A Community CTF Map

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Milktoast, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Milktoast

    Milktoast L1: Registered

    Messages:
    26
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    I really enjoyed the "CTF haters" discussion. Has anyone proposed a large group, maybe 5-10 people, collaborating in a design "on paper" of a CTF map which would take into account all of the issues brought up in that thread?

    I mean really hash out a solid, thorough design including detailed layouts with specific dimensions, distances, timings, etc. If the design requires any custom entities or setup, create a prefab that includes all of the necessary pieces. Let the community scrutinize the design -- again "on paper" -- and polish it until a consensus is reached that the design is solid.

    Publish all of the design information and the prefab to the community and either (1) have a contest to see who can best implement the design while strictly adhering to the specifications or (2) hand over the design to a few experienced mappers. Thoroughly play test the resulting map and make any adjustments. Finally, release the .bsp and .vmf to the community.

    Do you think this could work?
     
  2. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,492
    The only differance between this and a regular WIP is the number of people building (5-10 instead of just 1). When we post layout images in our WIPs we are asking if anyone can spot something that is missing or badly designed. Exactly the same way it would be presented to a group... except that we are presenting it to the community instead of a closed circle of mappers.

    It takes a good deal of effort and time to actually look at a sketch and understand what the author is thinking, so most of the time the responses won't be of much use (it's very encouraging to have people comment in any form, so it's not completely useless :)) so in that case it would be better if the design could be discussed with people who knew it beforehand.

    But if mappers could get that kind of support you are thinking of without forming small teams it would be so much better. But that's probably wishful thinking.

    On topic: group projects only work when all the members know and respect eachother, otherwise some will get overshadowed by more confident and/or loud individuals. Once you have that unbalance in the group it will start tilting slightly and its all downhill from there :p

    But really, what your post is about is actually very simple: More and better feedback makes better maps.
     
  3. Mar

    Mar Banned

    Messages:
    607
    Positive Ratings:
    63
    Also, group projects mean someone will slack, someone will do all the work. Unless a group project is initiated by 2 or 3 mappers themselves, it won't be that good. Group work sounds much better on paper then in concept. And how would you make sure everyone has the most up-to-date version of the map and that 2 people don't work on the same part at the same time?
     
  4. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

    Messages:
    4,767
    Positive Ratings:
    5,508
    Dropbox seems to be the method of choice for all the current co-op projects in the chat room.

    As for the idea... I've seen a lot of plans for community maps in my time, I can't remember one that got to the end. :mellow:
     
  5. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,739
    Oh they all came to ends alright, just not the "finished" end. they hit the "forsaken project that went about as well as obeying god in the garden of eden" end.

    Dropbox has no way of saying "this file is being modified" so you just have to co-ordinate on steam and when the other person is in the SDK either ask if they're working on it or just not touch it. If of course you all have separate map files to work on that removes the problem.

    You have to have incredibly commited orgainisers as well as incredibly commited participants for something like this to work. Not saying you're not, just a warning.
     
  6. Milktoast

    Milktoast L1: Registered

    Messages:
    26
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    I was thinking more about collaborative design, not a collaborative implementation. I was proposing that a few people noodle out a solid map design on paper (or in thread), where each aspect of the map is hashed out by experienced players and mappers. No mapping experience is even necessary, since players also know what makes a good map really good.

    Sharing files or coordinating who has checked out the .vmf isn't even an issue, because the implementation would be left to either a contest or to a few people who have the kinds of experiences collaborating on a map that people have expressed above, but only after the design is worked out.

    The project would focus on topics like: where should the spawns be located, where should the flag room be and how should it be configured, what routes exist, their dimensions, and the distances between the major areas of the map. Each decision would be debated and adjusted.

    There are infinite possibilities, but the group should focus on an idea that they believe, if implemented, would be a map that plays well and will ultimately be a good map.

    The actual implementation of the map (i.e., someone working in Hammer) is outside the focus of the project.
     
  7. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,275
    I beg to differ as to the players knowing what makes a good map really good. It's very hard from a ground-level perspective to understand the situations that create solid gameplay.
     
  8. uma plata

    uma plata L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    298
    Positive Ratings:
    86
    Never been a fan of design-by-committee myself...it discourages risk-taking

    But you never know, it could work with the right people
     
  9. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    395
    Positive Ratings:
    81
    Ah, community CTF maps. Back in the TFC days a friend once told me we should do a co-op CTF map design, as in literally one of us to Red's base and one do Blue's. As he put it, "it'd play horribly but it'd be fun as hell". :p

    You could design the map in modules (hard to do for multiplayer maps though, with all their non-linear-ness)...
     
  10. GrimGriz

    GrimGriz L10: Glamorous Member

    Messages:
    774
    Positive Ratings:
    133
    You get plenty of anecdotal stuff though. I don't know that I "understand the situations that create solid gameplay", but I know how I love the way that in badwater if your team doesn't take and hold the roof it's pretty easy for blue to roll over you.