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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
ST Challenges

Season 3 - Schedule of Challenges

9 posts in this topic

Simtropolis Challenges - Season 3 Logo

Schedule of Challenges

Hi everyone,

We're pleased to announce the full schedule for Simtropolis Challenges Season 3! :D

All challenges have now been confirmed and scheduled accordingly.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Ideas Bank.
Feel free to keep them coming, as they will be considered for future seasons. This also applies to any ideas not selected this time.

A big focus this season is on keeping the events flowing. We realise that different challenges suit different players. So considering this, there will always be something to take part in. Whether related to a specific type of city-building, or a more general theme -- we hope this season will offer a much wider range of challenges.

 

Challenge Types

There will be 4 types of challenges:

 Weekly   Min 7 days (Voting 6 days)

 Extended   Min 14 days (Voting 8 days)

 Monthly   Min 30 days (Voting 10 days)

 Custom Content   Min 30 days (Voting 12 days)

 

Each challenge type will carry an increased reputation prize bonus, and is also tracked using the new Leaderboard System.

As mentioned previously, a big thing this season will be Custom Content challenges for SimCity 4. These will run each for 30 days, followed by a 12 day voting period. The great thing about these is they'll have limited rules, so allow you to be really creative. There's a Lot of talented creators here, but this is also an opportunity for newcomers to try their hand at tools like the Lot Editor. It'll be really exiting to see how these challenges unfold. :8)

Monthly challenges will allow up to 3 submissions per author. All entered images can receive votes, with only your highest rated being used in the final ranking.

With the exception of Vanilla Only and the Custom Content ones, ALL challenges will be open to any city-building game.

 

So without further delay, they will be as follows...

 

Season 3 - Schedule

15-Nov
Content Creation
BATs, Lots, Mods or Maps. No rules except build anything! :party:
 Custom Content  (47 days)

01-Dec
Winter Wonderland
Show scenes with a winter theme
 Monthly  (31 days)

16-Dec
How to Do It
Explain the steps taken to create an image or content item
 Extended  (21 days)

26-Dec
City Showcase
Show the best scenes from your city
 Monthly  (47 days)

01-Jan
Celebrations!
How does your city celebrate?
 Weekly  (7 days)

19-Jan
Animation Challenge
Create an animated image from your city
 Extended  (25 days)


Completed Challenges:

Spoiler

13-Jun
Vanilla Only Challenge
No custom content allowed
 Weekly  (7 days)

20-Jun
Urban Features
Build an urban complex area
 Extended  (14 days)

01-Jul
Lotting Challenge
Create any Lot to be used in SimCity 4
 Custom Content  (31 days)

04-Jul
Tourist Attractions
What brings tourists to your city?
 Weekly  (7 days)

11-Jul
Photoshop Challenge
Enhance any image using software editing tools
 Extended  (14 days)

15-Jul
Roundabout Filler
Create a Lot designed to accompany a roundabout
 Custom Content  (31 days)

25-Jul
Bridge Bonanza
Build bridges, and lots of them!
 Weekly  (7 days)

01-Aug
Realistic Recreation
Aim to create images as realistic as possible
 Monthly  (31 days)

04-Aug
Thrilling Traffic
Show how much traffic you have in your city
 Weekly  (12 days)

15-Aug
Facelift
Enhance a vanilla building with a new Lot
 Custom Content  (31 days)

01-Sep
Parks and Plazas
Create a custom park or plaza Lot
 Custom Content  (44 days)

04-Sep
Night Scenes
Create an image taken at night
 Extended  (20 days)

12-Sep
City Overview
Show a city from a wide perspective
 Weekly  (12 days)

15-Sep
Ancient Civilizations
Build a city scene from a previous era
 Monthly  (44 days)

01-Oct
Modular Complexes
Create an integrated set of Lots
 Custom Content  (42 days)

08-Oct
Railroads
Show a railroad scene featuring a train
 Weekly  (7 days)

15-Oct
Waterside
Image must be dominated by water features
 Weekly  (12 days)

01-Nov
Classic Model, New Lot
Create a new Lot for a previously released BAT
 Custom Content  (31 days)

05-Nov
Nature Scenes
Images with limited use of man-made structures
 Extended  (14 days)

 

Total: 25  (8 Weekly, 6 Extended, 4 Monthly, 7 Custom Content)

 

Also the schedule can be viewed at the following link, containing more precise dates:
[External Schedule]  (Opens as a spreadsheet on OneDrive).

If you'd like, you may download this to store a local copy.

 

The Calendar

For a clear perspective, all challenges will soon be added to the Simtropolis Calendar. :read:

As they approach, each entry will contain full details of each challenge -- such as rules and requirements.

There will be posted in 5 separate categories, corresponding to the challenge type:

http://community.simtropolis.com/calendar/2-weekly-challenge/
http://community.simtropolis.com/calendar/3-extended-challenge/
http://community.simtropolis.com/calendar/4-monthly-challenge/
http://community.simtropolis.com/calendar/5-custom-content/

And also for voting (all challenges):

http://community.simtropolis.com/calendar/6-voting-period/
 

To keep up to date of these postings, we recommend that you follow these categories, or the team account:  @ST Challenges

[Follow ST Challenges]

This account will be used to post the calendar entries, along with the challenge albums.
 

Thanks very much for reading, and we look forward to what promises to be a fun, competitive, and most of all highly challenging season! :thumb:

Any questions or comments welcome.
 

Regards,

~ The Challenges Team

korver, Sepen77, Edvarz and 4 others like this

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Oh, maaaaaaan this just made my day! :ohyes:

It looks truly promising. I hesitated to enter the last challenges season, but now I think I'll try my luck. The best part is the custom content challenges, if the contenders release their lots to the STEX, the community can expect a steady flow of quality content, competitors trying their very best. It will no doubt be really really interesting!

I'm anxiously looking forward to it!

Hamish and Cyclone Boom like this

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16 hours ago, Edvarz said:

The best part is the custom content challenges, if the contenders release their lots to the STEX, the community can expect a steady flow of quality content, competitors trying their very best. It will no doubt be really really interesting!

Glad you like it! :)

Still a few details to work out, but the plan is for all entries to be uploaded in a separate STEX category. Then people can download the content and decide how they'd like to vote. The top 3 entries would then be featured on the main page, and all uploads kept for the community to enjoy.

For those interested, there will also be a separate running leaderboard for content & monthly challenges, in addition to the main 'global' one. Again with prizes given out based on the standings at the end of the season.

philforhockey51 likes this

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This is exciting!

I'm curious, when making new lots for the various lotting competitions, can we make new props/models and textures for the lot?

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49 minutes ago, MushyMushy said:

This is exciting!

I'm curious, when making new lots for the various lotting competitions, can we make new props/models and textures for the lot?

Sure, there will be no restrictions on dependencies, so you're most welcome to create more if you'd like. ;)

Just be sure to upload them with the actual entry, or as a new STEX upload (separate from the challenges category).

Any external dependencies should be listed in the description as normal.

MushyMushy likes this

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Schedule Update

Hi everyone,

There has now been a reshuffle in the schedule for challenges this season.

This is based on feedback gained, and also to allow the challenges to run more smoothly from now on. All 15 remaining challenges will go ahead, there have just been a few changes to the start dates, and the type/duration of some.

The main changes are as follows:
 

  • Parks and Plazas has been moved forward a month, and will now start tomorrow.
    This just fits better with the schedule, considering what each involves.

    Start date: 01 Sep  (from 01 Oct)

     
  • Ancient Civilizations is now a  Monthly  challenge and will run for 44 days, instead of 10.
    This is to give people more time, as this is expected to be more involving than a weekly timeframe would allow.

    Start date: 15 Sep  (from 19 Aug)

     
  • Modular Complexes will now run for 42 days instead of 30, and will start a month later.
    This gives more time to complete the set of lots, as 1 month might have been pushing it for time.

    Start date: 01 Oct  (from 01 Sep)

     
  • Nature Scenes is now an  Extended  challenge, and will run for 14 days instead of 30.
    Since this challenge is less involving, it can still work well as a shorter challenge.

    Start date: 05 Nov  (from 01 Nov)

     
  • Content Creation will now start earlier in the middle of November, and will run for 47 days instead of 45.
    Considering the feedback from @Jasoncw , this will allow all creations to be eligible for the 2016 Trixies. Voting will open the following year (don't worry, it's only on the first day ;)).

    Start date: 15 Nov  (from 01 Jan)

     
  • How to Do It will now run for 21 days instead of 14, and will start just over a month later than originally planned.
    This just fits in better with the surrounding challenges, including Content Creation. For example, anyone creating a BAT, lot, mod or map could also document progress or a technique used for this challenge.

    Start date: 15 Dec  (from 07 Nov)

     
  • City Showcase will be the flagship challenge of the season, and will now run for 47 days instead of 30.
    With a very open theme, we're aiming this to be the biggest and most competitive challenge ever, so we thought it'd be appropriate to end with a bang!

    Start date: 26 Dec  (from 15 Sep)

     
  • Animation Challenge will now run for 25 days instead of 14.
    This will run alongside City Showcase in being the final challenges of the season (and will also link nicely being a similar general theme).

    Start date: 19 Jan  (from 29 Aug)

 

The full revised schedule can be viewed in the opening post, and as always on the spreadsheet:

[External Schedule]

 

Hope you understand the reasoning behind these changes, and the challenges can now resume on schedule.
 

Thanks! :thumb:

 

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It's good to have all the challenges going ahead. 

My only concern, is that with many 'Monthly Challenges' being near 50 days, people might forget about them and/or lose interest. 

For instance, Railroads challenge, in early October, is the last, short & snappy 7 day challenge. The next is in February. That I think is too long a wait in between the shorter challenges. I understand there is one other 'weekly' challenges in between - this is closer to a fortnight in duration. But even so, there are only three weekly challenges between October and February.

To compensate for this; I also think some of the new extended durations are too long. I think the animation challenge and how to do it should really be weekly challenges. The rest of them I think work well and suit the challenge.

I hate to ramble or sound like I don't appreciate all the challenges and the work that has been put in - I do and I'm very grateful for the team for all of their hard work- I just wanted to express these opinions.

 

 

Cyclone Boom likes this

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I think this is really good. I can say that I've missed so many challenges simply because at this point I can usually only play the game on the weekend. This means I have essentially no time to prepare anything for Weekly challenges. I think the long challenges have been appropriately increased in length. It's not that important, but I'm curious, will the awards for the 45-day monthly challenges be scaled to reflect the increase in length (30 days vs 45-50 days)?

nos.17 and Cyclone Boom like this

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15 hours ago, _Michael said:

My only concern, is that with many 'Monthly Challenges' being near 50 days, people might forget about them and/or lose interest.

Thanks Michael for the feedback. :)

As well as considering the requirements, the thinking is actually to give people more time to gain interest. Particularly later in the holiday season, there is often a decline in site activity with the nature of RL activities. So this will hopefully keep challenges accessible, while also running at a more manageable pace. The idea is to put them out there, and provide options, instead of running shorter ones that could be easily overlooked.

This doesn't mean challenges will be hidden away whilst running for longer. The info bars will still be visible, and we'll do our best to promote them including on the homepage.

 

15 hours ago, _Michael said:

To compensate for this; I also think some of the new extended durations are too long. I think the animation challenge and how to do it should really be weekly challenges. The rest of them I think work well and suit the challenge.

As some composition is needed, creating an animation is more involving than a regular Weekly event. Sure, 1 week may receive a handful of entries, but we'd ideally like these to be highly competitive in terms of participation. That's the main reason why it was also stretched slightly, to give more opportunity. In addition, having it run with City Showcase may inspire people to enter both challenges, and make the finale very exiting! ;)

"How to Do it" will be unique, as it's focused on explaining the process behind creating an image, or an item of content. Allowing an extra week just gives everyone more time alongside the big Content Creation. It also overflows a few days after, so anyone could create content, and then write up how it was made. Previously it was sandwiched between two Monthly challenges, so this ruled out the direct link to an ongoing content challenge.

The challenge type is also an indication of what each involves. Any Weekly challenge could be suitable for a 7 day window, the same with an Extended for 14 days, or Monthly for 30. But by allowing a few more days, it aims to open the door to any latecomers, and encourages wider participation. Already there's been some users who expressed interest, but were unable to enter in time.

Also, while we don't foresee this being an issue, having longer running challenges gives us more leeway from an organisation point of view, just in case.

 

5 hours ago, MushyMushy said:

It's not that important, but I'm curious, will the awards for the 45-day monthly challenges be scaled to reflect the increase in length (30 days vs 45-50 days)?

At this stage, points and prizes are only controlled by the:

  • Challenge type (weekly, extended, monthly or custom content)
  • Number of entries
  • Combined average rating


In theory, a longer challenge is likely to receive more entries. So it could have some impact. But currently, a challenge of the same type isn't directly influenced by how many days it runs.

If useful, maybe that could be looked into for next season, to give a bit more variation.

_Michael and Jasoncw like this

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