entering 2011 IGF or not?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by m3xican, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. meds

    meds New Member

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    Anyone can win an academy award, and they're judged by people who know their industry.

    If the Academy Awards was like the IGF the people scoring the games would be movie nerds who think they know everything there is to know about movies but have probably not made any successful movies and for some obnoxious profit making reason you would have to pay $100 for the 'privilege'.

    So if someone truly makes the best game of all time but does not submit it to the IGF what does that mean? That his game is not worthy?
     
  2. papillon

    Indie Author

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    ... so are the IGF judges.

    It means that s/he didn't submit it to the IGF. Why would it mean anything different?

    If you think ANY award in ANY creative industry is the true and objective beacon of value, you're very naive.

    There's no pure objective inarguable scale of value when it comes to art, surely you know that. Works may be savaged by critics one year and later held up as timeless classics. Critics and popular opinion often don't agree. Critics don't agree on things amongst themselves.

    There's no such thing as the best game of all time and never will be. Or the best book, or the best movie, or the best anything along those lines. You can tell objectively who sold more copies, does that mean it's "better"? Is the one that made more profit better than the one that sold more copies? Popular opinion may be able to occasionally work out what's currently thought to be best by the most people, but that's going to change over time. And if you ask any subset of the human race a question, the popular vote is going to be altered by who that subset was, and therefore be potentially different if asked of a DIFFERENT subset.

    Great movies do not always win Academy Awards. They're not even necessarily in the running. Failing to win an award - failing to even be nominated for an award - doesn't necessarily mean that a movie wasn't a great movie. Winning an award doesn't guarantee a movie is going to be an enduring classic, either.

    Nor, I'll bet, are all the judges for the Academy awards inhumanly perfect. Look elsewhere and you'll find all sorts of controversy about the supposed biases in voting there...
     
    #42 papillon, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  3. meds

    meds New Member

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    In the same way I know about surgery because I had my appendix removed.
     
  4. ionside

    ionside New Member

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    Well, I've entered the comp. Last year I entered with a portion of a game, this year a (almost) complete game.

    I'm hoping it draws a little press coverage at least. As it did last year.
     
  5. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I'd like to see all the judges comments go live against the games they are judging in a transparent fashion. That would really expose where personal bias or other such issues have occurred.

    Looking at the end results from last year, I got a distinct feeling there was a bias towards artsy/mechanic platformers. Which doesnt necassarily reflect the entirety of indie games made, but does perhaps reflect the indie game area for a narrow set of judges if you know what I mean.

    I guess it doesn't really matter, entering is a personal choice after all. I'd do it mainly to try and push myself to consider the marketing aspects of the game more than actually trying to turn it into sales.
     
  6. Matthew

    Indie Author

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    What? The IGF already does this: http://www.igf.com/php-bin/entries2010.php

    All entries are always posted, and a fair amount of articles are written based on reporters trawling through the entry list ("IGF preview" style coverage, etc). Several games always bubble up out of the entry list alone.
     
  7. princec

    Indie Author

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    So it would seem. From the traffic it got at the time though... wasn't worth it for us. Much as we'd like to pander to the indie dahling superstar mentality and fanboism that seems to surround independent game development we're basically broke as hell and looking at the bottom line and the whole escapade makes as much sense as buying lottery tickets for us as far as business sense goes. Everyone else's mileage almost certainly does vary.

    Cas :)
     
  8. Matthew

    Indie Author

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    Yes, the IGF is not an effective means of buying web traffic.
     
  9. andrew

    andrew New Member

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    not trying to stir up controversy (and i did enter IGF this year, more to support the cause than anything else) but i saw this on tigsource from "rinkuhero", and it's a good point:

    are you still "indie" with a 2 million dollar budget? they were "independent", but beholden in some sense to large investors.... i can't only imagine the headaches one encounters trying to draw some sort of line

    - andrew
     
  10. meds

    meds New Member

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    The IGF was created by pseudo-intellectuals who are desperate to see gaming taken seriously as some sort of art form but in their ignorance they have only been able to create a disaster, a competition with ill defined rules which favors 'artsy' over quality and has a bunch of judges who reflect that sentiment as they go on their ego filled trips judging games however they see fit without any real guidance.
     
  11. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    I'm not even sure I really care about this all that much. I don't think the $2 million nor the XBLA publishing deal can be reliably traced back to their visual design or technical excellence (the two categories it was nominated for). So it's not like they had a leg up in the judging.

    Rinku has a great point about the $5k not going out to a more in-need developer. But someone on their end had to do real work to get that funding/deal done. It seems kinda wrong to me to exclude them just because they are being proactive about running their independent business.

    And as you said, it's tough to draw a line.
     
