Issues with Event Submission Edits
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Posted by dblade

Does anyone else have issues with the edits made to their event descriptions? This is the second year in the row that I'm going to have to tell the editors to switch everything back to how I originally submitted. This year is even worse than last. For the long description they got rid of the actual description of the game and only kept the additional material that wasn't in the short description. And since the long description is what people will see online this is a major problem.

I will be emailing them directly as indicated but I wanted to bring this up just in case other people are having this issue. Perhaps a memo needs to be sent by the GenCon staff to whoever is editing submissions to avoid deleting whole sections of the game description. 

Example:

Original Long Description:
You’ve been hired to pinch a valuable piece of artwork from a fancified aristocrat. It will be like taking candy from a big, angry baby. This adventure takes place before the events of the Serenity movie and all of the 9 major characters (Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Inara, River, Simon, Book) will be playable.

Edited Long Description:
This adventure takes place before the events of the Serenity movie and all of the 9 major characters (Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Inara, River, Simon, Book) will be playable.

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Posted by deltafox65

Yes, this is the first year I ran into major edit issues.  I believe they went to outsourcing a lot of the data entry this year.  I remember getting an email or maybe it was another forum where they were looking for qualified personnel.  I bet most of the new part time hires are just working off a checklist and a more rigid format (run into a lot of checklist Charlies in my line of employment, frustrating but understandable when large swaths of information are being streamlined by others).  Hoping and truly believe they will get better with more time and experience.  This is a lot of conjecture on my part but just wanted to validate your original post about things feeling different on event submission or at least different from my point of perspective.

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Posted by dblade

Thanks. I was wondering about that. It feels like someone has misunderstood their instructions regarding long descriptions vs. short descriptions. Maybe they think that the short description will be automatically inserted to the front of the long description. If that is the case the GenCon staff should check it out and correct their hires.

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Posted by dblade

By the way, this happened to two of my submissions and it was the exact same mistake. The other submission didn't have a long description so they didn't mess with it.

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Posted by derekguder

There is a larger team editing events now, yes.

Without the game ID, I can't confirm, but if they first 2 sentences of the long description were repeated from the short description, that's likely why there were removed - do not duplicate information across multiple fields.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by dblade

Derek,

That doesn't make sense to me. Please tell me how this works now because this isn't how it was done in the past. The short description was for the printed program (now debunk) while the long description was for the full online description. Information was always duplicated across these two fields. What has changed? Are you combining the two fields to create one long description for viewing by people online? If this isn't the case then we need to duplicate the actual description of the game across these two fields. Maybe I missed the new rules on this.

Please explain because this doesn't seem right.

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Posted by dblade

The instructions for the Longer Event Description are:

Click here to add an optional longer description that will only be displayed online.

This implies that if you add a Longer Event Description it will take the place of the shorter description when your event is displayed online.

Here's an example of my original Long submission compared to the new edited submission...

Original Long Description:
You’ve been hired to pinch a valuable piece of artwork from a fancified aristocrat. It will be like taking candy from a big, angry baby. This adventure takes place before the events of the Serenity movie and all of the 9 major characters (Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Inara, River, Simon, Book) will be playable.

Edited Long Description:
This adventure takes place before the events of the Serenity movie and all of the 9 major characters (Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Inara, River, Simon, Book) will be playable.

So if the long description replaces the short description there won't even be any mention of the actual adventure that is being played if we go with the edited Long Descriptions.

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Posted by derekguder

There is no need to replicate information across the two fields. "Only displayed online" does not suggest that it will replace the shorter description and that is not how our online event listings have ever been displayed.

We would not be combining multiple fields on the submission form - if that was the intent, the form itself would be changed.

Again, if you can provide the game ID, I can look at the event directly and confirm the updates.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by dblade

Okay. There are two of my events that this happened to. I've included the Short and Long Descriptions as they now stand.

RPG20168443  Dark Matter: Blood Chorus

Short Description:
An old college roommate has called you for help after being attacked by cyber vampires & stalked by lizard people. She may be off her meds, but as paranormal investigators you’ve seen crazier things.
Long Description:
This adventure takes place in the campaign setting of Dark Matter where all the scary stories you worried about as a child turned out to be very real.

RPG20168503  Firefly: Art Heists & Hand Grenades

Short Description:
You’ve been hired to pinch a valuable piece of artwork from a fancified aristocrat. It will be like taking candy from a big, angry baby.
Long Description:
This adventure takes place before the events of the Serenity movie and all of the 9 major characters (Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Inara, River, Simon, Book) will be playable.

