Next Contest Coming

Started by wallworm, March 22, 2016, 12:31:26 PM

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The Old School Level Design Contest #1 was an encouraging start to the world of level design in 3ds Max. Judging for that contest is underway and I'm laying the groundwork for the next contest Something Beautiful. This opening post will change when the official rules are in. Things you can expect in the next contest is a requirement to use our sponsor's software (even if just using Demo versions) somewhere in the pipeline. That will include all the sponsors of Contest #1. As such, the next contest will have requirements that the sponsoring software from #1 will be highly useful in reaching the goals (so expect foliage (growFX), weathered textures (enRichPro) and a managerial/organizational task (Zookeeper))

To get juices flowing for the next contest, you can expect that you'll be able to use models and displacements in it.

This contest is sponsored by:

Joris Ceoen

Ah, so there's a theme for the next contest? So that means we cannot use our previous maps?


Well I do want a theme to drive contest #2. Using the map you already started could still be utilized... since I'm sure that zombie apocalypses happen on alien worlds. The proof: Pandorum. Of course, that's pending on the voting on the theme.


Not being a fan of being too restricted with only one visual theme, could we maybe do a top two or three that we can choose between for the contest?
I just imagine having 10 maps on for example a snowy pole could be kinda stale overall, of course people could be creative but it'd still be a lot of snow you know.

Personally I think it's better to have idea themes, like what we just had with only making levels out of world geometry.
Or like what Shawn has done with one of his earlier maps where the idea was to make the map dynamically smaller or bigger depending on the number of players.
I like the dynamic scaling level one a lot, it's something that's not really limiting, it just sparks a lot more ideas for me than simply "antient ruins" and such.

Doesn't mean we can't have visual themes, but I think it's important to make them as vague as possible and/or offer a selection to alienate/restrict as few as possible.
One month might just be a very bad one for someone to come up with ideas for arctic stuff, maybe they have a lot of ideas for alien stuff that month, but if it's all about arctic they may not join.

That's what I think anyway, don't know what to vote because I don't know what I'll be inspired for in a month, might not even be any of the current themes.

Joris Ceoen

Well, for me it's OK to have a fixed theme, many contests in the past that I participated at had a different theme each time around, however I simply had the impression that the chain in which these contests happened was for one project to evolve by limiting the restrictions over time. But I'm all for making a new ZE map anways. I understand if there are others that would like to carry their first project, however, as they have spent quite some time in it. It should be kind of a reward for having participated on the first contest, but then again newcomers should have some guidance on where to look at, then a theme comes in handy.


Yikes, not sure I'll have the time to learn all the additional pieces of sponsor software that will be required for entry.  I'm probably going to pass.  I wasted way to much time on my unfinished entry last time.


I'll give the theme subject time to simmer. Everyone is welcome to share their opinion to help drive it.

Quote from: the6thmonkey on March 23, 2016, 07:45:01 AM
Yikes, not sure I'll have the time to learn all the additional pieces of sponsor software that will be required for entry.  I'm probably going to pass.

Please don't think of it that way. I'm not asking you to learn the ins and outs or master them. I'm asking you to use them to make some things. For example, I have used every plugin I own (even if only to a small degree) long before I actually mastered them. And it's only fair to the sponsors that we showcase how their tools can help projects, as they are giving away free software.

Quote from: the6thmonkey on March 23, 2016, 07:45:01 AMI wasted way to much time on my unfinished entry last time.

If you learned anything, then it wasn't a waste of time. And if there was an insurmountable problem, you can always come here and ask about the issue and it will almost always get resolved.

Joris Ceoen

Quote from: the6thmonkey on March 23, 2016, 07:45:01 AM
Yikes, not sure I'll have the time to learn all the additional pieces of sponsor software that will be required for entry.  I'm probably going to pass.  I wasted way to much time on my unfinished entry last time.
I really have to support Shawn in this aspect. I'll show you a few projects that have never been finished, yet what I learned from them is still visible in my very latest projects:


I have never finished this map, however I worked on this map for over 2 years, almost every day. It was too ambitious, and for a first map ever it was just plain impossible to drag it to a finished state. It is playable in solo, but on a server it will completely unleash hell at everyone and will most likely cause players to die or get teleported completely elsewhere. I learned almost all of the possible entities and what they were capable of. It nowadays gives me the knowledge to use any entity or achieve almost any required event in Source, as well as letting me know what the limits are and immediatly drop any idea that simply won't work. Just knowledge alone can save you a lot of time, even if it comes from projects you never finish.


Honestly said I was tasked somewhere down the line by PlagueFest to create a ZE map for the upcoming CS:GO at the time, even receiving beta keys from the game and the SDK, and I already worked a few months on ze_SSBB back then but I had to drop it to get this done in no less than 5 days... Unfortunatly, I never got to finish this map completely, and although it DOES have a working state on the condition that players are unaware of some teleport glitches, it is still very rough around the edges and the scaling is plain simply ridicilous. However, if there is something this map taught me, it was how to model, and it also immediatly learned me the concept of polygons and optimisation, something which I was completely unaware of at the time. I learned a lot on this map and it was the direct result and inspiration for de_ardennes.


Probably the most iconic of my unreleased maps is the actual new ze_cathedral. Not only did I never publish or finish this map, I completely abandoned it because support for CS:S didn't work out well, especially at the time when CS:GO became extremely popular. It's purpose just faded, and then sparked my inspiration for de_cathedral (I can't believe actually, now that I sit here, that I tried over 4 different cathedrals...). But I learned so much with this map, probably the most out of this one than any other previously abandoned project.

Furthermore, I have started over 10 different source projects that never got completed or even mentioned. I'm very often drawn into moments of inspiration where I can get stuff done very efficiently and in large quantities in a short timespan, but many, many many many more times did it end up with projects that didn't work out, got cancelled, lost inspiration etc... but what you learn from them is always baggaged into the next project, time on time again. It will never leave. Many failed projects can simply serve as the gateaway for the next fully realised project without you even knowing it yet :)


The polls finished. Based on conversation with some of you, I've decided to remove the theme requirement for this contest. I'll be announcing the new contest this week with a newsletter.


Oh I forgot to vote even because I wasn't sure what to pick, but I think I'm more in favour of this.
You can have a list of theme suggestions/"want to see" tho, to help point people to a theme if they're struggling.


This contest will be announced in the next few days.


For those who didn't see, the next contest is announced. I've update OP to include a link to Something Beautiful.

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