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Mad Scientist ASM Contest - Feedback
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Mad Scientist ASM Contest - Feedback Thread

Since four years, there hasn't been any proper ASM contest (and before that, there were rare either if they did exist at all). As such, it's a good idea to have some feedback to improve on (possibly) later ASM contests.

  • How frequent should Mad Scientist be?
  • Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have have specialised judges similar to the other contests?
  • Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?
    • If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three?
    • If the latter: Should we go with a specific theme or can we allow everything ASM related with a broad theme (e.g. sprites)?
  • Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?
  • (To the participants) How much fun did you have?
  • Is there anything else you want to add?


Something things to note:
  • I'm aware that 10 days (7 days in the first round) aren't much. However, the event calendar was rather tight so I was forced to use smaller rounds. I would have used two weeks of creating and one week of voting if we had time.
  • I may not be the best host and I admit I could have handled it better. However, I was the only one of the staff team who had shown interest to host it, not to mention this is the first time I hosted a contest (save for an inofficial contest year ago which was cancled since those contests were dying).
I'll copy paste my feedback from my vote in the main thread, with the addition that I'd like for this kind of contest to be held annually.

This contest was super fun, even though I only had time to participate in one round. I'm gonna compile a little wish list for the next ASM contest.

1. Get judges (I glagly volunteer, btw!). This is the single most important one if you want it to be an actual contest. If you just want it to be a fun event, you can ignore this one. The way I see it, putting public voting on a contest like this is a lot like turning on items in Smash. It's a lot of fun, but you also shouldn't expect it to be super fair. This pissed off some participants, I think. I propose going 50/50 between judges and public votes, because getting to vote is really fun and draws people to care about the event. Judges should be allowed to inspect the code to judge it on a technical level, whereas the public should remain a chaotic element.

2. Push the deadlines back a little bit for each round. 7-10 days might seem like it's pretty long, but for many people on here that equates to a single weekend. If you're busy that weekend, you're not participating and that's that. Please increase the time to at least 14 days to make sure that two weekends are included. This might increase the overall power level of the entries, and it will definitely make people with a lot on their plate more willing to compete.

3. I think anonymity should stay. It's an ASM contest, not a popularity contest, so I think this is a good rule.

4. Make the scoring system public. I've been trying to figure out exactly how MFG calculates the scores and I don't really have any idea. I have a model that is mostly accurate but still a little off. I don't think there's any cheating going on, but something like this can make people suspect that there's a lack of integrity. I suggest being 100% transparent over how entries will be scored ahead of time.

5. Themes! I'll start by saying that I like the use of themes. For an ASM contest like this, the two main ways to formulate the rounds is adherence to a theme and completion of a task. A task would be something like "make a block" or "code a sprite". It's narrow and requires a special kind of creativity. A theme is much more vague and loosely defined and it's very subjective as to what falls under a given theme. I think it could be a good idea to mix these up a bit and have some rounds with themes and some with tasks. As for the themes themselves, rounds 1 and 3 were very good. Round 2's theme was terrible. It was too much like a task but was still treated as a theme.

6. This brings us to this point. Have a group running the contest instead of just one person. It's difficult for one guy to keep track of everything. We saw this in two rounds with entries being excluded from the initial voting, which isn't fair. I also think having a group run the contest could help bounce ideas off each other to come up with more interesting themes. I think MFG did a great job, but I can't help but imagine how much better it could have been if he had someone helping out, you know?

I think that's about it. This event was great and I hope we can have more like it!

allow shy guy emojis in post footers you cowards!
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
How frequent should Mad Scientist be?

I mean, it depends on the format, but maybe once a year or two years could be nice. If it's more frequent it could become draining.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have have specialised judges similar to the other contests?

I think public judging is already fine. Having specialised judges would bring some questions to the table, such as what's going to get evaluated from the code of the creations, and I also think that the execution should be the thing that matters in the contest.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?

I like both formats, honestly.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three?

This is a difficult one. I think the consistency of participating on all rounds should be rewarded, though, so I'm going to go with giving a price for the top three, although having some rewards for the round winners can also be cool.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
If the latter: Should we go with a specific theme or can we allow everything ASM related with a broad theme (e.g. sprites)?

