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Haruki-kun
2011-07-12, 11:11 PM
Alright, seeing as several of the newer Iron Avatarist contests have had less Playground input than I expected, I am now making this thread for the discussion of it. This is mostly because I'd like to hear some more feedback and suggestions for it, especially where Themes are concerned.

I'm not establishing this as a "voting poll" to decide the next IA's theme. This is specifically for discussion, suggestions, ideas, and feedback. I really need help from you guys and would like it ifyou could aid me in making the competitions more interesting and attractive to anyone.

So... anyone have anything they want to suggest?

Domochevsky
2011-07-13, 01:58 AM
Well... my first thought would be "keep real world stuff out of it". Things like geography and real world locations automatically exclude me, as i don't know enough about those areas to be inspired by them. (Apart from "Where's Matt" i got no ideas for the current IA, and that bit is already covered by the flying turtle (and that quite well).)

Generic themes like "Magic" and "Art of War" were pretty great, in how they both were wide and specific enough at the same time to inspire and not restrict too much (read: letting me draw action). :smallsmile:

In the same vein: as next theme i'd suggest something equally wide, like "Space", "Minutes To Midnight", "Swords, yo" or somesuch. :smallcool:

Edit: Another thought; Iron Avataring is kind of a self-sustaining type of thread. That is, the more works are made, the more artists are getting inspired to make something themselves. Also: It's summer. People are less likely to be on their computers.


Now to fix my sleep depreviation... >_>

Keveak
2011-07-13, 06:56 AM
Hmm, I think Domo said it much better than I could.

Some real world stuff can work, but it kind of requires some knowledge of reality. Which may be silly to expect of online artists. :smalltongue:

I have mostly been drawing stuff for other projects, though. So the World Tour theme is not why I have not been around. They are totally important projects. >_>

Elder Tsofu
2011-07-13, 11:23 AM
Hum hum. Personally I just have too much to do to focus on a large picture atm, so it wouldn't change whatever was done. :smallwink:

I do agree with above posters on summer, self-sustainment and broad themes.

...I'm a bit against lots of categories, they only seem to fill up on the competitions with a lot of participation. (Suggestion in spoiler)

Something like:
Best Avatar (120x120) *G*S*B*
Best "Scene" *G*S*B*
- Could probably double as flavour of the month category in many cases, if not just add one.
---
Best Rookie (Special, one award)
Best Overall *G*S*B*?
- Personally I think it could be only one level like choice and Rookie except if participation is very high.
Choice Award (Special, one award)

If participation is high a 4th price-level in the form of pewter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal#Competition_medals) could be added, decision taken by the host or perhaps through a vote by the judges.

Just to bring up competition between regulars (who otherwise might separate into different prizes except for best overall) and to avoid empty-categories syndrome during the award ceremony.

Totally personal preferences, but I generally feel that a "back-to-basics" approach can be refreshing.

super dark33
2011-07-16, 05:52 PM
Also that since Vorpal got banned, it got more.... dull.

domo got it good, maybe a thame of specific things like: IA: art of war: Forgotten realmes, which would be stuff from the forgotten realms settings fighting.

Mauve Shirt
2011-07-16, 07:32 PM
That'd be a bad idea, Superdark. Even more specific categories would equal doom.

Ninjaman
2011-07-17, 04:06 PM
I pretty much agrees with both domo and Tsofu.

As for themes: Chaos, Order, The sky, The earth, Psychic/ mental/ the mind, Fear.

Trixie
2011-07-31, 11:23 AM
...I'm a bit against lots of categories, they only seem to fill up on the competitions with a lot of participation.

Yup. This was especially bad in the last one, you could have compacted 6 categories into 2-3. Too many categories requires them to be less inspiration-giving, as they're narrower, IMHO, and makes competition less likely.


If participation is high a 4th price-level in the form of pewter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal#Competition_medals) could be added

Actually, I was thinking of adding pewter medals, given to highest scoring rookie outside of the main three medals in said category. That way, rookies would always get at least 1 medal, and we could attract more of them, possibly?


That'd be a bad idea, Superdark. Even more specific categories would equal doom.

Yup.


As for themes: Chaos, Order, The sky, The earth, Psychic/ mental/ the mind, Fear.

I thinks these are too broad.

GolemsVoice
2011-07-31, 01:36 PM
You could also add a category called "veteran" or "expert" where people who post and win regularly are put in. Because despite what some say, seeing a lot of good artist post their stuff IS disheartening.

Elder Tsofu
2011-07-31, 02:01 PM
Something like "Geezer league"? :smalltongue:
Fun idea, although I think it might divide the contest a bit too much - effectively making it into an Iron Iron Avatarist and an Iron Avatarist competition in one.
Adding prize levels when needed would increase the people getting recognition though, which alongside an Rookie award makes it even more so.

A thing my old scout-leader told me when we were designing the county's annual day-long scout-hike* might fit here. "Remember that it should be easy to score a lot of points on each control, but damn hard to get a full score".

*A day-long march in the woods with controls where you're given tasks and/or questions and are marked. At the end of the day the best group is awarded in the different classes.

Trixie
2011-07-31, 02:12 PM
Something like "Geezer league"? :smalltongue:
Fun idea, although I think it might divide the contest a bit too much - effectively making it into an Iron Iron Avatarist and an Iron Avatarist competition in one.

Yeah, it's... not a good idea. It's easy to define who is a rookie, how do you define who is veteran? It would just lead to arguments, IMHO. Plus, it's not like they don't grab lion's share of prizes anyway and there's already pretty much award for veterans, XX's Choice Award.

Haruki-kun
2011-07-31, 11:36 PM
Yeah, sorry. That's one idea I can't support, for the reasons Trixie stated. What I am considering doing right now is turning Best Rookie into a "by person" category.

Thoughts on this?

Serpentine
2011-08-01, 12:38 AM
and there's already pretty much award for veterans, XX's Choice Award.Seriously? :smallconfused: A not insignificant portion of the time, that award goes to something the organiser think was clever enough to warrant an award, but not good enough artistic quality to get something from the judges - i.e. decidedly not in any way, shape or form a "veteran's award" :smallannoyed:

Elder Tsofu
2011-08-01, 01:06 AM
Yeah, sorry. That's one idea I can't support, for the reasons Trixie stated. What I am considering doing right now is turning Best Rookie into a "by person" category.

Thoughts on this?

Hm, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Do you want to turn the rookie award into an award where every participants entries are ranked amongst themselves? Something like "Best Domochevsky", "Best Elder Tsofu", "Best Happy Turtle", "Best Oblivion", "Best Mr Saturn" and so on in the same competition*?

*If all those were to enter said competition.


Seriously? :smallconfused: A not insignificant portion of the time, that award goes to something the organiser think was clever enough to warrant an award, but not good enough artistic quality to get something from the judges - i.e. decidedly not in any way, shape or form a "veteran's award" :smallannoyed:

I thought it was an award given to the entry which the host fancied the most, regardless of who did it. But it is the hosts price so the host decide how to award it.

Trazoi
2011-08-01, 02:10 AM
The only time I think I've won the judge's personal choice award was on the very first competition I entered. As far as I see it, it's more an award given to something that the judge thinks deserves recognition but happened to miss out on a prize.

Ninjaman
2011-08-01, 02:45 AM
I thinks these are too broad.

Propperbly.

GolemsVoice
2011-08-01, 04:23 AM
The problem I wanted to adress with my suggestion is that right now, there is little middle ground. We have some very productive and really good avatarists, who enter more or less regularly, and we have the occasional rookie. And once a veteran ahs entered his picture, you know he's going to win something. Not because the judges favour him in any way, these picture ARE good. So there's a few people who have a very good shot at winning, and a few people who try to get one rookie award. That's dividing the contest, too.

Domochevsky
2011-08-01, 05:19 AM
So... odd thought here, but maybe this can be alleviated with a split into two overarching categories? Like "High rolling: 1st, 2nd, 3rd place" and "Low rolling 1st, 2nd, 3rd place", which would separate the usual suspects from the more casual avatarists. (plus Rookie and personal choice award, naturally.) So they can duke it out among each other.

The downside to this is that it needs a certain amount of participants and/or a general reduction in categories, but that seems wise anyway. And it increases the judges' load in deciding what qualifies where.

Serpentine
2011-08-01, 05:43 AM
I thought it was an award given to the entry which the host fancied the most, regardless of who did it. But it is the hosts price so the host decide how to award it.That is what it's for. Trixie was claiming that it always goes to "veteran" avatarists, but if anything I think it tends to (not always, but trending) go to newer entrants.

I really don't like this idea of setting up hierarchies. I suggested the Rookie award for much the same reasons you're all citing, and I don't think further dividing people up would improve anything further - leaving aside the fact that it's far, far more difficult to qualitatively divide everyone up after "first time entrant".

GolemsVoice
2011-08-01, 06:56 AM
So... odd thought here, but maybe this can be alleviated with a split into two overarching categories? Like "High rolling: 1st, 2nd, 3rd place" and "Low rolling 1st, 2nd, 3rd place", which would separate the usual suspects from the more casual avatarists. (plus Rookie and personal choice award, naturally.) So they can duke it out among each other.


That's what I meant, assuming there are enough entries for this to make sense.

The problem is that, under the current system, if you're not a rookie, and not one of the top avatarists, but rather in the middle, your chances of winning are quite slim.

Serpentine
2011-08-01, 07:33 AM
The problem with that is, none of the so-called "top avatarists" are even entering any more, for the most part. If they were, this thread wouldn't exist, because there'd be a whole lot of healthy competition going on.

Mauve Shirt
2011-08-01, 08:04 AM
The Choice Award doesn't necessarily go to the old guys. I got Tribble's Choice on my first IA entry.

Oblivion
2011-08-01, 08:40 AM
If I may add my two cents, I don't think that it is the fact that more seasoned avatarists are taking part in a contest that is intimidating (at least from what I remember from when I started participating in IAs) than the fact that they often end up submitting a big amount of entries, mainly because of the fact that they have a lot of avatars "in the bank" (e.g., like Serpentine did during the last Dragons IA).

And even if we keep trying to explain to newer participants that the sheer amount of entries, even if they all are of (extremely) good quality (like in Serpentine's case), is mostly hindering, since they are dividing up the votes, newer avatarists seem to only see the number of entries and be intimidated by it.

I think that instead of creating a hierarchy of trophies, a limit should be put to the number of avatars that an avatarist can enter into a category. That way, it would be less intimidating for the participants and make the judge's work easier. It may reduce the overall quantity of participation, but it should greatly increase its quality...

As a judge, I tend to prefer avatars that interpret the theme in an interesting, innovative, and/or funny way. Quality per say doesn't matter as much to me as whether the idea is clever. Therefore, both seasoned and newer avatarists have about the same "chance" of being picked by me as a judge, since I care as much about the "content" of the avatar as well as its execution.

Serpentine
2011-08-01, 09:06 AM
I don't like the idea of setting a limit on number of entries, either. If we must go in that sort of direction, then maybe disallow the use of entries not made 'specially for the contest or something.

Can't people just get over this stuff and just enter? :sigh: Maybe the "golden age" is just over...

Haruki-kun
2011-08-01, 10:43 AM
Hm, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Do you want to turn the rookie award into an award where every participants entries are ranked amongst themselves? Something like "Best Domochevsky", "Best Elder Tsofu", "Best Happy Turtle", "Best Oblivion", "Best Mr Saturn" and so on in the same competition*?

