Gameday and You. or, a word on etiquette, community and gameday.

Discussion in 'Site Discussion' started by A Boojum Snark, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    This is the result of no particular instance, but an accumulation of observations over the past several months.


    It seems to me the quality of gameday tests has been going downhill for awhile, though most significantly since their restart after the ctf/plr contest period. Everyone seems to have lost sight of what they were originally for, and it's just become an everyone-come-play event.

    In no particular order:

    Abuse of map issues.
    Problems end up in maps, occasionally pretty significant ones, which normally should be found by the mapper before release, but this doesn't mean they need to be abused for the remainder of the map. If there is spawn that can be entered, an unclipped roof, a way outside the map, somewhere a teleporter shouldn't be but can, or any such things, don't be lame and abuse them for 10 minutes. Discover them, acknowledge them, leave them be and move on so other things can be determined.

    Lack of feedback.
    The point of a testing event is not to simply play the map, but to test and examine it. When someone submits a map it's because they want to see what others think. What is a problem? What do you like? Do you have suggestions?
    Lately there seems to be this, what I would call disturbing, attitude that it's the mappers job to play or watch the demo and figure things out themselves. I ask: Why? Isn't that why we are all here? To be a community? What good is being a community if we don't go further to help each other out. We might as well all huddle to ourselves and test our maps with bots and then release the final version to the world.
    This also covers to the forum, which has suffered just as much from lack of feedback. Just because authors can watch the demo over and over doesn't mean nobody should post. There is a reason I include links to every thread in the schedule. It can help just to have things written down by someone, it can help sift out what is important and what is negligible. People will say over voice chat everything that comes to mind, but when you write it down you'll likely only highly the important things.
    And sometimes, it just plain helps psychologically to have posts. Quantifiable evidence that someone cares that you are making a map and weren't just playing it because it was there. Nothing is worse than being the creator of 80% of the posts in your thread. It will make you feel like there is no point in continuing.

    Frivolous voice chat and mic spam.
    This partially relates to the previous point. We have had an increasing amount of needless talking. It's annoying, it hurts gameplay, it snowballs. I'm not saying there should never be a word said that isn't tactical information, but if there are already two (let alone four or five) voice tags on the right of your screen, don't hit your comm button, ok? It will just turn into a garbled mess and nobody will hear anyone.
    When this goes on for not a couple minutes, or five minutes, but across several maps (its happened more than once), it really becomes aggravating and hard on the ears. Some might say to mute people or turn off voice, and I imagine some people do do that. But again, that only serves to inhibit gameplay if anything tactical is said. Myself, I never block/mute people because I'm a mod. It's my duty to monitor everything. I could server-mute them, but when it's half the server what then?
    Perhaps I should disable alltalk when it happens? or maybe for the entire gameday? It was enabled to help the mapper, but perhaps turning it off would force more people to post things and play better. The mapper can always watch to demo to hear both side of the chat if needed.

    TF2 Updates.
    The last two gamedays I have hosted both found a TF2 update shipped out in the middle of the test. Obviously there isn't much we can do about this, but it's what the players do that disappoints me. Both times, at the end of the map during which the update came out, the playercount abruptly dropped to half. I find this pretty selfish and rude. Do you really need to go update instantly instead of waiting an hour to play the rest of the maps? Most of the time you won't be able to get in again since the server won't be updated, and I'll never update the server mid-gameday because of the possibility of it not booting back up for a significant period.

    My imposed gameday rules.
    Minor issue compared to the rest in retrospect, but I want to mention it anyway. Since I instituted the no-updates rule there have been a significant amount of people every week that didn't read it, don't understand it, or just ask for updates anyway. Nobody liked it when the threads were camped and spam-posted to full within an hour or two, only to see half the maps get updated through two revisions. So I set the new rule so people would hold off longer before posting to give a fairer chance to everyone. Granted people might still be posting early because they still fill within a few days now, but the fill fast because people are doing this. Yet I see so many requesting updates and being denied and/or dropping out. Just relax on the posting?


