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TF2Maps.net Major Contest #9 - Mann vs. Machine

Discussion in 'Contests' started by Seba, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the ninth major TF2Maps.net contest: Mann vs Machine. MVM has only been out for a few months, but already we've seen what people do with the mode when making custom maps, and the way strategies have evolved on the 3 existing official maps. We've seen new waves made, both trivially easy and deviously hard. And now it's your turn.


    Summary
    You have about 2½ months to create a Mann vs Machine map with fully functional entities and at least one custom population file. It is up to you to determine how difficult your population file is, but it is advised you remember that players like to be challenged.



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    Rules
    • Must be a completely functioning MVM map, including at least one population file.
    • Collaboration is allowed. It's a coop game mode, so why not?
      You may collaborate with one other person only.
      Maximum of two entries per author.
      One person cannot take full or partial credit for more than two maps, no matter their role.​
    • Each entry must have a thread posted at least two weeks before the end of the contest in the Contest Entries subforum.
      This is a community event and posted a thread encourages feedback, participation, and friendly competition.
      Maps without a thread posted before or on February 4th, 2013 will be disqualified.​
    • Must use the standard game mechanics/system as official maps.
    • Must be able to spawn 6 RED players. More spawns are recommended (the official maps have more to vary spawn location).
    • No directly copying any existing map, whether made by Valve, you, or someone else.
      Inspiration and ideas are fine; copy and paste is not.
      You may not recycle your old maps into this one.​
    Other things that should be mentioned to avoid confusion:
    • Custom content is allowed. All publicly released content will not count toward a collaboration. More than a "few" custom assets for a specific map from a single author will count as a collaboration; the first "few" won't be. This will be enforced on a case by case basis.
      "Publicly released content" means content that is available for download and use by anyone, at least one month before the submission deadline.​
    • TF2M Staff and Officers are allowed to win. Contest judges are not.


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    Deadline
    The contest will end February 18th, 2013. Submissions will open one week before the deadline.

    Check your timezone! Countdown!

    After the deadline closes there will be a 72 hour grace period to fix any critical errors and mistakes. This will be handled on a case by case basis. The grace period is not "extra time", it's a safety net to prevent crashing servers and broken map logic.

    Late entries will not be accepted! Make sure you plan ahead and avoid the risk of having 2½ months of work get disqualified.



    Judgment Procedure
    Eligibility: Maps will be checked and disqualified when the contest ends if they do not meet the rules.

    Depending on the number of entries, there may be a preliminary vote to make a set of finalists. Don't worry, we want to judge as many maps as possible; we just also want to keep it realistic for judges and players, especially considering the time investment for MVM maps.

    Judging Criteria
    Gameplay & Balance (30% of final score) - Is the layout intuitive? Are battles created in the right areas? Is the map scaled properly? Are pickups well placed?
    Waves (30%) - Are the waves fun? Do they progress linearly in difficulty? Can you beat the waves with varied teams?
    Aesthetics (20%) - Does it look good? Does it evoke a theme or place? Are any materials or models out of place?
    Performance & Technical (20%) - Is the map well optimized? Is it well clipped? Is the filesize excessive?

    First Component: Popular Vote
    • One thread will be made where votes will be posted to. The first post will contain a template vote which voters will copy and paste as their reply, changing the numbers to reflect their opinions.
    • In that thread, voters will have the opportunity to grade each map for all categories, from 1-10, as well as giving a short summary if they wish.
    • The results of each vote, after the judging time is over, will be calculated together to get an average rating for each map.
    • Users MAY NOT grade their own maps.
    • The goal of the popular vote is to get an overall rating for each map based on everyone's impression of how fun it is. It prevents judges' votes from counting too much, and makes sure the winners are indicative of our entire community's feelings.

    Second Component: Judge's Votes
    • There will be a panel of judges. Anyone who feels they have the expertise to provide a higher-than-standard level of feedback should send a PM to me (Seba) with a statement about what you feel qualifies you before February 11th, 2013. Once the site staff have decided on whether or not to accept your application you'll be contacted and will gain access to a new judges-only forum when signed in.
    • The judges' own entries will be disqualified from winning; they will receive marks but will not be eligible to place in the final rankings. Judges may review their own maps but their rating will not be calculated into the maps total score.
    • Judges will playtest each map considerably on their own, via the TF2Maps.net server or private servers.
    • Each judge will rank each category on a scale of 1-10 and include a write-up of their decision making process per map. The judges' ratings will be averaged for each map. Each step of this process will be publicized.
    • The goal of the judges' vote is to get a professional look at each map, with a high degree of scrutiny that the mapmakers can use to improve their skills in the future. It prevents a tyranny of the majority, wherein people vote on maps in a popularity contest, thus making the rankings fairer.
    • The judge's average ratings will be multiplied by a factor of .5, and the popular average ratings by a factor of .5. This means a 50%-50% split. They will be added together to achieve the maps final ratings.
    • The maps' ratings will be published, the ineligible maps (like the judges') removed, and then the final rankings posted. The final rankings will determine the winners.


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    Prizes
    The authors of the top 3 maps will each be presented with a Map Maker's Medallion! In addition...

