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Topic Subject:A contest with a difference...
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WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-14-04 08:32 ET (US)         
A contest with a difference...
The 3x100 relay!!

"Pharaoh Nebka is gravely concerned. While his enormous tomb at his capital Menat Khufu continues to proceed, the unfortunate death of his chief vizier, who had been directing the supply of resources to this massive project, has meant that the flow of stone and wood to the immense and sprawling construction site is drying up.
"At the same time, Pharaoh is alarmed by the reports that the Libyans are redoubling their attacks on the caravans from the African interior, which supply Egypt with much of her luxury goods.
"Pharaoh has decreed that the Libyans must be crushed, and crushed with all possible speed. To this end, he wishes you to establish a colony at Selima Oasis, where your army can both safeguard the African trade routes and support the advance of Nebka's foremost general, Marsenant, as he advances up the Nile towards Nekhen and beyond. Although Selima Oasis has sparse natural resources of its own, the few that it does feature are exactly what Pharaoh needs.
"Pharaoh's plan is simple. You will serve as a forward supply post for Marsenant's forces as they advance up the Nile towards Nekhen, Abu and Dunqul Oasis. Marsenant has the authority of the Pharaoh to requisition all the military resources he needs from you, be they soldiers, weapons or other martial supplies. At the same time, you will support and protect the precious caravan routes into Egypt from Iken and Pwenet.
"This will be a difficult mission. But Pharaoh also has one last task for you. Pharaoh has decreed that Marsenant should receive a mudbrick pyramid of his own as a tomb, an honour almost unheard of for one outside the royal family. Pharaoh requires that you construct this tomb for him, that Marsenant might spend his eternal sleep close to the battlefields where he is winning the greatest victories of his career. While Pharaoh knows that such an undertaking will be hugely difficult in an area without any local supplies of clay, he will endeavour to send you as much support as possible without drawing undue attention to the new construction project.
Pharaoh knows that this will not be an easy mission. But he has the greatest confidence in you. Do not fail him."

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

Ok, I don't know how many of you read the (now removed) post I wrote in this thread but if you did, you must by now have twigged to what this post is about. For those of you who didn't read the above thread before the important bit was deleted, here's the catch:

This contest will not start in the usual way. Each player who wishes to participate will have to register first, and then on the first day of the competition each player will receive the save game file by e-mail. This is important as each save file will have to have a unique ID number (more on that later). The contestants will obviously build the city in the usual way, for ten years, until they receive a December save notice for marble rather than sandstone. At this point, they save their final game, and send the file back in to the organiser.

This is the point at which it gets radically different from most contests. Each map will be briefly checked to ensure that no cheating has occurred, and then the maps will be redistributed to totally different people! In this way, each player will then receive, by e-mail, a save game file which has the basis of a city built by a different player. They will then be required to build upon the city they are given, trying to work with what they have been given by the previous player.

All in all this event is designed to test the contestant's ability to think on their feet, build a working city with a low level of initial planning and incorporate the work of people with totally different mindsets into their own city. It will not be possible for a player to simply demolish the work of the contestant who played the map before them, since restarting a city a third of the way through the event would put the player out of the contest.

Scoring will be slightly complicated, but not ridiculously so. Players will be marked in teams - if one map is given a score of 100, each of the players who worked on that map will be given 100 points. However, since over the course of the three rounds the player will have worked on three different maps, each contestant would receive three marks for his/her three maps. Adding these scores together would give the final score for each player. This is much easier than trying to grade the player's individual contribution to a map, which would me messy and subjective. Marking them this way also removes any incentive for gamesmanship - it's in the player's own best interest to make it as easy as possible for the player who succeeds them. Minimizing the opportunity for collaboration between players (such as ensuring that no one knows which city is which, hence the ID number rather than "WinterPharaoh's entry") will also help minimize the opportunity for cheating.

While the possibility exists for cities to get lost/misdirected/etc, the chance is no greater than when sending out normal contest maps, and since the whole purpose of the contest is that the maps are supposed to go to different places, it makes it much easier to correct any mistakes!

The contest will obviously be run in three segments, and will probably take place during February/early March, for those of you who might be interested.

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

So there you have it. While this is by no means the 'official' registration, I would be most obliged if anyone who would be interested in participating, and available during the time above, would make a reply to that effect. I'm just gauging public opinion/support at the moment. If the general consensus is against a relay-style event, it could be run as a normal contest, with each contestant playing the full 30 years; but I believe that much more enjoyment would be had by everyone if we press on with the relay plan. Comments and opinions welcome, and if you would be interested in participating, please do say so ASAP. Thank you.


