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Policy Review Flavor Steps

Discussion in 'CAP Policy Review' started by DougJustDoug, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    I want to figure out a better way to manage flavor threads. I do not have much in the way of new proposals in this OP. I have one formal proposal that is simply ratifying something we have been doing by tradition for many years, and needs almost no discussion. For everything else, I am hoping we can develop some proposals collaboratively in this thread. So I very much want suggestions from others here.

    Currently we have four pure flavor sections of a CAP project: Art, Sprite, Name, and Pokedex Entries.

    I don't think Art or Sprite steps need to change much. I think Art and Sprites are a model of how I wish all flavor steps could be managed. They aren't perfect, by any means. But the art and sprite processes have clear rules, submissions are managed in an orderly way, and most of all -- it's almost completely democratic. There are no subjective slates or disputes of favoritism or bias impacting our final choices.

    Up until now, the entire process for handling Art and Sprite threads has been followed by tradition. Technically, according to current rules, the Topic Leader can select all Art and Sprite slates at their whim. So before I get onto other flavor steps, I want to make this official:
    Proposal:
    Art and Sprite polls will be conducted and managed by the CAP moderators. Art and Sprite slates will consist of all legal submissions, as determined by the CAP Moderators in accordance with the mods interpretation of the art and sprite submission rules.
    Done. You don't really need to even post comments on the proposal, because it is exactly what we have been doing for years now. This just codifies the official project policy on Art and Sprites.


    It's really Name and Pokedex Entries that are the big mess we need to focus on. We get a bazillion submissions and no clear way to present a fair slate to the community for vote. Right now, there is way too much subjectivity in the slating process, which leads to disputes and problems. I'd like to figure out a way to have a little more structure in the submission and slate-making process, AND hopefully have something that is much more democratic. I can't see an easy way to do both. If we make the process completely democratic, that means we would have to slate everything submitted. I don't think that would work well, but perhaps it is the best way to go.

    Currently we have the TL pick a slate of the supposed community favorites from the thread of submissions. Even if we don't have bullshit like BMB pulled in CAP4, even the most well-intentioned TL's are only human. It's very hard to gauge consensus on flavor submission threads. In most posts, people just make submissions and there is very little commentary about other submissions. And even if thread feedback is taken into account, any TL will have a very subjective bias on what is a "good submission". We need to take the whole thing out of one person's hands, and put it on the community.

    We do that with art, and here's why it works:

    In the art thread, we get hundreds of submissions sometimes and EVERY LEGAL SUBMISSION makes the slate. However, in the end, there are only a reasonable handful of submissions that end up on the slate. We achieve that with the submission process and rules. We did not intentionally make extensive art submissions rules to discourage people from submitting. All the art rules were made to enforce objective standards to ensure art is usable on the CAP website and to ensure all submissions are in one comparable category of artwork (For example, we don't want submissions of art sculptures to compete against cartoon art. Don't laugh, it has happened in the past...) But one somewhat surprising side-effect of the extensive rules, is to keep the number of legal final submissions to a manageable number.

    Bottom line: Most people don't bother to read the OP.

    Most people don't even know they have to make a formal "Final Submission" in order to even be considered for the art poll. Most noobs see art being posted in the thread, and they post their shitty art along with everything else. In most cases, the art sucks, no one comments, and the artist never bothers to post much further. Lots and lots of "bad submissions" fall to the wayside by simple virtue of having a long submission time, which requires a formal submission post at the end.

    In the art thread, if you don't read the art submission rules pretty carefully, you'll probably fuck up and make a mistake if you try to look at what everyone else is doing and copy it. That's because the art rules have specific requirements for linework, coloring, and image sizes. Many artists, even some good ones, get caught on small technicalities that disqualify their art. In most cases where a good artist makes an illegal submission, one of their knowledgeable fans will catch it and warn the artist to correct it. However, crappy artists don't have the fans, so they don't get the warning, and their art is DQ'ed. Don't get me wrong, we haven't intentionally set land mines for bad artists, nor do we discriminate in enforcing the art rules. But I have noticed one unintentional side effect of our extensive rules, is that it tends to weed out a lot of bad art and lazy submitters, and it tends to keep slates to a manageable size.

    I don't know if there is any way to impose structure to the Name and Pokedex threads that might help curb a lot of the bad submissions and also allow the more popular submissions to collectively "rise" to make the slate, kinda like what happens unintentionally with art.

    Obviously, art is very different from Name and Pokedex Entries, because art takes quite a bit of effort to make a good submission. It takes very little time to make Names or Dex Entries. So we have to assume we'll have a big flood of submissions. I'd like to interrupt the ability for people to whip up a submission, post it on the drive-by and be assured it will make the poll. I wish we could require at least a little more effort or attention, to weed out the half-hearted submissions. Also, even if we can't reduce the number of "legal" submissions, I'd at least like to figure out some way to get a better idea of what is popular or not BEFORE we make the slate. I realize it might not be possible, but perhaps with all of us brainstorming we can figure something out.

    For example, we might have the thread open for 24 hours for plain submissions, but require every post after 24 hours to include mention of your favorite other submissions. If you just post a submission after 24 hours, the post will be ignored. Basically, allow a certain time for a pool of submissions, but then make everyone comment after that, if they want to add to the submission base. Or maybe set a post threshold in the thread, instead of a time threshold, since stuff like name threads tend to fill up very quickly. "After the 50th post in this thread, all posts must include comments about a minimum of 3 favorite submissions other than your own, or the post will be deleted." I can see problems with a rule like that, but hopefully you see where I am going with it.

    Any suggestions? Surely we can improve on what we do today. Flavor has no impact on our competitive creations. The selection of flavor should be a pure popularity contest. I do think we can impose rules to make a level playing field for everyone and maybe enforce some standards (for example, to prevent troll submissions). But ultimately, I'd like to allow the community to pick whatever is most popular.