No, that wouldn't work. I meant if Elder Tsofu, Happy Turtle, Oblivion, Domochevsky and Mr. Saturn all entered as rookies, they label all their entries "Best Rookie". As it stands, if they submittedmultiple entries, it is possible that one single Rookie will win everything if his three entries are the best. What I try to change here is to turn it into an award given for the person, not the entry. That is, "Best Rookie first place: Domochevsky, Second place: Elder Tsofu, Third Place: Oblivion".


If I may add my two cents, I don't think that it is the fact that more seasoned avatarists are taking part in a contest that is intimidating (at least from what I remember from when I started participating in IAs) than the fact that they often end up submitting a big amount of entries, mainly because of the fact that they have a lot of avatars "in the bank" (e.g., like Serpentine did during the last Dragons IA).

And even if we keep trying to explain to newer participants that the sheer amount of entries, even if they all are of (extremely) good quality (like in Serpentine's case), is mostly hindering, since they are dividing up the votes, newer avatarists seem to only see the number of entries and be intimidated by it.

I think that instead of creating a hierarchy of trophies, a limit should be put to the number of avatars that an avatarist can enter into a category. That way, it would be less intimidating for the participants and make the judge's work easier. It may reduce the overall quantity of participation, but it should greatly increase its quality...

As a judge, I tend to prefer avatars that interpret the theme in an interesting, innovative, and/or funny way. Quality per say doesn't matter as much to me as whether the idea is clever. Therefore, both seasoned and newer avatarists have about the same "chance" of being picked by me as a judge, since I care as much about the "content" of the avatar as well as its execution.

Well, I wouldn't want to add a limit, but... it is a solution. The only thing that really bothers me is that it's a solution to something that really shouldn't be a problem. :smallfrown:

Opinions, anyone?

Elder Tsofu
2011-08-01, 11:39 AM
No, that wouldn't work. I meant if Elder Tsofu, Happy Turtle, Oblivion, Domochevsky and Mr. Saturn all entered as rookies, they label all their entries "Best Rookie". As it stands, if they submittedmultiple entries, it is possible that one single Rookie will win everything if his three entries are the best. What I try to change here is to turn it into an award given for the person, not the entry. That is, "Best Rookie first place: Domochevsky, Second place: Elder Tsofu, Third Place: Oblivion".
Ah, now I understand it better - thanks!
Well we haven't had any entrant prizes before, but why not?
The problem would be how to ascertain whom was best this round, would it be by voting on the rookie or by some complicated formula about the votes on the entries?


Well, I wouldn't want to add a limit, but... it is a solution. The only thing that really bothers me is that it's a solution to something that really shouldn't be a problem. :smallfrown:

Opinions, anyone?

Indeed, I don't really know why the problem exist either - the ones who have a bank of pictures should know the problem with the voting. I suppose that they just want to show of their creations.

If you want a soft regulation you can always put in something like:
"This is not the A&C Showcase thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181318). I, the host, will take the right to restrict your number of entries if you're found to have bombed this thread with old creations."

---

And yeah, having two leagues wouldn't really solve the problems with the new people. Adding a 5th level of awards might (running out of ideas... Salt?), but then you'd need fewer categories to fill it up to that level (or it would look silly).

Savannah
2011-08-01, 03:28 PM
Okay, so as someone who's never entered one of these, but has thought about it occasionally, here are the reasons I've not entered (in order of importance):
1) Not interested in/inspired by topic. I think Domochevsky covered the issues I have there nicely.
2) Too many good entries; I'd have no chance of winning anything other than the rookie, and I don't want my only chance of winning to be because I'm new.
3) No time. This is made worse by 2, when I'd have time for one, maybe two pictures and other people have already entered tons.

I do think you should limit people to 1-2 pictures per category. That way, everyone only enters their very best and busy people feel they have more of a chance. I'm not so much intimidated by very good pictures being in the running, as 10 very good pictures by a single artist being in the running. What's the point if they've already got gold, silver, and bronze tied up?

(Also, if you wanted to, it's not hard to separate veterans from the middle of the pack, just define a veteran as someone who has, for example, at least 3 Iron Avatarist gold medals. Adjust the cutoff as desired, both in number of medals and in color of medals.)

Domochevsky
2011-08-01, 03:55 PM
Aw man, i hate to make decisions like that... what picture to take, which to discard... and do you replace old stuff with newer/better pictures? Also, once you have reached the max number, then what? Competition's over for you? That might stiffle the self-boosting process slightly too much. :/

I'm however in favor of not allowing art dumps, where someone just throws down a dozen premade pictures that weren't specifically made for the competition. (But then again, this tends to be a self-regulating thing as well, since those can only be used once.)

Difficult balance here. On one hand we don't want to discourage avatarists with too many good pieces, but on the other hand we want to encourage competition with good pieces, which involves constant stacking and topping each other.

Related: How about restricting winnings to "only the highest counts"? That is, if you get gold in a category, you cannot take up the 2. and 3. places. (Assuming less categories)

Mordokai
2011-08-01, 04:32 PM
Related: How about restricting winnings to "only the highest counts"? That is, if you get gold in a category, you cannot take up the 2. and 3. places. (Assuming less categories)

If I understand correctly, you would have each participant being able to take only one price in a single category? That is, if you win gold, you can't win silver or bronze? And if you win silver, you can't have bronze.

If that is so, I support this idea. Much better than limiting number of entries.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-01, 04:47 PM
Aw man, i hate to make decisions like that... what picture to take, which to discard... and do you replace old stuff with newer/better pictures? Also, once you have reached the max number, then what? Competition's over for you? That might stiffle the self-boosting process slightly too much. :/

No, the way I'd go about this is allow 3 entries per category, and if you want to make another one you can retire one of your previous entries.

But really, I don't think this would solve anything. If the problem really is "someone already submitted something so good I don't stand a chance", then someone being limited to submitting their best three entries wouldn't solve it.


Related: How about restricting winnings to "only the highest counts"? That is, if you get gold in a category, you cannot take up the 2. and 3. places. (Assuming less categories)

This is interesting. I could try a way to work this, but the current system wouldn't allow it. As it stands the judges don't see what the others voted for, and they vote per entry, not per contestant. So if poster X submitted works A, B and C, and those three get all the votes, there's no way to figure out the second place.

This would require a lot more thinking and rule re-enacting, so this month's IA, which I'll start in a few minutes (or hours), will have to continue with the current ruleset. But I'm completely open for suggestions for all future IA's.

Savannah
2011-08-01, 05:04 PM
But really, I don't think this would solve anything. If the problem really is "someone already submitted something so good I don't stand a chance", then someone being limited to submitting their best three entries wouldn't solve it.

I can't speak for everyone, but it would help for me. 3 really good entries by one person -> I'd better make mine good. 10 really good entries by one person -> geeze, the people who do this are really serious, my one entry would look pathetic next to what they're doing.

Plus if you cut down the number of entries, there are fewer total pictures to compete against. If person x has 10 entries, either due to having lots of time on their hands or entering old pictures and I have 1 and our art is of equal quality, they're simply more likely to win because they're more likely to have something that catches a judge's eye.

Again, I can't speak for everyone, but that's a large part of the reason I've never entered the competition.

Teddy
2011-08-01, 05:48 PM
It's been told a hundred times over in practically every popular contest that art dumps doesn't equal guaranteed victory, but human psychology doesn't work that way. Art dumps are frightening, even in those cases when most of the entries in them just are a few years' build-up of avatar requests (which, while often well made, usually lack that little extra connection with the theme (point in case: Art of War had many Best Avatar entries which basically consisted of a guy with a sword)), because it makes it look like you need at least a dozen entries to stand a chance.

I personally don't think a general upper limit of entries will do it, because that will discourage those with many ideas, but it could be possible to put a limit on premade material, so that it's possible to enter the past creations you're the most proud of that fit the theme the best, while still avoiding art dumping just because it qualifies.

half-halfling
2011-08-01, 06:45 PM
Maybe it's good idea to encourage the judges to take under consideration also different criteria than art quality? Like: good or new idea, sense of humor, "awwww factor" :), maybe presence of characters from OOTS (?). Then it would be good to add some text about it in contest description (in the first post) to encourage people ,like: "You're not a good artist? Don't worry! Everyone can draw stick people, you can amaze judges with your idea...(and so on :) )"

Also ,maybe it would be good not to give 1st ,2nd and 3rd places,but three equal? Or maybe three and additional "honourable mentions"? I don't know if these are good ideas, I post it as a propositions to discuss only.

Also small cosmetic suggestion -IA threads have always had some icons instead of http://www.giantitp.com/forums/images/icons/icon1.gif on the thread list -it would be good to continue this to distinguish IA from other threads at first sight.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-01, 07:26 PM
Maybe it's good idea to encourage the judges to take under consideration also different criteria than art quality? Like: good or new idea, sense of humor, "awwww factor" :), maybe presence of characters from OOTS (?). Then it would be good to add some text about it in contest description (in the first post) to encourage people ,like: "You're not a good artist? Don't worry! Everyone can draw stick people, you can amaze judges with your idea...(and so on :) )"

Well, actually we do take those things into account. If an entry is funny it can get itself up in votes. It's not just art quality, there's also art content, originality, etc.


Also ,maybe it would be good not to give 1st ,2nd and 3rd places,but three equal? Or maybe three and additional "honourable mentions"? I don't know if these are good ideas, I post it as a propositions to discuss only.

=/ Can't say I agree. I'd be willing to make a single extra trophy for participation (one per contest for everyone who participated), but that's it. Removing the actual winner by turning it into three winners just... doesn't feel right. Besides, the only way I can see honorable mentions working is giving honorable mentions to anyone who gets votes but doesn't win, and that would just let people know who didn't get a single vote.


Also small cosmetic suggestion -IA threads have always had some icons instead of http://www.giantitp.com/forums/images/icons/icon1.gif on the thread list -it would be good to continue this to distinguish IA from other threads at first sight.

OK, I'll start doing that.

happyturtle
2011-08-01, 07:43 PM
If I understand correctly, you would have each participant being able to take only one price in a single category? That is, if you win gold, you can't win silver or bronze? And if you win silver, you can't have bronze.

If that is so, I support this idea. Much better than limiting number of entries.

I like this idea, if Haruki can work out the mechanical issues with figuring out the winner.


I personally don't think a general upper limit of entries will do it, because that will discourage those with many ideas, but it could be possible to put a limit on premade material, so that it's possible to enter the past creations you're the most proud of that fit the theme the best, while still avoiding art dumping just because it qualifies.

This sounds like the best idea I've seen. No limit to entries made specially for the contest, but a limit on pre-made entries. Maybe three pre-made entries per artist per contest?


Maybe it's good idea to encourage the judges to take under consideration also different criteria than art quality? Like: good or new idea, sense of humor, "awwww factor" :), maybe presence of characters from OOTS (?). Then it would be good to add some text about it in contest description (in the first post) to encourage people ,like: "You're not a good artist? Don't worry! Everyone can draw stick people, you can amaze judges with your idea...(and so on :) )"

I was a judge once, and I wasn't given any criteria to go by except 'send in your picks for first, second, and third place for each category'. So I just went with my gut feel on what I liked best.


Also ,maybe it would be good not to give 1st ,2nd and 3rd places,but three equal? Or maybe three and additional "honourable mentions"? I don't know if these are good ideas, I post it as a propositions to discuss only.

I dislike this idea. Kind of feels like the 'give everyone a ribbon' things that happens in elementary school.


As for my own suggestion: Don't be afraid to do more repeat themes.

