TowersStreet Coaster Building Contest 2021/22: Winners Declared (Competition Ended 12th May)

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
OK everybody; my sincerest apologies for the delay, but the Round 6 submission window has now closed. The voting stage has begun!

Just as a reminder, here are the submissions you’ll be voting on, along with the members who posted them just so you know who to vote for:
  • Gargantua, a B&M giga coaster by @Matt N:
  • Unnamed B&M invert/RMC Wacky Worm duo by @Poisson:
  • Unnamed Intamin Blitz Coaster by @Connor98:
  • Sonic - The Ride, a Mack launch coaster by @Matt.GC:
  • Necrophobia, an Intamin Blitz Coaster by @mo237:
  • Eterna, a Mack launch coaster by @Archermav:
  • Fossil Fuel, a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster by @RicketyCricket:
  • Vesuvius, a B&M wing coaster by @Thameslink Rail:

Also, let me just give you all a reminder of how voting works, in case anyone has forgotten:
Now I hear you asking "well if I'm supposed to vote, how on earth does voting work?". Well don't worry; I'm about to clear that up!

Basically, I would like each of you to post your top 5 layouts, ranked in order. Can I please request that you include the user who created the layout in each of your ranking spots, so I can keep an easier tally of the scores as voting progresses (going off of ride name alone would make things tough, as there are 3 Exoduses). You can include the ride name if you like or you can just post the user if you'd prefer, but if you could put usernames in there for each ranking, that would be terrific! I would also like you to nominate the layouts that you feel are Most Realistic and Most Original; these do not have to be from your top 5. So if I was posting my votes, I'd post something like this:
  1. @UserA
  2. @UserB
  3. @UserC
  4. @UserD
  5. @UserE
  • Most Realistic: @UserX
  • Most Original: @UserY
(Obviously you don't have to post exactly like that, but that's just a template to give you some idea. You can offer some explanation of your choices if you wish, or you can just post the users themselves without any explanation; it's entirely up to you!)

In terms of how the scoring works; each ranking within a list is weighted a certain amount, with a #1 ranking gaining the most points and a #5 ranking gaining the least points. The weightings are as follows:
  • #1 ranking gains 5 points
  • #2 ranking gains 4 points
  • #3 ranking gains 3 points
  • #4 ranking gains 2 points
  • #5 ranking gains 1 point
  • A vote for Most Realistic gains 1 Realism point, and a vote for Most Original gains 1 Originality point. These are logged separately to the overall points.
Before I let us jump into voting, let me just lay out one ground rule; please do not vote for yourself. Please exclude your own layout when casting your vote. I know that sounds harsh, but I feel that allowing votes for your own submission could unfairly skew the results.
One slight alteration I should point out compared to a regular voting stage is that any ranking, or Most Realistic/Most Original vote, that a player gains in this round is worth double the points that it would have been worth in the previous 5 rounds. This means that:
  • A #1 ranking gains 10 points in the bonus round, compared with 5 points in a regular round.
  • A #2 ranking gains 8 points in the bonus round, compared with 4 points in a regular round.
  • A #3 ranking gains 6 points in the bonus round, compared with 3 points in a regular round.
  • A #4 ranking gains 4 points in the bonus round, compared with 2 points in a regular round.
  • A #5 ranking gains 2 points in the bonus round, compared with 1 point in a regular round.
I think that’s everything. For the last time this contest; get voting, everybody!

As we started voting a day late, your voting deadline is Wednesday 11th May 2022 at 11:59pm. Winners will be crowned and the competition will end on Thursday 12th May 2022.
P.S. On a side note, I sincerely apologise for the lack of positive affirmation/comments from myself on the later entries to this round. Going to Germany threw me massively off the ball with this contest, and I haven’t really had the time to watch the later submissions yet. I’ll watch them when I vote, and my ballot will be coming in due course.
 
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Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Sorry to double post, but I have now cast my final votes of the competition.

Let me just start by saying; what a fantastic last hurrah to end the competition on! There have been loads of great creations to pick from; it was tough to choose winners, so please don't be offended if I haven't picked you!

With that in mind, my votes for Round 6 are as follows:
  1. @Archermav
  2. @RicketyCricket
  3. @Matt.GC
  4. @Connor98
  5. @Poisson
Great round, everybody; what a great way to close off the competition!
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Although my number 1 choice is a solid one for me because I loved it, I did struggle with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th choices. I thought every submission this round had decent layouts.

