Moses’ tips for team map design

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@MadMax Yeah man, when I say "local asymmetries" I certainly don't mean for people to make the map globally unbalanced.

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@moses_the_red said in Tips for team map design:

You can see it in their posts when they talk about "global rating" or whatever to explain why people play the maps they play. You can see it when they talk about aesthetics as if that's a primary concern in getting people to play your map.
You can see it in how they dismiss popularly played maps as valueless, and the people that play them as low rated morons.

You can just refer to me by my name if you want.

@Jip said in Tips for team map design:

I don't have too much experience with communities but I don't think they work like this. I'd like a moderator or perhaps even @biass to step in - portraying subjective information as a fact while that is not in consensus sets a dangerous precedent.

I don't particularly mind people making guides and recieving feedback on their "input". It's easier now with this new forum to verify the experience and authority behind the speaker (because you can't hide under a different forum alias) and if someone cannot see the:

  • Level of seething rage pouring out of every sentence
  • The amount of backlash
  • The attempts at a response

And still blindly follow along without thinking critically, they were never going to be good at mapping to begin with.

But you do have a point, most tutorials focus on a single example, or a method of achieving a goal with examples to prove it. There hasn't been a post about some "rule of law" that will bring success and there is a reason behind that - one does not exist.

I don't have mod powers though. 😑

Maybe just change the title from "tips for team map design" to:
"My tips for team map design" ? I think people wouldn't have as much of a problem.
I don't particularly want to be the thought police so this should be a good middle ground.

And my personal advice: remove the attempts to pre-emptively deflect criticism, it's just plain cringe.

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@moses_the_red said in Tips for team map design:

Its also worth noting that people quit pretty often in team games if they seem to be going badly.

I don't think that is the case at all.

Larger team games, the lobby can take a tiny bit of time to fill so the incentive to play it out is there. Rarely do I find people leaving during the game, even when doing badly. If it actually does happen, it is very easy to not have them in your game anymore (the community isn't THAT large).

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@scytale This is a fair point. I may have overstated it.

I mean, the community isn't terrible, and you're right, it could happen more often.

But with the wait times to get a team game, any amount of quitting is too much. One in 10 games is too much. If there is an uptick of games with quitters though, it will make it harder for your games to fill. Competition is pretty stiff in the team map space from old, well loved maps.

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You can just refer to me by my name if you want.

I was summarizing the arguments made by several people. You were one of them, but certainly not the only one.

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I've renamed the post under further advisement.

@moses_the_red said in Moses' tips for team map design:

The default mode of posting on this or any other forum is of course centered around the post author's opinions.

If you're going to make a guide, I need you to have created proper examples of the practice working / or achieveing the goal it's set out to achieve, or the alternative is just a simple rename to make it appear more "unofficial" which has been done here now.

Rohai is an example?

Rohai has 1086 plays and as of yesterday, you were present in 592 of those games, most likely as the host.

Because of this inorganic inflation of plays, it cannot reasonably be considered a fair test enviroment. I haven't heard anyone else but you disagree with this so if someone objects to this ruling, let me know now.

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@biass said in Moses' tips for team map design:

I've renamed the post under further advisement.

@moses_the_red said in Moses' tips for team map design:

The default mode of posting on this or any other forum is of course centered around the post author's opinions.

If you're going to make a guide, I need you to have created proper examples of the practice working / or achieveing the goal it's set out to achieve, or the alternative is just a simple rename to make it appear more "unofficial" which has been done here now.

Rohai is an example?

Rohai has 1086 plays and as of yesterday, you were present in 592 of those games, most likely as the host.

Because of this inorganic inflation of plays, it cannot reasonably be considered a fair test enviroment. I haven't heard anyone else but you disagree with this so if someone objects to this ruling, let me know now.

Be gone troll. You aren't even quoting me, you're just being annoying, both with the post renaming (I moved the name back, if you have a problem with this show me some kind of community rules that I broke) and with the false quotes.

Again, aside from remasters from already successful team maps, how many plays do any of your maps have where people intentionally chose to play the map outside of ladder?

Beyond that, hosting does not result in a filled map. My hosting the map does not negate the choice that 5 other people made every time it was hosted to join it...

You seem to be embarking on a strategy of annoying me, I guess until I go away and quit challenging the ridiculous status quo here. You can do that I guess, but I can sure as fuck point out that it IS indeed what you're doing.

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Show me the rules?