Serpentine
2011-08-01, 10:50 PM
Maybe it's good idea to encourage the judges to take under consideration also different criteria than art quality? Like: good or new idea, sense of humor, "awwww factor" :), maybe presence of characters from OOTS (?). Then it would be good to add some text about it in contest description (in the first post) to encourage people ,like: "You're not a good artist? Don't worry! Everyone can draw stick people, you can amaze judges with your idea...(and so on :) )"We're not given any criteria. I, personally, consider art quality, style, originality, adherence to the contest theme, emotional impact (e.g. sadness in a sad theme, humour in a funny theme, etc), and that certain Jenny Sinclair. Frankly, in the past, punnage has been the most sure-fire route to a prize - I still feel dirty for my "Dessert Island" entry which was a pure cynical exploitation of this suspicion :sigh: :smalltongue:

Also small cosmetic suggestion -IA threads have always had some icons instead of http://www.giantitp.com/forums/images/icons/icon1.gif on the thread list -it would be good to continue this to distinguish IA from other threads at first sight.That was actually started at my request, to make it easier for me to find it for the Hall of Fame. I've been too lazy to ask to have it reinstated :smalltongue: So thanks Haruki.

I'm fine with having a limit put on entries made, say, more than a month before the contest. I wouldn't especially object to a limit put on new entries as well, as long as it was quite high - 4 or 5 at least, I'd say.

Lord Raziere
2011-08-01, 11:28 PM
yo, anyone know if I got any awards from that dragon avatarist contest a month ago?

Elder Tsofu
2011-08-02, 01:10 AM
I suppose we could also have an informal system where those who think that their entry will be intimidatingly awesome sends it to Haruki-kun who then post it in the last post with the blue text. :smalltongue:
That way you don't scare away people during the contest.

Requests to see the current log over pm would of course be granted, if the requesters have proven their hardiness by showing at least 5 medals from previous competitions. :smallwink:

---

And it shouldn't be that hard to have a system for only allowing one winning entry for each person - the judges "just" have to rank more of the images. Or you could have two voting phases, one where you vote for the best entry for each entrant and a second where you vote amongst the best entries.

Teddy
2011-08-02, 02:44 AM
I'm fine with having a limit put on entries made, say, more than a month before the contest. I wouldn't especially object to a limit put on new entries as well, as long as it was quite high - 4 or 5 at least, I'd say.

Why a month? It's not like anything finished two days before is going to be any more relevant (unless you have insider information, but in that case, you shouldn't participate at all)? :smallconfused:


I don't quite like the idea of only one winning entry per person. That's only discouraging toward those who spend a lot of time making multiple entries for the same cathegory.


If you make a trophy for participation, do something simple that easilly can be hoarded without cluttering your personal showcase. A small pin looks unimpressive all alone, but isn't that what you want anyway to encourage people to return? :smallwink:

Serpentine
2011-08-02, 02:50 AM
Why a month? It's not like anything finished two days before is going to be any more relevant (unless you have insider information, but in that case, you shouldn't participate at all)? :smallconfused:Because it would really, really suck if you made an amazing catgirl avatar, and then a week later the new Iron Avatarist Catgirl Contest started but you couldn't enter it because you'd already made it.
After more like a month, at least it'll just be more "ah, what a shame" than "ARGH RAGE WHY WASN'T THAT REQUEST A WEEK LATER :furious:"

GolemsVoice
2011-08-02, 04:27 AM
I find it a bit strange that people ask for the reason why there are less submissions as of late, and when others give their reasons, we get told, "No, that's not the problem", or "That shouldn't be the problem". Well, apparently, it is.

Savannah
2011-08-02, 01:00 PM
I...wasn't going to post in this thread again. I'm still debating the merits of this post. But I have to agree with GolemsVoice. I posted in the hopes that I could provide some insight into why people might not have participated, as I have considered but ultimately decided not to participate. While I cannot claim to represent everyone who has not participated, I like to think I'm not so unusual that no one else feels the same way I do. I offered an analysis of why I have not participated and what I felt was a reasonable suggestion that would greatly increase the chances of me participating, along with my reasons for feeling the way I do. If I've failed to explain something, I'd be happy to elaborate, but understand that some of my reasoning will have to default to "it just makes me not want to participate". It may not be logical, but it's real.

The response I received was disappointing. I don't want to single-handedly tell you what to do with your competition, but I'm not the only one suggesting you limit the number of entries per participant. I feel that this thread can be summed up as "Why aren't there more participants? No, that's not the problem. So, why aren't there more participants?" With the subtext of "No, no, I want to keep entering tons of images, so I'll deny that it could be causing a problem." Whether or not that's your intention, that's the vibe I'm getting quite strongly and, as I mentioned earlier, I wasn't planning on posting here again because of that vibe. Still not sure if there's any point to making this post, but here goes anyway.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-02, 01:04 PM
I find it a bit strange that people ask for the reason why there are less submissions as of late, and when others give their reasons, we get told, "No, that's not the problem", or "That shouldn't be the problem". Well, apparently, it is.

The problem with those things is not "No, that's not the problem." nor is it "That shouldn't be a problem". The problem is that the problem at hand is an unsolvable problem, at least with the solutions. It requires me to chastise or limit people for being too good.

Now, my current thoughts on the situation is that it's either imposing a limit for all entrants, say "no more than 3 entries per category", or only one prize per category per contestant. Not both. I do not yet know what path to take with it.

And honestly, here's a weakness: I'm scared of screwing it up.

Szilard
2011-08-02, 01:14 PM
If the choice is between a limit on entries or a limit on prizes, I'd go with the former. What if someone wins multiple trophies, how do you decide which one they get? It's easier to limit entries. I think.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-02, 01:19 PM
I'm leaning that way, too. Another option that I was just discussing with people over MSN is to limit only pre-made entries.

Combining that idea with Serpentine's idea, I'd state it as "All contestants are limited to three pre-made entries, where a pre-made entry is defined as an avatar finished two weeks prior to the begining of the contest." or something like that.

EDIT: Luckily, there's no rush this month. I doubt people have a giant dump of Russian Reversals sitting around.

happyturtle
2011-08-02, 01:35 PM
I happen to have a bunch of Batman themed avatars (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7205924&postcount=156) I made sometime back. If there happened to be a Superhero/Supervillain theme month, I'd be sad if I couldn't enter any of them, but I wouldn't feel too bothered by having to choose the best 3.

On the other hand, I enter IA occasionally when two things occur at the same time: a theme inspires me and I'm not too ill to make something. So a rule change won't make me enter more often or less often than I already do.

Matthias2207
2011-08-02, 03:32 PM
About limiting pre-made entries:
How do you know when something is pre-made?

happyturtle
2011-08-02, 03:35 PM
Honor system. :smalltongue:

Teddy
2011-08-02, 05:53 PM
Because it would really, really suck if you made an amazing catgirl avatar, and then a week later the new Iron Avatarist Catgirl Contest started but you couldn't enter it because you'd already made it.
After more like a month, at least it'll just be more "ah, what a shame" than "ARGH RAGE WHY WASN'T THAT REQUEST A WEEK LATER :furious:"

Still, if it's that amazing, prioritise it when you pick what premade entries to submit. I still can't see why newer premades somehow should be excluded from the limit. If it's so good that it's top quality (according to whatever definition you want), then you would enter it anyway, even if it was made three years ago. If it isn't and you just want to show it off, head for the OotS Style Art/Fanart Showcase instead. :smallsmile:


I...wasn't going to post in this thread again. I'm still debating the merits of this post. But I have to agree with GolemsVoice. I posted in the hopes that I could provide some insight into why people might not have participated, as I have considered but ultimately decided not to participate. While I cannot claim to represent everyone who has not participated, I like to think I'm not so unusual that no one else feels the same way I do. I offered an analysis of why I have not participated and what I felt was a reasonable suggestion that would greatly increase the chances of me participating, along with my reasons for feeling the way I do. If I've failed to explain something, I'd be happy to elaborate, but understand that some of my reasoning will have to default to "it just makes me not want to participate". It may not be logical, but it's real.

The response I received was disappointing. I don't want to single-handedly tell you what to do with your competition, but I'm not the only one suggesting you limit the number of entries per participant. I feel that this thread can be summed up as "Why aren't there more participants? No, that's not the problem. So, why aren't there more participants?" With the subtext of "No, no, I want to keep entering tons of images, so I'll deny that it could be causing a problem." Whether or not that's your intention, that's the vibe I'm getting quite strongly and, as I mentioned earlier, I wasn't planning on posting here again because of that vibe. Still not sure if there's any point to making this post, but here goes anyway.

Honestly, I think your disappointment is uncalled for. While there are those who get discouraged by a too large competition, there are also those who don't like feeling restricted. Skimming through the posts between the two of yours, I can't find anyone just handwaving it as not being a problem, but rather pointing out what other problems appear when you start to change things. As I see it, we're actually getting close to a compromise that (hopefully) will work for both sides.

Note: I don't want to sound condescending or commanding or anything like that. It's possible that I may have overlooked something you based your points on, or otherwise missunderstood something. I just want to point out that the democratic process takes time, as no side holds the ultimate solution to start with, and that people must get the chance to say theirs. :smallsmile:

Also, I don't like being the target of someones disappointment, especially when I can't figure out the reason to why I am...

Savannah
2011-08-02, 06:49 PM
Honestly, I think your disappointment is uncalled for. While there are those who get discouraged by a too large competition, there are also those who don't like feeling restricted. Skimming through the posts between the two of yours, I can't find anyone just handwaving it as not being a problem, but rather pointing out what other problems appear when you start to change things. As I see it, we're actually getting close to a compromise that (hopefully) will work for both sides.

While I can definitely understand not wanting to be restricted, if the goal is to get more new people in, it might pay to make it more inviting to the casual avatarist who's only going to be entering one, maybe two images. (Perhaps that's not the goal, but that's what I got from reading the OP.)

And I misremembered, the exchange that had me so frustrated actually happened right before my post, and the responses afterwards simply didn't do anything to alleviate my frustration. The exchange in question:



If I may add my two cents, I don't think that it is the fact that more seasoned avatarists are taking part in a contest that is intimidating (at least from what I remember from when I started participating in IAs) than the fact that they often end up submitting a big amount of entries, mainly because of the fact that they have a lot of avatars "in the bank" (e.g., like Serpentine did during the last Dragons IA).

<snip>


I don't like the idea of setting a limit on number of entries, either. If we must go in that sort of direction, then maybe disallow the use of entries not made 'specially for the contest or something.

Can't people just get over this stuff and just enter? :sigh: Maybe the "golden age" is just over...

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 12:22 AM
Well, as you said, those posts came before what you said, so you can hardly consider them disregarding your post - and I'm actually really glad you posted, as it gives us a first-hand view, rather than just speculation. As you specified my post...

The point of the Iron Avatarist contests is to prompt creativity, challenge avatarists, display skill and celebrate the art of Order of the Stick-style avataring. Most of these complaints fly in the face of the spirit of the contests - they're about winning, not about celebrating each other's talents. So yeah, I do wish that everyone could just get over it and get on with entering. This is frustrating, and in my opinion (for lack of a better word - and I really wish there was a better word) silly.

However, whatever I think, it's clear that these issues are real - if they weren't, we wouldn't be having this discussion. They need to be addressed, whether I like it or not.
Just because we don't go with the first solution suggested doesn't mean we're dismissing the issues. It just means that we don't think those suggestions will solve the problem, and/or that they will cause more (for one example here, dividing people into hierarchies is in my opinion generally a terrible idea anyway, will make the contest that much more complicated, and will alienate... pretty much everyone, really). We're discussing our options and coming to a reasonably acceptable compromise, that's all.

