Forum Game Rules & Guidelines

Sun, 2011-04-17 22:31
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

Card creation games are possibly one of the most popular things on this forum. But as fun as they are, sometimes games break down because rules for the game aren't clearly established, because a judge is absent, or because posters get off topic. So here are a few simple rules for those wishing to post in a game thread or make one of their own:

  1. Do not start a new thread unless you've been an active member for at least a month. Qualifications for being "active" are a little hazy and this is more of a guideline, but you definitely need to have been registered for one month. Most active members make meaningful posts in multiple threads at least once every two days.
  2. Create only one new game thread a month. This will help to keep other threads from being drowned out in the recent post tracker and drive more traffic into individual games. Redundant threads are discouraged and likely to be closed.
  3. Manage only one game at a time. We'd like for people to devote their full attention if possible. This doesn't apply to smaller games where the leader changes from week to week.
  4. Be concrete when outlining the rules for your game. It's hard to play if nobody knows how.
  5. Each game must have a way to perpetuate itself. For contests this is usually done by playing in rounds and handing direction off to the winner. There may be no eternal ultimate superjudge. Roleplaying games are the exception to this rule, where the organizer may remain indefinitely so long as they perform their duties.
  6. "Cycles" of a game are limited to one week. What this means is that for a contest, the submission deadline may be no longer than a week. Organizers for any game should "check in" and provide players with new information if necessary at least once a week. If the leader fails to judge/update in the specified time, the staff reserves the right to select a new leader or lock the thread.
  7. Do not harass the judge. This means no hassling them about when they'll make decisions when they have real-life obligations, or complaining about not winning. If the judge is taking too long and you would like to have a new one selected, send a message to a staff member.
  8. If a submission for a game or contest breaks its rules, the entry is automatically void. If it's something as simple as forgetting to give feedback when required, the poster may be reminded to give it and the game may continue as normal. If a correction isn't made, any other member may step in, ignore the post, and continue without it. In cases of ninjas, double ninjas, quintuple ninjas, etc., only the first post to appear counts. Sorry. A sad 'frowny'
  9. You may never exclude members from participating, unless they refuse to follow the rules and their failure to comply has been recognized by a staff member, in which case they and not you will take action.
  10. Don't demand for people to post. You can't force people to play your game. If nobody wants to play, that's just how it is. As of right now, inactive games aren't being locked. Necro rules do apply, though.

And, as always, all other general forum rules apply, including staying on topic, not swearing or flaming, etc. Thank you for reading, and have fun! Awesome Smiley


Mon, 2011-04-18 04:16
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

None of these rules are being applied retroactively, but they will be effective immediately for all future posts and threads. Does anybody feel that one week for judging is too short?


Mon, 2011-04-18 04:23
Balaam's picture

No way, after a week you've probably gotten all the entries your going to get in a contest on these forums anyway.

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Mon, 2011-04-18 04:26
Friendly MSE Designer
Guitarweeps's picture

Only problem is if RL gets in the way with something unexpected.

Check out my updated set hub.

Mon, 2011-04-18 09:13
Picks-at-Flies's picture

I think it should be a fluffy rule. It's great to aim for a week, but in reality players don't get itchy fingers until 10 days have passed. We have had a lot of good entries AFTER the 1 week mark in the past. And actually in the past we've never need a fixed deadline - if a player goes absent for too long, always it has to be said for good reason, the players have just appointed someone.

Mon, 2011-04-18 13:48
TheAmazingKamahl's picture

I think the one week is good, but it should be bendable around vacations or places where there is no internet.

Mon, 2011-04-18 15:57
elmdor's picture

I think that the duration of a round should be between 6 and 10 days. A week seems too little time, in my opinion.

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting." [Ernest Ruthenford]
"In man we all pray!" [Tony Hadley]

Mon, 2011-04-18 17:25
Art_Freak's picture

Properly motivated a week is sufficient. That duration proved itself during the CotW competitions earlier this year, and 6-10 days encompasses a week (7 days). If a week is too little, why do you suggest 6 days? I feel what I expressed in the staff discussion on this matter sums up why a week is for the best:

Any game running longer than 1 week is pushing things. We have a small community here and they can easily all post their entries in the course of a week. If a user is only logging on once every two weeks or so (which is the only kind of user I can assume the two week judging was intended to allow to play the game), that's not the kind of user we want in charge of that kind of game because they probably won't log on when it's time to judge (we've seen this happen before.) Restricting it to 1 week might actually encourage such users to frequent their favorite games more often.

EDIT: This would also be a good time to note that Rusty has the support of the staff in this endeavor as he was the one to write it up, but it was the staff as a whole to discuss and debate this matter prior to it, and we feel this should help make the forum games more stable, uniform, and fun to play.

Mon, 2011-04-18 21:28
Friendly MSE Designer
Guitarweeps's picture

I agree. I have had that moment where I realized that I waited too long and the contest round passed. So what, there is another contest to do so it is not a big deal. It is better that things are moving in a forward motion.

Check out my updated set hub.

Tue, 2011-04-19 22:52
jrzman's picture

I know that the only time I posted a longer than one week entry period was when my classes were taking over, and it was intense. I knew it, and I warned everyone appropriately. In fact, it should be helpful for the judge, for those games where this applies, to state the judging date, under best possible circumstances. In fact I believe sohel had to pass off judging in one game because he had been grounded, and informed everyone.

Just my two cents on the matter.

jrzman set hub
“The path to knowledge is locked. To get in you either have the right key, or be lucky enough to be able to pick the lock.”

Mon, 2011-05-23 23:35
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

I made a small change giving staff the ability instead of the duty to take action when judges are absent. Hopefully this will relieve some tension.


Mon, 2011-08-08 23:47
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

Since people seem to have been doing it more recently, I've added a new rule about hassling the judge. The "one week cycle" rule merely states that someone creating a game can't set it to two weeks or something like that, and that a staff member has the authority but not the duty to choose a new leader if the current one is taking too long. Real-life obligations always deserve the highest priority.


Sat, 2011-08-27 01:03
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

Added extra emphasis to making only unique threads. Part of the explanation for this that I gave somewhere else:

Rusty Keyes wrote:
We have rules designed to keep the pace of the original game and prevent it from stagnating. Having only one gives people incentive to perform well in the contest and serves to broaden the judge's selection when trying to pick a quality submission.

I repeat: becoming the judge for a contest is the reward for performing well. Trying to circumvent this process will be frowned upon. A sad 'frowny'


Wed, 2011-10-26 02:46
AgentPaper's picture

What would the opinion be on passing judging on to someone else every once in a while? I've been having to judge one or more contests basically every week for the past few weeks, and it's starting to eat up a lot of my time.

Wed, 2011-10-26 02:54
hooliganj's picture

Well, if you don't ever want to judge then you should limit your participation in the contests - but if it's just a matter of needing a break, or not wanting to judge more than one a week, then I think it would be fine to decline a victory. Ideally, you should do it when you win the previous round - once you've posted the challenge and waited a week, it's unfair to shift the duty to someone else without a good reason.

I sympathize, though. I know judging a contest with a lot of entries can take quite a few hours.

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Wed, 2011-10-26 16:16
Friendly MSE Designer
Guitarweeps's picture

Yeah, that is what I had to do. I was only entering two contests or so for awhile and now that I have The Game of Perfection I enter none, at least until that is finished.

Check out my updated set hub.

Tue, 2011-11-29 14:30
Sensei Le Roof
Sensei Le Roof's picture

I'd add one that seems to be disregarded a lot (in the challenge game, at least): Before you jump into a game, READ THE RULES.

Online dictionaries abound. It's time to start using them.