    So what?
    Well, if these trends continue I believe I'll just stop organizing gameday testing altogether.

    I'm wondering why I even bother anymore. They don't appear to be anywhere as useful or as high of quality as they used to.

    However, on the flip side... The origin of gameday lies in the now-ancient times when our community was but a couple hundred people. We needed to plan things out ahead so people could make time and get together.
    Now we have a steam group of over 1100 people to draw off for testing events, Hundreds of posts made every day, and a fully active chat room at all times of the day.
    We have an ever increasing amount of chat room-organized impromptu testing going on (I know this significantly contributes to the update-requests) and that is a good thing. Plus there is the TF2 Lobby to help with testing now.

    ...Perhaps we have outgrown scheduled events? While I would like to see an attitude reform like what I've mentioned, maybe I should still just retire the scheduled testing if it has become and outdated and overstretched format.
    Let me know. I turn this ultimatum into a request, should we move completely to the more dynamic spontaneous tests? I won't object to the end of scheduled tests.

    TL;DR: Sorry, that is unacceptable. Go back up and read it. or never ask me for anything again. there will be quizzes to check. (not really but you get the point, this is important to me)

    Disclaimer: this does not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the staff. I am a staff member but this is simply from my mind and heart, and purposed opinions/actions only extend as far as me and my self-responsibilities in scheduling.

    P.S. for I-D : don't tell me you know what because that is irrelevant
     
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  2. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    With the possibility of impromptu tests, I myself have found no-updates-allowed gamedays have become useless. If I want to actually get my map into a gameday, I have to submit it like a week and a half before the actual event. In that time, I will probably be able to get an impromptu test on it two or three times, and I will definitely be wanting to release an updated version before the next available gameday.

    Perhaps they're still useful for late-development maps that need a lot of hours logged to begin to see emergent gameplay, but for early development maps (such as the many contest maps that are in the works), impromptu testing leaves scheduled gameday testing in the dust.

    Disclaimer: this is also my opinion as a mapper and site user, not necessarily representative of the entire staff
     
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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  3. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

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    Shmitz: The ones that need a lot of hours logged to begin to see emergent gameplay aren't going to get it in our gamedays imo.

    I think Booj make some valid points. However, some of these maps are unrealistic. They are just so out of whack that all we can do is make our thoughts vocalized, and endure the rest of the map. This obviously leads to the random chatting, the arguing, etc.

    Some of us don't have fun when the map is bad.

    It's probably just an influx of new mappers that have no clue what they are doing, but jeeze the amount of massive maps, confusing maps, etc that I've seen lately in a2 or a3, or heaven forbid b1 (Map wasn't even playerclipped or sealed off).
     
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  4. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    Warn
    Kick
    Ban.

    Its terrible this needs to be brought up again and again... yet it does. Guys leave feedback, get feedback. Be helpful, and in return get people who go out of their way to help you

    Warn
    Kick
    Ban.
    *period* Nothing bothers me more and im sure many of you who do actively map and put in overtime work to get your map ready by gameday to finally have it play testing only to hear people talking about hats... or their weekend.. etc. Guys come on lets be the helpful community we claim to be.

    =( to this, it happens but lets all be mature about it.

    If people want to complain about a service people are taking a lot of time out of their week to provide then feel free to host you're own or look elsewhere. We do our best to try to keep it fair with the amount of people signing up. Not allowing updates is a benefit to you.



    Staff speaks for staff.

    Guys flat out what is happening?
     
  5. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    As I said today in the chatroom.

    I think we are outgrowing gamedays now. When it comes down to Impromptu tests, I seem to get more and better feedback than I get from gamedays.
    Maybe if we get rid of gamedays we'll see more people in the chat. I don't know if that will be good or bad, but I can see it as good. We get more feedback as well as more people for Impromptu tests.
    Sometimes impromptu don't get the turnout of gameday however. Yet, I don't find this a problem, though some might. If only 5 or so people turn up, then we just roam around the maps offering feedback, checking for clipping problems. This is OK too! I think it would be a good thing!

