Heading towards nowhere

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by a2h, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. a2h

    a2h L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    93
    Positive Ratings:
    30
    Probably nobody cares but I'm just going throw out this topic anyway.

    I have the patience to work on a map, its details, all that.

    But after nearly two years after starting to try out mapping for Team Fortress 2, I only have a gimmick map and a still nowhere near complete payload map out in this world.

    What I'm venting against is getting into this world of mapping and getting it right.

    My experience of mapping can basically be summed up as the follows:
    • Start mapping
    • Get minimal feedback
    • Do some changes
    • Get the same minimal feedback
    • Go "WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING WRONG" to myself
    • Ask
    • Give up
    • Come back and work on it again
    • Get the same minimal feedback
    • Try out some changes
    • Recursion
    • Recursion
    • Give up

    There are people out there that I see that are willing to help out, from simply players in a community to some mappers.

    But beyond this minimal flow I haven't got anywhere.

    One of the same feedback I get is layout issues. That's all and well, but a famous filmmaker may as well be telling an ambitious filmmaker "x is a problem" and leave it there, with absolutely no elaboration or pointers at all at what's wrong.

    Not only that, but there's this thing I'm seeing of "classes", much like society itself, with the ordinaries, the slightly-more-well-knowns, and the celebrities. I'd consider myself a "below-ordinary". Why?

    I constantly see flow of feedback to others in the mapping threads, while my thread for Tyrol constantly drops out of the radar and stays that way, whether it be after a new version or a playtest.

    What's the point of trying to fix something if you don't know how to make it better? I may as well be going after a broken refrigerator with a wrench and whack it and hope for the best.
     
  2. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

    Messages:
    4,468
    Positive Ratings:
    1,682
    Most of the threads that get this feedback are maps that people like, look really good, or are constantly tested. Its frustrating I know but if you keep updating the thread constantly people will take notice and post more.
     
  3. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

    Messages:
    776
    Positive Ratings:
    211
    I find that the biggest problem with tf2maps is the creator-user ratio. There are far more people submitting maps that looking at them, and it would be better if we somehow merged with a larger tf2 community or something, so that someone other than mappers could get a look at it.
     
  4. Numerous

    Numerous L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    150
    Positive Ratings:
    72
    Which "larger tf2 community"? Steam forums, or fpsbanana?

    Basically, I think we need more people doing "community service", or maybe just have a function that randomly picks a map for you to review. Maybe have some thing where after you give detailed reviews to X maps, you get a golod star or something. Then maybe, if you linked it to the forum somehow (even just having a "this guy is an awesome reviewer" pic for a signature), then people would be more motivated to help out.
     
  5. Trotim

    aa Trotim

    Messages:
    1,180
    Positive Ratings:
    995
    Or are made by popular users. =P
     
  6. Numerous

    Numerous L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    150
    Positive Ratings:
    72
    And how do they become popular users..?

    Either way, the system should have something in place to discourage the user's bias. Or, conversely, to encourage the user's charity/decision not to be biased.
     
  7. Undies

    Undies L1: Registered

    Messages:
    45
    Positive Ratings:
    9
    I personally prefer the advice of other mappers, so long as it's not limit feedback like "that's broken, fix it." CONSTRUCTIVE criticism/feedback plox, nobody likes hearing the obvious.
     
  8. Caliostro

    Caliostro L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    261
    Positive Ratings:
    110
    Ok, I'll be the first to say that, in general, we need to dish out more constructive criticism, and I try to do it myself, BUT, the thing is, a lot can be accomplished by yourself.

    Get your map on a gameday, ask for a demo. When the map is playing ask people what they think, specific questions if you have any specific concerns... "is this area too big?", "does this feel balanced?", etc. Watch the demo after and see how the map is playing, then ask yourself if that's how you want it to play.
     
  9. Colt Seavers

    Colt Seavers L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    290
    Positive Ratings:
    81
    I've always tried hard to support mappers in my old community, Coltsplayground.net and now at Playstuff.net.....and only recently become one myself.

    I have discovered something - I'm MUCH better at encouraging people to test and feedback on other peoples maps than my own. As a new mapper, i'm conscious I have a long way to go - and that there are helluvalot of maps thrown out there these days - often alpha's that don't progress.

    In the presence of all these maps, it's bound to be a challenge to get yours played and noticed - especially at alpha, when you are still trying to get your layout sorted. It also worth noting that if you're hanging out in steam chat or posting on other peoples posts, you can probably expect a little more attention on yours - only to an extent though.

    It seems it's a skill, just like anything else. If you ensure you talk to people with respect, make the effort to respond to feedback and iteratively release, slowly but surely people will become familiar with your map. Once they do, they'll either love it or hate it. If they love it / see it's potential, then they'll be keen to help you polish it. I suspect if they hate it you'll find out too ;)

    I think what i'm saying is that it's a pretty level playing field out there - mappers with track records get more attention - but that's cos they have track records ; ie, it's deserved. The rest of us need to remain humble, carry on improving our knowledge and ability, remain optemistic, and interact. If we do this right, there is no reason people will ignore us. I know for a fact that I could have had ctf_soda tested more already - fact is i'm not very good at making it happen for my own maps - I know how - I guess i'm just shy about them. It's my fault - and I know what to do to make it better ;)

    BTW I've had one experience of map testing here. It was pretty painful I must admit. I had a 'this is the worst map ever' or two. I made sure I stuck around for a few hours playing after that - I may not have liked the feedback I was getting - but it was feedback - and that's what i'd asked for. I've scrapped the map - so whilst painful feedback - it saved me wasting my time on a map people seemed to positively hate.
     
  10. Swiftmind

    Swiftmind L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    73
    Positive Ratings:
    20
    Best way to get feedback is not hearing what the testers have to say but watching the recordings of your playtests once or twice. Now who cares if the testers talk about their pants on the ground, just watch what they are doing. My brother and I figured out solutions to a lot of issues with Silo C that the playtesters did not even mention/notice or did mention breify/reacted too. Im sure your doing this already though.

    The biggest success I had with feedback was being in the playtest, physically playing with the testers, and constantly engaging the playtesters with questions and potential ideas. I can sometimes ramble on but it really does help in pulling out constuctive feedback from the testers. Otherwise they are just going to play TF2 and mention anything they either absolutely hate or get completely fustrated with.

    Thats all I can really say. Hope it helps and keep at it!

    What is your map anyway? You should put a link in your signiture to the developer thread.
     
  11. Trotim

    aa Trotim

    Messages:
    1,180
    Positive Ratings:
    995
    Eh, there are many ways. My point was that sometimes, even bad maps can receive a lot of unwarranted attention while the good ones may be ignored. Don't overestimate the importance of user feedback, especially by such relatively small/confined communities.
     
  12. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    679
    Positive Ratings:
    192
    it's all about analysis, really, and while I definetely agree it is annoying to not have much feedback, the reasons I don't post on a thread would normally be
    1) I don't know enough about the map to say anything constructive
    2) There isn't enough information about the map for me to know enough about it...

    Get yourself known in the community, comment on people's maps, help people out, make friends!, playtest other people's maps, and they will be happy to do the same for you.

    ...I hope so...

    Even if you don't get many posts on your thread, analysis on the playtesting is super helpful. I found, while all I got in terms of comments was "omg, orange? wtf?" when I tested my first map, watching the testers' behaviour was more helpful:
    1) Do they cluster around certain points? Why? Is this something I want? If not, what can I do to stop this?
    2) Are certain routes not used? Why? What can I do to make them more appealing?

    I made a list of points of what I wanted my map to achieve: if these points aren't achieved, I go back and see why and what I can do.
     
  13. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    679
    Positive Ratings:
    192
    oh and the tyrol thread seems pretty supportive, lots of people asking for gamedays etc