View Full Version : ATTENTION : PGD Annual 2007 - Stage 3 hint for entrants

Sascha Willems
21-03-2007, 08:39 PM
I just saw that the first person already uploaded an entry for stage 3 but after downloading I decided not to try it out cause of the following reasons :
It's an installer!
This may be fine for redistributing a final product but not for something in-progress that I have to quickly test. I don't actually want to have to install games for the mid-stages to try them out and having to un-install them later on.
It's in spanish (I guess) or whatever language!
As if the above wasn't annoying enough the whole installer is in a language I can't even read. The texts, the captions and even the buttons. Dunno what to say about this...

So please do as everyone in the 2 first stages did an upload your entry as an archive (no matter if it's a zip, rar or even 7z) but not as a setup or something like that.

I would have pm'ed the entrant himself but I don't know if he is even active over here, at least I couldn't find a user with his name. So I thought to make this a public thread so maybe you (gilmareis) also read this.

22-03-2007, 10:04 PM
I'm sorry Sascha, but I think you're being a little harsh in this case..

1, It's an installer... it's in the rules that Installers are allowed as long as they install and uninstall cleanly. There's nothing to say that you can't use an installer.

Each submission will be either a single archive, compressed with a common format(Zip, RAR or GZip), that contains the executable and ALL other required game data and library files that are CLEANLY organized within OR a single installer that will both install and uninstall cleanly.

2, It's in Spanish, I would agree that it's hard to judge a game or a text file in a language you don't know so the developer should include an English translation. But I wouldn't say that they can't include their own language if they want to... they've probably got Spanish (or whatever language) people testing things for them, using the same readme file for the instructions. Perhaps suggesting a better icon system or allowing for an alternate language would be better than slating their entry directly.

As long as there is enough detail in English to allow the judges to judge, I don't see the problem. If this isn't the case, then the entrant needs to address this.

How about a game like Captain Blood, where the game player had to learn a brand new language in order to play it?

22-03-2007, 10:15 PM
Slightly off topic... Captain Blood was an excellent game :-D I've been trying to get hold of disk images of it for an age (before anyone shouts pirate... I own an original copy for the ST)

Back on-topic...

Whilst the rules state that a single installer will do, I have to agree with Sascha. From the perspective of a judge, zips are much friendlier at this point in the competition.

It takes long enough just unzipping... having to go through the trauma of a full install when you're trying to get things done quickly... we have personal lives too ya know ;-)

We can't stop you submitting entries as installers, but we (well... Sascha and I at least) would prefer ZIP files for the convenience of quick installation/removal.

22-03-2007, 10:21 PM
I am not sure what the problem is. A simple installer would be no slower than a zip file.

A good installer is also a no brainer. Open exe, next, next, next, and final screen launch app. Then when you are done testing go to "start menu" and click uninstall.

And at least you you know that all the elements of the program are going to be the correct place.

However, I would agree that an installer in Spanish is not on. All installers that I have ever used have language support.

Robert Kosek
22-03-2007, 11:27 PM
Uh, sorry to butt in here, but not really.

Inno Setup installs cleanly over existing installs, letting you "upgrade"/"patch" an existing install to the current version without ever uninstalling until you are absolutely through. I figured you would want to know.

It also supports many languages out of the box, it's free, and you can bundle a multilingual installer in no time flat.

Please don't consider me rude, but your arguments are just silly. In the same time you have extraction take it'll install, create shortcuts, and offer to launch with minimal end-user input and thought.

Knowing that, I don't see how a freely packaged, easy to use installer that supports your language and "install-overs" is ever an "unfriendly" choice -- even in the alpha/beta stage. Besides, I've installed some games (Delphi demo stuff) with installers in German and haven't complained once; an unspoken rule of installers is the first button is "< Back" the second is "Next >" and the third is "Cancel" ... given that the license page is bloody obvious, this is just a bunch of nitpicking.

Sascha Willems
22-03-2007, 11:39 PM
Well, it's NOT the usual installer like InnoSetup (or NullSofts installer) and you actually have to check a checkbox with a spanish label before you can click a button to continue installation.

But the game itself pops up a lengthy message box before starting which is asking you something in spanish, the game itself is spanish too and (I can't believe it) this is the readme (even the readme has a spanish filename) :

Leia-ME Mar07



There is no single english explanaition nowhere to be found. There is an additional rtf file called NaveHelp.rtf but it's also in spansh. In my eyes this is ridicoulus!

If you take part in an international contest with international judges (three judges, each of us from a different country) not providing anything in an international language (and the widest known language is english and not spanish or whatever) is an insult in my opinion.

