The Microcontest Megathread 2020

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14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
Welcome to the realm of Microcontests! For every month in 2020* I'll be running a Microcontest to see how far we can push speedmapping for TF2.

Be warned! These things aren't for the faint of heart. You'll be expected to be able to make an entirely functional map in only a few short hours. The goal is to play around with new ideas and experiment with maps that are easy to throw out if they don't work. Don't get discouraged if your maps end up sucking; that's the point!

What's a Microcontest?

A Microcontest is a mapping event run almost entire in one day. Usually you'll only have a few hours to make an entire map from start to finish. You will not know the theme or rules until the day of the Microcontest.

Microcontests are focused on pushing rapid layout prototyping, are highly experimental, and are highly demanding. They're focused on providing a challenge for more experienced mappers, but are open to any skill level.

Some Microcontest have starting .vmf files with logic pre-built, others are multiple phases, and some require teamwork. Please read the rules for each one carefully!

How do I participate?

There are four parts to each Microcontest:
1) Planning
2) Mapping
3) Compiling
4) Testing


1) On the day of a Microcontest, a thread will be posted containing the rules and deadlines, usually an hour before the clock starts. This is the planning phase. At any point during planning or mapping, simply reply to the contest thread stating you are joining to enter.

2) Once the clock starts, make a map! You don't have to seal the map, add lighting, or compile before the deadline, but you can if you'd like.

3) Once time is up, you have one hour to light, seal, compile, and upload. Basically do whatever you need to do except make layout changes. Edit a link to your submission into the original post you made before the compile hour is over. You should only ever have one post in the contest thread until after the event ends!

4) Once all maps have been collected, I will host a Microcontest test on the servers. Within one week, I will provide feedback on all the entries.

I've noticed past contests have a difficulty associated with them, what's that about?

All Microcontest announcements have an estimated time commitment and difficulty level I've come up with. The time commitment is given as a reasonable minimum, which only includes the mapping and compiling phases. You don't need to participated in the tests in order to submit an entry.

The difficulty is given on a scale from 1 to 5, here's what they roughly what the numbers mean:
1 - A 72hr Jam entry
2 - A small symmetrical map in 3 hours
3 - A medium-sized map in 3 hours
4 - A more complex mode like PASS Time 4 hours
5 - An entire two-stage payload map in 5 hours

Are there winners?

Yes and no. Due to the high number of participants it's proven to be a logistical nightmare to judge the maps will any level of fairness. I've also concluded that judging maps also goes against the point of these events; you were being encouraged to be experimental while also encouraged to try and play it safe to score well. As such, these are now contests against yourself and the clock. If you finish a map within the time limit, you can consider yourself a winner!

How can I stay informed about Microcontests?

We've got a Microcontestant channel and role on out Discord server! I send out pings for Microcontest announcement, when they start, when the current Microcontest reaches a deadline, and when Microcontest testing occurs. You can join the role by heading to the Bot channel in the Discord and typing
?rank Microcontestant

I'll be posting in this thread every time a new date is announced. Threads for individual Microcontests will show up in the Contests subforum.

When's the next one?

Here's a handy chart of past and future Microcontests with dates. If there isn't a date listed, it hasn't been announced yet!

#NAMEDIFFICULTYDATE
1spontainious unofficial micro 72 minute map contest1/5February 5
2Multistage Madness5/5March 16
3Pick It Up, But Faster3/5April 11
4Arena+2/5May 23
5PASS Time Panic4/5June 27
6BATT Builder3/5July 25
7Soaked!2/5August 22
8Thinking Inside the Box2/5October 17
9Buddy System2/5November 14
10Spiritual SuccessorN/ADecember 5

If you've got any other questions leave them below or head over to the Microcontest channel on the Discord and I'll do my best to answer them. Good luck everyone!

* I missed January, and there was not a Microcontest in September due to the 72hr Jam
 
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14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
The next Microcontest will take place on Saturday, June 27th, with the theme posted being posted at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC). The estimated difficulty is 3/5-ish.

Be warned!

This one has fairly complex technical requirements for your map's logic. You will be provided a starter .vmf with all necessary logic and I will do my best to troubleshoot, but if you don't know what the I/O system is at all I won't be able to help you. I recommend brushing up on your logic if you're unsure!
 

SnickerPuffs

(*single chuckle*)
aa
Apr 10, 2014
1,222
Be warned!
This one has fairly complex technical requirements for your map's logic. You will be provided a starter .vmf with all necessary logic and I will do my best to troubleshoot, but if you don't know what the I/O system is at all I won't be able to help you. I recommend brushing up on your logic if you're unsure!

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being door logic and 5 being the mess that Pont had to make to have Hotted Boobs play well, how would you rate the difficulty of this logic?
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
On a scale of 1 to 5, [...] how would you rate the difficulty of this logic?

I'd say around a 2 or a 3, depending on if you're familiar with the entities in question or not, which I cannot reveal. If people use the starter .vfm I'm working on it shouldn't be bad. I'm trying to make it as easy to follow as possible!
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
The next Microcontest will take place on Saturday, July 25th, with the theme posted being posted at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC). The estimated difficulty is 3/5.

This one will also include a starter .vmf, but has significantly lower technical requirements than the last Microcontest.
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
The next Microcontest will take place on Saturday, October 17th, with the theme posted being posted at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC). The difficulty is 2/5.

This Microcontest will include a starter .vmf, but has extremely low technical requirements.
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
The next Microcontest will take place on Saturday, November 14th, with the theme posted being posted at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC). The difficulty is 2/5.

Due to the nature of this one, it will be very, very difficult if not impossible to join late, so make sure you’re ready when the time comes! It is highly recommended that you are signed up for the Microcontestant role on our Discord server so you don’t miss anything.
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
563
The final Microcontest of the year will take place on Saturday, December 5th, with the theme posted being posted at 11:00 AM EDT (16:00 UTC).

Due to the nature of the prompt there is no official difficulty rating.
 
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