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Thread: Newdark Novice Contest

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004

    Newdark Novice Contest

    Contest Goal:

    This contest is intended to provide novice dromeders with any level of experience to produce and release their first fan mission within a set time frame. In addition, authors will be able to receive "grades" on various mission aspects by the community to learn what aspects they should work on for their next mission release. All mission types are allowed so long as they are not larger than an approximately 300,000 cubic dromed unit volume.

    Construction:
    • All mission areas (either contiguous or disconnected) should fit in one 300,000 or less cubic dromed unit area brush of any orientation or dimension or several area brushes (of any dimension or orientation) that total 300,000 or less cubic units.
    • While 300,000 is not a strict limit, missions that significantly exceed 300,000 cubic dromed units in total volume may be disqualified. Meaning your mission won't be disqualified if its dimensions end up totaling for example 302,000. The looseness of this restrictions is so dimensions don't have to be odd decimal values just keep them at 300,000 or less.
    • Nonplayable vertical spaces can exceed the mission area brush(s): EG inaccessible rooftops, top floor ceilings (scenery only high ceilings), or sky brushes
    • Missions must be FMSel and NewDark compatible.
    • Authors have twelve weeks in order to build and betatest their missions.
    • The contest begins as of this post.
    • Missions must be submitted before 11:59 P.M. GMT on Feb. 19th, 2016.
    • Missions will be released for voting on Monday, Feb 22nd, 2016.
    • The mission must be submitted via forum PM with a download link at either one of the fan mission sites or a separate download site.


    Custom Materials:
    • All Dromed custom resources are allowed with the exception of multi-brushes and mission bases.
    • FMs or OMs cannot be used as a mission base.
    • Custom materials by other builders must be recognized in the readme.txt file.


    Teams and Assistance:
    • All construction and dromed work must be completed by a single builder.
    • A private forum at the Shalebridge Cradle can be provided upon request for presenting mission details and garnering advice from any individuals you request join that forum.
    • The contest is not anonymous, so feel free to post how much or how little of your mission as you wish on TTLG.
    • Builders may contact experienced builders for advice privately.
    • Experienced builders should provide guidance and advice but not contribute in mission construction. Also don't explicitly tell novices how to implement their desired feature in a specific step-by-step manner, use a more general example. This rule is more directed towards complex features like conservations or those that have a variety of implementation solutions like advanced objectives.


    Eligibility:
    • Only builders who have not released a solo mission before for T1/G/2 (newdark or otherwise) are allowed to enter.
    • Builders who have released a T1/G/2 mission before as part of team effort should PM me the details of their work on the team mission.
    • Builders who have released mission(s) for T3 or TDM are allowed to enter.
    • Builders shall not release any other missions during the contest building period.


    Judging:
    Seven criteria have been chosen for judgement. Voters should provide a 1-10 grade for each category for every mission. The two highest categories are Gameplay and Overall Fun Factor/General Mission Quality. Story and Design are the next highest categories. Atmosphere and Technical Complexity/Execution (includes puzzles) are the next equal categories. The final two categories are Usage of Space and Uniqueness are the lowest weighted.
    • Overall Enjoyment/Quality (Weight: 2/10) - The focus of this criteria is overall fun factor and the general quality of the mission as a whole. Voters should grade the mission based on a first play-thru.
    • Gameplay (Weight 2/10) - This category focuses on quality of the gameplay. Is it difficult in a fun way or is it frustrating? Is the gameplay too easy or simple? Does it provide good sneaking opportunities? Is it ghostable? Does the gameplay vary by difficulty. Is it linear or does it offer plenty of freedom of movement. Would the mission still be fun on another play-thru?
    • Story (Weight 1.5/10) - Is the story interesting, well executed, emotionally evocative?
    • Design (Weight 1.5/10) - Is the mission well constructed? Is sound propagation implemented correctly? Does the author use more than basic shapes and flat terrain in construction? Are rooms reasonably decorated or featureless?
    • Atmosphere (Weight 1/10) - How well is the implied atmosphere of the mission implemented?
    • Technical (Weight 1/10) - This category is focused on the implementation of a variety of technical/scripting effects. Good implementation of patrols and objectives (and other basic scripting without anything more involved) should warrant a fair score. More complex features and their execution are the focus of this category and CAN include visuals effects, conversations, special usage of animations, interactions, and complex puzzles (beyond grab x and place it at y location or key hunts).
    • Space (Weight 0.5/10) - How well is the limited space used. Is it not overly cramped or filled with wasted space?
    • Unique (Weight 0.5/10) - Is the mission unusual, is its design or gameplay original or uncommon?


