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Current version of the Community Giveaway has come to its end. The Discord alternative is not acceptable for many GOG users due to privacy concerns and other reasons.

However, we can continue GOG Community Giveaway tradition on forums in the classic format. I suggest to discuss the following matters:

1. Do we actually want the Community Giveaway?
2. How rules can be improved and clarified.
3. How the maintainer's work ( key management, eligibility checks ) can be made easier.
4. Who will become a new giveaway maintainer. Maybe we need more than one person for this role?

***

My personal thoughts:

1. Yes, it's a nice tradition and a good opportunity to try new games.

2.1. I think, eligibility criteria should be written clearer. So user will have less doubts before asking for a key. And it will save maintainer's time.
2.2. Edited requests should be strictly prohibited. It will prevent possible hijacking of games requested in later posts. And encourage users to check their request before posting.
2.3. Start new month at midnight UTC. I suppose, it is convenient for most of people.

3.1. Write guidelines, how to determine if the game is still available, when there is a long queue of requests. Encourage users to actually read and follow them.
3.2. Develop a web-application, which will store information about available games and made requests. It can be used for partial automation of maintainer's work. And indicate to everyone, that a particular key has been requested already.

4. In my opinion, frogthroat or gogtrial34987 would be the best candidates for this role. If they want to and have enough time.
Post edited 16 hours ago by AlexTerranova
Well, a few thoughts.

1) I'm assuming finkleroy didn't announce the shift to discord on a whim and that this conversation has been bubbling in the background for a while.

While yes, this will split an existing community in certain ways, the reality is the community has been split for a long time - this isn't the first splinter of current and long-standing GOG forum goers off to a non-GOG space.

2) A GA requires both donors and at least one host. Could a new GA spring up? Possible.

3) the rules have gone through several rounds of modification and clarification, and there's really not a single clear set of rules that is objective and enforceable that is not also subject to exploitation, particularly given the limited array of tools/data available to the host. I'm open to being proven wrong, but the current rules seem to be the "least worst" option over 5+ years of iteration given what an outdated forum interface and anonymous userbase can accommodate.

4) The biggest issue, really, is not the rules but that whatever they are people don't read them. The number of serious disputes about an individual's eligibility from my view is very, very low both as a relative and absolute value.

Certainly, if you want to lead the building of something here I wish you all the best in that and am happy to offer a pov on strategy/tactics for making it work operationally. But you'll need both a host and at least some promise of a donor-base for a new GA to be viable before you start investing a lot of energy working out the details imo.
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1. I would also like to see it continue here.

2.1. I believe the rules can be greatly simplified and clarified, to encourage people to read them.
2.2. I don't think that having a fixed beginning of the month is fair. Regardless of the time zone selected, having a fixed time tends to regularly hurt the same people (e.g. assuming midnight UTC, then those that live at UTC+3 are at a disadvantage every first of the month). I believe that just like the addition of games, the beginning of the month should be flexible, with a new month beginning when the moderator writes a post indicating that it has just begun (and having these posts at different times during the first of the month). This will also solve the issue of people posting a few seconds early...
2.3. I believe that the giveaway should be for more or less active forum members, so I suggest cancelling the rule that allows fast-tracking by donating keys.

3.1. Instead of expecting the moderator to search for a newcomer's posts, if someone new wants to join the giveaway, he or she should send the moderator links to his posts (e.g. at least a dozen meaningful posts over the last three months).
3.2. Since GOG has a limit on the number of friends one is allowed (250), using friend requests to open a PM channel between moderator and giftee is not feasible in the long run. Accordingly, I believe people who want to join should have their PM open to all, at least between the time they ask for a game and the time they receive it.

4. Anyone is fine by me.
Post edited 15 hours ago by mrkgnao
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Two more thoughts:
a. I'm not sure about it, but I think that for the sake of fairness, the giveaway should be limited to those who don't wish to receive keys from the new discord group.
b. Let's be realistic about it. As much as some of us are occasionally generous, for a GOG giveaway to succeed in the long run as it has before, Doc0075 needs to give his blessing to it before it's created...
Post edited 13 hours ago by mrkgnao
Whilst the "official" Community ones were larger, the most fun / memorable / positive vibe giveaways were the funny themed ones created directly by the donor. Eg, if Doc ever does return to doing those, I swear McCadbury will rise again one day looking for that damned goblin... ;-)
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mrkgnao: Two more thoughts:
a. I'm not sure about it, but I think that for the sake of fairness, the giveaway should be limited to those who don't belong to the new discord group.
b. Let's be realistic about it. As much as some of us are occasionally generous, for a GOG giveaway to succeed in the long run as it has before, Doc0075 needs to give his blessing to it before it's created...
a) "fair" is a very imprecise word - it's ultimately just eye of the beholder. But I'd tend to disagree on this one - though like a lot of issues ultimately it will come down to whatever the pool of donors wants to put weight behind, and I'm fairly small potatoes on either side of the give/take ledger.

