Thoughts On A Merger *IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ*

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Armadillo of Doom, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    For those who are unaware, the guys at http://www.madcastgaming.com/ have offered to merge with us. I was a bit hasty in making this annoucement before, as there is still quite a lot to consider. I'm going to list the pros and cons, as best I can without bias. Please remember to keep this discussion civil. And this is a long one, so grab some snacks.

    On the plus side, we would have a professionally hosted server. They play TF2 quite a bit, and random people would start showing up. This means map exposure, and feedback. We would be able to have game days on a more regular basis, as well as feature maps for various contests. Also on the good side is the expense, or lack there of. Atm, everything that doesn't come from ad revenue is fronted by drpepper, out of this pocket. Moving in with these guys means they would foot the bill; including map hosting, our massive tutorial section, etc.

    Now on the down side, the biggest concern is that we lose our identity as a developer community. People might come to associate us as a sub-section of MadCast, since they are involved in multiple games. We would cease to be a community of like-minded gamers, and become just another part of some clan. It is for that reason when I first formed this group, I adhered to a strict 'no TF2M tags' policy. Being involved in all aspects of multiple games, their website layout leaves a lot to be desired. If merged however, I believe that could be changed to give our group better exposure.

    I would like to say that I am in favor of doing this. I believe our community would stay the same, even if the name changes. The individual I spoke with me told me quote 'the owners are willing to bend over backwards to make this happen'. I believe that sufficient changes could be made to their front page and forums to make us feel right at home. I have made it very clear to said representative that we are nobody's mapping crew. We're all here because of a shared interest in custom TF2. When people come here, we aren't particularly interested in other games at that time. I believe we would maintain our focus, despite being part of a larger organization. Hell, the way we're going, MadCast might convert solely to TF2 b/c of us ;)

    Also to consider is the pride in having built up this community from scratch. I actually remember the day when I asked drpepper if my small Steam group of 20-some people could use his website as a base. For those of you who joined later, tf2maps.net has always been home. I truly think this to be in our best interest. But the last thing we want is to split our precious group in two. Either everyone is willing to give this a shot, at least for a little bit, or we say no, end of discussion. If it helps, I figure we can always return to tf2maps.net should things not work out. Please post your thoughts, and no bashing.
     
  2. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

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    One of the most important parts of any website/forum that I've joined is community. Without an open, mature and friendly community any long-term success begins to disappear. I may only have joined recently, but I did so after seeing what a positive, helpful, and well built community TF2Maps.net has. The question, "what will happen to the community?" and the uncertainty that accompanies it are the only concerns I have. I'd be curious to explore the ramifications as they apply to the site and the forums before pursuing this "merger." Perhaps some solid answers on how exactly MadCast Gaming will "bend over backwards" to preserve the identity of TF2Maps will work to alleviate any concerns I and others may have.

    On the positive side, the server availability and the exposure to the work being accomplished here would be invaluable benefits to have. Accompanied with the community we already have I think the possibilities are certainly worth pursuing.
     
  3. Rock

    Rock L2: Junior Member

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    It's your decision but here's some stats I looked at:

    # of posts
    TF2Maps - 4,988
    Madcast - 4,240

    # of members
    TF2Maps - 512
    Madcast - 99

    # of active members
    TF2Maps - 240
    Madcast - 92

    Most users ever on
    TF2Maps - 408
    Madcast - 52

    I think they should be bringing their show over here. Even if you move for all the right reasons, you will lose some momentum and more importantly some identity. If tuts and stuff aren't easy to find on the new site, people will go somewhere else. Just MHO.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    I've posted my comments about the merger on the other thread, which has been replaced by this one.

    both Tom and Rock bring valid concerns about "us" as a community and losing our mapping identity. honestly it took me a while to find this site, I found valve forums, SDK before this and Dr.pepper invited me over here.

    This site has a friendly, welcoming, informational, and close knit group of mappers who are constantly GROWING, and have pride for the site/community.

    Sure maybe we don't have a 100% active playtest custom server, but in my opinion we do not need a merger to get our maps on. With some planning *playtest nights* we can do that here and through regular pubs and advertising of the site, leaps and bounds will happen.

    I've ran and moderated a few sites in the last 7 years. Having a kick ass community that grows and help you build on working to become the best site for that information is priceless. Thats what tf2maps.net is, it IS the go to place for custom mapping, starting up, advice or hell for all us who just love to talk =)

    to me, i personally think tf2maps.net should stay just that. I'm not against the merge.... i would be saddened though.
     
  5. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Merger is something of a loaded word, and indicates significant changes to a pre-existing structure.