I think a specific theme is always more fun, although I'm not opposed to trying more broad themes.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?

That can also be very fun, but I think 72 h (a little over a weekend) should be the bare minimum to expect some quality.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
(To the participants) How much fun did you have?

I had a lot of fun during all the contest, while coding and even while I was following and reading the people's opinions and votes on my creations.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Is there anything else you want to add?

I think the scoring system should have been made public beforehand, at least the formula used, even if it's no big deal. I also though you were a good host btw, so no worries about that.
(apologies for the formatting, it doesn't exist for me anymore? >__>)

How frequent should Mad Scientist be?
I was kinda stoked for it since it was so rare. Might be cool to do it once a year. But at the very least on a schedule.

Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have have specialised judges similar to the other contests? Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?
No opinion really. But the people that could judge as specialist might be cooler to have participating. So that's something. Maybe next time have a panel and say 3 themes. Publicly vote for theme from list. That way panel has at most an hour head-start (or I guess more if they decided to code something for all 3 themes. But that falls under something my old Physics teacher used to say: "If you put enough effort into cheating well and not getting caught, Then you deserve to get away with it."). Then Panel of specialists can also participate because even if they give their own entry a bump it's not going to do much if all panelists are doing the same. (Panelist votes being 50% score like Von suggested is a good idea as well). Added benefit of nobody can fully hate the round theme since they helped pick it.
And on multiple versus single. It really depends on time constraints. 1 month for a single round sounds like a C3 thing for example. So it's a quantity/quality/pressure trade off. You go too far on any one of those and it's something different entirely. 2 weekends is fair pressure I think? (whether that ends up being 2 weeks exactly or not). Adding theme voting (if that), and final voting that means it's a 9 week contest though o__0.
Maybe launch all ships at once? Vote on 3 themes from a bag. All rounds start at start of month. All rounds end at end of month. They'd kinda be categories but not necessarily (you might get sprite/boss/water for example where the first two are clearly similar categories). Then you can burn as little or as much time on each as you want. Only problem with that might be people's personal time management?

If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three? If the latter: Should we go with a specific theme or can we allow everything ASM related with a broad theme (e.g. sprites)?
I don't really have a strong opinion on either of these. With how rare the contest was even the participation badge woulda been pretty cool. Going forward, if that changes, then that's a different question. But I still don't have a strong opinion even then.

Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?
Due to my 60hr work week this whole thing was 24hoASM for me... by my entry count you can see that didn't work out too well. Edits, like the final, could be done 24hr. But quality suffers a bit. I coulda done something really simple in 24hrs. And almost did something moderately cool when I raised the bar a bit. But all it took was one bug and that nuked any possibility of me entering. You can't really ask for help either given the anonymous requirement.

(To the participants) How much fun did you have?
cough. cough. Well nothing got entered so idk if I count, but I did half-finished stuff for every round. So I had a fair bit of fun. But yeah, time constraint was insurmountable and frustrating. I wanted to have at least _1_ entry by the end. But didn't happen :P

Is there anything else you want to add?
ln(n) / p .... good thing there wasn't only one entry round 3 or they would've scored 0 points! (I know you'd just give them all the points :P. Though that's slightly a bad algo? This is a 3 way tie for first with B in a close second. Drop any letter from a round and the results are chaotic.)

Round1:
A,C,B,D
Round2:
D,C,B,A
Round3
B,C

That said, after examining, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. There's some corner cases but overall for such a simple formula, you'd end up with roughly what you'd expect for placements (although overall scores are logarithmic so might be more fair presentation to linearize those after the fact so it doesn't look like it's so far-and-away one person just because of the algo)

Notes: I feel like you did fairly well reviving a cool old contest from the ashes! I really liked your first round theme. And the second round theme was fair task first iteration and was a good theme with lots of room for growth second iteration. Final task was very meh. I think tasks are fair game, they're just not fun if they're not unusual. And if they're unusual (Round 2), they need a bit of clarity (and learning time I guess? X3).
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer

How frequent should Mad Scientist be?


