2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#31 Post by lordcloudx » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:04 pm

Chronoluminaire: Frankly, yes. It means that the reader will come in with preconceptions about how good the game (probably in comparison to game X) will be and will most likely be sorely disappointed if it doesn't turn out as good as he/she expects it to be in certain areas.

Even if it wasn't for literary analysis. Reading to "judge/vote" on the game is still an entirely different mindset from the ordinary reader that I'd like to reach.

In fact, one reading as an LSF developer is still not the type of reader I'd like to reach.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#32 Post by JQuartz » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:16 pm

Jake wrote:OK. Seriously, that was a joke.
Really, I couldn't tell since it seems like the regular way you talk. (That's why I always make it clear that it was a lame joke for my joke statements since without being able to see the expression and hear the intonation of the speaker, it's hard to be sure whether it was a joke or not.)
Jake wrote:But for what it's worth, good luck on finding a metric to reliably, automatically and objectively determine a 'good' game from a 'not good' game.
Yeah, you're right. I couldn't think of any method.
Jake wrote:As it goes, I don't like Firefox that much, either.
Firefox got problems but it's better than IE. It loads pages much faster than IE (at least for sites I frequently visit).
lordcloudx wrote:In effect, it sets up a competitive benchmark when there was previously none.
There is one: Nanoreno.


For Voting: I don't care as long as everyone votes for my games! Ha ha ha! (Lame joke) Seriously though I had an idea that instead of the game that gets the highest number of votes within a certain period of time be declared the winner, maybe it could be replaced with the first game to get 100 votes first be declared the winner. Just an idea I had though.
Even if it wasn't for literary analysis. Reading to "judge/vote" on the game is still an entirely different mindset from the ordinary reader that I'd like to reach.
I think even if it isn't for the competition, people will still judge the games they're playing. So you cannot escape judgment from the people who played your game even if there is no Lemmys. Just look at Jake's post. He commented that IE sucks which is a form of judgment but is there any competition for the best internet browser (that Jake is voting for?) People will naturally compare one thing to another. It is the default mode of humans.
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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#33 Post by Jake » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:45 pm

JQuartz wrote:
lordcloudx wrote:In effect, it sets up a competitive benchmark when there was previously none.
There is one: Nanoreno.
Except NaNoRenO totally isn't competetive.

It's a challenge, but it's a personal challenge rather than a ranked one. If you participate in NaNo, you absolutely aren't competing with the other people who are participating in NaNo - you're trying to meet the challenge yourself, and the nearest concept NaNo has to a winner is "someone who finishes"... which, year on year, has been a number of different people with different projects. Certainly no matter what the number of categories suggested for Lemmies, I would never support a "Best NaNoRenO game" award, because it would change the nature of NaNo.


I tend to agree with Cloud that the Lemmy awards set up a competition where previously there was none, and this certainly carries some negative elements. Some people somewhere will inevitably do something different with their VN to make it more likely to win an award, if they know that there are awards on offer.

However, I don't think that's necessarily a bad enough thing to stop us having awards in the first place. I mean - look at cinema. There has been a lot of fuss from certain quarters over several movies which are seen as making unashamed attempts to win Oscars. People whined that Road to Perdition was "wanking for Oscars", but screw those people - personally, I really enjoyed that movie. It won Best Cinematography, and I loved the cinematography - maybe I enjoyed it because of the things people thought it did just to win Oscars?

Generally speaking, if people change their games to fit in better with awards, then:
- Those people didn't have the levels of artistic (arteeestic?) integrity Cloud demands anyway, so it's irrelevant why they sold out or for whom.
- The changes are likely to be the kind of changes which make the game appeal to more people, meaning probably more people are enjoying the game because of those changes. Single-actor dialogueless artistic shorts shot in black-and-white with a confusing 'symbolic' plot are all very nice but they don't entertain very many people, and the point of making entertainment is usually to entertain.



In short: if people want to make arthouse VNs, or VNs just for themselves, or to stick to their grand creative vision, then that's fine - more power to them. But those people can just ignore the awards if they want to. If it changes anyone else's creations, then it's just evidence that those people didn't have the same goals as you in the first place.

Maybe Blue Lemma would be gracious enough to allow these people to have their games removed from contention if they're carelessly nominated by well-meaning third parties?

JQuartz wrote: Just look at Jake's post. He commented that IE sucks which is a form of judgment but is there any competition for the best internet browser (that Jake is voting for?)
As it goes, I didn't suggest that IE sucks, I just said that I loathe it. I don't like eating clams, either, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them. Mostly I was just pissed off because it ate my post because its load-in-new-tab functionality is broken. For the record, though: IE sucks. ;-)
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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#34 Post by JQuartz » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:12 pm

Jake wrote:Except NaNoRenO totally isn't competetive.
Oops sorry. I always thought NaNoReNo was some sort of competition. Thanks for the explanation of NaNoReNo.
Jake wrote:People whined that Road to Perdition was "wanking for Oscars", but screw those people - personally, I really enjoyed that movie.
Well, as long as the makers chose to do what they thought was the method that maximizes the viewers enjoyment, then there's no objections from me. On the other hand, if the makers chose a method that has a lower viewers' enjoyment value in order to win an award, then I think that's kind of bad. Viewers' enjoyment should be the highest priority while winning the award, second.
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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#35 Post by dreamer » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:25 pm

Point well-taken, Jake. Frankly, using your logic, I don't think the Lemmy's is really bad for the community. It justs set it more towards a direction that I don't approve of. I don't think it's a bad direction, either... but I personally don't like it and never will.

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#36 Post by sake-bento » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:54 pm

Well, let's put it this way. I like giving credit to people who I think deserve credit. And an award always gives warm fuzzies. If I don't win, it's no never mind to me, and I'm always happy to see people who deserve it. Honestly, I would never have known that Tying Threads even existed if it weren't for the Lemmys.

While I would be delighted to win one, the knowledge that they exist isn't really going to change how I do visual novels. I always want my work to be well-written, good looking, etc. I'm not going to pander in an attempt to win something, since I'm already doing my best. If I happen to win an award, it's icing on the cake strawberries on my parfait.

I think annual awards aren't going to push the community in an unhealthily competitive direction. I tend to forget the Oscars exist except in the month or so leading up to them, and I rarely watch movies thinking "Man, this should win an Oscar!" I usually watch them and think "What a great movie!" (or a bad one, in some cases).

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#37 Post by Hime » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:23 pm

I have to say I agree with cloud and mikey on this matter.

Another negative side effect Lemmy's might cause is lack of other sort of recognition. In this comparison, Oscars won't work, because viewers rarely have a chance to directly tell the movie makers how they liked it, and Oscars are technically a great financial support for the makers (the people that will buy it because it won an award). But here we're talking about a lower level, where you can write a post and comment on the actual thing, and we also aren't trying to earn money (-> Lemmy's doesn't directly help the maker in making more games, unlike Oscars). So, when a game is released, with Lemmy's around you don't technically need to tell the maker how you felt about it anymore, because you can just vote for it.

sake-bento said it will give warm fuzzies, but personally I'd say tributes by inviduals are better. If you like a game, comment on it! Draw fanart, offer your voice for a voiced version, translate it to another language, something! I don't know about you people, but at least I'd prefer an invidual tribute over a vote for a picture badge.

Also, Lemmy's supports comparison, which I don't like. I don't care whether my game was better than a friend's game, I just want to know if you liked it. I'd rather view and comment on VNs as invidual pieces of art, not a bunch of products. We do indie games, for free, so unlike in the movie industry, we aren't motivated by money. We're motivated by our hearts and minds, so I think it's kind of silly to give grades and put things in order because you prefer X's artistic views over Y's. Technically, if it was for that, we'd have to aim at making games that are high quality and mainstream. Personally, I don't like it, particularly the mainstream part.
JQuartz wrote:Viewers' enjoyment should be the highest priority while winning the award, second.
Gosh, I hate to say this, but winning an award shouldn't be a priority for anything! (Unless you're going commercial, in case of which it might help you earn your bread... But anyway.) The fact that you've won it practically doesn't mean much as it depends on the deciding people and how your views do together with theirs. Also, if it really is high in priorities for you, then if you fail to get the award, you failed at making the whole thing itself to some extent.

edit: This wasn't worth a post, but for JQuartz telling me to "cool down", I am calm: the exclamation mark was because I thought the whole thought of making a game for the sake of an award would be silly. Just in case someone other mistakes amusement for... errm, whatever causes the need to cool down.
Last edited by Hime on Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#38 Post by JQuartz » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:50 pm

Hime wrote:Gosh, I hate to say this, but winning an award shouldn't be a priority for anything!
Cool down. I was just trying to say the viewers' enjoyment shouldn't be sacrificed to get an award. I only said getting an award was second in priority because there's only 2 priorities in the scenario. Whether or not winning should be a priority depends on the maker himself and I respect whatever decision he makes. For me, the desire to win an award would only push me to choose the non-lazy option (or a better but more work option) if it was available instead of the lazy man option (or less work but worse option). It wouldn't push me to do things I wouldn't want to do or cannot do.
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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#39 Post by mrsulu » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:03 pm

I liked the awards, and I liked them even when I was convinced I'd lose in every category. Blue Lemma gets kudos for doing such a nice job with them. For me, the nomination lists are the most interesting (although, don't get me wrong, the Bandit's Corner blog has its medallions up right now). I really liked having a short list of top games to play and consider.