    Proposals are welcome and encouraged!
  2. srk1214

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    I think the simplest fix is to make names and dex entries like art and sprites: slate all legal entries. In the interest of time, we could intentionally speed up the voting process, since they have so many entries, by modifying the voting structure.

    But I see no reason we shouldn't slate all legal flavor options. We're never going to get the C&C on names and dex entries that we get on art and sprites. And we slate all legal art and sprite entries, despite all that C&C.
  3. Birkal

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    One thing I'd like to illuminate is how the CAP moderators handled flavor for CAP4's Pokedex entry slate. By that point, for those of you who do not recall, the community lashed out against bugmaniacbob and his curious slating requirements. Feeling frustrated, bmb approached me and requested that the CAP mods handle the situation. We agreed (at Doug's blessing) and went about shutting down submissions in a timely fashion.

    From there, we all met up at the same time to make the slate. We each went through the thread and made individual lists of dex entries that we thought were a) supported by the community in feedback posts and b) well written entries that would be worth having. We then regrouped and compared lists; they were surprisingly similar. We then talked about a few outliers and dwindled down our list based on the strength of the above two criteria. That finalized our list, and the community voted on it.


    I'm not saying that this is the best way to go about flavor slating (Flavor Abilities, Pokedex entries, and Name). Rather, I'm simply trying to provide insight on one way that this was handled in what I would consider a successful manner. Please note, however, that this is pretty intensive on the CAP moderators. It requires us to chunk out time to read posts and come to agreement when we could be doing other things (moderating #cap, moderating the forum, and other duties). If we can think of an alternative, I'd prefer that. But if not, I think that utilizing the CAP mods to handle flavor slating wouldn't be too intrusive.


    Going off of this though, we could do a similar process but with a group of about 3-5 artists and flavorists each CAP. That would save the moderators some work, and give the flavor community a chance to step in and lead. I dunno how well it'd work, and we'd have to add some more complications to the leadership process of CAP, but it's another route we could take.
  4. CiteAndPrune

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    Or instead of tasking the CAP mods with it, the group of people to handle Name and Dex Entries could be the TL and SGs. There is no dedicated Flavor Section Guide - so this could be a shared effort. It gives them all something to do outside of their own stages, it removes single-member bias to an extent, and those members who earn the role are already qualified by other means. You could add in the winner(s) of the Art Poll and/or Sprite Poll if you want, though that'd be enlarging the group to a point where communication might be an issue.

    Or those two could be allowed, but any one-two members with the priviledge of choosing Name and Dex Entries could opt out if they can't manage in time, and the others' lists are compared only among those present. Maybe with a minimum that there needs to be 3 or more judges perhaps.


    Other than that, I don't think we can codify rules for what makes Names and Dex entries 'good' or not. I wouldn't mind the TL or some other person setting up selection criteria ad hoc for a given CAP right when the OP is up, though - if the point of the rules is merely to limit our legal entries, it doesn't matter what they are specifically, but that they exist in the first place.

    I'm not sure requiring comments from people would be practical, even though it'd be nice to encourage comments - but in a flavor stage, what is there to advise really? 'It could sound better'? At least in other competitive stages the feedback can be more meaningful. But if there are rules put up (in the OP) at least then comments/warnings would have a purpose - still I doubt requiring them under the threat of being DQ'ed is doing us a service.
  5. Korski

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    Man Doug, the way you put it there seems to be no right way to go. It's sort of a tough conversation to have due to the complete extraneousness of the Pokedex part of the Process, which is where most of the problems seem to come from. I agree that Art and Sprites are both pretty seamless and well-run, so no comment there. My only idea at the moment for Name and Pokedex entries would be this:

    Eliminate the Blame-able Minority

    I know that slating everything could be a huge disaster, but for flavor steps I think we should go ahead and err on the side of democracy. In the past people went squealing to the TL about why their dex entry didn't get slated, or the TL has blatantly stacked a slate to make sure a popular name wouldn't win. When we give the community more power over these kinds of (superfluous) decisions, we'll eliminate the blame-able minority and have no one to blame but ourselves for terrible (and ultimately no big deal) dex entries/names. We'll also take the pressure of one or a few people stressing over possible backlash from these disproportionately emotional parts of the process. Unless it's a huge hassle for the moderators to set up megapolls, I don't see any reason not to let the community weed out the bad options ourselves.

    For Name Polls and Pokedex Polls, instead of an IRV poll amongst hand-picked entries, all legal submissions would go to a single massive poll. Instead of eliminating the lowest-performing entries IRV-style, we allow a "cutoff," so to speak, of, let's say 30 votes, meaning every submission that receives 30+ votes in the initial poll moves on to the "slate" (or someone could do something with math and find a good statistically relevant cutoff point so that we end up with 10-20 "winning submissions"). People basically will be voting for all the names/dex entries they think are good, in no particular order, and so the slate-able entries will naturally make their way onto the slate, indiscriminately. The people who get "slated" will be recognized for their good work, as usual, and the following rounds would be done using IRV exactly like Art and Sprites.

    What that basically does is provide a mechanism for the community to create the slate themselves and lop off the bad options with no one to complain to. Good submissions make it to the slate (because public opinion is measured directly), and bad submissions aren't voted for, and so they get left behind. That first poll would trust the community as a whole to weed out the bad names, joke names, joke dex entries, and other just-plain-bad submissions, so that what's left is something everyone should agree is a fair set of quality options, considering we chose them ourselves, democratically. And I think we can trust the community to do that. The people who make the slate after the megapoll can get that rewarding sense of being slated, or whatever rewards come of getting slated. If we did this for Art, for instance, the winners of the initial "cutoff poll" could end up as the Gallery on the CAP's dex-site, another reward for those who put a lot of work in and deserve some glory for it.

