Attaining competitive player feedback on your map

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Leftism, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Leftism

    Leftism L1: Registered

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    Getting Your Map to a Competitive Audience

    Introduction
    After having a chat with one of the staff members at TF2Maps, it’s been brought to my attention mappers who are interested in getting their maps playtested (or at least try and get feedback from a competitive player) in a competitive environment are not aware of where they can go.

    While this post/guide doesn’t necessarily guarantee your map will be playtested you can expect your map to be seen by the competitive communities. The guide will cover things from a very basic level like where you can post to get your map to the right players and also what kind of feedback you can expect from competitive players.

    Having these kind of topics are also advantageous because it means you get feedback quickly and be able to discuss and respond to players as they make feedback - and, of course, players will be aware of updates to your map if you look after these topics well and keep players informed (It’s also a good idea to update the OP with the latest changelog and screenshots!).

    Great! So where can I go?
    Firstly you can go to the individual league forums where most will have a mapping section (ETF2L and UGC for example) along with community forums such as Team Fortress TV.

    - European Team Fortress 2 League [ETF2L] (European Players - League plays HL/6v6/2v2)
    - United Gaming Clans [UGC] (European, North American, South American and Oceanic players (mostly NA) - League plays HL/6v6/4v4)
    - Team Fortress TV [TFTV] (European, North American, South American, Oceanic and Asian players (Mostly NA) - community not a league, so feel free to post what you want)

    There are many other forums to post on and this list will be updated in due course. People are free to suggest other forums.

    What should I provide with my post?
    What you’d post normally on TF2Maps would suffice: Map name, game mode, download link and some screenshots. Bear in mind, and as much as players wouldn’t like this being said, most will be lazy and just make feedback based on any screenshots you post (“this looks good” to “gonna try this later” are some of the commonly used phrases) - you can’t make players download your map but you can make screenshots look inviting - A map is like food, “the first bite is with the eye” - so keep this in mind when posting.

    As you update your map, it’s always a good idea to post the latest version and then update the OP with said post to avoid confusion: as a map gains popularity and your topic grows in pages it’ll be in your best interest to make sure all up to date information is on the OP so there’s a “one stop place” for players new to the map to get all the information they need.

    What kind of feedback can I expect?
    Feedback varies from player to player. You should keep in mind, some will have never opened Hammer in their lives and will not understand the limitations of the program. Some players will give input as basic as “looks good” to maybe STV demos from mixes they’ve played on the map. Some players will only go as far as giving feedback based on the screenshots although this has already been discussed before. A good idea as well maybe to interact with players about their feedback on your map - a competitive player’s view on TF2 and how the maps should be may differ from yours but that doesn’t mean to say they’re right because of the type of game they play. Some opinions will be from what players know from other maps because that’s what they like and know works.

    Just remember, in the end, it’s your map and if a player wants you to change something that you feel “makes” the map or is quite important then you should retain it.

    FAQs
    Not 100% sure if people will have any questions, although any that are made I'll leave a response in the OP.

    ----
    I hope this rather brief guide has been somewhat useful for players looking to get into competitive mapping, leagues are always on the look out for potentially good maps to add to their map pool and most competitive players, when presented with a map they like, are quite an enthusiastic bunch to see your map getting developed.
     
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  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Thanks for the post, Leftism!
     
  3. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    Note that tf.tv definitely prefers 6s comp play and standard-played gamemodes, so if you make a map that's more geared towards highlander, or is trying to fill in a side niche (like gravelpit), you should note that. That way, people there won't probably think you're confused about what kind of map their players want.
     
  4. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I can tell you that I've been working with RedRum, testing Glassworks for Highlander UGC, and my experience has been phenomenal. I have never gotten as good of feedback as I have testing with the various teams, from the lower divisions up to Platinum.

    Despite my preconceived notion of comp players being extremely picky and ready to shit on any map that wasn't nearing RC*, I was greeted with quite a few friendly people who were ready to help me make my map better so they had a new map to compete on. It really is a win-win situation for us, it's just a matter of connecting the dots in between us.


    *I'm sure there are teams out there like this, but in my experience so far, I have not encountered any
     
  5. Leftism

    Leftism L1: Registered

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    Glad you've had a nice experience. :D

    I think it depends where you go, I think in North America (in comparison to Europe) they're really open minded about new maps. From a league admin's perspective, there's only a few things I'd see looking for a potential map: An active developer, something "different" to the current map pool and maybe something to capture the imagination of players. Obviously the last two are quite subjective, but I'm always keen on having a map with an active author taking it on as there's little to no point testing a map if there is nobody there to help tweak it.
     
  6. fauks

    fauks L2: Junior Member

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    I'm making a map for comp atm.

    I'm a mapper and competitive player. I'm happy to help with anything - just add me on Steam for a chat. I would encourage discussion about the map. Basically would just love to be a part of a comp map project.

    I also suggest making infrequent updates with more changes. Comp players don't really like playing cp_iteration_a1 through _a22b. It just gets confusing downloading map versions and little things like ramps and health packs being moved. KOTH_Arctic only had 1 change during the time I played, and it was jarring.

    STVs or demos will be more informative than most written responses.

    I also suggest Reddit/Truetf2 as a place to get more interest in your map.
     
  7. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    Alphas are best tested with a small group of comp players that are specifically used to maps changing dramatically all the time, for no apparent reason. Hyce's new map pugs are an example of such a group, but he doesn't like running anything that's ever gotten any league play.
     
  8. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    step 1 is actually: make an interesting map

    it can get you a long way
     
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  9. Lenny

    Lenny L2: Junior Member

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    But... how?
     
  10. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    make gullywash, snakewater, or process

    basically a badlands or granary ripoff without cloning either
     
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  11. ManBeaR

    ManBeaR L2: Junior Member

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    If you are not cloning it it isn't really a ripoff. And that only really transfer to 6s, and still you can make something else like coalplant.
     
  12. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    people generally don't like coalplant though