Although I don't like the idea as a matter of principle (again, it pretty much directly opposes the spirit of the competition), I am willing to support putting a cap on premade entries so long as that cap is quite high - at least 3 per category, preferably more. I would prefer that there be at least a couple of weeks leeway on what "premade" means for psychological reasons.
I will also accept a cap on specially-made entries, so long as that cap is also high, at least 4 per category, preferably closer to twice the number of premades allowed.

I just don't want to be punished for entering the occasional contest, nor be made to feel guilty if I happen to win something. Is that so unreasonable?


On a more personal note, Savannah, I really don't know why you're so worried. From what I've seen you're a great avatarist, at least as good as me (and for some strange and annoying reason, I've apparently been made the benchmark :smallannoyed:). I would be very pleasantly surprised if you didn't win prizes very quickly - pleasantly, because in that case the overall quality of entries would have to be amazing.

Savannah
2011-08-03, 12:51 AM
The point of the Iron Avatarist contests is to prompt creativity, challenge avatarists, display skill and celebrate the art of Order of the Stick-style avataring. Most of these complaints fly in the face of the spirit of the contests - they're about winning, not about celebrating each other's talents. So yeah, I do wish that everyone could just get over it and get on with entering. This is frustrating, and in my opinion (for lack of a better word - and I really wish there was a better word) silly.

Iron Avatarist contest. Operative word: contest. I agree that it shouldn't solely be about winning, but at the same time, I don't see any point in entering something that is at least partially about winning when I don't feel I have much of a chance. Furthermore, it clearly takes its title from Iron Chef (or whatever game show started that naming trend), which carries connotations about reality shows where the goal is winning the prize. I'm all for celebrating each others' talents, but I don't see how caring about winning is against the spirit of the contest.


Just because we don't go with the first solution suggested doesn't mean we're dismissing the issues. It just means that we don't think those suggestions will solve the problem, and/or that they will cause more (for one example here, dividing people into hierarchies is in my opinion generally a terrible idea anyway, will make the contest that much more complicated, and will alienate... pretty much everyone, really). We're discussing our options and coming to a reasonably acceptable compromise, that's all.

You know, I'm trying to come up with a coherent argument as to why I feel that way, and it really boils down to "the comments have that tone to me". Better lately, but they had that tone to the point that I went "there's no point in me talking anymore". I do wish there would be some more people who've never participated talking, though, as I'd be interested to see if they feel at all the same way I do.


I just don't want to be punished for entering the occasional contest, nor be made to feel guilty if I happen to win something. Is that so unreasonable?

It's not at all unreasonable. But I don't see how having to pick only the best of your old avatars and/or make new ones is a punishment, nor why it should make you feel guilty if you win :smallconfused: Is it unreasonable for me to not want to go up against a huge avatar dump by a couple of people if I want to casually enter one or two images?


On a more personal note, Savannah, I really don't know why you're so worried. From what I've seen you're a great avatarist, at least as good as me (and for some strange and annoying reason, I've apparently been made the benchmark :smallannoyed:). I would be very pleasantly surprised if you didn't win prizes very quickly - pleasantly, because in that case the overall quality of entries would have to be amazing.

Eh, I've only made about 3 that I'd be happy to enter into an actual contest. The others are fine, but not outstanding. Dunno, maybe I'm more critical of my work than you are?

I dunno, maybe I'll just shut up now -- I know what I feel, but I can't seem to come up with the words to express why.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 01:02 AM
Iron Avatarist contest. Operative word: contest. I agree that it shouldn't solely be about winning, but at the same time, I don't see any point in entering something that is at least partially about winning when I don't feel I have much of a chance. Furthermore, it clearly takes its title from Iron Chef (or whatever game show started that naming trend), which carries connotations about reality shows where the goal is winning the prize. I'm all for celebrating each others' talents, but I don't see how caring about winning is against the spirit of the contest.It needs a format. It's a game, yes, a contest, but that's to make it fun, that's all.
Yes, it comes from Iron Chef more or less. But, for all the Chefs in that show are competing, and it's a competition between two people, that's not what Iron Chef is about. It's about seeing two people challenged to make the most amazing food possible.
The "contest" bit is what makes it fun. It's not what it's about.

It's not at all unreasonable. But I don't see how having to pick only the best of your old avatars and/or make new ones is a punishment, nor why it should make you feel guilty if you win :smallconfused:Because I enter contests to make entries. If I can't make as many entries as I want, I'm being punished for wanting to make lots of entries.
It's more than just that, though - which, as I've already said, is an option I'm willing to support. The idea of placing us in hierarchies is telling me "you're too good now, you need to go over here, away from us". Why get better when that's just going to get me shunted off?
Limiting us to only one prize is telling us "you could have more prizes, but you're not going to get them so there". What's the point in trying if I'm not going to get acknowledgement for everything I've done?

Is it unreasonable for me to not want to go up against a huge avatar dump by a couple of people if I want to casually enter one or two images?Why can't you just admire their work, and be proud of your extra-good few?

Eh, I've only made about 3 that I'd be happy to enter into an actual contest. The others are fine, but not outstanding. Dunno, maybe I'm more critical of my work than you are?I don't think so. I am very, very rarely completely happy with anything I do. Compared with the stuff of, say, Kid Kris, my stuff looks fat and big-chinned and blegh. But others seem to think my stuff is good enough to warrant not even bothering to enter against me because I'm so omg great. And your stuff, from what I've seen, is better than mine.

I dunno, maybe I'll just shut up now -- I know what I feel, but I can't seem to come up with the words to express why.What you said was helpful, and we are trying to come up with ways to address your concerns. Don't shut up, help.
edit: For example, it looks like putting a cap on entries is going to be the way we'll go. What maximum amount would you prefer, and what's the maximum that would help?

Trazoi
2011-08-03, 01:20 AM
To chime in with my two cents: I usually participate when the contest has both a topic that really inspires me and I'm in a "draw stuff in OotS style" mood. When that combo hits I usually fire off several entries. I don't think I'm put off by what other entries are already in, unless my ideas have already been done.

If there are too many rules and restrictions on entries, I'm more likely to be put off and not bother. If I want to make seven entries for one category, I'd like to be able to show all seven rather than have to cherry pick a top three.

I wouldn't mind restrictions on pre-made entires though, as I mostly particpate for the fun of drawing and showing new stuff.

Savannah
2011-08-03, 01:23 AM
The "contest" bit is what makes it fun. It's not what it's about.

For you. I freely admit that I'm horribly, horribly competitive.


It's more than just that, though - which, as I've already said, is an option I'm willing to support. The idea of placing us in hierarchies is telling me "you're too good now, you need to go over here, away from us". Why get better when that's just going to get me shunted off?

No, I agree, hierarchies aren't good. The only reason I included it in my post is because everyone was saying it would be impossible to divide, while it wouldn't actually be that hard. A very bad idea, but not that hard.


I don't think so. I am very, very rarely completely happy with anything I do. Compared with the stuff of, say, Kid Kris, my stuff looks fat and big-chinned and blegh. But others seem to think my stuff is good enough to warrant not even bothering to enter against me because I'm so omg great. And your stuff, from what I've seen, is better than mine.

Which just shows that no artist can ever look at their own work without seeing the flaws :smalltongue: Also, for me at least, it's not that you've entered an amazing picture. It's when a few people are entering a ton of amazing pictures.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 01:26 AM
What about something like this: "A maximum of X entries per category, of which a maximum of Y may have been made longer than Z weeks before this contest started"?
By my preference, X = at least 10, Y = <X/2 and Z = 2-4 weeks.

Elder Tsofu
2011-08-03, 01:33 AM
Which just shows that no artist can ever look at their own work without seeing the flaws :smalltongue: Also, for me at least, it's not that you've entered an amazing picture. It's when a few people are entering a ton of amazing pictures.

That just fires me up to try and enter a picture which will rule them all*. It might fail, but I'd go down fighting and at least challenged myself. :smallcool:

But then again, I'm a bit odd.

I usually don't read a new competition thread which I intend to join (further than the first post), that way I'm not influenced by other entries and minimize the risk of being dishearten by them. It is also give this nice tingly feeling when you post the first entry and see what others have come up with.

*If I have the time to draw anything at all

Rae Artemi
2011-08-03, 01:38 AM
Just popping in to give a little insight from my sideways thinking, two in the morning brain. A couple of things it picked up on in the conversation for some reason, a little anecdote, what have you.


On a more personal note, Savannah, I really don't know why you're so worried. From what I've seen you're a great avatarist, at least as good as me.

Something right here that stood out to me is the use of the word avatarist, and I thought of something. Despite this thingy being called Iron Avatarist, it's more than just that. There are separate categories for Avatars and Scenes, and those two things can take entirely different sets of skills to do well. Someone who is really great at avatars, for example, making things that constantly get 9/10's or higher in the rate the Avatar thread, could be absolute rubbish at the big picture of putting together a whole scene, with the backgrounds, displays of movement, or even just not being able to put up with the sheer amount of extra work that goes into making a bigger scene instead of their usual small avatars. On the flipside, someone may be great at composing the big beautiful scenes, but when it comes to creating a smaller image in just the 120x120 space, they usually can't wrap their heads around it as well. In this case, though, I do believe that the person who's great at making scenes has a slight advantage, as they can usually just take the hero, or the villain, maybe even both, or any other number of parts of the scene and submit them as avatars. I know it happens, I've done it, but maybe putting a restriction on that sort of thing? I know that seeing a whole slew of avatars made from one huge work can seem a little discouraging, even if it would have taken less time to just make the avatars separately. Something like only one avatar may be made from a scene entered into this contest or something. I dunno, it's just an idea.

In short: Differences in artwork and possible solutions or dumb ideas.


(and for some strange and annoying reason, I've apparently been made the benchmark :smallannoyed:).

This is probably because even if you probably aren't the best avatarist there is, or you may be, who knows, subjectivity and all that, you are a very good avatarist, both in the making nice looking avatars and the making beautiful scenes senses, and the fact that you have a really big trophy gallery.



Eh, I've only made about 3 that I'd be happy to enter into an actual contest. The others are fine, but not outstanding. Dunno, maybe I'm more critical of my work than you are?

This, and especially the last part of this, is sort of an important thing, that has to do with psychology stuff. Artists, almost all of the time, will be their own biggest critics. They'll always spy little things that they want to change, but didn't have time to or didn't have the ability, and those things will bug them, even if no one else notices or cares. I know this is probably no news to the people here, but hang with me please. Sometimes, a lot of the time, even, they will just get over it and throw their work in there anyways, for better or worse. Other times, especially when they see a lot of great work that they, in their minds, believe is much better than theirs, they will get discouraged and just decide not to post, or not to try in the beginning. Sometimes, even, they will try to fix those little things that they perceive as wrong, and notice other little things, and just keep working to make it perfect so much that they don't ever actually finish it. All three of these things have happened to me at different times, at least, and probably to other people. It gets a little better after your first actual entry, even better after your first award, but it's still there.

In short, subjectivity.



I don't think so. I am very, very rarely completely happy with anything I do. Compared with the stuff of, say, Kid Kris, my stuff looks fat and big-chinned and blegh. But others seem to think my stuff is good enough to warrant not even bothering to enter against me because I'm so omg great. And your stuff, from what I've seen, is better than mine.


And I got ninjad as I was writing this. Good thing I clicked the preview post thingy. This goes with the above about subjectivity and ctitiquing yourself. I, for example, think you are just as good as Kid Kris. You each have variations of the same style, and they both usually work out very, very well.

