Design Notes

February 22, 2024

Challenges of Hosting a Contest in Today’s Tumultuous Internet

It was a tidal wave of challenges in the Dage vs Nulgath Weapon Contest. Now that we’ve announced the winners, it’s time to reveal the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes secrets of what went down amongst the sea of 500 entries. 

dage vs nulgath contest behind the scenes

Hiya heroes! A few days ago we announced the winners of the Dage vs Nulgath Weapon contest! With over 250 participants submitting 500 entries, our judges faced a challenge of epic proportions, casting 7500 votes in order to *uh-hem* “narrow down” the contestants. What we assumed would be like 10 winners tops turned out to be… 55 🤩 

Every entry displayed a dazzling array of artistic passion and brilliance, so choosing winners amidst this typhoon of talent was no easy feat. And if that wasn’t already challenging enough, wait ‘til you see the troubled waters ahead 🌊

Navigating the Sea of Art Theft

The art world is a space for inspiration, collaboration, and, most importantly, donuts respect. Unfortunately, we encountered a hefty handful of contestants who decided to stray from these principles. Art theft, AI-generated art, and commissioned art pieces infiltrated this contest – a contest meant to celebrate individual creativity, artistic passion, and love for AQWorlds. 

Thankfully, we have wonderful players who reached out and let us know if they saw suspicious entries. Additionally, our panel of judges, which included 10 Artix artists, are expertly armed with keen eyes. They know what to look for since they have decades of combined professional experience in everything art related. Our judges took on the arduous task of distinguishing authentic creations from those that betrayed fair play – and of course the contest rules. It was very disheartening to witness such breaches of trust, but rest assured we stand firm in upholding the integrity of our contests and our community. Cheaters never win – not in our contests, and not in real life – and were therefore disqualified. 

Technical Twitter Woes

So. As if judging 500 entries and parsing through possible stolen art wasn't overwhelming enough, we also faced unexpected technical hiccups. Some entries on Twitter mysteriously vanished due to previously collected links leading to an empty page that said, “Hmm...this page doesn’t exist. Try searching for something else.” Naively assuming these Tweets had been deleted by the users (because this happens all the time), our judges moved on to the hundreds of other entries. While I have personally hosted numerous contests on Twitter before (and trust me, I’ve seen my fair share of crazy things on that platform), never once had I encountered links playing hide-and-seek 🙈

Although something like this was totally out of anyone’s control, I take full responsibility for these unforeseen obstacles. Our misplaced entries caused a momentary panic among our participants, and I sincerely hope we've recovered all the entries 🤞 I must give a shoutout to Darkon for having the brilliant idea of posting all collected contestants in order to double (and triple) check that everyone was included.

I had NO idea this contest would explode THAT MUCH in popularity, and I was woefully unprepared. However, this contest has been a wonderful learning experience! That being said: for future contests of this magnitude, we'll be using Google Forms as our primary collection for entries. Posting on socials like Twitter and Facebook will still be allowed (and totally encouraged!) but your entry will also have to be uploaded to the Google Form, which will only take like 15 extra seconds :) 

Thank you for being the greatest gaming community ever!

Despite all the challenges we faced, this was undeniably one of the BEST contests I have ever had the pleasure of being part of! Thank you all for joining us on this contest journey – even if it was stressful at times 😵‍💫 But ya know what: it’s often the things in life that “go awry” that make for the best, most memorable memories... aaand lots of lengthy Design Notes, too. Tehehehe! 

On behalf of everyone at Artix Entertainment, we couldn’t be more proud of you all who played fairly. It is awe-inspiring to witness hundreds of honest artists showcasing their talent with passion and integrity – and THAT right there is what makes someone a good artist AND a great human being. 

Keep being amazing, heroes, and I cannot wait to see what you dish out in our next contest! 💕 

Battle on!
Beleen, our  judges, and the AQW team

Tags: Beleen,
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