Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > FRED Contest 2005

Official FRED Contest Announcement

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The time has come!  Announcing the official start to the Summer 2005 HLP FRED Contest.  The contest will run from July 1 to August 1 and will be judged by no less than the Great FREDding Triumvirate*: Blaise Russel, karajorma, and me.  And there will be prizes. :)

*It would have been a quadrumvirate but Sesquipedalian is still finishing up his thesis and can't make it.

Here are the rules.

Categories and Prizes[*]From the previous thread on the subject, we've decided to have three categories of missions: one for retail without mods, one for SCP without mods, and one for "anything goes".  This third category will encompass everything else: FS1 with and without mods and FS2 and SCP with mods.
[*]Prizes will be awarded for the winning mission in each category.  The winner will get the item of his choice from the HLP Store as well as a custom title and special avatar.
[*]We reserve the right to shuffle the categories or create more or fewer categories depending on the number of entries.  For example, if we get a lot of SCP missions but few retail or "anything goes" missions, we may change the contest to have a first, second, and third place winner overall.  If this happens, we'll announce a new set of prizes suitable for this arrangment.[/list]

Contest Timeframe and Submission Guidelines[*]All missions must be submitted by 11:59 PM GMT on August 1, 2005.  (This means you have August 1 to work on it but you must submit it before the end of the day.)
[*]Send completed missions to [email protected].  Include a readme with the author's name, the category in which you're submitting, and any other information that would help us to understand the mission or the story behind it.
[*]If your mission uses a "complete" mod pack, such as Inferno or the Freespace Port, you must specify the mod and include a link if it's not hosted by HLP.  If you've cut-and-pasted mods from various sources (to create your own ships.tbl, for example) you must include all files necessary to run the mission.
[*]You can submit multiple missions in any or every category, as long as they all meet the rule requirements.
[*]The mission must be substantially your own work - i.e. you must be the principal FREDder.  (It's okay if you got tips from someone else.  It's not okay if the entire mission consists of tips.)
[*]The exception to the above is backgrounds.  I hate making backgrounds, and a lot of other people do too, so if you copy a background from another mission (:v: or otherwise) we won't hold it against you. :) See the links at the bottom of the post.
[*]Any mission of yours can be submitted provided that it has not been previously released to the public.  This means that if you've been working on your own campaign since forever, and you manage to finish it before the deadline, you can submit all the missions in it. :)
[*]If your mission uses mods or SCP features, they must be publically available.  No fair creating missions with secret mods or coding in your own special feature.  It is okay to use a feature that nobody else knows about because they've never really explored SCP FRED. ;)
[*]The exception to the above is tables.  Tables are about the easiest thing to modify, so feel free to edit table values if you think you need to.[/list]

Judging[*]Blaise Russel, karajorma, and Goober5000 will judge the missions.  None of the judges may submit missions in this contest.
[*]Judging will commence immediately after the contest deadline and conclude as soon as is reasonably possible.
[*]When the judging is complete, the judges will publicly release all the missions along with their scores and announce the winner.  Prizes will be awarded once you make your selection and provide us your address.
[*]The contest is being sponsored by the admins and the judges, but donations are accepted. ;)[/list]

Judging Criteria[*]The criteria will be largely the same as those used in the reviews on the VolitionWatch Archives.  Study those reviews (both the good and the bad) to get an idea of the kinds of missions we're looking for.
[*]A detailed description of the review criteria is available here.  Here's a quick overview:[list=1]
[*]Storyline - whether your mission makes a good story.  There should be a decent backstory developed appropriately in the command briefing and the briefing, with extra information available in the readme if needed.  The story should also play out reasonably well over the course of the mission.  The player should feel immersed in the mission and have a vested interest in playing his part in the story.
[*]Balance - how well your mission is balanced, how it plays out, what craft are available, etc.  This doesn't mean you must be able to "win" the mission (e.g. when the Sathanas nukes the Psamtik), just that you must be able to do what you have to do with what you have available (both fighters and warships).  It shouldn't be either stupidly easy or frustratingly difficult.
[*]Design - how well the mission is conceptualized and put together, how effectively you make use of FRED's features, and how technically competent you are in FREDding.  This category also covers polish: how "finished" the mission is and how well it has been checked over and beta tested.  (I will severely reduce the score of anyone who does not spell check or grammar check their mission. :p) Extra points will be awarded here for particularly clever uses or abuses of FRED.  Points will be taken away for bugs and violations of the FRED design rules discussed in the articles below.
[*]Gameplay - how fun the mission is and how much we like playing it.  New, fresh approaches to accomplishing objectives would be really cool, but if you make a run-of-the-mill mission and do a really good job at it then that's just as good.  Extra points will be awarded for clever responses to player behavior, such as a capture objective if you find some stolen cargo.[/list][/list]

Here are some articles you may want to consult as you create your missions.
[*]The Problem With User-Created Levels
[*]FRED and the Battle of Endor Syndrome: The Infection Plagues Us All
[*]Tunnel Vision: Why Subspace Mission?
[*]The Need to Beta-Test FreeSpace Missions
[*]Storytelling is the Most Important Part in Mission Design
[*]How to Succeed in FRED Design
[*]How to Make a Fruit Soup: The Do's and Don'ts of Nebulae in FRED2
[*]What Makes a Good Mission?
[*]14 Common FRED Mistakes[/list]Another good reference is the FS2  Reference Guide.  Singh's Background Emporium and Milliways are good places to go for backgrounds.

Whew, that was a long post. :D If you have any questions or comments, post them here.  If we need to update the rules, we'll edit this post and update the thread accordingly.

Good luck! :)

Black Wolf:
If someone outside the US wins, who covers shipping? Cafepress is a bloody rip for shipping internationally - often doubles the cost of the item.

The sponsors will pay for everything, including shipping.

I would point out that the subspace tunnel must have significantly enlarged since FS1 if anything the article says on the subject is true, as I have seen missions that easily jam in several capital craft.

Or they completely forgot about using the Z axis...

This is blatantly discriminating against those of us who cannot FRED. :hopping:


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