Heroes 4 Map Contest
'An American Tale'
This is a Heroes of Might and Magic 4 map contest open to anyone who submits a completed Heroes 4 map fitting the contest theme before the closing date. The general rules are as follows:
- Map submission closes 1 August 2005. No modifications or new versions of the map will be accepted after this time for the purposes of the competition so please make sure it has been play tested and polished. Please have your map in on time, no submissions will be accepted after that date.
- Maps should be submitted to the staff email address and should be marked as submissions for the map contest. They will also be posted on the site as normal maps so they should have appropriate text information attached.
- Maps can be in any Heroes 4 game version including both expansion packs and the Equilibrius unofficial mod.
- Maps can be any size but single maps only - no campaigns.
- Maps should be dedicated single player maps with a story which brings out the theme. Co-op maps are fine, though they will not be played in that mode for the purposes of judging.
- The decision of the judging panel (Psychobabble, Wimfrits, Robenhagen and Corribus) is final.
- There will be prizes awarded, most likely Ubisoft Games, but the exact prizes and categories have not yet been decided.
Theme Details - 'An American Tale'
A recent article in The New Republic identified four key American cultural narratives. These stories will seem very familiar to anyone who has had contact with with american culture - movies, television, books and politics - which, for good or ill, is much of the world. Not all aspects of these stories are uniquely American but they do have a distinct flavour reflecting the history of the United States.
Your goal is to make a map incorporating and centered around at least two of these four themes:
The Triumphant Individual. This is the familiar tale of the little guy who works hard, takes risks, believes in himself, and eventually gains wealth, fame, and honor. It's the story of the self-made [Note: This means no royals or demi-gods as the protagonist!] man (or, more recently, woman) who bucks the odds, spurns the naysayers, and shows what can be done with enough gumption and guts. He's instantly recognizable: plainspoken, self-reliant, and uncompromising in his ideals--the underdog who makes it through hard work and faith in himself... it's found in the manifold stories of downtrodden fighters who undertake dangerous quests and find money and glory.
The Benevolent Community. This is the story of neighbors and friends who roll up their sleeves and pitch in for the common good. Its earliest formulation was John Winthrop's "A Model of Christian Charity," delivered on board a ship in Salem Harbor just before the Puritans landed in 1630--a version of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, in which the new settlers would be "as a City upon a Hill," "delight in each other," and be "of the same body." The story is captured in the iconic New England town meeting, in frontier settlers erecting one another's barns, in neighbors volunteering as firefighters and librarians, and in small towns sending their high school achievers to college and their boys off to fight foreign wars.
The Mob at the Gates. In this story, the United States is a beacon light of virtue in a world of darkness, uniquely blessed but continuously endangered by foreign menaces. Hence our endless efforts to contain the barbarism and tyranny beyond our borders.... The narrative gave special force to cold war tales during the '50s of an international communist plot to undermine U.S. democracy and subsequently of "evil" empires and axes. The underlying lesson: We must maintain vigilance, lest diabolical forces overwhelm us.
The Rot at the Top. The last story concerns the malevolence of powerful elites. It's a tale of corruption, decadence, and irresponsibility in high places--of conspiracy against the common citizen. It started with King George III, and, to this day, it shapes the way we view government--mostly with distrust.
Source (subscription only).
How you use these themes in your map is up to you but they should be central to the story and gameplay. Please indicate in documentation attached to your map which of the themes you have used.
Judging CriterionThe judging criterion are as follows (in approximate order of importance):
- Level of adherence to the theme and how well the ideas are brought out in the map's story
- Overall playability and enjoyment of map
- Map-making skill (good placement of objects, lack of bugs and glitches, appropriate player rewards, advanced scripting)
- Graphical quality and detail
- Player difficulty level. If the map is too hard or drastically too easy it will weigh against the map. Scaled difficulty is a bonus but not essential
- Innovation in overall design, graphics, quests and scripting
Good luck and have fun!