We are proud to announce our "Create-Your-Own-Virtual-Billboard" contest, and we invite all of you to participate. The goal and proceedings of the contest are simple:
Make your own billboard texture for Malden. Send it to our Maldenian e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 17 January 2017, 17:00 CET. Myself and our Art Director, Petr "Monte" Motejzík, will then choose those which fit best on our re-imagination of the island of Malden, and those advertisements will then appear in Project Argo (and later in Arma 3's Malden DLC). The reward for the winning billboards is first and foremost to make it to the game. In addition, you will be awarded with eternal fame and glory. We might throw in some merchandise, too. Last but not least, depending on the submissions, we might also invent highly prestigious accolades such as the "Malden Islands Chamber of Commerce Special Award" or "Ivan's Seal of Approval" - but no promises!
However, most important of all, the goal of this contest is to let you have some fun, and to give you, our creative community, the opportunity to leave your mark on a terrain which dates back to the very beginnings of the Arma series. In this special contest announcement devblog, I would like to quickly introduce some of the contest guidelines and rules, and hopefully inspire you to create something that's worthy of becoming an in-game billboard.
Even for an easy-going contest like this, there is a set of rules, which you can find on the Project Argo website. Please do read it before sending us your contest submission(s). As rules go, they aren't exactly an easy read, so let me outline the very basics:
Of course we will protect the privacy of contestants, and since intellectual property can be a serious matter, we will get in touch with the winners to arrange an agreement that allows us to use their work. For the rest, we don't want to complicate matters, as we want to keep the contest small, streamlined, and fun for us all.
To get you started, we're providing a blank texture with a weathering overlay (in Photoshop PSD format). You may use it, or not - feel free to weather your billboard texture the way you like it.
While the contest rules speak clearly about the conditions and proceedings, let me tell you a bit more about our expectations and offer some guidance. Of course we expect high-quality visuals and ideas, and we will choose only the best of the best. However, above all, we would like the billboard to 'fit'. Ideally it would be some clever and nice addition to the Armaverse, and in the spirit of the Malden atmosphere. In that sense, we appreciate authenticity, which may come in various forms: proper fonts, graphics, layouts or even weathering.
To do so, since Project Argo does not explicitly describe its setting, let me briefly introduce you to the new "Malden 2035". The environment we depict is part of the Arma-3-verse (year 2035 or later). However, not much has changed since the 1980s depicted in Arma: Cold War Assault. Malden remains a remote spot somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, where most citizens of the Republic of the Malden Islands work in fishing or agriculture (especially breeding sheep and growing wine). Even though the country is French-speaking, everyone is also fluent in English.
A lot of themes come to mind that could serve as inspiration. In our vision, the billboards and advertisements reflect the local economy and market. I bet plenty of local companies would want to advertise, such as wineries or cheese producers. The local government will surely have its own programs and events that it wants to promote, too. Of course, there can be some completely generic brands too, some of which would already be incredibly well known to all Maldenians or people of the Arma-3-verse. Do not hesitate to borrow from billboard ideas and fictional brands of the previous Arma games or from the Armaverse in general! We all like Arma and it would be great to see some past installments honored on Malden.
Also, you should know that we do not mind a lighter tone at all. Even though the Arma series and Project Argo are about exchanging hostilities, we believe an island as pretty and full of life deserves an appropriate highlight of these qualities. Have fun!
Naturally, there are many things you will want to avoid, and the serious ones are even listed in the rules, e.g. respecting the intellectual property rights or avoiding any kind of abusive or derogatory content. There are also some seemingly minor things which may significantly lower your chance of winning, and we think it would be fair to tell you in advance.
Above all, you should only use fictional items and make your graphics be part of the Armaverse, as we don't want parts of the real world creeping into the game world. This also concerns existing brands - mind you that even a fictional brand which is too similar to an existing trademark may get your billboard removed from the contest.
For the same reason of keeping the Armaverse intact, please do not promote yourselves, your modding team, or your Arma clan, or even the Arma games! On the other hand, we don't mind you leaving a small east-egg or hidden reference to honor someone from the community.
We also need to respect the rating of our games. While ESRB's "M" allows you to use some Strong Language, please show some decency. The rule of thumb is "make a nice ad you could proudly show to your mum."
Being aware of our community's creativity, originality and ingenuity, I can only say that I am really excited to see the submissions to this contest. I hope some of you will get excited too, and will grab this opportunity to leave your own trace in the world we have been sharing for more than a decade. A world for which we've coined the term "Armaverse". You are more than welcome to contribute, and we at Bohemia Interactive will do our best to ensure the contest runs smoothly. Please feel free to ask questions or let us know if we could help out with technicalities, and don't forget to have fun.
We look forward to see your take on the Maldenian billboards and hope to see a multitude of them decorating the nooks and crannies of the island of Malden. Let the contest begin!
Ivan Buchta (Creative Director)