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Masters Season 2 Rules (2020)

Sirlach

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This years Masters is similar to last year with a few small changes

Invitations

Invites will be sent out before July 29th to anyone who has turned in a valid City Plan contest entry in the Season 2 of contests which started October 2019 and will end with the contest that starts June 28th 2020. Season 1 participation does not grant you entry! Expect the invitation to come through the SimSettlements.com forums to the username you submitted your other entries to the City Plan contest.


Judging

Judging is different than a typical City Plan contest, with the Sim Settlements team picking what we determine to be the best 3 and presenting those for public voting by anyone with an active SimSettlements.com forum account. Patrons will not be eligible to vote for the cut to top 3 like a normal monthly contest.

In addition, the initial internal judging to cut to the finalists will be a little more nuanced, as the vote scoring will be done across three categories and the combined score will be used (in the normal contest, we merely ask team members to choose their favorites among the entries).
  • Creativity: Does your settlement make clever use of the space, plots, and available assets?

  • Immersion: Do your settlement levels tell a believable story about how your settlement evolved over time?

  • Functionality: Does your settlement meet the game needs of the settlers (food, water, defense, happiness), allow them to path well, and provide the player with useful things (such as Crafting Benches, a Commercial area, or even a player bed/home)?
Initial internal judging will begin the day the contest ends. Final round, public voting will occur sometime in late October or early November, depending on how long it takes to produce the finalists videos, with prizes awarded within a few days after the public voting concludes.

Prizes

Changes this year are very similar to last year, the biggest change is that all participants will now have the option of choosing a share of donation points to spend at the Nexus store as an alternative to the Sim Settlements t-shirt.
  • 1st Place: USD $500 - This will be given out via Paypal*.

  • 2nd/3rd Place: $100 Steam Gift Card and Lifetime Nexus subscription.

  • Finalists (1st, 2nd, and 3rd): Professionally voiced city tour video of your settlements**.

  • All Participants: Sim Settlements T-Shirt OR 10000 Donation Points to spend at the Nexus Store.
  • TBA: Kinggath has something special he's working on which may get added to the pool after the contest is going depending on how things shake out!
*If you are not eligible to receive Paypal funds for some reason, we’ll work with you to find an alternate means of getting you the cash.
**We'll work with you to dream up a short story and video to tell the tale of your settlement as it rises from foundation to level 3, and have a professional voice actor do the narration to make your video shine. This video will be used during the finals to help sell your settlement to the public voting, you'll also be given a high-quality render you can post or use anywhere you like!


Specific Rules

Settlement to Build: Sanctuary Hills is this years Masters Settlement. You MUST start from a specific pre-determined save file that we will provide. A link to download it will be included with the post announcing the settlement.


Build Limits: You must stay within the build limit. Under normal City Plan Contest rules you can go to double the build limit, but the save file you’ll be starting from already has the build limit configured.


City Plan Requirements:

  • Must support between 15 and 20 settlers at level 3 (that means one home or bed, one job, and enough food and water to support them).
    • Earlier levels may have less settlers.
  • Must include at least one of each of the 6 plot classes at level 3. This includes Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Martial, Recreational, and Residential.
  • Must include at least 20 plots.
  • Must include a City Planner’s Desk and Recruitment Beacon at each level.

Timeframe: The Masters Contest will run from July 28th to September 8th. You may turn in your entry at any time between the start and finish.


Turning In Your Design: A subforum for the Masters Contest entries will be created, the same as a normal monthly contest. Unlike a normal monthly contest, do NOT include your save file in the post, only turn those into the contest runners uituit and Sirlach, by messaging them via the SimSettlements.com forums. You must include the following:

  • Links to download your .fos save files for each level, screenshots, and description of your settlement’s story, these should be uploaded to a shared Google Drive or Dropbox.com folder.

  • Up to 28 total screenshots spanning your 4 levels to be split up in whatever amounts you see fit. Be sure to clearly label each filename so we know which level it belongs to, and post them to your entry post on the forums as well as including them in the archive.

  • A brief description of your settlement’s story posted with your entry as well as included with your archive. (No longer than a single page of text with size 12 font and 0.5 inch margins on all sides)
Mods Required: The following mods MUST be installed while working on your design. If these are removed, it will be detected in your save file and the entry will be invalid.

  • Sim Settlements Three-in-One version 4.2.9* or greater

  • City Plan Contest Mod version 4.2.9* or greater

  • Settlement Menu Manager

  • ProjectBlueprint.esp, ProjectBlueprintCOBJs_Sim.esp

*These versions will be released shortly before the contest begins.

