stations hoping that they may pick it up as a human interest story (since D&D and other role playing games are often controversial). I also know of several free press release services; they don't necessarily ensure your release will get picked up in the news, but it certainly helps with organic search results... it's possible that using those services for anyone searching for terms like "Paizo" or "RPG" or "RPG Superstar" would come across that press release, and that name recognition may have bolstered Jesse's votes...

I considered researching other RPG forums (like Giant in the Playground), registering, and directing traffic to Paizo to try to garner more support (I felt that ultimately that'd be sock puppeting). Along that vein, there are a couple of hobby shops in our area, and I was considering visiting them to make appeals to their gamer groups, and posting a flyer to hopefully garner support for Jesse.

Because I don't know how many votes Jesse got, I'm not sure how effective our social media blitz campaign was (Vic, if you'd be willing to share [nikkibenner@gmail.com] I will keep that information confidential; the statistics geek in me would love to evaluate the effectiveness of our Web 2.0 campaign...) I'm fairly confident it's what pushed Jesse over the edge from Top 16 to Top 8, because he was on the cusp of the Top 8 in the exit poll...

I'm unemployed at the moment. I have a lot of pent-up marketing energy... *sigh.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Tarren Dei

La Femme Nikita wrote:
Nicolas Quimby wrote:
Even if we assume that all eight contestants got the exact same number of friend/family votes...

I'd be curious to know, if the other contestants wish to share, what (if anything) they did to garner support outside of the Paizo forums?

I'll share the tricks I used to help Jesse - click on the spoiler for the long-winded marketing campaign ideas.

** spoiler omitted **...

You did all that for your husband? Sounds like Jesse won before the contest began. You're a lucky man, Jesse. ;-)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I hereby recommend all future Top 32 RPG Superstar contestants hire Jesse's wife as their marketing campaign manager. ;-)

But, more seriously, I think the most effective "campaign" you can wage to garner voter support is actually here on the messageboards...and maybe the Tuesday night chatroom at DMTools.org. Why? Because most of the people who already support Paizo and the actual RPG Superstar contest are consistently in those two places. And any good marketing campaign finds ways to go to its targeted audience, rather than trying to bring that audience to you in order to hear your message.

When I entered RPG Superstar the first year (and didn't make it, by the way), it occurred to me that most people wouldn't know me on Paizo's boards. So, even if I'd made it, I'd have more of an uphill battle than someone who did already have an established persona. I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to advance just on the strength of my submissions round-by-round. So, when year two rolled around...or really, before then...I made a conscious effort to get more involved here. I participated in PbP games on Paizo's messageboards. I posted more often. I listened and learned. And, I definitely made a point of attending more of Paizo's Tuesday night chats with the staff at DMTools.org.

Did any of that really matter? Not by itself, no. I'm not sure it garnered me any "extra" votes just because of all that. But, it did keep me involved in all things Paizo. It also helped me make several new friends. And it was entirely awesome that one of those new friends also made it into the competition...i.e., Trevor Gulliver. That actually made the contest even more fun for me, because I was always as excited to see what Trevor would come up with as I was to see the reaction to what I crafted in each round. And that helped spur me on, really.

So, marketing blitz or not...I feel both of those avenues really do help in immersing yourself in Paizo, the contest, and the products that you'll ultimately be asked to contribute to if you happen to win and/or catch Paizo's eye as a potential freelancer. All that other stuff matters, too. I had family, co-workers, childhood friends, gaming friends, and RPG industry friends I'd made at conventions all supporting me. But that's only a part of the contest. You have to bring awesome stuff that wins over the voters you don't know...but who do know Paizo...because they're the ones who will matter the most in the long run. No one's voting bloc will be large enough to overcome the combined voters who switch from supporting someone who got eliminated to someone who's still in the competition if you don't also win them over to your side with your actual designs.

Spoiler:
Unless, of course, you've got all of Brazil or Argentina voting for you... ;-)

But that's just my two-cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

Neil Spicer wrote:


Spoiler:
Unless you've got all of Brazil or Argentina voting for you, of course... ;-)

No need to rub salt into old wounds there ... :(

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Carl Flaherty wrote:
No need to rub salt into old wounds there ... :(

My apologies. Just trying to be humorous.

