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Contest Discussion

6 Nov 2017, 11:49 pm (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 12:16 am)
Please discuss ideas for potential contests here - we're looking at ways to make contests more compelling for users, as well as more rewarding.

NOTE: This thread is for the monthly forum based contests, not Fur Idol.


7 Nov 2017, 12:07 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 12:07 am)
I feel the art contest being organized by species was a little excessive. That's way too many categories for way too few users. Why not have a few categories with guidelines? Like Simple to Advanced or something for people who prefer just to do chibis as opposed to people who do full scenery. Or perhaps a ranking system? You start as a Beginner and after a win or two you to go Intermediate then the Expert category for people who have won many times in the past. You could even divide each category up by villages so that people are competing against the people in the same village as them for the rank but could also win best in show for the category, making it where more than one person can still gather points to rank up.
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7 Nov 2017, 12:14 am
I feel the art contest being organized by species was a little excessive. That's way too many categories for way too few users. Why not have a few categories with guidelines? Like Simple to Advanced or something for people who prefer just to do chibis as opposed to people who do full scenery. Or perhaps a ranking system? You start as a Beginner and after a win or two you to go Intermediate then the Expert category for people who have won many times in the past. You could even divide each category up by villages so that people are competing against the people in the same village as them for the rank but could also win best in show for the category, making it where more than one person can still gather points to rank up.


i think thats for fur idol, which isnt part of the contests theyre discussing that theyre posting in the forums

Luyciel

They/Them
7 Nov 2017, 12:16 am
Oh whoops! I assumed it meant all site contests hah. Ignore me!
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7 Nov 2017, 12:17 am
I think overall, if the reports of who won came out sooner that might help? Since I see in the forums a lot, people being unsure of when they can expect their painties to be uploaded if they won or not--as, they want to still upload them but having to wait an extra 3 weeks to know even if they won and won't have to use a paintie ticket can be confusing for some.

Apologies if that's... messy to read, my brain has not been waking up properly today ^^;
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7 Nov 2017, 12:27 am
I think the main issue I have with contests is that they feel like they happen so much and there's SO many of them.

While it's great that there's an option for everyone, it just feels overwhelming.

Personally, I think that CSS contests are a little too much. I have nothing against creators, but it seems to be that all custom CSS either comes from Noll or MsJanny, but edited to have different pictures. Maybe that's just me though.
It also feels like sometimes I just don't have enough time in the month.

Maybe contests could be a two-month thing? You have two months to complete the task, which may give users more time to work things out and work on them in their spare time rather than having people scram to make a paintie in 3 weeks. I know a month is a long time, but with a userbase generally ranging from high school to college age, I find I personally never have the time to enter. The only time I DID enter the paintie contest, it was over my summer vacation when I had plenty of time to do the work.

As well, the house decorating contests are a nightmare. While it's so great to see what people can do with such a limited amount of items, the actual interface of the housing section of the site feels deeply forgotten. There haven't been any new items since the Serpent's fest, and even then it was a very limited amount of accessories. It's not very easy to work with Christmas items, party things, and very strange and specifically designed pieces of furniture. This is the reason I gave up on them, because they were frustrating to work with the items we had.

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7 Nov 2017, 12:29 am
Sassibirb I am going to make a very real effort to make sure that from now on the contest results are posted within the first week of the month so you were definitely on the right track here and I wholeheartedly agree.
7 Nov 2017, 12:33 am
Seconding what Sassibirb said. Pretty much what I said when the announcement about it came out last week! Quoting it so I don't have to retype my opinion.


My instant thought about the contests is that if the results were posted more quickly after the end of the contests, you'd see more participation. Like, people who entered in September didn't know when it was okay to redo their houses for October, or update their CSS, or which villagers they should enter, because the September results weren't out before the end of the NEXT contest's end date. If you WERE doing it in November and hadn't posted the results until at least the end of the first week of November, that's one less week of preparation for people in September and October who were waiting for results before entering a new contest. But that's just my two cents. We'll see what the poll says. I just know I don't like entering contests again and again without knowing if I won the past contest or two, it's a little confusing! Hoping to see the contests return in December! The judges probably need a break anyway.


