The 'Shroom:Issue LXVI/Awards Committee Commentaries
Awards Committee Commentariesby Awards Committee
Hello everybody! For this month's Awards-themed issue, the Core Staff felt that it would be appropriate to invite the members of the Awards Committee to write about their experiences, their thoughts on how the ceremony went, suggestions for next year's Awards Show, and such. Here are those commentary sections.
To start off, I'm very proud of all the work the committee members did this year; you guys were great, and I hope you join next year as well.
This year's show was also great, aside from a few blunders; we plan to fix those, though, namely by regulating the tokens better, creating a public suggestion box for the awards, and drawing attention to the Userpedia and 'Shroom nominees. We also have plenty of other suggestions in store, which will be revealed once I launch my campaign.
That's about it; there was nothing major going on this time (which is perhaps a good thing, since past ceremonies have had... problems afterward), though I hope we can improve next year and make this the best one yet!
Super Mario Bros. (talk) (Awards Committee Sub-director, Userpedia Awards Host)
Hello everybody! For this commentary, I will simply write some thoughts I have about the Awards Committee.
Overall, I think this year went over relatively well despite some rocky beginnings. I think that the end result was a fun day for everybody on the Ceremony Day and that the efforts made during planning meetings were not in vain. I have a few suggestions for next year, of course:
- Ensure that the community and the Awards Committee Members are respected all throughout the process. The main purpose of this event is to bring members of the community together to celebrate a historic day in the wiki's history, and we cannot forget that.
- Try to make the meeting schedule a bit flexible. Having it too rigid disenfranchises individuals and makes it inconvenient for certain people to attend. Perhaps have an alternating Friday-Saturday schedule like we did this past year.
- Make sure that the integrity of the voting process is upheld as opposed to simply looking for ways to artificially raise vote counts (specifically with the community awards). We should investigate ways to make sure that more votes are educated votes rather than guesses made by random visitors and that the amount of uneducated votes are decreased.
- Define the role of Sub-director. It was hard to help out this year as Sub-director when the role was not even defined and its duties not made clear.
Thank you, and I hope the next year is successful!
TheGreatBlockyBoo (talk) (Awards Committee Organizer)
Well, as one of the Folks In Charge, I can say that it all ended up going very well! My personal experience in the awards committee is probably unique, but I'll talk about it anyway.
Considering I got invited by Ralph and came in after the major debates had happened, I didn't end up contributing much to the initial stuff like pushing for Ralph's demotion due to his dictatorial manner. What I did end up doing was just voting and participating a lot, and eventually I ended up handling documents. And managing that meant poor SMB didn't have anything non-UP awards to do... ehehehe.
Anyhow! As it turns out, results tallying isn't too awful, especially if you have j-pop playing on loop for half an hour while doing so. :V After tallying there wasn't really much subdirecting to do, except for helping manage things during the awards chat. And that didn't become much of a problem due to Turb being great at the whole "direct the events" part of things.
Opinions on how it went? Well, I feel it went spectacularly. We took care of the issues of needed backups ahead of time and avoided any last-minute rush jobs, and on the day of the ceremony everyone either posted in time or had theirs posted in time. Despite the lack of posting in the ceremony threads compared to last year, the levels of activity on chat showed that we certainly had a lot of people paying attention... although the eighty percent "I dunno what the awards are" reply shows we reeeeally need to work on it. Aheheh.
As for opinions on the committee members. First off, I feel Turb did a spectacular job as a director - she kept things reasonably on-topic, but didn't try to control the results of votes and such. Additionally she did a great job managing everything on the ceremony day. On the same token, Gamefreak, Super Mario Bros, and Tucayo all did great jobs of coordinating their ceremonies and getting all the presentations they managed posted on time. I also think we had a very good committee overall this year - removing the usual 13/15 person cap really helped us get more opinions and ideas in, and our committee members were overall sensible and helpful folks. So I'd like to thank the entire AC again for helping make this a great Mario Awards VI.
