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Review Blitz 2021: Post-Event Feedback

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her
Partner
silvally-grass
hey y'all! me again. using the same blurb as last year!

Hopefully you took a breather from the downright insane amount of reviews completed in the past four weeks. If you've got a moment, I'd love to get some feedback on how things went in hindsight -- this was my first second time running an event like this and I'm sure there are a lot of changes that could make things go more smoothly next time. Please feel free to be as candid as you want; if you'd rather do things anonymously or in private, my DM's are also open!

The previous thread was pretty freeform + I'd like to keep this an open forum to bring up topics they think are relevant. Some potential jumping off points:
  • What would elements of this year's blitz would you keep?
  • What would elements of this year's blitz would you like to see changed?
  • What things were difficult/annoying?
reference links:
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her
Partner
silvally-grass
some general patch notes from me as event runner:

Some logistical changes/small changes. These have minimal impact to the event as a whole and are primarily for my own quality of life:
  • All deadlines will be "rigid" deadlines (i.e. when week 1 closes, you can no longer log any reviews for week 1). This is mostly a sanity thing for me; back-implementing reviews is a bit of a pain with the current prize tracking.
  • Date tracking in the spreadsheet. This would just make for cool graphs.
  • Update wording in logging thread to require participants to state whether or not they meet the weekly theme when logging (rather than to state if they meet the weekly theme).
Some larger changes that will likely be implemented next year:
  • Weekly theme nerf. Exact numbers TBD. Explanation/reasoning:
    • Of the 511 reviews written, 407 of them qualified for theme--a number I'm okay with; I don't think it should be difficult to qualify for theme and overall I'm pleased with the variety of fics it encouraged people to discover. This event was designed for 80% weekly theme adherence and we basically hit that right on the nose.
    • Of the 1294 points scored, 407 of them were for weekly theme--this is a bit overpowered for a "bonus". So while the themes would probably stay the same/similar, we would expect to lower the payout for hitting the theme.
  • Prize wheel. Some things to keep in mind:
    • Having a spin available for a small amount of points on the wheel is nice, and I'd like to keep that so that there isn't a massive barrier of entry to get prizes.
    • The current prize wheel/payout ladder dramatically underestimated participation. For reference, I rough calculated from last year that we would need to pay out 40 prizes this year (not including BLC/companion prizes). We will be paying out 120+. The spike in participation is awesome but as the math works out, next year we will either need more volunteers or fewer prizes. I would prefer the former, but it's worth looking at the ladder structure as well--perhaps payouts every 15 instead of 10, for example.
  • your idea here???
 

surskitty

Bug Catcher
Pronouns
They
I would like it a lot if next time, there's a much lower wordcount limit. I did not have 250 words of things I wanted to say about a chapter, and people were clearly fishing for things to say about my flash fic to hit wordcount and so ended up significantly harsher with criticism that's of no use to me than I think they would have if the minimum wordcount was lower.
 

spinaltapdancer3

Lost my cloud pfp pic. :(
Location
US - Central Time Zone
Pronouns
he, they
So I'm new and started at the very tail end of this, so I apologize if this has been brought up in the past or sounds really stupid, but the one thing that stood out to me was that at least in week 4, points were dependent on number of chapters you reviewed. I think this is a bad idea, as some people post long chapters, and some people post shorter chapters. For example I found that I could read and review Birds of a Feather in about the amount of time it took me to read 1 chapter of say, Liberators of Fate.

I think that incentivizes reading fics of shorter chapter length, and more importantly disincentives in depth reviews of long chapter fics. For example I might have 2000 words to say of a fic, but if it only has 2 chapters? Why bother? 1500 of those words don't count. I think that the point system should have been based on word count alone, irrespective of how many chapters there are.

The other thing I would like to see implemented would be extra points for reviewing long fics. It takes a lot more effort to review a fic that already has a lot going on than it does for a fic that just started.
 

Rainfall

Bug Catcher
Location
US
Pronouns
he/they
[edit: went from one spoiler to three spoilers to take up less space]
(Crossposting this first part into this feedback thread as planned!)

