The Future of Compensation for TF2 Mappers: A Community / Valve Discussion

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by zpqrei, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    When I was at Valve, Corey Peters took me out for lunch, with the goal of picking my mind about how best to compensate us, the custom TF2 level design community, as they do with the item and weapon creators. This was a discussion I thought would be best in public, and Corey and the TF2 Team agreed, so I'm opening this up to you guys.

    What Valve wants to do with this boils down to the following:

    • They want way more high-quality community maps to be included in updates for TF2.
    • They want to compensate custom level designers more, to help bolster the community as it has in the custom weapon and item communities.
    • They want the general TF2 community to be the ones who support the level designers, like they do with the custom weapon and item guys.

    A few things were discussed, but no clear consensus was came to. So now we want to know what you want, and how you think is best to do this. To help this discussion, I'll also say that a TF2 Map Workshop is coming, I couldn't tell you when, though.

    We would love to hear your thoughts!
     
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  2. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    my first thought is that '3k a piece' even tho much less what modellers make is still better than 'nothing because we cant come up with something better than 3k a piece'
     
  3. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

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    That's the single best news to me, right there. It gives us gimmicky mapmakers a place to feel appreciated... even if all of us The Asylums out there won't be inducted into the official tf2 map hall o' fame. :p
     
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  4. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    Here's what we discussed before the thread came up:
    11:20 PM - zpq: So, when I was at Valve, Corey Peters (Viaduct, etc.) took me out for lunch and we discussed how to help monetise the TF2 custom map community, specificly, getting players to help fund maps like they do weapons and hats. We came up with a few ideas, but we wanted to have this sort of discussion in the open, with the community. I wanted to ask you guys, if a workshop for maps were to happen like in CS:GO, what would the best thing to do?
    11:21 PM - zpq: I'll be starting a thread on the forums to ask there as well
    11:21 PM - peegrits: u da man zpq
    11:21 PM - Berry~: I was talking before with someone (yacan?) and I said it'd be an interesting way to promote people to play other maps than dustbowl/2fort if we could submit a hat alongside the map in the workshop to be earned in it
    11:22 PM - Howling Techie: I was just thinking of map specific items
    11:22 PM - zpq: That's interesting. So how would that work? I play a map, and I have a higher chance of a certain drop with it?
    11:22 PM - stegarootbeer: the only thing that worries me about a maping workshop would be that it might make valve less likely to buy maps
    11:22 PM - Berry~: I was thinking of like the foundry/doomsday achievements
    11:22 PM - zpq: Valve want to buy WAY more maps
    11:22 PM - stegarootbeer: ok
    11:22 PM - Berry~: brb finishing maps for once
    11:22 PM - zpq: They admitted to me they've fallen behind.
    11:22 PM - Howling Techie: Or you 'donate' or whatever and you get that item
    11:22 PM - stegarootbeer: it was only a possible concern
    11:23 PM - Berry~: I'd assume something like achievements is a best way for map-specific items though
    11:23 PM - zpq: They don't want to do something like the operations packs in CS:GO if they can help it. Apparently it doesn't feel very TF2-y
    11:23 PM - peegrits: community maps 90% of the time are worse than valve maps
    11:23 PM - Berry~: I 100% agree with them, the csgo method is bad
    --
    11:24 PM - zpq: PS. there is a super cool gamemode coming.
    11:24 PM - peegrits: tell us what it is
    11:24 PM - Berry~: moonbase
    11:24 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: sd!
    11:24 PM - zpq: Dunno when, it was pretty hacked together when I played it
    11:24 PM - stegarootbeer: eotl
    11:24 PM - peegrits: zpq im admin u can trust me
    11:24 PM - peegrits: break the nda
    11:25 PM - zpq: bitch please, I used to be an admin and you sure as fuck couldn't trust me ;)
    11:25 PM - Micnax: I bet it's escort mode with Miss Pauling replacing the Civilian
    --
    11:25 PM - Berry~: Did they give you cool loot when you left?
    11:25 PM - Berry~: A lot of visitors got balloonicorns and junk
    11:25 PM - zpq: They gave me loads of loot. I got a ballonicorn and a heavy statue
    --
    11:26 PM - stegarootbeer: zpq, did youtell them to give us better tools?
    11:26 PM - stegarootbeer: you tell*
    11:26 PM - zpq: That was discussed.
    11:26 PM - Aoui: make displacements easier
