ET competition maps guidelines

(blushing_bride) #21

some top clans are very willing to help test maps such as SenF, some clans cant be bothered. If all the clans that are willing to test maps could let it be known that would be helpful. This is a forum where mappers go but not where many clan people go and i suspect that clan forums aren’t well known to mappers. So we need to become more aware of each other, perhaps if someone like kendle can make a list with links to clans that are willing to test maps that would be a start for mappers that aren’t mates with any clans. or if there is a forum full of lurking clans where mappers can ask for help that would also be helpful.

(Kendle) #22

Senf are known to be keen to help mappers test maps, and I’d say BiO would also be a good port of call, as they’re the ones that inspired this thread in the first place. Besides, put it this way, if you can get your map on BiO’s public server you’ll have every top Clan player in Europe playing it, so it’d be well worth the effort.

Other than that I don’t know of any “off the top of my head”, but I’ll ask around and see if anyone wants to volunteer.

Also, I’d like to repeat that if any mappers currently have maps or projects they’re working on that they think would be of interest, please come forward, as we aren’t likely to find you unless you do.

(blushing_bride) #23

BIO already told me they dont have time to properly test maps due to being in lots of comps and that they wont put beta customs to test on their server as this would make the server less popular. All maps that i make have clan play in mind but it seems that a lot of clan people aren’t too interested in custom maps unless they will definitly be in a comp/league and its unlikely that a custom will get into a comp/league unless it was endorsed by lots of top clans. So its a bit of a catch 22 situation. It was good to put a custom in the unter/elite thingy but its a shame more comps aren’t so forward thinking.

(SteelRat) #24

So why dont’t we have a clan mapping competition then?

(nUllSkillZ) #25

Hmm, they ask for new competition maps but don’t like to test new maps :???:
Isn’t working.

(DG) #26

hardly surprising, for starters not very many clans read the splashdamage forums, especially the mapping one…

then, well most probably cant be bothered wading through all the rubbish to get to those with the potential. Given their impressions of >90% of existing custom maps, the vast majority of which have never had the sightest consideration of them before, it’s kind of understanable :slight_smile: Not to mention for clanwars to test maps, you need 6 people out of a clan of say 8 to be willing and able, twice over, at the same time. Given lots of clans have trouble getting normal praccy sessions in, or even gathering 6 for official games, I can understand why teams might find it hard to fit in map testing.

fwiw, when given customs that have been reliably hand picked for having potential, and something to suggest it’d be worthwhile them playing the map (both of these points we’ve seen at Unter & elite with V2Base, and BIO’s influential server picking up Venice), seems like many are happy to give em a good go and make comments. Not necessarily here.

I was thinking about setting up a etpro/stopwatch server running a rotation of a few customs with potential, (e.g. right now it’d be caen, supplydepot, v2base, venice_rc2) but seeing as my scrounging for a fileserver for http redirect is falling on ears pretending to be completely deaf, it’s unlikely to be possible in any practical way :frowning:

(stix) #27

Nice to have some action in this thread.

Some comments:

i think someone (who isnt at work ^^) should create a channel (#custommaps? or are there custom mapping channels already?) on quakenet for people who are interested in testing/making competitive custom maps. irc > forums. i dont think its necessary to have “a real clan” vs. “another real clan” in order to test a map, mixteams with voicecom would be just as good, its not like any clans would bother to make real tactics for a beta of a custom map anyway. I dont believe in putting maps into public rotation though, public play is very different from matches, not only cause the quality of the players is lower but also because people’s style of playing is different (efterlyst any one? 8 medic offense… )

you get what you put in, if the gaming community dont want to spend time testing maps, there wont be as many good custom maps as there might have been (hi bio :x).

anyhow, im helping some people with feedback on a map right now and hopefully we’ll manage to make it playable, but if anyone wants help testing their maps feel free to give me a msg on quakenet and ill try to put together a team :slight_smile:

(Mean Mr. Mustard) #28

It seems like another mapping competition thread going no where… :confused:

On one hand we have the competition community requesting more competition based maps while the mapping community pumps out pub maps. There has to be a give and take relationship between the two ‘communities’. I have never been in a clan so have no idea what is makes a good competition map (as I suspect most mappers are in this category). However, we know (or think we know) what makes good/enjoyable pub maps.

