For the contest there is going to be a participation gift for anyone that submits anything. Because I don't believe in getting stuff without giving back somehow. So I've figured that the gift will be from 1-1500 deviant art points.
10 deviants saidFair
8 deviants saidQuality/Effort determines the point amount given
I've been thinking about running a contest in a similar vein. Everyone that enters gets points. I looked at your journal and my top prizes are pretty much in line with what you have.
I never really thought about varying the amount of points between entries. Obviously, the top prizes are more likely to go to the one with the more detailed submitted art pieces. A prize of points just for entering and submitting art in itself is more of a form of encouragement to participate in the contest than to be a substantial form of payment in lieu of them not winning one of the top prizes. By that logic, the same amount of points distributed equally to everyone entering seems to me the best way to go. 500 points is the number that I've been kicking around.
Good quality/effort art in itself is more likely to win the contest, so there isn't much point in giving a varying amount of points. Besides, if you do vary the amount of points given depending on quality... why give top prizes at all? 1500 points for a top quality entrant that later wins a 1st or runner up prize seems a bit overkill. If someone submits art of quality that you deem 100 points, aren't you kind of telling them in advance that, "Sorry, you have no chance at winning"?
So, I guess, the top prizes should be motivation for putting effort and quality into each piece. Participation gift should be just that.
On that front, a set participation gift of lets say 500 points, would necessitate some kind of entrant cap? Maybe, you can submit multiple entries but you only receive the participation gift once to prevent someone from just doing low quality entries and getting a lot of points. Also, what do you cap the entrants to? 10 (5,000 points)? 20 (10,000 points)? 30 (15,000 points)? There's no way of knowing if your contest will garner a lot of interest or just a little. A cap of 30 entrants when only a few enter could mean you bump the participation prize up. A cap of 10 entrants when lots are clamoring to enter cause of a large participation prize... this is why I keep holding off on my own contest. XD
The varying amount of participation gift points will likely deter the low quality/effort pieces. However, a strongly worded "good faith" clause could do the same. Something something to keep out low/quality pieces that someone spends 2 seconds on just for a set amount of participation gift points.
I dunno, I've been sitting on this contest for over a year now. Even though I've got 23,000 points, I still put it off. Maybe I'll see how yours goes!