Mappers! I need your help.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by elevature, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. elevature

    elevature L1: Registered

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    I'll preface this post by saying I've asked drpepper for approval for this thread and he has said it's alright for me to post this here.

    So, in the interest of full disclosure, I've just registered for this forum, and have only ever visited it a couple of times. I'm not a mapper, though I've played TF2 for around 200 hours.

    I'm doing a research project on TF2. I'm a graduate student at the University of Toronto, working towards a Master of Information degree. I'm in a course that studies the information experience in context, and our term project is to conduct an ethnography of an information space. Essentially this involves going into a space and looking at the ways in which information is presented by the space and used by the people in that space. Most of these ethnographies are done in physical environments, but there have been studies of virtual spaces done as well, and this is what I'm doing, using TF2. Most ethnographic studies of video games or other virtual spaces (like Second Life) have focused on MMOs and persistent worlds; TF2 is much more transient in terms of player identity and server population, but I'm interested in looking at the maps themselves as information spaces that persist over time, even when the player population changes.

    As part of this project, I'm hoping to interview some mappers about the information they use when creating maps, and also about the way they structure maps to convey information to players. I know it seems like I'm joining just to ask for help with my homework, which is basically true, but the project requires that we talk to people who are part of a community in their natural setting, and this is about as natural as it gets for TF2 mappers.

    Basically, I just want you guys to talk about your maps. Ideally I'd love it if someone would show me a map that is in progress or finished, either through screenshots or by firing up a private server to give me a tour. But an email/IM/IRC interview would be fantastic as well. These interviews won't take long, though you can go as in-depth as you want.

    If anyone wants more details or wants to help out, PM me or post here with contact info. I think I could learn a lot from the people here, and I hope that some of you are willing to share some information.

    Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
     
  2. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    I would love to help out. :) Feel free to PM me using the forums or my email. Both are found on my profile. Oh and any chance you could post the finished product?
     
  3. lana

    aa lana Currently On: ?????

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    I think that your idea is an excellent one, but you may have difficulty. As I'm sure you're aware, different people use information in different ways. Interviewing mappers will get you some pretty different results. But if you can find some correlation between our methods, good for you.
     
  4. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

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    I'd be willing to help, Drop me a PM if you need me.
     
  5. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    I could help out. I have a few sketches of maps before development, and countless files of maps in their development stages.
     
  6. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

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    I could help a little. I'm not one of the pro mappers like Icarus, and haven't released a map, but I know how to, I'm an active member in testing maps, and I do make maps - I just don't meet my expectations, so I don't release any.
     
  7. elevature

    elevature L1: Registered

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    I'm not really looking for a correlation or a standard, I'm just looking to talk to people within the community and see how they use information. If there is a commonality that's great, if not, that's great too. Either way I'll learn something and have something to talk about.

    Icarus, Lord Ned, Political Gamer, I'll PM you guys with more information.

    As far as posting the finished product, there are some ethical concerns there, especially since it's a public forum. The information is all to be destroyed at the end of the term. But I am happy to share the results with the participants, if everyone involved gives consent. It sounds serious for a project on TF2, but the university's ethical board is involved with the project since it involves human participants. But I can discuss this in more detail with participants if they're curious.
     
  8. lana

    aa lana Currently On: ?????

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    I'll help out. I have a map that I should be finishing up for alpha.
     
  9. Locutus

    Locutus L2: Junior Member

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    I'm not the best mapper around, but I can give some insightful information if you ask me the right questions. :D
     
  10. elevature

    elevature L1: Registered

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    Nerdboy and Locutus, I will PM you guys after I've spoken to the other three, if I still need more information (which I likely will). More is better, but I'm on a pretty tight schedule with this project.

    Actually, I may just send you both some questions through PM within the next day or two, so keep an eye out for those.
     
  11. Radaka

    Radaka L7: Fancy Member

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    I'll help out as well if you'd like :) (if you still need it)
     
  12. ChronoTriggerFan

    ChronoTriggerFan L7: Fancy Member

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    I'm available if you need even more interviews.
     
  13. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  14. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Well of course, once again late, I'm in for this.