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Do you sadistically enjoy watching streamers raging on your own maps?

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Posted (edited)

I think some mappers tend to be shortsighted wrt the fact that if people don't like your map(s) or just don't have fun playing them, how many more of your maps will they play or how many more chances will they give you before writing you off entirely as a "mapper who's work they don't enjoy playing." How can you justify such masochism on a map which you don't enjoy? If it gives you pleasure to watch somebody play your map, think of how your mindset counters your goals.

 

Further, if you consider the highlight of your mapping career to be a streamer genuinely raging at your work, then that will likely remain the highlight of your mapping career. I'd rather have people enjoy playing my maps now so that my maps later will have a wider audience, that I also haven't personally alienated through my work.

 

Fun is way more important than difficulty.

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Frustration is an important part of fun with in videogaming, though.  What do you remember more fondly; the boss that you kinda gradually breezed through, or the one that made you rage out hard before you finally conquered it?

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That's true cynical, and to quote my first post in this thread:

 

20 hours ago, Fonze said:

A bit of frustration, or downs, can lift the highs of victory, but when it gets to the point that somebody is clearly not having fun,

 

then it's time for them as a player to stop and play something else, or tone down the difficulty level if applicable, though still at that point just play something else til done cooling down, and time for me as a mapper to figure out why exactly they didn't have fun overall. You as a mapper have to draw that line somewhere when watching somebody play your work. To boot, most people seem to get more frustrated at the tedium involved than the challenge itself anyway. But ignoring this, we wind up with streamers making comments of: "how come every Fonze map sux?" "Why does Fonze build his maps like an asshole?" "Ugh, omg another Fonze map; time to die a lot. Let me take a quick break first, brb." "If this next map sux, then this is the last Fonze map I play." "Im writing Fonze off after this shitty map." (and this doesnt even take into account the comments of viewers joking on the time and effort that I spent on making something I wanted to be fun to play) Like, streamers are people with memories too, and I've heard this enough times to know that 1: it's not always directly true for the next time and 2: that if it happens enough it can become true. Never mind that building a negative reputation (in any way, shape, or form, but in this case we're focusing on building one only through one's own mapping) will only hurt chances of players playing a mapper's new/solo releases, but when people threaten to skip one's maps even in CPs, that's when you really need to take a step back and reevaluate your wrong doings. At that point a mapper needs to ask themselves: if they only build maps for themselves to enjoy, if their goal is at all some appeal to people other than themselves, and if answered 1:yes+2:no to the previous questions, why they waste their time putting in the effort to share the work and give it a good presentation. Or why they built this niche map at best for a CP expecting general maps.

 

To answer your question though, as a player I tend to remember things that are fun/beautiful more than things that only challenged me.

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People threatening to skip your maps doesn't mean shit.  I've skipped several of the Joshymaps I've encountered in CPs, his reputation doesn't seem to be suffering.  Likewise, being niche in a CP is no problem; it'll expand your work to a wider audience of people who haven't played it (they may or may not like it, but they have idclev, so what does it matter?), and your niche can download a CP and jump straight to your maps (I did exactly this with cchest4, and fully plan on just skipping to the Skillsaw maps if BtSX E3 ever comes out).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fonze said:

I think some mappers tend to be shortsighted wrt the fact that if people don't like your map(s) or just don't have fun playing them, how many more of your maps will they play or how many more chances will they give you before writing you off entirely as a "mapper who's work they don't enjoy playing." How can you justify such masochism on a map which you don't enjoy? If it gives you pleasure to watch somebody play your map, think of how your mindset counters your goals.

 

Further, if you consider the highlight of your mapping career to be a streamer genuinely raging at your work, then that will likely remain the highlight of your mapping career. I'd rather have people enjoy playing my maps now so that my maps later will have a wider audience, that I also haven't personally alienated through my work.

 

Fun is way more important than difficulty.

 

 

It depends, though. People will rage regardless what you create, and trying to please everyone definetly isn't the best strategy, since players have different profiles which can be opposites: Biggest example is the classic debate of slaughter fans vs vanilla fans, but the opposites are also true for many others level design features, such as non-linearity, puzzles, platforming, difficult level, type of ambush settings, player lockdown, monster types, grind level, etc.

So, in the end, you as a mapper have to be aware of your profile and what kind of map you want to create and focus on it while (if you want to expand your target audience) being aware of what will potentially make people with differents profiles enjoy these feature or hate it, and if it's worth going for it.

Also, even if you have fun with streamers playing your map and raging, doesn't mean that you can't learn from their playthrough so you improve your mapping skills.

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Yes and no cynical; both of your example mappers are well-established, cacoward-winning mappers.

 

Also, to my knowledge your not a streamer with a large viewer-base, all watching this streamer say your map is shit and that they are gonna skip it because your maps always sux. Honestly though, that is actually more preferred than them complaining about it beforehand, playing it, getting super frustrated while dying a lot, cursing your name and threatening to never play one of your maps again. Thats a bad look for me as a mapper, and worse that it's some people's first impression of me; that this guy who is more into the community than they are, and who they like to watch, says that this mapper (me) always designs his maps like an asshole and they're not fun at all. Of course that type of publicity will only hurt my player-base, as it doesn't even accurately portray what the maps even are, let alone present it in an inviting light.

 

3 minutes ago, Deadwing said:

It depends, though. People will rage regardless what you create, and trying to please everyone definetly isn't the best strategy, since players have different profiles which can be opposites: Biggest example is the classic debate of slaughter fans vs vanilla fans, but the opposites are also true for many others level design features, such as non-linearity, puzzles, platforming, difficult level, type of ambush settings, player lockdown, monster types, grind level, etc.

So, in the end, you as a mapper have to be aware of your profile and what kind of map you want to create and focus on it while (if you want to expand your target audience) being aware of what will potentially make people with differents profiles enjoy these feature or hate it, and if it's worth going for it.

Also, having fun with streamers playing your map and raging, doesn't mean that you can't learn from his playthrough so you improve your mapping skills.

 

All of that's true to some degree, but to just say I cannot understand the complexity of people's desires so I should just ignore them and not focus on learning some degree of mass appeal isn't going to work either; we as mappers have to find that middle ground if we want more people to play our maps (if you like being niche then obviously this doesnt apply to you). I like to make challenging maps that cannot be (at least easily) pacifisted and I love rocket play; I'm not going to compromise totally on those as a mapper because it's what I like. However, I can make my likes more palatable to the general players out there, so that the extra time I spend posting my work won't be wasted, and so that I can accrue that coveted feedback in order to improve at my hobby. To that degree there is of course some mass appeal that needs to be done in a map, and contrary to popular belief, we can find out at least some general guidelines of what is mass appealing for Doom. Take a look at some of the most celebrated wads of all time and why people love them, what makes them work, etc, and you can see that there are underlying designs that make certain wads so much more successful than other wads; it's not just all a crap-shoot, luck-of-the-draw of timing and presentation, the maps themselves accomplish something which the majority of other maps faltered on.

 

But your reply also doesn't take into account why they raged, which is the most important piece of that person's feedback. Case in point, "hey deadwing, your latest map made me angry," vs hey deadwing, your latest map made me angry because of ..." which is better feedback? You can't dismiss somebody's feedback at the point they get mad; they are still giving feedback, but likewise you cannot start caring at that point either because something had to have gotten them to that point in the first place. There is also a big difference between somebody not liking a design and it making them straight-up rage.

 

In addition, once again none of what you say accounts for the effects of tedium on players; if we as mappers built our maps away from tedium, then players would generally rage less. What's more frustrating to you as a player: getting killed a hundred times in a tough fight that is above your skill/strategic level, or the time and effort it takes to get back to said fight to try again? Honestly this is one reason saves shouldnt be used for the final testing of our own maps, and if you cant play your own map that millionth time to do the final run through the whole thing without saves, then you've probably built something too tedious even for yourself. Even something as polarizing as platforming can be made to be more frustrating by design or less so, depending on how the mapper approaches things before any players even get involved. 

 

On the flip side of this though is that if you happen to like these design decisions and you prefer the more tedium-inducing approaches, if you merely concentrate on giving players every opportunity to survive, and to try to learn to keep players alive through good item placement, players will not notice the tedium nearly as much as if they died and had to repeat it all over again; we all play differently on our fdas than on our subsequent runs.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fonze said:

You as a mapper have to draw that line somewhere when watching somebody play your work.