Huge appreciation to all the Review Blitz prize wheel volunteers & contributors! You are all wonderful and amazing for delivering prize reviews and prize artwork for the blitzers, often while blitzing, yourself! ☺

Thank you again for hosting this Review Blitz event, kintsugi! I can't fully imagine how much work went on in the background while also writing so many lovely reviews!

Add: A lot of people improved and/or revitalized their reviewing skills and output during Review Blitz! This was a really fun community event, and I had a great time participating with fellow blitzers! :grin:
_____
As with any event or undertaking, product or project, there's going to be pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses!
There's always going to be opportunity costs and design tradeoffs one way or another, and it's about optimizing it for the best result according to your goals. Along the way, there's certain to be (unforeseen) unintended design consequences, too!

- I'm vaguely aware there was a lot of planning and revising that went into this event (as with any), and also plenty of discussion in the discord, too, during the event, such as on trying to structure it so that the barrier to entry for reviewing isn't high, while also encouraging more reviews and more chapters reviewed.
- I'm not a very sharp person, so apologies if I need to wait and see if I can (re)identify and properly spell out any further constructive criticism from my side in a possible future post.
_____

For now:
- Initially, I thought 250 words per chapter might be a bit low, but seems like that was a good balance to get more reviews, and more chapters reviewed!

- I'm zero-tech, but indeed, automating some more things for the spreadsheet or forums might help make the work to run the event more feasible!
- I'm very appreciative that prizes were very attainable! Of course, even if purely for logistics, additional prizes could certainly spaced out a bit further.

- I agree that themes, while very nice, added a little too much point-for-no-additional-effort value. At the same time, using small integer values of points made the whole thing easier to parse, too. But making something like, base points = 5-or-10 and theme = 1-or-2-or-4 might also work.
- I do agree that longer chapters might be better rewarded with some additional value!
-- Quick idea: in fact, this may be an incentive to have authors threadmark their chapters. If 250 words/chapter and chapters are base points of 5, maybe an additional point or so for chapters greater than XX length.
If chapters aren't threadmarked, the work to count the chapter length seems too much on top of running existing Blitz logistics. (edit: threadmark count would only work if review replies weren't included in same post as chapter!)

_____
As for the Review Blitz 2 event itself, what a surprising event! I'm amazed at the output over four weeks by the 38 blitzers. 500+ reviews, 1,200+ chapters, 520k+ words. Having a fun gamified competition with stats and prizes really worked out!

