Pyggy Awards Proposal

I've put together some ideas for a pyweek followup event:

Brief summary:

Do you think this would be a good idea? If there's enough support, I may start to think seriously about organising it. (That is, if nobody else volunteers first! :-)

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I think it's a great idea. I especially like the part about not having to base it on your own entry (I was going to suggest it if you hadn't already put it in there).

One thing I don't agree with however is this bit:
Code libraries and assets may be used provided they were publically released prior to the previous PyWeek.
What is your reasoning here? If someone wants to port to a newer library I feel that should be allowed. The point of the "one month before" rule for pyweek is so everyone has a level playing field for creating a game in a week. I don't see a similar impetus for imposing such a restriction on a 3 month dev cycle.
As already stated I'm quite excited by this idea. It's not made clear in the proposal - would the 3 months date be when Pyggy Awards entries are submitted, and thus you would have all of the time between now and then to work on them?

I have the same concern bjorn has about the libraries / resources restriction.

Would you like to host the Pyggy Awards as part of I would be keen to see that happen.

As an aside, the judging system you propose is quite interesting! I will ponder it futher... but "based on the PyGame categories" should say PyWeek? :)

gcewing - we have been discussing this quite a bit on irc, and it is indeed a good idea. One idea was that we would be able to work on our games in the month or (insert time-frame here) following pyweek, then have a week-long sprint again at the end - to regather attention.

The main problems/questions I see with your ideas are:
1: can we work on our games in the interim - if not - I think that will turn off some people.
2: if we can't work on entries prior to this new comp, then we will spend most of the comp acquainting ourselves with the code - and that will lose more productivity.
3: I second bjorn's suggestion that you allow new code-bases.
4: It seems that your idea is geared less towards polishing up the games - in which case people would need more time to dissect the code they are planning on polishing - and more towards having another pyweek with the theme of working from an existing game...
5: finally, I think that the 3-month thing would be very difficult, whether we allowed people to work on the games or not in the interim - either they will lose focus or finish up there changes too soon, or they will be forced to spend more time during the compo to evaluate and plan dev action for their entry, whether it was originally theirs or not...

Sorry if that sounds harsh, I'm typing kinda quick here and just wanted to let you know ;)
Good luck either way :)
This can be great!!!

Maybe the authors must be allowed to 'opt out' the team game for the upgrade sprint? or reserve it?

I think the 'upgrade sprint' has so many posibilties that it would be better make two or tree drafts and poll people 'Would you participate with draft k:__(0..9)'

Maybe setting a forum o mailing list to discuss and make the draft(s)?The current layout would be too flat to follow.
Sounds interesting! As far as judging goes, I think there should also be a "Most Improved" category. Although going back and reviewing the previous game as well as the new one could be quite painful (given as many entries as PyWeek).

For the record, we've been working on Robot Underground since the competition ended, and plan to continue working on it for the foreseeable future. Under some proposed sets of rules, this would disqualify us from entering it, which would make us unhappy.

However, I think that those rules should probably be in force. If the point of this competition is to get people to work on games which would otherwise be abandoned, then it's a bit silly to allow people to enter with their pet project. Instead, people should be forced to work on something which hasn't had that attention. That way more games get worked on, and we all benefit.

Responses to some points people have made:

Code libraries

My reasoning is much the same as for PyWeek -- to provide a level playing field. We'll be judging people by what they come up with in 3 months, so it seems reasonable to give them all equal resources at the outset. But maybe it's not that important -- I'd be happy to remove all restrictions on library use if that's what most people want.

Note that there would be nothing stopping you from making improvements to a library during the 3 months and using those. Also I'm timing it from the beginning of PyWeek, not a month before. So there would effectively be no restriction on using a personal library as long as you release whatever version exists when PyWeek starts (or whenever I decide to start the 3 month clock).

Time allowed to work on games

You are absolutely allowed to work on the game during the 3 month period. That's the whole point -- to give you a reasonable amount of time to produce a polished game without a lot of pressure.

Hosting on

Seeing as the web site would need much of the same functionality as the pyweek one, this could make a lot of sense. Would need to look more closely at the technical issues involved.

