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MODCON 2019 (Cave Story Annual Modding Contest)

Jul 15, 2019 at 7:04 AM
Everything Else Is Irrelevant
Modding Community Discord Founder
"Bleep, Bloop, Bleep, Bloop"
Join Date: Apr 5, 2013
Location: In my mind and of my body.
Posts: 1596
Age: 22
#1
Greeting Critters and Gaudis, and welcome to MODCON 2019!
THE place to take your greatest Cave Story mod creations, and claim this years bragging rights, (a small sum of cash) and be crowned champion of this years MODCON!! :momo:


Without any haste, here are the rules for this year!

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#1 Your mod must be of the video game Cave Story
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Version of CS allowed:

Freeware
CSE2 (including al branches/forks aka CSR, CSE2e)
NxEngine

Modifications that require the user to already have a copy of CS+ to play are banned!

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#2 No NSFW content in your submissions.
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There have only been a incredibly small handful of mods ever made (most all of them joke mods) that ever even touch this material, but I would like to mention straight up that it is banned. I will be streaming all of these mods blind (at my twitch page) and I have no desire to get banned from twitch when I stream these mods, so keep your polar star in your pants, thank you.

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#3 You may not submit a mod that has been submitted to a previous "modcon"
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More detail on this rule below.

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#4 You mod must fit into the genre of "side-scroller, shooter, and/or platformer,"
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We personally love mods such as "H4CK3R ST0RY" and "Hullet Bell" but feel they are incredibly lovingly beautiful in a way that is not healthfully, competitively viable when comparing them to other mods. In short it's like comparing apples to oranges as they say, and we feel that we want to narrow this scope *slightly*. Most cave story mods ever made fit into this category already, so don't worry about it as long as you're not doing anything *too* crazy. :chin:

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#5 Your mods playtime must be less than 4 hours in length
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Any playtime outside of this playing period will NOT be evaluated towards your final score on your entry.

There can be exceptions to this rule if the gameplay continues to be very engaging, but I would highly suggest not coming close to 4 hours if you do not to risk your chances to get a good score from me.

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#6 All submissions must be submitted to pixeltellsthetruth.solutions at or before December 31st 12PM PST and they must be tagged with the tag "MODCON 2019"
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All submissions must be created by and submitted by you, if you are working by yourself you are only allowed to have one submission. If you are working as a official member of a development team of a mod you can work on 2 separate mods. If you have just given some feedback on a mod or written a few assembly hacks I won't be counting that as a "development team member" but submitting a decent amount of content will be judged on a case by case basis so contact me if you're not sure if you are considered on a team or not.

You are also allowed to make a thread of your mod before submitting it to the contest (this is recommended to get public feedback and testing done to prevent major bugs from happening in your submission/ during my stream of your mod) , if multiple versions of the same mod are uploaded to your thread or the doukutstu club, the most recent version at the time of judging is evaluated.

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#7 To place entities in Boosters Lab press the "i" key
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Seriously this is important!



In relations to rule 3 specifically.

We have decided to change things fairly radically compared to previous ModCons, there has been a very scattered level of appreciation of the techniques, and methods necessary to score well in the contests.

With previous contests, the most optimal way to enter a contest is to have many ASM hacks made ahead of time, and to build a team to *assemble* a mod in a 8 to 12 week period. Obviously it goes a much deeper than this, but people who could code and could run a team of people had a very *very* significant advantage, there have been attempts in the past to snuff this out, such as banning assembly all together, but the contests removal of a integral part of the modding experience wasn't something that was accepted well (where as in the contest that actually banned the assembly hacking, the first place entry got around this in a loophole to load a .dll file, and scored first place :greydroll: )

An example of the flaws in allowing certain kinds of assets but not others is Critter Tower Defense 2, where Txin ported a ton of assembly hacks he had worked on months prior to a fresh .exe and kept a few months work on an already existing project intact because of a fundamental flaw in the rule set of previous years that allowed some but not all types of pre-existing assets. (in this case assembly but not levels)