My point was only further illustrated when that news post said "results coming later this week" and now it is a week later. In the end, the mods are busy and its hard to get to judging those when its already a lot of content to wade through even with wishy-washy participation levels. So, it's understood... but it makes people disinterested. If I enter this month because I want a premium pet for this month, and have to wait until next month or the one after for results, I miss out on that appealing reward. My chance is gone.

Additionally, the rewards could DEFINITELY be better. I'd like to see more profile trophies. Villager trophies are nice, but personally I want to fill up my own trophy cabinet. Perhaps even upgraded trophies for repeat winners to encourage people to keep entering with new content? Right now, once you win once for a villager, there's no point in ever changing their profile/paintie/etc to enter again with them.

I can't enter the paintie contest (NO ART SKILL WEH) BUT if I could, the reward is minuscule in comparison to the effort put in. A free upload? Someone that good at painties could sell some art and afford their paintie upload MUCH faster than the two month waiting period for results. Not only do people like timely results, they like rewards that match their effort. If I spend 4-8 hours making my villager's profile, or their paintie, or any content at all, I want the reward to reflect that much work in whatever way possible. Things I could get myself just don't cut it after a while.

Perhaps contest exclusive prizes? Although I know people HATED that idea with cooking, honestly, its one of the best ways to motivate people. It just makes a lot of sense.
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7 Nov 2017, 12:54 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 1:03 am)
Reasons people don't enter the contests:

  • They don't fit the theme (re: paintie contests, but that's usually the one with the most entries).
    Suggestion: don't theme the profile contest.

  • Furniture is boring. The last furniture item (besides wall art) was added ages ago.
    Art entries were a nice idea but a failure overall, and I don't see that changing.
    Suggestion: See if the item artist has larger resolutions of her art? Maybe it doesn't need to be commissioned entirely... Some items, like plunder, would make good furniture.

  • I love the idea of profile contests but nobody makes profiles, honestly. There are like. Five of us. Maybe more.
    I can see expanding the contest to include user profiles maybe garnering more interest... but also confusion, much like allowing art entries into house decoration. For starters, there's no character design involved, so the focus would be on custom CSS (so no templates).
    Suggestion: Just let me win each round, honestly. (I am joking.)

  • The prizes kinda suck. For monthlies and for Fur Idol. I enter Fur Idol for easy trophies and a shot at unreleased items/mixups.
    Suggestion: Pure FD instead of a FDE minipet box. And just... better items/more currency.

  • Let people get a paintie ticket for their paintie contest entries instead of a free upload? I don't see the problem with that, and that's honestly been one of the most baffling policies so far.

  • As stated above, please announce winners earlier. It encourages people to start entries earlier.

  • User profile trophies are way cooler than villager trophies, IMO, but maybe that's just me.

Also, just... tiered winners might work better? Like, one winner per five entries type of deal. More winners if there are more entries. Fewer winners if there are fewer entries.

edit: can i revote in the poll please fix bbcode lists i'm dying
jess #7302 | she/her | links
7 Nov 2017, 1:16 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 1:24 am)
Well the main reason I personally haven't entered contests in ages is because the reward doesn't justify the time and effort put in.

I'm not big on writing/css and the like, so I don't enter those, and art takes a long time. The only paintie contest I entered, I entered because the theme happened to line up with a paintie I was already making. If I won, awesome. If I didn't, I already had a paintie ticket and villager lined up for the artwork so no big deal.

If I don't have a villager I'm already planning on using the paintie for, I won't enter. In that case losing not only costs you time, but then also makes you feel compelled to pay for a paintie and wardrobe slot so you can get some use out of the artwork and not feel like it was a complete waste. So yeah. I'd rather just not enter in that case.

The decorating contest is the only one I would really have time for, but I would only be entering because I want the trophy (I won once before the trophy was introduced so now that it exists I want it), but to be honest I don't want to pay to open up a house on a villager just for the chance at maybe getting a trophy that I only want because I already won in the past and want something to show that off. Especially not when there aren't any new items to play with and get inspired by. So I'm not super interested right now.

I do like having contests, the rewards just don't currently motivate me to put in the time to participate.
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7 Nov 2017, 1:22 am
I greatly enjoyed the writing contest!! It's the one skill I've got that I think I stand a chance with. Plus, it was super fun to read everyone else's entries and see their interpretations of the prompts & learn about their characters.

