Though I hope it's a good little while till the next one because I have some projects in mind, it's alway fun to talk about what competitions can be about. I like interesting themes like 20/30 brushes, just was admiring screens from the 20 brush competition someone held.
I think the texture pack one was pretty cool but it didn't work for me because I designed the map and then tried to make the textures work for it and they simply wouldn't pull it off. "I designed an entire moon base but the white texture didn't pull it off at all like I assumed." Instead I should have figured what might be the best to do with the textures and come up with an idea from there.
Another competition that was really cool was the map a puzzle one. Map a dream was such a huge competition and i'm surprised I found the time to out put what I did for it.
For me, mapping has always been mostly all I knew and now that I use other 3d modeling programs I have a different perspective of hammer. It seems that the entire "theme" or goal of a map becomes more important than the actual map itself. This "theme/ goal" is like the prompt of a competition. While "making a map from a given layout" is hella fun and i'd do it a zillion times, I think interesting competitions are more, well interesting.
It would be fun to brainstorm interesting ideas that are broad enough to allow creativity but stipulated enough to make it weird and fun. Just the right balance.
"Triangle" is a cool them imo. Just use the geometric shape very predominantly in an interesting way. It's very broad yet constricting in an intriguing way. It could be as simple as kasperg's hexagerate "if anyone remembers that" or even taken further.
"Under the sea" would be cool, but everyone's ideas would be like atlantis or an under water lab. I could sea some really cool stuff coming from this.
"rats/fats" Make a rats map of any area you'd like, or make any map/ area tiny scale so you feel huge. This would be pretty fun. When I did a rats map of my room it was fun to measure everything and multiply it by however many units I wanted to make it to scale yet huge. I've also seen a really cool remake of cs_assault where everything is tiny and you have to crouch to enter the front garage and stuff.
"Feel the music" Make a map that has music/ songs in areas influencing and correlating with the themes tying the map together in achieving a desired mood or response. Like Nipper's abstract maps that i've mentioned, which you can youtube/ nipper abstract map.
"half life skillz" Make a sp mini mod where you must exploit halflife's various bugs ie bunnyhopping, surfing, using tripmines/grenades to climb/jump etc. to complete the mod. I used to want to make an entire mod for this but never had the motivation. Would be an interesting mod for half life junkies to make mince meat of.
"tripping" Map doing drugs and tripping out. I've made a few of these and to this day plan on making a mod for it, and they were very similar to my dream competition entry whereas you'd return to your home with it altered and hallucinating strange occurances.
-end rant. -continue brainstorm, try to think outside the void