2021 MISAOS - THOUGHTS, IDEAS, PLANS

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The Misaos have some issues that have become apparent over the course of the last few years. Ideas have been thrown around but the biggest issue seems to be two-fold:

1- Games are being nominated for categories that they do not fit and due to how the site works, cannot be manually removed.

2- Not enough nominations within categories to allow for a good amount of fitting games to judge from.

On top of those issues are the usual ones:
- not enough people playing the games to nominate/vote them
- not enough marketing during the year to keep the misaos in mind


Now, bar having some edits to the backend to allow edits to the Misaos, I've come up with a kinda simple idea that might help cover some of these issues.

- Keep the normal nominations as they are. No change to the set-up of the nominations at this point - through the year you can nominate the games on the site that you think fit a specific category.

- Use another site for the voting section. This would use the usual nomination round-up using the base form results, but curation would occur to cut out games that don't fit in the proper categories and add games that were well-recieved during the year.

- Adding games that were overlooked or not nominated. Usually we require 2 nominations to get a game into a category for voting. In this case we'd have a couple of staff who have played games over the year to nominate their top picks. Possibly tap the top reviewers of the year for their thoughts, too, and also add any event winners and front-paged games from over the year (both Featured and Spotlights).

- More instances of rounding up and review drives to get people playing more games released during the year.

- More marketing for Misao Nominations, possibly including raffle draws (there's one on at the moment!!!) and mini-events with badges.



Of course, this is just an idea on my part, but one I think would help get the Misaos back into swing. If you have ideas, let us know.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19498
I mentioned this in the other topic, but, I think a conversation about what RPG Maker games people are playing can be had in the gaming diary thread. Though, alternatively, I suppose we could sticky What RMN game are you playing now? to cultivate that discussion as well. Not just simply for the Misaos, but, like, just in general.
How about a review event at the end of the year aimed only at Misao nominated games? Or any sort of event that encourages people to play more games and talk about them before nominating, I dunno.
Fomar0153
error 404: user title not found
15203
More review drives might help, also calunio's idea of a misao review drive.

Alternatively you could try and get a couple of people for each category to review all the games in that category. Then if possible with the new voting site show snippests e.g.

Year of the Hedgehog Nominations
Best use of animals/doggos/pets/hedgehogs/lobsters in a game this year.

Game 1
Libby: "Only one hedgehog who is a minor character, dissapointing.
Fomar: "While the hedgehog only appears briefly, their role can not be understated."

You could also go the eurovision route and have both the public vote and a committee, who rank the games and then the amalgamated score determines the winners.

The categories could really do with a clean up as well.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19498
Maybe there can be an Incubate the Dream tie-in with the Misaos? Like, for example, there can be a mini-event about playing, and commenting on, Seasons 4 games after that resolves.

I dunno, maybe I'm focusing too hard on event-games because 2020 was not a good year for event-game nomination, despite the girth of event-games that were mentioned.
author=calunio
How about a review event at the end of the year aimed only at Misao nominated games? Or any sort of event that encourages people to play more games and talk about them before nominating, I dunno.


I pointed this out already in the other thread but we did this last year. and the problem with doing it at the end of the year is that RpgMakerAddict reviewed most of the good ones - but the cool part was that I used his reviews to highlight a lot of the games peeps didn't get a chance to play. If you're going to do a review drive, do it during the summer months. Because most of the best games released during the summer months carry over into the fall and the misaos - There's never not been a good game release during the summer months. It's the sweet spot.

If you want changes, work to your strengths here. Focus on things that can get easily done, and come naturally from using this site, that involves the least amount of time and work.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177

I am a big fan of the offsite voting idea! Anything that gives more control to the voting process while not overtaxing our code doodz.

author=Marrend
Though, alternatively, I suppose we could sticky What RMN game are you playing now? to cultivate that discussion as well. Not just simply for the Misaos, but, like, just in general.


Yes please!

author=calunio
How about a review event at the end of the year aimed only at Misao nominated games? Or any sort of event that encourages people to play more games and talk about them before nominating, I dunno.


Part of the problem is that end of the year is a really busy time for most people, and currently misaos are mostly populated by well-known/reviewed games anyway. The root issue is just a lack of nominations throughout the year, IMO.

author=Fomar0153
You could also go the eurovision route and have both the public vote and a committee, who rank the games and then the amalgamated score determines the winners.


