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Map Inclusion Standards and Quadropolis

by eihrul on 12/08/2009 17:36, 16 messages, last message: 01/14/2010 23:18, 2988 views, last view: 07/03/2020 20:12

There was a discussion on Quadropolis that I thought better to put on here: Who ultimately decides what maps are included in Sauerbraten? What does that have to do with the rating system on Quadropolis?

I pretty much decide which maps go in Sauerbraten by myself at this point. I have been involved in Cube/Sauer. for 8 some years now, so I have a good idea what mappers are capable of. I have also played Cube/Sauer all this time, so I have a decent idea of what layouts/gameplay are huge errors. I have the advantage that I wrote a lot of the Cube 2 engine, so also have a huge understanding of the performance/technical problems with given maps as well, which are often overlooked.

I feel I make fairly good decisions about which maps to include based on these factors, and in those cases where I make mistakes and players convince me so, I go back and change the map line-up, culling bad maps or adding overlooked ones.

So if someone shows me a map, through whatever means, and I decide I like it, it gets included. It is that simple.

That said, I am that most maligned element of the media: a map CRITIC, not a map CREATOR. So if I decide a map is not good enough to include, I can't tell you how to make it a better map - I can only tell you why I didn't include.

I nearly pooped out my soul last release (trooper edition) from how harsh I had to be in turning down some maps, which many people had clearly put a lot of effort, time, and emotion into creating, but which were not ultimately good enough and I couldn't tell them how to make good enough. Professional game developers get paid to be that evil - it's survival, if they don't do it, they are out of a job. I don't get that benefit; the opposite, I pay out money to keep the project running.

So I decided, at the time, that I would no longer personally give any advice on what people need to do to improve their maps for inclusion. I'll tell you what you did wrong, but I won't tell you how to make it right, because I'm simply not that good on that aspect. Strict up or down answer. It is way too much unneeded stress for me to do otherwise.

But that's where Quadropolis comes in. If you post your map there, you will get feedback from other mappers about what they think are the problems with your map and how they would improve on your map. And they are mappers, so they can tell you how they would actually do stuff, as opposed to me.

If other mappers highly approve of your map, there is a strong probability I will also approve of it. If there are respected mappers who point out issues with your map, there is a strongly probability I will agree with them. If someone is just being harsh about your map out of spite or is being silly and unreasonable with demands, there is a strong probability I am also rolling my eyes reading their comments and ignoring them as much as you are.

I don't so much care what the rating number is, because quality maps are quality maps regardless, and I ultimately make the judgement call of including them by actually looking at them myself.

So if you think you make totally awesome maps that do not need review, and you think there's a strong I would include it, then asking me directly about inclusion can work. The caveat is, I will just give you a yes or no answer with some points about obvious things you might have done wrong without much in the way of clues as to how you can fix them, so Quadropolis is a better bet for real feedback on your map and how to make it a good map.

At the same time, other mappers are not infallible, and I think the Cube community at times suffers from raising the bar for quality TOO high, because they have been spoiled by the amount of maps we produce as a whole. So while some mappers might be bored with the appearance of certain maps, I might include them anyway, because I have decided that the quality of the map was sufficient, even though not exceptional. It doesn't mean I or others don't appreciate extremely awesome maps, it just means that not every map needs to be better than every map ever made before it.

Likewise, I am much better pointing out performance issues with your maps, and that is the one issue on which you are possibly better asking me about, rather than taking other mappers' word for it, if you feel there is doubt about your map in that area.

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#1: ..

by Razgriz on 12/08/2009 18:02

i totally agree with this, but it is true that much map content in the game is nice, but it's rather old and for some people gets dull and they quit the game for a while. While adding new maps can raise the installation file size, i believe its necessary to bring some new blood in for players to enjoy, so they can keep playing.

I've been playing this game nearly 3 years now, i've played almost every possible map so many times, and the boredom often kills me. There is so much great content out there, heavy for some, light for others, with possible issues and such, but its something new, and if its generally believed to be good by pro mappers and experienced critics, then i believe it should be given a chance to prove worthy of being in the game. I can't really tell a way of doing this, since there is no live map distribution system in the game, but we should try to be more open in this issue, try new stuff, and if people don't like it, pull it down.

These are my thoughts to the whole subject, and i hope someone agrees with my beliefs :)

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#2: ..

by Fischkopf on 12/09/2009 01:48

I totally agree with Razgriz. There are so many maps on quadropolis that deserve to be included in sauerbraten it is a pity.

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#3: Re: ..

by Quin on 12/09/2009 07:36, refers to #2

You're missing the point, there is a reason those maps are not included. It's not that they're overlooked, it is they fail on some technical point. Your job is to help those mappers make release-worthy maps.

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#4: ..

by Joste on 12/09/2009 11:47

There are a bewildering array of maps already in Sauerbraten 64 \\\'maps\\\' 36 \\\'capture\\\' 23 \\\'ctf\\\' and 5 \\\'concept\\\', and that isn\\\'t counting the single player or campaign maps. There are several arguments for having less maps included (download size being one) with more maps available as official \\\'map packs\\\' thus also opening up the possibility of UNofficial \\\'map packs\\\' if anyone wanted to create them because they thought some maps deserved greater exposure. This brings me on to my main point - if anyone thinks a map is really good and not included they must have downloaded it to find that out therefore so can anyone else, so post on quadropolis or here and get some feedback, it will get added or you will find out why. Any map with any kind of issue should definetly not be included, if that is the first map someone loads after downloading the game and it runs at 2fps because of poor design, or it just looks plain bad that may put them off without trying any other maps - not good for Sauerbraten in any way since they are likely to spread their experience to others.