    We give the submission threads 48 hours or whatever, do the "slate poll," and then do the actual poll like normal. Yeah, a determined bandwagon could get Spiffy into the Name Slate, but it won't take any other submission's place on that slate, so it'll be damn near impossible to vote strategically or stack slates in any one direction unless you had an actual majority behind you. And fly-by submitters would still make the poll, but without a lot of thought put behind their submissions, they won't build enough public support to make it to the "slate," so they don't get that reward for doing so little.
  6. Birkal

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    I'm gonna be "that guy" who rails on the two ideas above. I hate doing this, but lemme explain why I think both are impractical.

    Cite's suggestion has come up on IRC, and it has some support. While I originally liked it at first, we have to remember that the TLT is meant to attract competitive players. I don't think many of them would aspire to become a TLT member when they learn that they have to wade through flavor submissions as well. Furthermore, we've done a good job so far of keeping the TLT separated during the process. I feel like it is prudent of us to keep their roles as individualized as possible so that we're not creating some "super team" bent on controlling the CAP process. It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it's practical towards CAP Optics and the role of the TLT.

    In terms of Korski's idea, I like that one too. It is philosophically very sound; I agree with trying to "minimize" damage and keeping CAP as democratic as possible. However, I find having a mega-poll (good term) to lower the slate is impractical. I did a quick check up, and CAP4's Name Submission thread had 66 legal final submissions. Sixty-six. That is an enormous slate, and it's worse for Pokedex entries. Not only do you have to read all of them, but also categorize them and pick your favorites. Maybe I am just being pessimistic, but I can't imagine it working.


    The suggestion I proposed on IRC was to have a group of art leaders each CAP to make these slates, based on both community consensus (primarily) and general artistic consideration (secondarily). I know that this is less democratic, but it certainly is better than having a single individual dictate flavor. I envision a three person council that meets to discuss flavor slates (abilities, name, and pokedex). My only request here is that we make one of the seats a permanent moderator seat. They'd be there primarily to help find the community consensus and organize the effort. I dunno how the other two "flavorists" would be decided.

    I'm not absolutely sold on this idea either, but I thought it would be worth mentioning.
  7. srk1214

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    OK, I hadn't quite realized there were 66 name submissions. Initially, I thought maybe to cut the time for submissions in half, but really, the submission thread was open for 2 days, so that wasn't the issue.

    In light of that sheer volume, I could support a three-person (or however many person) council that runs flavor slates. It does seem awkward though to trust the creation of competitive slates to one leader (with TL oversight) while flavor requires a committee. It gives the impression that flavor is somehow more in need of multiple opinions and fairness than competitive aspects.

    Instead, would it be so wrong to have a single Flavor TLT?
  8. nyttyn

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    I dunno what's wrong with just keeping flavor responsibilities with the TL. I mean sure we could go with a flavor TLT but honestly to me it seems like the most logical choice. The only way to make this "fair" is to either randomly select a slate, or make it a FCFS (first come first serve) system, because once you get people into the equation you start having bias. In addition, we have to remember that a lot of support will be put towards people who post earlier rather then later, as not everyone has the paitence to read through all of the name and pokedex threads.

    Honestly though we don't need a three person council. Like srk said, seems awkward, and honestly I don't get the whole need for fairness anyway.

    We either let bias come into the equation or let people bitch because they got gyped by the RNG/their schedule. Pick your poison.

    Edit: Also not opposed to having the mods take over.
  9. Yllnath

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    Why not let technology do the work for you? I know vBulletin supports the liking/+1/Luvdiscing of individual posts as well as the entire thread. (Not sure if it's base support or whether it's a modification. I've always used PHPbb)
    If this can somehow be implemented in a way that it's only applicable to the CAP forum, or these threads in particular even, you can just let people make their slate on the go.
    For as long as the thread is open, people can Luvdisc posts, and you proceed to use a simple forum statistic to slate the top-10 most Luvdisc'ed posts.
    It's fully democratic this way, and takes the workload of an individual and decreases the chances of the burned effect if you make a 'bad' slate.

    Of course, I don't know if it's desirable for Smogon that such a feature gets implemented at all.
    Edit: just a bit of browsing lead me to: http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=285654 This modification can be used to vote up individual posts and the modification can apparently be applied to individual forums (CAP), so other forums will not be disturbed by this feature if we were to use it.
  10. Birkal

    Birkal woops, butter fingers :>
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    Just wanted to quick stop in and say that I had a quick chat with chaos about Yllnath's proposal this morning. We have the technology to implement an up-vote system in all CAP forums. So there isn't a technical difficulty there; we just need to decide as a community if that's what we want.

    I am tentatively for it. I think that we give very little feedback during any CAP stage, and I think an up-vote system would allow for a bit more of that. As Wyverii suggested on IRC, this absolutely could not be used as a crutch for section leaders. They should be able to utilize it as a small ingredient of the community consensus, but I don't believe that it should be "top five most upvoted posts make the slate" by any degree.
  11. Korski

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    I think "liking" posts would be a great thing for every step of the project, but yeah, as a metric for slating it would have too many flaws. Early posters will get more views. And casual voters would be expected to sift through the entire thread, which they won't do. People will "like" blatantly stupid submissions because they are funny. People will resort to "liking" submissions where they would otherwise post actual feedback. Etc. It's a really great feature and we should definitely take advantage of it, because, as we are all already aware, these threads are terrible when it comes to voter feedback. But I don't see it as any more definitive than a TL or council would be.

    I have a new idea (it could still work with my first idea, js). I was talking to some folks in #cap about implementing additional rules to the Name and Pokedex threads to help weed out passer-by submitters who don't bother to read the OP, like we already do in Art and Sprites and as Doug described in the OP of this thread. I think we should come up with some.

    For example, Pokedex Submissions are too often way too long. The longest BW2 entries for existing Pokemon appear to be 22 words. A lot of submissions, though, are like novels, trying to cram too much information into too little a space. And let's be real, a lot of people just cannot be concise. So I would propose a 20-word limit on Pokedex entries for each of the Black, White, and B2W2 entries (for reference, the winning dex entries for Aurumoth were 15, 14, and 17 words, respectively. Most 5th gen. entries are less than 20 words. It can be done). This new rule would do two things at once: cut down on the number of legal submissions by objectively eliminating those who don't read the OP or can't self-edit, and improve the quality of submissions in general by forcing them to be more in-line with in-game standards (why else are we doing Pokedex entries to begin with?)

    That's all I've got for now. Name subs, man, I don't know. Although I bet if the winning name submitter's name wasn't listed on the CAP site along with the TL and stats winners and all that, there would be fewer people trying to grab some of that glory with desperate submissions.
  12. paintseagull

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    YES. I am so glad this is happening. Because when Rising Dusk decided he didn't want to follow this tradition I threw a hissy fit and have been angry ever since.

    Anyway, as for the questionable steps, part of me wants to believe we can do a multiple bold vote poll at the beginning with all the legal entries and narrow it down to a reasonable IRV type ranked poll.. but 60+ entries is very daunting. Can someone do a check of some typical legal art submission numbers? It's usually pretty big, and names are easier to pick through than art in my opinion. Barring that, the up-vote post thing could work. I always find the OP and it's "DONT POST UNLESS YOU HAVE VALUABLE INPUT" mantra to be very discouraging to making posts like "I like A B and C's" because I often can't really think of a ton of things to say about why I like a name or a dex entry (only things about why I don't like them).

    As for restricting illegalities on dex entries, maybe some sort of grammar check could be done? I find a lot of slated entries have poor grammar. Maybe we could employ some C&C people.

    For names maybe we could just try weeding through them all in a poll.. really.. I don't think it would be so bad. It may actually be easier to do a multiple bold vote from a giant but simple list than to try and upvote your favourites amongst 10 pages of forum comments and changing entries and works-in-progresses.
  13. Birkal

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    There were 25 legal, final art submissions in CAP4. There was 20 for CAP3. Let me know if you want any other statistics pulled, and I can grab 'em.
  14. nyttyn

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    I think upvotes are a horrible idea. Look at any other forum with a upvote, and you'll notice that upvotes rarely, if ever, extend past the front or second page. Not to mention the numerous other issues with such a system. I think it would be about as useful a tool to us as a baloney sandwich would be to a hungry man on fire. Sure, he won't be hungry any more, but the real issue hasn't been addressed.

    Really, upvotes are one of those "nice in theory, useless in practice" things. I mean there's no real downside to them but I don't see them being worth the effort.
  15. CiteAndPrune

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    @nyttyn: upvotes limited to first/second page isn't a drawback if we make that a requirement.

    This sounded better in my head when I thought of it, but for what it's worth, I'll post it anyway. At worst I'll learn why it's such a bad idea:
    Show Hide
    We wanted to limit the number of entries either way, right?

    Then how about, for Name and Dex entries, "to qualify your entry must be posted on the first page. After the first page fills up with entries, the topic is locked. Posts without entries in them are deleted to make room for posts with actual entries. Likewise repeat posts by the same member are deleted - you edit your initial post if you make changes to your entry."

    It sets a specific unbreakable limit for the number of entries we'd have to put in a poll. One page's worth of posts can be read much more easily. It avoids the issue of how long the topic should last before the slate is made - whenever the slate fills up, the topic gets closed.

    I know what you're thinking, 'it's unfair and biased in favour of people posting fast'. But then, what are the qualifications for a good/bad name, or a good/bad Dex entry? This is solely about limiting the sheer volume of options for a preliminary, democratic poll. After that the most popular entries can clash in IRV voting till the 'best' one emerges.


    Other than that, one rule that could be implemented for Dex entries is a simple requirement that Pokemon names must be in ALL CAPS. It's a simple flavor-centered rule the games give us precedent to and can coexist with any other rules we set up, to weed out people who don't read the OP.
  16. Korski

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    I don't think GF does the ALL-CAPS Pokemon names anymore for their dex entries. That is a non-requirement that has been brought up in probably every gen. 5 dex thread we've done, and has been decidedly shot down each time.

    Regarding capping Name and Dex submissions at 25, I just don't think that'll be fair to the folks who aren't on top of the submission thread within the first 18 hours with Final Submissions in hand. And deleting feedback posts is a bad idea; community feedback helps a lot in these stages, especially posts with constructive criticism, and they're a thing we're trying to get more of, not eliminate. Most submitters like getting out in front of the game with a first draft so that they have a greater opportunity to receive feedback and have more time to edit their submissions. That is a fine thing, yet by limiting the slate to the first 25 submissions posted, we will essentially be asking people to either come up with a Final Submission all on their own (fast), or just slop a placeholder post together and edit it later when they're already guaranteed a slot on the slate.
    Good prediction. And I agree that lowering the number of legal final subs for Name and Pokedex polls is a good idea. But I would hate to see a good name posted late in the thread to be disqualified simply because the submitter wasn't online and on Smogon for a whole day. What makes the idea unfair and biased is that the "slate" in this scenario is actually based on timing, not quality, which I am absolutely sure no one would like to see.

    The qualifications for good/bad name are easy: the name looks and sounds like it fits with the art design and can be spoken out loud without any linguistic gymnastics. With Pokedex, well, that's really a crapshoot and we can't be deciding for other people what they like and don't like in a submission. Either way, when the Polls for those stages come, you can vote on them without reading all the bs in the actual submission post (as many people already do), since the end result is right there in the OP. Still, reading the bs in the submission may give you a better idea of how the name fits with the design or with other elements of the CAP's build up to that point, and it may even change your opinion (especially if there are actual posts by other users supporting the name). Every democratic election system has better-informed voters and less-informed voters, but for these two stages in particular, the difference between them is very small. Someone who reads every post in the dex thread has the same sway as someone who pops in from wherever else and votes without even looking at the submission thread, and both those voters are essentially voting with the same things in mind.