While this would be neat, it would also take FOREVER because the judges would have to play every game. This results in delays of a million years on contests that limit the games to about an hour; imagine what multi-hour epics would be like. We'd still be waiting for the judges by the time the next misaos happen!
How about you guys make a forum post where people add games they think are notable then get a bot to add it to an excel. Excel could be like
Title:<name of game>
Recommeder:<person who recommended. If more people post the same game then more names will be added here. That way people know it's legit>
Tags:<category you think it fits in, e.g Story, gameplay, event, GOTY>
Then near the end of the year people can take a look at the excel and see what has good recommendations
author=lowua
How about you guys make a forum post where people add games they think are notable then get a bot to add it to an excel. Excel could be like
Title:<name of game>
Recommeder:<person who recommended. If more people post the same game then more names will be added here. That way people know it's legit>
Tags:<category you think it fits in, e.g Story, gameplay, event, GOTY>
Then near the end of the year people can take a look at the excel and see what has good recommendations

This is the way iisheron did it before actually. which was good.

-One of the problems however is, keeping track of games throughout the year.
-The Second problem is getting enough nominations: As great as it is that BeetleNinja got nominated in several well deserved categories, for a game that was large unrecognizable throughout 2020, it really only needed two to get nominated and unfortunately these nominations go onto effect how we vote as well - do you guys like this system the way it is? Should we go back to curating through a forum and recognizing notable games? The only problem with going back to that sort of system is figuring out a way to keep track of the games we have throughout the year, which is what RMN's current misao nomination system is setup for.

Like, the purpose of the misaos is just to get a really great collection of games from the end of year. That's a really good misao year.

1)What we really want to do here is keep track of games throughout the year.
2)and find a way to nominate more games that haven't already been nominated.



Voting here was no problem, voting this year was fantastic. 1200 seems like the new normal. It could go higher but this seems like it's the new average. I would really would like to hear from Mirak and Cap_H cause they made some really interesting points in the previous thread.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19498
For what it's worth, some of the older Misao seasons didn't really have a nomination period. It was straight-up voting throughout the year. At the very least, I recall 2010 working something like this, as my very own Matsumori Days somehow garnered exactly one vote for "Most Promising Demo" for that year. However, this is not to say we should abandon the nomination period, as that kind of system would probably have the same problems as our current nomination system, where a user can vote for a game that makes no sense for Year of the <Spirit Animial> whatever category.

That aside, what's currently the best tool a typical user has to figure out what games could be nominated for a Misao if they have no clue what came out? I think it's ultimately the download added reversed, exclude commercial games filter. Granted, it returns all the games on the site, and that's by design. If the filter could be narrowed further by a specific date period, finding those games would be easier. Though, I have no idea how hard that would be to implement!
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
Editing beckend would be ideal. I don't know about using an off-site tool. That might end up being chaotic and I believe it's extra work.
I have a slightly cheesy solution to the lack of nominations problem. I don't think people should be that afraid to nominate games they haven't played for most categories. You usually can get glimpse of visuals and audio without playing. We might use the nomination thread to plead other members to also nominate games some of us already nominated. I think that it's always better to have more nominations than wasted votes. And you don't need to be super responsible with them, there's still the voting round and plenty of time to play the games meanwhile.

The other thing I would do is to regroup individual misaos in several categories (visually). Every group could have a foreword explaining how to nominate in it (basically making it clear that if you nominating Theia in all categories isn't the right call and that you can play other games too, which fit remaining categories better).
1)Main categories (GOTY, Visuals, Gameplay, etc.)
2)Specific categories (demo, event game, dark souls)
3)Off-beat categories (hedgehog, kentona, punniest, trippiest, game name)

I believe an end of year review drive will help a lot too. I don't think summer review drives help a lot. Actually, I don't think all year round drives help a lot, but a very visible november/december campaign should. Like even with 50 active users, there should be different numbers of nominations in some categories.
author=Cap_H
Actually, I don't think all year round drives help a lot, but a very visible november/december campaign should. Like even with 50 active users, there should be different numbers of nominations in some categories.

I somewhat agree with this. A year round misao discussion thread doesn't work because as Marrend mentioned, interest usually dies off in the middle of the year. it happened in April in Sooz's thread in 2018 and it similarly happened in Darken's thread in 2019.

However, I think if it were a review drive in the summer it would fair a lot better because there is an incentive there to engage with the community and actively look for notable games for the current year. I also think it would fair better in the summer than november/december, for two very important reasons:

1)If you hold the review drive in november/december you are competing with the holiday season like Sooz said. That's most of where everyone's attention is during that time anyways. So if you do any manage reviews or major events a lot of people are going to pull out because they're just too busy.

2) You guys are competing with RpgmakerAddict, throughout the year! The search engine isn't going to help you find good games that haven't been reviewed cause he's most likely going to have reviewed most of them. As I said before this is what happened in 2019. Also, while this review drive was great, a lot of the games reviewed in them didn't become misao contenders because it was already too late in the year.

Starting a review drive in the summer will give us chance to maybe look at the ground RpgMakerAddict has already covered provide our own reviews on notable games and maybe review games he may have missed.

Think about it this way" 2018, 2019, for the last two years, we did a mid-year discussion misao thread. It didn't work. So let's try a mid-year misao review drive instead and see what happens. I think part of the reason why discussion burnt out is because there was no incentive to talk about these games in the middle of summer. However, with a Summer misao review drive, not only is that incentive there, but you're being rewarded for it - You guys do some really great events anyways so I'm kind of interested to see where you guys go with this.

