Author Topic: Should we change the contest voting system?  (Read 921 times)

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Online Proxima

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Should we change the contest voting system?
« on: February 28, 2024, 07:10:11 PM »
Back in 2019, there was an overhaul to contest voting, because the old system often led to a huge number of voting rounds, which is a lot of work for the organiser and puts a heavy burden on voters if they want to commit to taking part in the whole thing, which can lead to excluding those who don't.

The current voting system, while definitely better, is still flawed. We now have only one vote for each rule; that's great. But if the numbers fall out unluckily, we can end up with a situation like that in Contest #29, where a mixed group of six levels needs five or even six voting rounds to establish a winner.

So what's the solution? Well, first we need to decide what the goals of the voting system are. At the moment, they seem to be:
* To establish an overall winner -- obviously the most important goal.
* To establish a winner for each rule, since this carries a certain amount of prestige in itself, especially for rules like "Make a Tame level" where entries have no chance of winning overall.
* To establish overall 2nd and 3rd place -- is this still felt to be important? There are no prizes for these places, but do those who regularly take part in contests care about them?
* To separate out the top three and then rank them, so that the overall winner is not decided until the last voting round.

If all of these are still felt to be necessary, my suggestion would be:

* As in the current system, each rule has one vote only, no tiebreakers.
* The first round of the mixed group aims to establish a top 3. If this isn't possible because of ties, a tiebreaker is held.

For example, with the votes from contest #29 (6 for A, 2 for B, 3 each for C, D, E, F), A would be into the final, B would be out, and a tiebreaker would be held to find the top two of C, D, E, F.

Ideally, this system limits the mixed group to three rounds plus one possible tiebreaker. Unfortunately, because of the requirement that an exact number of entries qualify for the top three, it's still possible for the tiebreaker to need a tiebreaker (e.g. C, D, E, F get 7, 4, 4, 3 votes respectively). I would suggest that in that case, we could just be okay with not having a third place (or having a tied third place), so that the mixed group cannot have more than four votes.

Online Simon

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Re: Should we change the contest voting system?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2024, 08:28:04 PM »
For me, the main function of the pools is to generate a few cool-down weeks between playing the entries for contest n and seeing the rules for contest n + 1. I enjoy the time off. Still, inefficient polling nags me naturally, i.e., you've presented a nice design problem.

I don't even know how Icho prunes the list between rounds. It looks like he drops the bottom ~third between rounds, and errs on the side of keeping levels instead of dropping levels. I wouldn't mind dropping levels faster than that.

The more rounds you run, the more voters will see other people's votes of earlier rounds. This may change opinion about levels. This can be objectively good (we sleep over it, we look at the entry a second time), objectively bad (we blindly follow others, we cast an uninformed vote in hope of doing the least damage), or neutral (feelings fluctuate and we merely take several samples). Example: When Rhizome won Contest 27, it didn't collect the most votes in early rounds, but it did in the later rounds. I hope was for the first reason. :lix-grin:

Quote from: Proxima
The first round of the mixed group aims to establish a top 3.

Yes, if you want to crown a single winner and award a prize, it's good to run the final top 3 or top 2. I believe I don't mind what happens before this.

-- Simon

Offline WillLem

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Re: Should we change the contest voting system?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2024, 05:35:45 PM »
My 2 pennies' worth on this.

As someone who has never won a level design or LOTY contest, sometimes it's good to see how far you can make it through the contest. So, more rounds can mean that those who don't win at least get to make it through a few rounds and feel some satisfaction/achievement from that.

With that said - yes, lots of polling/voting can become annoying, and the overall goal here seems to be to reduce this.

A good system might be to leave all levels up for voting for the entire contest; this might incentivise more interaction from Forum members who might otherwise not bother to vote, since the goal would become to push your preferred level as high up the list as possible. It would also provide a more meaningful representation of what percentage of voters actually prefer the level which ends up winning - i.e. it prevents users having to choose from a small pool of levels in the final round which they might not have voted for in the first round.

We could also then reward the top 3 levels, for example, rather than only the eventual winner. There is already a choice of 3 prizes of the level design contest, why not give these out to the top 3 winning levels? Obviously, the winner gets first choice of prize, and so on.

This might also incentivise more people to take part, knowing that getting into the top 3 is a worthwhile pursuit.



I would also strongly advocate for a "one level entry per author" and "one winner per rule" system.

For LOTY, nominations can still be many levels per person, but the nominated author should then get to choose which of their nominated levels they want to put forward, and that's their contest entry.

For level design contests, authors must choose which contest rule they want to take part in carefully, and make an entry for that rule and that rule only. Then, if we go with a "one winner per rule" system, that means that 3 different authors will get a win. I'd then hand the choice of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place over to the level design contest author - since they proposed the rules, perhaps they should get the final say in which level best meets the parameters of their proposed rule. This removes voting entirely from this part of the contest.

I believe this would encourage more people to take part in these contests.

Offline Silken Healer

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Re: Should we change the contest voting system?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2024, 06:22:30 PM »
There's only 2 prizes since the news ticker was removed

Offline WillLem

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Re: Should we change the contest voting system?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2024, 07:07:22 PM »
There's only 2 prizes since the news ticker was removed

Maybe the prize could be choosing a rule in the next contest, then?

That way, the 3 rules are shared between the 3 winners, 1 for each previous rule.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: Should we change the contest voting system?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2024, 03:58:30 AM »
I don't think the forum software supports it out of the box, if at all, but I wonder if there's a way we could implement ranked choice.