Liberated Pixel Cup FAQ

When will the art style guide be released?

The official art style guide is now available.  You can find it here.

Where is the art submission form?

Right here.

The graphics on the site suggest a fantasy JRPG genre.  Do the art style guidelines include restricting contest entries to this genre?

Absolutely not. :)

We went with this genre because there's a fair amount of demand for it and we wanted to create a complete, cohesive set for use with the contest.  That said, as an artist, you are free to venture into completely different genres provided your art is stylistically consistent with the existing art.  That means, if you want to submit sci-fi, modern, or post-apocalyptic art (or whatever other genre you can think of), that's excellent, and we encourage you to do so!

As far as game coding goes, we don't want to give the impression that games are restricted to the JRPG genre either.  Again, you'll be expected to make use of the art that was commissioned for the contest (or submitted as contest entries), but there are no expectations about what you should do with it.  Feel free to use the art for whatever type of game you can make it work for.  (For instance, if you make a top-down shooter whrere you fly around in a UFO and abduct NPCs, that's totally fine.)

What about 3D art?

In order to keep this particular contest focused on expanding a single art set, we aren't accepting 3D models as contest submissions (however, if you can remain consistent with the art style, you are welcome to use 3D renders and then "post process" so they fit in with the rest of the art).

This decision was to some extent due to budgetary reasons; with the budget we have, we aren't able to produce a solid base set of 3D art and characters, as it would cost vastly more than a pixel art set costs.  If there is sufficient interest to generate more funding, we'd certainly consider doing a 3D contest at a later time.

In the meantime, if you're into 3D art and would like to take part in a contest, I can point you to Open Tempest 3D, which is a similar contest being run right now by a friend of the LPC admins.

Where are the contest entry forms?

The contest entry and art/game submission forms will be put up at the appropriate time.  The contest doesn't start until June 1st, and we'd prefer not to give the impression that people should be entering immediately.

Can I use non-contest art and music in a game entry?

Yes.  We fully expect that different games will need different assets, and some of these assets won't be included in the contest art.  You will not be penalized for using additional assets (provided they're properly licensed), but entries will still be judged on how well they make use of the contest art.  On the other hand, you won't receive any credit for using assets not entered into the art portion of the contest either.

In short, plan ahead.  If you want to be credited for art that you create for your game, enter that art into the art portion of the contest (and be sure that the art fits in with the style guidelines).

Is HTML5+Javascript an acceptable platform?

Yes.  Just make sure it runs in Firefox or one of the free software Webkit browsers.  (It's totally fine if it runs elsewhere as well, but we won't be judging based on whether it works on IE and Safari.)  Just to reiterate this, fellow web developers: This time, you don't have to make it work in Internet Explorer!  Rejoice!

How will the donation money be used?

The donation money will be used to commission art and fund cash prizes.  At this point we don't know how big the prizes will be, because we aren't sure how much funding we have.  We'll know more as we finish commissioning the base art collection and further donations come in.

Why hasn't my donation appeared yet?

Donations take some time to be processed and verified. Please allow a day or so for them to appear on the meter.

What's to stop someone from starting early?

A couple of things.  On the art side, the final style guide and art sets won't be released until June 1st, so if you base your art on an early draft of the style you run the risk of going in the wrong direction, stylistically.

One the code side, all code you've written before the start of the code phase must be made free and open as of the start of the code phase.  Version history is surprisingly hard to fake well, particularly if code is stored on a public server where that information is available.  Any non-frivolous allegations of withholding already written code will be investigated.  For the record, you're free to start coding early, provided you follow the rules.  Just be aware that you're helping everyone else as well (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

If this is about free software, why the insistance the judges run GNU/Linux, as opposed to a BSD flavor, GNU HURD, etc?

Practical reasons.  We want to make sure that entrants don't have to test on a bunch of esoteric platforms, and GNU/Linux on x86/x64 is a common environment.  While we will accept entries that require one of these other systems, please be aware that some judges may not be able to run them (or may incur significant inconvenience in doing so), and that will likely affect your score.

Can we use DirectX, assuming the program compiles on MINGW and runs on WINE?  What about Mono?

We strongly recommend against it, as we can't guarantee that entreies that use DirectX or Mono will be acceptable under the rules of the contest.  It may be theoretically possible to use the DirectX API in compliance with the contest rules, provided the program compiles with MINGW and doesn't require any proprietary header files to do so, then runs on an out-of-the-box WINE install that does not include any proprietary Microsoft DLLs.

Secondly, questions about whether Microsoft or a third party might make patent claims about Mono have never been completely resolved (Microsoft's "promise" not to sue for patent infringement is not a legally binding agreement).  It's not a matter of debate that Mono is free software, but considering the fact that Microsoft has quite pointedly refused to make a legally binding promise not to sue, you should understand that using Mono does to some extent go against the spirit of the Liberated Pixel Cup, and may negatively affect your score.

TL;DR: Maybe, but we strongly recommend against it.