    On the matter of the "no updates" thing, I can understand why Booj is doing that and I support him. I didn't submit cloudburst to testing for today because I knew I would get plenty of update and fixes before the gameday came around. And you know what? I went 3 alphas by impromptu tests. Thats the whole point? I submitted Aussieland instead which is further along in development and is a more rounded map.
    So the rule works like it should. I can understand why you might not like it, but think about what would happen if it wasn't there?
    We'd get heaps of submissions reserving slots that no one else could take because it was filled up with a bunch of first alphas.

    You guys also have to realise that Booj does all this for us, multiple times every week. He's really great for doing it for us, and I don't think he quite gets the appriciation. Gamedays don't just happen. Also, brownies for the other staff members who help out. You guys are great!

    But when it comes down to my personal opinion, I think we'll be better off without regular gamedays. Impromptu tests work fine, even without an announcement. And you could always download someone elses map and analyze it to death, they might do the same for you.
    However, the gamedays, or namely organized testing events can be useful, especially during contests. I say we continue doing them, just every few weeks or so.
    Doing this might also weed out some of the less...complete maps that we had in todays gameday. I don't mean early alphas, they're fine. I mean the map today that had no clip brushes, or the map that was unplayable. In gamedays we're stuck to a strict time schedual that can't flex very far, and thats understandable.
    In impromtu tests, if theres a map with missing clip brushes, we can move on and come back and test it later when its fixed. We don't have to endure exploiters for 20 minutes.

    Thats my 2 cents on all this.
    My opinion does not reflect the other donators or anyone else for that matter, it is a personal opinion.
     
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  6. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I've been finding the same thing, and i don't get to attend gamedays that often. Gameday gets our maps tested but a lot of the attending players don't visit the forums, and out of those who do (maybe 25-40%) only a couple will post feedback.

    It's true that gameday is not what it once was.

    Right now it seems impromptu tests are more useful to mappers in early testing. But i would not like to see gameday gone as they provide mappers with a fail safe test run. Impromptu tests are not always successful and often end up 5vs5. It's just people being selfish for gameday slots. If possible, maps should see an impromptu before being properly tested, but there's no way to moderate that.

    I wouldn't really know what to recommend, the community is huge and there are so many maps now. Which in turn floods gameday schedules.

    Gamedays are, though, starting to be used and abused. There are so many broken/innapropriate maps being run (Slightly guilty here, i realised at the last minute my map that ran yesterday had no respawnroomvisualisers), and i can't see how you can keep track of them all. Not on your own at least. I remember you mentioning this once or twice in chat. The only direct solution would be to get someone on board, dedicated to screening gameday maps. Because you obviously can't dedicate that amount of time on your own, particularly with how many gamedays we run a week now.

    But what really needs to be done is to get feedback to potential offending maps, in their threads, before they hit the gameday thread. Or some form of green light process to make sure a map is appropriate for gameday. Because people are so hastily reserving slots, they fail to check their map before shoving it in; incase they have to wait an extra 4 days/week for the next chance to test.

    Or some sort of insentive for feedback posts. Personally i find the thanks system is brilliant, but maybe we need to adapt it so that the community continues to support each other, rather than fighting for attention. Because right now, only a few of the active members are doing that, and it's also hard on them, especially when people realise this and flock to them.

    edit: If need be only run gamedays for familiar maps. It might seem a bit elitist, but after reading Aly's post it made me think about what i said about the community supporting itself. Rather than just Booj supporting everyone. Impromptu's are great for early alpha's, and gamedays should be for maps that need a thorough test. IE Beta's. Which, we can't properly moderate (i don't think) because anyone can slap _b1 on the end of their map and claim it beta, it's often a matter of perspective as well. Atleast this way, we don't clog up gamedays with maps with stupid problems.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  7. Flame

    aa Flame

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    The quality of maps has gone downhill since the contest. CTF is by no means an easy gamemode to map for. Making unbalanced A/D maps where you can add paths to solve problems is nowhere near as hard as making a layout where the whole objective at a time relies on one person and full balance. Hence the same reason for the lack of well done 5cps in this forum.

