Starcraftsmanship Compo: The Results

By Quintin Smith on August 9th, 2010 at 8:54 pm.

In the grim darkness of the future there is only artwork where everybody has huuuuge haaaands.

On Friday we gave you guys the chance to win a mammoth stash of StarCraft 2 merchandise, including the above canvas artwork of Arcturus Mengsk. We asked you to describe, in 50 words or less, what you’d craft a star into, and why. And boy, did you ever respond. If I read one more answer relating to Dyson spheres I think I’m going to turn into a Dyson sphere.

Read the best answers and find out who our winner is after the jump. Good Luck Have Fun!

Let’s get huge nerdcase Chris Allen out of the way first. If it hadn’t been for our word limit he almost certainly would have won.

Following the theory of mass-energy equivalence, a star has a finite amount of stuff it can be crafted into. E=mc2 lets us know that, providing we don’t change our frame of reference, we can directly convert stuff based on mass alone.

For our star, let us assume that it has a mass of 1 Solar Mass, the same as our own sun, and that we’ve already neatly got it matching Earth’s velocity, to avoid having an relativistic mass differences due the differences in velocity.

This means I can have 1.98892×1030 kg of “stuff”.

For my chosen “stuff” I’m going to go for 2 Krispy Kreme Donuts and a bottle of Cider. Scientific measurements (kitchen scales) tell me that these have a mass of 52g and 603g respectively. Hence 1 Duodonutcider Unit is equal to 707g.

So, 1 star is equivalent to 2.81318×1030 Duodonutcider units.

Current estimates put the world population at 6,860,523,070[1], which means that 1 Sun will provide 4.10053×1020 Duodonutcider units per person. That means that for the next 1.12266×1018 years, every person alive would be able to enjoy a couple of donuts and a bottle of cider.

As the sun will have become a Red Giant in roughly 5 billion years[2] and caused all life on Earth to cease to exist, this means I’ve pretty much got us covered. So yeah, chill out, have a beer and some donuts, we’ve got plenty to go around.

Danny Dreijer tried his luck with some clever wordplay, very nearly putting our own John Walker out of a job.

I would craft a star into a star, so you can star as a star while you stare at a star.

This entry from Richard Clifford almost brought me to tears. I think I must have been exhausted.

I would fold the star in two, so that it may burn twice as bright but half as long.

Another near-winner was Seb Horsewell, whose brave effort was scuppered by its final four words not making any sense.

At the start of the universe only hydrogen existed. As hydrogen collected, increasing temperature and density due to gravity the hydrogen gets hot enough to start fusion. Fusing light elements produces heavy elements like iron, or carbon. So, technically everything you know is crafted from stars. I’d craft this.

Which is a better than Andy Barnes, whose entire entry makes no sense but is totally awesome.

It would totally be a sword. How awesome would it be to weild a sword made out of startdust, I mean a guy has made one from a meteorite but I reckon a Star is the way to go.

Been a while since we had a nerdy contestant, hasn’t it? What’choo got for us, Daniel Harris!

Stars are inefficient, because they’re spherical – only one fairly narrow band of the orbital plane can support life. Crowded! So I’d craft the star stuff into a very wide, very skinny torus, allowing thousand of habitats to closely orbit around it like little rings on a big ring. Ace.

Genius Owen Pallaway provided the first and the best of the “alternate star” entries.

I would use the movie star Robert Pattinson. I would roll him in glue, then glitter. Then stuff him full of (well-wrapped) sweeties, hang him up and let poor children with big sticks use him as a sparkling, bloody Twilight-themed pinata.

And now, the runner up! Renegade Andrew Stark bucked the rules and touched our hearts.

I wouldn’t craft a star – A star is probably the most wondrous thing in this universe. Burning for millions of years giving heat and light, providing the raw energy for life. Without their gravity no worlds would exist. They don’t need crafting, stars are perfect.

But sadly, there can only be one. By popular consensus, it was Andrew Morris‘ thought-provoking entry which we decided was best of all.

I would craft some sort of man, who would then be waiting in the sky. He’d probably want to meet us, but he may just blow our minds, the ‘Starman’. So he’ll be still waiting in the sky, informing us not to blow it, because he knows it’s all worthwhile.

