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Ringel

True unadorned feedback for a better future

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This post was solely made to help the mapcore and cs:go community.

Mapcores Twitter description: "Game development community taking creativity to the next level."

A great goal. And a contest is a great way to achieve that. We can really appreciate your efforts! So, thank you! smileD.png.4e7ad7a17d2f615fd9da088c9de165d8.png

But what can we change to truly achieve that? Three well thought suggestions:

1. Change the way maps are tested.

Currently each judge test the maps individually by walking through the map. This is not enough. Why? Simply because there are often maps that look like they don't work but they do. The only way to check if they work is to playtest them with real players in 5v5, I guess 4v4 would also work.

At my first playtest for my map Bird a guy told me <after he checked the map ingame before the actual test> that two main areas will not work. After the playtest he said they were really fun to play, he enjoyed it very much and he could not believe it. Yesterday I saw a video where the creator of mirage said there is a map that should not work in theory because it seems way too big but it works fine. In the past several people told me they played one of my maps with the believe it will not work and after playing it they were surprised that they worked fine.

Why does maps work although they break the rules and does not seem to work in theory?   Because our theories are not perfect. I am not smart enough to know everything that works, and if you believe you are then you are naive. In my opinion what a map mainly needs are enjoyable main fighting areas. And this has to be tested in a real game in order to find it out.

Everything else, like visuals or paths/areas between the main figthing areas can be fixed very easily in the second phase of the contest.

How to reduce the number of entrance to make such tests possible?  

- Remove the prize pool completely. Valve adds the highest placed maps into the game anyways. No need for extra motivation in my opinion. [Edit: I forgot to say that you could use the money instead to pay the judges and playtesters]

And/Or

- Raise the conditions of participations. Not sure wheter this would be the right way to do it. But with good, well thought conditions this might be a good solution. [Edit²: A small entrance fee could help] 

2. Give better Feedback.

- Make the scores and the placements public. Very important! Add a few sentence of feedback to each map. Highlight the best and worse parts. Read this topic from here to the end for more infos.

3. Enforce people to create new innovative content.

Like I said maps that should not work in theory can work pretty well and be very enjoyable. I suggest to establish a rule for the next contest which forces innovations. Something like that:

- Only maps with one or three bombsites are allowed.

I truly believe with enough work and creativity such maps can work very well. This would bring the developers creativity to the next level. And the outcoming maps would give players new experiences and challenges which helps them to reach a new level and to find new ways to play and evolve the game.

Otherwise people will stick to the same formula again and again.

 

Thanks for your attention! smileD.png.4e7ad7a17d2f615fd9da088c9de165d8.png

Edited by Ringel

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As someone who spend alot of time on this competition (for which im grateful existed) I also look back at it with some amount of regret and a sense that i didnt get the feedback from the judging that I craved going into it. However upon some more introspection i also realized that if I truly want the juicy feedback all i needed was to have it playtested some goddamn more. I thought i could get away with a couple of playtests and suss out the rest from there, but that was truly not the case and i was too dug into some of my initial "darlings".

The hard truth is that getting it tested over and over again is something that cant be neglected if you want your map into the game and no amount of feedback from "judges" will change that.

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2 hours ago, spa said:

As someone who spend alot of time on this competition (for which im grateful existed) I also look back at it with some amount of regret and a sense that i didnt get the feedback from the judging that I craved going into it. However upon some more introspection i also realized that if I truly want the juicy feedback all i needed was to have it playtested some goddamn more. I thought i could get away with a couple of playtests and suss out the rest from there, but that was truly not the case and i was too dug into some of my initial "darlings".

The hard truth is that getting it tested over and over again is something that cant be neglected if you want your map into the game and no amount of feedback from "judges" will change that.

This is some good self reflection here! Being open to feedback and making big changes and stuff is key. Playtesting is a big part of it. I already told you my thoughts on your map, but if you as a mapper dont (want to) do anything with it then it wont get you anywhere (which is okay! U still learn from everything). 

To get to this topic, I dont get why you keep coming up with this stuff. Yes innovative stuff is awesome, but there are LD rules and especially to such an competetive (esport) game. We playtested your three bombsite map in competetive mode and it had many design flaws (that had nothing to do with having three bombsites, though the third bombsite in the center didnt make sence at all). If u want I can PM u the feedback, but honestly I feel you keep praising your 'out of the box' attitude which doesnt make sence at all. So I dont think its worth it giving you feedback as its probably a waste of time and effort.

New stuff isnt always better. Not saying to not try out new stuff as long they stay within boudaries that work for a game. You can always try, thats what playtests are for, but also be open to the fact things dont always work the way you want to. If you want csgo to lose its identity, maybe go design maps for other games so it pleases you... Please stop pretending to be some mapping guru that shows us the way or try to get us to an new 'era' 😏 I am sure your intentions are good, but I just get a litle tired by these topics so sorry if I come out rudely. 