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan

[This message has been edited by WinterPharaoh (edited 02-03-2005 @ 08:41 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Kedi
Pleb
posted 12-14-04 17:20 ET (US)     1 / 135       
Yeah, why not? Sounds like an interesting take on the idea! But I pity the poor bug**r who has to work with my mediocre attempts...
Will there be an easy and a hard group? Or am I just making this waaaay to difficult now?

Smile!
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 12-14-04 19:01 ET (US)     2 / 135       
Sounds interesting. During the 10 years that you have the map are you allowed to start over from different saved points (within your own 10 year period of course) to get the best result or is it a one shot deal. I wasn't sure what you meant by "checking the map for cheating."
WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-15-04 11:28 ET (US)     3 / 135       
Rayotep,

You would be perfectly able to reload saves from within your ten year period - it's not something I could prevent someone from doing even if I wanted to. Even by asking for all the December saves, I couldn't 'prove' that someone had reloaded, unless there was a ridiculous frequency of Big Bast Blessings or some such unlikely occurence. Even so, considering that this is a competition, I would't penalise someone for doing that. So yes, you would be perfectly welcome to reload as much as you like.

Kedi,

That depends on how many takers I get! At the moment there's not even enough for one map! I think that if it gets over ten maps or so, I'll think about separating it into two groups. I might introduce some tiny element of 'seeding'... I'll think about it...

Thanks for posting, both of you.


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan
Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 12-17-04 08:39 ET (US)     4 / 135       
I would be interested in participating in the competition. It's been about a year or so since I've played Pharoah. So I would like to have an easy level, if that's possible.
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-17-04 09:20 ET (US)     5 / 135       
THis sounds really good! But, WinterPharaoh, will this be a Pharaoh or a Cleo competition, or both of them will be accepted?
WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-17-04 15:51 ET (US)     6 / 135       
And then there were four! Excellent!

Guzzardo23,

This contest would follow the normal rules on such matters. In this case, both would be accepted. Zoos would be disallowed anyway, and there are no Cleo industries involved. The only thing is that the culture ratings would have to be adjusted to one or the other versions (a city with 100 culture in Pharaoh would only have 70 culture in Cleo, purely because it obviously wouldn't have a zoo). And of course people would be banned from using the pyramid speedup blessing .

Rosenetka,

While I obvously can't promise an 'easy' mission (making it too easy would make it boring for more skilled players) I will say that the scenario should not be impossibly difficult to play, although of course the real difficulty will be in playing it well...


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan
Granite Q
Angel
posted 12-17-04 18:02 ET (US)     7 / 135       
Can I just jump in here and say that WinterPharaoh did contact me before posting this thread, and that I fully support the proposed format for this competition. Hopefully I will have more time after the Christmas holiday to help with the details; it would be great if a few more people could express an interest.

Thanks


"Can I draw you a beer, Norm?"
"No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one."
Cheers !!
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-17-04 19:13 ET (US)     8 / 135       

Quoted from Kedi:

Yeah, why not? Sounds like an interesting take on the idea! But I pity the poor bug**r who has to work with my mediocre attempts...
Will there be an easy and a hard group? Or am I just making this waaaay to difficult now?

Quoted from Rosenetka:

I would be interested in participating in the competition. It's been about a year or so since I've played Pharoah. So I would like to have an easy level, if that's possible.

Quoted from Guzzardo23:

Well, although I'm not a very good player, this sounds really good! But, WinterPharaoh , will this be a Pharaoh or a Cleo competition, or both of them will be accepted?


(Really my 'quote isn't a quote)

Another thing, Winter Pharaoh, three of us say we aren't very good, so, could you please make an esay version of the masp for us?

[This message has been edited by Guzzardo23 (edited 12-17-2004 @ 07:14 PM).]

Gteat Cornholio
Pleb
posted 12-17-04 19:33 ET (US)     9 / 135       
I'll play. Sounds fun. May we contact our team-mates?
Clifford
Pleb
posted 12-17-04 23:22 ET (US)     10 / 135       
Yeah, I loved the one team event I played in. I'm in.
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 12-18-04 00:32 ET (US)     11 / 135       
GC, I think the teammates will be blind and not know who the others are.

Cliff, glad to see you're on board. Now let's see if we can get Shelshula and Ovidius to join in as well.

NeeuQ fo Dab
Pleb
posted 12-19-04 19:56 ET (US)     12 / 135       
I'd be interested in playing this one too!
Henrium
Pleb
posted 12-20-04 03:36 ET (US)     13 / 135       
Hi WinterPharaoh,

sounds like a nice new challenge, but I was just wondering how you are going to monitor the progress of the map. Does each part has its own goals that should be met or is there just one overall goal to achieve. What happens if player one or two already reaches the end targets? This will be more likely if there is a great difference in skill of the participants; because it can't be too hard otherwise the less skilled can not finished, but it might give the pro's the opportunity to finish (too) early. You wouldn't like to get to play a map that is already finished.
I can understand that you are not allowed to demolish the entire city of your predecessor, but correcting some design flaws should be allowed. How are you going to judge that?