    Would having access to a populated server dedicated to this group's maps be a good thing for us? Sure. Is MadCast the answer? At the level you seem to be indicating, I would say no.

    I AM Clan, Colt's Playground, Q Clan, and Hex Clan are a few communities that TF2Mappers have already found to be welcoming and helpful. MadCast would certainly be a great addition to that list. Even an official partnership probably wouldn't be going too far. But when it comes to websites, decision making, and other more central components of a community, I think we should remain separate entities.

    Each group has its own purposes. The purposes not shared may get muddied and forgotten should the groups merge completely. But sometimes our purposes do coincide, and that would be a good place for us to come together and do things with each other.
     
  6. jakeparlay

    jakeparlay L2: Junior Member

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    well said. i'm with shmitz
     
  7. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    I think those figures speak for themselves, I'm with 'its probably a good idea to stay seperate entities' pov.

    We should get ourselves a play test server in america, and in europe, and use them. Name 'em something sensible and if people like the maps on it they can look at the name of the server and hunt down this site. Another thing that should be improved is how easy this site is to find by a search engine, that means we need everyone here to post links and host banners on their own/other websites.

    What you should do is approach the groups listed by shmitz and ask if they want a 'partnership' in terms of we have a banner for them and they have a banner for us, and make news posts about things the other sites are doing every now and then.

    We should not really be merging with another site, unless they are becoming us. This site is large enough and good enough to stand up on its own.

    On Google seaches for
    "team fortress 2 maps" - beyond the 5th page, which is insane
    "tf2 custom maps" - beyond the 5th page again
    "team fortress 2 custom maps" - also beyond the 5th page
    "tf2 maps" - we were first, more reasonable but these figures just aren't right.
    Most of all we need major search engines like Google to see us.
     
  8. Rock

    Rock L2: Junior Member

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    Personally, I'd be on the phone finding out who the head of marketing is for Valve and I'd pitch the site.
    - Largest community of post-release TF2 maps and mappers
    - # of final version maps
    - # of playable postBeta maps
    - # of maps under construction
    - # of mappers
    - # of public servers currently hosting at least one custom map
    - # of downloads
    etc

    Let them know that all these people are making maps to benefit his product at no cost to him. Tell him that most of them are students doing this on their own time and that you could sure use some help deferring the cost of a testing server. Maybe some giveaways that you can use for contest prizes.

    What have you got to lose? All they can say is no.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    I tell ya what guys, I'm not a total rock (see this thread http://tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=451). After giving it a long hard thought, I'm forced to agree with you. TF2 is still young, as are we. The TF2Mappers are staying at tf2maps.net, yay :)
     
  10. Hawk

    Hawk L7: Fancy Member

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    TF2Maps already has everything I need... a group of friendly, helpful mappers and easy-to-use tutorials. Maybe we would've gained some things from a merger, but I'm kind of glad things are remaining unchanged.
     
  11. Sean of the Dead

    Sean of the Dead L3: Member

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    good choice immortal :D
     
  12. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    Not merging?
    "See ya later, alligator!"
    [​IMG]
     
  13. JTG

    JTG L2: Junior Member

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    TF2Maps FTW!
     
  14. Squirrelly

    Squirrelly Guest

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    I think you made a very good call Immortal :)

    I was just about to write a big huge thing in support of not merging, but im glad i don't have to now, haha.

    TF2maps.net is in it for the long run and is still very new and growing! I think its a smart move and im excited for the future! :D
     
  15. Haas

    Haas Guest

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    And this site structure really kicks ass!
    Als clans are evil!
     
  16. flannelbum

    flannelbum L1: Registered

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    ::whew::

    I am relieved. I've only just found you all a few days ago and have already picked up quite a bit. I'm not too dull a blade but it seems like it took me a bit to get here.

    I'd hate to think if this place of only being spotlighted on a seemingly unrelated site. (or worse yet, stuck in as a link on the sidebar)

    The wisdom and tone in the posts I've read make this place an amazing find.

    Thanks for keeping it together.
     
  17. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    Yay! I was kinda concerned about this. I think we are strong enough, and growing enough to stand up on our own. We just need to make sure we get the word out, make posts directing people to these forums, and generally get people to know that we exist.

    If DrPepper can look into it, maybe doing some google search optimization (build a site map?)
     
  18. drp

    aa drp

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    looking in to some SEO plugins :thumbup:
     
  19. MrSinistar

    MrSinistar L2: Junior Member

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    I'm really glad you didn't except the merger :) ...I'm sure it would have been a big mistake for the community.

    Every gaming community I have visited has it's idiots and morons, except for this one site, for which I am very grateful. I truly think that the site would have deteriorated in quality if the merger went through, so thanks. :)