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lightofeilia ([personal profile] lightofeilia) wrote in [community profile] ultima_arena2014-04-02 11:11 pm
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Sticky: Contest FAQ

Here is a comprehensive FAQ for contests in [community profile] ultima_arena. Contests are a special kind of activity where submitted entries are voted on by members, and winning the contest gets you big rewards. Minigames are shorter and do not typically involve voting on member submissions.

Contests FAQ
1. Entries & Submissions
2. Voting
3. Placings & Ties
4. Results & Banners
5. Points
6. Modding
7. Miscellaneous

Entries & Submissions

What submission rules apply to all contests?
1. Your entry must be anonymous -- you can't tell people what your entry is or give people hints that would give your entry away in the voting until after voting has finished. Graphics uploaded to non-anonymous hosts (any host that contains a username in the URL, such as Photobucket or LJ Scrapbook) will be reuploaded by the mod to the ffuamod Photobucket.
2. Please specify your team name when you submit.
3. Unless otherwise stated in the challenge rules, you may use fanart in your entry provided that you credit the artist. The credit will be indicated in the voting. Specifying a generic site that doesn't indicate who the artist is (e.g. DeviantArt, Tumblr) won't count as credit.

How do I submit an entry?
For fic/writing contests, you post a comment on the submission post containing the text of your fic or entry. If your entry doesn't fit into a single comment, you can split it up amongst multiple comments.

For graphic/art contests, you first upload your image(s) to an image host and then leave the image and/or direct link in your comment. The preferred hosting site is imgur, but other places you can host images include  Imageshack, and Photobucket

How do I submit an entry to make it easier for the mods?
For written entries that have a lot of formatting (e.g. bold, italics, blockquotes, images, etc.), submitting it twice -- once normally, and once with <textarea> and </textarea> tags around it -- is helpful for the mods to read your entry and see what it should look like and then be able to copy+paste your submission into the voting. Other things that are helpful are titles for fic and warnings (if applicable).

For graphical entries or entries that contain graphics, consider uploading to anonymous hosts such as Imageshack, imgur, and TinyPic. It's not a very big issue for small graphics contests, but for contests where 20-25 icons need to be submitted, it saves the mod a lot of time.

My entry is really long/ Dreamwidth is down! How can I submit by email?
Send your entry to Be sure to note your username & team, if it's not obvious.

Bonus points
A mod running a contest may give bonus points for things like titling entries or using a tag banner when submitting. If so, they'll specify in the contest write-up.


What voting rules apply to all contests?
1. You can't vote for your own entry.
2. You must read over/examine all entries in the contest in order to vote.

How many points is voting worth?
- 5 points for visual contests (i.e. things you can evaluate by glancing) or very short reading contests (< 2000 words of reading total or thereabouts)
- 10 points for contests that require a significant amount of reading (e.g. most short fic contests) or graphical contests that have complicated or split voting
- 15 points for contests that require a lot of reading (> 9000 words or so)

How long does voting last?
- Three days from when the challenge ended for graphical and very short reading contests
- Five days for any contest that require a significant amount of reading
- A week for contests that require a lot of reading

(The above two are meant to mirror each other, i.e. any time we give out 10 points for voting, we also give 5 days to vote)

Placings & Ties

Number of placings
Generally, the total number of placings (including mod's choice and ties) will be no more than half of the total entries.

When a contest receives a particularly small number of entries, three things may be adjusted: the number of placings (reduced), the amount of participation points for each entry (raised), and all the placing awards (reduced). In more detail:

Number of EntriesNumber of PlacingsParticipation BonusPlacing Adjustment
1-2 entries0 placings (no voting held)+60+30----
3 entries1 placing+40+20-120-60
4 entries2 placings+20+10-60-30

Contests receiving five or more entries are not considered low-participation (although note that placings may still be reduced to two in a five-entry voting table).

Placings may be added after the fact for contests with an especially large number of entries -- in that case, the original placing points stated on the submission post will remain the same, and the mod will come up with lower amounts for the added placings.

How are the votes tallied?
Tallying is done following this system:
first place vote = 3 points
second place vote = 2 points
third place vote = 1 point

The entry with the most points under this system (regardless of how many unweighted votes they received) wins.

