Compliments and complaints

Discussion in 'DBSTalk.com Contests Forum (Closed Forum)' started by rjenkins, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. rjenkins

    rjenkins Legend

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Danny,

    I love the way you have the contest structured. I like how it mimics the show itself.

    That being said, I must say that I really hate the way the Detours are scored. Having them based on when the answer was posted seems extremely unfair. I find I don't have the time to visit the site when the questions are first posted. Thank goodness there's only like 10 people playing. I'd prefer it if the detours themselves had a set route time associated with them. (Maybe even hidden, based on the difficulty of the question.) So maybe detour 1 is worth -2 route points if correct, +2 route points if wrong, and detour 2 is worth -3 route points if correct, +4 if wrong, etc...

    Like I said, I love the way the contest is structured with the sole exception of how the Detours are being scored. I especially liked the detour questions this week (week 2). I enjoyed finding the answer to detour 2, a whole lot. I was very disappointed to find I got in last place simply because I answered late, however.
     
  2. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Having them based on when the answer was posted seems extremely unfair. I find I don't have the time to visit the site when the questions are first posted.

    Yeah, I understand your concern. This was a big problem I wasn't certain how to deal with. One thing I had in mind to avoid such problems was to have more questions like Detour 1, where the answer wasn't known at the time the question was published, and thus the start time would be variable and give everyone a good shot.

    I don't like your idea of having set times however. I really want this portion to be a true race. However after watching some of the olympic trial coverage this weekend, I do now have an idea of how to make it fair.

    The solution is simply to make the questions hidden. I'll set up the submission email address so that it will reply to any message sent to it with the questions. Your time will now be based on the DIFFERENCE between the time you first receive the instructions and the time it takes you to reply to them.

    I'll see if I can put this change into effect for tommorrow's questions. If so, it will no longer will matter when you check the questions, but just how long it takes you to answer them. This will also not penalize anyone if for some reason I can't get the questions up right at 10pm or something. And again, your time will only be relative to those who answer the same route you take.

    And BTW, this makes it much harder on me to score the rankings, so I hope the effort is appreciated. :grin:
     
  3. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Damn, dude...you are going all out for this...I'm seriously impressed I have to say!
     
  4. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Thanks. Now my main concern if I do it this way is the reliability of my email reply. One person has told me they didn't get a confirmation notice when they submitted their answers. Has this happened to anyone else? Just wondering if it was a one time event or something common.
     
  5. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I've gotton both confirmation notices within about 2 minutes or so.
     
  6. rjenkins

    rjenkins Legend

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Wow, this would totally rock. Doing it that way sounds like a perfect solution to me!!

    I've also gotten my confirmation emails within a minute or two both times.

    Thanks much for all your hard work, Danny!!

    BTW... I'll probably still get in last place, but now I won't feel it's because of being unable to check the site in time. :)
     
  7. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Too bad I didn't think of this solution before the contest started. Luckily nobody has used any Fast Forwards yet, so prior scores aren't that much of a penalty at this stage.
     
  8. saulres

    saulres Legend

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Danny,

    This seems like a fantastic solution, and big kudos for you for trying to make this a fair game. This solution also handles my concern. Which was: notice how many people didn't take Detour 1 this week? I think that's due to the time difference. I'm in the Mountain zone, so I figured people on the East Coast would have at least two hours advantage in finding something that isn't posted until later. I figure most people felt the same way, which is why the try for Q2.

    However, your new version does bring up a concern of mine, which is spoilers. You've explained how forcing people to vote quickly mitigates the use of spoilers because people don't have a whole week to evalute them. With this change, that balance will be gone, giving more weight to the spoilable questions than to the detours.

    I'm going to now suggest something that I think might make people upset, but also might make for future greatness. How about taking this contest and making it essentially an Alpha test for the next airing? By that, I mean pulling the fancy prize and using it in the fall, and coming up w/something smaller for this run? That'd let you get all the bugs out w/o really worrying about who wins, while those of us who play for fun (and my guess is, that's most of us) will still have fun. And yes, I've thought about if the show doesn't air in the fall: then you could give out the computer to this winner anyway. But the pressure's off, all around.

    Just my thought, and I don't know how many other people would be interested in that.
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Good point about the spoiler balance. That really was something I was proud of implementing. I don't want to see it go away.

    I guess the only solution to that I'll post the questions in any case on Saturday evening. Anyone who hasn't already requested the questions by that time will have that as their official start time. That should give people three days to look on their own time, and two mandatory. Most definitive spoiler sites don't make predictions that early in any case, and I think posting them on Saturday evening will beat out the new commercials aired on Sunday.

