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Stronghold Nation Summer Contest 2020

The admin team are delighted to announce our latest competition for 2020, working in partnership with Firefly Studios to provide a free Steam code for Stronghold Warlords, upon release, for the winner of our competition. Welcome, Lords and Ladies, to the Stronghold Nation Summer Contest 2020!

Prizes

  • 1st place: Free copy of Stronghold Warlords upon release and the Stronghold Kingdoms Starter Pack
  • 2nd place: Free copy of Stronghold Crusader 2 Ultimate Edition and the Stronghold kingdoms Starter Pack
  • 3rd place: Free copy of Space Colony

How it all works

Most Competitions lay out strict ground rules stating what you can and can't do. This one is different. To celebrate the history of the iconic Stronghold series and its newest upcoming release, we have decided to allow entries from any Stronghold game: Stronghold 1, Stronghold Crusader, Stronghold 2, Stronghold Legends, Stronghold 3, Stronghold Crusader Extreme, Stronghold Crusader 2. You can also use any map scenario type from any of the games above.

To enter the competition, your submission must fall into at least one of three categories below, but you can enter more than one category or even all three if you would like to, providing they are all part of the same entry. For each category you enter, you are automatically assigned one bonus point, simply for entering the category. You can only enter the contest once, and only the first entry will be counted if there are multiple entries.

Your submission must be your own work, and it cannot be a file already hosted on our downloads section. It also cannot be an existing file (i.e. it must be created from scratch now & specifically for the competition).

Category A (Easy)

Create an entirely custom scenario/campaign using any scenario type available through whichever game editor you are using. The custom scenario can be of any difficulty level, contain any number of missions, estates, buildings, advanced tricks or tips, modifications, or any other relevant setting. Fire up your imagination as you create your very own Stronghold realm!

Category B (Medium)

Create a historically accurate representation of a geographical region, country or landscape of the far-east, a Castle/invasion from the far-east, a historical battle from the far-east or any other relevant real historical idea from the far-east. Simply create this in the map editor of whichever game you're choosing to enter. You can easily integrate this idea with Category A to enter two categories.

Category C (Hard)

Create a custom modification for the Stronghold game you're using (abiding by the terms of use of the game and site terms and conditions, specifically the part on software modifications). For your modification, make sure to modify the game to be more like the far-east. You might choose to modify a building to go alongside a custom map, or re-skin a unit, create a custom crest, AI Castle, sound files, or more! You might even choose to re-skin the entire game, but this is something for very advanced users :classic_wink: 

If you're entering either category B or C, you may wish to take a look at our series of articles on Medieval Asia by @Crusader1307 so that you can get a better feel for the real historical accuracy of the time period: https://www.strongholdnation.co.uk/history/medieval-asia

Submitting your Entry

To submit your entry, there are two steps involved. Both of these steps must be completed before entries close at 11 PM on Sunday, 6th September 2020 in order for your entry to be valid. You can submit your entry at any time between tomorrow (11th July 2020) and the closing date on the 6th September 2020.

  • Step 1: Upload your file (or files if you would prefer to separate your map, modifications, etc) to the Stronghold Nation downloads section, here. Please note that you must be logged in to use the submission link.
  • Step 2: Email contests [at] strongholdnation [dot] co [dot] uk and provide a URL link to your file(s) hosted on our downloads section, or their respective submission numbers if they are not yet approved- make sure you combine all of this information into a single email. You will receive an automatic response the first time you email this address. You will not receive a second response.

Please clearly state in the email that this is your entry to the competition, and let us know which categories you would like your submission to be considered for.

Scoring and Grading

For each category your entry is valid for, you will receive 1 automatic bonus point simply by entering the category. Each submission will be graded from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), and any bonus points are added to your score (with obviously a maximum of 8 points when the bonus points are considered). The users with the highest three scores will win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, or if there are multiple users with the same score, a random prize draw will determine the order of the winners.

I will be the Competition Administrator and Judge for this competition. The results will be announced as soon as possible after the closing date.

Feel free to ask any questions about the contest in this topic, or, you can also PM me or email me directly on lordchris [at] strongholdnation [dot] co [dot] uk at any time if you'd like to discuss your questions in a safe space. I can advise you what is/isn't within the rules, but I can't tell you what you should do or make a decision for you. That's a decision for you to make :classic_smile:

For a much more detailed breakdown of what is/isn't allowed in your entry, example submissions, detailed guidance and for the exact criteria you will be graded on, take a look at the attached Competition Guidelines PDF attached to this post.

Finally, please note that by entering the competition, you are agreeing to the site's Competition terms and conditions, please read them carefully.

Good luck everyone, & see you on the battlefield! :classic_smile:

Competition Guidelines.pdf


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⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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I would like to take part. I already e-mailed Lord Chris (you) directly with a question. I havn't yet gotten an answer, but I got spammed by the annoucnement. I got this announcement now 14 times. Could you please consider not spamming my e-mails with the same text over and over?

That would be awesome, thanks!

PS: Is the download section finally fixed? Last time i tried to uplaod content to your site, it was broken for another half year, and then i stopped checking. Thats why i prefer to upload my content to Stronghold Heavengames. Even if it won't get approved right away, it at least gets uplaoded someday and gets a lot of exposure as over 1k people downloaded my newest content already and the numbers are climbing.

I hope your download section gets improved and working.

And i hope that you can somehow get more people to create awesome scenarios. Thank you so much!
Just stop spamming me :D

PPS: This forum seems nearly dead, there is nobody responding or posting anything?!

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44 minutes ago, Krarilotus said:

I would like to take part. I already e-mailed Lord Chris (you) directly with a question. I havn't yet gotten an answer, but I got spammed by the annoucnement. I got this announcement now 14 times. Could you please consider not spamming my e-mails with the same text over and over?

I've replied to your email. Please keep in mind that you only sent it to me at midnight last night - only just over 12 hours ago - and I've been busy all morning. It's impossible for me to provide an instant reply to everything.

With regards to the announcement, I'm sorry about that. I set it away last night to send one email out to all members and due to a programming error it continued sending the last batch on through the night and into this morning, or I would have found it sooner. As soon as I found out about this, I've stopped it from happening.

Quote

PS: Is the download section finally fixed? Last time i tried to uplaod content to your site, it was broken for another half year, and then i stopped checking.

I'm not sure how long ago exactly this was, or what the error even was, but the download section is indeed working and has been for some time now. But please note that I only find out about errors if people tell me about them or I stumble across them myself.

Quote

PPS: This forum seems nearly dead, there is nobody responding or posting anything?!

The site has just been through a big upgrade where it was offline for several days. Despite what things may seem we are actually the most active Stronghold community, we regularly post new articles and content all of the time, and there are active downloads regularly added as well. There is more than just a forum here :classic_wink:


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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I'm a dinosaur of Stronghold... I submitted a Wolf AI over 10 years ago for Crusader 1.

I'm interested in this if only for nostalgia purposes! I'm thinking of doing a multi-AI castle hehe...

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Oh hey @artofmath. Nice to see you here! Your forum posts in the Stronghold Heavengames forums are looked up and used for reference up to this date. I can't wait to see your multi-AI-Castle design. These are very nice, and i have done some myself.

@Lord_Chris thank you very much for your reply. Sorry for sounding annoyed a bit. I didn't understand that this was an automatic issue with the sent e-mails. I was just thinking you ve sent them out while ignoring my mail. But now that the issue has been resolved i must apologize for these assumptions.

Hope to see more people participating and entering the contest. It is definitively a great oportunity for all the modders out there!

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This is great! Stronghold Warlords seams pretty interesting, and I'm just waiting to be able to try it out. This competition might give me the opportunity to get the copy of the game right way, but more than that I hope that many much more experienced and more talented Stronghold fans (than me) are going to join!

And with you guys I see that it's going to be the second option. 😄 You have done some pretty nice stuff. What I mostly like to download are skirmish maps, and you @Krarilotus  have some awesome maps for that. I really like your 'A Crusader's Christmas' - Christmas Calendar Skirmish Campaign. And both of you, @Krarilotus and @artofmath, have nice AI castles for Stronghold Crusader. That is one of the things which can be pretty hard to make. I've been doing some corrections to the original castle designs, but making something completely new out of the scratch - definitely not an easy thing to do!

Now when we're talking about forum being alive... I think it's more alive than it seams to be, at least that's my theory. As you yourselves confirmed, you visit it now and then, pay attention to what's going on in Downloads Central, and move on. Then you don't see much activity, but we are here. 🙂 And my idea is to fix it by discussing new stuff in the forum. New maps, mods, scenarios... But that's just my opinion. True, for any map itself it is good to have discussions about it in its comments, but discussing it in the forum brings more attention to it, and it would be easier for everybody to join us in the discussions after noticing us here - talking at least anything.

I'm happy to see you guys joining!

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This competition looks interesting. It is a great way to get people talking about the series again. I might enter though I don't have much faith in my mapmaking skills. I definitely think this contest will generate some good maps to play.

