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Postby Aces » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:00 pm

A vote of 83% in favor of a $100(USD) prize has been declared by donors who have voted since September 19th, and since I wanted to start the competition soon, I figure now is the time to announce it.

Gateway Expedition Mapping Competition


What is a Gateway Expedition?
Gateway Expeditions (aka gateway missions) are maps which are randomly selected at round start, which bring players into different parts of the galaxy, or sometimes, other galaxies entirely. The problem is every time we do a major code port, we always lose a good portion of our older gateway maps in the process. All of them are accessed through the Bluespace Gateway, 10 minutes after round start.

What it the point?
Gateway missions are an opportunity for players to briefly depart from the usual Medium-High RP setting that we usually have, and to take a brief and fun lapse into Low-Medium RP wherein gameplay becomes focused on PvE or puzzle solving. Gateway missions are often highly risky, but also highly rewarding, giving players access to technology or gameplay mechanics that are not normally available. They also sometimes give a chance to play with new mechanics entirely that are unique to that specific setting, or a chance to explore interesting aspects of the game's universe.

We are hosting a competition for creating new gateway maps. You may either revitalize an old and forgotten map, or you can create a new one entirely from scratch.

What are the criteria?
All maps will be judged on the same criteria, as defined below...
  • Challenge/Fun - Does the map and its features present difficulty to survive or solve without being impossible or absurdly punishing? A map should be hard, but it shouldn't require someone to die on your first play through before you can learn how to beat it.
  • Atmosphere - Does the map look pretty and immerse players in the setting, or is it just a bland static box with a few mobs tossed in?
  • Story - Does it tell its own backstory in a unique way? Remember there's more ways to silently tell a story than just leaving notes around.
  • Teamwork - Does Security, Science, Engineering, and Medical all potentially have something interesting to do on the mission? Because we don't want gateway maps that are just Shitcurity stomping grounds, for example, and we want to punish players who solo the mission. Gateway maps are about teamwork.
  • Reward - What is the end-game of the map? What do you get from it at the end? Does it make sense, or is it unbalanced and absurd? This doesn't necessarily have to be an item, but the map has to provide some sense of accomplishment in some way.
  • Replayability - Can the map be replayed repeatedly with new experiences? We want to avoid maps that can basically be memorized and beaten easily until everyone is bored with it.

Rules and Requirements:
Rules are to be enforced by head admins. If at least 3 headmins believe you are in violation of one or more of these rules, your map will be disqualified, and it will not be added to the code, let alone eligible for the prize.
  • All Gateway maps must be compliant with AGPLv3 copyright to be considered valid entries for the competition. In short that means you're not stealing assets from sources that are not public domain, and also means that other servers are free to use the assets. Just because you don't win doesn't mean we won't keep the map, or that someone else might not want parts of it.
  • All Gateway maps must be saved under VOREstation\maps\RandomZLevels\ with a unique name.
  • All Gateway maps must include all assets unique to the map in their own .dm or .dmi file, which is to be saved in the same folder as the gateway map, by the same name. For example, if your map is called Forest.dmm, your code is in, and icons in Forest.dmi, and sound assets in a folder called \ForestSounds\.
  • All Gateway maps must be 120(x) by 120(y) in size. However, you can have as many Z levels as you want so long as it doesn't lag everything to shit or break.
  • There are no rules against "Magic" within the Gateway maps, so long as that magic ceases to function when leaving the map, because Gateway maps can be set in alternative universes where our rules of physics do not apply. Have fun with that.
  • No Gateway maps may introduce an item or mechanic that severely breaks gameplay or balance. For example, you can't have anything that makes you permanently indestructible, or allows you to spawn items as if you were an admin, or gibs people in one shot, ban players, etc.
  • All Gateway maps must be submitted to Github no later than December 31st, 2017. They will be merged into the code or disqualified no later than January 7th, 2018.
  • All changes to the code not directly related to your Gateway map (such as bug fixes for an item you want to add that already exists in the code) must be submitted as a separate pull-request to Github before your map is submitted.
I strongly recommend submitting your map before the final date, so if you are in violation of any of these rules, you have time to fix it without being disqualified.

So how do I win?
All submitted Gateway maps will be judged based on the criteria I mentioned earlier, but there will be two separate prizes. You can win both of them with the same map. You're even allowed to submit multiple map projects.

Between January 1st and 7th (preferably sooner than later), all maps that were involved in the competition will be put live onto the server for players to try out. You are allowed to make tweaks and fixes until the final vote is made, but I recommend you do testing before the final submission date, because poor experiences may negatively impact your feedback.

Community Choice - $100(USD) - Sponsored by community donors. All maps will be subjected to a non-anonymous vote on the forum by the community. Voting will be held for the month of January, and on January 31st, a winner will be selected.

Ace's Bounty - $100(USD) - I will personally pick my favorite map and reward you with $100 out of my own pocket, because I damn well feel like it!

All entrants must have a valid Paypal account to be eligible for prize money.
All entrants must include their ckey in their post on Github to be eligible for prize money.
The prizes are not mutually exclusive, so you could potentially win both.
When winners are announced on Github on their pull request, the winners have 1 week to collect their prize before the runner-up is selected instead.
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Postby orbisa » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:38 pm

Orbis guide to Gateway maps

So, you want to enter the content and build your own map, but wonder how the hell does it all works, well, fear not, its easy!

First, create a map. Anything will do, even a sea of green grass.
Remember to put your new map in VOREStation\maps\RandomZLevels, otherwise it wont work.

Second, create the area where you are going to put your gateway, make sure it has an area, is somehow powered, and place the gateway, like so.
Tip: The gateway components are on the object tree of /obj/machinery/gateway/, but I just generally use the handy search tool, located at the bottom of the object tree, and just write gateway.


Third, make sure the center is centeraway, like in the picture.


Okay, now you are done, wrong, we need to make a code file that says our map is a thing. Since I used orbistest.dmm for my map, I will create something like this

icon_state = "blank"
base_turf = /turf/snow/snow2
base_turf = /turf/simulated/floor/snow/snow2

Almost done there, this is easy, but we need to set this up, in the RandomZLevels folder, there is a file called fileList.txt
go to the bottom of it, and add the following line, replacing orbistest with the name of your map


And thats it! Compile, run, play.

Additional tip: go to VOREStation\config\config.txt, find the line that says GATEWAY_DELAY 18000 and replace it with GATEWAY_DELAY 18, that way you wont need to wait forever for the gateway to start.
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Postby Aces » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm

Topic hidden because no one entered. :T
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