With the very recent release of Overwatch 1.3.0, we'd like to announce our first ever set of design contests!
If you're a fan of Overwatch, the Source SDK and winning over 800$ worth of cash and prizes, read on!
▫ The Contests
In our Epic Quest for Goodies, we're looking for new maps and models to add to our game. We have very few limitations and encourage you to go absolutely wild!
Both contests start today and have a 50-day limit, ending on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at midnight. Here are the details:
Level Design Contest:
Mappers have seven (7) weeks to develop a level for Overwatch. The level's layout must be completely blocked out, development textures and basic lighting may be used, but at least one quarter (25%) of the level must be fully detailed (textures, lighting, models/props). Fun gameplay must be the designer's main focus.
- Duration: 7 weeks (50 days), ending December 13th, 2010
- Main Focus: Fun gameplay and replay value
- Layout: Completely blocked out and must work for both the Resistance and Overwatch sides (in other words, the GM should have a clear and unobstructed top-down view of the level)
- Textures/Lighting: Development textures and basic lighting may be used, but at least one quarter (25%) of the level must be fully detailed (textures, lighting, models/props)
- Other Details: There is no specific theme requirement (go wild) and no other limitations (be sure to take a look at the How to Enter, Judging and Rules sections below)
Model Design Contest:
Artists have seven (7) weeks to design a replacement model for one of the two melee weapons found in Half-Life 2 (Crowbar and Stunstick), and a model to replace the makeshift Riot Shield currently found in Overwatch (which is basically a prop: models/props_combine/combine_barricade_short01a.mdl).
- Duration: 7 weeks (50 days), ending December 13th, 2010
- Technical (Melee): Full-export of a Crowbar or Stunstick replacement using the standard animations (both World and View models)
- Technical (Riot Shield): You have the option to make it its own weapon (basically test it as a replacement to the Crowbar) or a simple prop that can be attached to the existing Crowbar (like our current Riot Shield)
- Skin/Texture: The models must be completed (textures and all) before being submitted
- Reference Thread (Melee): Melee Weapons Competition
- Other Details: There is no specific theme requirement for the Melee replacement (go wild), but the Riot Shield must fit within the Half-Life universe. There are no other limitations (be sure to take a look at the How to Enter, Judging and Rules sections below)
▫ The Prizes
Source modders know that our good friends over at Noesis Interactive dominate the Source engine video tutorial market with their DVDs. This year, they unveiled their brand new site, Design3, which allows you to stream those same tutorials (and many, many more) with just the click of a button. Already an expert at everything Source? Not a problem! D3's current training modules cover other engines (Unity) and programs (3ds Max, Maya), with new content being added frequently!
If you're eager to learn, check out some of their free tutorials (more get unlocked when you register for a free trial membership) covering topics like Source Level Design and 3D Content Creation with 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage (XSI).
Level Design Contest:
- First Place (1st) - A year-long membership to D3 (value: $179.95) + $200 in CASH.
- Second Place (2nd) - A half-year membership to D3 (value: $99.95) + $100 in CASH.
- First Place (1st) - A half-year membership to D3 (value: $99.95) + $50 in CASH.
- Second Place (2nd) - A month's membership to D3 (value: $19.95) + $50 in CASH.
Additional Prizes (+ Donations):
In addition to the prizes listed above:
- Participants may be offered a spot on our development team,
- Winning entries may be included in a future update (for maps, this might depend on whether or not the designer is willing to complete his level).
- If the contest is popular and there is a big enough number of good entries, we may increase the prizes for first and second place winners and add a third place prize (this will work separately for each contest),
- If any community members wish to donate prize money to either contest (or both), we will increase the prize pool for that contest (contact us here to discuss donations).
▫ How to Enter
All participants must create a new thread in the appropriate Works in Progress section of the Community Content subforums. The thread must be updated frequently enough (once every week or two) with a small progress report and some screenshots (or other media), to encourage community members (who will also be judging the entries) to provide you with some early feedback.
To submit your completed work, put all assets used in a ZIP file and check back here at the beginning of December for upload information.
Remember: the ZIP file must include all assets and source files. For example, level designers must include the bsp, vmf and any other custom assets (models, decals, textures) used in their map.
▫ The Judging
Submissions will be played/tested in-game and judged (equally) by the development team, Noesis/Design3 staff and members of the community.
Levels will be judged according to the following criteria:
- Fun Factor (35%): Wild? Enjoyable? Still fun to play after several rounds? Exciting for both sides?
- Strategy (20%): Does the Overwatch (GM) have different options (not limited to just a few spawns and traps)? Does the Resistance have a better chance of winning if they play cooperatively (as opposed to splitting up and running around the map)?
- Balance (10%): Is it fair? Do both sides have an equal chance of winning?
- Layout (20%): Easy to navigate and reach objectives? Clear and unobstructed view of the level for the GM?
- Aesthetics (15%): Is it visually appealing?
- BONUS (15%): Does it offer anything new (i.e. new game mode, new traps)?
- Functionality (25%): Do they work?
- Aesthetics (50%): Are they visually appealing? Does the Riot Shield fit the Half-Life universe?
- Fun Factor (15%): [Melee] Wild? Enjoyable? Fun to use?
- Performance (10%): Smallest performance hit possible?
- BONUS #1 (5%): Does the new melee replacement come with any funny but fitting custom sounds?
- BONUS #2 (10%): Was the Riot Shield designed to offer extra functionality (like secondary fire)?
In other words, since the winning Riot Shield(s) may be added to the game, we would be willing to add the necessary code to make any additional functionality you may have designed for it work in Overwatch. A very simplistic example: if you've designed it with a tube in the middle that could be used to shoot bananas, we'd be willing to code in the banana-shooting part when we add it to the game. Just remember, you need to handle all the modelling/animation requirements for it (and only leave the coding to us).
▫ The Rules
Participants agree to abide by the following rules:
- Submissions will be accepted starting on Monday, December 6th, 2010
- The submission window closes on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 23:59 UTC/GMT
- All requirements listed above must be followed (don't forget to post in the WIP section of the forums!)
- Participants may submit as many entries as they want and they may enter both contests (level design/model design), but a participant can only win one prize per contest (so two prizes total)
- The work submitted must be original (never before seen) and not a forgery. Forgery will result in immediate disqualification
- Custom assets (textures, models/props) may be used as long as the participant has the copyright owner's consent to use them
- No pornography or other questionable content will be accepted
- Deadline, rules and requirements may change (track this thread for replies/updates)
- In any and all cases of dispute, the development team's decision is final
▫ Other Information
Be sure to track this thread by clicking on the Watch Topic button above, to be notified of any updates.
Help & Support:
The Overwatch development team will do its best to support all participants in any way possible during the duration of this contest.
Level designers will find several guides, tutorials and specifications sheets on our forums and in the Resources section.
Need help or have a question? Feel free to create a new thread on the forums, or contact us by Email or via Live Chat.
Note to Level Designers:
Both the Resources, Help & Tutorials section of our forums and the Resources database are updated frequently, so be sure to keep an eye on them.
In the next few days, a new tutorial will be posted explaining how to set up the entity system we use for NPC spawns. However, Overwatch's next update (1.4.0) will introduce (among others) a new system and set of custom entities that will make it easier to implement NPC spawns (some details will be mentioned in this Wednesday's Progress Report). You are free to use the current system in the meantime and, should you decide to stick with it, the new system will in no way impact your current setup.
We look forward to all the entries and wish you all the best of luck!
All currency is in USD.