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Thread: Please. Your thoughts on joining Monthly Challenges.

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Question Please. Your thoughts on joining Monthly Challenges.

    A recent reply and recent CL discussions have prompted me to move this discussion to the general forums and all of you lovely people.

    Any explanations on the reasons you voted the way that you did? Remember the poll was anonymous and if you wish to remain anonymous in your voting you don't have to respond. Your reasons are your reasons. We (CL's) felt we needed a little feedback in the low response to the guild challenges. (This month's challenge was an exception of course, we really didn't expect such a welcome and glorious response, and we all thank you.)

    As a point in fact, I haven't joined the last couple of challenges (save this month's) because of a number of reasons, but mostly I was just too busy too join.

    I noticed a lot of votes leaned toward the fact that people just don't feel confident enough in their skills to make an entry. I too at first was a bit hesitant to submit an entry, especially after seeing such great entries from users like RobA, RedRobes, Gameprinter, and many, many more. I am my own worst critic when it comes to my artwork or writing, and often bash my skills. But ultimately after being on the site for a couple weeks, and getting such positive feedback from other members (Highly constructive criticsm) and NO flaming or other such bashing as you might see on other sites, that I would go ahead and put in an entry. (March Entry: Ran Dum's Deadly Dungeon)

    So glad that I did, because I get such good feedback from those around me, I've become ten times the artist/cartographer since then. I mean it literally opened up a whole new world for me and gave me the confidence that I needed to take on actual commissions (The moment you've all been waiting for... Phenomedom!) that actually paid money, and since then I've gotten at least three more paying commissions. All due to the fact that I decided to go ahead and give one of the monthly challenges a try, and I still haven't won one yet. (crosses fingers) But I keep trying and my skills are improving because of it.

    So to all those who feel they just don't have the GUMPFF to hand in an entry, I've been there. I know what low self-esteem is, and you gotta just take it on faith. I'm not guaranting that you'll immediately become the superstar I have (lol! j/k) but you won't get bashed or berated and we aren't going to hate you for it. What's the worst that will happen? You won't win.... big deal... its not like you have money on the table, and chances are you will at the very least get some good feedback on where you may be lacking and what points you need to focus on to make a decent possibly professional looking map.

    So, what's you take on why you don't join, or why other's should join... or whatever it's a discussion... DISCUSS!!
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  2. #2
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    For me, its has been a matter of a) not feeling confident in my talent, b) the few types of styles where I do have some confidence in has not been the challenge targets, and c) sadly, lack of time...
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      Karro is offline
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    Well... I guess I've been waiting for the intersection of three cosmic events: (1) A challenge topic that looks interesting and fun and that I think I can benefit from participating in, (2) Having enough free time to participate and (3) having developed the skills and speed at producing maps necessary to complete the challenge within the one-month time frame.

    I guess cosmic event #1 happens relatively regularly (it's like a lunar cycle or something), but cosmic events 2 and 3 just aren't working out for me. I've been too busy to even have time to work on my own personal projects, much less one of the monthly challenges. And I still lack the skill and (computer) speed to get these things done in a timely manner.

    I suppose I might be a little intimidated by some of the sheer awesomeness of talent out there, and among those who participate in challenges, but if I entered it would be with the explicit expectation that I wouldn't take home the gold anyway... that's not why I'm here or why I'd play the game. I came here to learn how to make maps better, and that's what the challenges would be all about, for me. So yeah, I'd like to participate, but those second two conditions don't look like they'll be lining up for me any time soon...
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  4. #4
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    Post I love the challenges

    I love and live for the challenges. In roughly 14 months as a member, I've participated in 11 challenges. I've won two, and I'm proud of that, noteably, however, those winning months had far fewer challengers. I keep participating not to gain more "wins", so much as opportunities to try different kinds of maps. And yes, my skills improve all the time. The deadline keeps me focused. Everything learned in participating in the challenge goes to the attributes needed for creating maps for commission.

    Don't get intimidated, just get involved, as Del said it, entering a map gives you improved skills, confidence and satisfaction in doing your best on a completed map, no matter how the voting goes. No one will be disappointed by you entering the challenge, no matter what level your mapping skills are, everyone will grow from the experience.

    I prefer the multi-vote poll, and keeping it honest is fine for me - there's plenty of choices on winning maps this month, and the possibility of 5 votes has me thinking where to put them already.

    Final point - I have heard some whining, I think back in the January 08 challenge of something like, "Gamerprinter is entering again, when will I ever win a challenge...".

    Don't be intimidated by me or anyone participating - like I said, in 11 challenges I've won two - I've lost more than I've won. The odds of winning are as much as anyone's who comes up with a good idea and executes it well. This could be you (directed at the lurkers who don't participate...)!

