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Trixies 2015-2016: General Feedback Thread

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General Feedback Thread - 


To help pass the time until the Awards Ceremony, here's a place to share your experiences of the new Trixies format. 
What went well, and how can they be improved for next year?  :idea:


As you're likely aware, this Trixies introduced various changes. Not only being the first time multiple years (2015 & 2016) were combined, but notably nominations were accepted in a special forum, allowing you to post and edit them in private. Based on your ideas, the Default Awards List was also created, and intended to provide a suitable baseline to cover the wide range of site contributions.

In summary, here's a few possible possible topics of discussion:
 

  • Award Categories
     
    • Total available default awards: 101
      • Custom Content: 34
      • City Journals: 40
      • Community: 27
         
    • Too little?  Just right?  Too many?
    • Spread between categories.
    • Coverage of types/themes?
    • Any confusion or conflicting awards?
    • Did the descriptions help or hinder?

       
  • Nomination Process
     
    • How did you find it compared to years gone by?
    • Were the instructions clear and easy to follow?
    • Was it helpful to edit and view your nominations?
    • Any issues along the way?
       
    • Duration of nomination period: 23 days (including the 2 day extension).
      • Too short?  Just right?  Too long?

         
  • Trixies Build-up
     
    • Interviews
      • To what extent were they helpful / enlightening?
      • Types of questions asked?
      • Format / presentation.
      • More for next year?
         
    • Content lists (2015 / 2016)
      • Did they help with your decision making?
      • Were they a useful reference?
      • Should all content have been included in the lists?
      • Grouping per author or per category?
         
    • Community discussion
      • How could this work better in future?
         
    • Anything else which could be done in build-up?

       
  • Trixies Promotion
     
    • Too sparse?  Just right?  Too excessive?
    • When did you first become aware of the Trixies this time?
    • How useful was the info banner at the top?  Should anything else have been included?
    • Were the countdown timers helpful?
    • Visibility of the Trixies forum.
    • Should any other banners have been added?
    • Homepage features -- were they useful or too repetitive?

       
  • Anything else?
     
    • Post away!

 

We're always looking to improve the Trixies, and this was really a learning experience for everyone. Hopefully it worked well as a comeback after being absent for such a long time. But like anything, there's always room for improvement going forward.

So if you've any comments or suggestions (even not on the above list), big or small, please post below and we'll take them into consideration. Feel free to post multiple times in this thread to your heart's content.

And of course, you don't have to answer all the above questions -- they're just pointers. ;)

Thanks!

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OK, since I was involved in the background work preparing the Trixies, I don't have a regular member's view on the Trixies presentation and buildup, etc.

Trixies Build-up

My only impression is that the thread meant for discussing Trixie candidates and presenting personal favourites was somewhat of a dud. It may have been too rigid. Maybe we'd be better off with a "standing" Trixie thread for each year that's open year round and where everyone can just pop in anytime and point out one or more items they were particularly impressed with - and, of course, discuss with each other. For example, posts like "Whoa guys, I just stumbled upon this CJ! Look at this entry, isn't that great?" or "I just downloaded this from the STEX and it's one of the best things I found this year!".

Nomination Process

I liked the fact that you could edit and change your nominations, and that you had an overview to some degree. That was definitely an advantage!

On the downside, I felt that the handling was somewhat clunky. You had to have the default awards list open, you had to have the general instructions thread open to copy the points, and it was a lot of editing. Having the required information closer together would be nice IMO. The old system had the advantage that you just needed to select a category from a dropdown list, pick the nominee and enter a short description. However, once that was done, your nomination kinda vanished.

I'm thinking about a system that would combine the best of both worlds... for example, maybe the nomination forum could be pre-populated with threads for the default award categories, and you'd add a reply to those category threads where you want to nominate someone? That forum could even be divided into different sections, just like the regular Simtropolis forums - only that here, each section would be reserved for one broader Trixie category (CJs, maps, STEX, community...).

These are just vague ideas right now, nothing really fleshed out.

Award Categories

I had my difficulties with some of the categories. I'll try to list them here, top to bottom.

