Posted by: SirKibble | October 10, 2011

Kibble’s Bit — Thinking Out Loud

I don't know if this is cute or creepy, or both.

Well, folks, we have a brand new contest, and wondrous new opportunities with it. But see, I have this post I wrote, and it’s important to me, so I wanted to share it. I essentially wrote this in one go and tried to limit myself on how much I proofread it, because I want to be honest about how I feel and not hide behind some silly coat of sugar. Not to try and rain on anyone’s opening day parade, no, but hopefully, as I see it, to make it better. My thoughts are a bit free-flowing, so cut me a little slack if my ideas seem a bit disjointed.

So! With that, I’m just gonna rant and ramble a bit here, m’kay? Feel free to stop reading at any time, or just completely ignore me if you feel so inclined.

As most of you know, I was absent from MYM starting in MYM6, all the way up until partway through the last contest. Before my leave, I’d been a part of Make Your Move since the second contest, and had basically watched its entire evolution up to the point where I left. We’d started out as a theoretical thread, just posting very Brawl-like movesets for characters we liked. Slowly but surely, we branched out from Sakurai-style thinking, solidified ourselves as a community, and started setting standards to shape the Top 50 of each contest. But for the most part, the central idea of the thread remained relatively the same: we were having fun making movesets for characters we liked.

Allow me to quote–it’s been done before–from the first post of Make Your Move 3.0. Commander Blitzkrieg has long since departed the community, but he knew a thing or two about running a contest. He gave us the first set of rules MYM had ever had, and one of them was this:

6. Have fun! I demand you, HAVE FUN!!! *points gun*

So you laughed when you read it, and said, “Well, of course we’ll have fun.” Don’t worry, so did I. In fact, when Blitzkrieg posted it, I think everybody just chuckled and read on. But I think it’s time we took a step back and looked at where MYM is heading.

For those of you who were in Make Your Move 2.0, cite your minds back to it for just a minute, will you? I’ll say the same for those who joined in the contests soon after–think back on your first contest, because I think the effect will be roughly the same–but I do want to give special attention to MYM2, as it’s looked back upon very fondly by almost everyone who was there. Our standards for moveset quality were minimal compared to today–about the worst thing anyone would call you out for was some kind of over-the-top damage percentage attached to one of your moves, or a lack of them altogether. Even then, the criticism was generally preceded and/or followed by plenty of positives, which were often as simple as “X character is awesome! Nice job!” Like you might expect, it was a very different atmosphere than the way things are today.

Let’s move on, then. Time passes, MYM3 is still really fun; MYM4 got locked prematurely, but I still enjoyed it a lot; MYM5 had some rough patches with a few users, but we stuck to our guns for the most part and enjoyed sharing movesets nonetheless.

Obviously, I can’t name a point in time, and there probably isn’t one to name, but sometime after that, thing changed. They changed a lot. I realized this when I thought back on my submissions in MYMX, and how I feel writing my movesets for MYMXI. Contrasting that with how I felt about moveset-making two plus years ago is shocking. In days gone by, I made movesets so I could share them with my friends. Now I feel like I’m preparing something for a panel of judges who have a set agenda for what’s “right” or “wrong” in a moveset.

Maybe it sounds like I’m talking down the contest aspect of MYM. And you know, maybe I am. Not that I don’t enjoy friendly competition, but it seems far from friendly as of late. It seems more like some kind of overzealous drive to create the “perfect moveset” or something dumb like that. Think about why you joined this contest in the first place. I’m guessing most, if not all, of you joined because you thought it would be fun. But ask yourself: is this what you wanted? Are you really having fun? I feel like I have the same drive to write movesets as before, and I still get a rush when I come up with a move or interaction or what-have-you that I like, but when I’m finished and ready to submit, all that goes out the window and I almost feel like it doesn’t even matter. Everybody’s just going to nitpick for things–whether good ones or bad–so much that they’re never going to really enjoy the set.

Maybe I’m just nostalgic. Outdated. Maybe I want things the old way. But I doubt I’m alone if that’s the case. Imagine making a moveset and posting it, and everybody just thinks you’re a pretty cool dude for posting it. Then they read through, tell you some stuff they enjoyed, and maybe some things they would have liked to be different. Now imagine instead that you post a moveset and all the response you get is that your Up Throw is random and doesn’t fit the playstyle.

If I haven’t got you longing for something different by now, I probably never will, so I’ll wrap up. I don’t believe we’re past the point of no return. We are MYM, and this contest is what we make it. Sure, things will never be exactly the same, I’m not asking for that. But if I make a dozen movesets this contest, and not one of them places because I can’t get a grip on the new standards, I still want to be able to say that I enjoyed posting them for my friends to read. All I’m asking is that we try to put the fun back in these contests before we lose sight of it completely.

Maybe you disagree–we’re having an absolute blast right now, Kibble! What are you talking about?–then I guess we just differ in our opinions. We should all be trying to have fun in these contests, and if the way things are going suits you, then that’s just that. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I really doubt it. If you’ve felt something stir within you while reading this, please, act on it. No one’s going to wave a magic wand and make MYM what we want it to be. So, what do we want it to be?

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Responses

  1. I actually sort of agree, I think our reaction to sets that don’t PERFECTLY fit our standards is a bit extreme right now. Quite honestly, it’s better that people just make sets the way they want to make sets. That said, I still feel that this is a competition at heart, and we do need a way to tell what we think are the best sets and why the others don’t make the cut. Good read though, Kibble.

  2. Certainly we are a competition. We always have been. And we vote for movesets and choose a Top 50. Some sets make it, some sets don’t. I’m not against that in the slightest. I guess what I’m really talking about applies more to the middle of the contest, that we try to appreciate things about everybody’s moveset, realizing they probably didn’t post it just so they could be told it didn’t measure up. I mean, we should be trying to make things fun for anyone who happens to meander into our thread and post a moveset. We should be willing to accept and appreciate most any style of moveset making, even if it means the person making it has to be willing to accept that they may not make the Top 50 for it. In other words, we can certainly have standards we each judge movesets on, but I disagree with our imposing of them on others.

  3. This is actually exactly WHY I joined the bunker squad in the first place, to try and form a leadership group was more encouraging of people simply having fun with MYM.

  4. Warlord: The MYMs haven’t been kind, have they?
    Kibble: Oh, come on, you don’t look so bad.
    Warlord: I did everything you ever asked! I executed the plan!
    Kibble: As you saw it.
    Warlord: You promised that we would change MYM, together. You broke your promise.
    Kibble: I know. I understand that now.
    Warlord: I took the contest to its maximum potential. I created the perfect contest.
    Kibble: The thing about perfection is that it’s unknowable. It’s impossible, but it’s also right in front of you all the time. You wouldn’t know that because I didn’t, when I created you. I’m sorry, Warlord. I’m sorry.

  5. I try to tone down the rigorous-standards and crank up the what-is-cool-here when I comment a moveset; it’s a healthier way to approach reading movesets and is also meant to be less condescending to the movesetter. Sometimes it works, sometimes I just come off as cryptic. But I am trying. 😉

  6. I’m something of a hypocrite. I’ll espout a ‘fair play’ and ‘every set counts’ mentality, yet only for sets I like. And because I’m such an old, cynical fart, I only like sets that actually take risks.
    I still have fun MAKING sets, but it’s the commenting part where I feel worn and bitter. I’ve never yet gotten around to commenting Banballow, because it frustrates me that I cannot see the good that everyone else sees in it.


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