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notification of not being pre-selected

category: general [glöplog]
From the music compos that I know of, there pretty much always is a jury of multiple people, who judge the tracks being played. Exactly to avoid any "Oh, $orga didn't like me personally or my track!"-situations. So if your track is thrown out, it has a reason. My tracks where dumped so many times, I can't count it anymore. And for sure, there was more than just one occasion I thought: "Well, this song made it and mine did not?" This year had some songs I didn't really like in terms of composition or genre, but they had such a stellar production value, that my jaw dropped.

The song length limit in my opinion is 2.) a good way to actually get more tracks played a.) a challenge to arrangement and IV.) to prevent someone handing in a 60m ambient drone track. There have to be restrictions. It's just rules like any other competition. If you can't put your effects in 4k, then don't attend the 4k compo. If you want to attend, make sure you don't go over the size limit.

In terms of visibility I'd very much prefer d.fox opt-in method, if such a feature is really wanted by so much people.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't make the preselection in a single breakpoint streamed music compo in all the years, so I know really well how it feels. Also the constant feeling of being #4 to #10. :D Instead of hunting down the jury I just talk to musicians I look up to and who are veterans in the field. Just soaking up the advices they can give me and sometimes even can get them to listen to my track and tell me what could be done better, or what's wrong with the specific song. Just taking into account what guys like saga, jco, ronny or others have said about my music and production in general has made me change a lot in my "work" and subjectively improve.
added on the 2021-04-07 08:13:37 by bod bod
What bod said. Make friends with other artists and get their opinion, too. If they are actually good, they will encourage you to continue.
added on the 2021-04-07 09:03:59 by novel novel
Actually, if you just want your track played, then the best advice is wrap it in a one-screener and enter it into one of the demo compos. ;)
added on the 2021-04-07 09:51:06 by Subi Subi
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Actually, if you just want your track played, then the best advice is wrap it in a one-screener and enter it into one of the demo compos.


This looks like a good idea. It requires, of course, both the notification of not being pre-selected an separated deadlines for the music and demo compos.

The caveat is that demo compos could start applying pre-selection too if a compofiller demo were made for each not pre-selected tune.

So, a better advice could be to make a whole full demo for the next party using that music (as it was or improved).
added on the 2021-04-07 10:09:20 by ham ham
When there is a full-featured party manager and the compo team isn't just one overworked individual with Notepad, I see no reason not to have notifying about preselection as a feature in the party manager itself. Of course, some people prefer the excitement of not knowing, so it should be an opt-in/opt-out feature.

I also like the idea of letting people know the order number of their entries, though if this is implemented, I think it should be a separate opt-in/out-out feature. Personally I like the suspense of not knowing when my entry is played, just that if it's not going to be played at all, I'd rather not find out by watching the compo.

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I submitted a prod. On my browser side all went OK. To be sure I checked twice, reloaded! But the orgas have NOT got ANYTHING!


This should be something where the compo team contacts you and not vice versa. I'm always nervous about uploading an entry on a phone via a never-100%-stable party network, so I'd appreciate just having a flag that yes, they got the file, and the file was not a 0 byte zip. Surely this would be better than me burdening the compo team by follow-up questions?
added on the 2021-04-07 10:11:25 by jobe jobe
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Actually, if you just want your track played, then the best advice is wrap it in a one-screener and enter it into one of the demo compos.


This looks like a good idea. It requires, of course, both the notification of not being pre-selected an separated deadlines for the music and demo compos.

The caveat is that demo compos could start applying pre-selection too if a compofiller demo were made for each not pre-selected tune.


Actually I was thinking of bypassing the music compos altogether - If your aim is simply to get your tune played to the crowd at the biggest demoparty of the year (which is also where the "just enter it at another party" argument falls down) then you're better off entering it into a compo that more people watch and that isn't as oversubscribed as the black holes of the music compos. :) You're tune is more likely to live on as part of a demo too, however simple that demo might be.

