Hey everybody! Since I joined this forum (fairly recently compared to many here, to be fair) I think we’ve always had a bit of a problem with challenge turnaround times. Considering it has sort of ramped up recently and it has been a quite contested topic as of late, I think it is something we should talk about.
First of all, lets get the obvious sorted out. We are all people here, people with lives, people with limits, and people with common sense. With a lot of things on this forum with the exception of essential moderation, we work on an honor system. If you do what you signed up for, I will be leniant within reason. This means we don’t need strict, policed deadlines. We also need to adhere to that honor system, on both sides. Hosts shouldn’t wait 2 months and then be upset when the reccuring challenge moves on. Entrants shouldn’t get upset when a host posts results a few days past when they said they would.
Part of this is not setting unrealistic expectations. High-prestige, detail-intesive challenges such as TMCC and AGC shouldn’t be expected to post results a week after the deadline. A CSR or QFC with entries closer to 50 shouldn’t be expected to churn out particularly fast results either.
Now, either way, life gets in the way™ and things happen where we don’t hear from a host for months. That’s okay. It happens. It’s also okay if the nexts round starts before that time.
So anyways I think it is a discussion that has to be had and I’m curious to your guys’ thoughts.
Insights from replies:
Hosts should always at least give a general idea of when results are coming. This also applies to times when reviews are split among multiple posts. Also, as was discussed in the Future of CSR thread (hyperlinked above) when you accept host duty (which can always be turned down) you take on the resposibility of planning out entry opening/closing time and review time and the responsibility of spending considerable time to operate the challenge. Hosting is a commitment. Having multple hosts or handing it over to someone else is accepted behaviour as well.
Then again, hosting sucks and there isn’t a lot you get out of it. Reputation and (online) relationships are at risk. It’s a lot of work and is getting increasingly harder as the competitions get more entries and the game gets more complex, and judges rarely get more than a “good job!” Having a bad time as host sucks waaaay more than just waiting.
I think most of the “grrrs” are more from the hosts stating “soon” or saying a date and not adhering to that. Which is completely understandable - most of the time its only a guess to how long it’ll actually take. Most of us are completely fine with waiting 1, 2 or how many weeks it takes for the results to a challenge to come out.
Now what I think helps is for a host to split the duties up in to many smaller segments, and post them as they are made. This still provides something for the participants to busy themselves with while full results come. Progress is made and is visible to everyone, and the workload isn’t awful.
I have had only a couple of challenged that I have hosted, and I hope that I was able to put out the results for both of them reasonably quickly for what they were. What did help me with them was that:
- While I did have a decent number of entries, I only ever had 20 at most for both the bigger options
- I partly planned for the deadlines to coincide with my time off from work so I could more easily sit down after a challenge concluded and look into the stats, and
- I intentionally kept the challenge scoring more simplistic for my own sake and for higher turnaround
So far I have been somewhat lucky that I haven’t had anything happen that has caused me any major issues with returning results yet, and I am not sure what could be done in the event of myself being able to complete the results. I could imagine I may either just make a quick 'n dirty post with no flavour text and just a table of all entrants, or maybe holding a poll or picking whichever car has the most likes on their post.
Ultimately, I think the hosts should try to be honest when they get busy and if things are getting too much for right then and there consider handing the entrants over to someone who could at least post up something about results. The main thing everyone here should hopefully remember is that this is all meant to be ‘for fun’, but there is a point where it gets grating when all we can do is sit on our hands and maybe hope something will come out tomorrow.
A QFC with entries closer to 50 shouldn’t be expected to churn out results
I mean… It’s literally there in the name. Quick. The original idea was that reviews should take no longer than a week, and even had an artificial limit on review length to try and prevent scope creep happening, to keep reviews short. Of course, the limit was broken in QFC1 and quickly discarded altogether. I haven’t followed QFC, but I do know that at least one host learned the hard way why it was there. 50 cars in one week is probably too ambitious, but the expectation for QFC should be, uh, quick reviews. It’s perfectly fine if you can’t do that, I would say that you should host another challenge - a challenge where you can match your capacity with the expectations that entrants will have.
Ultimately, what matters is expectation management. Hosts need to give everyone a clear indication of how quickly they’ll do reviews, they need to come up with a timeline and then stick to it… And here is where it gets, uh, difficult. Let’s take ALC4 Reviews as an example. Yes, I haven’t opened lobbying 2 yet, I’ll get to that. From my perspective, the expectations on judging time as communicated in the post were met. I said reviews would be up in a month or so, they were up within a month. One co-host didn’t get their part done and I had to pick up at the end (frustrating), another needed me to pick up some reviews because they were sick and gave me advance warning (a great way to handle it). However, I still got questions about when reviews would be out… Which shows that some people had expectations that differed from the post. Maybe because I did my parts super quickly, maybe because some people just didn’t read.
