Looking for suggestions for contest guidelines for this forum.

Discussion in 'Promo Codes and Contests' started by Eli, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. Luciano1084

    Luciano1084 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2014
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    #21 Luciano1084, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    Lol I hear you, I gave him 4 stars.. Honestly what guy wouldn't like the material in his magazines
     
  2. whiskmobile

    whiskmobile Member

    Jun 18, 2014
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    I completely agree. As an indie developer with a limited budget I might be a little biased though, but it does make it a more democratic when all developers and games get a more equal chance of attention - i.e. when even indies can afford a prize that's similar to those offered by the big boys!

    I really like the idea of these little competitions - especially with FTP games where promo codes are pointless. Hopefully Apple will allow us to offer promo codes for IAP soon though.
     
  3. whiskmobile

    whiskmobile Member

    Jun 18, 2014
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    One suggestion is that the developers/promoters have to use a verifiable random draw of the names, so that:

    a) Contestants can see that they were in with a chance.
    b) In the case of app-review based contests, it is transparent that it was random and didn't just go to the person who left the nicest review.

    This one is free, and seems to be good: www.randomresult.com

    Enter this "Ticket" number and you can see a test draw that I made:
    7783X57KY
     
  4. AppsAsia

    AppsAsia Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2010
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    #24 AppsAsia, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    Hi Eli, it's peter from appsasia. We met in Korea when you were here a couple of years ago :)

    Looks like you have some great suggestions, but many are from users. Here's my 2 cents from the POV of actually doing many giveaways. We've given away thousands of dollars in items, gift cards, etc here on TA. I think we have built a great reputation here and look forward to continue to do them here. I would be a shame for a few bad apples to spoil it for the rest of us :(

    1. Maybe adding the iTrader feature on vBulletin would be good indicator of trustworthiness for developers or companies such as mine that regularly do giveaways. That way feedback or reputation for those who run giveaways here can be more in a quantitative form so users on TA know who to trust and who not to trust.

    Here is a screenshot.

    [​IMG]

    2. Might be a little more work but choose someone to be a moderator on the contest forum to receive the gifts first (gift cards, redeem codes, etc) and then send them out to the winners. I think you have some dedicated members here that would be willing to do something like that.

    3. not sure if this is possible on forums but rafflechopter is a pretty popular tool for website owners when they do giveaways. It definitely makes the giveaway more transparent for both the winners and the company doing the giveaway.

    4. Create a blacklist or 'i got scammed' sub forum on TA. In the case that the developer has indeed not given out the items promised then users should be able to report them in this sub forum. The moderator would then send a PM or email to that developer and ask them to respond to the allegation within a 48 hours or some other set time period. If the person in question doesn't respond then they should be banned. If they do respond then the moderator should mediate and decide who was in the right or wrong.

    In addition, a post in that subforum or a post in the giveaway forum should be sticked and could have a list of developers or companies who have been banned, (in the case they create a different username) so users can avoid them in the future.

    Well... hope those suggestions were helpful :) Look forward to doing more giveaways on TA!!
     
  5. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
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    One rule is you can only enter once per household.

    I have deleted various accounts which all seemed to originate from the same user. Any cheating like this and the accounts will all be banned.
     
  6. one.sixty.four

    one.sixty.four Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2013
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    I really like the idea of having verified developer accounts! That'd be a great solution. #
     
  7. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Its frustrating when there are fake contests yet on the other hand half of me doesnt feel sorry as the users often add fake reviews (Which makes a mockery of the app store and makes it bad for the rest of us to find legit reviews).

    Theres some accounts here who just enter competition after competition, they never seem to buy anything or comment on paid games !

    Again i could create an app called 'black pixel simulator' , offer a prize of $5 for the best review and suddenly get 20 5 star 'this games great' reviews. Shame, like i say makes a mockery of the app store. If you genuinely like a game then enter the competition, if its a competition for 'best paint dry simulator' then dont enter. People just enter 24/7 to win money and nothing else. Like i say 'some' users just enter competition after competition regardless of the app and dont contribute anything to the forum
     
  8. klink

    klink 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Jul 22, 2013
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    I think the review contests might be over. I just found out that my iTunes account is indefinitely banned from leaving reviews in the App Store. In typical Apple fashion they didn't share any information on what was my exact infraction. I know this practice was abused but I personally tried to leave honest reviews and many of them were not five stars. I'm pretty annoyed by Apple's heavy handedness however it's not totally unexpected. It does make me consider leaving the Apple ecosystem. :(
     
  9. q8phantom

    q8phantom Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2013
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    Kuwait
    I guess that paid reviews are illegal on Apple iTunes app store.

