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Thread: Open discussion on screenshots

  1. #16
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    The game has a way to submit screenshots to the FEED if turned on.

    Which is located here:
    http://www.trainzportal.com/mytrainz/


    Why not just attract people using the game its self.

    Make a popup letting the user know they can submit a screenshot for competition with "insert theme here"... etc..
    And you can make checkbox for users that don't want to ever see screenshot competition messages or they can turn that ON...

    This prevents screenshot modification outside tane.

    Not sure if you can make a new message on the screenshot tab in tane that tells users about the theme of the current week.

    REALLY: The "upload to feed" feature is something that people need to know about, ITS SUPER EASY TO MAKE AND find your screenshots already online with the feed, because they have no idea on how to find the screenshots, let alone upload them to imgur and THEN even link to that image in a forum.

    Integrate it with the game/feed so people don't even need forum access.

    So you already have the feed available for people, just integrate the competition more with the games screen shot interface and too many people will probably participate, overloading your feed servers...
    Then you can give error if user submits more than one for current theme,,, etc...
    Last edited by TINE; March 9th, 2018 at 09:04 AM.
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  2. #17

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    Well, in my case, as I've posted a lot of screenies of my route project on the contest, as now I'm beginning to get stuck, i'm running out of screenshots to compete.
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  3. #18
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    As a fairly new regular participant in the screenshot competitions, I have found them to be enjoyable. I first began looking at/posting in them after reading about them in one of the newsletters. If it hadn't been for that, I would never have known they existed.

    I would say better advertisement of the screenshots and various competitions might help....If people aren't aware of them, they won't participate in / look at them etc.

    Part of this may also be that there are so many places to look for screenshots and competitions that it is hard to keep track of them all. Perhaps having one location that corrals them would help. Maybe it could even highlight recent great screenshots , both regular and competition ones. Others have mentioned that the gallery should be made more user friendly, perhaps this could serve as the basis for this one stop for screenshots/competitions/forums about how to get involved doing screenshots etc if it were redone? Also having one location would help with getting the word out about it.

    Recently there was a campaign with hashtags to post screenshots from social media, but it was unclear how to do so, especially for those of us who are facebook challenged. Perhaps a post or such explaining how to do this? Social media could also help with bringing in more people.

    I agree with saieditor about the competition themes, some of them are difficult to come up with appropriate screenshots for. Perhaps only having one themed week per month and the rest be no theme or such might work?

    As for the competitions themselves, I feel they are for anyone who wishes to show their trainz work off in the hopes of having theirs used in the newsletter ,etc, or simply just for others to enjoy. Yes, it can be intimidating the first few times you post after seeing many talented trainzers' shots, but it is worth it once you have one win. There are all levels of artistic talent in those who do post, some are downright amazing and put mine to shame, but it drives me to improve mine by using their examples. Many of the shots are excellent in their own ways, even if they don't win. I've seen great ones from older versions as well, so I wouldn't allow that you don't have the latest version to stop anyone. If someone dislikes the competition aspect then there are other ways to share our hobby (aka obsession ;-) ) in other screenshot forum threads.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TINE View Post
    The game has a way to submit screenshots to the FEED if turned on.

    Which is located here:
    http://www.trainzportal.com/mytrainz/


    Why not just attract people using the game its self.

    Make a popup letting the user know they can submit a screenshot for competition with "insert theme here"... etc..
    And you can make checkbox for users that don't want to ever see screenshot competition messages or they can turn that ON...

    This prevents screenshot modification outside tane.

    Not sure if you can make a new message on the screenshot tab in tane that tells users about the theme of the current week.

    REALLY: The "upload to feed" feature is something that people need to know about, ITS SUPER EASY TO MAKE AND find your screenshots already online with the feed, because they have no idea on how to find the screenshots, let alone upload them to imgur and THEN even link to that image in a forum.

    Integrate it with the game/feed so people don't even need forum access.

    So you already have the feed available for people, just integrate the competition more with the games screen shot interface and too many people will probably participate, overloading your feed servers...
    Then you can give error if user submits more than one for current theme,,, etc...
    I did not know this functionality was connected to the gallery like that. I had been loading shots in via that url directly. I won't be doing that anymore.

    I agree with TINE, I think beefing up that functionality would be a great way to go. Perhaps showcasing recent screenshots from the feed in game would be something that could also be done...
    Last edited by whamm0; March 9th, 2018 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. #20
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    I very much support what 'brucem56' said at #15 there are one to many screenshots which appear in my view to be more about the ability to be creative with graphic software than being creative with Trainz and although I tend to view the entries it's probably these days why I'm reluctant to vote. Some of those screenshots published within the Screenshots thread are in my view far superior to those submitted for the competitions which I feel is a great pity as those members equally warrant acknowledgement for their efforts.

    I think the concept of a competition is good and both organisers and competitors should be congratulated by as all for their commitment. As for the future I'm not sure but currently we have the Gallery, Screenshots and Competition all displaying aspects of members creativity. Peter

  6. #21
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    I believe manipulating the screen shots in image editing software is not allowed (I am not sure, but I think it is in the rules. I'm not even sure now how to find those to confirm it though). I can only speak for myself, I do not manipulate them in such a manner. I do use the in-game post processing tools to adjust lighting and such, but since that is accessible to anyone I assume it is ok to do.

  7. #22

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    One other thing I'd like to mention, and this is for the voters, please take into consideration the Theme (when there is one) when voting. For example (and I see this in a few comps) in a recent competition titled "Heatwave" there was an image that received 4 votes, but had nothing to do with the theme. It was a beautiful pic, absolutely deserving of votes, but it didn't fit the theme at all. This again lends itself to people voting for just the "nicest" pic.

  8. #23
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    I agree with both of the last two posters.

    I tried manipulating a couple of my comp posts in external software but felt a bit guilty afterwards, not that they won anyway.

    Comp. subject does need to be adhered to, otherwise it will just lead to genaral shots with tenuous reasons for inclusion in the comp, which is unfair on those of us that make a real effort on the subject in the comp.

    I wonder if anyone posting screenshots had a read of this sticky first..

    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...in-Screenshots
    Graham, EM Modelz


  9. #24
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    Definitely agree with a lot of points here. Biggest one for me has been stated here a few times - there are some folks who have naturally better scene building skills and advantages (see: TANE shaders vs TS12) over many others that dissuade people from entering. It doesn't feel worth it posting a shot if others have posted something clearly significantly better than what I, or others, would've posted.

    On the topic of digital manipulation, I'm of the belief some modification is fine. The only edits I make to my photos are to add in my own headlights - as I've never been pleased with how Trainz renders them - and to crop the image a bit to remove clutter or blank space (and occasionally to fix a bug in the shot, such as splines with odd splits/holes that shouldn't be there. Example: Original vs. Edit. Rails and road spline all have an odd break in them I edited away [though still noticeable, just less so]. Also note the headlight edit I mentioned previously). Same result, essentially, just a little bit finer.

    However, wide manipulation of colour or lighting is a little farther and I'd say is less valid in terms of a competition. It's quite standard, however, for most photography competitions elsewhere to allow some editing work. Something to consider, at least.

    Cheers,
    SM

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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lego207 View Post
    It doesn't feel worth it posting a shot if others have posted something clearly significantly better than what I, or others, would've posted.
    Cheers,
    SM
    Usain Bolt always had competition, even though the fellow entrants knew he would win.
    So, if nobody raced against Usain Bolt because they knew he would win, then there is no competition.
    There will always be also-rans (my usual place ).
    One week I won, next week no votes at all. but I still keep entering.

    I try to make my shots as different as I can, only occasionally will I post a front quarter view of a big loco.
    Different voters have different likes and dislikes, I put myself at a big disadvantage, my preferred subjects are landscapes, modelz, European standard gauge trains and European narrow gauge trains.
    Looking at the forum posts each day tells me that American diesel stuff is the most popular, so I expect that to reflect in the votes too.
    I still keep entering though

    Voting, I tend not to vote if I am in the comp, so that I can't bias the results.