There are certainly some things that I find questionable in certain contexts, that being said, for rdwpa's Minidido, I held back on the difficulty for the stuff I contributed. Same for JOM05, which was arguably more difficult than any area I made for the minidido: I was still planning on making it more difficult, but didn't do it in the end. However, when it's down to me building something I enjoy playing for my very own twisted reasons, and I end up sharing it, sorry, I don't care how others feel about the way I made that map.

 

2 hours ago, Fonze said:

I think some mappers tend to be shortsighted wrt the fact that if people don't like your map(s) or just don't have fun playing them, how many more of your maps will they play or how many more chances will they give you before writing you off entirely as a "mapper who's work they don't enjoy playing."

Why should I care, honestly? I make maps when I am in a mood in which I enjoy the process, and when I do make a map, I will make something I personally enjoy. The notion that I would have to water down the gameplay overall in order to accomodate the tastes of others, for example, is preposterous outside of the realms of community projects. That thought process is something that I do not understand, because it seems to me that in the long run it will end up causing maps to be too much alike overall. I'd rather stumble upon a map that isn't my cup of tea on occasion, than never experiencing any unique things at all, no matter if the unique thing is up my alley or not.

 

Let's not pretend "mapper" is a serious self-employed career that'll cost people their livelyhood if they don't get enough "clicks". In fact, I'd very much prefer if people who don't enjoy stuff that I make would eventually just stay away from it. It's better for them, and better for me.

 

2 hours ago, Fonze said:

How can you justify such masochism on a map which you don't enjoy? If it gives you pleasure to watch somebody play your map, think of how your mindset counters your goals.

It sure is nice to see people play my stuff, and I like it when people like the stuff that I make, but that's merely an added bonus to what's actually important to me.

 

2 hours ago, Fonze said:

Further, if you consider the highlight of your mapping career to be a streamer genuinely raging at your work, then that will likely remain the highlight of your mapping career.

That depends on who is raging, and for what particular reason. The fact that a streamer rages at a map means nothing without context.

 

To give you an example, the JOM05 map I made has a difficulty setting that is particularly suited for people who are not "gud" at platforming and slaughter. I put that in there so people can choose what suits them. When a streamer rages at that map on UV because they get brickwalled on that setting, who's to blame for this? Suitepee played the map in question on a difficulty that I suggested him to play it on, he streamed it, and even if the gameplay might not necessarily be his cup of tea, he didn't have too bad a time. And I certainly don't remember him raging at the map. If he was trying to play it on UV, and then started raging instead of dialing things down, well sorry, but that wouldn't be my fault, and it certainly would amuse me to some degree if he didn't realize that he is simply overburdening himself.

 

2 hours ago, Fonze said:

Fun is way more important than difficulty.

What is fun and what is difficult is highly subjective. Surely a map does not need to be balls-hard to be fun, but some people have fun playing and creating balls-hard maps for themselves and others with a similar mindset. Some people are all about the hard and challenging gameplay above all things.

Edited by Nine Inch Heels
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Posted (edited)

John Suitepee recently played my map "Isolation" Map 21 from DWMP 2017 & at my caco trap, he hit his table in rage after dying there. It was not something I expected to happen from my map but it was the best thing to happen that day. haha

Edited by The_SloVinator

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Fonze said:

All of that's true to some degree, but to just say I cannot understand the complexity of people's desires so I should just ignore them and not focus on learning some degree of mass appeal isn't going to work either; we as mappers have to find that middle ground if we want more people to play our maps (if you like being niche then obviously this doesnt apply to you). I like to make challenging maps that cannot be (at least easily) pacifisted and I love rocket play; I'm not going to compromise totally on those as a mapper because it's what I like. However, I can make my likes more palatable to the general players out there, so that the extra time I spend posting my work won't be wasted, and so that I can accrue that coveted feedback in order to improve at my hobby. To that degree there is of course some mass appeal that needs to be done in a map, and contrary to popular belief, we can find out at least some general guidelines of what is mass appealing for Doom. Take a look at some of the most celebrated wads of all time and why people love them, what makes them work, etc, and you can see that there are underlying designs that make certain wads so much more successful than other wads; it's not just all a crap-shoot, luck-of-the-draw of timing and presentation, the maps themselves accomplish something which the majority of other maps faltered on.

