knowledge base

Monthly Beatmapping Contest

As implied by its name, the Monthly Beatmapping Contest (MBC) is a contest that runs monthly and allows users to compete with their beatmapping capabilities.

The MBC was originally managed on a nearly monthly basis between 2013 and 2015 and was followed by hiatus until 2020. The first 12 iterations of the MBC can be found on the Contests article. The results for the 13th iteration can be found on its news post.

Since 2020, the MBC has adopted a new schedule, ruleset, voting procedure, and reward scheme. The rest of this article details the current format for Monthly Beatmapping Contests.

Schedule

The timeline for each month's contest is as follows:

  • Beatmapping (3 weeks): Contest is announced at the start of the month and beatmappers create their entries.
  • Screening (1.5 weeks): Competitive entries are selected by experienced beatmappers.
  • Judging (1.5 weeks): Competitive entries are judged by different experienced beatmappers.
  • Rewards: Winners are announced and prizes are redeemed.

The judging portion of each contest overlaps with the next month's contest's beatmapping portion.

Ruleset

Submissions for the MBC must abide by the following rules:

  • Submissions must follow the month's beatmapping limitation/theme. The limitation/theme differs month by month and is detailed on each contest's announcement post.
  • Submissions must be a single difficulty from one of the month's selected songs. Selected songs differ month by month and are included in each contest's announcement post.
  • Submissions must be in .osz format. Storyboarded content will not be considered.
  • Submissions must be in the osu! game mode. Other game modes will be considered after trialing this contest with osu! only.
  • Submissions must not be uploaded to the osu! website through the Beatmap Submission System (BSS). Creators of each entry are anonymous during the screening and judging processes.
  • Submissions must abide by the ranking criteria.

One or more rules may be added or dropped depending on the month's specifications. Any exceptions will be clearly explained in the contest's announcement post.

Results

Results for the MBC are first narrowed down to the most competitive entries, then evaluated by a team of judges. Creators of all entries are anonymous in the screening and judging stages.

Screening

A group of at least 10 experienced beatmappers (screening crew) are tasked with reviewing all entries and providing their top picks in order of preference. Entries that receive the most praise from the screening crew will move on to the judging stage.

The amount of beatmaps that advance to the judging stage varies depending on the amount of highly competitive submissions the contest receives and will usually range between 5 and 10 finalists.

Judging

Another group of at least 5 beatmappers (judges) are tasked with judging the finalists chosen by the screening crew. Only the top entries chosen by screeners reach the judging stage because of the contest's tight schedule.

Judges disect each submission and provide ratings for categories to determine the contest's winner and runner-up.

Judging categories:

  • Musical representation (10): How effectively the beatmap's rhythms, object placements, and hitsounds fit the music.
  • Creativity (10): How inventive the beatmap's structure/design choices are.
  • Gameplay (10): How engaging the beatmap is to play.
  • Limitation (5) or Theme (10): How effectively the beatmap fits the contest's limitation/theme.

For each submission, the sum of categories is a judge's raw score. A judge's final score for each submission is calculated as follows:

judge X's final score = (judge X's raw score - judge X's average raw score) / judge X's standard deviation

A submission's score is the sum of each judge's final score. Scores are determined this way to avoid variations in score ranges between judges, as popularized by the Pending Cup.

Voting

Due to potential vote manipulation and low voter turnout, the "Voting" aspect of the MBC has been replaced with "Judging" from June 2020 onwards. Community vote may return if those problems can be solved!

In contests before June 2020, voting took place on the respective contest's Community Contests page. Users were encouraged to vote for their favourite entries and to prioritize those that effectively worked with the month's beatmapping limitation.

Previous contests

Information and results for all iterations of the MBC since its relaunch in 2020 can be found below.

Rewards

The Monthly Beatmapping Contest rewards users with points for different types of results (MBC points):

  • Judging winner: 2 points
  • Judging runner-up: 1 point
  • Screening crew's #1 pick: 1 point

MBC points reward users at certain thresholds:

  • Profile badges are attainable at 2, 4, and 6 points each. The badges are tiered, meaning each new badge will replace the previous one (and they get progressively shinier!).
  • Elite Mapper forum title is attainable at 6 points.
  • One month of osu!supporter is rewarded for each point a user earns. This can be used by the winner or gifted to someone else.

Participants who are in the Mappers' Guild will receive small earnings within the guild for submitting a valid entry (5), screening (1), and judging (1). These values are unrelated to MBC points.

Points

MBC points of every contest participant are listed below.

Prior to June 2020, community vote winners/runner-ups would receive 2 and 1 points respectively.