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Submitted on
January 4, 2013


10 (who?)

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!
Add a Comment: