Event E2/Proposal Astrolabe

From YPPedia

Please don't edit this entry unless you are the contestant (or the E2 Contest runner) until the E2 Contest is completely over.
Congratulations, this entry has been shortlisted!

E2-logo.png This is an entry for E2: The Event Event.

Quest for the Ultimate Gurus
Edit this entry or Discuss this entry

A contest to see who can be the best teacher/mentor of YPP puzzles

Player Profile Timeline
Audience Excellent puzzlers Elapsed time From announcement to submission deadline
Unit of Entry Individual Submissions Participant Time Variable, but at least a few hours per entry
Expected Participation As many as possible Judging Time As necessary to review/evaluate entries
Platform Forums / web


Event Description

N.B. Updates to this event description are now occuring on the forum version of this post, which you can find at Puzzle Tutorial Contest

Avast ye blood-handed cut-throats! Why be ye all dastardly curs, like that mutinous scalliwag Barbarossa? What of the Code of the Pirates? What of honor on the open seas?

This event is intended to test pirates' skills, for once, not by how well they can defeat other pirates, but by how much they can help them.

PLEASE HELP I would like to make the prizes in this contest as HUGE as possible, to attact many quality submissions and thus benefit the whole YPP community as much as possible. If you would like to donate to this contest, please read over the "prize" section below and contact me at astrolabeypp@yahoo.ca or by forum mail here to Astrolabe1. (Yeah, there's a 1 there, 'cause I created the Astrolabe identity when I was still a greenie and I have no idea what its password etc are any more, so I've been using Astrolabe1 ever since I started posting.)


The purpose of this contest is to inspire the development of the definitive guide to various YPP puzzles.

While some puzzles have good guides already, some do not -- and lots of valuable information is inconveniently scattered about in various forum posts. Some people have ideas/insights/tactics which are not posted yet. And many of the existing posts, while conceptually helpful, lack adequate visual aids in the form of images or movies.

The goal of this contest (in addition to giving nice prizes to the winners) is to create permanent resources which will be of benefit to the whole ocean -- greenies and experienced players alike.



Entrants are to create tutorial files for the puzzle(s) of their choice, starting with a presentation of the basic moves and working step by step up through the advanced tactics and strategies of ultimate puzzling.

Information should be consolidated from the YPPedia, the forums, and players' own experiences, and presented in a clear and systematic fashion.

The tutorial should be amply exemplified with images, screenshots and movies to help illustrate the moves, concepts and techniques being presented.


Entries should be in the following four categories. A pirate may enter as many guides as he or she wishes, but -- though it is not impossible that one pirate may have two winning guides -- preference will be given to awarding prizes to different pirates:
A Duty Stations: Bilging, Sailing, Carpentry, Gunning, Duty Nav
B Shop Puzzles: Ship building, Alchemy, Distilling
C Tournaments: Drinking, SFing, Treasure Drop
D Miscellanea: Leading a Pillage, Running a Shop/Stall, Organizing and Running a blockade, Others.


Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
(1) Clarity: is the tutorial clear and easy to understand?
(2) Comprehensiveness: does the tutorial cover everything about the puzzle from the basic moves to the advanced strategies?
(3) Contribution: how much does the tutorial add to the YPP world, both by consolidating existing but scattered information and by adding new material to what is already publicly available?
(4) Illustration: Quality and quantity of visual aids to illustrate the concepts and techniques presented in the tutorial.
(5) Presentation: Overall visual appeal of the guide -- layout, formatting, etc.
(6) Research: Each entry must conclude with a "links" section which gathers together all the existing resources which the pirate found on the particular puzzle.

Though existing guides may be consulted, all material presented must be the entrant's own work. Any images, video, or other support files used by the pirate, if not their own, must have the author's express permission for inclusion in this competition, sent by email from that author to me. Any entries judged to have plagiarized will be disqualified.


Details on submission are being worked out and will be posted here soon - both where to submit your tutorial(s) and the exact format of that submission.

Entries are due midnight, Monday March 13th, PST. (n.b. that's sunday night, not monday night)


How you chose to organize and present your tutorial is entirely up to you. Remember that your entry will be judge, in part, on its clarity and organization.

Generally speaking, each entry should consist of:
(1) An brief introduction to and description of the puzzle
(2) A brief description of gameplay.
(3) A general overview of the basic tactical approach
(4) Specific analysis of the primary tactics/situations/moves
(5) Discussion (if necessary) of more complex situations/tactics
(6) Plenty of pictures and videos to illustrate each point
(7) At least one (and preferably more) "full" puzzling sessions recorded as a video, demonstrating the basic moves/tactics/approaches, with commentary (writen or audio) as appropriate.
(8) A links section to other existing tutorials/tips/etc about your puzzle. Please make links as specific/direct as possible (i.e. linking to the proper point within a page, not to the top of it).

