The AWESOME Mapping Contest

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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Swanky » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:09 pm

People have either worked around a problem, ignored it, or fixed it. Not an absense of reason but different ways to work with the situation.

As per warpzones. Yes, it is valid criticism. It's a known bug in the engine that can be fixed, albeit with lots of work. It's the designer's choice to and how to use those. I know both krull0r and Fnb using those but I only had issues in krull0rs map with it since the placement of the zone is encouraging overhead sniping from time to time. The issue was also highlighted back in the 3072³ contest.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Revelation » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:40 pm

JackGriffin wrote:Feedback should be about the map itself and very specifically about issues within the map that are controllable by the creator.

Which my feedback totally is. As Swanky said, it's the mapper's choice whether or not use a specific feature. When I released my last CTF-map, I got criticism for using DefensePoints which don't work very well with Bot AI. And that's absolutely valid. Sure, you could blame the guys at Epic for not scripting them properly, but in the end, it was my decision to use them. The map would have been better overall with fixed DefensePoints, so I should have fixed them. I didn't, and that's my fault, not Epic's.
Or let's talk about performance... I've received negative feedback for the bad framerates due to high polycounts for basically any map I have ever released. Should I blame the engine for not supporting higher amounts of detail? Obviously not, because I know about this limitation and chose to build highpoly-maps regardless.

Same goes for the WarpZones. If you decide to use them, especially as such a key element, you can either fix them or ignore the issues. It's totally fine to do the latter, but by doing so, you accept that a vital part of your map is "broken" and therefore will be criticized. And even if a fix is technically impossible (as in my performance example) which by the way I don't think is the case for WarpZones, even then every feature used in a map becomes part of the map, and every part of the map is subject to criticism.


And by the way, I'm not "telling" Krull0r that a second version of his map is "needed". I'm saying that in my personal opinion (which is what any positive or negative feedback always is), a second version could further improve this already good map. I assume, Krull0r will probably not consider it worth the trouble to go through all that scripting hell which would be totally understandable. But I will still give suggestions in a map release thread.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby JackGriffin » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:38 pm

We are talking past each other I think. Let me simplify it and distill my concern down to a point...

You say
I know about this limitation and chose to build highpoly-maps regardless

so does it really help at all for people to give negative feedback about this problem? It's an engine issue and beyond your control. You acknowledge the problem and deal as best you can, however some things just 'are' and you don't let that restrict you. That's the way the very best creators work. Having someone say "Your map runs like shit on my toaster" offers no help to anyone.

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Feedback: defined as information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc., used as a basis for improvement.

The point of feedback is to help someone improve their work. If you are pointing out something they literally cannot fix then it's not feedback. That's veering more into the realm of criticism though I don't think that's the right word either. My main point is that replies should strive to offer true feedback and not get mired in critical discussion.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Revelation » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:18 pm

JackGriffin wrote:Having someone say "Your map runs like shit on my toaster" offers no help to anyone.

Of course it does! If half the people who download my map say it runs shitty and the other half says it runs fine, I ask for their system specs and try to figure out "minimum system requirementy" which I can at least put in the release thread.
If all people tell me it runs like shit... Well, that's exactly what happened with AS-FoT-Chronoshift. All beta testers told me it was pretty much unplayable back in 2008, so I put a script in that lets the player choose between "highend" and "lowend" grafics (reduced particles, less dynamic lighting and so on) at the map's start. If beta testers wouldn't have told me how bad it ran on their machines, then all the people downloading the FoT5 pack would have. And then I would have probably considered writing the exact same script for "version 2". Thank god the beta testers did tell me...
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby KillRoy1972 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:36 pm

Just a (stupid) question... :-P

But where do i submit the final map?
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Revelation » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:00 pm

JackGriffin wrote:something they literally cannot fix

Getting back to this part once again.... Click here. ;)
This is by no means a fully working script, and it would definitly NOT work in AMC-Modular. The code is quick and dirty, it only works for the Sniper Rifle and neither takes the angles of my TraceTarget actors into account, nor their distance to the portal. Even this took me over an hour, and getting all the rest to work would take MUCH longer.
Still, it's a proof of concept that trace fire through WarpZones is a thing. So, am I allowed to criticize now? :tongue:
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby JackGriffin » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:04 pm

let's talk about performance... I've received negative feedback for the bad framerates due to high polycounts for basically any map I have ever released.

conflicts with
If all people tell me it runs like shit... Well, that's exactly what happened with AS-FoT-Chronoshift <snip> Thank god the beta testers did tell me...