I'm gonna hit submit now and not check for ninjas again, and then wait for my brain to straighten itself out before replying again. Or something like that. Maybe just chew on this hairbrush I found.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 01:45 AM
Re. restricting the grabbing of avatars from scenes:
First of all, overloading this contest with rules is, in my opinion, a very bad idea, and getting worse the more nitpicky it gets.
Secondly, making a really good avatar is more complicated than just copy-pasting a figure from a scene. It has to be sized and positioned in such a way as to make it clear and aesthetically pleasing at 120x120. An awful lot of the time, avatars taken straight from scenes look... boring, awkward and/or squished. You do it without taking care to make sure it stands on its own as an avatar, and you're gonna have a subpar entry.

Kris on a Stick
2011-08-03, 02:02 AM
Someone who is really great at avatars, for example, making things that constantly get 9/10's or higher in the rate the Avatar thread,

I wouldn't use the Rate the Avatar thread as a reliable benchmark, if I were you... >.>

But I agree with part of what you're saying.

Serpentine thinks my avatars make hers look all fat and ugly? I couldn't even attempt some of the non-humanoid/mythological stuff she does. Dragons and demons, and all the rest.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 02:04 AM
I like doing non-humanoids, cuz all my humanoids look fat and ugly :smalltongue: And I've already told you how I wish I could get my stuff looking as clean and professional as yours :smallsigh:

GolemsVoice
2011-08-03, 04:02 AM
Of course people are right. Iron Avatarist is not only about winning, but about being inspired or challenged, both by a topic and by the rest of the entries. That's why I always check out the threads, just to look at the art, which is very often really good.

But it IS still a contest, and, as Savannah for example said, entering should include the chance to win. So if the contest is dominated by very good avatarists, who are also constantly praised,

a) people might not feel like they will win anything and not enter, because they want to at least have a chance to win

and

b) be frigthened by the quality of the work, and not enter, because they think their images are not good enough.

Bot are probably "silly" reasons, but they are reasons nonetheless, and people expressed these views in the past. Make of that what you will.

happyturtle
2011-08-03, 04:12 AM
So, GV and Savannah and other people who are expressing these views (I know there were others - I'm just naming you two because I'm too tired to go back and look at the whole thread, and you two have spoken most recently):

Do you think limiting pre-made entries is a good fix? Or do you think limiting total number of entries is better? Or some other solution?

GolemsVoice
2011-08-03, 04:24 AM
I think limiting entries is a good idea, as it will also limit premades. Other people are right, if I happen to have a perfect avatar for the contest, why not use it? In this case, it also wouldn't matter how old or new the avatar is.#

You could also set a time limit before which only a certain number of entries can be submitted, and after it has expired, and it seems clear that no one will post much more, you could open the floodgates.

banjo1985
2011-08-03, 04:26 AM
Occasional IA entrant here. I personally like the idea of limiting the amount of trophies people can win to one per category, rather than a limit on entries or across the whole contest. If someone does three super-amazing-awesome scenes, then by all means give them the Gold for the best one, but only the gold, and give the silver and bronze to other entrants. That way, people who want to put in loads of entries can, and will probably have a better chance at getting the gold, but they won't end up with a full trophy haul and putting off the more casual entrants, of which I consider myself one. That way we still get to see a lot of great entries, but those of us who can't apply that amount of time or effort to multiple entries know that we still have a chance of going home with something.

If the limiting entries in general has already been pretty much agreed, I'd regretfully go with limiting the number of entries per artist. But I only consider this the best of two non-optimal options.

I'm also very shallow, I like trophies. :smallbiggrin: The last of my entries to place was in the Eldritch Abomination week (at least I think that's what it was call) and trophies for that never materialised to my knowledge. This probably paints a poorer picture of me than I would like, but that's probably the main reason I haven't been back to IA since. :smalleek:

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 04:32 AM
I'm also very shallow, I like trophies. :smallbiggrin: The last of my entries to place was in the Eldritch Abomination week (at least I think that's what it was call) and trophies for that never materialised to my knowledge. This probably paints a poorer picture of me than I would like, but that's probably the main reason I haven't been back to IA since. :smalleek:Order of Cthulhu? Yeah, trophies never turned up :smallfrown: Most of them have trophies, though, and anyone's welcome to make some for past contests...

GolemsVoice
2011-08-03, 04:47 AM
Limiting the number of trophies one can win is also fine with me.

Teddy
2011-08-03, 05:00 AM
Here's my suggestion for a sollution (emphasis on "my" and "suggestion"):

No limit on artwork specifically made for the contest.

A pretty restrictive limit, say max 3-5 entries overall, on premade stuff with no exception for recently made artwork.

Motivation:
So far I haven't seen a contest where the amount of artwork made by one single artist specifically for the contest has seemed especially intimidating (given, I haven't been doing this for long, but still). The fact that such entries usually get scattered over several pages rather than focused into one huge post is probably the most significant factor.

Premade works of art, however, has a tendency to group themselves into one single post, creating what we call art dumps, and the longer they are, the more frightening for those who are easily discouraged. Reasonable or not, the complexity of human psychology makes this a real problem.

This way, productive artists don't have to limit themselves if they have many ideas for a single cathegory, and they still get the opportunity to enter what they see as their best (relevant, not previously entered) works throughout their artistical career, while we're still avoiding that they submit everything that's somehow related to the theme in a huge and discouraging art dump, making it look like it's quantity, not quality, that is valued at this contest. A too high limit is more or less equivalent to no limit at all.

I still can't see how the date of premake is relevant (you never adressed my points, Serp). If it's among your top best, then you'd select it anyway, and if it isn't, then I can't see the reason to why you should make an exception for it. This is Iron Avatarist after all, not the Art/Fanart Showcase.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 05:51 AM
I did, because as I said it's purely a psychological thing. It would really, really suck to have what you think is a really good entry absolutely perfect for this contest get excluded from entry just because it was made a week earlier, even if you get more than one premade entry.

Domochevsky
2011-08-03, 08:48 AM
...
b) be frigthened by the quality of the work, and not enter, because they think their images are not good enough.
....

Trivia!
This quote here? This includes me.

Yeah. I have been discouraged from entering a contest by seeing lots of great work. And i don't even do a traditional OotS style. Psychology is a stupid thing. :smallsigh:


So that aside, what's the general consensus now? Limiting trophies per category (somewhat ok), limiting pre-made art dumps (also ok) or limiting overall works (probably not ok)?

Oblivion
2011-08-03, 08:52 AM
[snip] But it IS still a contest, and, as Savannah for example said, entering should include the chance to win. So if the contest is dominated by very good avatarists, who are also constantly praised,
a) people might not feel like they will win anything and not enter, because they want to at least have a chance to win
and
b) be frigthened by the quality of the work, and not enter, because they think their images are not good enough. [snip]

It kinda saddens me that people (and I'm not talking only about you GolemsVoice, but your quote was convenient) seem to mainly emphasize the quality (or awesomeness) of the art itself, without thinking about the quality of the idea. Like I said in a previous post, as a judge, I care BOTH about the execution and the idea. I've often not voted for extremely good looking entries just because I personally thought that they were kinda boring or easy rendering of the theme. People shouldn't feel put down because their avatar (or scene) doesn't look as "nice" as the others if their idea is good. Maybe that should become an "official" judging rule (even if I know other judges already feel the same way as I do)...

I personally won my first IA with this (which is supposed to be the oracle as Yoda), which I think is not really good looking (one of my first avatars), but judges seem to find it funny/appropriate for the theme:

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z82/Oblivion017/SciFi_IA/Oracle.gif

Serpentine's first wins were also relatively poorly executed compared to what she can do today (e.g., her Spaceball stuff), but she still managed to win many trophies in the past because judges liked the reference and/or the idea.

All I'm trying to say is that people shouldn't be intimidated by veterans or "high quality" entries (however you define them).



Occasional IA entrant here. I personally like the idea of limiting the amount of trophies people can win to one per category, rather than a limit on entries or across the whole contest. If someone does three super-amazing-awesome scenes, then by all means give them the Gold for the best one, but only the gold, and give the silver and bronze to other entrants. That way, people who want to put in loads of entries can, and will probably have a better chance at getting the gold, but they won't end up with a full trophy haul and putting off the more casual entrants, of which I consider myself one. That way we still get to see a lot of great entries, but those of us who can't apply that amount of time or effort to multiple entries know that we still have a chance of going home with something.

I tend to disagree with this idea of giving only on trophy per entrant because it again makes the contest quite intimidating. It will still prevent people from entering if they see that an avatarist as already entered 5 avatars in the same category, because they will infer that they have no chance for the gold. As people already said in this thread, some of them are quite competitive, so it may kill their motivation if they know (or infer) that they have no chance of "winning winning" (i.e., get the gold). Now add 2-3 others avatarists that enter a bunch of entries...

In sum:
From what I have read so far, I think the main issue with IAs is that "half" of the people seem to see it as good sport, or a way to be creative, show their art, and maybe "win" something while doing it, while the other "half" sees it more as a competition, where they want to know that they will have a "fair" chance of winning if they enter. I believe that it will be hard to please both camps, but I think that any new policy that will be put in place should take this into account.

happyturtle
2011-08-03, 08:58 AM
Trivia!
This quote here? This includes me.

Yeah. I have been discouraged from entering a contest by seeing lots of great work. And i don't even do a traditional OotS style. Psychology is a stupid thing. :smallsigh:


So that aside, what's the general consensus now? Limiting trophies per category (somewhat ok), limiting pre-made art dumps (also ok) or limiting overall works (probably not ok)?

My opinion*:

1. Limiting trophies per category per person: Neutral
2. Limiting pre-made art dumps per person per contest: Yes
3. Limiting overall works per person per contest: No


((*Caveat: None of the proposed changes are likely to affect me as a contestant. Feel free to disregard my opinion accordingly.))

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 09:40 AM
I really, really don't like the idea of having a one-trophy limit. But, for the sake of full disclosure, it does have precedent: Way way back in Wukei's day, the voting was by avatarist, not by entry.

Savannah
2011-08-03, 11:41 AM
Here's my suggestion for a sollution (emphasis on "my" and "suggestion"):

No limit on artwork specifically made for the contest.

A pretty restrictive limit, say max 3-5 entries overall, on premade stuff with no exception for recently made artwork.

I support this suggestion.


It kinda saddens me that people (and I'm not talking only about you GolemsVoice, but your quote was convenient) seem to mainly emphasize the quality (or awesomeness) of the art itself, without thinking about the quality of the idea. Like I said in a previous post, as a judge, I care BOTH about the execution and the idea. I've often not voted for extremely good looking entries just because I personally thought that they were kinda boring or easy rendering of the theme. People shouldn't feel put down because their avatar (or scene) doesn't look as "nice" as the others if their idea is good. Maybe that should become an "official" judging rule (even if I know other judges already feel the same way as I do)...

It might not hurt to put that in the official introduction. It's been a while since I read it all the way through, but I do remember thinking that it was quality of art primarily that you were going for.

Teddy
2011-08-03, 01:20 PM
I did, because as I said it's purely a psychological thing. It would really, really suck to have what you think is a really good entry absolutely perfect for this contest get excluded from entry just because it was made a week earlier, even if you get more than one premade entry.

But, if you have what you think is a really good entry absolutely perfect for this contest, then it wouldn't matter when you did it, as you'd enter it anyway because it's really good and absolutely perfect for this contest, wouldn't you? I'm not advocating a ban, only a limitation, mind you.

Or is it so that you're more afraid that your number of really good entries absolutely perfect for this contest is going to exceede the maximum number of allowed premades, and that you don't want to have to choose between them? Because otherwise I still fail to see what the problem is.

Savannah
2011-08-03, 01:31 PM
I did, because as I said it's purely a psychological thing. It would really, really suck to have what you think is a really good entry absolutely perfect for this contest get excluded from entry just because it was made a week earlier, even if you get more than one premade entry.

