Maps and the comments they get

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Xi.Cynx, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    Okay, so something has come to my attention over the past week of viewing the map showcase thread. There are maps that are much farther along and need some honest input about certain things from screenshots that they have put up. and then there are maps that have just been started and only have some basic brush layout done. The funny thing is, the maps that are less complete and don't need a lot of comments are the ones that are getting a truckload of them, and the maps that are nearly complete or would like to be complete but are not sure if they are good enough for some of the mappers here aren't getting nearly half the amount of comments they should OR get a lot of "looks good can't wait to try it" and stuff like that.

    Now to me a post like that is pretty much worthless, cause it doesn't really tell you much other than... they think it looks good and don't really feel the need to tell you anything else they think. Lol. EVERYONE has something more to say, just most don't feel the need to say it cause they don't have to. But honestly, if you don't state those little things that you think aren't important to how are people supposed to make their maps better?

    I'm not sure if people are just more scared to list their opinions on maps that are fully textured and are in beta stages or real late alpha stages. But one things for sure, I'm sure at least 95% of all the mappers, new or old, would def. appreciate some more in depth comments about their maps. and now that doesn't mean necessarily mean you have to type a paragraph for them. But just let them know what you really think about it. And ANY and I mean ANY little thing you think would looks better or would more suit the area or theme let them know. Cause they won't hate you for it and they'll most likely thanks you/ And if they do hate you just brush it off cause they're probably a dick in RL as well and always think that their ideas are the best. Lol.

    So in saying that, I leave everyone to voice what they think of what I think and the situation that I have brought up. Let me know if I'm way outta whack or if I'm just missing something that other people are seeming to understand. Thank you and all comments are appreciated.
     
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  2. J4CK8

    J4CK8 L11: Posh Member

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    Well, I have a map that I need feedback on before I start to release final. Then I have a fairly new map that is just the layout with textures. I need feedback on both really, the new map for the layout opinions and health/ammo placements etc.

    I do agree that maps nearer final stages need feedback, but I wouldn't go as far as to say they need it more. I would say they need the same loving as each other.

    I occasionally will post feedback after gameday, providing I get to play on the maps. I have had two map tests which haven't provided with me any feedback though, which is very irritating to the point I have basically given up in updating it :(
     
  3. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    We need something that's like gameday but isn't.

    Effectively, a "please load up the map on a listen server and try every damn thing you can think of to rocket-jump to unclipped areas or find badly sewn displacement or misaligned texture and take a picture" event/offering.
     
  4. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    I will admit do doing this and I do it because I feel it will give the map maker encouragement to continue working on his map and that with time it will gain more attention and become a really good map. However, you do have a point and I will post more useful feedback.
     
  5. J4CK8

    J4CK8 L11: Posh Member

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    It's not just bugs and errors though, it's health respawns etc.

    But with earlier maps you need feedback on layout which is very important as it is the basic map. Get that wrong and your map is doomed forever. (As I found out numerous times)
     
  6. UKCS-Alias

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

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    Another issue is that when a map is allmost finished and looks good people dont want to turn it down to save the mapper some time and reward him for his hard work by good comments. On dev maps its easier to turn it down as you know fixing it will be fast.
    Same here. the only map that i made that actualy seemed to work for me is pl_donut (as that has its playtests already so its not only down to balancing). cp_step is in a direction of being doomed to fail for the secont time even though its quite nice even though it still has quite alot of dev textured areas.
     
  7. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    J4CK8,

    Nothing new really. I hardly ever get forum feedback. None from last test and I gave some on all maps I played.

    But, tf2maps and cC both record demos. Typically at least the mappers (tf2maps) will be fairly vocal about the map. What they feel needs changed, etc...
    So even though I got no forum feedback I got ALOT in the demo.
    cC is more players, so the comments aren't quite the same but they can help too, you just have to realize most of those players don't know Hammer, but they still are pretty good players and both ways are good feedback.

    back to topic...
    You gotta just go with what you get really. It's getting VERY hard to keep up with all the maps in progress. It used to be like 10, maybe 15 serious projects. Right now there are 30 contest missions in progress plus alot of other maps to boot.

    I try to give feedback mostly only for maps I have played and typically will leave some random, 'looks good, might wanna look into that...' type comments if I'm just looking at screens.
    Hard to give too much advice on screens alone, but even 'looks pretty good' can be motivating.
    I try to stop short of giving bad advice just to comment.