For your introduction, you may assume that the reader is familiar with the basic mechanics of the puzzle, so you need not go (unless you wish to) into too much detail... though you will want to at least summarize the basics of the puzzle.

Your primary focus, however, should be on presenting tactics/techniques (basic to advanced), on providing pictures & videos as illustration, and on coming up with a comprehensive "links" section to connect to other existing resources for the puzzle.

If you submit several tutorials, please make each one stand-alone and separate.

Also, to assist fair judging, PLEASE use an alt pirate so that your "real" pirate name doesn't appear in the images or movies. Likewise the url names or locations used to save these files.

In putting together your tutorials, you'll need to use various resources. The following may be of use:

To start you off, check out the YPPedia guides/info here and here and here. These pages contain links to additional forum sites -- some of which are expired / out of date. There are plenty of other forum posts (individual ones or whole threads) as well, which you should collect into your "links" section as you gather your material.

Screen Shots & Images
Macs & PCs both have built-in screen capture methods. There are plenty of shareware tools to edit images. I've found ColorIt on the Mac and ImageForge on the PC to be good... but there are lots and lots, and most of you probably have your own favorites already downloaded.

Make sure the images you produce are clear, but try to keep them as small as possible, by just clipping out the relevant bits.

Screen Video Recording
Good videos will be key to winning this competition. While images are helpful, a lot of strategy is about the sequence you do things in, and a video is often the clearest way to present that, especially for greenies.

There are a variety of freeware and shareware screen recording and movie-editing programs out there you can use to create your movie files. Here's a list of a few I've run across (though I haven't used them all):
ACA Screen Recorder

As with the image production, please try to find a good balance between file size and file clarity, and edit your movie files to be focused.

Public Host Space

For posting your image and movie files, once you've produced them on your computer, you'll need to find hosting space. If you have on-line storage space associated with your email or other computer accounts, you can of course use that. But there are also public sites which provide on-line storage space.

Some of these are direct-link sites, allowing others to go directly to your file. Others have a little "commercial" page they force the user to go through. If you can, find a direct-link site... but having to use an indirect-link site won't be held against you. Also, some sites only host the files for a limited period of time, so make sure your file will continue to be available until the end of the competition.

There are lots of sites out there; some of these are:


A panel of judges -- including both poor and expert puzzlers -- will judge the submissions on the criteria listed above. Judges names will be kept confidential, and arrangements will be made to make the submissions anonymous to the judges.

Judging will happen Mon March 13th - Fri March 17th.

A guideline/grading sheet for judges to use in evaluating the puzzles will be posted here soon.


Seven finalists will be chosen from the entries: 2 from category A, 1 from B, 1 from C, 1 from D, and 2 wildcards from any category. From these seven finalists, the top 3 will be chosen as the big winners.

Details on prizes are still being finalized. (I'm also waiting back to hear from OMs on details of financial arrangements.) Trinkets will include (I believe) ribbons for the seven finalsts, announcing you as a puzzling guru, -- and I'm hoping the OMs will agree to award a familiar to the first-place winner.

Also, I'm trying to raise POE to make the prizes for this contest as big as possible. I'll be contributing 40-50k of my own poe, if I can, but donations from you richer pirates are very welcome -- the bigger we can make the prizes, the more entries we'll get, and the better for the whole YPP community it'll be! I am hoping to get at least 500k in prize poe & goods to be awarded. Currently I'm up to about 140k in POE.

The top 3 winners will get additional awards, beyond a ribon and POE -- details also to follow, but probably in the form of ship(s) or furniture. Donations also welcome for this portion of the contest.

Help Required

Volunteer Assistance

A volunteer panel of judges to review the subissions - ideally people who can net-conference to discuss finalists.

OM Assistance

Prize generation; possible posting of "worthy" entries into the forums/net as a resource for the ocean? (movie files need hosting space)

Workshop Coaching

Suggestions on the best way to combine ease of submission with anonymity for judging.


Previous Similar Events

none of which I am aware.


A good puzzler learner/teacher (ult in some, needing tips in others), who has already developped a draft bnav tutorial for my crew's own use. I have plenty of stat-conscious mates (both ults and aspiring), some of whom would be willing to help out with judging.