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The Dark Mod Great Summer Vertical FM Contest!


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#1 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 05:59 AM

tower.jpg Here's another fun contest for you mappers! :)

We've pieced together some rules but are flexible to feedback over the next week or two. During that time please confirm if you are entering. We can keep putting the start date back until we have at least 3 or 4 ready to start building.


THE RULES:

The contest ends at Midday UK TIME 19th August 2010. There is a bit of flexibility. Anyone who has good reason to extend that a little should post on this thread before then.

BUILD TIME: Must be two months or less. The contest by necessity must be on the honour system but is flexible. So you must judge roughly that you took two months build.

STYLE: This is a 'vertical' contest which means we are looking to exploit and enjoy height - mantling, roping, jumping, stairs, elevators, ladders, dropping, etc.

TYPES: It can be anything that fits the above style: underground mine shafts, internal tower, external tower, or any combination. See later for examples.

VOLUME LIMIT: You must build within these set limits...

1280 x 1280 x unlimited vertical
Plus unlimited inaccessible
exterior space for facades,
skybox, blue rooms etc.

"1280 x 1280" just defines an area 1638400 square units so you could build within a rectangle. It must be vertical that so you cannot have slices of 1280 x 1280 that slope up at 10 degrees!

"inaccessible" means both by the player or any AI. Projectiles allowed (you can throw a rock or shoot an arrow into or fall to your death or force an AI to fall in the inaccessible area. Death is the only excuse. You cannot use this area to drop to a ledge below or climb a ladder as that is gameplay.) Moving structure allowed, (flag waving in the breeze.) Effectively "inaccessible" means totally contained within clip.

This external area is not compulsory. It can enhance your FM but it can also be a major headache. You can have an internal-only FM of 1280 x 1280 without the problems or advantages of an exterior. Or a combination which might be mostly interior but goes 'outside' briefly on the 14th floor! But just remember, if you or any AI go outside say onto a ladder or balcony it MUST be within the 1280 x 1280 so your tower must be less than that obviously if you have any exterior. An interior-only FM might have windows with sky texture to give a sense of outside much like was done in Chalice.

"blue rooms" means any inaccessible room separate from the main build to store player tools, ammo, new stuff that might get teleported in, etc. etc.

Examples (but not limited to these suggestions):

A series of vertical and horizontal mine shafts going down contained within 1280 x 1280 plan view plus a blue room for holding inventory ammo, extra stuff to be teleported in whatever.

A tower 1024 x 1024 plan view with interiors plus 128 accessible on all sides for eg, balconies, catwalks (the building could lean or extend one way 128 and on the floor above a balcony extend 256 the other way and still be within the 1024 total) plus any size inaccessible skybox around it (falling to your death is allowed in this space!) plus blue room.

A hollow giant tree trunk 512 x 512 with branches going out to fill the 1280 x 1280 accessible area plus any size skybox and facades (forest if you wish) plus blue room.

VOTING: is limited to three categories so will be on gameplay, visuals, and best use of verticality with points 3, 2, 1 multiplying each vote in those categories.

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. Or you can use the prefabs that include ammo shop whatever.

You can use any prefab.

Please confirm if you intend to enter and when you will be free to start. Anyone not confirming can still submit an entry before the yet-to-be-set close date but if I don't see at least 3 definites then it just won't happen. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When you release your FM you should:

Start a new thread at the Dark Mod forums headed
FM name by Yourname (2010/M/D) Summer FM Vertical Contest Entry

Open a poll. Give it the exact same questions and choices as for the Christmas contest EXCEPT the first question should read:

Gameplay: Good vertical use. Enjoyment. Fun duration. Smooth flow, ect. Versus Bugs. Frustration, Boredom, framelag.

In addition you should open a thread at ttlg but the above header should be preceded with Dark Mod: If you don't have an account then ask me or anyone who does to open a thread for you. This should NOT have a poll but a link to the poll at the Dark Mod forums.

#2 _Atti_

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:23 AM

May enter, I totally like the idea and doesnt sound too overwhelming either.
If i do enter it will be at earliest, the 25th of june.

