New HWBOT Competition Engine Upgrades

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New HWBOT Competition Engine Upgrades

As you might have read on the forums, the HWBOT staff has been working really hard the last couple of months. We used the financial buffer we build up in 2010 to spend two months dedicated to HWBOT and its code. Next to a lot of new front-page features, which you can read about here, here and here, we’ve also upgraded our HCE (HWBOT Competition Engine) to support a couple of new features. Let me introduce them to you …

1. Competition Roadmap

A feature we’ve have for a while now (but never used) is the Competition Roadmap. In essence, the concept is really simple: if competitions are in some way connected to each other, we can now visualize this with a roadmap. For example, the MSI Master Overclocking Arena is a multi-event competition format featuring several live events. With this roadmap functionality, we can now show you exactly how this competition structure is set up.

2. Competition Artwork

Another feature that we’ve only recently been starting to use properly is the ability to skin the competition page with custom artwork. Perhaps this feature is not so special, but thanks to our great designer these pages look quite slick. Quite recently, we’ve upgrade our database model to improve support for this kind of custom artwork. With one click, we can basically apply artwork to any competition we want.

We’re currently contemplating investing in a custom skin for the monthly HWBOT OC Challenges. If you have any ideas or suggestions for artwork, please don’t hesitate to share!

3. Keep record of non-HWBOT online competitions

Although one of the key elements of our business plan is hosting online overclocking competitions, our main goal is still to provide the community with as much information as possible concerning everything overclocking-related. Therefore, we have expanded our database with the functionality to keep track of non-HWBOT hosted competitions, including the rankings and the results.

For example, we’ve collected information on the Lords of Overclocking 2011 competition, hosted by Futuremark, and linked all the results we could find to this competition. As not all results submitted to this competition are also in our database (well, only two weren’t), we can manually add a reference to this score using our Quick Submit (see later) tool. The end result: your account will be linked to this competition and people who view your account will know you participated in this competition!

Note: it speaks for itself that we only keep this information as historical record. We will not award Competition Points to non-HWBOT online competitions as we cannot verify the legitimacy of the outcome and results.

4. Historical records of LIVE competitions

Of course, we’ve also added the option to keep record of live competition results. In contrary to the online overclocking competitions, we will award Competition Points for these competitions! In fact, these live competitions will be the only level 3-type competitions and will give the champion no less than 50 UCP.

5. Point algorithm flexibility

One of the less obvious improvements is without any doubt the point algorithm flexibility. Up until a few weeks ago, the HWBOT Competition Engine was pretty stubborn when it comes to the stage point scheme. The engine only knew one scheme: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1-0. The current revision of the HCE actually supports an unlimited amount of point schemes, fully customizable by the organizer. Do you want to give 100p to 30th place? Sure, that’ll make you look a bit crazy, but the engine will not judge and will use the scheme you want!

Actually, attentive HWBOT users will have noticed that we’ve put this new feature in practice in our latest HWBOT OC Challenge. In this competition, 4th place in a stage will give you 15p instead of the ‘normal’ 5 points. If you haven’t checked it out yet: click!

6. Quick submit for live competitions

A really handy feature for yours truly, the administrator, is the Quick Submit functionality. This feature allows the competition administrator to really quickly add submission information to a competition or to add competition results that are not in the HWBOT database.

The idea of this function actually originated from the experience we had at the MSI MOA 2011 Grand Final. The communication between the event host and the outside world (overclockers around the world) was not optimal, which mean that lots of score submissions went unnoticed by the community. With this feature, we’ll hopefully be able to update you on all the new result submissions at live events in a more coordinated way than last time

… and a whole bunch of other stuff!

A lot of the stuff we add to the HCE will always go unnoticed. For instance, we currently have no less than 41 different competition stage limitations, going from “use processor X” to “attach a screenshots” to “only tCL=X allowed”. Also, we currently have around 12 different ranking types ready, which allows us to rank users, teams, countries or competition teams based on the average score, highest or lowest score etc. Luckily, adding limitations or ranking types is relatively easy!

Another small new feature is the competition archive, which you can find here and an overview of all the latest competitions, here. Easy to go back in time and check out some of the earlier HWBOT competitions!

In any case, no matter how much we upgrade our HWBOT Competition Engine, our biggest hope is that the HCE brings you more joy and overclocking pleasure. If you have any remarks on the HWBOT competitions or have a great idea for competition set-up, feel free to stop by at the forums and give us a heads up. The more OC, the more fun!

Pieter out!

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