    Disqualification
    • A submission will not be considered if the author releases a mission before the contest submission date.
    • If the mission area significantly exceeds 300,000 cubic dromed units, after review, it may be disqualified from winning.
    • If disqualified due to the size, it will still be voted upon/graded.
    Last edited by Iceblade; 10th Feb 2016 at 14:29.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    You might consider adding a line to the Teams and Assistance category explaining that authors are welcome to get assistance from experienced builders, and that we'll provide a private discussion forum for them at shalebridgecradle. We said that in the poll thread, but it isn't mentioned here anywhere.

    Also, perhaps a reminder to the mentors that they are to answer questions and provide guidance only. They cannot actually build anything in the mission.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2014
    Location: Poland
    Iceblade you are pain in the ...

    Earlier you wrote :

    Authors should design their missions to fit within a 260,000 cubic unit space or less. While this is not a strict limit, missions in excess of 300,000 cubic dromed units total will likely suffer in quality resulting in lower scores.
    Now you change all to :

    All mission areas (either contiguous or disconnected) should fit in a 300,000 or less cubic dromed unit area brush of any orientation or dimension. While this is not a strict limit, missions that significantly exceed 300,000 cubic dromed units in total volume may be disqualified.

    How many time you will change the rules ? 2 weeks planing to specific rules and now you change all. Someone more knowledgeable should organise a competition for novices. I'm done with this Iceblade guy. He does not know what he's doing.

    Great start with dromed, teasing about disqualify. I will participate but I don't care about size limit. If Mr "restriction" want to disqualify, let him do it. I just want to present the best mission to the community in "my first mission" contest, just need some time restriction for the bigger motivation to complete.
    Last edited by Kurhhan; 4th Dec 2015 at 07:12.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: On parole
    Kurhhan....I wouldn't worry about that too much, I'm trying to get my head around the judging criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblade View Post
    Judging:
    Seven criteria have been chosen for judgement. Voters should provide a 1-10 grade for each category for every mission. The two highest categories are Gameplay and Overall Fun Factor/General Mission Quality. Story and Design are the next highest categories. Atmosphere and Technical Complexity/Execution (includes puzzles) are the next equal categories. The final two categories are Usage of Space and Uniqueness are the lowest weighted.
    As for the details of how good the contestants should prove their missions to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblade View Post
    * Design - How complex is the missions design architecturally?
    * Technical - Visuals (effects), spells, tricks, complex systems. In addition, for this category you should consider complex puzzle design
    * Space - How well the limited space is used? Does the mission seems larger than it is? Is it not overly cramped or filled with wasted space?
    * Unique - Is the mission unusual, is its design or gameplay original or rare?
    Thank the Builder it's not a novice competition
    Last edited by fortuni; 4th Dec 2015 at 14:17.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblade View Post
    Eligibility:
    * Only builders who have not released a solo mission before for T1/G/2 (newdark or otherwise) are allowed to enter.
    * Builders who have released a mission before as part of team should PM me the details of their work on the team mission.
    * Builders who have released mission(s) for T3 or TDM are allowed to enter.
    * Builders shall not release any other missions during the contest building period.
    1. So, only a complete noob can enter. He or she can never have done any T1/T2 mission under any engine, but if they've done a T3 or TDM one its OK. Bogus.

    2. What's the deal with whether or not they are currently teamed up with another designer? This makes no sense.

    3. (Edited. Re-written in item 1 above.)

    4. Makes no sense whatsoever. I can participate in a competition football game, but I'm not allowed to mix it up in a backyard event.

    BOGUS!
    Last edited by Ricebug; 4th Dec 2015 at 14:52.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2014
    Location: Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricebug View Post
    1. So, only a complete noob can enter. He or she can never have done ANY thief mission under any engine. Bogus.
    No noob, newbie. This is "my first mission" contest, what is good! Lets stay with this.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2008
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurhhan View Post
    No noob, newbie. This is "my first mission" contest, what is good! Lets stay with this.
    What about the DromEders who have been using the program for years, but haven't released any missions yet?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2014
    Location: Poland
    For me it's no problem that such persons participated in the competition. If they were unable for years to release a mission, let's help them with the stagnation ; ) Of course they should work today from scratch, no release mission that they were working from years.

  9. #9
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblade View Post
    Teams and Assistance:
    * Builders are discouraged from asking for assistance outside the Shalebridge Cradle .
    I don't get this part at all - authors can't ask for general advise in the TTLG Editor's Guild? That seems like a really bad idea, considering that's where the most knowledgeable people are. Authors should be able to ask basic questions without giving away too much about their mission.

    I guess related to that, why is there so much emphasis on being anonymous? This can be a concern in situations where you don't want an established author's reputation to affect the voting because of their previous body of work. But that obviously does not apply with newcomers.

    @Ricebug - you're contradicting yourself with #1 and #3 above. It's a novice contest, these types of rules shouldn't be shocking.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Regarding size: the rule hasn't changed to any significant degree apart from a tightening of the upper bound.

    Also the size disqualification, it doesn't remove you from the voting in the competition, you just won't be able to win it if the mission size is excessive.