I guess since it's only been held once (in recent memory), and we haven't even seen the results of it yet, it's tough to say how it turned out or how it could be improved.

I remember feeling that the trophy & Knowkedgebase entry were very appealing prizes (along with the 250 FD of course). I wonder if others don't find that appealing enough? Writing might just be more niche on here than art... but I think it's important enough to keep the contest in rotation at least!! Writing & art go together like PB&J so it just makes sense <3
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Laz ★ they/she ★ PST
7 Nov 2017, 1:30 am
Laz
You weren't around for the Knowledge Base contest, were you?
I honestly think we could do with another round of the contest, but there were unique animals made for the contest. It was a hot mess, IMO, (would not recommend using the same reward system again) but the KB itself is in need of updates, and another contest could provide that encouragement.
jess #7302 | she/her | links
7 Nov 2017, 1:41 am
msjanny If it took place during the Beta, or perhaps in December while I was still super new, then I did miss it u///u

I agree about the KB needing to be updated! I'd support anything that would encourage that happening!
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Laz ★ they/she ★ PST
7 Nov 2017, 2:09 am
I definitely agree that there are probably too many Contests taking place too often.

The Contests yield good rewards and it feels like that should be enough to get people to enter. It is nice to have something consistently available to players to give them the chance to unlock something that they normally couldn't do unless they spent FD to do it (ie getting Painties)

But when the Contests are as frequent as they are, I think a lot of people think "Well I'll just enter next month instead, I don't have the time this month." because the reward will still be there, it won't change.
There isn't any incentive to participate sooner rather than later so many people just push it back to "later" everytime the next month's contest arrives.

Some remedies to this issue could be to cut back on Contests like this so that they only happen every other month, this should help the Mods greatly as well and lighten the load; making time available to put towards new projects and bug fixes. With the pull back on Contests, users should feel more like they have to either take advantage of them when they're happening, or have to wait a while to participate in them.

If you want to keep Contests frequent, I would suggest shaking up the prize pool each month.
I know you guys don't want to be like other sites and pre established organizations, but there is much to say about the success and level of participation in Contests on FlightRising, where the skins and accents released during the Events every month are entirely userbase-made, and there are always lots of them. As well as on deviantArt, in a popular Closed Species community, there will be LOADS of participation for Draw To Adopts, even if they're monthly, because people want a chance to win something exclusive.

I'm not saying that FurVilla needs to provide a specific item or design or character or something that is only available to the person who won, like DTAs, but something along those lines will garner more interest from new users and give a fresh face to the Contests.

Even if you just introduced a new Villager Color in the form of a Magical Plushie or something that winners could obtain from the Contests, and change the color every month or cycle it out, that could be enough to get other users interested in the Contests who weren't interested before.

During Events, it's usually the Magical Plushies that people go for first.

And it's not as if this level of exclusivity would be frustrating to players who like to collect things on-site. It's not something you HAVE to buy to obtain, as long as you TRY in the Contests then you could win it. And even if you didn't win, if it's cycled in and out then maybe some other time you could win it.

If you don't win it either of those times and it's no longer cycling in or you are just tired of waiting... then as a collector on FurVilla it's likely you are here a lot and hoard a lot of in-game currency to complete your collection. Having items obtained from hardwork that can be sold to users who like to collect them could also act almost like a money sink for those users. It doesn't help the site as much as an on-site Shop would that acts as a Money Sink, but for the currency hoarders it would really spread that around.

All in all I think that Contests should give different kinds of rewards instead of the same thing everytime, while it's awesome to get a chance at a Paintie each month, for most players it's not worth it because that's something you can almost easily get by other means. It's already available with the Daily Streak, and getting FurDollars is actually not that difficult, and painties are one of the less expensive of the items that can be bought with FD.

