The following paragraphs are a follow-up to the recent "Rule Book
" changes for the Songwriting Competition. The biggest change we have seen in the last three games, has been "work as much on your production as you like, upload, gather feedback, work some more on it". Which was not only taken very positively, but (to my impression) also revived the Songwriting Competition.
We however still have the monthly recurring debates, that the voting system we are using as final evaluation, is offputting, annoying, and sometimes downright unfair. The main problem is - that we can't really use a different way to declare our "Winners Podium" as bonus incentive for participating. How we get there, is an endless debate that I do not want pick up this time around. I am still looking into possible options. But how everything is set up now, things work (in fact - they work for pretty much any other community that uses this system). So please... let us move on.
A different thing that I'd love to address, is the "Bonus Points System".
As of this moment, it works like this:
SWC Rule Book - Rules for Voting wrote:
Participants of the Songwriting Competition can score up to four (number: 4) global bonus points on the score sheet for the following situations
- 1 bonus point for submitting a mix equal or lower than -14 LUFS ILk / -1 dBTP max (Integrated)
- 1 bonus point for properly naming your files and making them downloadable by the time the deadline has ended, or up until the "submission summary" has been collected and posted (usually happening between 6-12 hours after the submission period has ended)
- 1 bonus point for properly documenting what equipment was used during the production (you don't have to go into super detail regarding plugins per channel), and what your idea behind the production was
- 1 bonus point for giving final constructive feedback and ideas how to improve on the production during the voting process
The idea for the "Bonus Point Mechanic" is to not only get a bit more insight of ones production, but to also boost the interaction between songwriters, and to adhere to given rules. Sometimes one extra point can have a drastic influence on the final score sheet.
I think, we can introduce some improvements. In fact, I already hinted at that in the last two Songwriting Competitions, but especially SWC037 / September where I opted to not disqualify one participant
, but went the route of deducting points. You might see where this is going now.
I want to (ideally) do away from the strict "If you do not give final feedback and/or cast your vote, your entry will be disqualified from the final results"
rule, or at least modify it to make the whole game even more engaging.
What does that mean?
I've thought about drastically overhauling the Bonus Point Mechanic. Instead of participants managing to grab just four (number: 4) additional bonus points, which can
mean a last-minute shift on the score board, I am considering to upgrade the bonus points to something like 30-50. I would like to try to introduce an "inverse logic". Rather than being frustrated to be just disqualified for a small mishap (e.g. completely forgetting deadlines), and therefore being automatically "last", we will alternatively see a hurting-yet-fair "drop" in points. This (hopefully) feels way less punishing as you can still learn from what you did wrong, then improve on it and have an incentive to score as high as possible in a future game. A different twist on the learning factor of our community.
You start out with 30 bonus points.
However, you slightly messed up by the time the deadline has been reached. Your song can not be associated with your forum account, since the file naming is off: you'll loose 5 points. You didn't give final feedback and/or cast your vote: you'll loose an additional 10 points.
Now let's assume you scored 120 points overall (global feedback), which would have put you on second place. The third place made 115 points, fourth place had 107 points. With the bonus points, you could score up to 150 points. The third place made it to 140 points, since he/she had the track exceeding the loudness limit. And fourth place made it to 137 points. Since you didn't provide final feedback/cast your vote and your file could not be associated with your user account - you only scored up to 135 points. Third place is now moving up to second place, and fourth place is moving up to third, while you are not on 4th place.
This does hurt, but you're not disqualified.
This doesn't mean that we will get rid of all ground rules - we would just "reshape" another one of them from a more negative connotation, to a more neutral one. At least in my opinion.
How would the overhauled bonus point mechanic look like?
I thought of something like this:
This is where you come in
I would love to introduce this overhauled mechanic with SWC 038 / October
already. I know, I'm terribly behind schedules and this is a bit on short notice (I'm being honest with you - I have been pushing this topic in front of me for over two weeks now). But I am fairly positive that this won't cause a huge rift between all Songwriting Competition regulars, but actually encourage even more interaction.
These numbers are not perfect. And this is where I'd love to hear your feedback
what you would consider to be "painful" to loose out on, but still fair while looking at the bigger picture.
Thank you for your time