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Looking to kill IOTD as it currently exists.. Need testers


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#21 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16675

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

I was wondering if a histogram of the image could be used to determine much.. Looking at the bottom screenshots I do notice that there is a tendency to have very unsaturated colors, possibly use a very limited color palette, and contain relatively few image features of note.   

 
Though you should be careful about accidentally excluding cool concept art. (Though not technically 'screenshots', I certainly wouldn't (corrected by a edit) mind if people slipped some concept art into #screenshotsaturday, if still gamedev related)


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 21 January 2013 - 04:30 PM.

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#22 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 26967

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

It's a bit late, but to throw my 2c in the ring --
 
It seems like a waste to kill off the GD.Net IOTD because only a few community members a week make use of it, and then replace it with what's basically an IOTD system from an entirely different community.
 
The IOTD forum at the moment is a way for members of this community to show off their work within this community. We'd be removing that 'perk' of the site, and instead sending them off to the twitter community to show off their work there, and maybe it will randomly show up in the new system here. There'd be no direct way to show off your work here any more, besides spamming images into another forum once the IOTD forum is closed (into Your Announcements maybe?), or posting in a GD.Net journal, which aren't as well promoted as forum posts or current IOTDs, and wouldn't show up in the new IOTD system.
 
Further, people who have nothing to do with this community will be having their work promoted here, without being given a 'hook' to be drawn into this community (they won't even know their image has appeared here), and the ability to have a discussion about the images with the author will be moved out of this community and over to twitter. So while you're harnessing the #screenshotsaturday community to put content onto this site, you're not dragging in any new users, and you're removing a perk for existing users.
 
If the real problem is that GD.Net doesn't have enough users that have progress screenshots to post, while the twitter community does, maybe it's a marketing problem?
It just seems like that because we don't have many users showing off their progress, we're going to stop trying to help our members show off their progress, and instead just hoist content from an entirely different user-base. I'd rather see some discussion about how to optimise/encourage the sharing of progress screenshots within our own user-base.
 

Can IOTD just feed SaturdayShowdown? If you post an image on IOTD, you get a +1 Participation point because it'll be used in SaturdayShowdown.
IOTD will probably be retooled to become the GD Showcase most likely.

I like the idea of keeping the GD.Net IOTD and also feeding it into the showdown game... but if the showdown replaces the IOTD, then yeah, a GD.Net showcase section, which is somehow promoted like the current IOTD (random or automatic-daily-cycled showcase image on the front page?) would be good.
 
One problem with the current IOTD is that it doesn't automatically cycle; sometimes an image seems to stay up for a week, even if there's new ones in the queue.
Having it automatically cycle would seem more OTD-ish wink.png If there's no more images in the queue, it could cycle to the oldest and keep going until new ones come in, at which point it would have to remember which 'old' image it was up to, so that next time it loops, it can resume from the same point (instead of going back to the the very beginning every time).


Edited by Hodgman, 18 January 2013 - 06:51 AM.


#23 froop   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I prefer the old IOTD a lot over this because you get some nice infos about the project and space to discuss.

 

Improvement ideas for old IOTD:

 

- Make IOTDs updatable so that entries with newly added images go into the queue

- Show the last 5 entires or so on the frontpage (there's plenty of space below that one image)

- Make the entries on the frontpage be in sync with the gallery (currently it's showing the 5th recent entry)

- Display title and author below the images

- Integrate twitter into it ;)



#24 jwezorek   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1606

Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

You can't vote-up posts in the Lounge so I'd like to say that I agree with all of Hodgman's points especially:

 

 

One problem with the current IOTD is that it doesn't automatically cycle; sometimes an image seems to stay up for a week, even if there's new ones in the queue.
Having it automatically cycle would seem more OTD-ish  If there's no more images in the queue, it could cycle to the oldest and keep going until new ones come in, at which point it would have to remember which 'old' image it was up to, so that next time it loops, it can resume from the same point (instead of going back to the the very beginning every time).

 

 

Also I'd like to bring up -- although I don't have a solution -- is that I think one of the reasons people don't submit more images to IOTD is that some of the images are so good that people feel as though the bar is set too high for them. I'm not sure what to do about this, except that if the image was cycling literally every day then maybe it wouldn't be as intimidating.


Edited by jwezorek, 18 January 2013 - 02:32 PM.


#25 cowsarenotevil   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1928

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

This isn't an exact science since this is purely aesthetics... I just need to be able to come up with some metric that quickly finds if an image is unlikely to suck.   Maybe I can at least filter out some low hanging fruit.

This would be a really fun use of a machine learning toolkit like Weka, the idea being that if you have a few different objective features (e.g. saturation, contrast, transient features, or any number of interesting image features that are out there), some of which are related to the suckiness of the image, you're generally better to let some reasonably simple algorithm decide which features are useful and how to treat them rather than trying to figure it out yourself.

