Third annual TF2M mapping contest We've expanded quite a bit in all areas This time around, authors can choose from 2 game modes. The first, as I'm sure you guessed, is the new Payload Race. You can get the entity setup in this oh-so-handy resource pack, courtesy of our resident Snark; Payload Race Gameplay The second mode is a CTF variant, which I have outlined below. The contest will end on October 30 at 11:00pm (23:00) U.S. Central Daylight Time. That gives you just under 4 months. Contest rules and judging can be viewed further down (and I suggest you do so). As an aside, the requisite posters are far less intrusive, so authors should have a much easier time using them. One more thing regarding posters. They are required in order to show a little love to the people who make this possible. Obviously, nobody can stop you from removing them once the contest has ended. However, you are expected to go on the honor system and keep them. New Game Mode (yay) The other officers and I have decided that TF2 doesn't have enough flags, and it's a problem we wish to correct. I mean come'on, flags are a staple of gaming It will still use the prefix 'ctf_'. However, instead of the normal 'steal the other teams intelligence' battle, we have added flags to the classic Attack/Defend mode like in Dustbowl. Some important things to note; Unlike CPs, flag caps are instant. So Red will need to coordinate smart defense. Flags will also return to base after a short period of time, which means Blu will need to continually press the action in order to keep the flag alive. Since the focus of battle (the flag) can literally cross the map in seconds, there is a possibility for heavy fighting in every corner of playable space. The gameplay entities for this new CTF are packaged and ready to go. Big thanks to Youme for putting this together. CTF Prefab User l3eeron has done a terrific remake of Avanti using this mode. Check it out here. As written by Youme Here's how it works, if you've used A Boojum Snark's entity library you already have a head start! The gamemode: Blu have a flag in setup time, they pick up the flag and carry it to the first cap once setup time is up 15 seconds later they're supplied with a new flag. This new one appears on the point they just capped The new flag is taken to the next point, and so on. The flag has a 20 second return time, no other ill effects on the bearer like slowdown. Red can stand near the point to block a capture, blu must remove all reds from the area to cap the point. Nothing can be built in a small radius around the point. Time is added every time a flag is captured, roughly 2.5 minutes Most of the outputs are sent by the flags themselves using the "onCapture" output. There isn't a lot more to it than that. if you have any troubles with it or have any other questions don't hesitate to get in touch via PM. Rules (boring I know, but please read carefully) * Map can be either Payload Race (Payload Race Gameplay) or CTF (CTF Prefab) * CTF (ctf_): Number of flags/caps per stage must be at least 2, and at most 4. The total number of flags/caps (across all stages) must be at least 3, and at most 8. * The cart may be any sensible cart sized model. I.e. the official bomb, snipergen's dirty bomb, the mining cars, the little alpine train thing, etc. * Same goes for the flags. You can use a custom flag model, so long as it is easy to recognize. * CTF must also use the established team setup; Blu attacking and Red defending. * Collaborations are not allowed. Aside from the fact that splitting prizes would be a nightmare, it also presents a significant disadvantage for everyone who works alone. * Absolutely no gophers, or other form of minion-based help. * Must be able to spawn 32 players (16 per team spawnroom) * Map must include these decals/overlays: At least 1 poster for the Chaos Sponsor (Chaos 1)(Chaos 2). And any 1 of the fine TF2M posters; #1,#2,#3,#4,#5 * You are free to make your own posters, but please send me a pm so I can affirm them. * TF2M officers are allowed to win, but the contest judges are not. Edit 1: Poster requirements are as follows. Our goal this time is to use something subtle, so both the map and the resources can be candidates for official Valve maps. The official posters (to be released later) will reflect this. For example, one will likely be an edit of Youme's Fortress Builders sign. The website is removed, and replaced w/ the Hammer symbol Youme edit: now available here. Just a subtle nod to our group. Likewise w/ the Calculated Chaos sponsor, their official poster will be something along the lines of 'Red/Blu Chaos', and using the text or background picture of the group. Again, the official posters will be released shortly Youme edit: the first of the calculated chaos signs are available here. If you wish to make your own, please please please for the love of jeebus, send me a pm so I can confirm them. To date, I have not had to disqualify an entry for any contest, big or small. But showing a little loving to the people who make all this possible is a requirement, so don't try to be cheap about it. Addendum Custom materials are acceptable. This includes models, textures, and the TF2M + Calculated Chaos posters. The timing and other attributes of the entity setups can be adjusted as the author sees fit. If you have any questions about any part of the contest, please ask me. For example, I recently got a pm from a user asking about modifying the way stages are handled in PLR. Suffice to say I told the user that his idea was very creative, and ok for the contest. My stand on collaborations is not going to change. We may have a partners-only contest in the future, but this is not it. Using prefabs is not considered a collab. I would like to assuage any fears about the amount of time being given. Three and a half months may not seem like much time. Or it could be far too much time and you'll get bored, it depends on who you ask. Regardless, summer is the pinnacle of free time for most people. If I feel an extension is needed, it will be done sooner (like half-way in) rather than a few weeks before the deadline, like last time. Judgement Procedure * Depending on the number of entries received (more than a dozen or so), we may do a preliminary popular vote in order to bring the number down to something reasonable. Think of it as the semi-finals, after which the normal popular+judges system will be used for the remaining maps. These are the categories that will be used, but the questions are just examples to get you thinking in the right direction. 1. Gameflow: Are signs properly used, and not overwhelming? Do the various pathways make sense? Are spawns timed properly to create battles in the right areas? Are travel times acceptable? Is there good use of playerclipping? (can't get to areas outside the map). 2. Balance: Do RED and BLU stand an even chance of winning the map? Is there a fair contest for each control point? Can each class hold their own in the map? Is any one overpowered or underpowered? Is there a good distribution of health and ammo kits? 3. Detailing: Is the map intricate and beautiful? Is there a high level of polish to the map? 4. Optimization: Is there any lag during major fights? Did the mapmaker spend time improving framerates? Were func_details, areaportals, hints properly implemented? (Note: a map would not be penalized for lacking one of these components if it runs well irregardless) Small factor: Did the mapmaker try to keep filesize reasonable- lightmap optimizations, etc? 5. Style: Does the map fit the style of TF2? Do the individual detailing choices make the map feel put together, or discordant? Is the environment visually pleasing? 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 this thread, voters will have the opportunity to grade each map for all categories, from 1-5, as well as giving a short summary if they wish. This differs from our previous "Pick your favourite" methods, which tended to polarize results and leave several entrants with no votes. * 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- Judges' votes * There will be a panel of about 5 judges. They all have experience mapping and are long-standing members of the community. Some have followed the contest very closely and some have followed it loosely, so we'll have both new perspectives and overall perspectives. * Judges' own entries will be disqualified for 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 map's total score. * Judges will playtest each map considerably on their own, via the tf2maps.net server or private servers. * Each of the 5 categories is worth 20%. * Each judge will rank each category on a scale of 1-5 and include at least a brief 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 judges' average ratings will be multiplied by a factor of .4, and the popular average ratings by a factor of .6. This means a 40%-60% 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. The entire formula for a map's rating is such: ((Voter's category scorings added up)/5)/(Number of votes) * .6 + ((Judges' category scorings added up)/5)/(Number of judges) *.4 = Final ranking. This formula will be published with all variables so that we all know it was a fair contest. Third component - Eligibility * Rather simple: Did the entrant meet all rules and requirements? MAKE SURE YOU DO! We will be doing everything we can to avoid disqualification! Review the rules! Please! Discussion -> Maps - TF2Maps.net Forums Submissions -> http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=cat&id=8 Prizes (now the good part ) Update: Due to the sheer number of submissions, the game modes will be scored separately from each other. So the two first-place scores will choose a prize, then the two second-place, and so on. Calculated Chaos, http://gaming.calculatedchaos.com/ Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle Deluxe Exodus Society, http://www.exodus-society.com/ 3 months of a server, TF2 poster pack. Valve, http://www.valvesoftware.com/ This is a full list of items we have received courtesy of Valve. Only a few will be awarded for this contest. The remainder will be used for future events. 2x TF2 t-shirts, 4x TF2 mouse pads, ~30x TF2 class key chains, ~30x TF2 trading card packs. TF2M, www.tf2maps.net 8x TF2M mouse pads. Novint, http://home.novint.com/ Novint Falcon game controller.