[GUIDE] Giving Feedback

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Bombraker, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Bombraker

    Bombraker L1: Registered

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    Good Feedback - something every good mapper wants, every beginner needs, and everybody should be able to give.

    Before I start off, a very important note regarding the TAKING of feedback:

    You should NEVER take feedback personally. EVER.​


    Now back to giving feedback

    When I partake in impromptu’s or game days I often see comments like this fly by;

    "Not really liking the spawn/main base areas”
    “This is dumb, I don’t like it”
    "I hate the look of this room”


    … and all of those make me sad!

    Someone might have actually put a lot of time and effort into making that map. They even want so far as to seek out feedback from other people they don’t even know, and thereby made themselves vulnerable to the most relentless stranger on the internet. Only to discover that their entire feedback log is full of comments that will only discourage that person from ever touching Hammer again.

    This is (of-course) not what we want, and nobody wants to receive unhelpful comments like this, ever.


    Constructive feedback​


    Feedback exists to make people better.

    When you give feedback think about this: Will what I’m saying/writing help the mapper make his map better? If not; how can I alter my feedback to help that person grow?

    Always be constructive, not destructive. Being destructive doesn’t make anyone better (and makes you look like an ).


    Opinions​


    Having an opinion is perfectly fine, but beware that everyone has the right to have another opinion. Don’t enforce yours. Saying once that you don’t like death pits is fine. But don’t come back every feedback session and repeat the same opinion over and over again. The mapper is aware of your opinion, and might have a death pith fetish, let them be. Every bit of opinionated feedback is useful, as long as it stays constructive towards a better map, no single opinion is law.

    When you give opinionated feedback please identify that you are talking personal preference whilst giving feedback. For instance say: “I don’t like this death pit, maybe remove it? Keep in mind I generally dislike death pits.”


    Suggestions​


    Suggestions are great, but beware of your tone. Please tell the mapper how you would fix similar problems/do something a different way, but (again) don’t expect your way to be the only way.

    Giving constructive suggestions is the great way of giving feedback*, since you’re actually helping the creator become a better mapper. Sharing experience and resources is the best thing that a great community like TF2maps.net can do.


    Did you know a PERSON is behind this map?​


    Don’t forget that the person you’re giving feedback is human. We all have feelings and a prone to make mistakes. If you are out to hurt someone’s feelings I suggest you go to a room in your house that has a mirror and take a good look at what you’ve become in that shiny piece of human engineering.


    Don’t forget, it's only _a1​


    Don’t judge an Alpha staged map by its dev textures. Don’t judge a Beta staged map by its lack of optimization. Don’t start yelling about the poor spawn times of a “_a1” map. This might seem obvious but I’ve seen it happen.

    Keep in mind the version that a map is at. Be a bit forgiving depending on the stage a map is at. Please by all means make the mapper aware of bugged doors and broken spawns, however don’t rip the poor person’s hart out, it’s only at _a2. We should all be perfectly capable to understand how much work goes into making a map work, and there is no need to ruin a mapper’s day by constantly reminding them of that one thing they forgot to do.

    Finally don’t forget to be a bit forgiving towards new mappers. We all started at the bottom, don’t be an ass.

    Thanks for reading if you have any constructive feedback please tell me!

    Midas

    *** Great tips I got from the comments below ***

    1. Don't forget that that person gave that feedback for a reason, there might be (perceived) honesty in their cruel feedback.
    2. Written feedback is great, however don't forget to download and check the demos TF2maps.net provides. You can learn a lot more (especially where you have balance issues) from looking at what players do than to listening what they say.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  2. MaccyF

    aa MaccyF Notoriously Unreliable

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    This guide is terrible, why did you even bother /s

    Seriously though, Thanks for taking the time to write this, its really easy to be overly critical or just to phrase your suggestion nastily without realising.
     
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  3. Grizzly Berry

    aa Grizzly Berry

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    Idolon actually made a post awhile back about this here, but thanks for bringing it back up again. It's something I noticed when I was getting my map imp'd this weekend.

    The map I created was my first 5CP, so there were bound to be issues, but a couple of people hammered the same things over and over again. "Why did they put in a shutter door? Don't they know shutters are bad?"