    That being said, I don't think a vertical list of even 70 names (posted alphabetically) in the Name Poll OP would keep people from voting for their favorites. But that's just me.

    Regarding up-voting for these stages, my idea would be this:
    • The Submission threads go on exactly like they have been up through now.
    • Users may post submissions, edit them, and await feedback as usual. When they feel their submission is as good as it can get, they make a new post in the thread marked "Final Submission."
    • A user can up-vote a submission post ONLY if it is marked as a "Final Submission"
    • Users may not edit their Final Submission posts
    And bam. As a submitter, you have two options: 1) post your Final Sub right away without feedback and start collecting votes early, or 2) post your draft and wait for feedback and edit your sub accordingly, potentially earning more votes overall. The early bird is taking a huge risk in just throwing out a Final Sub that they cannot change, while smarter users will take the time to gauge public opinion and most likely be rewarded for it. That is, if we use the up-vote system, which I'm not entirely sure is a better idea than separated submission and polling threads.
  17. paintseagull

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    I think we should ONLY do upvotes if we can't think of something simpler that we can agree is reasonable to at least try. No need to make a big change if we can make a small one.

    For names, I think we can easily consider a multiple bold poll that has more entries than art. If art is usually about 20-25, I can see being able to sort through a multiple bold poll of a list of names of about double that without much trouble. So we could cap at 35 or 40, which sounds crazy, but in practice I think wouldn't be too bad.

    If we ended up with more than our limit, we could try to group similar names together, and the TL or whoever can cull names from the groupings that have the largest population until we get to our limit. The culling would be admittedly subjective, but at least this would be limited. At that point we can move to a multiple bold vote.

    To be reeeally honest I'd like to see what the community reaction to a multiple bold vote with EVERY submission, no matter how high the number, would be. It's not as though it would be a test that may potentially offend anyone. At worst it would just be an annoying consequence of being more fair, and folks who are annoyed by it could just wait for the IRV slate, which instead will have been chosen by the community.

    For dex entries, I think it's a good idea to instate more guidelines or rules such as word count (and grammar as I stated before).
  18. jas61292

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    Ugh, I don't like to be that guy, but honestly, I think all these ideas are horrendous. To start with upvotes, it is an unfair, and unreliable way to judge community concensus. Earlier posts get more likes, later ones get fewer. This means timining can become significantly more important that quality, which we should never want. And the idea of limiting it to early entries to get rid of this bias is even worse. While the system already is biased against late entries, not even taking them does nothing to make things better. Additionally, upvotes in general are not even a good way to see what people like. If people can like something, they will often do it for many reasons that are not what we are looking for. Many people will be just as likely to "like" the submission that is hilariously bad as they are to "like" the one that is legitimately good. So, in the end, when tallying the upvotes, the results may not even mean anything when it comes to what the people actually want. Overall, doing this would not improve the process at all, would make slating based, not on judged community concensus but on a system of voting for which we have no idea what the votes even mean, would unfairly disadvangtage certain entries based on an unrelated criteria, and really just complicates things overall. And that is not even mentioning that it relies on something not even currently existant on the site. While an objective system would be more ideal than a subjective one, I would much rather put my faith in a subjective system relying on people I trust, than a objective one with major, unfixable fundemental flaws

    Slating everything, on the other hand is flawed for completely different reasoning. Slate sizes would be ridiculous, and people will not read and vote based on the entire choice list. This is just a fact, and you all know it. To make things worse, slating everything means incredibly similar things go head to head. You all know that every project multiple names are submitted that sound alike but differ by one letter. With them all slated people are either forced to vote for all of these variations, possibly making a slate of the same thing over and over in later polls, or only vote for their favorite version, potentially splitting the vote and eliminating all of them. While there are upsides, and this is definitely a superior method to upvotes, I really don't see this as any sort of improvement on the current system. Slating everything is much less likely to end up selecting what people want, and adding a little subjectivity is fine if it means that the actual vote will be a more accurate representation the community's desires.

    Finally, on the idea of a council of people making the slate, well... I liked this one at first. It definitely has potential, and I think CAP4's Pokedex entries showed it works for the most part (aside from the fact that the eventual winner kinda had an illegaly long species name, but w/e). The problem I have for this system is exactly what srk said above:
    It is a perfectly fair question as to why we would allow more important desicions to be made by one person, but we can't trust a single person to make this slate. Unlike with competitive decisions, you don't even have a concept to worry about. It is all about judging what is most popular. I honestly don't see why we would need a comittee. What is the problem with having a single individual make the slates? However, as pointed out in the above quote, the section leaders do have TL oversight, so it only makes sense to have something similar in place for flavor. However, since the TL and TLT are about competitive things, and there is no flavor governing body, I would suggest that such oversight simply be left to the mods.

    Basically, what I am suggesting is this: A single person be selected to be the "leader" of flavor step (either one leader for both or a different one for each, doesn't really matter). This person has the job of making a slate solely based on their interpretation of community concensus, very much like TLT members do for competitive steps, but without the need for concept consideration. The mods have a job like the TL for this stage, with the power to add or remove an single controversial option or veto the slate and impliment their own should they feel it is an innacurate representation of what the community wants.

