Gods have the ability to place ideas for what they think should be added to the game into the almighty Ideabox. Unfortunately, most of these ideas tend to be dreadful. There's no other way of saying it: dreadful. As a result, many players complain about 'constant down voters,' when, in fact, people are sick and tired of seeing consistently appalling ideas polluting what should be a laughter-inducing stroll through a collection of inventions spawned by the greatest minds in Godville. This article discusses the different categories of ideas, and serves as a very good guide on what to expect when browsing the Ideabox.
The Bad Ideas
There are very many categories of ideas guaranteed to gather more 'no' votes than 'yes' votes. Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is not an infinite number of ways to make a bad idea, and they actually fall into categories. In other words, one bad idea is very much the same as another bad idea. Most bad ideas, in fact, will fit into at least two of these categories, although some categories are exclusively for certain sections of the ideabox. As it is always better to hear the bad news first, without further delay, here they are, along with the different subcategories:
Needless to say, this is usually trolling in action.
- Use of vulgar phrases, annoying slang and foul language - Most players appreciate more sophisticated jokes. Therefore, the more immature the more 'no' votes.
- Sex or drugs (apart from alcohol) related phrases - Most players wish to keep the game clean for kids, and so do the admins at any rate.
- Racism - The player base of Godville consists of a large plethora of religions, races and the like. It's bound to offend most people.
- Outbursts at voters, voting system or some other in-game annoyance - This will always get an idea instantly rejected. People love to metaphorically tell a moaner to shut up.
Either true ignorance, or just laziness. Hopefully the latter, of course.
- Spelling errors - Writing in 'txt speak,' 'leet,' or 'haxors,' for example, will cause any voter to instantly become infuriated.
- Misuse of grammar - Despite the fact that we are told to vote regardless of spelling and grammar mistakes (since they can be fixed later), most people still ignore this advice.
- Nonsense - If it makes no sense, nobody will vote for it. Fact.
- Overuse of punctuation - Nobody likes too many exclamation marks.
- Wrong section - Submitting an idea to the wrong section of the ideabox (eg. a weapon in the diary entries section) will sink your idea like a stone.
- Abuse of the comments box (used to explain why an idea is funny) - The most common annoyances are 'coz it is', 'idk' and an assortment of emoticons. Asking people to vote the idea up never works and neither does reverse psychology.
By far the largest category, a bad idea is most likely to fit into one of the following subcategories:
- Excessive - If it's too long, nobody will read it.
- Obscure references - If nobody knows what you're going on about, it just looks weird. Among the worst are math and physics puns. However, the most common seem to be song lyrics or the names of bands. This is because the players of Godville are so varied that only a few voters are likely to recognize the reference, let alone find it funny.
- Overused references - Much worse than obscure ones, these references are the most commonly submitted ideas, and have been since the conception of the Ideabox itself. The most common examples include Monty Python, Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Discworld novels, Chuck Norris, Pokemon, Twilight, and other video games and films.
- 'Current Affairs' References - Never added to the game. Current affairs don't remain current for long.
- Philosophy - These usually also fit into the 'Excessive' subcategory, and so are unsuitable. The most common examples are famous (or not so famous) quotes, paradoxical questions asked to the hero's god, and having some wise man come up and speak to the hero as a plot device for including some philosophy.
- Internet memes - Encyclopedia Dramatica does not need dragging into the world of Godville, and neither do we need nor want any lolcats. Don't even mention 4chan.
A general failure to understand what is considered a good idea.
- Serious MMO and MMORPG references and ideas - Remember, this game is a parody of all of those things. Weapons plagiarised straight from Runescape or World of Warcraft will just not cut it.
- Theme Non-sequiturs - If the idea doesn't fit into the main theme of the game, it's not wanted. Examples include futuristic and electronic technology, 20th century items (like cars), as well as teenage pulp fiction themes. Just don't do it.
- Poor puns and jokes - If you've seen it millions of times before, the chances are that most others have, too. The key thing to remember here is that usually the only thing that distinguishes this subcategory from one in the 'Good ideas' section is that these are far too unsubtle and most likely unoriginal. Examples include cannibalized knock knock jokes, doctor doctor jokes and variations on the 'reasons for a chicken crossing the road' theme.
- Effortless - Rare now but still occasionally seen, some people think that just 'a sword' will do. No, it will not. Stop polluting the ideabox, you stupid fool.
- Unfunny - Very commonly submitted, these are just slightly random, mundane things without any attempt at humour, not even one measly pun. Boring and pointless.
- References to the name of a player, a hero or a guild - Not allowed by admin anyway, voters will think 'why them and not me?' and instantly vote 'no'.
The Good Ideas
It's probably right to say that this is the section you most want to read. If you did read the above section, it was either for humour, or because you are a newbie who wants to avoid mistakes. At any rate, it's important to remember that the ability to think of good ideas cannot be taught. However, looking at all of the good ideas in Godville reveals that they fit into strict categories. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that aiming for one of them is a good place to start when trying to come up with a good idea, but ultimately only creativity can help you, and that is something you are born with. This is NOT a guide for creating a good idea.