Gamefreak75 (talk) (Fail Awards Host)
Being on the Awards Committee this year was great. Even though this is actually my third time being on the committee, it was still a good experience. I remember the first time I was on the committee, I was actually a replacement and only attended two meetings. On the second year, I along with the help of others, managed to expand upon the Fail Awards to what they are today, but I was merely a normal committee member. This year was different though, because for more than half the meetings, I kept record of the attendance sheet and the meeting logs. I was also very glad to be the host for the Fail Awards this year as well, since that is definitely my favorite category and I think it went splendidly.
I hope to be on the Committee next year, if possible.
I've been helping the AC for three years now, and I have to say, this year was as entertaining as the previous two. Or maybe even more. I wasn't around for the meetings and that, since, like last year, I wasn't formally in the AC, I was just hosting the 'Shroom Awards. I actually thought they weren't going to invite me again, but they did! It was a nice surprise.
Oddly enough, this year I got really nervous/excited before the ceremony started, even if it was my third year hosting the Shroom Awards (and last, don't worry). There was no need to worry, everything went on perfectly; everyone was on time and the presentations were top-quality. But even if the organization was really good, there's one thing I didn't like: the results of the Community Awards didn't reflect the current situation of The 'Shroom and Userpedia. And this was greatly discussed after the ceremony ended, with all kinds of solutions being suggested. Restrict the voting to guests, make us host the Community Awards and all kinds of solutions that would have rendered our previous efforts to maintain the 'Shroom Awards useless (because it was actually hard to stay at 10 awards, but we managed it). But I'm sure whoever is elected AC director won't do that to us, and I'm also sure that whoever is the next 'Shroom Director wouldn't let that happen. We're already discussing better categories for the Shroom Awards and ways to help readers cast an educated vote in both the Userpedia and 'Shroom Awards.
After all that rant, let's get back to this past ceremony. It was great. I love Awards day. Chat is packed, forum is full of activity, you get to see many users that you wouldn't otherwise see, you get to know more users and you get to share your hate for certain games with more people. A great day, it always is. and before this turns into a section of its own, I'll conclude. Thanks a lot to Turboo, Superchao and the rest of the AC for organizing the Awards in such a perfect way; and, of course, thanks to SMB for so gracefully coordinating us in the Shroom Awards organization. Be sure to follow the Awards next year.
Stooben Rooben (talk) (Team Fortress 2 Tournament Co-host, Awards Mafia II Co-host)
So you're wanting to know how my time on the Awards Committee was this year? Funny thing about that: I wasn't exactly planning on being a member at all this year. But I ended up signing up for the Committee and having a really good time this year.
When sign-ups for the Awards Committee opened up this year, I skipped out because I didn't want to contribute much of anything to this year's ceremony. I had considered hosting a Team Fortress 2 event on Steam, but wasn't sure if there were really enough players to warrant one. I also considered that there may have already been plenty of events for the community between Guess the Results, Awards Mafia, and the Mario Kart Tourney. A few weeks passed, and I had heard about some of the progress the Committee had made in that time. It sounded like the Committee was making decent headway this year with expanding some awards and redesigning others. Plus, with the amount of friends I had on the committee, I started to feel like I was missing out on something big. ...And I was!
I eventually sent a PM to Ralph about signing up to the committee late, which he, of course, approved. Upon getting access to the AC Board, I saw talk of expanding the overal number of awards this year to 60. I was pretty excited for that, but at that point, Ralphfan was adamantly opposed to it, actually going as far as overriding the vast majority of support from the Committee to have 60 awards this year. Arguments and drama briefly ensued, but Ralph was soon replaced by a new directing staff. Turb, SMB, and Blocky were the new people in charge of the Committee, and they made every effort to make this year as big of a ceremony as possible.