But for me there are at least two reasons that's probably a bad idea:
1) It's one more thing a moderator has to monitor/police/judge, and it's not like we have a large pool of exuberant hosting candidates that I'm aware of.
2) You may get folks who only join the discord group socially. Are they then barred from asking for a game here? So then you tweak the rule and it's only people who received a game there. What if they received a game in the discord group 3 years prior? I see the intent of trying to keep people from double-dipping, but people already participate in GAs here and on Steam, etc. and we don't concern ourselves with that being policed.

I guess I'm reminded of the time Sachys banned me permanently from that GA he and fox used to run because I had troll-posted in the ninja giveaway (something like "Ninja giveaway?! I'll take a ninja!"), and there was a rule against "participating" in that thread which I had thereby violated by bumping the thread or something. It was their GA to interpret as they saw fit, but it definitely felt "unfair" since I hadn't actually "participated".

Ultimately I think we'll end up with disagreements over how any such rule is interpreted or enforced.

Fast-track option I tend to agree with you on. I think the intent is to be encouraging, but it also means one could slough a $1.99 key to bid on a $39.99 key. That said, I'm not going to lose significant sleep over it either way - there are plenty of ways someone who has the desire to can scam these GAs regardless, so I think we want to be thoughtful about that reality of how we encourage both new users and new sources of donations.
Post edited 15 hours ago by bler144
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I think that the distribution of keys on Discord will turn into a race for notifications on mobile phones.
Now there is no need to go to the GOG forum, check new topics, chat. And this is bad.
Discord is very inconvenient for me personally.
But young people who do not part with mobile phones are happy with this state of affairs.
If the giveaways continue also on GOG, then you need to exclude the arrogant participants who are only here for the keys. They give out a few cheap keys to get into the giveaway, and then they try to snatch as much freebies as possible.
I know such people. Recently, one such person posted a link to GOG giveaways on another site, telling people it's a freebie! Thus, he called here many dishonest participants, key hunters. The same person asked me in private messages about other topics with the distribution of keys and the keys themselves.
He also tried to gain keys in giveaways, exceeding the limits.
It's a shame!
If you want to start a giveaway, the three things you MUST have are...

a) the trust of the community. donors and recipients must trust that you are fair and trustworthy.

b) dedication. running a giveaway takes a lot of time... especially when the game's list grows.

c) ability to deal with troublemakers and those who try to exploit the situation.

I sincerely hope there can be a GOG-centric giveaway here at some point, but it takes a special kind of person to run one successfully.

My advice would be to try to find a few people to alternate responsibilities and expect attrition over time.

1. Do we actually want the Community Giveaway?

Yes. I think it's important to have something consistent that anchors community engagement. Is a giveaway the only way to anchor engagement? No, but it is one of the easiest.

2. How rules can be improved and clarified.

IMHO the rules are fine (maybe slight editing needed)... once they're read.

3. How the maintainer's work ( key management, eligibility checks ) can be made easier.

Again, I think the process seems to work fine.

4. Who will become a new giveaway maintainer. Maybe we need more than one person for this role?

Again, I suggest making a small team with division of labor or alternating between running the giveaway. That way multiple people know the process in case of attrition over time.
Post edited 14 hours ago by kai2
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AB2012: Whilst the "official" Community ones were larger, the most fun / memorable / positive vibe giveaways were the funny themed ones created directly by the donor. Eg, if Doc ever does return to doing those, I swear McCadbury will rise again one day looking for that damned goblin... ;-)
Fight Club shall be returning this Christmas so I suggest you all get to training or risk getting your arses whooped by a marble or a lighthouse or whatever else you guys come up with.

I have commented in the Community Giveaway thread that I intend to launch a replacement thread when I have a bit more time (very busy at the moment). There will be some small changes to the current format but the aim will be to pull the community together more as all I see nowadays on the forum is negativity.
So I am open to (realistic) suggestions for any modifications to the giveaway that people may want.
Post edited 14 hours ago by Doc0075
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mrkgnao: 2.2. I don't think that having a fixed beginning of the month is fair.
Agreed on everything, but especially this. Additionally, I've always thought that going by calendar month itself inevitably leads to issues - see the influx of requests for "less desirable" keys around the end of each month. I wish the administrative burden of "once you've requested a key, you won't be eligible to request a next key for 31 days" or a similar setup wouldn't be quite so large, otherwise that'd be a system which I'd say would be worth trying.
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Doc0075: I have commented in the Community Giveaway thread that I intend to launch a replacement thread when I have a bit more time (very busy at the moment).
I think everyone would cheer you on for this, but are you certain you're up for it? Your mega-giveaway threads have certainly shown that you have the dedication and organizational skills - but keeping the thread running longterm does require a constant time investment, and I gather also quite a bit of shit shoveling.
(Then again, I guess if you make it clear upfront that you'd only be updating twice a week or somesuch, that can also just work. It's certainly not a absolute requirement for a host to be as constantly updating at all times of the day like finkleroy was.)
To points 1 and 3.