The point does stand, though, correct? Much like Jesse's wife is suggesting the accumulated voting bloc she helped gather may have pushed him through to the Top 8, in 2009 we had a similar effect that bumped Joao Beraldo into the Top 16. So, it can have an impact. I'm just not sure it's a lasting impact as contestants go deeper and deeper in the contest. Vic has pointed that out, before, I believe.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

The first year, we were encouraged by Gary to "create a presence" on the Paizo message boards. Prior to entering the contest, I had been an off-and-on reader of the Paizo boards, and a very infrequent poster. I wasn't really much of a regular on any gaming boards, really. I knew a few of the Paizo guys from gaming with them or through mutual friends, but that was really about it.

Once the contest started, though, I dove into the boards and got involved, in particular on the contest threads themselves, but also branching out to other parts of the site. I still haven't done any PbPs or any of the "Forums Are Too Long" kind of pure-community threads, but playtest forums and all of that, absolutely.

I think it does help for the Paizo regulars to have some sense of you and what you're all about as a gamer (and a potential game designer). It might not win you any votes... but it might. Sometimes a contest might be a runaway landslide. Other times, the voting might be tight. You never know when a small voting bump might get you through.

FWIW, I absolutely emailed most of the people I knew during the contest and asked them to make a Paizo ID and sign in and vote for me. I have no idea how many of them actually did, but I recall my mom and her BF telling me they had, and I'm quite sure they were not the last folks who wouldn't know a d20 from a 2x4 who cast a vote for an RPG Superstar!


Jason Nelson wrote:

The first year, we were encouraged by Gary to "create a presence" on the Paizo message boards. Prior to entering the contest, I had been an off-and-on reader of the Paizo boards, and a very infrequent poster. I wasn't really much of a regular on any gaming boards, really. I knew a few of the Paizo guys from gaming with them or through mutual friends, but that was really about it.

Once the contest started, though, I dove into the boards and got involved, in particular on the contest threads themselves, but also branching out to other parts of the site. I still haven't done any PbPs or any of the "Forums Are Too Long" kind of pure-community threads, but playtest forums and all of that, absolutely.

I think it does help for the Paizo regulars to have some sense of you and what you're all about as a gamer (and a potential game designer). It might not win you any votes... but it might. Sometimes a contest might be a runaway landslide. Other times, the voting might be tight. You never know when a small voting bump might get you through.

FWIW, I absolutely emailed most of the people I knew during the contest and asked them to make a Paizo ID and sign in and vote for me. I have no idea how many of them actually did, but I recall my mom and her BF telling me they had, and I'm quite sure they were not the last folks who wouldn't know a d20 from a 2x4 who cast a vote for an RPG Superstar!

Join us! Join us! Join us!!!

~GRINS~

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

My entire Superstar 2009 marketing campaign:

"I entered a game design contest a few weeks ago. Looks like I'll finish in the Top 16."

Probably needs some polishing up if I end up competing again in the future.


I might want to try some of the above, I definitely plan on participating in the next superstar competition.

Dark Archive

I wasn't sure the extent to which I was allowed to pimp for Ben Bruck, so I tried to limit my involvement to "RPG SUPERSTAR VOTING IS OPEN AND MY FRIEND BEN IS IN IT" type stuff. I was especially leery of attempting to use my semi-fame to pull voters in one direction or another (it's not like I got a lot of pull with people, but still).

Regardless, he got two guaranteed votes each round from me and my girlfriend, and I think a few friends of ours voted as well.

I'm glad to see he got as far as he did, and while I think he had the stuff to make it to #1 no matter what, sadly it was not to be. I do eagerly anticipate seeing his name on a Paizo book sometime in the future, and as someone who got to hash out some concepts for his unofficial adventure proposal, I vouch for its deliciousness.

And I ain't even seen the final product yet. :D

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Neil Spicer wrote:
Much like Jesse's wife is suggesting the accumulated voting bloc she helped gather may have pushed him through to the Top 8, in 2009 we had a similar effect that bumped Joao Beraldo into the Top 16. So, it can have an impact. I'm just not sure it's a lasting impact as contestants go deeper and deeper in the contest. Vic has pointed that out, before, I believe.

