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Old 03-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Exclamation "Portal to Beyond" Mapping Contest

http://seriouszone.com/events/springcontest2015invitesmall.jpg

Back in ye olde times, existed a map pack for Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. It was called "Portals", and it was arguably the best thing ever. Many years later, while replaying this map pack, I thought "Man, I wish we had something like this now!" (right after "Why didn't Croteam choose this instead of Dark Island?").
And thus, came the idea...


---------------------------

Seriously! is proud to announce the first of its many Mapping Contests! We are planning two every year, one for Spring and one for Fall. We invite all Serious Sam mappers across the world to participate! We even extend a warm welcome to mappers from other franchises who think they have what it takes!

So let's see the specifics!


---------------------------

SPECIFICS:

The Theme: Other Worlds! Different planets, other dimensions, anything crazy and interesting you can think of!

Length: The map should take AT LEAST 30 minutes or MORE to complete on Normal Difficulty.

Game: Serious Sam 3: BFE

About the map: It should be a single map. The gameplay style should be standard Serious Sam gameplay, as in, battles, exploration, puzzles in a good, satisfying mix. That means no horror maps, no wobbly blurry vision with cinematic framerates, but, well, maps like in the "Portals" mappack: Serious Sam through and through, showing the best of its gameplay. The map should also possibly start with Sam arriving through a portal, then leaving through another; other story elements can be added, but only if self-contained inside that one level.

Here is how each map will be judged (in order of importance):
- Gameplay (basically, how fun is it; including if there are some interesting mechanics and battles, but also including the layout of the map or its complexity)
- Aesthetics (how interesting it looks; custom assets encouraged!)
- Performance (how well it runs, are there any slowdowns)
- Visuals (how good it looks)


---------------------------

RULES:

- The map and its assets should be included in a single GRO file, that doesn't modify the base game (no mods)
- The map can't have any other dependencies (like URP), unless you include said dependencies in the GRO file (like stuff for URP)
- You are allowed to showcase your maps, no secrecy required!
- Using assets from other Croteam games is allowed (like SSHD, SS2, SSXBOX, Talos, etc). Non-Croteam assets however, are not!
- Maps that were in development before the contest started will not be accepted!


---------------------------

PRIZES:

1st Place: 30 US Dollars in Steam Money + a random free game from the Game Stash
2nd Place: 20 US Dollars in Steam Money + a random free game from the Game Stash
3rd Place: 10 US Dollars in Steam Money + a random free game from the Game Stash
Runner-up prizes (4-5th place): A random free game from the Game Stash

Additional Prize: The three winning maps (with possibly one runner-up map as secret level) will be joined together to create a new spiritual sequel to the "Portals" campaign for Serious Sam 3: BFE (maps may require some polish before the campaign release).


---------------------------

DEADLINES:

Application deadline: March 31st
Deadline for finishing your map: May 22nd


---------------------------

To apply for the competition, just post a reply to this thread. When your map is ready, send it to me, Solais, in PM. After the contest is over, the judges will decide on the winners.


Good luck to all of you!


---------------------------

Our Contestants so far!

Devostator
AndukaR
Captain_Russia
NHunter
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Last edited by Solais; 04-27-2015 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:05 PM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Anyone know where to get them custom textures?
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:24 PM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Count me in, just a question...is music from Dark Island and SSXBOX allowed?
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:51 AM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCommando View Post
Anyone know where to get them custom textures?
Well you can make your own or look for royalty-free images. I'm sure Solais can provide some links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devostator View Post
Count me in, just a question...is music from Dark Island and SSXBOX allowed?
Yes to SSXBOX, since Croteam made all of that content. Dark Island is technically fan-made content, so not without permission from the original author.

Last edited by Louva-Deus; 03-12-2015 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:02 AM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Alright, so I will not use music from the Dark Island, I've already started mapping for the contest now, good luck to all the other mappers who join in, if there will be any, that is. Else it would be pointless.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:21 AM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:21 AM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Thanks
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:48 AM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Sounds fun enough i guess,im in.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:30 AM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Ima joining in team with nyam!
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:42 PM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Just letting everyone know, teaming up is discouraged because it gives a potentially unfair advantage, but it is not against the rules. We are testing this out and if it turns out to be a problem then it will be against the rules in future contests. Also, prizes are shared, so.. yeah.
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:02 AM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Is two months really enough for a map?
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Old 03-13-2015, 05:11 AM   #12   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Depends on the map, this is not a super-project, it's a contest project so you need to work a bit differently. It's up to you guys to properly plan your map so that you could be able to make it within two months.

After you get a good map idea, you need to set up work hours, let's say, you're going to work for 2 hours each day, except Sunday. And Keep To That Work Schedule!

After about a week, or in this case 2 weeks would be a good sample probe, ask yourself; "What percentage did I complete of my overall final map?" It's called Velocity, and you need to estimate if you'll be able to reach at least 90% within the given time frame less one week. You'd want to keep a week of free time to bug fix and fine polish, releasing as soon as you think it's done is discouraged.

