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Thursday, April 27, 2006


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Mark Wallace

> instead of thinking about the contest having a "The game that makes the most money wins" standard of success, I prefer to think of it as "The game that creates the biggest subculture in SL wins" metric.

You may prefer to think of it this way, but the fact it, the game that makes the most money does indeed win.

I think a better measure of cultural impact might have been traffic, although this has its problems too. As noted in my OP, we spent the most time and probably had the most fun at a game where we spent the least money. Traffic would have captured that.

Although it wouldn't have captured usage of games like The Collective, which you play on an ongoing basis across the entire Grid.

The problem here is one of apples and oranges (and Walkers and Wallace -- 3pointD is by Mark Wallace). You can't really compare SLictionary, which is a parlor game, with Tech Warfare, which is an RTS, or The Collective, which is like an ongoing version of Magic, The Gathering, apparently. They're three different things, and picking one as "best" seems nearly impossible to me.

Hamlet Au

> apples and oranges

I take your point there, though that also speaks to not putting them up for any kind of critical evaluation. It's possible, though difficult, to judge very different genres. Leaving it to a "vote with your wallet" metric where every Resident potentially has a say seems better than a panel coming in and saying what's "best". Also, since all the developers get to keep the L$ they make during the contest, even those who don't get to keep their land in Arcadia still get compensated for their time and effort, and have a chance to build up an audience.

> I think a better measure of cultural impact
> might have been traffic

Of course, that can easily be gamed so that the developer with the most friends in-world wins ("Hey, come hang out on my plot of land!") More key, while there's a lot of things Residents enjoy doing for fun for free, it demands more creativity to come up with a game that's *so* fun people pay to play.

Ben Linden

There have been a few complaints that the system does not reward the more casual "parlor" games like SLictionary as much. You claim that personally, SLictionary was the most fun - and so I would expect that you would be willing to pay more to play it, so the creator could charge more. That the creator is not charging more is their decision - not imposed by the contest.

Now, I am not arguing that money is the *best* way to judge games - but as observed, the structure of the contest meant that all the games were designed to work well in SL, finished, fun, and are being played - which is what we want.

Of course, there is probably a better way to judge - I would love to hear any suggestions!

Rifkin Habsburg

I'd say that, given the goal of creating popular, well-promoted games, the Expo is a success.

Participating in the Expo has been hugely educational for me. When I first built Danger Zone, I naively assumed a "If you build it, they will come" attitude. I knew I had a great game. I thought people would just find it.

A week or so of no traffic disabused me of that notion. I've learned that promotion is hard. Building a community is hard. Just getting people to read the rules is hard! I've spent as much effort promoting my game as I have building it in the first place.

The Expo has forced me to learn, fast, how to sell a game to the public. How to fix interface issues and make it as easy as possible to play. How to get people excited about playing. Without the Expo, I probably would have just set the game up somewhere, and waited... and waited...

Thanks for setting this up, Hamlet. It's been a lot of fun.

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