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SOTW Rules and Guidelines


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#1 Strategist

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:08 PM

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Here's some general rules and guidelines that should be followed when hosting, entering and voting in the current SOTW contest.

(to clarify, threads are also called topics and vice versa, just n case anyone gets confused :p)


Holding a contest:


(i) Guidelines

SOTW topics are to be posted once a week (the day to start it can be up to the person running the next SOTW). Only the previous winner may post a new one (unless they are unable to, in which they can pass the 'torch' on to the 2nd place winner and so on). SOTW topics must include the following criteria:


Theme

Size Limit (550x220 pixels)

Deadline for entry submission

(and a link to this thread in the SOTW Entry topic)

The organiser of the current competition has the right to allow or disallow entries that are slightly over the size limit IF THEY SO WISH (this will be left up to the discretion of the organiser). Obviously, entries that are blatantly too big, cannot be allowed.

 

SOTW entry topics are to stay up for 6 days after their creation. On the 6th day, a voting thread will be made that is to contain all the entries made in accordance with the guidelines. The person who posted the current SOTW thread is the only one who can receive entries and the only one who can post a corresponding voting thread. Entries may only be handed in by way of Private Message. No entries will be accepted if submitted after the deadline set by the person running the SOTW.


(ii) Voting Thread Requirements

  • Only the person running the SOTW may post a voting thread.
  • Every time a voting thread is made, it must outline in the heading, the number of the contest (ex. SOTW #14 Voting!).
  • Entries received by the person running the SOTW in accordance with the previous guidelines thread will be inserted into the voting thread.
  • The entries should be numbered, and posted in spoilers. (unless that's just an unofficial thing)
  • There should be a public poll created so people can vote on their favourite entry. (The poll must allow for public voting so the person hosting the SOTW can monitor if any voting rules are broken)
  • The entry with the most votes by the closure of voting (3 days after the voting thread is created) will be the winning entry.
  • Every week, the owners of the winning entries will receive one of three prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd only). These are chosen by the winners in order of placing. (1st gets to choose any one of the three prizes, second chooses next out of the remaining two prizes etc etc and so on). In the event that the winner forfeits their prize, it would be awarded to the next runner-up. 

The winner of the current event has the option to run the next event, as they will not be allowed to enter the following event.



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Submitting an entry:


(i) Creating

Be sure to create your entry in accordance with the guidelines set by the person running the SOTW. Entries that don't match the criteria set will be regretfully declined. Contestants may re-apply until their entries meet the criteria set, but only before the deadline is up.


We encourage the use of stock images incorporated into your entry. Please refrain from just taking an image (which has been completed and is generally copyrighted anyway) and slapping some text and a border around it, as this will be considered as ripping someone elses hard work and calling it your own. Anyone found to be doing this will be disqualified from the current SOTW. Multiple occurrences will result in banning from future SOTW contests. We would like for entrants to further their skills by stepping outside their comfort zone and trying to learn new skills. There are plenty of tutorials out there to use smile.gif Images taken from places like Deviantart.com can sometimes have restrictions set by the user who created them and this means you CANNOT use them in any way, shape or form for your own work, regardless of how much you change it. See this thread for examples.


DO NOT include your username in your submission. We want this to be a fair competition, and including your username could result in biased voting.


DO NOT openly post your work or PM to others for C&C. This will result in you being DQ'ed from the current SOTW comp and on further offences, banned from entering all together. This also includes not posting directly on the boards that you HAVE entered. It just makes it that little bit obvious as to the possible users styles and for people to pick out your signature amongst the others. Makes it less biased that way. If you are found to have posted that 'I have sent in my entry WOOT' etc etc it will be removed and a verbal warning sent to reiterate the rules outlined here. We want to keep this competition as fair as possible.

 

I have been asked a few times now if vertical signatures are allowed in the competition. I will allow them simply due to it being a different style and they can be quite interesting, however, we do not allow vertical signatures for regular forum use as they take up way too much room.


