General Discussion

Old college threads.
Locked
User avatar
Ike
Yuna
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:01 pm
Contact:

General Discussion

Post by Ike » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:50 am

Hi all.

Thank you for playing IFT, and we hope you enjoyed yourselves. For the record, Austin Listerud wrote all of the literature, painting, world history. Billy Busse wrote all of the science. I, Ike Jose, wrote a large amount of the history, almost all of the music, all of the mythology, philosophy, social science, other arts.

A lot of the history and religion was produced by mostly Austin and me, with Billy contributing an occasional tossup.

Special thanks goes to Andrew Wang, Mike Sorice and Aaron Rosenberg who fixed a lot of our ambiguous phrasings and hoses through playtesting: I'm hoping that Aaron's advice was enough to stop me from getting dismembered by the music mafia. Unfortunately, there were probably a few things that made it through the cracks still, so if that's the case please post about it in the other thread. Jonathan Magin also provided some cool advice during the early and final phases of this set's production.

We have not read the set for our site yet so its hard to judge how it played out, but I was pretty pleased with the work that Austin and Billy put into the set. Just from the numbers people are putting up, it seems like this set met my goal of MUT difficulty, perhaps being a bit easier than ideal - but my goal was to make this into a significantly easier set than EFT's of the past.

Well anyway, that's all I have to say for now.
Discuss any general comments you have here.
Ike
UIUC 13

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: General Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:18 pm

The set was indeed at the advertised difficulty - on the whole probably easier than most MUTs and similar to the past two Falls. Bonuses were usually very forgiving, and I saw teams across the whole spectrum get at least a 30 or two over the course of the day. Thumb up for that.

Overall, I'd say it was a okay set, but no better than okay.

I saw one really big change - an abundance of creative-but-difficulty-appropriate questions. In the past, Ike has often been ragged on for only writing on "the canon" or for choosing difficult topics that have come up before instead of investigating new or underlooked creative ones, but that's not really true of this set. I see this as a good style change. That said, the attempt had mixed results. I really liked some of the attempts to reorient towards "realer" intro-level topics in his subjects, particularly the RMP and social science. In particular, I liked the bonus parts on "authenticity," "first-order logic", "anthropology," and "participant observation" and the tossup on "weddings" for this reason. Sometimes it didn't quite work out - the tossup on gladiators is basically over as soon as it says "mock naval battles" in line 4, and I'm not sure how many things besides walls "keep barbarians at bay" after line 3 of that question.

There were too many questions which basically presented a title and asked players to "fill in the blank" - e.g. the clues before the Kubler-Ross one in the death tossup in the other thread, or saying Georg Simmel wrote on "The Philosophy of" [this thing] in a tossup on money with no further clues about it, or that CS Lewis wrote about "The Great [this]". (And saying things like "contrasted with postludes" is effectively another form of this same issue.)

At least twice, questions would accept two answers which actually aren't the same thing (the Henry VIII story only makes sense because "annulment" and "divorce" are NOT the same; nor are workhouses and poorhouses the same).
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
Ike
Yuna
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:01 pm
Contact:

Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:58 am

Thanks Matt.

Is it just the "failed creative ideas" that made the set okay? I don't know how much time you have, but if you are interested in having a phone call / sending a huge email of them sometime this week to discuss specific examples of I would be more than happy to use that advice.

Also, Aaron Rosenberg is going through another round of proofing, because I'm a lot better at introducing grammatical mistakes than fixing them.
Ike
UIUC 13

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: General Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:25 pm

In terms of "things that made the set only okay", I'd say the biggest factors were grammatical confusion, the use of "fill in the blank" type clues with little other exposition in various places, the occasional factual inaccuracy (I pointed out a bunch in the other thread), odd pronouns/demonstratives (too much "this entity," describing Margaret Thatcher as a "ruler" with a "reign",) and underspecific answer lining in a few places. Going through the set once more to really root out those things should really help.

Re: creativity: on the contrary! If you guys continue to write in the future, you certainly should keep writing some number of interesting/new ideas at accessible difficulty. Don't take what I said to be a discouragement from being interesting! Rather, just make sure that your questions are still structurally sound when doing so, which can be a bit more challenging than usual, but is worth it in the end.

I doubt I'll be able to do much more for you this week, unfortunately - life is busy.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
jmannor2
Wakka
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:09 pm

Re: General Discussion

Post by jmannor2 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:24 pm

If someone could email me the set, I would definitely look over stuff to help out.
Joey Mannor
DAR High School '11
Auburn '15

User avatar
Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur
Wakka
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:40 am

Re: General Discussion

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:51 pm

I will say that this set was extremely enjoyable for everyone to play at our site. This was quite an easy set, which kept the games moving quickly and kept people interested, especially since we have mostly novices coming off A-set leagues.

The experimental-type questions were very well received, although this was likely because they tended to be slightly easier. I really liked the gladiator tossup, although I will agree that for most players, most things after "sea battle" were pretty obvious. I appreciated the nod to the retiarius. The music and art were accessible, and the lit was very gettable, even to a team with, as a whole, next to no real lit knowledge.

Being a less experienced player who happens to masquerade in my region as an expert, I have, I believe, no issues with specific questions that have not been previously addressed.
Zach Pace
Clarence High School '10, University at Buffalo '14
Writer, NAQT; Reader, NY MasterMinds
Space Advocate, Amateur Astronomer, and Occasional STEM Pundit
You don't want me anywhere near literature that's not sci-fi or written in Latin. Seriously.

Edmund
Wakka
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:25 pm

Re: General Discussion

Post by Edmund » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:12 pm

I read the IFT set at the UK mirror last weekend.

My general remarks - I really thought this was an interesting set and that answer lines were well chosen and suitably varied. I'd say that the distribution was engaging without suffering in terms of difficulty. There was the odd dud answer line, sure, but on the whole I liked the set.

My major criticism is that the standard of written English was sloppy. The set was riddled with neologisms ("shot up a food court", some weird anachronistic attributions, etc etc) and phrasing that was clunky, if not altogether inaccurate. I thought too many questions used "this man" rather than perfectly acceptable neutral equivalents like "this writer" or "this politician". I may be hypersensitive to this since I am not a speaker of US English, but I don't think that a work is "based off of" a previous work - it is "based on" it. Another example: "Servius Tullius built one of the first types of these structures for Rome". No, Servius Tullius is not credited as the inventor of the wall: what you mean is "Servius Tullius built one of Rome's first examples of these structures". Both players and readers benefit from improving on these matters, not to mention that questions become more clue-dense as their standard of English improves.

There was also a rich vein of small factual errors running through the science distribution. As a scientist I spotted these, but friends specialising in other fields identified similar issues throughout - mainly trivial errors, but errors, and easily caught ones, nonetheless. I'll highlight those I spotted under question-specific discussion but it did seem to be a noticeable trend after the first few packets.

On the whole, though, well done! I enjoyed reading it.
Edmund Dickinson
BuzzerQuiz
University of Oxford '11

njsbling
Rikku
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:17 pm
Location: Carmichael, California

Re: General Discussion

Post by njsbling » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:11 am

Will this set be posted on the archives?
Nicholas Karas
Member, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
Outreach Coordinator, National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
1992 in spaceflight
Auron
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: St. Louis-area, MO

Re: General Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Thu May 02, 2013 4:52 pm

njsbling wrote:Will this set be posted on the archives?
So it's been almost 6 months since the last mirror ended....is the set going to be posted soon on the archives?
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present)
Formerly: HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017); Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

Locked