Jim

[TC25] Technic Shrinking Contest - Information Topic

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2 minutes ago, allanp said:

I'm not sure how you got to that statement based on your complaints TBH.

It's not only about my complaints stated here, it's also about track record of what happened in some previous contests, at least from my point of view. Good example was how TC20 - Studless Recreation went down in the end. One of the winning by popular vote entries was "disqualified" for using modern approach with panels and not just frame with wholes, despite the requirement being explained as it has to be instantly recognizable, which the entry obviously was. There were 7 total entries with the modernizing with panels approach, I think, which shows it wasn't that clear and proves my point that contestants will spend their time doing something based on initial explanation of the rules and then it occurs at the voting stage that it was meaningless because they didn't fit the valid interpretation of the rules.

We will keep having contests with great topics like this one, where we'll end up with a lot of great submissions like now we have, and jury will have to figure out which model should take the podium despite two or more models 100% fulfilling the criteria of the contest. So despite there not being a criteria for more functions or more effort, more complexity, they will have to count at some point despite the terms of the contest having no such things in criteria, because jury has to pick something in the end. And I'm not saying the popular vote itself is a solution for this either, because again, if the terms don't go precise into details, it's again up to everyone's interpretation.

The argument about Jim's time is IMO wrong here, not to take away from him spending his free time on the contests, but if he's not spending more time to flesh out the terms clearly at the beginning, he will have to spend more time answering questions and figuring out the results fairly. My argument is that by not making clear and precise criteria, the contests keep creating traps for people to fall in, and when they do, they will feel like they've wasted their time.

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@SaperPL It seems you are building 99% for the contest and 1% for fun, that's why clear contest rules are so important to you.
If you would be able to turn that around, 99% building for fun and 1% for the contest like most of us here, you would have much more fun and less arguments.

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57 minutes ago, Berthil said:

@SaperPL It seems you are building 99% for the contest and 1% for fun, that's why clear contest rules are so important to you.
If you would be able to turn that around, 99% building for fun and 1% for the contest like most of us here, you would have much more fun and less arguments.

Agreed, but thank you @SaperPL for clarifying. It could be that most of us here are Technically minded, good at solving problems and therefore also good and finding ways around things, including rules. You can't really define a rule for every scenario otherwise you'd need a 500 page document written by a lawyer! So just try to have fun :classic:

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1 hour ago, Berthil said:

@SaperPL It seems you are building 99% for the contest and 1% for fun, that's why clear contest rules are so important to you.
 If you would be able to turn that around, 99% building for fun and 1% for the contest like most of us here, you would have much more fun and less arguments.

I would say it's 50:50 for me, not 99 to 1. Still the problem here is not that I'm not winning, but the problem for me is taking part in a challenge where conditions may change afterwards based on the interpretation, and that feels to me like a waste of my time. The challenge of making a build for the given topic is nice, but if afterwards I see that I did not understood the rules the same as they were valued, it's not fun for me anymore as it starts feeling as I wasted the time because of that, where I could make different choices if criteria interpretation was clearer from the beginning. And I already said that I'm pretty pedantic about the rules, but I also believe that better rules will mean more contestants will re-enter in following contests if rules make more sense to them and challenge is more approachable.

29 minutes ago, allanp said:

You can't really define a rule for every scenario otherwise you'd need a 500 page document written by a lawyer! So just try to have fun :classic:

Yes, but no. I'm not saying for every scenario, but criteria for originality could have stated whether it includes the pick of a set to shrink or not. And how that originality would be treated, whether being about picking out some obscure sets or picking out sets that depict things that we don't often build, so something different than trucks, tractors, sport cars etc. Things like how is the jury going to decide between two entries that have full scores outlined criteria. Also does shrink ratio matter or not apart from being a requirement to be a reasonable amount of shrink? I didn't get an answer for that - if it doesn't matter, than IF someone went ahead and sacrificed build quality for heavily shrinking down to a small scale, now he's done it without knowing it doesn't really matter that much. Also we don't know whether keeping the original colour scheme/not keeping it will be a part of staying true to the original, where picking a set that you can source parts in specific colour might be treated as a part of the challenge.

