To A or to B that is the question...

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Ginger, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Ginger

    Ginger L4: Comfortable Member

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    Okay guys, this will sound really ***king dumb but why do you have a1 a2 then after a few you go to b1 b2 etc, for a new tf2 mapper and a newb to sharing work I dont get when its A when its B ^^ or is it just self chosen?

    Many thanks

    Kiwi
    ;)
     
  2. Zwiffle

    Zwiffle L6: Sharp Member

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    a stands for alpha, and it's when the mapper is focusing on game play and layout fixes more than looks.
    b means beta and is when the game play is largely finished, and the mapper is focusing on looks, optimization and polish, with occasional game play tweaks where needed.

    It's pretty much self chosen.
     
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  3. Ginger

    Ginger L4: Comfortable Member

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    Ah, i see i see, thankwa very much ;p
     
  4. Drexer

    Drexer L2: Junior Member

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    As an extra note. Usually you can notice that once a map changes from alpha to beta, there will be no more dev textures around.
     
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  5. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

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    Generally the following occurs:

    cp_awesomeface_a# -- a means Alpha. Most mappers map with dev textures. Focusing on layout. The dev textures result in people not complaining about detailing, and instead complain about "Man, this path here is useless," or "This is so engineer-friendly," etc.
    cp_awesomeface_b# -- b means Beta. Most mappers remove dev textures by now. Focusing on detailing.
    cp_awesomeface_rc# -- rc means Release Candidate. The map is essentially finished. Generally, once a map is rc, it won't be updated again until many months or a year later, when the few remaining issues are fixed (for example, Meridian).

    If you've seen _test or _c, those are for test versions and contest versions. Generally, don't use either.



    Some people don't follow that exact roll, though. SWATY tends to not release alphas. I personally detail in alphas, because I'm too OCD to have dev textures. Supertoaster uses very mild detailing in his alphas instead of dev textures since he thinks they "look like poop." You don't have to follow that exact approach above, but for a new mapper, START like that. If you learn that dev textures are standing in your way, take an extra month to detail and release a detailed alpha - just don't expect it to be perfect and expect to have to slpend the time to change the detailing you've done to fix any layout issues.
     
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  6. Huckle

    Huckle L4: Comfortable Member

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    In my own work, alpha or beta depends mostly on what scale I'm working at. Alpha are generally for early work where entire sections of the map can be changed between release versions. In a beta, I'll want to have most of the layout done and only change things one room or section at a time, with textures and detailing.

    Release candidates should hopefully not be changed at all, it's just a "final" version of your map that if mass testing doesn't find any major fault it won't be changed. If you start numbering your rc-files, you should still be in beta.

    I usually do detailing on alpha levels since I've found it makes people more likely to want to help you with testing and I do it when I can't think of how to move forward but I wouldn't really recommend it, it's a lot of work that goes to waste. I also prefer releasing very few versions of my map, changing a lot between alpha releases and trying to detail the entire map in a single beta release even if it's not final.'

    There probably aren't any exact guidelines but stick to how finished you think your own map is, you know it best.