    11:26 PM - stegarootbeer: and blend modulates in hammer
    --
    11:26 PM - Berry~: Did they say anything about source 2's hammer?
    11:26 PM - zpq: I didn't get to see any source 2 stuff running
    --
    11:29 PM - Aoui: so should the workshop submitted maps be verifyible or just anyone can download them and put them into the game
    11:29 PM - Aoui: like verified maps
    --
    11:33 PM - Berry~: Also zpq, has valve done anything better about the payment of mappers?
    11:33 PM - zpq: What do you mean Berry?
    11:33 PM - Berry~: I've heard a lot of trouble from the one-time payment system
    11:33 PM - Berry~: Or some, mostly complaints that they don't get as much as modellers
    11:33 PM - zpq: Yeah, that's why they want something which is reoccuring
    11:34 PM - zpq: Like the modellers
    11:34 PM - Berry~: How about a promotional item pack with an X Map Key and the mapper gets a %?
    11:34 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: zpq did they mention that one suggestion where crates unboxed on the map give the author some money from the crate as well
    11:34 PM - Idon'tlon: that could work, actually @berry and egan
    11:34 PM - Micnax: Oh yeah, tell Valve to do something with unwanted crates already
    11:35 PM - zpq: Egan, that wasn't discussed, but it's an interesting idea
    11:35 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: it wasnt my idea and I forget who suggested it, but it was brung up only like 3 weeks ago in an eotl test
    11:35 PM - peegrits: DLC maps
    11:35 PM - peegrits: make ppl pay for the new maps
    11:36 PM - Berry~: zpq said they don't wanna do cs:go style
    11:36 PM - zpq: Yeah, they don't want to break the status quo for free tf2 updates
    --
    11:36 PM - Berry~: Have they considered implementing community MvM maps? They could easily give the creator a % of the tickets used on their map
    11:36 PM - zpq: Yeah, MvM seems obvious
    11:37 PM - zpq: It's the other maps that we didn't get to any real consesus
    11:37 PM - Berry~: If they're going far with this, they could do the MvM thing but with PvP maps, letting people play them free, or play them at a cost and get loot when their team wins
    11:37 PM - peegrits: we havent made any good mvm maps tho
    11:37 PM - peegrits: maybe phi's
    11:37 PM - Dr. Spud: WOW thats awesome
    11:37 PM - Layl: Berry, I personally would really like that
    11:37 PM - Layl: I would pay for that
    11:38 PM - Berry~: I probably would too
    11:38 PM - Howling Techie: So mvm crossed with dota?
    --
    11:38 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: I started mapping for non-standard gamemodes so the potential idea of non-standard map authors getting some form of compensation is always in the back of my mind, was that ever brung up zpq? I doubt it cause it never was in tf2m apparently
    11:38 PM - zpq: Egan, we didn't discuss non-standard modes, but we weren't limiting this to just standard ones
    11:38 PM - Layl: though I would then also say that just as with mvm the ticket should only be consumed on win
    11:38 PM - zpq: I guess they'd be treated similarly
    11:39 PM - Berry~: What's your definition of non-standard egan?
    11:39 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: treated similarly how, like in the workshop idea?
    11:39 PM - zpq: Well I think a workshop is coming anyway
    11:39 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: any map that would fit into the non-standard map workshop we put up, berry. a gamemode that isnt official
    11:40 PM - zpq: Haha, I wasn't even paid for the valve contest
    11:40 PM - Berry~: all you've done is announce a couple of the last 10+ imps and ran one or two
    11:41 PM - Layl: one thing I would love to see is a "hide ascii copypastes" button on the workshop
    11:41 PM - »LLF« ::Egan::: well an idea could be like a community map uploaded to the tf2 map workshop is tied to your steam account / wallet. and people could somehow donate to their current map, so even if its a non-standard community map, the author could still get compensation for it
    11:41 PM - peegrits: i do tons of behind the scenes stuff like check my email to see if anyone reported a post
     
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  5. Egan

    aa Egan

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    I mentioned to you personally already but for that second item in your list:

    I started mapping for non-standard gamemodes so the potential idea of non-standard map authors getting some form of compensation (that they otherwise never really get) is always in the back of my mind. An idea that would appease that relating to the map workshop that could happen would be: 'a community map uploaded to the tf2 map workshop is tied to your steam account / wallet. people can somehow donate to their current map if its verified in the workshop, so even if its a non-standard community map, the author could still get compensation for it - even if its a miniscule amount going towards them in the end'.