1 per year.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have have specialised judges similar to the other contests?


I think this kind of contest require judges, i dont know if only judges but at least 50/50 between judges and public.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?


I think multi-round is nice but should have prizes per round. 3 rounds is fine for me. Only 1 round will be boring if the theme is not interesting.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three?


Both, prize per round and also give a prize to the winners of the whole contest.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
If the latter: Should we go with a specific theme or can we allow everything ASM related with a broad theme (e.g. sprites)?


I think that a specific theme is better. Now Please a theme without edit code of other people. Also please select themes that gives enough space for creativity.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?


24ho or 72ho, no because asm requires time and that is very few time. I think a contest doing a level using a baserom with resources made during mad scientist, would be very nice, specially if after contest smwc does a compilation of all levels.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
(To the participants) How much fun did you have?


I think the contest was funny, specially second round. Now the theme of the third round was very boring for me, i really hate edit code of other people.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Is there anything else you want to add?


1. Longer Deadline, 7 or 10 days is very few time, i think 15 or 20 days per round should be fine.

2. Better criteria, i think you should separate evaluation in categories like Creativity, Flexibility, Most Impressive, Most Useful, etc...

3. Discount points for bugs.

4. More than 1 judge, i think there are a lot of good asmers and probably more than one could be judge of the contest.

5. All rounds should have the same number of points, because the first round for example participated like 12 people, but in the third round just 3, then what happend? if you win the first round, you win the whole contest. Usually the first round can have a lot of people, but second or third participate less people because lacks of motivation after see a bad place in the first round.
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I think it was a fine contest and definitely an improvement over the first one, even if there's still room for further improvement.

I'll try to repeat all of the feedback I gave on the main thread:

I would like for rounds in to be much longer in the future. A single week just isn't really enough to do anything, even two weeks wouldn't be a lot for people like me who can barely even invest a little time on weekends. I would like to see a contest going for at least a month or so.

At the same time, I don't think the contest really needs to have multiple rounds. Both contests so far have shown that the number of participants just declines with each round. While I understand that multiple rounds can lead to more variety and thus appeal to different people (for example, round 3 of the current contest was actually the only one that appealed to me), it comes at the cost of wearing people out and forcing them to do quick and shoddy work. While a lot of interesting stuff was submitted to this contest, I think everyone will agree that most of it ended up very rough around the edges. Not quite something that you would immediately drop into a hack without some polishing.

Generally speaking, I'm for a "quality over quantity" approach. Let's have just a single, lengthy round. That will not only give busy people like me a better chance at participating, but it will also allow for more playtesting and experimentation, leading to an overall higher quality of entries. I'm also generally reulctant to participate in contests if I don't think I can deliver something intersting and something that's up to my personal quality standards. For example, I actually had a semi-interesting idea for round 3 of the current contest, but I didn't even attempt participating, because I knew the limited time frame would have left very little room for experimentation and I would have ended up with something I'd personally consider sub-par at best.

As for the frequency of the contest, I'd be fine with a single contest a year, but I understand if that's not possible because of too many other contests going on. So I guess ultimately, my answer to that is "whatever works out for staff". I definitely hope the next contest won't have to wait another four years and hope this will become at least a semi-regular thing.

Also you did a fine job as a host, no worries there. Sure, there's still a lot of room for improvement, but that's just concerning the contest and its rules in general, not something that could be blamed on the way you hosted it. You definitely tried to make the best out of it, that much is clear.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Originally posted by anonimzwx
I think this kind of contest require judges, i dont know if only judges but at least 50/50 between judges and públic.


Originally posted by Von Fahrenheit
1. Get judges


If judges only inspect the execution, in the end they would have a aimilar vision as regular public (at most they could only make suppositions regarding how it's coded). For what I understand, Roy was actually a judge in the first asm contest, but just taking a look at his scores and explanations, they don't actually differ that much from the criteria another non judge could have made. I can agree they would have a more technical view point, but it's actually very hard, in my opinion, to justify for them to get a % of the score reserved for their own in this case.

