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Musings on level design and quality control at TWP

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npc_msleeper_boss wrote:
I've thought about writing a "mission statement" and linking it on the download page.

Yeah, as in "Read this before you upload"?

Yes, do it. :) A lot of good reading material here that others should read too.

Maps in Development:
[spoiler]- Penrose 04 (on hold)[/spoiler]

Bumping this because someone complained about "elitism".

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Well, talking about elitism, and all the other stuff in the posts before: the maps here on twp are on average just much better than on the workshop. With the rating system and moderation we as moderators keep an eye on this, but even more: everyone that gives input to maps does.

My very first map was a total disaster, it was off grid, no lighting, but it had a nice puzzle in it. I got some good feedback and some tips on improving my mapping skills. Without them I couldn't, and probably wouldn't have been half the mapper I am today. The danger of my map being removed for being fullbright also pushed me to fix that issue; I wanted my nice puzzle to stay here.

I've noticed over the past few months with more and more maps uploaded to the workshop there has been a bit less feedback to maps than before. That's a total shame, I highly encourage everyone to take a few minutes of their time to go back to twp and write down their comments. A good hammer map often takes at least 60-100 hours of work to be put into it. With bigger maps taking more time. The time you have to spent on giving some more detailed feedback is nothing compared to the work the mappers have put into it! And it will make them better mappers and that'll get you to play more, better maps!

For people who aren't sure if their map is properly functioning: we have a work in progress section, post not-yet-finished versions of your map there, so others can test it before releasing it to the real deal. Ask some experienced players from around here if they want to test your maps, sent them a pm, ask for help! A fresh eye can really help your map improve.

If it turns out that your puzzle is completely broken: don't worry, try to understand what you did that made this solution possible and try to fix that issue. Sometimes however, the unintended solution can actually be better than your original plan, be flexible with this. Eventually you'll map will turn out even better than you originally planned.

Lastly always playtest and let others playtest. YOU know the solution so YOU can solve it, how do others see it? If players miss a certain vital part of your map: how can you fix it? Add more light maybe? Do the other players try something that keeps *almost* working? - try to remove that way, it really confuses players.

If you keep those things in mind and just spent time and effort into your maps, properly texture, model, test, test, test, test again until you're totally happy with the map and listen to all the well-meant feedback you get you'll be a great mapper.

npc_msleeper_boss wrote:
Bumping this because someone complained about "elitism".

Ha, and so what?

Let's see....

'Elitism' is a very controversial word... If "that someone" took the meaning of that word in the sense of "we only accept the best quality maps and dismiss the rest, if your map sucks get out of here, and stop mapping on the way", well then he/she is completely wrong and judging completely unfairly because that is not true!

To my understanding, this thread was all about a complaint against laziness and lack of effort already stated and patent in maaaaaany maps/mappers; this was a call to improve, and it was unusually kindly written, boss, if I may add ( :-D ). All above said was simply about "go ask yourself: is this the best I could possibly do". Come on, we all can identify when a map has got at least the minimum features to be considered as a "merely-well-done map", it's all about paying a bit of attention to lightning, textures, settings of the elements to work properly and testing the puzzle before releasing. This only requires perception!

Then there are exceptional maps, those that are noticeably above the rest, with a lot of attention to details, awesome lighting, fog, sounds, etc. clever puzzles, blah, blah, blah... I understand these ones are difficult to create, not to "percieve", but maybe difficult to emulate. A hammer beginner will have to spend really much time if he wants his map to look like those. This requires a certain "good taste" altogether with the above perception.

As it's mentioned above, there's a WIP section. This simple detail should mean for anyone "hey, post your map here first, let the community know you are a beginner and this is your first map... and get advised!" ... is this elitism? is this kind offer offensive at all? WTF? doesn't that mean "ey, we're here to help you improve"? You have to be really obtuse to don't be able to see these intentions there! This must allow a beginner to receive feedback, not only about the puzzles, but also about the aesthetics. I guess this section is intended to make ppl improve whatever feature of their maps that needs more work. Here the community helps to identify those weak points, in the case that a mapper is not able to do by himself.

But, I guess all above said is maybe only for those mappers with true will of improving, which are the less. There are many others that simply try to "make their map to run", careless about doing a quality thing... and I repeat that I think this thread was about that, a complaint agaisnt that kind of laziness.

Above thoughts is what I think this community is about and this thread meant. Now there's still another approach to the concept 'elitism', and this is maybe my personal feeling. I won't do any apology of elitism (I don't consider myself an elitist), but I use to think: will I really spend THAT MUCH MORE TIME to make this perfect instead of just fine? NO... If I know how to do things better, would I allow myself to make them only average? am I in such a rush to don't be able to spend a little more time in it? I am a bit perfectionist, I must confess, but I if I like the result after all effort then I'm satisfied and happy... And ey, I DO like to help, I DO cheer up ppl to chase perfectionism or at leat a certain neatness, and I DO check how everyday the rest of mappers so do...

So that said...

Do I prefer a certain high quality maps? YES I definitely do. And so do many many other users.
Would I prefer to CLEARLY IDENTIFY a good work from the rest? YES I definitely would. I guess the rating system helps on that. Though I also play other not-too-highly-rated maps!
Do I want this community to have a good collection of good quality maps? YES!


One last thought: the forum even created a PTI maps section to welcome EVERYONE's maps to the site, even when the majority of them suck! who the hell said elitism?

ImageImageImageImageImageuseful tools and stuff here on TWP :thumbup:
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