 

But your reply also doesn't take into account why they raged, which is the most important piece of that person's feedback. Case in point, "hey deadwing, your latest map made me angry," vs hey deadwing, your latest map made me angry because of ..." which is better feedback? You can't dismiss somebody's feedback at the point they get mad; they are still giving feedback, but likewise you cannot start caring at that point either because something had to have gotten them to that point in the first place. There is also a big difference between somebody not liking a design and it making them straight-up rage.

 

Nothing you have said here actually goes against what I've said, actually it complements haha

It's is the mapper's choice if he wants his work to have a broader target audience or not, though. Nothing wrong in choosing either.

 

Quote

 


In addition, once again none of what you say accounts for the effects of tedium on players; if we as mappers built our maps away from tedium, then players would generally rage less. What's more frustrating to you as a player: getting killed a hundred times in a tough fight that is above your skill/strategic level, or the time and effort it takes to get back to said fight to try again? Honestly this is one reason saves shouldnt be used for the final testing of our own maps, and if you cant play your own map that millionth time to do the final run through the whole thing without saves, then you've probably built something too tedious even for yourself. Even something as polarizing as platforming can be made to be more frustrating by design or less so, depending on how the mapper approaches things before any players even get involved. 

 

On the flip side of this though is that if you happen to like these design decisions and you prefer the more tedium-inducing approaches, if you merely concentrate on giving players every opportunity to survive, and to try to learn to keep players alive through good item placement, players will not notice the tedium nearly as much as if they died and had to repeat it all over again; we all play differently on our fdas than on our subsequent runs.

 

 

This is another element which a mapper might address or not. As for myself, I like to create a level as a story, which has some sort of 3-act structure: First you have the presentation (beginning, what's the initial goal), then the building up (initial area explored, time to go deeper into the concept) and then releasing up in the final stages as a conclusion (aka hardest/epic-est portion of the level). It's a cohesive structure and it doesn't always work well without save. Is it wrong? Might be for some player, might not for anothers. Some of this can be addressed by adding the right ammount of health and ammo, but if you add a boss-fight (where a wrong movement can easily kill the player) at the end of a 20-minutes level, is this something wrong to do? I don't think so, but it might be for some players profiles. 

At last, this will limit your maps to your mapping skill, or actually below that, which depending on your patiance with repeating the same thing over, it can lead you as a mapper into creating easy and boring levels because you don't want to die in a saveless run, especially if it's a long and epic level, where the more the level goes on, more afraid you'll be of dying and the easier you want the level to be at the later acts.

 

Also, the mapper has to be careful when experiencing his own level, because it's not always going to be the same as for a streamer. (especially a streamer that has to make his streaming interesting enough for watchers, and having to solve puzzles, for example, isn't always a good idea). Regardless, I don't believe that the rule "if you cant play your own map that millionth time to do the final run through the whole thing without saves" is valid for all cases. One better solution, IMO, is to allow people which you know their profile (what they like and what they don't) to test your stuff and give feedback so you can caliber it propely. But, then, the mapper can map only for himself and fuck everything else. Nothing wrong at doing this, IMO.

Edited by Deadwing
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Posted (edited)

I disagree, since the mapper has a great deal of foreknowledge of the level, and if they know the ins and outs of how the AI works, near total foreknowledge, and thus can design levels above their "normal" skill level.

 

As for dying on saveless runs of a long map, why not just swallow your pride and hit F6 (or F8 in Wolf3D)? Personally I would consider saving in the middle of a huge map while streaming to be a service to your audience.

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The only time I enjoyed watching a streamer getting frustrated was Tarnsman when he played through Maximum Doom. It doesn't quite answer the question since I didn't make maps for it but it's the best example I have that's related to the subject. I certainly did get a lot of entertainment from watching that playthrough.

 

Kudos for him though, he made it to the end.

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2 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

There are certainly some things that I find questionable in certain contexts, that being said, for rdwpa's Minidido, I held back on the difficulty for the stuff I contributed. Same for JOM05, which was arguably more difficult than any area I made for the minidido: I was still planning on making ot more difficult, but didn't do it in the end. However, when it's down to me building something I enjoy playing for my very own twisted reasons, and I end up sharing it, sorry, I don't care how others feel about the way I made that map.

