On the mailing list for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2013, one of the judges asked me to go through the process again. I’ve used my reply to write this blog post.
The first thing to remember is that people can revise their submission until the very end. That’s why I personally don’t read them until the end of April.
The output of the process is a list of nominations from each of the judges. They can nominate as many or as few as they like. In the past, judges have nominated somewhere between 10 and 20 entries. Every judge determines their own criteria. There is no agreed upon checklist.
My own list of criteria will look very similar to what I wrote on 2010-02-05 Quality Dungeons. I find that having the checklist helps me score the dungeons.
I will compile all the nominations into a big spreadsheet and produce a list of winners. I’ll try to have at least three nominations from every judge on the list (ie. we are six judges and thus I expect there to be around 18 winners). I’ll also try to invent a category for each of the winners. It would be very cool if your list of nominations contained a suggested category. That is optional, however.
Last year, I wrote about the entries I nominated and the made-up categories I nominated them for, if you’d like to see an example of how I personally went about this.
Sometimes judges will then comment on the final list and propose to add a particular entry because of some very specific qualities they want to highlight and thus we might end up more winners.
Once we have announced the winners, they are invited to send me three picks from the prize list. Again, the data goes into a spreadsheet and I try to figure out a way to give every winner at least one thing that they are wishing for. Against all intuition, this seems to have worked so far! When in doubt, I’ll go back to the big spreadsheet with all the nominations on it and give precedence to those winners that received the most nominations.
This last element of the process is not entirely transparent. I wrote a blog post trying to defend the lack of transparency two years ago. I hope that it’s not a big problem.