(Second) Evas vs. Angels Design Contest! (Afterthoughts)

Fanfiction, fan art, AMVs, and any other fan creations or Eva-related projects: share your work and discuss others' here.

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Postby Formless One » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:52 pm

[A]lthough the story seems to me to bit rather heavy handed, the potential Rei relationship is nevertheless interesting.

Typo... typo... O_o :doh:

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Postby Axell » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:07 am

yay thanks guys :D

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Postby AyrYntake » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:57 am

Wow. Great outcome so far, and I love the medal-like design of the awards, kudos to Chowwow for that.
Can't wait to see the winner! Keep it coming!
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Postby Rock-Slash » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:32 pm

Where can I look the Angels and backgrounds?

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Postby NemZ » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:59 pm

...earlier in this thread, perhaps?

:facepalm:
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Final Award for 2nd ADC!

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Postby Chowwow » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:02 pm

At last we are at the last day of Awards “Week” for the ADC! We will finish off this Contest with the honored Best in Contest Award!

The Award for Best in Contest was presented to the design that was, overall, the most-well rounded product in the entire Contest. Attention was given to the entire description of the Angel, as well as how it compares to all of its rivals.

Our top nominees were:

chazthesilencer with Ensuivanel: Angel of meadows
AyrYntake with Azrael: Angel of Death
Axell with Sammael: Angel of Death
evilhead008 with Uriel: Angel of “Balance”



And the winner is:




Image evilhead008 for Uriel: Angel of “Balance”
Image

This year’s race for Best in Contest was heated and tight, with our top four Angels of the entire Contest battling it out for this honor. Uriel barely won out in light of this competition by being high in quality in all areas, with Creature Design as being its most outstanding feature. While others were more focused on specific categories, Uriel appears to be destined to be realized as a full Angel: giving us a more complete picture of a serious threat to humanity. evilhead008’s entry was a harmonious combination of design and fighting power; creative yet fearsome. He is creative and artistic without being too zany or unbelievable (in NGE anyway), formidable and powerful without being too much or too little so. A confrontation with this foe would be an epic sight indeed.

One Judge wrote:Uriel is solid across the board in all areas except backstory, and really outstanding in a the first two slots [Innovation and Creature Design].


Competition with other Angels was quite fierce. Sammael, winner of two Awards already, impressed for his rich backstory, character, and scenario, but alas, was not epic enough in terms of design or scenario to claim the Award. Ensuivanel, also a winner of a pair of Awards, astounded with his incredible presentation and scenario, but frankly, wasn’t destined for anything greater than being the quirky (and reasonably tough) one of the bunch. Despite what it looks like, Azrael and Uriel were the only real contenders for this Award and, in fact, were chief rivals in this Contest. AyrYntake’s take on the Angel of Death firmly holds second place in this Award; with its unique and incredible powers and ruthless goals, Azrael is sure to be the one to fell many great foes before succumbing in an epic showdown. He may not have won this silly Award, but in the long run, Azrael is a winner too.

What a Judge on Sammael wrote:Sammael has exactly the opposite approach [of Uriel], focusing on the character development at the clear expense of other areas... the cross it was stuck on was more interesting than the angel itself, and that was removed from the picture before Nerv even really got involved.


Another Judge on Sammael wrote:While this one doesn't stick with me the way Azrael does, this Angel just felt better in an all-around sort of way.


What a Judge on Azrael wrote:[My] pick goes to Azrael for being such a badass with an interesting motif.


Another Judge on Azrael wrote:This Angel stuck with me better than all of the others. I really want to see this go somewhere.


What a Judge on Ensuivanel wrote:Although NemZ is right in that "Giant Slimeball Enemy" is hardly an original or innovative idea, Ensuivanel comes off as plain but very effective design, and one that can hold its own in the face of some very powerful contenders due to its ability to quickly regenerate and shape its own body into physical weapons.

It may not have Shalgiel's environmental control, Uriel's deadly attacks, or Azrael's utilization of captured souls, but there's a certain feeling of balance to the design that can't be ignored. In my mind, it seems like an Angel that could slot itself comfortably into the original Neon Genesis Evangelion without showing its "outside" origins. That, and the way the presentation conveys the Angel's character, makes it my choice for best in contest.





I want to take the time to thank you all for your participation, with another special thanks to Avatar of Dreams for his work on these Awards. They were incredibly well done and brought a fresh look to the Contest – they put my old ones to shame! Next time, I should refine my own Awards.

Now, we should take time to discuss our final afterthoughts on Angels, Awards or this Contest in general. Also, I will bring up future plans for the next Contest.

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Postby NemZ » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:44 am

Putting the overall winner on the medal was a nice touch. :thumbsup:
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Postby UrsusArctos » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:25 am

^ This. It was an excellent touch.
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Postby chazthesilencer » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:49 pm

Image
Good fun. Thanks everybody. Especially Mr/Ms Chow.

