Looking for suggestions for contest guidelines for this forum.

03-31-2015, 07:30 AM
#31
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)
03-31-2015, 07:59 AM
#32
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by klink View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vidra View Post
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?
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.

03-31-2015, 01:16 PM
#33
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: 4th planet from the left
Posts: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post

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.
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.
04-03-2015, 09:51 PM
#34
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>
===============

Last edited by gamescorpion; 04-06-2015 at 04:59 PM.
04-07-2015, 07:04 PM
#35
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: 4th planet from the left
Posts: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamescorpion View Post
. 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.)
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.
04-07-2015, 07:22 PM
#36
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: Arendelle
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by klink View Post
I guess Apple can't get their own story straight
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?

Last edited by Elsa; 04-07-2015 at 07:47 PM.
04-07-2015, 09:52 PM
#37
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: 4th planet from the left
Posts: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsa View Post
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?
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.
04-08-2015, 12:57 AM
#38
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikabeer View Post
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
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.