I don't know what else to do...

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by OctoBlitz, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. OctoBlitz

    OctoBlitz L4: Comfortable Member

    Positive Ratings:
    As some of you know, I have a map called koth_fiesta and I have been trying to work hard on it for a while. However I cannot take this much bad criticism, no one gets the artstyle I have in place and trying to provide, Features that I have intentionally that I am adding are disliked, its "too flat", its "too steep" I cannot take it! How the hell am I supposed to do this? Anything I try fails and I am left to defeat.... Can someone just help me out to try and find a fix to all my problems before I just scrap this map and quit mapping?

  2. Nicky

    aa Nicky Rotten Tops

    Positive Ratings:
    Learning from all of this feedback will greatly help you. But, if you are getting frustrated with mapping, take a break. I was getting frustrated with my map cp_camp, and I did abandon it, but I then decided to just completely stop mapping for a bit. At that point, I had been mapping non stop for like 3 months, for the detail contest, April fools contest, and to work on camp. Now I haven't mapped for a month, except for periodically building a small bit and seeing how it looks. It's given me a lot of time to think about my life outside of mapping (cause at that point it was the only thing I'd been doing for 3 months), and it gave me time to think about how I could improve on mapping. For the past month, I've been planning and very slowly creating a map, and all the time I have been meticulously looking at my design and comparing to that of previous maps and how those ideas did in terms of feedback. Did players like it? Did they hate it? And now, even though I haven't released anything in a whole month, I feel confident about my future map. This break has been great, and has made me a much happier, less frustrated person, than when I was during my "mapping rush".
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  3. RodionJenga

    RodionJenga L5: Dapper Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I don't think I've played fiesta, but I know that feel. It's fun to design maps based on a particular setting, but some settings have a lot of spaces that are very Unfun in TF2, such as large open areas and long straight corridors. Compromising may be necessary to make a map that is both recognizable and fun. Worse comes to worst, put recognizable things out of bounds or in the 3-D skybox.

    EDIT: Practical advice after walking around in your map-
    1) remember that players are different and may leave contradictory advice. Aint it fun?!
    2) For the next version focus on fixing the micro-seams and holes that have been fb'd
    3) Also consider making all walls dev textures, it's only an alpha after all. If you want to keep the textures, at least be much more liberal with the red and blue computerwall stained textures you seem to be using, especially around mid. Players don't like getting lost and the billboards aren't enough.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  4. Davekillerish

    aa Davekillerish Lvl O: Orange Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Get into some other games for a while, and come back in like a few weeks or months in my case... I spent all my time detailing and lost all sence of what a layout was xD

    So I took a month off, and now im back at it again with some motivation and passion for the art again.

    Look in the mirrior, tell yourself, if they hate it now just wait till I dont do anything for a month come back and make it EPIC!
  5. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

    Positive Ratings:
    If you want to make maps you're going to have to learn how to use feedback. We can't do it for you. I can give you some advice on how to process it, of course, and apply it, but you must understand that there is no such thing as bad criticism. By saying that, you write-off every useful comment, or observation that we play testers have about your work. We spent time playing your map and telling you how we felt about it. You're going to have to put aside your negative feelings and start looking at our comments objectively. I know you probably feel like you are being attacked, but you must see things from our perspective. If we aren't having fun on your map, it's going to be reflected in the feedback.

    Here are some blunt facts:
    • No one cares about your art style. When we join a map that's in alpha stage, we are focusing on how it plays. We may make comments about the textures if they seem unusual to us. For example, some of them look stretched, making the map feel like something out of a Nintendo 64 game. It doesn't matter, if that's what you want, but you should refrain from styling your map until beta stage or you're going to get comments about weird things every playtest. The majority of your map is the same small band of bland colours. Even in alpha stage, you need to put in some variation in texturing and detail to help players understand where they are in the world. Otherwise, they're going to get lost and bored.
    • Never put func_nobuild on walkable spaces, like the control point. Engineers should be able to build anywhere they can stand, except for rocks and other surfaces that can't be reached by spies. If you think sentries are a problem in certain spots, then look at changing the layout to give enemies ways around them. Be additive with regard to class abilities, providing places where classes can do what they like, rather than being subtractive by restricting them.
    • Feedback is great! Even the stuff that sounds bad is a hint at a problem, if you try to think about what caused the player to make the comment. The more feedback you get, the more players care about your work and want it to improve. The more feedback you get, the more ideas you have to improve it and the better your idea of what, to the playerbase, feels good and what does not. Remember, even though you like something, it doesn't mean it's good for other people. The map you are making is going to be played by those other people, so who are you really building it for? Them, or yourself?
    • Every good map began as something that needed improvement.
    • If you don't listen to and respond to feedback, and continue to release map versions that don't address important problems, people will stop giving you useful feedback because they feel like it's a waste of time.
    • You will receive lots of feedback about things people do not like, but very little feedback about what people like. If there are multiple problems, a play tester will be focusing on those first, before looking for things he likes.
    Now here's how I process feedback:
    1. Draw a map of the map on a piece of paper, or make a list of the separate areas. For example, 'Base', 'Mid room', 'Death pit', 'Cellar' and so on. If your map is symmetrical and not Attack/Defense, you only have to write/draw one side of it, e.g. Red side.
    2. Read all the text feedback. For each comment, draw it on your map/write it in your list on/in the appropriate area. For example, if someone says "I can't get behind the enemy as a spy in the mid room,", draw it/write it on/in the 'Mid room' section. Do that for every piece of feedback. If you have duplicate feedback, then put a tally mark next to it for each duplicate. If you receive the same feedback multiple times it might mean you have a problem that's more obvious or urgent than others.
    3. Now watch the demo videos, read the in-game chat and listen to the voice chat. You can control the playback of the demo using console commands, which you can bind to keys. I use the following, which you can add to tf/cfg/config.cfg if you like:
      bind "KP_INS" "demoui2"
      bind "KP_END" "demo_togglepause"
      bind "KP_DOWNARROW" "demo_timescale 0.6"
      bind "KP_PGDN" "demo_timescale 1"
      bind "KP_LEFTARROW" "hidepanel specgui"
      Do the same for every comment you read or hear during the demo as you did with the text feedback. Play the demo over several times if you have to. Watch certain players, see what they do, and what difficulties they have. Ask yourself how you could make the map better for them.
    4. Read all the notes you made and identify common issues. Come up with ways to change the map to address those issues. If you aren't sure how, take some screenshots and ask questions in your map's forum thread, or in the Steam chat room. Explain the problem and ask for suggestions.
    I don't advocate taking a break because I believe it's important to work through your problems. If you stop now, you might not start again and all your progress will have been lost. Now you have a map to improve, the hard work begins, but this experience is so valuable to you and will help you understand things so much better.
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