I hope my questions don't frustrate a good initiative, but I think with such a new kind of competition a good discussion on the rules should take place in advance, so it won't lead to frustrations during the competition.

As far as competing, I would like to participate and hope I have the time.

Henrium

WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-20-04 08:26 ET (US)     14 / 135       
Great Cornholio,

Rayotep hit it right on the nose. Contestants will not recieve a map with "WinterPharaoh's entry" on it, but rather something like "Relay_hard_1_002", so you wouldn't know who to talk to! At the end of the contest I will publish a list of who worked on which map, so that players can discuss the maps they worked on; but during the contest there should be no communication between the players. It makes it more interesting that way.

Guzzardo23,

Quoted from WinterPharaoh:

...if it gets to over ten maps or so, I'll think about separating it into two groups.

We are now approaching that magic number, so hang tight! I'll certainly start thinking about it.

Henrium,

All contests have two sorts of victory conditions, known as completion conditions and winning conditions. The completion conditions must have been met in the final save for the entry to be valid. I don't want to give too much away, but in this contest the completion conditions will involve constructing a monument (quite a substantial monument at that!) and gaining a certain level in the three other ratings.

The winning conditions are the goals on which a contest is marked and judged. The conditions vary from contest to contest and usually only involve one particular variable, eg in Hammanat the winning condition was the number of people in houses supplied by a water supply. In this contest, there will probably be several winning conditions, which will be fed into a formula, which I will publish with the contest, to produce the final score.
As such, it is impossible to 'complete' the winning conditions, since they can always be improved (in Hammanat, you could always try to squeeze a few more people in...). Also, the construction of the monument has been controlled (through the restriction of an imported raw material) such that it cannot be finished too early, and there's another 'optional' one for the players to work on if there's an idle moment towards the end.


The rules on restricting demolitions will be very simple. You can demolish anything you want, if you really think there's a good reason for it. But knocking down the entire city or even just one block (unless it has a really big advantage) would cause such a hit on your finances and population that your chances of coming anywhere near the top of the chart would become slim. If you demolish something big and I can see that there was a good reason for it (say player 1 built a temple complex in a worker block, and player 2 knocks it down and rebuilds it in an estate block), I won't have a problem with that. But say player 1 demolishes the entire worker block and replaces it with another worker block which is of a different design, that would be frowned upon, to say the least. Even if there was a good reason for it (such as to make space for another important building/block) players would be expected to do the best with what they had (by adjusting or reshaping the existing block), rather than demolishing it and starting again.


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan
WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-20-04 08:32 ET (US)     15 / 135       
An example:

WellWellWellWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellWellTax CollectorApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentWater SupplyHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellWellWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellArchitectApartmentApartmentHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
WellStorage YardApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentJuggle platformHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellApartmentDentistApartmentHouseHouseHouseHousePolicepost
WellFire WardenShrinePhysicianHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
WellStorage YardMusic platformDance platformCourthouseHouseHouseHouse
WellApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentDentistWellPolicepostPolicepost
Fire WardenJuggle platformArchitectWellFarm
Osiris TemplePolicepostPolicepostApothecary
GranaryBazaarMortuarySchoolApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentPolicepostApothecaryApothecary
ApothecaryApothecary
WellPolicepostFarmApothecaryApothecary
PolicepostPolicepostApothecary
WellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellPolicepostPolicepost

Legend


This is VAIA's worker block, mashed a bit to fit it in up against the rock formation (top right). Now let's say the next player decides he wants to build a clay/bricks/cattle ranch complex near to the farms. It's obvious that something is going to have to be demolished to make room for the new industry area. But there are two ways in which this could be done:

WellWellWellWellOsiris TempleHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellWellApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentWater SupplyHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellArchitectWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellWellFire WardenApartmentSchoolWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
Storage YardApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentDentistJuggle platformWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
ShrineArchitectShrineDentistTax CollectorWellWellHouseHouseHouseHousePolicepost
CourthouseFire WardenShrineApartmentApartmentApartmentPhysicianWellWellHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
Storage YardMusic platformDance platformApartmentHouseHouseHouse
ApartmentApartmentApartmentWellPolicepostPolicepost
Juggle platformApartmentApartmentShrineShrineShrineShrineShrineWellFarm
ShrinePotterPotterPotterWellPolicepostPolicepostApothecary
GranaryBazaarMortuaryWellPolicepostApothecaryApothecary
ApothecaryApothecary
Fire WardenArchitectStorage YardCattle FarmPolicepostPolicepostFarmApothecaryApothecary
Work CampWork CampWork CampBrickmakerBrickmakerBrickmakerWellPolicepostPolicepostApothecary
WellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellPolicepostPolicepost

Legend

Here, player 2 has squashed the bottom-right corner of the block in, to make room for a small, cramped industrial area. Although this modification requires a lot of demolition, the essence of what was there before is still there (particularly in the top-left corner). This change is perfectly legal.