Either you keep getting surprised or you are ignoring the engine limits in favor of doing what you want to do. I can't really tell but good on you for holding course for so long.

This is meandering way off the mark for the mapping discussion. I've said what I felt was needed but if you want to continue this on a new thread just let me know, otherwise I guess I'm done.

Edit: your post came right as I was posting, if I can add this:
So, am I allowed to criticize now? :tongue:

That's not criticism, that's assisting. Why not do that in the beginning? Isn't that the point of the contest? It's also a bit rude to do it now, after the map is posted up. Hey everyone! Look at me! I can do it better!

No, you do this in private, away from everyone else.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Revelation » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:20 pm

JackGriffin wrote:
So, am I allowed to criticize now? :tongue:

That's not criticism, that's assisting. Why not do that in the beginning? Isn't that the point of the contest? It's also a bit rude to do it now, after the map is posted up. Hey everyone! Look at me! I can do it better!

No, you do this in private, away from everyone else.

Are you actually serious right now?! Do you expect me to roam this forum all day, looking for pictures of beta maps that look like they might need a custom script, and then ask the author if I should invest hours writing it for him, this way also assuming that he can't do so himself (which is what I would call rude)?
I'm sorry to tell you, but I actually have other things to do. One of them is working on my own map right now. I just did this thing out of curiousity whether or not my assumption that the problem can be fixed was right. Why? Because I didn't want to base criticism on a gut feeling.

Turns out, it can be fixed, but it would take quite some effort. If anyone wants to take the code I've already written and make this thing fully work, be my guest! I Would give it a go myself, I just don't have the time over the weekend.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby OjitroC » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:11 am

KillRoy1972 wrote:... where do i submit the final map?

From earlier in this thread :
papercoffee wrote:A thread with your final release is ok ...we will link it to your name in the participants list.
All participants and the judge(s) can download it then.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Feralidragon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:05 am

Not sure if you guys realized this yet (@Revelation and @JackGriffin), but you have reached such a level of misunderstanding in your last few posts of what the other one means, that none of your discussion makes much sense anymore.

It's a bit late on my end so I am not really going to write up anything to even rectify it, but I suggest you guys to reread each other's posts because you're getting a lot offtrack.
I am just also going to add that there are merits on both sides of the discussion, but I might only elaborate on this tomorrow, depending on how this discussion goes.

I would also suggest indeed for that kind of discussion to get to its own topic, like "Discussion: how to give criticism" or something.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby KillRoy1972 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:14 pm

OjitroC wrote:
KillRoy1972 wrote:... where do i submit the final map?

From earlier in this thread :
papercoffee wrote:A thread with your final release is ok ...we will link it to your name in the participants list.
All participants and the judge(s) can download it then.



Okay thnx!! :tu:
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Swanky » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:56 pm

I've released the final version 1.0 for the contest. Get it here.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby editor Dave » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:43 pm

It all depends on the situation, as always...

First of all, you can consider why you write the criticism:
1.) Do I want the creator to improve the map?
2.) Do I want the creator to know of the issues so he can be more alert about them in the future?
3.) Do I want others to know of the pros and cons of a map so they can decide whether they wanna try it or not?

These are some approaches that I can think of from the top of my head and everyone of them has, in theory, distinctive characteristics and target groups. However, I bet everyone has a preferred style of thinking that is formed by how they learned or how they came to handle criticism and that's how the writing in any occasion is influenced by.
Revelation is in this case more of the 2.) type since he knows that time is too short, but seems to prefers type 1.) since he sees a lot of potential.
JackGriffin seems to be more leaning towards 3.). This type of criticism involves probably a different tone, maybe less instructive and more like a list of features (presented in a subjective, semi-neutral form).