Don't get me wrong, I love the music compos to bits, but there's a problem with how we currently present them that needs a solution - and that solution clearly isn't an easy one.
added on the 2021-04-07 11:05:07 by Subi Subi
Another idea: Make a music-disk with all the music that didn't pass the pre-selection and release it the next day in the demo compo. Everybody happy and even better put on show. :D
added on the 2021-04-07 11:27:47 by ham ham
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Another idea: Make a music-disk with all the music that didn't pass the pre-selection and release it the next day in the demo compo. Everybody happy and even better put on show. :D


I second that. Good Idea :)
added on the 2021-04-07 11:34:41 by D4XX D4XX
From my past experience as main compo organizer at a mid-size party for almost 10 years i know it is _really_ hard to handle preselection in a respectful manner. In 98% of the cases people put serious effort into their production, and preselecting them is always hard and requires serious thoughts. Can preselection be fair? No, because you delete the democracy before it can be voted upon. Thus it is just fair to not release the entries afterwards, giving people the chance to submit elsewhere. I know of a few tracks that were luckily preselected since they were a perfect fit for a demo later!

Now preselection is not only about figuring out the 15 best tracks, since no one wants a dubstep/trapcore/pop only compo. It's also about getting a good representation of what's there, providing a fine and enjoyable blend for the audience. So a good track can be preselected. People have to stop thinking that beeing preselected not automatically means that your work sucks and is not worthy to be played to the audience - because it's simply not true! I understand that preselection always feels like a personal insult to the Artist, but it has to be clearly communicated that this is NOT the case. In retrospective, we didn't communicate much why something was preselected, but - and this is what all orgas do anyway - explained the people why that was. Never ever got a threat afer that.

I felt it too often when i talked to individual artists that they felt disliked or they even smell a personal and global conspiracy. It's obviously not true. However, i also think that it shall be part of the game to NOT know if you're beeing played or not. If your image is shown or not. But you have to be aware that they cannot play 98 MP3s or show 124 photos, etc. It simply won't work with the audience, and the competition is broken.

TLDR: Don't tell the artist if they were preselected, it's part of the game. But raise awareness for the matter and especially justify the preselection process.
added on the 2021-04-07 12:41:15 by pro pro
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For Solskogen, as long as we've used Wuhu (which was... for a long time), we've let people know. We haven't gone out of our way to find people and scream YOU'RE NOT IN THE COMPO, but we've used the system, and over time people have picked up on this and learned to check their submission status.

For demos/intros/anything real-time, we reached out to people in the case of "we simply can't get this to run" of course, but the compo with the biggest impact has always been the music compo. It was always our most popular compo(s) and the number of entries the last few years was so high we couldn't play all of it. At some point, we made it a point to state clearly: "We will play a maximum of 15 songs" (or thereabouts; I can't recall exactly) and told people to check their submission status before the compo if they wanted.

Of course, people who aren't chosen are disappointed, but hey ho - that's life. I can only really recall one occasion where someone got genuinely outwardly upset, and this was _AFTER_ the compo when this person was absolutely furious because "their entry was clearly a lot better than what was played in the compo". Well, no; it wasn't, and that's why it wasn't played, but whatever.

Anyway; telling people up front: a clear yes from me. It also helps the compo crew a lot, because it cuts down on the "WHY DIDN'T YOU SHOW..." hounding post-compo.


We have separate juries too. We just log the comments of jury members so we can give the feedback easier. And as T-101 said, the Party Man which we use now has inbuilt jury comment feature so the comments are automatically collected by the party system.
added on the 2021-04-07 20:37:32 by rimina rimina
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Sure some people ask the feedback and reasons for being preselected or disqualified but it's not that many people in the end that it would create a major workload to organizers or at least that is the impression I have gotten.


The thing is that, at least in the mode how we organise music compos at Evoke, I couldn't give any feedback anyway, because the points are awarded by an external jury - I, in my function as compo organiser, only put together the jury and count the points together (on the exact preselection mode, which, I think, is the most balanced and fair solution, see here). In this case, any questions from non-selected musicians are even more pointless, because I can't answer them.


Sorry I quoted the wrong message. My answer above was meant to be a comment for this.
added on the 2021-04-07 20:58:19 by rimina rimina
IMHO the distinction should be made between these two cases:

- the compos where it's very common to have a preselection, "it's part of the game", eg the music compo.
Personally, I'm not sure a prior notice is needed in that case.

- the compos where preselection are the exception, eg the wild compo of Revision 2021.
Personally, I find it a bit harsh to not have a prior notice in that case.

---

Also, yes, it's nice to know that you executable prod has been "runned and tested and everything is fine", but from what I've seen, compo-orgas (particularly Revision's ones) are nice enough to provide feedback if asked.
added on the 2021-04-09 00:52:19 by wullon wullon
Concretely in the Party Management System:

=> for most compos, when you submit a prod, you have an optin checkbox to get notified if your prod isn't selected for the show.

=> for crowded compos (typically the music compos), instead of this checkbox you have a warning message
something like "we usually get many more submissions than we can show, and your prod has a fair probability of not being shown. We won't notify you in advance if your prod won't be shown."
+ link to an in-depth explanation (like on the Evoke website)
added on the 2021-04-09 01:10:47 by wullon wullon
i guess this is not really about the system itself... but

1. i have travelled from norway to germany to not have my track played. did not feel cool - but the party was awesome (breakpoint)
2. i have travelled from norway to germany to have my track played - and it placed last or so. (evoke).

both cases are not what you wished for - but it is not why you travel to a demoparty. meet cool people, drink beer and learn stuff. for me the demoscene is mostly about meeting awesome people and learning stuff. do you want to do graphics? ask any person at a demoparty and they willl say something like "HELLO! I DO NOT KNOW GFX - BUT TALK TO........".

and off we go. this happens all the time fortunately.

unfortunately you can go home after months or years of work without being shown. this happens. and it sucks. and it is part of the game. it happens to people who has been on the scene for years. and it ALWAYS sucks.

but we still go, right?
added on the 2021-04-10 06:34:08 by xrs xrs
My opinion:

1. Definitely give feedback (status of the entry) if anything technical has gone wrong. File upload errors or broken zip files are horrible and ideally this should be resolved before being preselected out. If the submitter cannot be reached (e.g. not looking at his mailbox), it would be good to know that the entry will not be shown because they failed to reply.

2. In all other cases, I don't know if it's a better idea to tell or not to tell. I have always seen it as part of the game and was very surprised to have been shown sixth at Revision 2019. Surprised because "bad" entries tend to get shown first, so if the first few entries are shown and they're already 3x better than what you did, you kind of assume it's over. Except when it's not. I enjoy the adrenaline and if you want to make this a thing, at least make it opt-in or opt-out, giving me a chance to not see reality.

3. Do give statistics, though (number of entries vs. available slots). It's interesting to know beforehand how big your chance is. Can be opt-out, too, obviously, but that shouldn't hurt anyone or ruin the fun in any way, really.
added on the 2021-04-24 01:46:39 by PotcFdk PotcFdk
Agree 100% with the above. If there are tech difficulties with a release - let the people involved know as soon as possible. As far as I know this has always also been a top priority for organizers and not a problem.

When it comes to telling someone their work will not be shown I am personally in the "do not tell" bracket. This is part of the thrill no? If you are Conspiracy, Still or Fairlight these things are not massive concerns. But if you are Netpoet, Mystra, Wayfinder, kb, Virgill, Hoffman, Romeo Knight, Puryx, GLXBLT, Sagamusix, JCO, Frequent, Fugl, Hansee, Sinatra, Keith303, Mygg, xtrium, Gloom (OMG)… Wobble, Ferris. Etc etc.. And now even perhaps people like Jogeir Liljedahl and Audiomonster.
Nothing is guaranteed. Any one of the above could be preselected for the music compo. I would like to think anyone appreciate the excitement of not knowing. On top - the compo crew already have a lot on their plate. So.. My opinion is - don't tell :)
added on the 2021-04-24 04:29:58 by xrs xrs
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I'd appreciate just having a flag that yes, they got the file, and the file was not a 0 byte zip.