I was originally excited to make a competition map, getting good clan feedback to improve it for their needs. But now it seems that a majority (maybe overwhelming majority) are disinclined to help throughly with the map making process (layout, testing, feedback). I understand that their priorities are to practice and compete and do not have much time for map testing. But they must realize that is takes a long time and a big effort to a make map. It’s not an easy task. And it’s time/effort a map maker does not want to ‘waste’ - ie. make a strictly competition map that isn’t embraced by the competition community and possibly might not be embraced by the pub community. Nothing worse than making a map that no one plays… safer to follow the ‘pub only’ map route that has a better chance of being accepted by that community.

Seems like the competition community will only embrace a custom map once it’s proven to be competition worthy but are unwilling to help make it competition worthy by helping with ideas and testing…catch22 like blushing_bride said.

BIO already told me they dont have time to properly test maps due to being in lots of comps and that they wont put beta customs to test on their server as this would make the server less popular

If the competition community in general is not willing to help us help them, then I don’t think many mappers are going to go the ‘competition’ map route. Just look at the pub community - they jump on every new map that is released. Hardly a few hours go by before a ‘first playable’ or ‘beta’ map is released and up and running on servers.

The competition community needs to get involved early in a map (planning of maps, first playable stage, alpha testing, etc). It’s too late by beta stage to completely redo a map to make it competition worthy. Until the competition community is willing to get involved early and make a commitment to follow a map through its stages, I doubt the mapping community will produce many (if any) competition worthy maps.

I, for one, am willing to attempt to tailor a map for competition - but I need early feedback (even in the layout of the map and the objectives - a good plan is the key to making a map) and a commitment for continued feedback. Otherwise, without that feedback I’d fear I would waste my time since I have little or no knowledge what makes or breaks a competition maps. We’ve received general guidelines…but without having been in competition, they are too general for me.

(Ifurita) #29

I’ll work with you to create a comp map. If I had to offer a simple rule of thumb, it would be, “map that is offensively oriented, sized for 12-14 players, and winnable in 12-15 minutes”

(Kendle) #30

I hear what you’re saying guys, and, unfortunately you’re right. Clans want new maps but aren’t prepared to put the effort in to make it happen. :frowning:

I’m not sure about the comment above that putting “comp” maps on a pub isn’t worth while. To truely test them they need to be played in a proper match, of course, but getting them onto a pub is a good first step, as it can be quite obvious, even from pub play, whether a map has potential for competition or not.

DG, (or anyone), out of interest, how much bandwith, per month, would be required for HTTP re-direct? A rough estimate that is. I’ve got 1Gb webspace with 25Gb per month bandwidth allowance that I’m not now using. Would that be any use?

(Mean Mr. Mustard) #31

I’m not sure about the comment above that putting “comp” maps on a pub isn’t worth while. To truely test them they need to be played in a proper match, of course, but getting them onto a pub is a good first step, as it can be quite obvious, even from pub play, whether a map has potential for competition or not.

But my fear is, if it’s not suited for competition play by the time it’s being tested on pub servers, it’s too late - unless you make major changes. In my view, you just can’t ‘pick up a buliding and move it further away’…

This is what I would like to see:

  1. Form a clan respresentative team (‘steering committee’ for lack of a better term) who would add input/make suggestions while maps are in progress
  2. Have mappers generate a proposed layout of a map - showing terrrain, main building, spawn points, route, objectives, etc. - with descriptions
  3. The clan ‘steering committee’ would then provide feedback on the proposed layouts: suggestion improvements (too many routes, too many objectives, etc…)
  4. Mappers would the generate a ‘first walk thru’ map - with the terrain and several roughout buildings/markers where objectives are located
  5. Clan steering committee (CSC) would then walk through the maps and provided feedback.
  6. Mappers would then generate a ‘first playable’ map
  7. CSC again checks out the map and makes suggestions.
    etc, etc

I think this would then create a ‘win-win’ situation. Mappers generate better maps (which would probably be accepted in pub play also) because they had lots of input and clans get map suited for competition.