If they inspect the code, what would be the criteria for code quality? Optimisation for space? Optimisation for speed? Code difficulty? Readability? It's not clear for me, and I feel in an ASM contest like this the criteria for scoring should be related to the creativity, potential and overall execution of an entry, not to some obscure technical criteria.
About judges: I went on with public judging because that's what the first Mad Scientist did (and in hindsight, it's also easier to host since you first have to think of the scoring cathegories and which judges to pick, though the staff team generally helps you out with it) but I also have considered to use dedicated judges next time (and if I don't host the next one, I surely hope the next host considers it).
There surely are advantages and disadvantages to both methods such as how everyone has got a different opinion on the entry but scoring is a bit caotic in public judging whereas with dedicated judges you can show off your resources.

However, something what will never happen: I don't see any point in mixing dedicated judges with public judging because you'd end up combining their disadvantages without using many of their advantages. Darolac brought up a good point why you should't bring a judge with public judging.

In addition, Mad Scientist is about creativity and doesn't care if the code is unoptimised. Aside from the time issue, that isn't much the point anyway of Mad Scientist. Same thing as with Idol and Super Famicompo: I'm very sure most submissions have got a bad MML since you can listen to the SPCs but don't get their source MMLs so there is no desire to waste energy for that.

This doesn't mean we can't host a contest which focuses on coding itself (such as code golf and obfuscated code) but Mad Scientist isn't one of them.

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Okay, my layout looks ugly.
Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
How frequent should Mad Scientist be?


the more the merrier, I think one type of asm contest per year should be enough (one 24hasm, one asm LDC, etc)

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have had specialized judges similar to the other contests?


I think public judging shouldn't be discarded, I would approach this situation with the speedrunning community tactic of just adding another category with actual judges. For 24 hours or 72-hour asm contests, public judging should be ok but for month-long contests or LDCs I prefer real judges.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?


Multiple rounds hands down, I prefer having more variety than having slightly less janky products. you could make a month-long contest for those who want though

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?


absolutely! I think adding more contests for different kinds of challenges would be amazing. Those who want more time and make a finished product can do the main contest, meanwhile those who want a low effort, fun, and fast-paced contest can duke it out in a 24hASM. ASMLDC would be by far my favorite of the three, I can already imagine worldpeace easily take the win.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
(To the participants) How much fun did you have?


I had TONS of fun, this is probably the most fun I had in a contest, the deadlines were just right for me and the themes were neither too specific nor too vague (maybe the boss round could've had all smwc bosses).

It was also a great learning experience. It was my first time trying windowing, color math, and bosses; I really can't thank you enough for this.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
Is there anything else you want to add?


If there are contests with real judges, I would like them to point out mistakes or opportunities to improve the contestant's code. I believe this contest can work as a learning tool for asmers of any skill level, instant feedback on a sprite or patch made in a time crunch could make them learn good habits lightspeed.

Even if nothing changes except making this contest an annual recurrence I will be happy. I cannot wait for the next one!

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I suck at ASM

My Youtube
Now, it's possible that I have misunderstood the purpose of this contest all along as apparently only presentation is supposed to matter. This makes me think it should be called a technical design contest rather than a programming/ASM contest, since it woudln't really be about the code at all... but someone was still disqualified for trying to access WRAM with SA-1, so clearly the code is supposed to matter, at least somewhat. This brings me to what I would like to see from further ASM contests. If this is not what Mad Scientist is supposed to be, that's ok, I just hope that the kind of contest I hope to see will be able to find some room as well.

I'm hoping to see an ASM contest with long rounds (maybe even one long round) where judges and public both get to vote. Public sees only the finished presentation and get to vote however they want. Judges also get to see the code itself and have predetermined categories to consider when scoring. I'll explain why as I go.

Originally posted by MarioFanGamer
However, something what will never happen: I don't see any point in mixing dedicated judges with public judging because you'd end up combining their disadvantages without using many of their advantages.


I strongly disagree with this. The upside with public voting is public interest, which will remain even with 50% influence. The downside of public voting is that the average user doesn't have the knowledge to fairly rate the entries, so scores get janked up. 50% influence minimizes this downside, it does not exacerbate it. The upside with judges is of course that the judge scores would (presumably) be more likely to go to the higher quality item. That's the entire reason you would use judges, as far as I'm concerned anyway. Less so with a 50/50 split, I admit, but that might be ok. Now, the downside with judges is that the public has less reason to be involved, and that's minimized with the proposed 50/50 split. Overall, you minimize downsides with both types of voting, while maintaining the upside with public voting and some of the upside with judges. It seems like a better alternative than either one separately.

Originally posted by Darolac
If judges only inspect the execution, in the end they would have a aimilar vision as regular public (at most they could only make suppositions regarding how it's coded). For what I understand, Roy was actually a judge in the first asm contest, but just taking a look at his scores and explanations, they don't actually differ that much from the criteria another non judge could have made. I can agree they would have a more technical view point, but it's actually very hard, in my opinion, to justify for them to get a % of the score reserved for their own in this case.


The Roy point is interesting but I can't very easily agree with it for a few reasons. Votes from the public fall a bit all over the place, so it's strange to say that one person's score doesn't differ much from the public. If Roy's scores happen to align perfectly with the average public score, that's still not an argument against judges or split scoring, at least not with a single data point. Having judges is an insurance against, for a lack of a better term, "low-quality votes". As with any insurance, it's not always going to be necessary but you would still rather have it. I don't expect my house to burn down, but I would still rather have it insured. We don't expect the public votes to be horribly misguided, but we would still rather have the judges as insurance. That's the way I see it, anyway, and why I propose the 50/50 split.

Originally posted by Darolac
If they inspect the code, what would be the criteria for code quality? Optimisation for space? Optimisation for speed? Code difficulty? Readability? It's not clear for me, and I feel in an ASM contest like this the criteria for scoring should be related to the creativity, potential and overall execution of an entry, not to some obscure technical criteria.


These criteria aren't obscure or all. They are technical, but I don't see how that is a bad thing at all when it comes to a programming contest. Optimisation is hardly the only thing that matters but it still does matter. The difference between a poorly optimized and well-optimized resource can easily be the difference of whether it works in the context of ROM hacking at all. Obviously these metrics are relative, as for the purposes of the contest it only matters how optimized a resource is in comparison to the other entries. I agree with all the criteria you propose for scoring and I think having judges infer these after seeing both the code and the presentation makes a lot of sense. Creativity shows in the code as well, that's where you see the actual problem-solving taking place. Potential is something that the public is the worst at evaluating because they usually have no way of knowing what the cost of using a particular resource is. Judges inspecting the code can much more accurately infer how far something can be pushed.

I feel like I've said enough as to make myself understood at this point. Like I said earlier, it's possible that I misunderstood the purpose of the Mad Scientist contest from the start. Still, I think I've expressed what I wish to see in the future and mademy case for why.

allow shy guy emojis in post footers you cowards!
I can see where you are getting at with the points you made in the last post, Von.

Originally posted by Von Fahrenheit
Having judges is an insurance against, for a lack of a better term, "low-quality votes". As with any insurance, it's not always going to be necessary but you would still rather have it. I don't expect my house to burn down, but I would still rather have it insured. We don't expect the public votes to be horribly misguided


If public are going to vote based on the execution and presentation I believe they can't really be "horribly misguided", because in the end those criteria are pretty subjective. I understand that if the contest was about evaluating more technical criteria such as the ones I listed, or others, then judges would be needed, but the rules state it clearly: "You can create badly optimised resources — only the results matter". In fact, the contest rounds lasted for roughly one week so if you start optimising code you might end up not having enough time for the release. My Boom Boom boss is probably my most unoptimized asm creation ever - because I didn't really have time to put some care into that.

If there's ever an asm contest in which code is actually inspected and evaluated, then I agree with you that it would need, of course, judges and longer rounds. In fact, I think a good idea would be to create that contest and make it separate from the Mad Scientist asm contest - I would also gladly participate. But the thing is - I'm not sure if there's enough interest on the site to host a contest like that, as it would be pretty niche.
I don't have an opinion on frequency.