    Maybe I push the envelope alittle on some challenges, it just makes the challenge more exciting for everyone.

    Come up with an idea, post a brief in a new challenge thread - even if you haven't started your map, ask questions and tips on direction, tools. After a day or two post your results no matter how bad you think it looks. We'll help you out. You got 25 days to get it done, and keep asking questions - before long you'll be creating a masterpiece.

    I am just as happy giving someone a winning idea or tip for their entry that let's them beat me in a challenge! Come on guys, participate!

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      töff is offline
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    I desperately wanted to join the September challenge. It was a good one, and I had a great idea. I just haven't had the time. I hope they will keep coming.

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      Valarian is offline
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    Maybe we should have a league or handicapping system
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      Jkaen is offline
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    There are a few reasons why I think this months has proved popular, for me I was waiting for an outdoor mapping project, as right now that is all I have tried, and I want to discover my style for that before moving indoors or to more detailed projects.

    The other thing I think is the indimidation factor. when it was just half a dozen big names entering, then I can understand people being nervous to enter, however once you had various rookies and others like myself entering, I would have thought that would make people think they could 'hide' with all the others and it became less daunting, hence you got a kind of snowball effect.

    I think now you have such a large group this month, as long as you are careful and dont make next month overly esoteric then you should retain quite a lot of participants

  8. #8
      Redrobes is offline
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    This month was a very flexible challenge where you got a template and then anything goes. The last time we had a good turnout without prizes was the other dungeon template and make a good map out of it any way you like.

    I try and enter every month though some months I spend more time on them than others. I think the new multiple vote should enhance the voting to newer members. Del's marked me as a heavy and I have never won. Its just a bit of fun for me and a chance to try out some new ideas on a map.

  9. #9
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Having only been around a few months I was a little intimidated with the quality of the entries at first. But now that I've grown more comfortable with the various software I use and more or less developed a "mapping style" I will probably enter more of the contests.

    I think ultimately it comes down to whether the subject of the contest "draws me in enough" that I get excited about spending the time working on an entry.
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  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    (3) having developed the skills and speed at producing maps necessary to complete the challenge within the one-month time frame.
    You should join anyway, even if you don't get a complete entry, it actually motivates you to get it done and prepares you for things like making deadlines. Aside from that, experience has taught me that the more you map, the easier and faster you get with it. Not to mention, gaining a sort of library of what you need to make maps. With somethings, once you devolop the initial style, you have it in your arsenal (Take PS brushes for instance. When I started... I had what every other PS user has... the set of basic brushes it comes with ... now... I have a veritable plethora of brushes for forests, mountains and hills, just to name a few. Not to mention I have a number of actions that will complete some pretty painstaking tasks on command.) ... just keep at it.... you will get faster...

    Maybe not as fast as GP, but GP is actually a futuristic machine sent back in time for one purpose .... to kill sarah connor. wait... no... to produce fantastic maps at fantastic speeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    I love and live for the challenges....
    Agreed with everything here. GP has great advice here, listen and heed those comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valarian View Post
    Maybe we should have a league or handicapping system
    We've been discussing this in the CL threads, in fact, the poll was kinda 'spawned' off these discussions, which at the moment ... are still in discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jkaen View Post
    There are a few reasons why I think this months has proved popular, for me I was waiting for an outdoor mapping project, as right now that is all I have tried, and I want to discover my style for that before moving indoors or to more detailed projects.

    The other thing I think is the indimidation factor. when it was just half a dozen big names entering, then I can understand people being nervous to enter, however once you had various rookies and others like myself entering, I would have thought that would make people think they could 'hide' with all the others and it became less daunting, hence you got a kind of snowball effect.

    I think now you have such a large group this month, as long as you are careful and dont make next month overly esoteric then you should retain quite a lot of participants
    That is something I hadn't thought about, a snowball effect. You probably pinpointed at least part of why this month was a success. If you look at the three largest participating challenges... this month, the month we had a random dungeon, and the month we competed for prizes. obviously the prizes were the motivation for one month, but I'm thinking that the generalality of the maps in the other two challenges were the factors for such a large entry base.

    And, as far as intimidating competition. Ya, they are heavy hitters... but, when you place an entry next to those same ones, you get (usually) their opinions on _your_ map and their feedback on how you can improve... if you don't put your entry up there ... obviously they aren't giving you advice on what points you need to concentrate on.... What I love about the challenges is that not everyone is actually competing against one another ... we as a group are trying to push each other to create great maps.... noone is really tight lipped and secretive about their techniques... there isn't any underhanded clipping or any of that you might expect in a competition of 'who is the best'.....

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