Public Discussion: Contest Voting Format

Discussion in 'Site Discussion' started by Freyja, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I talked to Frozen and he said I could post this.

    Basically, I'm not a fan of the way public voting for contests is set out at the moment.

    At the moment, we have Gameplay, Balance, Aesthetics and Technical.

    However, I feel that the majority of people, especially those who vote from outside regulars of our community (which happens a lot and is encouraged in contest promotional material) don't really understand what these categories mean. Often I feel the scores are a bit made up, or people have wildly different interpretations of what "gameplay" and "balance" mean.

    Personally, I like the idea of gauging public reaction on the maps and having that weigh into the final result, but I don't think we should be asking the public to analyse it like mappers.

    I think the public vote should be about what map is the most fun. There might be one that doesn't necessarily have the best gameplay from a analytical perspective, and gosh knows TF2m is super critical on that, but might still be really fun because it does something unique or is otherwise solid.

    I propose we change the the voting to only 3 categories: Fun, Aesthetics and Professionalism.

    Fun is an easy one. Anyone can understand that. It allows for people to analyse if they had fun, not the map itself. For someone less design-savvy, it simply creates the ability for them to vote highly on the map/s they had the most fun on, leaving the analytical side to the judges (who are essentially forced to take the time to analyse the maps to the best of their ability, something not enforced in public voting). This essentially combines the two previous, largely arbitrary separation of gameplay and balance.

    Aesthetics is also an easy one, even people with little design knowhow can still say what they think looks nice.

    Professionalism is essentially just a renaming of the "Technical" category we have now. I like the idea of having it, but I think people misinterpret it a lot. Professionalism just means to what standard the polish of the map is - clipping, visual bugs, mechanical bugs, and optimisation. Would it hold up as "valve quality"? (Perhaps a misnomer with Junction in the game :p )

    Egan brought up the argument that this would allow people to vote on first impressions. Personally, I think most of them already do that, and are forced to make up scores for 'gameplay' and 'balance' (something that means little to a general player). This just allows them to do it in a way more friendly and more inclusive to maps that might not be what TF2M likes, but is what the public likes.

    Of course, if you don't like that, there's the option of getting rid of public voting all together.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  2. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    So essentially just remove the balance catagory?

    I can get behind that, people have fun on balanced maps and start having less fun when they become over analytic of their deaths, blaming the map not themselves.
     
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  3. Egan

    aa Egan

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    Just first some technicalities: while we do encourage people from outside of our community to vote on our contests, I don't think you can say a lot do. Looking at the summer 72 hour contest votes, only 3 out of 24 votes were from people who weren't active on the forums. Looking at the 2SSP2 contest votes, 0 out of 9 votes were from people who weren't active members of the forums. Looking at the 2SSP1 contest votes, 1 out of 7 votes were from people who weren't active members of the forums. Looking at the winter 72 hour contest votes, 8 out of 29 votes were from people who weren't active members of the forums (nearing a year ago, but I suppose good).

    I think I agree that having the fun category would be good, but as you mentioned, I think people would be (because the process is easier for this) voting only on their first impressions. I'm sure some people can relate: when you're browsing music and you find a song you like, you 'favourite' it, you listen to it 10 times, you realise it doesn't stand up next to any other song you like, and you remove it from your 'favourites'.

    I can tell this is stemming from your sightlines arguments about keikoku and the rest of your maps, how people heavily criticise the sightlines (people are still doing this on inari) and vote it poorly, but there are people who enjoy the map, so shouldn't that be worth something? I agree with that, I think it should be worth something, but I think keeping longevity of fun in mind would be proper.

    Edit: So, I agree that it's probably difficult for the public (and of ourselves sometimes) to tell the definitions of 'gameplay score' and 'balance score' apart, and that putting the two together into a 'fun score' would be good, but part of me actually likes that it is something you have to put time into thinking about.

    Also, I don't see a reason to rename Technical to Professionalism since I personally have already acquainted the Technical score as "clipping, visual bugs, mechanical bugs, and optimisation", and changing it to professionalism might portray the idea that a clean looking map is better than interesting looking map. (Process Vs Badlands - maybe perhaps).
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  4. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I only suggest the technical name change because of the amount of conservation we've had in chat that's arguing over what it means to people - I don't think people fully understand what technical encompasses. It's not particularly important to rename though, and professionalism probably carries equal baggage and misinterpret-isms.
     