RB[0] wrote:

It seems that your idea is geared less towards polishing up the games
Well, it's meant to be about polishing the games. It's really intended for people to work on finishing their own games, in which case time to get up to speed on the code isn't an issue. The only reason for allowing other people's games to be worked on is that I can't think of much reason to disallow it, and there would be no way of enforcing it anyway. Also, if the original author doesn't want to continue with a game, but someone else does, that's one more chance to bring another good game into the world.

Loss of Focus

Something that needs to be decided is whether to allow games to be uploaded throughout the 3 month period, or only during some window at the end. Having an upload window would increase the sense of occasion and provide more of a focus for people to come together. On the other hand, getting people to try out and comment on the game during development is vital to getting a polished result, as well as rewarding in itself.

So I'm not sure how to proceed there. Maybe have a scheme where people can sign up as beta testers for particular games and get preview access to them? But then what's to stop everyone from being beta testers for every game?

Most Improved category?

Not sure about that one. My idea was that a Pyggy would be something you could proudly use when promoting your game -- "Most Innovative Game in the July 2008 Pyggy Awards" sort of thing. "Most Improved" doesn't work so well that way, since it's not a property of the game itself, but more of a delta from some other game.

A mailing list

Would definitely be helpful! I don't have the resources to run a mailing list server myself right now -- anyone want to volunteer? Failing that, I could set up a Google Group.

Martin wrote:
For the record, we've been working on Robot Underground since the competition ended, and plan to continue working on it for the foreseeable future. Under some proposed sets of rules, this would disqualify us from entering it, which would make us unhappy.
It's certainly not my intention to disallow that -- it's exactly the sort of thing I want to encourage!

Is there something in your reading of the rules as I proposed them that would disallow your entry? If so, I need to clarify them.

Not in your set of rules, but there has been some discussion of such on IRC, etc. Personally, I would have no problem being disqualified, for the reasons given in my previous post.

One thing that worries me is that people will restrict themselves unduly in order to qualify for the competition. If I can make a better game by using newer libraries, or unreleased code I have lying around, or assets which aren't quite public, I'm going to do that. The nice thing about PyWeek being over is being freed from the limitations it imposes on development. If the point of the Pyggys is to encourage turning PyWeek entries into (even more) polished high quality games, then these restrictions need to vanish. I worry that the rules as you've suggested them place too much emphasis on a "level playing field", and not enough on encouraging people to do what's best for their game.

"encouraging people to do what's best for their game" sums it up for me, really.

Martin makes a very good point. People should do whatever they can to improve their game, if that involves using the latest release of a library or a different library altogether that wouldn't have been allowed during PyWeek because you can improve the game by doing so then it should be permitted. Possibly you want to ensure that entries can be distributed freely but I can't see a need for much else.

So I'm not sure how to proceed there. Maybe have a scheme where people can sign up as beta testers for particular games and get preview access to them? But then what's to stop everyone from being beta testers for every game?
Anything less than "people can look at games whenever they want" would sort of disrupt us people using Google Code's SVN repos to maintain our code. They enforce public checkout, so if we kept using them people would necessarily have to be able to see the game whenever they want.

Nice to see another suggestion for a Py- competition. Perhaps if enough of us think of various ideas we can have enough competitions to get lazy people like myself to make games year-round.

I certainly don't have a problem with people doing open development. I won't be one of them, but that's our decision as a team, and not something I feel should be enshrined in the rules. If a team is comfortable with their work-in-progress being publicly viewable, I think they should be free to make it so.

gcewing - ok that sounds a lot better now - thank you for clarifying :)
My only request is that the up-to-the-sprint time be 1 month - instead of 3 months.

I think any longer and it might get annoying - but also, I think it is the perfect duration to clean most pyweek games, and it would then allow people then to expand beyond pyweek - but from a much more polished stand-point.

The whole reason pyweek is a week is because a lot of people don't like compos that run for that long - and I think being involved in a Pyweek project 6 months out of a year at least would be way too much...
@RB[0] - if it's a one month sprint, it better be the one month following pyweek because people always do a bit of polishing their game even right after they upload their final and I feel that excluding these people will only hurt. But since many of us are playing the games for half the month, and may be burnt out from the preceding week of coding, that effectively cuts it down to two weeks or so! No I think the full 3 months is necessary. No one is forced to work on it the whole time, but it allows people to find where the work fits into their schedule, and a nice (relatively) leisurely schedule will allow people to add the features they want and still have time to do testing and bug squashing, tweaking, and polishing.
Yeah - well, the main question is when to have the sprint - with whatever time leading up to it being allowed for improvements if people so wish - I was thinking one month after pyweek - but you make a good point for later on, so I don't really care.