Assets Allowed: You may only use assets included with the vanilla game, those found in the Sim Settlements build menu, and those in the non-DLC named sections of the Project Blueprint build menu.


Disallowed Mods: Scrap mods such as Scrap Everything and Spring Cleaning, or any other mod that breaks precombines, even partially, is disallowed as they cause complications with City Plans, especially for XBox players.

Additional Rules: In last years contest we had disallowed Clipboard and Transfer Settlements to prevent people from submitting other people's designs as their own. Given that Workshop Framework also has that capability, and is required for some Sim Settlements addons, we have had to take a different approach.

There is now code in place to detect Workshop Items that were not placed by the player, entries with items placed in this way will be considered invalid.

This means that tools like Clipboard, Transfer Settlements, the Workshop Plus blueprint system, the Workshop Framework Layout system, or any other mod that produces a workshop item without you directly placing it in workshop mode, will invalidate your entry.

Unless a rule stated above says otherwise, the normal City Plan rules still apply! Rules above may be changed or expanded on between now and the start date of the contest. Everyone invited to the contest will be contacted again anytime the rules are updated.


All plot building plans used must be publicly downloadable. In the past, we've allowed City Planner's to use building plans from beta versions or unreleased addon packs in their screenshots. That will not be allowed for the Masters contest.



Final Thoughts

Every month, you all continue to blow my mind with how creative you are with these City Plans. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful group of creative players engaging with the mods we've created and these contests. The Masters Contest is a chance to really push the limit of what you all can create, and simultaneously give back to you guys with the much greater prize pool.

Please keep in mind that we are not a business, this is just a community run event. So I don't have proper legalese drafted, and am counting on the good will of the community to help this contest go smoothly. If you think that I failed to cover something important to your understanding of the rules, please respond here and I will update things to clarify as quickly as possible.

Thanks again for making those of us on the team excited every day to dive into our hobby and create even better mods so we can see what you all do with them!

-kinggath
 
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MadGax

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So, I just want to clarify, am I allowed to use clipboard to reproduce items that I place/create during my city building process.
For instance If I make a sign out of loose letters for my contest settlement, Am I allowed to duplicate that sign and use it in my contest settlement in other places without the tedious task of recreating the sign?
 

NDCowdy

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So, I just want to clarify, am I allowed to use clipboard to reproduce items that I place/create during my city building process.
For instance If I make a sign out of loose letters for my contest settlement, Am I allowed to duplicate that sign and use it in my contest settlement in other places without the tedious task of recreating the sign?
The 3rd paragraph of Additional Rules, specifically says that use of clipboard or similar functions is not allowed.
 

MadGax

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The 3rd paragraph of Additional Rules, specifically says that use of clipboard or similar functions is not allowed.
This bit here just seems a bit confusing....
"any mod that produces a workshop item without you directly placing it in workshop mode, will invalidate your entry."
If I am building something in the contest settlement that I place in workshop mode, in that settlement, I am placing the object directly in my settlement from the workshop.

"There is now code in place to detect Workshop Items that were not placed by the player, entries with items placed in this way will be considered invalid."
This seems to say that as long as I am the one that created it and placed while in the contest settlement then it is valid and all others are not.

I am not trying to be difficult. I used to write technical papers, so sometimes I get a little pedantic with instructions.
 

NDCowdy

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This bit here just seems a bit confusing....
"any mod that produces a workshop item without you directly placing it in workshop mode, will invalidate your entry."
If I am building something in the contest settlement that I place in workshop mode, in that settlement, I am placing the object directly in my settlement from the workshop.

"There is now code in place to detect Workshop Items that were not placed by the player, entries with items placed in this way will be considered invalid."
This seems to say that as long as I am the one that created it and placed while in the contest settlement then it is valid and all others are not.

I am not trying to be difficult. I used to write technical papers, so sometimes I get a little pedantic with instructions.

I think that if you include the beginning of the line it makes it much clearer.
"This means that tools like Clipboard, Transfer Settlements, the Workshop Plus blueprint system, the Workshop Framework Layout system, or...."
The latter part of the line I would read as being there to cover any additional tools which someone might wish to use. If your question is simply 'Can we use Clipboard?', the the simple answer I would read as no, it would invalidate an entry.
The mechanics of clipboard in relation to the text, or if it could be used to gain some sort of advantage on others, I can't comment on as I still haven't gotten around to trying it out.
 

NDCowdy

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Does there need to be some clarification on measuring the build limit usage?
This last month's contest, with the availability of a tool to refresh build limits, has shown just how very different the in game system's figures and the refreshed results can be. In several cases they have been different by thousands of draws. I was thinking that if it was set down from the start, how entrants should manage their build budgets, it might help prevent problems near the end of the competition.
 