    How exactly we would select the flavor leaders, I do not know, but I feel that a system like this would be much more likely to produce the desired results than anything else brought up so far. We don't need to remove subjectivity from the process, we just need to keep it in check, and I believe the same system that we are trusting for our competitive steps would be the best thing for flavor as well.
  19. Yllnath

    Yllnath

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    I don't see why upvoting would be so bad. Open the thread, leave it open for 36 hours for (final) submissions. After 36 hours, close the thread for posting and editing and start allowing upvoting for another 24 hours. Perhaps the first post of the thread can be updated to show all legal final submissions with a direct hotlink to the post you want to upvote. (although then you could argue your just making an all-inclusive slate anyway)

    Early birds, in any set-up, will always be more discussed. If I were to first to post in the name thread and would immediately post the name 'awesomesaucename', I would be discussed the most in the thread without a doubt. Someone on a third page would barely stand a chance.

    With the above scenario, no voting would take place in the first 36 hours, just discussion and final submissions. After 36 hours, you get to upvote on all posts.
    Because of this strict split, it's more likely that people are aware of why they are upvoting posts, i.e. to get their favourite names into the slate.

    And if we'd want to be thorough, to go against social engineering the results, the top-x upvoted names just continue to go through an standard IRV voting poll round anyway. Same for Dex options.

    @Jas,
    Isn't that just CAP? The community decides what the pokemon becomes, first and foremost? If one person or a council of people you trust, as you state it, pick the 'good' slate, we're already disallowing the community at large to have the final picking. And let's face, there is no good or wrong in flavor, no matter how you'd argue about it. I mean, I reallly don't get why you would say that the upvoting would make the slating not based on judged community consensus. If anything, this method, or just making a big slate of every valid entry and doing a big IRV poll from the first second are the only ways to get a judged community consensus.
    Also specifically in response to
    This would not just be limited to upvoting. The same issue would be exactly the same on a (nicely dubbed) mega-poll. After all, this is flavor, and people will vote for what they can relate to, even if it's completely unflavorful in your own opinion. That's why it's a community project after all.
    Hell, even if you make flavor leader, whose only goal is to discern from discussion which 10, 15? names are discussed most and would make a slate out of that, it could easily be that one of those is the silly comedy-relief name. And if 51% of the community ends up voting on it, it would be totally valid, even if the name is Poopillar for a caterpillar we created with a brown color palette. Fact is, there is no such thing as 'unrelated criteria'. You may not resonate with criteria for naming options that other people feel are valid criteria for selecting a name. But those criteria are perfectly valid.

    But I digress. For competitive polls of any kind, upvoting should never be used. It could be a fun add-on regardless for seeing which posts are appreciated in a good discussion thread, but otherwise moot votes.

    In a flavor poll, where no name is wrong, and there is no way of knowing what set of names would have to suffice for the community to vote on is always a worse slate than the entire set of options. So if you're already thinking about letting the community vote on each final submission, then it's just easier, in terms of work for the team, to use upvoting of final submissions (as described in the first alinea) as opposed to making an IRV mega-poll.
  20. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    If at all possible, I don't want any single elite person or collection of elite people selecting flavor slates, on the assumption that they are "qualified" to determine the slate better than anyone else. Even if we tell the slating person(s) to use community consensus as their sole criteria, I still don't like it. I continue to go back to art as a guideline. Even though I really hate some of the crap that gets into the art poll, I like that every submitter is equal without having to pander to the subjective whims of any mods, leaders, or otherwise. The only people you have to pander to is the general community as a whole.

    I think we can get to something that is 100% open and equal for everyone, even if we have to impose some artificial hurdles that will have the effect of filtering out the lazy or stupid participants. I have a few suggestions, based on some assumptions about CAP behavior:

    1) Most people are not "hardcore" CAP participants. They don't participate in all CAP steps, and they don't pay attention to "boring policy threads".

    2) Most people don't read the OP of flavor threads.

    3) Most people make submissions based on looking at what other people post and they imitate the form and style of those other posts.

    4) Most people do not follow the submission threads closely and they do not read all the posts.​

    My plan is to leverage these tendencies to make slating more manageable.

    Proposal 1: Impose a set of posting rules, submission rules, and submission formatting standards for names and pokedex entries.
    These rules should be along the lines of what most people do anyway, but we should intentionally make them somewhat long and detailed. Something like this for names, for example:

    Name Rules (open)

    Legal name submissions must meet the following standards
    • Names must start with a capital letter.
    • Names cannot be longer than 10 letters.
    • Names can only contain the following characters:
      • Letters A-Z
      • Numbers 1-9
      • Dash (-)
      • Apostrophe (')
      • Period (.)
      • Space
    • No more than two capital letters can be included in the name, and capital letters cannot be consecutive.
    • A maximum of two non-letters can be included in the name, and a maximum of one non-letter of each type can be included (ie. You can't have two numbers, or two apostrophes, but you could have one number and one apostrophe)

    Work In Progress (WIP) Names can be posted at any time for comments from the community.

    No more than three WIP Names can be posted by any individual person through the entire course of the name thread. This limit applies to ALL posts made by a single person, even if previous posts are edited or deleted. This limit is intended to curb the tendency for some submitters to spam the thread repeatedly with lists of Names. This detracts from other submissions and makes it difficult for commenters to survey the submission thread.

    Do not bump your WIP names by posting them repeatedly, or making minor spelling changes of a letter or two. Bumping will result in the disqualification of all names by the offender. Editing or deleting bump posts will not prevent disqualification.

    Only ONE Final Submission can be made per person.

    Name Final Submissions can only be posted after a CAP Moderator posts in the thread that final submissions are open. Any final submission posted prior to the Moderator notification post, will disqualify the submitter from the poll entirely. Even if the offending post is edited later or deleted, the submitter will still be disqualified for the remainder of the thread. This ensures that all submitters have equal opportunity to post final submissions without anyone unfairly "jumping the gun".

    Name Final Submissions must posted exactly in the following format and in the following exact order:
    • The first line of the post must have the words "Final Submission" in bold on it's own line. No other text may be included before the bold heading.
    • A blank line
    • The Name submission in bold.
    • A blank line
    • A one line description of the etymology of the name or why it is appropriate for our Pokemon.
    Below the Final Submission you can post other comments, explanations, etc.
    Any Final Submission that does not follow the proper format will be disqualified.