I have to confess I'm not understanding the psychological thing here. If you have a really good entry made before the competition, wouldn't you be thinking "Ooh, great, I have a perfect entry already!"? Maybe the limit shouldn't be on premades but on things not specifically made for the competition. That way, you're not worried about when a request comes in, and you're "forced" to make new entries for the contest (beyond whatever the limit is) -- which would support both your stated goal of entering the contest to make entries, and mine of entering the contest to have a fair chance at winning.

Ninjaman
2011-08-03, 02:12 PM
I donīt think this will solve the problem but i think a rokie should be one that havenīt won any prizes not just first time entering.

happyturtle
2011-08-03, 02:13 PM
Interesting. I think I like that idea.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 11:41 PM
Well, if there's not gonna be a cap of custom-made entries, I'm more okay with not worrying about the leeway for premade ones.
I donīt think this will solve the problem but i think a rokie should be one that havenīt won any prizes not just first time entering.I could be convinced that this could work.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-03, 11:51 PM
Hmmm... I think I like that idea. So how does this sound, then? New rules:

-Pre-made entries are limited to two per category, where a pre-made entry is defined as "made more than two weeks prior to the first day of the contests".
-Best Rookie applies to anyone who hasn't won any of the main categories before.

I'm still figuring out whether to implement "one trophy per contestant per category" and if so how to do it.

Serpentine
2011-08-03, 11:57 PM
-Pre-made entries are limited to two per category, where a pre-made entry is defined as "made more than two weeks prior to the first day of the contests".I'd rather more like 3 or 4. If there's the leeway, though, I'll live.

-Best Rookie applies to anyone who hasn't won any of the main categories before.Depending on what you mean by "main categories", I'd say it should apply to anyone who hasn't won anything.

I'm still figuring out whether to implement "one trophy per contestant per category" and if so how to do it.Do not want!
2 reasons: 1. I think it detracts from the accomplishments of contestants, and 2. it messes up the Hall of Fame. I'd have to put up all their entries, or none of them - either would suck.
Although Best Overall could work by entrant rather than entry?

Teddy
2011-08-04, 04:23 AM
-Pre-made entries are limited to two per category, where a pre-made entry is defined as "made more than two weeks prior to the first day of the contests".

I still don't get why this part is here. I don't want to become a dogmatist, but it's just that I still haven't seen (what I think are) any good arguments for it.


Also, I agree with Serp on that Best Rookie only should apply to those who never won anything (unless participation trophies are implemented :smalltongue:) if implemented. We don't want anyone hoarding Best Rookie awards just because he/she never won any of the main cathegories, do we? And [Contestholder]'s Choice is a sort of big achievement too, so the question is how much of a rookie you are after winning that...

Szilard
2011-08-04, 09:27 AM
I think once a rookie wins a best rookie award, that counts as a trophy and they are no longer rookies.

Domochevsky
2011-08-04, 11:16 AM
I think once a rookie wins a best rookie award, that counts as a trophy and they are no longer rookies.

Yah, i'd say the same.

Also, not much reason to have a time limit on premade stuff, if it's already volume limited.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-04, 01:06 PM
I'd rather more like 3 or 4. If there's the leeway, though, I'll live.

3 or 4 weeks or 3 or 4 entries? <.<
I'm assuming you mean entries. 4 might be too much. I'm still thinking of 2 or 3.


Depending on what you mean by "main categories", I'd say it should apply to anyone who hasn't won anything.

Well, alright, then. People who've won nothing are elegible for best Rookie.... which I just realize would have made me a Rookie before I took over. :smalltongue:


Do not want!
2 reasons: 1. I think it detracts from the accomplishments of contestants, and 2. it messes up the Hall of Fame. I'd have to put up all their entries, or none of them - either would suck.
Although Best Overall could work by entrant rather than entry?

Fair point. Then I think we should stick to trophies per entry. To be honest, if the choice was between limiting entries or limiting trophies, I'd rather limit entries.


I still don't get why this part is here. I don't want to become a dogmatist, but it's just that I still haven't seen (what I think are) any good arguments for it.

Mostly because if I made an avatar two days before the contest and then the contest started, I'd hate not being able to submit it just because it was pre-made. Though the limit could help fix that so... Imight remove the pre-made time window.

Ninjaman
2011-08-04, 05:03 PM
I think once a rookie wins a best rookie award, that counts as a trophy and they are no longer rookies.

Which was also my intetion when i said it.


Hmmm... I think I like that idea. So how does this sound, then? New rules:

-Pre-made entries are limited to two per category, where a pre-made entry is defined as "made more than two weeks prior to the first day of the contests".
-Best Rookie applies to anyone who hasn't won any of the main categories before.

I'm still figuring out whether to implement "one trophy per contestant per category" and if so how to do it.

I think removing the two weeks.

So i think it should be:

Two pre-made entries per category (made before the competition)
Best rookie is anyone who havenīt won anything (ofcourse i wote for this one)
Only 4 entries per category per contestant.

happyturtle
2011-08-04, 05:10 PM
So i think it should be:

Two pre-made entries per category (made before the competition)
Best rookie is anyone who havenīt won anything (ofcourse i wote for this one)
Only 4 entries per category per contestant.

I still disagree with the final suggestion. The idea of the competition is to encourage people to make artwork. If they want to make lots of art for a particular contest, then they shouldn't feel limited.

Domochevsky
2011-08-04, 05:47 PM
I still disagree with the final suggestion. The idea of the competition is to encourage people to make artwork. If they want to make lots of art for a particular contest, then they shouldn't feel limited.

Yah, putting a total cap on it seems somewhat counter productive and goes against the self-increasing nature of IAs ("art begets art", as they say). Especially with less categories.

Haruki-kun
2011-08-04, 08:57 PM
I still disagree with the final suggestion. The idea of the competition is to encourage people to make artwork. If they want to make lots of art for a particular contest, then they shouldn't feel limited.


Yah, putting a total cap on it seems somewhat counter productive and goes against the self-increasing nature of IAs ("art begets art", as they say). Especially with less categories.

I'm inclined to agree. If someone is really inspired by the theme and wants to work their butt off making entries FOR the contest, then I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to.

Mr_Saturn
2011-08-04, 11:02 PM
Would an avatar cease to pre-made if we make our liberties to resubmit it with a slight art change? The beauty with vector art is the easy access to editing what you have made before. It's also really easy to mix and match parts of your avatars. Heck, I reuse the poses, equipment and hair of most of my avatars. Hahaha. I don't think anyone would have a problem with someone making a special effort into adding new life into an older avatar.

Don't waste your avatar!

Serpentine
2011-08-05, 01:22 AM
3 or 4 weeks or 3 or 4 entries? <.<
I'm assuming you mean entries. 4 might be too much. I'm still thinking of 2 or 3.Entries. I really think 2 is to low. 3 is still uncomfortably low, but bearable.

Mostly because if I made an avatar two days before the contest and then the contest started, I'd hate not being able to submit it just because it was pre-made. Though the limit could help fix that so... Imight remove the pre-made time window.Yeah, that. I'd be more comfortable with no time window if the cap on pre-made was 4. I'm not at all comfortable with no time window if it's limited to 2.

Ninjaman
2011-08-05, 03:24 AM
Would an avatar cease to pre-made if we make our liberties to resubmit it with a slight art change? The beauty with vector art is the easy access to editing what you have made before. It's also really easy to mix and match parts of your avatars. Heck, I reuse the poses, equipment and hair of most of my avatars. Hahaha. I don't think anyone would have a problem with someone making a special effort into adding new life into an older avatar.

Don't waste your avatar!

I would say as long as it is a different avatar, and not just the same with slight changes, i would say it was okay. Also if you used it in a scene.

Serpentine
2011-08-05, 03:39 AM
I'd also allow the redoing of very old avatars and things, if one's style and/or skill has changed significantly since then.

Teddy
2011-08-05, 05:25 AM
Mostly because if I made an avatar two days before the contest and then the contest started, I'd hate not being able to submit it just because it was pre-made. Though the limit could help fix that so... Imight remove the pre-made time window.

Given that no one currently advocates a total ban on premade stuff, there shouldn't be any problem. You'll still be able to submit it, you'll just have to decide if it's good enough or not. If it isn't, I can't see any reason to submit it in the first place.

Serpentine
2011-08-05, 05:32 AM
Given that no one currently advocates a total ban on premade stuff, there shouldn't be any problem. You'll still be able to submit it, you'll just have to decide if it's good enough or not. If it isn't, I can't see any reason to submit it in the first place.At the moment, he's looking at only allowing 2 premade items. That leaves extremely little room for sorting through items that could span back up to 5 years. To take a personal and recent example, I clearly have had a lot of dragon avatars - it is, after all, a subject dear to my heart. It would kill me to have to choose just 2 from the dozens I'd done. If I'd made a great one just days before, it would make the choice infinitely worse.
I don't see why it's such a big deal to leave a little wriggle-room, even if only to make people feel better about unlucky timing. Can't you just take us at our word that, as occasional avatarists, it would make us feel better to have that lee-way?

Teddy
2011-08-05, 11:52 AM
Don't take me wrong, I'm not questioning how a recent creation will make you more anguished, but rather how you can be less anguished just becase your creations are older. Note, however, that I'm rather objective when it comes to the date of creation when picking, so it's more the choice than anything else that would pain me.

However, I'm not sure that putting up a leeway will help the frustration, though. Won't you just get frustrated if you finish an eligble artwork before the leeway kicks in instead? At what point do people become emotionally detatched from their entries?

Haruki-kun
2011-08-05, 12:19 PM
Would an avatar cease to pre-made if we make our liberties to resubmit it with a slight art change? The beauty with vector art is the easy access to editing what you have made before. It's also really easy to mix and match parts of your avatars.

If you really fix it up, heavily edit it, or completely remake it, we could count it as a new entry. Just don't try to tweak one arm or add one ornament and claim it's completely new. A lot of that sort of thing will have to be subject to judging.


Heck, I reuse the poses, equipment and hair of most of my avatars. Hahaha. I don't think anyone would have a problem with someone making a special effort into adding new life into an older avatar.

Don't waste your avatar!

Absolutely all of my human(oid) avatars have been made from the same two templates, male and female, which I made three and a half years ago, and haven't edited since. :smalltongue:

Ninjaman
2011-08-06, 02:25 PM
If you really fix it up, heavily edit it, or completely remake it, we could count it as a new entry. Just don't try to tweak one arm or add one ornament and claim it's completely new. A lot of that sort of thing will have to be subject to judging.

What then if i use the same avatar but i smack in a sun shine in the background and a corpse at the ground. (still avatar sized)

As for the time limit on premade iīm with teddy (no limit).

Elder Tsofu
2011-08-06, 03:30 PM
I believe adding a corpse and some sun-shine would fall under "Just don't try to tweak one arm or add one ornament and claim it's completely new".

What I believe is meant is something like this:
http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate/Archer.png->http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate-SN/120x120/Archer.png
http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate/SabernoglowSword.png->http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate-SN/120x120/Saber.png
http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate/Riderjumping.png->http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate-SN/120x120/Rider.png
http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate/EmyaKiritsugu.png->http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/Tsofu/Fate-SN/120x120/Kiritsugu.png
But I think these would still be a call for the judges. (if they had been entered and now re-entered or re-drawn to come round the pre-made limit)

---

As for setting a limit on pre-made entries I'm not in favour but not really against it either. If it is implemented I'd like it to be low though, like 1 or two in each category.
It'd sting to choose, but I tend to have enough of an emotional spectrum regarding my creations that I wouldn't be unable to pick out my favourites.

