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Ideas for next contest


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It's weird that I'm starting this topic, given I do not make maps. But I'm thinking here, I know you mappers need a lot of time to finish a mission, months at least, but I propose making a contest that lasts one week. "Impossible" I hear you say, but it isn't! what is impossible is to make a polished mission in a week, but you can do the polishing after the contest.

 

I say this because I've participated in a couple of game jams, game development competitions that lasts one week, and if you can make a game in a week you can definitely make a map in the same time. Just focus on gameplay and functionality. I think it's a great exercise and it's a much more fun and interesting experience. Just compare with this latest contest, I didn't even know it was still running and it only has 3 entries. Boring! no matter how great the missions are. It's also a less daunting task, as counter intuitive as it may sound, because if you have months to conclude a mission you konw you'll be competing against potential master pieces.

 

Anyway, just an idea :) share yours.

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There seems to be many new people trying DR out. We could cater and encourage those making their first FM.

 

Maybe a contest with

a ) new mappers only, and

b ) few room size limit.

 

A sort of "DR tryout" contest.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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what is impossible is to make a polished mission in a week

 

The Outpost was created in a week, and it's reasonably polished. And Fiasco at Fauchard only took 3 weeks.

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I have actually considered taking a break from the Accountant and perhaps making a tiny mission christmas related. Maybe have one where you have to STEAL presents from all the naughty children in the city! :P Evil but.. still Christmas spirit right :)

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Has there been any speed-building competitions before? I'm a big fan of competitions like the Ludum Dare where contestants have a very short timeframe to finish something playable.

 

Sometimes giving people clear limitations can bring out really cool projects. Limiting the timeframe is one thing, but you could also do things like limit the size of the level (as an example of a similar contest, Doomworlds Congestion 1024 maps are some of the most clever Doom maps ever IMO).

 

Having a deadline can motivate some developers to finally finish something, and once you have that first project under your belt its much easier to continue creating and publishing content.

 

Another idea I could put forward is a community level. This wouldn't be a contest per se, but a project where each participant would for example furnish and detail a single room in larger build.

Edited by kyyrma
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Yes, I like the community idea. A competition where you had to make a team. An artist for cutscenes and a mapper. A mapper and a coder for scripts. Etc. One pitches the idea, the other helps. Shoud be something small and manageable. Could be a good way of maybe some more experienced authors here that dont really have the time to create their own projtects, to work on something and at the same time tutor someoone new, with more time and energy to put into DR.

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Has there been any speed-building competitions before? I'm a big fan of competitions like the Ludum Dare where contestants have a very short timeframe to finish something playable.

 

Sometimes giving people clear limitations can bring out really cool projects. Limiting the timeframe is one thing, but you could also do things like limit the size of the level (as an example of a similar contest, Doomworlds Congestion 1024 maps are some of the most clever Doom maps ever IMO).

 

Having a deadline can motivate some developers to finally finish something, and once you have that first project under your belt its much easier to continue creating and publishing content.

 

Exactly! I participated in a couple of game jams at gamejolt, one was only a weekend and the other a full week. I think these were the most productive days I ever had developing a game. The whole environment feels productive and competitive, people video stream their works. You really learn to prioritize in such a tight schedule.

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We did have a Halloween Speed-build contest as I recall ;)

 

There was some deal of concern over the quality issue Diego mentioned.

 

I doubt that "A Night to Remember" or "Blackbog Hollow" would've been substantially different

with more time to work with but "Dragon's Claw" is well known to be too ambitious and therefore

problematic from that round.

 

The last contest may have had too long of a bake time so the 3 month mark seems like a sweet spot

for these contests.

 

However... if a bunch of mappers wanna agree to something shorter, I certainly wouldn't object.

 

I'd say two weeks would be the shortest realistic deadline for a speed-build contest and that's pushing it.

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I'd be up for a speedbuild contest. Taking into account that most people attend school / college or have a full-time job, then I think a month would be the most practicle amount of time to get a suffienct amount of entries and produce something of decent to high quality.

 

"Impossible" I hear you say, but it isn't! what is impossible is to make a polished mission in a week, but you can do the polishing after the contest.

 

If your going to re-release a map with improved quality then doesn't that make it redundant as part opf a speedbuild contest?

Edited by Sir Taffsalot

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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I'd be up for a speedbuild contest. Taking into account that most people attend school / college or have a full-time job, then I think a month would be the most practicle amount of time to get a suffienct amount of entries and produce something of decent to high quality.

 

I agree that a month would be a good timeframe. How would you all feel about limiting the size of the build? So that the level has to fit for example within a certain doomunits x doomunits cube, or that it can only have a certain number of rooms?

 

I think having further limitations could help contestants avoid making overambitious levels while being more creative what little space they get.

Edited by kyyrma
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The whole point of a Speedbuild is to demonstrate what people can build in a set time frame. Limiting the amount they can build is counter productive as it limits the potential of what the mapper can create in said time frame. Eg you want to see how far I can run in 30 minutes but I can run no longer than 1 mile. I have reached 1 mile in 20 minutes but now I have to stop. I have ten minutes left so I can run further. Why do I have to stop?

 

A contest to see what you can do in a limited amount of space goes against the very nature of what you can do in a limited amount of time imho.

Edited by Sir Taffsalot

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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A contest to see what you can do in a limited amount of space goes against the very nature of what you can do in a limited amount of time imho.

 

While I see your point, the problem often is that people are really bad at evaluating what they can actually pull of in that limited timeframe. Especially if we are trying to get new, possibly first time mappers to join in the competition. For example in LD I think less than half of the projects started actually ever get finished, but that works in contest where there are thousands of participants.

 

But still, just my 2 cents.

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A month is a bad, horrible, and hideous timeframe.

 

Experience with the previous contests indicates that people have great difficulties in delivering their work before the deadline, and who can blame them? Mapping is fun, but it takes its time and people have their real life as well.

 

If you want a speedbuild, limit the size, not time. Limiting time limits the quality. Limiting size, but giving enough time yields small, but polished missions. Missions like Outpost, Trapped, Thieves, Too late and other kickass TDM classics that are replayed often, according to community comments.

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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On the other hand having a very relaxed time limit is not good for contests. Look at the Unusual gameplay Contest. It's been going on for a year now and has only 3 entries.

 

I can't see anyone trying to be overly ambitious with a one month speedbuild.

Edited by Sir Taffsalot

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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Experience with the previous contests indicates that people have great difficulties in delivering their work before the deadline

I suspect that has to do with quality standards, and short deadlines eliminate it.

 

The idea of week long contests isn't to produce high quality and polished results, but working prototypes that you can finish up after the contest if you like. My opinion is: I don't think it would hurt. Worst case scenario is the week would pass by and no one would deliver anything. Lesson learned. Best case scenario? we would end up with something like this. Not finished products, no stunning visuals or impressive scripted events, just sketches of missions with a good layout and gameplay elements.

 

Also, limiting size is tricky because people can cram a lot of stuff into a tight space, so that's not a good measure of anything. I think the result would be claustrophobic and epic missions that took months to complete.

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The Outpost was created in a week, and it's reasonably polished. And Fiasco at Fauchard only took 3 weeks.

Actually, only 11 days, and during most of those days I only had a few hours in the evening to build. Also, the mission exceeded its initial ambitions (granted, that's not a bad thing).

Edited by Melan
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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

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There was a 48 hour contest for Thief/Dromed just a few months ago. There were some really good entries. The main goal was to just finish with something playable, and then you could clean it up later and release as a "gold" edition in the future (I don't think anyone has done that...yet...).

Edited by brethren
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Sounds like 2 contests: one for beginners like me, one for you guys who can make small missions fairly quickly. Or maybe some kind of collaboration project for beginners, given that people won't all progress at the same rate. I've spent the last 3 weeks messing around with unnecessary modifications to AI behaviour in DR, so a reason to focus on delivering something would work for me :)

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If you want a speedbuild, limit the size, not time. Limiting time limits the quality. Limiting size, but giving enough time yields small, but polished missions. Missions like Outpost, Trapped, Thieves, Too late and other kickass TDM classics that are replayed often, according to community comments.
I totally agree with this approach. Limit the scope, not the build time. This would open the door much more to new mappers, because DR newbies will take longer to build but if the amount of stuff they have to build is smaller they'll be more likely to see it through to completion.

 

For my own part, I get 3-5 hour blocks once or twice a week to spend on the PC to map or otherwise, so if there were a contest with a one month deadline there's no way I could do it. However, if I had a couple months to produce a small space then that would be much more doable.

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I really think we should do a snowy Christmas themed contest.

 

Maybe we should have it so you only have to design a small house with only a couple of rooms then in the end either before or after the competition we can place all of those houses in a little city.

 

I think that would give us a great and real community built map... Provided people are interested of course

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@Goldwell - pretty cool idea, I'd love to see it happen. Someone could step in after the town has been put together and add some objectives and a story.

 

Maybe give people a week to build one house with no more than 5-10 rooms or something like that. Could have it all bundled up and ready to go by Xmas.

Edited by brethren
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The Builder Roads took me less then two weeks, where beta-testing took longer then actually building the mission.

 

I think that if you are really aiming for a speedbuild in reference to time, you have to keep the timeframe as short as possible. The lower the amount of time available, the more easier it is to get an idea what you can actually accomplish.

 

48 hours or one weekend sounds quite good to me. If the specific weekend is defined early enough people who wanna join can take this one off and invest two days in mapping. I also don't think that they will lose motivation within such a short timeframe.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

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