    Rules like this will get rid of many submitters that don't read the OP or don't pay attention to the thread. Many of those rules don't NEED to be specified, but I intentionally spelled it all out to force submitters to spend a little time reading through the OP to make sure they are in compliance. Presumably someone else could come up with similar detailed rules for Pokedex Entries.


    Proposal 2: Create a "Flavor Panel" at the beginning of the CAP project who will be responsible for selecting Name and Pokedex slates.
    I think we should do it at the same time we select the TL and TLT. The panel will be open to anyone who signs up and nominates themselves with a proper nomination post. We should require nominations to contain a paragraph describing the person's history of playing Pokemon, and a description of their philosophy on flavor. Since both flavor steps (Name and Pokedex) involve writing or vocabulary, any person that does not demonstrate proper grammar and spelling in their nomination post will not be accepted onto the panel. But anyone with a background of playing pokemon that can compose a proper nomination will be accepted onto the Flavor Panel.

    The Flavor Panel WILL NOT be changed after the CAP project starts. Since nominations are not very exciting in the first place, I suspect the Flavor Panel will consist mostly of active CAP enthusiasts. Requiring a properly written nomination will also eliminate many lazy or stupid people. This should keep the Flavor Panel to a manageable number. I really don't care how big or small this panel is. They key is that it's open to everyone.

    At the conclusion of a flavor thread, we ask the Flavor Panel to submit a list of ALL the options they think are of sufficient quality and popularity to make the slate. The guidelines for Flavor Panel balloting should be something like this:
    • You are NOT voting on your personal favorites here.
    • You should list out EVERY submission that you think is of sufficient quality OR is sufficiently popular to be CONSIDERED by the community at large in a general poll.
    • You should not exclude options that you know to be popular with the community already or if you know they are good enough for consideration.
    • You must include AT LEAST ten options on your ballot.
    • If any member of the Flavor Panel is suspected of attempting to game the balloting system or manipulate their ballot for the purpose of improving or hindering other options for reasons other than submission quality or community popularity, you will be removed from the Flavor Panel and your ballot will be ignored.

    In the panel nomination thread, we should ask everyone to promise to uphold the principles of the CAP project and to be as objective as possible in executing their duties on the panel. No doubt people will "play favorites", but my bet is that most people will do their best to be fair and objective if you make a clear expectation up front.

    The slate will be composed of the top options selected by the Flavor Panel, as interpreted by the CAP Mods. We'll do it pretty much like how we handle cutoffs for the Art Polls. Maybe set a goal of 7-10 options to make the first slate, but don't set any firm limits.

    There are a couple of ways we can collect panel ballots for slates. But we will NOT be altering the forum access privs or implement any new programming for this stuff. We'll use the tools already available here.
    1) The simplest way is to open a thread and only allow posts from members of the Flavor Panel. Anyone not on the Flavor Panel who posts will have their post deleted (possibly infracted too). This could be a bit of a mess, since people will see what appears to be a normal bold voting thread and they'll just pile on. But possibly we could include a steady stream of warning posts "DO NOT POST HERE IF YOU AREN'T LISTED IN THE OP" or something like that.

    2) We could host the balloting thread in the CAP Kitchen social group. That removes almost all the drive-by traffic. Any non-panel votes would be few and far between, and easily deleted.

    3) Possibly we could just rename the "CAP Prevo Workshop" subforum to "CAP Kitchen" and use that subforum for prevos and Flavor Panel threads and other flavor stuff too. The subforum gets less traffic than the main forum, so my guess is that wayward posts would be easier to control.​

    I'm open to other suggestions as to how to execute voting, but I'd like it to be thread-based so we can use the standard vote counting scripts to automate the process.

    The Flavor Panel is obviously nothing more than a first round of voting against an ill-defined "slate". But it's different than most CAP polls because we explicitly ask the panelists to select all qualified entries, and not just "vote" like normal. I think many people will try to do the right thing, if we ask them to. I think we should explicitly NOT list out all the options in the Panel balloting OP. Tell the panelists to read the thread and find all the final submissions. Once again, I think most people will do the necessary legwork to evaluate the entire thread fairly, since we are dealing with people who had to do a bit of work to get onto the panel in the first place.

    Most of all this process is not biased or subjective to any particular person or group. The selection and voting process is 100% open and fair to everyone on the project. If anything, it is biased towards people that are active, smart and pay attention to the CAP project. That's the kind of "bias" I like!

    I know there are some problems with a system like this, but I think it will improve on what we have now, without the drawbacks of some other suggestions I have seen in this thread.
  21. CiteAndPrune

    CiteAndPrune

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    I'm in favour of the ruleset Doug posted regarding Names. He thought of so many contigency cases and made it so awesomely long, I've nothing to add but my humble support.

    As regards the Flavor Panel, it sounds like a good idea to me. As regards counting the proposed slates - what if the topic is locked after Final Submissions are completed and Panelists just PM their chosen slates picked as best as they can make them, all slates going to one moderator who posts the poll as soon as these are tallied up? It might be a hidden exchange yes, but we're already trying to keep out the masses from this one so why not go all the way? And without seeing the PMs of other members as to what they're voting on, it's harder to game the slate at all, isn't it (assuming the panelists keep a lid on their choices across all other channels, of course).
  22. Birkal

    Birkal woops, butter fingers :>
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    We talked about this in #cap the other night, and I made my position on Doug's proposal pretty clear. I think he's making a valiant effort to make this better. However, my primary beef with his proposal is that it adds superfluous steps to the process. There's now extra polls that need to be done to have the Flavor Panel vote, and an extra stage to vote on the flavor panel. I'll agree that I like his proposal more than having a team of flavor leaders, but it's still not optimal, in my opinion. I think it's investing too much time into flavor, which is not supposed to be our focus. It just seems overly complex for something we should not be investing much entry into.