Congratulations, Andrew! Your stash of StarCraft 2 goodies will be winging its way to you shortly.

That was fun, wasn’t it? A big thanks goes out to all of our contestants. Now, let’s close with this YouTube video that I selected entirely at random.

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116 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    Another near-winner was Seb Horsewell, whose brave effort was scuppered by its final four words not making any sense.

    He meant he’d craft exactly the world/universe we’ve got.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      But he only has one star to craft. And why would he make the world that we already have. I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

    • aldo_14 says:

      It’s genius.

      He can say he created the universe from a star, if anyone asks which star say ‘the one you can’t see, duh’, and then claim infinite overtime because neither time nor punchclocks existed until he’d finished creating the universe.

  2. bleeters says:

    I think I speak for everyone when I say congratulations, you son of a bitch.

  3. Mutt says:

    Judging by the winner that was chosen I feel this contest has been misjudged.

    • Premium User Badge James G says:

      Not a Bowie fan then.

      Heathen.

    • Pace says:

      Er, so David Bowie is the winner then?

    • Mutt says:

      Nothing wrong with Bowie, but it’s a pretty unimaginative entry.

    • Mutt says:

      And I only just got the Bowie related pun. Here have a Starcraft.

    • Berzee says:

      “Nothing wrong with Bowie, but it’s a pretty unimaginative entry.”

      I think this falls into the realm of things that are so simple and brilliant that, after they’re done, everyone says “Psshh, I coulda done that” — and yet, they didn’t.

    • Berzee says:

      Like the Leonardo da Vinca sort of guy in Discworld, drawing perfect circles.

    • Andrew Morris says:

      To be honest Mutt, i thought id be one of about 50 people to do a David Bowie pun, so i really just sent it in for a laugh.
      There was no way i thought id ever win, and while it did win me it, i agree its not as imaginative as the other great stuff on here.

    • Berzee says:

      HE IS HUMBLE LIKE A GREAT HERO AMONG MEN

      STAY HUMBLE, GREAT HERO, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I CALL YOU THAT.

    • Pace says:

      According to RPS compo rules:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/rps-compo-rules/

      “1) All entries to any competition on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, whether photograph, text, physical object or idea, automatically become the full copyright/moral right of Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd, and can be reused by us in any way. In other words, if you don’t want to give it away, don’t send it in. This may seem harsh, but we have to do it.”

      I’d have thought the implication there is that entries not be already copyrighted to someone else. Of course these rules weren’t quoted in this original post, so perhaps they don’t apply?

    • Stormtamer says:

      Look, i didnt want to look like a dick by replying to flames about a contest entry, but Pace is now actually trying to get copyright law to stop me from winning, so to all the ‘hater’s’ i say this:

      If Chirs would of won, people would of whined that the entry broke the word limit for the contest.
      If Danny would of won, people would moan that someone just won by using an internet meme.
      If Andrew Stark would of won, people would complain that his entry has nothing to do with gaming and this is a gaming website, so why pick that.

      In the end it was down to the RPS guys, they picked me, im greatful, i actually enjoyed the other entrys, so as those kids on the internets say ‘Less QQ’

    • Pace says:

      copyright law? All I was doing was referring to RPS’s own rules for compos man. And, perhaps, looking for some clarification.

    • robrob says:

      wuzza wuzza

    • Starky says:

      Hey I’m fine with stormtamer winning, always good to see a First Waterbound win something

      /salute

      (Assuming it is the same stormtamer mentioned on O&H:VTW)

    • Pace says:

      Cheers, I don’t mean to be a dick about this either, it’s just something that should probably be cleared up/commented upon at some point.

    • qrter says:

      You really would like clarification on that point? I mean, do you really?

    • Carra says:

      Heck, the entry made me glad to recognise Bowies song. All hail the Starman.

    • NunianVonFuch says:

      Welcome to reality guys, Andrew won with Starman. I know it ain’t easy to accept, but just hang on to yourself and maybe you could be his Lady Stardust in five years or less. Just don’t commit rock ‘n roll suicide and maybe you could win his soul love or at least a moonage daydream together. Maybe he’ll give you some sweet he… loot for your troubles. ;-)

    • Kdansky says:

      Google the term ‘Fair use’. A quote is not the same as Copyright-infringement..