  5. Muddy

    aa Muddy Muddy

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    I'll admit some of the scores I gave were kinda sorta made-up, mainly because I'm not very good at judging how balanced a map is (balance) or how well it plays (gameplay) (incidentally, these words mean pretty much the same thing to me). Furthermore, my interpretation of "technical" seems to differ from other people's, which just confuses things further.

    Now, I base my opinions on maps (as I do with most things creative) on how much fun I had overall. If I die because I got caught on some dodgy clipping, or I experience framerate issues, or I keep falling into a massive unguarded deathpit, or I find myself repeatedly dying in spawn because the spawn buildings are easily-campable, then I'm not having fun. What I also don't find fun is trying to group these technical issues into certain categories, and feeling pressure on possibly getting the wrong category and therefore making my votes potentially skewed, which is why I'm totally in favour of having a "professionalism" category instead since it'll make my life - and everyone else's, I'd imagine - a heck of a lot easier.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  6. fauks

    fauks L2: Junior Member

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    Simplify the whole process and you'll get more people voting.

    If that's what you want.
     
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  7. Empyre

    Empyre L6: Sharp Member

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    How about combining the Gameplay category and the Balance category and calling the combined category Gameplay and Balance? To remove confusion about what the categories mean, you could put a description of each category in the first post of any voting thread, which would allow us to keep the familiar Technical category.
     
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  8. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    I think there might be some benefits to listing off a preference list of each map in each voting category instead of giving scores, but I'm not sure how well that works with having multiple categories for a given map.
     
  9. UKCS-Alias

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

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    "we got steamrolled, this isnt fun"
    Is something a stacked game could give and might not be the map itself. Although its an improvement for balance since it would probably result in a similar line. mentioning both fun and balance together could at least compensate. If the balance is off yet the map is still fun (or it plays poor yet is balanced) the scores could be more accurate.

    Empyre's name suggestion is probably the best one.
    Although i know what aesthetics means, im quite sure many of the dutch people would have to look up what it truly means. But then again... how many of them would be playing on tf2maps is something i should ask aswel then as im quite sure those who dont know what it means never heard of tf2 aswel. I personaly think Aesthetics is fine. But thats because i dont know if the same issue happens in other languages.

    It matches perfecly next to gameplay/fun.
    To me technical does mean something else though. When i read technical i would say that a payload or mvm map gets a higher score since its harder to make and requires a higher tech knowledge to make them. A ctf map on this would normaly get a penalty as that was the misread you mentioned.

    But professionalism again is a very good change to the name as in this case it indeed would make them compare it to the good valve maps. (junction is just a good example of how people should not make their maps)

    I however still would say there should be a 4th one. You could make a solid map like granary, it might look as good as 2fort. it might be solid as hell, but its something you have been playing all the time in tf2. You dont find the map anything special, its only just fun. Originality could be a good one to add. But only on open contests. If its a forced payload contest there isnt much original you can do. But if you for example come up with a 2v2 cp layout and it works well, then that surely deserves a bonus in score.

    However, when you give them the score options. Give a short hint on what you expect from each part. Otherwise some might still mix professionalism with aesthetics as for them a very good looking map could be called pro, while the map itself is broken as hell. For example:
    Gameplay and Balance: Did you enjoy playing the map? Did you find balance problem? Are all classes usefull?
    Aesthetics: How good does the map look? Does it make sense in the tf2 universe? Are there no visual errors?
    Professionalism: Are there clipping issues? Are there no lag issues? Is everything working smooth?
    Originality: Does the map feel diffirent to the other maps? Is it unique in the way of playing the gamemode? Or is its a very good new gamemode?
     
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  10. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    I wrote like an entire essay but then Opera decided to take a shit and erase everything I wrote, so I'll just write down a summary.

    First, make public voting an easier process. Reduce the criteria to something simple like Fun and Aesthetics. Possibly add in things like Professionalism and Originality as optional categories. Less complex voting means more votes, but you don't really lose any of the in-depth feedback that mappers want. Also keep in mind that official judge ballots don't have to be the same format as the public voting ballots.

    Second, schedule the playtesting better. Set the default rotation to all of the maps in the contest. Schedule a test every two days or so that runs a limited number of maps (two or three at most). Run the maps for longer than average. Longer playtime means better feedback, and less maps means players are less likely to forget how they feel about a map. Make a (publicly available) playtesting schedule that has the dates, times, and map list for every test so that people can make plans.

    Lastly, make a better structure for the official judging. Provide some rules and deadlines. Participate in at least one playtest a week, have at least half of your scores written down two weeks before the end of the voting period, etc. A structure to the judging process will make people more likely to follow through with the whole thing.
     
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