As for the House Contests, I've never been interested in those myself. I like to draw rather than use items to design, but I know a lot of people are very interested in that being a form of Contest, because it gives those who don't draw much a chance to shine as well. I hope they get more items for it soon!
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7 Nov 2017, 2:17 am
1) Announce winners on time
2) The writing CONTEST is awesome and I look forward to joining that more often, so, good step there (in my opinion)
3) How about character contest? I'm just spit-balling I think.
·.¸¸.·♩♪♫ Andy | He/Him | INTP | Grade 12 | Slytherin | Chaotic Evil| Born Oct 16 ♫♪♩·.¸¸.·
7 Nov 2017, 2:40 am
I'm going to just run on and on here and make another comment because I have so much to say and lots of ideas about Contests and how to implement them to get the most user base participation RIP

You've already stated that you guys are going to make really solid attempts to announce winners in a timely manner and I think that's so important in so many ways. I actually won in one of the first (if not actually the first) Paintie Contests released on-site and I remember waiting a while longer than I was used to to hear back about it? Honestly I may have just been impatient as it probably only took a week or something (Which is about the most I think Contests should take to judge), but my point is that waiting for a while was a bit frustrating because I just had this Midnight Shifty floating around on my account and was really gearing up to use the Paintie that I spent HOURS on.

Anyway, announcing the results consistently on-time just gives the userbase something to rely on and something to expect out of entering these contests in the first place and it makes it easier on those who WONT win to know if they should save their FD to upload the paintie, or if they could go ahead and spend it. It doesn't feel good to be sitting on those funds for a long time.


I think that Contests are actually pretty easily accessible and you guys have done a great job supplying a place for people to go and view the entries and submit them, but maybe Contests need to be made into more of a big deal than they are? Contests do well when they're hyped up, but the News tab is just kind of tucked away in the top right corner of the site and it's the first time that anyone sees that there is a new Contest announced. It took me months to see it there, honestly. Even the initial announcement for the News posts that include the Contests isn't enough to make it obvious to everyone. That announcement disappears after it's viewed, and most people will put Contests on the back burner until they feel they have enough time to participate, and when that happens, if there isn't a reminder about the Contest or something then most people forget.

Ways to remedy the Contests getting lost and forgotten until they've ended could be to add some form of announcement on the homepage for when a new entry is submitted so that everyone can see it and comment on it, or maybe an automated announcement can be sent out in the middle of the month just reminding people that they have a couple of weeks left to do it.

Having the Contests announced once and then not seen again until they're over really doesn't make them seem that exciting nor does it hype users up and encourage them to participate. If there were some way to really show off all of the amazing entries as they are uploaded, not only would it advertise the Contest, but this would give everyone a chance to get comments and views on their entries, which will make entrants feel better about entering and that their time was worth it and well spent because their entry was appreciated.

Something that puts a sour taste in peoples' mouths is feeling that their entry to a Contest was ignored or unappreciated, even if they put a lot of time and effort into it. This is usually remedied by having multiple winners (like you guys do already) but overtime even that wouldn't be enough, considering that more people lose rather than win and most of them will feel like their entry wasn't appreciated fully.

Let the Community do some of the work in pumping up the Contests, but give us an outlet to do it.
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7 Nov 2017, 3:12 am
yessss to all the above points.

Maybe rotate contests every month and have grander prizes, so like, Paintie contest and writing contest one month. Decoration and art contest the next month. Usually I like to focus my efforts into one contest rather than spread myself thin over a couple contests so it's good to have an high-effort contest paired with a low-effort one.

It's all well and good to allow people to write a wishlist but it's hard to know what to choose, maybe a list of possible items we can choose from would be helpful?

Contests to create furniture for houses, design a weapon, site-wide vistas/usermade things would be cool. Win a contest, get that item available to purchase on site for fc
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7 Nov 2017, 9:50 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 9:57 am)
I really like that the writing contest came back. Even though I was busy with the holiday irl and had other adulting nonsense to take care of, I would have loved to enter the writing contest. The main reason why I like that the writing contest came back, however, isn't because of me, but because I have several friends on this site that do/can not produce artwork, but are excellent writers.

I feel like, if the contests continue every month, the staple should be: Art, Writing, Paintie.

House decorating is great and all, but there are very few furniture items worth getting. No offense to the artist behind the furniture, but all the furniture pieces feel very 'samey' in that you can only make a couch look like a couch. Like it's been said before, there are tons of items that would make great furniture items, like the mermaid statue from the OD festival, or the Halloween jack-o-lantern from the DMM festival.