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Glad that you send an email about this competition, but did you have to do it 14 times. 14 emails with the exact same content. A bit excessive, right?

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On ‎11‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 14:56, artofmath said:

I'm interested in this if only for nostalgia purposes! I'm thinking of doing a multi-AI castle hehe...

This sounds very nice! I'll look forward to hearing more about it :classic_smile:

Quote

@Lord_Chris thank you very much for your reply. Sorry for sounding annoyed a bit. I didn't understand that this was an automatic issue with the sent e-mails. I was just thinking you ve sent them out while ignoring my mail. But now that the issue has been resolved i must apologize for these assumptions.

No worries @Krarilotus, it's fine :classic_smile: it's easy to misinterpret things sometimes!

18 hours ago, EaglePrince said:

This competition might give me the opportunity to get the copy of the game right way, but more than that I hope that many much more experienced and more talented Stronghold fans (than me) are going to join!

Sorry @EaglePrince ..... but as a staff member the site rules prevent you from entering the contest :classic_sad: you can still make an entry though, and submit it to the downloads as well. And I can still let you know how I would have graded it if you like. Just not officially enter it, I'm afraid.

14 hours ago, Isaiah said:

I might enter though I don't have much faith in my mapmaking skills. I definitely think this contest will generate some good maps to play.

You should give it a try @Isaiah! You never know what can come out of it, some of my best maps in the past have been total "trials". Plus, we have a whole load of tutorials on the site to give you some advanced design ideas :classic_biggrin:

4 hours ago, Korsfarer Mogens said:

Glad that you send an email about this competition, but did you have to do it 14 times. 14 emails with the exact same content. A bit excessive, right?

Like I said to @Krarilotus earlier, I'm sorry about this but it was due to a programming error that repeatedly sent it a number of times only to certain users throughout the night. As soon as I found out about this, it was stopped.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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On 12/07/2020 at 14:19, Korsfarer Mogens said:

Glad that you send an email about this competition, but did you have to do it 14 times. 14 emails with the exact same content. A bit excessive, right?

485wrq.jpg

I mean, come on, Chris, now I feel neglected.😂

@Lord_Chris, yes, that slipped from my mind... And that is for sure the only way to do it. But sure, that's what I shall do. Just make an entry for fun, and without me being listed together with others because I could be an "unofficial competitor". Thanks, Chris. 🙂 

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Posted (edited)

Ok, I've finished building my map. Two Wolf AIs will share in the construction of one castle, which the player must take in a skirmish-style map, but with many restrictions. (No European troop recruitment, no industry buildings but woodcutters.)

The castle itself is a replica of the old city of Akko (Acre) in Israel. The scenario would be set in 1290, around the time of the Mamluk conquest of Acre that destroyed the final major Crusader stronghold. The player will take charge of Arabian forces & martial economy to lay siege & destroy the Crusader city once and for all.

The briefing: Take control of the great army of the Mamluk Sultanate, and conquer Acre from the hands of the Crusaders once and for all. We, who submit to God, refuse to partake in the evils that the Crusaders so readily use: fire, slavery, and the consumption of alcohol. We, unlike the infidel, have no need of walls in this battle; the courage of our men alone suffices to achieve victory. By following the path of righteousness, God's will shall be with us. To battle!

Anyone want to playtest the scenario for me? I've attached the first draft of the map to this post.😄

 

 

 

 

Siege of Acre, 1290.map

Edited by artofmath

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Hey @artofmath, just wanted to let you know that under normal circumstances I would test your map, but as I'm the Judge and Administrator of the Competition I won't be on this occasion as it could prejudice the result. Keep patient, & I'm sure someone will come along soon! :classic_smile:


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1 hour ago, Lord_Chris said:

Hey @artofmath, just wanted to let you know that under normal circumstances I would test your map, but as I'm the Judge and Administrator of the Competition I won't be on this occasion as it could prejudice the result. Keep patient, & I'm sure someone will come along soon! https://cdn.strongholdnation.co.uk/community/emoticons/smile.png

Damn it! The judge is not as bribable as I thought! 😄

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Yes that's fine @EaglePrince :classic_smile:

Since you aren't entering the contest it won't prejudice the result of it in any way. Enjoy!


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⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Posted (edited)

Here's a little spoiler on what Acre might have looked like in 1290. The castle is constructed by the orange Wolf, so the yellow Wolf doesn't need to build any walls - just town & production buildings. I've also updated my downloadable draft map to make it easier on the human player.