#3 Melan

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:39 AM

Will start working on an FM soonish, but I am not sure yet if I can fit into the 1024x1024 boundary. My preliminary concept would have needed a strong horizontal part; it may be possible to leave out and go with the core, but it will have to be tested in DR first if I can realise that in the contest area. If I enter, I could start work at the beginning of July.

Edited by Melan, 17 June 2010 - 06:40 AM.

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

#4 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:19 AM

Maybe we should set a greater maximum plan view but a minimum real build game-accessible height of say 3 or 4 floors. This should then mean a more conventional rooftop FM could be included but unfortunately it would not exclude a 'normal' FM like Chalice which has a spiral stair going up 3 floors. We want the verticality, height 3D aspect to be dominant. So some streets where you can also get on a few high roofs doesn't seem to fit to me. But a predominantly or exclusively rooftop FM seems OK. But how to define it? Or should that be a separate contest sometime and keep this one to the tower/shaft idea?

#5 OrbWeaver

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:33 AM

I don't think the vertical restrictions should be diluted; the aim is to encourage building styles which aren't normally seen in conventional FMs, not to produce Yet Another Angelwatch.

#6 Sotha

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:52 AM

Theoretically I am quite interested in participating and the vertical concept sounds quite fun.

In practice I will not even consider enrolling, until the map I'm currently working on gets out and I've had a short breather from mapping. Overdoing something is the best way to ruin the fun from it.

A date for map finished + breather is estimated to be the start-mid july.
I'll let you know if I'm interested at that time.
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#7 grayman

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:17 AM

Sign me up. I can begin at any time.

My current maps are mainly horizontal, so focusing on verticality will be a nice change. I can't finish my current maps until the persistent data feature is available (so I can cross back and forth between maps), so they can sit on a shelf until that's supported.

I'm comfortable with the current set of rules.

Thanks.

Edited by grayman, 17 June 2010 - 08:18 AM.


#8 aidakeeley

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:22 AM

In practice I will not even consider enrolling, until the map I'm currently working on gets out...


Good. I hope this contest brings more new FMs into being, but does not delay or in anyway sidetrack those already at it...

Or should that be a separate contest sometime and keep this one to the tower/shaft idea?


Yes. I'm with OrbWeaver on this; in that a contest should be thematic; plus you've gone and "designed" the parameters already, so hopefully you'll stick wit 'em.

VOTING: is limited to three categories so will be on gameplay, visuals, and best use of verticality with points 3, 2, 1 multiplying each vote in those categories.


IMO, should be 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. More nuance/preciseness allowed.
"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

#9 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:48 AM

Unless the forum poll has changed since Christmas you can only have three things to vote on and only 6 possible answers on each (see any existing Christmas contest poll.)

#10 aidakeeley

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:08 AM

You're right. Only 6 possibilities per question. I guess that means I'd prefer to have 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. ;)

Those 3 things are perfectly distinct and a fine way to judge the contest, I'd just like to have a somewhat broad range of ratings to apply to each.
"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

#11 Melan

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:16 AM

Tested how much 1024x1024 is; cannot build in that room. Good luck to the participants!
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

#12 Tels

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:34 AM

tower.jpg Here's another fun contest for you mappers! :)

We've pieced together some rules but are flexible to feedback over the next week or two.


Er, so are the rules set in stone, or not? I started with 1280 and think it could work, but 1024x1024? Ouch. I wasn't prepared to the public announcement that soon, I developed some ideas over the night and wanted to discuss them before we start of the contest.

Also, as for the "exterior" part:

* There is no reason to allow the blue-room or skybox to be outside the X x X area, it can be stashed on top of it. :)
* allowing facades stretching unlimited feels a bit cheating, because why would the player care (or even like) that he is limited to 1024x1024 when the mission area clearly expands for miles?
* likewise, I got a few ideas how to make the "player area" seem bigger than it is. That however makes me ask: Why would the player care that I restrict myself for 1024x1024 when building, while the result looks nearly (but not as) good as when I used 2048x2048?

