Okay this post is going to be fairly epic and involve the future of the tournament structure.
Rolken has already said he'll make a tournament subsite for future tourneys so the functionality of updates and submissions will be easier (and hopefully I won't have to bug everyone for submissions >_>).
However, thanks to the awesome community we are, between all the competitors in the first tournament I've had about 15 ideas submitted to me for improvements.
I'll go through them all in turn.
1. <Upth> maybe people should be partnered based on challenge preference
We had a bit of an issue in the first round because nobody really wanted the first challenge. This was mainly an issue because the challenges were readily available, but we'll have a discussion later over whether categories or challenges should be picked.
2. <Tails> perhaps...have the preliminary challenge "rank" the players, and in order of rank, players can bid a handicap on a given challenge, and whoever bids highest gets it, such as "I'll bid on challenge #3 with enough confidence that I can win with a 7-second handicap"
I really like this idea. Perhaps a bit complicated for the target market; that being other Sonic sites (>_>)... worth consideration though.
3. <Thorn> have four challenges, and the pairings rotate through them
An extension of #1, this would have the advantage of not waiting on people to pick challenges, but the disadvantage that you'd know three challenges in advance.
4. Some sort of screening process. See SM's idea maybe?
This and the next one came up when Aitamen dropped out at the start, that there should be some process for determining who is actually serious about the tournament. Part of it will be assisted by setting up a league system with eight players in each league, and a promotion and relegation system.
5. How to handle dropouts?
More of a problem than someone dropping out at the start of a tournament, is if someone drops out in the middle. In a relegation/promotion system it becomes particularly hard to replace a dropout without seriously affecting the competition, so would we just be able to let the tournament continue with just seven players?
6. Players may compete for free, but if they want to win a prize they have to pay (say, $5)
I'm not giving this up! In the long term money may change hands over this, and I think this is the best way to entice people to part with their money but not be forced into it.
7. <eredani> yse: Emukon have gg/sms recording
Emukon, as I have since found out, is the new name for eSMS which was used during the first Sonic Olympics, so we know it works pretty well. The question is mainly, do we want to extend into Game Gear games? I don't see why not, the more material the better as far as I'm concerned.
8. Multiple submissions per round next time - grade only the latest submission
This was brought up with me multiple times during the tournament. To be fair limiting to a single submission per player was a bad decision on my part, but that can be expected since the idea came from the Sonic Olympics >_>
9. Making head to head challenges comparable to free for all challenges: should a head to head win be worth 6, 8, or 10?
Something I grappled with for a while before posting the first round results. For the moment I made it 6, but it occured to me that with the free for all scoring scheme in place, having wins worth 8 points make the point value of both head to head and free for all challenges exactly 32. Then there's the option of 10 points which seems a bit high, especially when two players can be very close and only one gets the points. There are other schemes in place which will come up in the next few ideas which aim to make things fairer, too.
10. <yoshifan> make a target time/ring count/whatever to beat to at least get, say, 2 points, otherwise people may not try at all after seeing their partner
This one came up after genus refused to compete against Thorn in the third round. I think it's worth implementing, but if someone has reasons against it I'd like to hear them too.
11. Team tournaments? Say with teams of four and only one player has to compete in any given round?
Of course this would need a larger player base, but it ties in more with Rolken's original tournament idea which was the basis for all this. Once there are enough, is this worthwhile?
12. Some bonus (maybe one point) for the first submission in a round?
This obviously only works if multiple submissions per round are allowed, but it should make things fun. It will, however, require that everyone submit the same way (through my email most likely) so that the time of submission can be easily compared.
13. Head to head format: Challenges or categories?
Do we want the challenges to be known to all competitors prior to selection, or leave them as categories?
14. Free for all format: Direct competition, or time targets?
Compete directly against each other for ranks, or achieve ranks based on the achievement of an arbitrary target?
So what do you think of all that? Make your opinions known on any or all points.