Wow… what an harsh title… oh well…
I’m a fan of Newgrounds. The principle behind it, the motto “Everything, by Everyone” is absolutely brilliant from a creative and sharing person point of view and let’s face it, Newgrounds is simply different from the other portals. One of the most satisfying aspects of Newgrounds is that a author’s work is judged and commented by other authors… or at least that’s the idea…
Newgrounds due to its size and history packs a great deal of business also. If your game scores big on Newgrounds, it will probably spread easily and give you a nice change of getting some non-exclusive deals in case you are allowed to.
The problem with this is that the scoring system in Newgrounds is tricky. As many may know there are a lot of crews on Newgrounds. Most (I hope) are quite legit and base their presence on doing collabs. But there are a lot of crews (let’s just called them mafias) that simply exist to uprate votes of their members and downrate votes of other submissions. If you are “lucky” and low-life enough to be part of more than one of these mafias you can get a bunch of 5′s while other submissions get 0′s. This happens until the daily prizes are announced.
This issue is way more serious than developers might imagine. For starters, many portals base their selection on NG score so if your game is lost in the mess of down voting, you might have a setback because of it. Second,there are portals that base their choice for non-exclusives and the money they offer on your prizes and scores.
Your game can go from 4.1 to 3.1 in a couple of hours and loose a daily prize and exposure… shouldn’t that be extremely serious? I think it should. But don’t trust my word for it, read this thread: http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1198036
This is happening for a long time. It’s been either subtle or amazingly obvious and many, many, many developers are not aware of it and there is no official voice that I am aware from Newgrounds, which is sad. Remarkably amazing games can escape this because they will be up voted almost instantly, but if you have “just a good game” against a submission from one of this mafias, your game is going down.
No excuses can explain the silence. It is not valid to say that it could happen on other portals because other portals have a higher ratio of non-authors so competition does not strike you that obviously. It is not valid to say that it is just how it works because that means the best and brightest can’t compete with untalented yet organized mobsters.
I want Newgrounds to be better and I want their system to be taken seriously. It’s pretty much the place where author’s matter the most, but this is seriously hurting all legit authors.