How can we jump start this forum?


Well i was up for the picture idea although I didnt have an idea for the Souk one. I voted in the poll that I might participate but wasnt sure.

When I heard Roberto’s monowheel idea I was thinking: yeah! A desolate future world where citizens of a forgotten biodome must race across barren deserts and avoid the clutches of radioactive mutants to reach…
that’s all i had.
But a racing arena isnt working for me unless the loser has to be thrown out into the desert where they must race across barren deserts and avoid the clutches of radioative mutants to reach…

I write a fair bit on my own although not really for any cg projects so its a matter of something coming along that really inspires me.

My own view is that the format should be a little flexible–like if someone wants to do a short story or a script its up to them…but then they would probably need to be judged a different way.
And since its also a storyboarding forum, I think if people wanted to do something entirely in pictures that should be ok too.

I think its good to link up with challenges in other forums though.
Even the Secret Agent challenge might be good inspiration for stories.

Anyway that’s my thoughts on it.


Well hi… sorry that there are some doubts… let me counter them a bit :slight_smile:

First of all we still work from what we interpret from a picture (unfortunately there are no pictures as of yet (just looked in on the daily sketch forum)
And from what I saw there it looks the topic has a little more freedom than what has been said here.

Secondly, I give you that the rules have been tightened a bit because other people need to work with our stuff. Personally I don’t mind because the trade-off you make between more restrictions is rewarded by actually making something that will be a basis for others to work from. If seeing back what you have written in film is not enough of a reward I don’t know what is.

Which brings me to screen writing versus story writing… which is kinda different in this case. The finished product is going to be used by a visual effect team. Which means people and feelings and such have to be limited since there is simply not enough time/ resources to fully make a short film. These people focus on the effects of which there should be plenty.
In turn that means that dialog will be minimized and the script is looking more and more like a short story already.

Finally about everybody writing the same thing. I really wanted to give you 3 pages for a story arc instead of one, since that is kinda minimal.
So that is why I bundled up Roberto’s suggestions for quick racing subjects into one. If you don’t mind the limited space as much you can just do one and choose from those 3 subjects instead of one.

Actually I think those subjects are pretty wide actually… but really anything goes as long as it is spectacular.

:frowning: I really hoped we could go along with the challenge today but without pictures it aint gonna happen… please wait while we adress this technical difficulty :stuck_out_tongue:


For more input from the VFX team and the conceppt art teamsgo to these threads…

[li]CgTalk Daily Sketch 1836 NTL “NEO-RACE” : The future of Racing [/li][li]The next challenge…(Lets Talk) [/li][/ul]


Okay. I see this thread has come to an excruciating halt. The NEO-RACE challenge also seems to have come to a hitch. So matsman. Should we make do with the pics provided so far? It’s been well over a month since we were suppose to have attempted the challenge. Both threads have come to a halt and I personally think it is about time we attempt something. Maybe we should attempt a story based on these sketch challenges once the challenge has been completed.

I don’t know if everyone has been busy but everytime I come back here to check the thread no one has responded. So I thought we should do something now. What is your take on this?


Well to be frank… I felt a little let down by the fact that there were only two people actually replying to the latest update on this race challenge… yeah, it took a while but the attempt was to start something that can be a returning thing, which always takes a little longer.
So that was my first feeling and made me stop and think for a while.
Last Thursday I came to the conclusion I liked writing this kinda stuff too much to let it bleed out and just go ahead and post an official challenge to end coming sunday (as of now) and then came your point.
It became busy, I lost track of a few things… socially things got a little more active than usual. (actually I wouldn’t have had time today weren’t it the case that my train was late)
So that is why I haven’t already.

My suggestion is to do the race… at least one page story with a topic as covered by Roberto… inspired by the images and art.

And then after that I’ll put up that image from the souk and we go ahead for a longer time and longer stories?

How does that sound?


You can find it here: Unofficial Writing Challenge: NEO race

Happy writing!


Sounds great. I suppose we can all get started then. :bounce:


We go live ON FRIDAY…



Oh sheesh… I thought next week… because of the

The plug will go live IN ONE WEEK.
Anybody who delivers their entry on [color=darkorange]Monday June 15th will get a special
mention that they delivered their work on time, and…they will be able to tweak their entry until the new dateline on June 22th. [/color]

But thanks for the headsup Roberto!

I have the challenge deadline set on monday midday, so believe most will in on sunday.
I for one will try to have my texts ready on friday.
How about you Kadetkebab?

Be sure to link us in! :slight_smile:



Ok here is a compromise…

The challenge will go live on Friday, but the PLUG will be posted ON MONDAY.

That way early adopters can get a well deserved leg up.

If you guys wish, we can post your scripts on Monday, and people will be able to cherry pick which ones they want to use.



Sounds good Roberto, sorry for the delay if we caused any.

