Parting Words as M&M Councilor:
First and foremost I just want to say that is has been really interesting to work on the community (FAF) project for the past 18 months. It taught me a lot about how open source projects function in that I never really knew the structure and organization of people who make this possible.
My original goal for taking up M&M was to do one thing: raise the bar. The previous M&M councilors were motivated and kind people; however, they never made as much of an impact on the community (in my opinion) due to not knowing who made it function. There is a very unknown scene with the development side of FAF in the slack/zulip realm where most of the real work takes place.
I do not want to flood everyone with examples of the rather tedious work, but for example, here is a "issue request" in GitHub that took 6+ months to address:
When moderating content in the client, it previously took a click of every version of some map or modification, so if you had a modification with 200+ versions it would take quite a bit of time to go through - pain in the butt!
This is not to say that the developers are slow, bad people, but more a warning to those who speak ill of them and those like myself who run the community. You hear it all the time, loathe it, want more - like anyone does, but we are unpaid, few, and there are many who we serve.
I did what I could without relying on the developers as much as possible, as per our council discussions, we all felt that a feature like "Team Matchmaker" took precedence over anything else, so I put it on the back-burner to enhance M&M, spare adding resources and creating the M&M discord, teaching individuals how things work.
It has become quite a cumbersome task, as at the old age of 35, I have other thing in real life that are detracting from my availability. This is unfair to the community, unfair to others who want to lead the position, and unfair to how I have reacted to some feedback; it's not that I do not have good responses to criticism, but lack the time to write in a proper manner, and it makes me react poorly, often angrily.
Since this unfortunate consequence has come about, I have decided, that since time is not plentiful, to let someone else give it a go!
Thoughts on Biass
Biass is a tough one for me to discuss. I would say most of the community knows we have fought and argued more then what seems healthy, and it stems from a long history of interactions.
For me, he was the first person I talked to that was able to give me a start in actually contributing to mapping in FAF. It was between he, Cookienoob, and speed2 who got things going. It would be a lie if I said it was all pleasant, but they did help and kept doing it. I think part of the problem was that so many people don't really want to go "all the way" with what the tools and offerings give, so it was a natural reaction.
The continuing arguments between each other is not something uncommon among artists, musicians, etc that create "art." This comes off as likely frustrating to hear from other people, but it's usually just a medium in which progress happens. No one ever built great things without arguing: all countries and populations argued relentlessly on how to govern themselves (and still do) so thinking it's such a bad thing is kind of immature / naive.
For that reason, I would happily like to note that I support biass full and 100% as the next M&M councilor.
He might seem really aggressive and tough to deal with, but I like that: you need to have a certain standard and draw the line somewhere. You can't just let anyone and everyone walk over you, and once you develop enough, I am certain you will appreciate him as I do today, even with all the friction we have encountered.
Future Work with FAF
Now, on to what will be next for myself. I want this game to last as long as possible as it's been something I have enjoyed since 2007, and as a former Total Annihilation player, it's incredible to see the Chris Taylor legacy live on.
As I mentioned above, the community is most desperate for one thing: developers.
So, to keep true to that, I am going to take up apprenticeship with Brutus, Axel, GeoSearch, Sheikah, etc etc to learn some coding and apply it to what the community needs. I am not certain how long this will take, but anything will help.
It is my hope that I can bring TMM, the "author vault" biass wants, and many other fixes to the community in time.
Of course, I will certainly create some maps as it's my biggest passion, but it will likely take a seat back.
For those seeking some great help with that, talk to MadMax and Jip, who are creating a pool guide of everything to know for that!
It was a pleasure working with everyone in M&M and looking forward to future endeavors.
Be well, everyone.
Whelp, it's been a wild year and a half since I took over as M&M:
In the past days I learned a lot, got to know people working on projects that will bring some interesting fun to the community, and have given thought on how to handle better presenting that.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who have helped me over this time and given me a chance to show what I can do as M&M councilor. It went pretty well: helping hands, a big boost in tutorials and wealth of knowledge, a death threat - pretty exciting stuff.
Plans for the mapping vault are going to be as follows:
WE ARE MOVING TO A WHITELIST VAULT SYSTEM
What this means:
People can still upload to the vault, but there will be no "showroom" when users go to the vault section in the client.
One can still find their map by searching
One can still host their map and others can download it
Why is this happening?
To answer that question, let me explain what the "Most Recent" vault showroom for maps is meant to do: it is a place where mappers can get their content seen and distributed by users of the client service - that's it!
What we found is the following: maps, aside from ladder / remakes of popular ones like canis river, are seeing an average of 10 or less overall plays over the course of a year. That is pretty staggering at how poorly the vault is "helping" people distribute their content.