And I want to say this, I really liked the themes!
from: https://forums.thousandroads.net/index.php?threads/review-blitz-2020.537/
  • Week 1 [12/13 - 12/19]: New Phone, Who This? Review a fic you haven't reviewed before. This can be claimed once per fic.
  • Week 2 [12/20 - 12/26]: Story of my life. Review a story you've reviewed but aren't caught up on. This can be claimed once per fic.
  • Week 3 [12/27 - 01/02]: Spreading the love! Review a chapter (or oneshot) that had 0 or 1 reviews on TR prior to the start of this week. This refers specifically to an individual chapter, not the total number of reviews on the fic, and can be claimed once per fic. Note that unlike other weeks, offsite reviews are ineligible for this bonus (but can still be logged for regular points during this week).
  • Week 4 [01/03 - 01/09]: Friendly fire! Review a fellow player in the blitz! This can be claimed once per author.
The way it seemed to set up:
- Theme 1 - Trying new fic, expanding your horizons, and simultaneously expanding other authors' responses to include new readers! It's a chance to get into new works, new authors and styles, and even new fiction spaces!
- Theme 2 - Re-visiting fics you'd read before, whether from long ago, and needed a kickstart to jump back into (reading and) reviewing, or even fics just reviewed previously, such as from theme 1!
- Theme 3 - I really appreciated this one, in addition to theme 1! I'm somewhat aware that writing and fanfic are certainly tough spaces to be in, and it's not easy or guaranteed to get readership. Sometimes even fics you love and were already reading can be hard to find in websites and forums, so imagine all the writing that's hiding in the troves with everything else. So seeking out under-reviewed fics (and chapters) was lovely. And of course, putting it on real-time race condition would be tough in its own way, and some of the pile-ups were fun, too : )
- Theme 4 - Bringing it home! Putting the focus on mutual blitzers' works! This has the added advantage of incentivizing blitzing activity, too, and is an analog to how a lot of good community activity happens, where initial reactions to a work, replies, and continuing chains, and review exchanges, and the like!
_____
let's take a second to just appreciate the sheer volume of creative output in Blitz this year! With a whopping 511 reviews, covering 1235 chapters and 521892 words written--that's all in the span of four weeks! This year's Blitz was met with an insane amount of participation, and everyone should be really proud of themselves; this was a crazy way to start out the new year!
511 reviews! 1235 chapters! 520k+ words! (this is my "good fic much wow" review response, as you can see)
looks like about 123 unique works reviewed, many of which were reviewed multiple times, with different chapters by different blitzers!
A huge special thanks to the prize wheel volunteers: @Tanuki @Dragonfree @qva @OldschoolJohto @SparklingEspeon @canisaries @Flaze @HelloYellow17 @Pen @Persephone @Cresselia92 @windskull have been working non-stop to make sure that prizes are rolling out for everyone, and they're the lifeblood of this event! I genuinely didn't expect this massive spike in activity from last year, and these volunteers have been working around the clock to keep up with the surges in points--76 prizes paid out and counting! If you haven't received a roll yet, please please be patient with us; we haven't forgotten you! We'll still be working in the upcoming weeks.

Some typos/additional stats pending once I iron out the data entry a bit! Keep your eyes peeled for that + a post-mortem thread if you've got feedback for next year. Also, for top 5, I will be messaging you separately about your prizes!

Some sentiments:

Wow. What a month. As the host--but primarily as a reviewer and as a member of the TR community--it was truly insane watching this grow and flourish. So many new faces, so many people trying their hands at reviews--you guys brought a warm spot to my winter and I'm glad we could start the new year off on a good note together. Fanfic communities live and die on their members, and it was genuinely a pleasure to watch everyone get so invested in this event; the turnout this year was ridiculous and otherworldly. I was already stunned by last year, but this year we knocked it out of the park, with more than double the activity in every single metric (reviewers, reviews, word count, chapters). Thank you all for the work you've done for the community; it's been personally humbling to see how much we can achieve.
Again, you all rock! Prize wheel volunteers and blitzers, and the TR community at large! ☺
 
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surskitty

Bug Catcher
Pronouns
They
A 250 word minimum isn't low. The best comments I've received, that were most useful for figuring out what works and what doesn't, have been under 200 words. A 250 word minimum encourages line by line editing suggestions, as opposed to broad strokes about story structure/imagery/characterisation. If what you're interested in is hearing what parts stick with the reader, having it surrounded by discussion of punctuation can weaken the effect of the review.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partner
solrock
I think you already know, but here are some thoughts for the record:

1. You did great. Thank you for fielding all the questions, coordinating all the humans, setting up all the threads, doing the planning, offering prizes and reviewing like a fiend yourself, and posting weekly stats.
2. I liked this. Would give the Blitz a positive Yelp review. I made new friends, read things I wouldn't have otherwise, drew things I wouldn't have otherwise, was motivated to write and post more, and got lots of reviews. Literally what more could I ask for. I'm a happy camper.
3. I think the 250-word minimum was good! Even folks who worried about hitting that minimum ... not only did but also made it into the top 10?? Wowowow.
4. I liked the themes and felt like they were appropriate!
5. Something I didn't expect to see were some of the more unusual prizes that arose! We had crack theories & brainstorming sessions scattered among the art and reviewing, and I thought that was neat. Might be nice for folks to know there's a "market" for things like that next year. (Or in general!)
6. Placeholder in case I think of more later
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partner
butterfree
I think the event went great overall! Love the amount of reviewing that got done and the general enthusiasm, and I think you ran it all very smoothly.

It might make sense to at least scale the minimum eligible word count with the length of the fic/chapter to some extent - it does seem a bit ridiculous to expect someone reviewing a 100-word drabble to write a review 2.5x the length of the actual content being reviewed.

More points for longer chapters in some form also might make sense - I confess to having chosen a couple of times here to go for a fic with shorter chapters over one with longer, simply because the longer chapter would be way more time-consuming but give the same points, and that disadvantages stories with longer chapters a bit unfairly.
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partner
flygon
I agree with dragonfree. 250 is not much but I do think scaling review length to chapter size is fair.

To be honest, I'd feel very annoyed if I wrote 8k words but only got a fifty word review so I think I'd expect a proportional length review? In the sense thay if someone is taking time to leave solid feedback I would want something thought out.
In the same way I think 250 words for a tiny drablle is a lot.
Perhaps you get bonus for hitting a certain proportional amount?

The current system is still good because it prevents doing a ramble on on chapter or a ton of chapters with no content. So I do like that aspect.
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partner
flygon
I personally feel like for an average fic though, 250 is a good baseline. It worked well for me and I think has a balance between length and content
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her
Partner
silvally-grass
[I mostly want to let discussion percolate without me since I had a pretty large say in how the event was run, but I do want to chime in from a "what will be expected of me under a revised system" standpoint--from an organizer perspective, any sort of scaling on chapter word count becomes a logistical hydra. I empathize with the sentiment and agree that that would be an ideal solution that balances the extra work of reading that comes with reviewing.

However, there were 1200+ chapters logged for this event; assuming (generously) that I can track them down and find the word counts at a minute each per chapter, that's 20 hours of additional work for someone, likely me, in addition to regular logging. Repeat chapters may alleviate this slightly, but not really to any degree that matters.

For what it's worth/comparison, I updated the ladder 1-2 times per day and probably spent 10-30 minutes per update, not counting edge cases that involved more discussion/investigation. Across a month, that was a non-trivial amount of work, but an amount that I found sane. Chapter word counts would balloon that disproportionately, and tbh I hope that this time next year I'm not quarantining and will be able to like, go outside and stuff.]
 
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Nubushi

しぶい
Pronouns
she/her
Partner
custom/slowpoke-hgss
I only joined halfway through, but I'll jump in with a few thoughts.

Themes:

・I thought they were all great (including the ones I wasn't around for)
・Reducing the amount of bonus for theme adherence sounds reasonable

Prize system:

If you plot the number of points each person earned on a graph (from lowest rank to highest), it becomes really easy to see that the progression isn't linear but follows a curve and starts to sharply rise as you move to the right, towards the highest scorers. (TBH this is evident even without a graph; the graph just makes it easier to see.)

Scatter plot for points
(Thanks for the stats, Kintsugi!)

So, keeping in mind the idea of not overburdening volunteers, I thought maybe it would make logical sense that the prize tiers could also follow a curve instead of a line? For example:

5, 10, 20, 35, 50, 70, 100, etc.?

It doesn't have to be exactly that, obviously; it could follow a more mathematical curve (though that would produce numbers that don't divide evenly by 5). Either way, that would produce sort of a video-game-like progression where getting to each next tier requires a few more points than the one before it, and would somewhat reduce the concentration of prizes going to a few (incredibly awesome) high performers. (With my example, they would be getting something like 7-8 times the amount of prizes that people that reach the first tier get, as opposed to 15x the amount).

I do like the idea of keeping the threshold low for the first prize, to make the event accessible to as many people as possible. But since the number of reviewers who reach each prize tier gets fewer as you go up, probably keeping prizes that require less time commitment (like the 10 points = companion pokemon this time around) towards the bottom would also be helpful.

