Official Level Design Contest

From SRB2 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Official Level Design Contest, abbreviated as OLDC, was a mapping contest held bimonthly on the SRB2 Message Board. It is currently on indefinite hiatus. The objective is for people to make their own unique maps over the course of the two months and then vote on the submitted maps and declare a winner. The allowed gametypes have varied over the history of the OLDC, but the most recent contests included divisions for Single Player, Match and Capture the Flag. Due to its high exposure in the SRB2 community, it is one of the most effective ways for users to get feedback on their maps.

For more info, see the Official Level Design Contest Rules topic.

Format

Submissions

The last contests to date had three divisions, one for each of the following gametypes: Match, Capture the Flag and Single Player. Previously there had also been a Circuit division, but it was discontinued in 2012. Maps entered in a contest may support other gametypes, but they shall only be judged in the one they were entered in.

The multiplayer divisions (Match and Capture the Flag) do not allow the authors to use any additional resources (such as music, textures, sprites, SOCs, Lua scripts) outside of what is provided in SRB2's core WADs. This is because all multiplayer submissions are combined into one single file, with the Match maps at the MAPNx slots and the CTF maps at MAPGx.

On the other hand, the Single Player division allows the author to add custom graphics, music or other lumps to their map. Also, the submitted WADs are not merged into a single file: they will be presented for judging as they were entered, compiled in a ZIP archive. Maps entered into this division must be at the map slot MAP01, or load to the stage when a new game is started, to be eligible.

To submit a map, one must have an account on the Message Board. A topic must be created for the submission in the Contest Submissions subforum, with the name of the level in the subject line. The topic must include the names of all collaborators, the map number and a ZIP or RAR attachment containing the map, or a link if the file is too big for the attachment system. In that case, the file must be hosted on a private webspace, files from file hosting services are ignored.

To be qualified for voting, a map may not have been publicly released before and must be the author's own work. It may also not be heavily based on any previously released maps. Maps that are unplayable in the gametype they were submitted in or intentionally bad are rejected. Due to a rule placed into effect for May/June 2008 and all later contests, authors may only enter one map per division. Collaborations are allowed, and the same person can be involved in multiple maps, but there may not be multiple maps made by the same group of people.

Judging

Judging consists of voting in a topic on SRB2 Message Board, and will last for two full weeks after the submission period. Any forum member can participate in the judging: They will play the maps in the intended gametype, rank the maps of each division in order of preference, from best to worst, and, if they want to, provide detailed feedback to the author. For a vote to count, all maps of the respective division must be included and there may be no ties. To encourage voting, users who have submitted a map to the contest are expected and encouraged to place their own map in first place, whether or not they actually think it is the best map. In the case of collaborations, the collaborating group may only submit one vote for the division, but may vote separately on all other divisions. Multiplayer maps have to be played in the gametype they were entered in, and must be played in a netgame with real opponents.

Once the voting period is over, the votes are tallied. For each vote, the map in first place receives n-1 points, where n is the number of maps in the division. The map in second place receives n-2 points, the map in third place receives n-3 points, and so forth until the map in last place, which receives zero points. All votes are then added together to form the score for each map, and the map with the highest score wins the division. Should there be a tie, the votes are calculated again with only the tied maps included. If this still fails to break the tie, the tie stands and both maps are winners.

Until the May/June 2012 contest, votes were cast by giving each map a score between 0 and 10 without decimals, zero being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Entrants could not vote on their own map, but if they voted for all other maps in their division, the lowest score for their map was dropped in the final tally. Once the voting period was over, the votes were tallied by calculating the average score for each map. The map with the highest average won its division.

Awards

Every contest is registered here for historical purposes with a list of the entries and their scores. Winners are highlighted and screenshots of their maps are presented next to the list of entries. On the SRB2 Message Board, winners will receive a "Contest Winner" user title, and, unless they are forum staff, will be given a golden username. This will last up and until the next contest winners are decided.

