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NIC Homemades Creation Contest


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#26 LotusNerf

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 09:00 PM

Alright I completely understand now. I guess I was arguing because of my background of designing OP blasters. Although I won't enter, I would still like to see what everyone has to offer. If I do run my own contest it'll be on YouTube, as I'm pretty respected there and I won't get flamed.
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#27 Draconis

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:13 AM

Alright I completely understand now. I guess I was arguing because of my background of designing OP blasters. Although I won't enter, I would still like to see what everyone has to offer. If I do run my own contest it'll be on YouTube, as I'm pretty respected there and I won't get flamed.



/me finds this difficult to believe.

Youtube is a cesspool of coagulated troll urine, created by the inane electronic babble of people with no better use of time than to comment on videos silly people post. You will be flamed regardless. Nobody there is respected.

On topic: I am so looking forward to this contest. I'll not likely complete an entry (modus operandi), but seeing whatever JLego comes up with will be a prize in itself.
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[15:51] <+Noodle> titties
[15:51] <+Rhadamanthys> titties
[15:51] <+jakejagan> titties
[15:51] <+Lucian> boobs
[15:51] <+Gears> titties
[15:51] <@Draconis> Titties.
[15:52] <+Noodle> why is this so hard?

#28 boltsniper

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

I think this a great idea.

It is going to be tough to remain objective while judging the entries. The categories have the potential to be vary subjective and personal biases could creep in very easily. You have multiple judges which is great to reduce that effect. I'm slightly worried though because a lot of the comments to this thread have a lot of personal bias associated with them. I work in R&D and conept design for a living and you really have to distance your personal opinions from the facts when deciding on a superior design. It is hard sometimes. I would suggest developing as many quantitative ways to judge the categories as possible.

"War effectiveness" is almost purely subjective and will vary widely from person to person based on their style of play. The types of play can be so different and something that is effective in one is not in another.

I'm surprised to see no stand alone "performance" category. I see that you have rolled that into "war effectiveness" but to me they can be two independent entities. IT can surely be accomplished the way you have it setup though.


The FAR and Abp5k were awesome sights to behold. And they had about zero practical impact on the Nerf scene.

The +bow and SNAP were not nearly as "awesome" in comparison. But they revolutionized Nerf. Because they were simple enough that people could fucking replicate them.

If you remove the Difficulty/Repeatablity and Cost/Labor incentives of the contest, you effectively shit all over amateur homemade builders who don't have access to kickass tools and materials.


I built the FAR and GNS (and SCAR-N and NTS minus the SLA parts) on top of my dryer in my apartment with nothing more than a dremel and other extremely cheap, available, and [i]non-kickass
tools. And I wouldn't call PVC and balsa kickass materials either. They are mechancically complex and not quickly reproducible, but they don't take anything more than skill and dedication to pull off.


But you're making a write-up on how to make the blaster. The Abp5k, FAR, and all of the blasters of the like had no impact because they had no write-up


I did some relatively extensive plans for the FAR, but no step-by-step instruction manual. Do people really need something so detailed that it tells them to pick up the knife with their right hand or to stop at certain points and take shits? Come on...

I personally don't see the desire in replicating someone else's work to a tee. To me it seems much more desirable to take the design elements of something and implement it in a way that you personally are able to and want to. Because I am using an SLA machine or a lathe to make parts doesn't mean they couldn't be accomplished to the same effect through different means. Too many people have the mindset that if they don't have access to those same tools so there is no way I could attempt that. I claim complete bullshit on that.

I look forward to seeing what comes of this. Should be interesting.
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#29 shardbearer

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 07:28 PM

More judges would help with the biases, as each judge would have different biases that cancel each other out. Boltsniper, could you do this? You are a well respected member of our community. Or maybe CaptainSlug? If you cannot judge because you want to submit something, you could just not judge your own blaster, and if the average score is taken instead of the combined one, you would not be at a disadvantage.

Edited by shardbearer, 14 May 2011 - 07:29 PM.

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#30 Buffdaddy

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:43 PM

On a different note than arguing how people should run their own contests (people, just make polite suggestions, it's not your contest to run, after all):

I have a couple individual components in the works, and have yet to combine them for a blaster. Judges wouldn't mind those going up, before I end up submitting an actual entry? Personally, I think making a contribution now would be more worthwhile than waiting for every little part to come together, especially when things (life, job, etc) might get in the way of having a complete blaster until farther down the line.

