View Full Version : NVISION 08 Ultimate Case Mod Challenge

08-30-2008, 11:43 PM

I work at Nvidia and was in charge of the Ultimate Case Mod Challenge at NVISION 08. There are some within the modding community that are currently questioning the results of the contest and I wanted to stop by here and address some of those concerns. I also wanted to open the door to get feedback from those of you in the community, especially from those of you who either participated in the contest or attended NVISION.

Firstly let me remind everyone what the judging criteria was for the contest:

Technical merit. Creative placement of parts and "outside-the-box" changes you have made to existing components or your case that are likely to have a positive effect on performance and/or that make for more efficient use of the space you have to work with.

Artistic merit. Does the case have a cohesive theme or a distinctive look, or is it simply a collection of parts thrown together behind a window and lighted fans?

Polish. The fit-and-finish of your work. This includes clean, smooth paint; good cable management and sleeving/hiding; tight, smooth seams; the functionality of your mods (i.e. custom doors and mechanisms); and effective use of lighting.

"Wow" factor. The judges' overall reaction to your mod.

So in regards to the judging, I know that some question the results. Some members of the community have already said this, pictures alone can not do justice to the mods there. Keep in mind that all the pictures that have been posted up until this point only show the mods on the outside and not ANY of the details on the inside. Becuase of that, it makes it very difficult for people to get a full sense of the overall quality of the mods.

None of the mods at NVISION were high scorers in all of the 4 categories. There were some that scored very high in some areas which is obvious. However, those same mods scored very low in others. I'll try to explain this without naming names so as to not offend anyone. So for example, one mod looked pretty cool on the outside but on the inside the ps damn looked like it had gotten just thrown in there. Again on another mod, the outside looked great but the cabling really wasn't done. One of the favorites overall looked good but there was some areas not easily visible that hadn't even been painted. Some of the LCD panels used in the mods didn't fit in properly. I mean the list goes on and on. Again, really the devil was in the details and those details just don't show up in pictures. You really had to be there to inspect the mods thoroughly to understand this.

Now why blue pearl? The best way I can say this is....... it was the most solid. Everything single thing he did was done to perfection. Small details like making sure that all of the screws sat flush with the metal. Little tiny stuff like that which showed how much thought and attention to detail was put into it. The "wow factor" part of the criteria is unfortunatley quite subjective. Sure Blue Pearl is not the first rig you notice but when you start to look at all of the little detials you really start to see how good of a job he did and that's when you start to go "wow."

Next year- This years contest was certainly a learning experience as this was the first time we really tried to up the anty in an attempt to make this contest something special. We did some things right and we did some things wrong. Some of the things that have been suggested here are already on my list of things to look at as well some other ideas. (different classes, more detailed/points based judging, etc) Going forward I will be continuing my discusions with AF and Tazz as well with others in the community. We really want this contest to be special and I'm certain that with discussion and hard work next years contest will be better.

Here is also a response from Dewayne aka "American-Freak" from Modders Inc who on the judging panel:

"To say this upfront: not one mod met each and every criterion, but they came close. The hardest one to judge was the “WOW” factor. This is purely a personal option no matter how you slice it up. What one person likes is not what another does. Me, I can overlook the outside and see the details that were done where most would not look. Could I write page upon page of how each mod was judged, sure but would that change many people mind -- I think not.
The rules were a bit vague and could have been more defined but we worked with them the best that we could. Since it was the first contest of this magnitude (I am very thankful that someone else is really taking our hobby as seriously as we do) a bit of a learning curve was evident at this event. I do believe a more defined, laid out set of rules and judging marks needs to be in place, but that will come with time.

It is understandable that each and every modder has their followers, and these followers enjoy what their favorite creators come up with -- and to be honest, most probably already had a personal favorite mod before the event even started. I believe this is the source of some of the confusion about how the contest was judged: the judges had had an advantage over those following the contest from the sidelines. We judges – especially those with modding experience – had the ability to view a mod beyond just aesthetics and how visually striking it was, and analyze each mod for how much time, thought and technical know-how was put into it. This was not a rushed process and great care was taken to talk to each and every modder, with many questions asked. This process took almost four hours to complete, and this was just to get the top ten. The following day the same team got together and talked about each mod and deliberated on our top five, plus the final winners. These choices took another hour or more to do. Was it difficult to judge works of other modders that you yourself have followed, and maybe even learned from? Of course it was, but all that has to be - and was - put aside to do some real judging. Consider the alternative, though: would you not want at least one person on the panel with some modding experience? Or would it be better to have the contest judged purely on “Wow” factor.Would another set of judges come up with the exact same outcome? Probably not, but I think even if you had three sets of judges, you would have had three outcomes very close to ours.

I am sure that I will get my share of hate mail, questions, and perhaps even a drop in traffic to our site, but you know what? So be it. I enjoy my hobby (yes, it is a hobby) and will continue to do it.



I hope that this information sheds some light on the event. Certainly there are some things that we can do better and my hope is that by reaching out to the very community that we are trying to serve, we can in fact make this contest THE modding event to be at. Please feel free to post your comments, thoughts, or ideas here or to send me a pm.


08-31-2008, 08:25 PM
Who won?

11-11-2008, 01:46 PM

11-11-2008, 03:36 PM
Blue Pearl (1), Rogue (2), BSG (3)

The clarification from DJNOOB was seeded around several modding boards when folks questioned why Black Pearl won or more importantly, why one of the others didn't place higher (Bod's BSG being at the top of our WTF? questioning). The common complaint seemed to be that it lacked external "Wow" factor (Black Pearl that is). Technically, BP is an impressive mod for space management with 2 water cooling loops and 2x480 rads.

http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2Farchive%2Fc0811%2F7 5c11%2F75c11.asp

11-11-2008, 03:47 PM
cool thanks for fillin me in :up:

11-24-2008, 06:59 PM
LOL I was sooo gonna kick ass here with my SFF tri SLI comp..:banana: than I ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks instead, damn.

It is nice for companies to host these contests but the prob is usually judging is the weak link. It would be really nice to see judges that are actual top modders and not affiliated with the companies selling/advertizing hardware.

One other BIG prob is when companies like Nvidia/Intel host them it eliminates over 1/2 of the modders that use ATI or AMD.

Remember gaming is fine BUT modding teaches you skills you will use forever.

11-24-2008, 07:08 PM
It is nice for companies to host these contests but the prob is usually judging is the weak link. It would be really nice to see judges that are actual top modders and not affiliated with the companies selling/advertizing hardware.

One other BIG prob is when companies like Nvidia/Intel host them it eliminates over 1/2 of the modders that use ATI or AMD.

You are not alone in that sentiment. We have been very disappointed in the design of the contests we have seen thus far. One other major judging problem is having public votes, it invites flame wars and "vote trolling" by more ambitious artists who post in all of the modding forums they can just to drum up numbers.

11-24-2008, 07:24 PM
Its a bit of a shame in that every time there is a contest like that it ruins it a bit more for the next time.
I have been trying for quite a while for there to be classes in the contests (noob, ugliest, unlimited).
I am VERY aware that "selling/marketing" is a big reason for Nvidia, Intel, CPU mag and so on to host these contests (no money/sales, no company) but they are fracturing and causing disillusionment in what is a HUGE community.

And their failure to see the big picture is gonna be their undoing.
(ok, Im off my soapbox now, lol)

11-25-2008, 03:52 AM
i believe if you had say 500 public citezins mark each case on the criteria you have given then that would determine the winner...

do that from the top ten only...