Either way - as long as it happens I think it will be fun ;)
The consensus so far seems to be that 3 months is okay, so I'll leave it at that for now.

A couple of details to resolve:

When exactly should the 3 months be measured from? The end of the PyWeek submission period, or the end of the judging period?

How long should the Pyggy judging period be? Two weeks? More? Less? Included in or following the 3 months?

I think the three months should start immediately - so as not to disallow those who start work immediately anyways.

For the judging period - there are either going to be a massive number of entries - or not *too* many - either way - I would say the two weeks is good for now, and we can tweak that later depending on the entries or something.
But definitely after the compo ;)
My intention was always to allow people to continue working on their game immediately. The only issue is how the time period from PyWeek to the start of Pyggy judging should be measured.

If it's 3 months from the end of PyWeek judging, and there is 2 weeks of Pyggy judging, then the whole process is going to be 1 week of PyWeek development + 2 weeks judging + 3 months + another 2 weeks judging, which is over 4 months altogether -- that's probably a bit much out of a 6 month period.

So how about starting Pyggy judging 3 months after the *start* of PyWeek judging? That gives people 3 solid months of development time, and nearly another 3 months to recover before the next PyWeek (assuming judging is less stressful than coding!).

I've updated the proposal page in light of recent comments.

OK, so given this is a Good Idea what do we need to do to move it forward?
I dunno, our team has entered it, to the extent that you can enter it at this time :)
I have one idea though - if no one has a problem with using for this, why not just set up another competition page like a regular pyweek, but the special rules for this compo there and stuff :)
I think that would generate some interest and stuff.
Also, you might want to send out a global email to catch those might have lost interest for the time being :)

If you, or whoever is setting this up, needs some help, I would be willing to help out :)
I've been discussing it with Greg and having it be part of is fine by me. I've still got some work to do setting up the Google Code project, but planning for the changes to the site can definitely go ahead. Let me know your google login and I can add you to the project.
Not sure how much I'll be able to do, until I learn django, but we'll see :)
How about if "Most Improved" is not something that judges vote on directly, but it can still be awarded based on the difference between pyweek and pyggy scores for the same game
Most Improved could probably be simply the production/innovation scores... especially as innovation won't be as big a factor with a continued project when you are simply trying to finish another...
My only suggestion would be allowing games from previous competitions, maybe just for the first one. I'd quite like an exuse to beef up my last two games, for example, while I really don't see the one I made for this PyWeek going anywhere.
I'm with Tigga on this one. There should be some obvious exclusions though, for the games that have already been taken further from the pyweek entries.
Yeah, you can expand any previous pyweek release games, not any newer releases after them :)
Cool - and good luck :)
Is this actually taking place?
I'd like to know too.
the irc room is deader-than-dead, and once again I'm working on other projects again more than our entry.

If this is actually running - and people are actually competing - that would be a good incentive for me ;)
Also, use the diaries and irc more, please, so we know you are there :)

Wait a second... so if (hypothetically speaking) someone wanted to improve upon my game, they would have to throw away all the fixes and improvements that I had made since pyweek ended, and fork their development away from mine based on my final pyweek release, right?

Seems to me that this runs counter to the goal of improving games. Does this mean that only games which have been abandoned by their pyweek authors should be considered candidates for the Pyggy contest?

Yeah - this would be a problem.
I think there have to be one of two rules.
a: you can only use games from this last competition, or
b: you can use any game and continue it, even if it has been worked on outside of pyweek already...
No no, that's not right at all. If you are already doing a lot to your game after pyweek is over, then you don't need a "pyggy" or whatever to motivate you to improve the game. You are already doing it. This is an opportunity for abandoned games, as Bob the Hamster says, to be improved.

Although I wouldn't actually be against games that have already been improved being a part of it, I would much rather see games that never got any extra polish but deserved to finally become more complete games.

More selfishly, I want an excuse to go back to my first few pyweek games and have actual motivation to improve them :)
I wouldn't object to there being some kind of "open division" where a wider variety of games is accepted, e.g. games from any previous PyWeek rather than the immediately preceding one.