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How the judges will be scoring and a little note

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 4, 2013, 8:07 AM
The judging is well under way and we've all finished judging the thieves and nearly all finished judging the mages! So we are letting you all know what we each individually are looking for.

The criteria's below belong to :iconshoelesscosmonaut:

The first three categories mostly concern the story and plot.


(+) Shows a beginning, middle and end.

(+) Pacing is consistent with both outside story elements and the Round objective being developed.

(+) Shows something beyond the Round objective. Hints of character history, plot, or some sort of dilemma/internal struggle.

(+) Story evokes some kind of emotion in the reader.

(-) Story is rushed, or otherwise incomplete. No resolution.

(-) Plot relies too much and/or too often on luck and circumstance to advance.

(-) Story is confusing and has the viewer re-reading pages in order to make sense of it.


(+) Engaging and in-character interactions.

(+) Motivations for the character are present and believable.

(+) Dialogue feels natural. Characters speak and sound like actual people.

(+) Character’s personality is distinct and consistent.

(-) Nothing is learned about the character. Especially problematic in the early Rounds as this is the time when we don’t know anything about who this person is. Give us a reason to care.

(-) NPCs or other contestants are wildly out-of-character.

(-) Personality is inconsistent and changes depending on the circumstance.

(-) Character never endures hardships or has very little difficulty completing tasks. (This is a more complicated one and applies to the tournament as a whole, not so much a single Round).


(+) Objective was completed successfully.

(+) Creative/unique solution was used.

(+) Solution was entertaining or otherwise engaging.

(+) Character was prepared. More than one method was employed or back up plans were in place should they fail.

(-) Objective was not shown or otherwise incomplete.

(-) Rules were broken or ignored.

(-) Objective was rushed or feels out of place in the story.

The next two mostly relate to the visual side.


(+) Some attempt was made to provide a setting for characters. Backgrounds exist.

(+) Shading, hatching or colour is used to good effect.

(+) Wide variety of poses or angles are used.

(-) Quality is not consistent

(-) Panel boxes are shaky or uneven.

(-) No attempt at backgrounds. Characters exist in a white void.

(-) Poses are stiff and rarely deviate from the artist’s comfort zone.


(+) Shading, hatching, line art or colour are used to enhance the setting, action or mood.

(+) Art is clean and clear.

(+) The visuals tell a story all on their own without the aid of dialogue. If all the text is removed from the comic and the action or intent remains clear, then you’ve done a good job.

(+) Text/dialogue are easily read and there is no confusion on who the speaker is.

(-) Text is barely legible or otherwise hard to read. Poor font choice.

(-) Certain actions are confusing and not conveyed clearly enough through the artwork. Viewer is left wondering what happened.

(-) Artwork is generally messy. Colours/shades are outside the lines, pencil is smudged, etc.

(-) Copy/Pasted panels are used frequently. Once in a while is okay, but if it makes up a large chunk of your comic then it becomes a problem.

If all you’ve included in your story is the Round objective, then you probably ended up with a fairly average score. Stop thinking about the Rounds as a checklist of items you have to cross off and start thinking about them almost like chapters in a book. Each one should get the reader hooked and leave them wanting more.

Of course, this is a very general look at some of the things that will impact your score. There’s no way to definitively say that including all the items on the (+) checklist will net you a perfect score, because everything depends on a case to case basis and how well each item was executed.

Next on the list is :iconcocoaferret:


Additions: A clear, logical plot and flow / hooks (and keeps) the reader’s attention/something is ‘realized’ about the plot; dilemmas, histories, conflicts, etc/appropriate pacing

Deductions: difficult, or confusing to follow / cliched, needless, or poorly executed plot devices/ incomplete, or no definite end


Additions: main character and their pokemon stay true to their personas/ other characters and pokemon (competitors, NPCs, mods) stay true to their personas/ the reader is made to ‘care’ about the main character/main character is given purpose and reason within their story

Deductions: highly inconsistent, or highly inaccurate characterizations/ the character and their story does not garner interest (This is not about your character being ‘likable’; this is about making the reader curious for more)/nothing is learned about the character


Additions: The given task was completed/The character is show succeeding/the task fits well into the story/innovation, or creative problem-solving

