View Full Version : Contest Forum Rules

12th Aug 2014, 7:55 PM
Hello, and welcome to the Sim Contests Forum!

The Official Rules for this forum are as follows. If you post a contest here, it is understood you have read and agreed to the following rules.

Rules and Guidelines - These are the Contests Forum Rules which apply to everyone participating in a contest.
Don't spam: Don't ever spam. Spamming in the Contests Forum usually includes hosts begging for applicants, double/triple/quadruple posting, people posting replies totally off-topic and unrelated to the contest whatsoever, and general annoyingness or completely unnecessary comments which have no point and just take up space. These types of posts will be deleted, and members may be warned as well.

No Useless Posts: The "This sounds fun, I'll be back with an application" or "I may enter this contest, but I dunno..." type posts are completely useless and waste space on the contest thread. Useless posts, including those about coming back with an application, will be deleted.

No "reserve" Type Posts. If you post an application or round entry with text and no qualifying pictures stating, "Ill be right back with pictures!" that post will be deleted.

WCIF: Try and ask "Where did you get that dress/couch/hairstyle?" questions out of the contest thread itself. Either send the member a PM or ask in the WCIF Forum.

Don't be a Sore Loser: Just because you've not scored as well as you wanted, does not mean you have the right to hurl insults at anyone. We are all here to learn how to improve our creating/building/writing skills and picture-taking skills. If you need to vent, try PMing a friend about it.

No Nudity: Nudity is NOT tolerated anywhere on MTS. This means absolutely NO topless pictures are allowed, edited or un-edited. The pictures should also have appropriate coverage of any nudity. Cover up any nudity unsuitable for this site. Specifically, no female nipples, and/or crotches or butts of either gender; they need to be covered at least as much as a swimsuit would cover.

Picture Limits: Please keep picture sizes within reasonable limits. We don't all have DSL connections so huge images can take forever to load. The minimum picture size is 800x600 and the maximum size is 1280x1024. OPTIMUM picture size is 1024 x 768. The Contests Forum Moderators will judge larger images on a case by case basis and may request you resize images. Failure to comply when asked will result in your post being removed. Additionally, for any picture heavy entries spoiler tags are much appreciated.

Abandoned Contest. If you are participating in a contest that seems to have been abandoned by the contest host, do not hesitate to either report the thread or PM heaven (http://www.modthesims.info/m/2650007) explaining your concern.

RP and Strategy Type Contests are NOT Allowed Here. If you would like to run or participate in an RP-based contest or a strategy-type contest, please post your thread in the Roleplaying Forum. If you try and submit one here, it will be rejected from the Moderation Queue.

Contest Forum FAQ
How do I host a contest?
What information is required to submit a contest?
How do I participate in a contest?
Can I judge an ongoing contest?
What is the difference between a contest and a challenge?
Are there any contest achievements?
I've read all of the rules. How do I make a contest?

:alarm: If you, as a concerned member of this site, are unsure about any goings-on within the activity of the Sim Contests Forum, please take it upon yourself to PM heaven (http://www.modthesims.info/m/2650007) with your concern!

12th Aug 2014, 8:00 PM
Rules for Hosting
To Be a Host: You must qualify to be allowed to host your own contest on this site. Firstly, you must have at least 20 posts (in any forum on this site). Secondly, you must have successfully participated in at least one contest on this site as either a judge or a contestant. Successfully participating in a contest means that you judge for the entire duration of the contest OR you must have made it through to the end of a contest if you've chosen to participate as a contestant. Note: Single round contests will not qualify you to host.

The threads in this forum are moderated. When you are ready to submit a new thread, it will not be visible in the appropriate Contest Forum until it has been reviewed by staff and approved. All contest approval questions should go directly to heaven (http://www.modthesims.info/member.php?u=2650007) , via PM (Private Message).

Submit only one contest at a time. You may only host one contest at a time. Hosting is extremely tasking work and it is recommended that you not host a contest while judging or participating in another contest. You may submit a contest to host at any time, however, if you are currently participating in another contest, the approval of your contest may be delayed until the final round of the contest you are actively participating in.

Appropriate Contest Forum: There are 3 different contest forums: Sims 2 Contests, Sims 3 Contests, and Sims 2 + Sims 3 Contests. When submitting your contest for approval, make sure you are submitting it to the appropriate forum. Rules are stricter for joint contests as any rules must be applicable to both games in regards to custom content, limitations, etc so joint contests may be harder to get approved.