I've intentionally put iron & stone & farmland close to their castle to supercharge their economies - they will produce a constant stream of Arabian bowmen and pikemen, on top of their usual siege forces of crossbows, swordsmen, and pikemen. So there's plenty of pressure on the player to defend & rebuild, because left unchecked this stream of Arabian archers will slowly kill off your tower garrisons. 😄 

I've purposely crammed all of yellow Wolf's castle's crossbowmen and archers (~80 missile troops) in the orange Wolf's keep just to make the initial attack extra challenging, and to incentivize killing the yellow wolf (ever so slightly easier keep) before tackling the orange wolf. Add to that the limitation that the player only produce Arabian soldiers, which are generally weaker to crossbowmen, adds some extra spice. 😮 

I've tried a full-frontal assault in my playtests with 300 horse archers and 100 assassins and my forces got totally shredded. So the siege will need to be a war of attrition and carefully planned. 🙂 I haven't yet been able to crack my own AI castle! Buahahahaaaaaa! It's helped by the fact that at full strength, the Wolf AI places 5 crossbowmen or 3 archers in each group of soldiers in the AIV editor.

Because all the soldiers can be deployed in the front of the castle, I hope this will be a seriously tough nut to crack even for the most veteran Crusader player! This Wolf AI will stuff its towers the way human players will - the round tower in the front is packed with 15 crossbows, 9 archers, and 1 ballista! 😈 And in my playtests, their economies are so strong that they can replace a destroyed tower and re-fill it with soldiers in literally under one minute. 😎

Acre 1290.png

Edited by artofmath

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Posted (edited)

I was recently thinking about some unfinished maps that I had from 2-3 years ago and I wondered,  'Will I ever get to finish anyone of those?', and then I saw the e-mail for competition. Even though I have not done any maps in years, I will make one for those who love custom skirmishes.

I was going to throw in a modified version the Galactic Crusaders map, but that would be too lazy, so instead I will finish a map that I left behind long ago. It will be beautiful and perhaps glitchy and slow as a sloth with neurological disorders, but all I care about is the aesthetics. I will try to post it early so that I can get some feedback on the playability. 

Edited by Andreas9541

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On ‎20‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 04:20, artofmath said:

Here's a little spoiler on what Acre might have looked like in 1290. The castle is constructed by the orange Wolf, so the yellow Wolf doesn't need to build any walls - just town & production buildings. I've also updated my downloadable draft map to make it easier on the human player.

That's a very nice remake of Acre @artofmath! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your entry (and playing it of course!) :classic_smile:

Quote

I was going to throw in a modified version the Galactic Crusaders map, but that would be too lazy, so instead I will finish a map that I left behind long ago. It will be beautiful and perhaps glitchy and slow as a sloth with neurological disorders, but all I care about is the aesthetics. I will try to post it early so that I can get some feedback on the playability. 

Looking forward to it @Andreas9541! There's some serious competition going on here already, you guys are going to produce some really exciting maps by the sounds of it.


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I submitted my map to the downloads section as instructed, but it's not available yet. What's going on?

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When did you submit it? I can't find any unapproved files there. There are no logs in the error log that I can find, and when I submit a file there it works for me. We haven't been notified there are any new files either.

Can you please send me a PM containing the name of your submission, a submission number you received if it was successful, and any errors you received?


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I just submitted a file called "The Mamluk Siege of Acre, 1291".

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Thank you, notified and the file uploaded! Approved :classic_smile:

Remember that if this is for the contest you will also need to send the email- full details are provided above in the Competition Guidelines PDF.


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I'm really not sure what's going on here but it sounds like there is some kind of caching issue with your browser. Do you use any browser extensions or anything which modifies the page source or behaviour of a website? The issues you're talking about, particularly when submitting your file, don't seem to be happening to anyone else and when I've tried it myself after you mentioned, it's all working fine for me. The behaviour isn't really that different either from when I do it to when any other user does it.

Your file is available here, and has been since approved: https://www.strongholdnation.co.uk/downloads/file/625-the-mamluk-siege-of-acre-1291/

I've checked it again just now and the reason it's not appearing within the download categories is because the category is showing as invalid. However, it is still available from the downloads index on the 'last file' header for Stronghold Crusader, and you can get it from the 'Latest Downloads' sidebar on the main site as well. I also noticed that it doesn't have a preview image when I approved it, so I checked all of the server logs and it appears as if you just.. didn't upload a one. Despite rigorous testing I've been unable to re-create either of these issues, which is why I think it must be down to some extension or browser issue.

If you can let me know what browser you use, what extensions you have and what's actually happening when you try to do this stuff, I'll investigate more into the issue. Probably best if you send me a PM.

Feel free to send your email in now if you haven't already using the link above. That won't change.


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