What happens when there are ties?
- Tied entries displace lower entries as if they were untied. For example, if two entries tie for first, the next entry is given a third placing (and third placing points).
- Tied entries each get the points associated with the placing that they tied for. For example, if two entries tie for second place, they both get second placing points.
- The mod may choose to post a tiebreaker or allow ties to stand depending on the number of entries, how bad the tie is, etc.

How does the mod's choice placing work?
The person running the contest will pick an entry they liked that didn't place. Whether or not a mod's choice will be awarded depends on the mod and the number of entries.

Results & Banners

After results have been posted, feel free to reveal which entry you made. You can also repost your entry to [community profile] moogle_workshop, if you'd like to share it in a more public space. In some cases, you may be awarded fanwork points for this (see the Points section below).

How does banner-making work?
For most contests, when a results post goes up, there will be a comment thread where you can volunteer to make banners for the winners. Banners will be assigned for one week to the first person who replies, and the mod will give them posting access. If you get assigned banners, you will need to make one banner for each winning entry. We're not very strict about when the banners need to be made, but if the banners are significantly overdue, the mods may re-assign them to another volunteer.

What do I get for making banners?
You get 10 points for your team for each banner you make, up to a maximum of 100 points per contest.

What do I need to put on the banners?
Banners should include the winner's username, the placing they got, the challenge number/name, and "ultima_arena"/"final fantasy land"/some variation on those names. Banners for art/icon contests should include the winning entry. For fic banners, a quote or related image is nice.

Is there a limit on the number of banners I can make?
You can't make more than 10 banners for any one contest, but you're free to volunteer for as many banner sets as you like.

How do I post my banners when I'm done?
When you  volunteer to make banners, you'll be given temporary posting access in the community. Simply post to the community when you're ready, be sure to include your team name so you can get points! Don't worry if you don't see it right away as it needs to be released from the queue by a moderator.


How are participation points determined?
It's left to mod discretion, but as a general guideline, for fanwork-type contests, participation points are set so that you can't get more points by posting to [community profile] moogle_workshop instead of submitting the entry here (this is so there are no dilemmas/trade-offs involved with participating in contests).

Some more specific guidelines:
- Fic: usually equal to the number of points the max word count would get in [community profile] moogle_workshop, or a bit more than that
- Icons: ~5 points each
- Drabbles: 10 points
- Wallpaper: 20 points
- Art: varies vastly depending contest
- General free-form challenge: 25 points

Short challenges have TOTAL participation points in the 10-40 range (25 is typical); longer challenges are worth around 75-100 points.

How are placing points determined?
Quite arbitrarily based on the scope of the contest (the effort required and the number of participation points) and precedent. It also changes from game to game as a response to feedback and comm-balancing. Our current guidelines are as follows:
- If you add up the points for first, second, and third, short contests are in the 200-400 range
- Long contests are in the 600-900 range (750 normal)
- Mod's choices are given a much lower amount compared to placing (usually around the same level as the participation points)

Can I get points for posting my entries in [community profile] moogle_workshop  after the contest?
Yes, but only if your entry is worth more points there than the participation points given by the contest. For most contests, the points are purposely set high to avoid this situation. However, in some art or writing contests, the participation points might be capped pretty low to avoid the participation points getting out of hand. In such a case, if you later crosspost your entry to MWS, you'll be given the difference in points by the MWS mod. For example, say you entered a contest that gave 40 participation points, but the thing you submitted would have earned 48 points had you posted it in MWS instead. The mod will give you the difference of 8 points. This point difference is awarded regardless of whether your entry placed.


Are mods allowed to participate/vote in contests?
Neutral mods and UA mods are allowed to participate and vote in contests they're not running. However, if they look at other people's entries, this disqualifies them from participating.

What should I do if I'm interested in being an [community profile] ultima_arena mod?
Leave a comment over here.


How do I know what contests/votings are open?
See the !open tag. Reminder posts will also be posted over at [community profile] finalfantasyland listing all open activities.

What should I do if I have an idea for a contest?
Send them here. Or if you have images you'd like to see used in an icon/graphics contest, send them here.

I still have questions about how [community profile] ultima_arena works.
Let me know here. If your question is about a contest in particular, please leave your comments on the post in question.