Yes, you’re not to post anything knowingly false or misleading, furthermore faf admin receives the rights to edit any posts at any time.

I’m going to just change it back again, please don’t revert admin actions, I’m happy to leave the thread open and argue for all eternity as you know -

but if it’s going to be displayed in a way as the community has expressed their concern about: misleading new content creators, I’ll just lock the post. I’ve been civil in my requests here and feel justified in my action.

plays

I don’t need to stoop down to epeen comparisons no matter how hard you stack the deck in your favour, I believe my ability to map for the community is well documented.

quotes

It’s not a quote, and doesn’t say that you said it anywhere. You can use the text device without quoting anything.

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moses in his everlasting quest against the faf patriarchy

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i wish we could have a civilized discussion about this topic instead of it turning into a pissing match, it's certainly an interesting discussion to be had, one that if we could come up with some solid answers would benefit all

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@MadMax said in Moses’ tips for team map design:

i wish we could have a civilized discussion about this topic instead of it turning into a pissing match, it's certainly an interesting discussion to be had, one that if we could come up with some solid answers would benefit all

Clearly some of these people want the pissing match.

I think perhaps they were on the wrong side of this argument early on, before the explanations of it became convincing, and at this point perhaps they feel they're losing face by even having the argument made.

So rather than attempt to refute anything posted, they're just coming in and pissing all over everything. "Change the thread title", "None of this is proven your map's 1000 plays aren't enough etc.".

At the end of the day, this is your community too. Its easy to see who is being constructive and who is trying to shut down discussion and use whatever authority they have to discredit the post.

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Understanding where this thread is at is almost a study. I fundamentally do not agree with the majority of your points. Allow me to quote:

Level Design Workshop: The Holy Grail of Multiplayer Level Design: Casual and Competitive Maps

(at 10:00)
Ways to support casual play

  • Rebounds and chaos
  • Easy to learn
  • Limited tactics
  • Sandbox play
  • Single-scan arenas (easy overview)

(at 12:00)
Ways to support competitive play

  • Multiple valid options
  • Resilient options
  • Multi-scan arenas (harder to get overview)

With that in mind, one can easily argue that Astro falls into the casual type of map. It is easy to learn, there isn't much tactics available, it can feel sandbox-isch because you generally don't do a whole lot with your opponent and it is easy to have an overview of the map. Up to an extent Gap fills these criteria too.

Maps that you argue are 'bad' because they don't fill. Generally these maps are more competitive and therefore they belong to a different audience - and there is less of that audience. Hence, the lobby fills slower.

With our audience in mind, let us talk about design. Allow me to quote:

Ten Principles for Good Level Design

And to quote one of the comments:
04:23 - Good level design is fun to navigate.
06:47 - Good level design does not rely on words.
10:46 - Good level design tells what to do but never how to do it.
13:35 - Good level design constantly teaches.
16:06 - Good level desing is surprising.
21:07 - Good level desing empowers the player.
25:16 - Good level desing is easy, medium, and hard.
28:13 - Good level desing is efficient.
32:55 - Good level desing creates emotion.
37:26 - Good level desing is driven by mechanics.

And I think we can easily argue that a map like Astro doesn't teach the player anything, is not surprising after 10 rounds or more, doesn't empower the player in any form and is only easy because of the huge crater that you are in with only a single point of entry.

In comparison to a competitive map which tries to constantly teach you new approaches, can surprise you because of that, can be both easy, medium and hard depending on the players (whether or not a player can 'utilise' the core principles of the map), can make a player feel empowered (when the player matters, and / or after a struggle takes out an expansions - or even snipes a ACU early on with some T1 that got caught off guard) and up to a point tells you what to do (clear expansions, etc).

As others have argued before, a map like Astro is of poor design. According to the original creator it was made in a matter of minutes and most of its re-productions don't have much more time spent on them. Let alone that a lot of what you learn in Astro is not applicable to any other map and may even make you play worse on all other maps in comparison to the moment when you started to play Astro.

When we hook back to our audience: this is fine up to an extent. Astro is for casual players that want to play easy and casual games. Learning a new map, especially when coming from Astro, is a daunting task and hence people play maps like Astro.

About the objective and / or subjective notion - take note that a lot of these points can be objectively determined: a map with multiple paths, multiple expansions, clear guidance with reclaim or other mechanics can, up to an extent, objectively be called of better 'style' or more competitive than other maps using the criteria of the last video. Just as some games are objectively better than other games.