  • Best Effort In Compatibility - I didn't really know what this entails. I mean, basically no download should break the game, and if it does have a catch, that mostly isn't the creator's fault. Does "compatibility" also include stats that are well adapted to the vanilla game, or only the avoidanc of "hard" technical issues?
  • Best Re-creation - I agree with this category, but shouldn't it be in the "BATs & LOTs" section? "BAT" is specifically mentioned in the description.
  • Most Important Discovery/Innovation and Highest Technical Achievement in Custom Creations - I had trouble with these. I mean, isn't finding something totally innovative a technical achievement? Or does "Technical Achievement" entail very sound and flexible modding? And if so, what's the difference to "compatibility"?
  • Most Realistic Creation - description also mentions BAT explicitly, yet the award is not in the "BATs & LOTs" section. I also feel the award title could be worded more clearly to show that this is a made-up BAT that looks realistic despite lacking any particular real-world counterpart.
  • Big Building of the Year / Small Building of the Year may be a tad too vague, especially in comparison to Best Industrial BAT of the Year, which follows a totally different system. After all, an industrial BAT can also be big or small.
    Slightly more choice may be good here, for example "best res/com skyscraper", "best res/com mid-rise building", "best small home", "best low-rise commercial" and maybe "best non-RCI building", which would cover everything that's not regularly inhabited by residents or workers, such as observation towers, radio masts, sculptures...
  • Lot of the Year / Best ReLOT - So if I understood this correctly, this distinguishes between the lot that accompanies a new BAT and the lot that is made around a previously published BAT? This distinction in itself isn't bad IMO, but what if a re-lot is the best lot of the year for me? Some users may also be confused and uncertain whether a building they're looking at is a new release or a re-lot. At the very least, I think we could have "best lot creation on a newly released BAT" and "best re-lot of an existing building model" and then "Lot of the Year" as a separate category for which both re-lots and new lots can be chosen.
  • The CJ awards may have been a bit too many overall, especially compared to the BAT/lot/mod/automata category.
  • Finally, I'd like to suggest two categories, "Best texture set" and "Best prop pack".

That's all I can think of right now, I may return later.

 

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I agree with T Wrecks about the build up and the nomination process. Having premade threads for each nomination category is a great idea. 

The nomination period was good. 

 

Just based on my experience in the BAT - Open Discussion I had the impression that there were a lot more BATs being made than there really were. I had a hard time nominating, and it was more because of this than the categories list. In my head, based on past Trixies, I have a certain idea of what sorts of things are Trixie candidates. This time some categories barely had anything that even qualified. Of course, I think the solution for this is for everyone to make more BATs, better BATs, and more varied BATs. I feel like with 2017 we're already off to a good start. 

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For me, the difficulty in nominating was the time passage - even with the fantastic discussion threads and recaps, the passage of time really put a kink in my thought processes.  I also agree with @T Wrecks assessment about the actual web-implemented process for nominations; it did feel "clunky," having to hop between windows and cut/paste and all that.  I did love the elegance of the dropdown boxes of yore, but I did read that this would have been impossible to implement in the site's current state.  I do agree that the ability to edit and review your nominations is a great feature; in the past, I've often forgotten about something or someone, only to realize that it was too late to reconsider a nomination or that I had overlooked a category entirely.

I am glad, though, that members were able to nominate someone for more categories this time around.

As far as the buildup, the discussion threads were great, as I mentioned before.  As for the interviews, it was a lot of names that I've never heard of; which is not to say that their contributions are not worthwhile, but many were people that were almost entirely off my radar.  It seemed (and I use this word because I only took a passing glance at the interview texts) that those involved were very CJ-centric, which I would be the first to admit is a section of this site that I don't have the time to look at.  Granted, a lot of Trixies do revolve around CJs and CJ-related contributions...

All in all, I am glad that the Trixies are still around and that the llamas are still kicking.  Now if we could just get the prior years' Trixie medals reattached to our forum avatars... :)

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Now that I thought about it a bit, do you know what else I found pretty difficult? The nomination limit per person was not so much an issue.