So my question now is, should we even bother with Long Descriptions if they aren't going to be shown online? Where are they going to show up? This is the first time I've ever had this issue since I've been running games over the years, so I'm wondering what changed.

If you tell me that the Long Description won't be shown anywhere without the Short Description also being shown then I will leave it be. If you tell me the Long Description will be the only thing shown then I'm back to my earlier thought of the Long Description field should include everything I originally put in there, which includes the material I put in the Short Description.

Please clarify where and when the Short Description will be used.
And please clarify where and when the Long Description will be used.

I will wait for this answer before I write into the events staff to make changes.

Thanks for your help

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Posted by derekguder

The long description will not show up anywhere the short description does not.

The difference between the two is partly due to the historical need for something to put in the print program guide and an outlet for more online, but even then both description were used.

Now, the difference between the two is length and focus - the short description is focused and we enforce fairly tight rules in it. The long description we're much more lenient about, generally.

They are still separate fields partly because it would take more development to change it and having separate descriptions is still helpful so that attendees have a very short, punchy description to tell if they're even interested enough to read the longer description.

Looking at the specific events, it looks like what was removed from the long description was repeated in the short description, making it redundant. Information like that is removed as we have the opportunity to do so. Nothing has changed about policy, but we may not have been able to quickly/easily remove things previously. As we have more people reviewing events, there are more chances to take care of all the details.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by dblade

One more question for clarity and then I'm done. When a person is using the Event Finder on the GenCon site will they see the Short Description first and then the Long Description? If that is the case I have no problem with this. That was really my main concern. I didn't want the Long Description being shown by itself since it didn't actually provide any details about the specific adventure.

I hope I wasn't too frustrating for you. It's just that all of my submissions in the past have all the details in the Long Description, which includes the adventuring hook, often expanded beyond the limits of the Short Description. In the future I can split the description in two with the actual Adventure description in the Short Description and extra details like campaign setting or character details in the Long Description. I usually provide extra details when it is a known setting like Firefly or Dark Matter so people will be further enticed. I hope this will help future editing.

Thanks, Derek.

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Posted by derekguder

Yes, the short description is displayed before the long description, so you should be all set.

Questions come up, so you don't need to worry about that. Folks get real excited about the convention and y'all are passionate about your events, so it's to be expected that we'll need to clear stuff like this up.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by brotherbock dblade

dblade wrote:
One more question for clarity and then I'm done. When a person is using the Event Finder on the GenCon site will they see the Short Description first and then the Long Description? If that is the case I have no problem with this. That was really my main concern. I didn't want the Long Description being shown by itself since it didn't actually provide any details about the specific adventure.
I hope I wasn't too frustrating for you. It's just that all of my submissions in the past have all the details in the Long Description, which includes the adventuring hook, often expanded beyond the limits of the Short Description. In the future I can split the description in two with the actual Adventure description in the Short Description and extra details like campaign setting or character details in the Long Description. I usually provide extra details when it is a known setting like Firefly or Dark Matter so people will be further enticed. I hope this will help future editing.
Thanks, Derek.

FWIW dblade, here's how I make use of the short and long. I put an eye-catching summary in the short description, and then I use the long description to give a much more detailed, flavorful description. The short becomes a paraphrase of what's in the long (not verbatim, and in more detail in the long) and adds a bunch to it. For example:

Short: 30 days between systems…until the FTL failed. Now a ship of survivors drifts towards a remote star system, decades away. Will any live to see landfall? What will be waiting for you when you do?

Long: A trip between the stars, a few short weeks to a far-flung outpost of humanity. That was before the FTL failed. Most of the passengers could be put into cold sleep, but hundreds could not. 40 years in deep space awaited them. But humans persevere. A city was built within the ship, jobs given out, an economy established, food grown. Life would go on. But will you ever reach your destination? And what is waiting for you there? 40 years on the Castra means over 90 years planetside--relativity is a harsh mistress. Dark shadows move among the crew and passengers, and several years ago a murderous cult was thwarted. Can you keep the ship together? How about just your own sanity? A BYOV Mystery. Beginners, costumes, and all pronouns welcome, no experience or costumes necessary. Mature themes, so mature players only please. Find a cast list, and ask about precasting, at BYOV.com.

You've got 900 characters, make use of 'em :) And then make the short a brief summary, and you won't have to worry about anything getting cut out.

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Posted by dblade

Nice details!

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Posted by derekguder

Yup, brotherbock has it exactly right - use the two descriptions to offer both a punchy description to grab people's attention and a detailed one to let them know the full extent of what they're gettin into.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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