Appropriate Contest Tag: When you create your thread, there is a category drop-down menu where you select the tag for your contest. All new contests should have the "Application" tag selected. When you have reached your cap of participants or you've finished the application round (whichever comes first), please edit your thread and change the category to "In Progress". When the final round has been completed, change the tag to "Finished".

Editing After Submitting. When you submit a contest to the Contests Forum, you will not be able to edit it until the day it is approved. That's just the way the system works. Please try your best to submit contests when you know you won't have to change much. If things have to be changed, you can edit your contest thread when it is approved. If you feel edits have to be made, you can contact heaven about them. If any changes need to be made to your contest before it can be approved, heaven will contact you.

Save Your Contest Template. Please make sure, as a contest host, to save a copy of your contest template somewhere safe on your computer. Should your contest be rejected for a specific reason, you can make changes and resubmit. We do not have a way of saving your rejected contests.

3+ Judges Are Required. To keep this forum running in a fair, unbiased format, ALL contests require 3 or more judges. These judges must be used in ALL rounds (with the exception of a judge dropping out). Judges can NOT be your mother, sister, cat or remote control. You must have 3 members of this site help you. Judges cannot be secret. You must list your judges' forum names before the first round of judging. This ensures no favoritism and will help contests run smoother. It is highly recommended to have at least 1 emergency judge (EJ). You, as the contest host, may choose to be the EJ or you may choose another forum member to act as the EJ. The EJ is a back-up in case a judge is unable to score a round for some reason.

Participant Limit: You do not need 20 contestants for a successful contest. Many people close down their contest because there are only a few contestants who enter during the Application Round. As long as you have at least 10 contestants, you still have a good competition.

Appropriate Application Time: Contests remaining in the Application stage for more than 2 weeks will be deleted. If you, the contest host, cannot accumulate enough entries for a successful contest (10 entries) in a 2 week time, your contest thread will be deleted.

Eliminations and Entrant Limits. If a host would like to limit the number of participants, the entrant cap must be stated in the MAIN POST. All contestants must be aware ahead of time that there is a limit and what that limit is. This means that the first X number of people to enter properly (no place holders) will be the contestants. Additionally, there will be NO more elimination contests . Eliminations are contrary to what contests are supposed to be about: having fun, learning, and getting to know other MTS members. If you, as a host, are concerned about large numbers of entries, set a contestant limit from the beginning. If a contestant cannot meet the basic requirements of the contest (number of pictures, picture size, required text, theme, deadline, etc.), then they can be disqualified from participation, but cannot be eliminated for low scoring or some other qualitative criteria.

Round Times and Extensions. Due to the decreased amount of contests, contest time limits will no longer be limited to just a month. However, they WILL be monitored to make sure they are being completed and scored in a timely manner. Additionally, hosts are permitted to allow extensions. An extension is exactly that: extending the round to last longer than intended. Typical extensions can be anywhere from a few hours to a week. However, all subsequent rounds should have their timelines adjusted as well. At no point, should an extended round be due later than a round that comes after it.

Bonus Rounds. Hosts are allowed to include "bonus tasks" or rounds, which contestants need not participate in unless they wish to earn extra/bonus points. The extra points earned by bonus rounds should exceed the required maximum points for that round. The bonus points should not be included in the round scores, they should be extra points (like extra credit points in school). Do not take off points from any contestant who does not participate in bonus tasks.
For example:
Round One is worth 50 points, and there is a bonus round worth an extra 10 points. As the host, you should be adding on the extra points onto the score total (i.e. 60/50 points not 50/50 points) for those contestants who chose to participate in the bonus rounds/tasks.

Multiple Cycles of Contests - There are some members who host contests for more than one cycle (i.e. Miss Beautiful Sim Cycle 3). There will now be a limit on the number of cycles allowed for a contest. Any host can choose to run up to three cycles of their contest. This way, not only can the host take their successful contest idea and run with it up to three times, but it will also encourage contest hosts to come up with creative and unique ideas instead of running the same basic template a zillion times.

