For the MotF main page please go here.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION - THIS PAGE IS NOT FINISHED
This page detailed the exact, current rules of the MotF contest. The history of the MotF contest's rules is not discussed here, but is mentioned on the MotF main page.
Summary: Any not permanently banned member of AH.com can enter. An entry is one image with an accompanying description, showing one scenario that meets that round's requirements and restrictions. The Contest Overseer (Krall) can be contacted at any time to help clarify whether a scenario meets these criteria by PMing him on the forum or posting in the MotF Discussion Thread. Interpretation of the challenge criteria is subject to various principles, with the main gist being that if in doubt, it is allowed. Entries shouldn't be posted elsewhere before being entered, and entries should be made within the entry period, but if you start making an entry in advance then you won't be disqualified unless you do this often/a lot of other people do it too.
Any member of AH.com (i.e. someone with an account on the AlternateHistory.com forums) is allowed to enter the MotF contest, provided they are not permanently banned (temporarily kicked members or members who have been voluntarily banned for a limited period may enter, with their entry being submitted by another member if need be).
An entry may consist of one image with an accompanying description - these can be of any size or quality. The image may contain several separate “maps”, provided they all depict one scenario that meets the challenge requirements and restrictions.
The challenge requirements and restrictions are clearly stated in the opening post of every entry thread. They are subject to change after posting, but *only* if popular opinion demands a change or if the Contest Overseer sees an opportunity for simplifying or widening the contest parameters, where previous complexity or restriction was not required or was otherwise not needed. Changes made by popular opinion override changes made independently by the Overseer.
Aspiring entrants may at any time ask if a certain scenario would be permitted for a certain challenge - this can be done by asking in the main thread, or sending a PM to the Contest Overseer (Krall).
The interpretation of challenge criteria, as well as the interpretation of entries, is subject to a number of “principles”, as detailed later on this page. All interpretations of challenge criteria and entries must be consistent with these principles, with the intended effect that where whether an entry qualifies or not is ambiguous, then it is allowed rather than disqualified.
Entries must be made for the contest - this generally means that they should be posted in the entry thread before being displayed anywhere else. Reworked or edited versions of previously made maps are generally allowed, provided they're not nigh-identical.
Entries ought to be made within the allotted entry period, but you are allowed to start making or even completely make a map beforehand and you will not be disqualified. If you are known to repeatedly make maps beforehand then you or your entry (or entries) may be disqualified from the contest. Similarly, if a large number of people exploit this rule then they or their entries may be disqualified. In essence, you may break the rule provided people only do so rarely.
Summary: Any member of AH.com may post suggestions in the MotF Discussion thread, and the Overseer will choose the one that appears to be the most popular from people's stated opinions. Challenge suggestions aren't owned by the person who suggested them, and may be modified or resuggested by anyone without permission.
Challenge suggestions are posted in the MotF Discussion Thread and added to this page when first introduced, later being moved to this page once they've been verified by the Contest Overseer. Any member of AH.com may suggest a new challenge.
Challenge suggestions may be disallowed by the Contest Overseer on the basis of inappropriateness, or low quality (such as challenges that are incredibly confusing or are missing the point of a map contest entirely - which is to inspire and reward map-makers). If a challenge is disallowed it will be properly stated by the Contest Overseer in the MotF Discussion thread, along with the reasons why it was disallowed.
The challenge used for each round is officially chosen by the Contest Overseer, but established precedent is that they will choose the challenge that is the most popular - the Contest Overseer's own opinion only serves to act as a tie breaker, or to weed out especially poor challenge suggestions. The popularity of the contest is measured by how many people stated support for that suggestion in the Discussion Thread, as well as the level of support they stated. Note that this is not a “vote” - the intention is that people may express their full opinion on any and every challenge suggestion if they wish, even if it is a negative opinion, and it will be taken properly into account. In practice people usually make a post in the Discussion Thread stating the titles of challenges they support (note that such titles should be emboldened so the Overseer has an easier time of picking them out from the other posts in the thread), in which the Overseer assumes they like each challenge equally.
This support “expires” every time a new challenge needs to be chosen for each round, and so should be “renewed” by restating the challenges you like each time there is a new contest round. However, popular challenge suggestions will often be reposted by the Overseer in order to ensure that they are not forgotten.
Challenge suggestions are not considered to be “owned” by anyone, and as such may be modified, altered, resuggested, or retitled by anyone without permission of the original suggester.
All challenge suggestions are assumed to have the following restrictions unless otherwise stated, required, or implied:
“There are no restrictions on when your PoD or map may be set. Future maps are allowed, but blatantly implausible (ASB) maps are not.”
MotF contest round entry periods last for two weeks, ostensibly beginning and ending on 12:00pm Saturday/0:00am Sunday, but in practice beginning whenever the entry thread is posted on a Sunday, to when the new voting thread is posted two weeks later. Voting in the voting thread is FPTP (one person, one vote, and the person with the most votes wins even if they don't have a majority) and the poll will remain open for exactly 7 days after the thread is posted, as the forums' software allows this. The new entry thread and the voting thread for the previous round are posted at almost the same time, so there is a very short point in time when there is no ongoing contest round.
The entry period for a round may be extended for a week by the Contest Overseer if there are not enough entries (usually 4 is considered the minimum, but some contests have ended with as few as 3) and several people claim they will be more able to enter if the entry period is extended - if no one states that they're planning to enter then the Contest Overseer the contest round will end at the normal two week deadline.