Azeroth Travel Poster Contest – Win a Sparkle Pony!

It has been over a year since I had a real contest here at The Ancient Gaming Noob.

As I noted previously, the collapse of the World of Warcraft Magazine has left me in possession of surplus codes for a couple of companion pets and a celestial steed.

Celestial Steed / Sparkle Pony / Greed Steed

So to dispose of these excess codes… even my daughter has a sparkle pony… there will be a new screen shot contest.

The basic premise is, as always, simple.

You send me an in-game, World of Warcraft screen shot which you have turned into a travel poster enticing us all to visit exotic Azeroth.

This screen shot can be edited, cropped, Photoshopped, lettered, bent, spindled, mutilated or otherwise modified in any way you see fit, so long as it ends up in .jpg or .png format when I get it.

I look at all the entries and pick a winner.

I send the winner the code for the Celestial Steed, which is valued at $25 in the Blizzard Store!

Simplicity itself!

The devil is, of course, in the details, which are spelled out after the break.

How To Enter

Take a screen shot or dig through your old World of Warcraft screen shots or find some picture on your hard drive that is vaguely Warcraft related.  There is no restriction on expansions and yes you may use pictures of places that no longer exist post-Cataclysm.

Modify said screen shot in the editor of your choice (though if you are thinking about Microsoft Paint, I would encourage you to at least go grab Paint.NET) turning it into a travel poster.  Make some part of Azeroth seem like an exotic travel destination.  You know the style.

Vintage Pan Am

Rename that screen shot to something I can associate with you.  The handle you use in comments would be good.  The location in Azeroth being pictured would work as well.  Append a digit if you are sending more than one picture.

Send your screen shot(s) to wilhelm2451 [at] yahoo [dot] com with the following information:

Your name/handle as you wish it to appear on the site when I post your entry:

A brief description of the picture:

Attribution or other information: (Anything special about the picture, tools used to create it, link to your blog, shout out to your guild, your MySpace page, whatever)

See, simple.

The Rules

A little less simple.

Entries must be your own screen shots or otherwise pictures which you have the right to use and post.  Use of promotional material from Blizzard will disqualify you immediately.  We’ve all seen them.  Don’t bother.

Use of the work of other people without their express consent is also forbidden.  Just be good and use your own stuff, okay?

Rule Update: If you want, you can use any WoW picture I have posted on the site, so long as you mention it when you submit your poster.

You may enter up to three screen shots if you are feeling really ambitious.

You must submit your entry via email to wilhelm2451 [at] yahoo [dot] com.  The subject of the email should say something like “Azeroth Travel Poster Contest” so I can find it easily in the spam folder if Yahoo happens to have taken a dislike to you, your domain, or your country.

Your picture should be in .jpg or .png format.   If you send me a picture in a format that PaintShop Pro cannot open or a corrupted image, I will send you a notification that your entry is invalid.

You can ask for clarifications or further information in the comments section following this post, but all entries must be sent via email to the address specified.

You must submit your entry by Noon Pacific Time of Sunday, November 6th, 2011.  That will be 3pm Eastern Time which should also line up to 6pm (19:00) UTC if I’ve done my end of daylight savings time calculations correctly.

If you are the winner, you will receive notification via email including the code for the Celestial Steed.

Winners will be announced in a post on Sunday, November 13th.  The winning screen shot will be posted on this blog, as will a runner up and any additional entries of note.  Other entries may be posted at a later date.  I may decide to make that a Sunday feature, depending on how many entries I get.

Companion pets codes will be given out, at my discretion, for exceptional entries that do not win the main prize.

Any given individual can only win a single prize.  If you win the Celestial Steed you cannot also win a companion pet as well, no matter how good your second or third entries might be.

The Celestial Steed will be awarded no matter how few entries I get.  The companion pets are at my discretion and may be withheld.

While I will consult with others to help winnow down the field of entrants, the winner will be decided by me and me alone.

Any questions, ambiguity, or disputes will be resolved by me alone and all decisions will be final.  There is no appeals process.

Suggestions – Playing it Safe Approach

Go look at some travel posters.  Google “Pan Am Travel Posters” if you need to.

Help me along.  Sell me.  If there is something awesome yet subtle in your picture, point it out to me or I am likely going to miss it.

Font selection is important.  That said, I am not a font snob and won’t throw a hissy fit if you use Comic Sans.

Be aware of my bias.  I hate shots with the UI visible.  I do not like visible names floating over the heads of characters and NPCs.  It sounds petty, but I will be judging the contest, so it can’t hurt to keep this in mind.

Suggestions – Bucking the Trend

Make a travel poster that would actually make you stay away from Azeroth.

Use a screen shot from another game to promote a location in Azeroth.

Create a poster that mocks what you really dislike about WoW in general.

Give in to your hate and feel the power of the dark side.

Final Thoughts

Don’t all do Booty Bay.

Playing to stereotypes… never a bad idea. (e.g. Greedy goblins, hippie night elves, drunken dwarves, interior decorator blood elves.)

In theory, if I get a lot of really worthy entries, I’ll go buy a couple more companion pets to give out.

In practices, contests here that involve anything other than EVE Online get very few entries… so if you enter, the odds are in your favor already!

If you have any questions or comments, well… that is what the comments below are for.

9 thoughts on “Azeroth Travel Poster Contest – Win a Sparkle Pony!

  1. bhagpuss

    Thanks for the pointer to Just downloaded it and installed it and it looks pretty good. I had been using Paint itself recently, due to being too lazy to research a better option.

    I’ll have to have a dig through my WoW screenshots, although so far I haven’t been able to track them down…


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Paint.NET is surprisingly good for a free program. When I want to put simple captions on a picture, which I do pretty often for bug reports and such, it serves me much better than PaintShop Pro X3, which follows in the tradition of the product line in making text more difficult to deal with in each release. PaintShop Pro text was perfect in version 5, about a decade ago. Or perfect for me, at least. I have pretty simple needs.


  3. flosch

    Oh, can’t wait to see the winner.

    I won’t bother participating myself; my artistic talent goes only as far as creating gnuplot graphs, and I even ask colleagues for colors at that.


  4. Piacenza

    This is a great contest! Hopefully one of the many thousands of screenshots I’ve made thinking “wow, this looks cool” actually does.



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  6. Tesh

    A couple of questions (I figured better here than the newer post for clarity)…

    One, do you have a size restriction/recommendation? A print quality poster would be a pretty huge file.

    Two, are you wanting to see these all in the vertical orientation? Those old travel posters were almost always tall, but screenshots will almost always be wide.


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Tesh – I hadn’t actually thought about printing them out. Interesting idea, but even then I am not sure that I would want/need something like a 2′ x 3′ poster.

    So big enough to look good on my monitor I suppose, which is 1200 x 1600. If you end up with something that is less than 1024 x 768, that might be a bit small.

    And while traditional posters tend to be portrait in orientation, a landscape view is fine.


  8. Tesh

    Awesome, thanks for the info! Incidentally, to anyone tinkering with this, it might be useful to use something like AutoStitch for those panoramic money shots. It’s a free panorama making bit of software. Take a bunch of screenshots from the same vantage point then stitch them together to get a nice wide angle.

    …just a thought. :)


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