Where are you going TF2Maps?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Wilson, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

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  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    True... I forgot about that, but still. He just posts that for the introduce your self forums, is there a "somewhat well publisized" link to it?

    Yea, I guess something like this.

    Maybe we should take what engineer has, and what Jive did, update it, tweek it, and make it accessible for people easily, either a better sticky, or a direct link to tutorials.

    And, something I don't think either of them has, is a "How to give good feedback" guide, or something to do with.... "Mapping Ethics" I don't know. Just something like that.
    Personally, I think if you had something like that clearly marked/linked on the site, AND its easy to read, not just a massive wall of text, it would help the newbies, and maybe even increase the quality of their first map, nullyifying the usage of "You suck leave" type feedback.
     
  3. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    I've got a half-thought up "What to do before starting your map" tutorial, but it pretty much goes:

    1) READ. FREAKING. EVERYTHING.
    2) learn to use hammer
    3) Get ABS's pack
    4) Plan the whole thing

    And i think that isnt long enough.
     
  4. Duke Silas

    Duke Silas L1: Registered

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    What about creating a PDF file that's available for download & is then always available offline? Perhaps with extra sections for compiling all the other great tutorials?
     
  5. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Eh. As long as you really do emphasize that it is #3. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I actually rarely recommend my pack to really new mappers, only to people who look like they know what they are doing, or have come from mapping on another engine.
    People need to learn how to do the things themselves or they will be worse off. Once you know how to do it, then my stuff saves time.
     
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  6. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    I do kinda like that idea. I don't know how to make PDF's, but I can learn and make one if people want to submit tutorials for just about everything o_O.

    I really think something like this would be good to have. Maybe even valve would blog about it. :D (okay not really). But if people would submit tutorials, other people could give them a rating, and the top ones would be included.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  7. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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  8. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    In that case, Does this seem like a good idea? an offline guide for basic things would be good. Well, not even basic, but some of the other stuff, like scaleling, height, etc.
     
  9. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    At the risk of sounding pedantic, Level Design is design. Design = problem solving and you problem solve issues within your map. Balance, immersion (what you were thinking of; the execution of aesathetics) and performance.

    It's funny because when some of us started (aka pre-Source) there were hardly any forums besides chat bear and the snark pit. People interested in level design had to figure most stuff out on their own or read the limited tutorials and make do. If you weren't legitemately interested there wasn't much point to engaging in it. People totally take TF2M for granted. It makes me think of the whole give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a life time. People come to us for quick and easy resolutions, which most of them never get. It can be hard on an individuals mental fatigue when they have to repeat this over and over. But then it's best just to pretend to idle in the chat and not chip in incase you flip. Or throw up a couple articles explaining the status quo so you just have to throw a link instead of a tired remark.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  10. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

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    It is worth noting, if you are gonna have a PDF version a lot of people don't like reading much. I know when I first started mapping Ph4t3s youtube tutorials helped me immensely, so if you're making a pdf; a set of videos going through the guide would be good as well.

    I'd be willing to help/whatever with it but for whoever does it (if it does get done) the information shouldn't overwhelm people. I remember when I first found out about optimization I got linked to optimization.interlopers.net and I hadn't a clue what the fuck it was on about.
     
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  11. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    I'm a beast at adobe indesign (text editing program).
    I make the best pdfs in town. I'll gladly help putting everything together but my writting skills are limited so I'll keep away from that
     
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  12. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Oh yea, I just thought of that when I was in shower, I was thinking about making a video tutorial set also. I used Ph4t3s guides too, but there were a few things that were wrong with his guides (like carving...), but they were a really good start.

    I also know that things can be overwhelming, which is why I wanted to maybe create a thread for people to submit tutorials on stuff, and then people can rate/critique it, so that we get understandable, but useful articles. I know an easy-to-use optimization one would be good, even a video.

    I'll spearhead this if I can get some other peoples support, I don't want to just do it myself, I'm not the best at everything. I know what I know, and other people know what they know. If we can get a lot of people working on tutorials and guides, I'll put them together in a PDF file, something thats easy to read, lots of pictures, bit of humor (because humor makes things better/easier to read) and most importantly understandable..

