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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:
joshofet
Pleb
posted 01-05-05 09:21 ET (US)     51 / 135       
In the CBC team contests teams were made up from both experts and novices. I frankly see no reason why the same shouldn't apply here, nor why it wouldn't be an iteresting challenge to both the expert and the novice participants.

I'm not sure whether I'm available for playing in the period mentioned, I would be available now for playtesting if needed.

Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-05-05 12:55 ET (US)     52 / 135       
I think joshofet has a good point. What better challenge for one of the experts than to adapt to a novice's city and what better way for a novice to learn something than by building on what one of the experts has done. Also, since most of us don't seem to know what our skill levels actually are, this would eliminate that problem.
Clifford
Pleb
posted 01-06-05 16:34 ET (US)     53 / 135       
Wow, still more great players turning up. I also think that there is no real need for seperate sections. As we all do a 1st 10 years and a 2nd 10 years and then a 3rd ten years, why do we have to have seperate sections. Personally when I get my first map I am going to go all out to set it up for the 2nd player so that whoever that is has the best possible platform to build on. Then I want to do the same with the second ten years. Of course I will want to finish in style. (But in many ways it would be nice to get a map that a novice had started or someone who ran out of RL time to do their best so that it is more of a challenge to me).
So yes in thinking about it, why not mix us all up. It will be fun. No seperate sections. How many playuers are we up to now? About 15 already is it?
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 01-06-05 21:38 ET (US)     54 / 135       
16 to be exact.

[This message has been edited by Guzzardo23 (edited 01-06-2005 @ 09:38 PM).]

Scipio
Pleb
posted 01-07-05 02:22 ET (US)     55 / 135       
Come to think of it I tend to agree with what has been said. It would be a challenge and a learning expirience if we played just one category.

Just MHO.


Pharaoh Cup 2001 Competitor
joshofet
Pleb
posted 01-07-05 10:29 ET (US)     56 / 135       
Maybe this will give rise to a long discussion, but I guess it's better to have that now than later. What are you planning to do with drop-outs? It has happened in the CBC team contests, and the larger the number of contestants, the higher the chances that at least one of them will (have to) drop out. That leaves you, and the other contestants in the same team with a problem, unless you would have some way of ranking intermediate results. There are other solutions, such as replacement scores for unfinished maps, I have give it some thought, but most ideas I try won't work. Don't want to spoil a good initiative, better be safe than sorry.
Guzzardo23
Pleb
posted 01-07-05 11:40 ET (US)     57 / 135       
Can anyone tell me what a drop-out is?
joshofet
Pleb
posted 01-07-05 12:00 ET (US)     58 / 135       
A drop-out, as I meant it here, is someone who starts a project, but doesn't finish it. It is usually reserved for students or pupils who do not finish a course or an education they are following. I guess it does have negative connotation, I didn't mean any such thing here. Things sometimes simply just don't work out the way you planned them.

What I mean is, say this contest starts with 16 players, but only 14 actually submit an entry. No problem, the contest goes on with those 14. Each gets a copy of the entry of someone else, but only 13 of them manage to work that out into a second entry. Now at least one project won't be carried out till the finish, and you have a problem with the player who sent in the entry for the first track of that map. Same in the third round, if one or more of the 13 players from round 2 won't be able to deliver the final product. It happens, it has happened before, it will happen in the future, and in a contest like this you should be prepared. I do not see how the problem can be solved without having some kind of ranking of the entries after round 1 and 2, in case the problem occurs of course.

[This message has been edited by joshofet (edited 01-07-2005 @ 12:11 PM).]

Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-10-05 10:20 ET (US)     59 / 135       
joshofet, so how do we handle that? I've thought about it and nothing workable really comes to mind.

[This message has been edited by Rayotep (edited 01-10-2005 @ 10:20 AM).]

Gteat Cornholio
Pleb
posted 01-10-05 13:05 ET (US)     60 / 135       
As I see it the drop out problem only comes into play in round 3. Everybody who completes round 1 would be sent round 2 right? Then if someone drops out of round 2 then we would have a problem. So if you think you might have a problem finishing the comp even though you did do round 1, then don't enter round 1. Say 20 people express interest in the contest and are e-mailed maps, but then only 16 turn in round 1. The contest is then a 16 man contest and then the 16 entries are shuffled and then re-sent. By turning in round 1 you should be fairly committed to finishing. If however due to unexpected RL issues a player cannot finish round 2 then we have a problem.

So my suggestion is to let anyone who wants to have a go at round 1. If you forsee problems finishing the later rounds have fun playing round 1 but don't submit it for competition. And know that you are commited to finishing if you do submit round 1.

Cazy_1
Pleb
posted 01-11-05 09:24 ET (US)     61 / 135       
The way I see it there's no problem. If the entries will be judged considering only the contribution of a player to a map up to that point, than what happens with the map later doesn't concern that player. If after round 2 players drop down, the contest will be played with fewer maps. A player who goes all the way and participated in a map who was droped, he will get his points for the stage he finished.
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-13-05 15:37 ET (US)     62 / 135       
WinterPharaoh,

So where do we stand? Are we splitting into groups or doing just one group? And have you given any thought to the potential issues that might come up that have been raised by joshofet?

WinterPharaoh
Pleb
posted 01-14-05 12:47 ET (US)     63 / 135       
I am incredibly sorry for neglecting this thread for so long! Sorry guys!

First of all, I just learned a few days ago that I'm going skiing with the school ski trip to Bavaria in February. While that's great for me, it's not so great for you guys - it cuts straigt across the time I'd allocated for this competition. Which means realistically it's not going to happen until after my GCSE modules in March, or maybe in late February. So it's a waiting game at the moment until I can find somewhere to slot it in.

Secondly, I think the general consensus seems to be against the separation into sections. This is helpful for me - only one map to create and alpha-test! Thanks!

Finally, I'm not entirely sure as to what to do with dropouts. I'll have a think about it and come back to you...

WinterPharaoh


"You're just jealous because the little voices talk to me!" - Sara Rain Morgan
SUE O CONNOR
Pleb
posted 01-15-05 23:24 ET (US)     64 / 135       
Very interesting comp, I would definately like to play not sure if in novice or expert but count me in.
SUE O CONNOR
Pleb
posted 01-18-05 06:19 ET (US)     65 / 135       
P.S. I play as SOCBAC at City Building now Anciet Maps
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-18-05 14:21 ET (US)     66 / 135       
Hey SUE O CONNOR,

I think we're probably not going to divide it between novice and expert now, so no need to worry about that.

What is SOCBAC?

Rayotep

SUE O CONNOR
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 05:28 ET (US)     67 / 135       
SOCBAC is just my username at Ancient maps I didn't really known I would always be referred to by that name
Ovidius
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 06:11 ET (US)     68 / 135       
Ooh, a thread I didn't know existed, and one that Ray should have told me about!!

Anyway, I am keen, at the moment (it may change depending on timing, but I would pull out at the start if I have a clash).

By the way, I am not sure that there is a problem with drop outs in this format... (I am not sure, but I assume we are scored on each of our rounds: so my round 1 score + my round 2 score + my round 3 score = my final score, and my scores for each round are basically independent of other players' scores on those three maps (I hope this is not too confusingly stated).)

For example:

Five players: A, B, C, D, E
Player A doesn't finish first round, so he's kicked out.
WP receives four round 1 entries.
Gives them to B, C, D, E (randomly or whatever).

Player E doesn't finish second round, so he's kicked out.
WP received three round 2 entries.
Gives them to B, C, D (as above).

Player B doesn't finish final round, so he's kicked out.
WP receives two round 3 entries.

Even though there are only two final entries, the two remaining players (C and D) can still be scored on all three rounds. WP will have copies of each of their rounds. Either non-completers are non-competers and their rounds are not judged, or they can be judged on the rounds they did submit and scored zero for those rounds they didn't (ie: A gets 0 points, having not submitted his first entry; E gets points for round 1 only; and B gets points for rounds 1 and 2 only).

Problems only arise where A would have been allowed to play round 2 without submitting a round 1 entry, and that is easy enough to prevent.

I may have missed it (I read the thread really quickly), but you would have to be pretty clear as to the scoring criteria you would use... (One suggestion in terms of 'framing' the scoring is to perhaps look at the difference a player has made in terms of reaching the goals: so if player A got 30% of the way to reaching the goal in round 1, and player B ended at 50% of the way to reaching the goals, then player A's score should be higher for round 1 than player B's score for round 2... because player B's progress relative to the goals was smaller than that of player A. Or something like that. This may also place importance on making good progress in the earlier rounds... say a player completes the monument in his round 2, then the round 3 player can not make a difference in the monument rating, and so his score suffers in the 3rd round. Oh well, just an idea.)


And the neural alignment of Ovidius is also very strange - Niempie
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 08:28 ET (US)     69 / 135       

Quoted from Ovidius:

Ooh, a thread I didn't know existed, and one that Ray should have told me about!!

Quoted from Ray, post 11:

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

See, O, I was thinking about you!

Ovidius
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 08:34 ET (US)     70 / 135       

Quoted from Ray:

See, O, I was thinking about you!


Glad you think I am telepathic, Ray! Hehehe!

Anyway, your post 11 was the reason I said you should have told me! I tend to pop in to this part of the forum very irregularly and that's why I only found it today!


And the neural alignment of Ovidius is also very strange - Niempie
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 08:36 ET (US)     71 / 135       
I just naturally assumed that you eagerly look forward to reading all my posts and spend each and every night looking through all the threads for whatever I have to say. So, of course, you would have found my post.
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 08:37 ET (US)     72 / 135       
Hmmm...so I'd better let Shelshula know then.
Ovidius
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 08:45 ET (US)     73 / 135       

Quoted from Ray:

I just naturally assumed that you eagerly look forward to reading all my posts and spend each and every night looking through all the threads for whatever I have to say. So, of course, you would have found my post.


Arghh!! You got me there Ray! You've found my secret! I spend every waking moment scouring the earth and the net for your writings. I apologise for being so careless: I don't know how I missed it.

Quoted from Ray:

Hmmm...so I'd better let Shelshula know then.


Maybe you should. I don't think Shelshula is as avid a follower of your literature as I am.

And the neural alignment of Ovidius is also very strange - Niempie
Rayotep
Pleb
posted 01-19-05 10:12 ET (US)     74 / 135       

Quoted from Ovidius:

Arghh!! You got me there Ray! You've found my secret! I spend every waking moment scouring the earth and the net for your writings. I apologise for being so careless: I don't know how I missed it.

Well...yeah.... since you're the president of my fan club, I would think you'd be more careful.

As for Shelshula, she'd better be more on the ball from now on or I'm going to have to remove her as the treasurer of the fan club.

Shelshula
Pleb
posted 01-20-05 00:05 ET (US)     75 / 135       
I was so devastated at the thought of losing my position in Rayotep's fan club I was almost unable to reply. One should not brandish such threats so lightly.

This sounds really cool. Thanks for letting me know. I would love to participate.

What kind of a time limit would there be for submitting a completed portion? Are we talking one or two weeks? or one or two days? I've never been in a Pharaoh competition before so I don't know how this works.

--Shelshula

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