Introducing the new Judge Center

Sara MoxCommunity Manager for the Judge Network, WotC

Sara Mox
Community Manager for the Judge Network, WotC

Hey everyone!

As you may or may not know, a new Judge Center is coming! Tony Pagliocco, Organized Play’s senior digital product manager and I have been working on a new platform for Judge Center for a while now in concert with the lovely folks over at Judge Apps, and I’m excited to share the outcome of those efforts with you. The reason that Judge Center is being revamped, aside from its age, is because Wizards of the Coast is streamlining its patchwork of legacy systems into one that is more unified and user friendly. As a part of this overall effort, we are decommissioning the database that Judge Center relies upon on March 20, 2017.

This work effort has implications for every DCI number holder apart from the new Judge Center that we’d like to help you understand better. There’s an article here that you should read! Don’t worry, I’ll wait til you’ve finished reading.

Ohi! You’re back!

What does this mean for Judge Center?

Due to the size of the project that is migrating our database, new Judge Center will not be turned on the same day as old Judge Center is shut down (March 20, 2017). We expect around *2-3 weeks* of downtime between the time that old Judge Center is shut down and new Judge Center is turned on, putting the release date for new Judge Center tentatively at April 4, 2017.

During this time, I will be collaborating with the Regional Coordinators to ensure availability of paper tests, and they will have more news for you on that soon.

The main thing changing about Judge Center is the way you will log in, and some of the features. Along with the rest of our systems, Judge Center will now require Wizards Account authentication. This is notably different from the DCI + Password you’ve used for many years. Be sure to get your Wizards Account in order so that you’re ready to use Judge Center again the day it comes back up. Now, feature changes!

Reviews will no longer be a feature of the Judge Center. They will be moving to Judge Apps. Below are some words from your friendly Bearz (Paul Baranay) regarding this change:

 

I’m incredibly excited to announce that we are officially launching Reviews on JudgeApps. Feedback is the lifeblood of the judge program, and our goal with this feature is to make the process of giving feedback easier and more convenient for everyone.

JudgeApps Reviews will be available starting Thursday, March 16. In addition to accepting new reviews, JudgeApps will include all the reviews you’ve previously entered in Judge Center.

While JudgeApps Reviews will feel familiar to anyone who’s submitted a review in Judge Center, we’ve incorporated many features and improvements. A partial list:

  • Selecting a judge to review will be a snap, as will specifying which event your review is from.
  • After you’ve submitted the review, you and your subject can have a conversation about your feedback in JudgeApps itself.
  • Our new interface is incredibly flexible. You’ll no longer be forced to enter “Strengths” and “Areas for Improvement” if you don’t want to.

This project would not have been possible without the work of many people. I’d especially like to highlight Alexei Gousev, who created the initial JudgeApps Reviews framework; Dan Collins, who brought reviews to their current state; Daniel Kitachewsky, who made importing historical reviews possible; Riki Hayashi, who spearheaded our beta tester group; and Jason Lemahieu, who was a steady mentor and guide throughout the project.

We’re going to continue improving this feature in the coming months, so make sure to follow the JudgeApps blog for future announcements! We look forward to sharing our work with you on the 16th.

Investigations will also no longer be a feature of the Judge Center. In the short to medium term they will be handled by a Google Form. I will be working with the Player Investigation Committee as well as our internal technology teams to find a solution for the long term. This form will be linked on Judge Apps as well as on new Judge Center.

I know you’ll have a lot of questions about new Judge Center. How does it work, what it will look like? I want to answer those, but I can’t quite yet! There will be more posts as we have more info, but for now I want to make sure you have as much info as possible before Judge Center goes down on March 21, 2017.

You can always contact me by sending me an email through Judge Apps, or if you have questions about the judge community in general, your lovely Program Coordinators have set up mail-the-pcs@gmail.com for you to reach out to them directly.

Happy gaming, everyone!

Sara Mox
Community Manager for the Judge Network
Wizards of the Coast
Tony Pagliocco
Senior Digital Product Manager
Wizards of the Coast