Judges YC120, and How Judging Works
Here's some intel on the judges, and the not especially cryptic or esoteric way stories judging works. Scout this
before you jump through the gate, so you're informed. Or probably better yet, just do whatever you intended to do
and have fun writing up your tale.
So first, about our judges.
Despite being the CEO of a huge Nullsec Corp, one of last years' CSM delegates, and having played Eve For more
than three years, Cagali is still no good at it. He has Fun though, which is the important thing, when you think about
it. He's got a Degree in English Literature, one in Nursing, and works in Emergency Services, where he wonders on
a daily basis how people can be so horrible to their genitals. You can find Cagali by opening your Map and looking
for the huge Red "Ships Destroyed" blob - That's most likely the Home of the Brave Collective, and where Cagali is
trying to stop people collecting his Corpse.
CCP Delegate Zero
CCP Delegate Zero is a Game Designer working in Team Genesis on the New Player Experience. He also works with CCP Affinity and CCP Falcon on Team Murder Services, the EVE storyline group. He has written several EVE chronicles, his most recent being 'Sine Wave: Omega', was a contributor to EVE Source and is a regular contributor to EVE Game World News and events work.
[Note: Telegram Sam updated this CCP DZ bio from his from previous years. The original version stated 'Inheritance' as the most recent chronicle written.]
ISD Thalack Dalhar
Thalack has been part of the Interstellar Services Department since 2006, originally part of the AURORA event team. He has been a team lead for Mercury - and subsequently the New Eden Correspondents - since 2008.
LR is an author, proofreader, EVE fiction writer, and past prize winner in this event.
Miz started bittervetting a decade ago and never stopped. A veteran of Eve in general and Minmatar RP in particular over a very long time, they've written fiction in this and other settings for just as long. With experience in pretty much all of what Eve has to offer, and having read and written in pretty much all genres compulsively since childhood, they're looking forwards to all entries. Favorite color is Eight and their spirit animal is an eggplant.
As a five and half year eve player, a CEO of a Amarr loyalist pve roleplay corp, Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque [SFRIM], and a Captain with her other character in venerable Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris [PIE], an Amarr roleplay faction warfare pvp corp, Lunarisse is a huge fan and promoter of eve lore and literature and is looking forward to diving into your entries to immerse herself in all things Pod and Planet!
Opus edits and publishes the EVE Onion News humo(u)r and satire website. He is also a frequent guest on EVE-related podcasts.
Silver Night started playing in 2003, is an Admin on Backstage, and ran a couple of previous fiction competitions. Fun fact: Was part of the cartel that helped the Caldari win the Jove bodyparts event back in '03 or '04 (it's a bit fuzzy at this point). Looking foward to reading the entries!
[Silver's annual fiction contests run 2010 - 2011 were what directly inspired and spawned this Pod and Planet thing. -Telegram Sam]
Telegram Sam has played EVE for around 7 years total since 2008. As a new player he got highly intrigued by the Chronicles, the EVE novels, and the New Eden the ancient fiction devs had created. Ingame, Sam created content and serves the Minmatar Republic by luring Amarr militia to blow up his Thrashers in the Am-Mil FW warzone. Probably as punishment for misdeeds in past lives, in RL Sam works in the currently rather hellish occupation of U.S. immigration law attorney.
And, about the judging.
It's really a very simple process.
-Accessing a secret encrypted plasmonic hypersynaptic mimeographed tritanium spreadsheet in space*, each judge assigns each story a score of 1 to 10 points. Judges can give decimel point scores. For example, 7.6, 9.9, or -0.8.
-At contest close, one 20-sided die and two 8-sided dice are rolled and the patterns of pigeons walking around as they feed on bread crumbs are observed. Then, Linda Goodman's Sun Signs astrology book is opened to a random page and the last letter of the first full paragraph is recorded. For example, q. Then the judges' scores for each story are added together, and the total is divided to get an average.
-A votive candle of any color or scent (except artificial watermelon) is lit and Permaband's "HTFU" is started. When CCP Guard says "We cannot fall 'cause gravity is just a theory," an icon is clicked on the spreadsheet in space and the stories are sorted by highest to lowest scores. Instantly and with 100% accuracy. Every time.
-Usually there are just a few scores in the 8.5 to 9.0 or higher score range. The same for the 6.5 or lower range. But there are many stories in the 7.5 to 8.4 score range. These are usually the competitors for the 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention prizes, and the competition is often fierce. And fairly often there are ties. If that happens, the judges do a tie-breaker round. Each judge ranks the tied stories from favorite to least favorite. Based on those ranks, stories get scores according to the F1 racing scoring system. (1st = 25 points, 2nd = 18 points, 3rd = 15 points, etc). The points from the "race finishing places" are added together, and the story with the most points wins the tie. The other story drops into the next-highest prize category. The process is both pretty intense and highly subjective. Which is a good reason why no one should ever feel bad about the prize they won in a creative arts creation contest. :)
-The highest scores in each contest category earn the main prizes. The next highest-scoring stories from across all categories earn Honorable Mention prizes. Then, the Best New Writer and Very Short Story prizes are awarded. So it is possible that a story could earn up to three prizes.
-Judges can choose to recuse from scoring any story, it they feel they can't be unbiased to the writer. This has only happened because the judge and writer know each other and are friends.
-Generally, the judges don't discuss the stories with one another. Each judge just reads every story and independently assigns each one a numerical score, as he or she sees fit. The only exception is for stories in the 8,000 Suns in New Eden lore-based category. On occasion, the judges have checked in with each other about for judgment calls on whether something is a lore violation or not.
-A note: Over the years, the judges seem to always singly and independently score one story so high that it is the clear Grand Prize winner. It doesn't matter what the theme of the story is, whether it's gnarly or nice, etc.-- the diverse individuals judging all just find it be the "best" one.
*For ritualist (as well as budgetary) reasons, each year the spreadsheet in space is made only from the 1 unit of Tritanium found in replacement rookie Corvettes.