Sirlach

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Basically you are not allowed to use anything that could be used to import someone else's work into the comp.
I will be doing a post that encourages everyone to setup a clean profile which only has SS and related mods installed so we minimise the number of issues.
 

Modhunter

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Does there need to be some clarification on measuring the build limit usage?
This last month's contest, with the availability of a tool to refresh build limits, has shown just how very different the in game system's figures and the refreshed results can be. In several cases they have been different by thousands of draws. I was thinking that if it was set down from the start, how entrants should manage their build budgets, it might help prevent problems near the end of the competition.
I think having it auto-run for the contest builds is Overkill. :crazy
But it's >Regular< use during building should be suggested in the general contest rules.:declare
We lost 4 (half) of the contest entries to Build-Bar-Failure. :skull
 

WeiseDrachenJaeger

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The build limit question is actually one I asked a long time ago, and is the reason a lot of my submissions have been significantly less detailed than I would have liked. The tip that was given to me was to turn off all detail options (randomized clutter, animation markers, etc) and stick to plots that make use of those performance optimization options - which, at the time, was pretty much just the core SS plots. The idea there was that people on low end systems would probably be playing with all those options turned off anyway, so that would be an accurate representation of what their experience would be. As long as you stayed within the build limit under those conditions, you could then turn on all those features for your screenshots, walkthrough, etc., provided you were willing to sit through the time it takes to refresh every plot you placed. Because I received that advice so long ago, though, I'd appreciate clarification on whether that's still an appropriate approach to take.
 

MadGax

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What about the Copy function from Workshop Plus? Is that flagged in the save as "Placed by me?"
I sure hope not, because that would invalidate all of my contest builds.
I think copying a single object from the workshop is fine, its building something with multiple pieces then copying those multiple pieces is whats in question here.
And I think you mean the Clone command, which is used to clone a single object at a time.
Although there is a Duplicate layer command which is technically the same thing that clipboard does. Though I don't think you can export a WSP layer to another game, that I am aware of.
 

Tiamazzo

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I sure hope not, because that would invalidate all of my contest builds.
I think copying a single object from the workshop is fine, its building someone with multiple pieces then copying those multiple pieces is whats in question here.
And I think you mean the Clone command, which is used to clone a single object at a time.
Although there is a Duplicate layer command which is technically the same thing that clipboard does. Though I don't think you can export a WSP layer to another game, that I am aware of.
But that's why I'm asking. I use it often to make common things like Lamp Posts and the such. If we are unable to use that function, mine will have less lamp posts. =(
 

Modhunter

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I sure hope not, because that would invalidate all of my contest builds.
I think copying a single object from the workshop is fine, its building someone with multiple pieces then copying those multiple pieces is whats in question here.
And I think you mean the Clone command, which is used to clone a single object at a time.
Although there is a Duplicate layer command which is technically the same thing that clipboard does. Though I don't think you can export a WSP layer to another game, that I am aware of.
I Assume not as well.
Layers allow you to duplicate groups of things, but from game to game requires something like WSFW or TS (or clipboard I think), but Layers is not permitted because you could import > copy > delete original.
 

Modhunter

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But that's why I'm asking. I use it often to make common things like Lamp Posts and the such. If we are unable to use that function, mine will have less lamp posts. =(
Ah.....
Using Clone doesn't add to the build budget. Helping you go over faster without knowing.
That's a problem.*
But Scrapping/Storing cloned objects Does Remove them from the budget.
Also helping you go over faster without knowing. That's a bigger problem.*

* Problem solved by budget-refreshing.
But you need to Know that you need to do that...:declare
 

Tiamazzo

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Might actually explain why I went over so quick. I used the clone tool most recently in my Dalton build, but even still, I added at most 150 draws with it and I was several thousand over.
 

Sirlach

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@Tiamazzo - I checked with KG and he says copy function is OK. Only tools that can import between saves are flagged.
Also, be careful is using the blueprint and layer system - there seems to be an issue at the moment where your scripts can start to backup. Check your saves files if unsure. Another reason to create a basic SS mods only profile.
 

Tiamazzo

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I only use it in the city building profile. In my regular play-thrus I don't do much with city buildings. What tool do you recommend for checking saves? I think I have one with some hanging scripts. I've tried ReSaver in the Fallrim tools, but it won't load one of my saves.

Thank you for checking.
 

Sirlach

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Resaver is your best bet. It will show whether scripts are backed up or not.
 

MadGax

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What about WSP duplicate layer?
Can that be used to create a unique item out of workshop items that requires lots of angle tweaking. Like building a unique junk fence in a layer and duplicating it to other parts of your city?
 
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