Deductions: The task is failed, incomplete, not included, or left as a ‘cliffhanger’/ the task does not fit well into the story/the task is completed too easily, and left unexplained (like, preposterously easily)/ conditions of the task are disregarded, or changed considerably


Additions: Consistent quality/good use of dialogue and text / evident backgrounds and environment / creative and interesting panel placement / (in later rounds) improvement

Deductions: entry is incomplete/inconsistent quality / plain, confusing, or poor use of dialogue and text / No indication of backgrounds or environment/ poor or confusing panel placement/ heavy dependence on text, rather than art (somewhat applies to later rounds, where splash pages may not be an option. It’s important to remember this is an art tournament; you need to ‘tell’ AND ‘show’ your character’s story)


Additions: Acts as a clear visual representation of the story /demonstrates current skill well / Color, shading, or line is used effectively and tastefully/ attention to organization

Deductions: Disorderly line, color, or shading / illegible font or handwriting/poor image quality (pixelated, blurry, smudged, dirty)/ cluttered dialogue, images, text, etc.

The next judge on the list is myself :iconzannyhyper:

Story: Have I learnt anything about your character? From name, to back story to stories you’re planning to portray later in the round? Is there a story you’re implementing into this round to get us interested? Or is it you just achieving the objective and we learn absolutely nothing?

Characters: Are your characters and pokemon in character? Are the cameo’s in character? Are the mods characters in character? Does your character make me want to know more about them (This ties in with the story.)

Objective: How well did you achieve the objective? Was it fun to read? Engaging? Or was it just slapped on without much rhythm or reason given to it other than ‘I need to do this because I was told to’

Effort: How much effort does it look like you put into your comic (compared to your usual submissions around that time of submission of the comic)? Did you start really wonderfully rendered but then suddenly divulge into sketches and lack of interest? Is the entry even completed?

Art: Is there a background or is there a severe lack of backgrounds? Is it beautifully rendered for your skill level or sketchy as hell? (By this I mean I WILL look at your most recent submissions around the time your entry was uploaded and judge you based on YOUR skill, I will NOT compare)

Finally we have to wait until :iconpettyartist: can give us what she is looking for in each criteria, but those are what three of the judges are after.

Also a side note:

Due to some concern we will only be showing the contestants who passed.
For those of you who failed to pass (or those of you who passed) you can always request any of the mods for a break down of the scores and/or a critique of your entry.
But this wont take effect until after the 8th January, okay?

Add a Comment:
Ritzuma Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Daaamn, if only i had read this like, a month ago, the comic would have turned out differently D:

However, i really appreciate this explanation, and I love the fact that we can request any of the mods for a critique, since it will help me to improve A LOT.

Anyways, looking forward to the results!
blueflyfish Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
This page wasn't here a month ago, otherwise a lot of people would have done their comics different.
Ritzuma Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, i know that, I meant that if this was posted a month ago, it would have been different xD
EarthBoundDude64 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awwww man, stupid SAI. does the score count if you advance?
ShoelessCosmonaut Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I'm not sure what you mean by that? You'll have to elaborate.
EarthBoundDude64 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You said the only ones that got in. does that mean you can get disqualified during preliminaries?
ShoelessCosmonaut Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Prelims determine who makes it into the actual tournament, yes. There will be cuts made before the actual Rounds begin. We have over 200 entries at the moment, but will only be passing 128 (32 in each Guild). That's why we're judging them now.
EarthBoundDude64 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
D: oh, ok then. Thanks for the answer!
manatiki Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
sounds fair to me. thanks for clarifying.
good luck to everybody :rose:
xLinksx Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ohmehgash! I didn't put in much of a backstory.
I'm panicking now, I swear. :iconcannotevenplz:

Still, it's cool to see how hard the mods are working. It's fun seeing how things unfold like this. :meow:

