A year and a half ago, the initial TF2 Feedback System was released, it was intended to reimagine the way that feedback was delivered to map authors, the intuitive interface meant that players could easily share their thoughts on a particular location in the map, or on a particular situation that was developing in the map. I’d like to think that it’s been a great success, here are some statistics for you: Over two thousand registered players, of which thirty percent submitted at least one feedback. Nearly thirty thousand annotations made over two thousand maps. Three users with over 1000 annotations to their name. One hundred and four events scheduled. Over a million errors logged (oops). And just for fun, here are the Top 10 contributors to the feedback system, ordered by the amount of feedbacks they’ve provided: Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Name Feedback Length Feedback Count 1. yyler 54067 Characters 1721 2. Wilson 60811 Characters 1488 3. Doom 32352 Characters 1063 4. Fr0z3n 25771 Characters 773 5. prestige 18957 Characters 768 6. LeSwordfish 21811 Characters 706 7. BY 17711 Characters 676 8. Ezekel 25888 Characters 649 9. re.wind 19859 Characters 633 10. LAGS AbsurdistOf 20447 Characters 572 However, in many ways the feedback system has been a complete and utter failure, some would argue that it impedes people from reflecting on a map and providing a generalized feedback and instead encourages thoughtless comments on matters of polish, rather than core gameplay. This is very much true, the “Feedback” system works more effectively as a bug reporting system than it does as its namesake. There are also flaws in the implementation, there is no distinctly easy way to derive where an annotation has been placed without opening up hammer and laboriously pasting in the co-ordinates. The event system is buggy at best, often requiring the organiser to wrestle with it to actually get the match recordings. There are also, according to the statistics I posted above, quite literally a million other problems. So, without further adue, I would like to present my plans for Feedback II, which is the working title for the new version of the Feedback System. A lot of the problems with the original Feedback system was that it was rushed, The initial versions of the web panel were made in a couple of hours, with absolutely no planning or prior prototyping. While Nineaxis did a great job of making it look good, it’s still the same old rickety framework underneath. Additional features were tacked on to this structure and over the past year, it’s become quite an unwieldy behemoth. It was also made with very little community input, sure it has additional features and has had massive improvement made to it based on community feedback, but very little of the community actually had a say in designing how it worked. With Feedback II, this is something I very much intend to fix, I would like to hear your opinions and thoughts from the get go, I’d like to know what you need as mappers, and as players to help you make better maps, and subsequently, make the game better for everyone. I’ll be using this thread to post occasional updates and any significant design decisions (Time permitting, I do have exams in three weeks, and those take priority) and to take your feedback and hopefully incorporate it slightly better this time. Another hope for the project, is that it should merge together a series of features that were part of separate projects into one core location. First and foremost of these is TF2 Heatmaps, which has not managed to see the light of day yet, and had a limited scope. Secondly will be a source implementation of EA’s “Battlelog” which will go into beta with the second milestone. The rest of this post is a rough, bullet pointed roadmap, with current considerations and decisions etched on it. Please be aware that all dates and features are subject to change and move about, subject to my schedule and work-load. Milestone 1 (12th July): The original feedback web panel will be deactivated. It will be available at feedback.tf2maps.net/archive for 3 months, with limited functionality. The original feedback plugin will be removed from TF2M Servers Data will be converted to the new database format and held at the ready. The original plugin and web code will be open sourced, for those that care. Round tracking removed, will be added back in Milestone 2. Plugin Changes: Plugin will use a socket based system to negotiate a connection with the control server. (Previously used solely MYSQL, which is a security risk if public access is required) Plugin will require authentication to the control server through an API key A server running the plugin will be rejected unless it is quickplay compliant (Minus the restrictions on custom maps) Web Changes: Entirely new web panel, written on the Kohana Framework and using an entirely new backend database (with old data imported) Polished design, less repetition of elements and more significantly defined parts of the UI. Groundwork for additional features in future milestones. Milestone 2 (20th July): Introduction of “Battlelog”-like Features: Data will be tracked on a massive scale, on a per round basis: Kills/Deaths Player positions (at 5 second intervals) Weapon Firings Player “Actions” (Ubercharges, Buffs, Sentry events, etc) Objective events (Point contests, flag captures) Scoreboards and roles The plugin will be updated to support the above list. The plugin will be publicly released, and API keys will be available from the web panel. Web panel updates: New statistics section on the map details page, to display aggregate data from all rounds. New ‘rounds’ pages for viewing information and statistics related to a particular round, Feedback will also be tied to rounds as well as the map. New ‘servers’ section to display servers that support the feedback plugin Map pages will have download links to the maps, the files will be pulled from servers that run the map (Stored locally, we will not be leeching bandwidth) Milestone 3 (3rd August): Introduction of TF2 Heatmaps. Web panel updates: A heatmaps section will be added to all rounds and map pages. A user will be able to build their own heatmaps using the section provided, they will be built on the client-side and sent back to the server if possible. Initially available heatmaps will include: Kills/Deaths, restrictable to certain types of weapons, or even singular weapons. Player locations. (Should identify regularly trafficked areas, etc) Player actions. (Ubercharges, sentry events, etc) Weapon firings, again restrictable, should help to identify where particular weapons are overused or overpowered. Introduction of the screenshot engine All annotations will automatically have a screenshot made of them. All maps will have all their info_observer_points screenshots uploaded. All maps will have overviews made automatically for them. Milestone 4 (20th August): Servers that support the replay system will have their replays copied to the Web Panel and reconstructed into STV Demos and attached to the applicable map page. Servers that support Source TV will have their replays copied to the Web Panel and attached to the applicable map page. Extended Details: Replays will always be favored over Source TV demos if available on the server, if both systems are enabled, only the replays will be downloaded. Map authors will have to opt in to have their demos fetched, an 'Opt-In' is only applicable for a maximum of 72 days after it is created (User selected length for below that) and demos will be deleted 28 days after their creation, or at author or server owner request (dual ownership) Anyone will be able to download demos, however, they must be logged in to do so. Events will have demos recorded automatically for any maps in them, regardless of opt-in status. This option will only be available if the server owner has provided FTP details direct to their server, or they can be harvested using the readily available replay download link - It may also be possible to send them over a socket from the game plugin, however this may not be viable due to performance issues. The Future (The future): Expansion to other games, if possible. Open source our data. Que Sera Sera. This is a very ambitious project, and it’s likely that some parts detailed above may never see the light of day, but for now they make a suitable goal, and one I’ll strive to achieve. If there is anything else you’d like to see, please mention it in this thread, and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think. Thanks for reading this behemoth of a post!