Yep. Here's the pertinent quote:

Last year, I wrote:
Is it possible that a contest can inspire a block of voters to take him further than he probably deserves? Yes, it absolutely is. However, assuming we get the same number of voters each round, the fact that the contestant pool is diminished by half each round means that the strength of your voting block is decreased by half each round. That is, it takes about twice as many votes to make it through each subsequent round, so unless you're able to double your voting block each round, eventually, you'll fall below the threshold needed to advance. (I've termed this the Sanjaya effect.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Much like Jesse's wife is suggesting the accumulated voting bloc she helped gather may have pushed him through to the Top 8, in 2009 we had a similar effect that bumped Joao Beraldo into the Top 16. So, it can have an impact. I'm just not sure it's a lasting impact as contestants go deeper and deeper in the contest. Vic has pointed that out, before, I believe.

Yep. Here's the pertinent quote:

Last year, I wrote:
Is it possible that a contest can inspire a block of voters to take him further than he probably deserves? Yes, it absolutely is. However, assuming we get the same number of voters each round, the fact that the contestant pool is diminished by half each round means that the strength of your voting block is decreased by half each round. That is, it takes about twice as many votes to make it through each subsequent round, so unless you're able to double your voting block each round, eventually, you'll fall below the threshold needed to advance. (I've termed this the Sanjaya effect.)

If we somehow come up with a way of jurying individual capability without the process devolving into a popularity contest, we'll have accidentally fixed most of the problems of western democracy. ;-)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Well I didn't do any marketing outside of sending one email to the couple people I play D&D with, with a link to the rpg superstar site. I didn't think it made sense in this contest for people who don't even play the game to vote for me just because they knew me.

I think the tips on creating a presence here on the paizo message boards is good. (Of course, polishing up a better entry is probably the best use of my time.)

I have no idea how many votes even came in, so I wonder if people outside the pathfinder community sway votes. I kind of hope not, since few of those people will ever buy any pathfinder modules.

Silver Crusade Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Trevor Gulliver wrote:

You did all that for your husband? Sounds like Jesse won before the contest began. You're a lucky man, Jesse. ;-)

Trevor, don't I know it.

My wife is beautiful, inside and out, and not only was she willing to do all of the marketing, she was an astounding editor, and after years of playing together, my best characters are the ones that are partnered with hers.
Seriously, I found a hot gamer chick. ALL of my levels of Monk are based on the day that I will have to beat back a con full of other gamers who know how good I have it.

I'm done embarrassing her now. Seriously though, I know I wouldn't have gotten into the top 16 or the top 8 without her and I can't thank you all enough for saying nice things about her methods.
-QGJ

Silver Crusade Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Neil Spicer wrote:
I hereby recommend all future Top 32 RPG Superstar contestants hire Jesse's wife as their marketing campaign manager. ;-)

Neil,

We already have at least 2 friends looking to take her up on that offer for RPG Superstar 2011.

But, I will find out what the g.p. rate is for her consulting. I know she appreciates everyone's comments...
-QGJ


Neil Spicer wrote:
But, more seriously, I think the most effective "campaign" you can wage to garner voter support is actually here on the messageboards...and maybe the Tuesday night chatroom at DMTools.org.

I absolutely agree with this! At the end of the day (and part of the reason I didn't put our marketing blitz out further than friends and family) was because I did want Jesse to advance on the strength of his submissions...

Unfortunately, we're newcomers to Pathfinder, and Jesse had already made it into the competition... even before Leif's DQ, we discussed just how much Jesse should get involved with the forums during voting, even if he wasn't talking about his entries, because personality matters...

In a perfect world, we would already have become active in the Paizo community...

Le Sigh! You'll just have to be stuck with us now...

And I am unemployed at the moment, if anyone needs a Paizo Marketing Strategist... :)


Jesse Benner wrote:
Trevor Gulliver wrote:

You did all that for your husband? Sounds like Jesse won before the contest began. You're a lucky man, Jesse. ;-)

Trevor, don't I know it.