I was pretty amped up about the size of the ceremony this year (60 awards! That really is quite a lot to manage), so I decided to contribute more this year than I intended to originally. I attended many of the chat meetings this year, although I didn't contribute much content to them. I guess I just don't have much to say about Mario anymore. The awards I was interested in contributing to, were taken care of on nights that I couldn't appear. But hey, everything was getting done in an unbelievably fashionable manner, so who was I to complain? I was pretty impressed, honestly.
I then went forth with hosting a TF2 Tournament with Groden, and I also signed on to co-host Awards Mafia with Smasher. I eventually agreed to create 2 presentations as well, but that wasn't the part I was particularly excited for this year, for some reason. I really, really wanted to make the Mafia and TF2 events have an amazing turnout.
The first thing I started setting up was the TF2 Tournament. I knew I couldn't host something of that caliber on my own, so I asked Groden if he would help. He kindly obliged and was eventually added to the Awards Commitee himself because of this. The first thing we had to decide on was, how long should the event be? One day seemed kind of underwhelming after the fairly large crowd of people getting hyped at the thought of the event. We considered doing it for 2 days for a while, but since we assumed rewards would be team-based at the end of each day, we didn't want to have any ties. So, 3 days was what we ended up deciding on. Once we got the dates set (the last weekend of July), we had to figure out a rotation of maps and events to keep everyone entertained and happy. This was probably the hardest part to manage, because both Groden and I wanted to host unique events that would be fun, and not just standard rounds of control-point, payload, capture-the-flag, and deathmatch. We figured people would get bored of that. After tossing around a lot of ideas (such as a giant-sized Soldier to fight, controlled by Groden) and setting down boundaries (like no matches on the Dustbowl or Thundermountain maps), we eventually came up with an expansive roster of matches for everyone to participate in. 12 real matches, plus 6 mini-games, over the course of 3 nights. Once the rotation was finished, we gathered sign-ups. We managed to get 20 people to sign-up, although, not all of them actually appeared at any matches. (However, we had a larger turnout of people than just 20, because many people decided to act as replacements during matches.) Before the first night, Groden and I took turns picking players to assign to our teams (we were supposed to be "Team Captains" for the first day of the event). I dunno what happened, but I guess Groden ended up picking the...er..."better" players first, since I told him to go first. Teams ended up stacked (as in, my team didn't seem to stand a chance against Groden's team), and people were quickly growing unhappy. We knew the event would crash and burn if we continued like this, so Groden and I made a snap decision to allow Team Captains to change after each match; that way, teams would more likely stay balanced, since different people would always be picking. However, since many tokens that were awarded (for prizes) were based on team-reliant goals, Groden and I also decided to lower the standards required to acquire tokens. This turned out to be a somewhat bad judgment call, as TF2 players ended up receiving an insanely high amount of tokens (there were more tokens than there were enough prizes for...and that was just for one event!) Needless to say, we crashed the Anniversary's prize economy, but it didn't remain a problem for too long — the Committee quickly worked together to make prize distribution fair to everyone.
Anyway, the TF2 event ended up being a lot of fun for everyone who participated, especially since teams were typically balanced (barring a few VERY stacked rounds). We played hide-and-seek as Spies (that is, Spies hiding from Pyros), killed 50 giant, angry eyeballs in 1 hour, had a massive Sniper battle...oh yeah, and we played several particularly amazing rounds of serious matches. I think Granary and Goldrush turned out to be the best matches in the entire event. ...I feel like I'm getting long-winded here, so I guess I'll hurry along. We managed to have enormous matches on our local TF2 server that almost never occur. It was a ton of fun for everyone, and I can't wait to host another event like it again. Hopefully Groden would be up to co-hosting, because I don't think I could have done it without him this year. He did great at keeping things sane and fun for everyone. Thanks, pally!