We've now got over a hundred games in the Renai archive, and there're more coming every week. We have games hosted off-site, commercial games, etc. Games are sorted solely by date, rating, and the loosest of content (GxB, parody, "other gameplay", etc.). Except for vnr4's very occasional reviews, we have no central review location or rating system. If I were a new user, I would be lost at sea.

I do think that commenting and fanart-ing as the games come out is vital to a creator understanding what's working. In addition, an end-of-year reckoning of popular or striking work is only going to continue to help us learn and define ourselves.

Even Harry Potter erotic fanfic writers have end-of-year awards, and it hasn't killed the drive and creativity of that community. If the Draco-in-leather-pants folk are strong enough, so are we. :D

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#40 Post by sake-bento » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:03 pm

Hime wrote:sake-bento said it will give warm fuzzies, but personally I'd say tributes by inviduals are better. If you like a game, comment on it! Draw fanart, offer your voice for a voiced version, translate it to another language, something! I don't know about you people, but at least I'd prefer an invidual tribute over a vote for a picture badge.
Honestly, I'd prefer that too, but fewer people seem to participate in that.

(Although I am deeply honored when it does!)

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#41 Post by mikey » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:27 pm

Blue Lemma wrote:The awards aren't about putting games and people down, but rather giving credit to those that stand out the most.
This was my point, actually - the awards do not treat all games equally. Now you may say that neither do individual reviews/comments and personal rankings on blogs, but the difference is that the Lemmys are a community award, and in fact mean that the community doesn't treat these games equally.

The reason why I'm going on about this is exactly that - I don't think that the community as such should rank or recommend - the LSF's most outstanding projects like the Ren'Ai Archives or NaNoRenO were both non-competitive. And I'll say it once again - I believe there is nothing wrong with being a community which pats itself on the back, avoids harsh criticism, does not encourage its members to try harder and is biased towards its own works.
Chronoluminaire wrote:That's one focus [non-competitive motivation etc...] - and it's clearly traditionally been one of the greatest foci of the community. And the community should clearly work to keeping that focus. But it's clear that that's not the only focus for everyone here. I think the popularity of the Lemmys has shown that the community are interested in some other goals as well [...]
The question is whether those two foci (competitive vs. cooperative) aren't interfering with one another. The obvious answer to that may be that there should be some form of balance between those two, but as much as the "middle way" is the smart thing to say, balance in this case also means a loss of direction, taking or at least diluting LSF's defining feature.
JQuartz wrote:I think even if it isn't for the competition, people will still judge the games they're playing. [...] It is the default mode of humans.
There is a difference between individual judgment and judgment by the community (see above). Plus, even if judging and comparing is the default mode, is it really so out of place to try to get people to let this go and (at least) try to appreciate the game for what it is, without thinking of top lists?
dreamer wrote:
Jake wrote:In short: if people want to make arthouse VNs, or VNs just for themselves, or to stick to their grand creative vision, then that's fine - more power to them. But those people can just ignore the awards if they want to. If it changes anyone else's creations, then it's just evidence that those people didn't have the same goals as you in the first place.
Point well-taken, Jake. Frankly, using your logic, I don't think the Lemmy's is really bad for the community. It justs set it more towards a direction that I don't approve of. I don't think it's a bad direction, either... but I personally don't like it and never will.
I agree with the fact that Lemmys will (if they become an all-community event) change the direction of LSF. Like a few others, I don't like this direction. Sure, nothing is "bad", but isn't this why we post these discussions in the first place? Because we feel it actually IS a bad direction, that the positives don't outweigh the negatives?

I understand it can be difficult and tiring to defend the community's cooperative and non-competitive heart against people who say it sucks in all its parts and it will never be like the Japanese doujin scene anyway. I understand it is exhausting, having to listen to complaints about not being good enough and constantly explain that no, things that you do do not need to be motivated by the desire to be the best, to be better than someone else, or to be the most popular. Some of these complaints even make you feel bad about simply taking a game and wanting to enjoy it, deliberately setting your mind only on the positives.

