My Old Seven-Polygon Contest

Marathon related contests and tournaments.

Post Mar 21st '11, 14:06

Thanks to my recently-regained administrative powers, I've been going through the forum trashcan, mainly to purge it of all identifiable spammer posts. However, a few other deleted posts or threads caught my eye, including a contest I ran in April 2006:
irons wrote:Simplici7y maps are turning out to be my favorite maps of all. I like the limits placed upon the mappers, and I also like the surprising results. You can get a lot out of a map with only seven polygons.

I recently looked up a Doom version of this, the 10-sector map contest from around 2000, and a newer 2-sector contest. I'm not clear on what a "sector" is in Doom, but it sounds a lot less limiting than Marathon's basic polygon unit. I got all misty-eyed about the old, old Simplici7y contest on bungie.org, and with my recent interest in Simplici7y, as well as others' (DcBob is making a pack), I wanted to start a new Simplici7y contest.

Yeah, it can go either way. Some Simplici7y maps are elegant works, while others are obvious excuses for the mapmaker to slap seven polygons together in fifteen minutes. Still, I'd like to see what you guys can do.

The guidelines:
  1. The map must have a maximum of seven (7) polygons. (I hope you know this).
  2. The map must be merged.
  3. The map must be made after this contest announcement. Yeah, I can't really check this unless you use real archiving tools (GNU tar, etc.), so I'll take your word for it. I will run a background check at the popular archive sites to make sure.
  4. The map must be original, and made by you. I have the old Simplici7y contest maps, so I know what they look like.
  5. The map must be playable at least in EMFH, and may be designed for KOTH and Ball. No other game types.
  6. The map must be made for compatibility with Infinity, or if you want, Marathon 2. Note that I will only use Infinity's texture set to look at the maps.
  7. The map must use the standard physics model; don't merge it with its own model.
  8. The map must not use any MML or Lua.
  9. The map must have eight player spawn points.
  10. Only one submission per contestant.
  11. Send your map in a .sit, .zip, or tarball to jonirons@gmail.com. Include a readme file that at least contains your name and e-mail address, along with the game types you put in the map. Also include your name (preferably your Pfhorums user name) in the e-mail message. I'll send a reply to you when I get the map, and if the file is corrupted, I'll give you a second chance to get it right.
  12. The map deadline is May 2nd, 2006.
I won't give you solid percentages for how I will judge this, but here are some thoughts on how much weight certain elements will have:

A lot of emphasis will be on EMFH gameplay. It's what I play the most, and it's what I'm best at judging. "Gameplay" includes the ever-worshipped "Flow" of the map, as well as how well weapons are balanced, how often weapons and ammo spawn, and how little repetition there is in a game (did I press the shotgun triggers for seven minutes while I stayed in the same polygon?)

Making a map into Ball or KOTH just because you want to isn't always the best idea. I will consider its performance in those categories as well, and if the map ends up playing like crap on KOTH, it will affect the score. I recommend you stick with a single game type and perfect it. I won't downgrade KOTH or Ball-exclusive maps, so don't worry. On the other hand, if gameplay turns out great for multiple categories, then by all means, go for it.

After gameplay (a.k.a. "fun") will be design. Even though I tend to make symmetrical maps, they usually aren't nearly as interesting as asymmetrical ones. Symmetrical Simplici7y maps apply tenfold to this. Design and aesthetics go hand in hand: if I see all walls with the same texture, no lighting, and so on, I will not be kind to the score.

Any neat tricks (extra wall textures, for example) that go into the map will help the score, but don't get carried away. It's better to have a solid map than a gimmicky one. Environments like low-gravity and vacuum will be looked at carefully. If the environment works well, all the better. But if it makes gameplay ridiculous, don't expect to place highly in the contest.

As a side note, I'm partially starting this contest in order to generate interest in these maps for DcBob's pack. So if you have an excellent map, I would like to ask you permission to give it to DcBob for his map pack. I'll release a merged pack of all the entries, but only the best will go on to DcBob's.

I will be the sole judge of the maps. However, I'll play with other players (probably my room mate) and listen to their feedback.


I loched or something before I released the results to the gaming public. I think I got five or six entries, which was pretty disappointing, but a surprising amount of fun came out of it. I recall playing Kryten's map with more than four players.

