So, this competition was a mixed bag in terms of the administrative side of it. The initial solicitation was probably a bit too technically demanding for most people who would be otherwise interested, and then once we did get submissions that were complete the judges had a difficult time coordinating with each other to create a decision. Also, in many cases the specifications were too complex to be easily evaluated by some of the judges, and therefore the decision was sort of "parted" out with different aspects being determined by different judges. This did not have a major effect on the competition, as it turned out there were only two complete entries and all judges' preferences lined up the same way. Team Mahan/Moo/OSC/CK and Toxn's submissions were very close, but Toxn's submission was slightly more refined and also fit with the spirit of the initial solicitation a little better. I should emphasize that all judges agreed both entries were very close. The minor flaws of Team M/M/O/CK's submission with regard to armor layout and crew accessibility didn't necessarily represent intrinsic problems with the design, but we felt were more the result of the team falling into pit traps that were unintentional side effects of the very complex initial solicitation.
Both complete submissions were very impressive and both should be commended. In particular, the team submission was a massive improvement over their previous entry into the Cascadian competition. Overall, we agreed Toxn's was slightly better, but we are really pleased with the effort that went into both submissions. Additionally, we were happy with the degree to which other people participated, even if their submissions did not get finished. We feel that many people were discouraged from finishing due to how technically demanding the initial solicitation was.
I think this contest showed that our process for running these events needs a little work. The forum leadership is discussing how to improve competitions for the future, make them more accessible and fun.