And there are even some more things in that entry that upset me as it also seems to include copyrighted material like music and stuff, actuall I don't know what to say...

23-03-2007, 12:19 AM
Yes, I see your point regarding the Spanish language.

Maybe something to consider for next year's competition - make it international.

Robert Kosek
23-03-2007, 12:34 AM
Sascha, that should be on a per-entry basis and I can see why you aren't pleased. I wouldn't be either. But the angle of "forget installers early on" just because of a single entry was a bit more than I was willing to stomach -- especially when the sentiments were echoed by Athena. There's a pretty clear right way and wrong way to do things and this entry clearly was on the latter side (especially since they're using copyrighted music!).

23-03-2007, 01:35 AM
Just to be clear, my dislike of installers has nothing to do with this one entry. I have a variety of reasons why I prefer ZIPs to installers.

So whilst the competition rules state installers are allowed, at this stage in the competition I would personally prefer that entries are contained in ZIPs.

23-03-2007, 02:11 AM
I really have to argue the other side of this. If their native tongue is Spanish then why would they think to upload the game in any other language? There is nothing in the rules that states that entry's must be in English. In fact, I've seen Spanish, Russian, and many other languages utilized here on the boards. Sure, its difficult to play a game or run an installer in a different language, but its not impossible.

Unless a language is specifically stated in the rules of the competition, you can't hold this against the entrant. Utilize any of the translation pages and see if you can't get something from it. Yes, its an inconvenience, but don't blame the entrant.

We, commonly run into this when we do contests and sweepstakes for our customers. Unless we specifically state that the content needs to be in a given language, its our responsibility to either have it translated or take appropriate action to have a native reader/speaker judge the entry.

Sorry guys, and gals, but this isn't the entrants problem. Its very arrogant to call English the universal language. Actually, there are plenty of other languages that are as common (if not more common) then English. Spanish, Standard Chinese, Canadian Indian (I don't think I spelled that one properly) to name a few. I will grant you that English is considered a universal language, course so is Latin.

A reasonable request would be to have some translated screenshots or callouts that aid in your playing the entry. Also a translated version of the readme could be requested, but according to the rules, not demanded.

23-03-2007, 08:59 AM
I'm not usually one for being a stickler to the rules, but I don't like rules being changed on the fly by the judges. If the rules are to be changed, change them and announce it to everyone.. don't just decide for yourselves.

The rules were defined and agreed before the competition was launched. The enterants have to obey those rules, so they read them, learn them and attempt to follow them as best as they can. It's not the job of the judges to suddenly change the rules because it's inconvenient for them. If something was inconvenient, it should have been discussed beforehand.

I also have a problem with the tone of the initial post. (Sorry if it seems like I'm bashing, I'm not, I just want to see a more professional tone taken on here) The entrants project was openly bashed on a public thread by one of the judges because it was presented in an unfamiliar language using an installer (neither of which are forbidden). This could have been resolved in a much more polite manner by sending an email to the enterant. In respect to the apparent copyrighted music, are you sure they don't have permission? If you're not sure, you should email them, warning that copyrighted material is not permitted without permission. If they don't respond, they're obviously not interested in competing and can be disqualified, if they have permission but didn't say, fine, they should amend their readme to clarify. But don't bash publicly.

Let's remember what these competitions are for, they're to promote Pascal game development and a friendly community. How is that achieved with threads like this?

23-03-2007, 10:17 AM
Not that it matters, but the language in question is actually Portuguese and I think more specifically, Brazilian Portuguese.

Btw, I sent an email to the entrant in question and asked them to look at this thread. I hope he can read English.

23-03-2007, 10:27 AM
This whole issue is being blown out of proportion in my opinion and is not doing anyone any favours. Just remember, we volunteered to do this, we don't get paid and we are trying to be fair to ALL teams.

To address your first point, at no point in any of the posts from Sascha has he requested a change to the rules. Neither have I. We have expressed a preference for how entries are delivered at this stage of the competition. A preference, nothing more.

You have to remember that we will be installing (if stage 2 is anything to go by) 18 different sets of software. Its a matter of convenience for us. The more convenient it is, the quicker we can get things done.

The entry itself wasn't bashed in the initial post, just its delivery. One of the requirements of this stage is a readme file (two of the three goals depend on it). Unfortunately, the readme in this case contains no useful information (it is IIRC 3 lines long). Its not until you've actually run the game do you get anything that even begins to tell you how its played. I tried translating it as jdarling suggested last night and didn't get very far. Now if we can't read these files (or translate them), then what are we supposed to do?

