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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » Pretty Town Contest 2019 - Results are IN!
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Topic Subject:Pretty Town Contest 2019 - Results are IN!
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HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 06-06-19 09:25 AM CT (US)         


It's baaaaack! AoKH's unquestionably most popular contest is once again upon us, making it once again time to design your pretty towns. The premise is simple: design the most outstanding town or city map you can! Combat and gameplay are absent, in favour of allowing the player (and the judges) to leisurely tour your map and explore all the attractions your busy (or deserted) towns have to offer. If you are interested and considering entering, please be sure to read all of the rules below before committing your name in a reply. Last time this contest was run in 2017 proved to be the most competitive and exciting contest in AoKH's history, with only 3 points separating first from third. Lord Basse and Julius, both former winners, were crowned joint kings, while Mr. Wednesday, another former winner, rounded out the top three. Five other excellent entries would all also score above average. This year can't possibly top that, or can it? Perhaps some of AoKH's former greats will return for one last hurrah to outdo even themselves, or some bright new face will harness the power of three new expansions to claim the most coveted trophy in AoK design!

Submit all entries to the Showcase Scenarios category in the Blacksmith, with the initials "PTC19" typed in the submission title. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST, November 30th. It must meet the requirements listed below to be eligible for judging. Otherwise, you will face disqualification. As an added note, we will not be approving the files in the Blacksmith until the judging phase has passed, so don't worry if your submission doesn't appear. Our goal is to run the contests this year simultaneously with long deadlines, hopefully encouraging people to enter whatever they feel like and plan their designing hours accordingly.

In addition, please keep in mind that this contest strictly follows the guidelines of how the PTC was previously run and judged to keep with the tradition and intended nature of the contest.


Rules

1. No cut-scenes are allowed, except for opening dialogue to set up the scenario. The player must gain access to their unit(s) within 1 minute of in game time.
2. No combat allowed. Player 1 must win the scenario without having to kill or attack anything.
3. One entry per person or per team only.
4. The use of Userpatch and AOK:HD are allowed.
5. The Use of The Forgotten Expansion, African Kingdoms, and Rise of the Rajas is permitted.
6. Graphical or data mods are not allowed.
7. Any mapsize up to 255x255 is allowed.
8. There is no trigger limit. However, the use of extra triggers will not necessarily warrant a higher score. Be warned however, that everything which is allowed can be used to increase your score.
9. The use of custom soundtracks and sound effects is permitted and encouraged. Everything which is allowed can be used to increase your score. If using custom sound files, please specify somewhere on which speed the scenario is to be played, as otherwise the soundtracks might overlap if the scenario is played on a speed other than what the designer intended, which will cause points to be deducted.
10. You must supply at least 1 unit that the judge can scout with. Any unit may be used, though the judges will deduct points for unnecessarily slow units which decrease the enjoyment of the scenario.
11. A story is encouraged to add further interest, however no 3,000 word epics please. Alternatively, you can have a short narrative, a journal from a traveller or a history of the land to get us, the tourist, into it all! Use whatever you like, but make sure to remember that this is a design-oriented contest. That said, everything which is allowed can be used to increase your score.
12. Please submit your scenario in campaign (.cpx) format.


One final note. Everything which is allowed can be used to increase your score. As story, soundtracks, and triggers are allowed, it stands to reason that they will matter. Judges experience everything as a whole.


Judging

All entries will be judged on how they look, however only what is seen will be judged. The categories are simple and are as follows:

Aesthetic (20) - Covers how the map looks and fits into the world in which it is set. Simply, how well does the design work? How real does the world feel? This criteria also takes into account the atmosphere of the scenario and the overall quality of the design.
Creativity (10) - Covers the creative elements you incorporate into your map and designs.
Layout (15) - Covers the layout of your map. How the different districts of your town connect with each other, layout of the countryside, landmarks, monuments, city design and structure, etc. This category is less concerned with the minute details of your map design and more with the overall arrangement of your town or city, and specifically your vision for the scenario map.
Attention to Detail (5) - Covers the clever little details that make your map stand out and the overall polish of your scenario. Judges will reward careful thought and object placement, renaming of objects, etc. Nothing is too insignificant to be overlooked. Marks may be deducted for mistakes such as 'floating objects', split cliffs, overlapping soundtracks, music or sound effects that are far too loud or too soft, etc.

(total of 50 possible points)



Prizes
To be confirmed...



Judges
1. HockeySam18
2. Devious Dev
3.



Past Pretty Town Contest Entries for Inspiration:




Results:


1st Lord Basse:
HockeySam18: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (3rd)
Devious Dev: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (1st)
Total: 100/100

1st Mr. Wednesday:
HockeySam18: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (1st)
Devious Dev: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (3rd)
Total: 100/100

1st Julius999:
HockeySam18: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (2nd)
Devious Dev: 20 + 10 + 15 + 5 = 50/50 (2nd)
Total: 100/100

4th Possidon
HockeySam18: 17 + 7 + 12 + 4 = 40/50
Devious Dev: 14 + 8 + 14 + 2 = 38/50
Total: 78/100

5th Zetnus
HockeySam18: 12 + 7 + 10 + 4 = 33/50
Devious Dev: 14 + 7 + 9 + 3 = 33/50
Total: 66/100

6th MrMew
HockeySam18: 8 + 4 + 10 + 2 = 24/50
Devious Dev: 14 + 6 + 10 + 3 = 33/50
Total: 57/100

7th Igelior
HockeySam18: 6 + 2 + 5 + 2 = 15/50
Devious Dev: 12 + 7 + 13 + 3 = 35/50
Total: 50/100


Congratulations to the winners and all contestants on a fine set of entries!