After that was over, I had about a week to get everything organized with Smasher for Awards Mafia. (This was kind of my fault due to procrastination, but the TF2 event did require a lot of focus.) I can not count how many PMs Smasher and I shot back and forth to each other to get things organized — we constantly made jokes about flooding each other's inboxes, it was so frequent. We wanted to keep the game enjoyable to as many people as possible, so we decided to give every role at least one power. However, I was adamant about not going overboard with powers and items like I did in my "MW Werewolf: Take III" game. We quickly decided which alliances to include, and past there proceeded to create character's roles for the game. We wanted to represent series and works of fiction that different parts of the community enjoyed, but we couldn't even cover them all. However, we did end up with an extremely impressive list of roles and powers, many of which some players went on to thoroughly enjoy. Certain roles seemed overpowered compared to others, but we designed every role to have fair counters. Smasher and I also introduced a new concept to the game — Locations. During the Day Phases, players could visit one location of their choice, possibly finding a treasure that could aid them in the game. Some players were very lucky and found their treasure within the first few tries. ...Others...(I'm looking at you, Tucayo)...were not so lucky, even being unable to find their location after a dozen attempts. Some players had very ineresting strategies this game, too. The Aliens seemed like they were going to be a huge threat early on, but a fiasco involving a member of the Alien team and the Robot team (an opposing, "good guy" faction) quickly led to the destruction of the entire Alien team. The "fiasco" was caused by two players leaking the names of several enemies in the game, essentially through methods of cheating. Smasher and I were extremely upset over this, but even more so, I think we felt bad for the players who were caught in the crossfire; particularly, the Aliens and Robots, who had an otherwise fruitful game ended very quickly for them.
However, other players, such as SonicMario (who was actually a temporary fill-in), ended up being tremendous sports. SonicMario came into the game past the halfway point, and was quickly converted from Innocent to Werewolf. The poor guy was the only Werewolf left at the time, though, so he didn't exactly seem optimistic about winning the game. However, careful strategies and use of his powers led him to overthrow a swarming amount of enemies (Robots, Innocents, Mafia, and Independents) and claim victory for the Werewolves. Amazingly, it was only his second time playing a Mafia game. Smasher and I were both absolutely floored by how well he did. And honestly, I'd go so far as to say SonicMario made the game its most enjoyable for me. He played extremely well with practically nothing on his side, and managed to win. It was an awesome performance to see as a host.
I also owe Smasher some serious cookies or something for all the hard work he did in the game. I think I glossed over that, but he really worked his butt off with this game. He handled almost all of the actions that happened during the night phases, and even handled many of the daytime lynches. I had to dump my responsibilities in the game on him a couple times, but he carried on like a trooper. I'd like to co-host with him again some day, preferably with more time to work the game's details out beforehand, so we're not stressed.
I guess what I enjoyed most this year was not the ceremony itself, but the interaction with other people. I've...never really paid much attention to it before on the committee, honestly. I think that might have been due to dealing with staff stresses unexpectedly most years, whereas this year, I was able to participate like a normal person. I voiced my opinion, but I didn't have to make the final say. The parts that I did contribute to were completely stress-free events, too: A forum mystery game, and an online massive-multiplayer cartoon war game. Co-hosting with Groden and Smasher were both awesome experiences, and I have to give them both serious creds for dealing with my ridiculous work schedules and always being late to everything. I also enjoyed just being on the AC and seeing everything at work, too. Turb, SMB, and Blocky were on-the-ball when it came to keeping track of the things that keep the ceremony running: the polls, the nominations, the statistics, and the deadlines. And the other AC members that I consider my pals? It was nice to contribute to a community project with them, if only because I don't spend as much time around here these days as I used to. And because I'm grateful that this community has brought me friends and people I enjoy hanging out with. It might sound silly or sentimental, but I think that kind of thing is what fuels a huge community get-together like this.
Well, to be truthful, I was only a member of the Awards Committee because Stooben wanted me to help organize the Team Fortress 2 tournament. So, I suppose I'll talk about that a bit.