My wife is beautiful, inside and out, and not only was she willing to do all of the marketing, she was an astounding editor, and after years of playing together, my best characters are the ones that are partnered with hers.
Seriously, I found a hot gamer chick. ALL of my levels of Monk are based on the day that I will have to beat back a con full of other gamers who know how good I have it.

I'm done embarrassing her now. Seriously though, I know I wouldn't have gotten into the top 16 or the top 8 without her and I can't thank you all enough for saying nice things about her methods.
-QGJ

Awwww!!

*snif

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

La Femme Nikita wrote:
...we discussed just how much Jesse should get involved with the forums during voting, even if he wasn't talking about his entries, because personality matters...

As long as you're not commenting in your own submission thread while voting is going on, you're completely in the clear to comment and post anywhere else on the messageboards. In fact, in the email Paizo sends to notify the Top 32 that they made it into the contest, they actually encourage you to establish an online persona so the voters (and potentially your future fans) can start getting to know you better.

The only admonition that comes along with that, however, is that once you make the Top 32, you immediatley have name-recognition because of the "bling" that gets attached to your handle on every post you make. Thus, people are watching and observing you and whatever you say...and how they perceive you saying it.

Given the complete unreliability of conveying emotion, sarcasm, etc. via messageboard post, you've really got to be extra aware of how your posts may come across to people. If they perceive you as being a high-and-mighty rules-lawyer, for instance, that's probably not going to win you very many votes. If they perceive you as exceedingly critical of other people's work or opinions, same thing. And, if they see you arguing with the judges (even if you're in the right), it still makes you appear argumentative and unable to act in a professional manner.

The bottom line, however, is that despite all those potential pitfalls, the ability to post elsewhere during the competition can represent a golden opportunity to market yourself, too. As long as you post in a way that's clearly respectful, supportive, knowledgeable, and clear-headed, you stand a good chance of impressing people. Now, that by itself won't guarantee you any extra votes. But, paired with some good designs in every round, and maybe when faced with a toss up between two designs the voters like equally well, such visible conduct can sway more voters your way. It's all in how you market yourself...and in how you're seen to treat others. And that's no different in real-life vs. the RPG Superstar competition. It's just a little more challenging given the medium of the internet. :-)

But that's just my two-cents,
--Neil

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

N'wah wrote:


I'm glad to see [Ben Bruck] got as far as he did, and while I think he had the stuff to make it to #1 no matter what, sadly it was not to be. I do eagerly anticipate seeing his name on a Paizo book sometime in the future, and as someone who got to hash out some concepts for his unofficial adventure proposal, I vouch for its deliciousness.

And I ain't even seen the final product yet. :D

+1 for the Ben Bruck love- and I *don't* know him. I was actually very very bummed to see he didn't make it into the Top 4. But - he seems like a true professional, so I doubt this setback will stop him. Don't get stopped, Ben!

Keep going!


Neil Spicer wrote:
La Femme Nikita wrote:
...we discussed just how much Jesse should get involved with the forums during voting, even if he wasn't talking about his entries, because personality matters...

The only admonition that comes along with that, however, is that once you make the Top 32, you immediatley have name-recognition because of the "bling" that gets attached to your handle on every post you make. Thus, people are watching and observing you and whatever you say...and how they perceive you saying it.

Given the complete unreliability of conveying emotion, sarcasm, etc. via messageboard post, you've really got to be extra aware of how your posts may come across to people.

This is an extraordinarily good point (and one that I think needs to be adhered to for everyone posting in online forums, IMO).

I shouldn't be amazed, but yet it always does amaze me that people can use the anonymity of the Internet as a license to be uncouth or aggressively rude.

My Momma said, as a rule of thumb when dating, to pay attention to how your date treats service staff - if they're rude to the waitstaff, they're probably kind of a jerk... I don't know if that holds true on the Intertubes, but I certainly am immediately negatively disposed toward people who are jerks online.

So I definitely agree with you, Neil, that the RPG Superstar contestants need to be especially mindful of their words during voting... I'd just offer that people may want to be mindful of their words always? I'm not talking about finding fault with and sharing criticism of someone's idea, to be clear. I'm talking about aggressive rudeness...

And if I may pass a compliment your way, I'd offer your posts as one of several examples for people to follow with respect to offering in-depth criticism while still being polite and constructive about it...