~ Forgotten Empires ~

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjálfr it sama; ek veit einn at aldri deyr, dómr um dauðan hvern." - Hávamál 77.

[This message has been edited by HockeySam18 (edited 12-20-2019 @ 09:24 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 01-13-20 01:30 PM CT (US)     176 / 183       
So how good are the 30+ entries to zak's PTC? I imagine they are fairly rough and something more like an entry to the 2002 PTC. HD Edition in six years didnt turn out a single elite designer, and everyone good in the community is very much an old timer. I wonder if DE will actually incite a long lasting wave of designers.
But the standout were the bridges as very convincing (and walkable) steps. That one floored me. It is perfect. Nothing else I can say about it except that I hope you don't mind if I use this steps idea in one of my playable scenarios!
But they have been around for sooo long Oh well, I am being very silly here, I know. They were first seen in a scenario for what I thought was PTC13 by a chinese designer, but I couldnt find it on the smithy just now.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 01-13-20 01:41 PM CT (US)     177 / 183       
Ah, just a minor axe to grind here, but why do people keep using the concept 'deduct points'? Works dont start with a 5\5 or a 50\50. They start with 0 when your on the main menu, and starting from their name, bitmap and instructions they build up an impression from there, and then as the gameplay or map\world are revealed it continues to build up points. Then at the end you can see how well the scenario scored and think if it deserves a 49\50 or a 4\5 in a category.

When I was judging in PTC17, it didnt even occur to me to give out a 50\50 at first...I just gave Agartha a 49\50 because it seemed so good. After thinking a bit I had the insane, the radical idea to give it a 50\50 because it was so good. There was no draconion nitpicking to knock points off;it was, to me at that time, simply obvious and self evident that you dont give 50\50 scores. Obviously other people, infact most other people if not everyone, dont agree.

Rant over. Carry on as usual.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Devious Dev
Official Professional Qualified Noob
(id: dragonslayermcmx)
posted 01-13-20 02:09 PM CT (US)     178 / 183       
I guess for me, it depends on the overall impression before I start to to add or deduct points based on which side of the spectrum it's on
Julius999
Imposter
posted 01-13-20 02:46 PM CT (US)     179 / 183       
Cataphract, I don't think anyone mentally starts out with full marks and then deducts points as they go along (with the possible exception of that 5 mark category for attention to detail, which with hindsight was probably a bad idea). Equally, if you mentally start with zero marks when you first load up the entry and award points as you go along then frankly I think that is very weird.

I'd have thought that almost any judge will form some impressions early on, which might then shift as they progress towards finishing the entry (or give up), and then they'll turn their mind to scores and will have a ballpark figure in mind. When it comes to comparing entries and reflecting on whether to award 11 or 12 marks in a category, I think that by that stage it's quite natural to think in terms of deducting points.

1010011010
[ All_That_Glitters | Pretty_Town_Contest | Other_AoK_Designs | AoE_Designs ]
Member of Stormwind Studios
Filthydelphia
Squire
(id: Al_Kharn the Great)
posted 01-13-20 05:46 PM CT (US)     180 / 183       
So how good are the 30+ entries to zak's PTC? I imagine they are fairly rough and something more like an entry to the 2002 PTC.
You'd have to take a look yourself, but I think a lot of the maps were quite attractive. Certainly the use of DE's features like terrain layering provided opportunities for much better aesthetics than anything done in a 2002 PTC with the CD version. Zeroempires actually posted a video on his youtube channel walking through some of the top-rated designs, so you could check it out and judge for yourself.

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 01-14-20 05:27 AM CT (US)     181 / 183       
So how good are the 30+ entries to zak's PTC? I imagine they are fairly rough and something more like an entry to the 2002 PTC.
They are hard to compare to something like the 2002 PTC because modern designers just have so many more tools with all the additions from HD to DE. But for sure, most of them are rough - and they often suffer from GAIA object spamming. But the top entries were all quite nice, I thought.

Most all, though, I was impressed by the sheer number of entrants. Quality aside, we could certainly use that kind of enthusiasm for design over here!

__[]_________
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OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 01-16-20 11:34 AM CT (US)     182 / 183       
Equally, if you mentally start with zero marks when you first load up the entry and award points as you go along then frankly I think that is very weird.
If anything you should start with -2 points since the player was inconvenienced by unzipping the file into the right spots

Alright, that rant post was actually directed at a review in the smithy and should have been in the exchequer, but whatever. I think you should generally fight back against expectations as hard as possible, and try not to expect the same quality of map out of the same person over and over again, especially when they are getting so absurdly good as in the last two PTC.


Duyhung2h's first place map seems to display a good awareness of mapping technique, plenty of room for refinement but surely he has played some of the good PTC maps here. Some areas were quite weak such as the forest terrain, but anyhow it seems like a decent contender.

I am very skeptical the new DE features will lead to good mapping results though...from what ive seen over the years, whenever a game or editor gains more visual appeal then the imagination of those using it becomes stunted, since they can just make a good looking map with no effort, and most will never go beyond 'good'. If you cant make an ugly game like minecraft or AoK look great, you wont be able to truly succeed even if your tools improve.

Anyhow I shouldnt be talking so much here since I am probably done with AoK for awhile, so dont take what I say too seriously. I would rather hear about how successful DE is five years from now and look into it then.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Cataphract887 (edited 01-16-2020 @ 11:36 AM).]

andi03
Squire
posted 02-13-20 08:20 AM CT (US)     183 / 183       
Cataphract, there are some decent-good designers on HD, but for the most part they create MP maps, which do not allow for the greatest display in map design. I wouldn't say there aren't good map makers on HD.
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