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SS2 City Plan Contest Rules

Tharatan

Active Member
City Planner (S3)
Banned
Messages
177
Are mods that change ground or scenery textures allowed, and if so are they required to be listed on the plan? The ambience for plan screenshots can be markedly different if a settlement is pictured against a verdant green-scape compared to the base game's blasted-wasteland aesthetic, and players will not achieve settlements matching the "designer's vision" highlighted in screenshots and videos if the same retexturing or environmental alteration mods are not running.
 

WeiseDrachenJaeger

Active Member
Messages
157
If I recall correctly, those sorts of mods were not permitted in the previous versions of the contest; same with ENBs or other visual mods that significantly altered how the plan would look. It stands to reason that the same would apply now. In my opinion, the best rule of thumb is "If it doesn't have an equivalent in the main Sim Settlements 2 mod, don't use it." For me, that also means not using plot sizes that don't have a plan in the base mod, to make sure that people who don't have the add-ons I use will still at least get something functional.
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
Official Rules Clarification.

With the recent silent (approximately 22 June 2021) changes to Nexus policy, and the fallout from that, City Plan contestants have expressed reservations about posting to Nexus.

If you are not willing to post to Nexus, please create a thread in the appropriate Contest Entries forum, for your entry. In the first post, please attach your city plan. In a second post please attach up to 10 screenshots. Please clearly indicate which post has your final screenshots. Normal entry cut off time and rules will apply.
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
Official Rules Clarification.

Clean My Settlement and Raze My Settlement are scrap mods. You can not use them for your contest entries.

They are great for a playthrough - but they do permit scrapping of normally unscrapable objects, and as such your plans will not look correct on systems without them. (The bushes will come back and ruin your designs)
 

ShadowMage

New Member
Messages
15
...they do permit scrapping of normally unscrapable objects...
These "normally unscrappable" objects, does that refer to objects that are only scrappable in Vanilla FO (ie, no Place Everywhere)? I ask because kinggath himself made a reply here in direct response to a question about contest plans stating that we "can use the Insert key from Place Everywhere to scrap more things" as long as we don't break precombines.
Please clarify: what is a "normally unscrappable" object and what is the official stance on using the extra object selection in Place Everywhere?

Thanks.
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
These "normally unscrappable" objects, does that refer to objects that are only scrappable in Vanilla FO (ie, no Place Everywhere)? I ask because kinggath himself made a reply here in direct response to a question about contest plans stating that we "can use the Insert key from Place Everywhere to scrap more things" as long as we don't break precombines.
Please clarify: what is a "normally unscrappable" object and what is the official stance on using the extra object selection in Place Everywhere?

Thanks.
Oh good. This is my area of expertise.

OK, so this is going to be a little bit complicated - I am going to attempt to simplify it. In Fallout 4 there is a set list of objects that can be scrapped. Anything not in this list is unscrappable. To make the game run at an acceptable speed, all of these are combined together into two data objects called previs (what can we see?) and precombines (what's here that we can't scrap). These two systems are essential to make the game perform well. Precombines allows the game to draw lots of objects together. This is fast. Scrap mods (excluding Raze my settlement / Clean my settlement*) disable both of these systems in settlements. They also expand the list of objects that you can scrap. The downside is now that the game must draw each and every object, in a 5 cell by 5 cell grid around you. There are many, many objects that can go into what looks like a simple model. Drawing them one by one makes things very slow.

Following along so far. Now, sometimes when making a settlement, you might not want the player to be able to delete something that they normally could. To do this, you would use a much smaller list of objects that can be scrapped when making previs and precombines. Lets get a specific example.

Oil Lamps are something that is normally scrapable. Go to almost any settlement and you can scrap them. However, in Sanctuary, for story purposes, there is an Oil Lamp that you can not scrap normally. Of course you could install a scrap mod - but that just broke your precombines, your previs, and now your game thinks 20fps is a good rate. Sometimes the objects are unscrappable because they are hiding holes in the landscape.

Sanctuary_OilLamp.png

Now, remember when I said Oil Lamps are normally scrappable, but in Sanctuary they aren't? Activating Extra Object Selection in Place Everywhere effectively replaces the list of objects that can be scrapped in a settlement, with the current load order list of scrapable objects. Suddenly that stubborn Oil Lamp in Sanctuary is now scrappable. The light source however is not. Even if you scrap that Oil Lamp, it will still shine there. That is how Extra Object Selection works. Now, if anything at all changes that list (scrap mods, settlement mods, extra buildable object mods), Extra Object Selection will let you scrap those objects too. This is very bad if one of those objects is part of the precombines and previs. You get tears open into the void beneath the landscape, you get flickering ghost objects, you get NPC pathing problems - and your city plan will not work for other users unless they have the exact same scrap/settlement/building mod installed.

Sanctuary_OilLamp_EOS.png
So, in a city plan competition profile, you shouldn't be using any scrap, settlement or build mods at all. This will ensure that Place Everythere should not let you scrap things you shouldn't.

Sanctuary_Bloatfly.png
Ahh, a hostile NPC. We can't usually scrap these, or get rid of their preplaced bodies. (These bloatflies corpses will despawn once the settlement is unloaded - but others like the dead Brahmin at Taffington will not.)