    A video set would be great too, for the basics, and for things that are hard to explain via writing/reading...

    So, who else is with me?
     
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  13. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    This seems to be more about the feedback though.

    It's great to have TF2M and the resources here. But reading all the tuts, Valve art style guides, etc... in the world doesn't make you a solid mapper. It also doesn't give you feedback which is very important.

    This applies to the art comment as well. Sure there's the art side of the map. You may love/hate Egypt based on art aspects, but they are pretty well done to fit into TF2. So as far as opinion goes on the 'art' of the map, yes that's subjective and people will love/hate maps based on that alone.

    Then there's game play. And you can ready all the articles, play a lot and completely understand balance, etc... But you can still mess up implementing that. I suck at scout and I try to include fun scout stuff, but really need GOOD scout players to give feedback on whether or not the map is good for scouts, etc...

    That's really what I think game day is about, you can leave comments on the art style, and the mapper can take or leave it. But it's the game play that you NEED map tests for. it's having 24 people run around a map and seeing how the interaction happens. At different times with different people, different team makeups, etc...
    You can run around your map for hours by yourself, with each class and get some ideas (I can double jump here to there, rocket jump up there, can probably lock this door down with stickies...), but when you have a server full of players it's completely different.
    If a team chooses to go 4 snipers it doesn't help test the game play. Teams really should try to get a good mix of classes, that would help mappers figure out class balance much better.

    I doubt when Valve tests maps they stack a team full of heavies or snipers. They aren't trying to test 'what if' situations, they are trying to test best possible teamwork situations.
     
  14. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    No, your right, this thread was about the feedback, but it was also how about members have been treating (for lack of a better word) the newer mappers. With what I propose, it would allow for the new mappers to have a reference, something that they could follow to create a map, that way people don't have to give feedback about sightlines, scaleing, etc. Really, its my fault for derailing the original intent of this thread down/over to making a super guide for new mappers, but I think its a good idea that should be considered and looked at.
     
  15. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    Well, i ALSO have a scaling reference in mind. Like the thing on the VDC, but more comprehensive, and based around distances, not rooms.

    So, 10 units is the width of prop X, 50 units is the length of prop Y, and so on. Ideally, so people can learn to think "hrmm, that corridor's about the size of prop X, which is too narrow."
     
  16. Numerous

    Numerous L4: Comfortable Member

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    But.... But I want it now..
     
  17. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    In my opinion, Snark's first post in this thread essentially summarised the negative feedback new mappers get.

    I've noticed that there are three types of things that usually happen on TF2M: 1. someone makes a joke feedback, but is taken seriously; 2. someone experienced responds to a question and flips out when they have to explain some simple things; and 3. someone gets an answer/feedback they don't like, flip a shit, and quit mapping.

    The former primarily applies to in-game feedback, since it's the easiest to give. Because the chat provides a friendly atmosphere (well, most of the time), people get to know each other well enough to be able to tell when the others are joking and when they're being serious. Newer members, especially those who only read the forums, can't do that, and are more likely to get offended by comments like 'mapsux, you should quit." So, if you're typing "!gf mapsux quit mapping," ask yourself: am I being sarcastic? If so, does the author of the map know that? If I'm being serious, in what way can I provide constructive feedback?

    We have quite a lot of experienced mappers, that's true. When someone asks a complicated question, they often get one or more good answers. When someone asks a simple question, they are also answered. But, what happens when someone completely doesn't know how Source works and keeps asking questions? The ideal thing to do is as calmly and clearly as possible explain the answer. Sometimes, however, we get angry with the newbie for their lack of knowledge and lash out. That's probably the worst thing one can do to a new person; TF2M is supposed to be friendly to newbs, after all. If you feel yourself starting to get angry with someone because they don't know what they're doing, stop typing 'God you're so bad' and think if you can explain it in layman's terms. If so, great; do it. If not, refer them to the VDC or another tutorial and tell them to read up on the related topics; chances are they'll learn much better from the article/tutorial than they would from a rushed forum post.

