Character Design Contest ♯145 (Witches)… And The Future Of The CDCs


This usually would be the post announcing and congratulating the person who came out on top of this weeks poll, therefore winning CDC145. However, I unfortunately cannot do that this week as I have reason to believe that the person who has finished in first place has not done so fairly. Up until Friday, there were two people trading positions for first place, hovering around the early 30's mark with the other two competitors around 15 votes or more behind. However, on Friday the person in third place jumped into first gaining something around 20 votes in a few hours, whilst everyone else gained a vote or 2. By last night, this lead had stretched to 10 votes higher than the previous leader, meaning this person had gained over 35 votes in two days, compared to everyone else's 5 or 6. I'm sorry but that wreaks of bull. And it's not the first time that this sort of thing has happened around this person either. Some highly respected members of the community have come to me with concerns over polls that this person has taken part in before and even when this person doesn't win there's always some sort of stupid stuff going down with the voting that defies all belief. It's been 5 polls now and it's got to the point now where I'm not dealing with it anymore. I'm now no longer doing polls to decide who wins the character design contests, I'll decide myself. We've tried democracy, people took advantage of it, so now we're going back to a dictatorship. And with that I'm going to give this win to the person who came in second, as our first place has been disqualified. So well done to CantDraw in that regard, as he did end up finishing in what now becomes the winning position.

Anyway, on to my second point. The CDCs in general seem to be losing interest and lets be honest, it's much more fun when you have lots of people entering with high quality pictures than having one or two good pictures and three alright ones. You go back to last year, we had more amazing pictures than could fit on the poll most weeks, but for the last 4-5 weeks I've been struggling to actually find the four minimum for a poll. Suppose that's one advantage of ditching the polls now. But anyway, I honestly don't know what to do. We've already lost the Caption Contest due to lack of participation and if things don't pick up the Character Design Contests will be going that way too, which is a shame because it is the longest running blog post we have. I will try to keep it going until the end of this year, but after that I'm going to lay it to rest unless things pick up. I've tried asking for suggestions to keep the ideas fresh but it just isn't seeming to work, so instead I'm just going to leave the ball in your court now guys. You want me to keep this thing going, help out. Do your part. I know there is such a thing as real-life and it gets in the way an awful lot (I would know that, I take massive amounts of time between doing pictures because stuff just gets in the way, plus being lazy but that's by the by), but still these contests last a week and I don't have a rule against entering stuff that you made before the contest, just a rule against entering stuff you've already entered into a contest, so it's not like you have to make stuff specifically for the contest. I'll make the contests a broad as I can from now until the end of the year if it helps, but really that's as much as I can do to get you guys participating, it's something you have to do yourselves.

Anyway, I think I've said everything that was on my mind. No, I am not going to say who it was who was cheating in the poll and, sorry Cliff, for that reason I'm not putting the standings in the comments for you this week.

And with that

JR out.

About JR19759

Email: Twitter: @jr19759 Deviantart: JR19759 Deviantart HM Group: Heromachine-Art

18 Responses to Character Design Contest ♯145 (Witches)… And The Future Of The CDCs

  1. Kaldath says:

    JR, I’ve got your back on this and support your move away from using polls and judging the contest straight up. If anyone gives you any trouble over this change in the contest format if I do not already know about it, please let me know!

  2. Arioch says:

    Yup, you’ve done everything you could, it’s not your fault if people keep cheating.

    As per the contests… I dunno. I don’t participate anyway (I’m both a slow producer and not very gifted) so it’s not like I’ve got anything to say. Do what you think is best, and don’t beat yourself up.

  3. djuby says:

    I guess winning, even deceitfully, in some way makes them feel better about the quality of their work. Not sure they are fooling anyone but themselves, since you did not name them, and I know exactly who you are referring to. Admittedly I have been more sporadic in entering the CDCs of late. When school and production starts…life as I know it gets in the way. But that really is a poor excuse. If I can find two hours in a week to zombify in front of Netflix, I could certainly spend that time being more creative. I think your topics are great (not blowing smoke!), and if I could suggest a possibility – how about creating a new character based on a piece of classic/public domain literature – ie: adding a character to The Wizard of Oz or Through the Looking Glass. Just an idea.