Most people don't join the contest, because, like many people in this thread said, the contest winners are always announced very late. However, another reason is the themes. Most themes are WAY out in left field (golf, peaches, the 1920's anyone?). Now that we know you're being more lenient with our personal interpretation of the themes, more and more people are joining the weirder themes. If you're doing three themes every time, why not make one of the themes a species or costume? That way it can be simultaneously more open and more challenging.

TIERS. Please add tiers. You have no idea how many times I've heard people say they don't want to enter because they don't have the talent of certain people entering. It breaks my freaking heart when I want to enter but someone asks me not to because they are afraid they won't win. Sure, it's great to have the contests judged by creativity and not quality, but then you get more skilled artists who are upset because they have put many years into practicing their skills and lose to someone who only just started drawing. The ONLY happy medium to this is adding tiers. The tiers can be sorted by how many contests the person won previously so that people aren't inappropriately judged for their skill level (i.e. you don't want to put someone in a lower tier and have them get offended that you think their art is of 'low quality'). It will take quite a bit of talking and planning to get the tiers organized, but I honestly believe more people will join if they know they are being judged against peers of equal standing instead of someone they are intimidated by.

I, personally, do not like the idea of having contests every other month or having contests rotate. It would be upsetting if I planned to do a paintie for one month and the paintie contest just wasn't running that month. An example of this was that I had my villager Tzigana, entered in the May contest, because my birthday is in the month of May. I really wanted this as a gift for myself, and I worked really hard to make sure my schedule was clear and that I had enough, stress-free time to get her finished.. If the paintie contest wasn't running in the month of May, I would have been devastated. People like consistency. People like to be able to, not only expect, but depend upon something to happen at the same time, usually the same way. By rotating the contests, you'll have lots of upset people. This is why I think you should pick contest staples, like I mentioned above, and I honestly believe those contest staples should be paintie, art, and writing. I don't want to seem like I'm blowing off people who do housing and css, but they are honestly more niche than other contests, so having them every other month could be better. (Not to mention, I don't have a month to create my own custom css, so it would be nice to have two whole months to work on it instead of one! :P )

Really, though, the most important thing is prizes. I LOVE that the paintie contest uploads the entered paintie for me, but that and the pet isn't a good enough prize for me to be motivated. I'd personally enjoy it if I got FD instead of a pet box. However, the likely best thing to do, as far as prizes goes, is to have prize tiers. Setting it up so that the prizes are better and there are more winners based on how many people enter is fantastic! The only reason why I entered the October art contest was because so few people entered, so I felt like there was a more likely chance of winning. If the number of winners increased based on how many people entered, I would have gladly entered at the start of the month! You have to remember, most of the people who consistently enter the art and paintie contests are professional artists, so we don't really want to enter unless we can enjoy ourselves (themes), or the prizes are worth it (highly desired pets). This is because, time is money for us, and time spent making content for a contest has to be fairly rewarded (in our minds) for us to want to enter, otherwise, we've wasted our time and wasted our 'money.'
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yahFKa
❤ I am not a mod, but I'm here to help! ❤
7 Nov 2017, 10:06 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 10:06 am)
...Ways to remedy the Contests getting lost and forgotten until they've ended could be to add some form of announcement on the homepage for when a new entry is submitted so that everyone can see it and comment on it, or maybe an automated announcement can be sent out in the middle of the month just reminding people that they have a couple of weeks left to do it...

Clipping this to highlight the important part.

The home page (http://www.furvilla.com/townhall) does NOT get enough use.

I know this thread is about contests, but contests are not the only thing I would like to see added to the home page. I could easily see a banner above the village image that connects to festivals (kind of like how a festival banner is hung up in towns in real life). Monthly contests could be done the same way. They could be smaller banners than the festival or little wooden signs. This would be aesthetically please, and MAKE SO MUCH SENSE. In a real life village, signs for events and festivals are posted all over street corners and in the town square they usually have some kind of bulletin board that tells about current events. This is something that staff is missing out on! It would fit the site lore and be SO VERY helpful! There could even be a banner for fur idol! In fact, I'm going to make a separate thread about it right now...
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yahFKa
❤ I am not a mod, but I'm here to help! ❤
7 Nov 2017, 10:25 am
Rotsuoy
The thing about tiers is that it creates more winners when the problem right now is not having enough entrants. I don't know if creating tiers would really create more entries.