It's nice to do something constructive with our fandom, for a change.
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Postby Avatar of Dreams » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:20 pm

Congratulations to all the winners! :grin:
Seeing all of your creative designs made me slightly regret not designing an Angel myself this time around.

I would also like to thank Chowwow for organizing the event, and giving me the opportunity to test out my PS skills. I hope you all enjoyed the award medals! I know I had fun making them.

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Postby Axell » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:30 pm

chaz stop making me laugh so much

grats to all the winners. good job everyone

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Postby Chowwow » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:41 pm

Since this has been a very long thread, I have posted an archive of all previous entries and winners on the first page. Click here to view it.

Avatar of Dreams wrote:I would also like to thank Chowwow for organizing the event, and giving me the opportunity to test out my PS skills. I hope you all enjoyed the award medals! I know I had fun making them.


I really hope you did; with all the work of having to organize everything, I was too stressed to put any care into Award making.

Axell wrote:grats to all the winners. good job everyone


Well, do we have a word from our winner? I'd like to hear what it's like to win an Award so early in an Evageek career. How about AyrYntake for his much elected Angel?

Well, as for the next Contest, I have been going over something that someone brought to my attention. Some entries have stretched on for very long - so much so that people don't even bother reading them. On that note, some illustrations have been a bit too big as well. In the past, I left it all up to Designers because I wanted to test their own Judgment on what was appropriate. But TL;DR is starting to become a serious problem here and I feel a consensus should be made over how long is too long. Perhaps the time has come to implement a page limit to entries and a size limit for pictures. While we would have to wait until next year to apply a limit to this Contest, it's still not too late to use it for the LDC.

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Postby Great Genius Shinji-Sama » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:46 pm

This may be a stupid question chow, but if we make a pilot is it required to have lost a mother. I think I already know the answer though :sweatdrop: thats how evas are made. But maybe I could do like a provisional unit or maybe aJA sorta thing. Would that be cool for LDC?
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Postby Legendary » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:54 pm

Wrong topic.

Anyways, my final thoughts are as follows.

I was robbed, robbed I tell yaz. The judges didn't even see my des-

Oh wait, I *was* a judge?

Oh, right.

CONGRATULATIONS!

*clap clap*

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Postby NemZ » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:57 pm

It was my suggestion.

It's not just that it's too long to read... seeing entries with this much time and effort devoted to them may be raising the 'entry fee' of time to be competitive higher than many potential competitors are willing to invest.

I'd also argue that working within strict limitations is a better measure of judgment. If you don't have room to just put in everything you can think of, how do you decide to best allocate your resources?
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Postby Formless One » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:56 am

You know, I should probably clarify something since I used the phrase "tl;dr" at least once during the contest. I actually did manage to read all the entries at least once all the way through. In fact, some of my favorite angels on display here are fairly lengthy, like Chowwow's beast Shalgiel. The thing is, its the presentation that makes the difference. I can read Chowwow's entry or Sammael or Ensuviel and have very little problem because the formats they used made it very easy to read. Breaks in the wall of text, properly integrated pics, and in Chowwow's case the way the abilities were summarized and organized so you could skim them quickly to get the gist before going into the details; all these things hold my interest and make it easier to read.

By contrast, Sammandiriel for example has none of the headers highlighted and HEUG pictures one after another with small, unnecessary descriptions inter-spaced between them, and it makes it very easy to lose your place while reading it. I'm not trying to harp, but it is the best example I saw in this contest.

I don't know if a cap on length will necessarily improve this, and it may be counter-productive because it might dissuade people from going for more ambitious or creative projects like Axell's attempt to integrate a script into the presentation. I don't know about anyone else, but those are exactly the kinds of submissions I enjoy reading the most! My experience with the Lillim design contest tells me that if I had to cap the length of my submission I wouldn't have been able to present the level of detail necessary to really tell the story right, something which the character depended on. This contest may be a little bit less big on that kind of thing, but we still have a Best Character and Best Scenario award, and those things by all means require detail, and thus length.

I also dispute that length is a good indicator of time and effort expended. Just look at how long this post is, something I wrote in one night on the spur of the moment, and tell me it takes much effort to make something that is long. Like NemZ alludes to, length can actually be a sign that the person didn't take the time to edit or narrow down their concept, and that is what REALLY takes the most effort to do!

On that note, obviously longer != better. I think the judges should be aware of that. But I don't think longer submissions should be discouraged or penalized. If potential entrants see this contest and see the length of submissions as indicative of high standards, then I say good! I WANT to see people give me their all. I WANT to see entries that are interesting and entertaining to read. This IS a contest, after all. If you don't win, at least you tried, right? At least people got a chance to see what you can do, right? Last year I didn't get all the awards I was shooting for, BUT! I didn't care. The contest was informal anyway, there was no cash prize I was missing out on. The REAL reward was the chance to show off my talents in front of an audience.

I think what we would really benefit from is some clear standard. It doesn't have to be high— this is an amateur contest among fanfiction writers after all— but if people knew what a good entry looks like, knew that highlighting the headers to sections makes things easier to read, knew that spacing paragraphs helps make the entry flow, knew to take this as a challenge, knew that this isn't a lot of work for a two to three month project (you can write a decent short story in that time for hells sake!), and etc., then we wouldn't have a problem with tl;dr.