1. @Connor98 (what a beautiful layout)
2. @Archermav
3. @RicketyCricket
4. @Thameslink Rail
5. @Poisson

Most realistic @Archermav
Most original @Matt N (some interesting transitions for the coaster type).

I've thoroughly enjoyed this and seeing all participants creations and I'll be sad to see it end to be honest. My Mrs won't miss sitting next to me on the sofa rolling her eyes - "Hang sweetheart, I'll do it in a minute, I've got to get this submission in tonight".

But of course it's summer and we all have real coasters to go out and ride. But none the less, I'm very much looking forward to next competition.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Just as a reminder; you only have 2 days and 25 minutes left to place your final votes of the competition, if you haven't already!
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
OK everyone; you have 11 hours and 18 minutes remaining to vote for your favourites for the final time! After that, I will declare the winners and the competition will end, so this is your last chance this competition to make your voice heard!

Please also remember that I have concocted prizes (of sorts) for the winners. They’re slightly amateur prizes, so I apologise in advance, but they’re prizes nonetheless!
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
OK, everybody; that's a wrap for the bonus round!

Our winners for this round were as follows:
Great round, everybody!
(P.S. If you're wondering why so few votes were able to raise so many points; it's worth me once again pointing out that any points scored in this round were worth double what they were in any other round)

However, that isn't just a wrap on the bonus round; it's a wrap on the competition as a whole.

So without further ado, the winners of the TowersStreet Speed Build Contest are as follows:
Congratulations, winners; you'll be receiving your prizes via PM in due course! I apologise in advance, as they're a tad on the amateur side, but I guess they're something...

But on the whole; there have been valiant efforts from everybody, as far as I can see! I've been very impressed for this entire competition with the sheer high quality of creations presented throughout! Whether your strength lies in originality or realism (or perhaps even a cocktail of both), I've been thoroughly impressed with every submission throughout the competition, so I think everybody deserves a pat on the back; well done, folks!

Here is the overall leaderboard for the entire competition, if any of you are interested:
  1. @Matt.GC - 143 points overall, 3 Realism points, 4 Originality points
  2. @Archermav - 114 points overall, 17 Realism points, 0 Originality points
  3. @RicketyCricket - 108 points overall, 2 Realism points, 4 Originality points
  4. @Connor98 - 101 points overall, 2 Realism points, 1 Originality points
  5. @Matt N - 54 points overall, 9 Realism points, 5 Originality points
  6. @Poisson - 50 points overall, 0 Realism points, 15 Originality points
  7. @Burbs - 50 points overall, 10 Realism points, 3 Originality points
  8. @mo237 - 34 points overall, 1 Realism points, 0 Originality points
  9. @Matt878787 - 20 points overall, 2 Realism points, 0 Originality points
  10. @Thameslink Rail - 12 points overall, 1 Realism points, 13 Originality points
  11. @JAperson - 4 points overall, 0 Realism points, 2 Originality points
So all I have to say now is; thank you all so much for participating in the first TowersStreet Speed Build Contest! I hope you've all had fun, and my hope is that it'll be the first of many! I'm certainly intending to come back with another competition for you this closed season, and I don't see any reason for me not to run competitions well into the future as long as you're all still keen to play along with me!

I hope you've all enjoyed yourselves, but if you do have any feedback or any issues you've found with this first competition, please don't hesitate to tell me, whether it's in this topic or via PM. I'd love to take any constructive feedback from yourselves on board so that I can improve future contests.

So that's a wrap, everybody! Thank you all so much once again for competing and playing along, and I hope you've enjoyed yourselves! I'm hoping to do the next competition over the 2022/23 closed season, if you're up for another one, so look out for a post introducing the 2022/23 TowersStreet Speed Build Competition at the end of October or so (I'll have a bit of a sign up period to let people get signed up before the competition begins, and then I'll unleash the first round around the beginning of closed season...); the next competition will be longer than this one (I've calculated that approximately 10 rounds would be possible to span the entire closed season), and hopefully even bigger and better than this one! If I haven't posted anything by the end of October, give me a polite nudge, as I'm very keen to do this again next closed season!