    Don’t let the poll thing get you down. You work way too hard, and contribute far too much to this blog to be sidelined by the unfortunate actions of an individual member.

  4. nug says:

    Those sweet ass “no prizes” are just too addictive! Why can’t we put out sub-par work and pad the results? :p

    Seriously though…
    People might not like a dictator. Those of us that know and love you, JR, trust your judjement, and wouldn’t have a problem… however a panel of judges may go over better with the masses. Have a top three or something?

    I don’t know… The fact things have to change at all is BS! We should be advanced enough as a species as to not feel a need to cheat… and to what end? Let your work speak for itself people!

  5. Vectorman316 says:

    This is unfortunate. I’m sitting here struggling to find out why anyone would cheat, considering prizes aren’t really CDC-based as much as they are suggestion-based now. Even so, this is like the 50th time this has happened and it really sucks. Either way, I agree and support your decision to just choose a winner from now on. Although, I do think a top three would go over a little better.

  6. hawk007 says:

    I see why you’re doing it and I support it, but it kinda sucks. Nothing on you.
    For contests, I think it’d be interesting if there was something like skill contests for more experienced machiners. Like shading, masking, and posing contests.

  7. melmo44 says:

    I’m also wondering what someone would hope to gain by cheating? Seems silly. But if that’s how it’s going to be, then I agree that we need to do away with the poll to prevent it continuing. Sucks, but that’s how it goes. So I’m with you, JR, do what you need to do.
    As for participation, I’d love to see more in the contests. Myself included. The last month being a bit rough isn’t a great excuse to not find time for my creative outlets (like HM). As I can only speak for myself, I’ll say I will try and get my butt back into it because I really enjoy the character contests, and I’d hate to see them retired.

  8. WillyPete says:

    Sad to say, folks, we’ve had people (back in the days) who were interested in stirring up trouble, just for the “LoL” factor. Prizes don’t matter, Fairness clearly doesn’t interest them, all they want to do is ruin everyone else’s fun, then move on to the next forum to burn…
    JR, if you’re really sure who it is, have you tried banning them, or asking Jeff to do so?
    Or, perhaps, just deciding to not submit their entry into the Poll?
    Because, to me, the voting has a LOT to do with what makes this all fun (on those occasions when it even makes it that far)…
    Of course, I’m the guy that’s still disappointed that no one can be bothered to come up with even a 7-word story for their creations, so, what do I know? 😉
    {For those who don’t know me, I offered to judge the “Hero of the Week”contest back on UGO. The person (singular) who had been doing it had let it drop to a “Hero of the Quarter” contest, and I managed to keep it going for quite awhile… Until the aforementioned LOL-fiend pretty much destroyed the entire forum, there.}

  9. Lime says:

    I wonder how many would be willing to volunteer (I would) if we were to institute rotating judges, who would possibly pick themes themselves? Maybe having people with different tastes doing the choosing would help alleviate concerns about fairness.

    As far as how often to rotate, I’ll leave that to whoever has to organize it. Maybe once a month?

  10. JR19759 says:

    @WillyPete- No need to ban them, they’ve upped and left of their own accord. Which is nice.
    @Lime- The only reason I’m not sure about doing a judge rotor is the reliability of getting the post up each week. With it just being me, I can catch any late comers just before I get the post done, so if something awesome gets posted last minute then it doesn’t get missed. With other people doing it, especially those who don’t have blog authorship permissions, it would need to be done so that person send their pick to me the previous day so I can have the post up on time (due to me being in GMT and most of the rest of the community being 5 or more hours behind where I am time wise), so any late comers don’t get a look in. And that isn’t hugely fair on them, especially as people do have work and stuff during the week and might not have as much time to do entries (I know I’m pretty much countering my own comments from the main post here, but I do acknowledge this). If people think having a judge rotor is a good idea, then we can try it. Obviously the judge for that particular week won’t be allowed to enter the contest, for obvious reasons.