 

Yes and no; you are 100% correct that when it's something you built for yourself and you just wind up sharing it that how others feel about it isn't as important, however I'd have to ask why you put the time/effort in to share it in the first place then if you truly don't care at all what others think. If it's shared so you don't lose it, sure that makes sense then, but if its shared on the off-chance somebody else might like it, then wouldn't you be happy to see somebody say they really had fun with it? To that degree you cannot just say the opposite isn't true then, even if it just becomes a case of sour grapes.

 

Quote

Why should I care, honestly? I make maps when I am in a mood in which I enjoy the process, and when I do make a map, I will make something I personally enjoy. The notion that I would have to water down the gameplay overall in order to accomodate the tastes of others, for example, is preposterous outside of the realms of community projects. That thought process is something that I do not understand, because it seems to me that in the long run it will end up causing maps to be too much alike overall. I'd rather stumble upon a map that isn't my cup of tea on occasion, than never experiencing any unique things at all, no matter if the unique thing is up my alley or not.

 

Yes, but the notion that you are watering down your map rather than refining it is the part I'd disagree with.

 

Quote

Let's not pretend "mapper" is a serious self-employed career that'll cost people their livelyhood if they don't get enough "clicks". In fact, I'd very much prefer if people who don't enjoy stuff that I make would eventually just stay away from it. It's better for them, and better for me.

 

Agreed, but where to draw the line on why they don't enjoy stuff we make is I think where we disagree. If I can agree with somebody's reasonings through my own personal testing of my map, such as that of tedium leading to a challenge, then I'm not only appealing to the masses; I'm appealing to myself, which is why it is important to focus on our own feelings of our map as we test it, beyond those sugar-coated with our expectations and fantasies, which we all have wrt our own maps. I pictured tht map12 much differently when I built it compared to now, and if at the time I would have catered more towards other people, or the general consensus, I might be happier to replay that map today than is the case with how things turned out, partly because my views have trended towards the center to be fair, but also partly because I understand better now than I did before (which still may not be saying much) about the tedium that map had intrinsically to its encounter design, because I was too focused on making "engaging," "varried," and "challenging" gameplay and didn't know much of anything about making genuinely fun gameplay. Instead I just did stupid things like put revs on high platforms and not balance the map to properly keep players alive and moving rather than just oppress them constantly. My wants didn't account for their effect.

 

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It sure is nice to see people play my stuff, and I like it when people like the stuff that I make, but that's merely an added bonus to what's actually important to me.

 

That's fair, but again if something can be an added bonus, can the opposite not be an added detriment? And of course the question also becomes if you ever want serious feedback from more than just the typical crowd; a bad review can turn off a potential player with potentially helpful feedback. But what's important to us is what matters the most, and if self-enjoyment is your goal then good news your journey will not be long to complete, but in the realm of trying to improve from a more objective and less subjective standpoint, only feedback from many different viewpoints will help us reach a more well-rounded conclusion.

 

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That depends on who is raging, and for what particular reason. The fact that a streamer rages at a map means nothing without context.

 

Of course, and this is my point here, that it is important to figure out the reason to better help us learn what our potential shortcomings could be. As an example, during several maps I've built, I've received feedback that I just didn't take. I took most of it, but maybe there was a point that I was just like, "nah brah, vision; can't change it." Going back and playing some maps, I can't help but feel like I should have taken that advice because I know better now. And the funny part is that my vision would have turned out better for it in retrospect. So even something we don't see as a shortcoming can still be one simply because we aren't approaching things the right way (however that is, to be fair).

 

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To give you an example, the JOM05 map I made has a difficulty setting that is particularly suited for people who are not "gud" at platforming and slaughter. I put that in there so people can choose what suits them. When a streamer rages at that map on UV because they get brickwalled on that setting, who's to blame for this? Suitepee played the map in question on a difficulty that I suggested him to play it on, he streamed it, and even if the gameplay might not necessarily be his cup of tea, he didn't have too bad a time. And I certainly don't remember him raging at the map. If he was trying to play it on UV, and then started raging instead of dialing things down, well sorry, but that wouldn't be my fault, and it certainly would amuse me to some degree if he didn't realize that he is simply overburdening himself.

 

Nice that suite listened to you, but then again you've already built enough of a rep for yourself for players to be wary of your maps; most players wont listen to most mappers, even Ribbiks states to play HMP in his maps and lots of new players fail to do so. Also, kudos for making the platforming easier for easier difficulties; that's very important to do, but did doing so water down your map?