Voting criteria has literally one line - two sentences in total. I'm not saying that it should be 500 pages, but it could be a paragraph for each of the four criteria that we have here. You have extrapolated it a bit too much by estimating 500 pages document.

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I myself have done my fair share of complaining about rules in the past, but I try to see it this way:

A competition is mostly a community build challenge, which, I think, has two parts to it that make them fun:

  • inspiring people to build something they normally don't
  • invoking community feeling because of multiple people tackling the same challenge, sharing their progress and learning from each other

This by itself is valid reason to hold competitions. But as a bonus, there are even prizes offered for these challenges!

 

Of course, there can be questions about what is the spirit of a particular challenge, but I feel that it's pretty clear what the actual challenge here is meant to be: pick a set you like, and build a smaller version of it, while trying to make it similar to the original. Of course, you can find edge cases like taking a 100-part set and building a 50-part miniature, but we all understand perfectly that this is not what this challenge is about.

 

@organization: @Jim: Maybe, a lot of the trouble will go away if you replace the word "contest" or "competition" by "challenge". The firast 2 words emphasize that there is a battle, that can be won or lost, and that the goal is to win or to beat others; the last word much more underlines that it is primarily a way of expanding your building experience and have fun.

 

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I would imagine the jury will be made up of staff (Jim and Milan) or maybe members from this forum, not some algorithm interpreting rules in a script. I'm sure they will see many variations of ways in which the rules have been interpreted by the contestants and will judge accordingly, mostly by how impressed they are, like those ice skating judges holding up cards from 1 - 10. You don't always know why they scored what they did, you just got to impress them. Besides, the contestants aren't being paid and it's all for fun, so I don't think the jury members would want to say "your submission sucks because....."

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@SaperPL I’d love to know what you think is wrong with your build against this competition? I’ve just looked for your entry thread and think it’s a great model and hits the brief perfectly.

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I never thought we would come to this kind of discussion here :sadnew:

And I certainly do not appreciate a confrontational path with Jim, who has been doing this for a decade in his free time, organizing everything here, answering questions, and engaging in discussions, always maintaining professionalism and politeness, and always being "one of us".

Not to mention all the behind-the-scenes tasks, like his constant lobbying for us to receive all those nice sets for prizes, to receive free shipping to the winners, and sometimes even using money from his own pocket for shipping, or sending his own private sets as prizes, as well as responding to all the private content-related PMs, emails, or DMs on other platforms.

So, please, before this goes any further, let's slow down and appreciate what we have here. Let's value Jim's effort and just have fun creating new models, solving building challenges, and showing our creations to others.

In short, enjoy the contest :sweet:

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2 hours ago, Seasider said:

@SaperPL I’d love to know what you think is wrong with your build against this competition? I’ve just looked for your entry thread and think it’s a great model and hits the brief perfectly.

It's either let's say 100% for originality because I picked up a set that multiple people stated they didn't even know it existed, or it's 0% because it's a truck with elevated bed so it's a pretty common topic.

It has 3 functions beside steering, so if it gets 100% points on all criteria and competes against a bigger model that has all 100% of stated criteria, but that bigger model has more functions, my entry will probable lose there.

One of those functions is fully manual, so it's one step more than what we've been okay with so far with knuckle boom cranes and excavator arms where you have a knob at each stage and not input routed to the tower. Will this be penalised or not? It's worth noting that almost no of the tow truck sets have fully functional tow bar/tow tray because they either have it too close to the arm holding it, or it doesn't tilt so you cannot pivot the towed car when steering the tow truck. Does this count the same way as the acceptable true to the original model or not? If it's gonna get penalised for this not being mechanically actuated, then it's like 33% of it's original functions while for example winch not being implemented fully in extreme adventure is like just 1 out of 8 functions - does it matter?

By the way I don't know if building in original colour scheme will have significant value. One of the reasons I picked this set is because of it's colour scheme. If the color and for example stickers were to be negligible in how this is valued, I probably would've picked something different and made something in different color theme. A good example of the problems I considered was the extreme adventure set's purple panels that had to be replaced with blue. At this point I feel like penalising those who picked sets they couldn't replicate in original scheme could be a bit too much, but at the same time someone will have to get short end of the stick - either it's them, or those who chose specifically sets that they could replicate with correct color theme while potentially risking other features being implemented with imperfections.

Also about the set choice - I feel it's kind of in the middle of the stack when it comes to number of features that are not that common in models that the community is building. If the number of unique/complicated functions that are not purely car steering/drive/suspension/engine doesn't matter, then the optimal choice might have been to go for 41999 as two of contestants did. I feel/have a hunch like this might have been easiest build ot make because we're all building cars with suspension and there's a lot of ideas on how you can implement those mechanisms. But if the number of unique functions does count, this could have been a bad bet to go with something like that. Similarly if you for example were to pick a sian as a target and make it with parts from recent tecnica sets.

I'm not sure if that answers your question though. Whether it's something wrong with it or not remains to be seen how jury will vote.

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Excuse my language and I don’t mind if I get a ban from saying this but Jesus you need to take a chill pill. You’re over analysing things to such an extent you’ll never have the answer you want.

As to your model I do know that set, perhaps as I’m old(!) and actually it’s one of the sets I’d love to own but missed from my Dark Ages and not willing to pay some of the prices I’ve seen for it.

I’m not going to go into the very precise detail of your response as to be honest it just shows how you’re taking this way too serious and I’m sure you’d only respond with further negative comments.

To put your comments into perspective I’ve been to many a car show (one of my other hobbies) and when Judges rate cars I’ve never seen anyone question the precise detail of judging criteria to the same extent you’ve done here.

I’m  going to end this here and if it’s the end of me on Eurobricks so be it … it’s been fun while it lasted

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37 minutes ago, Seasider said:

Excuse my language and I don’t mind if I get a ban from saying this but Jesus you need to take a chill pill. You’re over analysing things to such an extent you’ll never have the answer you want.

You asked and I elaborated :D Like I explained to Jim already in the generic contest topic, it's my OCD of digging into things like this because that's part of my job in game development.

55 minutes ago, Seasider said:

To put your comments into perspective I’ve been to many a car show (one of my other hobbies) and when Judges rate cars I’ve never seen anyone question the precise detail of judging criteria to the same extent you’ve done here.

This is not a good reference because there is a precise baseline that you don't need to explain, where the vehicle probably should be street legal, you're using either industry standard parts fit for their job or have some parts custom made for the specific build. You don't compromise on doors because you can't ft a steering wheel etc. Also I'm guessing there are not a lot of shows where a construction vehicle would be competing against a car or a bike.

Also with explanation on the ruling in previous contests there were situations when they went in detail like that. And otherwise if you'd just get a number of points you got for specific criteria and the criteria is vague or you just get a place for your entry, it still doesn't let you know how you should improve next time.

All-in-all it boils down to the fact that we are taking part in the contests for various reasons and IF you want more new people to take part in them and keep taking part in them, you should cater to the newcomers' needs and their perception of the contest as well.

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2 hours ago, Seasider said:

Bye all !

Don’t go @Seasider, you are valued and contribute great things to this group! I’d love to see you finish the plane too!

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It happens to be I have two dogs at home at the moment. One is our own Chihuahua which we have 'ordered' because we like his father very much. Turns out the son is a bit different and more like the mother, still a sweet dog but asking for attention a lot. The other dog is a Labradoodle staying here as a guest. We didn't raise that dog, it was raised as a baby and so it acts like one. It is asking a lot of attention and mostly in a negative way by barking. So I've chosen to ignore the barking and only give the dog attention when it acts in a positive way. That corrected its behavior in a positive way a lot. It think we need to do the same here. Ignore the barking until behavior improves. 

Edited by Berthil
typos

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9 hours ago, SaperPL said:

it's my OCD of digging into things like this because that's part of my job in game development.

Let me be a bit direct. I recommend that you try to fix your OCD. You're digging into too many details for a community creation contest.

Otherwise, I recommend that you be patient. As a person who develops Lego Mindstorms models as a job, my occupational disease is that I can't stand gear skipping,(especially it's sound) but I don't point out one by one with it on other people's models.