Feel free to say if I'm being absolutely stupid in my thought process, but I'm going on the whole thing of "Do I still get originality points for using something I've previously posted".
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#31 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:10 PM

LotusNerf: Grow some thicker skin. And then post writeups of your homemades anyways.
Ryan might not like them, but Ryan isn't the NIC.

boltsniper: That comment prompted me to read through your writeups again, and I do see now that the tools and materials used were fairly simple for most of them. Probably the issue was more a psychological barrier to entry - your designs were quite a bit more complex than what was currently on the boards, and the +bow provided a sort of stepping stone towards more complex designs.

I personally don't see the desire in replicating someone else's work to a tee. To me it seems much more desirable to take the design elements of something and implement it in a way that you personally are able to and want to.

Hopefully that is the attitude that prevails. I see these contests as a great way to foster basic innovation, and to encourage new modders to make things. One of best aspects of nerf is the extreme personal customization of blasters, and I lament the rise of special-order homemades and the like.
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#32 shardbearer

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:43 AM

One last question. Can we submit non blaster homemades? Such as a new scope or clip?
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#33 Doom

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:26 AM

A few folks seemed to want to know a bit about latex tubing on IRC. This is most of what I know.

Also, the FAR had enormous impact on the NIC in general. To say otherwise is absurd. Before then, most homemade Nerf were relatively simple, but we started to see changes in complexity after that. I know it influenced me. And, the FAR brought (and still brings) NerfHaven a lot of traffic, and surely got some people interested in the hobby even if few people made one or made something similar.
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#34 thedom21

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

Ryan would it be ok if my blaster was designed to use n-strike clips?
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#35 taerKitty

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:36 AM

Replicability is not just "does it use expensive tools," or "does it require obscure materials." The complexity of steps, and the craftsmanship required to make them are far more important. I can drop large coin to accommodate the tooling and/or raw materials.

From another hobby allow me to draw a parallel. I make origami models. By design, origami does not require expensive tools and/or materials. Does that mean all origami is replicable by all hobbyists? Far from it.

Let's take a simple paper crane. One 'vertical' challenge is to make the smallest paper crane. This shows how the model itself is simple, but the craftsmanship bar is so high that it is not within the grasp of most people.

===

What constitutes a writeup varies. Working in the tech industry, I decry when engineers write UI code for non-engineers. Engineers simply do not think like non-engineers. Here, we are a bit more homogeneous. We are all, to some degree or another, tinkerers and fabricators.

However, if the goal is ubiquity, then an over-detailed writeup can be skimmed, while an under-detailed one cannot be used by someone who is outside the target audience. Thus, I, for one, try to envision a 'sample modder' that I think should be able to successfully replicate my design, then write my writeup to maximize his chances.

===

If the point is to design the next big homemade, then the ultimate judge is "how many people will build it?" Boltsniper's masterpieces have not many progeny, but +Bows, SNAPs, and the like are independently fabricated coast-to-coast.

A year or three from now, we'll know how 'won' simply by seeing how many other people have followed that design, either line-by-line, or improving upon it. However, that seems too long a wait for the judges to call a winner, so they're giving their best guesses with these scores.
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#36 Ryan201821

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:17 PM

I have a couple individual components in the works, and have yet to combine them for a blaster. Judges wouldn't mind those going up, before I end up submitting an actual entry? Personally, I think making a contribution now would be more worthwhile than waiting for every little part to come together, especially when things (life, job, etc) might get in the way of having a complete blaster until farther down the line.

Feel free to say if I'm being absolutely stupid in my thought process, but I'm going on the whole thing of "Do I still get originality points for using something I've previously posted".

That's actually a good question. I was more worried about people doing that for stuff that has already been designed and posted before the contest start. Since it's past the start date, we would not deduct points for stuff you've posted within this time period.

One last question. Can we submit non blaster homemades? Such as a new scope or clip?

No, but you can figure out someway to put your new component in a working blaster.

Ryan would it be ok if my blaster was designed to use n-strike clips?

Yes, and on that we're going to make a rule change as well.

If you want to use nerf components, feel free. However, whatever component you're using will count towards the entire value of whatever blaster it was taken from. So for example, If you use a magstrike pump, that pump will cost you $20 in materials. The clips are little cheaper since you can purchase them separately from Nerf's blasters. The clips are the main reason we want to change the rule. Clips are not easy to make and that's one of the things Nerf does really well.
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#37 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:59 PM

I think this a great idea.

