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TechnoGoth

Forum writing competition?

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I've participated in a couple of writing competitions for novels, and short stories and always enjoyed them. That is why I think it is a shame that there has never been a game writing competition on game dev. Would people be interested in a participating in say a 3000 word writing competition? If so would you prefer a 3 day competition or a one month competition? Also what sort of format would people like? Would you want it to be say, an intro, scene, epilogue, or back-story writing competition?

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I think a general game overview competition would be a good idea, like 500 words on you idea.

ace

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I would be interested in doing such a competition. 3 days sounds adequate for 3000 words and the format could change between the intro, scene, epilogue, back-story, game overview, teasers(1000 words max). So when is the first competition?

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I believe the problem we ran into last time was who would judge the entries and what criteria would they be judging them on. The staff wants that info written out before they approve a contest or a prize for the contest.

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Hmmm Criteria,

Spelling, Grammer, and Diction
Depth
Completeness
Creativity
Uniqueness
Applicability (practicality of writen work in an actual game)
Popularity

You should also have open voting to see which one was most liked by public and also peer voting so that each entrant has to vote for at least one and up to 5 other submissions. Comments and constructive criticism should be encouraged. Popularity should be determined on the different categories Judges, Public, and Peer.

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Quote:
Original post by 5MinuteGaming
Hmmm Criteria,

Spelling, Grammer, and Diction


English Grammar, not Kelsey Grammer.


Also, "Diction" tends to be used in the context of the spoken word, rather than the written form, although it has, historically, been used to refer to both.


Quote:


Depth


How do you define "depth"? Not every form of writing needs to be deep and meaningful.


Quote:

Completeness


I would hope that any competition entries were, indeed, complete.

Quote:

Creativity
Uniqueness


I think the word you're looking for is "Originality".

I should stress that it's extremely rare to find a truly original novel. "Harry Potter" is fundamentally a long Coming-of-Age story. Its setting is based on, frankly, very tired old tropes. It's the quality of the world-building and Rowling's _writing_ that keeps people begging for more. It's the characters, the settings, the novel twists on old ideas.

Ideas in themselves are tuppence ha'penny; it's the _execution_ that's important.

Quote:

Applicability (practicality of writen work in an actual game)


Now this is a good criterion. It is also, unfortunately, very subjective: give the piece of writing to three separate judges and you'll get three different views as to whether it's suitable for a an "actual game".

The problem is that you need to be able to think of a _lot_ of different types of "actual game" in order to conclusively and objectively state that a piece of writing _isn't_ suitable under this criterion.

Quote:


Popularity

You should also have open voting to see which one was most liked by public and also peer voting so that each entrant has to vote for at least one and up to 5 other submissions. Comments and constructive criticism should be encouraged. Popularity should be determined on the different categories Judges, Public, and Peer.


I would probably just go for this one. Rather than appoint ivory-tower judges to speak from on high, just wait until all the entries are in, then require all entrants to vote on each others' entries. The one important caveat is that they cannot vote for their own work.

No comments. No justifications. Just a short set of multiple-choice, "online poll"-type questions. ("Would you buy a game based in this story's 'universe'?", for example.)

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley

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Well, as an idea those categories I mentioned were critized as the end all be all of a competition criteria for judging. Mr. Baggaley, surely you did not have to counter each of them in turn treating them as the sections of a highly significant charter.

I do like the idea of instead of having categories of judgement to be replaced by popular opinion in the form of a poll and a peer rating system.

So for a refined set of categories and associated poll questions

style (this would along with grammer and other presentation aspects ultimately be summed up in how the entry is rated.)
Originality ("Have you played any games with a similar (story|epilogue|back-story|intro) )
Applicability ("Would you buy a game based in this story's 'universe'?" (Baggaley, quoted from above)
Popularity (rating 1 out of 10, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT)

Diction:
Mr. Baggaley, I was always under the impression that Diction in context refers to word choice either in speech or in writing.

Depth:
I am curious as to what piece of writing for game or otherwise that is popular does not create a sense of depth. And by depth I am meaing richness or intensity. Whether the work be serious or humorous. Also, would 'immersive' be an appropriate substitute Mr. Baggaley.

Completeness:
Incomplete entries would be a possibilty since you are limiting writers to how much they are aloud to write, therefore an incomplete entry would be hard to rate or would you care to differ on that opinion as well.

I would, however the way it is finally organized, enjoy entering a Forum Writing Competition!

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Well sunandshadow those are valid points, since I suggested it I have no problem being one of the judges after that I suppose the question becomes how many judges are necessary? I think three would be enough but if we can’t find two more then we can always try it with just one.

For judging criteria I’d say it could be judged on the following four:

style - The overall quality of the writing including grammar, punctuation, spelling, and use of language.
Use of Subject matter – How effectively the subject matter and theme of the competition where used.
Applicability - How suitable is the idea for a game, and would it make a good one?
Popularity – Run a poll where people can vote for their favorite work.

An example of what the first competition might look like is the following:

Forum Writing Competition 1

Theme: The wings of Icarus
Description: Write a 3000 word introduction and 500 word synopsis to a game that utilizes the phrase “The wings of Icarus” as a core concept in the story. You are free to be as creative as you want with its meaning and interpretation.
Start Date: 12:00pm BST Friday …
End Date: 12:00pm BST Monday …



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Personally, I just like the informal showing off we have had over the past.

The problem I see with "writing a story" for a game is that this might probably end up more as a Game Design contest rather than a writing contest...
Especially in the way you describe it here, it just sounds to me like a "get a great idea for a game and write about it for 3000 words".
It's not exactly the same as writing, is it?

Maybe writing something more like "write your story about a given game" contest.
Say, write a short story (3000 words max) based in the San Andreas game. Period.
Whether you end up describing a portion of the plot in your own unique fashion, or a fanfiction style adventure of a minor character from the game, or something completely different, is up to you.
Think of it as the written equivalent of those excellent Penny Arcade comics they have done for various games.

Plus if we did one such contest succesfully, I could see how it would be much easier afterwards to make it an official/sponsored contest thingie (say, win a copy of the game signed by the authors or something [grin]).

Anyway, just my two cents, so what do you think ? :-P

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