Get ready to clock back in for Microcontests Season 2! Once more, I'll be running monthy microcontests focused on strange rules, wacky restrictions, and pushing the limits of TF2 speed mapping. 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 under a day. Most of the time what you make will suck, but that's half of the fun! What's new for Season 2? Last year, most microcontests had a standard 1 hour planning block, 3 hour time limit, and an extra hour to compile followed by testing during the same day. This regularly confused people, and made it difficult for people to participate across time zones and around work and school. This time, we're shaking things up. Here's the new format for Season 2: All microcontests will have one hour of planning, followed by 23 hours of mapping and compiling. That means that from the moment the theme is announced, you have 24 hours to plan, make, compile, and submit your map. Due to this longer time frame, late entries will not be accepted. You may not submit your entry for testing before the official microcontest testing period, or you will not receive feedback. Testing will begin one hour after the deadline, with feedback arriving later the same day as the testing. Winning, Losing, and the Punchcard Despite the name, microcontests aren't traditional contests. It's you against the clock and the rule set, and you can count yourself as a winner if you finish something—anything!—before time is up. That being said, this season I'm introducing a fun new way to track your progress and push yourself if you feel like going for it: The Punchcard. Grab this image, customize your card, and clock in at the start of each microcontest! You can collect up to four punches for each micocontest: Participation Punch: Enter the microcontest Completion Punch: Finish your entry for the microcontest Speedmapper Punch: Complete the geometry of your entry in under 4 hours Bonus Punch: Complete the microcontest's optional bonus challenge The punch card is purely decorative, and you don't need to fill one out to participate. It's just a fun way to track your progress throughout the season. Bonus objectives are new; they're optional rules and restrictions that you can try for to gain an extra punch. They'll be unique for each microcontest. Keep in mind that it might not always be possible to complete both the speedmapper punch and the bonus punch at the same time! Where do I sign up? This season, you no longer need to sign up. Just drop a link to your finished submission in each microcontest's thread before time is up! If you want to stay informed about upcoming microcontests, you can watch this thread, take a peek at the #microcontests-2021 channel in the Discord, or join the Microcontestant role in the Discord server by heading to the #bot channel and typing ?rank Microcontestant When's the next one? Here's a handy chart of this season's microcontests with dates and difficulties. This will be updated as things are announced! # NAME DIFFICULTY DATE 11 Rule of Threes (micro) 3/5 February 13 12 Hit the Limits 2/5 March 6 13 Mode Shifter 1/5 April 17 14 Trains 3/5 May 22 15 Robot Destruction 5/5 June 19 16 Exclusion Zone 2/5 July 24 17 Earth, Wind, and/or Fire 2/5 September 11 18 19 20 If you've got questions leave them below or head over to the #microcontests-2021 channel on the Discord. Good luck everyone!