Winter 2008 Mapmaking Contest

Marathon related contests and tournaments.

Post Feb 8th '08, 05:12

As is the recently-established six-monthly tradition, it's time for all of us to band together and make a netmap for the Mapmaking Contest! I was aiming for January, but... well, whatever.

Last July's contest brought forth Victory Dance IV, which was far and away the best pack so far. I think that this time around we can keep stepping it up a notch and get even a little better now.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, HERE ARE THE RULES:
- The deadline is 11:59 PM, February 28, 2008 -- as of this post, you have three weeks in which you must have submitted your map.
- Only netmaps are allowed.
- Any ORIGINAL netmap that was not published or distributed before February 7 will be allowed.
- No remakes or combination maps. I am judging your map on its creativity and originality.
- No 7-polygon maps. Your map will be judged on the depth of your mapping as well.
- Only one map per person. The last file received by any competitor on February 28 will be judged.
- No collaborating. The map must be constructed by you, and you alone, though you are free to playtest it with other people. You may also ask for advice to a reasonable degree -- just not from me.
- No CTF maps or any map that requires scripts -- just for simplicity's sake.
- All maps must use default Infinity shapes, sounds, physics, and so forth, except...
- Chisel is not allowed, though you may use JUICE. If you use JUICE to add shapes patches, please send me the unpatched version and the shapes patch as two separate files.
- Only include shapes patches if you think it makes your map better. You will receive a severe deduction if your additional textures look out of place or bad.

This time around, I'm changing around the scoring system, to put a greater emphasis on artistic depth. While gameplay and flow will still be the most valuable category, a top-rated map will now have to not only play fantastically well but also look fantastic.

FLOW AND BALANCE: 35 points
- As in, how unrestricted is player movement, how easy is it to find combat, placement of weapons and powerups, good spawn point placement, proper usage of teleporters and platforms, direct corridors, etc. Being that flow is the most important factor in any map, it's worth the most points. When I score this section, I always start with maximum points and then make deductions for any errors. The little things do count against you! Be sure to playtest your map vigorously to work out the little kinks.

ARCHITECTURE AND DEPTH: 20 points
- This category is where you get to play around with your design and polygon usage. Remember that good flow and balance are more important; don't sacrifice those for nifty architecture. Also remember that simplicity can be beneficial; you don't need to ornament every inch of your map, just so long as it doesn't look bland or repetitive. Good lighting is absolutely critical to a good score here. Last summer's runner-up (Werefrog) was fairly sparse with polygons, but the architecture was still impressive and the lighting was more than adequate -- in short, it still looked good.

FUN: 10 points
- Proper weapon placement, a good level of carnage without being excessive or unfair, and a properly-sized map are all good factors of sheer fun. Flow does not necessarily mean fun; however, "fun" is a lot more subjective and thus less valuable score-wise. I should never reach a point in the map where I think that the author is trying to screw with the player.

ORIGINALITY: 5 points
- If your map, in design, is unique, you will get the full points here. It's quite possible to get 4 or 5 points with a one-room map, but you will lose points quickly if your map bears a striking resemblance to something else or doesn't bring anything clever at all to the table. The contest is not an exercise in the status quo; spend some time on your map and do something special.

Score summary:
FLOW AND BALANCE: 35 points
ARCHITECTURE AND DEPTH: 20 points
FUN: 10 points
ORIGINALITY: 5 points
TOTAL: 70 points

Your map is not guaranteed a section-by-section critique of your map (i.e. why your map only got 12 points for Flow), but you will be scored. I'll do my best to highlight the key flaws, though.

For the July 2006 contest, I made a handy-dandy checklist that is both useful in general, but also a great tool for maximizing your score. The checklist won't prevent you from making a poor map by itself, but it covers most of the details that can make a mediocre map good, and a good map great.

Remember: the deadline is February 28, 3 weeks from the start of this contest. Testing and scoring will take place shortly afterward. Anyone is allowed to compete, and to be honest, I would really like to see a larger turnout this time. I know there's a substantial amount of mappers out there that can find a couple days to crank out something for the contest. Even if you don't win, it's a good way to get your name out there and get a critical look at your mapping -- and it's a learning experience! If you haven't made a map before, there's no reason not to give it a shot.

I highly recommend looking at the top maps for Victory Dance III and IV. Both of those can be found on Simplici7y. You can also find their final scores here on the Pfhorums and where they were docked points. I expect quality, and I dock points harshly when it's not there, so put in the effort to do a good job. I know many of you have it in you.

For Victory Dance V, the top few maps will be merged into a pack and distributed. This is usually 7 maps, but if there are a lot of high-quality entries then the pack will be larger (and this is beneficial for everyone). You have three weeks to do this, folks. Take some time to draw up something really good, and please go through the effort to playtest it on the metaserver. It pains me to see maps with obvious flaws that could have been fixed if the map was just looked at by other people.

For my sake, please don't add monsters. If you want to publish it separately with monsters, you're quite free to do so, but for my benefit, don't. It makes cursory looks a lot easier when I don't have to fight things.

To submit your map, e-mail it to RyokoTK@Gmail.com -- do not submit it as an attachment on the Pfhorums or send it to me by any other means. Please title your email something like "Winter 2008 Mapmaking Contest Entry." If you include a shapes patch, please include the shapes patch file separately. Do not send me a patched map; I'd much prefer an unmerged map and the associated patch. You are not allowed to seek critique from me, because that just wouldn't be fair, as I'm the judge. Your score will be reserved until the contest is over; I WILL NOT score it until after February 28, so don't ask me that either. Also, if you release your map to the public after you send it to me, but before the contest is over, the map is disqualified. After the contest ends, whether or not your map is published in Victory Dance V, you may publish it yourself.

Disclaimer: Submitting your map to me means you grant me the right to distribute your map as part of a map pack. You will be credited appropriately for your map. I reserve the right to disqualify any map or mapmaker for any reason not listed above at any time, or no reason at all. If you have any complaints, questions, queries, or anything else like that, you know how to contact me.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Feb 8th '08, 05:41, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Feb 8th '08, 09:10

D'you really want me to enter?
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StoneClench

Post Feb 8th '08, 14:00

Yes! You can expect a map from me, surprisingly.
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$lave

Post Feb 8th '08, 14:05

I'm not going to tell you not to enter. You're certainly free to, if you want to.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Feb 8th '08, 18:58

You rarely get a chance to end a contest on the 29th of February. Just sayin'.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Feb 8th '08, 19:19

NOOH!
WHY THY EMULATOR STOP WORKINGH RIGHT NOW!?

[shots self]
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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CryoS
The Dungeon

Post Feb 8th '08, 23:56

CryoS wrote:[shots self]

Have fun with that.

Cool, I'll make a map.
Childhood is not a race. It's a journey.
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The Thug

Post Feb 9th '08, 20:37

is it allowed to:
-put textures youre using for your contest map, on internet?
-use textures from internet for your contest map? (Im not gonna do this, but the answer is probably the same.)
Eternal - Xmas I - Xmas II - Xmas III - Victory Dance IV - Winter I: The Venom - KTA III - Phoenix - somewhere in the heavens, waiting: The Syndicate
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Drictelt
Belgium

Post Feb 9th '08, 21:01

is it allowed to:
-put textures youre using for your contest map, on internet?
-use textures from internet for your contest map? (Im not gonna do this, but the answer is probably the same.)


The answer to both of those is yes.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Feb 10th '08, 15:23

I think that "FUN" should not really be a category. Just because it falls under both Architecture + Depth and Flow + Balance, or rather, they fall under it. Those two categories are what make maps "FUN" to play.
This is just my input, and if you meant "FUN" differently than what I think you did, then fine, but I feel that the goal for the end product of any map is for it to be fun for everyone.