Now, let's all get out there and visit some real theme parks to get our creative juices flowing for the next competition!
P.S. Apologies for my lateness; I've been a bit sidetracked this evening.
 
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Burbs

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Untamed - Walibi Holland
Matt, thanks for running this, I've enjoyed taking part and it's certainly been a much-needed kick up the arse to get back into PlanCo! I'd love to see the competition return come the closed season, or whenever you fancy, but I have a few pointers for you:
  • It's felt like we've been playing this for a loooong time (it's been 13 weeks since this topic was created), yet the content we've individually produced seems quite small for such a long timeframe, considering we've only had 6 rounds of the game. I think to combat this, it'd be worth doing 10+ weeks of the competition, but tie in the voting stage with the building stage (so that you are voting for the previous week's creations whilst building). I appreciate that not everyone would be able to take part each week as a result, but as far as I'm concerned I'd be happy to drop in and out of the competition whenever. Yes it will affect the points, but the real aim of this topic isn't the points is it, it's seeing what we each create to a brief.

  • Talking of which, I feel you could sack off the "realism" and, to a lesser extent "uniqueness" points. Personally I found that when aiming to create something realistic, it hindered my creativity for the rest of the brief and thinking outside the box. It also made the voting stage quite an effort, so I'd say just stick to voting for your favourite 5. That being said, as contest runner, there's nothing stopping you handing out bonus points wherever you see fit.

  • I'd prefer you not to tell us what each of the rounds are going to be at the beginning of the contest. It's the surprise announcements of each round's brief that make this sort of forum game exciting and interesting. You could even run it in a similar way to the old Layout Geek Leagues, in which the previous round's winner would decide the brief for the next round, and amend this wherever you feel necessary should the same player win in consecutive weeks.

  • In terms of the briefs themselves, I'd say make it a bit less specific. Having height/length/ride time/inversion count/airtime moment restrictions/minimums is great and something we can work with, but say including a minimum throughput/excitement rating/etc feels a bit pointless considering it's either subjective within the game itself, or nowhere near accurate. This is another thing that I found affected my creativity: focussing on making sure there were enough block sections much more than the quality of the layout.

  • I'd also say, cut back on the constant reminders about how long we have left. It's fine to do it once or twice to remind folk if you've not had many submissions, but having it what's felt like daily has been a little bit annoying. If you set out the submission deadlines in the first post, it's our fault if we miss them! Similarly, unless members have asked you specifically, I wouldn't bother extending the deadlines either.
However, these are just my suggestions - I'm sure there will be more to come from others who have taken part. Thanks for running it @Matt N, it's something we've never really had on here before and clearly it's proven to be popular with the amount of members participating!
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Matt, thanks for running this, I've enjoyed taking part and it's certainly been a much-needed kick up the arse to get back into PlanCo! I'd love to see the competition return come the closed season, or whenever you fancy, but I have a few pointers for you:
  • It's felt like we've been playing this for a loooong time (it's been 13 weeks since this topic was created), yet the content we've individually produced seems quite small for such a long timeframe, considering we've only had 6 rounds of the game. I think to combat this, it'd be worth doing 10+ weeks of the competition, but tie in the voting stage with the building stage (so that you are voting for the previous week's creations whilst building). I appreciate that not everyone would be able to take part each week as a result, but as far as I'm concerned I'd be happy to drop in and out of the competition whenever. Yes it will affect the points, but the real aim of this topic isn't the points is it, it's seeing what we each create to a brief.

  • Talking of which, I feel you could sack off the "realism" and, to a lesser extent "uniqueness" points. Personally I found that when aiming to create something realistic, it hindered my creativity for the rest of the brief and thinking outside the box. It also made the voting stage quite an effort, so I'd say just stick to voting for your favourite 5. That being said, as contest runner, there's nothing stopping you handing out bonus points wherever you see fit.

  • I'd prefer you not to tell us what each of the rounds are going to be at the beginning of the contest. It's the surprise announcements of each round's brief that make this sort of forum game exciting and interesting. You could even run it in a similar way to the old Layout Geek Leagues, in which the previous round's winner would decide the brief for the next round, and amend this wherever you feel necessary should the same player win in consecutive weeks.