Or if you don't like that idea, how about a minimum length? It would have the same effect of indicating to potential contestants that this isn't a herculean task that only the insanely dedicated can win at while not impeding the imagination for those who see it as a challenge rather than a "fee". You could even have a Best Short Form award for the person who managed to make the best presentation under a certain length if you want to encourage people to make shorter works— and of course you can also make a corresponding Best Long Form award to go along with it to encourage contestants who have the dedication to take that challenge. This would have the side effect of making Best Presentation arguably obsolete, but that's a minor issue.

I'm sure there are lots of potential solutions we could implement if people feel this is a legit issue with the contest besides the two I've outlined. If anyone else has any other ideas, please feel free to share them. However, I think that mandating an arbitrary length cap in the rules is a poor solution.
Last edited by Formless One on Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Chowwow » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:27 am

Very good points, Formless One, I should have been considering the idea of a minimum length for the entries. I'll tell you, I was concerned about having a maximum length because, just like you said, Shalgiel and Iblis would have never been able to be presented otherwise!

Frankly, I could see possible pitfalls for many solutions; a minimum length could be as useless as a maximum length be too limiting. However, it does make this Contest seem more accessible, which is something we need to do to lure in more people and awaken the creativity in them.

You are right about the formatting thing: getting people to use better organizational skills would go a long way at making entries more readable. Come to think of it, I have posted the recommended format for Presentations in the rules and how it could be structured. The problem is, most people may still not take advantage of the subtleties of spacing in their entries anyway - that is sort of an acquired skill. Also, I'm afraid that adhering too close to that format will result in entries that look a lot alike - at least for the uncreative lot. chaz's effort for example actually followed the format quite well (in spite of promises to completely deviate) and still managed to look quite unique.

The underlying problem here is how much control I should force on Designers: the power to be free and to give it their all, or to follow a broad range of guidelines. The past Contests were given little control and we got some very high-quality works. Then again, that freedom can be daunting and unmotivating. Setting limits could give people a better idea of what they should do and how to approach it.

Maybe a tightening of controls is in order. I just want to know to what degree would be appropriate.

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Postby AyrYntake » Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:14 am

I don't know about anyone else, but for me it was the pictures that made the difference. Take Iblis and Shalgiel, for instance: whereas Chowwow never drew pictures of the actual Angel, the numerous analogous pictures and detailed explanations of different structures and functions really drew me in. I think that's something we can all learn from.
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Postby Formless One » Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:21 am

Chowwow wrote:Frankly, I could see possible pitfalls for many solutions; a minimum length could be as useless as a maximum length be too limiting. However, it does make this Contest seem more accessible, which is something we need to do to lure in more people and awaken the creativity in them.

In a sense there already is a minimum limit in place inherent to the contest: at some point, you just can't get the information any more compact. I actually like my proposed awards for short/long form presentation as a solution for this reason, since it takes this out of the realm of "trying to restrict creativity in an informal contest" and gives the designer the ability to choose their presentation style. Any number you choose is going to seem essentially arbitrary, and if it only matters for winning a specific award then its no pressure to the designer. I've noticed that people in this contest have a tendency to shoot for a specific award when designing their angels, so its clear to me that people are paying more attention to the awards then the rules when they make their angels. And really, as professional as you manage to do this Chowwow, I think its important to remember that this is a fan community: the more strict the rules appear, the more I expect people will come to resent it.

The problem is, most people may still not take advantage of the subtleties of spacing in their entries anyway - that is sort of an acquired skill.

Yes, but I don't think its exactly an unteachable one. Just being sure everyone highlights the headers of sections alone makes an entry more readable. Learning to break up large paragraphs is a little harder, but not impossible to figure out. Little stuff like that goes a long way.

Also, I'm afraid that adhering too close to that format will result in entries that look a lot alike - at least for the uncreative lot. chaz's effort for example actually followed the format quite well (in spite of promises to completely deviate) and still managed to look quite unique.

I don't know if this is that much of a problem, actually. When I wrote Yae, I actually followed the standard format fairly faithfully, with the only deviations being in the names of the sections, the addition of a section and the merging of a couple others. And yet I won Best Presentation. Why? Because the presentation isn't the way its formatted or organized, its the way its told. Frankly, the current trend appears to be that no one seems to use quite the same format as anyone else, such that they ALL deviate in some significant way from the standard. So I don't know if this fear of yours is entirely rational: this is a contest and Best Presentation is for the best presentation. They can't ALL be the best.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:24 am

Formless One has plenty of stuff to say that I agree with. No need to have size and format restrictions: those would be an unnecessary damper.

We have no award for the effort we put in, the interest we have in this, or the inclination our contestants have to do something for fun. But that's great, because having fun doing this sort of stuff is the biggest award that could come from such a contest, and no one but the contestants themselves can award that!
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