    First Place
    Any game on Steam ($60 max value) AND
    6 months of VIP donor status

    Second Place
    Any item(s) from the TF2 Valve Store ($25 max value) AND
    3 months of VIP donor status

    Third Place
    1 month of VIP donor status

    If a winning map is the result of a collaboration, the authors will decide how the maximum prize money will be split between them (both authors will receive the full length of VIP status). Prizes are subject to change.



    F.A.Q.
    Q: Can you explain the collaboration rules a bit more, please?
    A: Sure. You can submit up to two entries to this contest. On each entry, you can collaborate with up to one other person. You can collaborate with the same person twice, or two different people. If we discover three or more people working on one map, we will deal with the situation on a case by case basis, resulting in at the very least the map being disqualified, and maybe all authors disqualified entirely. Collaborations can be in any way you desire: one person can only write the population file(s), or one person can make custom assets, or one person can build the layout and the other can artpass, or anything you can think of. It is up to you.

    Q: How many waves need to be in my population file?
    A: Doesn't matter. If you think it's fun, do it. It could be one very long one (like Wave 666) or several more intermediate ones or anything and everything in between. The choice is yours!

    Q: Who do I contact if I have specific questions about the contest?
    A: Seba, through Steam or forum PM.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    Turbo Lover, phi, ev149 and 9 others thanked this.
  2. Dr. Element

    aa Dr. Element My asylum gave up and asked me to scram

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    I suppose it's alright to use ideas you've already thought out before? E. g. remaking brushwork you made earlier for a mvm map that you never really got around making playable.
     
  3. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    I answered this in chat, but I will do it here too for everyone else. As long as you totally remake everything, I don't really see a problem with it. In this specific case, Dr Element is talking about something that comprises about 10 brushes and a prop, so I would say it's fine if he just starts over now.

    The rule he's questioning is in place to prevent someone using an old layout or complex geometry you've already spent a long time on. If you have doubts about this, contact Seba or another admin as soon as possible.
     
  4. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR I do things sometimes.

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    Now here is where I have some fun.

    You say that the map is to use the standard mechanics and systems. I assume that is saying "Beat bots, get upgrades"

    Are we allowed to make the win conditions something that isn't "Survive all the bot waves" but instead "Do XYZ objective while surviving bot waves?"

    For example: There is a rocket ship, the team must fuel the rocket by bringing fuel to the fueling stations to fill up the tank. The bots obviously don't want you doing this and want to blow up the rocket, so you need to defend the rocket, fueling stations AND fuel the rocket while defending against wave after increasingly difficult wave of robots.


    tl;dr: Can we make objective based MvM where the objective isn't necesarilly just to survive?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  5. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    IMO your idea sounds too complicated to be fun, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be allowed. In general, as long as you don't shun MvM in favor of the other objective I'm okay with it.
     
  6. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR I do things sometimes.

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    I've thought a lot about it, and it's not as complex as you think.

    Thanks for the response.
     
  7. Micnax

    aa Micnax L0: Terribly Lazy Mapper

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    Aw yes. I've wanted to start on a new map recently now that Arroyo is almost out of the way!
     
  8. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    I'm kind of only very slightly interested. Certainly if anyone wants a detail buddy i'd be up for that.

    Can we get it so that contest entries show up on the front page with other new maps, though?
     
  9. henke37

    henke37 L13: Stunning Member

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    There are problems with nonstandard win conditions. Technical problems as well as design problems.

    There is the issue of wave retries.

    And there is the issue of ensuring that there are waves of enemies coming even if the objective takes a long time.
     
  10. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Hmm. I think I can do that. No promises. I will look into it.

    It's up to Frozen to make it work, make it fun, and make it fit in the contest. We'd rather be inclusive of creative ideas rather than exclusive, even if personally we think they sound totally whack.
     
    Freyja thanked this.
  11. henke37

    henke37 L13: Stunning Member

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    I never claimed that the issues can't be solved. I'd love to see some new game mode.
     
  12. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR I do things sometimes.

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    You have the win conditions fire based on the entities, not the pop file.

    Yes, my idea (mvm_fuel) same ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure that when it's done, it'll work.
     
  13. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX Demopan extraordinaire

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    The contest forum is known to be flooded with "map name reservation topics". No one wants that on the first page right?
     
    Sel and theharribokid thanked this.
  14. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

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    Agreed. If we're going to have contest maps show up on the front page they should only be posted when there's actual content, just like everything else. Until then, maybe a name reservation thread in the contests forum and use the WIP thread?
     
  15. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Good point guys. That is probably why they don't get on the front page.
     
  16. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    Speaking of, and slightly off topic here, but why doesn't the Showcase forum show up on the front page? I hadn't noticed until we got a map in there, and I honestly barely went in there because of it.
     
  17. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    The way that widget works is it checks for new releases when they are created. So Stoneyridge was there whenever you posted the thread. That's something I've been meaning to figure out if I can change and we've talked about before, because most new maps are a boring image or no image and don't tell you anything useful.
     
  18. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    Ohhh I thought we were talking about the new forum posts list below that.
     
  19. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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  20. Sel

    Sel Banned

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    No one visits the main page anyway so what does it matter :3