AuthorTopic: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year  (Read 12695 times)

Offline Crow

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Secret Santa is, at least for me, something very special. It's also a bit hectic sometimes, since I'm organizing it, but seeing all these beautiful pieces before the users get to see them makes up for that ;) What's always painful is the waiting for the last few gifts, and the fact that I already know that some gifts will not be sent in on time/at all. This year, I had some very nice people offer their time to create last minute gifts for the ungifted participants :) I'll be making use of their smexy pixeling skills starting tomorrow, once I know who still needs a gift. It's not an ideal solution, though, and I would rather avoid this nonsense. Therefore, starting next year, you'll be mostly making gifts, and I'm afraid I have to scrap most of the likes/dislikes stuff (if nobody comes up with a better solution).

My plan is to have the participants make gifts, and only match people once they're finished. I think that rough "preference pools" could be used here, but nothing as specific as the current likes/dislikes :( It does however allow for everyone who participated to actually get a gift, and I think that's important. I'd like your thoughts on this idea, and possibly also ideas for the preference pools I had in mind - what they could be, y'know.

Also, as minor news for the topic, after it has been brought up multiple already: no bans for this year's SS. Only strikes.
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Offline dustinaux

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #1 on: December 21, 2014, 05:19:16 pm
I could see how the likes/dislikes could be a bit of an issue since it's just not any fun drawing something you may not personally like the subject of. (Fortunately I enjoyed drawing my subject though, in case my giftee reads this!  :y:) What if you're matched up at the beginning, there are no likes/dislikes, but you are encouraged to look at that users posts a bit to see what they may be interested in. The more active the user, the better idea one could have on what they want. This all with the disclaimer "you get what you get" - it may be in a style you're not a fan of.  It should be all about the giving anyway.

Also @Crow I may have sent you two pm's because they are not showing up in my "Sent Items"  ???
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Offline Gil

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 05:25:12 pm
I might pixel some extra gifts too. I had at least one extra planned. I'll let you know. Depends on my week.

I don't mind making the santa gifts less specific next year, getting a present is more important than what it is.

Offline MashPotato

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 05:27:25 pm
Aw :( I'm sorry to hear there have been more no-shows this year. Hopefully it's mostly due to people not reading the thread properly and not realizing the due date was earlier than past years, and they'll have the finished pixels ready soon.

While I know it makes things harder, I would like to see the like/dislikes remain. Likes/dislikes makes it more special--making something a particular person in mind not only makes the gift better for the recipient, it also stirs the creative juices of the giver. (also, since pixels only exist digitally, if the gifts are from random pools there's not real "point" in receiving a gift, in that you can see everyone else's gift anyway ;) )

However, I'm not sure what kind of solution there is for no-shows, so if you do decide to go with preference pools, do you mean there might be, say, 5 categories (eg. Robots, Monsters, Nature, Fantasy, Mock-ups), and each person would sign themselves up to a pool (eg. robots), and for their pixel they would be assigned not a particular person, but a group? (eg Nature) If so, then there's still the possibility of there being no-shows (a Robot person not making a Nature pixel), unless people are only assigned to their own group.

(and thanks for organizing all of this!)

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 05:34:14 pm
The Likes/Dislikes have more than once caused me to tackle subject manners outside of my comfort zone. I'm proud to say I would have never done something like the gift I sent had it not been for analyzing the likes of the person receiving my gift.

Offline Crow

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 05:58:20 pm
Yea, I really like the likes/dislikes myself, and they play a huge role. Regarding the preference pools, I considered just letting them pixel a gift for somebody else in the same group. But then again, that's somewhat lame.. but I can't come up with anything else. Anyone? :P
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Offline Ellian

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 06:12:53 pm


Personally the person and likes/dislikes played a major role on the idea/inspiration I had for the Secret Santa... so...
Yeah I dunno, why not just keep the pool idea, but use it to dump a bunch of additional gifts? I mean, I'd love to actually make additional gifts right now to give to the people who won't get anything, but since I don't know yet who won't have a gift, I can't start pixelling...

