I'm working on a King of the Hill challenge for some point in the next couple of months. (Sneak Peek)
The problem I have is that last time I ran one it was pretty ambitious, and it became a heavy time-sink while the challenge was active. I've got a job and a family, and pressures of maintaining the challenge eventually became too much and I had to give it up for my own well-being.
Well, the new one's equally ambitious, but I've resolved to be more prepared, front-load as much dev work as possible, particularly geared towards the actual running of the competition. This means that maintaining the challenge should be as near to automatic as possible.
Here are things I've done, or intend to do, before releasing the challenge:
- A menu providing all matches in a compact format.
- Seeded random to provide consistent, rewatchable, match conditions.
- A command line script to run the contest in full (not relying on the browser to do everything).
- A script to import code from a question, live-tested here.
- A validator, as part of import script, which should hopefully filter out any game-breaking code from the question.
- An up-front leader board, updated on tournament runs, making it clear this is a challenge.
- A single-entry interface to show competetors their own matches and scores. (Including re-runs of matches)
Things I'd like to finish doing before the competition launches.
- The same validator used to gate-keep entries will be accessible to run on a single file. Allowing competetors to ensure their entry will be accepted.
- A scheduled script to check for changes in the answers, import any new ones, run the tournament and push code changes (including results).
- A widget in the question which goes and gets the results from Github pages and shows a leader board in the question.
Finally, I intend to try a sandbox post to hopefully get a couple of golfers to end-to-end test the setup.
The desired end-result is that I can leave a machine on, set up a cron job to hit the script every now and then, and as much as possible leave the challenge to run itself.
However, my past attempts have never really been completely ready on launch, and I might not be able to hop to it if things need fixing, so I'd just like to open the discussion here:
- What more can I do in the dev phase to set up this challenge?
- Is there any part of the challenge maintenance which can not be automated?
- Is there a way I can encourage people to try out my entry process prior to launch?