Poll

What should be done in regards to allowed engines?

Allow only NeoLemmix and Lix
2 (33.3%)
Allow only modern engines (ie: NeoLemmix, Lix and SuperLemmini)
1 (16.7%)
Keep things as they are
3 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Author Topic: Official Level Design Contests - Discussions, rule debates, etc  (Read 13013 times)

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Offline namida

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Hey. So, we've run two of these contests so far, and about to start a 3rd; I'd like to have some discussion with people over what they think of the format, prizes, etc so far to take into account for future contests.

Feel free to give any input, but in particular:


1. Is there anything in the "global rules" you don't like, or particularly do like? By this I'm referring to the rules that are (semi-)consistent across all contests, not the specific rules of each one.
2. What do you think about the specific criteria that have been chosen for the contests so far?
3. How do you feel about the prizes? Are there any you feel shouldn't be options, or anything extra you'd like to see?
4. How easy do you find it to understand the criteria's rules?
5. If you haven't participated so far (but have been following them), is there any specific reason for this, or is it just that you don't have the time to enter and/or don't feel up to making a good enough level?
6. Do you think a long enough timeframe is given for voting? Too long? Not long enough?

Keep in mind that there are two basic aims with me running these - the first of all is to provide fun for the community, but the second reason is also to encourage some more new level designs, which I feel has been a bit on the slow side lately (or maybe it's just me).

Let me know what you think and I'll take it into account for future contests (within reason of course; I'm not going to start offering US$100 as a prize :P).
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 05:19:22 pm by namida »
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline Wafflem

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 06:20:33 am »
1. All the global rules are fine, except in the Playing phase where others are allowed to discuss the levels, but then you can't talk about them when voting. I feel that discussing the levels during the Playing phase makes it also biased and also influences the results, and I feel they should be discussed after the contest is over. The sharing replays should also wait.

2. I like the specific criteria for each contest. I like that in the first contest that you are supposed to use an unofficial tileset, it (finally) got other authors to use your Lemmings Plus tilesets. I also agree that the second contest was generally accessible for everyone due to it being 20-of-everything.

3. All the prizes are fine as is, although there aren't enough options. Some ideas for prizes:
-If you are creating a new fangame project, the prize can be to show the winner a "sneak peek" of the pack by PM.
-If you have created a new style for a new pack, and if you have finished the style but have not completed your pack yet, the prize can be the style so the winner will have the opportunity to create levels with it.

4. In general, the criteria's rules were very understandable.

6. 3 days is fine for voting, since I don't think a lot of people played the levels in the second contests. We only got about 5-6 votes.

I also agree that there hasn't been much level design lately, aside from IchoTolot's upcoming Lemmini levelpack. There hasn't even been any NeoLemmix levels that uses the objects, gimmicks, etc. (except for my packs, of course)
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Have level designer's block right now? Have some of my incomplete levels for LOTS of ideas!

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 04:30:52 pm »
One thing I'm thinking of in future. To avoid complicating things, any monetary prizes will just be listed by their value. I'll put in the general rules that monetary prizes may be claimed via (these are mostly the same options that already exist):

> PayPal
> Bitcoin (or a similarly-established cryptocurrency, eg. Litecoin or Dogecoin)
> Direct purchase from (or donation to) an online service, subject to them accepting PayPal (or, if highly reputable, directly accepting credit/debit cards and/or Bitcoin)
> Direct bank transfer to a New Zealand bank only

I'm also going to stop offering the advertising option for a while as two people have won it and have it on hold for future use; I don't want to have collisions of too many people wanting to use it at the same time, so I won't offer it for a while. Don't worry though, I have something that should be fairly appealing that I plan to offer instead.

The "set the next contest's rules" option will probably almost always be there, as this is a good fallback option for those who are interested in the contest but don't want to (or can't) claim any of the other prizes.
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 08:06:26 pm »
Another thing I'm considering, to hopefully increase participation (though maybe at the risk of reducing the overall quality of levels, so I'd have to give this a trial run) is getting rid of the 2nd place prize, and instead awarding a prize to one participant (other than the winner) selected completely at random. This way, even those who aren't confident about being able to win will have a reason to enter (and maybe even surprise themself with how their level turns out in the process; recall that Crane did not at all expect to win the first contest yet he did!).
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline Wafflem

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 08:14:42 pm »
That's an interesting idea. I'd like to see how this would turn out for the next contest. Hopefully this will give some incentive for people to make levels.

Of course, it will also depend on the prizes that you will give out.
YouTube: www.tinyurl.com/YTWafflem
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Have level designer's block right now? Have some of my incomplete levels for LOTS of ideas!

