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Offline mobo

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How about Graphic contests?
« on: March 20, 2011, 04:54:39 PM »
I was thinking: we could have monthly graphic contests, as well as the SMSC.

Where people have 1 month to create a pak or an image at least that matches some predefined criteria. And then the community can vote the winners.

possible topics could be:
(from easy to difficult)
  • a tourist attraction
  • something with animation
  • a vehicle
  • a building with 8 rotations
  • some building in a certain syle - like Renaissance or Futuristic

For comparison it would be good to state a pak set too, but i think nowadays - with many different paksets being developed - it is better to leave that decision to the painters.

Whatcha think? anyone intersted?


Offline gwalch

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 05:57:22 PM »
Interesting idea ! But how many people would participate ?
Anyway, if this contest take place, i will try to participate !

Offline mobo

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 06:55:43 PM »
Well, then we're 2 already.

I think we should try and announce a contest next month, then we'll see. If there are 5 participants that's already a good result i think.

But I need some moderator to take care of the contest since I'm only online from time to time.

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 02:47:30 AM »
Unless vilvoh would do it, i'd volunteer to moderate such a contest. (vilvoh is moderating the other contest so good, it would be greatly preferable if he could also do this one.)

mobo, do you think it should be allowed to include also concept art and high res renders for the submissions (like zeno usually does).

Offline Zeno

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 07:18:19 AM »
High res renders would apply only to 3D artists, maybe it would be better to wait and see who's in the contest...

Btw,  there are already 3 of us!  ;)

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 08:23:00 AM »
I support it.

If it turns out, it'll deserve a blog post and a slot in the forum news like the ones shown in header. :)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 08:38:55 AM »
Unless vilvoh would do it, i'd volunteer to moderate such a contest. (vilvoh is moderating the other contest so good, it would be greatly preferable if he could also do this one.)

I'd love to but I'm afraid I don't have much more time so I appreciate your offer and of course, I accept it... :D

PS: I would try to participate, of course... ;)

Offline mobo

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 08:21:35 PM »
Well then, lets do it. In April i mean.

I'd say we demand a ready to use pak and maybe an in game screenshot, then you can see whether it fits to the pakset it's intended for. And then you can add high res renders and links to photos of the real thing. If you moderate it, sdog, which would be cool, then you can adjust the rules of course.

Offline VS

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 09:41:55 PM »
I'll throw this here (feel free to split): IMO monthly contests are draining all the "fun" too fast. Perhaps for the month when this is done, regular screenshot contest could not take place?

And I think I'd take part in graphic contest, too - even if only for the lulz :P

Offline Lmallet

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2011, 10:28:10 PM »
Perhaps for the month when this is done, regular screenshot contest could not take place?
Alternating would be good.  One month graphics, one month screenshot.

Also, I think one of the conditions should be "any image in this contest must be open source, and any image, winning or not, may be included in Simutrans".  :)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 10:47:50 PM »
Alternating would be good.  One month graphics, one month screenshot.
That's a very good idea. It would give us more participants at SMSC. I support it.

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 11:03:15 PM »
How about some alternating between themed and open graphic contests. Open ones people can just submit whatever they already did for a pak-set. Themed should have much more time with a theme and request to produce something acording those contest rules. Example would be a 30's style industrial building contest. Or is this becoming too specialised for you? (i'm not doing graphics myself, only following the progress on the forum)

Offline VS

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 11:17:42 PM »
Now I'm speaking only for myself personally, but: Graphics get exponentially harder with tile size, style, and type... pak64 vehicles <<< pak128 industries. Also, somewhere along the way you pass a threshold of 3d feasibility, and from there upwards it's a much shallower curve for 3d guys. So, specifying a theme and range of styles/sizes is preferable.

Also, this is just one data point, but submitting old creations makes little sense to me... That way we could have 5 contests a week!

Feel free to disagree though ;)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 11:23:05 PM by VS »

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 11:28:47 PM »
i thought fabio was the only drawing directly, instead of using blender etc.

I also don't think it should, in general, specified the pak set for the competition. Or do you think a make one addon for at least two different pak-sets could be feasible?

