Classic Design Contest

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Welcome to the 2016 Classic Design Contest, the first of its kind in AoKH history. As such, this contest explores a relatively different concept, which is a focus primarily on unique, creative, and fun gameplay above all other categories. We're looking forward to seeing several excellent entries. This type of competition is not particularly difficult, so it is an excellent way for newer designers to show off their creativity and ideas. By all means, sign up!

So, what is a "classic" scenario? What is the purpose of this contest in the first place? As aforementioned, the goal is to encourage designers to explore different and unique types of gameplay, but with a less complex take in terms of the mechanical sphere than the typical custom scenario here. For pragmatic reasons, certain restrictions are in place to keep the scope reasonable and the amount of work manageable. In the past, several contests have invited entries of the epic sort that are difficult to pull off with reasonable quality while still meeting the deadline of a contest. This contest, however, nudges designers towards creating a quality and holistic gameplay experience on a smaller scale, deriving gameplay elements from the time-proven base mechanics of the game rather than simulating an entirely new game through triggers.

For some good examples of scenarios that would fall under the category of "classic", check out these scenarios:

The Spanish March - by Mark Stoker
The Quest - by Ingo van Thiel.
The Siege of Belgrade - by Mark Stoker
Several of Al_Kharn the Great's impressive repertoire of single player B&D scenarios, most of which are designed on smaller mapsizes with few triggers.
Several of the higher-rated AoE/RoR custom scenarios uploaded at AoEH, which harness the base mechanics of that game to excellent effect.

Rules:

  • The maximum map size of an entry is Medium (i.e. 4-player, or 168x168 tiles). Also, No maps smaller than tiny are allowed.
  • The number of triggers in an entry cannot exceed 150.
  • An entry may not include more than 60 seconds of cut-scenes (i.e. time when the player doesn't have effective control - so it's inclusive of looped change view and looped tasking).
  • Only one entry per forummer. No teams.

  • There are no restrictions on styles - you can have fixed force, build and destroy, defend the spot, even role playing games. Your scenario cannot be wholly a cutscene, however.

  • You may not enter a file that has been previously submitted to the Blacksmith. Projects in progress are, however, allowed to be entered. We would caution against entering your epic "life's work" style of project, as projects of that scale are unlikely to meet the deadline (or, in some cases, the contest guidelines).

  • The game must be a single player game. No multiplayer.

  • The use of AoE2HD or the UserPatch is allowed. The use of the Forgotten and African Kingdoms expansions to the HD Edition, however, is not allowed.

  • Game modifications are not allowed. Data mods, graphics mods, language file edits, and other file modifications are not allowed. The use of AoK Trigger Studio, however, is allowed.
  • Deadline:

    All entries must be submitted to the Blacksmith by 11:59 pm forum time (CST), August 14, 2016. Submit in campaign (.cpx) format.

    Please do not add the prefix "CDC16" to the title of your entries. Instead, please post the tracking number (5-digit file number) of your entry in this thread when you have submitted it. You should indicate that your file is an entry to the contest in the file description on the Blacksmith as well.

    Refer to the Scenario Design FAQ if you have questions regarding the uploading of files.

    The nature of this contest and its restrictions may make it in some cases desirable to use custom AIs to enhance the gameplay experience. For anyone struggling with AI scripting, this tool by Jan dc allows you to generate a competent AI tailored specifically to the needs of your custom scenario. Any other questions regarding AI scripting, if you should have them, can be directed to forummers in this thread or in the AI & RM Scripting Forum.

    Judging:

    The maps will be judged out of 50 points in the following categories:

    • Gameplay and Entertainment - 25 points
    • Technical Proficiency and Quality - 25 points

    Gameplay and entertainment is a measure of how fun the scenario is to play, and includes such related factors as balance, creative objectives, etc. This is simply a measure of the judge's enjoyment of your scenario and is largely based on the judge's personal experience with the file.

    Technical Proficiency and Quality is a measure of how well the scenario is made, and includes such related factors as the use of soundtracks and voice acting, trigger work, map design, bitmaps, dialogue, storytelling, instructions, etc. Simply put, a scenario scoring highly in this category is likely to feature excellent map design, an experience improving soundtrack or voice acting, seamless and well structured gameplay, and a clever if not overly complex setup/story. While not all the above are required to score highly, the judge is expected to put aside his personal preferences as much as possible and rate the overall quality of the scenario.

    Both categories are scored from 0 to 25, with 0-5 being poor, 6-10 being below average, 11-15 being average, 16-20 being good, and 21-25 being excellent. Judges will be expected to use the entire scale, with poor entries scoring near the bottom, and the top entries scoring over 20 in each category, assuming a typical distribution of scenarios of variable quality.