Comments, Suggestions and/or Feature Requests for the Soundevotion Competition.

"medals" or other achievements per round?

"medals" or other achievements per round?

Postby tenfour » Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:59 am

I think it would be a nice idea to have some "medals" or something per round. So even if a song doesn't place, it has a chance to win the "Short & Sweet" medal, or "Epic", or "Most Creative". Sometimes a song doesn't deserve to win the compo but is notable in its own right anyway. Placing these little medals next to entries in the results page would be a nice way to demonstrate their uniqueness no matter what place they receive.

edit:

Medals should be awarded for specific traits that wouldn't ever win the competition alone. For example a song may not be in your top 5, but the use of pattern commands is so clever that it deserves the Medal of Technique. Or maybe a mediocre song has such a professional sound that you nominate it for the Sound Engineer Award or something.

Nominating these could be done a lot of different ways. One idea is that every voter can place only 1 medal per round.

Or, voters could give each song a medal, and some magic formula determines which medals are actually awarded (if a song gets 2 nominations for the same medal, it's awarded, for example).

Other ideas for awards:
* Nostalgic
* Cool Concept
* Great lyrics
* Tear-Jerker
* Dance-worthy
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Postby Sonicade » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:06 am

Absolutely an achievements system is something I've wanted to do for awhile. Please keep coming up with ideas of what achievements to award. Most unique, cool concept, etc all good ideas.
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Postby Taiyal » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:42 pm

Some tongue-in-cheek awards could exist too, like "VU-Meter Breaker" or "1-Chord Wonder"
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Postby knetter » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:11 pm

The idea sounds nice but who and how are you going to make a medal...Are they fixed (the easy way) or are they dynamic (like tagging; the more effort way)? I can imagine that when you make it dynamic, it may evolve into a couple of fixed ones in future.
On the other hand, we are giving medals in form of comments already (lots of people saying the song is cheesy like hell - you may consider that positive). But I think, it is actually fun to go for a specific medal (like you have different prices in the tour the france ;) ) f.e. when the song takes a tour with you during composing.
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Postby tenfour » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:58 am

I think they should be fixed. And each should have a cool little icon. You should be able to click on a medal and see past winners of this medal too.

I agree that comments are already more descriptive & meaningful than a medal. I think medals have a different purpose:

1) They are tangible; users can show them off. They would be visible on a user's profile. Comments are a bit hidden in history; no matter how positive the comments are, there's no way to show them off. Some guy receives the "phat beats" award 10 times in a row. There's no way to see that with comments alone.

2) a medal would certainly supplement the comments that are already there, but would emphasize the point. We already try to give both positive and negative feedback via comments for every song. If someone comments on my song with "pleasant melody, but i didn't like the beat", it would be meaningful if they also nominated me for the "cool melody" medal.

3) they are measurable. it's a way of comparing to others. you can't compare comments to others like this. THis way you could think "cool well i got last place, but i got the same medal as the guy in 1st place."

4) I think they should be a consensus decision, thus an aggregation of comments, of sorts. If you have 10 comments that say many different things, but they all say "great melody", then this is a way to boil all that into a single achievement. Otherwise you'd have to read all those comments to get the same impression.


it's also for these reasons that not many medals should be given. I mean if everyone gets 10 medals per round then all of these points are totally invalidated. I would imagine that it should be a special thing to receive 1 medal.

and I think these points emphasize that they should be an aggregate. If only 1 person nominates a medal for a song, it shouldn't be given. They should be a matter of at least a little consensus.
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Postby gilli » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:28 pm

Some use cases for a voter

1) Two entrants have strong melodies. One with usual chord progressions but innovative melodies. The other one with innovative chords+progressions but with rather usual melodies. Who is to be given the medal? Is a weighting helpful here?

2) Voters have to think of 5 songs to vote on. Additionally they shall dedicate a medal to one or more songs, which might turn voting into a greater challenge than it is already. Sometimes they might just not be able to think of a medal for any song. Should giving medals be optional?