  • In terms of the briefs themselves, I'd say make it a bit less specific. Having height/length/ride time/inversion count/airtime moment restrictions/minimums is great and something we can work with, but say including a minimum throughput/excitement rating/etc feels a bit pointless considering it's either subjective within the game itself, or nowhere near accurate. This is another thing that I found affected my creativity: focussing on making sure there were enough block sections much more than the quality of the layout.

  • I'd also say, cut back on the constant reminders about how long we have left. It's fine to do it once or twice to remind folk if you've not had many submissions, but having it what's felt like daily has been a little bit annoying. If you set out the submission deadlines in the first post, it's our fault if we miss them! Similarly, unless members have asked you specifically, I wouldn't bother extending the deadlines either.
However, these are just my suggestions - I'm sure there will be more to come from others who have taken part. Thanks for running it @Matt N, it's something we've never really had on here before and clearly it's proven to be popular with the amount of members participating!
Thank you very much for your feedback @Burbs! Let me address each of your points individually, as there's a fair bit to digest; I'll address each point in order:
  • That's a great suggestion, and I do think it would be nice if I were to make things slightly more fast-paced next time; I appreciate that it can be a bit of a slog playing something like this when it feels like things are moving slowly. Interestingly, the timescale I went with was actually streamlined a fair amount to begin with compared to what I was originally considering; if you remember back to when I started this topic, I was originally going to have 4 weeks for each round, with 1 week for voting on the round, 2 weeks for build and 1 week for voting on winners, as that was what the contest I based this off of did, but I remember streamlining this one after you guys felt that was too long in the initial post. One slight issue with what you suggest, however, is that this would either result in me shortening the contest (not something I'm keen to do, as I'd like it to last the entire closed season) or having to think up 20 different rounds. I don't have an issue with that per se, but I worry that if I had to think up that many rounds, I'd be scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas, and I would at least like to know that I'm producing fun, good quality rounds each time. Also, I didn't want to overload you guys with things to do at any one point in the competition, so I felt like having only one thing to focus on at a time would make things easier for people (I know I'd certainly find that easier). Nevertheless, that's certainly something I will consider!
  • Fair enough; I originally introduced those as I wanted to reward things that might not necessarily be picked up on in people's top 5s, but I'll digress that it does add an extra layer of complexity to voting that probably isn't entirely necessary, and if you feel like that's restricting your creativity when building, that's something I certainly don't want. All things considered, I'm more than happy to just focus on the top 5s next contest and scrap Realism and Originality points.
  • The only reason I ever did this was because I was wanting to gauge feedback on my initial round ideas and also because if you remember back to the start of this topic, my original plan was to have you guys decide which round we should actually play. It was later decided to scrap this element following feedback, however, so the reveal at the start did become somewhat redundant once that was scrapped. With that in mind, I definitely intend to keep the rounds a secret until we come to them next time.
  • That's a fair comment. Things like the capacity constraints were not something I originally intended to do, but I added them as a later addition. However, I'll digress that I myself kind of lost enthusiasm for the capacity constraints after the first round or so, and they weren't really being considered at all later on, if I'm being honest. With that in mind, I'm more than happy to keep it to the more easily measurable and tangible constraints (e.g. ride statistics, footprint etc.) next time.
  • Fair enough! I wanted to make sure that noone forgot about the deadlines (I'd certainly appreciate reminders myself), but I can see why my tone and frequency of reminders came across overly naggy this competition; I'm more than happy to dial back next time. Perhaps a halfway reminder and a day before reminder would suffice? In terms of the deadline extensions; I didn't think me being overly authoritarian with that would be fun for anyone, so I did want to keep things somewhat flexible. If people don't like that principle, however, then fair enough; I can be a tad stricter with that, if that's what people want.
I hope that answers all of your points to your liking! If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to give me a nudge!
 

