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The Dark Mod Grand Christmas FM Contest!


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#1 Fidcal

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:54 AM

You've had a week or two to get familiar with the Dark Radiant FM editor so we are now running a fast build FM contest. Deadline will be the week before Christmas but with a grace period of two weeks so if you start a bit late or not quite finished then the final date will be New Year's day. Hopefully this will mean a sprinkling of tiny fun FMs over the Christmas period. Even if you don't finish in time you can still submit your FM for voting to get an assessment.

The FM can be any topic, style, size whatever you want but obviously, in only say 5 or 6 weeks you should think TINY! Apart from the trainer, all the FMs released to date were initially built in around a month (Outpost in only a week) most by newcomers, plus say a month's tweaking and testing so it's perfectly possible. But think of something with about 10 rooms and don't be too ambitious. By 'rooms' we mean similar areas of complexity, eg a street. Don't try to do anything too technical or clever that might slow you down. Stick with the basics. Better to finish early then spend a week adding something and polishing.

Each FM must be submitted in the 'official' FM format - in a .pk4 file, ready to play. Help is on offer for those that need it.

You are free to use the startpack or not as you wish. All objectives, weapons, etc. are already working so you only need to eg, adjust loot values. You could make a one room FM all packaged up in less than an hour. Making a title loader with progress bar is as easy as taking a screenshot and saving it in a folder.

If you've already started a small FM that might be suitable then I won't tell anyone if you don't. If you've started a big FM that can't be finished in time then consider laying it aside for a few weeks. You can learn more by building quick so when you go back to your main FM you will be more experienced.

Each FM will have its own thread for voting a score in three categories and each will be weighted as follows:

Gameplay: 3
Appearance: 2
Story & Text: 1

So 4 votes for appearance will count as 8 points. This will have to be calculated manually later.

Expect the FMs to have a few rough edges because they are being made very quickly and only rough beta tested.

Please use this thread for any feedback or queries on the competition itself but post feedback for each FM on its thread (they'll be created as the FMs are ready.) Also post below if you are taking part or thinking about it. It's fairly informal so you don't need to register as such. If you turn up announced at Christmas with an entry FM then that's fine but it would be fun to have some idea who's doing what!

Good luck!

#2 Melan

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:00 AM

I will consider the opportunity, even if I am a bit leery of setting aside my large FM. :)

One potential hurdle is that technical questions at this stage are bound to be more specific, meaning it will be easier to identify contestants, at least by those who browse the editing forums. If this is an acceptable compromise, you should go ahead with the contest.
Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#3 Fidcal

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:47 AM

No anonymity is planned for this contest. Just a fun motivator so everyone can see what is possible in a short time.

#4 Mortem Desino

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:40 AM

You can always ask DR questions on the forum if you're having problems. If you really want to be anonymous, I suppose you could PM me. :) I'm going to try and finish an FM, myself.
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#5 Flanders

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:42 AM

Only for beginners :(? I already missed the last contest. We already had a small mission contest, why a small one again?

#6 STiFU

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:50 AM

So that everyone can play a big amount of FMs over the holidays... NICE! ;-) Fidcal said, there is no size-limit, but in that little amount of time, you cannot build too big. But when was there another contest?

#7 Fidcal

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:13 AM

Just to clarify a few points. This contest is open to everyone not just beginners.

No anonymity was planned but if anyone wants to be anonymous it's easy enough to do I should think.

The previous contest was internal only - for Dark Mod betamappers. This contest is for everyone. :)

#8 Baddcog

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:57 AM

Great idea. I'm currently busy and not gonna postpone my mission, it should be done by Thanksgiving.

That'll give me a month to whip out an X-mas FM too. (Which I was planning, but it'll just be for a contest).

I don't care about anonyminity really, I think everyone around here is mature enough to vote on the missions and not play favs.

I do think small is a good way to go. Easier to get started and finished, good amount of time to cut your teeth in DR and get something finished.
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#9 SiyahParsomen

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:23 AM

I started mapping already in oct. At first I decided it making anonymously but later on, realized that if I announce it will may increase people enthusiasm for making maps. So I announced it already in ttlg. But I can't promise to make it before new year. Let's wait and see.:D

#10 Spock RC

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 02:29 PM

Just registered for the forum and decided to post.