But I think this should be the point, the community shouldn't be afraid to admit it's not willing to judge, it should be able to admit it's protective and biased towards its games, and when playing looking first and foremost to enjoy the work, rather than analyze it. No, it isn't rational or objective, it isn't even strictly speaking helping people to "improve", but why can't LSF simply be proud of this, being a community that for once ISN'T like every other one? I admit this is really difficult to understand, but all that it takes is that one day you will have a game that you'd like people to see in a specific way, and admit that you really want people to like it, and you know that based on the common judging, there is no chance of that (you can't express your thoughts very eloquently in writing, you can't draw very well,...) - then you'll perhaps wish for a community that makes an active effort to like things, that gives you a chance. Let others judge the works that the community makes, let others write objective reviews and top lists - don't make the community itself be the judge.

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#42 Post by Samu-kun » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:43 pm

I think the competition can turn into something fun once it becomes more routine and I wouldn't mind entering some games to compete in the future. Maybe people are just over analyzing things too much. I don't think the competition's much more than just entertainment. I admit, I did get quite a bit of enjoyment out of watching Mugen's evil plot get more and more foiled with each successive category this year. =3

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#43 Post by sake-bento » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:21 pm

Well, calling it a contest rather than awards actually seems like a good idea. As in, creators will willingly enter their works into the annual contest. That way, anyone who does enter is going in knowing full well that there's a chance of not being a "winner." And anyone who just doesn't want to deal with it doesn't have to.

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#44 Post by mikey » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:23 pm

Samu-kun wrote:Maybe people are just over analyzing things too much. I don't think the competition's much more than just entertainment.
As for me, I just really saw this as the last opportunity to say my words and explain them before the Lemmys become a community event (which, realistically, I think they will become) and I will have to hold my peace. It's also hard to say all those things when I see how those who liked the awards really enjoyed them and are involved in thinking up ways to improve the ranking and so on - it feels like I want to spoil their efforts, or take away the value of the 2008 awards, or negate the positives which awards may bring, which is absolutely not the goal.

But it was the non-competitive spirit and its positives that was a big factor in me liking LSF as a community and being able to identify with it so well. If it goes a bit towards competition now, it will lose that unique appeal to me. But of course that doesn't mean it's the end of the world - the LSF is made of really nice people, I respect so many of them and this is the place where they all are, and I'll be here as well. It's just that with the approach of not judging or ranking the LSF had something that while often criticized, was actually very unique and as such offered very unique positives.

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Re: 2009 Lemmy Award Discussion

#45 Post by ficedula » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:25 pm

This was my point, actually - the awards do not treat all games equally. Now you may say that neither do individual reviews/comments and personal rankings on blogs, but the difference is that the Lemmys are a community award, and in fact mean that the community doesn't treat these games equally.
It means the community doesn't rate them equally, which is not the same as saying they haven't been treated equally.

Fundamentally, some games are 'better' - for various values of better - than others. Some of the criteria are objective; consistency of graphics, grammar and spelling. Some are subjective; how humourous a game is, how absorbing a plot it has. My views on which games are 'better' may or may not agree with another person's views, but on the whole, a fair number of views are shared between people. Suggesting we treat all games as though they are equally as good as each other sounds very much like you're suggesting we shouldn't criticise a game when it has flaws, prefer well written/drawn/animated/voiced games, or recognise when a game does stand out.

If that's the case, why do you want a community at all? If the community never criticises games with flaws or promotes games that people (in general) like more, what's the point? We could just automate the 'Completed Games' section of the board so that every time somebody releases a game, 20 bots come in and post randomly generated encouraging comments about how they appreciated it regardless of the quality of the content.

Personally, I'd rather people told me not only when they liked playing a game I worked on, but also when they didn't like playing it, and why, and what they would have liked instead (or did like instead, in the case where there's something else they thought was better!). The reason being, I do want people to enjoy playing my game, and that means I am willing to change what I produce - to some extent - to match what the audience wants. If I didn't want that - I wanted to produce what I wanted regardless, to match my vision - then fine, but what purpose does the community serve in that case? If I was just out to satisfy my arteestic vision, then there's really no need to even release it; once it's written I could just archive it onto CDR and move on. The fact it's released at all is because I want people to play it and enjoy it, and so I do care what they think, and I do want to know how it could be better. And I also want to know what I did right - and in order for that encouragement to mean anything, it has to be the case that I feel it's offered only when it's been earned.

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