I want to make a quick note about judging, to further clear some things up:
I have run a number of contests in the past.
In my experience, judging is generally a difficult, often thankless task. People generally do not want to be judges--they're necessary, but so hard to find!
The reasons are simple. There is a lot of content to look at, no real incentive to do it, and you will never win many friends for doing it, because people are not going to like any negative things you say about their entries. And, even more, just the simple act of reporting your scores is tedious and is simply a massive chore. It sucks!
In the past, I've demanded more thorough judging responses. I asked for not only point scores, but critiques as well.
Here's what happens when you ask someone to be a judge, AND you ask them to write out all of their critiques and reasons for why they scored the way they did:
People don't judge.
I ran a contest once a number of years ago which demanded tons of critiques from all judges. We had ~4 judges, and far more entries than we had expected.
In the end, ALL of the judges bowed out under the massive workload. EVERYTHING fell to me, to do entirely on my own.
I couldn't blame them. It took an UNTOLD number of hours to finally get it done. What was worse was that I turned in the results late, after waiting for the other judges to talk to me. No one was happy with the results. I wasted a huge amount of life judging that thing.
In a perfect world, we would have detailed analyses on all games, and all judges would have chimed in about everything that they encounted that caused negativity in a score.
It is not a perfect world.
The judges are not paid, and, like I said, in my experience, I CANNOT demand that they post all of their opinions about everything. Because then, we'd have WAY less than 7 judges.If any of the judges care to post more detailed responses, I urge them to do so! (Please don't give out your judge number, though).
But I'm not going to demand it. I'm not a slave driver, I'm a contest-runner :)
If you are unhappy with your score, take a step back, and consider that:
- Sometimes people are overly critical. They feel that NOTHING
ever deserves a perfect score. It could be that there was no way you'd get a '4' in that category from that judge without a miracle.
- If we experienced lag or even 1-2 bugs, that knocked off atleast 1 point in Stability. It's hard to make a game truly bug-free. Your game may just need more attention in playtesting.
- If you used any annoying sounds, or sounds or graphics that were really big, that would affect your score negatively. Especially if they were so big that they did not load.
- It was recommended that the judges score using a very loose curve. Meaning, if your game was not the BEST OF THE BEST in a category, a more literal judge may have knocked off a point or two, due to observing the curved scoring method.
- If there was nothing, or very little, to combat against, that would probably have negatively affected the Fun score. Not 100% always there, but it's a good possibility.
- If the game was very short, or didn't have a satisfying end of some sort, our opinions may have been negatively affected.
Honestly though, if you look here: viewtopic.php?f=293&t=76326
and look at the Spoiler at the bottom of the thread, you will see a huge list of questions that a judge was told to ask him/herself while playing. You would know why you were docked points based on those questions.
In any case, even bringing up full analyses is unnecessary. The scores are final and will not change. It would be pointless to debate and nitpick.
The only thing you can do, if you were unhappy with your ranking, is to consider what the top-placed entries did, and take it as a lesson to keep improving. When the next contest rolls around, you'll be much better prepared! :D