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    • CommentAuthorMr. E
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016 edited
     
    Three Blind Mice*

    Who would be interested in a Three Blind Mice contest?

    When I first started NL2 some of the first coasters I saw were the old TBM entries, and honestly I think they are some of the coolest rides to come out in NL. However, I never got to see or participate in a TBM contest and with all the cool new stuff NL2 can do, I think some awesome rides could happen.

    Now I realize a lot goes into this contest, teams, switches, judging, template, and much more, but I am willing to host the contest. However, it has been a while since the last TBM contest and a lot has changed, and I would like to know:
    1) If there is interest in another Three Blind Mice contest?
    2) If the answer to #1 is yes, then if there are any rules/ policies you guys would like to see change.
    3) What you guys look for in a template/ what makes it a challenge/fun?
    4) How long you want/ need for each part of the contest?
    5) What order theme work and supports come in?

    As I wish for this contest to be open to everyone, I would allow both FVD++ and hand building, and newton if anyone still uses that

    *Disclaimer: I know contests must be discussed with mods first. However I wanted to see if there was interest first.
    • CommentAuthorkryptos001
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    It seems like a fun contest, but right now wouldn't be the best time to host another contest. With school ramping up and Roundup 150 approaching, I think it would be better to hold off until early next year
    • CommentAuthorTheBeatles
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    I just wanted to stop by and say that I still use Newton.

    Aside from that, it'd be great to do another one of these contests, but I agree with kryptos001 that now may not be the best time, in light of R150.
  1.  
    Actually kinda surprised we haven't had once since NL2 has debuted. You bring up a good point.

    Posted By: Mr. E3) What you guys look for in a template/ what makes it a challenge/fun?

    Typically there hasn't been any template, which is what makes the contest fun. There is simply enough challenge working with a ride that isn't yours.

    Posted By: Mr. E4) How long you want/ need for each part of the contest?

    Two weeks per part, but I'd like to make a motion to extend time for theming. There's been a handful of half-baked rides in the past that so I'd like to give themers the opportunity to have the time they need to pull off a cool concept.

    Posted By: Mr. E5) What order theme work and supports come in?

    Traditionally, theming was done last, and the supporter would suggest where themed elements go. While it's more intuitive to go track > theme > support, I think it's more interesting and challenging to go track > support > theme. We could always change it up though.
    •  
      CommentAuthorzampano
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    I'd be interested if it was a while after r150. Like in spring or something :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorMorganFan
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    I've always wanted to be in a 3BM. A spring or even winter contest would be nice.
    • CommentAuthorDelay
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    After reading about what 3BM is, I'd be more than interested.
    •  
      CommentAuthordapalm
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    Yeah, what Zampano said! I'm totally in after r150, this contest looks like a lot of fun :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    A Three Blind Mice contest is the one contest I've wanted to do ever since getting into NL. I'd absolutely be interested in participating (assuming the time is right). As for a template, I think it would be fun either way, but no template may inspire more creativity.
    • CommentAuthorDelay
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    and just a question: Would naming (again, my favourite topic) be considered "theming"?

    My personal definition of theming on a coaster is "A controlled change of the rider's experience without manipulating the track or supports". A coasters name would fit that definition.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBBSpeed26
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    I'd love to do a 3BM again, but agree - no template is best.

    Some of the best stuff that's come out of 3BM has been because of the creativity forced on the themer by the track and support folks. Track -> Support -> Theme is the way we've traditionally done it... I could make the case for swapping the order of supports and scenery, but I don't feel strongly about it. Moving supporting to after scenery could result in supporting being more intuitive, but also sort of paint-by-numbers...y.

    Totally agree about giving the scenery guys more time. I can't imagine it taking more than 2 weeks to whip up track or supports for even the most sprawling track, but scenery and all that that entails (and the new capabilities available with NL2) mean I think we could give those guys more time. A month?

    Finally - it's a lot of work to host a 3BM. It requires more organization and contingency than a regular contest. There are lots of people involved, lots of work, lots on the line. No offense meant, but I'd prefer to talk to the NoLimits team about sponsorship (like how the latest 5HOP contest was promoted/run/judged) than have the next 3BM be run by one person on our forums. That way it could be multi-site, high-visibility, and there would necessarily be some accountability that goes along with that, because it would have the Official NoLimits contest stamp on it.