History

It is unknown when the OLDC was started due to a SRB2 Message Board crash in October 2003 where all records were lost. The earliest known contest was held in July 2003, but the first one for which full records exist was held in September 2003. Voting for this contest was underway when the crash happened and was restarted afterwards. At this point, the contests were organized by Mystic. They were held monthly and only accepted Match levels. Users gave the maps scores between 0 and 10, and the map with the highest average score won the division.

Mystic attempted to change the OLDC format for the December 2003 contest. The gametype would change each month, rotating between Single Player, Match and CTF. The December 2003 had a Single Player division, but only three maps were submitted, so Mystic called off these plans and the OLDC reverted to only Match levels. Due to low turnout, the OLDC was cancelled after the February 2004 contest. In December 2004, staff member a441 restarted the OLDC and it continued in the same format as before for two more contests.

Afterwards, Mystic took over again and introduced a new format. Contests were now held bi-monthly instead of monthly and there were now two divisions: Single Player and Match. To encourage voting, if a contestant voted on all other maps in the division they entered, the lowest score for their own map would be dropped from the final tally. The first contest in this format was held in March/April 2004, but it received few submissions, so voting was called off. The next contest garnered more attention, however, and the contest continued in this format. A Capture the Flag division was introduced in January/February 2006 and a Circuit division in July/August 2006.

Apart from a single cancelled contest due to technical issues, the OLDC continued uninterrupted in this format until the May/June 2009 contest. FuriousFox took over hosting duties from Mystic between July/August 2007 and November/December 2010, after which Mystic resumed, with Prime 2.0 as backup. The July/August 2009 contest was skipped due to the release of v2.0, but it resumed as usual afterwards. The Circuit division was discontinued starting with the January/February 2012 contest because of low interest in the gametype.

The number of submissions started to decline during 2012. After the March/April 2012 contest, Mystic announced that he would suspend the OLDC until the release of v2.1 unless the May/June 2012 contest attracted more entries. When it in fact did, these plans were dropped, but the next two contests had to be cancelled due to a lack of submissions. The November/December 2012 contest had enough entries for voting to occur, although it had to be extended into January 2013. Afterwards, Mystic suspended the OLDC until the release of v2.1 as originally planned.

The November/December 2012 was the first to feature a new voting system, where maps are ranked in order of preference instead of scored on a scale from 0 to 10. This voting system was retained when the OLDC restarted after the release of v2.1 in May/June 2014. As during the v2.0 era, the number of submissions eventually started to decline, and the November/December 2014 and March/April 2015 contests had to be cancelled. After the July/August 2015 contest, Mystic announced that the multiplayer divisions would be discontinued, as they had received particularly little attention by mappers. However, when the next contest could not be held due to a lack of entries, Mystic decided to suspend the OLDC again until the release of v2.2.

List of contests

Disqualified entries are not counted in the number of maps.

Period Number of maps Divisions
2003
July Unknown (at least 2) Match
August Unknown (at least 4) Match
September 5 Match
November 10 Match
December 3 Single Player
2004
January 7 Match
February 3 Match
December 23 Match
2005
January 13 Match
March/April 6 Single Player, Match
May/June 17 Single Player, Match
July/August 12 Single Player, Match
September/October 11 Single Player, Match
November/December 14 Single Player, Match
2006
January/February 13 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
March/April 27 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
May/June 32 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
July/August 29 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September-December 14 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2007
January/February 26 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
March/April 21 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
May/June 16 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
July/August 11 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September/October 15 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
November/December 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2008
January/February 16 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
March/April 11 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
May/June 11 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
July/August 15 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September/October 23 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
November/December 20 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2009
January/February 13 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
March/April 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
May/June 16 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September/October 20 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
November/December 34 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2010
January/February 23 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
March/April 24 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
May/June 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
July/August 20 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September/October 9 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
November/December 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2011
January/February 16 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
March/April 12 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
May/June 16 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
July/August 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
September/October 10 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
November/December 18 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag, Circuit
2012
January/February 8 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
March/April 5 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
May/June 10 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
November/December 14 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
2014
May/June 17 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
July/August 12 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
September/October 9 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
2015
January/February 6 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
March-June 11 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag
July/August 10 Single Player, Match, Capture the Flag