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KungFuSquirrel

MapCore Challenge Discussion

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So, quick update: We just wrapped up the Cube Challenge, as many of you may have noticed. Participation was a bit down from the 20-Brush Challenge, but we still had some good entries and I think the voting situation has been greatly improved from last time.

I'm curious to get as much feedback as I can on how these couple challenges have gone so that the next one(s) can also be improved. What thoughts do you have? Do you also think the voting was improved from last time? Was the time between challenges ok, or did you not enter this one because you felt it was too soon? Was the schedule adequate? Are the Twitter reminders useful or do they cross the line into annoying? How much time is appropriate before rolling out the next one?

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Twitter reminders: Good amount - more could border on annoying but as it is? Spot on.

Voting: I like the "3 vote" system, but I reckon the voting window should be a little longer. The end of it snuck up on me as I was busy over the weekend and in the end I never got a chance to vote!

Scheduling: I think it was good. Didn't feel too soon to me, and I think the duration of the contest was right, as evidenced by the quality of the entries. I personally didn't enter this time around as the theme was more demanding of time than the last one, I was away on holiday for some of it, and I was a bit too busy for the rest. I'm sure the overall entry count was down simply because of the greater commitment required for this theme than ultra-low-barrier-of-entry previous one. The last contest also felt a little more novel given it's something I'd never tried, so it absolutely caught my attention, while this one was something I've done before so didn't excite me quite as much. Don't get me wrong though, I do think a 1024^3 contest is a great theme!

Next one: I'd give it at least 4 weeks, and 8 at the absolute max. Not so long as to lose momentum (people seem to be signing up to enter these - lets keep the place in people's minds), but not so soon as to burn people out.

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Just an idea for the competition goal. With the talk about the black mesa thing it got me to thinking about an old subject from years back. I think a good competition would be to take a hand full of old HL1DM maps and convert them to HL2DM.

Now the guide lines would be something like:

* If you tried to improve a killbox to another killbox you'd get small kudos.

* If you tried to improve a moderate map and made it excellent, you'd get medium kudos.

* If you tried to improve an excellent map and SUCCEEDED to improve it noticeably, you'd prolly win.

But the bottomline would be for the judges to pick out a hand full of maps (After perhaps a voting period to reduce 100 to say 10) and have everyone work off those maps. Of course you may end up with 10 very similar maps if the same map were chosen, but the odds are against it because we all have our own priority viewpoint.

Anywho's I think a competition where you actually pit yourself against one another in a close proximity situation would turn out something grand.

Especially since a couple early KFS map need redone. *snickers* You know my fondness for you Andrew.

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Just an idea for the competition goal. With the talk about the black mesa thing it got me to thinking about an old subject from years back. I think a good competition would be to take a hand full of old HL1DM maps and convert them to HL2DM.

Now the guide lines would be something like:

* If you tried to improve a killbox to another killbox you'd get small kudos.

* If you tried to improve a moderate map and made it excellent, you'd get medium kudos.

* If you tried to improve an excellent map and SUCCEEDED to improve it noticeably, you'd prolly win.

But the bottomline would be for the judges to pick out a hand full of maps (After perhaps a voting period to reduce 100 to say 10) and have everyone work off those maps. Of course you may end up with 10 very similar maps if the same map were chosen, but the odds are against it because we all have our own priority viewpoint.

Anywho's I think a competition where you actually pit yourself against one another in a close proximity situation would turn out something grand.

Especially since a couple early KFS map need redone. *snickers* You know my fondness for you Andrew.

Hey a good idea would also be to grab one of DaveJ's open source maps, and convert to Source and see what everyone comes up with them!

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So, quick update: We just wrapped up the Cube Challenge, as many of you may have noticed. Participation was a bit down from the 20-Brush Challenge, but we still had some good entries and I think the voting situation has been greatly improved from last time.

I'm curious to get as much feedback as I can on how these couple challenges have gone so that the next one(s) can also be improved. What thoughts do you have? Do you also think the voting was improved from last time? Was the time between challenges ok, or did you not enter this one because you felt it was too soon? Was the schedule adequate? Are the Twitter reminders useful or do they cross the line into annoying? How much time is appropriate before rolling out the next one?

Participation: Was likely down due to this time a year being busier for most people in general in addition to being a more demanding competition in terms of effort and time investment to get a finished product. I didn't participate because I'm trying to hold myself to a self-imposed deadline on a personal project.