[attachment=4674:kryten7poly.png]
[attachment=4675:kryten7poly.jpg]

I nearly wet myself laughing while we played. There were so few weapons, almost no ammo, and the map was completely open. It was the slowest spawnkilling festival I've ever seen. There was one level I thought was great (Simon of Team Sigma's level, lost to the ether) and there was assassingao's, which was not good but happened to make up for it with its sheer insanity.

I don't know where I'm going with this, really. I'm the only person who puts [too] much thought into seven-polygon levels, but I thought you guys might enjoy a really old slice of irons madness. Maybe I'll just throw the three levels I still have into Thomas Mann's Greatest Hits as a bonus.
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underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Mar 21st '11, 15:38

I recall someone on f.org driving me into making a 9poly map but I don't think I've ever done a 7-poly. However, 4 out of the nine polygons were scenery :)
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 Mar 21st '11, 15:57

Give it a try. It can be a real challenge to make something you'd play, 7-poly or not.
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Mar 21st '11, 17:42

This is interesting. I am surprised it was in the trash can. I learned about seven poly maps about a year ago when I downloaded the Underworld pack, irons, and just found out they were called Simplici7y maps recently. I haven't found a whole lot of them, they must not be very popular to make. They are fun, though! I am hoping to see another contest someday, whether it is a seven poly map contest or some other contest.
"My advise: V" - g pack
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brilliant

Post Mar 21st '11, 17:47

I've always liked the idea, if for no other reason than my maps are fugly anyway and I have a lot more fun focusing on the design.
The only choice you have is the one I've already made for myself. Disappear into the darkness. Then make them fear the shadows.

"Real life, getting in the way of nerds since 1983"
-DcBob
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SirBlastalot
Currently marooned on Earth, please assist!

Post Mar 21st '11, 18:07

Maybe my next weekly map should be like this... I like the concept.
"Escape will make me God"
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zero
Tau Ceti or bust!

Post Mar 21st '11, 21:16

The concept is inspiring. I had to immediately doodle some ideas. I don't want to commit to anything, but I'm considering trying some of them out in Weland.
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Crater Creator

Post Mar 21st '11, 21:41

Crater Creator wrote:The concept is inspiring. I had to immediately doodle some ideas. I don't want to commit to anything, but I'm considering trying some of them out in Weland.


Ditto for me. I'm downloading the newest version of Weland right now.
The only choice you have is the one I've already made for myself. Disappear into the darkness. Then make them fear the shadows.

"Real life, getting in the way of nerds since 1983"
-DcBob
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SirBlastalot
Currently marooned on Earth, please assist!

Post Mar 22nd '11, 01:22

I'm definitely doing this- what do we do with the maps when we're done?
AttilaGeek

Post Mar 22nd '11, 01:36

AttilaGeek wrote:I'm definitely doing this- what do we do with the maps when we're done?

If you want to share them with us, post them on this website or http://www.simplici7y.com/, which is a website for uploading Marathon content.
"My advise: V" - g pack
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brilliant

Post Mar 22nd '11, 01:44

brilliant wrote:If you want to share them with us, post them on this website or http://www.simplici7y.com/, which is a website for uploading Marathon content.


awesome- thanks!
AttilaGeek

Post Mar 22nd '11, 06:55

So I was inspired to make one tonight. It's very challenging, but it's also small enough I can finish one in one sitting, which is quite refreshing after the last few maps I've made.

[attachment=4681:7polytest1.sceA.zip]
Among the challenges 7 polygons creates, I found I had to literally cut corners, using much sharper angles than I would otherwise. In the end, the topography matches my original doodle, but every line has been pulled this way and that way to maximize flow and visual interest/appeal. Sometimes you have sides to spare on a polygon, which you can use for vertical bands that provide much needed detail, but there's no space to spare to do that on floors and ceilings. I also found it was necessary to choose a very limited palette of weapons.

I wonder, irons, when people did these before did you take points off if it didn't play well with 8 players? Pulling that off in 7 polygons while still keeping the map interesting seems nearly impossible. We tried this one with 4 people, and I'd say that's as high as it should go. I may post this on simplici7y but I thought it was worth vetting a bit more first.
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Crater Creator

Post Mar 22nd '11, 20:37

Crater Creator wrote:I wonder, irons, when people did these before did you take points off if it didn't play well with 8 players? Pulling that off in 7 polygons while still keeping the map interesting seems nearly impossible. We tried this one with 4 people, and I'd say that's as high as it should go. I may post this on simplici7y but I thought it was worth vetting a bit more first.