There are many types of wordplay, too many to be covered here. The most successful ones used though are listed here.
- Ambiguities - Probably the most popular category, phrases with two separate meanings are often winners in the ideabox. Good examples include using figures of speech in unexpectedly both their metaphorical and literal ways at the same time after an introductory start, as well as starting with a sensible phrase to lead the reader astray before producing a punchline which reveals the actual context (a funny one).
- Oxymorons - Juxtaposing two opposites often works well, especially for the artifacts and equipment sections of the ideabox.
- Dramatic irony - This has always worked well throughout history, and it continues to in the world of Godville today.
- Irony of the fourth wall - When the hero unknowingly thinks about something related to actual real-world gameplay, for example, thinking that their life has the potential to be a good computer game (since it is but they don't know it).
- Critical comments on gameplay - Bringing certain features of the game into real-life context can be very entertaining. An example of this would be commenting on the awkwardness of carrying around so many gold coins, resulting in the hero asking for a credit card instead.
- Critical comments on the gameplay of an MMO or MMORPG - This is ultimately what the main theme of the game comes down to. Examples include the hero taking shortcuts around normal MMORPG procedures in a humorous way.
- Realism - Bringing in funny features of the real world which you don't normally see in-game. An example would be the hero running out of ink halfway through a diary entry and then having forgotten what they were going to write when they finally get more ink.
The most difficult type of good idea to get right, most of these usually end up in a 'Bad Ideas' category instead. It's pretty much hit and miss with this category, and it is very hard to know (even for an experienced idea submitter) what will work and what will not. Essentially, it's a balancing act between two categories in the 'Bad Ideas' section: 'overused references' and 'obscure references'. It is also worth noting that voters are very fickle with these types of ideas, and while one idea may work on one day, it might be a massive flop the next, yet this makes no difference because the admin tend to be consistent in what they don't like. As a result of these things, subcategories of this category cannot be listed.
'Yes' Vote Gathering Strategies
The best strategy (used by the people at the top of the gratitude pantheon) has been tested time and time again, and always works well. It takes advantage of a loophole in human psychology. This is not like one of those jokes in spam pop-ups, it is common sense. Before reading about the actual strategy, you must first understand why it works:
When presented with a long list of 100 or so ideas (most of which are bad), a person tends to scroll down quickly to get through them all faster. There's a very good chance that there will be many bad ideas in a row, and the person will go down the list, briefly scanning each idea and clicking 'no' soon afterwards, faster and faster, until, without realizing it, they are clicking 'no' at the same time as they are reading the idea. As a result, when they eventually reach a good idea, by the time they realize that they want to click 'yes', it is too late because they have already clicked 'no'. This tends to continue as well. It is known as the row autonomy effect. Here is an example of the effect in action:
No – Rubbish
No – a sword (coz its awesome)
No – Spongebob – tee hee hee
No – latest Amy Winehouse joke … nope
No – WTF? No sense!
No – Oh bless!...another Harry Potter reference
No – and another one
No - What?...Why, how rude!! What a filthy minded, vulgar troglodite!!!
No – Peter Piper picked another bloody pickled pepper
No – Sorry, did you just ask me to vote yes for this? Yeah right, see ya!
No – singing Old Macdonald all the way home – like very funny
No – Yawn
No – Getting tired now
No – I don’t care any more
OH damn that was a good one!! God, it deserved a yes there and probably spoiled its perfect 50 Yes score.
N…oh wait that was good actually…damn it….again…
'So how do I use the effect to my advantage?' you may now be asking. The effect also works for gathering 'yes' votes when there are many good ideas in a row. Therefore, the best strategy is to save up all of your good ideas and submit them all at once, making sure that the best idea is the last one to be submitted, since this is the one that a voter will see first (appearing at the top of the page), thus serving to flip the voter into an autonomous state more quickly. The not-so-good ideas may be among the first submitted ones, to increase their chances of gathering the 'yes' votes. Ideally, you will want at least ten good ideas in a row to really use the effect to your advantage. As for actually thinking of good ideas, it is widely believed by the best idea-submitters that wordplay jokes are the best at gathering 'yes' votes, so aim for something along those lines. The paragraph below should help a lot, as you should aim for a failure rating no higher than -1 for each idea (although a rating of zero might just about be acceptable). Good luck!
For those wishing to get as many 'no' votes as possible, a special system was devised byand : an actual formula for calculating how bad an idea is. To find the failure rating of an idea, count the number of 'bad ideas' section subcategories the idea falls under. Each one is worth 1 point. Now check how many 'good ideas' section subcategories the idea falls under. Each one is worth -1 point. Now add them all up. This is the failure rating of the idea. The average bad idea will have a failure rating of 2 or 3 while a bad idea that only just missed the mark may have a failure rating of just 1. The higher the failure rating, the worse the idea. Surely enough, a correlation between 'no' votes and failure ratings has been observed in the ideabox, thereby showing the reliability of the system. The system can also be used for the purpose of finding out how good an idea is. Most people don't wish to, but it should be noted that the lower the rating is beneath zero, the better the idea is.