What’s the solution? Honestly, I don’t know. How can you manage expectations when you clearly set them out, and people still have different expectations? I don’t know. But even setting a date and adhering to it doesn’t completely work. It’s definitely worth doing though.
As for ALC lobbying… Well, it’s not delaying the challenge, I’m kinda under the weather, y’all can wait a little. It’ll be worth the wait. I hope.
Eh, what I do is set notifications on and just go on with my life until I get I get a “results posted” alert
If you look at what’s happening in the CSC thread right now, you’ve got a situation where people don’t even want to host. It’s not hard to understand why.
Hosting sucks. It is a lot of work. You put yourself at risk of making enemies and starting grudges because some people won’t agree with your decisions. There’s little upside; best case scenario you get a couple verbal pats on the back.
I don’t think we have a major problem here. A few rounds here and there taking too long is fine. These are video game contests with no prize and no compensation. Contestants waiting for results should do just that, wait.
Is it annoying waiting a long time for results? Sure, a bit. But whenever this conversation comes up there’s not really a solution ever set besides “host should be faster” which, yeah, some hosts really should be faster. But make the hosts’ jobs harder and no one wants to do it. People barely want to do it already.
Let’s just be patient and respectful of each other, take a deep breath, and not forget that none of this is actually important.
As someone that is more or less becoming a veteran on this board, I can say that we have had this discussion multiple times before and it has seldom been leading anywhere…
I have only hosted one CSC so far; luckily, the turnout was very low (9 entrants in total), and I was mindful enough to commence judging very soon after the deadline, having prepared the reviews and results well in advance, which helped a lot, and led to a quick turnaround by CSC standards.
Thanky you guys for your input! I have to say I don’t think this is something we should just put off. If people are being unfair in their reactions to one another and causing problems like this-
…then it is a conversation worth having. This is something that just gets harder and harder as the game gets more and more complex and the community gets bigger, and leaving it open to “Nobody ever listens to anybody so this is pointless” is indeed, pointless. It would be nice to have an agreed upon consensus of “let’s just be patient and respectful of each other” that we can fall back on when problems inevitably arise again.
I think you might be misinterpreting me a bit here. I think that how things have been running for so long now is just fine. So I think that there is nothing here that needs to change and nothing to discuss other than, people should be civil. At the end of day, we’re not going to start compensating hosts for their time, nor are members of the community, especially ones who haven’t been around to see this pop up already, going to stop making remarks about judging taking too long. As much as people pass down, eventually challenges will find a host, even in the form of a challenge being sort revived at a later date.
I’m not putting off a solution, I think that the problem is minor enough that we don’t need a solution. At least not one more complicated than “chill out and be respectful” which ought to be just common decency.
Whenever these conversations happen, which isn’t infrequent, the common consensus seems to always land on “hosts take too long, but we don’t want to make forum-wide enforceable rules about hosting”
I don’t like that this conversation about turnaround times always turns on hosts. I stated plenty of reasons why it is difficult and undesirable to host. But you also can’t wrangle the whole community into being polite to hosts, especially when much of it is a revolving door of people joining and leaving.
This is something that I have legitimately worried about when I have hosted the couple of comps that I did, to the point where even when I outright say that if the car breaks any rules whatsoever it is not legal and therefore will be binned. But I usually like to go on a case by case basis when it comes to that because sometimes mistakes happen and the last thing I want to do is forbid a legitimately great car just over one kinda minor detail. The only reason I try to make it such a big deal in the comps I hosted is so that people will give their entries one final once over before submitting.
Case in point, when I hosted QFC29 there was a bit of a longer than expected debate over the fuel choice, so if cars ended up having the wrong fuel choice I opted to let the contenders know that and gave them a window of time to correct and resubmit. I could have just as easily said that because it’s the wrong fuel type it’s out for good. But at the end of the day it’s a for fun comp so I am willing to stretch my own interpretations of the rules. I’m not suggesting others should as well since I am fairly new to this, but I think hosts having their own things is good. Everyone knows about the effort LS_Swapped_Rx7 goes to for his all consuming bins and it is genuinely entertaining how they do it. I just want to encourage participation with mine if the entrant size is small enough.