The only real option is to give the entry 0 points for the sections that require the presence of (or reference to) the readme. With this in mind, Sascha has actually given this entry a chance to fix the problem BEFORE the deadline. He could have kept his mouth shut, but since we are both testing stuff for people before the deadlines (something which didn't happen last year), he has in my opinion done the right thing by raising this as an issue.

Agreed, the rules do not state that entries should be in english, BUT, trying to translate the kind of stuff thats in a readme with an on-line tool, as my efforts have so far proven, is difficult at best and more likely to be impossible. This is a stumbling block, because if we can't translate an entry, what are we supposed to do?

With regards to contacting teams by email, we have no access to the teams email addresses... Sascha pointed out that he would have contacted him but couldn't find any contact details, so he did what is fair and raised the issue publicly, giving the team time to resolve the problem.

So to recap, we aren't trying to change the rules, we are merely expressing a preference for the method of delivery of competition entries at this stage of the competition. And, by raising this Sascha has been fair to this team by giving them the chance to fix a problem BEFORE the deadline.

23-03-2007, 01:27 PM
Before this does in fact spiral out of control into a comment, reaction, overpowering defence followed by bad feeling all round thread, I'd like to make a couple of points perfectly crystal clear.

I replied to the original post, because it was rude. It was unprofessional and not what I would have expected from a competition judge, Voluntary or otherwise.

The quite obvious rant was not in the best interest of the competition and certainly not designed to help the enterant, merely to vent frustration and push a personal preference against something allowed within the rules upon the rest of the competition enterants.

This is not the behaviour I expect from a judge.

A judge holds a position of respect. What a judge says carries weight and influence.
Even if a game was submitted containing offensive material, I wouldn't expect it to be ranted about on a public forum. I would expect that Savage was contacted (in the absence of any direct access to email addresses) and he could either contact them (which he has done) or move for disqualification.

I have no idea how the enterant is going to react to this thread, if it was my project being ranted about, I would be furious, I'd quit and I'd never come back here.

If the judges wish to steer the enterants towards a particular protocol, please do it politely and in a non-personal way. There is no need for bad feeling, naming & shaming or venting spleens. Direct emails can be sent, warnings given, and so on.

If something allowed within the rules makes your lives more difficult, then the rules should be changed and an announcement made. Simple. As long as the rule change is not too drastic, I'm sure no-one will mind, as long as they're told about it so they don't accidentally fall foul of the changed rule.

At the end of the day, we're all in this together with the same agenda.

To close, I have the upmost respect for the judges and the difficult job they do. I appreciate the work they do and their attempts to ensure that problems are solved which would otherwise lead to a loss of points. I respect the lenghts they go to promote fairness and feel confident that this will continue and rule breeches will be dealt with in a polite and fair manner.

I'm not going to say anymore on this, I've said what I felt I had to be said and hopefully, my position, rightly or wrongly is clear.

Best of luck to everyone.

Sascha Willems
23-03-2007, 01:34 PM
Actually I dont' see where I ranted about the project? I only ranted about the installer and lack of english documentation (and the that's a rather huge part of the scoring), and not about the project itself but from now on I'll refrain from posting stuff on entries.

23-03-2007, 02:01 PM
Well looking at things as unbiased as I can, I'd have to say that we have two problems here.

1) Sascha (and the rest of the judges panel I'd imagine) cannot read or speak Portuguese.

2) The team did not write their readme.txt in a language which we all could read.

Now with regards to a judge expressing his own personal preferences, thats fine. I see no great error in this. However since the competition rules do clearly state that single file installers are acceptable, it will be treated in the same manner. And I know that they will do their best despite their own personal preferences to rate and score everyone fairly.

However, lets be practical. (I was going to translate this entire post in Spanish to make my point, but that wouldn't help you much would it? ;)) If the judges of the competition cannot read your readme.txt or run your game, or be able to install it so that it will run on their systems, it is going to cause problems. And this will obviously only hurt those teams that submitted their entry as such.

Generally though, when you make a game for an audience of people you have to cater to that audience. If the intended result is a failed on them, it's not their fault for not getting it, it is that of the creator or creators. It's all a part of the process of creating something that can be appreciated by others.

Our judges from year to year have generally been pretty good to excellent. I'm sure that they will do their best to treat every team's entry fairly and act in the best interest of the PGD Annual competitions and those that participate in it.

Thats all I've got really. This isn't really an official word, rather my opinion instead. But honestly I don't see that anything I've said would be all that radical so take it as you take it. ;)

23-03-2007, 02:16 PM
What's going on here?

I don't think that anyone intended to offend anyone else. So... :?: