New year, new contests!
Hey everyone! Hot on the heels of a December that was absolutely packed full of World Zombination contests and the start of a totally new year (it’s almost starting to seem like these happen on a regular basis or something!), @Jennie and I are doing our community management duties, taking stock of how things are going, and how they might be improved moving forward.
Here are some thoughts regarding the state of WZ contests. I’d love to hear what you all think about what’s below, if you agree/disagree with any of it, have additional ideas, etc. We’re a community, after all, so I want to make sure you have a seat at the table while we’re working on these things
We have an awesome tradition
The World Zombination contests started a few months after the global launch of the game and we’ve kept them up on a nearly continuous basis since then. We’ve had something like 60 contests in that time of various types and sizes, with the processes and prizes evolving in response to what was going on in the game and the community. They’ve been awesome and truly revealing of the kind of devotion that so many of you have to WZ and to fostering a really great shared experience with your fellow players and our team at Proletariat.
We came up with these contests and continue to do them because we wanted to help extend WZ fun beyond what was available in the game and give all of you a regular event to come together around and share both your creativity and shared interests. Also, prizes. Because there’s nothing better than giving people stuff (seriously; try it sometime!). It’s fun coming up with what the contests will be, occasionally making our own example entries (or at least finding a sweet GIF that embodies the spirit of the contest post), and seeing the truly inspired entries that come in. There have been so many examples of our team being overwhelmed by the quality of an entry that we’ve been rendered speechless.
While a great group of regular contributors exists who come up with outstanding entries that they put significant effort into, the five contests in December shined a light on the fact that there are a few issues that are slowly eroding the overall quality of the contest experience (and, thus, their longevity as a community fixture):
- There are not enough different people entering the contests
- There is not enough effort being put into a lot of the entries
- There is not enough voting and community discussion around the entries happening
This isn’t to say that in order for the contests to survive they need to become massively popular or have 100 percent amazing entries—just that we all need to actively work toward enhancing the experience rather than letting it fade to the point of it not being worthwhile for the community to keep up. Let’s be honest: no one wants the contests to devolve into something where a few people can just farm for prizes!
What do we need to do moving forward?
There are not enough different people entering the contests
I think there are a couple of ways we can change this. One is mostly on us at Proletariat (but your help would be great!). The other will be up to you in the community.
We need to offer prizes and contests that will motivate more players to participate. There’s already a great thread about contest ideas, but it would be really helpful if people who aren’t the regular contest participants (or at least not the BIG participants) could tell us what kinds of contests they would be excited to participate in. Have an example from another game or company that you think would be awesome for us to do? Let us know! Ditto for the prizes: we offer up Mythics and coins, which are pretty great prizes in terms of what’s available in the game, but is there anything else that would send you all scrambling to get an entry in?
We need to spread the word about the contests better. We post to social and in the in-game message about the contests, which potentially reaches a wide set of eyeballs, but we need boots on the ground to be actively inspiring their fellow players to join in the fun. If you’re a Guild leader or Officer, encourage your guildmates to participate through incentivizing them through your inventory or just by making it something that you’re encouraged to do as a member of the Guild. You know your Guilds best!
There is not enough effort being put into a lot of the entries
We’re going to have to put strong restrictions on what is a viable entry. We thought it was clear enough that if it seems like you haven’t made a clear effort to create a winning entry, that you don’t qualify for any prizes. Just because there may be 10 prizes available and only nine people have entered doesn’t mean the tenth person to enter will be guaranteed a prize regardless of what they post. Again, these are contests, not places to farm
There is not enough voting and community discussion around the entries happening
Did you enter? Vote! Get your guildmates to vote! And chat about the entries you like! It’s a great feeling when someone tells you that what you made is awesome, so be sure to let people know what you think their creations (keep it positive, though!). There needs to be a good sense of community influence on the outcome of the voting.
That’s about it—just wanted to make sure that everyone who finds the contests to be an important part of their WZ community experience have an idea of the challenges that we’re seeing in keeping them moving forward and are given the chance to actively improve things! If you have any ideas regarding the above or any questions about how you can contribute in any way to bringing the contests to a higher level, please post below. Thanks!