I think this is worth a shot, at least trying once, if we haven't done it already.
Why not two? One in July, one in November. Double trouble~
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
Yeah I like the idea of twice a year nom drive
author=Liberty
Why not two? One in July, one in November. Double trouble~
author=Sooz
Yeah I like the idea of twice a year nom drive
Go for it!❤



...But if this works, and we somehow go above 1200 votes this year XD.
We're gonna have to stick to this for as long as we have the misaos.
Otherwise we're gonna run into the same problems again.

EDIT: I have a few more suggestions but I'm gonna wait till 2020's results come in before suggesting them.

For now, I'd really like to solve the "best event game" problem. I wrote my thoughts on it in the previous thread. The reality is, we're making a lot more event games than games that have actually won the misaos. There should be away to merge these two creative outputs, merge more event games into the misaos because that's where most of our activity on RMN seems to be.

I thought maybe having more specific categories for event games, would help. Just fun, very specific categories for event games in addition to "best event game". Like "Best DreamTeam Matchup" where you're not really voting on the event game, but you're voting on the team that made the event game, as a way to just get more event games into the misaos, Like:

"The DreamTeam"
The event game team that gave you the most hype.

(I need to rewrite this and word this carefully so it's a lot more clear on how to use this nomination) But, it'd be a reference to Chrono Trigger, but it'd also be a way to sort of highlight interesting match ups on RMN for event games and which people work well together. Like Muffles getting unity, coelocanth and Sidewinder to create 7 minutes was really interesting. and SuperStroke, ESBY, zDS and CashmereCat getting together to create Amort was also really interesting.

Like, the focus wouldn't be on the game themselves, it'd be on the team who made them. Like, you could use this nomination to say "Oh, this is a really interesting team" even if it turns out to be a bad game - I'm just throwing ideas here. We really do need more event game categories for the misaos.
I'm not sure if someone said this yet, but if it's possible, making the "Nominate" button more prominent and / or more clear might be a good step towards getting nominations. If people are new to the site, they might not know what "Nominate" means, what it does. Also, the button is kinda hidden and nondescript if you don't know what you're looking for.

I think having a "Nominate for Misao Award!" Button in its place might be kinda neat. That's obviously not gonna fix the whole 'lack of nominations' problem, but along with the community changes other people have recommended, it would probably help.
I mean, some of the games nominated in other categories came from events. They just didn't get nominated in that specific category.


IIRC we cut out nominating people/teams for Misaos because some people felt left out/ignored/etc. It's the same reason we got rid of the Wisaos - because it left bad feelings among members. The fact that people don't have the ability to nominate themselves or get nominated by others for such categories can be a bit too personal for some, so it's best to keep the focus on the games themselves instead of the devs creating them. That way it's about the 'product' and the quality of that. Defining peoples' quality only leads to issues.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19498
I'm not sure about "Best Event Team" either, to be honest. Like, okay, maybe I haven't been paying too much attention, but, putting together a team is a really rare thing on this site. Especially for events, I feel. Like, I think that's why the McBacon jams of old started being a thing. To get people to work together, and maybe even expand their gammak capacities while they were at it.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
I do like the idea of having more event-based awards to hype up those games! Not a fan of team-based awards- the Misaos are already a popularity contest, so making it about people instead of games is just gonna make that more stark.

Though having more focus on promoting event games and encouraging nominations might naturally lead to more event games in the misaos, since it's all based on what's released in that year. This isn't a bad thing, just... we might not even NEED specific awards for them! :D

author=BigGreenCreatures
I'm not sure if someone said this yet, but if it's possible, making the "Nominate" button more prominent and / or more clear might be a good step towards getting nominations. If people are new to the site, they might not know what "Nominate" means, what it does. Also, the button is kinda hidden and nondescript if you don't know what you're looking for.

I think having a "Nominate for Misao Award!" Button in its place might be kinda neat. That's obviously not gonna fix the whole 'lack of nominations' problem, but along with the community changes other people have recommended, it would probably help.


This is definitely a problem- the game page layout isn't really intuitively designed, and all the important bits are really underemphasized. You really need to know what you're looking for, and nobody knows to look for the nominate button.
I'm certain somebody's said this before, but I think consideration should definitely be given to allowing commercial games to be viable for Misaos, or if not for at least a single category (perhaps "best commercial game"?). I get the freeware angle and how it allows for all nominees to be played without financial burden, but I also think that places restrictions on nominations which can end up being extremely frustrating, and often leads to amazing games being completely overlooked simply because they're commercial.
I'd argue commercial games, in fact, are significantly harder to get people to play in the first place, so a little bit of recognition on RMN, I think, would be pretty nice.