Estimate your velocity on a weekly basis after that.

If it turns out that your velocity is slower than it should, you're going to have either work more, Cut or do a balance between the two options.

That's a tricky question. The What to Cut I mean.

And it's one that you need to figure out as soon as possible.
It's okay to cut at what's essentially your preproduction, the first two weeks of this contest. Cutting is not as bad as people make it sound. It would be as bad as people make it sound if you end up doing it at like, the 7th week when you're panicking.

For starters you can start with Trimming instead. Figure out if you have a costly to make feature that is likely to end up being a copy of an already existing mechanic or gameplay in your map, and either use That, or remove it.

Figure out what's part of your story and remove the gimmicks first.

There's a super secret level planned? Cut it, no one cares about it.

There's 4 fight arenas, connected by custom exquisite baroque corridors? Cut 2, make just one corridor, extend the fights in a clever way.

You may need to cut a whole level, and that's a super hard thing to do but your future self might thank you. Sometimes Cutting might feel as if you're destroying your own map, but as long as you don't panic and remain calm, a polished map will always be better than one with half baked features and semi-complete exquisite baroque corridors.

Just remember, you'd want to plan things in such a way, that you'd at most cut something at your second week appraisal. You can cut something on the 3rd week too.

It's a good practice, it will even help you learn how to manage your time for personal projects too, so that you'll chew out all those great map ideas before you hit 30
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Last edited by Mischievous; 03-13-2015 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:52 AM   #13   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

thanks based misdreavus
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #14   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

It helps a lot to think about what your objectives are with your map. What specific things do you want the players to do, and then you can plan your level. First plan for the minimum amount of work needed to accomplish those objectives, and then decide on what you can realistically do (in the time you have available) to build on that basic plan to make it more interesting.

Now making things more interesting doesn't necessarily mean making the map longer. Sometimes it means introducing something that makes it take longer to clear certain areas (clever use of moving obstacles... puzzles.. battles). Sometimes it is more of a visual aesthetic that makes things interesting (make the entire world look like Mario 64!). Et cetera.

Making maps is a daunting task but if you have a good workflow (process) then you can break it down into more manageable steps so that you can stay motivated, and, ultimately, be successful. Never forget that failing to plan means that you are planning to fail. But make sure that you don't also spend all of your time planning.

Start with the biggest ideas first and work your way down to the smaller details, because details can always be left out for the sake of finishing on time and they won't have nearly as much impact as missing key features will.

Last edited by Louva-Deus; 03-13-2015 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:29 AM   #15   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Do I need to plan on paper? Because so far all my planning process are in my head.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #16   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

It is advisable.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:42 PM   #17   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

5 days left. Anyone else?
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:16 PM   #18   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCommando View Post
Do I need to plan on paper? Because so far all my planning process are in my head.
I do it all the time, for anything. I recommend you do it too.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:43 PM   #19   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

I pretty much can work with the stuff in my head without need of paper and pen but I do recommend to use that too. It helps you to focus more on your things and if you draw something you can also imagine how your world should be like much better
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:27 AM   #20   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Does anyone have gameplay videos of the original Portals?


Another thing; that city in the intro cutscene of SSXBOX; does that map still exist somewhere?
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:11 AM   #21   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

I don't think there is a level available for it, maybe croteam has it. I know that inside the XBOX disc files there are .wld files but you can't open them because they were build on something higher, something between SED1-2 I think. I don't think you will be able get them open.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:05 AM   #22   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Revolution can support some xbox stuff, and in fact, it got a few Deathmatch maps from SSXbox. However, I don't have the xbox version to test that.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:06 AM   #23   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
Revolution can support some xbox stuff, and in fact, it got a few Deathmatch maps from SSXbox. However, I don't have the xbox version to test that.
Hmm, interesting...
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:45 PM   #24   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Maybe this should be advertised some more, maybe then some people will notice it, I don't want my work to be for nothing. This is so far the first competition I ever joined in.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:21 PM   #25   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

We posted it on Steam (both on the S! group and the SS3 forums), Twitter, Facebook, even serioussite.

What else?
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:28 PM   #26   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Well, I was about to suggest SeriousSite but I see... I still hope there are going to be more mappers.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:08 PM   #27   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Even if the contest gets cancelled,its not for "Nothing",its not like you wont be allowed to work on it anymore.

...Unless you're only doing it for the prizes.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:15 PM   #28   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

It's not only really about that, I have my own project and I froze it especially for this contest, if it would get cancelled that means I wasted a lot of work time for something that won't happen if it gets cancelled.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:17 PM   #29   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

We can still make a campaign out of it somehow, I guess.

For now, we'll probably extend the registration date, then we'll see. Technically, you shouldn't have been starting work till the registration is still going.
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Unless when I use this nice blue color I totally didn't steal from Blizzard.

Last edited by Solais; 03-17-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:21 PM   #30   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Seriously! Presents: "Portal to Beyond" - A Serious Sam 3 Mapping Contest

Oh...but that wasn't really mentioned before....
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