    First off, let's look at the existing 5CP maps. Out of twelve maps, only TWO of them don't have a shutter door (cp_5gorge and cp_foundry). So right away, I'm dismissing this feedback and less likely to listen to what this person has to say in the future.

    However, if they had told me why they didn't like the shutter door and gave me a suggestion on how to improve it, I would be much more receptive to their feedback and anything else they may say later.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  4. Bunbun

    aa Bunbun Gay sex slave

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    I hate it when people just say "this map sucks" and "this map is too small".
     
  5. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Feedback is best when it identifies a perceived problem rather than necessarily proposing a solution or spouting "common knowledge".
     
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  6. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Addressing the mappers who are getting the feedback, I'd like to add this:

    The feedback system is awesome. It really is. But it's very limited. People can't exactly give comprehensive feedback when in the middle of a game, and their opinions are going to be reflective of what's going on in the map at the time.

    Sometimes people rush to type in something and you'll have no clue what they're talking about. And sometimes they'll be annoyed because they just got killed and rant a little. Don't take this personally.

    Where the feedback system shines is in aesthetics -

    "This area is too dark, team ID is hard"

    "These textures are misaligned."

    "This prop is actually a welder, not a power supply"

    ...General gameplay...

    "having trouble finding ammo here"

    "this choke feels really brutal"

    "we pushed the cart to cap 3 much faster than from 1 to 2"

    ...and bug reporting -

    "this roof isn't clipped, I can see forever"

    "I can walk through this prop and get into red spawn"

    "the door closed and now I'm stuck"

    But for BALANCE ISSUES-- that is to say how well designed your map is -- YOU NEED TO WATCH THE DEMOS. Again and again.

    Demos are invaluable for understanding what's going wrong (and what's going right) with your map.

    Watch your demo one time just to get an idea of what's going on. Watch it again while keeping an eye on one particular player. Watch it again while keeping an eye on <insert classname here>. And so on and so forth. This will give you a lot of insight into how your map plays.

    Demos are worth their weight in gold australium. Watch them. Learn from them.
     
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  7. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Welcome to mapping :)

    I felt the same way when I started out here but over the course of time the sometimes brutal honesty can help out a lot with the goal of making your map better.

    A lot of the guys here have been doing this for 6-7 years but it's always nice to remember on the odd occasion to play nice boys!

    I watched you live on Twitch and though you were doing a great job of it!
     
  8. Joey

    Joey L1: Registered

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    Great bit of info. Its very clear (to me at least) and easy to identify good feedback and bad feedback. Its simply between "This is too small, it sucks." and "this is too small, however you might be able to fix/improve it by doing x." To me, its easy to distinguish them and ignore bad feedback. But hopefully this post will shine light on some of the people who provide "bad" feedback and help them change their ways.
     
  9. shadowslasher11

    aa shadowslasher11

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    I'll also add to this.

    While playing with bots is a good idea on how areas you and maybe not even a 1000 other people could ever think to abuse. Because trust me, I've seen bots calculate how to get sticky bombs into areas I never imagined when playing engineer, it's not always the best solution.

    I agree with EArkham on the idea of watching Demos as they are a shit ton of help. But you should also play the shit out of your maps in gamedays, imps, and just overall whenever you can get time. It not only gives you a perspective on how the map plays, but you even get to experience how it plays. So that way you can really make your mind up better when viewing your stuff.
     
  10. Bombraker

    Bombraker L1: Registered

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    I'm aware of Ido's post :) I liked it and thought I could elaborate on it. Your situation is exactly why I wanted to write this one. Not everyone knows how to give good feedback, so I decided to throw the things I learned over the years into a forum post :)
     
  11. Bombraker

    Bombraker L1: Registered

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    Definitely true :) Though suggestions also help new mappers improve, and it also keeps them motivated. I imagine it not be fun seeing only negative feedback on your first map without any suggestion to improve it.
     
  12. Bombraker

    Bombraker L1: Registered

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    I just wanted to write this post as a result of feedback I saw given on many of the 72hr maps. I've actually been doing level design for quite some time now, and am able to see through the negative comments and thereby finding the true problems. I think that is a skill that will develop over time, and hope this post will maybe help people reach that point as well.

    Thanks for the compliment! :)