Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120

On behalf of my missions series, Star Trek: Atlas, I have decided to sponsor a Foundry contest, but this contest is a little bit different than your average contest. Instead of creating a mission, a city or even a map, all that is involved is creating a custom building (or, if you want, several buildings).

If you're new to the Foundry, this might be an opportunity to wade in without having to create an entire mission. Or if you're a veteran author who just wants to show off his architectural skills, that's great, too. All are welcome to take part!

Contest Details

What To Create: The basic purpose of this contest is to create custom buildings to be used on a ground map. Your building should adhere to one of several themes (discussed in more detail below), although actual implementation remains up to you.

Deadline: The deadline to create your building is July 15th, 2012. If there is significant interest, the deadline may be extended until July 31st, 2012.

Prizes: The prize for winning the contest is 500 C-points. Runners up will receive 1 master key (it is not possible to gift C-points in less than 500 point increments, so this is my solution for smaller prizes). Winning buildings may also be featured in the city level contained in Star Trek: Atlas, Episode 6, along with credit to the building's designer.

Entering The Contest
  • To enter the contest, you should complete your building and publish the mission, so that it can be viewed, and also make a post about your entry here in this thread. Please include what type of building it is, etc.
  • The entrance door to your mission should be the "Entry Door" on ESD next to Admiral Quinn's Office.
  • Name your mission "Architect's Challenge", that way it will be easy to find. Please also include your forum handle if, for some reason, it's different than your in-game name.
  • Please add the following description (or similar) to your mission description: "This mission contains a building created for the Star Trek: Atlas, Architect's Challenge. It is not a complete mission." You may provide details for how players can access the map, or not, at your prerogative.
  • Please also add a pop-up dialogue at the beginning of each map describing your entry (what type of building it is, the object count, and any other relevant information you would like to share).
  • To make it so your mission isn't a "console clicker" you can either make it so that the map cannot be finished (reach marker up in the air where it can't be reached), or you can add enough objectives to make it so it takes at least a couple minutes to complete the mission.
  • You may enter multiple buildings into the contest, but each building should be on its own map in your mission. If you create more than 10 buildings, then the limitation of one building per map is waived and you can add additional buildings to each of your maps, but keep the distribution as even as possible, and try to place some distance between the entries so it's obvious which is which.

Guidelines To Creating Your Building

Here are some general guidelines to creating your building. Note that some of them may be waived for certain types of buildings.
  • Your building should be built on an empty map that consists only of that building. This is to make it easier to tell what your entry is, and also make it so it's easier to export the resulting building later.
  • You cannot use more than 100 objects to create your building. Anything more than that means that the building will take up too much of the map's detail limit. Remember, this building is intended to be part of a map, not the entire map. If you want, you can create an additional version of your building with more than 100 objects to show what can be done if a higher detail budget is given to the building, but you should also create a stripped down version that only uses 100 objects or less! Building block platforms placed at "ground level" for the building, don't count as being part of the building's objects.
  • The total area covered by the building must not exceed one 500x500 platform, at the absolute maximum! It's fine to make smaller structures, and in many cases it may be preferable to do so, but nothing can be larger than one large platform.
  • Your building must adhere to one of the themes listed below. There are several options to choose from, and you can create buildings from one or more categories, as you desire.
  • Your building can't only be viewable from the outside, it must also have usable interior space. The entire interior doesn't have to be accessible, but at least part of it has to be.
  • Your building should be built on flat ground. It can include a basement or sub-level, if you want. In that case, just build the base of the building so that it's a bit off the ground, and place platforms at "ground level" around the building".
  • For the purposes of the contest, "building" refers not only to the main structure, but also the exterior grounds (gardens, courtyard, auxiliary structures etc). In other words, it doesn't necessarily have to be a single building, but can be a complex of buildings.
  • You may create "hybrid" buildings by taking one of the pre-fabbed Foundry buildings, and adding on to it. The pre-fabbed building can be used to improve the impression of your building from the outside or increase the perceived exterior size of your design, but you must still add some usable interior areas using walls grafted on to the building, a structure on top, etc.
  • Any interior areas of the building must be accessible to a player standing on the ground outside. So, for example, if you use walls to create a bunch of interior space on the top of a pre-fabbed colony building, you need to add a ramp or some other method to reach those areas.
  • You can include filler NPCs if you want. These won't be counted toward the quality of the building, but it may allow you to help represent what various parts of the building are for.

Building Types

High Council Building: The seat of government for the planet. The center piece of this building should be a council chamber of some sort, where the planet's council can meet. There may also be an auditorium, or outside atrium, to address the masses. Other possible rooms could include offices for various officials, a lobby or reception area, a control room where the "nuts and bolts" of planetary business is conducted, smaller conference rooms, a banquet hall, etc. There could also be an outside garden or monument of some type. In general, all aspects of this building should focus on planetary politics and diplomacy, and should not include structures such as medical bays, armories, sleeping areas etc.

