[Info] Map Naming Standards

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by ryodoan, May 3, 2008.

  1. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    I. Why I am making this post
    I am making this post for a couple reasons. First, because I have been organizing the game day and seen a wide variance in the way maps are named, some hypothetical examples:

    • cp_goodname_a1
    • cp_badname_alpha1
    • cp_HorribleName_2
    • WhyGodName
    I am not a mapper, I will readily admit that, however I am a programmer. As a programmer I have learned to follow all sorts of naming conventions which at first seemed retarded, but I have learned to love.

    Also, I am an avid TF2 Custom map fan, as such I like to see custom maps prosper. This is one area where I think custom maps really, really need to improve.

    II. Why Good naming is important
    A good, systematic naming scheme does several things.

    1. Makes it easy for server admins to set up servers.
    2. Makes it easy for players and admins to keep track of what edition of map they are playing
    3. Makes it easy for players to see what type of map they are joining.
    III. The Basic Name Layout
    An example to start things off, here is what I consider a good name:
    ctf_mymap2_b3a

    Why do I think this is a good name?

    • ctf
      • Starts off by telling you what type of map this is. Just by browsing the server list I can see they are playing a ctf map, if I want to play a ctf game then bam, I join the server. Many people leave off this designation for some reason, however I think its vital to include it. If your map is not exactly one of the main categories, try to pick the one that is closest.
      • Look at all Valve maps for good examples.
    • mymap2
      • Here you can see the name of my map, and the fact that it is the second edition of the map I am making.
      • Look at Castle3, Dust2, Science2, dual_duel2, the list goes on.
    • b3a
      • b
        • Signals that this is a beta map, if it were an alpha it would be a3a
        • Acceptable annotations here are:
          • a - Alpha
          • b - Beta
          • rc - Release Candidate.
      • 3
        • Signals that this is the third major release of the beta.
        • What constitutes major? Pretty much any design change. You change the layout, you improve some textures, you just need to change something that would be visible to the users.
      • a
        • Optional, but a good idea.
        • Signals that this is the first minor release.
        • What constitutes minor? Changes that the user can not see that do not effect gameplay. This saves you from having two different version of the same map with the same name which leads to confusion and problems.
          • An example: The compile messed up but you did not catch it until you had already uploaded it to some sites for distribution. Recompile and add a minor release update notation.

    IV: Some basic rules


    • Don't capitalize any words in your mapname. It is easy to mistype map names when you are putting them on a server, and putting capital letters in the name just makes things harder.
    • Use an accepted gametype abbreviation. At the moment I think that those accepted gametype abbreviations are: ctf, cp, pl, and dom.
    • When it comes to the Alpha / Beta / Release candidate notation keep this in mind:
      • Alpha
        • Abv. "a" ex. ctf_map_a3
        • Your map has a basic layout down pat, but your still open to sweeping layout changes. Also the map is expected to be less than 75% textured.
      • Beta
        • Abv. "b" ex. ctf_map_b3
        • Your map's layout is nearly finalized, only small basic changes to the layout are expected. Also the map is expected to be mostly, if not completely, textured.
      • Release Candidate
        • Abv. "rc" ex. ctf_map_rc3
        • Your map is nearly finished (or you are nearly finished with it) and you do not plan on making anymore design changes. The textures are 100% completed. This is a build to ensure there are no sever crashing bugs and that all textures are in the map, all cubemaps are built, and that generally the map looks polished.
    • Major vs. Minor versions.
      • A major version would be switching from ctf_map_b2 -> ctf_map_b3.
      • A minor version would be switching from ctf_map_b2 -> ctf_map_b2a -> ctf_map_b2b
      • What is a major version?
        • Major version is when you have improved the map in some way. You updated textures, changed the layout, or generally just did more work on the map.
        • Minor version is when something goes wrong with your build and you have already distributed your map to someone or some website.
      • Why is this important?
        • rebuild the cubemaps and postLets say you build your map, post it to FPSBanana, then suddenly realize you forgot to build cubemaps for map ctf_supercool_b1. You rush back to your computer and it back to FPSBanana with the same title. Little did you realize that 3-4 server admins had already downloaded the map. You now have two versions with the same name being used on different servers. So when one users joins a server running one version he downloads it. He then goes to a different server and is told that his version of the map does not match the servers version. If he wants to play on the new server he has to alt-tab out, delete the old map file, and then join the server again to redownload the correct version.
        • You could argue that the above problem could also be solved by just updating the major version number, however I think this is also a bad idea becuase you are not really changing anything major, just fixing a minor problem.
    • Special Cases:
      • The *_v# case, aka "cp_mappy_v2" *note* this is still not the *best* way to go about it. I still prefer to just rename to cp_mappy2.
        • So you released your map as cp_mappy, after a few weeks you realize that cp_mappy has a problem, it has an exploit or crashing problems.
        • If you fix the problem and release the map with the same name, you will run into the problem that servers running the new edition of your map will not be compatible with people who previously downloaded the map and they will get an annoying "Local Map differs from server version"
        • The Solution: rename the new version of your map from cp_mappy to cp_mappy_v2
    Any thoughts? Any additions? Any Modifications? I mainly wrote this up to get people talking about it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 36
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  2. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    Omg <3
     
  3. Pseudo

    Pseudo L6: Sharp Member

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    What do you think about maps using "_v#" for version, instead of just the number? Such as ctf_turbine_v3, ctf_convoy_v2, etc.

    Some map releases have "_final" at the end of their name. Good idea, or unnecessary?
     
  4. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    Well, I will answer your 2nd question first. _final I think is the most pointless thing ever. The one that comes to mind is ctf_snowfort_final, the thing is, ctf_snowfort means exactly the same thing so I would definitely say to leave it off.

    That is actually why I added in the whole "Release Candidate" part. The only point to "final" is to have a way of saying that your working on the release copy of the build, but the problem is everyone takes "final" to mean exactly that, its final, done, complete so they dont download any later versions if you find out that your "final" build was not exactly final. I think that the whole "Release Candidate" part of the process might be taking it a bit far also, you should just make your last couple betas be your "Release Candidate" however if you feel like you really want people to know that your essentially finished I tossed in the "rc" tag.

    As for the *_v#, I think that all in all it would work better as "ctf_turbine3" or "ctf_convoy2". One of the reasons is that if you do a beta of that map its going to be an annoyance for server admins to type in if there are multiple maps named like that and if its going to annoy the admins your not going to get as much coverage. Also, "ctf_convoy_v2_b1" just does not look as proffesional to me as "ctf_convoy2_b1".
     
  5. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

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    I would think that using _v2, _v3 is useful for updates after the "final" release due to, say, a previously unknown exploit being used. Since we can't force updates on people, we can't just keep calling the map cp_dustbowl every time we fix a get-under-the-map exploit, so we'd have to call it cp_dustbowl_v2 and so on.
     
  6. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    But wouldn't calling it cp_dustbowl2 have the same effect? I see your point, but I am just curious.
     
  7. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

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    Well, no; I would expect cp_dustbowl2 to be a new map, only based on or inspired by the original. Kind of like TF vs TF2... or, in a way, de_dust vs de_dust2.
     
  8. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    So how would you recommend I change the original post to account for _v2's?

    I will make a quick change, you can tell me if its the right way of wording it.
     
  9. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

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    Looks good to me.
     
  10. AWESOME-O

    AWESOME-O L10: Glamorous Member

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    can you add the prefix: core_mapname
    core is a totaly different playstyle, but with a full server its really cool
     
  11. DragonFlame

    DragonFlame L1: Registered

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    i was about to ask that lolz...i am currently using cd_ for my core map (core destruction = cd)
     
  12. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    well, this is not really a thread to debate what are accepted gametypes. the ones i gave where primarily for an example.
     
  13. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    I personally find _v# silly, but that's my opinion. Just 2 extra characters to type unnecessarily. A simple number added serves the same purpose, no matter how much it's been updated.
     
  14. AWESOME-O

    AWESOME-O L10: Glamorous Member

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    if its still alpha and orange it should be:
    cp_yourmap_tehorangebox

    :D
     
  15. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    You also forgot tc. Poor hydro... =P
     
  16. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    As I said earlier in this thread, its not about listing gametypes, that is a topic that could last for 2 pages and never be resolved.
     
  17. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Btw, how about maps that are named like:

    cp_css_dust2_v2

    for a remake of de_dust2 for css. There is nothing about such names in it while i actualy already did use such name before: ctf_rf_checkmate_b3 (a beta 3 of a remake of a redfaction map - with edits ofcourse, pure remakes are usualy bad). Are these names bad or good?
     
  18. FaTony

    FaTony Banned

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    WhyGodName
     
  19. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    Bad, I would say. Your not making a css map, your making a TF2 map. While other mappers might question your logic in remaking a CSS map for TF2, I would say that just using the "dust" name is signal enough to those who have played CSS.

    I would write it more as just "cp_dust2" if you really felt the need. It got known as dust2 because it was the second version of dust, so maybe you can move on to "cp_dust3".
     
  20. HoundDawg

    HoundDawg L1: Registered

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    This should be required reading for all mappers as I've seen bad map naming for YEARS! It's been irritating to both players and server admins alike.