[This message has been edited by WinterPharaoh (edited 12-20-2004 @ 09:08 AM).]

WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 12-20-04 08:46 ET (US)     16 / 135       
WellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellCattle FarmCattle FarmHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellApartmentBazaarSchoolApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentFire WardenHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellWellArchitectHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
WellPhysicianWellCattle FarmCattle FarmHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse
WellShrineMusic platformDance platformOsiris TempleCourthousePotterWellHouseHouseHouseHousePolicepost
WellShrineApartmentWellHouseHouseHouseHouseFarm
WellShrineJuggle platformPotterPotterPotterWellStorage YardHouseHouseHouse
WellWater SupplyJuggle platformFire WardenArchitectDentistDentistShrineShrineShrineApartmentFire WardenWellPolicepostPolicepost
WellWellFarm
ApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentTax CollectorApartmentBrickmakerBrickmakerBrickmakerArchitectWellWellPolicepostPolicepostApothecary
WellBrickmakerWellWellPolicepostApothecaryApothecary
WellWork CampWork CampWork CampWellApothecaryApothecary
WellFire WardenWellPolicepostFarmApothecaryApothecary
WellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWork CampWellPolicepostPolicepostApothecary
WellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellWellPolicepostPolicepost

Legend

This is not legal. The player has simply demolished the block which was in the way, and replaced it with a new, smaller one (it's actually one of SenetEr's "new smaller worker blocks"). Although this has made room for a much larger industrial area, the area has simply been cleared with the bulldozer to make room for it, so this would not be allowed.

Obviously in this sort of competition it is much harder to disqualify people, particularly during the first two 'rounds', since that would leave gaps in the lineup which would be difficult to fill. So I think rules infringements like this (of a not-too-serious nature) would result in penalty points being deducted from the player's final score.

(Oh, sorry about the wierd tags on the terrain features ("house1", "apothecary" and "police station" instead of "grass" "water" and "floodplain"). And the desert is actually water (it does look a bit like it, does it not?).


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan

[This message has been edited by WinterPharaoh (edited 12-20-2004 @ 09:11 AM).]

Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-22-04 15:08 ET (US)     17 / 135       
Kedi, Rayotep, Rosenetka, Clifford, Guzzardo23, Great Cornholio, NeeuQ fo Dab, Henrium, Elf and Merepatra. 8 9 10 contestants until now.

[This message has been edited by Guzzardo23 (edited 12-27-2004 @ 11:59 PM).]

Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-22-04 15:11 ET (US)     18 / 135       
lol [deleted]

[This message has been edited by Guzzardo23 (edited 12-22-2004 @ 07:20 PM).]

Clifford
Pleb
posted 12-22-04 15:32 ET (US)     19 / 135       
You could post at Ancient maps. I don't think anyone would mind as a number of regulars from there have already entered this.
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 12-22-04 18:18 ET (US)     20 / 135       
Thanks Guzzardo23, but I've got Ovidius' email address and AIM address. I was just trying to publicly shame him (and Shelshula) because they were taking so long to join up!
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-22-04 19:21 ET (US)     21 / 135       
What's Ancient Maps?
Clifford
Pleb
posted 12-23-04 02:33 ET (US)     22 / 135       
The new name for CBC. Try here

"I'd rather die with memories than dreams"
Elf
Pleb
posted 12-24-04 18:51 ET (US)     23 / 135       
I'm never one to pass up a contest, so yes I'll give it a go.
But how will the teams be chosen? Hopefully beforehand and at random. The other possible method of ranking the maps after round 1 and pairing the best with the worst etc could be frustrating and won't encourage the best from people in the early rounds.
Elf
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 12-24-04 19:04 ET (US)     24 / 135       
AFAIK if one more person sign in, then WinterPharaoh is going to separate the maps into categories (like Novice and Expert). So, I think, between the contestants of the same category randomly maps will be given in the second round.
Gteat Cornholio
Pleb
posted 12-27-04 16:13 ET (US)     25 / 135       
Any Idea of when we are going to start this? Just so I can clear my CB game plate. I do my best when I am concentrating on one map, instead of a bunch at one time.
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