January Challenge Board Winners

Hello Creators! Here are the winners for January’s challenge board. We had three entries with a combined fifteen entries across them. (The fourth category, “best self-contained minigame”, didn’t draw any entries.) All told, we were excited to see the variety and creativity of entries as y’all tackled social tools, tilesets, and throwback maps. Huge thanks to AJ for helping with judging!

A programming note: we are discussing what to do next with the Challenge Board. We love the role it plays in encouraging creative community content and solutions to common needs, but we haven’t nailed the right format for it yet. So, no ETA yet on when the next one starts, but we do hope to bring it back in the near future. Let us know your thoughts here or on the Discord.

Now let’s get to the winners!

Best Social Communication Tool

Prompt: Make meaningful in-game interactions between players easier, quicker, or more fun. For instance, menus or keybinds to trigger custom emotes or effects, messages, pings, or votes. This should be designed as a drag and droppable component so other creators can easily integrate it into their projects.

Winner: Czinczar’s Trading Component

Creator: Czinczar

Czinczar has been making community content since the earliest days of Alpha, and his experience. His Trading Component gives players the ability to trade resources with one another, including the flow of UI and confirmations needed to complete the transaction. It scored well on usability thanks being able to be dragged into the hierarchy, after which it “just works.” Creators can dig into the documentation to customize what can be traded.

Honorable mentions:

  • CommanderFoo’s Social Kit. We definitely want to see the pokes, message bubbles, and alerts from CommanderFoo’s kit to make it into more games.
  • Datonare’s Resource Sharing. Datonare also submitted a thorough take on resource trading. It’s a good flow and the UI is laid out well, so we recommend you try it. We gave Czinzcar the edge because it was easier to get his up and running, but both are powerful.

Best Environment Tileset

Prompt: A themed set of buildings and props creators can drop into their game to create a scene and mood. Themed examples might include History and Mythology, Wilderness, Farm and Small Town, Scifi and Space, Around the World, etc. Or you could design your own theme. Be sure to use mesh merging!

Winner: Skalmold Viking Tileset

Creator: Staypunny and Niko

Best Environmental Tileset was easily the most popular category, and it was also a great deal of fun to explore the dark dungeons and foreign lands submitted. Staypunny and Niko teamed up for a huge, colorful, and detailed collection set in a Viking village with fantasy themes. The tileset has enough buildings for a full village, including houses, docks, a blacksmith, and a chieftain’s hut. Each contains nice touches like a spinning blade or an NPC greeter. Because of the sheer detail this entry didn’t score as well on performance - it’s hard on a system to have the entire village on at once. It doesn’t de-rail the entry, though, and using mesh merging allowed the creators to push themselves.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Arudo’s Ancient Mexican Culture: We strongly recommend running around Arudo’s Mexico-inspired entry, which delights with dynamic music and animated meshes.
  • LotusCracker’s Asia Fantasy Tileset: Creators have come to look forward to LotusCracker’s new tileset drops, and his Asia-themed set didn’t disappoint. We’ve already seen it pop up in a few popular games, which is a great sign.
  • Aggripina’s Makin’ Me Hungry: The first of Aggripina’s two entries is a whimsical scene set inside a fast food chain. We’d love to see more creators set up snapshots of scenes using animated meshes. (Don’t forget to explore the back kitchen area.)
  • Aggripina’s When in Greece Tileset: Aggripina’s second set brings a new region to Core, this time doing a minimalist take with pieces that fit well together.
  • Mucusinator’s Gardens of Illiad Tileset: Mucusinator is clearly on another level, submitting a Hanging Gardens-meets-Scifi kit that uses wireframes to show you where to put the different pieces.
  • CardinalZebra’s Dungeon Tiles: This category was super close, and CardinalZebra was one of the ones in the running. This one scored high on usability, which isn’t surprising considering it’s already appeared in several games.

Best Throwback Map

Prompt: An editable map inspired by a favorite non-Core game from the past. You may upload this map to Community Content or as an editable Community Projects game. The map doesn’t have to be a complete game with gameplay.

Winner: Masquerade

Creator: KidEgg

KidEgg opened up one of the most stunning maps on the platform, polishing the Bioshock-inspired Survival Jam winner and releasing it for the community. This entry took some dings in the Usability & Performance category, but was able to make up for it with execution, creativity, and quality of art. Even if it makes this judge sad that Bioshock is old enough to be considered “retro”.

Honorable Mentions:

  • JasonCDesign’s Little Creek: A polished, balanced, and true-to-source throwback map based on an older game from 2003 FPS “Vietcong”.
  • MtnMan365’s Super Core Brothers & Sisters: Charming! MtnMan365 recreated Mario 1-1 in 3D. While it can be tough to get a handle of the controls, it has lots of nice touches, such as the guides that appear to show you are beneath a block. Great music choice.
  • Rtwarner’s The Hangar: E1M1: contest regular and map expert rtwarner brought his trademark polish and detail to this Doom recreation.
  • XRStudio’s Guardian Throwback Map: XRStudio successfully captured nostalgia with Guardian Throwback Map, a recreation of Guardian from Halo 3. It uses the same three-lane formula and verticality, and – importantly – remembered killboxes when you inevitably fall.