After a really fun two weeks, 2020's Get-Together has come to a close. At the end of each year's GT, we ask those who ran and participated in the various events to provide feedback on how the GT was run so we can apply that feedback to future Get-Togethers and make each one better than the last.
We would appreciate it if you could provide feedback on any elements of this year's GT that you particularly liked or disliked here for us to reference when we plan the next. We'll try to respond to your posts here as best we can as well, although we do ask that feedback be constructive and related to the GT as a whole more than on individual events.
The last Get-Together I participated in was the one from 2018, so I can't really make any direct comparisons to anything I can remember.
Anyway, I think the event was pretty well organized. I think some very unfortunate things happened and affected how the event was to be hosted. Obviously this stuff is out of control and I can understand how certain events or morale may be affected.
I ended up writing too much so I will put these in spoilers. Sorry. I don't know why I wrote so much, probably cuz no one else wrote anything.
I really enjoyed this event and I think the hosts did a good job hosting. Fafrir and Aaron were both very inclusive and tried to get everyone to join the fun, often stepping out themselves if numbers were above the limit. I also appreciate Zach stepping in to host for the NA people who may have been busy at the other times.
However in my opinion, Jackbox could have had a different point distribution than the one that was posted (this has nothing to do with the hosts). Perhaps participation points of lower quantity may have been a better choice for this event. There are two reasons I propose this.
The first is that while some Jackbox games are anonymous in voting, certain others are not. What this entails is that you know who you are voting for in certain games, so you can in theory vote for members of your team in order to try and get them GT points (I believe this may have happened once or twice this year). Even if no one exercises this option, I think it would be more fun if no one had to worry about who was winning and just focused on the game, instead of having a competition outside of the game. Having participation points would probably be the best in this case.
The second reason for my proposal is that I think 50 points is way too high for winning one session. Jackbox was played almost daily and had at least 5 games per session. That's 250 points up for grabs for maybe like 10 days out of 14, which I think is a bit high considering the point distribution of other events such as the SWC (200 for 1st) and Arcade (50 for 1st in a game) and the relative time needed to get those points. Obviously, kudos to you if you do win a round of Jackbox, but I just feel like in some ways it takes away from the winners of the other events since the points given are so high.
Jackbox was also at strange times for a lot of people, which takes away the number of people who are able to contribute to a win. Again, I'm not trying to guilt the hosts in any way, as I think they did a great job hosting and I personally had a lot of fun with the event. My point is that, compared the SWC or Arcade or other daily events, the number of people who can participate is lower, so it seems almost unfair to me that so many points are given. Anyone can participate in SWC or Arcade, and spend 10 days writing a story or grinding games. But if they happen to have a busy life or live on the "wrong" side of the planet, then they miss out on way more points for an event that they didn't even get to attend. Yes, you can say you actually have to win Jackbox and victory is not guaranteed for any given person. But someone is guaranteed victory for Jackbox and the point distribution seems unfair to me.
Obviously, I can only speak for the events I participated in.
I especially want to shout out Aldo and Hyzenthlay, as they hosted multiple events and were extremely timely with their daily updates, which definitely made it easier to plan my participation in these events. Oh, and I guess Aaron too. Jk <3.
SWC was good, I had a lot of fun participating in it. Very big thank you to the judges for reading through everything and providing constructive criticism and being impartial.
Fortune Cup was really fun for the days that it was active. I've had a below-average experience with a previous Fortune Cup, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I was having for this one. Definitely fun with more people. I think I was kind of having a Fortune Cup relapse during the second half of GT, so yeah, props to you, Shawn. Results could have been announced earlier but it was not really a bother (also must have been time-consuming having to watch like a hundred replays).
Eevee's Arcade was fun as well, and a classic. Ensemble was a great choice of a game. I liked it a lot since it's less about grinding or spending a huge amount of time to farm a really high score, and more about finding a good strategy. Leaderboard update was timely as well. Though I will say that if you don't plan on counting yourself for placing high in the games, then put a disclaimer next to your name. If you do plan on counting yourself...well personally I don't think it's best practice since you get to choose the games.
I feel like Speed Drawing could have used a panel of judges instead of one judge, or at least had some order of anonymity to it. Personally I also feel like the criteria was judged inconsistently between both times the event was hosted.
Web Game Jam I will say that I did not read the thread thoroughly at first since and did not know that I was to post in the thread if I was participating. However, once I decided to participate, the thread was updated with "PM me if you're interested". Despite being non-interactive, I do appreciate this event being hosted as it allowed me to have a reason to program something within some sort of deadline. After finishing, I did get a big confidence boost in regards to my own abilities, so I really have to thank this event for existing. I do kind of wish that the results were posted despite the (assumed) low number of participants.
Pictionary was fun (especially that night when everyone was baiting with their drawings) and actually almost fixed my sleep schedule because I had to wake up at 8. Unfortunate that Sophie had to tend to other things because IRL stuff.
I think GT was pretty well hosted and organized. Again, unfortunate that IRL stuff happened. I don't know how realistic a contingency plan is since one of the main hosts was affected and it obviously impacted a lot of events. I think the Island Challenge event was going great and was extremely fun and was a great topic of conversation as well, and it sucks that things happened the way they did.
I don't know how much the IRL stuff affected this, but I do kind of wish the theme was more prevalent during the event. It kind of felt like there was no identity to most of the events other than the Island Challenge. Was not really certain what the buildings were used for. I do remember there being an Ultra Beast contest in 2017 and I think that those kind of events are really fun since they're "on-topic" and also allow users to bring out something creative. Make-a-Mega in 2018 was also good as an event since people from different teams got to all come together to work on something that was more creative. I think something like that was missing this year.
Anyways, great event. I had a lot of fun. Thanks for reading.
The maps were essentially just a visual representation of the point scores and a fun little mini-game of sorts as people got to come together and build their village. The trouble was, outside of just unavoidable bad luck with some stuff, that I/we made an error in our estimations of how points would accrue - like you identified. I didn't realise how many games each Jackbox session would get through, for example, which resulted in points wracking up much faster than we anticipated to the point that we just couldn't keep up with the maps - which were filling up way too quickly for their size.
I think going forward, we should be more thorough in estimating how quickly points will accrue for GT themes where we have a threshold system of points like this year. For more standard point systems where the points don't unlock anything and just count for themselves, I don't think this would be quite as big of an issue. Although, you're not the only one who has voiced that it seemed a little odd that small daily events technically earned far more points than long-standing events.
Though I will say that if you don't plan on counting yourself for placing high in the games, then put a disclaimer next to your name. If you do plan on counting yourself...well personally I don't think it's best practice since you get to choose the games.
I understand your point, it's why I asked GT management about my eligiblity but didn't got any answers so I decided to do like previous hosts had done.
This GT was cursed. At least for me. From the moment we first started planning it all the way to its ending, there were problems following me in real life. And I'm sad it affected my events. And I'm sorry for everyone who participated in them for my sudden disappearance. I hope next year I'll have better luck.
But overall, I think the GT went well. There was really nice selection of events and a lot of active users. I think this was one of the most active GT in last few years. We (as GT hosts) underestimated how many points will each team earn and how fast they will earn it, which is something we'll probably should take in account next time.
When it uses its special stick to strike up a beat, the sound waves produced carry revitalizing energy to the plants and flowers in the area.
Compared to last year I felt the event was more responsive and lean in terms of what stuff was going on, communication with the event hosters, and that kind of stuff. This as particularly notable with the corrections to a few borks in VG Trivia, for example.
It was still not as responsive as some of the earlier events (I fondly remember GT 2017, it felt more a "community" thing despite I would not be able to properly place the why into words at this point), but it was still very well organized in my participant opinion.
As it befits a yearly event with a very specific timetable for abstract working (eg.: you can't really go past day 2 in choosing what to write for SWC, not with my writing style), GT was somewhat "cursed" for me as well, but I managed to somehow make it through. Under normal circumstances I would care more, but 2020 has been enough of a year that I was willing to take the ready chance to try and focus myself on the event and ignore Outside™ at least for a little while.
SWC earning only 200 points
I could make a joke about "I ran my characters through hell and all I got was X points" but then again some of the other writers in the writers-desk would agree with me that we make our characters suffer for free (or for sweet drama points) anyway, heh.
I would certainly suggest that the event is better graded in future instances, in particular considering that a) participating in it consumes an important amount of focus and creative effort that then can not be well used in shorter / daily events and b) it *is* one of the events where literally you won't know any of your scoring or progress until the very end, unlike eg.: VGM Quiz where besides it being a semi-daily, you get some minor amount of feedback about how your team is doing, and thus is more "community-engaging".
Music in VGM Quiz
One thing that I'm not sure if it's an issue with the site, with the theme, with the browsers or with the music itself, was that during VGM Quiz I could not make the music samples work unless I logged off of the site, or say in a private window / private tab. Not a dealbreaker (everything else worked, including Save As), and definitively not something I'd archive as a bug considering I had no reliable means to test what was going on (nor the time or focus to delve into Programmer Mode) anyway, but a weird behaviour that I hope does not repeat itself in future instances but that I leave note of in here juuuuust in case.
Admittedly between SWC, 2020 and work in general I could not really participate in more events that were not SWC itself and the VG and VGM trivias, which has also been the case in previous years. But I'm glad that I got still enough juice to contribute to all three.