 

Quote

What is fun and what is difficult is highly subjective. Surely a map does not need to be balls-hard to be fun, but some people have fun playing and creating balls-hard maps for themselves and others with a similar mindset. Some people are all about the hard and challenging gameplay above all things.

 

Yes, but what is balls-hard will appeal to more people if the only hurdle is that it is balls-hard, and not also tedious in play or execution. For example, I like to play these types of maps, but when things become tedious the map loses its fun factor exponentially. VeryHard looked balls-hard and uhhh... how many people stated they had fun with those maps, including all the challenge-oriented players?

 

I'm not saying there is any 1 right way, but there are statistics that we can play towards and learn from in order to refine our own stuff. That doesn't mean you need to chisel down every spike to become a perfectly well-rounded blob of amorphousness, lacking in any character, but it does mean that we can use the knowledge to selectively chisel down and build up select areas of our own that are flawed in some way. A lot of art's effectiveness and emotional conveying rides on how you break the rules, but those rule breaks are so much more effective and accepted when surrounded by a well-rounded and accepted piece of work.

 

1 hour ago, Deadwing said:

 

Nothing you have said here actually goes against what I've said, actually it complements haha

It's is the mapper's choice if he wants his work to have a broader target audience or not, though. Nothing wrong in choosing either.

 

Of course, this is art and there is no right or wrong way, and I did say I agreed with most of what you said ;) but I think that it pays to learn the statistical foundations of what makes a good map before learning to go off on one's own.

 

Quote

This is another element which a mapper might address or not. As for myself, I like to create a level as a story, which has some sort of 3-act structure: First you have the presentation (beginning, what's the initial goal), then the building up (initial area explored, time to go deeper into the concept) and then releasing up in the final stages as a conclusion (aka hardest/epic-est portion of the level). It's a cohesive structure and it doesn't always work well without save. Is it wrong? Might be for some player, might not for anothers. Some of this can be addressed by adding the right ammount of health and ammo, but if you add a boss-fight (where a wrong movement can easily kill the player) at the end of a 20-minutes level, is this something wrong to do? I don't think so, but it might be for some players profiles. 

At last, this will limit your maps to your mapping skill, or actually below that, which depending on your patiance with repeating the same thing over, it can lead you as a mapper into creating easy and boring levels because you don't want to die in a saveless run, especially if it's a long and epic level, where the more the level goes on, more afraid you'll be of dying and the easier you wan't the level to be at the later acts.

 

I think wooly is right, first off, that we can map and play our own maps above our own general skill, but the things you mention here have the capacity for so much to go wrong, and when that's the case you can only expect much to go wrong and for many players to have a negative experience. If that's what you want, then by all means do what makes you happy, but not everybody is so self-motivated to not be impacted by others, especially when they've taken the time to put themselves out there. 

 

But here's a question: why do things have to progress? Why is a beginning needed if it just means more time to repeat to get up to that really difficult encounter way into the map? Do you provide autosaves for your players through scripting or are they expected to do it on their own? Will they accept that all feelings of tediousness are their fault for not saving or will they just say shit I forgot to save, and then rage that stuff is taking too long, and they keep dying trying to skip stuff to get to where they want to be, etc?

 

When a typical level becomes merely a lead-up to an encounter, you as a mapper have failed for that player's experience.

 

Quote

Also, the mapper has to be careful when experiencing his own level, because it's not always going to be the same as for a streamer. (especially a streamer that has to make his streaming interesting enough for watchers, and having to solve puzzles, for example, isn't always a good idea). Regardless, I don't believe that the rule "if you cant play your own map that millionth time to do the final run through the whole thing without saves" is valid for all cases. One better solution, IMO, is to allow people which you know their profile (what they like and what they don't) to test your stuff and give feedback so you can caliber it propely.

 

Of course we should always get testers, but if a tester you trust says something you liked is a bad idea, what makes them any different than anyone else at that point in time? To that same degree, we must also be able to objectively look at our maps and ourselves as we play them to be able to calibrate and refine them, as well as in order to relate to feedback received, otherwise just don't ever test your maps (and get somebody else to test them instead) beyond basic ammo balancing; a lack of health or tight/low ammo balancing just means more challenge after all, right? You need both facets, your perspective and that of another, or multiple anothers, to round out your own vision of what youve made thus far and where to go with it from there. In addition, you should never test your maps or even your encounters from only one angle of play, so why would you leave the obvious saveless run out of your testing repertoire?