Please confirm if you intend to enter and when you will be free to start. Anyone not confirming can still submit an entry before the yet-to-be-set close date but if I don't see at least 3 definites then it just won't happen. :)


Anyway, I would like to enter, even tho I think 1024 is a tad too small.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#13 greebo

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:14 AM

Well, if two people say 1024 is a little too small, then let's raise that to 1300 or something. The contest is there to have nice missions in the end and to give mappers incentive, challenge and inspiration, not to drive them away.

#14 OrbWeaver

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:30 AM

Well, if two people say 1024 is a little too small, then let's raise that to 1300 or something. The contest is there to have nice missions in the end and to give mappers incentive, challenge and inspiration, not to drive them away.


I agree, but within reason. If allowing 1280x1280 brings in five more participants, then great. On the other hand, some people may not be happy with any kind of size-restricted contest whatsoever.

Alternatively, maybe people would prefer a ratio-based approach rather than a simple size limit, i.e. the map can be as big as you want but must be at least 4 times as tall as it is wide?

#15 Tels

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:39 AM

I agree, but within reason. If allowing 1280x1280 brings in five more participants, then great. On the other hand, some people may not be happy with any kind of size-restricted contest whatsoever.

Alternatively, maybe people would prefer a ratio-based approach rather than a simple size limit, i.e. the map can be as big as you want but must be at least 4 times as tall as it is wide?


Nah, I think 1280 (1024 + 256) is fine. Having a hard limit to push against sparks creativity. Ratio limit could be easy circumvented by adding a very tall prop tower :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#16 STiFU

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:43 AM

A contest without Melan would be a real shame... Go raise the restrictions!! ;)

#17 aidakeeley

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:45 AM

If people (especially experienced mappers) have missions they want to build that don't fall within the parameters... then just build those missions? I guess I feel that the best thing about these 2 month build contests is that they can be a chance for new builders to have some sort of defined and burnout-lessening sort of chance to get something done. The "pros" maybe should do their thing(s) and let the newcomers have at these things...
"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

#18 Melan

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 12:00 PM

A contest without Melan would be a real shame... Go raise the restrictions!! ;)

I don't want this to be about myself. Let other people build for it what they have in mind, I will go forward with my mission and join on another occasion. No harm done, I just don't have a good idea for this specific setup. :)
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

#19 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:17 PM

Absolutely. One of the first sentences in this thread says...

"We've pieced together some rules but are flexible to feedback over the next week or two." so if we get more participants for 1280 x 1280 then I'm happy with that.

Melan: How much volume do you actually need for your idea? Note that in the above rules: "1024 x 1024" just defines an area 1048576 square units so you could build within a rectangle of that area so eg 2048 x 512.

[EDIT] or 2560 x 640 if we go for 1280 x 1280.

#20 Melan

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:00 PM

About four times the footprint, so that would alter the contest pretty radically. I suggest slightly more than 1024x1024 in any case, because that is seriously small.
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

#21 stumpy

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:16 PM

i suppose you cant cheat and make the tower impossibly high by using a teleportation system to teleport the player between the start and end of a high bit without them realising they've climbed through the same bit 100 times.

#22 Tels

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:47 PM

i suppose you cant cheat and make the tower impossibly high by using a teleportation system to teleport the player between the start and end of a high bit without them realising they've climbed through the same bit 100 times.


Why not? The rules don't say anything about not teleporting ;)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#23 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

That gives me an idea for a seriously wierd contest in the future. A collection of moveable but non-pushable walls and other models (some pushable, some frobable, some not) are collected together and a script randomizer constructs different rooms and doorways as the player goes through an infinite FM. If the randomizer is seeded then it can reconstruct earlier arrangements although any moved items will be back where they were. :wacko: :laugh:

I'll go now...

#24 Tels

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 03:13 PM

That gives me an idea for a seriously wierd contest in the future. A collection of moveable but non-pushable walls and other models (some pushable, some frobable, some not) are collected together and a script randomizer constructs different rooms and doorways as the player goes through an infinite FM. If the randomizer is seeded then it can reconstruct earlier arrangements although any moved items will be back where they were. :wacko: :laugh:

I'll go now...


You really have to spoil any idea I have, don't you? :( :wacko: :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#25 Fidcal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 04:18 PM

Sorry, did you think of this first? OK, you go with that and I'll use the low-gravity trampoline circus tower thing and the pogo sticks.



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