Game Chef by numbers

edited April 2008 in Story Games
Just wondering...
At Salgan Al Sol ( shameless plug here ) we were discussing this year´s Game Chef in relation to some other GC-inspired competitions going on in the spanish-speaking communities; and the rather slow rate of subscriptions came to our minds. So i went to both forums ( af2008 and GC2007, which is still up, and i thank that ) and dug up some numbers:

Last year´s Game Chef had:
218 members in the forum, including the Admin account and its obvious test-pawn.
...161 of them became "tapped in" designers.
Around 90 of those 161 tapped in before the ingredients were up.
Of those 161, 82 finished ( or, like me, """finished""" ) their games.

This year´s Game Chef has, as of now:
75 registered users as Designers alone.
23 registered users as Artists alone.
42 registered users as "Both".
"around 30 submissions" of art delivered, as told to us not-artists by the wise Master Chef.

So i received the surprise of discovering much more action that i initially could perceive... Even if many of those 117 registered-to-design users don´t truly enter the arena, being three days before the art is shown and having that many accounts is still a sign that the Game Chef 2008 is alive and kicking.
... And it makes my initial prejudice of it going slow something to warn about: if you don´t see action in it, it´s only because we can´t see artists threads and the designers don´t have much to post before we start.

Just wanted to share what i discovered.


  • This year there were around 130 "tapped in" design participants and 65 art participants (no tap-in stage).

    Of those, 76 designers and 29 artists submitted final work

    So, slightly less games than last year. I'm going to rack that up to a shorter schedule (one week instead of two) and a whole new system.

  • There are less people and games but the percentage of people that tapped in and completed a game increased from 51% to 58%. Less people signed up but a larger chunk of them finished, which seems like a good thing to me.

    Mind you, you can say anything you like with statistics.

  • I think if you are using participation as a metric you need to include artists as well.

    Again, lies, statistics, etc.
  • In which case you bring it down to 54%, which is statisticaly insignificant given the sample size.
    Mind you, aparently so was the last set of numbers I cooked up.
  • There some excellent analysis of the factors related to completion on the GC forums right now.

    Also, I think that the metric for the success of a game chef should be the awards won by games published from that year.
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanT
    Also, I think that the metric for the success of a game chef should be the awards won by games published from that year.
    I gotta call foul on that one.

    I may be in the minority, but to me the participation should be the metric of success. Awards won by published game don't prove anything about GC itself, other than some folks had/used their publishable idea in GameChef, and possibly got some helpful critique/feedback.

  • Yeah. I'm not sure publication is the be-all, end-all of RPG design.
  • Ben is being tongue-in-cheek, of course.
  • I'm not sure he is, given the art guidelines for this year.
  • Tongue very firmly in cheek.

    Also, games without paper publishing can win awards :D

    Clearly, the actual metric of success is fun had by people playing games coming out of that year. If only we had some way to measure that...

  • You're looking for some sort of fun-o-meter. Unfortunately, we don't have one of those. Yes, I suppose I could get the parts for it, but I'd have to dismantle my fun-seeking missile. And you'll get that when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

  • To me, success is getting evaluated professionally. Secondary success is getting buzz if it's something you want to go somewhere else with.
  • Clearly games need to be evaluated in hedons.
  • Hedons! Hedons are great.

    Should Grey Ranks be evaluated in dolors?

  • I would have said that success was measured by the fun had by the participants, regardless of what happens to the games afterwards
  • Someone has numbers, for every year, about how many games were so interesting for their author that she/he continued to work on it, did playtest it, and published (meaning with this even a web page) a more polished and finished version?

    Because this for me would be a better measure of success. Getting from Game Chef a project worth nurturing even after the end of the contest.
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanThere some excellent analysis of the factors related to completion on the GC forums right now.
    I've searched and I'm not finding this thread. Can someone provide a link?


  • Oh, not that thread. Actually, another one. Darn it. I'll try to locate it for you, Paul.
  • edited May 2008
    I think Ben's referring to this statistic-packed thread.
  • That's the one!
  • Thanks.

  • I'll be curious about the next round of stats: the # of times a game got critiqued, the typical # of games a critic handled (I'm betting 1, not 2, and those going beyond the call are pretty rare). There's a pretty natural tension between wanting to engage your own critics about your game -- your favorite subject! -- and fulfilling your part of the bargain in delivering critiques. I know it's only halfway through there are several good games that haven't been reviewed AT ALL at this point, or have only had one reviewer come into the thread.

  • Anyone who doesn't fulfill their two critique obligation won't be considered for awards and so forth. Plus they are being a dick.
  • Well...just saying it happens. I'm up to 4 reviews now, personally, and meeting some very cool people and reading some interesting stuff along the way.

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