    I agree with this, it is pretty fun to find glitches and walk on obviously non clipped spots but yeah you dont need to spend the majority of the time testing walking outside of the map.

    The best feedback comes out of the forum and in the form of private messages. For me anyway. I get more maptesting done better, more efficiently, and more controlled than gameday testing. Expecting feedback on gameplay and balance in an unbalanced environment with players who have little skill and knowledge of what makes maps fun is hard to ask for.

    I would not want feedback as a mapper from most of the people in the server for gameplay and layout advice at all. Unless the map has some gamebreaking defect or some clipping/texture messups theres not much to say other than I like this map.

    You can tell me thats dumb but really, teams are never even in the pub server, and the skill level ranges from good to just installed yesterday.

    Funny you mention disabling alltalk. SINCE WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE. Not to mention you clearly dont know how close some of us are. Myself, Scorpio, Nineaxis, toaster, tmp, whoever know eachother pretty well and play tf2 with eachother outside of gameday (might seem farfetch'ed) If youre going to make us suffer 30 minutes through a 5cp that took little to no effort and a map constantly running pirate music with unplayable defensive advantage and not expect us to start goofing around in the server thats just madness. Only reason most of us even stayed was to check out aly's map which was worth it.

    Selfish and rude is far from what I'd call it. Valve does ninja stuff with their updates like COLLECTING MEDALS and LETS GET SOME HATS... and playing a ctf map for 20 minutes while you play engineer and camp your cap zone the whole time isnt what i'd call enjoyable to be honest. If you really believe more than half the people are going to stay on when an update goes live youre mistaken.

    You want mappers to RACE to get their map on gamedays a week in advance, than not let them update it the whole week. If you don't see a flaw in that you're blind. Id rather quality maps that are getting constant updates, than 3 alpha old maps that have no relevance to the mapmaker. Let the mappers update their maps, and check that the map is playable in the least before we test it. The past 3 gamedays I've shown up to have been horrible wastes of time.


    Let people update their maps, turn off alltalk if you dont want to hear me scorpio and supertoaster laughing the whole time, and maybe get more involved in the community versus being the moderator who answers entity questions and only plays with us on gameday. Theres some pretty cool people in this game who you'll never understand completely if all you do is play scheduled pubbing (as bad as that sounds)

    Smaller teams = better testing
    Better maps = better testing
    Better players = better testing

    The reason tf2lobby was originally thought up by me was so people could set up impromptu pugs whenever they wanted and not be bothered spamming their friends in a chat.

    Gameday will always go downhill if you keep giving invites to the steam group since most of them are bad pub players who only come to check out your community weapons.

    Moral of the story is gamedays kind of suck and its gonna need to be more selective if you want it to go anywhere. I personally wouldnt mind never having a gameday again and maybe changing the map rotation on the server so I dont need to play haarp or lighthouse. theres plenty of better maps.

    =]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  8. jpr

    aa jpr

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    No, we should definately keep the scheduled testing. I haven't had very good experiences with impromptu testing. It's easy for a popular mapper like shmitz to get the server full of players, but not for a more unknown one like me. I usually get 3v3 matches unless a well-known mapper's map was played before, and that isn't very good testing at all. Gameday testing has its problems but it's still the best testing a more unknown mappers can get.
     
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  9. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    Gameday is not a "Hey lets all get together and bullshit about whatever"

    You have many other times for that, hell even right after a gameday.

    Gameday is for testing new maps *period*

    So its not about someone not knowing your cliche, its about everyone there actually playtesting and feedbacking a map.