Clan Hall: This structure could be the headquarters of a clan or guild of some type, or possibly a military organization. It should include either a throne room, or some type of council chamber. However, unlike the High Council Building, the purpose of this structure is more all-purpose in nature. As a result, you can include a wide variety of rooms where different activities are conducted, including living or sleeping areas, cafeteria/mess halls, medical bays, armories, etc. The outside of the clan hall may also be fortified with bunkers or walls to protect against attack.

Market Place: The idea behind this building is an outdoor bazaar. With this building type, the requirement of having interior space is waived. Instead you can focus on creating detailed shops and/or auction areas. Alternatively, you may choose to have indoor shops, or even create a shopping mall type area, rather than an open market place. Your market place can include shops of all types, and may even include such structures as a medical clinic, cafeteria, and so on.

Primitive Village: This one might be a bit of a challenge, and I'm not sure if it's even possible with the current Foundry props. Basically, the primitive village should be a village designed for a species of a tribal, or earlier level of development. There should be only limited technology, although if necessary there can be some (maybe they traded for goods, or their culture has been contaminated). The requirement to have an interior structure is waived for this unusual "building".

Industrial Sub-level/Sewers: Unlike the other buildings, this one is designed to be underground. It should be a maze of rooms and corridors, with pipes, industrial style equipment, and maybe some cargo crates. There could also be some rooms or areas that have been taken over by "hobos", outlaws, etc. The exterior of this building is mostly the entrance point, which can be above ground. It could be a factory, or warehouse, with an opening into the underground level, or the entrance could be a small maintenance room, or something as simple as a sewer grate, etc. The requirement to limit the size of the sub-level to one 500x500 platform is waived. You can make it really sprawling if you want, but keep most of it underground so it doesn't interfere with other above ground buildings.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-14-2012, 10:58 PM
Contest Judging

As the contest organizer, I will be judging the entries. It's possible that I may enlist a few other notable individuals in the Foundry community to help judge, but that remains to be determined. If it's feasible, I may also organize a vote by players for a "player's choice" consolation prize.

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
  • Exterior Appearance- How visually impressive and believable the structure is from the outside. For the most part this is about overcoming the inherent Foundry limitations, and making the building look like more than a bunch of building blocks slapped together.
  • Interior Design/Usability- How well designed the interior areas are, and how much usable space there is. Detailed rooms with an apparent purpose would receive a high score, while a bunch of empty rooms with no details would receive a low score.
  • Object Efficiency- How economical the structure is, in terms of objects used. Due to the Foundry's detail limit, using the Foundry is about doing the most with the fewest resources possible. All things being equal, a structure that uses fewer assets to achieve an equal effect is preferable. This doesn't mean you have to skimp when creating your building, but make sure every object counts, and try to minimize the number of objects used by utilizing console groups, crate groups, etc.

Please provide any feedback regarding the contest rules below. Also, please let me know if you're interested in taking part.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-14-2012, 11:00 PM

For exterior walls, Wall - Generic 03 is a good choice, because it has a finished top as well as sides. If you offset each wall piece by 12, they will connect together seamlessly. At each corner, simply increase the X and Z values by 6, and rotate by 90 degrees.

For interior walls, you can use Wall - Generic Ship 03. These fit together seamlessly if you offset each wall piece by 9.2. At each corner, increase the X and Z values by 4.53, and rotate by 90 degrees. The problem with these walls is they have no top, so they don't work if seen from above.

To prevent texture fighting, you must adjust each overlapping wall by .001 along the axis value that remains the same. For example, if you have 3 walls running along X axis 5, you must make the center wall's X value 5.001 so that there is no texture flickering.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-15-2012, 04:28 AM
Here's a question: Would people prefer if I judged the missions, and enlisted another couple of judges, or would you rather it just be judged via a player vote? I can see it both ways. On the one hand, with selected judges you can rate the buildings based off of set criteria, but by leaving it open to a vote you remove some of the individual subjectivity since more people can voice their opinion.

Let me know which you'd prefer.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-16-2012, 02:50 AM
Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
Primitive Village: This one might be a bit of a challenge, and I'm not sure if it's even possible with the current Foundry props. Basically, the primitive village should be a village designed for a species of a tribal, or earlier level of development. There should be only limited technology, although if necessary there can be some (maybe they traded for goods, or their culture has been contaminated). The requirement to have an interior structure is waived for this unusual "building".
This is funny, this is precisely what i'm currently working on for my next foundry mission, but I'm sorry, it won't be available as a contest mission. I just want to tell you that it is definitely possible, even if it's a nightmare to do.

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