(ii) Submitting

When hosting your image, we insist you use a hosting service that gives your submission a completely anonymous URL, to ensure that we have a fair and unbiased competition (imageshack.us, tinypic.com etc etc BUT NOT PHOTOBUCKET/DEVIANTART as these are easily traceable). Once hosted, your submission will then have to be sent by way of Private Message the person running the SOTW who posted the guidelines that your entry was made in accordance with. Only then can your submission be valid.

The creator of the current SOTW must double check each URL submitted to them and make sure they aren't hosted by Photobucket, as it is very easy to trace who made the signature if they use PB.



Please be sure to use "SOTW #[number] Entry" as the subject of your Private Message when you submit your entry to ensure that it doesn't get left out.


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The voting process:


(i) Contest creator voting

The person running the SOTW is not permitted to vote in their own voting threads. This is to further ensure a fair contest.


(ii) Contestant voting

Contestants are allowed, but not forced to vote in a competition that they are a part of. However, voting for your own entry is not allowed and will result in disqualification. Also the creating of multiple accounts to vote for your own signature is against the rules of not only the SOTW competition, BUT of Neocodex as a whole. Anyone found to be doing so will be banned/disqualified. You are also not allowed to mention which sig is yours in any way shape or form, as this makes it unfair for the other 'anonymous' contestants and essentially gives you an edge on the voting. You WILL be disqualified on the spot no questions asked.


(iii) General public voting

People who are not taking part in a competition, staff included, are encouraged to vote in any voting thread that they come across.


Disclaimer: All votes made in polls are shown publicly. The person who created the poll will always know if you have voted for your own entry. At the close of the voting, the person running the competition must record all votes cast (also announce that voting is now closed in the thread). The person holding the competition can use the report button on the first post of the voting thread, to have it locked to ensure no further voting changes can occur once closed.


(iiii) Commenting

Whilst you are not forced to comment in voting threads, we wouldn't mind if you let everyone know what your opinions on the entries are, you're very welcome to do just that.


However, simply posting how none of the entries appeal to you, or general negative comments and flaming will not be tolerated and will be deleted and possible warns will be issued. If you're going to comment, please be considerate of the entrants feelings and explain why an entry didn't appeal to you, or did appeal to you. Simply saying "it sucks" and such will not be tolerated and contributes nothing. Constuctive critiscism is key here smile.gif


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Tie breaker:


(i) Secondary voting thread

If after the voting has completed there is not a clear winner, then the person responsible for creating the initial voting thread will create a secondary voting thread. The secondary voting thread will contain a public poll with the tied entries from the initial voting thread available for selection. All normal rules will apply for the secondary voting thread. The secondary voting thread will be open for 24 hours only.



#2 Donaldmax

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:20 PM

Can't you make it a Monday? Start of a new week, start of a new contest.
Voting starts on Saturday and ends on Sunday night so everyone can see it...
I think it's way better than starting on Saturday.
Also I really think specific themes are better as they filter out biased votes...

#3 Strategist

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:24 PM

Ill change that for you then. I agree with that one. However, the theme is decided by the person running the current competition and is final. If people dont like the theme, dont enter. If you have suggestions for the theme, feel free to pm the person who will be running the next SOTW.

#4 Boggart

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

Sticky this mofo

#5 Strategist

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:31 PM

Sticky this mofo




It has been done XD



#6 Tsvete

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:33 AM

Inspired by the last SOTW, eh? Great job you did here, now people only have to read it ^_^

#7 Strategist

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:03 AM

yeah well there was no real concrete rules set out and i thought it would benefit all members who wish to either enter/host/vote. All that needs to be done each week is to link to this rules thread in the entry thread. Hopefully that way we will start seeing more and more people entering and some top quality sigs produced :)

#8 Kat

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:28 AM

It's actually kinda sad that the rules have to be outlines like such to prevent something like this past voting thread. <_<
But it's for the best nonetheless.

Also, the last voting thread needs to be unpinned O_o

#9 Kyouma

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:23 AM

So only the winner of the last SOTW can create a new SOTW? What if they refuse to?