Potentially, most of any upcoming issues can be solved or at least attempted to tone down. Regarding performance issues, there may be several workarounds (and probably more than the ones being listed):
1.) Delete brushes that are purely there for eyecandy.
2.) Replace basic textures with textures which fulfill several functions and in that process delete brushes. For example, if you have a trim at the bottom and a wall as seperate surfaces, choose a texture that has both by default, or create one.
I did something similar while retexturing a friend's map, not because of framerate issues, but to save Nodes (I was in danger of exceeding the limit).
Image
3.) Think of a solution if you could block certain points of view of very high Poly Counts by adding another floor or a decoration that fits the theme. A simple example is making glass non-translucent again.
4.) Look out for actors that might cause a problem: Maybe it's just too many high shadow detailed surfaces or maybe you chose an actor with too high of a radius in general. For example, in the release version of my CTF-Dargrok I had a KillAll Actor that spanned the whole map. Everyone complained about the low framerate, and I too was surprised, as in all the testing phases, it has never been that low. Then, for the patch I split the KillAll actors in smaller ones and the problem was gone (for the most part).

I think both sides have their valid points, though, personally, I love absorbing any kind of criticism I could possibly get, even if it doesn't necessarily mean I would change anything now or later. But imo it is good to know what others think, regardless of their points, and then decide if I can make use of them or not.

BTW: I've been very excitedly following the contest since its genesis. I'll be one of the judges, that's why I've kept silent for now, but I will give my opinions on every map later by all means. ;)
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Swanky » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:14 pm

Nicely written.

That's probably why I've never seen a big issue or difference between the two things. I know a lot of criticism outside of Germany is wrapped up rather nicely in like "Have you considered?" whereas in Germany the tone is also often a bit more "Change it to...". This might also add to the discrepancy of what is actually being intended to say, as you have described.

I vividly remember beta threads from the early 2000's in an german forum and even with 80 - 85% rated maps it was more like "Change this, change that, that is S*!%, that sucks, do it like this." Now when you've understood that a lot of this feedback was actually REALLY constructive because it also contained a lot of ideas on how improve things, you could really step up your game and improve your map. The main draw to that tone is that it actually disencourages a lot of mappers.
And I think that's exactly what's causing the most irritation here. How is this criticism presented, even if it is perfectly valid? Most issues around the nature of warpzones are known for 17+ years so any map using this in specific ways is definetly not playing to its full potential. Fixing is possible but takes a deep dive into very timeconsuming scripting and it would be much more suitable to do it as a complete engine fix so all zones / maps benefit from it.
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Re: The AWESOME Mapping Contest

Postby Feralidragon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:19 pm

It's pretty much as editor Dave says.

Both sides have merit to them, they are just different views and different ways to providing any level of criticism.

Personally I also like people to be blunt with me and say what problems they may be having or things they do not like, even if they are out of my control or I end up disagreeing with their view.
If NW3 had any success, was mainly thanks to the fact that I actively looked out for criticism towards NW2, as well NW3 after its first release, because even back then people were "afraid" to be open and offer their real thoughts, so I had to essentially Google-search for it back then myself and only then I was able to find the real opinions, and the valuable feedback I was looking for, which allowed me to reflect and think some things over, since it was only in places where people thought they were hidden and "safe".

And having to look for it sucks, it's much better for people to be honest from the get-go, even if the criticism is a bit more harsh.

However, it's also true that there are some things which are beyond the mapper's control, and sometimes stepping on those might indeed be akin to stepping on an open wound and might not be very useful for the mapper, and could be even slightly demotivating.
But it depends to whom you're giving feedback to, and if you believe they have the know-how or could have in the future to address it or not, as talking about scripting to a mapper is generally akin to talking about the atomic composition of a pen to an artist that only knows how to draw.

That isn't to say that any map's problems derived from the engine limitation aren't problems or that shouldn't be addressed, but sometimes is best to just offer help to solve those rather than pointing out the problems only and giving solutions that the mapper may not even be able to perform to begin with... there's a gray area here.
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