This is not any new though since this is how I act already.

Mr_Saturn
2011-08-06, 04:17 PM
Yeah, it's like this:

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/ufo.gif --> http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/random.gif
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/ricefarmer.gif --> http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/ricefarm.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/link.gif --> http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/link4.gif
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/elf.gif --> http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/elfremake.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/sora.gif --> http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/sora1.gif -->http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/Yitsockl/soraremake.png

How amusing an evolution of art style.

KillItWithFire
2011-08-06, 04:43 PM
Quite the disscussion here. Let me get my typing gloves on here...
Well first off, I have never entered an IA contest. Mostly because for me, personally, it takes so long to make an avatar of what I believe to be moderate quality that I don't feel it's worth my time to be entering. First IA I really thought about entering was the "goodness sakes" one. Then I promptly discovered I couldn't draw wings, at all, and couldn't for the life of me think of anything that didn't involve them. This coupled with the fact that that was Yldenfrie's first IA ment I was even unlikely to get an award for best rookie. And so I made nothing. Since then I've peeked at the IA's from time to time and the topics have been really... "what the heck am I supposed to make for THAT?" The one where the theme was the sea was good, and I was going to enter that one but real life got in the way and I got very busy. My own fault I guess. I'm in favor of this "rookie until you win something" rule as that means I will be competeing with similar skilled avatarists right up until I actually win something. I don't have to try and "save my rookie entry." I've gotten much, much better at avataring since the goodness sakes one and would probably enter one if the theme so motivated me. As of right now, don't mean to sound offensive but... Russian Reversal? Really? I'm drawing a complete blank on that topic. It is way too specific. As someone who does not rank their own skill very high, I do feel inimidated when I see more seasoned avatarists produce something very flashy, especially when they do so 3 or 4 times in rapid succession. As mentioned earlier, I take a while with my avatars so my line of thinking is "how does my 1 moderate avatar compare with his 3 good ones?"

A look into my own psychie I suppose. I still don't have many avatars under my belt. I find it a fun thing to do and I like to show off where people will look at my art critically. I guess my problem is that I do this as more of a hobby than anything else. I mean, I'm a computer engineering major!

As far as what's been discussed already my thoughts are:
Judge by the work, not the entrant
I like the idea of Rookie until win something
Cap on premade work, no time window.
No cap on not-premade work.

I find this disscussion interesting. If any clairification is needed feel free to ask it. (Not good with the whole "words" thing, see above CE major.)

Mr_Saturn
2011-08-06, 05:39 PM
@Killitwithfire: Paragraph breaks are your friend.

I agree that it can be quite disheartening to put an effort (an hour, two or more) for something in which you do not get a single award. Even in a case where I would be seen as a veteran avatarist, I don't particularly become very motivated when the competition gets hot, unless it's a category/theme that I am rather interested in. I think broader themes would be much more conducive to participation.

Yeah, Russian Reversal appears to be quite a esoteric theme. Anything that takes addition research simply for ideas would sort of be a no-no, especially when it doesnt seem like there is a lot of life in the current state of IA. In one way, its better than the last because there is much fewer categories to submit. (Knowing that from World Tour, where South America was completely ignored. Sad.)

One idea would be to have all the submissions hidden until the end. Although the negatives of that would be a complete lack of posts in the IA thread which would likely lead to its death. Sometimes it needs a little push when you see that a lot of people are participating.

Or, the submissions along with their title and category are posted, but have the image blurred and concealed that it is difficult to see the quality of the work until the end!

Okay, so that's sort of unrealistic, but it popped up in my head. If there is a way to improve that-- go ahead. :smalltongue:

KillItWithFire
2011-08-06, 05:45 PM
@Killitwithfire: Paragraph breaks are your friend.

I agree that it can be quite disheartening to put an effort (an hour, two or more) for something in which you do not get a single award. Even in a case where I would be seen as a veteran avatarist, I don't particularly become very motivated when the competition gets hot, unless it's a category/theme that I am rather interested in. I think broader themes would be much more conducive to participation.

Yeah, Russian Reversal appears to be quite a esoteric theme. Anything that takes addition research simply for ideas would sort of be a no-no, especially when it doesnt seem like there is a lot of life in the current state of IA. In one way, its better than the last because there is much fewer categories to submit. (Knowing that from World Tour, where South America was completely ignored. Sad.)

One idea would be to have all the submissions hidden until the end. Although the negatives of that would be a complete lack of posts in the IA thread which would likely lead to its death. Sometimes it needs a little push when you see that a lot of people are participating.

Or, the submissions along with their title and category are posted, but have the image blurred and concealed that it is difficult to see the quality of the work until the end!

Okay, so that's sort of unrealistic, but it popped up in my head. If there is a way to improve that-- go ahead. :smalltongue:

It's not a half-bad brainstorm. Ever since I started getting the hang of avataring I've just been waiting for a theme I like.

Also sorry about the paragraph breaks. Just sort of info dumped. I don't like working with this posting thing.

happyturtle
2011-08-06, 05:58 PM
Technically, I can't imagine how an image blur / hide thing would be possible. And socially, art tends to give people ideas, so I don't think it would be a good idea even if it was possible.

As for IA themes / categories: the problem with World Tour was trying to figure out how to break up the categories, and nobody could really think of a good idea (in the chat where Ruki asked for ideas). As for themes, hopefully this thread could be used to brainstorm out theme ideas that people want to enter. I also think doing more repeats will help. IA has been going on so long that coming up with a unused theme is never going to be easy.

As for premades, I think 3 per contest is a fair limit, but others seem to be suggesting 'per category' limits instead. And different numbers are rolling around. I feel sorry for Ruki having to be the one to pick out the actual number used. But I really don't see the point of the time limit. Either you made it for the contest, or you made it for something else. Adding the 'except if it was made between x and y dates' seem to be needlessly complicating the matter.

((Same caveat as before: My participation is based on my health level and very little else, and the rule changes under discussion will not directly affect how often I enter.))

Teddy
2011-08-06, 06:52 PM
Quite the disscussion here. Let me get my typing gloves on here...

You have some good points here. Saving the rookie, well, I don't know why I forgot that way of thought, given that I've been thinking that way myself. It's a good argument in favour of making Rookie == never won before. We don't want newcomers to hold it in just because they're afraid of losing the opportunity to win a Best Rookie.

Also, themes are... tricky. As has been said earlier, you don't want them to be too specific, because then people can't come up with ideas that fits, but even seemingly broad themes may be problematic if they (unintentionally) make the potential participants impose limitations on themselves.

For example, take World Tour, a theme that should be so broad that everyone would be able to come up with an idea for it. Now, I didn't have time to make anything for it, but while still brainstorming for a few ideas, I caught myself questioning if they actually were representing some part of the world enough to qualify, imposing a limitation on myself that never was there in the first place, and thus limiting my own creativity.

La Mer, on the other hand, was (in my eyes) a rather good theme, because it wasn't more than it was: a theme to work out from without really wanting anything more than that. In fact, I think that's a good rule of thumb to work with: "Is this a theme that I can come up with a few good ideas for right away, and do I need to question if they fit within the theme or not?" Preferably, the answers should be yes and no.

Szilard
2011-08-06, 07:51 PM
With regards to the hiding images so that you don't get discouraged vs. having art there to inspire/motivate you, I'd think the solution would be spoiler boxes. That way you could see the images if you wanted to, but avoid them if you don't. Yes, I know judges are usually against spoiler boxes, but if they were all in spoiler boxes, then there's no bickering on not noticing them.

Serpentine
2011-08-07, 01:30 AM
I really think we need to avoid making this any more complicated than it needs to be. The first post of every IA is already far more wordy than I'm comfortable with (and bits of it already keep getting ignored). I am fine with all of this:
As far as what's been discussed already my thoughts are:
Judge by the work, not the entrant
I like the idea of Rookie until win something
Cap on premade work, no time window.
No cap on not-premade work.so long as the cap on premade work is at least 3 per category (though lets face it, almost all of them will be avatars, not scenes).

Teddy
2011-08-07, 05:04 AM
so long as the cap on premade work is at least 3 per category (though lets face it, almost all of them will be avatars, not scenes).

Sounds good to me, and yes, avatars are what most of the art dumps consist of (I counted yours for Here be Dragons: There were 11 avatars and 3 Dragons and Draconics respectively), but it's also there the vast majority of unmotivated entries reside (because even really good avatarists have a number of them which best can be described as "on par", due to the nature of avatar requests), so it could use some cleaning.

happyturtle
2011-08-30, 01:32 PM
Any ideas for future IA themes?

Food! Glorious Food! anything food related
My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds
The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?

Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Serpentine
2011-08-30, 11:19 PM
Armageddon Contest could be fun.

Teddy
2011-08-31, 09:44 AM
It is indeed a good idea.
*plots*

petersohn
2011-08-31, 09:59 AM
Another theme idea:
The Reveal - it's about this (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheReveal).

Crimmy
2011-08-31, 03:13 PM
Why no Hobbies?

Haruki-kun
2011-08-31, 03:16 PM
Another theme idea:
The Reveal - it's about this (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheReveal).

Hmmm..... I do like the idea, but it sounds to similar to the DUN DUN DUN!!! contest. Which would be fine but it's sorta recent. Maybe later on.

happyturtle
2011-08-31, 03:40 PM
Why no Hobbies?

Because you haven't suggested it? :smalltongue:

Crimmy
2011-08-31, 08:36 PM
Well, I suggest it now!
What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?
Does V go to wild parties? Is Belkar into gardening?
Maybe Roy writes poetry?

Gengy
2011-08-31, 10:55 PM
How about Crossovers?

What would happen if OOtS characters were part of another comic?

What about other webcomics characters being part of OOtS?

petersohn
2011-09-01, 02:10 AM
How about Crossovers?

What would happen if OOtS characters were part of another comic?

What about other webcomics characters being part of OOtS?

Oooooh, that's good.

Mauve Shirt
2011-09-01, 07:04 AM
Ooo, I do like that Gengy. As long as it's not limited to webcomics.

half-halfling
2011-09-01, 02:16 PM
Crossovers are awesome idea! But not limited to other webcomics.

Mr_Saturn
2011-09-01, 02:31 PM
We sort of already do cross overs with every competition. That's the basic premise of the OotS related category. Although I could see an emphasis on the cross over aspect.

But we did have the webcomic theme before.

As I think about it, a cross over of like... video game characters and TV shows and anything else would seem to work.

Something like... Solid Snake in "24", or... Dr. Mario in Doctor Who... or The Riddler in Dr. Seuse.

It could work out I suppose.

happyturtle
2011-09-27, 05:51 PM
You know what i think? next month, art of war again!


I'm working on it! Also, Art of War was kind of lame. It was too vague, and resulted in many many avatar dumps.

*moving this discussion over from the current Iron Avatarist thread*

I agree with Mauve that Art of War was too vague, though the new rules will prevent avatar dumps. Anyway, it's not been that long.

I think a Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters theme might be nice for October.

Mauve Shirt
2011-09-27, 07:19 PM
Halloween would be fun! And hasn't been done in a while, I don't think!

Haruki-kun
2011-09-27, 07:27 PM
I'm all for it. Do people want an OOTSy-Scary Iron Avatarist?

wxdruid
2011-09-27, 08:18 PM
I'm currently still working on my Film IA entry. It just needs finishing up.

As for Halloween themed for Oct? I'm all for it.

Serpentine
2011-09-27, 09:55 PM
It goes with the theme I suggested! :D
...but I don't really mind if we go with something else scary for Halloween. Think I'd like something more specific/interesting than just "Halloween" (which we've already done, I believe), though.