JAperson

TS Member
Thanks so much for running the competition @Matt N and I can tell you've put a lot of your time into running it so thanks for that. In turns of @Burbs suggestions:
It's felt like we've been playing this for a loooong time (it's been 13 weeks since this topic was created), yet the content we've individually produced seems quite small for such a long timeframe, considering we've only had 6 rounds of the game. I think to combat this, it'd be worth doing 10+ weeks of the competition, but tie in the voting stage with the building stage (so that you are voting for the previous week's creations whilst building). I appreciate that not everyone would be able to take part each week as a result, but as far as I'm concerned I'd be happy to drop in and out of the competition whenever. Yes it will affect the points, but the real aim of this topic isn't the points is it, it's seeing what we each create to a brief.
I agree to an extent here, the suggestion of having voting and building combined seems like a fair compromise although a shorter voting stage could also work but would take the competition out of nicely synced weeks.
  • Talking of which, I feel you could sack off the "realism" and, to a lesser extent "uniqueness" points. Personally I found that when aiming to create something realistic, it hindered my creativity for the rest of the brief and thinking outside the box. It also made the voting stage quite an effort, so I'd say just stick to voting for your favourite 5. That being said, as contest runner, there's nothing stopping you handing out bonus points wherever you see fit.
I'm going to have to disagree here, I don't think the point was to try and match these when building but rather to reward the most interesting and most realistic creations for the brief. I think it added an extra layer of the competition, I'd like for at least most original to stick around.
I'd prefer you not to tell us what each of the rounds are going to be at the beginning of the contest. It's the surprise announcements of each round's brief that make this sort of forum game exciting and interesting. You could even run it in a similar way to the old Layout Geek Leagues, in which the previous round's winner would decide the brief for the next round, and amend this wherever you feel necessary should the same player win in consecutive weeks.
This makes perfect sense and I agree but I do see why I was done in the first place.
In terms of the briefs themselves, I'd say make it a bit less specific. Having height/length/ride time/inversion count/airtime moment restrictions/minimums is great and something we can work with, but say including a minimum throughput/excitement rating/etc feels a bit pointless considering it's either subjective within the game itself, or nowhere near accurate. This is another thing that I found affected my creativity: focussing on making sure there were enough block sections much more than the quality of the layout.
I agree here although I will add the maximum footprint was difficult for those on console and also involved some rides, particularly at the start that would not have fitted in our (those using PC) footprints. So perhaps we need to rethink the way of doing maximun footprint to something universal if you decide to continue to set maximum footprints in the brief.
d also say, cut back on the constant reminders about how long we have left. It's fine to do it once or twice to remind folk if you've not had many submissions, but having it what's felt like daily has been a little bit annoying. If you set out the submission deadlines in the first post, it's our fault if we miss them! Similarly, unless members have asked you specifically, I wouldn't bother extending the deadlines either.
I'm going to disagree again, @Matt N didn't continually do it, rather doing it at the start of the window and towards the end, only doing it again if he was lacking submissions. I found them helpful and they definitely reminded me. I really don't think it's something too annoying, but perhaps somewhere in the middle would be a good compromise here.

In terms of the results, well done @Matt.GC on your win, very well deserved you build some great stuff. Well done to the other podium placers your did great too. Also there is no surprise that @Poisson won most realistic, like RMC Wacky Worm anyone? :tearsofjoy:
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
I would also like to join everyone else in extending my thanks to you @Matt N for laying this on for us. It was a great idea and great fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. I think we've all had a laugh and it's been great to see what everyone came up with. Really looking forward to this coming back bigger and better in the Autumn. Many of the last few weeks have been dark, cold and rainy and there's a lot of doom and gloom in the world right now and this has brightened up my winter a bit.

A few thoughts from me:

1. I agree with others, there could be a bit of a lull at the voting stages and maybe we could start the next round alongside it?

2. I also didn't think there was much need for the realism points. I found myself voting for the overall based on a number of factors - basically ending up with what coasters I would most like to ride. Although realism was only one contributing factor and it wasn't a deal breaker, there was some overlap. I would 100% like to keep the unique scoring though as I think it really got some of the creative juices flowing and I think it incentivised some great concepts.

3. I'd also prefer not to know what is coming next. The element of surprise makes it more fun for me. Maybe collect some ideas/inspiration from some of us (I have a few as I'm sure many of us do) and you pick and choose whatever you like but don't tell any of us. I know you tried to make it democratic at the start, but I like going in blind. Who knows what problem you will present us with next week to solve?

4. Speaking of problem solving, I liked the restrictions to the point I think some of them were too relaxed. An example would be the Big One round where we were just building a hyper coaster and could do what we wanted really. Yet the Drayton and SW9 rounds I found great fun. We had a tiny space, no height to work with. Again, I think some of the most creative builds were in the most restrictive rounds. I think all builds should be realistic in that the game must let guests ride and I agree I wouldn't want to go down the road of manipulating the game stats but tough restrictions on footprint, height and even capacity in some cases I found great fun in the challenge.