    By the way, age should not be a barrier, I am 68 this year and still learning and I think my first comp entry was Jan last year!.

    So come on you youngsters get screenshotting, comp or elsewhere.
    Graham, EM Modelz


  11. #26
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    Interest may grow and wane depending on what else is going on. Is there any relationship, for example, between the number of entries/votes and the beta testing process - if people are too busy testing then they may not be inclined to post or vote.

    I have posted a few shots over the years (I actually got a vote on a few occasions) but usually when I am involved in route and/or session building. Currently I am taking a break from that but I am playing around with a few new routes from the DLS so I will post again as soon as a "no theme" competition comes around again.

    I vote more often than I post - it is a lot easier.

    I like the themed competitions but I usually do not have any suitable screenshots that would fit the set theme.

    I would not like the competition scrapped as it does serve a useful purpose by showing what different users are doing. It is true that some people are far better at making screenshots than others but some are faster at the 100m than others as well. It is not always the screenshot kings that win - at some point Usain Bolt will be beaten.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    It is not always the screenshot kings that win - at some point Usain Bolt will be beaten.
    See, you were right

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.ca8b3188b489

    Edited to add..

    I find that all screenies, comp or not, have and are educating me more about world railways each day.
    Last edited by euromodeller; March 11th, 2018 at 07:14 AM.
    Graham, EM Modelz


  13. #28
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    I for one used to love taking part in these competitions back a few years ago. I remember the best I got out of these competitions was the challenge to set up the perfect screenshot. But the fact is that Ive only manage to get into the top 3 slot only once in my entire time I took part in these competitions and also when I noticed the same people making into the top 3 all the time I basically gave up on competing all the time and now just only entire if I feel I have a good screenshot. I feel like this is no longer a competition where anyone could win, but is now only a competition against the best screenshot creators. While they make amazing screenshots, I feel really bad for the people who keep entering and almost never make it to the top 3. I remember one guy who keeps on entering every competition but he never makes it to the top 3 and I think he deserves to be in the top 3 for once for trying so hard but again, it seems people are more focus on "What Screenshot will look best as a Desktop Background" instead of focusing on "Oh this guy is really trying hard to win one of these competitions but never wins ones, I should give him a vote". Heck there have been a few people who post screenshots and some people think its a real image and the people who post those screenshots normally end up in the top 3. This is one of the reasons why I almost no longer want to participate in these competitions if I know Im not really going to make it into the top 3 most of the time. I miss the days when this was a competition that anyone could win instead of becoming one where only the best screenshots creators can win.

  14. #29
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    ...I almost no longer want to participate in these competitions if I know Im not really going to make it into the top 3 most of the time. I miss the days when this was a competition that anyone could win instead of becoming one where only the best screenshots creators can win.
    This seems to be a point several have made. But unfortunately, it is a bit like real life. Even in a class full of Einsteins, someone has to come second and someone has to come last. The last place entry may have been a very worthy screenshot and deserving of a win.

    I do recall one screenshot competition I voted in (but did not enter) where I dithered between two entries before finally, in a "toss-up", I gave it to the shot that was the eventual winner. But the result was so close that if I had gone the other way, then my second choice would have won. So it is not just the people who enter the competitions who decide the outcome, it is also the "mood" or "whim" of the voters.

    Perhaps one solution would be a rule that if you win one contest then you cannot enter (or perhaps not win) another for a set period - but not a permanent ban.
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    So it is not just the people who enter the competitions who decide the outcome, it is also the "mood" or "whim" of the voters.

    Perhaps one solution would be a rule that if you win one contest then you cannot enter (or perhaps not win) another for a set period - but not a permanent ban.
    If the idea is to improve the number of participants (entrants/voters), I am not sure a ban is the way to go. Besides which, most ppl who follow the competitions seem to adjust their votes already if you were the winner last time (or at least it seems so to me). This self adjusting by voters is only fair imho.

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