For this next UnrealSP.org mapping contest, it looks as if there will be far fewer complications than in the eighth anniversary contest (namely the ban on custom content, stress put on cross-compatibility, et cetera). Thus, a hub map with a functioning script that resets player inventory/health is distinctly possible this time around.
I have a proposed system to make this all work.
To help whoever is chosen, I suggest that everyone who will have a map in the compilation version build a small part of the hub map, which will serve as an entrance to their map. I suggest that mappers who would like to make the base for the hub map are put into a poll and the community elects who they see to be most fit for the job. It is likely that the classic Hub valley style will be followed, though it is up to the hub moderator, of course.
Whoever is chosen for the job starts construction after the map submission deadline, or after it is clear how many submissions there will be. That way, they will know how big to make the map, and can designate the proper number of locations for level teleporters. These locations, as shown in the example below, can be anywhere that makes sense (mostly within a cliff wall, jutting off of a cliff wall, or in the middle of an open area). The head mapper for the hub map will choose a variety of locations for these, so as contestants have room to make interesting map entrances (a grand temple entrance, a network of platforms to get to a cave high up on the cliff face, a mining tunnel that goes under a cliff face, a shuttle to whisk the player away, a water well that the player must plunge into, et cetera).Figure 1. An overview of the base for the hub map, shown with its respective zones for contestant to place their teleporters and surrounding decorative geometry. The blue circle is the start point that the player returns to every time a map is completed, likely to be a Skaarj teleporter or something else appropriate.
The base for the hub map should be completed shortly after the judges have reached a verdict. Whether the best eight (or whatever number) maps are chosen for compilation or all contest entries are included, each contestant chooses a spot on the overview map. The winner of the contest chooses first, then second place, then third, et cetera, so as the best maps are given the most appropriate entrances. Contestants will likely be given the entire terrain, and their zone will be surrounded by a sheet cube like the ones shown in Figure 2. It may be best for the map to also show the areas where other contestants will be building their intros, so as the contestant is aware of their zone's relation to the other zones. (other zones will have a different texture to avoid confusion). Contestants only have permission to move their zone in the Z-axis, as long as the zone remains in contact with at least a little bit of additive space and a little bit of open space.Figure 2. A hub mock-up. Here, a small area with two zones for contestants to make their level intros. These zones are likely to all be of a uniform size, probably something around 1024x1024x1024 (as shown). We don't want them to be too massive, the player probably doesn't want to spend too much time in the hub map.
The contestants can only create content within these zones. The hub map moderator will make further decisions so as certain level entrances don't stand out too much (whether or not to put up uniform signs throughout the map, crediting the mappers, node limit, max sound radius, et cetera). The intro areas do not have to connect seamlessly with the begin point of a contestant's submission map (If the submission map starts with the player in a crashed ship, the teleporter can be a docked spacecraft. If the contestant wants to go Myst-style, the teleporter can be a book on a pedestal). When a zone is approved by the hub moderator, its brushes, lights, triggers, and everything else will be copied and aligned in the master map (hopefully a simple copy/paste will do the job).
When all is said and done, the entire compilation will be beta-tested and perhaps the community will vote on a good music track. Then we can release the damn thing!
This sounds like a lot of work for a simple hub map, but everything should fit together rather well and I'd expect fantastic results if we did something similar. Post your thoughts.