Sanctuary_Bloatfly_EOS.png
Place Everywhere Extra Object Selection to the rescue - now we can scrap that bloatfly. Now, admittedly scrapping a bloatfly isn't useful. However turrets are NPCs, so if you have taken over a settlement that has turrets that you had to destroy, Place Everywhere Extra Object Selection will allow you to scrap them. That's really handy.

Now the official stance is that it is technically allowed, but if you break the settlement with it, your entry is no longer valid. Kinggath says as much in his answer.

My advice is simple. Don't use it. Scrap as much as you can without using it. It is much easier to bury unscrappable objects in landscaping then it is to make sure that that you aren't accidently scrapping something important.

* Raze my settlement / Clean my settlement work a little bit differently. Essentially they give a transparent texture to all the objects that they "remove", then they put a replacement scrapable version of that object in it's place. This allows you to "scrap" those objects. If you remove them from a game, the "scrapped" objects come back.
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
Official Rules Clarification.

All four levels of your city plan must have a Recruitment Beacon.
This includes if you have a Communication Plot, and if any automated tools say you don't need it.

Entries without a recruitment beacon produce atypical behaviour, and that can be mistaken for a bug in SS2.
Used Communication Plots will not build if designers choice is off.
Used Communication Plots will not work if settlers are not assigned.

Please just build a recruitment beacon. Players can scrap it if they don't want it.
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
Official Rules Clarification.

The purpose of of finalist tour videos is to maintain a level playing field in presentation
, we don't want someone coming in with expansive knowledge of video editing software creating a big production that outshines everyone else. The focus should be on the settlement design, and not your video editing skills.

We reserve the right to reject any tour video that we deem unsuitable for this reason.

If no suitable tour video is ready prior to pre-production of the voting video, we may, at our discretion elect to forgo a tour video for that entry, or time permitting, a staff member (likely Yagisan), will attempt to produce a brief tour video for that entry. Please note that tour videos are part of the contestants entry, and as such staff have no obligation or responsibility to produce tour videos.


If you are looking for a way to stand out from a footage perspective, take advantage of the Cinematic Markers provided by Wasteland Reconstruction Kit, which allows you to define the path of the Tour video, which you can test yourself from the City Planner's Desk.

It is recommended that when using Cinematic Markers, that you use them on all 4 levels of your city plan. Levels without Cinematic Markers will get a default cinematic, which may not show your settlement design at its best.

Please note the following clarifications.
  • Finalist Tour videos must be recorded in 1920 x 1080 or another 16:9 aspect ratio (if you have an ultrawide screen, the free program OBS can be set to record a smaller part of the screen: https://www.alphr.com/obs-record-part-screen/)
  • Finalist Tour videos must not have graphics or text added on top of the in-game footage.
  • Finalist Tour videos must not have any post-processing, the only video editing that should be done is to cut the video down to at or below 5 minutes.
  • Finalist Tour videos must not exceed 5 minutes. If the video exceeds 5 minutes, the footage will be sped up slightly to be exactly 5 minutes long.
  • Finalist Tour videos will not use or include your supplied sound tracks. It will be replaced by some basic background music from Fallout 4.
 

MsBathory

Active Member
Messages
177
  • Finalist Tour videos must not have any post-processing, the only video editing that should be done is to cut the video down to at or below 5 minutes.
To clarify even further, does this include smoothing transitions between cuts in the footage?
 

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
To clarify even further, does this include smoothing transitions between cuts in the footage?
That is correct. There must not be any post-processing of the video footage, at all, with the sole exception of cutting the video down to at or below 5 minutes.

As a Finalist, your City Plan tour is a single continuous take, in first person perspective, of a player entering and touring your entry, as a player would experience it, in game.

If you find your tours keep exceeding 5 minutes, I would recommend touring only the key features of your build. Players will be able to fully experience it in game, and that will give more justice to your design than a maximum 5 minute long video.
 

Tharatan

Active Member
City Planner (S3)
Banned
Messages
177
Could we please have the actual names of the plans used in the videos then, and links to the finalists Nexusmod.com entry pages included in both the KG voting announcement video description on YouTube and on the SS2 forum post where the tour videos are hosted?

There is currently nothing in the highest-viewed channels that helps viewers find the plans, their descriptions or all the screenshots that are a required part of the contest entry. This means that a large viewing audience that could be pointed towards content that has had the SS2 team highlight it as the best of that month's contest is instead being presented with a barrier in having to search out the plans without the proper name.

To be clear, I'm asking that the nameplate the SS2 team already inserts into the videos that says:
Author: XYZ
Settlement: The Castle


Should instead be simply changed to say:
"Brotherhood Fortress"
Author: XYZ
Settlement: The Castle
 
Last edited:

Yagisan

Rebuilding the Commonwealth.
Verified Builder
Vault Librarian
Messages
719
Official Rules Clarification.

There are some sections in the City Planners Toolkit, in advanced possibilities. Those sections are Creation Kit Edits and Unlimited Layouts.

For the purpose of this competition, any entry that requires techniques described in either of those sections will be deemed invalid.
 
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