Wuhu does this too; you can manage your uploaded files (have several, upload new versions, delete ones you dont need) and you can see their file sizes.
added on the 2021-04-24 10:46:54 by Gargaj Gargaj
If I remember right you can also see your uploaded file and filesize in the current version of partymeister
added on the 2021-04-24 11:45:35 by v3nom v3nom
"i have travelled from norway to germany to not have my track played. did not feel cool" and then "My opinion is - don't tell :)"... and I'm like, whaat? Sounds like Stockholm syndrome to me.

Let's compare this to publishing a research paper. Imagine you submit a paper and hope to publish it and present at the conference. Now, imagine organizers don't tell you if the paper got accepted or not. So what can you do? Do you pay the entrance fee and go there just to discover you were rejected? That's really unacceptable, right? But how is the situation different here?

IMHO you should not only tell, but also give the poor guy some reasonable feedback why it got rejected. I'm sorry if it makes more work for organizers, but it's also a lot of work to make those entries. And if you would provide reasonable feedback, the person could possibly understand what he did wrong and improve later on, otherwise he will be just holding the grudges against demoscene as a whole and the demoscene culture will be even more toxic than it is right now.
added on the 2021-04-25 12:20:13 by tomkh tomkh
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(...) otherwise he will be just holding the grudges against demoscene as a whole and the demoscene culture will be even more toxic than it is right now.


That is a bold statement.
Well, conferences cost a whole lot more, so it's not quite the same thing. Also, research papers still take a lot more effort than average scene work (I'm sure there are exceptions - but they probably ain't getting preselected either): research paper can be several person-years of work. But still get dismissed.

Most orgas are unpaid, whereas researchers get some compensations for their work (not always exactly for organising the conference but they are usually getting salary / grants from somewhere). Overall, I think all of this means that they can afford and expect to have research papers reviewed more thoroughly.
added on the 2021-04-25 13:16:40 by pestis pestis
> Overall, I think all of this means that they can afford and expect to have research papers reviewed more thoroughly.

I agree that in research those reviews are more thorough and they have different weight, but the process is similar in principle. If you are worried about the time spent in reviewing demoscene productions you could use some simple feedback forms, so reviewer could just fill-up few metrics, say: "visual quality", "technical achievement", "compliance to code of conduct" or for music idk "composition", "sound quality" etc.. and just assign some score to it. Then you can use this score to decide if you want to reject the entry and also share this score with a creator of the prod as a quick feedback to him. It's probably also better to just give some score, as it is harder to discuss with it as opposed to customized text.
added on the 2021-04-25 13:32:47 by tomkh tomkh
Do you people realize that you can simply find a graphics guy for your track and make an actual demo with it, which is guaranteed to be played on most parties. No preselection for demo compos. Even less so for intro compos :)

inb4 this is not a valuable contribution to the discussion: I know that most people disagreeing here _want_ to compete in the music-only competitions. This is perfectly fine and in order to keep those motivated, preselection could really be made more beginner-friendly. But if you're constantly being preselected, there _is_ other possibilities of getting your track played (and getting feedback on it by a scene audience in order to improve).
added on the 2021-04-25 13:52:35 by NR4 NR4
If the purpose of the pre-selection is about keeping the duration of the compo to a reasonable length, how would people feel about having pre-selected entries played a shorter duration rather than being removed completely?

If you need to cut out 12 minutes from the compo you can either remove 3 x 4-minute entries entirely or you can reduce 4 x 4-minute entries to 1 minute each.
added on the 2021-04-25 14:53:06 by bore bore
+ Most conferences I've been to would've benefitted from stricter preselection, at least when I'm only in the audience ;)
added on the 2021-04-25 15:15:37 by pestis pestis

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