So why a "whitelist" vault?
After years of talking to community members about "why do you download and play a certain map," it was in general because someone hosted it and they saw it in the game tab; the map was actually quite good and was showcased in the news or by a caster/streamer; and etc
When asked "why not play maps in the vault" the resounding reasoning was "because it's full of (insert random word that means 'garbage')
To me, that reinforces that the vault content is frowned upon and it becomes laborious to have to search through page after page, until something remotely "good" shows up.
The whitelist vault is going to be a system where people demonstrate they can create content that meets the minimum rules of the community; it will not be nearly as strict as the "M&M Top Picks" list, so don't be fearful you cannot get access.
How to be given access to the vault?
Good question, and there will be an application process made. I am thinking a sample of 3 maps uploaded to the vault with replays that the M&M team can review to see it meets the rules.
After that, the author will be given unlimited access, so long as they keep abiding to the rules of the vault.
I understand this in general not going to be liked, but I myself am tired of being a "vault policeman," and the community is definitely more engaged in expressing quality annoyances of maps and modifications.
My real passion is to lead by example by making tutorial videos, guides, maps and mods myself along with other M&M folks. It doesn't make sense to me for the council position to feel more like a moderator then a content creator.
If anyone has any strong feelings about this, please state so, and present some damn good evidence if you think what I stated here is not the case.
Part 1 Video:
Part 2 Video:
I will transfer over the rest soon (tm), but for now here is my latest release, Adaptive Crateria.
15x15 playable area with 20x20 bounds, 6v6 (might make it 8v8). It features a unique concept of actual expansions in a large, team game map that requires holding front territory more then ever.
Plentiful reclaim exists throughout the map to get going, plenty of tactical plateaus, mountain areas.
I had 10 choices of themes before and now only 2. Why did the rest get removed?
Popular does not equal good, Moses. Sorry.
Plain and simple: the M&M position in the past, open to all, has failed to do much; in fact, it did more damage then good as the previous councilor allowed people that lack experience to manage the vault, many maps that should not have been hidden were.
If you think what biass and I are proposing is bad, do your homework.
FTX, do you have a link to the thread showing complaints about the vault management then? I think people need to see that to understand our positions on the matter.
I don't understand why you guys think this = deleted maps. the maps will still be there and can be played. no map is ever going to get removed, it can be found in the vault, and you can host whatever you like.
The Russian community will not lose their gap/astro - make sense?
You will have to forgive me, but I am planning to do some vault changes to the maps and mods where only authorized "whitelist" authors are allowed due to the excessive unreliability and mess.
However, I am being challenged as the M&M councilor and will not make any further moves until we know who is the council.
I'll make it simpler to follow, use a separate thread. If folks and biass are okay (which I think he is) with it.
We can use this thread as a panel to ask questions for candidates.
Penguin, sure, but I don't have any feedback other then that's what I believe in. If you have a direct question, let me know.
That's not my final post, so you're going to have to wait a little longer.
Yeah, and I'm going to ensure they get full honesty instead of sugar-coated statements.
I have no problem stating that the quality control I think is good is what is best to improve a product.
No product ever improved by allowing people to do as they please.
Folks, both biass and I want to work hard and get things done. Both of us want a level of differing control, and openness to keep things fun.
Either one, you're going to get a tough , experienced person to talk to.
You make the pick on who you think is better, but ask for honesty rather some run of the mill soap box speech that's basically like listening to a professional politician read off a teleprompter.
You broke the boundary as shown in the chat I had with him, so good luck saying it's "cheating."
That isn't really my "official" reply to biass since he decided to basically take my idea and one up it... This is a complete mess since no one said "okay go post" and you put me on the clock when I'm not really available to finalize my post.
That's a real fair election in that no one said when we would do what.
I find it absurd to be reading "Morax is delaying" when both of you messed up:
I'm not trying to start a war and cast stones at biass, but I'm also not going to let him ridicule my ideas and then get hasty with me. I took a long time to write my first m&m application for 2019 to now, and it made for a much clearer, and more in depth review of want I want to say.
Just to keep honest, I wrote this up, so you will see something similar when I can actually finish it off:
Morax’s Maps & Modifications Councilor Application for 2020
If you have not heard, it was requested that the vote for M&M councilor take place now. I have been the M&M councilor for the past years and for those who have not been here since the start, and are looking for some background, here is my original application back in late April / early May of 2019: https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17394&hilit=morax+councilor&start=50
The only reason I can think of why the election did not take place at the annual mark is due to the pandemic disrupting schedule, my lease ended and bought a home (was busy moving), and maybe because of a lack of interest in others having the vote? Regardless, it is taking place now.