3) Psychological thing: Should the medal only be given to songs that rate "worse" than 3rd or 5th? How do you want to make a song below these ratings get a medal if the song that got rated first also got all the medals?
If a voter has a better perception for a simple song structure and thus votes it first, why would he want to give a medal to a song that might have a complex structure but doesn't sound well to the voter? How often / to how many songs can one type of a medal be given during voting time?

Some use cases for musicians

1) A musician has made some great melodic music but has entered a round where the listeners don't have a strong focus on this.
In a different round he would have gotten the medal from three listeners but his song won't be recognized anymore because the "melodic" listeners don't find any sign that would catch their attention when they come back to SDC. They are probably going to miss a song that they would have liked. "melodic music" is an entity here.

2) A musician is great at having high quality songs and good techniques but is not even interested in making melodic music as much as others. Another musician can make popular music with fairly good techniques and quality, thus has a higher chance to have all types of medals in time. Does he deserve a better status to be looked at, than the one who is just not interested in melodies as much? How can the system be fairer to artists? How about a diagram that shows the strengths as scales?
e.g. Artist xyz has the following medals:
10 x melody, 5 x mastering, 1 x techniques ..
Then one could lookup the history. 1st melody medal for song x, second one for song y...

edit:
3) The quantity of entered songs might have an affect on how people will look at an artist's medals. An artist that occasionally enters the compo but mostly offers "great" songs will have as many medals as an artist who regularly enters the compo but occasionally offers "great" songs. Maybe the medal meters should show a meridian of all entered songs from an artist.
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Postby Sonicade » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:02 pm

Woow great discussion guys! I like the ideas.

What do you think of for each song, you first vote for it ... then from a list or menu or something you can select 1 or more optional 'medals'.

For example, choose a song. Select 1st place. Then check 'strong melody', 'big skill improvement', 'vu-meter breaker!'.

The medals are optional, if you don't feel like selecting them then you don't.

Then the medals are tallied and whichever song has the most of a particular medal gets awarded that medal.

It was mentioned that the 1st place song may get all the medals. Well what if there are a ton of medals so that almost every song has a chance to win at something.

Keep the ideas flowing! I'm definitely going to reference these posts when building the medals.
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Postby tenfour » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:17 am

disclaimer: i say a lot of "it must" and "we need" and "it should". it's just my opinion though; and my way of talking. :)

Two entrants have strong melodies. One with usual chord progressions but innovative melodies. The other one with innovative chords+progressions but with rather usual melodies. Who is to be given the medal? Is a weighting helpful here?

It's subjective. the voter does whatever he/she feels makes the most sense.

Voters have to think of 5 songs to vote on. Additionally they shall dedicate a medal to one or more songs, which might turn voting into a greater challenge than it is already. Sometimes they might just not be able to think of a medal for any song. Should giving medals be optional?

Yes - it should definitely be optional. Medals would be a bonus -- a supplement to the MAIN ranking system.

Should the medal only be given to songs that rate "worse" than 3rd or 5th? How do you want to make a song below these ratings get a medal if the song that got rated first also got all the medals?

Maybe you are allowed to nominate a medal only on a song you didn't vote for? It seems logical, as a way to spread recognition. this makes medals more related to the main rankings as well. So you have 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place, then honorable mentions. This technically also means that it's possible that 1st place can still get a medal. In that scenario it would be deserved. (for example 5 voters are really trance-loving people, so they vote TranceHeaven as #1. It wins first place. The other 7 voters hate trance, and because of this voted for whatever other random songs. But they all awarded TranceHeaven a trance medal. It will win 1st place, and get the "I hate trance, but nice song anyway" medal. Or something?

A musician has made some great melodic music but has entered a round where the listeners don't have a strong focus on this.
In a different round he would have gotten the medal from three listeners but his song won't be recognized anymore because the "melodic" listeners don't find any sign that would catch their attention when they come back to SDC.

there would never be a way to solve this problem, and I don't think medals would be considered as a way to improve on this. No matter what the competition is, you always play into your audience.