    It's a pretty radical change, but I think it's an okay idea.
     
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  6. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

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    Where did you go for lunch?

    :p

    Glad the workshop is coming, could have things like community feedback that can be improved upon with the mapper and a subscription like Portal 2 to download the latest version (especially helpful for server owners). Not sure how compensation would be effective though... the stamp system is okay but it doesn't really reward the player much. The donate thing like Egan said would be good if done right, and that'd be tricky to perfect.

    Though I have to say, a map workshop scares me, as TF2Maps wouldn't be the central place for mapping anymore, the Workshop would be...
     
  7. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    One suggestion that has been suggested to Valve is that every normal crate that drops on a custom map gets tagged with thats map name.

    Whenever a key is used to open that crate, a % of the money used to buy that key is given to the mapper. More popular maps would have more crates that are dropped on them, across the population who plays them, so, more money to the mappers.


    Conversely, they could do the same thing, but with custom map keys, that act as normal keys and a % goes to the mapper(s).



    I really need to get out to seattle to chat with valve...
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  8. TyeZenneth

    TyeZenneth L6: Sharp Member

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    Yes, because people totally use the GS:GO, Portal 2, and GMod workshops to discuss mapping techniques and host map tests.
    I think we'll still be around.
     
  9. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    my second thought is that weapons and items generally arent bought to support their creators but to be of some use to the buyee
    hence i think instead of map stamps some item that gives you double or triple drop rate and hat chance on a particular map for a week would work better
    tho then youd have people playing the map not because they like it which sucks
     
  10. TyeZenneth

    TyeZenneth L6: Sharp Member

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    Yes, but what divvies these map items out to what maps? If people can just buy them wouldn't they want to buy them for maps they like to play, considering the fact that they would theoretically be playing them a lot for double drop rates?
     
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  11. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    Glad the hard hitting questions are being asked. We had a lovely time at El Gaucho in Bellevue.

    I had their Clubhouse Sandwich on Valve's dime. It was very nice.
     
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  12. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    The idea for custom MvM maps was also mentioned in the TF2M chat room, and I think it was suggested that keys spent on custom maps would go to the map maker. How do you all feel about having a separate payment method for MvM vs 'other' maps?
     
  13. TyeZenneth

    TyeZenneth L6: Sharp Member

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    MvM already has a separate payment method, I don't see why separating community MvMs from other community maps would be any different.
     
  14. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I think zpq is saying what if they were paid in a different way that regular custom maps, not other MvM maps.

    This all sounds really cool and it's super exciting that they have said they feel like they are falling behind on custom maps. Hopefully that means we'll be hearing a lot more from them in the future about customs. Just some more feedback from them as to what they are looking for would be super helpful.
     
  15. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    i typed this all out and realized i didnt really properly capitalize anything but im too lazy to fix it. :L

    tf2 is f2p and we dont want to lock people out of parts of the game via money. this means the cs:go route doesn't work because you would have to pay to play those maps. this leaves us with these options:

    -all maps for free, money has to come from other sources
    -maps have to be unlocked somehow, and money happens somehow

    if maps are free, then we would have to monetize something else. we already have stamps and map-specific strange filters, but that doesn't seem to be working very well as an incentive. if i had to guess its because people dont really care about who makes maps. strange filters probably arent very popular because it pretty much just tells other people "hey i play this map way too much."

    we could tap into existing revenue streams. weapons/cosmetics/taunts wouldn't really work since those are already have existing authors who should be getting their fair share of the revenue (and it wouldn't really be fair to give a portion of that to a mapper just "because"). that leaves us with valve-made items: keys and crates.

    i dont know how the revenue from keys is distributed, but there could be a way to somehow distribute that to mappers. maybe when someone buys a crate while on that map, the mapper gets some portion of the cash? either that, or just making a big pool from key money that mappers draw from, either all equally or proportionally based on map playtime.

    now there's the other option of somehow unlocking maps. basically restricting players from the maps until some money has been exchanged in some method. we've already decided that "pay $5 to get these maps" doesn't fit with the existing f2p design in place. that means that people have to somehow be able to get access to these things without paying, but also be able to get access to them with paying. we already have an existing system for this - weapons and cosmetics.

