Valve Acceptance vs. Community Acceptance

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by WarmHandSanitizer, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. WarmHandSanitizer

    WarmHandSanitizer L1: Registered

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    Let me start this discussion by showing a STAR video that expresses many of your fellows' sentiments on 2Fort

    http://youtu.be/_rR4EGq0U7w

    Now that our brains are nice and fried by the new youtube layout, let's chat.

    What do you guys think about official map integration? Many of you are able to point out the critical flaws in accepted maps, due to gimmicks/balance/etc. But valve accepts them, while maps that are near flawless from a critical standpoint are left in custom map servers.

    Should mappers always adhere to strict design principle? Is it okay to for a mapper to design a map from the ground up to appeal to a wide audience, instead of designing for the judgement of other seasoned mappers? Maybe the gimmick that receives harsh judgement on the critical end is a gimmick that the general TF2 community finds fun as hell.

    Personally, I find the advice you guys have given me so far is invaluable, but from a novice point of view, I feel like sometimes the "whoa this is neat, it's a little broken but it's really neat" value of a map is not appreciated as much. I mean, if people didn't play "bad" maps, then 2fort wouldn't be so mind-bogglingly popular.

    Discuss <3

    Edit: also holy hell am I bad at expressing my ideas
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  2. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    I'm pretty new here and I've already seen a few issues with the general mapping community.

    First one is that most gimmicks/new ideas are instantly bad without being created or tested.
    Everyone is always hesitant of these, and I think a mapper in general needs support with these kinds of things. Instead of going "that payload elevator is a terrible idea and it is bad and u shuld feel bad" maybe say something constructive like "How would the blu team ... ?" and work with the creator until he either comes to his senses or there actually is a resolution.

    Second is the fact that I think custom mapping community is way to anal about mapping in general. A map could be fan as fuck, but then it gets torn to shreds with "terrible optimization" or some technical thing that normal people playing the map does not give a shit about.

    I know for certain that I don't make maps so normal players can go "ahh that area portal is really well done" but I'm trying to make it enjoyable.

    I understand that optimization and the like is a large part of it, but I'd rather that it wasn't so "map is shit becuz no 10/10 clipping"


    Apart from that this community is great. We all help each other to use that goddam hammer programme of hell, and it's just a great bunch of people to be around.
     
  3. Sel

    Sel Banned

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    help, someone took roflman seriously.

    Anyway, I have no idea why Valve picks the maps they do. I've heard that they only really look at maps that are sent their way via emails or something, and then maybe see a few others when they play or something. Dunno, it's hardly inconceivable that they just don't play many of them, and that's how we ended up with watchtower, junction, and egypt, over maps that don't have loads of glaring issues.
     
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  4. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Gimmicks aren't well recieved here generally because there's usually little effort put into them. Most gimmicks are bad, and don't work even to have fun. Look at maps like Lolcano, or traingrid. We really enjoy them as a community, and they're the gimmicky-est maps around. We like them because there was effort and thought put into them, and that's what we strive to push here.

    Also, normal people do care very heavily about optimization. Just saying. FPS configs wouldn't exist otherwise.
     
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  5. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    A lot of times people won't bother to explain why something is bad because they've already played dozens of maps that tried the same gimmick or design point. I know from 5 years of TF2 and 3+ years of testing new maps almost daily that certain things don't work or will work better if done a certain way. And I am not the only person that knows these things!

    I can guarantee you that if you can think of an idea, I have played a map that does it, and I can tell you what was good (if anything) and what was bad.

    Innovation is fantastic... so long as you understand why something may or may not already exist. I remember someone who wanted to make a tower map with narrow stairs connecting each floor, so I linked every map I could that was like that and the guides that talk about why those designs frequently fail so that person could learn from those examples. I don't always have the time to go and list the 15-20 maps that tried something beforehand, though, and have to just trust the author believes in me.

    And finally, as Aly says, optimization is important. Unless you're being judged for a contest I don't think anyone (unless you ask) is going to spend time checking your visleafs or area portals. But normal people do notice and will complain. Numbers on their screen going up and down is one of two ways they can tell if they like your map, and the other is "Is it pretty?" It is definitely in your best interest to optimize a map you want to promote and publicize. As for clipping: why would you want anything about your map to be subpar? Why would you look at your map, think, "Well, it's not the best I can do, but it's good enough" and ship it? If you know you have a problem, fix it.

    As for the original question? I think people just email Valve and beg them to buy a map.
     