Matthias2207
2011-09-28, 12:52 AM
Something like 'Undead!' or 'Multi-legged monsters' or would that be too specific?

petersohn
2011-09-28, 01:25 AM
The last horror themed contest was, well, last October (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170373). Maybe some Autumn theme would be nice.

Serpentine
2011-09-28, 03:40 AM
What about "phobias"?

happyturtle
2011-09-28, 05:45 AM
The last horror themed contest was, well, last October (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170373). Maybe some Autumn theme would be nice.

I was thinking more of the traditional Halloween monsters - werewolves, Frankenstein, ghosts, etc - rather than the Eldritch horrors. The kind that scare you and make you run away so they won't eat you, but their existence doesn't drive you insane.

As for Autumn - wouldn't that end up falling into the 'too open and vague' problem that participants have complained about?

Anyway, a list!
Ideas that have been suggested so far and not yet vetoed by our resident angel:


Food! Glorious Food! anything food related
My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds
The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?
Hobbies - What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?
Crossovers
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias


People who participate in these competitions should think about which potential themes actually give them specific ideas and make them want to enter.

Serpentine
2011-09-28, 05:51 AM
I still want the one I suggested to Haruki (it's a secret :smalltongue:) but I could get behind something like "Traditional Monsters" - say, scary beasts from Medieval times and older.

Teddy
2011-09-28, 07:45 AM
I agree with Mauve that Art of War was too vague, though the new rules will prevent avatar dumps. Anyway, it's not been that long.

Actually, I think Art of War contained a lot of great entries, even though it drowned in art dumps. Sure, it could be divided into more specific cathegories, but I'm not sure that would be neccessary.

When was it we had Art of War?

Domochevsky
2011-09-28, 09:41 AM
Actually, I think Art of War contained a lot of great entries, even though it drowned in art dumps. Sure, it could be divided into more specific cathegories, but I'm not sure that would be neccessary.

When was it we had Art of War?

I concur. Art of War as pretty great and i think that was where i started contributing to IAs. :smallsmile:

irenicObserver
2011-09-28, 09:48 AM
I still want the one I suggested to Haruki (it's a secret :smalltongue:) but I could get behind something like "Traditional Monsters" - say, scary beasts from Medieval times and older.

I very much agree. There are so many creatures of myth that I would love to see depicted by our forumites.

But, might I also suggest faeries?

Serpentine
2011-09-28, 09:51 AM
"Dark Fairytales" could work as a Halloween contest.

petersohn
2011-09-28, 10:38 AM
What about IA: AI? You know, everything from robot companions to search engines that think are smarter than you. Or would that be too hi-tech?

Haruki-kun
2011-09-28, 10:46 AM
As for Autumn - wouldn't that end up falling into the 'too open and vague' problem that participants have complained about?

Consider it considered, but Happy's right... I'm starting to think specific contests just work better. Russian Reversal was highly specific and it churned out some pretty awesome entries. So was La Mer. And Here be Dragons.


Anyway, a list!
Ideas that have been suggested so far and not yet vetoed by our resident angel:


Food! Glorious Food! anything food related

Actually this is in my list of ideas. :smalltongue: I just haven't gotten around to it yet.


My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds

This is... interesting. It could work. Not sure what the artists think, though.


The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?

Considered, but it's very similar to another theme that was just suggested to me, and I'm leaning a lot more towards it than this one.


Hobbies - What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?

I like this one if we can polish it a bit more. I'll put it on the list now.


Crossovers

:smallconfused: Hmmm.....nah. Lots of IA entries are crossovers already, and I get the feeling that forcing the entries to be crossovers will fall into "Too open and vague". I dunno.... I just don't think this one will work.


Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters

Considered, and if you guys want it, approved for October. But only because it's not EXACTLY like the Halloween one from last year. A Christmas one for December would probably not be a good idea since we just had Goodness' Sake last year.


Autumn

See above.


Phobias

.....I.... really don't know about this one. I don't see how we can handle it.


I still want the one I suggested to Haruki (it's a secret :smalltongue:) but I could get behind something like "Traditional Monsters" - say, scary beasts from Medieval times and older.

Being highly considered. But if Halloween/Traditional Monsters happens, it'll have to wait until next month.

Other ideas I've had:
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir (Suggested by Wolfbane)
Literature (Though it might fall into open and vague)
Remake Fine Arts

I also have one more idea that I'd like to run by you guys, because I REALLY want to do it, but only if it would work: Wonderland.

Basically, an Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass-themed Iron Avatarist competition.

Serpentine
2011-09-28, 10:46 AM
...the suggestion I've been not-suggesting is Technophobia <.< What Happens When Technology Goes Bad, and also the option of People Who Think Technology Is Going Bad.

Teddy
2011-09-28, 12:45 PM
I concur. Art of War as pretty great and i think that was where i started contributing to IAs. :smallsmile:

I know that's the case, as that was my first IA too, and you outrookied me two times. :smallwink:


...the suggestion I've been not-suggesting is Technophobia <.< What Happens When Technology Goes Bad, and also the option of People Who Think Technology Is Going Bad.

Can you explain this one? Would it be "rebellion of the machines" or "power cut - social breakdown" or "big brother's watching you" or "we don't take kindly on technology in this country" or several/all of the above? :smallconfused:

happyturtle
2011-09-28, 01:02 PM
Since I'm a sometimes contributor to the competition, I'll give my tuppence. Potential themes marked in red are ones I can already think of ideas for that interest me. That doesn't mean I'd definitely enter them, or definitely not enter the ones not marked, but without being able to see into the future, that's the best I can do.


Food! Glorious Food! anything food related
My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds
The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?
Hobbies - What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir (Suggested by Wolfbane)
Literature (Though it might fall into open and vague)
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia
Wonderland

petersohn
2011-09-28, 01:23 PM
Since I'm a sometimes contributor to the competition, I'll give my tuppence. Potential themes marked in red are ones I can already think of ideas for that interest me. That doesn't mean I'd definitely enter them, or definitely not enter the ones not marked, but without being able to see into the future, that's the best I can do.

Okay then. As another ocassional contributor, I mark the ones that I'm interested in in blue.


Food! Glorious Food! anything food related
My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds
The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?
Hobbies - What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir (Suggested by Wolfbane)
Literature (Though it might fall into open and vague)
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia
Wonderland

super dark33
2011-09-28, 02:16 PM
The food one will be good, but i dont think there will be many entries.
its pretty dang hard to draw food, and make it look good.

Teddy
2011-09-28, 03:56 PM
Okay then. As another ocassional contributor, I mark the ones that I'm interested in in blue.

We can't break a tradition now that we've created it. I'm going green.


Food! Glorious Food!
My faithful companion
The End of the World
Hobbies
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir
Literature (definitely more vague than Art of War in my opinion)
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia (in case it's defined in a way I agree with :smallwink:)
Wonderland

wxdruid
2011-09-28, 04:03 PM
I'll go ahead and color code my interests as seagreen


Food! Glorious Food!
My faithful companion
The End of the World
Hobbies
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir
Literature (was just done in DYF)
Remake Fine Arts (so long as I can use my brother's art as a reference)
Technophobia
Wonderland (I can probably come up with something)

Mauve Shirt
2011-09-28, 07:07 PM
Interested in Purple.

Food! Glorious Food! anything food related
My faithful companion pets, familiars, animal companions, and loyal mounts of all kinds
The End of the World - Nukes? Zombies? Eldritch horrors? How will it all end?
Hobbies - What does the cast of OotS do in their free time?
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism (Interesting, but would be really difficult to judge)
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir (Suggested by Wolfbane)
Literature (Though it might fall into open and vague)
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia
Wonderland

Gulaghar
2011-09-28, 09:20 PM
Royal Blue for the interesting ones!

Food! Glorious Food!
My faithful companion
The End of the World
Hobbies
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir
Literature
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia
Wonderland


Okay, so my ideas never come thick and fast. I can get inspired by these three though. Especially the Halloween one. Excuse to draw vampires? Yes please!

An added note about the literature one. I vaguely recall one that we had before that seems similar to this one at a glance. That one being Bookworms (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130474).

Serpentine
2011-09-28, 10:53 PM
Can you explain this one? Would it be "rebellion of the machines" or "power cut - social breakdown" or "big brother's watching you" or "we don't take kindly on technology in this country" or several/all of the above? :smallconfused:All of the above.
Some possibilities, off the top of my head:
- Terminator and all its variations.
- "When Appliances Attack!"
- "Oh, how we have foolishly come to rely on our technological security blankets!"
- "Technophobes are stupid."
- "Technophobes are right!"
- ME AM PLAY GOD (http://dresdencodak.com/2009/09/22/caveman-science-fiction/)

I was proposing the usual Best Avatar, Best Scene, Best Rookie, Best Overal... plus possibly Best Technopocalypse.

Ninjaman
2011-10-02, 01:37 PM
Interesting marked with Evil Purple


Food! Glorious Food!
My faithful companion
The End of the World
Hobbies
Halloween / Spooky / Traditional Monsters
Autumn
Phobias
Surrealism
Steampunk
Pulp/Noir
Literature
Remake Fine Arts
Technophobia
Wonderland

Serpentine
2011-10-02, 10:04 PM
Aw. I was hoping for one more specific and interesting for Halloween :smallfrown: Ah well, hard to have a bad halloween contest.

Haruki-kun
2011-10-02, 11:21 PM
Aw. I was hoping for one more specific and interesting for Halloween :smallfrown: Ah well, hard to have a bad halloween contest.

Well, I WAS gonna make it just traditional monsters, but... I was gonna call it "Old School" and then I thought people would feel a bit too limited by stuff like that.

Darklord Bright
2011-10-03, 02:41 AM
Out of curiosity, I assume using templates doesn't fall under the "Stuff made before the competition" rule? I doubt I'd make enough things with them to break it, like, ever, but just in case...

Mauve Shirt
2011-10-03, 05:21 AM
Nah, Templates don't count. At least, I hope not.
I'm glad it's not only old-school Halloween. I have the best idea.

Serpentine
2011-10-03, 05:28 AM
No. And you can update old ones, too - just gotta be aware that it needs to be significantly different, and "significantly" is probably just down to judge opinion.

Haruki-kun
2011-10-03, 10:23 AM
Out of curiosity, I assume using templates doesn't fall under the "Stuff made before the competition" rule? I doubt I'd make enough things with them to break it, like, ever, but just in case...

I've used the same Male and Female templates for absolutely every human(oid) OOTS character I've made in the last 4 years. They're still all different characters.

I've also used Haruki's basic template for every avatar I've made of him. They're still all different avatars.

The rule is mostly to avoid art dumps, if you're doing new stuff for the contest, don't let it worry you much.

petersohn
2011-10-03, 01:31 PM
If I have an entry for a previous contest and use one character from it as an avatar does it count as a pre-made entry? And if I use that character in a completely new scene?

I guess the answer is yes and no. Am I right?

For the record, aside from basic templates, I have a copy of several OOTS characters (all of the main cast, plus a few others).

Haruki-kun
2011-10-03, 02:42 PM
If I have an entry for a previous contest and use one character from it as an avatar does it count as a pre-made entry? And if I use that character in a completely new scene?

I guess the answer is yes and no. Am I right?

For the record, aside from basic templates, I have a copy of several OOTS characters (all of the main cast, plus a few others).

You cannot enter it as an avatar, because it was entered in a previous contest. I'll accept it in a completely new scene, because I can consider it a template for that case.