Feedforward, not Feedback

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Fish 2.0, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Mapping is a somewhat calculated skill that fuels on what may seem to be the opposite - that being creativity.

    When people submit maps for examining and testing, I'm sure a lot of us can easily point out major problems with almost every map. This is all part of map design f course, but I would really like to see it ultimately become more efficient.

    This is where the whole lame term of feedforward comes in. I have never really liked the term, but you have to use what you have got I guess.

    Feedback is usually pointing out things that are problems or things to be desired, feeding those things back to the creator of the map.

    Feedforward on the other hand gives feedback but elaborates on it by supplying ideas or suggestions to help fix the issues, hence the 'forward' part.

    I have seen a few people give feedforward on the forums but still I would say over half give good old feedback. While that certainly helps it could be even more helpful with some suggestions on how to fix. Of course you have to be rational - you don't need to give a 3 page essay on how to avoid random clipping on the top of a door frame but things like sightlines, over powered sentry nests and the like can be fixed.

    Say I had a map with a massive sightlines. I could get this;

    or I could get this;

    I find that if you are going to give feedforward, it really helps to use 2 ideas. Instead of saying "get rid of it by using big wall brush" you can start a discussion which can actually solve the problem in a better and more fun-to-play manner.

    So there we go - if everyone gives feedforward we would have a forum overflowing with hundreds of fixes to various map issues that could even be implemented into other maps and a place full of create ways to handle that annoying 'thing' that every new (and completed) map has.
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  2. Janeator

    Janeator L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I wish i get some of that when i present my maps to be tested.
  3. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

    Positive Ratings:
    I feel like it's your job as a mapper to find solutions that match your design goals. I don't like being spoonfed
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  4. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I'm ambivalent.

    On one hand, 'feedforward' can definitely be a great help, at least for noobs like me. If a mapper has an inadequate grasp of good map design, solely relying on his or her own sensibilities when fixing flaws will most likely result in bad solutions and more flaws. The mapper will learn from it, of course, but slowly and painfully. Getting nudged in the right direction can make the learning process much faster and smoother.

    On the other hand, giving criticism always takes some amount of effort, and 'feedforward' requires a lot more of it than normal feedback does. Pointing out the flaws of five maps may in many cases be more constructive than taking the same time to write an in-depth suggestion for a single map.

    I'd say we should keep the possibility of giving 'feedforward' in mind, and then determine on a case-by-case basis if it is or isn't worthwhile.
  5. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

    Positive Ratings:
    I've been saying this for a while, and it's something that everyone should really pat attention to. Feedback is very powerful learning tool for a new mapper (And an extremely needed resource for veteran mapper).

    One thing I see a lot from people is that people have GREAT feedback, but are too afraid to say it.

    Protip: If you're giving feedback, give it. Do not be afraid of what people say about it and don't be afraid of what others think. As a designer, I want to hear ANY feedback or concerns that anyone testing my project has. Big or small, Intellegent or stupid. I want to hear it. No matter what you think about the feedback, be say it.
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  6. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    If the small bits of feedback from gamedays is what you're talking about, it could have also just been that they a: type slow, b: are respawning soon, c: can't pause a multiplayer game and will probably die typing something out. And by the time you're out of the situation you lose track of the context and it becomes irrelevant unless it comes up again just like conversations.

    On what Fubar said, some mappers like the challenge of coming up with the idea that fixes that flaw in their map, but then again some mappers have less experience and simply cannot. And how can you judge a mapper's experience based on the alpha test of the map? So there should just be a standard of feedforward where the experienced can ignore it and lesser can incorporate it if they so choose to.
  7. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Okay, so:

    Feedback is quick, yet isn't really helpful other than point out flaws, but you can do a lot with these. They are going to appear in gamedays, so expect them to be your primary source of "tips" for improving your map and to be complemented on the thread page.
    After a few alphas, you probably are going to get a feedforward. It isn't like getting spoonfed. It is a more in-depth review of "how to improve your map". The key difference is that, with the extra feedback and being pointed out why that doesn't work.
    For example, let's say my map has a Convergence Area, a choke that can't be bypassed and allows one team to fully lock down the other. If I added another route, however, it could still be locked down. So what kind of feedback do I get?

    "needs more ways out of choke"
    "more cover"
    "nerf this sightline"

    See, straight up. Considering they are typing that while they are playing the game, they do have limited time.

    Feedforward would be like, after gameday:

    "You can't bypass this choke. How about turning this medium health kit into a small health kit?"
    "This sightline watches the spawn while providing cover to the Sniper. I think that you should removing those crates so Snipers won't be so powerful."
    "A sentry on the top of these stairs can lock down this hallway. Add a choke or some cover, or maybe some HP."

    Feedforward is more in-depth, so you don't have to be spoonfed; instead, it is much more focused in showing why it doesn't work.
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  8. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Thanks for explaining.

    I'm not sure why you would think that way, Fubar, because in no way was I at all stating that feedforward is something that you implement into your map. You take the ideas from it then build onto them. However if you don't appreciate any ideas at all, then you could miss some good design ideas completely. Everyone to their own.

    Of course you wouldn't give feedforward on game-days :O It's hard enough typing a word by itself.

    I'm a really strong believer in collaboration, even if it is being made by one person. I have seen some really cool things come out of this forum from feedforward. People scribbling on each others maps in Photoshop to show how a map could use a piece of scenery, and that stuff really is inspiring for me and acts as a way to start thinking of other ideas, elaborating and expanding my thoughts on level design.
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