Edited by msk6003

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So far I think Jim and Milan have done a near perfect job of running what is one of the best competitions we've had in years, with some of the best entries and lots of people having fun.

If you are a runner in a race, you don't get on the podium by passing the drugs test. Likewise, in this competition, meeting all criteria 100% only gets you in the competition, every eligible entry that the jury will be voting on will meet the criteria 100%. Therefore it necessarily follows that they will be looking at things that we all already know makes a good model such as build quality, number of functions, clean-ness of the design, build sturdiness/wobbly-ness (easy to tell by looking in most cases), centralized controls vs localized controls, number of functions and complexity as well as competition specific things such as creativity in replicating functions while sticking to the rules and amount of shrinkage (a teeny tiny build is obviously going to impress more than a build that's only slightly smaller, all other things being equal). All of these things will just have to be looked at from the very start because all the entries will be compliant otherwise it wouldn't be allowed as an entry. I don't think there is any need to fully write out as part of the competition rules all of the things that we already know makes a good build. It's up to the contest participants to know what makes a good build just like it's up to the runner of a race to know good training techniques, despite specific training techniques not being clearly stated in the rules. We could go on all day saying, what about this, what about that, but never mind the details, if you're asking about it then you already know it's worth thinking about. As for who wins based on all those details, that's for the jury to worry about, that's why we have one. Just make the best and most impressive entry you can.

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3 hours ago, msk6003 said:

Let me be a bit direct. I recommend that you try to fix your OCD. You're digging into too many details for a community creation contest.

Otherwise, I recommend that you be patient.

Look, for me the current approach to how criteria are laid out imprecisely and later judged makes it less fun.

When I want to discuss this when the competition is not on, the response is let's wait for the next contest to be laid out. When I ask about how criteria will be judged during the contest, the response is to wait and see the results. And "Trust me bro, we'll judge it right"...

When I criticize with arguments why I believe this is a problem, instead of discussing it with counter arguments for why shouldn't we have criteria slightly more fleshed out, it's either "it's just for fun" or extrapolating to "you'd want 500 pages of rules" which imo are not reasonable arguments in the discussion. I don't think anyone brought up a counter argument that more open criteria are good for creativity or something like that, because that could have been a good start for the actual discussion here.

The argument about Jim's effort to source and handle the rewards is a good argument, but for a discussion about having contests more often. And when we had that discussion, and some of us stated that we would be okay with more contests without physical rewards, there was a reason behind having actual rewards, so I feel like at least for Jim that only 1% being about the rewards vs 99% about building might not be so true when it comes to bringing new people to the contests.

12 minutes ago, allanp said:

If you are a runner in a race, you don't get on the podium by passing the drugs test. Likewise, in this competition, meeting all criteria 100% only gets you in the competition, every eligible entry that the jury will be voting on will meet the criteria 100%. Therefore it necessarily follows that they will be looking at things that we all already know makes a good model such as build quality, number of functions, clean-ness of the design, build sturdiness/wobbly-ness (easy to tell by looking in most cases), centralized controls vs localized controls, number of functions and complexity as well as competition specific things such as creativity in replicating functions while sticking to the rules and amount of shrinkage (a teeny tiny build is obviously going to impress more than a build that's only slightly smaller, all other things being equal). All of these things will just have to be looked at from the very start because all the entries will be compliant otherwise it wouldn't be allowed as an entry.

And mostly I would agree with this kind of approach, if it was clearly laid out what's the criteria for winning - in your example of a runner race it's not like everyone goes in a different direction, some go uphill, others go downwards etc. It's clear that everyone races on the same/complaint path (same distance and difficulty) and the winners by decide by who gets to finish line faster. It's a clear criteria. But for one look at TC20 - Studless Recreation results, where the base criteria were not so clear so two solid entries were "disqualified" in a way that doesn't really make sense, so we even have a track record of baseline being not clear to the contestants.

