Contest Rules

Discussion in 'Rules and Information' started by kinggath, Aug 29, 2018.

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  1. kinggath

    kinggath Well-Known Member Staff Member Administrator Moderator Verified Builder

    May 8, 2017
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    To help you out with the contest - we've created the City Plan Contest Mod! Which includes tons of useful automation, tools, and information to make it easier than ever to design a City Plan and ensure you are following the current month's rules.

    EDIT: 09/28/2019 - Starting with Season 2, we'll be doing a single settlement most months and we've improved the prize support so that all top 3 get their choice of a t-shirt or Steam/Gog key, with the winner now getting to choose a new asset to be added to the Project Blueprint mods for future city plans! (See the specifics below)

    Where do I start?
    1. Download the City Plan Contest Mod.
    2. Declare your entry in the Enter the Contest Here section.
    3. Design a fantastic settlement (imagine you're designing the level 3 version of a City Plan).
    There's even a fresh save file available on the mod page that has all of the settlement's unlocked and ready to be built!

    Ok, I've designed my settlement - what do I do now?

    1. Run the Check My Settlement tool in the -= City Plan Contest =- holotape. This will check to make sure you've followed all of the rules for the current month's contest.
    2. Build the earlier levels of your City. This is much easier than it sounds! Check out this helpful guide on how to make lower levels quick!
    3. Take up to 10 screenshots of your settlement and post them in response to your contest entry thread. At least one of which needs to be an aerial shot showing most of your design so we can confirm you filled a fair amount of the settlement (don't want anyone cheating with a tiny fraction of the settlement filled out in high detail!).
    4. Upload your level 3 .fos save file to and share a link on your post. (You can find your saves in Documents/My Games/Fallout4/Saves)

    Which mods can I use?

    You can only build with items from the following places: Sim Settlements (there are thousands! See Recommended notes below) as well as any vanilla objects. Don't worry - you don't have to uninstall your other mods - we've thought of that! To help you keep track of what you can build - the City Plan Contest mod will automatically highlight anything that isn't legal in a glowing purple so you know instantly if you placed something you shouldn't have.

    Place Everywhere
    - This will allow you to place things in ways that would be very difficult otherwise.
    Project Blueprint mods - These are included with the City Planner's Toolkit and unlock thousands of new buildable items that players can gain access to with just Sim Settlements installed! (Note that the DLC versions of these cannot be used except for in settlements from those DLC)

    Do NOT Use
    Scrap Everything
    & Spring Cleaning - This mod will allow you to scrap much more than is possible for Sim Settlements to handle reliably and so won't work with City Plans in this contest If a mod lets you scrap something extra, you probably shouldn't use it.
    All Settlements Extended & Annex the Commonwealth - Mods that increase the build area aren't necessarily a problem technically, like scrap mods are, but they will encourage a bad habit for this contest. If anyone using your City Plan doesn't have a border extending mod installed, the settlers who are assigned to items outside the vanilla build area will never be able to reach them.

    What about Add-on Packs?

    Yes and no. You can use Building Plans on your plots from any add-on you like! What you can't do, is build extra items from an add-on, for example, custom City Planner's Desks.

    Building Plans are allowed because Sim Settlements can dynamically change them for players not using the add-on you had, whereas it won't know how to handle the other items.

    Can I go over the build limit?

    Yes! Though if you go too far over, your plan might get flagged as Complex which will limit the number of people who can use it. For the sake of the contest though, just make sure you aren't dragging your FPS down so low that you can't make a smooth video.

    If you'd like to dodge that Complex tag, so that everyone can use your plan, try and only increase the build limit about 3 times using the holotape and the keep your build under that.

    Can I build and share my City Plan before the contest is over?

    No. Though once the first round of judging is complete - you are definitely encouraged to share your work on Nexus!

    If you need help converting your saves into a working City Plan, the City Planner's Toolkit has easy-to-follow guides on how to export your settlement, and we have a simple web tool that you upload your blueprints to that automatically generates mod files!

    Are there any rules about my screenshots?

    Yeah, a few.

    1. It's OK if you are using an ENB, just don't do anything extreme that would make it hard for us to see your settlement details - such as lots of blurring, or completely changing the color to black and white or sepia tones.
    2. Include at least one aerial shot, or at least from a vantage point that we can see you filled out most of the settlement.
    3. Do NOT "photoshop" your images. Don't overlay any graphics, add text, or combine multiple images. If you want to apply some sort of filter to enhance the color, we won't be able to tell the difference between that and an ENB, the purpose of this rule is really just to avoid people adding things or combining images.

