Major Contest #14: Connect 5 (Results Thread)

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008

The time has finally come! This contest started no less than six months ago, and it will now be drawing to a close. A big thanks to @Berry for organizing this contest in the beginning, and to @LeSwordfish and @Another Bad Pun for being my fellow judges. Let's get on with the awards!

Final Placement Awards

Originally I intended to build tension by going through the caption awards before revealing the winners of the contest, but I'm enough of a stats junkie that the section became too long for its own good. Here's your top three overall maps!

1st: Hazyfort, by Asd417
7.062 overall

2nd: Yanqing, by Saph and Diva Dan
6.938 overall

3rd: Guava Gulf, by 14bit
6.883 overall​

A close call for sure! All four of you will be getting Mapper's Medallions in the near future. You'll also get to pick a game from our prize pool once the bearer of prizes (Phi) gets her computer fixed. Maybe sooner!

Caption Awards

I originally went into this wanting to give out caption awards, but it turns out that it's more interesting to just analyze the stats. Let's get into it:


| 1st | 2nd | 3rd
PUBLIC | Snowcastle | Yanqing | Hazyfort
JUDGES | Yanqing | Guava Gulf | Oasis

A surprising number of maps represented here! Everyone seemed to agree on Yanqing being pretty fun, but the rest is a good mixture.

The public had a hard time agreeing on anything at all - the lowest standard deviation of scores for gameplay is 1.5 and goes to Chounai, and the highest is 2.4, belonging to Ice Tower. 1.9 was the highest standard deviation in the judges scores (Oasis).

All three judges gave Log Place the same score, resulting in a 6 6 6 across the score sheet, bringing our satanic symbol count to one, something I didn't expect to need to keep track of. Make of that what you will.


| 1st | 2nd | 3rd
PUBLIC | Oasis | Hazyfort | Ice Tower / Snowcastle (tie)
JUDGES | Oasis | Yanqing | Hazyfort

Surprising nobody, the public and the judges both gave this to Oasis. All three judges gave Oasis a 9, which is a smidge higher than the public average of 8.8.

The highest standard deviation of any score in this contest, 2.5, goes to the judges aesthetic score for Chounai. By contrast, this was the least controversial category for public scoring, with no standard deviations above 2.0.

This category had the widest variety in judge scores overall as well. The most optimistic judge gave an average score of 7.1 across all maps, while the most pessimistic arriving at a 4.6. The centrist judge gave a 5.5. This is the only category free of satanic symbols. (January 23, 2019 edit: I missed a satanic symbol here: 999 becomes 666 if you turn it upside-down.)


| 1st | 2nd | 3rd
PUBLIC | Oasis | Chounai | Snowcastle
JUDGES | Oasis | Snowcastle | Hazyfort

Oasis takes this one again for both public and judges alike, with both scoring the map above a 9. However, the public seemed much more impressed - no other map got a public theme score above an 8, while the judges gave half of the map pool scores above 8. This probably best reflects that nobody was really sure how to use this category very well, but everyone could at least agree that Oasis was probably pretty good at it.

Guava Gulf has some interesting scores from the public. It has the second highest standard deviation at 2.2, but also has the second highest score.

The most optimistic judge of this category gave out the only 10s to appear in any of the judges scores, going to Oasis and Snowcastle. Funnily enough, the same judge was also the most pessimistic in all three other categories (although only very slightly).

All three judges gave Voltage a score of 6, resulting in our second satanic symbol so far. Furthermore, both Backwash and Chounai received average judge scores of 6.666, AND one judge gave an average theme score of 6.666 across all maps, bringing our count to five.


| 1st | 2nd | 3rd
PUBLIC | Oasis | Hazyfort | Snowcastle
JUDGES | Oasis | Yanqing | Snowcastle

Despite placing third and fourth in gameplay, Oasis came in with the highest overall score from both the public and the judges. Also interesting is Snowcastle, which placed second overall while being given third by either party. All in all, this demonstrates that withdrawing these two maps from the official placement was probably a good call.

The public and the judges could not agree on how to score Chounai, with a full 2 points between their average overall scores. On the other hand, almost everyone agreed on Yanqing, with only 0.125 points between the average overall scores. On average, the judges rated maps 0.4 points lower than the public.

Judges gave both Guava Gulf and Hazyfort an average overall score of 6.666, bringing us to a final satanic symbol count of seven, more than anyone could've ever hoped for.


Did the preliminary voting round predict the finalists? Decently. Half of the maps only moved one position (Guava Gulf was the only map that did not move at all). Most maps that moved more than that tended to stay within the top or bottom half that they were already in. The main standouts are Yanqing, which moved up three places from 7th to 4th, and Ice Tower, which moved down from 3rd to 6th.

Is there a correlation between the total number of map versions and the map's final score? Sorta. The least iterated map ended up last, and if you erase a few outliers, the trend is generally upwards. Most (3 of 5) of the maps below 6 points had fewer than five total versions, and most (3 of 5) of the maps above 6 points had 10 or more versions. Both of the outliers in the bottom half, Ice Tower and Backwash, are much larger maps than the other three that did follow the trend. Both of the outliers in the top half, Yanqing and Snowcastle, are smaller maps than the three that did follow the trend. Generally, the trend applied itself better to smaller maps than larger maps, and they were also consistently the least iterated maps.

Also, one more unexpected satanic symbol: One judge gave Backwash a 6 in every category.

All of the data is available on this Google Sheets document. I have also attached it as a Microsoft Excel file in case Google stops working before this website does.

All judge notes are available on this Google Docs document. I have also attached this as a .pdf for the same reasons as before. If you submitted a map to this contest, I highly recommend reading through this.

Thank you all for a wonderful contest, even if it took half a year from start to finish. We don't have any contests currently planned for the near future, but the detailing contest is currently in full swing and you can expect a 72 hour jam in the near future!


  • Connect 5 Finalist Scores and
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First off, I'd like to say congratulations to everyone who entered - whether you won or not. Being able to create a functional map that plays well in combat is an accomplishment in itself.

I'd like to thank staff for doing such a great job in organising and executing this contest. Limiting map factors in such a unique way really drove creativity in a fashion that I'm sure to try again as it completely changed my workflow and mindset for level design. Although it was a struggle at times, I'd say this is arguably one of the best contests to date. Everyone did an outstanding job and I can't wait to see what the future holds!

(edit: I forgot to say that a lot of the issues that plagued the map in the judges' notes were stuff we noted, but failed to fix without the possibility of any major revisions. And thanks to Dan for taking the map and improving it tenfold!)
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Nov 28, 2017
Congrats to the winners! This was a really fun contest, very unique and helped me make a complete(somewhat) TF2 map. Thanks to the people who made this contest!


L2: Junior Member
May 25, 2017
Winning maps look fantastic! Congrats! I hope this kind of contest will happen again??


L14: Bit Member
Oct 5, 2014
Congratulations to the other winners, all three of you did amazing work!

Thank you to all the voters, judges, the players who gave feedback, participated in tests, and mappers that made maps for the contest! I would have never expected my strange little PLR experiment to make it this far, so thank you so much for the help and encouragement. Thanks to everyone who made custom content that I used as well; the map wouldn't be the same without it. This has been an amazing learning experience, and I'm excited to see where all the maps submitted to the contest will go in the future.

Fun facts: the development of this map involved over 40 drawings and sketches of 14 different stage designs that I worked on or considered over the course of the contest. Seven of those designs had work done in hammer, five of which were completed and tested. The stage design that inspired me to start the map in the first place was one of the two that was started but was never finished or tested!