My first thought was, such a competition should have a bit of a purpose, encouraging people to try something they usually don't do, by providing a challenge. It must be too much of a challenge though, else it will shy people away. The other interesting thing could be to encourage production to fill gaps that are in many pak-sets. (for example many pak sets could use small modern passenger ferries quite well)

Now, don't forget i'm only making some suggestions here. If you want me to organise this, i will moderate the process of finding good competitions. Since i'm not creating graphics myself i don't want to go to far however.

Offline VS

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2011, 11:53:44 PM »
Random scenario: Theme is "police stations", period. No restrictions on style etc.

I will jump at this and paint five (yes, absolutely) multi-tile, rotatable items for pak32. Mobo, being the pak32 master, will crank out one, with far more detail and colour cleverness. Fabio will appear only around Christmas, saying he is halfway through with pak128 version ;D Zeno renders a very reasonable building for 128. TheHood chimes in with another 128-sized, this time for 128.Britain. A random stranger posts a Sketchup render for 128. Vilvoh has two render-based variants for pak64, and three others paint one completely 2d. Sojo or somebody adds a 96.comic version.

How does one judge these fairly? Perhaps a good way out is to simply let the public decide... Maybe it actually is a non-issue :D

edit: Yep, no more playing devil's advocate from me. I want to see this done, dammit, not ran into ground by my nitpicking ;D

Offline mobo

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 11:58:55 PM »
I got to agree with lmallet, of course we want to be able to use the graphics afterwards, so we should demand sources, pakfile and in game screenshot, and state that participating means agreeing with the further use of the work in simutrans.

Old graphics, i don't know, actually we want to see something new.
Also maybe we can attract some users to become "artists" and maybe draw some attention to objects that are lacking, though this might be different in different paksets.

Comparing pixel drawn stuff and 3D renders and choosing a winner is hard of course, so we should state that it's more a fun contest and people should not be upset, nothing to win anyway. Maybe we can allow multiple votes on the poll, then people can give one vote for each one they like.

About alternating, yeah ok, maybe we can announce the the theme for the next drawing contest already - 1 month in advance - so people can start working already.

Edit: I agree with VS's last sentence, don't do the "pak mars mistake" (much discussion - little result). Let's just announce one and see what happens.
"cur buildings of any size" maybe, it's a bit more general than 1930 industry so maybe some more people feel like joining in. If it runs good we can try more difficult and specific themes.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 12:11:11 AM by mobo »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2011, 12:36:19 AM »
Interesting idea. Might I cunningly suggest a theme of modern day passenger ferries, something which, entirely coincidentally of course, is currently lacking in Pak128.Britain...? ;-)

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2011, 02:08:00 AM »
i put the example of those ferries exactly for the reason it is lacking in quite a lot of paks, not just pak-britain. But also because hardly anyone has experience with doing ships. In an ideal case it could perhaps encourage some of the artists who did other things successfully before to just try it.

Now it will be quite difficult to compete, in the very literal meaning of the word, with zeno. This is exactly where it is quite worth to think about what Vladimír posted, it is almost impossible to judge. There are several possible criteria and also possibility of the most unfair yet effective, popular vote.

I think we need some element of this comptetition, while making clear from the beginning that we won't have one winner and many loosers, reducing the pressure, to prevent dissapointment. Comming back to the ferry example, it's almost certain from the beginning if zeno would submit something he would win. This is very fair this might also take away the incentive of the competition. Here is where the strength of our community comes to play, cooperation and mutual support. By cooperating while competing one participates from the success. (E.g. the footbal-player who passes the ball to his mate gets the goal)

Going back to the ferry example, a possible, but purely fictional, scenario might be, zeno explains with one of his tutorials how to do the ferries, supports in details what can be improved, perhaps has an own contribution out of competition and several pak artists -- who perhaps didn't do boats before -- submit excellent results. We could make zeno our jury president, have one or two other members decide AND have a poll. The combination of those elements could find a winner.

ps.: i hope zeno, if you read this, you are not angry i used you with out asking in my example.
(to who ever made the pak64 boats, please excuse that i did not take you as an example, zeno's new boats are just more present in my memory)


@mobo
i'm not sure i think it might be fair to make some competition at the beginning where already made addons (let's say released after 1 Jan can be submitted. This could help us to learn how to do the process without hurting anyone, get a lot of submissions and last but not least get the whole thing started quickly.

Offline rfg123

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2011, 05:03:09 AM »
I think this is an excellent idea.. Seems like a good way to encourage people to paint new graphics, and as mentioned, help add object that are otherwise lacking across all paksets.

