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Masters Contest Rules

kinggath

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The Masters Contest will be an annual, invite-only competition. This competition focuses on story-telling with settlement designs by not just showing off the level 3 version, but each of the previous levels as well. The contest will have a much larger prize pool, longer deadline, and will focus on much larger settlements.


Invitations

Invites will be sent out before September 1st to anyone who has turned in a valid City Plan contest entry in the previous 12 months of contests. Expect the invitation to come through the SimSettlements.com forums to the username you submitted your other entries to the City Plan contest.


Judging

Judging will be done like a typical City Plan contest, with the Sim Settlements team picking what we determine to be the best 3 and presenting those for public voting by anyone with an active SimSettlements.com forum account.

Unlike normal monthly contests, the initial internal judging to cut to the finalists will be a little more nuanced, as the vote scoring will be done across three categories and the combined score will be used (in the normal contest, we merely ask team members to choose their favorites among the entries).
  • Creativity: Does your settlement make clever use of the space, plots, and available assets?

  • Immersion: Do your settlement levels tell a believable story about how your settlement evolved over time?

  • Functionality: Does your settlement meet the game needs of the settlers (food, water, defense, happiness), allow them to path well, and provide the player with useful things (such as Crafting Benches, a Commercial area, or even a player bed/home)?
Initial internal judging will begin the day the contest ends. Final round, public voting will occur sometime in late October or early November, depending on how long it takes to produce the finalists videos, with prizes awarded within a few days after the public voting concludes.

Prizes

Note that prizes will likely change each year as they are heavily determined by donations made by the community and other benefactors!

  • 1st Place: $500 - This will be given out via Paypal*.

  • 2nd/3rd Place: $100 Steam Gift Card and Lifetime Nexus subscription

  • Finalists (1st, 2nd, and 3rd): Professionally voiced city tour video of your settlements**

  • All Participants: Sim Settlements T-Shirt

*If you are not eligible to receive Paypal funds for some reason, we’ll work with you to find an alternate means of getting you the cash.
**We'll work with you to dream up a short story and video to tell the tale of your settlement as it rises from foundation to level 3, and have a professional voice actor do the narration to make your video shine. This video will be used during the finals to help sell your settlement to the public voting, you'll also be given a high-quality render you can post or use anywhere you like!


Specific Rules

Settlement to Build: A settlement will be chosen and announced on August 31st, 2019 that all participants may begin building in. You MUST start from a specific pre-determined save file that we will provide. A link to download it will be included with the post announcing the settlement.


Build Limits: You must stay within the build limit. Under normal City Plan Contest rules you can go to double the build limit, but the save file you’ll be starting from already has the build limit configured.


City Plan Requirements:

  • Must support between 15 and 20 settlers at level 3 (that means one home or bed, one job, and enough food and water to support them).
    • Earlier levels may have less settlers.
  • Must include at least one of each of the 6 plot classes at level 3. This includes Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Martial, Recreational, and Residential.
  • Must include at least 20 plots.
  • Must include a City Planner’s Desk and Recruitment Beacon at each level.

Timeframe: The Masters Contest will run from September 1st through October 12th. You may turn in your entry at any time between the start and finish.


Turning In Your Design: A subforum for the Masters Contest entries will be created, the same as a normal monthly contest. Unlike a normal monthly contest, do NOT include your save file in the post, only turn those into the contest runners uituit and Sirlach, by messaging them via the SimSettlements.com forums. You must include the following:

  • Links to download your .fos save files for each level, screenshots, and description of your settlement’s story, these should be uploaded to a shared Google Drive or Dropbox.com folder.

  • Up to 28 total screenshots spanning your 4 levels to be split up in whatever amounts you see fit. Be sure to clearly label each filename so we know which level it belongs to, and post them to your entry post on the forums as well as including them in the archive.

  • A brief description of your settlement’s story posted with your entry as well as included with your archive. (No longer than a single page of text with size 12 font and 0.5 inch margins on all sides)
Mods Required: The following mods MUST be installed while working on your design. If these are removed, it will be detected in your save file and the entry will be invalid.

  • Sim Settlements Three-in-One version 4.1.2 or greater

  • City Plan Contest Mod version 4.1.2

  • Settlement Menu Manager

  • ProjectBlueprint.esp, ProjectBlueprintCOBJs_Sim.esp

Assets Allowed: You may only use assets included with the vanilla game, those found in the Sim Settlements build menu, and those in the non-DLC named sections of the Project Blueprint build menu.


Disallowed Mods: Transfer Settlements and Clipboard are not allowed as they allow for importing designs done outside of the timeframe of this contest. The primary reason for this is to avoid people taking designs from other creators and claiming them as their own.


Scrap mods such as Scrap Everything and Spring Cleaning, or any other mod that breaks precombines, even partially, is disallowed as they cause complications with City Plans, especially for XBox players.