Offline Pizza Tom

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 06:18:20 pm
I second the likes/dislikes being a major bonus. I find the best part is challenging myself to make something they would like regardless of my feelings toward the subject matter.

Maybe I'm just not understanding the idea, but wouldn't the preference pool thing be even more complicated to set up? Not only that, making a gift and not knowing who it's for would feel so impersonal, which for me defeats the whole purpose. I dunno. :/
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Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 07:18:08 pm
Good idea Ellian. :y: People can write likes/dislikes and to choose additional 2 options from 4-6 topics. And since there's always people who are willing to draw extra pieces, they can draw something for some of the topics. These extra gifts can be counted and their current number should be available so people can compare them to the pool, and know which extra gift is more required. All users are choosing two topics in case they don't receive their gift and extra gift for one of them is not available. All extra gifts that aren't used can me posted as honorable mentions. :)

Offline Parkerbaby

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 07:48:48 pm
I've never participated, but I think the likes/dislikes are what really makes this great. It is not as intimate as a 'gift' if it is just a general pixel painting for anyone. Impose harsher punishments, maybe.

Offline Crow

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #10 on: December 21, 2014, 08:05:27 pm
Maybe I'm just not understanding the idea, but wouldn't the preference pool thing be even more complicated to set up?

It would ensure that everyone gets a gift, though, at least in theory.


Good idea Ellian. :y: People can write likes/dislikes and to choose additional 2 options from 4-6 topics. And since there's always people who are willing to draw extra pieces, they can draw something for some of the topics. These extra gifts can be counted and their current number should be available so people can compare them to the pool, and know which extra gift is more required. All users are choosing two topics in case they don't receive their gift and extra gift for one of them is not available. All extra gifts that aren't used can me posted as honorable mentions. :)

Hmm, I like this!


Impose harsher punishments, maybe.

Already got rid of the bans (because they're too harsh), and not being able to take part the next year also leaves the user with two years until the next Secret Santa they can take part in. It really doesn't help.
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Offline YellowLime

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 08:12:30 pm
It is not as intimate as a 'gift' if it is just a general pixel painting for anyone.
I second the likes/dislikes being a major bonus. I find the best part is challenging myself to make something they would like regardless of my feelings toward the subject matter.

[...] making a gift and not knowing who it's for would feel so impersonal, which for me defeats the whole purpose. I dunno. :/
I support these opinions.

Possible solutions:

Merit system: people who have successfully delivered on previous Secret Santas will have more possibilities of being paired with each other, while people who failed to deliver and new-comers will more probably end up paired with each other.
Cons:
  • More predictable to know who will have to gift who.
  • Sense of elitism (which some people already feel about this forum, without further provocation :lol:)
  • Doesn't ensure that everyone gets a gift, just that those who didn't were the ones that deserved one the least. :hehe:
  • All-around revengeful and discouraging for new-comers :lol:

Mid-check system: People will have to show Crow or other admins their work, in a preset mid-point between the assignation and the day of presentation.
Cons:
  • Just looking at a half-done work doesn't say much about it being done in time.
  • Sense of Big Brother surveillance. Double deadlines probably mean double pressure.

...and the one I actually like:
Clandestine deadline system: Same as above, but like a week before presentation. Those who haven't done theirs will already be disqualified. Crow/admins will secretly ask, from the pool of those that will get a present, to whip something up (maybe even collaboratively?) for those unfortunate enough to not receive a present.
Cons:
  • Probably hard to set a balance where there is enough time before the deadline, and not too little time for clandestine damage-control.
  • Maybe most people will refuse to work for the unfortunate? (Or be even more driven, having become magical secret shoemakers :crazy:)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 08:26:08 pm by YellowLime »