For the most part, I am unchanged in most of my views, except in that I believe one major issue is at hand: the management of the vault showrooms. This includes both the mapping and modification ones, so pay attention to what I would like to do going forward:
Vault Management for Maps
Facts ( numbers are from Downlord Client as of 09/01/2020
There are 248 pages of maps in the vault at the moment of writing
This amounts to approximately 20 (number of maps shown on each page) by 98 pages for a total of 4,900+ uploads.
The first map uploads were not possible until 2.5 years into the existence of FAF (typical “Soon ” slow development capability!)
Part of the responsibility of the FAF map and mod council is to decide how the community sees and has access to contributions from map and modification authors, and it is hardly ever a fun process: there are plenty of people that have no regard for others, they take others’ work without permission (call it their own), and in general a lot of quite unfinished work goes in.
Let us start by taking a look at the latter vault page:
Now let us look at the listings on what is currently page 1 in the client:
In my observation, the average quality has not really improved by much, and therefore that is a problem. Per many requests, authors that spend a greater deal of time making something more interesting see their content “buried” by new uploads, and spare their creation ending up in the ladder pool, or advertised by the promotions council, they average # plays is abysmal: a low 10 or less. That is, not really, helping anyone get their work out to the community.
To help demo maps that really show off what the game can do, we created the “M&M Top Picks” showroom that permanently keeps content created by authors who pour their heart into creations:
You can read about why it was made here to better understand its history: https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17820
Still, this did not really do much, and a lot of the community has still voiced - in my research - disdain for the level of content one finds in the vault. I don’t have good data here on this as it never was something I did, so your vote for myself or whomever runs against me will have to be based on whether you agree with me or not.
Long story short, I gave up on managing the vault recently after others did as well. With so little people managing FAF, it became apparent it is not the best focus; yet, we still do want to try and boost the quality of the additions. There are good maps and mods in the vaults, but one has to sift through pages upon pages to really find anything.
That is why, I would like to present the following idea to FAF:
First, see my original post here - https://forum.faforever.com/topic/3/m-m-map-vault-plans-for-fall-2020-and-on
Whitelist Vault System 2020 (and on) for Forged Alliance Forever:
The main showroom, what is known as “Most Recent” will become a whitelist showroomwhere authors are given permission, and unlimited access will be given.
CARE must be taken to keep to the vault rules and regulations as a author can be removed for multiple violations
One can become a whitelist author by applying for it, and show a few maps, with demos, to the M&M team to show they can at least grasp the basic rules.
Authors who ARE NOT on the whitelist STILL can upload to the vault!
A person who hosts their uploaded map can expect players that join to be able to see information and download the map
There is no blocking of content: anything will be allowed, regardless of whether it follows the rules (maybe spare egregiously broken ones, hacked)
M&M team can work on other valuable pieces of content like tutorials, video reviews, learning new things themselves, and best of all: be a lot less stressed by people.
Will the author permission system be as strict as the M&M top picks list? Not even close… I simply want to dodge having entirely low-effort maps go into the vault and have to spend so much time chasing people around.
For reference (and this is not complete), here is a running list of authors I believe should be a part of the whitelist vault without question, starting Day 1:
It is my hope that, if you take a look at the maps created by those people above, you will see it is not overly strict, nor condemning.
It really blew my mind away how much time was spent being a “vault policeman” over other things as the FAF M&M councilor. I do realize, as I am getting more and more busy with work, that is more difficult to produce content and run the council. But I will remind people that, as a FAF council member, you only need to commit to a minimum time a week, which is believe it or not, 2 hours.
My goal with this proposal and application, is to get some headway on the project, and begin working on more advanced content assistance. The community does not have a lot of modifications nor authors, so that needs attention next. We work at the availability of software development time, so things are planned and often not executed for months, maybe a year or more.
If anyone has any questions about other matters not discussed here, or in my original application, feel free to inquire and I will respond in this post.
Deal is off the table with the pre written proposals.
You screwed up and you know it. Blocking me on discord to disallow resolving matters privately proved to me you're not really willing to work things out.
I was never told you were going to post up, and ftx screwed up by not taking our proposals and sharing.
I was told this would be a proposal, gentleman post, but instead all you did was claim I'm lazy and discuss my ideas being bad.
You could have been truthful to that and just propose your ideas, but instead you chose the "explain why morax is bad path."
Alright then, time to rewrite my post and show why you are full of it.
Yes, you cannot simply take someone else's work without getting their permission. Please inquire about that, and if you cannot find the original author (which is likely the case for BlackOps), then you need to talk to the Maps and Mods council.