RPGWatch - Summer 2021 Key Giveaway

Myrthos

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Sorry, I don't have the time to handle this with the upcoming move and the work involved before that move.

Perhaps there is a volunteer from the team to pick this up.
 

henriquejr

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Sorry, I don't have the time to handle this with the upcoming move and the work involved before that move.

Perhaps there is a volunteer from the team to pick this up.

Well, if there are no other candidates for running the Giveaway, we can postpone it to this Fall 2022, after the website moving.

No worries, I can remind you later this year. You know I will :)
 

Lolozaur

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Best time for this is during big sales, so people could buy steam gifts as well, not just keys 🤞
 

Myrthos

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No I won't. I don't know if anyone else is going to do it.
 

Ripper

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I wondered if it might be an idea for the future to build a little system for giveaways into the functionality of the site. If the list of available keys were kept in the database, I don't think it would be too difficult to create a page for members to enter giveaways, where eligible users would be shown the list of keys, and put their ranked choice next to the ones they want.

It would be a bit of work, but could make the giveaways almost effortless in the future. They do seem to be a very popular part of the site.
 

Myrthos

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The algorithm to decide who gets what key is a bit more complicated than just randomness. There are more goals you want to achieve, like trying to maximize the amount of keys you give away, without ending up giving away the 'lesser' keys to the ones with no restrictions.
 

Ripper

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OK, but if that algorithm is currently applied in a spreadsheet, I'd have thought that would be possible to implement as a bit of code on the site?
 

Kordanor

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Also I wouldn't want to completely leave that to automation if you don't want to have half the keys ending up at greymarket pages.
 

Ripper

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Well, I was thinking that you could set conditions for eligible members as part of it.

Do you mean in terms of security? If that's the worry, you could keep the actual keys separately and dispatch them via PM, so giveaway entry page would just be a list of games.
 

Kordanor

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I am just saying that whenever you leave something to an automated system you make it more vulnerable to be exploited.
 

Ripper

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That's true, but I think it could be done in a way that makes that very difficult. If you keep the keys separately, and only produce a list of which eligible members are to be PM'd which game, I don't see too much risk.
 

Myrthos

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The algorithm is, next to some randomness, manual (that means I am a big part of the algorithm :)).
I make corrections to distribute the wealth better.
 

Ripper

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Ah, I see. Given your retirement, then, a new algorithm may be in order. :D

TBH, if you end up with a lot of keys that you can't shift, I'd just drop them on RandomActsOfGaming from time to time.

It's a just a thought, though. I've never entered the giveaways, but I know they're a popular part of the site. It's just that when I have a chore that repeats regularly, I usually try to script something to deal with it in future.
 

Redglyph

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You can always automate the process and make it send you the draft for approval. Drawing the gifts and sending the PMs are two separate processes anyway.
 

Ripper

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Yes, easy to a do a sanity check on the results produced. I think what I would do is have it as two separate parts. A pretty simple interactive page on the site that checks eligibility conditions, whether a user has already entered, and then produces a simple list of usernames and their ranked choice preferences. The only way I can see to manipulate that would be to find a way to create duplicate entries, and that can be checked for later.

Then have another little setup maybe on the PC of one the team, that also holds the actual keys. That ingests the created list, does the selection algorithm, and could also automatically PM the keys to the winners through the Xenforo API (I expect).
 

Ripper

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Another thought occurs to me, in terms of driving engagement. The prize draw could be given a timeslot, and done live on a livestream. I think that's a way of creating a bit of excitement around it.

Again, just an idea, but maybe someone like @Kordanor might be interested, as someone already has a Youtube presence he's trying to build. Seems like some nice synergy there, where it brings some attention to the Youtube channel, increases the Watch's profile, makes an event of it, and so on.
 

Myrthos

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Yes, easy to a do a sanity check on the results produced. I think what I would do is have it as two separate parts. A pretty simple interactive page on the site that checks eligibility conditions, whether a user has already entered, and then produces a simple list of usernames and their ranked choice preferences. The only way I can see to manipulate that would be to find a way to create duplicate entries, and that can be checked for later.

Then have another little setup maybe on the PC of one the team, that also holds the actual keys. That ingests the created list, does the selection algorithm, and could also automatically PM the keys to the winners through the Xenforo API (I expect).
I don't see how it can be manipulated as it requires to be an active user. You need to have a forum registration and a minimum amount of posts in the last 12 months. It would need a second registration, with which the person would also be active. There is no sure way to detect something like that. The same IP address is insufficient. Besides that people can change their opinion after their initial choice. Also sometimes keys are added. So, being able to change your previous selection should be possible.

I would think a simple page with all the games there are keys for and a checkbox, whether or not you would like to win that specific game (with the option to select/deselect all), would provide an overview of the choices. That you are registered and have a minimum amount of posts in the last 12 months, would give you access to such a page.

That said, I have other things to do than make something like that at this point in time. What I can provide to whomever is picking this up, is a CSV file with all the responses that are made in a thread.
 

Ripper

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I'm not suggesting for a moment that you should take this on. It's entirely on goodwill that you've done what you have. I'm really just throwing out ideas, because for some reason I got thinking about the best way to do giveaways. Just seems that if the giveaways are to continue, maybe there's some value in making it a really easy task to take on.

With regard to your first paragraph, the way I look at is if there's some code running on the page, and some database interaction, there is conceivably some way to mess about with what's returned. I'm just saying, if we assume things have been compromised, there's only a limited number of ways you could try to influence the result (duplicate entries, submissions from non-eligible users), which could be double-checked quite easily at the point of closing submissions.
 
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