Offline Ellian

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 08:26:00 pm
Good idea Ellian. :y: People can write likes/dislikes and to choose additional 2 options from 4-6 topics. And since there's always people who are willing to draw extra pieces, they can draw something for some of the topics. These extra gifts can be counted and their current number should be available so people can compare them to the pool, and know which extra gift is more required. All users are choosing two topics in case they don't receive their gift and extra gift for one of them is not available. All extra gifts that aren't used can me posted as honorable mentions. :)

Yep, exactly what I had in mind.  :)



@Yellowlime

Merit system: While I totally get the good intentions behind it, I'm so, so totally against that.  ;)

Mid-check: Wouldn't work for everyone. I did my secret santa piece in one stretch, in a single evening; Most of the time, if I don't finish something like that in one go, I'm never going back to it. And I'm super busy so I'm never sure when I can work, so... I'm not saying this just for myself, but I expect I'm probably not the only one who works like that.

Clandestine: Yes, I like that! Why not make the deadline officially a LOT earlier? Right now the deadline is 3 days before christmas... if someone doesn't meet the deadline, it's... most likely way too late because everyone else will be busy anyway, right?
If the deadline was, like, 1, 2 weeks before christmas, it would give more time for people willing to help to come up with something.

Offline Crow

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 08:33:07 pm
Hm.. yea, maybe starting this on the 1st November isn't such a bad idea. First deadline could be roughly 5-6 weeks later.
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Offline YellowLime

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 08:34:04 pm
@Yellowlime

Merit system: While I totally get the good intentions behind it, I'm so, so totally against that.  ;)

Yeah, I edited my post to reflect that it's a less-than-ideal concept :P

To clarify, the clandestine deadline wouldn't actually be clandestine (everyone will know when it's due), the clandestine part comes because the gifts remain a secret. And then they are revealed (after a clandestine damage control period) on Christmas Day.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #15 on: December 22, 2014, 01:22:33 am
Quote
What's always painful is the waiting for the last few gifts, and the fact that I already know that some gifts will not be sent in on time/at all.
It's more painful being that last person to turn in a gift.
Still working on mine right now.  :blind:
Holidays seem to always stress people out, so just relax!

And actually I thought we had until the 24th.  :o
But I totally read this wrong:
Quote
December 22nd~December 24th - Very last chance! If you have failed to send in your gift before this timespan, you will not be able to participate next year, but you won't get a strike.
Somehow I missed the "before".
So I'm definitely falling into the won't be able to participate next year category.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Dex

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #16 on: December 22, 2014, 04:55:50 am
@PPD, I feel like the wording of the rules this year was a bit off too, I was almost completely late on mine due to it... :yell:

Anyways, I love the likes/dislikes system. It always pushes me a bit outside my comfort zone, and I have to make something that I definitely haven't made anything similar to previously. I usually try to make something fairly large, too, in order to push myself even further. It's a great way to force yourself to finish a piece!

Having a few people pixel some general "Christmas-y" gifts that relate to someone's interests in the event that they do not receive one is also a great idea. I definitely feel like starting a bit earlier would work a lot better-- I think that is how a lot of other online Secret Santas are being done in recent years.

Despite that, I'm thankful that you're taking the time to run it this year! I think with a few minor improvements we can ensure that not too many are left out next year. :y:

Offline NowvaB

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #17 on: December 22, 2014, 11:11:51 pm
Quote
Somehow I missed the "before".

I happened to miss that too. but I reread it because I was confused why their were two turn in dates, one longer than the other, I thought it was like a warning.

I don't want to say that the sentence is confusing or hard to read but maybe there is a better way to say it, like
If you turn it in.

Edit: I didn't finish my sentence hmm...   ???
- like...  If you send in your gift during this timespan...

Quote
I definitely feel like starting a bit earlier would work a lot better-- I think that is how a lot of other online Secret Santas are being done in recent years.