Offline Zeno

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2011, 12:23:42 PM »
We could make zeno our jury president...
No way to make me wear a judge wig!! ;D

ps.: i hope zeno, if you read this, you are not angry i used you with out asking in my example.
Don't worry, no problem at all :)


Btw, the better way I can think of voting such a kind of contest is ...(just writting as I think)... like swimming jumps or ice skating contests: having some technical and some execution values to puntuate, then get an average. This would apply to a graphic contest something like technical aspects of the picture (voting for lefel of detail, proportions, and technical difficulty) and a more global result voting (again, based on pakset fit/matching, ability to colour/texturing, and general aspect). Then an extra point could be given to the most popular voted...

Offline ӔO

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2011, 05:21:11 PM »
I like the idea of the contest, but I think it could be a bit difficult to match buildings and vehicles to a specific pakset. Unless the contest specifies a pakset chosen at random. Perhaps just a "best graphic design/concept" and the pakset maintainers can decide if they want any of the entered designs into their pakset?

having the graphic designs open source would be best too, as they can be touched up for a multitude of uses.

Interesting idea. Might I cunningly suggest a theme of modern day passenger ferries, something which, entirely coincidentally of course, is currently lacking in Pak128.Britain...? ;-)

like some hydroplane or hovercraft ferries?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 05:29:38 PM by AEO »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2011, 12:16:21 PM »
The other possibility is having one winner per pakset?

Offline gwalch

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2011, 02:24:16 PM »
The other possibility is having one winner per pakset?

It depends how many people participate !

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2011, 05:04:23 PM »
If we have a jury or score based ranking it should be quite possible to compare graphics from other paksets fairly. It wouldn't likely work with a popular vote only. (At olympics in principle a 1.5 m figure skater should have the same chance to win as a 1.85 m)

Let's just try if it actually works, if it doesn't we can change things.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2011, 10:57:04 PM »
So do you think we're ready to start with this next month?

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2011, 11:27:43 PM »
How about 1 June to 15 June submission, 24 to 30 June poll,  1 July posting of the result, together with blog post etc. If this is too short of a time for pak artist to come up with something, we can delay this by one or two months, and make a first test run competition with addons released since 2011-01-01.

Let's decide on the first subject, post your suggestions here. One was my suggestion of a Ferryboat, small pax boat. (if we have rolling stock now, the next competition should perhaps be

After we have a subject, we can agree on/clarify rules to have a common frame.  Also decide if we want a jury too, and who should be decided as jury president for that competition.

Offline VS

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2011, 02:07:25 PM »
After some thinking, the plan & timeline sound good.

Subject brainstorm? Just thinking about 128 and my crazy ideas:
  • ferries,
  • car transport,
  • mail offices,
  • <insert theme> stations & extensions,
  • narrow gauge,
  • "take it to the limit" - special items that abuse current engine to create non-trivial or even better non-obvious things,
  • "player colour rules" - effectively restricting palette to PC + some small subset of RGB, perhaps percentage limit for non-PC portions of graphic
  • "future is not übercool" - not unrealistic items (?) for the post-2015 timeline


Also, sdog, your post is cut off in the middle it seems...?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2011, 04:58:16 PM »
Imho, It's a good planning. Another question I wanted to clarify, is that if we should run both contests (screenshot and graphics) at the same time or alternating months.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 05:20:28 PM by vilvoh »

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2011, 05:07:50 PM »
I think the screenshot contest and graphics contest are not interfering. Such a screenshot can be done in a few minutes. The graphics are much more effort, we have to see how much feedback it get's if we can have them frequently.

I'll start a new thread in a little while, with a synapsis of our plan and the start of the brainstorming for our first subject.

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2011, 01:02:32 AM »
first anouncement: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=7138.msg68993#msg68993

seems like i'm the first moderator for that contest.

(vilvoh, i'd like to request mod power for this board of the forum. it will work without, but might be useful. could you please start a topic with my request in the devotee board?)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2011, 07:23:16 AM »
Roger that.

Offline paco_m

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2011, 11:23:33 AM »
What is the topic for june?
And I think that two weeks for a pak is little time if somebody wants to create a new pak according to the current contest,
I would prefer 4 weeks or announcing at least the topic a month before ;)

Offline sdog

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Re: How about Graphic contests?
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2011, 04:11:16 PM »