Ofcourse a ideal situation would be judges playing each map 10 times on comp mode and judge it but come on, appriciate they take their free time to judge the maps at all. If you want feedback go gather it and have playtests, dont rely on the judges (which are just individual persons too, no offence 😎) and if u think money is motivation for joining a mapping competetion then u dont understand what hobbying and improving skills is about coz I am sure thats first on the list for most mappers out here to join a competition. 

I do however wish there was a way to focus on gameplay elements first as a mid-judgement thing and have a top x entries be able to continue for the art pass, but idk thats a personal preference.. either way I think the last top 11 / top 20 all played well and its a 50/50 mixture of importance so.. I think the competitions are well organised and I am happy they spend so much effort in them. If u wanna do inovative stuff go join the wingman SE competition as its a new gamemode that has a lot of restrictions and require more out of the box thinking to make it interesting

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14 hours ago, Vaya said:

don't know what you are smoking, some of the maps in the contest were innovative as hell.

Maybe, I did not looked at all entrances, but I can't see any innovative map inside the top 10.

10 hours ago, Roald said:

If you want csgo to lose its identity, maybe go design maps for other games so it pleases you... Please stop pretending to be some mapping guru that shows us the way or try to get us to an new 'era' 😏

I don't say those innovative maps have to be that extremly different and they don't have to be better than the existent now, but they would make the game more varied. I'm not a mapping guru, never said that, that is only in your head. I am good in beeing creative and having new ideas but I need others to make them fit. Thats one reason why I failed with my map norte and why I only want to develop maps with at least one more person in the future. [Edit: Oh, and I hoped someone would like my idea and would like to team up with me.]

10 hours ago, Roald said:

Ofcourse a ideal situation would be judges playing each map 10 times on comp mode and judge it but come on, appriciate they take their free time to judge the maps at all. If you want feedback go gather it and have playtests, dont rely on the judges (which are just individual persons too, no offence 😎) and if u think money is motivation for joining a mapping competetion then u dont understand what hobbying and improving skills is about coz I am sure thats first on the list for most mappers out here to join a competition.

My only motivation to take part in the contest was to get more feedback thats all. I don't care about money and whether one of my maps get into the game or not. But I got the feeling many just entered because of the prizepool. Thats why I wrote the prizepool would better invested in paying the judges and playtesters. This would be compensation for the extra work. My suggestion to playtest the maps <once not 10 times> is not to get feedback. It is to make sure the judges don't score maps too low. Because of the reason I told you in the main post. It would also make the contest more professional.

Trying to create innovations will extremely help developers to improve their skills in many ways. Because they will most likely fail at the first try. My third suggestion with the rule that maps should only have one or three bombsites would give developers a new challenge and a great way to improve their skills. You will never get to your full potential without a difficult challenge. And people normaly don't challenge themself properly and try something new. Especially than they create a map for a contest where maps get judged by just walking through them. Because it will not be possible for the judge to give new stuff a suitable score without testing it properly.

Edited by Ringel

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3 minutes ago, Vaya said:

having more or less bombsites is not innovation. It's not understanding the game.

The number of bombsites are not the innovation. The innovation would come from making it possible and fun to play.

Edited by Ringel

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11 minutes ago, Ringel said:

The number of bombsites are not the innovation. The innovation would come from making it possible and fun to play.

you could get a better desired effect by giving high points for innovation. Limiting or adding bombsites is like adding or removing a limb and then asking the person to function like normal.

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so yeah anyway:

YES to More feedback. its crazy that the biggest mapping contest has less feedback from judges than little $100 contests. Understanding why maps weren't successful is important for people to grow as level designers and artists.

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3 hours ago, Ringel said:

My only motivation to take part in the contest was to get more feedback thats all. I don't care about money and whether one of my maps get into the game or not. But I got the feeling many just entered because of the prizepool. Thats why I wrote the prizepool would better invested in paying the judges and playtesters. This would be compensation for the extra work. My suggestion to playtest the maps <once not 10 times> is not to get feedback. It is to make sure the judges don't score maps too low. Because of the reason I told you in the main post. It would also make the contest more professional.

While I agree with the feedback part, I doubt the prizepool part. You work your ass off on a map for half a year, for a slim chance at ~300 to 2000$? I see this more as an incentive that you at least have a chance, to have your time at least somewhat compensated. I think taking that away is kinda disrespectful towards the work that goes into these maps.

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A huge prize pool makes the contest seem more legitimate. If your map can get a high spot in a contest with so much exposure it will make for a great portfolio piece, even if you aren't in the top 4 monetary prize slots. For me (and others I presume) its about improving and showcasing your abilities as an amateur level designer or environment artist.

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I've actually had two pretty great and unadorned ideas how to improve the next competition myself:

1. In order to limit the number of entrants and therefore allow judges the time they need to focus on being better people, the competition should only be open to people who first meet the following criteria:

  • Name must begin with a J
  • Must be born in the northern hemisphere
  • Must own at least one (and no more than one) tabby cat
  • Must drive a Renault with a busted passenger window
  • Must probably not finish their map, but still be eligible to win anyway

2. In order to attract people who meet the above criteria, the prize pool must be doubled.

 

It's only fair.

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