I for one am for posting the link to the scripts on Friday as well… I have one up there in a few minutes. I will try to do another before the end of the week but that might end up being Saturday…
So with the promise that there are more coming you won’t link to an empty space.



Okay people… now for number two. It’s official.

It’s sad to see only Kadetkebab and myself could find time and inspiration to enter the previous challenge but don’t feel down… and try again :slight_smile:

CgTalk:Unofficial Writing Challenge:2 -The Souk


I will need all your help soon…
I will post more soon.


No, I won’t send you my banking information for a share in you Uncle’s money when you get it out of Nigeria.


Well, I had the time to participate, but early on in this thread it was about writing a 6-10 page story in the space of a month or so.

At this point, I am so utterly confused as to what this challenge is all about, what the vfx teams are all about(this is a writing challenge, right?), what inspiration images are all about… I say archive this thread and start a new one as a master thread for this challenge with the ‘what the heck it is all about’ right in the first post, followed by the rules.

The voting process confuses me too (as it does for the HMC’s). If all the finals were in one place and there was a link for me that said CLICK HERE for RULES, CLICK HERE to VOTE, CLICK HERE to SEE THE WINNERS… Then I might get involved.

Right now, it’s all over the place, and overly complicated (as far as what information that I have). Am I just writing story? Am I supposed to storyboard it? It’s all based on a picture, right? Then what? Something about paper sizes (does this reall have to be in the rules?? It’s digital - who cares what size the paper is!? Why are you using paper at all!!).

See? Confused as £^€<… and despite what is posted above, English is my first language and I’m not a stupid guy. So if it’s too confusing for me, then it’s too confusing.

Make it (the whole process) clear… Then you might have more people interested in playing too.

And what the heck is a ‘Souk’? If I don’t know what it is, do I just make it all up?


:slight_smile: hmm… okay I can see your point I think. But I find it hard to give information in a different manner. This thread is all about the idea of making challenge and thus it is a little cluttered with opinions and suggestions.

I have tried to boil it all down in the starting post of the challenge thread so it is nice and short with the different points addressed. I really didn’t know that was still a confusing bunch of info.

But I will try to answer some of your questions:

First thing: I feel a month is really too long a time since people lose interest and you can write a 6- 10 page story in a few sittings 2-3. Usually if the time between those writing sessions get bigger the story gets more fragmented and the style tends to start shifting. Which means you have to spend still more time refining it later to get all that out. So I settled the matter and went for a shorter timespan. If that really is a problem I can change it of course.

Second thing: Doing a story inspired by one or more pictures raises the question from where to get the pictures. Roberto as a mod and busybody ( in a good way) tends to have all sorts of things going on here at CGtalk so for me it was an obvious thing to infrom him about our little challenge in the hope he could help us with the pictures.
And he did we got to use the pictures made by people on the other side of the forum. With the extra addition that our work could be used by others in turn to make a special fx movie.
And that last addition changed the rules a bit since those people have a need for action and sparks flying and not 40 pages of storyline addressing emotional characters.
But that is rather good I think since that gives a bit of change around the place. We have done that and the Souk has been posted with is more towards the original idea.

third: I am afraid I can’t make it as easy as you want with the 3 links… since this is a forum and not my web space where I can build forms and scripts to make everything as simple. But every new challenge has a new thread where you can sign in saying you are joining, where all the finals are posted, the first post has the rules and links to the inspiration image(s) or the images posted directly and once every entry is in we continue with voting, which we haven’t done last time, but comes down to you putting a couple of x’s in a table and maybe write a line or two for every entry. At the end I compare the tables and declare a winner based on that. No complex stuff.

fourth: yes it is a story writing challenge though you may write a screenplay as well. Story boarding we see as being too work intensive for as now. Since we count the work in “pages” which indeed might be a bit old school, the size of the page (which is based on it s paper ancestor) counts. However if you use your standard word processor setup you are good to go.
The thing is that when you do a maximum amount of words (which is also possible) you feel less freedom in writing since most will want to use every space they have. pages is just convient that way. The same goes for type size BTW… just to make sure some people double their space by going micro type.

And yes, if you don’t know what a souk is ( you can make up anything you want. As stated in the challenge thread the only “rule” is that we can recognize something from the picture on your story. I also mentioned the fact that it is a marketplace back in the challenge thread.

I sincerely hope that you have visited the challenge thread… I must say I am inclined to think you haven’t. So let me post this again for superior clearity.

rules images and posting space included


**stories on the Nigerian email scam could be interesting.

I am in an art slump of mega proportions-cant even finish a character animation that wouldnt be hard to do. But I have been doing some writing. Trying to get into the zone to do something based on the Souk but nothing is coming to me. I keep thinking of W. Somerset Maugham’s “An Appointment at Samarra.”

