The Microcontest Megathread - Season 2

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14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
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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.

punchcard.png


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!

#NAMEDIFFICULTYDATE
11Rule of Threes (micro)3/5February 13
12Hit the Limits2/5March 6
13Mode Shifter1/5April 17
14Trains3/5May 22
15Robot Destruction5/5June 19
16Exclusion Zone2/5July 24
17Earth, Wind, and/or Fire2/5September 11
18Lockout3/5October 23
19Dynamic, Asymmetric KotH2/5November 20
20Static Spawns3/5January 22

If you've got questions leave them below or head over to the #microcontests-2021 channel on the Discord. Good luck everyone!
 
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14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
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The first microcontest of Season 2 begins on February 13th at 10:00 AM EST (15:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 3/5. It begins at the same time as the next Major and Minor contests, meaning all three will start at once.
 
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Punn Ames Ardum

L1: Registered
Jan 16, 2021
46
I hope with my little experience I'll be able to keep up; may not get that speedmapper punch but I best get all of the rest!
-and boy howdy this seems like it's gonna be a wild time for the first microcontest with the minor and major ones being announced along with them
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
564
Microcontest 13 begins on April 17th at 10:00 AM EDT (14:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 1/5*.

Sorry about the slightly late warning for this one! I'm in my last few weeks of university and have been very busy.

* this one's a bit odd and will vary slightly per person
 
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14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
564
Microcontest 14 begins on May 22nd at 10:00 AM EDT (14:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 3/5.

Brush up on working with Source's I/O system if you're out of practice; while this one is nowhere near as technically complex as MC5 or MC6, you will be required to do some entity work.
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
564
Microcontest 15 begins on June 19th at 10:00 AM EDT (14:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 5/5.

This is likely the most technically demanding microcontest we've ever run, and you will be required to do lots of work with entities and systems you might not be familiar with. A template will be provided, but you'll have to do plenty on your own as well. You've been warned.
 

Punn Ames Ardum

L1: Registered
Jan 16, 2021
46
I will completely ignore that warning, and make a mess that I will keep to myself for this challenge. (Can't wait!)
 

14bit

L14: Bit Member
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Oct 5, 2014
564
Microcontest 16 begins on July 24th at 10:00 AM EDT (14:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 2/5.

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

14bit

L14: Bit Member
aa
Oct 5, 2014
564
Microcontest 20 begins on January 22nd at 10:00 AM EST (15:00 UTC), and has a difficulty of 2/5.

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