Also, what about a set rotation schedule? Then you can still plan ahead for a contest.
I only say this because I spent the better part of beta and after staring at the trophies in the Knowledge Base that'd never been awarded, and it'd be a shame if something like the profile and decoration trophy were only awarded so comparatively briefly.
jess #7302 | she/her | links
7 Nov 2017, 10:34 am
All I want is faster winner announcements.
I mean I know I didnt win the September contest, there were much better entries, but I don't want to waste my paintie ticket upliading it if there's some chance I won.
So I'm sitting here with an ugly shifty wondering why I entered in the first place when I could have uploaded my gal instead and not have had to get excited every time another news announcement was posted and it turned out to not be anything.
I know you guys are short staffed, but this is the worst feeling, and its litterally the only reason I don't do the contest anymore.


★Manitka★#91133★she/he/they★19★

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7 Nov 2017, 11:32 am
msjanny I disagree. If the tiers are set up well, I believe it would draw in a lot more entrants. I've seen it done on user run contests other sites, and it always draws in more people of varying talent levels. At the very least, I say it's worth a shot to try at least once, with say three skill tiers. However, my suggestion is to combine both skill tiers and prize tiers. An example would be that if 15 people joined, and five went into each skill tier, then since only five people are in each tier, only one winner could come from each tier. If more people entered, and one tier got up to ten people, then there could be two winners from that tier and one from each of the other two. This would also encourage people to invite their friends so that the winner pool could increase, and fewer people would feel intimidated by skill levels of others. However, really, truly, I think this is more of a pipe dream than anything else, because I feel like as long as the winners are announced in a timely fashion, and prizes are increased slightly, more people will join regardless.

Honestly, I don't know yet how I feel about the idea of a rotation schedule. All I know is that it doesn't feel good (that knotted stomach feeling). Of all the contests, the paintie and writing contests are the two I'd personally like to see every single month. I could give up all the others (even though I really don't want to give up any, at all) as long as those two were continued monthly.
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yahFKa
❤ I am not a mod, but I'm here to help! ❤
7 Nov 2017, 11:42 am
I honestly have no clue what makes a successful contest; I was very involved in neopets' contests when I still played actively, and while I understand the userbase of neopets is far bigger than that of Furvilla's ... it's also not huge anymore and yet its spotlights still run weekly somehow with the same number of winners from its prime. Their contests have their own issues that need working out, of course, but I'd love to know how they've kept it up....

Rotsuoy
I don't like the idea of discontinuing a contest all together?
I hate bringing this always back to neopets, but neopets does have discontinued contests, and I don't know anyone who's glad to see them gone. They were silly fun and many were discontinued because of lack on interest, but now a decade or more later, nostalgia and trophy collectors probably wouldn't even mind an irregular schedule.
jess #7302 | she/her | links
7 Nov 2017, 11:53 am
I said this on the news announcement but might as well mention it here as well:

The contests just aren't as interesting. As someone who only feels comfortable entering the writing contest, the fact that it wasn't available for the while made it difficult. Also the prompts were too... Specific before? This month's were nice and open-ended so I got a couple entries in, but otherwise it seemed like "write about X mayor using X reference" (referring primarily to the January (?) one) which didn't allow for anywhere near as much creativity.

Rules also need to be more specific on the flip side of that. I didn't even know it had to include pretty much our villagers only before checking in on the discussion thread. Writing out guidelines would be good to let people know what's to be expected.

I'm also going to say prizes need to be upped, and possibly have a small prize for all contestants. Like 500FD at least for winning contest entries, and possibly some participation prizes for those who didn't make it to the top - like the common feast pets, kinda.
7 Nov 2017, 11:53 am (Edited 7 Nov 2017, 11:54 am)
The more I think about it, the more I realize I'm probably a terrible person to ask for feedback because I'd probably enter a contest even if the only reward was a trophy & I had no skillset relevant to the contest.

This is a question for the Admins, really, but what causes the delay in announcing winners? ie, what is the most time-consuming part of the process/what is the process?

please hire me furvilla i'm finally 18 & old enough to mod
jess #7302 | she/her | links