COLIN XX- your input desired

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What is the earliest start time you'd be willing to make on the Friday?

4:30pm
4
31%
5:00pm
0
No votes
5:30pm
1
8%
6:00pm
3
23%
6:30pm
2
15%
7:00pm
3
23%
 
Total votes: 13

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Ben Wilson
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COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Ben Wilson »

Hi everyone

With COLIN XIX now behind us (and the stat file getting updated as we speak) it's time to look toward next year... and there's a lot to look forward to. :)

The pre-drinks

As I announced at the end of the weekend, next year's COLIN will be the first ever co-event triple header. There'll be an event on the Friday evening as well as the traditional Saturday main event and Sunday hangover. The name 'pre-drinks' is one I've had in mind for about 5 years now and the format is going to be simple- 2 rounds and a final straight through in one sitting with minimal break, which should take at most 2 hours and 45 minutes. As such, I want to know what the earliest start time would be for everyone, hence the poll at the top. I want to host an event for as many people as possible (though I'm banking on a maximum of 18) while also allowing myself enough time to update things that I need to for the following day, such as badges. Speaking of...

Badges

These have been a thing at COLIN for absolutely years now, and I'm still not really sure exactly how appealing they are as prizes. They're intended to be silly little spot prizes but with something tangible to take home, but whether or not people actually like them? I'm not sure. So your feedback would be welcome, including any suggestions for other types of badges (especially ones that can be won by anyone up and down the table). This includes the big 'badges of honour'/'lifetime achievement' award ones, which I'm concerned may be a little elitist.

COLIN XX- how you can contribute

For next year, I'm finally pulling the trigger on a 'big prize' (such as mugs, t-shirts, calendars etc) I've been thinking of for years, namely the 'Big Book of COLIN'. What this will include is all manner of stuff like photos, stats, records, old (and some new) puzzles, quizzes... but I also want to include something to reflect the community. So things like memories of past COLINs, photos of people with all the trophies/badges/misc crap they've won over the years, even more esoteric things like recipes. All of these will be collated into a pdf, printed out and given out as prizes next January. But that takes time, hence why I'm starting my planning 51 weeks in advance. So if you can think of anything that'd be appropriate and printable, you can expect to see it in the book next January. :-)

Cheers

Ben W
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Adam Beach
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Adam Beach »

I can't wait for this triple-header. Couldn't think of a better way of spending a Friday night than Countdowning followed by a walk to the Fox in the freezing cold. :lol: The pre-drinks title is just brilliant.

Re the poll, I've selected 6:30pm, as that's the time the Vicar of Dudley *prays* is opening the doors for Goat:Rugby next month, and it seems the most feasible. 6 would be a push, but could work. Half 4 would be too early for people who need to commute from work and what-not; I noticed more of us arrived later on the Friday this year in comparison to last.

We should have 20-letter conundrums for all three events, all the large numbers as multiples of 20, and all games as 20-rounders. No. Please don't. :lol:

Bring on COLIN XX.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Steve Hyde »

I'm a big fan of the badges. I'd like to see a few that are either achievable by any player at any time, or more "consolation prize" type things for people who aren't having such a good day. e.g. one for losing multiple crucial conundrums, or perhaps a "too hot for TV" badge for a winning word that would definitely be censored on the show
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Adam S Latchford »

Think the only way possible for me to get to lincoln in time would be the 7pm start slot

Sounds fun though! And badges are cool
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Gavin Chipper »

Ben Wilson wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 10:48 pm
For next year, I'm finally pulling the trigger on a 'big prize' (such as mugs, t-shirts, calendars etc) I've been thinking of for years, namely the 'Big Book of COLIN'. What this will include is all manner of stuff like photos, stats, records, old (and some new) puzzles, quizzes... but I also want to include something to reflect the community. So things like memories of past COLINs, photos of people with all the trophies/badges/misc crap they've won over the years, even more esoteric things like recipes. All of these will be collated into a pdf, printed out and given out as prizes next January. But that takes time, hence why I'm starting my planning 51 weeks in advance. So if you can think of anything that'd be appropriate and printable, you can expect to see it in the book next January. :-)
This is the sort of thing I think should be available to everyone (for an extra fee or whatever) rather than just available as a prize. I was thinking about this with the calendars as well, but this sounds like a proper souvenir item, and I don't think it should be exclusively available to a select few.
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Ben Wilson
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Ben Wilson »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 9:55 pm
Ben Wilson wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 10:48 pm
For next year, I'm finally pulling the trigger on a 'big prize' (such as mugs, t-shirts, calendars etc) I've been thinking of for years, namely the 'Big Book of COLIN'. What this will include is all manner of stuff like photos, stats, records, old (and some new) puzzles, quizzes... but I also want to include something to reflect the community. So things like memories of past COLINs, photos of people with all the trophies/badges/misc crap they've won over the years, even more esoteric things like recipes. All of these will be collated into a pdf, printed out and given out as prizes next January. But that takes time, hence why I'm starting my planning 51 weeks in advance. So if you can think of anything that'd be appropriate and printable, you can expect to see it in the book next January. :-)
This is the sort of thing I think should be available to everyone (for an extra fee or whatever) rather than just available as a prize. I was thinking about this with the calendars as well, but this sounds like a proper souvenir item, and I don't think it should be exclusively available to a select few.
After the event it will be available as at least a pdf. I'm hoping to make it (the physical book) available for general sale as well but that might take a little bit of extra care regarding crediting people both on paper and in terms of money as well (e.g. whether I or FOCAL be seen as profiting from Channel 4's trademark if I/we took a cut of the sale). If you really want a calendar, though, I can make the pdf of that available privately along with a link to where I got the calendars from.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Gavin Chipper »

