Guide: How to provide proper feedback

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Guide: How to provide proper feedback

Post by Neon_Knight » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:07 pm

This is a list I've made for another forum. I thought it could be posted here since feedback is an important part of the mapping forum.
First the difference between Bad feedback and Good feedback:

BAD FEEDBACK: Pure unconstructive whining and moaning.
- "The map sucks" (Doesn't need any explanation)
- "It has bad item placement" (Provide examples, if possible, suggest solutions)
- "The map is badly designed" (See above)
- "It has [insert forbidden weapon here]" (especially when care has been taken in order to limit these weapons' damage with the design of the map itself)

GOOD FEEDBACK: Has the intention of helping the mapper to improve their skills. If possible, also suggest solutions.
- "Placing the Amplifier near the ASMD is bad for the balance of the map."
- "There are no safe places from the Rifle, it breaks the map as it is."
- "The Eightball's position favors spamming and it destroys the flow of the map."
CHECK LIST FOR MAPPING AND TESTING (May require a bit of help, suggestions are welcome)
(Also may help with design decisions)

  • Can any player be visible at all times? (i.e. is the map well-lit)
  • Is there any bug in the map?
    • Is it intended, unintended and will be fixed, or unintended but won't be fixed?
  • Can the bots navigate the map well in botmatches?
  • How easy is the map to navigate?
    • How obstructive are the hazardous areas to the map's flow?
    • Can the player remember key areas of the map without having to resort to location names?
  • How well distributed are the items across the map?
    • Is there a cache of powerful weapons and items somewhere in the map?
    • How worthy are the items near the hazardous area? And in the area itself?
  • Deathmatch:
    • Are there spots for hiding? How easy is to locate them?
    • How many chokepoints are in the map?
  • How easy is the map to navigate?
    • How easy is the enemy base/objective to find?
    • How easy are the bases to attack?
    • How easy are the bases to defend?
    • How long does it take to capture a flag in the shortest route without translocating/trickjumping?
    • How long does it take to capture a flag in the longest route without translocating/trickjumping?
    • Aside of the enemies, was there another obstacle which broke too much the flow of the map?
    • How many routes does the map have between the flags (not the bases)?
    • UT: Since the map will be played in Instagib mode...
      • Are the chokepoints well protected from possible campers/snipers?
      • Is there any hazardless (including water) route protected from snipers?
      • Do the corridors contain any kind of cover?
  • How easy is to make a flag capture? (CTF)
  • How easy is to attack the enemy base? (CTF/Assault)
  • How easy is to find a control point?
  • How easy is to capture a control point?
  • How easy is to maintain the control of a control point?
SINGLE-PLAYER/COOP (Also Monster Hunt)
  • How easy is the map to navigate?
    • How easy is for the player to get lost and not being able to know where they are at a certain point?
    • Is it easy to backtrack to the navigable area?
    • Is the loop area intended to be part of the navigable area?
  • Does the monster placement make sense (ambushes, triggered events, boss fights, objective guarding, smaller monsters guarding an entrance, swarms in traps being there to harass the player, mid-tier and high-tier monsters guarding objectives...)?
  • Does the monster difficulty grows as the player approaches to the final objectives or the boss?
  • How long does it take to complete the map?
  • How easy is to find the map's objectives?
  • Are there shortcuts in the map? How difficult is to go through it?
  • Campaigns: Which functions do the maps take in the whole pack? Does the map order make sense?
  • If there's a liquid area and the player isn't hurt/killed by it (nor is the player supposed to be killed by it) how easy is to exit the area? How easy is also to return to the combat area?
  • Are there any drastic texture scaling or bad alignments that distract the player? (Suggested by Buster @ OldUnreal)
Is there anything else missing in the list?
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Re: Guide: How to provide proper feedback

Post by OjitroC » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:20 pm

Interesting and useful list.

In terms of providing good feedback on a map, particularly with a view to providing solutions, much use can be made of sektor's MapGarbage tool which will provide quantitative information on a number of the points you make (like bugs, whether bots can navigate the map well, routes to flags, etc, etc).

One area missing but hinted at in the final bullet point ("Are there any drastic texture scaling or bad alignments that distract the player?") is the overall map design - here I think in terms of architecture or interior design - does the map have an overall theme? is this followed through in a series of distinct but connected spaces (of varying size both vertically and horizontally) and by a coherent use of textures? Is the lighting appropriate to the theme? Are ambient sounds used to create or add to the atmosphere of the spaces? Is the map distinct or different in any way (it doesn't have to be but it does need to be interesting enough to ensure replayability - at least I think so, given that new maps are competing with thousands of existing maps to be played)?

One detailed point for certain gametypes - the distribution of playerstarts and their location relative to the position of weapons in particular - need to ensure a good balance so that no one playerstart has an advantage by being in close proximity to a powerful weapon?

For monster hunt - is the starting area for players protected in some way so that players are not killed immediately after they spawn?

"Does the monster difficulty grows as the player approaches to the final objectives or the boss?" That's possibly OK for SP but I'm not convinced personally about it for MH - I now see that as a cliched approach (although it is, of course, still valid) - it is possible to do it differently and more interestingly.