Voting: More time to vote would be good. I liked only having one category to vote in, though I think most will still vote based on visuals than anything else.

Schedule: Time to build seemed adequate for this kind of competition.

Twitter updates: Just right. Not too much, not too little.

Time until next competition: 4-6 weeks sounds good.

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Great feedback, guys!

I'll have more commentary when I get back from work, but I wanted to pop in a reminder that in the vote we held to select the 1024/Cube challenge, the runner-up was the Door challenge and the third place finisher was the 3x 512x512 (or otherwise texture-limited) challenge. It's a little soon to start talking specifics of the next one, but I'm content to continue in that order if popular opinion here supports it. :)

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If you throw and oldschool HL1 competition even I will start up ye olde Hammer again. Maybe it's an idea to limit the challenge to old HL1 material only (skylines, textures, models)? No custom material

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I've split this thread into the most recent discussion for easier browsing and tweeting :)

All right, lengthier musing.

I've seen mention from at least 3 people who didn't end up making it to the poll in time; I felt like the poll last time was open too long but I think that was probably a mistake. I did like waiting a couple days to open voting to try and encourage some time to check out the entries, but I think waiting as long as I did also made it easier to forget. I think ending the vote about a week after the challenge deadline is still a good target. Maybe open the polls Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Friday like I did this time?

I'm glad the voting system seems to have gone over well. I think it helped break our tie stalemate that we had last time, and not having to worry about so many categories also helped a lot.

There's a great points here made about participation, many of which echo my suspicions which were: People are busy, the challenge has been done here before, and it's a big undertaking - not that there was a sudden lack of interest in continuing these. I think we should definitely be careful to keep things bite-sized to maximize participation and minimize stress.

Also, I'm super excited every time I see someone with <5 posts show up in a challenge thread. That was great in the 20 Brush challenge and it was great in this one. It's just a few people, but I'm glad we've been able to draw some people in that hopefully will stick around.

I'm also relieved you guys have found the Twitter updates to be in the "just right" range. I felt like I was maybe a bit on the heavy side, but I'll try to stay at about this frequency of updating in the future.

I think 3-4 weeks will remain the sweet spot for the duration of the challenge, and I'm personally still a fan of how I've started both of these on Friday and ended on Sunday to maximize the available weekend time for all of us. Three weeks is probably ideal, really, since then we can use the 4th week for voting and package things nicely within about a month for each challenge. But, occasionally a more involved challenge will probably warrant 4-5 weeks; we'll just play that by ear. I'd also be open to some even shorter-term challenges down the road, in the 1-2 week range or maybe even occasional weekend challenges to kill some time in between the larger ones. Yay/Nay?

If you guys agree that 4-6 weeks is the ideal range in between, I could see us start up again either April 22nd or 29th. Gives everyone a few weeks to recover and gives us a nice window to decide what our next challenge will be (though as mentioned, I'm also completely ok with the order we voted on previously, with the door challenge coming up next followed by the texture-limited challenge)

Also, I love the idea of an old-school challenge; those might be good fodder for the shorter-term challenges since they're so much simpler than what we're used to working with today. We could easily do an all HL1 w/ stock content challenge, or open things up to the game of your choice from that era like HL, Quake, Quake 2, Duke 3D, etc. Please keep the suggestions coming!

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Since Twitter is the only reason I know about the cube challenge (and this thread) I wouldn't say they're annoying at all, they might be more annoying if you're only following a few inactive people but I'm following over 300 I think now so they disappear down my feed pretty quickly, I could totally cope with twice as many mapcore updates.

From running contests on TF2maps.net, the smaller the target size the more people will try (until valve get involved that is) we found that the make X in 1024^3 is a pretty good formula to go with. People liked the ones that were useful afterwards even more. cp_coldfront, which is now an official TF2 map, that started as two entries to one of our mini contests (capture point in 1024^2), we allowed multiple entries and Icarus bashed out two stunning entries over two weekends then combined them afterwards into cp_coldfront.

I'd say hold the course and make sure challenges are announced on twitter before they start so I know about them! :lol:

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I agree to a lot that has been said here regarding voting system and time.

As for the next challenge I would love to see a scripting-focused challenge, since most challenges in the past has been design-centric.

This means that most people would have to post videos of what they have made (as well as the downloadable map ofcourse), instead of just screenshots.

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