    With that in mind, let me try to summarize what I feel other users have brought up in this thread and could make a reasonable resolution.


    Birkal's Proposal

    Let's accept all legal, final submissions. Even though we'll have a pretty sizable first poll, we can utilize Multiple Bold Voting to bring it down to IRV levels easily. I think the primary argument against this is that users would get halfway through and post only half of a vote. I've done a bunch of research on past big polls (like art polls) and I've never found this to be the case. There just aren't posts out there that indicate that they quit voting halfway through. That leads me to believe that if a user gives up halfway through, they're more likely to just not vote. At the end of the day, it's flavor. If people want to vote on it, let them please. But we don't need to somehow make flavor polls more inviting for new users, in my opinion. They will get votes.

    Now, I think there are measures that we can take to narrow down the amount of Final Submissions. Let me illustrate what can be done for both:


    Name Poll Entries:
    • Users must provide one sentence (25 words maximum) explaining the etymology of the name. This prevents people from shooting into the wind and leads them to explain their reasoning.

    • Users must provide a pronunciation guide of their name. Some of these are pretty obvious, but names like Revenankh and Kitsunoh can be difficult to pronounce. Users could use IPA phonetics to spell it out, or a simple site like Vocaroo to record themselves saying the name.


    Pokedex Entry Submissions:

    • Entries must have perfect grammar. We'll get the GP team on board to help give some of these brief look-overs. Any wrong punctuation or spelling is grounds for not being slated. In controversial grammar cases (there aren't many), the entry is not slated.

    • All entries must be 25 words long at maximum. This keeps entries from being terribly long (Magikarp has the longest entry with 43 words in Sapphire). If you can't explain your thoughts in a few words, then it makes for a poor dex entry.

    • All entries must include a species name that is 13 characters long at maximum. This is the standard in Pokemon, and we should uphold this.


    Also, if we want to make either of these more complex, we can add a Height/Weight requirement to them. Typically, the TL has done that in the past, but I wouldn't mind tacking it on to something like Name Poll to add a bit more of a requirement for final submissions.

    In terms of how the slates are made, the CAP moderators can do that, just like we'll be doing for art and sprites. I know jas61292 is gonna get on me for not being "entirely objective" here, but the moderators are capable of using common sense. My argument there is that there is no possible way to pin down every facet of CAP to make it completely subjective. That being said, I feel that an open slate for all flavor polls is the most community-based way we could go about this that cuts down on time.
  23. jas61292

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    Well, there are a few things I dislike about what Birkal has proposed, but in general, I think it is the best idea we have so far. I don't really like the idea of any sort of council or panel for many reasons, but one of the big ones is what Birkal mentioned as far as adding muntiple unnecessary stages. We don't want to complicate flavor, we want to make it simple. While previously I stated I disliked the "slate everything" option, I think that in conjunction with stricter rules it is by far the best and easiest proposal brought up so far.

    That being said, there are of course some details I definitely disagree with. First, I don't like making pronunciation a requirement. While I don't mind requiring reasoning or the etymology of the name, there are many ways to go with these things so the are not limiting. Pronunciation, on the other hand is a very specific thing that is not ever provided for us in the games. I do not like requiring a specific thing that there is no precident for having. Yes, I know that some Pokedex app or something listed pronunciations at one point, but that is not the main series game in which the pokemon was introduced. I just think specific details should not be required unless it is a definite part of every Pokemon in the main series games in which they are introduced.

    Secondly, while I agree on requiring dex entries to pass GP checks, I think that any "controversial grammar cases" should be auto-accepted, not rejected. We don't want subjective judgement on our flavor slates, so if we are not sure if something is right or wrong, we should be giving the submission the benifit of the doubt. Its better to give people more options than it is to eliminate something for controversial reasons.

    Third, while I know it was less of a main part of the proposal and more of just another possibility, I definitely would oppose making height and weight part of the dex entries step. First of all, weight is a competitive value, so we should not be putting it in a flavor poll. Secondly, there is enough going on in dex entries already. We don't want to make things too complicated. Really, I would prefer that height and weight stay with the TL. Yes, I know that is not a perfectly democratic thing that might not seem perfectly in line with the project goals, but it is tradition. It is a minor step that no one really cares about. We have made it so the TL is no longer actually in control of anything else specific about an individual Pokemon. Its not like you can hijack a project by making it too light. This is a minor flavor and a minor competitive thing. TLs do a lot for the project, so lets let the TL leave his mark, minor as it may be. Very little good would come out of trying to complicate flavor steps with this additional data, and there are much worse reasons to do things than tradition.

    And finally, yup, you said it Birkal, I am totally going to get on you for the whole "not being 'entirely objective'" thing. Really, I don't see why mods making a slate is necessary. The entire point is to slate everything that is legal, so no one should be making a slate to begin with beyond checking each entry against the rules, which is indeed entirely objective. Isn't the entire point of this reform to not let individuals impose their personal opinions on the slate? If we are having a group of people subjectively judging submissions in any manner, then we are not actually fixing anything at all.
  24. srk1214

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    I agree with Birkal's proposal restrictions and jas's recommendation to accept the controversial GP options.

    I'm a little torn on height/weight. And I'm VERY torn on whether mods should still make a slate or whether anything that passes the restrictions makes the slate.
  25. Birkal

    Birkal woops, butter fingers :>
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    Sorry. jas had some confusion on my terminology there too. When I say "mods make the slate," I mean we go through and remove all illegal submissions. The "slate" would consist of all legal entries. Basically what I'm proposing is that the moderators do the dirty work of finding illegal entries and pruning them. Again, sorry for the confusion; my bad.

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