    guns and hats randomly drop, so why not tickets to play certain custom maps? then, have the tickets available in the mann co. store - individual one-map tickets, tickets for groups of maps (or every map, or a 'season pass' that gets all current and future maps), and even mass groups of tickets for gifting to friends (and presumably getting a discount, 10 tickets for the price of 8 or something).

    we could also have something similar to mann up mode - want to play custom maps on valve servers? buy a week-long pass at the store. people can still play the map on custom servers, but they can be a lot less reliable than valve servers (theoretically). also, if valve servers became paid-exclusive, it would cut out some of the riffraff. either that, or they would become an even bigger target for riffraff. still something to think about.

    i think the cs:go method also has something to offer - if maps are timed exclusives, people are gonna want to play them a lot more so that they can get as much fun out of them before they're gone. making maps timed exclusives could definitely pressure people into buying as much map-related stuff as possible. im not really a fan of this idea though, since it could also totally backfire and just get the mapper less money because they stop earning anything once the map has had its time in the spotlight.

    my personal opinion is that we should introduce maps in groups of three or four as map packs, and then randomly drop tickets to get access to individual maps (drop the same tickets on the same people to promote trading maybe?). the drops would have to be fairly common for the system to work, or at least guarantee at least one or two per person. then, sell individual map tickets, map pack tickets, and season passes in the mann co. store.

    with all of this in place, it would mean maps are entirely accessible without paying a cent, provided you have the means to trade to get what you want. i've played mann up a fair number of times, but never spent a cent on tickets.

    if this isnt a good system for one reason or another, i still think involving trading somehow is essential, and that means somehow including items as a means for getting money to mappers. that's my two cents.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  16. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    If he's referring to the suggestion I made within the chat that there an MvM style system for PvP maps where you can play maps for free or pay a little for tickets and get into a private match on selected community maps to win special loot then I'm still on board with the idea.

    I'm personally happy valve is actually taking an interest in maps finally too.

    Edit: Damn you for ninjaing me with a long post, idolon.
     
  17. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    I think what was discussed was that MvM matches are played with paid tokens or whatever, so the money from the tokens would go to the map maker, and they would be exempt from whatever other money-making method other custom maps would have.

    I spoke to the guys on the TF2 Team about this. They want to work out a way to make the feedback loop between the community and them tighter, but that's another discussion for another thread.
     
  18. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Way I see it there's a pretty short list of ways to monetize a map:

    a) Make people pay to download it
    b) Take a percentage of money from existing income (keys, etc) and divide it up for mappers
    c) A donation system
    d) Valve pays a lump sum out of pocket

    C is already in the game and sucks, D is the traditional method and is basically a toss of the dice whether Valve ever notices you. A would never work and B would probably piss off the hat makers.

    A Workshop+greenlight system would definitely help Valve notice good maps and has been proven to work with cosmetics. That's a no brainer and they should get that running asap.


    A "custom map" queue for matchmaking would be pretty neat too. Like have the top Z rated maps for the past X weeks automatically put in rotation on a group of Valve servers, get some eyeballs on the maps and build some buzz. Would need some curating to make sure joke maps don't make it in, if Valve doesn't want to do it maybe recruit some trusted members of the mapping community to do it.
     
  19. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    @Idolon

    I think dividing maps off in any way from any of the player base is a terrible idea, especially as one of the primary goals is to INCREASE the revenue towards the mapper. Less people playing it is less sources of revenue.

    I think the best idea is to do it in a more round-about way in addition to the ways that are already around. Keep stamps, keep filters, add keys or something. The average player doesn't care who made what they are playing on so they aren't going to want to go out of their way to reward them.
     
  20. Dr. Spud

    aa Dr. Spud Grossly Incandescent

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    I would definitely start by saying: don't do anything like CS:GO.

    I don't like how the CS:GO mapping community has evolved compared to TF2Maps. It's not very welcoming or interesting, rather it's talented individuals working hard to make money. Money being the end-goal there. That dawned on me most when I saw a suggestion made to a mapper, who then essentially said "well that would be interesting, but I want my map to be purchased so I'm keeping it conservative".

    I want a mod community, not a collection of people competing for bonuses.

    I like that TF2Maps still has beginners pouring in that want to make maps because it's creative and fun and interesting. Not to mention, I think a positive community like TF2Maps produces better work in the long run anyways.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014