A musician is great at having high quality songs and good techniques but is not even interested in making melodic music as much as others. Another musician can make popular music with fairly good techniques and quality, thus has a higher chance to have all types of medals in time. Does he deserve a better status to be looked at, than the one who is just not interested in melodies as much? How can the system be fairer to artists? How about a diagram that shows the strengths as scales?

again, I'm not sure a medal system aims to solve this. Medals are another way that you could be recognized for an outstanding work. There can never be a guarantee that this recognition is perfectly balanced, unbiased, and measurable. It will always be subjective, biased towards the will of the audience, and imbalanced towards the mechanics of the system. For example look at almost any other achievement. Getting a promotion at work doesn't mean he's the best employee. It means he's the best at getting a promotion. Maybe that means he made good friends with the boss, maybe it means he navigated the company policy in a way that positioned himself. Maybe he really is the best employee. Maybe he just worked there for so long that he was bound to catch the boss in a good mood eventually. Anyway medals are a way of giving the other employees on the team a chance rewards as well.

3) The quantity of entered songs might have an affect on how people will look at an artist's medals. An artist that occasionally enters the compo but mostly offers "great" songs will have as many medals as an artist who regularly enters the compo but occasionally offers "great" songs. Maybe the medal meters should show a meridian of all entered songs from an artist.

My thought is that we should stay away from too many metrics at the start. Showing medals/rankings next to songs in the profile page should be enough; aggregating / analyzing further than that seems like a feature to consider AFTER the initial system is set up so we can see what might be necessary / appropriate.


What do you think of for each song, you first vote for it ... then from a list or menu or something you can select 1 or more optional 'medals'.
For example, choose a song. Select 1st place. Then check 'strong melody', 'big skill improvement', 'vu-meter breaker!'.

We need to allow nominating medals for songs that you don't vote in the top 5.


I think it should be very simple at the start, because it will be very hard to predict how people will use this system (maybe if we allow too many medals through, it would make medals feel worthless or trivial; maybe if we require multiple nominations we will find that no medals are ever awarded, etc). Assuming it will evolve over time, we should start simple and flexible. Start with things we know already work.

Hmm. How about this design:
Voters can place 5 medals each round. They are optional, and they are rated 1-5 just like the main votes. The collection of available medals need to be carefully chosen so they are unambiguous and can't be confused with each other.

When it comes time for results, place 3 medals based on the same points system as the normal overall rankings. The only difference in the formula is that there's the added dimension of which medal.

Basically, re-use the existing ranking system because we know it works, and we know that each round there would be a fixed number of medals awarded.
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Postby Airmann » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:45 pm

I haven't read the whole thread,
but I think this is a cool idea and I'd support it.

Honestly, SDCompo isn't just a simple competition for me anymore - it's also my primary music making community ATM. So some modificiations
from time to time keep up the interest.

What I really like to see would be also a focus on individual improvements / skills. Like in an adventure game I've learned some skills here during the last year. Maybe we could introduce a system were you get objectives which must be reached. If your reach them you get a kind of title and medal like:

- Mixing beginner: white belt
- Mixing apprentice: yellow belt
- Mixing assistant: blue belt

- harmony beginner: bronze
- harmony apprentice: silver
- harmony assistant: gold

It's a bit like children get stickers after taking part in swimming courses here in germany. The get bronze, silver, gold stickers.
I know this may be not very interesting for people that are very experienced, but I think a lot of people could improve their skills.

It was necessary to create some courses/workshops or objectives by more experienced people. E.g. objectives could be:

- balance your volume levels so that your mix is well balanced
- maximize your RMS Value so that it doesn't clip but is really loud
- find out what dc offset is and remove it from your tracks/samples/mix
- get at least two comments in official round that praise your mixing

- learn about harmonies and compose a track based/limited to scales
- create a song with a classical arrangement (ABACAB)
- get at least two comments in official round that praise your harmonies / progression

- create a track with pitch tracking fx, tremolo fx, vibrato fx, glissando fx
- create a track with sample offset fx 9xx
- get at least one comment in official round that praises your tracking

Maybe that's all too easy or boring for some of use. It could be of course created harder.

