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Terrain Maker Competition 2012


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#1 Mondkalb

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:27 PM

Hello,
we are happy to announce a new community event: a competition for map makers!

Beginning from today (13 December, 2011) everyone who is interested can submit a terrain that does not violate the competition's rules (see below) until 13 March, 2012.
The submission, if valid, will be evaluated by a jury consisting of renown community members and (lead) BI developers, each judging different aspects of a terrain.

The aspects are, but may not be limited to the following:

- Beauty: is the terrain pure eye candy or simply an eyesore straight from hell?
- Usefulness: does the terrain offer awesome possibilities for missions and gameplay?
- Technical quality: is the terrain and everything related to it properly set up and working correctly?

Winners will be announced on 13 April, 2012.

The main idea behind this competition is to interest people that have never before made a terrain, or tried to but then lost interest. To ensure people will make it through the entire project, we have limited the submissions to small terrain dimensions only.


The following rules apply to this competition:

  • The submitted terrain's dimensions have to be 5120 m × 5120 m or 4096 m x 4096 m.
  • Third party content is allowed if it was released before 13 December, 2011.
  • You are only allowed to submit a single entry.
  • You must not publicly release your terrain until the competition is finished (13 April, 2012).
  • Your terrain must use a fake tag for anonymity. We recommend using XYZ_ or TUT_ as addon tag.
  • Your terrain must not deliberately be able to reveal your name to the jury.


Prizes:
This is not a newbie vs. veteran competition. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best terrain overall
  • Best terrain by a new terrain maker
  • Second-best terrain by a new terrain maker

Each winner will receive a Steam version of Take On Helicopters and a Take On Helicopters T-Shirt (Size L).

Also every submission will receive jury's feedback and tips to help you improve your terrain making skills.
We are strongly encouraging you to share this after the competition is over, so all the terrain makers out there can benefit from this.

How to submit:
When you have created your terrain, store the .pbo file(s) in a .zip or .rar or .7z archive and upload it to any free file hosting service.

Then send this link to W0lle together with this small form that you fill out:

Nickname:
Terrain name:
Needed addons (if any):
Download link:


By submitting a terrain to this competition I agree not to release it to the public until this competition is finished to ensure that the jury will not be able to associate this terrain with its maker in order to prevent biased judgment.



Tutorials:
Since the idea behind this competition is to motivate new terrain artists, we've gathered the most recent and up-to-date community tutorials for developing terrains:

A full step-by-step guide can be found here:

For a detailed initial tools setup & Visitor 3 configuration...
... this tutorial will direct you to complete Sgt Ace's Tutorial at an appropriate point and should also serve as a basic introduction to the technical/structural aspects of the fileset you'll need.

The most useful resource of all, of course, is the Arma 2 & OA: Terrain (Visitor) forum section, together with the established mapmakers who hang out there...
A good search of that forum section will turn up answers to most problems and, if not, that's the place to ask for advice.

Edited by Mondkalb, 23 January 2012 - 10:26 PM.
Highlighted the fact that there is professional feedback as additional reward.


#2 SmokeDog3PARA

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:44 PM

sounds good ill be up for some of this got some islands on the go that are hush hush so should be well finished by the due date also got 2 more guys from 3para making maps now as well

#3 Darkhorse 1-6

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:18 PM

Third party content is allowed if it was released before 13 December, 2011.

Does that apply to currently released content that is patched after 13 December?

Also, is the competition only for individuals, or will terrains created by 2 or more people qualify?

*Almost forgot, does the "third party content" apply to content created specifically for the terrain, eg: buildings/roads/etc. that haven't been created yet?

Edited by Darkhorse 1-6, 13 December 2011 - 11:34 PM.

Maybe it's that the OFP era community has retired and the CoD community era has begun? Demanding 12 year olds who must have something now


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#4 Mondkalb

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:44 PM

The idea is to prevent this from turning into a modeling contest, so the "No third party content" rule applies to all addons that are being modified or released from today on.