    I have no idea if that's something Tom & the gang would be up for, but I'm sure we could chat about it. Post-roundup 150 seems like a fine target time frame.
  2.  
    I would Certainly be up for doing either track or supports.
    • CommentAuthorJetPulse
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2016
     
    I would be interested (definitely not committing yet though) to do something in the spring. I agree that with a lot of the big players focusing on RU150, planning now and executing next year is good. As for rules, I think the existing format worked well. There's been discussions before about doing supports last, but I'm on the team that thinks letting supports go before theming gives the supporter more room for creativity rather than being boxed in by everyone else's work.

    For timeline, I think 2 weeks per person is good. I am torn over the theming duration though. On one hand, NL2 has so much more that can be done so giving more time would allow for deeper work. On the other hand, 2 weeks is long enough to do quite a bit of theming and I think the shorter time limit will get people out of their comfort zone and force some creativity to win.

    As for template, I agree that working blind is generally hard enough. Also, I think some of the fun for trackwork people is trying to balance and provide a good canvas for the following people. Going with just some basic rules to deter cheating (like length, height, train count, block count restrictions, etc...) sometimes give trackwork folks enough rope to hang their entire team (which is part of the fun of 3BM in my opinion).

    I think I am generally of the mindset of give a few rules to make it harder to cheat (I.e. using designs made outside of the competition) but otherwise let people have free reign. Trying to convey your ideas downstream and then figuring out what people upstream were thinking is really the focus of the competition.

    Now that I sit and think about it, the only thing I think I would want to change is the judging. The last 2 comps went to coasters that really won for their theming. Outpost 7 and Trident had good trackwork and supports, but the theming was just so striking that everyone got caught up in it (TBH, Trident theming was me and I chose something crazy on purpose knowing that even if the quality wasn't good, which it wasn't, that the "wow" a factor would put it so far ahead that it didn't matter. And it worked). When it just goes to general vote, the eye candy of good theming takes over people's opinions and the support and trackwork often don't get equally considered. Maybe giving a vote/grade for each part (trackwork, support, theming) and then averaging/summing scores would force equal consideration of each part?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBBSpeed26
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2016
     
    >The last two comps went to coasters that really won for their themeing

    See I'm not sure I agree that this is a bad thing necessarily... I would argue that without at least an adequate coaster, you couldn't "save" it with themeing, and that is (or at least can be) hugely influenced by how much rope the track and scenery guys give the themer to hang themselves with. That said, I might campaign for some rules to balance the influence a bit, in particular to preserve the work of the supporter. Something like: "Supports must only intersect with scenery at either footers provided by the support creator, or at beam nodes. Supports may not be hidden by scenery if they are inconvenient - it is the duty of the supporter to provide a canvas for the themer, and the duty of the themer to work with what he is given by the supporter and track builder."
    •  
      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2016
     
    Yeah, I'm so in. Wanted to do one of these for years!

    I agree with JetPulse that having a vote for each part of the comp and coming out with an average may work better.
  3.  
    I'm interested!
    •  
      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    Sorry to play the clueless idiot, but what exactly is a Three Blind Mice contest?
    • CommentAuthorMr. E
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    It's a contest where there are three person teams and one does track the next does supports and the last does theme. But nobody knows who is on their team until the end of the competition.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZergei
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    Oh in that case I have some interest...
    •  
      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    Same. Sign me up. I'll try to juggle with school, if it works out it would be a great way for me to get back into NL.
  4.  
    I want to join in but I cant do scenery/theming lol
    • CommentAuthorDelay
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    ^It's not completely random. You tell him/whoever organizes the contest your personal preferences.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMrcrolly
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     

    I'd be all down for this. Sign me up as well :)

    •  
      CommentAuthorHafizBazzi
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    I'd do this, however the only thing I'm remotely good at is track work, cant theme worth a damn.
  5.  
    I'd love to do this, some resulting rides I've seen have been very interesting.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbestdani
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016 edited
     
    If I can find time for it I'm in.

    Edit:
    A similar idea I had once that could be maybe included in this contest if you like it: Instead of just randomly getting some coaster to support or theme it could be cool (or a disaster - who knows :P) if the supporters select the coaster they want to support and the themers select the supported coaster they want to theme (and ultimately the video guys select the final product they want to film if you want to add that new layer, it could also be added without changing the rest).
    •  
      CommentAuthorHLcoasters
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    Im in
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    I'm totally in, but I can only do track work
  6.  
    im also in, for supports or trackwork, provided i don't have a lot of work to do at the time
    •  
      CommentAuthorVinyworld283
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016 edited
     
    Im in only I'm not that good at theming, custom support theming is the only kind of theming I can do...
    •  
      CommentAuthorOlmisery
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    I'd be totally down for something like this, it sounds immensely fun. Not as good a theming as track and supports but still sounds like a fun contest all around.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRCF
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    I would love to do one, but I'd probably screw my group up.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZergei
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2016
     
    I can do supports and theming very well (at least the concept, but I can probably model stuff in most cases), and my coaster track work in terms of efficiency is okay to bad :P
    •  
      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2016
     
    Posted By: bestdaniIf I can find time for it I'm in.