    The latter situation is mainly directed at mappeers and people asking questions in the Mapping & Tutorials forum. If you ask for a solution to an overly complicated question and someone with a lot of Thanks tells you that it's too complicated to be worth doing, don't start raging at them because they have a different opinion than you; in many, if not most, cases, they are right. Instead, explain what exactly you're trying to do and ask if anyone can come up with a simpler solution to your problem. If they don't, read the VDC about related subjects and see if you can piece together a solution of your own. The same goes for map feedback: if someone tells you something you don't like about your map, ask them why they think that and if they can think of a way to fix it; don't go into ragemode and call them out to a duel IRL.

    Bluh, wall of text, don't know if it makes sense. Oh well.
     
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  18. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    The thing is with most creative endeavors learning the phrase:

    You are not your work.

    Isn't very obvious from the start, and nearly everyone learns it from being pushed out of the nest and either flying or falling. Everyone had that moment of leaving the nest with some sort of creative pursuit. Its very personal to put a part of yourself out there and let other people you don't know see it, but you need to disconnect yourself from that idea.

    When you fall, yeah it sucks. It devastates me to get negative feedback with harsh comments in it. All I care about is if people have fun with what I worked on, and for someone to take the time and be rude about it is an affront to what I do and what I stand for. You can't just give negative things, you gotta give positive things. Leave the mapper feeling like theres hope rather than telling them to die in a fire and their map is shit.
     
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  19. WastedMeerkat

    WastedMeerkat L3: Member

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    This is pretty related to what this thread is about, even if it is an extreme example. Remember when the artpass contest was announced and somebody from here made a post about it in SPUF welcoming them to compete? There was that one guy who said "Oh, yeah, you TF2Maps elitists. You're all just conceited, and you think you're just going to win anyway." Of course, we actually do want others to participate in the community, so we just thought this was ridiculous and got defensive about it. It doesn't matter in the end, because 3dnj just came out of nowhere and proved that guy wrong with Mountain Lab.

    But that incident actually made me think recently; do we come off that way? In all honesty, we are pretty self-contained. Apart from the occasional blog reference, there's not really any way for people to know about us. This is probably the reason it's so rare for us to get new members. I remember for the longest time I wanted to get into mapping and I didn't know where to start or what game to map for. I started with L4D, which is not a very good beginner's choice. (I actually do have the link for that map for those who want to see it in all its glorious crappiness (I was just reminded of the update that never came and laughed)) I did eventually find tf2maps whenever Yukon was released and I just thought "Where did this even come from?", and a quick google search brought me here. I kinda lurked for a while, just because the first ever thread I saw was MangyCarface getting a whole bunch of "Congratulations" and dubious honors for his success. (i.e. I felt vastly inferior)

    So, I guess what I'm getting at is that we need to find some way for people to find us. We're not stuck-up jerks like a lot of people might think, and the only reason we seem like we're sitting on a high-horse is because we know all of this stuff and they don't, and we have to keep that in mind. So I think we need to advertise on other websites (which costs money), or partner with a few different TF2 communities (which does not cost money) or something, and then we need to be more welcoming and mature/helfpul to the new members.

    I do recognize that the people that are here are the ones that are/were serious about mapping and/or liked the community, but let's face it; we could be bigger. I've just noticed it's getting harder and harder to get a full server for a test, or even gameday. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but I think that the past few contests really just tried the community as a whole (Comp CTF, Artpass). We don't have too many of the people who I used to just see in the server but not in the chatroom/forum, and outreaching to other TF2 communities would likely result in that kind of membership, anyway; so it's not like we have to worry about "outsiders coming to troll our forums" or whatever. The people who actually realize that they like mapping and want to be a part of our community will join, and the people who just want to help test will test, and the people who don't really care can just go back home.

    (Also, I like the idea of a TF2 mapping encyclopedia. YM and Mangy of written some articles before (the pr0$), and then there's members like Grazr, Engineer, and many others already who have several articles written, and we could ask the authors for permission to use them and edit them and compile them. I think it could be pretty useful, and it shouldn't be too hard to do if we use this method. After all, Denis Diderot used this method to compile the Encyclopédie, and it only took him 25 years.)
     
  20. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    http://forums.tf2maps.net/misc.php?do=cybstats
    We get about 5-10 new registrations a day. People know about us, people find us. It's just most of them aren't into mapping, but the ones that are make threads.