    Bad advice is BAD. Say you are playing an attack defend map, you are defense with 2 scouts, 2 snipers and a pyro. You get rolled to the very last point in the map THEN decide to go engie. Don't complain about it being too hard to defend for 20 minutes and tell the mapper to shorten times.
    Give A LITTLE bit of thought to the situation before making statements or giving advice. Or include that you chose the worst possible team to defend with and that's possibly the reason you got rolled.
    That basically wasted a test day for me because I shortened times then regular teams didn't have enough time when there was actual defense to work through.

    -----------
    One issue I've had with game tests recently (on various servers) is exploits. Sure, I left some windows open on one test, then missed a player clip on another, a gate in another... (seeing a pattern here?, DOH!). I expect it more from players, less from mappers.

    But once you point it out to the mapper please move on players and keep playing the map.
    It seems once someone points to an exploit/noclip area they not only spend the rest of the map trying to exploit it everyone else seems to want to join in. Pretty soon the gameplay has dead ended and we spend half hour in a map trying to jump a wall.

    Believe me, if you got up there or saw someone else do it it can be done again. But that's not the purpose of gameday.
    The purpose is to find all bugs, see how the map plays... find OTHER bugs, etc...

    Gamedays are getting full, hard to get a map in once a week. This slows down mapping a bit and the authors need all the time and help possible.
    So please look for and find exploits, let the mapper know, then move on.
     
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  8. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

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    Oddly enough, I'm not one for helping out the ones that are just dev-textured brushwork. Look at my posts for things like Haarp, Outback, and Snowdrift compared to my few posts on maps like Stark. I find way more things to fix in detailed maps, so I often post a lot there. But I get where you're coming from. The detailed and nearly finished maps NEED more comments, which is also why I post twenty screenshots showing the creators that they need to playerclip this or sew this displacement. (I even try and get pre releases of maps to help the map make fix things before he releases it)
     
  9. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    IMO, yes, the prime benefit of gamedays is layouts, timings, and flow, things where you ought to test with a bunch of people at once.

    For aesthetics ("area looks out of place") visual bugs ("that prop is lit funny") and gameplay bugs ("you can build a sentry here, you can jump and stand on this") it may make sense to have a parallel system of a weekly "Map Roast" lineup.

    So just a thread where the mapper tosses something up, people say "I'll test that", and there's enough information to prevent everyone from testing the same map and leaving another one un-checked.
     
  10. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    All maps need feedback.

    Mappers are bastards, or atleast we sound like it when playing/critizing.
    It's just so much easier to point out small flaws than comment on the 'amazing gameflow, holy shit this is incredible, must have taken several days to design'.

    Opinions and feedback are 2 different things. One is just pointing at an issue, the other is trying to solve it. Good feedback is rare because it takes time to come up with good solutions to complex problems. I guess opinions help the mapper to see where to improve, but it doesn't help the overall design flaws it may have. It's still up to the mapper to try and understand what the players think and want, and how to make it fair for everyone.

    A combination of both is perfect and doesn't need to be more than 2-3 sentences long: "Blue has an advantage at 2-1 capture. You may want to shift the spawntimers slightly to improve Reds chances of victory in this part."

    Also, I think a reason to why a lot of people (including me) arent posting more feedback is because they feel their input is either wrong/not in line with the mappers original idea or not thought out enough to be shoved onto the mappers mind. Might just be me actually.
     
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  11. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I totally agree with you. People should be testing layout and that, or giving feedback on it in dev maps, but on full ones, why not run around to see if there's a skewed displacement...or even get some friends over and play it?
    I uploaded my map to get some feedback for it a few days ago. I'm open to -all- feedback on it. I don't care if it sucks, its my first map, I need to know what do to with it. Need more buildings? check. Need to take out this open area all together? fine. Yet I havn't got any comments at all yet, and I'm assuming because it looks finished. It's textured and whatnot, not dev, and I doubt anyones downloaded it to test.
     
  12. Waif

    Waif L7: Fancy Member

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    I agree, a post like that in a thread gives the mapper inspiration to continue.

    I also think you have it around the wrong way TC, its the Betas and such that get all the comments and decent feedback (especially if they are made by a well known mapper) whilst the alphas that are more then a week old get forgotten.

    Actually now that I think about it, it seems that its really maps made by good/ well known mappers which get lots of feedback (regardless of stage) whilst the ones made by lesser experienced people get less (also as well regardless of stage)- which is to be expected sadly.

    Theres no real solution, sadly its probably the case that there are just too many mappers/ maps around.
     
  13. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    That I will agree with you 100% on and what needs to be looked at the most. There are time though when you don't actually need to be in game and running around to tell that it is just out of place or you know will not fit or turn out well.

    This is also true and sadly happen to often in my opinion. Now I may just be speaking for myself on this, but I tend to make sure and take some time for a map that I know something could be fixed for. I'll bust out photoshop, take the image they have draw something up with simple lines and some text to let them get where I'm coming from. May take a little longer but they are much more thankful in the end.

    Maybe this can be setup somehow? Instead of Gameday it can be aesthetics day! Where autobalance is turned off, and timers are set for no limit and people just run around and look for texture problems, displacement problems, brush misalignments, and so on. each map gets 10-15 to get looked through and that should cover most of it since no one will get distracted for being shot at.

    I think it's just pure "This area is crap and blu can't defend it worth anything" comments that people don't like or get scared of. I know if I was making a map, and someone told me that I would be like, "Uhh, okay? Now maybe you could let me know how I could make it better. What in your mind could fix this problem?" otherwise I'll just think he is angry from getting demolished or just plain sucking at playing the game. Lol

    You know what, I'm gonna go download your map right now and run through it and let you know what pros and cons it has goin on for it. ;) This is a valid point and I made a suggestion above kind of including it in a way.

    Yes it is sad that it ends up that way, but like you said, there really isn't anything you can do about it. But if there is, maybe it can be solved in this thread by many different people reading it and maybe opening their eyes that it actually is going on and no one has noticed it or thought anyone cared that it did go down that way. Every map has a fighting chance(well... ALMOST every map) it just depends on us and the ability of the mapper to get things done. Some maps may be more advanced than others, but who ever said a simple more plain map can't be as fun as one with moving parts and trigger entities and wacky particles? Lol. Exactly.
     
  14. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Most people are intimidated by my feedback... i give it how i see it, and most beginner's - novice's are offended by it.

    some individuals appreciate it however, and i often get PM'd for specific advice, so i know who's serious about developing their maps if they enquire about serious feedback.

    But i often find only a certain amount of individuals have the skill and eye to properly anylise and respond to a map appropriately. Whilst the majority of advice favours the skills and tactics of the individual player. Rather than their ability to predict and anticipate all aspects of gameplay and performance.

    Whilst getting feedback from said individuals can be helpful based on their experience, it is often biased and irrelavent, respective to the amount of gameplay the map in question has recieved.

    This post could be considered largely redundant in a certain context. But otherwise, each map gets exactly the advice that it is able to recieve, given the individuals who experienced its gameplay.
     
  15. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    IMO it makes the most sense being an offline individually-done thing, since it's easiest to poke around with sv_cheats, and on a public server you know somebody is going to be going around griefing everybody who is trying to work.
     
  16. Artesia

    Artesia L6: Sharp Member

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    when it comes to the "Aesthetics Day" thing, why not have it built into detailing "workshops" like we had that one time in 2fort?

    You have to "apply" for a spot, and are chosen based on the progress of your map (ie no dev textures, having been play tested previously.) And are not guaranteed a slot. (slots given to maps that haven't gone through this step over those that have.

    The day would start with detailing talk on a "final" map, and would be different every week. say Granary one week, then Yukon, then Halfacre etc. Then go through the 3-4 maps that have slots. Just like with the detailing phase, no fighting allowed, noclip on, just fly around and look at stuff. If you find something that needs fixing, announce it. The creator should be able to find you on the recorded demo and see exactly what you were looking at, with no need for taking screenshots, unless you want to draw on it with suggestions...

    Anyways, I think this would be fun! :p
     
  17. J4CK8

    J4CK8 L11: Posh Member

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    I'm also going to propose an idea. This time looking at the offline, own server aspect. If we set up a thread where people post their near-complete maps and get a list on the OP. Start with say 10 maps that need feedback.

    If you want your map on the list, you have to look around-maybe 2 or 3-maps on the list already, and provide detailed criticisms, suggestions etc. Once each map has had so much feedback, it is taken off the list and replaced by another.

    That way we know which maps need the feedback ASAP rather than waiting for gameday which is usually full.
     
  18. Engineer

    aa Engineer

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    Thre should be an OnlineMapViewer™ so that everyone could go trough maps on their browser without downloading them.:D
     
  19. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    o0o0o, kind of like how QuakeLive has that thing going on? You download a program and can play everything online in a browser without having to download or install any maps?
     
  20. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    You still have to download them. You downloaded this whole page when you chose to view it. The only difference is it is temporary. If you've downloaded the whole map to look at it, why not have it saved so you can play it if the occasion ever arises?