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Hypothetical-Contest Rules Voting

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@FMPONE grapen is referring to this rule from previous contest:

On 5/23/2017 at 10:51 PM, MapCore said:

4. Maps that were under creation prior to the announcement of this Contest can be entered, as long as a complete map version (layout and art) has not been released for public download.

From what I've seen in this thread, a lot of people and myself included, want everyone to start on equal footing. No prior work or remakes.

 

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3 minutes ago, grapen said:

No the previous ruling was very ambiguous, see my reply to Ornatebaboon uo there ^. Some entries had been in production for more than six months last time.

 

11 hours ago, OrnateBaboon said:
  • Maps already under construction.  Unless I am mistaken, the last contest drew the line at maps that were anything more than a dev textured block out. In other words, if you added any models or textures to the map, you could not enter. The inherent problem here is that by including this kind of rule as a staple of any and all future contests, it can encourage a culture of secrecy. Mappers will hold back their arted work from the forum, through fear of violating the rules. Knowing if all maps have begun from when the contest is announced is also impossible.

Clearly our intention with that rule is to draw a reasonable line in the sand where people don't have a massive advantage building a fully-fleshed map that they can then immediately submit to the contest. Just about everyone has a greybox sitting around, the idea that we will be able to tell who was working on one etc. the problem with that, simply not a feasible rule to have. We did what was reasonably enforceable. Make sense?

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9 minutes ago, FMPONE said:

 

Clearly our intention with that rule is to draw a reasonable line in the sand where people don't have a massive advantage building a fully-fleshed map that they can then immediately submit to the contest. Just about everyone has a greybox sitting around, the idea that we will be able to tell who was working on one etc. the problem with that, simply not a feasible rule to have. We did what was reasonably enforceable. Make sense?

Well, I sure don’t have a graybox, and I don’t need to tell anyone here that making one can take a long time unless you skip playtesting entirely. In a contest that spans six months that’s a huge advantage. I would much rather see fresh maps only, and if someone cheats then that’s on their conscience.

Edited by grapen

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11 minutes ago, grapen said:

Well, I sure don’t have a graybox, and I don’t need to tell anyone here that making one can take a long time unless you skip playtesting entirely. In a contest that spans six months that’s a huge advantage. I would much rather see fresh maps only, and if someone cheats then that’s on their conscience.

So you would advocate for ditching the greybox rule entirely and requiring entirely new .vmfs of work? The only question is how to tell, the burden comes on us to enforce that, and it seems like it could be a tough one. We can certainly consider that, however. It all boils down to enforcement.
You say "if people cheat that's on them", but actually it's on us if we're holding a contest. Part of building good rules is not making them so unenforceable and bordering on idea policing.

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7 minutes ago, FMPONE said:

So you would advocate for ditching the greybox rule entirely and requiring entirely new .vmfs of work? The only question is how to tell, the burden comes on us to enforce that, and it seems like it could be a tough one. We can certainly consider that, however. It all boils down to enforcement.

Since the mapping community is fairly small, part of that enforcement could come from other contestants. We've all seen at some point what most of us have been working on, even if it was just a screenshot sent over chat. But I think that's something to really consider. Even a few days - maybe a week, is a huge advantage. Sometimes a day can make the difference and a lot of people were working until the very last minute in the last two contests.

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15 minutes ago, Radu said:

Since the mapping community is fairly small, part of that enforcement could come from other contestants. We've all seen at some point what most of us have been working on, even if it was just a screenshot sent over chat. But I think that's something to really consider. Even a few days - maybe a week, is a huge advantage. Sometimes a day can make the difference and a lot of people were working until the very last minute in the last two contests.

So, three thoughts on this, because as a level designer myself I really appreciate the discussion and the passion that goes into it.

1. We want to give you more than enough time when we hold contests. In this case the voting confirms that. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-9 months? It should be doable and reasonable. Imagine, for example, if Valve tasked you with creating a level in this timeframe. Seems doable to create a shippable product — so the competition is on to see who can do so the best.

2. A greybox is an idea. But we won’t be judging ideas. We will be judging products, if our contest is anything like our last. This is about creating high quality products, a greybox is the most theoretical, first step out of about a billion in creating a great level. Does it have an impact? Sure. But so does talent, and we can’t level the playing field of ideas any easier than the playing field of talent. 

3. We may consider measures such as a loose theme to mitigate some of the valid arguments raised on this topic. It’s not a perfect fix, but it could be a constructive step.

Some things to consider! Broadly speaking, this is one of those rules that seemed fine in the last go-round, where changing it seems like a bit of a pointless gamble.