Good luck to everyone!
madgenius2013 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man. Now I am actually very nervous. I did feel really uncomfortable about my pacing and beginning. That's something I'm going to have to work on.
Roxas4ever1 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I feel myself dying slowly inside as I ask myself one question: Why the hell was I lazy on the backgrounds? :iconotlplz:
On another subject, I greatly appreciate the list of what is wanted in the entries.
SkeleVee Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Crap.. I hardly ever use backgrounds because either the focus looks good, but the I have a childish doodle of a background, or vice versa. But weither I pass or fail, I'm still going to have to work on drawing trees and buildings. >.<
Oh gosh... I'm pretty certain I'm not going to get in now. :'D
coldfire0007 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
i would like a critique whether i pass or fail. i want to grow from this experience so i can make my future graphic novel dream come out as best as it can be
WorkerBees Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
now I'm worried @_@ do we get docked points for not having colour? Or for using traditional art? I know I've asked these questions before, but I'm worried after reading this
ShoelessCosmonaut Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Colour/Digital entries don't automatically gain you points, it depends on a lot of factors. I will say that traditional b/w entries can score just as high as digital or colour ones.
WorkerBees Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
good to know. Thanks! :D
VGXVIII Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Reading this over has me concerned for my submission, this all seems to be for a comic submission. I understood that at first the Thieves Guild could submit a splash page, which I did, and this break down is scaring me on whether or not I'll pass any of this beyond the artwork. I did write a story for it so that the page could be understood and left a link to it in my, but I also understood that writing outside of a comic would be dismissed as irrelevant. Or did I understand incorrectly?
ShoelessCosmonaut Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Splash pages and the writing are both taken into consideration when scoring submissions for this round. The splash page is judged for the visual components and the written portion is judged for the story elements.
VGXVIII Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:iconthankgodplz:, I was ready to have a panic attack if I heard anything other than this!!! <='D
HopelessAce Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I read this, freaked out, and then read the other comics. I feel a bit better knowing I'm not the only one who's really nervous/worried/panicked.
I really like how well rounded your expectations are even though they make me feel it wasn't detailed enough. I like how other people will get a bit extra consideration for some of their comics, because I've seen some really amazing and in depth intro comics.
I'll go pray that I have a chance now.
Norbiester Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Good luck to everyone in the contest! Me? I'm just going to sit in the corner and cry now TT^TT
Emberwyng Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
this would've been nice to know before I put absolutely nothing about my character's life in my comic.
SteelFeathers Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Darn. Wish I hadn't cut out the part about how Raevyn debated using Spook, that would definitely have shown some character/back story.

I love your judging criteria. It's very well-rounded and fair, and it's great to have it laid out like this for us to see.
Samantai Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I have to say, this breakdown is stressing me a lot . XD
But I know at least what you're looking at, and should I not make it, I will know to what it's due and it will leave me some sense of justice and inner-peace.

Thank you for that guys. ^^
Deserves a brofist.~
ZannyHyper Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
If you pass or fail you can always request a critique, okay? xD JUST so you know
ShoelessCosmonaut Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Aww, no need to be stressed, haha! Artists are always so hard on themselves.

Yesssss, this is my brofist for I am best mod! Brofists for me!
Mad-Plot-Bunny Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm definitely falling in some parts but thank you for the information. :D
churromagic Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I'm fairly certain I won't move to the first round, but of course, that's completely my fault.
Still, I'm still excited for the next round. Even if I don't go on, there are others that I can cheer on!
MaxVesta Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
blueflyfish Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Hmm I think I'm probably going to suffer in one or two area's but am confident in the others at least...

I am interested to see how I get judged, always interesting to see! Also terrifying but ehh.
Sparrow-Kaizu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually feel like I only messed up on a couple of things, which I think are pretty understandable for a beginner comic artist. I'll definitely want a full critique though...
Owlbearz Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Time to wring my hands for the next few days. So very nervous!
Kryshoul Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
haha im dead ;w;
Micka33 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dammit, reading all this makes me stupidly nervous.
oOSpellsingerOo Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ugh, the only things I'm sure to get a (+) for is for showing effort at the backgrounds (I'm still getting twitchy everytime I see a tree) and at completing the task (which could only have failed if my team fleed the woods..)
arkeis-pokemon Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is a good checklist for all OCTs in general, not just Duality.

Thanks a lot guys!
LeafTheGreat Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
My entry will get a bad score, I just know it.
Can't wait for the competition to start, and not just because it's on my birthday!
cocowoushi Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You guys sure are working hard! I don't envy you having to pick from all these great entries.

No rush or anything, just a curious question, but if scoring gets done before the 8th will it be posted early?
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January 4, 2013


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