Only individuals may submit to this competition.

Please be aware that non-vanilla addons used on any submitted terrain will not automatically grant an advantage in winning a prize.

#5 askingmachine

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:13 PM

I'm making a new island (as a noobie) and it's 8km^2, so I'm automaticly out of the competition? Why is that?
Makes me sad :(

Why not for an example 4km^2 - 10km^2 size cap? If someone needs to make a bigger island, why to limit him? Big island doesn't automaticly mean better island... And what do you mean exactly by 'Public release'?
You can't post images from your project progress? I believe this will reduce the spirit of making islands if you don't have a change to get any feedback during the process like island makers normally get...

Thirdly, the terrains which are started before this competition started (new terrains, not patched) are automaticly out? How are you going to prove that the competitor X hasn't started making the island
two years ago and just have been silent about it?

Please, check your rules, these doesn't seem very fair or then I'm just not a good reader...

Edited by askingmachine, 14 December 2011 - 10:32 PM.


#6 Mondkalb

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:59 PM

Thirdly, the terrains which are started before this competition started (new terrains, not patched) are automaticly out?

It was never declared that "older" terrains are not allowed to be submitted.

And the reason for the map-size limitation is, quite frankly, that 10km x 10km terrains are quite a bit of work and are not simply done in just two weeks, while a 4km x 4km terrain can be finished well within three months time by someone who has never created a terrain before.

#7 Darkhorse 1-6

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:10 PM

Screenshots would make it where the judges could recognize who the creator is. As for feedback, maybe have a few friends who have nothing to do with the competition/who don't use the BI forums test for you and give you their opinions?

Maybe it's that the OFP era community has retired and the CoD community era has begun? Demanding 12 year olds who must have something now


Oh, almighty w0lle, grant this pilgrim safe passage through the craggy mountain passes of modding, and let him not be crushed by a boulder. If he should need a helping hand, let him find help on the forum from gnat or some other person.


#8 W0lle

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:46 PM

Exactly that is the reason. It is absolutely important that the jury members do not know who made a certain terrain.

If you post screenshots somewhere about it, chances are good that your anonymity is blown. Sounds logical if you think about it. ;)

#9 Slatts

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:28 AM

few questions, we are allowed use arma buildings? and it doesnt have to be a made up terrain like cicada, lingor etc?
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#10 askingmachine

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:32 AM

And the reason for the map-size limitation is, quite frankly, that 10km x 10km terrains are quite a bit of work and are not simply done in just two weeks, while a 4km x 4km terrain can be finished well within three months time by someone who has never created a terrain before.

Yes I understand that 10x10 are quite bit of work but what I don't understand why there has to be limits?. Bigger but badly made terrains doesn't give any unfair advantage. And if somebody just is so fast that he can make for an e.g. 8x8km (pros?) why to disallow it? Only the players will loose with this kind of limits :/

I understand that the idea of the competition is just to get us some new blood to terrain editing as the old guys aren't leaving anyway but could the pro's have their own category without any size or other 'imagination' limits?
Would be really a bummer if a creator like a icebreakr should had to make a smaller island with no cool models just because he wants to be in a competition.

Best terrain overall should be _the_best_terrain_overall, not the 'best terrain within the limitations of this competition'

But anyways the idea of the competition is still great. We really need some new talents. For an example in my opinion icebreakr's islands are big and fun yes, but the visual quality isn't so great when compared to bis maps or podagorsk and some other custom maps so I'm sure the "best terrain overall" will be interesting. Let's just hope ppl in future will continue to discuss about their ongoing island projects and not just be quiet in fear of maybe-coming-competitions...

Thanks!

Edited by askingmachine, 15 December 2011 - 10:43 AM.


#11 -APS-Gnat

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

Tend to agree. Having an upper limit on size mean terrains I like to do may not see the light of day, for this competition.
I could do a nice large desert terrain in 3 months ..... no problem :(

But ..... great initative. Thanks for the community injection all !