#10 luvsmyncis

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:39 AM

Also I really think specific themes are better as they filter out biased votes...


At first I agreed with you on this, but upon further reflection, I think more open and vague themes are better. This way we can leave more up to the artist, and I always find it interesting how people interpret the theme. You had suggested "the surface of an Oreo" which sounds good in theory, but all we would get are pictures of oreos. And that would bore me. I don't want you to feel discouraged, Donald. I feel certain you will make a sig that I like best one of these days. I'm watching you!

Spoiler


Should it be against the rules to change your vote?

#11 Joanna

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

Thank you for setting CLEAR rules and guidelines. I think this will help future SOTWs to run better.
(+rep)

I must add though that Im not sure I like the restriction to which day a SOTW thread must be posted. I can see setting a limit on the amount of days between posting each specific thread and getting your entries in... but forcing it to be Monday and Saturday seems a bit difficult to me.

Edited by Joanna, 06 September 2011 - 12:11 PM.


#12 Strategist

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:26 PM

yeah ill change it to be against the rules to change your vote. Ill have to think how to word it though as it could seem a bit harsh depending on the situation. Jo, ill go back to the original idea of 7 days entry time, 3 days voting etc i think. It makes it more flexible that way.

#13 Joanna

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:52 PM

yeah ill change it to be against the rules to change your vote. Ill have to think how to word it though as it could seem a bit harsh depending on the situation. Jo, ill go back to the original idea of 7 days entry time, 3 days voting etc i think. It makes it more flexible that way.


Thanks Strat. :) This is a great thing you've done.

#14 Elindoril

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:19 PM

yeah ill change it to be against the rules to change your vote

How would this rule be enforced, though?

Just curious.

#15 Joanna

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:15 PM

How would this rule be enforced, though?

Just curious.


Its a public vote- therefore the runner of the SOTW would have to keep track of the votes (which sounds tedious) then when someone changes their vote: if they entered the contest they are disqualified- and if they didn't then their vote would be deducted....?

That is what I am assuming anyway.

#16 Strategist

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:28 PM

i guess we could just have something in place saying all votes must be final by the close of the competition (they are then recorded) and then anyone who changes votes after the announcement of the close, gets their vote removed (or their sig disqualified if theyre participating). That would be easy enough to control etc. Whats everyones thoughts on this?

(edited OP with new rule for voting regarding this ^ above)

Edited by Strategist, 06 September 2011 - 09:37 PM.


#17 Strategist

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:52 AM

The person who created the thread should be able to lock it (I'll have to double-check this). If they lock the thread on the day of closing, votes cannot be changed.


either that or they can PM a mod to do it for them. Good idea mate.

#18 Strategist

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:34 PM

just updated the thread with a pretty banner XD

#19 maniean

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 10:13 PM

Wow, I left this place thinking SOTW was just a joke here, but I can see that real improvements have been made.  Thanks Strategist.

EDIT:  Is there a clear limitation on how much of a stock we can use?  Because to be honest, one of the entries in SOTW 15 looks like someone just took a wallpaper with an elf on it, cut out a nice sized box, then placed a semi-transparent box + default hearts on top of it.  And it's winning.  To me, that's really as effortless as placing a textbox on a GIF, but hey, at least it's not ridiculous looking...
However I would think that a GRAPHICS competition should be like at least 70% your own originality.   A wallpaper that includes a nice forest background along with your elf, then not even doing much to it...isn't that crossing the "not your work" line?

EDIT 2: It's not that I have problems with the sig, it's that I have problems with people doing minuscule things to a piece of art and calling it "theirs". I'm okay with it if everyone else deems it okay, but I would like to say that your job as graphic "artists" (in the loosest sense) is to make something creatively new with the image. Not just give it a few touchups.

Edited by Xynrai, 16 September 2011 - 10:50 PM.


#20 Strategist

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:05 PM

Wow, I left this place thinking SOTW was just a joke here, but I can see that real improvements have been made. Thanks Strategist.