    Edit:
    A similar idea I had once that could be maybe included in this contest if you like it: Instead of just randomly getting some coaster to support or theme it could be cool (or a disaster - who knows :P) if the supporters select the coaster they want to support and the themers select the supported coaster they want to theme (and ultimately the video guys select the final product they want to film if you want to add that new layer, it could also be added without changing the rest).


    But then that removes the blind aspect from the competition.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKG9
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2016
     
    I think this is an interesting contest and idea, however I am at school most of the time and wouldn't be able to participate unless it is in December or March (spring break). I'd also only be able to do track or supports since we all know theming isn't my forte (ha).

    Put me in as interested but not sure about participating. If I don't though I am sure to keep up with everyone else's work!
  7.  
    Well I would also want to do one! :D
    • CommentAuthorA113
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2016
     
    As some other people have mentioned, I think it would be the most exciting to host this after RU150. This is definitely one of the more fun and involved competitions in the community, it'd be great to see it in NL2.
  8.  
    This might be a stupid idea but I think that i would be cool to add video editing to this. But then I guess i would be called 'Four blind mice'.
  9.  
    Im interested. But after RU 150 for sure.
    •  
      CommentAuthoraltlenny
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2016
     
    Can I hop in for a second and briefly suggest doing a FOUR blind mice:

    1) Terrain
    2) Track
    3) Support
    4) Theme

    Maybe even let some people do 2 different stages for different teams...
    • CommentAuthorMr. E
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2016
     
    ^The problem with having someone doing terrain is the person doing track work doesn't have to follow it and could avoid it all together.
    •  
      CommentAuthoraltlenny
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2016
     
    Same thing can happen during the support and theme stage tbh. I'm not suggesting that every coaster will have to end up being a terrain coaster. On the other hand it might be cool for the track guys to actually work around some kind of existing terrain that isn't shaped around the coaster. Maybe let the terrain guy define the coaster's boundaries too to enforce some kind of interaction between the first two stages. But that might run into other problems...
  10.  
    The reason the current setup is so compelling is because the task of terrain is up to, essentially, all three people. The track guy can use his track to suggest terrain features, like long straights after a drop, height differences, plateaus, etc. Then it's the supporter's job to take notice, and then choose whether to act on it and how. Then when it's the themer's turn, they decide whether these supports connect to ground terrain or an object.

    In that way, this task is interwoven among all three participants which makes things interesting. Past entries have yielded some amazing results.
    • CommentAuthorA113
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2016
     
    yeah, as someone who has competed in a few in the past, I think three is the magic number. the unpredictability makes it more challenging
    • CommentAuthormrfeeny
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2016
     
    I'd like to take a crack at it, I'd prefer track-work if we can choose, I could also probably do support-work as well.
    • CommentAuthortlansdell
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2016
     
    I would totally be down. I'd probably prefer track-work. My support work is ok, I guess, so I suppose if I need to I could do supports but only if absolutely necessary.
    • CommentAuthorMr. E
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2017
     
    Since RU 150 is over now I had a few more questions:
    1) Are you guys still up for this?
    2) How long should each person get for their job? I know I'm the past it has been two weeks for each of trackwork supports and scenery but if I remember correctly some have wanted a little more time with scenery.
    3) What dates work for you guys?
    • CommentAuthorDelay
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2017
     
    I'd still do it, although I do think I'm not "ready" for something like this yet.
    I worry way too much about what people will say or think.
  11.  
    ^Think of contests as a way to get both critique and inspiration, which will both help you become a better designer in the future. Yes, many creations on here are intimidating, but don't let that get in the way of you having fun and enjoying the simulator, especially with such a fun contest like this. (And if anyone says something that rubs you the wrong way, just smile and prove them wrong with your next project).

    ^^ 1) I am very much still up for this
    2) Two weeks is plenty of time IMO. Pressure is a great obstacle to use in contests (hence why 5HOP is a lot of fun).
    3) Whatever time is convenient for you. Since the host has the toughest job in the contest, the schedule should be based around what works for you.
  12.  
    I think we are going to wait until the summer and after CG246's contest has finished. It's definitely being considered though.