#12 .kju -PvPscene-

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:53 PM

You can still do large terrains - they just wont participate in this competition.
IMO it is a very good decision to limit the size.



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#13 Mondkalb

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 03:13 PM

Don't forget about the chance of having the TKOH Lead Terraindesigner and the A3 Lead Designer providing some feedback about your submission. ;)

#14 PuFu

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:24 PM

Really great initiative! Congratz are in order for all parts involved in putting together this sort of competition!
Best of luck to everyone!

snip

why do people like yourself feel the need to talk in other ppl name? Are YOU gonna take part in this competion? Does the upper limit limit your creativity in any way?

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#15 Bushlurker

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:23 PM

As terrain-makers - we're not used to limits!
(well... OK... Visitor 3 itself has limits that constrain us... 4096x4096 is the upper limit, and it's probably not a good idea to go below 2 meter groundcells, but apart from that - no limits!)

This, of course, is why we have so many varied and excellent terrains in the community already, with many more promising ones in the pipeline...

In one way, Gnat is perfectly correct... his speciality is big, open terrains - sand, desert... playgrounds for his aircraft and shipping, and people love them for exactly that reason.
At the other end of the scale we have little gems like Prowler.Wolf's "Mana" or "Battle of the Bulge" terrains - the latter in particular... what size is that? 1km x 1km? - it's a little town, and that's just about it.... but aren't they just great?
In between we have yet more "Established Pro's" - terrain designers like Old Bear and Icebreakr, for example... they're keen Team Players, and their terrains reflect that... medium sized, with the accent on functional playability - that's probably why they're such all-round popular terrains!

Some of you may remember the "Community Awards" that ran for a few years in a row recently.... Remember the discussion, the arguments, the confusion over what constituted "Best Addon"? When Islands, Total Conversion Mods, script packages et al., were lumped together and "compared"??
It didn't work out very well...

I voted for JTD's "Startled Birds", personally, not even the "Fire & Smoke"... just the wee birdies.... quite possibly my favourite "addon" of all time :)...
Other people voted for Ace2...

How can you compare the two?...

As the (English?) expression goes - "You can't compare Apples and Pears"...

So that's why there are limitations in this competition - it's an - artificial, but necessary - attempt to create a "Level Playing Field"...

What those limitations should be was the subject of much discussion when this competition was first discussed... discussion, and a small flurry of demo terrains, actually...
Some of you may have seen the little 2m & 4m ground cell terrains I "released" recently... that was me "thinking aloud with Visitor" while we were talking - trying to decide the upper, and possibly lower, limitations we should impose...

While we were still thinking and discussing the competition structure and rules, Mondkalb wandered off to harass BIS for prizes ;)... he returned, clutching token copies of TKOH, and trailing a line of "interested BIS / BISim staff members" in his wake... very interested staff members!
Though this is still 100% an "unofficial" Community-organised competition, the Judging Team soon became roughly 50:50 Community and BIS / BISim staff - professional Mission designers, Terrain designers - possibly even Lord Ivan the Mighty himself!

Speaking purely to the established community terrain guys here....
If you ever wanted a chance to present a 'showcase' terrain to show off your 'make terrains to order' skills, then this is that opportunity!
This isn't a "maybe BIS will notice my terrain" situation - some of their Top Guns will - unpaid and in their own time - sit down and carefully assess your work - at a professional level... and provide feedback!
With a max size limitation of 4-5km, any of you Pro guys could put together an impressive little "showcase terrain" in a few weeks - you know you could!
Whether you can be bothered, or want to of course, is up to you...
TKOH as a prize?... hmmm...
The kudos of "Best Terrain Maker" as judged by both Community and BIS themselves?.... hmmm... that's something else.... ;)

So where does that leave the New Guys? Isn't this a "Newbies" competition?....

Primarily, yes... hence the spread of prizes...
Fostering new talent in the Community is one of the things we do here - very well most of the time... It's why we patiently answer questions in the Forums, on Skype, via PM... it's all part of what makes the Arma Community unique...

The size limitation plays a part here too... we've all bitten of terrains bigger than we could chew sometimes - except for Gnat, maybe ;) - the last thing we want to encourage is for absolute beginners to get bogged down in 10x10km, or even 20x20km terrains on their first go... so many people get discouraged and drop out.
5x5km or less is an achievable size to aim for with a first go at terrain making... With the time allowed for the competition, even a beginner should be able to produce a reasonable attempt...

Remember - Newbies will be judged both together and separately from the more established guys - you don't have to "beat" Icebreakr or Old Bear to "win", or to prove you have talent... those guys have made terrains before - you haven't - that will be taken into account.....

So... I guess that's the bottom line... it's primarily a competition to encourage new talent, whilst not excluding the more established guys who feel like having a go...

It's NOT simply a no-holds-barred "Best Community Terrain of 2012" competition along the lines of the usual "Community Awards"...

We know that this is a bit of a Major Bummer for some people....
Martin's "Tavania" for example - a long time in the pipeline and some astonishing and unique stuff happening there!
Bracer's "Emita City" - shaping up really well... very promising!
Icebreakr has a new project in the pipeline - eagerly awaited as always...
Minimalaco & Robster have recently emerged as Major Players on the terrain front with their excellent "Clafghan Map"...
And - have you seen Old Bears "Tigeria"!!!!! Brilliant!!!

It is a shame to exclude such Major Projects, of course... but the whole idea is to create a "Level Playing Field" whereby the terrains submitted are all basically directly comparable...

Perhaps, on reflection, a better title for this endeavour would be...

The 2012 Terrain Makers Challenge

The challenge is - to make a small "environment" of your choice - "geospecific" or "geotypical" as you prefer, with the accent more on terrain-making rather than model-making, and with several months to put it together...

Not a tall order for an experienced guy, but more than enough for a newbie to cope with...

Artificial constraints, we know - but necessary for the purposes of the competition...


B

Edited by Bushlurker, 15 December 2011 - 08:30 PM.

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#16 askingmachine

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:32 PM

why do people like yourself feel the need to talk in other ppl name? Are YOU gonna take part in this competion? Does the upper limit limit your creativity in any way?


It seems I need to quote myself now..

I'm making a new island (as a noobie) and it's 8km^2, so I'm automaticly out of the competition? Why is that?
Makes me sad :(


Of course I'm a bit bitter to be left out, but I guess the most important thing is just to enjoy making terrains, so it's ok to be left out. Would just been nice to have some official sounding guy check out my project (which is too big for the competition).
Not need to be angry, dude.

Edited by askingmachine, 16 December 2011 - 12:22 AM.


#17 Max Power

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:11 AM

Why not start a terrain with the proper contest dimensions? No one is leaving you out. You have four months remaining.
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#18 W0lle

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:19 AM

Would just been nice to have some official sounding guy check out your project. Not need to be angry, dude.

There are BI employees part of the Jury as said above, I make sure the Jury does not know who submitted which terrain to prevent any stupid accusations after the contest is closed.

How much more official you want it?

#19 PuFu

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:19 AM

what max said...^^

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#20 askingmachine

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:35 AM

Why not start a terrain with the proper contest dimensions? No one is leaving you out. You have four months remaining.

Well I feel it's more important to create an island precisely as the creator visualizes it and not to limit it with rules as the end result and the joy of playing is the only what matters in the end. That's why I'll just step aside.
Thanks anyway, this is a great change for many to prove their skills.

There are BI employees part of the Jury as said above, I make sure the Jury does not know who submitted which terrain to prevent any stupid accusations after the contest is closed.

How much more official you want it?

agh... sorry my bad language & expression skills. I meant it would have been nice if somebody would have take a look into my island too (which is too big for this competition). Not saying anything like this isn't official or smthing...

My rule suggestion were just suggestion. I had no purpose to irritate anybody. Sorry.


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