Need 15v15 playtests of your incomplete map? Look no further.

Discussion in 'Server Discussion' started by FLOOR_MASTER, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    I run a group of popular TF2/Source servers. The vast majority of the main server's map rotation consists of custom maps, and I'm constantly seeking out unique maps that are, above all, balanced and suitable for a large server.

    All too often a great-looking map comes out of nowhere that works fantastically well as a screenshot machine, but leaves much to be desired in actual gameplay. I've read several posts on this forum from mappers who maintained that few, if any would bother playing a draft of a map with dev textures and rough geometry, precluding proper playtesting.

    I'm posting to say that there's at least one active server that doesn't mind playtesting maps in their infancy. We've tried hundreds of maps; in fact, there are in excess of 900 TF2 maps (18GB worth) on my server. When we run across a promising map that still has issues of some kind, I try to reach out to the mapmaker and suggest fixes or offer an opportunity to observe a large playtest. More often than not, this happens at a stage in which the mapmaker has invested a lot of time detailing the map, and at which point there is a lot of resistance towards making any sort of changes (despite the fact that not solving these issues almost certainly guarantees no audience for the map).

    With that in mind, I want to extend an offer to every mapmaker: we'll try out your map regardless of how unpolished it is. It's in everyone's interest to ensure that maps feature solid gameplay. I'm sure mapmakers want their maps to be widely-played, and on the flip side, server operators such as myself hate seeing a good-looking map with poor gameplay. Some mapmakers have access to clans or other large communities to test their maps, but for those that do not or those who want a second opinion, I'm offering this service. I can't guarantee the most coordinated group of players, but I can guarantee 30 players. I can't emphasize enough: dev textures and the like are not a detractor, and as regulars on our server know, we even welcome bad maps on our Terrible Maps Tuesday events.

    And to lend this post a small bit of credibility: I was instrumental in getting cp_steel selected as the community map, in addition to creating its intro video and providing feedback and testing through its development stages.

    So, if you'd like to take advantage of this offer, send me a PM or reply here and we'll arrange things from there.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  2. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

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    nice...id be glad to take you up on this if ive done any mapping at all in the past 2 months, but regardless its an impressive offer

    ill point people to you if i see anyone asking
     
  3. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    I haven't encountered a server more thoroughly run. I think it's fair to say FLOOR's played more custom maps than any other individual on the planet, and as both a longtime server operator and a pretty damn good player I trust his opinions on map balance more than anyone.

    The speed at which you can get a map tested on the server is pretty much unbeatable. No matter the playability of your map, it's guaranteed to be downloaded by at least 30 players, with no bullshit rockthevote requests, no disconnects due to filesize, and no gameplay mods past the extra players (though if snipers/engineers lock your map down too much they can be limited for a temporary solution.) If you hop on the server to spectate or participate during your map, you can request FLOOR clears out the defending team via kill if you want to see the next point in your map get some playtesting. It's conceivable that you could have one version of your map tested on a given night, fix something in it, give it over to FLOOR again, and retest in the same night, if you're quick about it.

    Additionally, sometimes a map maker will come in a couple times to watch a map, and end up spending more and more time playing in the server, enjoying fresh maps nearly every night and the benefit of a stable and well-rounded rotation.

    So yeah, I'm a big fan of the server and the help FLOOR_MASTER can offer, and I have no qualms about shamelessly promoting it. I'll be directing WIP thread owners over to him to get some immediate playtesting feedback early and often during their map's development. Please use this opportunity, as I'd like to see the improvements your map undergoes over the course of its playtesting cycle :)
     
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  4. TheDarkerSideofYourShadow

    TheDarkerSideofYourShadow L10: Glamorous Member

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    Wow, that is just...awesome! I've got two important questions (well, three, but we'll get to that).

    1) What is the server IP? :-D
    2) What time do you normally run games? Timezone included, please. Personally I have an issue with my connection that prevents me from playing at peak hours (ty college internet).
    3) Would you consider pl_ghost_town_a1a? It can be found at: http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=710
     
  5. Jazz

    Jazz L5: Dapper Member

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    Sweet, I will have to get out a full layout version of my map ASAP. Hope you don't mind half-detailed and half-dev!
     
