ATTENTIONThe following map, as well as the story that will soon be told, are in fact, true. This is not a "joke" map, nor is this a "lol he's trying to get a reward for doing a purposely bad map" map. I'm not going for "Least changed," or anything. It's more of a personal thing for me. If you are here to complain about anything, or object to my being here, please PM me instead of post here. Let's make the moderators' jobs easier. ATTENTION Now that I have your attention, I may begin my story. When this contest was announced, I was very excited. I, who had very little mapping experience at the time, was finally presented with a chance to learn the in's-and-out's of a fully functional Valve-brand map, without it being overly complicated. This was good news for me. I had decided to make an Egyptian-styled map early on, but after a short time, I changed it into a more Australian-themed one. I had that in mind for a long time, slowly making progress. Then, something entirely inconceivable (Princess Bride FTW) happened. A virus had infected my computer, forcing me to reinstall most of my programs (once I FINALLY managed to get rid of the stupid thing), and in the process, I lost all of my ,VMF-files. Very annoyed, I RE-downloaded the basic artpass_valvebase map, and started over. Progress was very slow. Eventually, with the contest deadline in sight (as well as my own birthday, sharing the due-date), I decided to go with my original concept of making an Egyptian-styled map (I made very little progress restoring my Australian one). I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. And here I am today. So, now that the backstory is out of the way, on to the map, and why I feel that it should be judged instead of disqualified immediately. Regarding the rules: Here are the basic rules of the contest... The layout of the map must remain the same. The map must be optimized to the point where it can be released to the public (Fade distances, Hints, Areaportals etc.). Custom content is allowed, but you must have permission from the content creator, because, should you win, the files would need to be officially acquired by Valve. The original author of the content must have source files to prove that they made it. This means you need to ask the content creators, not just give credit! Mapping collaborations are not allowed in any form, as it presents a significant disadvantage for everyone who works alone. You are allowed to use an artist to create specific props/textures for your detailing, but the actual map detail must be done by you. You are not allowed to advertise anything in your map, so no using those TF2Maps.net posters, Novint ones, or ads for other any communities. Your map must be named in this fashion: artpass_yourusername.bsp and have a thread in the Contest Entries forum. And here is my response and technical answer for them... The layout is nearly identical to the original; all of the changes I made are purely cosmetic and in no way affect gameplay or flow. Due to the lack of change, optimization was sparse. The basic map ran very well; all of my changes (for the most part) are contained in area-portaled off rooms. There is no custom content here, thus, this rule does not apply to me. There was no collaborations here (obviously, hehe), thus, this rule does not apply to me. There are no advertisements here, thus, this rule does not apply to me. My map is in the form "artpass_username" (ie. artpass_sven), and thus, I have followed the rules. Now then, the obvious flaw: The map is not finished! :facepalm: Through a loophole, however, it is perfectly clear that the rules do not say that the map must be finished, only the above rules apply. So, technically speaking, my map is just as worthy for Valve to judge as anyone else's. To all the people who are most likely saying "yeah, but, why would you bother with this if you can't map, or can't even FINISH a map that was made for you?", let me just say this. I tried. I REALLY tried. Over the course of this competition, I've learned much about mapping, such as how areaportals work, how to use the clipping tool, why NOT to carve, WHEN to carve, and in general, how to make things interesting and fun. I do not claim to be good at mapping; if anything, I claim the opposite. But, I am proud of my work, and one day plan on releasing the finished version of this map, as well as my other failed prototypes. Thank you for your time, and best regards to all of you. Sven :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: PS. Valve, if you are reading this, I want you to know that I appreciate all of the hard work that you (as a company) put into everything you do. The SPUF users do not represent the entire community.