    For me as a developer, I will focus on getting high quality followers/community out of my competition if I'm making one.

    Asking players for 5 star review isn't really what I should be looking for.

    If I we're to make a competition, I would do the following:

    - Ask users what they like most about the game.
    - Let users post about my game on their social media (Reach more audience) instead of writing a review on the App Store.

    Also, I guess that developer will be 100% responsible to filter our who's cheating, it's not touch arcade work.
     
  10. vidra

    vidra Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2013
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    English Teacher
    I suspect that something similar might have happened to me. How exactly did you find out about this? Did you write to their customer support?
     
  11. Ikabeer

    Ikabeer Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2014
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    Moderator is the answer

    I personally feel that any developer who is putting out cash price should go through developer and then only he/she should be allowed to post on TA forum.
    As a matter of fact the escrow option sounds best as of now and the developer should put in the moderators account before posting here so that when the winners are announced, they will have the developer too fall back on to.

    It's the easiest, efficient and honest way for all the parties involved.
    Please let me know how you guys feel.

    iKabeer(HotNerd)
     
  12. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Sorry but i'm glad. People leaving constant fake 4 or 5 star reviews on the app store just to enter competitions ruins it for everyone. Now when i look at itunes reviews i dont believe half of them as they appear to be fake.

    Its not helping anyone, its not helping the dev improve their game as they read constant 'this games great !' as someone tries to win $2 in a competition and it ruins the app store.

    I'm glad Apple might be doing something and banning users who they seem to realise are leaving tons of crappy reviews for average apps just to win competitions.
     
  13. klink

    klink 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Jul 22, 2013
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    I understand your criticism and it's fair. I'm ok with Apple killing the review contest but I'm really bummed they killed my ability to write reviews. I've written tons to reviews because I like to provide developers feedback and support them.
     
  14. gamescorpion

    gamescorpion Well-Known Member

    #34 gamescorpion, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
    My Guidelines

    Here are what I would recommend as guidelines to all developers looking to do a TA contest ethically (I have run many on TA successfully and am very grateful to the whole TA community). Also I've talked to Apple a few times and they have always been fine with contests as long as the rules are followed (Ex. you can't ask users to give you a 5/5, you can't do anything to skew the ratings system like buying fake reviews, etc.)

    GameScorpion.com Guidelines To A Successful App Contest:

    1. Figure out your prize that you are planning to reward users with:
    a. Promo Codes (So directly handing out codes to X number of users as per your preference. Not really a contest but a giveaway.)
    b. Gift Card (Note: iTunes Gift Cards DO NOT WORK in different countries!! Ex. You cannot buy a US gift card and have a Canadian iTunes user use it, likewise you cannot buy a UK iTunes gift card and have a US user use it. TO FIX THIS All international users must use a service like http://www.JerryCards.com which charges a small fee to purchase the required cards).

    PROMO CODE GIVEAWAY ON TA
    -------------------------
    1. Write up an introduction on what you will be giving away to users. Each potential user should know WHAT they will recieve, WHEN and HOW.
    2. It is a good practice to let users PM you for promo codes rather than simply post (for a developer it is crazy to try and track all the promo codes that have been used and for end users they have to go through the list trying to see which promo code is available.)
    3. Use BB Code in order to show your app in a standard format.
    4. Keep track of codes given via a spreadsheet (I use google spreadsheets for easy access on any system, from my phone or even my laptop or any computer, you want to keep up to date on your contest and keep users up to date as well)


    GIVEAWAY FIRST POST TEMPLATE:
    ===============

    [B]GIVEAWAY DETAILS:[/B]

    [B]WHAT:[/B] 50 Promo Codes For Our Game[/B]

    [B]WHEN: [/B]

    [B]Starts[/B] - <HOUR DD-MMM-YYYY ex. 10:00pm EST on Apr. 6th, 2015>

    [B]Ends[/B] - <HOUR DD-MMM-YYYY ex. 10:00pm EST on Apr. 6th, 2015>

    [B]Notes (Optional):[/B] Ex. Winner will get promo code ASAP after messaging.

    [B]HOW TO OBTAIN PROMO CODE:[/B]
    1. Send a PM or post a message to request a promo code
    2. A Promo code will be messaged back until all 50 promo codes are done
    3. So that we are not spamming the board by constantly bumping the post up, every evening at around <SET_YOUR_OWN_TIME_HERE> we will update everyone on how many promo codes are still available by writing a post

    [B]DESCRIPTION AND LINKS TO GAME:[/B]
    [appinfo]<YOUR_ITUNES_LINK_HERE>[/appinfo]

    Description of Game: <ENTER_A_DESCRIPTION_HERE>

    Thank you!