 

In fact, if you've got a pre-existing database of images mapped to their scores, I'd be interested in playing with it in my free time, although I can't make any promises.


-~-The Cow of Darkness-~-

#26 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2144

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

I agree with Cornstalks about the Your Announcements section.  To be blunt, it seems kind of lame at the moment.  I think it'd be better if it was like the Classifieds, with its own form you fill out to post it, instead of just posting it as a regular thread.  The form could have some common fields in it, like the game name, genre, description, technology used to make it, etc.

 

Then you could put in a comments section, where the viewers can talk about the project with the developer(s) of the project.  I also agree with Cornstalks about differentiating between updates and replies.  Updates should be closer to the content, and more "out in the open" compared to replies, so it's easier to see the progress the project is making.

 

Also I'd like to bring up -- although I don't have a solution -- is that I think one of the reasons people don't submit more images to IOTD is that some of the images are so good that people feel as though the bar is set too high for them.

I agree.  I have some projects going now and I'm much more open to posting screenshots of them to #screenshotsaturday than I am to the IOTD, because they don't seem "worthy" of the IOTD.

 

IMO, instead of merging the GD.net community with the #screenshotsaturday community, you should make the IOTD more accessible and out in the open.  Encourage people posting their works-in-progress, even if they're rough and messy.  I think I'd be more comfortable if there were more images in the IOTD and they were displayed next to each other.

 

Maybe a system where everyone can put up "projects", and then they share screenshots/images relating to those projects.  When someone clicks on one of those images in the IOTD section (or GameDev Showcase, whatever you're calling it now), it takes them to the project page, with a description of the project and a comments section, and shows them the picture in a slideshow with all of that project's other pictures.  Whenever a project posts a new picture, it gets bumped closer to the top of the list.

 

Right now, it just seems like it's not focusing enough on the iterative process of game development.  People are just posting awesome pictures once every few weeks, after everything looks nice and impressive.  I'd like it more if it was more like a journal thing, where you posted your progress updates and stuff, not just how everything turned out after like 6 months/2 years of working on it.  A stream of updates.

 

I don't know, though...both my vision of Your Announcements and my vision of IOTD sound very similar, don't they? lol

 

Anyway, hopefully this makes sense.

 

P.S.: I think we should allow +1s in Comments, Suggestions, and Ideas, and then move this thread there



#27 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16675

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

I agree with Cornstalks about the Your Announcements section.  To be blunt, it seems kind of lame at the moment.  I think it'd be better if it was like the Classifieds, with its own form you fill out to post it, instead of just posting it as a regular thread.  The form could have some common fields in it, like the game name, genre, description, technology used to make it, etc.

 

Then you could put in a comments section, where the viewers can talk about the project with the developer(s) of the project.  I also agree with Cornstalks about differentiating between updates and replies.  Updates should be closer to the content, and more "out in the open" compared to replies, so it's easier to see the progress the project is making.

 

I disagree with the bolded part (but I don't mind the template/form part to help people know what to post) - personally, I feel the "thread" approach is much conducive to conversation and dialog than the "comments" approach. With today's modern internet culture of blog posts, rapid news articles, and twitter feeds, I personally feel like "comments" are rather 'fire and forget'. I leave a comment and walk away, because the news article will get pushed down by a dozen more within 24 hours, the twitter feed will move on, and the blog post carries "author authority" (the author is falsely seen to be the cool/sauve expert, simply because he wrote the blog post, and the comments are the tiny uneducated people trying to argue against 'established convention' (i.e. the "it's in print" blog post)).

 

Forum-threads on the other hand, feel like they can be safely discussed for weeks (because each post brings the thread back to the surface, and makes the discussion still 'active'), spurring more investment in higher-quality and longer posts (I'm never going to write a 'comment' that's longer than a paragraph - I'm happy to write a thread post that's 10 paragraphs), and more flexibility in discussion (comments feel like they need to follow the 'original topic' of the article they are discussing - like a conversation in a classroom that a teacher keeps 'on-topic', threads are real discussions that change direction and flow where the participates find interesting), and a greater sense of 'this is being archived for future readers' instead of 'this is being archived as something that will be considered outdated when next encountered'.

 

It's a major psychological difference that I've noticed in myself that makes me almost always prefer threads over comments except where they most make sense: on blogs. I feel like news articles, tutorials, and announcements should really all say "discuss in [this thread]", not "discuss in the comments below" - because the comments don't really permit real discussion, only one-off comments and the occasional comment-to-a-comment.

 

Does anyone else have the same psychological response to threads vs comments?


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#28 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2144

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

I agree with Cornstalks about the Your Announcements section.  To be blunt, it seems kind of lame at the moment.  I think it'd be better if it was like the Classifieds, with its own form you fill out to post it, instead of just posting it as a regular thread.  The form could have some common fields in it, like the game name, genre, description, technology used to make it, etc.