It was more the other way around, actually: I would have loved the possibility to nominate more than one person for any given Trixie!

Sometimes I had a terribly hard time making up my mind between two equally great choices, and it felt bad to eliminate one of them from that nomination category altogether, especially since there isn't a "fallback category" for everything. Yes. I know. It sounds wrong, you need to make up your mind, you can't have two winners, ... but: since I'm not the only person nominating (hundreds can participate!), what are the actual odds that all of them will either nominate exactly the same candidates as I did, or none of them? And even if, at the end of the day, two people ended up tied in front in one and the same category - what harm would that do? Is what we are doing aimed at elimination and survival - "the winner takes it all, everyone else is a loser" - or is it aimed at recognition, and a thought like "You two were named the best in this category this time" wouldn't sound so wrong?

Just some food for thought I'd like to leave here...

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On the same note as the posts above, I also found a bit inconvenient the fact of constantly switching between 3 explorer tabs: that where I was nominating someone; the tab where I was viewing the nomination guidelines and award names (and also grabbing ideas) and the tab where I was viewing the content of the person I wanted to nominate, in order to grab ideas and find some inspiration. Although, yeah, that's just a limitation of the system and can't really fight it. 

Even though we all took part in the proposal of new categories and we broadly discussed that issue, I couldn't avoid feeling there were just too many categories in the CJ range. I know I'm kind of alone in that issue, but I was frankly wondering if there would be anyone who would actually nominate someone for that and that other new awards we introduced this year. It was just much easier to find clear candidates for broad categories than finding right the specific candidate for that more obscure one. Same happens with the custom content side, where I'm not so active. 

I want to comment on the nomination countdown and the time period. In my opinion, the nomination period time was spot on, not too long, not too short.  Without a doubt, the countdown counters helped on that, reminding me every time "hey, you still have to do your nominations". I prefer doing that than doing my taxes, really... Knowing how long is remaining helped me to organize that time of the week where I'll be in the right mood for nomination. Appreciated having quite several days to mature ideas and thinking of candidates, knowing that I will also have available these last minutes where several nominations "from the gut" are thrown in.

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9 hours ago, madhatter106 said:

As for the interviews, it was a lot of names that I've never heard of; which is not to say that their contributions are not worthwhile, but many were people that were almost entirely off my radar.

That was by design. We felt that in the past we had conducted interviews with lots of the regular members, and we wanted to get an insight into some of the people that you might not have heard from before but are doing great things around the site. We did try to get a couple 'big names' in there too, and I thought that their contributions helped balance out the less known members. Maybe there were more CJers than BATers, we'll try and balance that a bit better if we do interviews again next time. 

 

8 hours ago, TekindusT said:

On the same note as the posts above, I also found a bit inconvenient the fact of constantly switching between 3 explorer tabs

Heard you, and everyone else, loud and clear! We'll work out a way to have that better for next time. We may be limited for what we can do here in this respect, but we have just under a years worth of testing before it rolls around again, so we hope we can work out a more elegant solution. It sounds like we will try to keep a hold of doing this through posts,  as it had some quite important benefits that you all appreciated. We'll streamline the process for next time!

 

9 hours ago, T Wrecks said:

I would have loved the possibility to nominate more than one person for any given Trixie!

We could do that. My view is that you should be trying to nominate just one person for one award because there can only really be one definitive BAT of the Year. I can understand that it is difficult to make those clear distinctions sometimes, and that it might be best to remove the restriction on nominating only one member per award and instead limit it to the amount of times you can nominate a member for any award.

 

8 hours ago, TekindusT said:

I couldn't avoid feeling there were just too many categories

As we continue to count the nominations we'll be taking the data and scaling the list back to a smaller amount based around how many nominations each award received. We will probably conduct another discussion next year, like we did with this year, around the awards list. Although next time we will bring our new refined list to the discussion and ask for advice on what else should be included. That way the list can stay responsive to what's happened that year through community discussion, and be more concise by removing superfluous awards. 

 

 

Keep the the suggestions coming, these have been great and will really help us formulate our plans for next year! :party: 

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