Another flaw is the power of friendship!!! teamwork. Building a team to produce raw unfiltered content and then spending the last few weeks polishing it up is a very good and over centralizing part of ModCons. Teams can do a lot of work in a short period of time, by having a long deadline, it gives one man teams a fighting chance against large teams to build something of equal quality. This isn't something that was directly used to it's fullest potential, but it's certainly an issue that needs addressed before it spirals out of control. This has been greatly effected by the 4 hours content limit, and the deadline being greatly extended, pulling all of the over-centralizing parts of using a team, but not devaluing the initial value of actually having one.

The new rules of the contest do not try to fight the ideology, but instead shift things in a new direction. All previous made assets are allowed. Polish on <4 hours of content is the new standard and moving the deadline to be a lot more lenient is ultimately for the better. It gives people more time to play with ideas and actually get groundwork laid without fighting a tight deadline. Having a mod go south a few precious weeks into development because of a fundamental flaw in a game design choice is no longer an issue, and a bias towards ASM hacks/ .dll loaders and the abusable power of working in teams to produce more content is all but completely removed.


These rules hopefully can pull away from, and prevent these flaws in previous contests from being abused. It will hopefully bring out the best game designer, and content creator, instead of the person who is best at breaking apart fundamental flaws of previous rule-sets.


Prizes will be announced soon. (closer to the deadline)

Judging will be handled solely by me, It's easier this way and cuts down on judging time a lot for a cleaner, and more efficient turnout.

There will be an update and "check in" on progress (either private or public, your choice) in about 3 months time, just to see how all is going. No I don't need a playable demo, I just want to make sure everything is going smoothly/ you still have interest in entering. (and if you start your mod after that then it's also fine as well)



The best of luck to all of you, and may the best game designer win. :toroko: :heart: :debug:
 
Last edited:
Jul 15, 2019 at 7:34 AM
Best elf
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
Location: Cygnus
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#2
Well this is unexpected, but I do see some parts that should be addressed upon.
#6 All submissions must be submitted to pixeltellsthetruth.solutions at or before December 31st 12PM PST and they must be tagged with the tag "MODCON 2019"
Hoo boy, a 4 and a half month long Modcon. Even after that being the flaw for Modcons 2017 and 2018? Also does it strictly need to be from Doukutsu Club when there are other viable places to download it from?

#7 To place entities in Boosters Lab press the "i" key
That, or right-click on the map and click "add entity"

With previous contests, the most optimal way to enter a contest is to have many ASM hacks made ahead of time
This was never a thing. Literally almost all ASM intensive mods (excluding CTD2 because of its special case) submitted into modcon use custom assembly that was made during the time of the contest. The reason why it looks like much more was planned because we literally have several depositories of open source hacks available to us, especially through the power of Booster's Lab. Unless something else that happened that was likely missed, I really feel the optimal way is all a big hoax especially when not every mod requires any major ASM hack whatsoever (Final Level, Don't Let Go, Metronari, Autopilot, Shipwrecked) and the ones that do utilize it go with the flow that was already provided to them (Story, Hullet Bell, DELETE, H4CK3R.STORY, Treasure Islands, CTD1)
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 2:25 PM
Everything Else Is Irrelevant
Modding Community Discord Founder
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Join Date: Apr 5, 2013
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#3
Hoo boy, a 4 and a half month long Modcon. Even after that being the flaw for Modcons 2017 and 2018? Also does it strictly need to be from Doukutsu Club when there are other viable places to download it from?
5 and a half actually.
I would like an entire year to do this, but considering the shorter timeframe the amount of hours of content for each mod has been decreased a bit.

Also keeping everything on the Doukutsu club just keeps things clear, having an account is free and all mods are backed up helping preserve modding history. There's no real reason to not do this.