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

La Femme Nikita wrote:
My Momma said, as a rule of thumb when dating, to pay attention to how your date treats service staff - if they're rude to the waitstaff, they're probably kind of a jerk...

Love that one.

I've oft repeated it as "A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."

I think my kids are tired of it by now :)

Silver Crusade Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

La Femme Nikita wrote:
And if I may pass a compliment your way, I'd offer your posts as one of several examples for people to follow with respect to offering in-depth criticism while still being polite and constructive about it...

Neil,

I agree with my wife wholeheartedly on this one, and also have to extend her compliments to all former semi-finalists of RPG Superstar. I have found the feedback given to me and others who have been through the rounds of this and previous competitions to be very tactful. I can only imagine that one or more rounds of watching people comment on your work without the opportunity to respond promptly really does bring home how important it is to get constructive criticism in an encouraging way.

I really appreciated your comments.

-QGJ

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jesse Benner wrote:
...I can only imagine that one or more rounds of watching people comment on your work without the opportunity to respond promptly really does bring home how important it is to get constructive criticism in an encouraging way.

And thus, the importance of passing on that kind of encouragement and constructive, supportive criticism to those who come after you, Jesse. Remember that for next year. And pass it on! Because your own insights on how to meet each challenge will be all the more potent for having gone through the experience yourself.

Jason Nelson and I often joke at times about sharing a certain brotherhood for having run the gauntlet of RPG Superstar, but it's true. The contest itself is very unique in that way. And I know I've got a tremendous amount of respect for everyone who puts their work out there for critique in such a very public way during each challenge. It's not easy. It's hard work. And it's nerve-wracking with a touch of anguish as you live and die with how everyone receives your submissions.

But it's also a massive load of fun! And it helps to support and build up the hobby. Not just because of the opportunity it provides would-be freelancers, but because of the opportunity you have in supporting one another to grow over the course of the contest into a group of future freelancers. And the inspiration you can become for everyone else who wants to make the Top 32 and have the same experience.

But that's just my two-cents...
And thanks for your kind words,
--Neil

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Neil Spicer wrote:
Jesse Benner wrote:
...I can only imagine that one or more rounds of watching people comment on your work without the opportunity to respond promptly really does bring home how important it is to get constructive criticism in an encouraging way.

And thus, the importance of passing on that kind of encouragement and constructive, supportive criticism to those who come after you, Jesse. Remember that for next year. And pass it on! Because your own insights on how to meet each challenge will be all the more potent for having gone through the experience yourself.

Jason Nelson and I often joke at times about sharing a certain brotherhood for having run the gauntlet of RPG Superstar, but it's true.

Tru dat, bro. ::bump::

I did a lot of commentating and advice giving during last year's Superstar, trying to help point people away from some land mines we learned about the first time through this thing, as well as some general-purpose "writing for a game" and "writing for a contest" advice. I figured why not help people improve and make the contest and their entries better and better.

I've done a fair bit of commenting this time around, but Neil has taken it to a whole 'nother level, as befits the Superstar that he is.

The top 4 from this year should likewise make an effort, inasmuch as they are able, to be supportive and helpful the next time around, not just as interested observers and members of the Paizo community but, as Neil says in the remainder of his post above, people who have been through the gauntlet and have the scars to prove it. In fact, Neil says it so nicely, I'll go ahead and quote it again!

Neil Spicer wrote:

The contest itself is very unique in that way. And I know I've got a tremendous amount of respect for everyone who puts their work out there for critique in such a very public way during each challenge. It's not easy. It's hard work. And it's nerve-wracking with a touch of anguish as you live and die with how everyone receives your submissions.

But it's also a massive load of fun! And it helps to support and build up the hobby. Not just because of the opportunity it provides would-be freelancers, but because of the opportunity you have in supporting one another to grow over the course of the contest into a group of future freelancers. And the inspiration you can become for everyone else who wants to make the Top 32 and have the same experience.

But that's just my two-cents...
And thanks for your kind words,
--Neil

Enjoy it, and give back, and help this thing just continue to grow. It's a nerd's world, and we're all just livin' in it! :)

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