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ModDB and Dell bring you an all-new game concept art competition that challenges you to put forth your best depiction of raw power.

Posted by stenchy on May 22nd, 2008

As gamers and modders, many of us have been exposed to virtual displays of raw power — whether it be the forces of nature ripping apart a physics-driven interactive environment or a monolithic beast tearing apart your computer-generated comrades. Games and the machines we play them on allow us to experience these displays of raw power from the comfort of our own chair. If you were to create a game concept depicting raw power, what would it look like?

Following the success of our previous concept art contest, ModDB is proud to present yet another as we kick-start a number of game development comps that will challenge old and new mod teams, mappers, modellers and the rest of our community.

Winners Announced

The finish date has come and past and the entries submitted have been judged. The winners are announced and this competition is now COMPLETE.

The Challenge

ModDB and Dell bring you an all-new game concept art competition that challenges you to put forth your best original concept imagery that showcases raw, unbridled, untamed power in any form.

This competition is brought you by Dell, the people behind XPS and Alienware desktop PCs and notebooks. These machines are put together using the cutting-edge of graphics technology and provide their own raw power to make sure you can run all the latest games and mods.


All discussion and work in progress shots should be posted in the thread provided here. You are required to submit works-in-progress so we can provide feedback and help you on your way to winning!

Final entries are to be emailed to before the deadline to considered for judging.


The judging of the submitted models will be done by ModDB staff. Judges will choose and will select the top image to receive the award. ModDB staff reserve the absolute right to disqualify any submission that they believe may be in violation of rules.

ModDB reserves the right to amend any of the above during the course of the contest with or without notice.


  • $500 USD cash purse for first place (winner takes all)
  • Runner-up entries will be showcased here

Participant Rules

All entrants agree to abide by the following rules:

  • Submissions will be accepted beginning on 21st May 2008
  • Submission window will close midnight 10th June 2008 GMT
  • Winners will be announced on the 12th June 2008 with all entries showcased here
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person. Once your entry is received it cannot be changed, edited or withdrawn
  • Character art, landscapes, weapons and most other game art will be accepted provided it fits the theme listed above. 3D concept art will be accepted provided all assets, models, landscapes used are original and created for this competition (as emphasized by the rule below)
  • The work submitted must be original (never before seen) and not a forgery. Forgery will result in immediate disqualification
  • In any and all cases of dispute the Judges' decision is final
  • No pornography, political or questionable content will be accepted
  • By entering the contest each entrant releases ModDB, Dell(Sponsor), their subsidiaries, affiliates and business partners, and the employees, directors, officers, agents, attorneys, successors and assigns of any of the foregoing, from any and all claims or liability, including but not limited to damages, losses or injuries, suffered by the entrant or any third parties in connection with participation in this sweepstakes or acceptance or use, misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants acknowledge compliance with these sweepstakes rules (including without limitation all eligibility requirements). All matters relating to the interpretation and application of these rules shall be decided by Sponsors in their sole discretion. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants and prize winners grant Sponsors permission to use his or her name, address, email address, photograph and likeness, voice and entry for advertising, publicity or other purposes without additional consent or compensation except where prohibited by law. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants consent to receive notification of future promotions, advertisements or solicitations by or from Sponsors or Sponsors's business partners, via email, direct mail, or other means of communication.
  • In the event of any dispute, entries will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. Authorized account holder is deemed as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, service provider or other online organization that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. The potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsors with proof that the potential winner is the author of the entry and the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the potentially winning entry. If for any reason (including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsors which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this sweepstakes) the sweepstakes is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Sponsors shall have the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the sweepstakes. Sponsors assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Sponsors is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or entry to be received by Sponsors on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including, without limitation, any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading any materials in this sweepstakes.


Post comment Comments
kinesis916 May 22 2008 says:

I like competitions. But I doubt that I will have any time for this, even if I was a concept kind of man.

Oh and the link to the forum thread doesn't work.

+2 votes     reply to comment
ambershee May 22 2008 says:

Why would Dell be interested in Concept Art?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sallycin May 22 2008 replied:

They're probably not, but it allows them to paste their name on something.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ambershee May 22 2008 replied:

Possibly. I would have thought that 'XPS' gaming systems would actually want something game-like to present. A pretty picture doesn't have a whole lot to do with XPS gaming machines.

+2 votes     reply to comment
raxiv May 22 2008 replied:

Hmmm. That's a good point, but sensing conspiracy everywhere is also wrong don't Ya think? :)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Loomeister May 23 2008 replied:

Well it's very possible that they want to see if they can use someone's art as an advertisement, showing the "Raw Power" of an xps rig.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Squeebo Jun 6 2008 replied:

Yeah, that was my guess, too.

+2 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! May 22 2008 replied:

We are always open to sponsors wanting to support indie game developers - Dell (who owns Alienware) enjoyed the previous comp and wanted to run one of their own.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley May 22 2008 says:

I say good on em' whats wrong with splashing some cash around to get modders more exposure?

+2 votes   reply to comment
ambershee May 22 2008 replied:

With such a competition, arguably it's an artist, and not necessarily a modder that will get exposure :p

It's a bit off, I have to wonder why a cash prize, and not a Dell product too.

I guess I'm just cynical, but this is a bizarre move for Dell's advertising, it just doesn't make any sense for a competition sponsored by a line of high-end gaming machines would revolve around a medium that frequently doesn't involve a computer at all, or if it does, most likely not a high end gaming machine. The company is using it to expose their gaming machine system line, but they're not offering a prize that has relation to it. What gives? It might as well be sponsored by Heinz Baked Beans.

+2 votes     reply to comment
raxiv May 22 2008 replied:

Some people like beans :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sallycin May 22 2008 replied:

I think it's because this is a modding community, and people who mod are also typically gamers. Being a gamer, you need a new rig every so often which Dell provides. I don't exactly see what you're going on about with the prize that is not a Dell product.

+2 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy May 22 2008 replied:

He just loves to complain. It's much easier to be a cynic rather than actually doing something worthwhile for the community.

+2 votes   reply to comment
AJ_Quick May 22 2008 replied:

yeah because its not like Ambershee spends all his time on this site writing Unreal engine tutorials and helping out modders or anything.

+2 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy May 23 2008 replied:

Doesn't mean he isn't being cynical in his comments because he's written all those tutorials.

+3 votes   reply to comment
FJS May 22 2008 says:

An excelent opportunity for the concept artist.

+2 votes     reply to comment
DamageINC May 22 2008 says:

so theres no categories this time, it can be anything?

+2 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy May 23 2008 replied:

RAW POWER! Other than that, yeah anything.

+2 votes   reply to comment
ArChNeMiSiS May 23 2008 says:

So self portraits are alright? :D

Lol, just kidding, good luck to everyone who enters.

+2 votes     reply to comment
BlazeHedgehog May 23 2008 says:

I physically ruined my hand on the last art competition; I never had problems with carpal tunnel syndrome before then... and I didn't even get an honorable mention for my work because everybody else outclassed me by orders of magnitude.

I don't think I'll ever enter another one of these Moddb art contests for as long as I live.

+2 votes     reply to comment
jacksonj04 May 23 2008 replied:

I honestly doubt you got CTS from entering one concept art competition.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlexCrafter May 23 2008 says:

Why are there all these concept art competitions and nothing else? Damn, I'd love to compete but my drawing isn't great. I suppose its because drawing is a platform everyone has, but still.

+2 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! May 23 2008 replied:

Yeah we've got a number of different contests coming up for modellers / mappers and mod teams, as I said in the feature - so don't worry you guys will soon have your shot.

Oh and conceptart is incredibly important part of visualizing the game development process.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Crispy May 24 2008 replied:

They're easier to judge and have a quicker turnaround time. (Short) stories are on the same level, models are still suitable as are animations (but they'd have to be very short), maps and mods take longer to do and usually would result in a much lower turnout. Those last two are also harder to judge unless there are very defined guidelines beforehand.

What I'd like to see is the competitions being linked somehow. E.g. A modelling contest is based on modelling an element of the winning entry of the concept art contest, then the animation one is based on the winner of the modelling contest, then a map contest is run to somehow incorporate the animated model. Obviously this would limit which engines could be used, but that might be a good thing in terms of making it judgable.

+2 votes     reply to comment
wiredgear May 23 2008 says:

This sounds great! I will see if I can cook something up.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Thestjester May 23 2008 says:

Although I'm all for this, I don't see how this relates to modding. This kind of competition would be better suited for communities like or CGpad, but I guess we have enough stuff going on over there. I just don't see it fair as the majority of people on have talents in departments other then traditional art. Can't have both of best worlds...

+2 votes     reply to comment
ambershee May 23 2008 replied:

This is kind of where I was coming from.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sallycin May 23 2008 replied:

Oh, I think I understand the point you were trying to make now.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis May 23 2008 says:

I think this is a brilliant competition. Good on modDB and Dell. Concept Artists play a vital role on any modding team, whether its a case of visualising that much needed atmosphere, designing a futuristic weapon or vehicle, or simply a character model sheet to give the 3d artists a heads up. After all, why else do they say a picture speaks a thousand words!

I sadly don't draw myself, but I will be following this closely! Good luck everyone, in advance!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Gongong May 23 2008 says:

Nice to see these encouraging competitions.
Pity I lack of either skill or passion to enter any of them... :P

Just one thing I dislike, by even entering the competition gives Dell to use your atwork and even your name in their ads or whatever.
Sure, it gives them rights to put a notice on their site, brag about it and so on, but I dislike the fact that it doesn't stop there.
Imagine this: you make something awesome, grab second place, don't get a penny and Dell uses your art to sell a new laptop model and makes millions.
Not plausible, but due to the entering rules, possible.
(Sure, on the other hand, someone could then find out who made the atwork and hire you, etc etc... :P)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Noesis_Interactive May 23 2008 says:

We think this contest is a good idea (despite some of the doubts that have been posted already). Concept art really is an important part of the process and it would be pretty stupid to start modelling characters or props or start mapping out levels without first drawing some sketches and pictures of what you have in mind. I've heard countless industry professionals say that the most important work is done before you even sit down at the computer, (namely concept art, model sheets, design documents, scripts, etc.) Some people have stated that they don't think that their drawing skills are good enough but, really, you could express raw power through a simple line drawing pose (although I'm sure the winner will be way more detailed than that, ha ha). Also, I didn't see anything that said it had to be a "drawing" so what's to stop anybody from using 3D models and game maps to create their piece of art? This fact totally negates the argument that this competition doesn't apply to "modders". Also, ModDB would be stupid to turn down any kind of sponsorship from anyone, especially a huge and respected company like Dell, no matter what prizes they're offering. I do kind of respect the fear that Dell will take all the entries and exploit them to the max but you have to think about the positives. You are given a chance to win 500$ and would anybody be paying you for that entry anyway? (Professional concept artists shouldn't answer that question, ha ha) Most likely not. The worst that could happen is that you wouldn't win and would then see your piece of art in advertisements which you could then list on your resume and brag to your friends about. Overall, we think it's a good idea and like Scott said, there will be more contests to come for everyone else who's not down with the drawing. Looking forward to seeing the raw art that comes out of this raw power contest! Good luck everyone!

+2 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy May 23 2008 replied:

Yup, 3D is accepted: "Character art, landscapes, weapons and most other game art will be accepted provided it fits the theme listed above. 3D concept art will be accepted provided all assets, models, landscapes used are original and created for this competition (as emphasized by the rule below)"

+2 votes   reply to comment
Noesis_Interactive May 23 2008 replied:

*Cartman voice* - "Sweeeet"

+2 votes     reply to comment
BunnyJen Jun 1 2008 says:

Great contest, can't wait to see what the entrants come up with. And for those asking why this relates to modding....of course concept art relates to modding... creating new assets, environments, stories and characters can all use concept art. It defines the entire look and feel of a game. People cast aside concept art too easily.
Good luck to all!

+2 votes     reply to comment
LJFHutch Jun 16 2008 says:

When will they post the results? It's been 4 days. IT's THE 17th now! please?

+2 votes     reply to comment
The_Voice Sep 10 2008 says:

Can I still join this competition? And if so, do I need to sign in somewhere?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Thaiauxn Jan 2 2012 says:

This would have been fun!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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