Contests Started Here, Stay Here. There have been contests that are run here and at least in part on another "secret" board away from the eyes of Moderators. This causes a lot of trouble because we cannot 1) see that the rules are being followed or 2) prevent members from being abused. The Contests Forum is here in order that you all may run contests on this site. We expect contests that are run here to be run on the site for everything they entail. Group PM's can easily take the place of secret boards. There is no acceptable reason that a contest cannot be run completely on this site. Contests ignoring this rule will be deleted or locked without warning. If you have a contest waiting in the Moderation Queue that you were planning on doing this with, please re-think your strategy. Group PMs, where everyone can talk to each other (and the host) privately at the same time, will suffice. However, you may use Google Docs spreadsheet function to keep track of scoring in addition to the Group PMs.

:!:Abandoned Contests.Contest hosts who abandon contests at any stage in the competition will no longer be able to run contests on this site. If you have submitted a contest for moderation and feel you may not be able to run it, PM heaven (http://www.modthesims.info/m/2650007), and she will remove your contest or make arrangements for approval at a later date. DO NOT JUST WALK AWAY. If a contest is abandoned in the application round, it will be deleted. Contests will only be taken over once they have completed the initial round. If a contest is abandoned or mismanaged, members of MTS's staff will step in and vote on an appropriate winner. :!:

:!!: DO NOT ASK WHEN YOUR CONTEST WILL BE APPROVED. The Moderators cannot give anyone an assured date. However, if you are going to be away ...etc... please make a note at the top of the contest you are submitting indicating the earliest date you would like the contest to be approved. It wont always be approved on that date, but it will never be approved earlier if so noted.

12th Aug 2014, 8:01 PM
Contest Template Required Information
Below you will find some things that you should include in contest templates. Your contest WILL NOT be approved if you do not include the following items.

Qualifications to Host:
Do you meet MTS hosting qualifications? Please link to your previous contests.

Overall idea behind your contest. You do not need to explain, in detail, each round but you should make your contest concept apparent.

What type of contest (TS2 or TS3)?
Is CC allowed? If so, what kind?
Is photoshop allowed? If so, how much/what kind?
Any/all other rules you will expect contestants to adhere to for the duration of the contest (all rounds).

Applications/First rounds typically set the tone for the remainder of the contest. Do not ask for a 10x10 house or 1 beauty shot for the first round and then ask for a 64x64 lot or 8 photo spread with paragraphs for the second with the same amount of time. Try to be consistent.
Skill level: how skilled should contestants be to participate? Noob, Casual Gamer, Veteran. The more skills required to complete tasks and the higher the amount of tasks for one round, the higher the skill level.
Judging requirements: Make sure to be clear with judges on how fast you expect their responses. Be reasonable in your requirements though. EXAMPLE: Judges should expect to complete round judging in 48 hours. However, if I have more than X amount of participants, judging time will be increased.

Due to the decreased amount of contests, contest time limits will no longer be limited to just a month. However, they WILL be monitored to make sure they are being completed and scored in a timely manner.
State how long each round will be.
State approximate timeline/dates for contest, pending approval. It is imperative that you are clear about timelines. Don't just say January 1st. Don't just say 8:00 pm. Make sure you give a date and time (with time zone). Including a timer is always helpful (see below)

List of judges: If you do not have all your judges, please note how many you still need.
Emergency Judges: Make sure to have at least 1 emergency judge. It can be yourself or someone else as long as you meet the other judging requirements.
Parameters: Explain, in detail, how entries will be scored. How will scores be broken down? Will they be averaged together or added together? What are the maximum points? Will there be bonus round(s)?

Thread Set-Up:
Basic set-up should be done before you submit a template. It saves time and makes thing easier when you start getting contestants. They can easily find links that they need and you and your judges can easily find the entries you need to review.
Things should be neat and organized with sections easily found. Bold or headers work nicely for this.
You may use banners if you wish; however it is not required.
You should have a clear area with links to each round (if there will be rounds) along with a timer and, when the round is over, a link to the posted scores.

Round 1 - Name of Round(link) - Timer(link) - Scores(link)

You should also have a clear area with contestants linked to each of their rounds. There are 2 different ways to do this.

Contestant A - Round 1(link) - Round 2(link) - Round 3(link) - etc


,Round 1, Round 2, Round 3
Contestant A, link, link, link
Contestant B, link, link, link
Contestant C, link, link, link

Helpful Tools
Now, on to the things that do not HAVE to be included but can be helpful to both you and your contestants.