    The issue at hand is about how gamedays have gone down, not why doesn't joe blow like me *sniff sniff*
     
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  10. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

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    What specifies that we need to waste our time on new maps with obvious flaws?

    We playtest, we find obvious flaws, we point them out, suggest how to fix... Great we've got anywhere between 20-25 minutes of pointless grinding instead of getting on with it.
     
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  11. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

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    Ive never actually considered gameday to be a good venue to get good feedback, not even when the idea was still fresh. 30mins of playtime simply isn't enough time to give any quality feedback, so if you put your map up for 1 gameday and expect me to leave useful comment, sorry, but its just not going to happen. That said, Im always willing to play maps, get yours up a few times outside of gameday and ill be able to come up with some useful ideas.

    I was there today...and really, I didn't actually have any real problem with it. I've started to completely tune out mindless chatter, likely as a result of high school <_<. However, im certainly not going to complain if people do as you suggest and not say anything while several other people are already talking.

    This is pretty much a lose lose situation, as you said a chunk of the people will leave to update the game, but that doesn't account for everything. Most of the problem will come from no one being able to actually join any more. Just based on average playtime rates the server is doomed to empty out before too long. I know, i left for supper, closed tf2, when i came back it was updating so I figured I wouldn't be able to get it. Had homework so i didn't actually try...but meh

    You know my opinion on those, ill comment no further <_<

    Personally I think the rigid structure needs to be dropped, keep the scheduled gamedays, but don't actually plan out every time slot. Allows for more flexibility. I don't actually think this is likely to change any of the above problems, but i rather like that there are several times a week every week when there is a game going in the server.

    And flame...I disagree with your conclusion to an exceptional extent...mostly due to a distaste I have for comp play/ attitude, but Im not going to go into that, ill just leave it as "I disagree" <_<

    -snip-
     
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  12. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    That's not how mappers recieve the most valuble feedback. That comes in the form of observation. Watching what players do, watching the scores. No mapper who takes themselves seriously is going to listen to a players feedback without at least questioning the grounds of their statement. Such 'spoken' feedback best comes from other mapping peers, IE those who know what they are talking about when it comes to level design.

    At the end of the day these maps go out into the public domain and get hosted on pub servers. Not testing your map for pub play is just stupid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  13. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Yes, but in "normal" TF2 you're not trying to find flaws in the map. Presumably they've all already been ironed out.

    In map testing, imbalanced teams can be a pretty huge deal, because sometimes it's very hard to tell when a problem is because of teams and when it's because of the map (and the losing team always blames the map, even if they start catching up after a team scramble).

    Edit: I agree that it's important to observe pub play, and see what players do on 24 and often even 32 player servers. But the quality of feedback you get from players goes down dramatically the more imbalanced the teams are.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  14. Radaka

    Radaka L7: Fancy Member

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    The idea of having gamedays be limited to proven maps, whether proven through improv testing or mappers' reputations, seems to be a good one. Impromptu testing is, like several before me have stated, much less... rowdy. In an impromptu test it is much easier to play for as long as you'd like without having to worry about people abusing map problems as much as a gameday test.

    I also think that another system may be needed for gameday scheduling. Here is my idea:
    Have an ongoing list where mappers can post testing requests, and those can be fulfilled at any time, be it gameday, an impromptu test, or a simple glitch-finding runthrough by members that are so inclined. As for which maps are placed into each gameday, I would leave that up to Booj.; it may prove to make his responsibilities more enjoyable.

    On another note, I LOVE the "Thanks" feature on this forum. I generally thank every post that contains content that I either agree with, I think was thought out well, or is funny. I'd be all for integrating new features for that system into the forums.

    As far as feedback goes... I don't know. I prefer to message the mapper over steam rather than post feedback on the forums because it seems to hold more weight and mean more then, but the amount of feedback on the forums is sad.