This was never a thing. Literally almost all ASM intensive mods (excluding CTD2 because of its special case) submitted into modcon use custom assembly that was made during the time of the contest. The reason why it looks like much more was planned because we literally have several depositories of open source hacks available to us, especially through the power of Booster's Lab. Unless something else that happened that was likely missed, I really feel the optimal way is all a big hoax especially when not every mod requires any major ASM hack whatsoever (Final Level, Don't Let Go, Metronari, Autopilot, Shipwrecked) and the ones that do utilize it go with the flow that was already provided to them (Story, Hullet Bell, DELETE, H4CK3R.STORY, Treasure Islands, CTD1)
A completely fair point when looking at hard data, but it doesn't change the fundamental flaws in that it *can* be abused. It has the same issues as teams (as addressed above) and it's something that's worth counteracting before it gets problematic. (also technically with CTD2 it already is/was problematic anyway.)

Also if it counts for anything, I knew I was going to make TideWalkers a few months before modcon last year was a thing, and I could have very easily just gone ahead and worked on the assembly hacks in it ahead of time but decided against it because I found it to be illegitimate to do such.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 3:13 PM
Junior Member
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#4
And here I am,alone and not being able to do shit.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 3:18 PM
Senior Member
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#5
It has started already, noice.
This might be the right time to start working on my cave story sequel.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 3:32 PM
Sleepyhead
"In Soviet Russia, graves keep YOU!"
Join Date: Jul 20, 2015
Location: Under sea level or something
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#6
#7 To place entities in Boosters Lab press the "i" key
What is this heresy we all know it's doubleclick

Honestly despite what i've said earlier this year about helping or want to enter between FFXIV and my exam I don't think I w-
December 31st 12PM PST
Oh.
So basically think of an idea in December and then just rush it, got it. Feel like I'd really have to emphasize the sweet if I'm gonna do something short 'n sweet though with 4-hour mods present. :chin:

The idea of there being people devoted enough to actually spend 4 months on their mod is a bit scary if you don't even have the interest to go on longer than a couple weeks but on the other hand I see we won't be having any complaints about it being badly timed.
Maybe I come up with something, maybe I won't, maybe Pepper convinces or inspirates me, who knows, guess the answer could appear anytime within these months but considering I haven't even finished this one smaller thing i was working on I wouldn't expect anything :p.
Either way good luck to those who do go for joining in!

#4 You mod must fit into the genre of "side-scroller, shooter, and/or platformer,"
Blah there go some of my ideas though.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 3:52 PM
Senior Member
Org Discord Admin
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Join Date: Jun 18, 2017
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#7
Hiya. I'm up for this ModCon, DM me if you need an .org musician. I don't really have any modding skills, but I hope that won't be a problem.
I can join only one team. You can freely use any of my previously posted works, though, with credit.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 4:52 PM
Best elf
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#8
Well, if it means anything, I may be able to work on my mod I've been thinking up for a while and enter that in Modcon. Progress wasn't even put into it at all due to me working on the TSC+ xml file, heh...
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 5:49 PM
Perfectionist
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#9
people who could code and could run a team of people had a very *very* significant advantage
nice try kid but if you want to play with the big boys you'll have to get on our level not change the rules to drag us down
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 6:15 PM
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#10
Very interesting, I think I will submit my mod this year.
 
Jul 16, 2019 at 1:50 AM
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#11
nice try kid but if you want to play with the big boys you'll have to get on our level not change the rules to drag us down
The wording of this is likely going to be very discouraging to people that are interested in competing for their first time.

I myself am not interested in competing in this competition but I am excited to see what new over the top projects come out of this.
 
Jul 16, 2019 at 2:32 AM
Best elf
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#12
I myself am not interested in competing in this competition but I am excited to see what new over the top projects come out of this.
Hopefully there will be a larger number of them compared to last year, I hope mine won't disappoint!
 