Personally I would prefer less maps of higher quality than any number of poor quality maps (I\\\'m not suggesting any of those included are poor quality), over a hundred seems plenty to me.

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#5: Re: ..

by Razgriz on 12/09/2009 13:43, refers to #3

I agree with quin, but i didn't missed the point of helping the map makers make issueless and release-worthy maps. Instead, i believe quadropolis isn't enough to say (behalf of the members there) which map is good and what issues there are. In my opinion any good map should first be tested on a public server and then prompt users to leave comments about it somewhere. The public opinion about how much fun, pretty or heavy a map is that the counts more in general, as i at least know :)

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#6: ..

by Fischkopf on 12/09/2009 17:17

I think optional mappacks (that can be downloaded on the main site) are a good idea!

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#7: Re: ..

by Quin on 12/09/2009 17:18, refers to #5

So.. let's release a "Quadropolis Map Pack" every few months or so, for maps of artistic or other value that don't make it in?

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#8: Re: ..

by tentus_ on 12/09/2009 21:28, refers to #7

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Having an organized pack structure could give a number of other benefits (giving something to look forward to between releases, give some coherency to criticism, etc).

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#9: Re: ..

by fispaul on 12/09/2009 22:32, refers to #6

Actually map packs sounds like a pretty good idea!

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#10: ..

by Blarget2 on 12/11/2009 02:50

it really does. it there was a voting system, i would vote YES.

reply to this message

#11: Organization

by LeftClicker on 12/11/2009 04:08

How would such map packs be organized on the main page (presumable sauerbraten.org)? I think this would be sufficient:
Tech Demo
Map Resources (spheres, donuts, , alphabet, etc
(Insta) CTF
(Insta) Capture
== LeftClicker ==

reply to this message

#12: Mappack system

by Ishkur on 12/20/2009 06:41

There is a problem with using Mappacks across the internet, of course, the main one being, not everyone will download, and as such, some people will just have that 'newmap 10' field when playing on a server. To increase awareness of these maps, maybe make a prompt when you start up Sauer saying "New mappack out, check out http://sauerbraten.org/ for more details". The mappack should include, or at least update, the map listings in the main map menu, for easy access.

On a sorta related note, maybe have a scriptpack or a modpack for optional download? Not enough people know about QCPR, as far as I can tell.

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#13: ..

by geartrooper2 on 12/20/2009 11:40

This should be maintained by the public, mappacks, and not the responsibility of sauerbraten. Just my two cents. Although it would be nice if, when completed by some aggressive fan, that the sauer devs made it newsworthy.

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#14: raising the quality bar

by MisanthropX- on 12/31/2009 10:54

Hm i think that its better to have less high quality then so much bad maps.

there are enough maps in sauerbraten which are simply to old.. where you get stuck so often, because they were made for older releases.

I think Sauer has got a too low quality standard.

"eihrul: At the same time, other mappers are not infallible, and I think the Cube community at times suffers from raising the bar for quality TOO high, because they have been spoiled by the amount of maps we produce as a whole"

hm i dont really think like that..
the developers put so much effort into all these special effects, specularity, particles, whatever
why not using it then?
of course a simple map can be fun too,
but where the design is okay the design is often lacking.

I always try to give people new maps to explore where everytime they play on the map they explore another little thing like trickjumps, tactics, ways to be faster but running into crossfire, ways to be sneak in but needing a bit more time.

Many people dont even think about giving these opportunities.
And thats what many maps are lacking of.
> opportunities, possibilities.

some maps are so straight.
like valhalla or wdcd
theres only one way in and out..

thats why people raising the quality bar, they want to explore new things, not maps what are already included just in another form or style

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#15: Mappack -> Live map spread from Server

by Drekow on 01/13/2010 23:58


is little time i'm here, i have not seen all fps game around, but I think sauer is a nice game. Nice and not great, because the lack of good map. Sure first time almost al map on the release are fine, but some time after almost all start to boring a bit... this sounds strange bacause cube have an "intuitive" ingame editor, that is sufficient power to do nice map.

I get surprised to not found a official mappack, community mappack or quadropoly best of the year mappack.

I have seen it and i thing the game have the lack that permit you to connect to a server if you have a different map and the server is not in coopedit - this is also strange because of the open source spread of cheater issue.

So mappack without this fix on the code are problematic (but i like too to the idea of mappack in general, also now).

The real code new feature should be the live spread of the map when you connect to a server. I should ask to you would you like to download the map NAME VERSION SIZE? to prevent the issue of the overriding of common map with same name.

In this case each server can have his mappack, his map style, and you also choose server for map rotation, or because you like more simply cube map, the old ones, or only nice one. This way each server will differ as each clan, as each person.

This will made cube2 really a great game, with a lot of more possibilities, and give to each map the opportunity to spread around because is fine, nice, or fun. Also when a map will be relased on quadropolis can also go online the same day.

Tempest is an example, is some time it was out and i have only played a 2vs2 game on it and not sure about the map. When it came to sauer relase i have to play it until it become boring?

And also if i'm the last here, and lack of all, I found lot of map on the more common server to be not so funny anymore, simply because, also if they are all great, i have played it a lot of time without never seen something new from map to map... game to game = a bit of boring.

This is my dream about this game. I well know is hard, and our time here is our free time in life and I have to learn English prior to write post...

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#16: ..

by Fischkopf on 01/14/2010 23:18

aa map map is already being prepared.

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