Studio Rules

 
The 2013 TopCoder Open Studio Design Competition will take place online between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 (“Studio Design Competition”). The Studio Design Competition will take place in four (4) online periods leading up to the onsite finals portion which will be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, USA from November 10 – 14, 2013. The Studio Design Competition will consist of online qualifying competitions, with up to twelve (12) of the highest scoring Competitors across all four (4) periods winning a trip to the Tournament to compete in the Onsite Championship at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, USA November 10 – 14, 2013. Each winner of an online period will win a trip to the 2013 TCO at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, USA November 10 – 14, 2013. Competitors are only eligible to win one trip in the Studio Design Competition of the 2013 TCO and if the Competitor has already won a trip the Studio Design Competition, the next highest scoring competitor may win a trip if they have enough placement points in that Round.

The Studio Design Competition is part of the Tournament, and by participating in this Studio Design Competition, you agree to these rules.

Schedule

Competitors can register for the Tournament and be eligible to participate in the Studio Design Competition between 9:00 UTC -4 on July 1, 2012 and 9:00 UTC -4 on June 30, 2013. Competitors do not need to register separately for the Studio Design Competition or for any Studio Design Competition period. The Studio Design

Competition will take place between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 broken into four (4) periods (each a “Period” and collectively, the “Studio Design Competition Period”).

During the Studio Design Competition Period, Competitors who have registered for the Tournament no later than June 30, 2013 and who participate in Tournament-eligible Studio competitions on the TopCoder Studio website, will receive points as outlined in these Rules. A Competitor’s submission will not be scored separately for the Studio Design Competition. Only Tournament-eligible Studio contests in which registration has started during the (4) Periods shall be included in determining points for the Studio Design Competition. For the final Period, only Tournament-eligible Studio Design competitions which have started and ended during the Period shall be included in determining points for the Studio Design Competition.

Studio Design Online Competition Dates
Period 1 July 1, 2012 – September 30, 2012
Period 2 October 1, 2012 – December 31, 2013
Period 3 January 1, 2013 – March 31, 2013
Period 4 April 1, 2013 – June 30, 2013

Onsite Rounds
The onsite round schedule will be made available at a later date.

In the event that an Onsite Round may not be held at the designated time for any reason, the Round will be begin the following day at the same time and will continue for the same duration.

Competition Scoring

Scoring in the Studio Design Competition and each Period is determined based on the final placement for a Competitor’s submission in a Tournament-eligible Studio competition on the TopCoder Studio website in accordance with the rules of such competition. A Studio competition is Tournament-eligible if the competition is identified as being included as part of the Tournament . All submissions will proceed through Studio screening policies. Submissions that fail screening will not be eligible for placement points in the Studio Design Competition. Only Competitors who are registered for the Tournament will be considered in determining place and placement points. Placement scoring is as follows:

  • Highest Scoring Registered Competitor – 11 Points
  • Second Highest Scoring Registered Competitor – 9 Points
  • Third Highest Scoring Registered Competitor – 7 points
  • Fourth Highest Scoring Registered Competitor – 4 Points
  • Fifth Highest Scoring Registered Competitor – 1 Point

Advancement

Upon the completion of all Tournament-eligible Studio contests in a Period, all of the individual placement scores that a Competitor receives during that Period will be added for a cumulative placement score for the Period. Up to three (3) competitors with the highest cumulative placement score during each Period will advance to the Onsite Championship (“Onsite Studio Competitors”). Up to twelve (12) total competitors from the four (4) Periods will advance to compete in the Onsite Championship.

In the event of a tie, the tie will be resolved in the following manner:

  1. The tied Competitor who has the most 1st place submissions in Tournament-eligible Studio contests within the Period shall advance.
  2. If a tie still remains, then the remaining tied Competitor who has the most 2nd place submissions in Tournament-eligible Studio contests within the Period shall advance.
  3. If a tie still remains, then all remaining tied Competitors will advance.

Example

Competitor #1: Number of 1st Places = 12
Competitor #2: Number of 1st Places = 10
In this example, Competitor #1 would advance.

If a tie still exists after comparing the number of first place wins for each competitor (if both competitors have the same number of first place wins), the competitor with the highest number of second place wins will advance. For example:

Competitor #1: 1st Place Wins = 12, 2nd Place Wins = 10
Competitor #2: 1st Place Wins = 12, 2nd Place Wins = 7
In this example, Competitor #1 would advance.

Onsite Rounds*

The Semifinal and Championship Rounds
There will be a set of Semifinal Rounds leading up to the Championship Round. All onsite finalists (up to twelve) will compete in each Semifinal Round.  The first Semifinal Round will present the TCO13 Studio Design challenge. Competitors will have a specific task to complete that will get them closer to the final design. During the second Round, competitors will work on yet another piece of the design challenge. The goal of each Round is to improve and define their design in preparation for the Championship Round. The Championship Round will be a single round with up to twelve (12) Onsite Studio Competitors. During this Round, the competitors will refine and finalize their design.
The winner of the Studio Design Competition will be the Onsite Studio Competitor with the highest placement from the Championship Round. Only the placements from the Championship Round will be used for final championship placement.

*The format of the Semifinal and Championship Rounds are subject to change with or without notice.

Judging and Scoring

Each Semifinal Round will be scored after the Round is over, but the scores from each design from each finalist will be used to show a current ranking of the finalists before the start of the next Round. The scores DO NOT determine a winner. Only scores from the Championship Round will determine the Studio Design Champion.

In addition to ranking, the judges will provide brief feedback for each designer. This feedback will be presented in the contest forum at the beginning of Round 2 and the Championship Round. Feedback is meant to help further refine the designs and provide information about their ranking from the last Round. The judges will not respond to questions regarding the feedback, ranking or any other information provided. All ranking and feedback statements are final. All feedback is visible to all competitors.

Onsite Setup

During each Onsite Round, each Onsite Studio Competitor participating in the round will be presented with the same design challenge. Onsite Studio Competitors will receive competition documentation (ex: Contest Specification Document) fifteen (15) minutes before each Round begins. Each Onsite Round will last between two (2) and three (3) hours.
Onsite Studio Competitors must use the workstation provided by TopCoder. This workstation will include a PC and the following:

  • Windows XP
  • Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 Design Premium
  • The open-source graphic programs GIMP and InkScape
  • 7-Zip
  • A sketchpad, pencils and pencil sharpener
  • Limited Internet access to TopCoder Studio. TopCoder reserves the right to allow access to a color reference site and/or stock photography site under specific directions found within the Round requirements.

Onsite Studio Competitors may bring the following:

  • Their own keyboard. Please inform the Studio Admin staff of the type of keyboard you will be bringing so that efforts can be made to ensure compatibility. Compatibility is not guaranteed.
  • Up to two (2) design reference books, such as color guides, typography references, etc. However, template books (or books containing any template ideas) may NOT be used.
  • Electronic translator
  • Music player and headphones

Onsite Studio Competitors may access their workstations thirty (30) minutes before the beginning of each Onsite Round, during which time they may configure the workspace and programs. Design work of any kind (including sketching) is prohibited prior to the Start of each Onsite Round.

Onsite Studio Competitors may not bring or use any other materials (including flash disks, magazines, or sketches). Keyboards and reference materials must be given to TopCoder for review and evaluation at least one (1) hour before each Onsite Round begins. The keyboards and books may be disqualified from use for any reason or no reason at TopCoder’s sole discretion.

TopCoder reserves the right, at any point in the Onsite Rounds, to confiscate any materials an Onsite Studio Competitor has at their workstation that TopCoder deems inappropriate for any reason or no reason and/or disqualify the Onsite Studio Competitor. TopCoder reserves the right to allow or refuse an Onsite Studio Competitor a limited extension of time (no more than 10 minutes) to upload their submission due to technical difficulties during an Onsite Round.

*The software, workstation and other Onsite setup details are subject to change with or without notice.

About the Prizes

The Studio Competition will award up to $23,600 in cash prizes. Any and all applicable taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner.

Competitor(s) Prize
1st place finisher* in the Studio Competition $15,000
2nd place finisher* in the Studio Competition $4,000
3rd place finisher* in the Studio Competition $2,000
4th place finisher* in the Studio Competition $1,000
5th – 12th place finisher* in the Studio Competition $200 each
Up to the first 50 Competitors with the highest amount of points (minimum of 10 placement points) Limited edition 2013 TopCoder Open t-shirt
Top 3 finishers in Period 1 Trip to 2013 TCO
Top 3 finishers in Period 2 Trip to 2013 TCO
Top 3 finishers in Period 3 Trip to 2013 TCO
Top 3 finishers in Period 4 Trip to 2013 TCO

* Prize will be awarded after the conclusion of the Championship Round. Winner must be present at the onsite Awards presentation to receive prize.