Every season we try to change up some rules hoping to make these competitions better. This shortened season is no different. So let’s start with the new rules.
1. Due to the shortened nature of this season, there will be no eliminations this time.
2. There will be two different contest going on at the same time. Please be mindful that the different competitions have a slight variation of the rules. The “Serious” competition is going to be a bit tougher with more strict regulations. The “For Fun” contest will use the same premise but have a relaxed standard in one way or another. Please make sure you are working under the rules for your particular contest. How this will probably work is we will post the “Serious” rules and at the end of the write-up we will have the loosened guidelines for the “For Fun” event.
3. The scoring system is all new this time around. Previous seasons ranked people from first to last and number you landed on was your score. This season we are going to score this like school grades, and may wind up giving everyone the equivalent of an A. The ramifications of this are that if in the first round you were in last place by a tenth of a percentage and the entire pack of competitors was only two percentage points from top to bottom, if you clobber everyone in the second round by more than three percentage points, then you are in first place, as opposed to previous years where you would be right in the middle of the pack for doing the same thing. I don’t know if this makes sense, but it punishes less for being with the rest of the pack and rewards more for destroying your competition.
3a. The time around there will be weighted scores. An example of this would be: 30% of your score will be based on _______ (whatever criteria we are using that week). Be sure to pay attention to what is weighted on a certain week, because if you freelance too much and don’t meet the criteria, you will have a huge hole to dig out of.
4. The schedule:
Feb.19th - First challenge posted
Feb.25th - First proposals due; second challenge posted
March 4th - Second proposals due; third challenge posted
March 11th - Third proposal due; final challenge posted BUT with the caveat that we will not post the names of the two finalists until Monday, March 13th to give us some time to make our decisions. Anyone can present a final proposal, but only the top two will be considered for the winner’s position.
March 25th - Final proposals due. This gives you two weeks to prepare…and you will probably need it.
March 29th - We announce the winner of the TOC Playoff and the For Fun competition.
Standard Rules…but glance at these later when you have a moment…
1. Grammar counts. If we can’t read what you have written, it becomes next to impossible to get a good idea of what the attraction is about. We all understand that misspelling crop up (I’m sure there are several in this introduction article) but please do your best to make it as readable as possible. It is a shame for a really good idea to be hidden under an avalanche of fragmented sentences, bad grammar, bad spelling, and fragmented ideas. Use a spell checker and a grammar checker.
2. Deadlines count. If you can’t get something in on time, please let us know and we will attempt to work with you. The extra time to work on each idea should make this less of an issue, but we all understand that nothing squeezes creativity out of a brain like a looming deadline. While the judges are allowed to make the determination of what kind of penalty is assessed based on circumstances, think of it as the old school model of losing a letter grade or more for late work.
3. Creativity counts. The challenges have been designed to give you a wide variety of directions to go with a challenge. If we get three attractions that use the same characters and one that doesn’t, the one odd duck will be much more memorable when it comes time to vote. If you come up with an idea so obvious that you think everyone else probably will too, you are probably correct. In such a case, it might be a good idea to see if you can come up with a second theme. Although we also understand that a spectacular attraction is going to be spectacular even if it uses the most obvious theme.
4. The judges' rulings are final, and since they make the determination of who moves on and who is dropped from the competition, it might not be a good idea to argue with or upset them. We are not total jerks, though, so if you feel that we have misinterpreted something you have presented we will listen to your explanations privately, not on-site. Explaining is one thing, arguing is another.
5. The judges will be casting all of the votes this season. We assure you that we are going to base our votes on the quality of the proposals, their originality, creativity, professional presentation, etc. and not on anything else. We will have a scoring matrix this time around so make sure you are paying attention to what we will be basing large parts of your score on.
6a. Add-Ons: Pictures. Pictures are a handy way of saving you a thousand words in your proposal. Pictures are not an official requirement, and one year a player made it to the finals without posting a single picture, but many competitors utilize them. We will be posting some documentation talking about the best way to go about posting pictures, so don’t worry too much about the mechanics of it. Most people don’t create the images themselves and merely find images on the internet through various search engines. I would ask people to not post stick figures or anything other than images of the highest quality as they may negatively impact the rest of your posting. There is a limit of 5 pictures per post. Pictures need to be limited down to a 550 width in order to keep it within the column structure of TPI.
6b. Add-Ons: Title Logo and Footer. This is not an official requirement, much like putting any pictures into your post is not a requirement, but it is something that many contestants like to do to further fill out their idea. You are allowed a title picture before your posting and a footer picture after your posting in addition to the 5 pictures in the middle of the post. All pictures need to be limited down to a 550 width to keep in the column structure of TPI.
6c. Add-Ons: Music cannot be added onto a proposal. No background music, please!
6d. Add-on pictures are NOT a requirement, and a competitor should feel free to present their proposal with no added visual enhancement if they so choose. A poor picture can do as much harm to a proposal as a good one can benefit it.
7. If you need help, please ask for it. The judges should be able to respond very quickly to any inquiries, issues, problems, or calls for assistance. If you need help with creating logos or posting pictures, please ask.
8. Under no circumstances will we tolerate criticism, attacks, bad mouthing, or chaos in general. If any behavior is deemed detrimental to the game or the spirit of the game, such people will be dismissed from the competition without reason or recourse. We hate to have to include a rule like this, but trust us, this protects you as much as it protects us and the integrity of the game.
9. There have been situations come where a competitor was unable to post due to circumstances beyond their control (power failure, death in the family, etc.) but they wished to continue in the competition. We hope that nothing like this happens again, but if it does, contact any of the judges as soon as possible and we will do all we can to be fair to all competitors, including the person dealing with the situation. But we have to be informed about it- we can't help if we don't know.
10. These rules are subject to change. If something is not working we are going to fix so it does.
11a. The schedule. All challenge proposals will be due on Saturday night at midnight website time. Anyone not posting by that time will be automatically eliminated unless they have either contacted the judges with their excuse- and it better be a good one- or if unable to contact a judge by the deadline, contact a judge as soon as possible and they will decide how to proceed (see rule #9).
11b. The judges will try to post their decision about who will advance by Monday night at midnight website time. You will already have the next challenge, so it wouldn’t hurt to work ahead a bit.
11c. The week’s proposals will need to be posted after the week’s challenge thread has been started by one of the judges. Please do not post your proposal until you know that you have made the new round. We have no problems with a secondary thread going up where all of the unused proposals can be posted and get commented on by everyone, but let’s try to keep the threads somewhat cleanish. Only post your correct week’s proposal on the appropriate week’s thread.
11d. If you have a conflict and won’t be able to post your proposal in the window that the thread is open, please let the judges know so they can post it for you.
Any violations that we may see of these rules will result in a strong warning sent to the competitor in a confidential email. If the violations continue, the judges reserve the right to expel the competitor from the competition and possibly from any future Theme Park Apprentice competitions.
For further research, please take the time to do a TPI search and read some of the past posts and cross-reference them with who won a particular round. Reading the comments is also extremely helpful as well as getting to know the judges and what they look for.Tweet
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