I would love there to be a solution for Console gamers regarding the footprint, but I think there was only 3 of us anyway? It did put me at a bit of a handicap that I had to go and measure out footprints with pathways then go in and out of the coaster build and delete them when my track got close to them but I'm not sure there's a solution here and it was more of a frustration than a deal breaker for me.

5. The reminders where a little OTT with exact minutes etc. But I didn't mind them as with most of us busy with things like work and kids, having a notification on my phone did kick me up the ass a bit. Maybe just tone them down a little bit (we don't need count downs in minutes for example)? Perhaps 2 general deadline reminders on the days proceeding it and a quick tag of entrants who haven't submitted on the day and they can choose to ignore if they're busy. There's no need for extensions, if the next tournament is over closed season, I'll be dropping in an out of rounds myself due to how busy work will be in December like I'm sure many have done this time round for similar commitments. I'd appreciate a nudge in case I'm missing out in error but naturally many of us will simply have outside life getting in the way so not participating every round will be a conscious decision.

6. Would be great to get some engagement from those not participating as well. I know all forum members could vote but I wonder if others knew this? It might just be they weren't interested so engaging others isn't vitally important, I just thought it might open it up a bit if other forum members were casting votes as well.

-

But thanks again Matt. You've been a great host and I know you've put a lot of time and effort into this. It's been a blast.

Edit - thanks for my signature banner by the way. Very kind of you. When I figure out how to implement it, I'll wear it as a badge of honour. Thank you.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I would also like to join everyone else in extending my thanks to you @Matt N for laying this on for us. It was a great idea and great fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. I think we've all had a laugh and it's been great to see what everyone came up with. Really looking forward to this coming back bigger and better in the Autumn. Many of the last few weeks have been dark, cold and rainy and there's a lot of doom and gloom in the world right now and this has brightened up my winter a bit.

A few thoughts from me:

1. I agree with others, there could be a bit of a lull at the voting stages and maybe we could start the next round alongside it?

2. I also didn't think there was much need for the realism points. I found myself voting for the overall based on a number of factors - basically ending up with what coasters I would most like to ride. Although realism was only one contributing factor and it wasn't a deal breaker, there was some overlap. I would 100% like to keep the unique scoring though as I think it really got some of the creative juices flowing and I think it incentivised some great concepts.

3. I'd also prefer not to know what is coming next. The element of surprise makes it more fun for me. Maybe collect some ideas/inspiration from some of us (I have a few as I'm sure many of us do) and you pick and choose whatever you like but don't tell any of us. I know you tried to make it democratic at the start, but I like going in blind. Who knows what problem you will present us with next week to solve?

4. Speaking of problem solving, I liked the restrictions to the point I think some of them were too relaxed. An example would be the Big One round where we were just building a hyper coaster and could do what we wanted really. Yet the Drayton and SW9 rounds I found great fun. We had a tiny space, no height to work with. Again, I think some of the most creative builds were in the most restrictive rounds. I think all builds should be realistic in that the game must let guests ride and I agree I wouldn't want to go down the road of manipulating the game stats but tough restrictions on footprint, height and even capacity in some cases I found great fun in the challenge.

I would love there to be a solution for Console gamers regarding the footprint, but I think there was only 3 of us anyway? It did put me at a bit of a handicap that I had to go and measure out footprints with pathways then go in and out of the coaster build and delete them when my track got close to them but I'm not sure there's a solution here and it was more of a frustration than a deal breaker for me.

5. The reminders where a little OTT with exact minutes etc. But I didn't mind them as with most of us busy with things like work and kids, having a notification on my phone did kick me up the ass a bit. Maybe just tone them down a little bit (we don't need count downs in minutes for example)? Perhaps 2 general deadline reminders on the days proceeding it and a quick tag of entrants who haven't submitted on the day and they can choose to ignore if they're busy. There's no need for extensions, if the next tournament is over closed season, I'll be dropping in an out of rounds myself due to how busy work will be in December like I'm sure many have done this time round for similar commitments. I'd appreciate a nudge in case I'm missing out in error but naturally many of us will simply have outside life getting in the way so not participating every round will be a conscious decision.