    As for judging, the idea is to give novices an idea of where improvements are needed. The individual categories are about what types of things to consider as part of those categories (although it looks like my description for technical appears to be causing confusion).
    Last edited by Iceblade; 4th Dec 2015 at 12:21.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Regarding novices criteria: the line has to be drawn somewhere and the best one (easiest to verify) is whether someone has released a mission by themselves. Since there might be a few authors who have contributed as part of a team project but haven't released any other FMs, I added this rule to include those authors who have team contributions that aren't a large share of the mission's construction.

    As for anonymity, there is a reason I used the word discourage; it isn't an enforced rule. However I consceed that there is little reason to maintain it or limit exposure of mission details since the competition aspect is secondary to the release of a first mission and gaining meaningful and categorized feedback on it.
    Last edited by Iceblade; 4th Dec 2015 at 12:20.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    @Brethren: I edited my comments. Thanks.

    My suggestion: just make this another novice contest. We've had one in the past. Use those rules and don't make it so restrictive. The contestants are supposed to be first-timers. Don't burden them with a bunch of rules. If they make one small, huge, tiny, etc, so what?

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I tried that, but it was way too restrictive. There also isn't much in the way of rules either - a time limit and a loose size restriction.

  14. #14
    "missions that significantly exceed 300,000 cubic dromed units in total volume may be disqualified."

    In the earlier thread, 300,000 units was a recommendation. Now it's a loose restriction? What exactly does that mean?

    Suppose I just like the open-air feel that high ceilings provide? I'm not adding much work for myself just by making tall, arched ceilings, but it can easily make the volume of an encapsulating brush explode (even if only a single room has the high ceiling.)

    Is it OK to treat the 300,000 units as a recommendation (to help us avoid shoddily executed, grandiose plans) or will the volume actually hurt us even after conditioning on quality? (and perhaps disqualify us?)

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Hmmm.... I didn't think about high ceilings or sky brushes. The idea is to keep authors focused on crafting a small polished fan mission and to avoid too grandiose of a mission design; not to have authors cram everything into an arbitrarily sized area brush. So I've clarified the constructions rules so it is more clear cut what would result in a disqualification. Also I'm allowing missions to have several (4 or less) area brushes (total volume of about 300,000 or less) to avoid issues over missions with unevenly sized game areas forcing the mission over the total due to one region being larger than the others.

    Also, a mission with a size disqualification will still be voted upon/graded, but won't be able to win first, second, or (assuming there are more than 5 missions) third place.


    * All mission areas (either contiguous or disconnected) should fit in one 300,000 or less cubic dromed unit area brush of any orientation or dimension or several area brushes (of any dimension or orientation) that total 300,000 or less cubic units.
    * While 300,000 is not a strict limit, missions that significantly exceed 300,000 cubic dromed units in total volume may be disqualified. Meaning your mission won't be disqualified if its dimensions end up totaling for example 302,000. This is so dimensions don't have to be odd decimal values just keep them at 300,000 or less.
    * Nonplayable vertical spaces can exist the mission area brush(s). So inaccessible rooftops, top floor ceilings (scenery only high ceilings), or sky can extend beyond the area brush(s).

  16. #16
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Instead of disqualifying such a mission altogether, you might simply force its scores for the Space voting category to nil (i.e. not let people vote on its use of space). Just a suggestion.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    How is everyone getting along?

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    I made a pretty basic layout but right now I'm hit with pure lazyness

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2015
    Location: Wisconsin
    I've got most of the layout down. Trying to work out a couple of issues with the story.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    So, some people who check the Editor's Guild might already know since I've been asking some noob questions and posting some very very early screenshots, but why not post it here too: I'm going to finally attempt my first FM and join this contest! I started about two days ago, and for the first time of playing around with DromEd or Dark Radiant, I actually managed to complete a whole building and a small outside area, so... I'm actually committed to this now. No more excuses, no more "one day I'll make a Thief FM", I'm making one now.

    Since this is my first real project with DromEd, it'll probably end up sucking, but I'm having fun right now and that's what counts!

  21. #21
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Even if it sucks, we're still going to like it because we're always excited to see a new author get started. So congratulations for biting the bullet and plunging into Dromed! Looking forward to seeing what you manage to come up with.

    Same is true for all the other first time authors out there, in this contest or not.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    Just don't forget the most important element in mission building: beta-testing.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricebug View Post
    Just don't forget the most important element in mission building: beta-testing.
    Yes, I already thought about that... I hope there is enough time for that!

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Under T & A should the word conservations be conversations?

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: swirling in the night wind
    Sigh. What crappy timing for me. Had to travel a ton during these same 12 weeks. Of course, now that the time is up, I'm free as a bird.

    Maybe I'll host my own NewDark mission contest - featuring ME! I'll finish them all, and you guys can play and vote on the best one!

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