The LSCM Sprite Contest

Back in July of 2004, I held the first (and to this date, only) LSCM Sprite Editing Contest. The Nexus had just opened and many new readers were posting, despite the crudity of the BBS system. Some talented people gathered on the board, and I wanted to host a contest of some kind for them to showcase their talents.

Problem was, I had no prize. I was broke. I did, however, have a copy of the manga, which I'd photocopied in hopes that I could someday scan it. And as it happened, I'd just started a new job where I had access to not one, but two different scanners. I knew no one else on the Net had ever hosted the manga before, and I was excited to finally get to put it up.

I realized that I had my prize. So I announced the contest and laid down some ground rules:

  1. All entries had to use 32-bit sprites, preferably from Street Fighter Alpha or later, Capcom's VS series, Guilty Gear, Samurai Shodown, etc.
  2. There were to be no animated sprites of any kind.
  3. The edit HAD to be a character actually found in the Strider games. No fan characters.
  4. Edits previously posted on Bueno's site were eligible.
  5. Submitting someone else's sprites was grounds for immediate disqualification.
  6. All entries had to be in by August 12, 2004.

That gave them one month. Once all the entries were in, we were going to nominate the best ones and vote.

I got six submissions. From two people.

The first set was from Nexus member Ryota, who sent in the following entries:

"NES Hiryu", edited from an MvsC Hiryu sprite...

"Ryuzaki", edited from Captain Commando's striker Ginzu in MvsC...

...and "Symphony of the Night Hiryu", which I initially thought was edited from Fake Grant, but now it seems that it's really a jumping Alucard sprite.

These were some pretty good submissions, I thought. I was especially fond of Ryota's take on Hiryu's NES costume, which is actually better than you might think on first glance. You see, the pink "glow" around that sprite's scarf is my fault. Ryota had submitted that sprite as a BMP and my site didn't want to display it. So I had to convert it to GIF, and in the process, the anti-aliasing went wonky. Sorry, Ryota.

The other set of submissions came from Nexus member and LSCM contributor Suzaku. From left, he sent in "Arcade Hiryu", "NES Hiryu", and "Matic", all edited from MvsC Hiryu sprites.

I was impressed with these. I liked Suzaku's subtle editing on "Arcade Hiryu's" leg wrappings. I liked the little touches that differentiate Suzaku's "NES Hiryu" from Ryota's, like the gauntlet, fingerless glove, and shoulder pauldron. I felt it was a bit unfair to judge the two against each other. Ryota forgot to put in Hiryu's gauntlet, but Suzaku forgot to color the chest kanji white. It's less work to color the chest kanji, but I botched Ryota's sprite during the convert.

In the end, it was the "Matic" entry I liked the most. It obviously used Hiryu as a base, but the details were what set it apart, for me. The gauntlet, belt, shoulder trappings, and facial scar were detail work that Ryota's submissions didn't have. It was my favorite, honestly.

I announced the entries and waited for the votes to come in on the Nexus. And waited. And waited.

No one nominated anybody. I took it badly and got upset. The way I saw it, these two guys had at least put some serious work into their sprites, and deserved some kind of recognition. No one seemed to care, though, and I launched on an ill-advised tirade that saw me take a year's sabbatical.

Before I left, I had to select the winning entry. I didn't want to. I didn't want to play favorites. However, since no one was participating in the nomination process, I pretty much had to. So I picked Suzaku's "Matic", and he got exclusive download of the manga scans, a full two weeks before the page went live here on the LSCM.

I left in such a huff, I forgot to announce it on the LSCM. I put it up on the Nexus, but since that board was hacked shortly after I left, there was no permanent record of what went on. Until now.

Still... I think I've pretty much proven my inability to run contests. *L*