For two, what's my problem with how we use this approach with criteria being the small baseline and leaving a lot of parameters up in the air is that again more functions, bigger build will score more points than a small build despite both scoring 100% on the baseline. If the size & more functions is the part of build quality voting criteria, then it's not obvious to newcomers and we all already know isn't good enough imo, but also it means the contests are kind of pay2win this waywhere having big repository of bricks + more time for building bigger models will mean competitive advantage over another entry if both have 100% on the baseline. If it's all we already know about how we should judge the build quality, then why not state it once and re-use it for every contest by linking to that statement or including it in the opening post? Then it would be clear that amount of functions does indeed matter in the end, so if you can't afford building something big/complex, then you're not having a chance to actually compete despite fully adhering to the voting criteria.

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I had my hypnodisk entry into the robot wars contest disqualified for reasons I didn't agree with, contests ran by unpaid talent for free won't be perfect but they are always fun to build for. 

People with bigger parts collections are like people with better genetics for running. You can't legislate for that and it's not pay to win. I don't have the genetics to win the 100 meters gold medal but I'm not gonna cry about it, that's life, and I'm still going to enjoy exercising if I choose to! 

And you do have a clear path to run this race. You know the rules to get you to the start line and where you need to go, you know how they will be judged and what makes an impressive model (the questions you've asked and the good quality of your build are evidence of this) to get you over the finish. Just do the best you can with what you have, that's all any of us can do.

Anyway, I can only repeat myself so many times. I'm moving on from this to enjoy the contest and many more to come.

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I, for one, value greatly the effort and time that @Jim puts into arranging these contests. I hope we'll see many more of these to come, as they are one of the more interesting aspects of this forum and a big reason why I come here. Don't let the complainers put you down, there are far more of us who enjoy and appreciate your work!

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On 8/16/2023 at 9:53 AM, Milan said:

 

So, please, before this goes any further, let's slow down and appreciate what we have here. Let's value Jim's effort and just have fun creating new models, solving building challenges, and showing our creations to others.

In short, enjoy the contest :sweet:

Thanks Jim. 

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This is a really good contest! Glad there is a place were this happens and there are so many fantastic builds! Thumbs up for the contestants and kudo's for everyone in a hurry to finish the entry. Good luck everyone! 

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15 hours ago, GerritvdG said:

This is a really good contest!

I think so too, in my opinion this contest has the highest level of models since I've been looking here. Every entry can be on the podium and it's very hard to choose the best.
I'm curious if there will be a public vote, even completely independent of the votes of the jury.

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On 8/16/2023 at 12:26 PM, SaperPL said:

but if he's not spending more time to flesh out the terms clearly at the beginning, he will have to spend more time answering questions and figuring out the results fairly. My argument is that by not making clear and precise criteria, the contests keep creating traps for people to fall in, and when they do, they will feel like they've wasted their time.

Jim has gone to great lengths as more competitions came to be on Eurobricks to have more and more detailed rules. He would still get questions about stuff already mentioned in the rules and he'd still answer them with amazing patience. Milan and Jim have also in the past made replies in topics for a contest that a model might not meet the criteria of the contest to prevent people from "wasting their time".

 

On 8/16/2023 at 12:52 PM, Berthil said:

@SaperPL It seems you are building 99% for the contest and 1% for fun, that's why clear contest rules are so important to you.
If you would be able to turn that around, 99% building for fun and 1% for the contest like most of us here, you would have much more fun and less arguments.

Reading the comments from SaperPL just on this page, it really feels like it is even though he claims it's 50/50. He build an awesome model for the contest, one I'd be happy to build once I got some more free time on my hands. As long as you enjoyed designing it and are proud of it, does it really matter where it ends up in the ranking? Even if it didn't fall in the top 3, it's not like that hasn't happened before with great models in competitions here. Sure, you can disagree with the public voting or in this case the jury, but at the end of the day, is it worth getting this worked up over it and overanalyzing it? I'd hope not, but it seems you already made your choice.

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4 hours ago, Appie said:

As long as you enjoyed designing it and are proud of it, does it really matter where it ends up in the ranking?

I have something to say about this. yes. I enjoy designing and I love the finished product, but ranking is also important to me. Especially if it had the most views among all contest entry topics, but didn't even make it to the top 30%.

And unlike others, when your posts get very few replies. <- This also has to do with why WIP posts are posted when they are finished and not in production. Why post while in production if no one is replying?

Edited by msk6003

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