    You do NOT have to include screenshots of your earlier levels, but if you don't actually have those levels finished and make it to the top 3, you will be disqualified and the person with the next-highest votes from the SS team will take your place.

    How long do I have?

    Each month the contest details will be announced on 28th and you will have until 11:59 PM CST (kinggath's timezone) on the 28th of the following month. After which, the first round of judging from the Sim Settlements team based on screenshots will begin!

    The top 3 will be announced on the forums and the creators will be contacted directly for help preparing their settlements for the public judging round which will involve video tours.

    Who can enter?

    Anyone not currently on the Sim Settlements team may enter*, provided you are building your settlement on PC. We currently lack the tools necessary to export a settlement from Xbox, if that ever changes - we'll likely expand to allow Xbox players to enter as well!

    *Anyone who has not maintained good standing with the community (ie. has been banned from the Sim Settlements forums) is not eligible to enter.

    What are the prizes?

    Increased prize pool starting with the October contest:

    - All valid entries will now be eligible to be included in the Megapack*, the winning entry will be given a special tag and message so people who use it know you won the contest.
    - Top 3 will receive their choice of a Sim Settlements T-shirt OR a Steam/Gog key** for a new game, and have their City tours featured on kinggath's Youtube channel.
    - Winner will work with us to acquire a new asset to add to the Project Blueprint mods for use in future City Plan contests, whether it be a favorite item from another mod, an object you've seen in the vanilla game that isn't available yet, or possibly even something entirely new!

    * So long as you have followed all the rules, and can follow the steps to convert them into a working City Plan per the instructions in the City Planner's Toolkit.
    ** Actual games available vary month to month and may not always be Steam or Gog, occasionally they come from other launchers depending on where the game is published.

    ( I also reserve the right to INCREASE the prize pool. ; ) -kinggath )

    What are we being judged on?

    While there aren't going to be strict criteria on how people vote, you do have to follow the rules of the contest or your City Plan will be disqualified. So be sure that you have the appropriate numbers of plots, settler support, and any other requirements laid out in the current month's requirements.

    Voting will be largely subjective, but you should aim to make something that is immersive, detailed, and functional - as each judge on the team will likely have a bias towards one of these things.

    Immersive - Keep it lore friendly, if you build a modern day shopping mall, it might look cool - but likely the judges will find it jarring as a City Plan.

    Detailed - Don't skimp on the detail, little touches go a long way. Think things like clutter, wall decorations, and other little touches that show you've really thought about how the place would feel lived in.

    Functional - Some judges will really care about whether or not your settlement could actually function. It could be from a pathing perspective, from having a good mix of plot types, or from just seeming like it has a common theme.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    VersusXV and Koeran83 like this.
  2. kinggath

    kinggath Well-Known Member Staff Member Administrator Moderator Verified Builder

    May 8, 2017
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    If you have questions, please post them in the Help and Advice section.

    If we need to make any clarifications to the rules based on questions that are asked, to make it easy for everyone to keep track, we'll update this Contest Rules post and make a response to it outlining the edits.

    Hit the Watch Thread button up top to be notified when this is updated!
    Koeran83 likes this.
  3. damanding

    damanding Cluttered Mind Staff Member Administrator Support Team Vault Librarian Verified Builder

    May 12, 2017
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    Clarifications to Rules

    10 images and no video is a hard limit. (official from Kinggath)
    Going over this limit will result in being disqualified. This is a courtesy to the judges who may have many entries to review. We know you're proud of your work and would love to share dozens of images or an intro video, but if everyone did this it makes judging many entries that much harder for us. You're more than welcome to add extra after judging has been completed and the winners announced!

    Style of Images (unofficial from me)
    This is not an official rule from Kinggath, you won't be disqualified for using artistic styles of images.

    This is a personal request from me as a judge who is 41 years old and wears glasses. Lots of people like to show off their creative screenshotting skills with atmospheric pictures such as foggy weather or nighttime pictures using a mod like Darker Nights to show off the lighting. Unfortunately for some of us that style makes it much harder to actually see the settlement's appearance. I personally recommend daytime, clear weather, and no wild changes to things like field of view. While I find artistic pictures lovely, they do make it harder to see details.
    Koeran83, Whisper, Kefke_Wren and 3 others like this.
  4. damanding

    damanding Cluttered Mind Staff Member Administrator Support Team Vault Librarian Verified Builder

    May 12, 2017
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    Notice of a previously unspecified site-wide rule that applies to contests:

    No Nudity

    Since a contestant accidentally had nudity due to removing mods to create the city plan I thought this might be a good time to mention that nudity in screenshots is inappropriate not just for the contest but for this entire site in general. Thanks! ;)
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