Do we need Non-GOG edition of giveaway? If not that would greatly simplify maintainer's job and let's be honest, hundreds of keys in non-gog are shovelware or some bonuses to online games no one ever takes.

I can't even imagine what amount of work finkleroy had to put into running both giveaways and I think it may be hard to find successor willing to do that. With only GOG edition "job" seems fairly easygoing except when Doc dropped delivery.
But if I'm wrong and someone would be willing then at least getting rid of most DLC's and "bonuses" seems reasonable.
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gogtrial34987: Additionally, I've always thought that going by calendar month itself inevitably leads to issues - see the influx of requests for "less desirable" keys around the end of each month.
The flipside risk is that then those "less desirable" keys just accumulate in perpetuity.

I mean, certainly a few will spark someone's interest eventually, but in general you're going to see the same FOMO-type mechanic just play out in a different way as people pass on things simply because they're worried about missing out on whatever the next drop is.

Which you already see happening somewhat - at least a number of those end-of-month requests are coming only when people are sure there's not going to be something better. People will adapt their strategy to a new ruleset, but the psychology likely largely holds steady.

That said, other that the surge around Holiday Docsplosion, it's not like the GA usually has an abundance of lingering keys, so it might not be an issue, at least initially.
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mrkgnao: 2.2. I don't think that having a fixed beginning of the month is fair. Regardless of the time zone selected, having a fixed time tends to regularly hurt the same people (e.g. assuming midnight UTC, then those that live at UTC+3 are at a disadvantage every first of the month). I believe that just like the addition of games, the beginning of the month should be flexible, with a new month beginning when the moderator writes a post indicating that it has just begun (and having these posts at different times during the first of the month). This will also solve the issue of people posting a few seconds early...
In my opinion, having a new time for each month will lead to unnecessary confusion. And it still won't be fair, because the selection of games on the list is not equal at the beginning of different months.
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mrkgnao: 3.1. Instead of expecting the moderator to search for a newcomer's posts, if someone new wants to join the giveaway, he or she should send the moderator links to his posts (e.g. at least a dozen meaningful posts over the last three months).
I agree, that newcomers should provide a proof of their eligibility themselves.

However, even meaningful posts can have different value. For example, if user has developed a mod for some game and provides technical support for it on GOG forums, he/she should not be obliged to spend a lot of time posting in other topics.
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Doc0075: I have commented in the Community Giveaway thread that I intend to launch a replacement thread when I have a bit more time (very busy at the moment). There will be some small changes to the current format but the aim will be to pull the community together more as all I see nowadays on the forum is negativity.
So I am open to (realistic) suggestions for any modifications to the giveaway that people may want.
Good to hear.)
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gogtrial34987: I wish the administrative burden of "once you've requested a key, you won't be eligible to request a next key for 31 days" or a similar setup wouldn't be quite so large, otherwise that'd be a system which I'd say would be worth trying.
A spreadsheet software can be used for this purpose.
If someone the community considers to be trustworthy starts a new GOG giveaway, I'll be more than happy to transfer ownership of the Google sheets I've used for it, including all the hundreds, possibly thousands, of daggered keys, about 99% of which are freebies. I respect the fact that all of the keys that were donated to that giveaway were intended to be given out to active forum members. I won't be taking any of them with me to Discord if another GOG giveaway springs up in place of the old one. If another giveaway doesn't spring up, I'll take the keys with me, but keep them in their current spreadsheets, so if one does spring up in the future, they'll be ready to transfer over.
Post edited 13 hours ago by finkleroy
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AB2012: Whilst the "official" Community ones were larger, the most fun / memorable / positive vibe giveaways were the funny themed ones created directly by the donor. Eg, if Doc ever does return to doing those, I swear McCadbury will rise again one day looking for that damned goblin... ;-)
I didn't even take part in that, I just remember laughing at reading the whole thing. :-)
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Catac1ysm: I think that the distribution of keys on Discord will turn into a race for notifications on mobile phones. Now there is no need to go to the GOG forum, check new topics, chat. And this is bad.
Good point. If everyone already eligible here is automatically eligible on Discord but no new people are allowed to join (post 13806), then it may result in the rather odd situation where the "GOG community" on Discord thing may be filled with people who may never visit GOG again beyond key redemption (little real difference vs donating them to IndieGala giveaways), whilst people who start visiting the GOG forums regularly and are currently ineligible but would normally become so in say a few weeks with forum activity, will now not be allowed to be part of the 'club' if they don't want to create another account / sign-up with a phone... As you said it may well end a phone watching 'feeding frenzy' reminiscent of those who added Discord based in-stock alerts during the period of the worst GPU shortages (Ping! - *whoosh* - *blinks* - Out of Stock!)...
Post edited 13 hours ago by BrianSim