    <YOUR_NAME>
    <YOUR_TITLE>
    <NAME_OF_COMPANY_OR_DEVELOPER>
    [URL="http://<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>"]<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>[/URL]

    ===============


    5. Upon completion of the giveaway, have a FINAL note to thank everyone for participating and also we should put a CLOSE THREAD request at the end so moderators can close the thread.


    FINAL MESSAGE TEMPLATE:
    ===============
    Thank you to all users for taking part in our promo code giveaway for our game <ENTER_YOUR_GAME_NAME_HERE>. All promo codes have been given away successfully! For more details on our game please visit <A_LINK_TO_A_URL>.

    Request To Moderator: CLOSE THREAD

    <YOUR_SIGNATURE>
    ===============


    GIFT CARD CONTEST ON TA
    ------------------------
    EXAMPLE OF ONE OF OUR GC CONTESTS HERE: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=258436

    A Gift Card contest requires a bit more work and requires ethics and fair play for all. Here is what I do whenever I put up a GC contest:
    1. Determine who the gift card contest is for (Is it US only? Canada only? UK only? All three?)
    2. Determine your location. If you are in Canada and running a Canadian only GC contest, then you can easily buy an iTunes GC at any store. If you are a US developer and are running a contest for those in the UK for example or vice versa, then you will need to use a service to buy those cards (I personally use http://www.jerrycards.com to get my cards)
    3. Understand your local contest rules and requirements for a disclaimer (I have put the one that I use in Canada for all our contests, but that will be up to you as a developer to figure out on your own end)
    4. Prepare the first post entry using the following template:



    GIFT CARD CONTEST FIRST POST TEMPLATE:
    ===============

    [B]CONTEST DETAILS:[/B]

    [B]WHAT:[/B] $<GIFT_CARD_VALUE> iTunes [B][U]US Gift Card[/U][/B] <CHANGE_TO_SPECIFIC_REGION>

    [B]WHEN: [/B]

    [B]Starts[/B] - <HOUR DD-MMM-YYYY ex. 10:00pm EST on Apr. 6th, 2015>

    [B]Ends[/B] - <HOUR DD-MMM-YYYY ex. 10:00pm EST on Apr. 6th, 2015>

    [B]When and How Will Winner Recieve Card:[/B] Winner will get card ASAP after contest close time via a PM with the card code.

    [B]HOW TO ENTER:[/B]
    1. Download the app - [URL="http://<ENTER_YOUR_OWN_ITUNES_LINK_HERE>"]<ENTER_YOUR_OWN_ITUNES_LINK_HERE_AGAIN>[/URL]
    2. Write an HONEST review of what you thought about the game on iTunes. NOTE: A favorable or unfavorable review WILL NOT effect your probability of winning. All entries have an equal opportunity to win as we will determine the winner using a random number selection from [URL]http://www.random.org[/URL]
    3. Send a message either via pm or add your message to the board that you have completed your review.
    4. So that we are not spamming the board by constantly bumping the post up, every evening at around <DETERMINE_A_TIME_HERE> we will update everyone on their entries (By doing an updated post) so that the post is bumped only once per day by us. We want to keep things fair for all our other developer friends as well to showcase their amazing app contests here too :) So if you are not sure if you have been entered yet, simply look for your PM OR wait till our message daily to see the list of new entries we have inputted into the contest.
    5. We will send you a Ticket ID. Until you get the ticket ID, you are not entered.

    Disclaimer: <ENTER_YOUR_DISCLAIMER_HERE>

    [B]DESCRIPTION AND LINKS TO APP:[/B]
    [appinfo]<YOUR_APP_LINK_HERE>[/appinfo]

    [B]Description:[/B] <YOUR_DESCRIPTION_HERE>

    Thank you and Good Luck on the Draw!

    <YOUR_NAME>
    <YOUR_TITLE>
    <NAME_OF_COMPANY_OR_DEVELOPER>
    [URL="http://<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>"]<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>[/URL]

    ===============



    5. Setup a spreadsheet with two columns as follows (Via Google Docs Online):
    Username Ticket ID

    6. Every time a user sends a PM with an entry or post, simply give them a number (Which you increment yourself) and call that their ticket id number. Send that to them and make sure you update your spreadsheet.

    Ex.
    Username Ticket ID
    funguy1 1
    coolgirl 2
    yummycandy 3
    mouseman 4
    carrace 5
    etc.


    WINNER PM EMAIL TEMPLATE
    ======================
    SUBJECT: <NAME_OF_YOUR_GAME> Contest

    Hello <NAME_OF_USER>,

    Your TicketID is <TICKET_ID>.

    Good Luck!

    <YOUR_NAME>
    <YOUR_TITLE>
    <NAME_OF_COMPANY_OR_DEVELOPER>
    [URL="http://<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>"]<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>[/URL]

    ======================


    7. ON THE DAY OF THE CONTEST END, MAKE SURE YOU ARE AVAILABLE 1 HOUR BEFORE TO TAKE ANY FINAL ENTRIES!

    8. When the contest entry time ends, visit http://www.random.org and then place the lowest ticket id number into the MIN box and the highest ticket id number into the MAX box and then click on the Generate button.

    9. Take a screen capture by hitting "PrintScreen" on your keyboard and saving it as a jpg file and upload it to the post

    10. Whoever the ticket id corresponds to, announce this to the group as follows:


    WINNER TEMPLATE
    ==================================
    And the winner is...TICKET: <PLACE_TICKET_ID_HERE> which corresponds to <PLACE_USERNAME_HERE>!

    Thank you to everyone who participated in our contest!!

    We look forward to having you all participate in our future contests!

    @<PLACE_USERNAME_HERE>: Please respond on this forum once you have received your iTunes Giftcard.


    <YOUR_NAME>
    <YOUR_TITLE>
    <NAME_OF_COMPANY_OR_DEVELOPER>
    [URL="http://<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>"]<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>[/URL]

    ===============


    11. Now you go and purchase an iTunes gift card and scratch off the back (Or purchase a card from http://www.jerrycards.com) and PM the code to the CORRECT user.


    WINNER PM EMAIL TEMPLATE
    ======================
    SUBJECT: WINNER! - <NAME_OF_YOUR_GAME> Contest

    Congratulations! You have won the $<VALUE_OF_GIFT_CARD> US iTunes Gift Card.

    Please make sure you post in the main forum when you activate your card so there is no foul play and everyone knows you received your card as per contest.

    THANKS AGAIN And congratulations!

    CARD ID: <ENTER_GIFT_CARD_VOUCHER_HERE>

    Please message us directly should you have any trouble activating your card.

    ENJOY!

    <YOUR_NAME>
    <YOUR_TITLE>
    <NAME_OF_COMPANY_OR_DEVELOPER>
    [URL="http://<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>"]<URL_TO_YOUR_WEBSITE>[/URL]

    ======================


    12. WAIT until the user writes a message on the board that they have received the gift card!! VERY IMPORTANT to let everyone know the contest was fair and that the winner successfully got their winnings.

    13. Upon the user writing their message that they recieved their card, write this final message for moderators to close the post (So its easier for moderators to manage the forum)


    FINAL POST TEMPLATE
    ======================

    Thank you again to all who participated in our contest!

    Request To Moderator: CLOSE THREAD

    <YOUR_SIGNATURE>
    ===============
     
  15. klink

    klink 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Jul 22, 2013
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    I guess Apple can't get their own story straight since they are locking users accounts from being able to leave reviews who participate in contest.
     
  16. Elsa

    Elsa Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2015
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    Arendelle
    #36 Elsa, Apr 8, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    We see that a lot, especially on Apple's approval process - it seems very inconsistent. But I agree with psj, it was the right decision.


    If you really just want to give feedback to the developer you can contact them and send them the review/suggestions through other media. Every developer has an email, a website/forum/blog and a lot of them already have their own facebook pages, twitter accounts etc. If giving feedback in order to improve the games is your goal then I'm sure you'll contact them through those means and expect no prize in return. Have you done any of that since the time you got banned from writing reviews?
     
  17. klink

    klink 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Jul 22, 2013
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    USA
    Yes, I frequently provide feedback here on the forums. I've emailed developers directly when they requested feedback. I very recently emailed Pixelbite feedback on Space Marshals as an example.
     
  18. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
    12,327
    353
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    England
    Would also be good if people bought games ! You seem to be entering competition after competition leaving fake 'this games great' reviews. That doesn't help anyone

    Think nearly everyone of your posts is for a promo code competition.
     
  19. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Own 1stSPIN
    China / Canadian
    I think part of the problem is that players do not feel comfortable competing when they know that some members have ways to manipulate their scores. If the developers come up with methods to resolve this then competitions where winners are decided on by their scores will be fair. That will result in more players and more attractive prizes.
     
  20. CL1NT_B3ASTW00D

    CL1NT_B3ASTW00D Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    It's also the problem that I suspect that the contests are rigged, with either the developer just giving the win to an alt account or one user making many alt accounts to rig the contests.
     

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