  4. Gotem says:

    I would craft a golden wrench, so I could then destroy it for charity

  5. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Why would someone not craft it into a hat.

  6. CreepingDeath says:

    So… the winner is someone that just submitted some lyrics? Kay….

  7. neems says:

    I would have given it to Chris Allen anyway, rules be damned! A worthy winner though (Bowie!)

  8. geldonyetich says:

    I’d have applied, but naturally the RPS staff was savvy enough to assure there were safeguards in place to stop the event from going to the Americans.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Because we would have won it, and if we hadn’t, we would have put them in the Axis of Evil.

  9. Sid says:

    Good choice winner

    • Chris Hansen says:

      How?

    • Sid says:

      i like the entry. it’s my favourite out of the ones featured in the main post, but i suppose i can’t comment on all the others submitted.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Then give the award to Mr. Bowie. Don’t give it to the savvy (sp?) haunter of lyrics sites.

    • Berzee says:

      How many songs about stars are there? He had the stratagems and know-how to pick the most suitable among them all!

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Berzee, don’t you be defendin’ the fellow. As far as I’m concerned something original should’ve won. I mean really? Lyrics? It’s what 13 year old girls put in their MSN messages.

    • bleeters says:

      It worries me that you know what 13 year old girls have in their MSN messages.

      Sorry, I know, not helping.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Much love to you for that bleeters xD Now there’s an original comment people! ^_^

    • Berzee says:

      But, but, but I defend it because I liked it. 9_9

    • Berzee says:

      It made me chuckle and wish that I was somewhere I could turn on the volume to hear that song (I have never heard it / of it before).

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Any many who makes a face out of 9′s has no right to defend anything.

    • Berzee says:

      W-w-why can’t I make a face out of 9′s? I only did it because, because, because I liked it. 6_6

    • Chris Hansen says:

      I don’t know why, but I found that hilarious. Hilarious enough to kill my rage.

      Congratulations everyone. You may serve yourselves with my humble pie =D

    • Berzee says:

      ::allows himself a small, intently gratified smile::

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      BE GONE, SATAN!

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Hey! I wasn’t being satanish then!

  10. Chris Hansen says:

    I’m sorry, I promised I’d be a good sport about this, but LYRICS not even written by him won? You dissapoint me RPS. I would’ve given it to Andy Barnes. I feel I like Andy Barnes.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Whoa now, next time you decide to give stuff away you can surely have the last say to whom it goes to.

      Let not the taint of the youtube comment stain these hallowed halls, amen.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      Oh very well.
      *mumbles* Congratulations Andy

  11. Andrew Morris says:

    Hey all.
    Very shocked to have won, and looking at the other entrys (especially Chris’s) im shocked even more. Thanks to the RPS guys for picking me over all these other great (and one even greater Twilight bashing one i enjoyed) entrys.

  12. tomwaitsfornoman says:

    Poor soul.

  13. Starky says:

    Runner up, awesome, not as awesome as winning, but still awesome enough.

  14. Tetragrammaton says:

    Classic.
    Congrats Andy, nothing beats a spot of Bowie.

  15. Pamplemousse says:

    The big question is:

    Why the frigging hell didn’t Chris Allen win?

    • Berzee says:

      Krispy Kreme isn’t my *favorite* kind of donut.

      That’s probably why.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Cider makes my head the size of a red giant.

    • Wordy says:

      There were discrepancies within his entry. He talks about cider and donuts (note the incorrect spelling here also), but goes on to mention beer and donuts at the end.

      How could beer exist in a cider and donut-filled universe? I ask you!

    • Premium User Badge Nathan says:

      He also forgot to model population growth and changes in solar mass. Fool.

    • Physics says:

      Not to mention how inefficient the fusion process can be in stars and that it certainly won’t burn all of its fuel. That being said, the amount of power in the luminosity of the sun alone (let alone the radiation) would almost certainly be enough to power some protein/carbohydrate synthesizers Star Trek style to create several donuts and a bottle of cider for everyone everyday as long as the human race is not extinct. Despite the physics fail, his idea certainly carries some serious merit.