Anyway - let's try something new and fancy - yeah.

BTW: I would like to take part in creating mixing workshops/tutorials whatever
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Postby gilli » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:13 pm

Medals are another way that you could be recognized for an outstanding work. There can never be a guarantee that this recognition is perfectly balanced, unbiased, and measurable. It will always be subjective, biased towards the will of the audience, and imbalanced towards the mechanics of the system. For example look at almost any other achievement. Getting a promotion at work doesn't mean he's the best employee. It means he's the best at getting a promotion. Maybe that means he made good friends with the boss, maybe it means he navigated the company policy in a way that positioned himself. Maybe he really is the best employee. Maybe he just worked there for so long that he was bound to catch the boss in a good mood eventually. Anyway medals are a way of giving the other employees on the team a chance rewards as well.

SDC already cares about fairness on voting, e.g. by disabling users from voting only unless they have three entries at least. This fairness should be preserved if another good feature, that is medals, comes in.

Maybe you are allowed to nominate a medal only on a song you didn't vote for? It seems logical, as a way to spread recognition. this makes medals more related to the main rankings as well. So you have 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place, then honorable mentions. This technically also means that it's possible that 1st place can still get a medal. In that scenario it would be deserved. (for example 5 voters are really trance-loving people, so they vote TranceHeaven as #1. It wins first place. The other 7 voters hate trance, and because of this voted for whatever other random songs. But they all awarded TranceHeaven a trance medal. It will win 1st place, and get the "I hate trance, but nice song anyway" medal. Or something?

Sounds good, assuming your medal is a slightly exaggerated example ;). But I'm not sure if we should limit the top five to top three. For a musician it might be less motivative to hope for (top three || medals) than for (top five || medals). However, I can see the complexity of many votes and optional medals on top of that.


I might have been mistaken when I thought that the medals could be seen next to an artist somewhen, expressing he is melodic/pro/unique/etc. . Because then something like
Code: Select all
"Kelly Family - [melodic] [pro] [vuBreaker]"

would really need some additional mechanics (the average of all songs) to keep it fair.

What do you think of for each song, you first vote for it ... then from a list or menu or something you can select 1 or more optional 'medals'.
For example, choose a song. Select 1st place. Then check 'strong melody', 'big skill improvement', 'vu-meter breaker!'.

I agree with the idea not offering too many medals and that they should be unambiguous. But giving medals would be an improvement to the current voting system, if one could also give medals to songs he wouldn't vote for. I like the example that a musician can still experience/show off some good points even if he didn't hit the top five. Also for newcomers it's a motivation to know what they are good at to keep their returning.

- Mixing beginner: white belt
- Mixing apprentice: yellow belt
- Mixing assistant: blue belt

I really think we should keep the medals positive. In a way that one either gets a positive medal or he has to do without. If one would have a [Mixing beginner] medal next to his song, he might be unhappy and would wonder why the community is allowed to judge him like that. This can be demotivating.

- balance your volume levels so that your mix is well balanced
[...]
- learn about harmonies and compose a track based/limited to scales
[...]
- create a track with pitch tracking fx, tremolo fx, vibrato fx, glissando fx
[...]

From an idealogical point of view I really like this. But I fear people would feel offended when they believe they're good at something and suddenly get basic suggestions about that. From what I can tell of the song comments, most of the community can express their suggestions in a very mature way already.

But close to your suggestions I think, in a more developed version, there could be positive tool tips when you hover your mouse over a medal, e.g. "well balanced mix/good use of tracker capabilities/skilled composition of harmonies".

The medals I can think of:

[Melodic] (e.g. includes great chord progressions, melodies, and melodic phrasings) - I personally would like to see this split in [Melodic] and [Harmonic].

