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

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

  1. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    I suggested it first :(

    Though, to be honest, heartsman suggested it during an eotl test a few weeks ago. He sent it into valve that night and supposedly it was considered.
     
  2. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    I don't think I want "get a bunch of hats, etc.. (what you really want) but your money goes to some map you don't like." An increased drop rate on the map would be really cool thing to buy cause at least it connects to the map in some way.
     
  3. PMAvers

    PMAvers L6: Sharp Member

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    Tossing some cents in from a server operator's POV...

    A actual map workshop would be amazing, especially if it enabled people to bypass using fastdl and actually pull maps from the Steam servers. At the very minimum, it'd definitely be saving server operators some grief, and give them the opportunity to put up larger/fancier maps since the Steam servers are more than likely be able to feed maps to players faster than their own fastdl web server. (And probably with less ass of a UI.)

    That might mean player retention on custom maps could be better, since they won't be stuck staring at a progress bar that looks like it's actually locked up (but isn't). Just getting more maps played by the populace could definitely bring awareness up of good customs, and maps that get played more could help highlight good maps to Valve to pick up and get pushed out to everyone in a patch.

    Ooh, some sort of subscription feature where you could subscribe to your server owner's list and have it automatically download maps ahead of time could be amazing.

    It'll be interesting to see if they can get through the technical hurdles a workshop will bring. (I mean, bloody hell, they have enough problems not making the servers crash after updates.) I'm assuming it'll be linked somehow through that whole "link your dedicated server to your Steam account" thing we did a while back, and there'll be some sort of UI to have the server install and keep updated a map.
     
  4. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

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    Yes. Yeeeeeees. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-

    Anyways, here's my "quick" two cents on the monetization issue:

    I like the idea of tagging crates. I'm not sure how many people actually open their crates (I certainly don't), but maybe when they do, maybe, say, ten cents of the money they paid for the key goes to the mapper.

    I like the random drop booster idea, but what I think would be better is to use the existing map stamps as boosters of sorts. Perhaps every map stamp you buy increases your maximum weekly drops (on any map) by two. When you're playing a map you've bought a stamp for, your drop rate is increased by, say, 1.5x, and maybe you have a higher chance of receiving rare items on that map.

    In fact, maybe Valve could implement a new item quality (you know, strange, vintage, genuine, ect.) for items received from a map you've bought a stamp for. That could maybe spur on the item economy and map monetization simultaneously, because special items like that would doubtless be more valuable than regular items.

    I think that having special map-specific items that can only be received from either a random drop on said map or a tagged crate from said map (or purchasing them directly via the Mann Co. store, of course) is a great idea. The obvious problem with that, however, is that someone has to actually make said items. Maybe Valve could make a given level official first, then encourage the modeling community to make items that tie into it. I'm not sure if all that is a good idea or not, but it could work.

    I think it's very important that Valve steers clear of the CS:GO method of monetizing custom maps. From what I've seen and heard, the way the mapping community for CS:GO behaves does not breed creativity of any description, which is a real shame. Valve cannot under any circumstances charge players to play maps, and they absolutely must be open to unique ideas and game modes from the community. If mappers perceive that Valve seems to favor 5CP maps, they will begin to make nothing but 5CP maps, and if Valve ignores custom game modes, people will stick to the official gamemodes. No creativity can flow if people are afraid Valve will ignore their map just because of what it is, rather than because of its quality.

    I would like to say that I don't think Valve necessarily has to buy maps up front for a large amount of money. If less cash paid out means more total maps being made official, I'm totally happy about that as both a mapper and a player.

    Here's a list of maps that I think deserve to be official, by the way (I only included maps that have been completed):

    cp_stoneyridge
    pl_cashworks
    cp_croissant (not too keen on the name, but I've heard the map is fantastic)
    koth_quarry
    koth_arctic
    koth_hardhat
    arena blackwood valley
    arena/koth_lighthouse
    arena_backlot
    koth_nerve
    koth_namicott (I love the map personally, but if others think it's too crazy I can understand)
    pl_waste
    cp_dustbowl :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  5. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    backlot, arctic, stoneyridge, quarry, and croissant would definitely be good additions to the game. forgot there was so many good maps in limbo.
     
  6. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    croissant was awful up until the point when he downscaled 2nd by like half, at which point people hated it enough to stop giving a shit at all so nobody REALLY knows whether the change makes a difference
     
  7. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    The way the Garry's Mod workshop handles it is that there's a cvar you can set that is directed to a Workshop collection (read: group of workshop items in a nice list) that will auto download both the items in the collection and any updates to the items in the collection.

    Admittedly, that's how Garry/Facepunch did it, not necessarily how Valve would do it, but it was fairly painless to set up.
     
  8. Haromnyuszi

    Haromnyuszi L2: Junior Member

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    I like the Idea of map specific crates and also the one with the boosters. But I think that the main problem with the woorkshop is the curation. It would be great to have the tf2 map woorkshop well curated. Valve should encurage and promote mapping turnaments. Also it would be great to compensate curators for their woork somehow.

    I am so exited aboute this I could explode.
     
  9. henke37

    aa henke37

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    The ideas here are great. But they don't provide any incentive for server owners.

    The glaringly obvious way is to give them a cut of the money (wherever it comes from). But it just doesn't feel right, monetary compensation for doing something that would have no cost with the map workshop doing the heavy file hosting?

    There must be a way to give the server owners an incentive to use custom maps that feels right. I think there is. There is one thing that server owners do want and (presumably) fights over: the players themself.

    The main source of players is quickplay. This is a large problem for map authors, since quickplay does not offer custom maps.

    Not only must quickplay be reworked to give custom maps a chance, but this also is a spot where a controlling factor can be employed. The quickplay ranking system can be modified to favor specific maps according to some criteria.

    This criteria can be both Valve and user controlled. Valve wants first time players to have a safe experience, so they can keep on ranking stock maps on their own servers high there. But more experienced players? Valve can easily give a boost to rare maps as well as popular ones. Want to support map development? Give players the option to seek out servers running maps marked as being in development.

    This also allows for server owners to pay map authors without requiring locking the map behind a pay wall. Simply let owners buy a match making score boost for a given map.

    This way server owners get an incentive to use custom maps: it is what gives them the traffic they want. But it also offers something for map authors: the very same traffic. Authors want their work to be seen and guiding clueless people to it is an important part of that.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  10. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    The issue with the drop rate though is, how would that affect the economy? Positively? Negatively? I'm not a trader, but people have said that the eco for TF2 is a liiiittle wonky.

    THe workshop coming is something that has been said for years now, same with increased compensation.

    I really should email Corey about hosting another contest with us... issue is if I get a job that isn't in Europe, Washington state or California.... I won't be able to host it and someone else will have to since I can't touch it with a big stick.

    You know, they keep coming to us about how we'd like to be compensated, why aren't WE (or they) asking every other community (FP, UGC, ETF2L, Reddit) about what they'd be willing to do for it? We need to stop thinking that we're the only place that mappers exist and remember that there are other mapping communities, albeit small.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  11. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    i doubt it'd have worse effect than 1000 account idle farms :p or even a noticeable effect compared to them
     
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  12. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    I vote on something similar on the decal tool that represents maps.
    Like for sandstone it'd give a sandy thing to a model. Then there could be a weapon or taunt or something to flaunt it better.
     
  13. re1wind

    aa re1wind

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    I'm somewhat apprehensive that trade maps and "orange" maps will get the lion's share of any such revenue. Those maps will never become official, at least I strongly hope not, and their popularity could [partially?] defeat the purpose of encouraging quality community maps to become official. once trade and orange maps get a perceived increase in monetary income, then there will be a flood of them.

    just saying the obvious.


    edit: decal tool. that sounds like a really interesting idea, but i haven't seen that weapon being used in years. if it had a unique death effect and/or sound, perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  14. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Oops, sorry about that. :)

    Also, it'd be a shame if pl_borneo wasn't on the short list of best maps. Just amazing quality all around.
     
  15. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    except the trees. The leaves just look a little too out-of-place.

    I've heard mostly good, but some negative things coming out of that map.
     
  16. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    The map would still have to be "official", if you get what I mean. It would still need to have a workshop entry, proper revenue sharing, all the necessary tax forms for the creators, etc.

    And, to be fair, power to the "flood" of trade and orange maps. Servers could have their own "trade_bobserver" maps, and merely unboxing crates helps fund the server.

    Perhaps a good idea is to... seperate some maps from being included in the game by default(such as VSH, trade, etc) but still let them have proceeds available, whether that's via the crate method or some other way. That would stop the vanilla game from being flooded with trade/vsh/orange maps, while still letting the creators of those earn money from their hard work.
     
  17. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

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    If Valve had an automatic filter on certain map prefixes, people would just change the prefix of their maps to avoid being exempt from getting money. Doing something as simple as changing the prefix to "trad_" instead of "trade_" could be enough to trump that system. Anyways, I thought that only maps that have been made official by Valve should qualify to receive this kind of profit.

    By the way, I think that if both Valve and the community like a certain map, it should be made official, period. No "limited-time runs" of custom maps like CS:GO apparently has. If it's good enough, then it should be made official, permanently.

    I also hope that Valve doesn't discriminate against maps that aren't comp-friendly, as they seem to have done in the past. Some maps are designed specifically for pubs, and that's totally fine.
     
  18. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    The issue still is: How do you create a system that not only rewards officialized mappers, but also promotes people to create high-quality maps AND breaks down the communication barrier between Valve and the mapping communities?
     
  19. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I think trying to pay out on a large scale is going to be an impossibly daunting task. Contracts have to be signed, and a while other mess of hurdles have to be overcome for non-US people. I think a system similar to what they have now with the added filter of the map workshop, and what ever other source of revenue is decided on, would be the best, most realistic option.

    Tagging crates sounds nice, but I'm curious what percentage of crates actually get opened vs. deleted or just stored indefinitely.
     
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  20. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    I don't think expecting consistent communication with Valve will ever work, they have a bad case of ADD. They're really great to talk to once you get them cornered but outside of that it can be months between updates.

    A monthly map review from the developer's perspective on the tf2 blog would be unbelievably awesome, but even when Valve commits to timed updates they fuck it up (see: the comic series).
     
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