I had a few clans walk through my map as it was being developed. They made lots of suggestions and found problems where I never thought to look. Clans can be very thorough checking a map and almost immediately know if it will suit their needs are not. So I’m just saying they should jump in a help in the beginning, where they can steer the development of a map - instead of judging it a the end - at which point it’s too late.

For my first map, I followed my vision and produced something that I thought would be fun to play. For this ‘competition’, I would have no problems implementing ideas from the CSC and letting them really decide where they wanted it to go - because it is for them. I thnik that if clans see mappers are willing to do that (listen to feedback and implement ideas and changes), clans would be more willing to lend a hand.

(blushing_bride) #32

I’m not sure about the comment above that putting “comp” maps on a pub isn’t worth while. To truely test them they need to be played in a proper match, of course, but getting them onto a pub is a good first step, as it can be quite obvious, even from pub play, whether a map has potential for competition or not.

Thats just the problem. It takes months of toil and effort to make a map so why not tailor it to suit public play where we know it will be appreciated rather then aiming for it to be good for clans. I made a map for clan play some time ago. It never gets played on publics (maybe its too small or simple i dont know i hardly got any feedback as it sank so quickly) and needless to say it never gets played by clans either. thats four months of my time down the toilet as far as im concerned and im not willing to potentially waste another few months making a map suitable for clan play because then there is a risk (a risk there are no definites when it comes to mapping) that it will sink like a stone on publics (and by public server i mean servers with 24-64 slots, 10 map campaigns with all the XP bells and whistles switched on). For these big servers big maps that are defensivily biased with long time limits seem to go down a treat hence why fuel dump is a popular public map but not so popular with clans. Most of us would be willing to make maps aimed at clan play but we would need some assurance first that it will get played (EDIT: as in the map needs to be given a chance before changes are made or its deemed unsuitable for clan play) otherwise its just risky. Maps are our babies and at the end of the day we (well me anyway) want people to enjoy the friuts of our labour.

(nUllSkillZ) #33

It think it’s not enough if clan’s (or members of clans) accompany the development of a competition map.
Leagues should also accompany the development of a competition map.

(Kendle) #34

24 - 64 slot isn’t my idea of a public. I don’t play on servers with more than 20, with 16 or less being preferred. So there’s publics and then there’s publics :wink:

Would you mind sending me you map to have a look at?

Also, you guys are all absolutely right. I’m not here to defend Clans, they don’t do enough, no 2 ways about it. Question is, how do we encourage them to do more?

(Mean Mr. Mustard) #35

My only suggestion is to say:

If you get involved early (the earlier the better), you can guide the map to what you want it to be. Mappers are willing to work with you to make the maps you need. You will impact the results and are almost guaranteed to obtain the necessary new competition maps. If you let mappers work on there own and only get involved at the end, then maybe 1 out of every 100 custom maps will be suitable for competition. Remember this point: mappers are clueless about what makes a good competition map!

I’ll state it again. I am willing to sketch out a layout of a map - my vision of a competition map. I am aslo willing to have clans look at it and ‘rip’ it apart. We can iterate on this a few times until the layout is good. How long would it take a clan to look at a sketch? 5 minutes? 10 minutes?

And really, I don’t think there will be any suitable custom competition maps until the clans get involved. They can complain all they want, but until they are willing to help ‘guide’ us mappers the complaints will fall on deaf ears…

(Ifurita) #36

Also, as we did with Vengeance, Mustard and I were able to prototype a map very quickly with blocked out placeholders for sollid buildings, key tunnels and buildings + objectives very quickly. It wouldn’t be too hard to get feedback at this stage and be able to flip revisions back in fairly short order

(blushing_bride) #37

24 - 64 slot isn’t my idea of a public. I don’t play on servers with more than 20, with 16 or less being preferred. So there’s publics and then there’s publics

alot of publics running customs are these type of huge servers, have at look at all servers on ase and you’ll see of lot of these running shrub and mostly in the USA. They’re very popular with public players and also to their credit a lot of their admins hang around in this forum looking to get new maps all the time. They offer to host the map, test the map and put it in their rotation.

btw check your pm’s

(sock) #38

A Clan will generally learn offical maps and league/competition map packs. Offering input to map construction is extremely time comsuming and not something that alot of clans will offer. Basically clans want to play a set of specific maps very very well and not waste time constantly learn new maps. TBH who could blame them either, no one wants a team of 6 players running around lost or not working together on a new map.

