BCS Contest 26

Welcome ...

... to the first bridge building challenge. This is not a regular contest because:

  • There is only one category for cheap bridges, instead of the usual 2;
  • There are 12 levels, instead of the usual 1!


This contest is generously sponsored by ChronicLogic.


This time the task is to build a bridge for each level. The objective, of course, is to minimize the total cost of all 12 bridges. The winner of the challenge will be the one with the lowest total cost but special awards will be given to the builders of the cheapest bridges for any of the 12 levels.

The Goals

In this challenge there is only one category – CLEAN – but if anyone feels particularly inspired by one or more levels, the builder can also send ARTISTIC bridges, apart from the cheap ones. CLEAN bridges just have to be cheap (and fit to the rules, of course)! ARTISTIC bridges should be original pieces of art and don't have to be realistic.

The Rules

The levels were built with the intention to have the same set of rules for all and, particularly, make testing as straightforward as possible. It is already hard enough to make a bridge for each level…

For CLEAN bridges:

  1. The bridge must work without breaking any links with zero time delay (pause/reset/run test/pause). Don’t worry if something happens AFTER the ‘test passed message’ appears
  2. Ground vehicles MAY touch the bridge.
  3. The ships may NOT visually touch the bridge (every pixel counts).
  4. Editing the level is strictly prohibited, apart from the allowed budget. You can increase this one, if that proves convenient.
  5. Bridge parts may touch the terrain at the anchor points and deck extremities, wherever they are, but only if they are used by ground vehicles. This is necessary when there are no anchor points where the deck should be, but may prove useful in other cases as well.
  6. Don’t worry if beams that start at an anchor point touch the terrain in the near vicinity of that anchor point, but they are not allowed to completely disappear underground.
  7. Other parts of the bridge are allowed to touch the terrain when the hydraulics are moving or in the 'up' position. This rule makes sense in level 7 (Two for One) but applies also to the others.
  8. You may not exploit bugs or flaws in the game engine.

For ARTISTIC bridges only:

  1. The bridge must work - ‘test passed message’ appears - reliably with a reasonable time delay set by the builder (0, 17s and 60s is OK but 1.23456s or 123456s is not…).
  2. Editing the level is strictly prohibited, apart from the allowed budget. You can increase this one, if that proves convenient.
  3. You may not exploit bugs or flaws in the game engine.

Level submission

Your bridges will be located in your profile folder. Rename your file like described below and then compress it with ZIP!

The e-mail subject must read "[CLEAN/ARTIST] Level: xxx Cost: xxx Name: yyy". Use these e-mail links to make sure you get it right:

The challenge ends at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, July 10th 2005. I take no responsibility for e-mail servers being too slow for your e-mail to reach me in time, etc.

I'll put up a list of received entries in the forum during the contest.

The number of CLEAN bridges you submit is limited to THREE per level. Only the best submission per level will count. Additionally, you can also send ONE ARTISTIC bridge per level.

Any discussions on contest bridge costs are to be kept in this special sub-forum. For your own good, it is password-protected. To get the password, first read this.

General comments on the levels and the contest are warmly welcome and should be posted here. This forum thread is also the right place to discuss the rules. If you are unsure whether or not your bridge meets all the requirements, contact me for a clarification before submitting your entry.

Breaking, bending or scratching any of the above rules will result in disqualification.

In the event of a tie, the entry I receive first will be rated better.

The Prizes

Chronic Logic give away three full versions of any Chronic Logic game (e.g. Bridge Construction Set, Gish) to the winners. One game will be awarded to the architect with the lowest sum of costs for all CLEAN bridges. Additionally, two full versions of any CL game will be given away by a lottery. Everybody who submits solutions for at least six levels will take part in the lottery. If either of the two winners declines their prize, as has frequently happened in the past, their prize shall be added to the lottery. This means that even if you never entered a contest before, there's a really good chance you can win a prize this time! So don't be shy! Send in your bridges!

For the cheapest group of 12 clean bridges:

Winner: Eternal glory and admiration, the title of 'Bridge General' and the full version of any Chronic Logic game (and 10 points for the Hall of Fame)
1st Runner-up: Temporary glory and admiration, the title of 'Bridge Major' (and 6 points for the Hall of Fame)
2nd Runner-up: Momentary glory and admiration, the title of 'Bridge Captain' (and 3 points for the Hall of Fame)

For the cheapest individual working bridges for each level:

The title of 'Bridge General' (and 3 points for the Hall of Fame)
The title of 'Bridge Major' (and 2 points for the Hall of Fame)
The title of 'Bridge Captain' (and 1 point for the Hall of Fame)

Additional awards:
The Title of 'Bridge Artist' for the best-looking ARTISTIC entry (2 points for the Hall of Fame)
The Title of 'Bridge Inventor' for the most creative entry (2 points for the Hall of Fame)
Possible additional Special Titles as I see fit :)

Many thanks to Chronic Logic for providing the prizes!
The winners will be announced soon after the contest ends. Their names will also appear in the eternal Hall Of Fame.

The Level

Download the Map Pack (12 levels) here: (983 KB)

Installation: Just extract the "8-ricleite" folder and the "8-ricleite.pfm" file in your "files" folder (../pontifex2/files).

Some Hints

With such a lot of levels to solve, I advise you not to waste all the time in just one of them! None of the bridges should really stand out, on cost terms. To give you an idea, my four most expensive test bridges are within 15% of each other. As a conclusion, there is not an obvious priority to particularly optimize any of the bridges, but rather to have a good balance on them all.

Some of the levels (4, 8 and 12) require curved decks in plan view. The decks may also be curved in elevation but, to make things manageable, that is not needed in these levels. I advise you to check the vehicles’ paths on the level editor. Be very careful when doing that, because you are not allowed to change the levels and there is no 'undo' button in the level editor!!

I strongly recommend you carefully read the Manual and check out the forum in case you're not very familiar with the common bridge building techniques.

Good Luck!

The full version of BCS can be purchased for $19.95 directly from Chronic Logic:

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