    Before I continue, let me qualify myself. I do not currently need feedback, nor am I asking for it or attention; I am simply using the next statement as an example. My map koth_duplex has gotten extremely little feedback without a discernible reason. The lack of feedback is disheartening to say the least (just like Booj. said). I don't know how, but the amount of forum feedback needs a boost.
     
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  15. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I find this becomes a negligable issue the more a map gets played. Testing once gets you some useful data, you notice the significant issues, update and move on to see what else is happening... As previously mentioned by MrAlbobo, you can't rely on a single 30 minute session to judge on how to 'ultimately' proceed with your map. Mostly because of the very problem you mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  16. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

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    I feel that gamedays should only be let in for maps that are beta/rc. As some other people have said. Impromptu testing is amazing, I've had more playtests with Arid than I would if I tried to get it on gamedays. It hasn't been on one yet, it will when I have my layout refined enough that I'd want to put it on gamedays.

    -snip-

    As soon as I start playing a map, if I get lost, I get discouraged, and want to leave. Same can be said for weird mechanics, or anything else.

    -snip-
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  17. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Design is all about your audience. You are creating for a group of people, and you have to understand what they want. You're not designing for yourself, so you have to accept that sometimes you have to make changes to your design that you may not have originally intended. Likewise, you have to learn how to filter feedback based on how closely the person fits the average member of your audience. Remember their experience is never wrong, so be careful in judging how relevant it is to your design goals.

    On the other side of the coin, if you are providing feedback to a designer, you have to accept that you may or may not be representative of their target audience. Not everyone is making competitive maps. Not everyone is making pub maps. Not everyone is making maps for people who enjoy A/D. Not everyone is making maps for people who enjoy offense vs offense. Try to understand the mapper's goal, and how it relates to your own experience. If you had an unpleasant experience, ask yourself if it could have been affected by your team or personal bias (do you dislike the gamemode? tf2? first person shooters? computers?) before delivering your Ultimate Truth to the designer.
     
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  18. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Raising the standard for Maps that get into gameday isn't going to raise the quality of feedback given. If anything, it will encourage joining just to play a map made by a respected artist, leading to even more useless waste-play. There's a lot more of everything now, more people, more maps and more urgency for getting feedback which is leading to a desperate situation that in the end will destroy this constructive community.

    So maybe having a quality standard introduced would help counter this, but only in the aspect of getting helpful critics to contribute. Make the gameday open only to contributing members (an example of why the impromptu tests are so successful, because the people who attend them are the helpful, friendly members who attend only to help the map maker in need of some feedback.) to prevent innocent pubbers stumbling in on an open slot and not knowing what's going on.

    And then If a lack of quality feedback is the problem, maybe introducing a pay-it-forward system is in order, you have to give approved feedback on 2 other maps before you can submit your map for gameday. Meaning that the Gameday will once again consist of eager, critiquing map-makers.

    I feel guilty saying this because I usually don't participate in Gamedays, I leave my slot open for someone else who doesn't have a crippling ping. But after reading this thread I vow to find some lonely maps and give them a run through with my fine-toothed comb. Keep this community virtuous!
     
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  19. Colt Seavers

    Colt Seavers L6: Sharp Member

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    Few thoughts
    - I find gamedays, in principle, more useful for Alpha maps that have not had their layout finalised properly - but that's only because once it's in beta I have no problem getting it tested in my own community.
    - My experience of impromtu testing within TF2maps.net hasn't been great - I've found it very hard to get anyone from the chat room to play. Then again. I don't know them well enough yet probably. I therefore like the idea of organised gamedays.
    - Having said I like the idea, I can't say the same about the experience. The atmosphere appears rather curt. After the first one (which resulted in me dropping a map - so it DID serve a purpose and stopped me wasting time on it), it took a bit of will to submit my comp ctf map - just out of fear of repeat (didn't at all mind the honest critisism. Objected to a couple of downright rude comments).
    - Once a map is in beta, it's easier to get impromptu tests with friends.
    - It's really difficult re allowing changes to versions. Personally, I've realised I'm not going to be able to use gamedays - I map alot at the moment as I'm not working, so there's no chance a map in alpha dev won't have moved on to a new version between submission and testing. This means it doesn't work for me - doesn't mean it's any less useful for others who have less time to work on their maps.
    - Don't think it's relevant whether it's comp or pub playtesters. I've run a tf2 community since beta. We've tested lots of maps from alpha, as a community. The feedback given has often been great. Some of the maps have even turned out great - with just pub testing, no comp.... Then again The skill levels of our pubbers is pretty good. the point is though - it doesn't matter who's playing your map - if they are obviously enjoying themselves, you know you're on the right track. Many of us have played competitively - and of course, competitive maps have specific requirements. However, I do think it's wise when making maps for any game, to make them with the broadest audience in mind - in most circumstances.