I'm not that bothered about having a calendar - it's just something I was idly thinking about.

But a pdf sounds like a reasonable compromise for next year's thing anyway.
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Post by Fiona T »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 11:13 pm I'm not that bothered about having a calendar - it's just something I was idly thinking about.

But a pdf sounds like a reasonable compromise for next year's thing anyway.
Some people won two calendars - I'd suggest one (printed) prize per person over the three events (trophies excepted of course). But no-one needs two identical calendars/t-shirts/mugs - wine is different :D

Badges - personally not fussed but I know others love them :)

But thinking back to your post from last year - people are there primarily for the countdown/pool/darts. This stuff is all extras - it does add to the event and has become a tradition but really is only if you a) want to do it and b) can cover your costs.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by JackHurst »

My favourite Colin souvenirs are the mug, the coaster and the badges.

3 events all with a final will be a lot! I will probably do all 3 because of FOMO but honestly 2 is already enough to leave me exhausted.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Ben Wilson »

JackHurst wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 10:45 am 3 events all with a final will be a lot! I will probably do all 3 because of FOMO but honestly 2 is already enough to leave me exhausted.
You'll be exhausted? :?

As for the 'two calendars' thing it's been a problem for years. Only solution I can think of is to only give prizes on the Saturday for people not playing on Sunday but that feels like cheating somehow. Different prizes on Saturday and Sunday, especially branded ones, would be prohibitively expensive as you get discounts for bulk purchases.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by JackHurst »

Ben Wilson wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 4:42 pm two calendars' thing it's been a problem for years. Only solution I can think of is to only give prizes on the Saturday for people not playing on Sunday but that feels like cheating somehow. Different prizes on Saturday and Sunday, especially branded ones, would be prohibitively expensive as you get discounts for bulk purchases.
It depends what the prizes are a bit. Winning two calendars I think you'd get universal agreement on is one too many. Two mugs on the other hand, so people would be quite pleased with!
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Callum Todd
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Callum Todd »

I think there's nothing wrong with selling the books to make sure everyone can have one. Obviously FOCAL events are non-profit and all that but given that COLIN has tended to run over budget in recent years and these books could cost you a bit to produce, making it more likely to happen again next year, you could determine a price per book based on any shortfall you had for the event.

So say if you produced 30 of these books and ended up £50 over budget, you could sell them at £2 each and reserve 5 to give out as free prizes so the prizewinners don't have to pay for one. That way if you sell the other 25 you haven't profited off them, you've just used them to recoup your losses which is absolutely fine: just because you're not allowed to profiteer doesn't mean you're expected to be condemned to losing your personal money by putting an event on if you have a creative, opt-in way for players to help you out on that front by getting something they want at good value.

As for badges, I don't think the lifetime achievement ones are elitist. Obviously the threshold for obtaining them has been set at a level that currently only a few people have already achieved but assuming you're not going to be moving those goalposts over the years, the thresholds will become more obtainable over time, especially the Centurion badge given you could play 100 games and lose all of them and still win it (rooting for Prune to collecting their badge when the time comes!)

And I don't want to sound ungrateful or elitist but as someone who's done many COLINs and amassed a sizable badge collection, to be honest the repeat ones aren't a big deal to me when I've already achieved them before. I also have some concern that the financial and environmental cost of producing some of the batches in great number might not be worth it. So as a remedy for that I would suggest players only receiving one of each badge type, so if you've already got a badge and meet the criteria again (revenge, conundrum god, max game, etc.) you don't get anotehr physical badge. If you keep records of these prizes you could still digitally track the number of times people have met the criteria to build a database of who 'has' the most badges (similar to Apterous's items) but I really don't think there's any need to have physical duplicates of badges.
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Thomas Carey »

I've really enjoyed the special prizes - calendars (2018 and 2024), mugs, poster, coaster, that t shirt. But I'm lucky enough to be at a level where I was able to win one every weekend it was available (except for one or two of them where someone with a duplicate gave me a spare). I do think having them be available to everyone would be cool, maybe with like a 'pay a few quid but the winners get them free' model like Callum suggested. Also to stop multiple calendars etc, surely you just don't give a calendar on Sunday to anyone who had one on the Saturday? I guess there's the issue of not knowing how many to do because you don't know how many Sunday winners will have got one on the Saturday, but you can always add in more prizes for things like Tim Down award or just sell/keep the rest anyway

Selling the calendars (or equivalent prize) would probably help alleviate competitiveness in some people - maybe this is just me - but I genuinely had a tears of joy moment when a second consecutive nine popped in my game with Tim Hebbes during the hangover last week that meant I was very likely to get into the calendar places. I've heard that an issue at Scrabble events with big cash prizes is people getting nasty when they narrowly lose a pivotal game - probably wouldn't happen here any more than it does with no prize but might as well avoid if we can?
cheers maus
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Ben Wilson
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Ben Wilson »

Callum Todd wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:41 pmSo say if you produced 30 of these books and ended up £50 over budget, you could sell them at £2 each and reserve 5 to give out as free prizes so the prizewinners don't have to pay for one.
They're likely to cost about £6-£7 to produce so anyone getting them for £2 is getting a bargain! But I agree with the sentiment.
Callum Todd wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:41 pm (rooting for Prune to collecting their badge when the time comes!)
Qualified at the end of COLIN XVI in 2020. Left before they could collect it. :p
Callum Todd wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:41 pmAnd I don't want to sound ungrateful or elitist but as someone who's done many COLINs and amassed a sizable badge collection, to be honest the repeat ones aren't a big deal to me when I've already achieved them before. I also have some concern that the financial and environmental cost of producing some of the batches in great number might not be worth it. So as a remedy for that I would suggest players only receiving one of each badge type, so if you've already got a badge and meet the criteria again (revenge, conundrum god, max game, etc.) you don't get anotehr physical badge. If you keep records of these prizes you could still digitally track the number of times people have met the criteria to build a database of who 'has' the most badges (similar to Apterous's items) but I really don't think there's any need to have physical duplicates of badges.
Not a bad idea. I dread to think how many max game badges the Jacks have between them even after I ran out after Saturday this year. One per event regardless of level/amount of achievements seems reasonable in future. Incidentally 'conundrum god' got retired/unretired for this very reason as it was the same people winning them year on year. That and the fact that I was going to give them out this year only to remember after round 1 that I'd forgotten to track who'd solved what. :oops: Fwiw small badges are 30p each to produce, big ones are about 70p.
Thomas Carey wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:18 pmAlso to stop multiple calendars etc, surely you just don't give a calendar on Sunday to anyone who had one on the Saturday?
It seems like the obvious solution, but saying 'congratulations on winning the hangover Rob, but you had a calendar yesterday so you get squat today' does seem a little... off somehow.
Thomas Carey wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:18 pmI guess there's the issue of not knowing how many to do because you don't know how many Sunday winners will have got one on the Saturday, but you can always add in more prizes for things like Tim Down award or just sell/keep the rest anyway
I produced 24 this year and gave away 24 (largely as one of the spot prizes on Saturday had joint winners). I can all but guarantee that if I produce fewer prizes than I have prize 'slots' for, I'm going to come up short.
Thomas Carey wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:18 pmSelling the calendars (or equivalent prize) would probably help alleviate competitiveness in some people - maybe this is just me - but I genuinely had a tears of joy moment when a second consecutive nine popped in my game with Tim Hebbes during the hangover last week that meant I was very likely to get into the calendar places. I've heard that an issue at Scrabble events with big cash prizes is people getting nasty when they narrowly lose a pivotal game - probably wouldn't happen here any more than it does with no prize but might as well avoid if we can?
This is (iirc) why co-events sharply veered away from cash prizes c. 2010.

Good ideas from everyone so far, all taken onboard. :)
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Ben Wilson »

The pre-drinks event on the Friday will start at 6pm, it is decided. :-) more info to follow in the form of an official announcement by the end of the month. :-)
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Re: COLIN XX- your input desired

Post by Gavin Chipper »

What do people do about eating at all these events that have a Friday evening thing?
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