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30 minutes ago, FMPONE said:

So you would advocate for ditching the greybox rule entirely and requiring entirely new .vmfs of work? The only question is how to tell, the burden comes on us to enforce that, and it seems like it could be a tough one. We can certainly consider that, however. It all boils down to enforcement.
You say "if people cheat that's on them", but actually it's on us if we're holding a contest. Part of building good rules is not making them so unenforceable and bordering on idea policing.

That’s much better than someone starting with an obvious 6-12 month advantage. That’s not really much of a contest anyway. Most of us won’t be doing this full time, so we’re already behind the curve, though there’s obviously nothing to be done about that, it is what it is.

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1 hour ago, grapen said:

Disappointed to hear that. Who’s doing the voting? Because seems to me like a majority of people in this thread wants to see fresh maps, for the spirit of competition. Makes me think the agenda here is something different entirely.

Everyone can vote, have you voted?

Mine was towards fresh maps, saying that remakes or maps started could be admitted if we find a way, suggesting a different category.

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13 minutes ago, blackdog said:

Everyone can vote, have you voted?

Mine was towards fresh maps, saying that remakes or maps started could be admitted if we find a way, suggesting a different category.

I would favour a similar compromise which could be balanced in the scoring system. Brand new maps which document the WIP from day 1 would automatically get a 5 point advantage or something. Obvs judges will also be marking with common sense and looking for originality. 

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Wanted to add to my post…

@grapen sounds to me there might be some miscommunication in terms, regarding the grey box argument. I do agree with Shawn that probably many people have stuff lying around that they’ve abandoned cos they “didn’t feel it” at the time. I think of it as very rough drafts that you maybe have never even compiled. Sounds like you think of something way more ahead, like when Santorini was being tested and the map was untextured but looked very final(?).

@text_fish yeah the problem is that if you are in bad faith you can find a way. Say you have a shell lying around, as long as you have done your homework and kept versions you can easily make it appear that you just started on it.

as @FMPONE points out is very hard to check/enforce this stuff.

Is it such a bad thing to enter with something that was untested? You might have to change it completely anyway.

i dunno, as soon as you try to cover all angles you find ways to go around, I’m  more for a bit more generic rule and leave it to the fair play and honesty of members. If there’s something blatantly recycled then one could raise it and judges decide.

I think the increased money gives a good chance to have a new category, if that was agreed I’d do: main prize pool for new maps, the extra prize money goes for maps that have already been entered in previous contests and just need polishing/refining/small layout changes.

~

On another note, @FMPONE interesting idea that of a loose theme but wonder if would be interesting to take it even further and have a proper brief like LD get when working in a company.

Hope any of this makes sense :D

Edited by blackdog

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When does a concept become a level? When you've thought about it for more than 16.3 hours? When you put a sketch down on paper? When you throw some brushes down in hammer to test timings? When you let other people play it, whatever state it happens to be in? When you settle on a theme? (rhetorical question, there is no right answer)

I have a bunch of vague blockouts going back years on my hard disk, but personally I wouldn't think twice about entering one in to a competition like this because none of the actual hard work and grind has been done yet, and more importantly I've not received any feedback from other players in order to make the many necessary changes before it becomes a viable shell.

I like the idea of splitting the prize fund across a few categories, which would also chime nicely with the idea of loose themes. i.e. a 15k pool could be split out thus: 5k for best Original defuse map, 5k for best original hostage map and 5k for best (authorised) remake of an old map. Obviously this rather heavily eats in to 2nd and 3rd place pots and potentially damages the marketing potential of a 15k pot.

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I don't think it's worth discussing anymore on different categories, promoting hostage maps, etc. Fmpone has made it clear that he wants to keep it simple and fairly identical to previous contest structure. The only thing left to argue at this point is the eligibility regarding maps that had been in development prior to the contest. As I've mentioned several times in the thread, I'd prefer everyone start fresh and no remakes.

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About the rule: Since it's so hard to tell if a greybox has been created a long time ago or only recently, another aspect has to be taken into account instead of the vmf's creation date. There is a clear indicator however to see how much progress has been achieved: Playtests. The rule could state that only maps are eligible to enter the contest, which have not been playtested yet - privately or publicly. If an entry turns out to be tested prior to the contest, you could introduce penalty points during the judging process.

In addition to the rule that having art on the map leads to disqualification of the entry, this could be an option to allow for a mostly even playing field.

 

Also about the judging process. Please, please do actual playtests. At least of the Top X maps. Analyzing a map carefully can only tell so much of the whole story.

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