The skinning contest is now over, stay tuned for the announcement of the winners.
Messenger Plus! 2011 Skinning Contest
Now Messenger Plus! 5.0 is out we hope you enjoy using it. You waited for it a long time while we at Yuna Software went through many internal changes. We owe you for your patience. As announced, it is time to have some fun! From 27 March to 15 May 2011 anyone who can either make or design a Windows Live Messenger 2011 skin can enter the contest to win prizes.
How to play
The contest consists of two parts. You can either make a Messenger Plus! skin pack for Messenger 2011, or if you are not into the technical aspect of making a Plus! skin you can design your vision of a Messenger 2011 skin in Photoshop or Illustrator.
The objective is the same in both cases. Make Messenger 2011 look great! Winners are picked by judges, read on for what aspects they are looking for. The winning skins will be featured prominently on our site and the winning design will be turned into an actual skin too!
Submit your skin pack Submit your skin design
Submit your creation early to make use of the feedback from users. When you submit your skin or design we will let you know if it is accepted. Be sure to read the rules to avoid disappointments. Send as many new versions as you like, only the latest version submitted during the contest will be judged for the prizes. Updating one of your older skins is allowed too, as long as it will work on Messenger 2011. Make sure to have your final creation submitted before 15 May, there are no exceptions to being late! :)
If needed, more information will be posted about this contest in the news (RSS) so keep an eye on that. The skinning forum will also provide additional information and give you an idea about what others are working on.
So what is in it for you? Prizes, and you decide what kind of prizes! Winners receive a gift card from one of the preselected online stores. You can choose from Amazon, Apple, eBay, Newegg, ThinkGeek and TigerDirect. Should none of these stores ship to your location we will arrange a gift card for the store of your own choice, as long as they offer a way for us to pay internationally.
Skin pack winners are divided in the following categories:
- Most Stylish
1st place: $1250 gift card. 2nd place: $750 gift card.
Most stylish focuses on the look of a skin: appealing graphics, typography, design.
- Most Usable
1st place: $1250 gift card. 2nd place: $750 gift card.
Most usable focuses on the features of a skin: useful layout, options, functionality.
The skin design winner will win the following:
- The best Skin Design wins a $500 gift card and gets his or her design realized as an actual Live Messenger 2011 Plus! skin by longtime skinner Willz.
The winners are picked by judges and announced after the contest closes. The judges are Menthix (skin database admin) and Willz (maker of many quality skins). Making a skin can be a lot of work, as a thank you we will also ship a small mystery prize for every accepted 2011 skin pack.
Need some help?
Questions or curious what others are working on? Take a look at the skinning forum. Menthix, Nathalie and Willz can answer all your contest-specific questions there. Don't forget to check the skinning documentation and resources on our site. If you are competing in the skin design category make sure to read Willz' post and skinning tips (pdf/doc).
Not a skinner?
We understand not everybody is great with graphics. Sticking with the tradition there will be more contest in the future open to scripters or everyone. At the end of the contest everyone will benefit from some great new Messenger 2011 skins. We will also continue to improve Messenger Plus! as well as the site with new features and regular releases. Do not hesitate to leave your feedback and suggestions on the forum.
- The contest runs from 27 March 2011 00:00 GMT to 15 May 2011 23:59 GMT.
- Contestants who do not receive a confirmation about their creation being accepted into the contest before 17 May do not participate for any prize.
- The contest is open to people worldwide.
- Yuna/Kimahri Software employees and judges are excluded from participating.
- Contestants can submit multiple creations in multiple categories but only a maximum of 1 prize will be awarded per contestant.
- Contestants can submit new versions of their creation during the length of the contest, only the latest version of each creation will be judged after the end of the contest.
- Contestants can also participate by submitting an update to one of their skins already on the site.
- Skin packages and designs for any version other than Windows Live Messenger 2011 are not eligible to enter the contest.
- Each skin package is tested before it is added to the site. If the skin doesn’t meet the usual requirements to be added to the site it doesn’t enter the contest. The skin creator will be notified and get a chance to correct the issue(s).
- Skins should not generate a trace file (skin trace.txt). Trace files are an indication of something being broken, this should be fixed.
- Skins are not allowed to hide Messenger's advertisements (at the bottom of the contacts list and the conversation windows).
- Skins must be unique, do not copy images or resources from others.
- A certain level of quality is expected. Quality is hard to measure, but if we think your creation lacks the quality we are looking for on our site we will reply back to you. You will get a message explaining you could improve to be accepted. This is why submitting early can be an advantage.
Entrants will initially submit mockups of their design (just images). These mockups should show various parts of Messenger skinned. As a bare minimum the following windows and elements MUST be included in the mockup design:
- Contact List
- Contact List in Social View
- Chat Window (with and without tabs)
- Display Picture borders (Must show all states you intend the borders to have, the winner should have borders for every size Messenger requires ready)
- Design must be catered for Windows Live Messenger 2011
- Designs based off an operating system are not allowed (e.g. Windows, OSX etc).
- Remember these are skins, not plugins. Designs should not contain any "wanted features" or widgets that aren't already part of Messenger.
- Modifying an existing Messenger skin design is not allowed.
- Icon sets are not allowed to be used unless they are your own.
- Ports of skins designs for other programs are not allowed unless they are your own creation and you spend significant time adapting the design to suit Messenger. If you are creating a port please link the original. To reiterate it MUST be your skin to be able to port it.
- Designs should aim to skin the majority of views and windows in Messenger.
- Designs should keep ad banners in mind. Ad banners will not be removed in the final product to avoid legal complications.
- Avoid designs that contain "glass" effects. Native window transparency is not supported in Messenger skins.
- Due to technical limitations in Messenger 2011, all designs should sit inside a normal window frame.
- When creating graphics, avoid using blending modes as these will not carry over when the images are exported as PNG/JPG when the final product is made.
- Please design all images at an appropriate resolution and include all required states for buttons, borders etc.
- Final design should be in PSD or AI format.
- Any fonts used should be submitted with the final design should you win.
- Skin designs are excluded from the mystery prize. Only creators of accepted skin packages receive the mystery prize.
- The value of gift card prizes is indicated in US Dollars.
- Contestants must be reachable on the email-address associated with their MyPlus! account and agree to provide their name, email address and postal address in order to receive their prize. Winners will be contacted via email by a @yunasoftware.com address. Private information of winners will only be used to deliver their prizes and not be published without explicit permission.
- Winners can choose from a Amazon, Apple, eBay, Newegg, ThinkGeek or TigerDirect gift card. If none of these stores ships to the winner's location the winner can suggest his/her preferred store, providing the store allows the purchase of electronic gift cards and provides a sufficient payment method for Yuna Software.
- Yuna Software covers the shipping cost of a single order. If winners spend their gift card on multiple items they are advised to do so in a single order so we can cover all of the shipping costs.
- Additional costs not covered by the gift card (for example taxes and shipping) are not paid by Yuna Software.
- Yuna Software is not accountable for expired or nonredeemable gift cards. We will put our best possible care into getting the prize to you, but we do not control external factors. When you win, before you give us your final choice, make sure to check with the store of your choice for any shipping restrictions to your location and the terms of their gift cards.
- Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or transferable to other people.