 

Then you could put in a comments section, where the viewers can talk about the project with the developer(s) of the project.  I also agree with Cornstalks about differentiating between updates and replies.  Updates should be closer to the content, and more "out in the open" compared to replies, so it's easier to see the progress the project is making.

 

I disagree with the bolded part (but I don't mind the template/form part to help people know what to post) - personally, I feel the "thread" approach is much conducive to conversation and dialog than the "comments" approach. With today's modern internet culture of blog posts, rapid news articles, and twitter feeds, I personally feel like "comments" are rather 'fire and forget'. I leave a comment and walk away, because the news article will get pushed down by a dozen more within 24 hours, the twitter feed will move on, and the blog post carries "author authority" (the author is falsely seen to be the cool/sauve expert, simply because he wrote the blog post, and the comments are the tiny uneducated people trying to argue against 'established convention' (i.e. the "it's in print" blog post)).

 

Forum-threads on the other hand, feel like they can be safely discussed for weeks (because each post brings the thread back to the surface, and makes the discussion still 'active'), spurring more investment in higher-quality and longer posts (I'm never going to write a 'comment' that's longer than a paragraph - I'm happy to write a thread post that's 10 paragraphs), and more flexibility in discussion (comments feel like they need to follow the 'original topic' of the article they are discussing - like a conversation in a classroom that a teacher keeps 'on-topic', threads are real discussions that change direction and flow where the participates find interesting), and a greater sense of 'this is being archived for future readers' instead of 'this is being archived as something that will be considered outdated when next encountered'.

 

It's a major psychological difference that I've noticed in myself that makes me almost always prefer threads over comments except where they most make sense: on blogs. I feel like news articles, tutorials, and announcements should really all say "discuss in [this thread]", not "discuss in the comments below" - because the comments don't really permit real discussion, only one-off comments and the occasional comment-to-a-comment.

 

Does anyone else have the same psychological response to threads vs comments?

 

That makes sense to me.  :)

 

When I said "comments section" I meant pretty much the same as a thread reply section.  It'd still show up in "Your Content" and you'd still get alerted to other replies if you "watch" it (...or whatever "watching" even does).

The only difference would be the layout of the thread: it'd be spruced up to be specially tuned for projects, and would display like a thread with some extra features.  For example, a slideshow of screenshots and concept art, a list of future goals, and whatever else seems like it might be handy (maybe you could even let people decide which of these features to include in their post?).  It'd still be replied to like a thread.



#29 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9501

Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

I don't know... I like regular IOTD. Isn't there some way of fixing it up or promoting it more?

The problem though is that the submission rate isn't there with our IOTD.. It's hard to compare 200+ screenshots per week of games in development versus the 1-2 we get per week.And the submissions we do get include a lot of commercial middleware rather than just regular joes making games.  Clearly something isn't working.

 

Maybe we should split off a separate thread for this, but...

 

Can we quantify exactly what isn't working? i don't know that jumping outside of our immediate community is a great solution - to my mind, half the appeal of the old IOTD was seeing work from people that you interacted with on a daily basis.

 

A number of flaws with the current IOTD system (versus the old one) seem very apparent to me:

  • The new IOTD is almost invisible on the front page. Why can't we make it big, bold, bright?
  • The new IOTD doesn't send comment notifications, so we can't hold conversations there.
  • If you reach the new IOTD-as-forum-thread page, you can't see the actual images!
  • The new IOTD layout sucks - 90% of it is empty space (especially if there is only one image).

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#30 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 16978

Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

A number of flaws with the current IOTD system (versus the old one) seem very apparent to me:
The new IOTD is almost invisible on the front page. Why can't we make it big, bold, bright?
The new IOTD doesn't send comment notifications, so we can't hold conversations there.
If you reach the new IOTD-as-forum-thread page, you can't see the actual images!
The new IOTD layout sucks - 90% of it is empty space (especially if there is only one image).

Just wanted to say that I agree with all of this, and that personally I would prefer to try to encourage further posts from within our community rather than out-sourcing from a twitter feed.

 

I'm not opposed to the concept of the showdown game -- it's a pretty cool idea actually -- but like some others have mentioned, I'd rather try to encourage image submissions from within our community.

 

 

I think we really need to clean up the interface of IOTD, and reduce the barriers towards posting a new image as much as possible.  At the moment the UI for submission isn't friendly or intuitive at all, and that's probably putting off some users.



#31 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 26967

Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:47 AM

An IOTD bug report, while we're here -- the prev/next arrows on the "filmstrip" part (for when there's more than 5 images) don't work. Chrome/Win7.



#32 Endurion   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3303

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:21 AM

Oh, and add this:

If you posted an IOTD and later exchange the images (I wanted to exchange for higher resolution) the IOTD display is broken (red cross). You can't get the new images to show at all.

 

See my Soulless entry for this particular problem.


Edited by Endurion, 22 January 2013 - 09:21 AM.

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