I am going to try to think how i can work Nigerian email scams into a souk.


matsman… thanks for trying to clear it up.

I think one of the things for me is the whole ‘wait for the images’ bit… the daily sketch thing has been going on for ages… Why don’t we just pick one at random out of the archives every two weeks, instead of having to wait for the newest one (since the artist who created it would already have a story for the image fresh in their mind anyways)?

The other thing that confuses me a bit is that if the objective becomes ‘write something that could potentially be useful as an idea for the VFX challenge’, then this - as a story exercise - will become something more like a developed ‘scene’ from a movie. I think if people want to take the short script on as an animated project, then that’s great… but I don’t think that should be a rule, caveat, or even suggestion within the writing challenge. Another thing is the notion that it should be action driven… I disagree. Lipsyncing and facial animation are things worth practicing. There are of course, logistics to consider… like having a rigged character that is set up properly for animation, etc… something that would allow those who don’t model or rig the chance to join in.

Ultimately, for me, this whole thing feels like it’s trying to serve too many masters.

It should be this simple:

  • Mediator picks a random image from the sketch archives and (with artist’s approval) uses it as the Inspiration Image for the challenge
  • 10-15 pages or less of story/script (I say up to 15 because dialogue eats up pages fast)
  • delivered in PDF form, Font style/size, I agree, should be set
  • within a set timeframe of two weeks
  • all scripts get posted to a server, which people can download and read/rate
  • they vote

This is about story and possibly storyboarding. If other threads (vfx, daily sketch, etc…) want to be involved, they should feel free to troll the thread and read the stories.

I just want to get down to the honest writing of stuff… without the restrictions of ‘oh, and make sure it has something for this other group to do when it’s done’.

Writing should be pure, straight storytelling. Otherwise you’re putting the cart before the horse and you end up with the string of seriously crappy Hollywood styled VFX driven, heartless junk.



Thanks for your opinion Pixanaut. Thing is: that is exactly what I was/am trying to do.
And I completely agree with your last few lines.

“Writing should be pure, straight storytelling. Otherwise you’re putting the cart before the horse and you end up with the string of seriously crappy Hollywood styled VFX driven, heartless junk.”

But the other side of the coin is that I am also for having my writing read. So if I can share what I thought up it is a big bonus for me. That is why I would also love to have my script/story turned into an animation. So I am willing to give in somewhat.

The second point is in this time and age there is almost no job that has complete creative control. If you want that you better be the guy who pays for everything

And number 3 (yes I go all the way to 3) I think the best way to stimulate creativity is to restrain people somewhat. Because then you need to stand on your toes and use everything you can to still deliver.

Reading uptil now: Yes, I am a hypocrit and sleep with the enemy, kick me. :slight_smile:

But there is also something different here. As of now I plan to keep this going no matter what, at least until the end of the year. And over that time I don’t want to have the same stuff coming up each time. So besides the now running type of writing challenge where we have the image and you come up with the story, no rules, I will try to put some different stuff in too. Really short, a storyboard only or comic script challenge, the possibilities are many and rules change per challenge. Always with storytelling as a main interest.

I also have to excuse myself to you and possibly others for delaying the first challenge that long. I was all for quick but then complaints came in, Roberto needed a bit more time, no one seemed to post anymore. The long and short is I got a bit fed up. But after a week cooling down I thought it too much fun to stop now, also since I have been trying to get a little life in this part of the forum for some time now.
So I went ahead and did it, unceremoniously, a start had to be made.

I have taken all your heartfelt pleading with me though (sounds cheesy but it is true!) And I will make sure that your wishes will be fullfilled. It’s just nothing is easy and I really want other parts of the forum to go:“those guys there, they are cool!”.
But I noticed that it just is really hard to keep going on your own without knowing that there are people that actually read your stuff and want to be involved, so I tried to get that part done with first (still it probably needs time).

Finally about uploading to a server…
Right now we are attatching to our post, which has the added advantage that only cgtalk members can download and read, so there is a little control where it comes to copyrights. With just any server or online sharing there is no such thing as far as I know. Have you any suggestions to make sharing and voting easier?

Well the voting is probably a little vague still I will make a mockup style voting sheet… so as to clear that up. That’ll be later.

Finally for everyone, and you in particular:

I’ll end with the sincere hope that you’ll find what you want within our little challenges. Since I really want everyone to enjoy themselves. And please shout at me when there is something I can do to enhance that enjoyment.

For now on I think I will do a traditional challenge followed by something a little different and back to the traditional. So if you have specific wishes or ideas. Let me know!

Thanks for reading through this. I hope you’ll play with us.
And I apologize for any spelling mistakes as english is not my first language and I have no spellchecker at the moment.



Please make a story about this, and they catch the email scammer, they tie him up strapp cheeseburgers all around him, blindfolded, and throw him into a hot sweaty room full of hungry fat chicks.