  11. Sabrina says:

    I hadn’t done a contest in forever because I’m been insanely busy. (I’m a freshman in college now, in my first semester. Yay?) Rather than drop them entirely, however, what if we started doing them once a month? I don’t bother with the contests because I know I’ll never get anything done in time. Decreasing their frequency to this rate may kill the project entirely, but if it’s a choice between trying this and dropping them I’d rather this.

  12. Nug says:

    Everyone seems to have a problem with time now days. Something… that demands different use of the time. An extension of some sorts might not be a bad idea. I’m with Sabrina in the fact that I would rather have a Hero of The Month than nothing at all.
    @ JR…I understand where you coming from about the reliability of folk. I’m sure you could find enough people willing to help judge if need be. Lime volunteered… you know I’m down to help out. If you have an absentee in your judge rostor, “house” (JR since it’s his baby) gets that vote. Voting by selected judges could even be done publicly for that matter.

    Also if you ever want to enter a contest couldn’t one of us other authors host the contest?

  13. Vectorman316 says:

    I’m with Nug and Lime 😀

  14. Keric says:

    Well, I am glad that you have caught the cheater.
    It makes you wonder how far back the cheater was acting! There were a few contests that I thought #2 was better than #1.

    As for contests if I can’t think of an idea for something to present, I won’t enter.

  15. dblade says:

    What the what the!?!? Cheating on a character contest is as silly as it can get. What thrill can you possibly get for winning a contest of artistic merit by shady means.

  16. Herr D says:

    @JR: Right there with you. I haven’t inspired much participation on the OPMC lately. As for motive, I’ve never understood why most people do anything, so I usually don’t try. Life DOES get in the way, even for me–that’s the real enemy here. I’m more than happy to participate in any way that I can, and hate being yanked away as I have been so much recently.

    Alternate structures? — 1. Poll as guide with you having veto over it might save you some work if we get a lot of entries by deadline. You would tweak the announcement to say ‘judging technique varies week to week by entry quantity and quality, will be announced.’

    2. Odd new restrictions, like the arbitrary-sounding contest you just announced. That might keep people guessing and seed those needing inspiration. Heaven knows my own self-limitations wind up inspiring me.

    3. Having a go-to pool of unannounced panel or sole guest judges. And listed backups. If I respond within 48 hours to an email, I’ll be able to say whether I can help with a judging or something else specific within time frame listed. I’m rarely incommunicado longer than 36 hours, but it does happen.

    4. Post a picture made on heromachine sometime and put your own limitations on backstory or judging entries. Judge the judges or backstory entries. ‘Turnabout.’

  17. CantDraw says:

    I had a feeling this had happened before in other contests, so I’m glad you were able to catch them in the act. I hope whoever it was finds more positive ways to feel validated in life.

  18. The Atomic Punk says:

    I have been on hiatus for way too long. Restricted myself to lurking with the occasional comment and props. Agree that participation in CDCs has slowed considerably. I have nothing to add to the cheating scandal. It seems we have reached a consensus.

    Life (or half-life in my case) has caught up with many a creator. Everyone is so spread out with roles, responsibilities, personal situations, and even time zones. It’s like trying to organize a reunion every week. As for me, every time I rebound, I suffer a setback. Someday…

    @JR: I appreciate your efforts to spark our imaginations and your encouragement.

    @All the Mods: Thank you for taking your time to keep the conversations going.

    @All HeroMachiners and lurkers: Please continue to share and support one another.

    @All Beings in the Universes Known and Unknown: Atrophy sucks! I don’t recommend it. And never volunteer to adopt your niece’s cat. Ok, that last one is on a case-by-case basis. She’s lovable but both her and my housemate don’t understand the concepts of personal space and solitude. So Kafkaesque where I am…