Map collaboration system (concept)

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Do you think this would work, and is it a good idea?

  • Would use!

  • Would not use!

  • Would work!

  • That is not possible


Results are only viewable after voting.

Yabayabayaba

L5: Dapper Member
Jun 2, 2016
247
I saw the 72hr entry Exquisite Corpse, and thought, it would be awesome to collaborate with other mappers. But blind collaboration produces problems and inconsistent maps. What if there was a hammer that let you see what the others were making in real time?

Ok that is impossible, but this solution may be doable.

2 vmf's could be set up so when one is instanced into the other they line up with a small connector in the middle. A program could be written to (say every hour) copy the current version of your portion (of the map) and rename it as a set name. This standardized vmf could be sent to all other contributors, where their version of the program would update their copy of your work, so updating the instance inside of their map, letting them see your work.

This would let collaborators coordinate changes and map features.

I don't posses the skills to make this, so anyone interested is welcome to the idea (yes it has problems)
 
Mar 23, 2013
1,015
This is barely different from something like Dropbox or TortoiseSVN which lets you quickly update files for a colab. A "multiplayer"-hammer would be revolutionary though.
 
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Werewolf

Probably not a real Werewolf
Apr 12, 2011
872
Given that Steam allows you to privately broadcast games, you could just steam yourself mapping to the person your working with, and vice-versa. You would be both working on independent versions of the map, but you could at least see what the other was doing and talk to each other in live chat / voice chat.
 

Micnax

Back from the dead (again)
aa
Apr 25, 2009
2,108
It's theoretically possible to do this with something like Dropbox which will auto-upload and sync files across to everyone. You could store the instances on the Dropbox folder and then changes are updated/synced to everyone when a person does a save to the instance they're working on, which is then reflected in the main map file (which people can look at, but only make changes through the instance files).

The SimCity 4 fanbase does the same method to achieve a pseudo-multiplayer netplay.
 

fubarFX

The "raw" in "nodraw"
aa
Jun 1, 2009
1,720
There is strong evidence that hammer includes a perforce integration, we're just missing the necessary configs to make it work. The UI can "lock" instances for everyone else when someone is editing it, and there's probably some form of auto reload when changes are submitted. I have no idea how to make all of that work tho, I'm just an archaeologist.
 

theatreTECHIE

Yet another Techie for the net...
aa
Jun 19, 2015
445
An idea I had was to set up a program which kept track of instances in a Dropbox folder. It would set up 2 files per mapper - one which the mapper would edit, and would contain the instances of each of the other mappers, with the other one being the instance of that mapper, which would not contain the other instances.
The program would run in the background of each of the mapper's computers, listening for the vmf to change, automatically saving the vmf with instances removed to the other file.
Theoretically this would be easily scalable, and any saved changes would automatically show up to all other mappers after their Dropbox updated, due to instances automatically updating in hammer.
For each version, one of the mappers could save their file as the release name, and if needed, collapse the instances.
While it's not quite as good as a fully multi-mapper editor, I feel this would be a significant step towards it, as you can always see the whole map, rather than having to check against a main map file.
 

Hyperion

L16: Grid Member
aa
Jun 8, 2015
837
An idea I had was to set up a program which kept track of instances in a Dropbox folder. It would set up 2 files per mapper - one which the mapper would edit, and would contain the instances of each of the other mappers, with the other one being the instance of that mapper, which would not contain the other instances.
The program would run in the background of each of the mapper's computers, listening for the vmf to change, automatically saving the vmf with instances removed to the other file.
Theoretically this would be easily scalable, and any saved changes would automatically show up to all other mappers after their Dropbox updated, due to instances automatically updating in hammer.
For each version, one of the mappers could save their file as the release name, and if needed, collapse the instances.
While it's not quite as good as a fully multi-mapper editor, I feel this would be a significant step towards it, as you can always see the whole map, rather than having to check against a main map file.
But that wouldn't allow changing brushes made by other people because those are inside instance, right?
 

Yabayabayaba

L5: Dapper Member
Jun 2, 2016
247
I think that is kind of an upside, it means no one is likely to mess with your work. Also opening the instance file would be pointless, because it is a copy of your collaborators original, and will get copied over next time they make a change. Alternatively you could change file permissions so people can edit only their vmfs.
 

Hyperion

L16: Grid Member
aa
Jun 8, 2015
837
If every brush and entity was an instance, Hammer would sync every change nicely and with low bandwidth usage. The downside would be ridiculously hard mapping of course
 

ics

http://ics-base.net
aa
Jun 17, 2010
815
Program like that doesn't exist and even if it would, more automatic merging stuff in hammer would require more valve intervention. Collaborative work on the same file doesnt produce best results. Only if you do professional work where there is lots of things to do and its more like mundane automatic stuff instead of actual design, a system like that would work.

YM and frozener worked on the same file but different stage with instances on snowplow and i worked with a friend swapping file forth and back after few days. That i think was more effective, as you could work on areas where you got ideas where the other was left empty etc.

Theres few things that need to be in order for that to work too. One being the map makers being on same sort of skill level. That is so important, because otherwise the other ends up fixing the others mistakes and changing things more than he should.