  12. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Technical excellence costs money though, and manpower. I'm sure the unreal engine is more technically excellent than the Gratuitous Space Battles engine, but the GSB engine took one man year. It depends what you are judging, absolute results, or results given constraints etc.
    Plus something being technically excellent on the 1% of machines that can run it (like crysis), is also a bit of a weird one.

    I think the biggest problem with the IGF isn't the indieness criteria. its the ability to enter half finished games alongside finished ones, and re-enter a game the year after it already won an award.
     
  13. princec

    Indie Author

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    +1 for that. We hone and polish our games to the very finest, shiniest points of monomolecular cutting awesome. It sometimes takes years to get a game just right (RoTT - 3 years now and still not ready). And then some fucker turns up with You Have To Wank On The Rope or a 5 minute distraction like Nidhogg or whatever it's called and we'd rather just ... well, leave the rope wanking and bitmap animations to whoever it is wants to do that and concentrate on being ... independent.

    Cas :)
     
  14. Jasmine

    Jasmine New Member

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    It is unsportsmanlike to be bitter or critical of another's work. IGF is a level playing field. Nobody enters the contest with an unfair advantage.

    But not everybody has the same goals, however.

    - To win IGF.
    - To craft games with your own sense of perfectionism.
    - To give other people much gaming pleasure.
    - To create something which you find difficult, for your own sense of achievement.
    - To make lots of money.
    - To become famous or popular.

    These are all different goals. Which is yours?
     
  15. princec

    Indie Author

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    You will probably find after 10 years or so of actually doing it that those goals are all pretty much one and the same at the end of the day. You will achieve each one if you achieve all of the others. The rewards in this business are exponential.

    Cas :)
     
  16. Jim Buck

    Indie Author

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    You, sir, win teh internets. (And thankfully I did not have a mouthful of food when I read this.)

     
  17. princec

    Indie Author

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    I have a way with words :D

    Cas :)
     
  18. Chris Evans

    Moderator Original Member

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    IGF has definitely skewed toward "artsy" games in recent years. Whether it's a good or bad thing I guess depends on your personal preferences.

    However when games like "You have to burn the rope" got actual nominations I worried that IGF was reducing indie games to "gimmicks" and "memes". It's already hard enough to have 1-2 man indie studios to be taken seriously by the industry, so showcasing games like that for indie "Innovation" really didn't help matters.

    Just like they're "Oscar" movies (you know tear-jerkers or period films designed to elicit Oscar votes), there are now definite "IGF" games. But I guess it's just the nature of the beast since the prize money has gotten larger (which is a good thing).

    As for improvements, I personally would like a stricter standard for submitting incomplete games or just eliminate them entirely. I always feel a bit uneasy when a game that's only 30-50% complete beats out games which are over 90% or finished products. The devil is always in the details or in that last 10%. But it seems a lot of games get a pass because they have an interesting "concept" even though they're barely beyond the prototype phase. Furthermore, we're getting nominees and winners that still aren't available to the public to play even after the competition is over. That doesn't sit right with me. It's one thing to lose out to a superior game, it's another thing to lose out to someone's Youtube trailer.

    I hope the IGF begins to better promote and encourage finished games. After all, the indie scene has a literal mass grave of prototype and WIP projects. So let's spotlight those individuals and small companies that actually deliver a finished product.

    Yes the contestant field would be smaller (less revenue from entry fees), but then the volunteer judges wouldn't have to review so many games and wade through a ton of crap. Entrants (not just nominees) might also get more exposure because the entrants list wouldn't be so massive on the website. More importantly we would be highlighting those who develop and finish independent games. Leave the incomplete stuff for the student category. Or if nothing else, create a new category, "Best in WIP". :)
     
  19. papillon

    Indie Author

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    However, awards to incomplete games can be a massive boost for people who have great ideas AND talent but lack resources.
     
  20. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    I agree with you in the general sense. But I was just talking about Limbo. I don't think it had a $2m art budget (although I'm sure they had a more-than-comfortable amount of iteration time), and I'm not even sure why they won the technical excellence award in the first place. At any rate, if Limbo had been a UE3 game, I'd be singing a different tune.

    Yeah, but they did a lot to turn that around in 2010. Unlike the preceding years, there were no facepalm nominations and most of the interactive art was kept separate in the Nuovo category. I think it was a strong "good faith" effort from them, enough to give them the benefit of the doubt for 2011.

    What I'm looking forward to in the future is even more focus on the various design categories. Innovation in mechanics, innovation in user experience, and innovation in use of technology are all different things but still end up lumped together and competing against each other in the IGF under the umbrella of "excellence in design". It'd be nice to see these things separated, because they are all valuable.
     

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