CheckMate Tools Contest: $1750 in prizes

by Michele Bousquet

CheckMate Tools ContestTurboSquid will be holding a programming contest for the next generation of CheckMate Tools. The challenge is to write a tool that automatically inspects a 3D model in 3ds Max, then generates a detailed report about how well the model meets the CheckMate Pro standard. This report enables the artist to quickly find areas of the model that need to be fixed before submitting it for certification. You may write the tool in MAXScript or in any other language.

The contest will start next week, when we’ll post a contest page specifically for entries, and will run until March 31.

TurboSquid already has several such tools for 2010 software versions, which are currently available to SquidGuild members on the CheckMate Tools page. These tools will be made available to all TurboSquid members next week.

We already have a v2010 tool for 3ds Max, but many CheckMate artists create their models in earlier versions to accommodate customers with older software. The CheckMate Tools Contest aims to produce fast, effective scripts that artists can use on earlier versions of 3ds Max.

Part of the challenge comes from the design of 3ds Max itself. In versions 2010 and later, many points of the CheckMate standard can be verified manually with the XView feature. For earlier versions, before XView was released, the task is not so simple. With this contest, TurboSquid aims to attract the best and brightest MAXScripters, those who can figure out the most efficient way to inspect models in pre-2010 versions of 3ds Max without the benefit of XView.

The prizes for this contest are:

  • 1st prize: $1000
  • 2nd prize: $500
  • 3rd prize: $250

To enter you must be a resident of the USA, 18 years of age or older, and a TurboSquid member. We’ll also be inviting programmers outside the TurboSquid community to join us and help make it happen. If you’ve got a MAXScripter friend, this is a great opportunity for you to collaborate on an entry that will not only help you with your work, but might get you some nice pocket change.

We’ve prepared a list of target features for entries, which you can look at now to gear up for the contest. The goal is to check for as many points of the CheckMate Pro specification as possible.

The CheckMate Tools Contest is scheduled to open next week. We’ll announce the start of the contest here on our blog, along with a link to a dedicated contest page with more details. We’ll also make available the existing 3ds Max 2010 scripts that our inspectors use, which you can use as a base for your own entry if you like.

Are you planning to enter the contest, or do you know a programmer who might like to? Let us know with a comment below.

6 Responses to “CheckMate Tools Contest: $1750 in prizes”

  1. POPA_3D says:

    That’s really bad that this is opened only for USA resident, TS is a world wide market and their artist are from different countries :( why not allow foreign artist to participate ? the final script can be submited by support ticket and the prize can be paid as you pay artists each month…

  2. I was really motivated while reading this blog post! I love doing MaxScript tools… even I was planing to program this CheckMate tools before TS make its scripts available for us…
    But, I’m very disappointed and sad when read the sentence that says: “To enter you must be a resident of the USA” :(
    Please can you explain the reasons why USA residents only?

  3. Michele Bousquet says:

    Denys and Popa, we were restricted by the laws of the USA. Opening up the contest outside the USA would have incurred a lot of time and huge expense, and would have made it impossible to hold the contest at all. But the good news is, if the contest goes well, we will want to hold more contests, and we can look at ways to open them up to non-USA residents. I am not a lawyer so I’m not sure what kinds of contests we can easily open outside the USA, but we will try our best. Again, I’m very sorry, I don’t like it either, but it was the only way to make this particular contest possible at all.

  4. Mopic says:

    That does sound a bit suspicious. There are thousands of contests held on websites big and small that have no such limitations. Try a different lawyer.

  5. Michele Bousquet says:

    This spells it out pretty clearly: http://www.howstuffworks.com/question541.htm
    “Contest law varies even more between different countries. If you were to open up a contest to people all over the world, you would have to research the law in every single country on earth, to avoid getting yourself in legal trouble… The legal fees for the required research would be much more than the payoff of the promotion.”

    If you look at the rules laid out by some larger companies who run contests regularly (Microsoft, for example), it looks like they have done this research; if they run the same kind of contest over and over again, they’d only have to do the research once, and it’s worth it for them. As for smaller companies who don’t research the rules in various countries, I can’t say why they’d do this. I can only say that we wouldn’t want to take such a risk.

    This is our first contest of this kind. If we end up running them regularly, we’ll take another look at whether the research would be worth it. But I think you’ll agree that to spend thousands of dollars researching the countries where all our members reside when we don’t yet know how much interest such a contest would generate, is not a good use of funds.

  6. Jonathan Lloyd says:

    Great news – The CheckMate tools competition is now open to non-USA citizens. We hope that you will all submit your MaxScript’s. Good luck!

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