Summer 2008 Mapmaking Contest

Marathon related contests and tournaments.

Post Jul 21st '08, 02:41

After careful deliberation, I've formulated the nature of this year's contest, which will be similar enough to previous contests in both the commitment required and the competitive nature, but there's a key addition involved.

The nature of this contest is to develop the best multiplayer map prominently featuring at least two texture sets provided with Marathon Infinity in the time given (from now to 11:59 PM, August 10, 2008, three weeks from now). I expect you to do so by using Visual Mode.lua, as it is by far the easiest way to do so, and the tool itself is worth learning due to its incredible versatility as a Forge supplement.

The rules are as follows:
1) The deadline is August 10, 2008. Absolutely no submissions will be accepted after the deadline.
2) Only netmaps are allowed, and they must be original maps, not maps published or distributed before July 19.
3) No remakes, gimmick maps, 7-polygon maps, etc -- unless you expect to lose badly.
4) Only one submission is allowed per person. I will only judge the last file received from each contestant.
5) This is not a collaborative contest. Make the map on your own time and with your own effort. You may obviously enlist others to help test, but that's it.
6) No maps that require scripts, custom physics, or anything except for the default Infinity files (and the map, duh).
7) Your map must use at least two texture sets, and they must feature prominently.
8) You are not permitted to use any textures not in the Infinity shapes, nor include shapes patches or any other secondary files.

The point of this contest is threefold: one, to help accommodate mappers to Visual Mode.lua; two, to encourage and improve texturing skills when using multiple texture sets; three, to generate more good netmaps! These contests tend to generate good maps, so ideally we'll get some good, creative, unique stuff out of this summer's contest.

This contest will feature aesthetic talents more prominently than previous ones, seeing as the key twist is visual. Mappers will be scored in two categories: cartography and aesthetic, with 35 possible points each, and the mapper with the highest net score will win. The score will break down like this:

Cartography Scoring
FLOW: 10 points -- Ultimately, a good map is good because it flows well. The player is able to maneuver through the map with ease, and find his way to and from major battle points without getting lost. Dead ends are at a minimum, platforms operate smoothly, and teleporters are useful without putting players in bad positions.
FAIRNESS: 10 points -- Good maps are maps where players that are killed can re-enter the combat quickly and without a massive disadvantage. An unfair map is one with poor/vulnerable spawn locations, difficult-to-access weapons, or just any situation where surviving players are put at an unusually large advantage.
BALANCE: 10 points -- This is the art of good item placement and weapon choices. A very tight and small map with lots of rocket launchers is a poor example of balance; similarly, Thunderdome with only Flamethrowers is a bad choice. Make sure there are plenty of weapons, that the map loadout is proper for the map design, and that ammo is easily attained (at least for the lesser weapons), without an improper excess of big guns.
ORIGINALITY: 5 points -- Your map should be an original effort, and not immediately resemble other maps. Spend some time to make a unique, quality map -- not more of the same.

Aesthetic Scoring
TEXTURING: 15 points -- This is the key point of this contest. You must prominently use elements from multiple texture sets in such a way that they mesh pleasantly to the eye. See this topic for what I mean. Your texture choices must be good, fitting for the environment you designed, and flow visually. Multiple texture sets allow a lot of creative freedom, and I want you to really explore the boundaries to come up with diverse environments that look sensible.
ARCHITECTURE: 10 points -- This is the use of polygons for geometric beauty and ornamentation. In this case, simple can work as well as complex, but complex architecture is far more likely to convey mastery of Forge (and a good environment) than simplicity. That said, a simple rocky courtyard can work well too!
LIGHTING: 10 points -- This is the use of different lights and shades to give your map more visual depth. Maps that are blandly lit are visually uninteresting and disengage the player, but maps with dynamic lights a variety of lights (and maps that change from light to darkness!) are much more exciting. Even a room that's simply adorned and textured with only a few textures can look good with proper lighting and shading.

Scoring summary:
FLOW: 10

As with previous contests, I will do my best to properly critique each entry in these fields, but it is not guaranteed.

This contest is not only a competition, but a learning experience for up-and-coming mappers as well. There's a bit of recommended reading that I have, though if you want to suggest more I would greatly appreciate the input:
Netmap checklist
Brief discussion on multiple texture sets
Differential shading

I also recommend checking out the previous few contest results to see how I tend to judge things in these fields.
Victory Dance V
Victory Dance IV
Victory Dance III

The previous contest had a very disappointing turnout, and this time I really want to see a greater effort on your part. You don't lose anything for making a map! It can't possibly hurt you, and plus, it's a good reason to practice with Visual Mode.lua, which is a really cool tool. The better entries (usually almost all of them) will make it into Victory Dance VI for everyone to see. That said, you do have three weeks to do this, so make sure you spend plenty of time working on it and testing it to get the kinks out -- half an hour of time playing on a map can catch just about every wrinkle present. I really hope to see some cool stuff this year!

Please submit your maps by email attachment to [email protected] -- do not attach it to the Pfhorums or send it by any other method. Send your emails with a subject like "Summer 2008 Contest." Please send me the unmerged map file. I will not accept any files after August 10, no exceptions.

Other notes
Your map will be disqualified if you publish it before the contest deadline, so please don't. You may seek critique from anyone else when testing, but you can't ask me (for obvious reasons). I won't score your map for you before the contest deadline, so don't bother worrying about it. It usually takes a couple days to test the maps and get the reviews written for them. 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 Jul 28th '08, 01:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 21st '08, 12:25

Well, this should be interesting. I guess I will try, but there is no way in hell I'm actually going to win. However, I have a pretty good idea for a map, so might as well give it a shot, specificly because you are stressing the fact that more people need to try, and I'm one of those people who never try.
Last edited by DeepThought on Jul 21st '08, 12:30, edited 1 time in total.


Post Jul 21st '08, 13:34

I wonder if anyone is going to try and mix Jjaro + Pfhor on a Boarding Action (Halo 1 deathmatch map) style map. I wonder if it's going to be me. Likely not though.
Embrace imagination.
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Post Jul 21st '08, 15:55

Count me in. I'm going to submit my map before the deadline this time!
Childhood is not a race. It's a journey.
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The Thug

Post Jul 21st '08, 17:47

interesting twist, but luckily we have the visual mode lua. makes it easier, thats for sure. . .
En Taro Adun,

Im dead, man!
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Post Jul 21st '08, 18:04

interesting twist, but luckily we have the visual mode lua. makes it easier, thats for sure. . .

VM.lua is why this contest is as such.
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Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 21st '08, 22:45

I may submit one Later on.
I hope i can make the deadline.
What are BOBs for if not to !REDRUM
Speeding through the Colony Ship....

Post Jul 22nd '08, 19:26

I'll try and submit something... I just have to find the power supply to my old mac... gotta be around here somewhere... [MErr]
- - - Marathon fan since 1994 - - -
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Ellicott City, MD

Post Jul 22nd '08, 22:19

Too bad my mac is having hardware problems or I would have tried to make a map for this. I guess I'll just have to sit back and watch. Good luck to the participants!
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Somewhere below the heavens

Post Jul 25th '08, 19:43

ill see if i can cook something up.
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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The Dungeon

Post Jul 28th '08, 01:08

Wording clarification is made in the "lighting" section for scoring.
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Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '08, 18:54

How many submissions were there for Victory Dance V?
- - - Marathon fan since 1994 - - -
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Ellicott City, MD

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