    • Nallen says:

      I’m wondering if it’s Chris Allen my sibling…shall have to investigate.

  16. Premium User Badge James G says:

    And thus this comments thread demonstrates why RPS so often don’t announce compo winners.

  17. Arthur Barnhouse says:

    I cannot believe that I forgot to submit my entry for this. I had all weekend. I’m sad now. Oh well, I probably wouldn’t have won anyways.

  18. Wordy says:

    Are there enough sour grapes to go around? I think we may have underestimated demand…

  19. Web Cole says:

    Gratz to that man :)

  20. Sam says:

    Grats on winning, Andy.

    I kinda dug my entry for it’s bluntness:

    ‘I would craft a star into a gigantic billboard that I would sell for premium advertising space’.

    Come on, think about it. You’d make a fortune from big corporations wanting to do something gimmicky.

  21. Skusey says:

    Andrew’s are the best at this competition.

  22. Tei says:

    Winners, everyone. Forever. Great entries guys :-)

  23. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Andy Barnes’ sword thing totally cracked me up, man! Awesome stuff :) He was robbed! Robbed, I tell ya!

    • luckystriker says:

      Hear hear! A friggin’ STAR SWORD how cool is that?!?

  24. Kurgol says:

    I appreciate the thought. To be honest he’s right it didn’t make any sense. I realized this after I wrote it, and could have taken the time to explain myself but just assumed they would know what I was referring too.

    I stand by that decision :P

    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/meteor-01a.html

  25. Nick says:

    Always time for a bit of Mick Ronson’s playing.

    Oh and congratulations.

  26. Premium User Badge UW says:

    Heh, this is what I put for mine:

    “A SWAT helmet. Why? ‘Cause when you combustin’ down doors you need to know that your equipment dwarfs whatever the scum behind it has prepared for you. Witness the constellation on their faces when they behold your mighty celestial helmet and realise the gravity of their predicament.”

    Basically just a series of horrific puns, but yeah. I didn’t actually put in the subject that it was a competition entry and also didn’t put any details about myself in it. So it probably didn’t even get looked at.

    Chris Allen’s one is definitely my favourite but obviously can’t win because it broke the rules. I don’t think the winner is the best one up there but I wasn’t a judge anyway, so it doesn’t matter. =]

    • Indycisive says:

      I entered this…

      “From dust to dust we go,
      And likewise the stars must follow,
      Even the great all seeing eye is just a speck in time …

      And thus I would craft a ‘graveyard’ for everything that has never lived… and not quite died; everything that has been and no longer is.”

      I’m not sure now if it was a bad idea or great one now but such are late night ideas. That said as much as I disliked the use of unoriginal material to win congratulations to Andrew, after all in the end he did what no one else decided to do and reaped the rewards.

  27. clive dunn says:

    solar flare in love and war

  28. Alex Bakke says:

    Mine was rubbish compared to all the ones up there, well done.

    And the sour-faced people on here: Shame on you! Shame!

  29. fallingmagpie says:

    I got a mention! Mine’s the torus one. I’m thrilled. Almost as good as winning.

  30. Gorgeras says:

    My entry(with no name and address provided) was that I would craft a star into a joke proportionate to its mass and call it “Roach at 2 supply”. Maybe too whiny.

    • Berzee says:

      Do not get.

    • smokingkipper says:

      Me neither, but a quick Google search of “Roach at 2 Supply” brings up 883,000 entries on Starcraft 2 build orders and strategys.

      It’s a crazy world out there.

  31. Wulf says:

    Thoughts.

    Dreijer’s effort was innocent and funny, it made me laugh. Good job, that man.

    Stark is my winner. This is simply because his statement is so incredibly true. We’re going to have to have gone through some serious post-Singularity shit before we can even begin to imagine something more efficient, beautiful, and perfect than a star.

    Horsewell’s I’ve read before, it’s paraphrased but it sounded familiar to me, so I had a bit of a sit and think. Then it hit me! Carl Sagan, now there was a genius if humanity has ever had a genius, but that’s somewhat irrelevant since humanity has had quite a lot of geniuses.

    His words were: “We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands. The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter.”

    That was frankly one of the most profound things I’ve ever read.

    Bonus points to Horsewell for channeling the brain of Carl Sagan for the purpose of this competition.

  32. Anonymousity says:

    Surely someone crafted some flaming pants so that all around could see what a liar they are.

  33. Gassalasca says:

    I don’t know…. I mean Chris Allen’s to me is the most obvious one, probably because that’s the way I think. On the other hand Andrew’s had the strongest ‘Cor, I wish I’d though of that’ effect on me.
    Richard Clifford’s was by far the funniest, of course.

  34. smokingkipper says:

    I prefer the (slightly altered) quote by the group Starship…

    “We built this city on Rock and Stars”

  35. Jayt says:

    Congrats. Though the whole lyricy thing is a bit lame compared to Stark’s original bit.

  36. SATAN says:

    ;_; Fine, I’ll go, but what did I ever do to you?

  37. Lu-Tze says:

    Curse you word limit! *shakes fist*

  38. The Great Wayne says:

    Chris Allen should’ve won.

    Being discarded on a word count question and losing to a man copy/pasting some bowie lyrics (hell, you can do that for a lot of contests, the guy’s been prolific) is just unfair.

    For great justice, Chris Allen, I salute you o7

  39. Cat says:

    Mine was

    “If I were to craft a Star into something I think i’d craft it into a Sun, or rather I’d place it in the correct location to become a Sun for a set of planets, hopefully creating a couple of planets capable of Life.

    I’d essentially be a God.

    I’d name the planets “Alpha” species Zerg and they would call their children Zerglings.

    It would be beautiful.”

    Slightly over the word limit but ohwell.

    Though alot of peoples were better than mine – the winner, winning with some Bowie lyrics is a bit silly. Bowie is awesome, but I don’t think he plays Starcraft 2.

  40. The Rev Owen says:

    Pleased to get a mention for my Twilight pinata entry. Would have been even more pleased to have won, of course, but I do like the winning entry – made me chuckle. It seems very obvious in hindsight, but isn’t that the mark of something great? Well done that man!

    • Berzee says:

      I think that is a good mark of something great, yes. =)
      (and he didn’t just copy and paste, but made subtle modifications of subtlety).

      Your Twilight entry pleased me very much, especially the glitter. ESPECIALLY the glitter.

  41. Gothnak says:

    I would have created the ultimate drinking establishment with free peanuts on every table. Indeed, it’d have been a true Star Bar…

  42. Berzee says:

    So hey…I listened to that David Bowie song and:

    blaw. :[

  43. TotalBiscuit says:

    Seems to be an awful lot of people upset over giving away free stuff here. Entitlement much?

    • Cat says:

      To disagree with the way something is conducted, whether it be free or not, is not entitlement.

    • Cat says:

      Example for above comment:

      “Hey I am going to give away this game to the winner of this competition, so anyone who takes part has a chance of winning the game.

      All you need to do is be the first to say “Please”, starting now.”

      Guy1: “Please”

      Guy2: “Please”

      “The winner is Guy2!”

      Guy1: “Huh?”
      Guy3: “Eh, Guy1 was first by a margin”

      “Lol its free, entitlement much?”

    • Berzee says:

      Good example for the comment, but not relevant to this internet.

    • Starky says:

      Hell if anyone has the right to be upset it is me, as the runner up.

      I’m not – he won, fair’s fair.

  44. westyfield says:

    I read this and was all “David Bowie? Whuh?”, then I listened to the song and was all “DAVID BOWIE!”

    Congratulations to all, but mostly Andrew for a) winning, and b) educating me about David Bowie.

  45. dethgar says:

    Is this the proper place to complain about ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ being a very very pretentious piece of…movie?

  46. Santiago says:

    I liked Clifford´s. It´s beautifully narcissistic..

  47. Phydaux says:

    And there I was thinking that my Clare Danes entry would have got a look-in. Not a witty enough reference I guess.

  48. Winterborn says:

    Great choice, and good entries all.