I'm about a week in to making a FM called "Cranky's Hotel" and was planning on finishing it around Thanksgiving. So, I saw this contest and thought, "hm, that's really convient." This will be my first ever Thief style map and hoping for the best.
Live Long and Prosper

#11 Fidcal

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 02:45 PM

Thanks Spock RC. These FMs often take longer than expected but your target gives you time to get it really polished and tested. Good luck!

#12 RailGun

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:48 AM

This is such a great idea!, too bad its likely i won't be able to participate, i have too much in my plate right now :(

#13 HappyCheeze

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:23 AM

Oooh! Holiday themed FMs are always fun to make :) (although for this contest, it doesn't have to be Christmas themed)
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#14 Sonosuke

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:59 PM

Yeah i started, well i dont know if i can finish the map or think of a story that makes sence in a short time but i will try :D. Working title is "Generals little room". I have some problems with choosing the right textures for floors :wacko:. well we will see...

Edit: Oh and... translation will be a bit of work for me, my english is a bit rusty as you can see :P

Edited by Sonosuke, 03 November 2009 - 08:04 PM.

Ich konnte mich nicht erinnern Teleportation gezaubert zu haben und doch stand ich da... alleine und nackt.

#15 Fidcal

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:44 AM

Sonosuke: We'll be glad to help polish up your english text if necessary. Good luck anyway! :)

#16 Melan

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:25 PM

A question: to what extent should contestants be allowed to use architectural prefabs? I am thinking nothing vs. windows/columns/staircases/single architectural elements vs. buildings. The latter should obviously be limited - maybe completely, maybe to non-gameplay space. But what about the rest?
Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#17 Goldchocobo

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:55 PM

A question: to what extent should contestants be allowed to use architectural prefabs? I am thinking nothing vs. windows/columns/staircases/single architectural elements vs. buildings. The latter should obviously be limited - maybe completely, maybe to non-gameplay space. But what about the rest?


I certainly think you can use as many prefabs as you want, anywhere. It's an optimized, quicker part of the building process made awesome by DR. Just make sure not to infringe on someone else's work.

#18 Fidcal

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 05:26 PM

Yes, use as many prefabs as you like. Treat them just like models, AI, textures, any other assets.

#19 Komag

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:00 PM

Yes, not against the rules. But I wouldn't make a full map of mostly prefab stuff, or they will start to get old real fast.
Posted Image Posted Image

#20 Neb

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:04 AM

I'm so in for this. I usually find contests are good for my motivation. :)



#21 Sonosuke

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:21 PM

It would be interesting to see who is really working on Chrismas FMs now and a few progress stats if you want, so here i go:

Map: 70%
Story/Readables: 5% -well....
AI/fine-tuning: 15%

Edited by Sonosuke, 21 November 2009 - 03:59 PM.

Ich konnte mich nicht erinnern Teleportation gezaubert zu haben und doch stand ich da... alleine und nackt.

#22 Stardog

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:23 PM

Dragon Age is seriously eating into the progress of my map. Luckily, I was well into it before DA was released.

#23 Melan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:49 PM

Map (includes architecture, objectst, lights and stuff): 60% or thereabouts
Decals and other cosmetics: not yet
The rest: zero, I wonder how long does it take to add a few patrol routes/objectives if the rest is complete. Since this is not Dromed and I am still learning as I go, I can't even make an accurate guess.

Prognosis: may or may not finish in time; I have got a lot of RL work on my plate, which also means I am usually too tired to build on weekdays. I will have free time before/during the holidays though.

WIP screenshot:

Posted Image

Edited by Melan, 21 November 2009 - 03:51 PM.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#24 Springheel

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:35 PM

Looking great! Love the windows and shutters. :)

#25 Fidcal

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:00 PM

Sounds very promising. :) Patrolling at it's simplest is path_corner target path_corner target path_corner etc with the AI targetting (you guessed) one of the path_corners. There are also path_wait (with turn) then sit and sleep etc.

For objectives, if you are not already using Startpack then look in the prefabs under misc and insert StartObjectives,Shop,Tools,Ammo.pfb. This gives you a blue room with all tools (compass, spyglass, lantern, etc. & ammo, shop template, and a simple set of objectives already working in your map! Eg, get loot (3 difficulties) get special object, return to start. All you need do is adjust eg loot values etc. text, etc. And you can delete what you don't want so if you already have some set up then no problem.



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