  6. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    Fantastic. I'm really happy to hear from someone who really cares about this, because apart from TF2maps' gameday, I've been kind of clueless as to what to do with my maps (I haven't actually released any proper maps, but I have had a couple in development).

    I'm currently working on cp_vulture, which I've talked a bit about in my blog (see my sig), and I'll definitely make use of this offer when it's ready.
     
  7. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    67.18.19.3 is the main server IP.
    DSOYS, tested a1a twice last night. Fun map but the choke before the first point is excessively tight. People liked the waterfall. Last point is fun but the sidepath that leads to near RED's spawn is a. too easily abused by RED and b. more useful for spawncamping red than actually progressing forward. The turn in the path before the last straightaway is more difficult than the actual building. There is also a soldier/demo spot way up high, on your left if you're entering the area as blu, that is unfairly high up. Work on opening up this turn so that the far building gets more play action and the gameplay is focused more into the spawn area than the track section before it. Also, if this hasn't been reported, game doesn't end for a RED win on the last point.

    A minor point: With RED's last spawn, they have a solid door but a window showing the interior of their spawn to blu. This means BLU gets to see RED coming before they exit the door, and thereby predict how to spawncamp. Eliminate BLU's visibility into the spawn; spawns are supposed to 'hide' the popin of spawning too, in a way.

    Yeah, this isn't your thread, but trying to show how fast you can get feedback. PM FLOOR for more feedback.
     
  8. ChickenHunter

    ChickenHunter L4: Comfortable Member

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    intresting propesition you have there. And its at a nice time because our server just went offline :(
    Anyway i'll contact you when i need a map needing testing.
     
  9. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Thanks for giving us this great opportunity FLOOR! I really need my map pl_stovepipe tested.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. TheDarkerSideofYourShadow

    TheDarkerSideofYourShadow L10: Glamorous Member

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    Thank you Mangy for the feedback, and more importantly to Floor for hosting :)

    I'll start working on a2 as soon as I get a chance (and some inspiration on how to make the last point better), and get that out soon.

    Also, added the server to my favorites, I'll join as often as ping/class work allows :)
     
  11. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    COOLIO!!!!!!

    I just have to get my waterfall working and bugscanyon is set to go!!
     
  12. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    We actually tried your map out last night. I don't have any concrete feedback about it that I can remember off the top of my head (although on the bright side, nothing stood out as completely broken). I'll definitely be running it again in the future, including tonight. PM me with a link to your Steam Community page and I'll let you know precisely when.
     
  13. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    Hey, would you mind putting my map on the server? I'd appreciate it. Link below.

    [​IMG]
    [WIP] Discussion Thread

    -zpqrei.
     
  14. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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  15. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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  16. flubber

    flubber L4: Comfortable Member

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    Whaou look nice (my favorite part is the little control post just in front of the rocket), can't wait for our nightly maptest.
     
  17. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    A lot of you have PMed me and arranged playtests for your maps and, I hope, have gotten some good insight into gameplay issues. Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests, and my generally being very busy, it's easy for me to lose track of who needs testing.

    If I haven't contacted you, please be very aggressive in bugging me on Steam (preferred) or PMs here. If I'm not already on your Steam list, please do not add me directly - PM me a link to your Steam Community page.
     
  18. Arhurt

    Arhurt L6: Sharp Member

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    ctf_aerospace testing

    Hi FLOOR_MASTER,
    It would be great if your players could test the latest version of aerospace.

    I'm not sure if you have already, in this case I'd love to hear feedback. Give me a link to your forums/site so I can join you guys as well.

    Anyway, here's the FPSBanana link for b3: http://www.fpsbanana.com/maps/68889

    Cheers!
    Arthur
     
  19. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Arhurt,
    aerospace is in 2f2f's map rotation at the moment (b3), meaning it gets several 31 player tests everyday. I'll be sure to let you know when it's run and I'm on the server :)
     
  20. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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    I'd just like to say that the testing you've provided has been great, I have more motivation to work on my map's layout because you've provided such great feedback.