For the second development blog I wanted to focus on Contests. I felt a little silly when I typed “WIN FABULOUS PRIZES” on the opening blog post, but I really do want the prizes to be awesome. Now obviously, it’s going to be impossible to appeal to everyone, but I want the contests on the new site to cast a wide net and to do that the contests need to be frequent and varied. Here are just a few of the things I had in mind:
- Create a new monster
- Create an NPC
- Write an Adventure
- Make a magical item
- Create a new Class
The contest ideas so far are pretty simple, but as time passes the list will get longer. It would be cool to run a multi-tiered contests like Paizo does with RPG Superstar. For a long contest like that there would also be more than just winner and more winner’s means more prizes.
Speaking of, prizes should fit the contest. If the contest is to design a new Dungeons and Dragons class, then the prize should be D&D paraphernalia; books, maps, and maybe even some D&D gear. I’d also like to try a few generic prizes like a gift card to Think Geek or RPGNow. They’re not exactly specific to one game, but they fit gamers pretty well.
In terms of frequency, I want to run at least one contest a month, but hopefully we’ll be able to do more. Nobody will be limited to getting involved in only one contest, as long as you’re able to produce quality content then you can compete. It won’t be a difficult process to join a contest either, you just have to submit a piece of content and categorize it as a contest entry.
While official contest rules might be a long time off, there has been some thought going into how winners are determined. The two big choices are whether to base contest winners on community votes or to have actual judges. The site is going to require a lot of participation in order to thrive and having the community vote on contests is a great way to encourage that. Unfortunately, it might also turn each things into a popularity contest.
Having Judges would eliminate the popularity contest problem, but would also potentially kill something that could be a great community builder. Most likely the best solution will be a marriage of the two concepts. Judges could pick their favorite three submissions and let the community vote be the final deciding factor. This could potentially eliminate the problem of having a popularity contest every month while still giving the community some say in how the contest is run. Nothing is really set in stone yet though, and it can all change at the end. Any thoughts?