It is very exciting hosting a tournament in our Team Fortress 2 server, since we usually get no more than 4v4 games, 5v5 at best. It was our biggest event to date, topping Free Strange Day. The biggest we got was 10v10, but that is still 10 more players than a generous day. It was also unique because it was the first time we set the server configurations to a more competitive scenario outside of messing around for the sake of training. In particular, shotgun spread was very predictable, the player would not score random critical hits, and we had a cap for Heavies and Pyros so as to keep balance and encourage other classes, as we were worried people would go "easy killer" classes in order to get more points, and by extension, tokens.
Although, it was not as jovial for Stooben and I, since we had a bit of a panic over severely unbalanced teams after the first round of Gravel Pit. I guess what happened was I claimed more veteran players than Stooben. What made it even worse was how competitive scoring worked; you just had to beat your opponent's capture amount and time rather than finish the entire game. Because we had a perfect defense, when it was our turn to go offense, we just had to capture one point in about five minutes, which we did in about one or two. In simple terms, my team was doing good, and because of the game rules, it was setting a ridiculous standard for the other team to compete against.
After that, most of the players were outraged at the stacked teams, including some threatening to quit if we didn't fix it somehow. So Stooben and I decided that every round has new team captains to pick players during the 30 minute intermissions between rounds instead of each day. Some rounds were very horribly stacked in one captain or another's favor, but it would change the next round, so people were not too upset over it. This plan worked out more, since many players had to leave temporarily or could not even attend, so it was allowed to change; about half of my team would've had to leave at some point, I remember. We had only about 4 reserves, so in the end, this sudden decision ended up working a lot better for us all. We did away with scoring based on your team's skill to compensate as well, but lowered the amount of points you needed to get a token (a decision Stooben and I would come to regret).
I remember the tournament for the unique mini-games, although a few players ignored them because they were not "serious matches". In hindsight, it would've been better if they did not count for tokens because so many people missed them, yet it decided somewhere around 300-400 tokens (in one event alone, it was 100; some veterans got 80 in some other matches like Katana Duel). Regardless, they were pretty damn fun. Sniper Warfare provided some fun moments with arrows, bullets, and piss flying about. The Medieval Challenge and Katana Duel was just a simply chaotic all-out brawl. Our longest one, 30 Monoculi in 30 Minutes, actually took us about 50 minutes, bleeding into intermission heavily. Martiniman and I simply rocked Oktoberfest with a pocket combo, and Hide & Go Seek was a fun makeshift mini-game we did. Managed to get a couple people to shit themselves hiding from all the roaming Pyros bursting fire, trying to find them as Spy.
Outside of all of that, I almost completely ignored the awards; I only followed about half of the first ceremony and looked at stories some friends told me to read, but that was about it. So, I guess I don't have much to say about how they went. I will admit it was to some extent my fault that the TF2 event caused a disastrously massive amount of tokens to be distributed, though, haha. I am definitely looking forward to next year. Hopefully we get more people, and the people we had get even more experienced at Team Fortress 2 so we have more intense matches.
This was a fun year. Even though there were plenty of challenging phases scattered throughout the entire process, the overall experience was quite pleasant. My experiences in the super-secret underground Awards Committee board were generally pleasant, even though there were some rough patches here and there. The meetings were defintely busy, and kept me on my toes every week. The ceremonies were fun, even though I didn't really care all that much about the results. The peripheral events were fun as well. Guess the Results, esepcially, turned out quite well for me, despite the amazingly poor effort I put into it. In the end, it was a fun experience, and I look forward to next year.
Crocodile Dippy (talk) (Awards Committee Member)
Wow, I almost didn't write this. I found myself so sick this month that simply touching the keyboard made me feel like I've run a marathon. But yeah, let's talk about the awards committee of this year. Well it was my very first time in the committee, I was invited in by the initial director Ralphfan (talk) before he was replaced by Turboo (talk), who promptly put me in charge of the awards committee's Twitter account not long after her ascension since she knew I sometimes managed the 'Shroom's Twitter account (also because I asked her if I could do it).
