[Info] The Development(dev) process

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by absurdistof, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

    Positive Ratings:
    After seeing way too many maps released straight into beta (not like S.W.A.T.Y.) without testing, or people releasing fully detail map, or to V.02 or something, I've decided to release this.

    Little text is the less obvious/used/necessary steps in the dev process.

    Everything else is integral to the process, so read up >:3


    Pre-alpha: Any map that is released before it is in a playable state, for any reason, is pre-alpha. A developer may release a map to reserve a name or concept, or just because they're really excited to release it.

    STEP 1 - ALPHA
    After you have carefully crafted your map as according to the [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10073"]ten commandments[/ame], and ensured that it is functional, playable, and to the extent of your ability awesome, you enter alpha. In alpha you should be mapping function > form. This means that your goal is primarily to ensure your map plays well, isn't unfair to any 1 class, and is generally bug free. An alpha can last as long as you want it to. In some cases, such as [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=7088"]Vector[/ame], Icarus extended the map into more than 30 alphas. In another case, [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=7036"]Panic[/ame] by Ravidge lasted only 9 alphas. Some developers like to make small changes in their alphas while others release a few alphas with dramatic changes between them. No technique is provably better, so it's up to you how your maps are made.

    The 'tests': _test merely refers to the stage in mapping when a map is
    being tested for final bugs before release to beta or RC.

    After a lovely trip down alpha lane, your map is now ready to begin STEP 2 - BETA
    Beta is the second main step in the dev process. This means its one step further than alpha. In beta, you map should be getting a fine-tuning. Some major changes can be necessary, but the majority of the changes should be minor. Important, minor, but important. The second thing that should be happening in Beta is detail. Detail, detail, detail. Betas are mostly released in bigger increments, so that there are only a few released, each with significant changes. The most betas a map that I have seen going to is 9 or so, and that is Furnace Creek by Youme and Nineaxis.

    FINALLY, your map is nearing completion. It is now in RC. RC MEANS RELEASE CANDIDATE. WHICH SO HAPPENS TO BE STEP 3.
    Release Candidate typically is the last phase a map enters. The only exception to this is if a map is made official by valve. There can be multiple release candidates released, such as _RC1, _RC2, _RC3.

    _Final: A map is made final when it is officially accepted by Valve.

    Note: I may(probably) have missed something in here, so if I have, please correct me :) Thanks!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  2. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Positive Ratings:
    You really dont need to apply such rigourous meanings to the terms alpha beta, release candidate and so on.

    They're accepted development terms here are their meanings:
    Alpha - generally distributed to a specific testing audience.
    Beta - generally distributes to a wider, less controled audience.
    Release candidate - You're practically done and can release to almost anyone

    A map is never really final. and only final when you think it is. You make it seem like you're only finished a map when valve buy it off you.... A horribly distorted view :bored:
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Positive Ratings:
    I've decided that I'm not going to release any more _finals, nor am I going to use RC suffixes (Some people use it differently than others. Some assume 'Candidate' means they'll be expecting a final. it looks silly)

    I'm just going to go with _v1 _v2 _v3 etc. Straightforward, and everybody can understand what it means. It's "complete", but nothing concrete as "final".
  4. Pseudo

    Pseudo L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=2089"][Info] Map Naming Standards - TF2Maps.net[/ame]
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  5. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

    Positive Ratings:
    @YM: I'm not saying the map is final, just the suffix is _final, and I think I went a little overboard on the text...

    @Pseudo: I'll make sure to search next time.
  6. Nutomic

    Nutomic L11: Posh Member

    Positive Ratings:
    About the _final: ever heard of cp_freight_final and such?

    And what about ctf_turbine, or cp_steel?

    Valve just added that _final, because there was a map without a prefix in the name already released, and they cant really release it under the same name (map differs from server).
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009