Whatever.
Can't speel for hist.
Phortiphy

Post Feb 10th '08, 17:10

by all means, host your own contest with it's own guidelines and scoring system
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screamingfool

Post Feb 10th '08, 18:35

Yeah, you could give it blackjack and liquor and hookers...
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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Feb 10th '08, 22:27

I think that "FUN" should not really be a category. Just because it falls under both Architecture + Depth and Flow + Balance, or rather, they fall under it. Those two categories are what make maps "FUN" to play.
This is just my input, and if you meant "FUN" differently than what I think you did, then fine, but I feel that the goal for the end product of any map is for it to be fun for everyone.


Let me make a musical analogy.

Assume you have two bands. One band is comprised entirely of virtuosos -- masters of their particular trade. The singer has the broadest range ever, the guitarist and bassist can play faster and with fewer mistakes than anyone else -- hell, the drummer's cymbals are tuned to sonic perfection. They have the most skill ever, yet all of their songs are little more than pretentious wankery. The music is perfect, but it's kind of a niche market because most people find the music boring.

The other band doesn't have a whole lot of talent between them. Maybe one of them is actually quality, like the vocalist, but the rest of them just get by. On their own, they may have some skill, but they don't show it. On the other hand, the music is catchy and enjoyable, and they enjoy a broad fan base despite their lack of mastery.

Now, if you were looking for the best band ever, which one would you choose? The answer is neither. You're looking for a band that has everything. So, when both of those bands show up, they both get beaten out by a band that can appeal to both types of fans.

That's analogous to what I'm looking for, here. It's not really that difficult to make a map that's simply fun. It certainly doesn't require mastery of Forge. On the other hand, it also take a master of the trade to make a thousand-polygon netmap with meticulous detail in every aspect, with beautiful architecture and so forth, only to have it be kind of boring because it's too complicated or something. The best map would flawlessly combine both aspects.

The reason why the contest is weighted towards technical proficiency is simply because "fun" is a lot more subjective, and revolves a lot around playing styles. I acknowledge that there's definitely appeal in blasting people away with rockets, but I can do that on Thunderdome; this contest exists to eke out a little more professionalism than that.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Feb 11th '08, 17:57

RyokoTK wrote:Assume you have two bands. One band is comprised entirely of virtuosos -- masters of their particular trade. The singer has the broadest range ever, the guitarist and bassist can play faster and with fewer mistakes than anyone else -- hell, the drummer's cymbals are tuned to sonic perfection. They have the most skill ever, yet all of their songs are little more than pretentious wankery. The music is perfect, but it's kind of a niche market because most people find the music boring.

Radiohead?

The other band doesn't have a whole lot of talent between them. Maybe one of them is actually quality, like the vocalist, but the rest of them just get by. On their own, they may have some skill, but they don't show it. On the other hand, the music is catchy and enjoyable, and they enjoy a broad fan base despite their lack of mastery.

Erm, Pixies?
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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Feb 11th '08, 18:31

They were actually more based off of Dream Theater and Queen. I don't think very highly of Radiohead, anyway.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Feb 11th '08, 19:37

RyokoTK wrote:I don't think very highly of Radiohead, anyway.


I was really referring to the the "pretentious wankery". I'm still a big fan though.
Last edited by thomaslivingston on Feb 11th '08, 19:37, edited 1 time in total.
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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Feb 12th '08, 20:46

RyokoTK wrote:February 28, 2008


My birthday! I'll try come up with something for sure, but these days I think of myself more as a single player mapper than a netmapper.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria


Post Feb 13th '08, 00:47

so you're a switch, huh? i guess i've become amapual
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screamingfool

Post Feb 29th '08, 17:46

The contest is over! From the looks of it, I have 6 entries... which isn't very much, unfortunately, but we'll get by.

Testing and scoring will come in over the next few days. I've got kind of a busy week coming up... but I'll try to get it done soon.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN


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