    hmmm, bit of a ramble but yea. I'd conclude to say Gamedays are a great in principle idea. They seem flawed in practice. I wouldn't be keen on beta only gamedays.

    Idea - maybe do this : When a person joins the forum they get some 'gameday tokens' say, 3. They use these to submit maps to gameday - no tokens, no testing.
    At the end of a map, the voting plugin is run - forcing players to rate it (in a testing context) as simply 'absolutely aweful' 'got potential' or 'fantastic work'. Scoring the latter two would get you another token. Scoring an aweful would not.
    You could supplement this (without making it any more complicated than it needs to be) with community triggers for earning testing tokens. I'd suggest forum posts is a decent enough way.

    Just a thought.
     
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  20. Caliostro

    Caliostro L6: Sharp Member

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    IMO, the problem with this rule is that you changed other rules that affected it.

    When people complained about gameday testing, the thread opened 2 days before gameday, and closed the day before (or something like that) resulting in about 24 hours to post, and 24 hours to wait. It was pretty reasonable to have to wait a day or two to get your map tested, and "updating" your submission was harmful because if you didn't have it ready the day before gameday, you really were just going to rush it anyways. Additionally the same map could be tested several gamedays in a row, which resulted in the "Icarus effect" (no, Icarus wasn't the only one, just the more "famous" for it) of people playing the same map every 2 days full of minor changes just to be squeezed in for another gameday. It was unnecessary and was taking away the chance for other people to test. "There's a window missing! Crank out alpha3424 and submit to tomorrow's gameday!". Meanwhile MapperJoe over there put 2 weeks of effort into making real changes and can't submit his map because HyperSaly camped out the thread.

    But you changed most of those things. Now threads can be open a week before the day... Going 1 week without updating your map, especially in early alphas, especially in contest entries, seems almost punishing. I had a ctf map lined up for testing... almost 2 weeks or something from the day I posted. I got it tested like, 5 times, and am up to version a4 already, and my gameday would be this weekend... What was the point of leaving a1 up for testing? "Thanks for all the feedback guys. Unfortunately it's useless since I've made major changes and the map...cheers!". Adding to that, you added the one major rule I had asked you for in the start of the plr contest that prevented "thread camping", the same author not being allowed the same map several days in a row. This forces people to think about their changes already.

    The "dynamic" behind gameday changed with those policies, and, IMO, you should adjust them. IMO, either go back to the "opens 2 days before, closes the day before" and keep the "no update" policy, or, the best option in my view, keep the system as it is now and remove the "no update" policy, let people update at will till the day before. Under the current system you're already punished enough for submitting a map before thinking, you have to wait an entire "cycle", so to speak.

    My idea is that people would be reserving a spot for their map (ctf_map, ctf_capturetheflag, etc), not map version (ctf_map_a23, ctf_capturetheflag_b52, etc) under a certain gameday. Come the day before gameday, whichever version they have available would be uploaded, and tested the day after. The long "thread openings" and the "cooldown" rules would keep people from thread camping anyways, IMO.

    That said, I agree with the rest of your points about community attitude, unfortunately. But I still think gameday is needed.
     
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