EDIT: Is there a clear limitation on how much of a stock we can use? Because to be honest, one of the entries in SOTW 15 looks like someone just took a wallpaper with an elf on it, cut out a nice sized box, then placed a semi-transparent box + default hearts on top of it. And it's winning. To me, that's really as effortless as placing a textbox on a GIF, but hey, at least it's not ridiculous looking...
However I would think that a GRAPHICS competition should be like at least 70% your own originality. A wallpaper that includes a nice forest background along with your elf, then not even doing much to it...isn't that crossing the "not your work" line?

EDIT 2: It's not that I have problems with the sig, it's that I have problems with people doing minuscule things to a piece of art and calling it "theirs". I'm okay with it if everyone else deems it okay, but I would like to say that your job as graphic "artists" (in the loosest sense) is to make something creatively new with the image. Not just give it a few touchups.


I believe at the end of the day, if someone has created an image for a competition that has had their own 'touch' put on it and they havent blatantly ripped someone elses hard work off, then it can be called THEIR work. Not everyone has the skills to make something from scratch either, like some people obviously do. I figure that it can be a path to learning more techniques. Sure, if people create similar work week in and week out with the same 'skills' and haven't shown much improvement on their images (through use of different styles/stocks/own imagery) then they should consider not entering. I personally love to see people strive to better their skills especially in the area of graphics creation/manipulation.

On another note, I also don't think it fair that you singled out that particular signature and basically said it hasn't had any work put into it. This is borderline flaming in my opinion. For instance, if you had said what you said more 'loosely' based around said signature and not given it as a direct example of your point, then I would've been ok with it as a form of getting your point across/constructive critiscism. The whole point of the competition is to have fun and enjoy yourselves. If people are going to whinge about others' work not being up to par, then don't bother saying anything at all. I don't wish to make this a shitstorm/fight but merely wanted to get MY opinion across. I apologise if i sound like a dick or whatever as this is not my intention.

Edited by Strategist, 16 September 2011 - 11:06 PM.


#21 Ryuusei06

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:02 AM

I'm new here so I just read that we're encouraged to use stock images.. but i'm guessing it's still possible to use none of it..(I cannot use PS at all..) and it would still be alright? And the prizes, who provides it might I ask.. because I see that others do donate prizes but if they don't, does the winner provide the prizes? Thank you very much!

#22 Joanna

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:03 AM

I'm new here so I just read that we're encouraged to use stock images.. but i'm guessing it's still possible to use none of it..(I cannot use PS at all..) and it would still be alright? And the prizes, who provides it might I ask.. because I see that others do donate prizes but if they don't, does the winner provide the prizes? Thank you very much!



Prizes are to be given by the runner of the current competition- however, if they cannot not afford to give out prizes, then they are allowed to ask for donations- in which case the donators would give out the prizes.

Also, I do not understand what you mean by not using stock images?

#23 Ryuusei06

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:19 AM

Prizes are to be given by the runner of the current competition- however, if they cannot not afford to give out prizes, then they are allowed to ask for donations- in which case the donators would give out the prizes.

Also, I do not understand what you mean by not using stock images?


ahh, donations.. thanks for that!

oh, creating something just from scratch and not rendering/using/applying existing images in your sig:D




#24 Joanna

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:24 AM

ahh, donations.. thanks for that!

oh, creating something just from scratch and not rendering/using/applying existing images in your sig:D



Oh yeah! Thats no problem, if you can create a sig from scratch then go right ahead- we encouraged use of stock images so that people wouldn't just choose and image, throw a border and some text on it and say done. I look forward to seeing your work! :)

#25 Ryuusei06

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:37 AM

Oh yeah! Thats no problem, if you can create a sig from scratch then go right ahead- we encouraged use of stock images so that people wouldn't just choose and image, throw a border and some text on it and say done. I look forward to seeing your work! :)


thanks for the help!^^ and sure, not this sotw though, I do not harvest much anger in me to create one! ahaha.


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