1. A timer. As stated above, it is imperative that you are clear about timelines. Don't just say January 1st. Don't just say 8:00 pm. Your time is different than others so linking to a countdown or timer can be very useful and help your contestants stay on task. Countdown Timer (http://www.timeanddate.com/) is my preferred counter.

2. Word Counter. Sometimes you may require written words. If so, and if you choose to put a limit on them, you will need a way to count them. From a contest I previously held, it was discovered that not all counters are the same. However, Microsoft Word and Word Counter Tool (http://wordcountertool.com/) give the same approximate number of words so these 2 are best.

3. Table codes. Want to know how to do the fancy table code above? There are 2 ways.
Way 1: Start with [table]. Then put in all the information you want. Each item you want in its own box needs to be separated by a comma, as seen below. When you have all the information place a [table] again, this time with a / in front of table to close the tag. For example above it would be:

,Round 1, Round 2, Round 3
Contestant A, link, link, link
[table] <-- Remember to do /table instead to close!!!

Way 2: You can open an excel document and create a table in there. When you are done, save as a CSV (comma separated values). When it is saved, open in Notepad, select all, then cut and paste inside table tags (shown in Way 1).

Missroxor's Make Me a Model (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=444343) Contest.
LadyAwesome's Miss World (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=417920&page=1) Contest.
Heaven's Story Time (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=454822) Contest.
- Some requirements have been added since then, however, these are good examples of a neat, organized template with appropriate links.

12th Aug 2014, 8:35 PM
Accepting applications: Is the contest you're interested in currently accepting applications? You can easily see this by looking at the tag to the left of the contest title in the contest forum. If it is labeled "Application" it is still open for entries. If it is labeled "In Progress", the application round has ended and no new entries are being accepted. You're still free to follow along though!

Read the Entry Rules: Make sure you read all of the rules for the contest before submitting an entry. Entries that have not been submitted properly or are missing information will not count and may be deleted. If there is an entry cap and you do not fix your partial entry before the cap is met, you will not be permitted to continue to participate.

Commit to Participating. You must commit to participating in the contest until the contest is complete. If you MUST drop out, please PM the contest host with a specific reason as to why it's imperative for you to leave the contest. In addition, members who are noticed to continually drop out of contests, reason or not, may not be able to participate in future contests. As a contest host, you are urged to bring this problem to the attention of heaven (http://www.modthesims.info/m/2650007) to be dealt with accordingly.

No Stealing. No stealing of any kind. You may not use the works of others and pass it off as your own. Please note that creators have put their creations up for download in the spirit of sharing and kindness. It has come to our attention that more and more people are using others' Sims and trying to pass them off as their own. This ALSO includes Sims you may have won in contests. If you are proven to have used something created by someone else, you will be taken out of the contests you are currently in and will not be able to participate in future contests.

No Sim-tweaking. Simply tweaking a sim a bit and trying to pass it of as your own is also against the rules. If you have downloaded a sim, changing the skintone/eyes/make-up/etc does NOT make it your sim. If you are proven to have used a sim created by someone else (tweaked or not), you will be taken out of the contests you are currently in and will not be able to participate in future contests.

12th Aug 2014, 8:36 PM
To be a Judge: You must have at least 20 posts (in any forum) and have been a member of MTS for at least one month. While having experience as a contest participant is not a requirement, bear in mind that a host may choose a judge with experience over one without.

Commit to Judging: If you chose to be a judge, you must follow through for the entire duration of the contests you chose to judge. Do not sign on to judge if you can not be prompt with your scoring when each round is over. Be courteous to those who put time and effort into making entries and judge quickly and effectively. Any judge known to have abandoned their position as a judge may not be able to judge a future contest.

Judges Giving Criticism: As a judge, you are to ONLY provide CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Judges who are found to have provided mean or hurtful comments will be given a warning and may not be able to judge future contests. If you, the contest host, are sent a PM from a judge and find something you think may not be constructive criticism, it is your responsibility to forward the PM to heaven.

Fair Judging: As a judge, it is your responsibility to judge each entry fairly and by the same standards. Do not score more harshly/leniently depending on your personal taste or any favoritism. Any judges suspected of favoritism may be removed as a judge and will not be permitted to judge a future contest. If you, the contest host, suspect a judge is not scoring fairly, it is your responsibility to bring the matter to heaven's attention for further investigation.