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Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have have specialised judges similar to the other contests?
Indifferent, but I think public judging draws more attention to coders' work and lets them see a broad community perspective if they give any substantial feedback on top of the ranking. However, due to the amount of participation in judging per round being variable, it would balance out better if a per-round point cap were implemented by averaging score within a round.

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Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?
Opt-in, whether rounds are spaced like this time, or a list of themes is given and you get the choice of how many you want to participate in, is cool. The former is more suspenseful and the judging can be done in one sitting at each round end, and the latter gives coders a contiguous slab of time to work with but may be more burdening on judges if ranking can't start until closing.

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If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three?
At least badges. Possibly something more, I don't know. What do coders like?

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Is there anything else you want to add?
You know, if formally appointed judges replaced the current system, a "crowd favorite" badge for the most beloved entry in show would be cool to still draw people to check out the contest entries and let someone know they pleased a lot of people overall - not just in Mad Scientist, but other contests too. Keeping entries anonymous until after scoring is a great idea! I also like that judging is more centered around the whole effect of the creation rather than trying to weigh the parts.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
The thing about public judging is that it was all kind of bunched up together on whether it was about prowess, pizazz, the amount of features, whether it'd fit in an ordinary romhack or not... I'd honestly go for the 50/50 split Fahrenheit suggested for the ability to have an outsider as well as a specialist opinion.

As for times a year, part of me wants to make it like twice a year, one in each half, because I love seeing people flex their ASM muscle but I know that that is hard on the PR and Contest folk so. Do what you want I suppose.

Also go with the multiple, opt-in rounds. Some people need to let their noggins rest after a few rounds of ASM so! And reward people with badges based on the final result in the contest.

An ASMLDC sounds nice and could help encourage more level design flexing for ASMers (unless they partner with someone lol), but I dunno about 72hoASM. Just be gentle if you do decide to do the latter. #thp{^_^}

You were the best you could have been. If you ever need a spare judge I can try my hand.

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HackPortsASM
I am not a coder so these are mostly from my experiences from my general time on SMWC overall, obviously, ASM is very time consuming and complex in some cases but we still need variety.
How frequent should Mad Scientist be?
I would say in general we need at least 2 Mad scientist (biannually) or general ASM contests a year not counting C3.

Do you think we should continue with public judging much like the music contests or should have specialized judges similar to the other contests?
as others have suggested, both judging styles are useful, but have cons, with public judging there isn't much along the lines of "is it stable, is it coded well?" it's just "oooo this looks cool".
specialized judges can be too uptight and may not give credit to well-designed creations over well coded but bland creations.
I would recommend a mix so we get well-made creations that are also just really cool and fun.

Should we go with multiple rounds (idol styled) or with a single large round (*LDC styles)?
I see both as useful, but I think multiple rounds might be more useful as you can have different themes at a time instead of just "here is a list of things you can do" as it leads to more duplicates and some things being skipped.

If the former: Should we give a prize for the most scoring user per round or count the score in total and give prizes for the top three?
If the latter: Should we go with a specific theme or can we allow everything ASM related with a broad theme (e.g. sprites)?
there should be prizes for at least the top 3, maybe top 10 depending on the number of participants, as for theme it should be multiple themes but more based on level themes, and a few more technical themes.

Do you think we should have different types of ASM contests such as ASMLDC or 24hoASM/72hoASM alongside Mad Scientist?
more contests would be helpful to accomplish the goal of getting more varied creations in SMWC


Is there anything else you want to add?
overall we need more variety in creation themes from these contests (ASM based at least, graphic and music are pretty commonly having new stuff added), this past mad scientist one had some interesting concepts, but when it comes to SMWC in general and ASM contests there is so little in terms of new content, everything is repeated or just general gimicks and its only during C3 that we generally get any sprite creations at all and even then some are just newer forms of existing things. (there are at least 6 types of grinder and thwomp, plus mostly old basic bosses) and yet people only want more of the same which is really stagnant and apparently was an issue before. in peronal experience ive been on here for a couple years at the very least and tried to request things, ive tried to follow contests to see if anyone creates anything thats new enough to be refreshing but all i see are just the same things over and over, basic modified clone, basic modified clone, basic modified clone, modify plain old boss, repeat.
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