And I'd like to end with that just because I think Astro is of bad design, doesn't mean that the map won't fill. Of course it fills - it takes the game, runs it through a grinder until that the game was intended to be is crumbled to dust and you end up with a more simplified version of the same game. Less tactics, less thinking, more casual. Which is fine on its own, but should certainly not become more common than it already is.

Last but not least: the original GPG maps are almost all competitive maps with expansions, clear guidance, reclaim at interesting locations (such as the center) etc. That is how the original creators intended the game, and that is the type of game that I, and many others on this forum, wishes to play. If I wanted to play something else then I would divert to another game.

Also - to everyone else reading this: please participate in the discussion or don't participate at all. Sending in memes or one liners of any kind is not helping anything or anybody.

Now please, it is your turn in this game of endless chess.

Disclaimer: the video's are with FPS games in mind, but to me RTS games aren't that far off when it comes to gameplay design.

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watched the first video very interesting the second video is in my to watch list, i think the astro phenomenon is not really healthy for the game, hopefully with tmm coming and the map generator having undergone massive improvements (thanks sheikah) this will start to negate the new map anxiety, players can feel when leaving their astro comfort zone, as it's a new map for everyone and tmm will have a map pool like ladder with maps chosen on merit

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@Jip said in Moses’ tips for team map design:

Maps that you argue are 'bad' because they don't fill. Generally these maps are more competitive and therefore they belong to a different audience - and there is less of that audience. Hence, the lobby fills slower.

When I say that a map is bad, I mean that it is a bad map for the space it targets.

I'm not saying that maps geared for short games are completely valueless. I'm saying that they aren't particularly useful for custom pickup game players. They may be great for ladder, or they may be just fine for team match maker whenever that drops...

But they are not well suited for team matches as the game currently exists.

My purpose here has never been to disparage anyone, or put down anyone's maps. My purpose has been to explain why so many maps get ignored, and what map makers can do if they want to give their map a chance on the custom team game scene.

This post had to break through the elitist bullshit that permeates the community. I attempted to do that by objectively defining maps as good or bad based on how well they serve the community, how often they are played, to hopefully shift people's perceptions at bit away from a state where no one was even attempting to make new team maps for the pickup game space.

I was never looking to piss on other people's work, I just wanted to try to shift people's mindset to where they might consider not only taking up a team map project - but consider it and approach it such that the project has a chance at success.

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there are so many maps in the vault the choice is almost endless, if you can think of it chances are it's been done already, so what needs to change then to get players playing on a variety of maps? well this is where i think we hit a dead end because players choose maps and trying to force a change on to them will end badly.

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@MadMax said in Moses’ tips for team map design:

there are so many maps in the vault the choice is almost endless, if you can think of it chances are it's been done already, so what needs to change then to get players playing on a variety of maps? well this is where i think we hit a dead end because players choose maps and trying to force a change on to them will end badly.

Is that where we're at?

No one wants to make a map targeted at the team game space because if it isn't blessed by the guys that pick ladder maps then you believe it has no chance of being played?

I mean, if that's how people feel, I get it. Its difficult to put a map out there that the team game community will accept, even if you build the map with an understanding of the realities of the lobby sim. There is a huge gulf between making a map people are willing to join and play, and making a map people are willing to regularly host. Believe me, I know.

I came in here with the perhaps naïve belief that people are out there that want to continue to make innovative team maps, and that are willing to put in the effort even if there is no guarantee that their work will be appreciated.

If I misunderstood, and everyone is just making maps with the hope of getting them into the ladder pool... then perhaps my efforts here have been wasted.

Or perhaps I'm attacking the problem from the wrong angle. Map makers have no decent means to showcase team maps to the team map community, and thus there's no incentive to make new innovative team maps.

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What percentage of map makers here make maps targeted at the ladder pool because they feel like otherwise their maps will never be played? Is the map making community dominated by the ladder pool?

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personally i'm on a break from mapping, but if there was a better way to promote maps to the custom games space i think i could be inspired to start again, but it's kinda disheartening to put hours of effort into a map for it only to be buried in the vault never to be seen again or played, i know biass is making steps towards vault changes that will hopefully make a difference, i don't mean to be down on it all, but if i may liken it to a drug addict, the community is stuck in a cycle that's not healthy imo and while we can try and convince them that this is bad, at the end of the day the community has to make the decision its self to change.

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