Anyway, I was primarily focussed on the 'Shroom awards, so let me just say right now that this year's 'Shroom awards were lacklustre at their absolute best. I remember us agreeing to the categories we chose due to a lack of better ideas, but I displayed after the ceremony this year that we all really could've done a lot better. Hopefully we can actually discuss with the awards committee ideas rather than monopolising the nominations ourselves, but live and learn.
Speaking of which, despite my primary interest being the 'Shroom awards, I missed the committee meeting for that awards category because I had surgery scheduled that week and would be stuck in a hospital for a week with no internet… or dead, which fortunately wasn't the case. So what a great deal of luck I have! And then I wrote the presentation for Favourite Director for the 'Shroom awards, so a lovely journey all things considering.
Why did you read this? It's so boring and you'd have to be equally boring or my dad to have read this far. Well now that you did… it doesn't matter, does it? Just enjoy everyone elses boring stories and let me sleep, I'm still coughing up what I'm guessing might be my liver right now.
Although I don’t have much prior experience as this is the first year I’ve paid much attention to AC, and only the 2nd year I’ve participated in making a presentation, I’d say that the anniversary and its festivities were quite enjoyable!
Despite finding myself quite frustrated with meetings last year, I decided to (eventually) join the 2012 Awards Committee. Since this time around I was actually present before meetings actually began, rather than popping in halfway, I felt more comfortable and found the entire process much easier to work with. Decisions and votes were relatively painless and discussions flowed with relative ease. I wasn’t aware that people could be so passionate about which characters ended up in the polls or not, but as I stayed through more meetings, it began to make sense. Everyone wanted the best for the Ceremony and Events, and lively discussion was the way to get everyone’s ideas out there and make good compromises.
This year I participated in the 3 day TF2 Tournament. I was honestly quite nervous that it would be taken too seriously and that I’d do terribly, but it was quite the opposite. Everyone was laid back (barring the bumps in the very beginning) and played just like they do all other times. All of the different modes we played were quite enjoyable, too. As for the ceremony itself, I decided that I would make some drawings for a presentation again. And, just like last year unfortunately, I was surprised with a sudden lack of internet for 3-4 weeks right before the ceremony, which put me in quite a time crunch. I was able to finish, though, and I personally think quite successfully! I’m hoping I have enough creative juices by next year to make an even better presentation.
Another thing to note is that this year, it seemed like a lot of the discussion on who people want to win, if they’re surprised at the winners, etc. took place at the chat party rather than the forum. Personally, I actually liked that, since it helped quell some (not all, ahaha) of the post conflicts, and allowed people to discuss things rather than throwing out a statement and quickly moving on.
As for suggestions, I really don’t have too many! I really liked how this year went and don’t think much should be changed at all. The few things that could be improved are probably some more coordination with game events and advertising of the polls and nominees. Other than that, there’s really nothing else to complain about. Congratulations Turb, SMB, and Blocky on a great job running the AC, and a further congratulations to the AC itself and everyone who participated through hosting events, making presentations, and even voting, on a job well done and a successful anniversary!
New Super Mario (talk) (Awards Committee Member)
My experiences with the Awards this year were great. The committee is great, and it's a great community project. I plan on joining next year also. My connection to the chat meetings wasn't working this year, so I hope I can attend more next year now that I fixed that problem. Although there were a few bumps in the project, it was overall a very fun experience and I look forward to the 2013 awards!
Raven Effect (talk) (Awards Committee Member)
I very much enjoyed being part of the Awards Committee; it felt very good participating and helping set up something that brings the entire community together. And though it is true that there were moments of frustration those moments were few and far between and at the end of the day it was a great experience and I recommend that anybody who was thinking about trying to join this year should try to join next year because I know I will join again as long as the committee director will allow me to.