[Trackerlesson] (very open source, shows how desirable sounds are created using the native tracker capabilities)

[Mastermaster] (great mastering, not only considering loudness but also balanced sound with preserved dynamics. K-20 mastering is not worse than K-10) - thus I'd avoid [vuBreaker] or we should split it again.

[Moodfactory] (successfully delivers a certain atmosphere, dark/sad/fun/aggressive) - this can also be split into [TearJerker] and such.

Not trying to fill all the 5 possible medals. That's just some of my thoughts that may or may not be considered.
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Postby Sonicade » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:52 pm

You guys rock! I love these medals ideas.
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Postby Elephark » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:53 am

Perhaps the number of medals awarded could be non-fixed, but limited to three or something. A medal would only get awarded if a certain percentage of the voters nominated the entry for it. So if there isn't a very clear majority who thought the entry deserved the medal, it won't get awarded in the first place.

As for nominating instead of voting...if someone puts together an amazing module that's particularly outstanding in, say, mixing, and it also genuinely deserves first place, whereas the would-be second-place module is generally solid but not overly awesome in any one area, wouldn't the super-great-mixing medal votes remove potential deserved votes, allowing the songs to be ranked less cleanly? First place won't mean first place anymore.
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Postby juolac » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:30 pm

Hello! This is maybe a good idea? Shouldn't be too complicated to implement i hope.

On the profile page it would be very nice to see Place also

My proposal for the Profile page:
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Postby Sonicade » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:52 pm

Very nice Juolac, I like it!! I'll definitely reference that when development starts.
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Postby fbjon » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:01 pm

Excellent ideas here! I'll try to bring something..

Elephark wrote:Perhaps the number of medals awarded could be non-fixed, but limited to three or something. A medal would only get awarded if a certain percentage of the voters nominated the entry for it. So if there isn't a very clear majority who thought the entry deserved the medal, it won't get awarded in the first place.

If I've understood correctly: if only one person gives that medal to that entry, and nobody else gives out that medal, it shouldn't be awarded?

Sounds reasonable. Let's see.. for some entry E to get awarded some medal M, it needs to have the most awards for that medal among all voters, obviously. But if the ratio of awards of M to E per entries in compo is less than e.g. 0.3, then it doesn't get awarded. That would give the requirements
M(E) > M(other than E)
M(E) / #entries > 0.3

for any M and E. I just took 0.3 as an example here, it should probably be something really low to start with to see how it works.

As for nominating instead of voting...if someone puts together an amazing module that's particularly outstanding in, say, mixing, and it also genuinely deserves first place, whereas the would-be second-place module is generally solid but not overly awesome in any one area, wouldn't the super-great-mixing medal votes remove potential deserved votes, allowing the songs to be ranked less cleanly? First place won't mean first place anymore.


Right, I personally feel that if the medals in any way affect the voting, it might bring unintended consequences. It "muddies the field" sort of. On the other hand, the medals aren't as strictly defined (they're not numerical), so if voting mechanics can affect medal mechanics, it could be ok.

One particular effect I thought about is that final ranking could affect the probability of getting a medal. In other words, a 1st place would raise the bar slightly for an entry to get a medal, in order to make it more likely that lower-placed entries get them. Perhaps with some sort of weight between 0.0-1.0 attached to the awarded medals, calculated from the rank, for example: 0.5 + (rank/#entries).

Just to give an example:

1st place in a round of 10 entries, awarded 5 medals "Great Melody!"
7th place in same round awarded 3 of those medals

1st has: 5 awards * (0.5 + 1/10) = 3 awards
7th has: 3 awards * (0.5 + 7/10) = 3.6 awards

so the 7th place ultimately gets awarded that medal. If the effect is too strong, the constant 0.5 can be increased. In this particular example, the 1st and 7th entries would become even if the constant is set to 0.8, so some sort of tie-break would have to set in.

In any case, that sort of effect would still leave the votes largely unaffected, unless someone really wants to vote with the medals in mind.


Edit: btw, I've made an assumption here that only one medal of each kind can get awarded per round
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