It is going to be tough to remain objective while judging the entries. The categories have the potential to be vary subjective and personal biases could creep in very easily. You have multiple judges which is great to reduce that effect. I'm slightly worried though because a lot of the comments to this thread have a lot of personal bias associated with them. I work in R&D and conept design for a living and you really have to distance your personal opinions from the facts when deciding on a superior design. It is hard sometimes. I would suggest developing as many quantitative ways to judge the categories as possible.


I'm pretty sure there aren't any quantitative measures that we want to include in this contest.
Scoring range just encourages disastrously unsafe blasters.
ROF varies too much per user to measure with human-powered blasters, and in any case reloading speed is equally important and unmeasurable. Do you think we should ask for a drop test for a quantitative measure of durability?

So yes, different judges will have different opinions on these categories. The three judges in this contest are Carbon, Ryan Mcnumbers, and myself. You can design your blaster based on your best guess to please us and the criteria Ryan set forth, or you can just try to contribute to the community as best you can, and enter the contest with that contribution. If someone does the latter very well, I'm sure we can find room in the scoring system to acknowledge that.

Also, you're absolutely right that the FAR has more than enough info online to reproduce it. I think the reason no one did is because it just wasn't worth the time to do so much work for a bolt-action blaster that required shells. That said, it had a "cool" factor that drew many people to look into the hobby, and that was a valuable as well. The methods of the hobby have advanced since then, (mostly via hoppers) and very practical blasters are now easy to make. So now we can ask the community for cool, effective blasters that are also easy to make.
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#38 Carbon

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 05:37 PM

I built the FAR and GNS (and SCAR-N and NTS minus the SLA parts) on top of my dryer in my apartment with nothing more than a dremel and other extremely cheap, available, and non-kickass tools. And I wouldn't call PVC and balsa kickass materials either. They are mechancically complex and not quickly reproducible, but they don't take anything more than skill and dedication to pull off.


The word "practical" was the only reason why I didn't jump all over Beaver for his post. *grin* I'd agree that the FAR didn't have a "practical" impact, in that you didn't see a bunch of people running around with their own FARs at wars, or using a whole lot of the exact mechanics from that blaster. But the creative impact of that blaster was fucking immeasurable. The number of people who learned the mechanics of a blaste,r or who were inspired to build by that one homemade (including me) are without count. People talk about reading my writeups to study homemades. I studied Boltsniper's work to learn about how a nerf gun works, and took that knowledge to buld my own. To use a music analogy, the FAR is like the NIC's version of The Velvet Underground and Nico...only sold about a thousand copies, but it influenced everyone who heard it.

Too many people have the mindset that if they don't have access to those same tools so there is no way I could attempt that. I claim complete bullshit on that.

A thousand times this. The techniques change, but underlying principles remain the same. Like I said, the FAR is what led to the SNAP. Recipes only get you so far. Experimentation is what will teach you how to cook.
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#39 Buffdaddy

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:06 PM

Another thought on submissions: if I submit a design, then make modifications after war-testing (oops, it blew up!), That would be acceptable?

I'm not trying to advocate submitting substandard designs here for the sake of saying "I did it first". I'm just wondering what wiggle room we have to work with if something goes wrong, would Version 2 go in its own post for submission, etc.
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#40 boltsniper

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:19 PM

I definitely agree that the FAR (and the SCAR for that matter) are not very practical at all. No argument there. I tried to fix a lot of the deficiencies in my last rifle.

I definitely wasn't trying to shoot holes in your judging methodology. It's your contest so you are free to run it however you please, and I do think it's setup quite well as is. I was just making some observations and offering some experience. I deal with specifications and requirements provided by the military which in turn we use to develop concepts and downselect. Being the military, the requirements are very specific and mostly quantitative, but even so, there is always subjectiveness and personal bias that has to be dealt with when selecting the true superior design.

I think this could simply be handled by including an example of the judges definition of an "ideal" blaster in the contest definition
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#41 Buffdaddy

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:22 PM

But what's the use of presenting the ideal blaster if the goal is to get more innovation in the homemade area? In my mind, that's what we're aiming for overall, and having an "ideal" destroys that by telling people "You should be building this to make us happy".
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#42 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:56 PM

Another thought on submissions: if I submit a design, then make modifications after war-testing (oops, it blew up!), That would be acceptable?