Point system:

I found it really interesting to look at word count versus points, so I put that on a scatter plot, too (same link, different tab). I'm not sure how helpful the scatter plot is for this, though. Just glancing at it, there's some scatter, but there's still an overall progression of higher word count correlating with more points. But if you look at some specific numbers of points with a lot of difference either horizontally or vertically, in a lot of cases there's an enormous lack of correlation between word count and points. For example:

19436 words = 20 points
22506 words = 92 points

16207 words = 71 points
31705 words = 73 points

Some thoughts on this:

・This encourages people to read a lot of (hopefully short) chapters from multi-chapter works. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's probably a good thing for longfic writers, because you probably don't want everyone leaving huge reviews of the first chapter (only) of your fic if it's on the 40th chapter because that feedback doesn't help with what you've been working on recently.
・As others have mentioned, it also somewhat discourages reviewing longer fics/chapters--not that a longer fic always corresponds to a longer review, but probably overall there's some general correlation between chapter/story length and review length?
・Overall, I feel it would be nice if there were a bit more reward for writing in-depth reviews.
・However, I wouldn't want the point system to err so far on the other side that it excessively incentivizes padding, pointless rambling, etc.
・Reducing the amount of points for theme bonus compared to for the review itself might help even things out some?

I am not that much of a numbers person, so I don't have any really concrete suggestions for what the formula should be (I'll leave that to the more mathematically-minded), but those are my thoughts.

On the word count minimum:
・Personally, I feel 250 words is a reasonable minimum most of the time (except for some short works), but...
・Maybe there could be something like 125 words = 1/2 point in the case of people who want to review short works, or otherwise struggle to reach the 250 mark. That way, they could write a few shorter reviews (not necessarily on the same story) and combine them to get points?
・Not limited to Review Blitz, maybe it would be nice to have a thread somewhere with a master list of topics that people can include in reviews, with a few questions to think about for each topic (plot, setting/worldbuilding, characterization, pacing, etc.) that people can refer to when reviewing, if they need help thinking of things to say? Especially as TR grows, it's possible that not everyone who joins will necessarily be an expert reviewer right out the gate. This kind of thing is especially helpful for people who are new to reviewing and want to work on their review skills, but I think even for more experienced reviewers it might be helpful from time to time for sparking some ideas for feedback.

In the end, though, although I can say "it might be nice if we did x or y," even if the point system stays completely the same next year, I would not have any complaints. I wasn't particularly aiming for the top; if I had been, I could have changed my review style. But while still giving reviews that are (on average) on the long side, I was able to read some interesting stories, get some reviews from fellow blitzers, and also collect some awesome prizes from volunteers who are creating prizes for people simply out of the goodness of their hearts--and I think that's fantastic! So, thanks again to all of the organizers and volunteers for the work you put in to make this happen!
 

Rainfall

Bug Catcher
Location
US
Pronouns
he/they
Apologies for jumping back in so quick, and if I do so in future posts!
Was trying not to talk too too much after a long post with little feedback content... ...sooo here's another such one :tongue:
(Also it's super late, no brain to think of more question areas)

T.O.C:
- Question areas to consider
- Spoiler -> tangent on brainstorming
- Responses (including Resources for Reviewing)
__________

Adding to the question areas below, with overlapping areas. These can be open-ended.
  • What would elements of this year's blitz would you keep?
  • What would elements of this year's blitz would you like to see changed?
  • What things were difficult/annoying?
reference links: [fic stats, reviewer stats; Review Blitz activity thread, discussion thread]
- Structure
--- timeframe, weeks, the focus on reviews, on-forums/off-forums, themes
- Logistics
--- reporting process, (host's documenting process; cross-checking, offloading workload?), finding fics, prize wheel
- Info & Comms
--- comms over (host's) forum posts, discord posts, DMs, etc.
- Participation
--- rolling entry, incentives, barriers to entry, timeframe
- Reviews
--- aggregate nature of reviews, chapters covered, coverage of fics
- Value difference
--- did Blitz have negatives trade-offs? what gains did Blitz provide?
- Points Structure
--- (alr. quite a lot of notes on this)
- Spending Points & Prizes
--- prize wheel, volunteers, prizes
- [Other Areas]
- (edit) Impact on You
--- how the event affected you: your reviews in amount/length/style, what you read (new works, revisits), getting reviews, what you learned for reviewing and also for writing (narrative or language styles, ideas, character dev, worldbuilding) while reading and writing reviews
__________

Will continue making a butt of myself with some notes!
I realize (do I?) that this is a post-event feedback session and not a pre-undertaking brainstorming session, but I feel like some concepts for brainstorming sessions may still be useful... potentially!