Additional Rules: Unless a rule stated above says otherwise, the normal City Plan rules still apply! Rules above may be changed or expanded on between now and the start date of the contest. Everyone invited to the contest will be contacted again anytime the rules are updated.


Rule Addition: 08/27/2019 - All building plans used must be publically downloadable. In the past, we've allowed City Planner's to use building plans from beta versions or unreleased addon packs in their screenshots. That will not be allowed for the Masters contest.



Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind that we are not a business, this is just a community run event. So I don't have proper legalese drafted, and am counting on the good will of the community to help this contest go smoothly. If you think that I failed to cover something important to your understanding of the rules, please respond here and I will update things to clarify as quickly as possible.

I'm really excited to share this awesome set of donations with you guys, and can't wait to see all of the amazing City Plans that come of it!

-kinggath
 
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kinggath

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Jeez, we should definitely start doing that for faction packs...
The reason the contest only focuses on City Plans, is that all of the work is done in the game. It doesn't require reading any special documents, you just build a settlement, which everyone who plays FO4 knows how to do.

In the future, once I get a good system in place for handling exporting buildings and processing them into building plans without complex directions or tools, we'll likely have a building design contest as well.

Faction packs not only can't be done in the game, but are also largely limited to the number of factions that exist in the game - as designing a full faction from scratch is unrealistic for most folks. So it's unlikely we'll ever have competitions involving them.
 

Tyeeozalee

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Faction packs not only can't be done in the game, but are also largely limited to the number of factions that exist in the game - as designing a full faction from scratch is unrealistic for most folks. So it's unlikely we'll ever have competitions involving them.
That was to be expected, as it makes perfect sense. However, I was thinking about ideas to bolster creativity and diversity in faction pack making and since you intend to launch building design contests in the future, one could kill two birds with one stone organising faction themed plot design contests (articulated around - but not limited to - the buildings that are essential to faction packs such as the armory, field hospital and mess hall).

I would love to offer Forsaken Vaulters themed plots but I'm not too keen on doing that considering the main part of faction pack implementation is already so time consuming. That being said, I would gladly welcome a pack co-author focusing on custom plots.
 

Yagisan

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  • Must support between 15 and 20 settlers at level 3 (that means one home or bed, one job, and enough food and water to support them).
    • Earlier levels may have less settlers.
To clarify, this means it must be a fully self-sufficient build, right?
Should it be self-sufficient at each level (0,1,2, and 3), or just the final level (3) ?
 

kinggath

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Fully self-sufficient at level 3. Want to leave some room so the story-telling can involve them solving those needs problems if that's an angle someone wants to take.
 

Yagisan

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Great, that helps a lot with design ideas.
 

MrCJohn

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Location must be...

Sanctuary!

Just a guess. Haha :)

The History of how civilization evolved from a single man...

Look forward to it.
John
 

Rudy

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Please be Vault 88.
*crosses fingers and toes*
 

Yagisan

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Please be Vault 88.
*crosses fingers and toes*
It won't. That's a DLC location, and we can't use DLC according to the rules.

Considering it's 15-20 settlers, and vanilla, as an educated guess based on size, the most likely candidates are:
  • Sanctuary
  • Starlight Drive-in
  • The Castle
  • Spectacle Island.
From experience, Spectacle Island doesn't even load all the cells in, so anything built around the edges breaks in city plans. It is however, the biggest location.
 

MrCJohn

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Personally, I am waiting for the DLC versions of the city contest to commence... I know it may not happen, but as almost all the settlements have been re-done (except Sanctuary, Bunker Hill, Castle) where else to build - unless more re-do's with story concept - perhaps more related to future Conqueror quest lines ...

John
 

Yagisan

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Personally, I am waiting for the DLC versions of the city contest to commence
They have. Red Rocket Nuka World was one of them. It wasn't popular. Apparently SS has a large user base that refuses to buy the DLC. Probably best to start a new thread about that though.
 

Rudy

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the most likely candidates are:
  • Sanctuary
  • Starlight Drive-in
  • The Castle
  • Spectacle Island.
From experience, Spectacle Island doesn't even load all the cells in, so anything built around the edges breaks in city plans. It is however, the biggest location.
Of those, I would speculate that Sanctuary would be ruled out due to 'triangle of death' + 20 settler plan would be CTD fodder; engine issue, not SS issue.
Starlight would be good. It's been my Outpost in all my Conqueror play throughs. Having said that, it's line of sight isn't obstructed by much, so it's also a CTD candidate.
The Castle would be on my list too as it's far enough away from other settlements that you can 'go big' with it without fear. On my CTD prone machine, I have had 40+ settlers / Raiders there without issue. It doesn't start to crap out until around 60.
 
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