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  6. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Ah, right. Thanks for clarifying guys. Never judge a book by it's cover, I suppose.
     
  7. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    I'm actually surprised too. Hoodo is a terrible map, yet Valve are like "put it in hope it was worth the weight"
     
  8. Trotim

    aa Trotim

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    Narrow maps like Hoodoo are very easy to understand and you don't have to worry about flanking etc. as much, making them ideal for newer players, or players who just want to goof around or experiment. 2fort was one of the tutorial maps, now is basically a TDM map, and that's good.

    As game designer you need to have one or two maps like these where better players cannot dominate and cannot constantly cap the objectives. Forces everything to be slower and more grindy. Playing them over and over again and knowing their every intricacy is a thing some players enjoy.

    But this also means you don't have to make maps like those anymore. They're already there and you can't possibly contest with the classic existing maps of that sort.

    tl;dr there are different target audiences and you're part of a hardcore minority
     
  9. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    The process of selling a map to Valve is pretty convoluted too. I've read (not sure where, it was probably somewhere on this site) that Valve needs a signature of everyone who contributed an asset to the map.. which potentially can be a dozen people all over the world. Then there's the issue of cutting a check and dividing it up.. the whole thing turns into a hassle. They also don't have the streamlined steam workshop enabled for mapping so we can't tap into that system either.

    I would suspect this is why 3Dnj has three maps in the game.. he's gone through the process with Valve, and it's easier for them to include his work because all the paperwork is already done. His stuff certainly has balance problems but looks nice and is easily digestible for pub players.

    Then when you factor in that Valve has paid mappers on staff, there's really no reason for Valve to work hard to find new maps.. they probably have a backlog of dozens to pick from.
     
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  10. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    I wrote them about cp_antiquity at one point, and got a response that it was already slated for internal testing. Then not another word, ever again, not even on other topics I wrote them about. Since they were already aware of the map by the time I wrote, someone on the team must at least take a look now and then on their own.
     
  11. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    From what I heard through people who have had their maps accepted, Valve will have played the maps during their own "gamedays" where they kind of just play TF2 together. (Dunno if they still do that regularly, but I assume they still play it). They decide if they like it or not, and if they do and they think it is quality work, they will approach the creator(s) about purchasing it.

    Now, how it gets into Valve's hands is another question.
     
  12. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Email spam them a link. It got stoneyridge a few visits from valve ip addresses.

    I assume they check the various server tracking sites to see what's popular, and they probably have tf2maps bookmarked.
     
  13. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Has anyone from this community actually ended up having a job at Valve?
     
  14. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Several of the early mappers that got their maps into TF2 have jobs in the industry now. The guys who made Steel have their work in other games, though I'm not sure which ones.
     
  15. PMAvers

    PMAvers L6: Sharp Member

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    If memory serves, fishbus works/worked at Splash Damage. Dunno if he is still there, though.
     
  16. PHISH

    PHISH L1: Registered

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    This isn't unique to the TF2 mapping community, but at some level you should be aware that the feedback you're going to get from a community that is experienced and believes it has tried everything is going to be pretty hostile to things they believe have been tried and they or others failed at.

    Some people lose the patience to be constructive because they believe it has been tried. More often than not they are probably right, but often it can be a small wrinkle to a previously tried idea that suddenly makes it viable in a way. Also, people have a hard time believing something they failed at could be executed successfully by someone else who had a missing ingredient of some kind. So interestingly you may get a contingent of a community you are looking towards for support that is actually eager to proclaim and see you fail.

    The world is littered with examples of experts and execs scoffing at projects that ended up having massive success elsewhere that 'had no chance'. At the same time they're probably batting 90+% :)

    tl dr: listen to those that give open constructive feedback, and expect some hostility if trying something unconventional. Most likely they are onto something and you should seriously think about it, but at some point you just have to go with your gut, naysayers be damned.
     
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  17. 3Dnj

    aa 3Dnj Ducks

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    The guy behind arena_offblast (Magnar Jensen aka Insta) just have his Visa to seattle after 15 months of wait. But he also made some great solo player mod (and he is very talented)
     
  18. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    Insta also made dod_palermo, so I think there might be a reason why VALVe requested two maps from him (at least that's what they said).
     
  19. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    Fireslash works at Valve, I guess he counts as TF2M? Other than him no, nobody has actually gotten a position with them.
     
  20. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    Though plenty of people have gotten jobs at other studios.