Emergency Judge: If you elect to be an emergency judge, you must commit to judging all rounds as if you were a regular judge. Your services may be required if another judge is unable to complete their duties for a specific round. Additionally, as an emergency judge, you may not be required to submit numerical scores but you can submit constructive criticism. Do not sign on as an emergency judge and then disappear until/unless your services are required. An emergency judge who does not participate each round in a contest will not be permitted to count that contest as a qualification to host their own contest.

12th Aug 2014, 10:28 PM
Contests vs Challenges
Is your thread a contest or a challenge? A lot of people are curious about this and aren't quite sure how to tell the difference between the two.

Contest: A contest is a competition where contestants will submit entries by a set deadline that will then be scored and a winner will be announced. Some examples of contests are the Foundations Contest (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=412036), Miss World Contest (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=417920) and the yearly Calendar Contest (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=514686).

Challenge: A challenge is a specific way of playing with rules/restrictions and goals. Some challenges have a self-scoring system. Anyone may play a challenge at any time and there is no competition with another simmer. Some popular challenges include the Random Legacy Challenge (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=480205), Midnight Sun Challenge (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=442322), and the Apocalypse Challenge (http://modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=453459).

If your idea is actually a challenge and you would like to submit it to the site, please read over the Challenge Announcement (http://modthesims.info/announcement.php?f=564&announcementid=152) post before submitting your thread to the appropriate forum (TS2 or TS3).

12th Aug 2014, 10:41 PM
Contest Achievements
So you want to know if you'll get any achievements for participating in any contests. The answer is yes! There are 3 different achievements you can receive for participating in a a contest. Achievements can only be earned once. You will find them in the Achievements tab on your profile. You should also receive a PM when the achievement is handed out.

Model: Anyone who participates in a contest will receive this achievement. Note: you must have successfully participated, meaning you completed all rounds to the end.
Judge: Anyone who judges a contest, to completion, will receive this achievement. Note: Hosts, please let heaven know if a judge dropped out or an EJ didn't participate when you finish your contest.
Cat Herder: Anyone who hosts a complete contest, up to the winner selection, will receive this achievement.
Additionally, the winner of the contest will receive a blue winner's badge on their profile. You can earn more than one badge so keep participating, even after your first win!

:here: Common Question about Achievements:
Q: Um, heaven? I participated/judged/hosted a contest and I never received my achievement.
A: Heaven is forgetful like that. Please feel free to PM me about this. Include a link to the contest you participated/judged/hosted and I'll check it over and give you your achievement. All achievements are applied manually by me and sometimes I miss them/forget them.

12th Aug 2014, 11:01 PM
Now How Do I Make a Contest

Have you read the rules? You MUST MUST MUST read all of the rules both for the Contest Forum and the hosting rules before you submit a contest template. Why? There is so much important information included in the rules, and nearly every question you have will be answered if you just read through the rules. I'm sure you did read them, before you got all the way down here, but please, check over them again.

Do you qualify? If you do not meet the qualifications listed in the Hosting Section your contest will not be approved. Make sure you are qualified to host a contest before submitting one to the moderation queue.

Do you have the required information? If you are missing the required information listed in the Contest Template section, your contest will not be approved. Please read over the required information and make sure you've included everything and that your template is easy to read.

Start a new thread. Please post your contest thread in the appropriate contest forum. If your contest is for TS2, it should be in the TS2 Contest Forum. If your contest is for TS3, it should be in the TS3 Contest Forum. If your contest is open to contestants of both games, it should be submitted in the TS2+TS3 Contest Forum. Make sure to label it as Application so that, upon approval, anyone viewing the forum it's in will know that you are accepting applications. And remember - threads in this forum are moderated, so your contest thread will not show up on the forum immediately after posting.

Wait patiently. I can't stress this enough - don't PM me/leefish/Delphy/anyone who has a colored name and ask when your contest will be approved. I consistently check the forum to make sure contests aren't sitting too long in moderation.

:!!: DO NOT ASK WHEN YOUR CONTEST WILL BE APPROVED. The Moderators cannot give anyone an assured date. However, if you are going to be away ...etc... please make a note at the top of the contest you are submitting indicating the earliest date you would like the contest to be approved. It won't always be approved on that date, but it will never be approved earlier if so noted.