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astrofish
12-10-2002, 10:41 AM
I've been told by the administrator that the CGChallenge site was accepting entries for this challenge for the _entire_ duration of the challenge.

On my computers, the site only appeared to be open for submission for most of the 9th December, and I only just managed to enter because of this.

In order to find out whether this was a problem with my machines, or whether the site really was only open for a few hours, I'd appreciate it if people would respond as to whether they could submit entries prior to the deadline, or not.

From talking to other people, I get the impression it wasn't just me, but maybe it wasn't everyone...

Note: I'm talking about submitting entries consisting of a still and a link to a thread. Nobody has been able to upload a movie file yet.

Please vote in the poll, and post any comments you have.

johs
12-10-2002, 01:35 PM
I experienced that i could not connect to the cgchallenge site, for about half an hour, after it was possibel to submit enteries. I was abel to see other web sites in that period, but perhaps it was my internet connection that sucked, i don't know, some times the internet do funny things.

Arioch
12-10-2002, 02:49 PM
I don't recall exactly when I was able to upload my still image but the site appeared to me to not be accepting for most of sunday. I did refresh the page often but maybe we needed to clear our browser cache or something. Also I had to scramble to find webspace when it was decided last minute that we needed to host the files ourselves.

But I think the real problem is the idea of only being able to submit for one day. I've got no problem with having a strict cutoff time but it would be nice to upload something a few days in advance just in case we are unable to get connected or upload the final day. This wouldn't have to be something visible to others untill the day of voting, to keep cgchallenge's bandwith issues to a minimum and keep the voting fair.

Maybe the next competition should require from the beginning that we host at least a copy of the final submission ourselves and follow a stricter guideline for things like file name and max file size, for example the file could follow the thread naming convention. This way throughout the month you could be updating your VFX_Challenge_Name.mov file and if some last minute catastrophe prevented you from uploading a final submission at least the challenge site would have a pointer to the latest version you were able to upload. If the cgchallenge site plans on hosting the animations for us in the future then whenever the submission deadline was hit whatever file resided at each contestsants link would be uploaded to the server and represent their final submission. If they don't plan on hosting the files we would just have to make sure people didn't update their work past the deadline.

astrofish
12-10-2002, 03:18 PM
Hi Arioch,
My understanding is that what you've described is pretty much the way the other CGChallenges do actually work, and the way this one was supposed to work.

I.e. you can submit an entry well in advance and keep updating it any time up until the deadline, at which point you can't change it anymore, and voting then becomes active.

I think that this is a good system, but a couple of things went wrong with this particular challenge:

1. The administrator said that the challenge site was accepting submissions all month, but from a user perspective it wasn't... This only seemed to affect this one challenge.

2. Couldn't upload the actual animations.
It sounds like this won't affect future challenges as they are planning to add the ability to upload movs (and were hoping to in time for this one - maybe the server crash delayed it).


One other comment. You suggested that maybe people could host the files offsite, and when the deadline arrives, CGTalk grabs the latest version from each persons site. In principle this sounds fine, but it would be bad news if your site hit a bandwidth limit at that time and refused access (Geocities anyone?). Because of this, I think that the challenge site really needs to host the files. It just sounds like they didn't get that bit coded in time for this challenge. Presumeably it will be in place for future challenges.

This means that the Earthquake challenge is the only one where people potentially could keep working past the deadline.

Since CGTalk are judging this one, not the voters, and no-one can know when their submission was downloaded then anyone changing their submission has a good chance of being spotted. Anyway, I would hope that people are going to be honest...

Knut
12-10-2002, 08:14 PM
As i stated in my post in my thread, panic hit me like a rock when i woke up on the 9th (In Oslo, Norway) to see that the submission page was active. I had to jump in a cab and rush to work where i had the latest version of my piece and upload it. Would have been a bit more comfotable to know maybe 24 hours in advance when and how long the upload period would be.

One other thing on my mind was the voting system. The scores (From the votes) should be averaged so that it it easy to see what score people gives. Now you can recieve four 5's = 20 but antother recieve ten 2's = 20. Just a suggestion. Anyone against or pro that?

Besides all issues, this was a great experience for me.

Knut

Arioch
12-10-2002, 10:29 PM
Knut,

As far as the voting goes I like some of the ideas posted about this in the animation challenge section. One was to hide the scores to people who are not participating in the challenge, presumably only untill the voting was over. This way voters are not tempted to only check out the most popular entries and only vote for those. The other idea was to randomize the diplay order of the entries each time someone came to the voting page to give entries and equal oppertunity to be seen by those who only have time to check out the first few entries. I think both of these are good ideas but who knows how hard that type of functionality would be to code. Since the challenges are expanding and getting their own site however we might as well bring up this stuff to those in charge now, while they are still working on the functionality of cgchallenge.com

astrofish
12-10-2002, 11:15 PM
Knut:
I can see where you are coming from with the scoring, but I think it's tricky either way. On the face of it, ranking being determined based on average vote sounds fairest, but if you only get a few votes, then this average isn't very reliable.

For example, suppose someone submits an entry which is embarrasingly bad. No-one votes for it because it's so bad, except for the person who submitted it who gives themselves a 5. They've now got an unbeatable average (5/1 = 5) and will almost certainly win...

As long as you've got 'enough' votes on each to average out the noise (maybe 50 minimum?), then I think that averaging is a good idea.

Arioch:
I do like the ideas that you are suggesting, specifically the random listing order, and hiding the vote total until it's over.

Actually, why not hide the voting totals from _everyone_ until its over, including the entrants?

I like the approach they take for contests over on http://www.3DLuVr.com.

There, nobody sees the scores until it's all over, and nobody even knows who submitted each entry until it's over. This sounds very fair to me.

Naturally, this wouldn't be very practical for a WIP challenge like this one, but for other challenges I think it's a good idea.

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