A clan is going to look at a map and see what advantages they can gain, strats are the key to winning a map and developing these take time. Especially if you are co-ordinating a team to all work together in the same direction. Looking at a map design from a clan point of view is all about “how can I win this map quickly and effectively”.

Certain objective types are just too complex and time consuming for clans who’s ultimate goal is to win the map as quick as possible. (Remember its often stop-watch mode which is played by clans not campaign mode) If you have a tank running at a set speed through a map then it will restrict the possibilities of winning the map in a set time. If you have multiple constructions which have to be built in a set order then this will take time. The key is quick balanced objectives which can be attacked or defended by teams of 5/6 players. Classic clan stuff is dyno objectives and doc/objective stealing.

The majority of the standard ET maps were designed for public play because the initial market was the public. Some of the maps certainly have alot of different routes and strats for winning but ultimately they were designed to be fun and form part of an overall campaign not 15min stopwatch games. The 15min considering is simply because clans do not want to play 3 x 30min games every time you meet another clan.

If mappers feel they want their maps to become clan popular they need to approach the leagues who have the power to endorse map packs for clans to work with. A single clan working with a mapper is not enough and even if you get alot of clan input, its not often a good thing either. What might be good for one clan could be bad for another and generally clans can be selvish because they are always looking for an advantage to win. A clan is a fine balance of core player types and desiging a map for a team of snipers or engineers will restrict what clans can effectively play the map.

When a clan challenges another clan for a match and specifies an unknown map it will often not be accepted because clans have spent alot of time developing set strats and counter strats for certain maps. If you want a map to be accepted quickly produce a collection of demo’s or a document detailing possible strats of your map. Find a good clan to help with this task and this might help get a map accepted quicker because alot of the initial ground work has been layed out already.

The bottom line is really the leagues, as all clans exist to fight in the leagues. Building clan “ready” maps is not difficult but getting a map accepted by the clan community can sometimes seem impossible. The best route to understanding what clan play is all about is actually joining a clan and seeing first hand for yourself the importance of strats and how they can effectively win a game. There is no magic formula for clan maps just maps which offer a good balanced set of strats and counter strats.


(Kendle) #39

blushing_bride, got the PM, thanks, I’ll take a look tonight or over the weekend.

As we can all see this is likely to be a difficult issue to resolve, as both “parties” have their own agenda’s, for which neither can be blamed, it’s just the way it is. Certainly getting maps into Leagues / Tourneys is a good way to do it, and at Unter we’ve always promoted custom maps. We stuck our necks out and used UFO in last years RTCW event, and received much criticism for it, until the games were actually played and turned out to be some of the best games of the Tourney.

This year we went with V2Base, and if we do it again anytime soon we’ll introduce another new custom map.

However, we’re only a small UK, very occasional, tourney. Getting maps adopted by Leagues is where it’s really at. Trouble is, we can’t run before we can walk. We need the maps first.

Another thing that my Clan did last year was organise “custom map weekends”, where we setup a 4 - 6 map custom rotation on our server and pimped it like buggery everywhere we could think off. We drew in some decent crowds for what turned out to be fun events.

If we can put together a similar 4 - 6 map “custom map pack”, I’m sure we’d be able to organise such an event again. Anyone who’d like their maps to be considered for such an event, please let me know.

(Kendle) #40

OK, talking to my clanmates, we’d be willing to host and promote a “custom map weekend” to showcase potential competition maps. Bearing in mind we’re talking 16 slot server, Stopwatch mode, mostly, if not exclusively, used by Clan players only, and I should be able to provide hosting for map downloads as well.

We’ve found these weekends to be very productive in the past because it focuses people on what we’re trying to achieve.

We’ve also got people willing to help with ideas for new maps, including a couple of guys who are far more talented creatively than I am. We’ve got a few busy weeks coming up, however, and at least 3 of us are actively involved in running the Unter Tourney, which has 2 more weeks to run.

So, looking at maybe late June we’d be willing, as a Clan, to work with whoever’s interested to give you ideas for a map, work with you to develop it and test it, and hopefully rope in a few friendly Clans to play some matches on it, etc.

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