Jul 16, 2019 at 12:34 PM
Perfectionist
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#13
The wording of this is likely going to be very discouraging to people that are interested in competing for their first time.
Hey, go easy on him, eh?

people who could code and could run a team of people had a very *very* significant advantage
Not necessarily. Running a large team is a lot of work, and if people who you're relying on don't pull through then you might just be completely fucked. It's a much bigger risk, and the reward probably won't be better design, which is what should matter most.

there have been attempts in the past to snuff this out, such as banning assembly all together
Apparently disallowing assembly for a different competitive environment (i.e. more like pre-assembly modding) == trying to fix the existence teamwork?
Ignoring the fact that there was a rule against teamwork anyway:
2. You must be responsible for all the playable content in your mod. You may enlist beta testers and people to make assets for you. But they cannot be making you maps, scripting, or doing planning. This is a one-person job.
(where as in the contest that actually banned the assembly hacking, the first place entry got around this in a loophole to load a .dll file, and scored first place :greydroll: )
Ignoring the part where you said "first place" twice, you're also incorrect.
https://www.cavestory.org/forums/threads/cstsfmc2017-mod-discussion-thread.14073/page-3#post-360739
DoubleThink's inspired mod First Coat won, second to CyberSleuth/vb/etc.'s Flight.
The mod in question - youve got mail - came in third. And to be clear, nobody was going to win points from me by trying to circumvent the rules. I let people try anyway because I firmly disagreed with the idea of changing the rules one the contest had started, I felt that it would demonstrate a lack of integrity.

So teams are allowed though, right?
 
Jul 16, 2019 at 2:34 PM
Everything Else Is Irrelevant
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#14
Jul 20, 2019 at 12:49 AM
Senior Member
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#15
breaking news, bink gets destroyed by zxin

Okay but for real, I know that DT solo judged Modcon last year, and although I wasn't paying much attention, I am gonna say it probably didn't end well. Please, for the love of all that is holy, introduce some other judges into this Modcon.
 
Jul 22, 2019 at 11:17 AM
The God of Development Heaven
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#16
Okay but for real, I know that DT solo judged Modcon last year, and although I wasn't paying much attention, I am gonna say it probably didn't end well. Please, for the love of all that is holy, introduce some other judges into this Modcon.
DT solo judging wasn't the issue with that modcon. He did the best he could in that limited situation. The issue was that nobody participated (and nobody voted when he tried to do a community poll).
 
Nov 17, 2019 at 9:59 AM
The God of Development Heaven
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#17
Uh so this is on indefinite hiatus (AKA the competition is canceled). BLink dropped out and has privately made it clear he's no longer interested.... while being the sole manager of this competition with no backup. I think it's safe to assume that if this is picked up by someone else, the rules and deadline will most likely be different, and so this competition is effectively canceled.

If someone else wants to do something, go ahead I'm not aware of any other plans.
 
Nov 17, 2019 at 10:43 AM
Perfectionist
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#18
Oh well, wasn't really interested in a modding contest that allowed fan games as entries anyway (not that I would have been able to enter at the end of the day if I had been interested, thus a moot point ...), but this seems to speak to a larger trend. In 2016 modding was certainly alive and well, so what's happened since then? Everyone still mods, but it seems like the move towards smaller mods and smaller competitions is making this larger-scale multi-month annual competition ... obsolete.
I would love to come in and pick this contest up and "make modcons great again", but realistically speaking, nobody would enter. The people who host these contests surely feel no small amount of performance pressure (even if/when the workload is fairly relaxed), so it may be that people will naturally cease hosting them in the future. I don't hope for that to happen (given that the shorter contests are usually too short/at the wrong times for me to create anything meaningful), but that's where I see this headed.
 
Nov 17, 2019 at 10:44 AM
Sleepyhead
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#19
I don't remember hearing a lot of interest in modcon lately but I admit I'm a bit out of touch as usual.
But yeah still too bad to hear, did something bad happen?
 
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