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Official Contests

6 Oct 2020, 12:51 am (Edited 7 Oct 2020, 11:57 pm)
Hi, everyone!

We've noticed user participation in our official contests has declined somewhat. In the past, when this has happened, we've discontinued them entirely (House Decorating, Villager Profile).

Currently, we host the following contests regularly several times a year:
(A few other contests occur somewhat sporadically.)
  • Art
  • Paintie
  • Vista
  • Writing

We would rather not discontinue any of these contests, so we wanted your opinions on the best way forward. We've thought of several approaches and possible solutions, though if you think of your own, we'd love to hear it and possibly add it to the list.

  1. If a contest does not receive the minimum number of entries, we'll extend the deadline. If you like this option, please suggest an extension period.

  2. We let the maximum number of winners be some fraction of the number of entrants. For example, let's say the vista contest has 4 prizes, but if we decide to only award 2/3 of entrants at most. Then, the contest needs at least 6 entries for all 4 prizes to be distributed. If you like this option, please suggest a fraction.

  3. We host fewer contests. We might start cycling them. For example, only art and paintie, and then only vista and writing.

  4. We add a separate participation trophy for entries that don't win. Users can opt out of this.

These are only ideas we've had. Nothing is set in stone, but we would like to ensure our main contest prizes aren't just participation prizes.

Other suggestions:
  • Some form of opt-in reminder system for those who plan to enter contests and then forget
  • Removing word count limit in the writing contest
  • Introducing some randomness to who wins the contests
  • Fewer prompts
  • User-suggested themes


6 Oct 2020, 4:34 pm (Edited 6 Oct 2020, 5:04 pm)
I'm a fan of #2 and #4.
I think some fraction between 1/2 and 2/3 would be good.

The issue is having a small userbase, so I think there's a limit to how much you can encourage users to participate. Sometimes, there just won't be enough people & I think it's better to just stop the contest and wait for the next one.

I don't think extensions would help because the contests already run for a month which is more than enough. The main reason I choose not to enter a contest is usually because the prompts don't inspire me, so #1 doesn't address that.
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6 Oct 2020, 4:46 pm
I like 4 and 1. 4 is a good idea because it might encourage users to enter more contests. I'm newer to Furvilla, and I haven't had the chance to be here for the beginning of a contest, but it seems like something that would help. Personally, 1 could be helpful just in case let's say, you're the last person to enter, and very close to finishing. Maybe a 1 week extension could work, but this should only happen once. E.g. If there aren't enough entries, and you give an extension, but still nobody else joins, or you don't have enough, don't reuse the extension, just leave it at that.

I don't know if I would even listen to me, as I said earlier, I'm newer to the game and don't know much.
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6 Oct 2020, 4:48 pm
i would also maybe suggest sending out a contest reminder announcement in the news, since not everyone checks town hall since all the town hall links are in other places on the site (that is why i don't usually check it, there is usually no need to. plus the contest section never said when any of them were ending). just a sort of: there is one week left! or like two days left or something. since the contests go on for a really long time, it's easy to forget about it.

unsure about number 2. it would work to make sure the prizes are not just participation prizes. don't know if it would have any effect on participation in general, though.

i do not like number 3 mostly because i have no interest in any other contest except for writing :(

4 is a maybe. i do like to collect trophies (but usually only once, so opt out is good).
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6 Oct 2020, 4:59 pm
1. A month, which is the general timeframe, is plenty of time, I think. It may just be that the contests simply aren't attracting enough attention. Personally I don't feel that extensions would help much. However, I would suggest a 1-2 week extension, if it needed.

2. Sounds interesting but confusing, in all honesty ^^"

3. Oh, please don't. I love contests, it's always fun viewing entries even if I don't participate. Like @/noll, the contests would probably do much better if they were given more publicity.

4. Sounds wonderful! :> Users may be more inclined to participate if there was something like this!
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6 Oct 2020, 6:48 pm
Don't forget the suggestion of Luckyclaw
Abolish the word minimum for writing contests.
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7 Oct 2020, 2:33 pm
bump for visibility
Former AnonFairy Existentialism (I was until people started making and releasing villagers with bad CSS... Ruin my fun why don't ya'll)
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7 Oct 2020, 2:39 pm
i like 4 and 1. becuase i think expanding it would give people more time to come in and for 4 i think is people who didnt win got something as well, that would bring them to come to more contests
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7 Oct 2020, 11:58 pm
Thank you, everyone! I've updated the first post to reflect some of the ideas our users have had.
  • Some form of opt-in reminder system for those who plan to enter contests and then forget
  • Removing word count limit in the writing contest
  • Introducing some randomness to who wins the contests
  • Fewer prompts
  • User-suggested themes
8 Oct 2020, 3:50 pm
These are all more or less one paragraph musings on the issue being addressed.


If you want more Participants, you are gonna want to make it worth putting in effort in some way. I don't think Trophies are the way to go, they just clutter up people's profiles and don't give them joy. I think FV is bad at giving out participation prizes, but if they could come up with a decent Participation Prize for all the effort of making an entry, that'd probably help a lot. I noticed that the Warrior Tourney Participation Prize is kinda poop for all the effort that gets put in to be able to participate, so something better than that would be a good idea.

Maybe take suggestions from users about what they can win, or what might be a draw to participating.
People will obviously be ridiculous with some suggestions, but so much of FV is High Effort, Low Reward for 'balance' that when you win something it almost never seems like as big a deal as it should.

You could also certainly host fewer contests and/or cycle them, but the last time there was some event thing that cycled, it was scrapped and shoved all into one tidy area that no one had to pay attention to on the back end. At some point keeping track of a cycling event on FV just gets too tedious and ends up being trash binned anyway.

I don't think that extending the deadline really works for recruiting in more participants either. It just delays the results from being made and the winners from being announced. And Winner Announcements are already done pretty far after the event, and contests for the event, are finished.
Perhaps if a more strict set of guidelines for when the Contests will be judged by and when the Winners will be Announced to the site was established, that would help hype them up?

I think the problem with "there should be a fraction denoting how many people can win based on number of entrants" is that then the number of winners is variable. If I said 1/5 that means you get 4 winners if you have 20 entrants, but also 20 winners if you have 100 entrants. That's alot of people to pick winners from and alot of winners to pick, but hey, it upped participation, right?

I think the prompts are neat but I think that it might be easier to deal with just the overall theme for the contest instead of having a contest theme and then several separate divisions that are more specific. One theme and then one prompt may work way better.
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