I'm not trying to advocate submitting substandard designs here for the sake of saying "I did it first". I'm just wondering what wiggle room we have to work with if something goes wrong, would Version 2 go in its own post for submission, etc.


I don't know how Ryan or Carbon feel about this, but I intend to review the writeup/blaster as it stands at the contest end date. Not all problems can be anticipated, and I want to encourage participants (and in fact the entire NIC) to be open and honest about their blasters problems and limitations. If we were to forbid that sort of update and revision process, it would encourage people to cover up things like catastrophic structural failures during a war.
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#43 Langley

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:25 AM

That's actually a good question. I was more worried about people doing that for stuff that has already been designed and posted before the contest start. Since it's past the start date, we would not deduct points for stuff you've posted within this time period.


Okay, I'll bite. What about entries where the contestant designed and posted some component before the contest? Do failed prototypes count?
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#44 Carbon

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

I don't know how Ryan or Carbon feel about this, but I intend to review the writeup/blaster as it stands at the contest end date. Not all problems can be anticipated, and I want to encourage participants (and in fact the entire NIC) to be open and honest about their blasters problems and limitations. If we were to forbid that sort of update and revision process, it would encourage people to cover up things like catastrophic structural failures during a war.

I agree. It encourages an active troubleshooting process, and demonstrates increased reliability. Revisions are an integral part of building, so it'd be silly to not allow them.
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#45 Ryan201821

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:33 PM

I don't know how Ryan or Carbon feel about this, but I intend to review the writeup/blaster as it stands at the contest end date. Not all problems can be anticipated, and I want to encourage participants (and in fact the entire NIC) to be open and honest about their blasters problems and limitations. If we were to forbid that sort of update and revision process, it would encourage people to cover up things like catastrophic structural failures during a war.

I agree 100%. I was actually going to say this a while ago. It's a better idea to make a prototype of your blaster as soon as possible, so you'll be able to troubleshoot problems you might incur later. By the time the contest almost is over, hopefully you'll have eliminated any (most) problems with your design.

Okay, I'll bite. What about entries where the contestant designed and posted some component before the contest? Do failed prototypes count?

I see no problem if you use previous failed designs, especially since most people don't document their failures anyway. As long as it was your design previously, you won't be deducted any points for creativity.
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#46 Slagr

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 12:41 AM

I make origami models. By design, origami does not require expensive tools and/or materials. Does that mean all origami is replicable by all hobbyists? Far from it.


Don't you take my origami blaster idea, you. Luckily my other plan works.

Edited by Slagr, 17 May 2011 - 12:42 AM.

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#47 tylertheuncreator

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:32 PM

Can we use propellants other than air in the blaster because I was thinking of making a potato cannon that shoots foam darts; a foam dart cannon if you will.

For those that don't know how potato cannons work or what they look like I've posted a link below.
Potato Cannon Blueprints

*The last post was almost a month ago, if I'm necro-ing please correct me and then politely tell me to fuck off.*

Edited by tylertheuncreator, 19 July 2011 - 06:52 PM.

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#48 238232

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:01 AM

If you're thinking of combustibles, go for it, but you may lose a lot of marks. As stated in the second post:

-As long as the propulsion method is safe, I don't care what you use. You may lose a lot of points in other categories (war effectiveness), if you're using CO2, HPA, combustibles, etc., since those are banned from almost every Nerf war.


Edited by 238232, 13 June 2011 - 12:02 AM.

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#49 Benbo231

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:26 AM

What are your thoughts on stock parts? For example, if I were to be able to make something that accepted Magstrike clips, would that still be a homemade, with the advantage of a clip system?
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#50 Ryan201821

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:34 PM

What are your thoughts on stock parts? For example, if I were to be able to make something that accepted Magstrike clips, would that still be a homemade, with the advantage of a clip system?

Restrictions:

-Your blaster may use "nerf" components. However, if you use a component from a blaster, you have to add the entire value of whatever blaster you took the component from to your total cost.

Also, you'll lose points in the Creativity department with the more nerf components you utilize. I don't think Magstrike clips are sold separately, so maybe try using N-strike clip, since you don't have to add an entire blaster's value to the cost of your entry.
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