Yeah, when you have eight spawns, about three will end up facing/near each other.
"Escape will make me God"
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zero
Tau Ceti or bust!

Post Mar 23rd '11, 06:41

Crater Creator wrote:7polytest1.sceA

Excellent map! This is one of the best 7 polys I've played! Having only played two games, the only way I can think of improving it for now is by adding more weapons. There were a few too many times I spawned and had to run around dodging napalm with just my pistol. I suggest adding more shotguns close to spawn points since more ARs could create autoswitch problems.
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Ares Ex Machina

Post Mar 24th '11, 06:26

Thanks for the kind words! Incidentally people said the same thing when we first tested it, so the version you downloaded already has more weapons than before. I guess nobody ever complains about too many shotguns, so I'll try redistributing the items.

I'm working on a second one now. I like the complexity I've been able to achieve so far, but texturing it to look pretty rather than just utilitarian will be a challenge.
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Crater Creator

Post Mar 24th '11, 13:06

Crater Creator wrote:I guess nobody ever complains about too many shotguns, so I'll try redistributing the items.

People do if you go +15 against them because your shotgun luck is up. People complain about everything if they're losing. Myself included.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 3rd '11, 02:38

I made two 7 poly maps, so here they are if anyone is interested.
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$lave

Post Apr 4th '11, 07:57

I'm having a blast making maps under these rules. I've got 5 levels I've tested in multiplayer, and I'm working on a 6th. Before long I should have 7 finished, at which point I plan to release them as a netpack. Shout-out to brilliant for hosting most of the tests so far.
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Crater Creator

Post Jun 9th '11, 06:41

My seven levels are now ready for release as a new netpack. Yay! [MGrin]

http://www.simplici7y.com/items/seven-stages-of-megalopia

Thanks to Irons for the concept and inspiration. [MUp]
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Crater Creator

Post Dec 5th '12, 21:32

I know it's been a year, but I found this thread not that long ago while I was killing time. It's a great idea, only using 7 polygons for a netmap. I thought about trying my hand at it. Also, while thinking about this concept, I came up with the idea to make netmaps in increments of 7 (7+7=14, 7+7+7=21, etc). I have 3 maps already drawn, and I have 3 more ideas for netmaps. At the rate it takes to make such a short netmap, I should hopefully have the pack done sometime this month.

Thank you for the idea, 2011 irons!
Youtube Channel:Crosstroop3r // Traxus Wiki User Page: Crosstrooper
My Marathon uploads: Destiny
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Destiny
USA

Post Dec 10th '12, 08:09

Well, by bumping the thread you've got me doodling again. [MTongue] The thing is, the way I approach these is like a topologist. So once I've constructed all the arrangements of seven polygons that maximizes connectivity and the use of all eight sides, anything else is just a less interesting variation. In other words, I'm not sure I could come up with another batch of seven maps that I didn't feel were uninteresting, or too much like a map that already made it into Seven Stages of Megalopia.

It's still a terrific way to sharpen one's level design skills. Good luck with your maps.
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Crater Creator

Post Dec 24th '12, 17:52

Eventually anything more than seven polygons will seem impossible to work with. Best of luck.

Also, have you seen the latest version of Thomas Mann's Greatest Hits? (from some time earlier this year)
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Dec 24th '12, 20:39

Not entirely true. I actually made a 42-polygon netmap that I'm actually happy with. I feel like it could be pretty good, although, like most of my netmaps, it's pretty small. =/

I'll check out the pack at some point. Might learn a thing or two.

Due to Mega Man X, the netpack should be done in January now.
Youtube Channel:Crosstroop3r // Traxus Wiki User Page: Crosstrooper
My Marathon uploads: Destiny
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Destiny
USA

Post Dec 24th '12, 21:39

I get that talking about making maps and not actually making them is kind of a thing people do around here, but how do you procrastinate on making seven-polygon maps? For months? It's the least amount of effort involved in actual mapmaking, and you can't even make it that far?
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Dec 25th '12, 04:48

Destiny wrote:Due to Mega Man X, the netpack should be done in January now.


I'm sorry, but is no one else going to call this out? A five hour game pushed your schedule back an entire week?

[attachment=5846:megaman.jpg]

On a related note, I've been working on my own 7poly single player map collection since the Summer. I was planning to finish the remaining 30 or so maps this month but with the Downton Abbey and Doctor Who Christmas Specials airing tomorrow I don't think I'm going to get done in time. See you all next year!
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interion

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