Here's one I found that has some points that could apply to generating feedback (if not necessarily for giving it). And, really, in hindsight, the ideas are good but seem to be TANGENT to the topic at hand. But some of the concepts can still be useful.

> #4 Write Down and/or Sketch Everything
> #5 Don’t [Pre-] Judge
-- [for brainstorming]. At the beginning of the process you want to shoot for quantity over quality. | An ideal brainstorming environment maximizes the number of ideas put forth by removing any peer pressure regarding the quality of the suggestions. | don’t simply avoid judging unrealistic ideas, actually encourage them.
> (#6 Embrace the Ridiculous)
> (#7 Start General, End Specific)
> #9 Avoid Group Think
-- agreements within the group[...] at the expense of critical thinking, creativity and ultimately, quality.
Play the Devil's Advocate

As an aside, I did look up "good feedback process" and found some good general ideas (be specific, get from multiple sources and forms, be proactive/recurring, create safety, etc).
__________

Also, since I'm already posting here again, will go ahead and break (brainstorming) concepts of waiting to react (and groupthink) and respond now 😃 --

surskitty, I hear you! I'm taking to heart that the quality and/or usefulness of review feedback can at times be more orthogonal to the length of the review!

And to Nubushi, thanks for putting that info into two graphics! It's very helpful and neat to see!
__________
Okay, I took this on one natural path it was already on, out of just the realm of Review Blitz, into general. Now that I think about it, this is on heels of a nice "on reviewing" discussion in the discord earlier today.
Not limited to Review Blitz, maybe it would be nice to have a thread somewhere with a master list of topics that people can include in reviews, with a few questions to think about for each topic (plot, setting/worldbuilding, characterization, pacing, etc.) that people can refer to when reviewing, if they need help thinking of things to say? [...] This kind of thing is especially helpful for people who are new to reviewing and want to work on their review skills, but I think even for more experienced reviewers it might be helpful from time to time for sparking some ideas for feedback.
(Yes, I like this!)

This also reminds me of the advice given in here (something that is occasionally mentioned in the Discord):

That's the leading post of the Catnip Circle thread, under the Fanfic Discussion sub-forum.
There's a spoiler box for "Constructive Criticism Tips" that's very good, and also very easy to forget or simply miss, even in the leading post, since it's under the Catnip Circle topic.

Maybe this advice could be copied into (yet another pinned?) post,
a resource thread about reviewing.

- constructive criticism considerations [from Catnip Circle]
- (from above) open master suggestion list of topics that can be reviewed
- a note recommending fic writers to include their preferences for what they're seeking in reviews
--- noted in the first post of their fic, and/or at top of particular chapters
--- (such as "not seeking grammar help", "please be very candidly honest", "please focus on character development for these two characters; how do you see them?")
__________
 
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Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partner
flygon
This is semi related but it's funny you mention writing a thread about reviewing critiquing because that may or may not be something I'm working on...👀

I do want to say I really liked the topics and bonus stuff, I thought those were very good.
 

Negrek

Live by the Sword
Staff
I didn't get much of a chance to get involved this year, but I definitely wanted to give a huge shout-out to kintsugi for running the event and keeping everything together despite the huge boost in participation over last year! It was a crazy amount of work, way more than anyone anticipated going into the event, but you carried it all off with aplomb.

I don't have any serious gripes with the system as stands; I'd be happy to participate again under the same points system and so on, no strong opinions on length considerations etc. At this point I'm most interested in what's going to be easiest/actually manageable to track for the purpose of running the event.

I'm more worried about prize distro and the amount of strain put on volunteers this year. We can of course always hope for more volunteers to step up in future years, but even then I get worried about the added burden involved in trying to wrangle all those people. I think a scale like what Nubushi proposed would be a good way to reduce the total prize burden... I like keeping some prizes low down on the points scale to encourage people to participate at least a little bit if they can, but at the upper points tiers I think it makes sense for people to be competing more for the grand prizes rather than getting a steady stream of prize wheel spins.