    The computer isn't really a "big" prize in my opinion, so no worries on that part. As one who always upgrades his own computer to the latest and greatest, most of the parts will actually be coming from my own surplus, not to mention the generous donation of motherboard, video and network card from Redster. This is why the prize is a 2GHz computer, and not a 3 or higher. ;)
     
  10. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

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    Sep 13, 2002
    I haven't gotten any email confirmations either time so far.
     
  11. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Unthinkable, will you be online tommorrow morning? I'd like to test a few alternatives with you. Anybody else not get them?

    I'll post full details tommorrow, but I'm going to be make a few other changes as well. For one thing, a read of the CBS website seems to indicate that there are only 2 Fast Forward legs this contest. Thus I don't want to concentrate a question toward it each week and the standard questions will be altered.

    The first two will remain, but the last two will be more random. However I think I'll offer a standard -1 bonus any week one correctly identifies which team uses the FF/Yield. Again, I'll think this over tonight and post full details with tommorrows questions.
     
  12. saulres

    saulres Legend

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Then could you just send it to me? Working from a paritally-upgraded Packard Bell Windows 98 system, it seems pretty big to me :D
     
  13. cdru

    cdru Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 4, 2003
    Please give us sufficient notice (12 hours?) if you don't get this into place so that people can look for the questions at a certain time (and give time zone).

    And I've received both my e-mails in very short order without a problem.
     
  14. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    To either Mark or other admins, does the forum software have any tools for monitoring this sort of thing. For instance can you track when an attachment might be read and which user read it? I know "views" are counted, but what about linking those views to actual users?

    After thinking it over, if you have had problems in the past receiving the auto-reply message, you should probably just wait for the Saturday reveal and use that as your automatic start time. If you request the questions but don't receive them, send me a note within 5 minutes stating such, and you too can use the Saturday reveal time (although with a small penalty).
     
  15. JBKing

    JBKing Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Danny, first of all, thanks for all of your time and hard work in putting together this contest. Yes, I have received email confirmations from my responses right away.

    Just a suggestion..... Dude! You are already putting too much work into this! I would suggest you leave the contest as is, and go with it. I didn't particularly like the aspect of your score being based on how quickly you answer the detour question, but I thought, hey, it's Danny's contest, let him do it however he wants to. Besides, it fits perfectly with the 'race' aspect of the show. I'll just have to remember to check the questions earlier, instead of waiting until Monday before the show.

    I wouldn't go changing the contest, everytime someone has a suggestion. For one thing, I can't keep up with the rules!

    In other words, you're already doing a standup job. Keep up the good work! :)
     
  16. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I really like the race aspect of the contest, myself, as it makes Danny's work here really stand out next to my former contests. I would hate to see the time aspect go away...

    Danny - I only know of one way that we could pull that information, and it would be a serious pain in the ass requiring sifting through the activity logs. If I have time, I'll look for a hack, but at this point, don't plan on being able to do the link automatically.
     
  17. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Thanks for the support JBKing. The problem of people not being online at the same time was one I was trying to solve before the contest began, but didn't come up with the solution till now.

    Of course the solution has its own problems, as unscrupulous players might share the questions with others, but with the small group we have playing here, I'm not as worried about cheating as I might be with a larger group.

    Also the rules are formulated before the show airs, thus some changes are inevitable as we adjust to the new season's quirks (Yields, lack of Fast Forwards, etc).

    and it would be a serious pain in the ass requiring sifting through the activity logs.

    Ah darn. I was hoping if I saved the questions as a text attachment with a unique filename, it wouldn't be a problem for someone to just search the logs for that filename and recover all instances who opened the file and when they did so.
     
  18. bgilmore

    bgilmore Cool Member

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    Feb 12, 2003
    I have never recieved confirmation emails. Have I missed out?
    Billy
     
  19. cdru

    cdru Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 4, 2003
    In order to get the questions this week yes you will miss out. As of now you really haven't missed anything. The confirmation e-mails have just been a double check letting you know your entry had been received.

    Check what you have your e-mail address set up here. I'm not sure if the URL will work, but if it doesn't, just click on User CP on the site menubar above, then Edit E-Mail and Password to see what you have set up.
     
  20. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jul 5, 2002
    Yeah, after checking things out I'm pretty sure the auto reply is working. The problem lies elsewhere.

    A few things to check:

    Make certain that your email address in your DBSTalk preferences is correct. The auto-reply is sent to this address. If not, that could explain why you haven't gotten anything.

    Check your spam folder. The reply messages will be coming from bellsouth.net. Until now they were just one line messages along the lines of "Your email message has been received." Its quite likely this would be interpreted as spam.

    And if none of these yields a solution, you can still wait till Saturday, 10pm when I make the questions public.
     

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