Some of you may know me as the administrator at the Speculative Evolution forum
, but I am also a co-founder of this group here. It seems to me that activity in this group has dropped of a bit, or at the very least that a lot of the groups' members are short on ideas. This group used to do monthly contests, and the forum recently began doing them again, so I wanted to know this community's opinion on reviving the monthly contest starting next month? The concept is simple: a theme and set of guidelines is given for the development of a creature and members are free to submit an entry of their own design to be judged by the community. For example, the theme of the second contest this group held was Venusian Life, and the guidelines were to create a plausible organism that could survive on Venus as we know it. The themes can range from alien life, as per the example, to alternate evolution such as the Permian Ice Age contest that came before it. These contests are separate from the ones held at the forum and will have different themes.
I've been looking over the original rules for the groups contests, and I'd like to propose a few changes for the community to decide on. Here are the original rules:What?
The Monthly Contests are self-explanatory. As the name suggests, this are contests in which you have to create an original, yet plausible imaginary creature based on the Monthly Topic. The participants of the contests will have one month before the contest ends and the poll is opened.
There's going to be a new contest every 1st day of the month, and the participants will have a whole month to submit their art. The dead lines of the contests will allways be at the 1st day of the next month. Then I'll open a poll. You have one week to vote for your favorite (but not for yourselves). The concept with more votes wins.
Every member of the group can participate
Each month I'll post a Blog Entry titled "This Month's topic is...". This entry will have all the information regarding the concept you need to develop.
1.- No Plants (But Animal-Plant hybrids are allowed)
2.- No blobs or other shape-less mass.
3.- No characters (Your art most show a random memeber of the species, not a specific character from a fantasy/sci-fi story of yours)
4.- In the case you want to draw your creature using some sort of clothes and using tools, please you must also draw it naked, so that the rest of us can see their anatomy.
When the deadline was reached, no more concepts are allowed to enter the contest. Then I'll make a poll. You'll have one week to vote for your favorite, but for science's sake, don't vote for yourselves. In the case someone voted for their own concept, that someone's concept will be disqualified. The winner of the Month will get his/her deviation featured, and at the end of the year, the user with more winnings will be declared member of the year, and the winner might choose to stay as a member or become an admin.
1.- The art most be adequate for 1 month of work. No rushed drawings, sketches, or WIPs for the final submission.
2.- If you're going to leave your art in black in white, at least ad some sort of descent shading style.
3.- Only 2D work. No 3D, photoshoped photographs and/or animations.
4.- You must draw the whole body, not just a mugshot of the head.
Tips for choosing your favorite:
Creativity: There was a time in which all speculative evolution projects were future worlds with rats, bats and lagomorphs. Something inovative and creative is a good choice.
Plausibility: Even if creativity is very important, sometimes it goes out of our hands. There's scientific principles that helps us to mantain our creation in good shape. Making a creative, yet plausible creature will put you closer to the wining line
Art Quality: Your creation might be plausible, and also creative, but if your final artwork is just a rushed sketch, you are screwed my friend. An image worths more than a 1000 words, or at least that's what they say. Using a good art style, but also making a plausible and creative creature will help alot when the poll is open.
I think most of these are pretty good, but some of them could be revised:
"No Plants" could be done away with, as some contests may be open to the submission of plants, and I imagine most contestants will be making animals anyways. It seems a bit silly to outright ban plants, as they are also organisms and thus subject to the field of speculative biology.
I'm unsure about the rule banning voting for your own entry. I can see how everybody voting for their own entry may be problematic, but it seems a bit harsh to disqualify an entry over a single vote. I'd like to hear the opinions of the members on this one.
The restrictions on artwork seem a bit too broad as well. I can understand banning photomanipulation (as in simply splicing some pictures of animals together, not as in the use of photomanipulation software in any respect), and requiring a whole body picture, but the other restrictions seem too limiting. Some people can't draw, but they can model in 3D and animate just fine. And some who can draw can't shade well, but can create detailed line art.
Everything else looks good, but like I said I don't make any final decisions here and would like to hear what the members have to say before I submit any finalized ideas to Tapejara for approval. So what I would like to hear about in particular is: opinions on the changes I've proposed to the rules; any ideas others may have for changes to the rules; ideas for what the rewards will be for winning the contest (keep in mind we have no way of providing physical rewards, so perhaps placing the winner and runners up in the featured section?); and any other ideas you may have related to the contest that are not addressed in this journal. Thank you for your time, we look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.