If your anything like me you would maybe start an outline then wait until a few days before to actually work on it.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 07:28:29 am by NowvaB »

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #18 on: December 23, 2014, 03:45:53 am
You could try increasing the commitment needed by each person and have everyone assigned 2 people to make presents for so the likelihood of no one getting any presents is decreased significantly. There are obviously some downsides to that but there are already quite a few people who make multiple presents every year so who knows. But I definitely know I like the personal feel of being assigned a specific person and trying to do it to their likes, and especially receiving a gift tailored to you.

Offline Jeremy

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #19 on: December 23, 2014, 09:30:47 am
Keep it simple imo. Looking at previous years there's always been about a month to pixel and 4 or 5 bad santas, and even then others normally pixel something up for those who were left out.

If stuff gets more generic it strips away the individuality of the gifts. May be better to do away with the 2-stage thing and just PM another reminder about half way to the deadline

Offline Crow

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #20 on: December 23, 2014, 12:21:01 pm
I'm considering allowing everyone to participate next year anyway due to shitty wording in the SS timeline. Thoughts?
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Offline Probo

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #21 on: December 23, 2014, 08:35:08 pm
fine by me! it was a bit confusing. and if next year there's going to be some kind of fail-safe, then why stop anyone.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #22 on: December 23, 2014, 11:19:14 pm
Quote
Looking at previous years there's always been about ... 4 or 5 bad santas

Ha ha ha I like that. Maybe just give people who don't submit anything a "bad santa" avatar, a mark of shame. It could be a naughty looking santa and say "I've been a BAD Santa this year"

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #23 on: December 24, 2014, 01:36:28 am
Quote
It could be a naughty looking santa and say "I've been a BAD Santa this year"

I disagree, that would look cool and it shouldn't be, it should be ashamed boy or girl with guilty hat or something like that, not bad naughty Santa who don't care. ;)

  VS
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 01:38:12 am by HarveyDentMustDie »

Offline Ellian

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #24 on: December 24, 2014, 04:27:06 pm
I'm considering allowing everyone to participate next year anyway due to shitty wording in the SS timeline. Thoughts?

I don't mind. It's not like penaties mean much anyway, the shame of not finishing a piece should already be enough.  :hehe:

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #25 on: December 24, 2014, 08:34:54 pm
Oh no its the mob!   :wah:
Still working on it!
Given the global diversity of pixelation, how much time do I have exactly?
If it comes down to it, I will gladly wear the badge of shame.  :blind:
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline cirpons

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #26 on: December 24, 2014, 09:22:18 pm
Given the global diversity of pixelation, how much time do I have exactly?
Well, about an hour where i live, three hours by GMT and about 12-8 hours in the Americas(sounds pretty hopeful doesnt it?). You can do it PPD, let the Christmas spirits guide you!!!

Offline NaCl

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #27 on: December 25, 2014, 05:28:25 am
PPD is a NAUGHTY Santa. He gets coal this year!

Offline cirpons

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #28 on: December 25, 2014, 09:51:00 am
About three more hours if you live in the pacific

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #29 on: December 25, 2014, 10:01:51 am
Quote
PPD is a NAUGHTY Santa. He gets coal this year!
Coal cookies  :blind:

Quote
About three more hours if you live in the pacific
Thanks for the update.
But actually.........
I finished!  :D
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #30 on: December 25, 2014, 12:27:17 pm
C'mon Crow it's not fair to wait anymore. It's 1.30PM out here.   :crazy:

Offline Crow

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Re: Secret Santa - problems, and how I want to avoid them next year

Reply #31 on: December 25, 2014, 06:25:48 pm
Oh no its the mob!   :wah:
Still working on it!
Given the global diversity of pixelation, how much time do I have exactly?
If it comes down to it, I will gladly wear the badge of shame.  :blind:

Just to answer this question, I would've given you time to finish your gift until 23:59 on the 24th, your timezone.


C'mon Crow it's not fair to wait anymore. It's 1.30PM out here.   :crazy:

Well, it was 2:30 pm for me when you posted this, but I'm currently sick and also had family business to take care of :P
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