Unrelated to the event, but definitely think that a thread of review prompts/review help is a great idea!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partner
charizard
I'd like to third, fourth, or whatever the number is now on a curved prize scale if giving out too many prizes is an issue due to strain and so on. My personal suggestion would be something like what was said before. Assuming the point scaling is the same...

5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, 100 . . .

So every two increments, the prize scale goes up. And maybe we can also divvy up what prizes go to what tiers to an extent, or something? I recall seeing that some people were dissatisfied with their draws due to wanting particular prizes. I do wonder if there would be a means to do a "pity prize alternate choice" if they get the same prize type three times in a row, or something like that. Sort of a common-sense override for possible-but-unlikely draw patterns.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partner
solrock
With the prizes, I liked the randomness because then no one felt bad for being picked last. And as a participant, I had fun getting a random surprise. I get that people might’ve wanted specific things ... but at the end of the day, this was a free, volunteer-run event. It is hard to rank prizes, though. Preferences vary a lot. I think some people do prefer art, but other people seemed not to especially want it, which surprised me. There could be a case for pushing all the art to higher tiers and letting the entry-level prizes be review-y.
 

qva

onion witch
Location
florida
Pronouns
she/her
Partner
farfetchd-galar
There could be a case for pushing all the art to higher tiers and letting the entry-level prizes be review-y.
i was thinking about this too. i think the randomness of artist/reviewer was good and we should keep that but locking in the type of prize seems fine to me. maybe if you don’t want art you could just opt for a review instead once you reach the art tiers. another option would be a system where people buy rewards with points, perhaps? where art and reviews have different costs, and people who don’t especially want prizes can just choose not to buy them to lighten the prize load.

on that note i do like the idea of thinning the prize load a little, although i don’t personally feel my contribution was way too taxing—i’d be interested to hear from other prize squad folks whether they felt like they signed up for too much and what they felt an ideal commitment would have been. i think i like nubushi’s proposed scale better than namo’s.

i thought the points system was okay but not perfect. ultimately fulfilling the theme was as valuable as writing a review for a whole chapter which does seem like kind of a lot considering most reviews were single or double chapter iirc. on the other hand i think it’s good that the themes were pretty accessible to fulfill. the third one might have been a little too difficult although i really appreciated the intent. i don’t have any useful feedback as to what to actually do instead but i do think it needs some tuning. make them worth .5 maybe?

i find myself agreeing with some of the others about the wordcount issue. i’m sympathetic to the fact that it’s a lot of added work though, but if we’re talking about scaling this thing, maybe some others could help out next year. i could see a system of like, each chapter having its word count checked/verified by two (?) helpers for integrity purposes.

seconding osj that the wacky prizes were great. also, joining in the group hug here, you did amazing and thank you for all your hard work running this for us. it was so much fun.
 
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IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partner
saltriv
I'm...honestly not a fan of many of these suggested changes.
 

K_S

Nrml and grnd type fan, with a dash of psn n bug
We could set a system for labeling fic before the event to cut down on the work during. Something simple, even a color coded dot on the corner of the page... or a emocon/symbol that everyone uses across the board. Say one for long fic, one for short/flash fic, so no check for reviewer reader effort is needed? This would help in making a sliding scale of reading effort to review length and we could pull a system together using that?

I have to admit I near murdered my own review drive tackling some really long works early out in the contest and it's part of why I went dark the last week or so. Sheer exhaustion. I'm still recovering a bit.

I don't see a problem with having a reward preference set up for the next event. I got something I didn't want "RP game points" and was unable to really do anything with them as I don't RP. If an opt out/re-roll option isn't viable to avoid overworking prize givers how about a forum page where unwanted rewards are "piled" and riffled through? "Spins" on the wheel can be used to take something from the pile, and order of grab is randomized to respect the different timezones/lifestyles of the participants?
 
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