Offline Nepster

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 08:52:04 pm »
Who (of the participants of the first two contests) was actually encouraged to participate by the prizes?
I for one am rather indifferent concerning the prizes, but simply like the challenge to create nice levels meeting certain criteria.

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 09:00:07 pm »
That's an interesting idea. I'd like to see how this would turn out for the next contest. Hopefully this will give some incentive for people to make levels.

Of course, it will also depend on the prizes that you will give out.

If we go ahead with the tag-team idea, then I won't be able to do the random prize for that one since there'll effectively be two first places. :P It'll already need some slight modification to the prize structure...
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 09:17:23 pm »
For me the prizes are absolutely secondary (altough I am very happy with the advertisemend prize which I will claim in the future  :laugh:). I am new to the designing community and I want to show and also improve my desining skills with the feedback I get here (and fulfilling the criteria is also a lot of fun). Furthermore I get to see more levels from other people (and getting to know "their style"), which might give me more ideas for my own levels and as I love solving them it is just more Lemmings to play for me  :).

Offline mobius

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 10:45:22 pm »
So far I think the contests have been good. I can't think of anything really to improve. [I mention something below] I have not much time lately to get involved and have been doing other things besides Lemmings anyway.
Over the past months I've been seeing or getting messages from people on you tube who are not on this forum who seem interested in Lemmings. I've tried to bring them aboard but with not much luck.

The prizes aren't real important for me either. I think in my life I've only ever entered contests because the "journey" was (or I thought was going to be) fun. I never did it for the prize.

I don't really like leaving out the whole backroute fixing phase. I liked that about the old contests (the one geoo started). This way the author can at least offer a somewhat patched up version for the final voting. Backroutes, even if minor can sway an opinion of a level a lot.

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 03:19:12 pm »
^ I've put up a poll to see how people feel about that. It does need to be taken into account that your suggestion there, and DynaLem's "don't allow discussion even during playing phase" are more or less mutually exclusive, though I guess that any replays could be PM'd to the creators.

(Don't take this the wrong way; it's not saying that I've decided for sure we're implementing that playing phase rule. Just pointing out that the two are somewhat incompatible.)
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline Simon

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 03:32:43 pm »
The open-source way, which seems the only proper way to do this <_<;;, is to encourage a fast release cycle.

The author could in theory release a non-solvable version, but I don't feel he ever wants to. Heartily encourage the authors to send a validating replay accompanying a level change, but don't require it.

-- Simon

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2015, 08:29:40 pm »
The replay thing was more to ensure the author hadn't changed the intended solution, just patched up unintended ones.
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Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline Nepster

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 04:36:54 pm »
Quote
Timeframe:
1st Phase entries close 12th of March
2nd Phase entry close date is TBA, it will be at least 7 days after the 2nd phase begins
How does everyone feel about this? :lix-unsure:
I found the two weeks for contest 2 already rather tight, but now one has just 10 days (and only one weekend) for phase 1 and certainly less for phase 2 (unless one checks messages every day).

One certainly can do a "Speed creation contest" (e.g. create a full level pack of 10 levels within one week), but I fear that the level quality will suffer if the time frame is too tight.

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 05:48:39 pm »
I could extend it if it seems problematic. I just felt it could be a bit shorter since in a way, each entrant is only designing half a level each. I'll put a poll up, and extend it if most people think it should be.
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline namida

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Re: Official Level Design Contests - Rules, Prizes, etc
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2015, 04:34:13 am »
Alright, based on the feedback from the poll allowing changes, the developers will be allowed to revise their levels during the Playing phase. For this reason, I'll also make that phase a bit longer.

These changes will not apply until the next contest, to avoid confusion (ie: starting from contest #4). There will probably also be some limitations on the changes; perhaps along the lines of that there will be one update allowed in the middle of the playing phase, and another allowed at the end of it - not endless revisions. However, this is open for discussion if anyone feels that this isn't sufficient. For obvious reasons, it also might not apply in contests where backroutes are not really relevant - for example, if there was a "make the best looking level, solution doesn't matter beyond that the level must be possible" contest.

I'd also like to discuss something else - the contests so far have allowed Lemmix (and by extension, DOS Lemmings, since these two are pretty much compatible with each other), NeoLemmix, Lemmini and SuperLemmini (or some subset of those four). Where possible, how do people feel about also accepting Lix in future contests?

(I probably won't expand the selection any further beyond that; but since Lix has just as significant, if not more so, of a share of usage as the other four, I think it's worth considering including it.)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 04:39:44 am by namida »
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings