BlizzCon is still several months away, but if you’re planning to craft a costume to walk the floor or enter the Community Night Costume Contest, there’s a good chance you’re already hard at work on your designs. Earlier this year, we announced that some changes were in the works for this year’s contest. We’re still hammering out all the details and rules, but today we have some pretty significant updates to share so you can get to work more confidently—including some changes related to the contest format, an upgrade to how we’re handling entries, and the addition of a new “cosplay exhibition.”
NEW COSTUME CONTEST FORMAT
One of the first big changes we’re excited to make is one a lot of BlizzCon costume contest veterans have been asking for. Once contest entries begin later this year, rather than rush to be among the first hundred or so who sign up, you’ll have until a specific deadline to enter and be considered for the contest (though note that you’ll still need to meet the eligibility requirements).
From that pool of entrants, our judges will ultimately select a total of 25 finalists to compete in the Community Night Costume Contest on Friday evening. These 25 contestants will be split evenly into 5 brand-new categories—and at the end of Community Night, one winner in each category will be crowned. The five categories are:
- Individual or Duo Construction: This category is for entrants who worked on or built a costume solo or with the assistance of one partner.
- Group Construction: This category is for teams of 3 or more people who each made significant contributions to the creation of a single costume.
- Artisan Crafting: This category focuses on the fine details, recognizing skills that really shine close-up, such as meticulous tailoring and embroidery or intricate leatherworking details.
- Large-scale Fabrication: This category recognizes excellence creating costumes with props, armor pieces, and other such elements through the use of media like foam and 3D printing. This category includes the “larger-than-life” costumes—but if you’re planning to work on something like that, please note there will be size and mobility restrictions similar to last year.
- Makeup & Special Effects: This category includes skills like prosthetics, hair, makeup, and body painting, along with FX lighting and animatronics.
Once the contest officially opens for entries in the coming months, you’ll need to tell us whether your costume is an Individual or Duo Construction or Group Construction. Later on, if your costume is ultimately selected for the top 25, it’s up to our judges’ discretion to determine which one of the five categories your costume will be competing in. For example, if you submit a Group Construction costume, you may end up a top-five finalist in the Group Construction category or the Large-scale Fabrication category—but not both.
Regular Check-ins: To support this new format and help ensure contestants are staying on track, this year we’re planning to conduct regular progress check-ins. At certain points in the lead-up to BlizzCon, we’ll be asking entrants to submit photos, video, or other evidence to show that certain progress milestones are being met. We’ll share more details on these requirements once the contest officially opens in the coming months.
In the meantime, when the time comes to enter, we’ll immediately be looking for evidence that your costume is at the first milestone of roughly 25% completion. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve started construction—at this point, we’ll mostly be looking to make sure you’ve decided on your concept and have things like detailed shopping lists, sketches, or images of purchased supplies—so start jamming on those ideas today.
We know a lot of people enjoy seeing everyone’s costuming creativity on display—and that’s why in we’re planning to add a separate cosplay exhibition taking place the afternoon before Community Night.
While Community Night will showcase the top 25, this exhibition will give more people an opportunity to show off their work (including a mix of top-25 finalists and awesome costumes that didn’t quite make the final contest cut) and walk one of the stages at BlizzCon. Registration to participate will also be required; stay tuned for more details on our plans.
TALENT, MOVIE, AND ART CONTESTS
We’re not planning any significant changes for this year’s Talent, Movie, and Art Contests—however, we did want to point out something related to the Talent Contest that may have flew under peoples’ radar last year.
Most people who enter the Talent Contest do something based directly on one of Blizzard’s games or universes, and that’s great—but if you have an epic talent or act you feel would be relevant to BlizzCon but doesn’t directly reference Blizzard’s games or universes, that’s fair game too! Just make sure it doesn’t involve another company’s properties.
Stay tuned for more details on all three of these contests in the months ahead.
We know a lot of you are excited to get started on your creations, and we hope this update gives you what you need to get going. We’ll share more information once we’ve ironed out all the details. ’Til then, enjoy the creative process!