6. Would be great to get some engagement from those not participating as well. I know all forum members could vote but I wonder if others knew this? It might just be they weren't interested so engaging others isn't vitally important, I just thought it might open it up a bit if other forum members were casting votes as well.

-

But thanks again Matt. You've been a great host and I know you've put a lot of time and effort into this. It's been a blast.

Edit - thanks for my signature banner by the way. Very kind of you. When I figure out how to implement it, I'll wear it as a badge of honour. Thank you.
Just copy and paste it into the signature field I think.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
OK, the various pieces of feedback have given me a few ideas, and I did have 1 or 2 ideas and questions of my own. I’d be keen to know your thoughts.
  • The timescales seem to be a point of frustration. I’ll admit that I quite liked the timescales we had, and they certainly suited me very well in terms of being able to manage the competition adequately, but if you guys disagree, I might see what I can do in terms of changing that.
  • People seem split on whether or not Realism and Originality points should stay. With that in mind, I had an idea; these points would be kept, but they wouldn’t be compulsory elements of voting. Instead, I would consider them bonus points that any member has the ability to award where they see fit. For instance, if you thought I produced a layout that was super realistic, then you could give me a bonus realism point and I would add a Realism point to my score as before, but it would not be a compulsory feature like they were this time. Instead, members would only award these points if they think a layout really deserves extra credit for its realism or originality.
  • People don’t seem to be keen on the capacity constraints. To be honest, I was growing less keen on them too, and I didn’t really enforce them as much towards the end. With that in mind; I’m leaning towards scrapping capacity constraints for the next one.
  • In terms of footprint; I actually quite liked that constraint, as I thought it produced some very interesting results in some rounds. But if some of you aren’t keen, then I can happily take a look at that. I would quite like to retain footprint constraints in some form, however, as I do think it spiced things up a fair amount.
  • In terms of the round briefs; I try to strike a balance between rounds that are quite hard and rounds that are a little easier. I know many of you like the hard rounds for the challenge (I do too!), but I was worried that if every round was super hard, it might alienate people who don’t work as well under constraint (I’ll digress that I absolutely crumble if presented with major constraints, as evidenced by my higher point scores in less constrained rounds, and I know others are the same). We all have different strengths in PlanCo, and I wanted to cater for that as much as possible. If there’s a common feeling that rounds are too easy, however, then I can try and aim for more consistently hard rounds next time.
  • I was pondering a change to voting for next time that might possibly make it a tad easier and a bit more interesting. I was pondering reverting to Google Form voting, where instead of posting ballots in the thread, members could vote anonymously on a Google Form that would ask “who is your #1, who is your #2,…” etc as compulsory fields, and linking in with my earlier point about Realism and Originality scoring being altered, optional fields asking “would you like to recognise a member for Realism?” and “would you like to recognise a member for Originality?”. I thought anonymous voting might make it a bit more interesting, and it would also make the process somewhat simpler (just tick a few boxes in a form instead of doing a whole post). I hope that that might address the point from @Matt.GC about non-competitor voting as well; voting anonymously in a Google Form might hopefully encourage more people to vote.
  • As for reminders; I can happily dial back on those. Perhaps I should just do a halfway point reminder and a 1 day left reminder? In terms of tagging people who haven’t submitted; I steered clear of that because I didn’t want to name and shame anyone, instead contacting people via PM, but if people would prefer that, then I can do that. And also do deadline extensions on request rather than on assumption that people who haven’t submitted would like one.
  • On the subject of me being a tad OTT, I’d also like to ask; was everyone OK with me offering my two pence on every submission when it was made? I wanted to do it for a bit of encouragement, but I can see why some might have found it annoying. Were you guys OK with me doing this, or should I back off a bit in that regard?
I think that covers just about everything; what are your thoughts? If anything else comes up or you don’t like what I’m proposing here, don’t hesitate to tell me.
 
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RicketyCricket

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
@Matt.GC makes a good point about overall forum participation in the voting stage. A nudge in the shout box could get more people involved.

No issue whatsoever with the reminders for me in fact I found them helpful. An alert on the Internet is hardly intrusive - its not like you had our addresses and were going door to door.

Would like to see more feedback on entries from everyone. I did it in the first voting stage but didn't bother in any other rounds.
 
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