 

That all said, I never completed wormhell without saves; I did many times with saves, or starting from particular spots for testing/etc, but do you think it shows that I never beat it without saves? I do. Lotta things I mucked up on that map from a lack of perspective. And not that I know a lot now, but I had a lot more to learn back then and I was more agreeable then to the points you, nih, and cynical have said in this thread. Different strokes though, as long as we all are happy with our progress who's to judge another :)

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2 minutes ago, Fonze said:

I'd have to ask why you put the time/effort in to share it in the first place then if you truly don't care at all what others think

Simple: Someone else may like it as well, so why not share it when I feel that the map works as I had intended?

 

4 minutes ago, Fonze said:

wouldn't you be happy to see somebody say they really had fun with it?

Yes, sure, but I don't make maps to be everybody's darling. What I build is usually a bit more difficult than the "average map", and some of the stuff that I do might certainly qualify as "niche". I know full well not everybody is gonna enjoy that stuff, so why should I worry about others? I'd very much prefer if maps found their audience, instead of mapping for an audience.

 

7 minutes ago, Fonze said:

Yes, but the notion that you are watering down your map rather than refining it is the part I'd disagree with

That depends on what you think refining means. I'm not gonna cut a fight or a platforming section just because somebody gets misty eyed. If something doesn't work reliably, and people die in ways that are cheap or plain unfair, then that is something I am open to changing, doubly so if I can successfully reproduce the issue someone else has encountered. If I ever make a map that is meant to be dicy and "unfair", I'll give a warning ahead of time to begin with, in which case people know what to expect.

14 minutes ago, Fonze said:

Agreed, but where to draw the line on why they don't enjoy stuff we make is I think where we disagree.

It already starts with the "genre". I am prone to building slaughter centric stuff, so I'm already in a niche of sorts. That being said, the opinions of people who are not into that sort of stuff are something I already pay less heed to.

 

When someody like Zzul played my stuff, and pointed out how some things don't add up properly, then I know where that criticism is coming from, not to mention he has a basically unmatched understanding of gameplay as far as difficulty is considered. I can still choose to agree or not anyway, but the point I'm trying to make is that there are clear instances where it's obvious that it's simply a matter of taste. Rdwpa hates every last bit of platforming I put into maps, he doesn't like it in general. Obviously I like rd, but that doesn't stop me from building platforming sections. So when he complains about the platforming, then that is where I draw a line and suck it up, but leave it in my map anyway. Case in point at times drawing the line happens when you know where people are coming from. If someone like Phade102 or Yugiboy complained about a slaughter fight I made, I can't even put down how little I'd care, because I know where it's coming from.

 

31 minutes ago, Fonze said:

That's fair, but again if something can be an added bonus, can the opposite not be an added detriment?

I don't think so. If I genuinely enjoy a map I made, and it works as I wanted it to work, then I am satisfied with the result. That's what matters. If somebody else disagrees with my decisions, okay, no problem at all, doesn't "hurt" me. That's not to say I don't appreciate constructive feedback in such a case, but I'm still gonna make a call in the end. If somebody ends up enjoying the map, then it's an added bonus.

 

An added detriment would only be a thing if the map doesn't work as I had planned. In that case I'd have a faulty map and a rightfully annoyed audience, then it's obviously adding insult to injury. But I'm coming from the perspective that overall the map works properly, and I can beat the whole thing reliably, or at least to a percentage which is in the ballpark that I was going for to begin with.

 

40 minutes ago, Fonze said:

And of course the question also becomes if you ever want serious feedback from more than just the typical crowd

I do not consider gameplay related feedback from pathological cornercampers to be particularly important when I built a macro-slaughtermap, for example. It doesn't help me when someone who is not at all familiar with the genre tells me how and why they can't beat my map, because I already know what the biggest problem is. In fact, I'd much prefer to get feedback only from "the typical crowd", because that is where the "deepest knowledge" can be found. Why should I concern myself with "white noise", when instead I could get in-depth feedback and learn from that?

 

50 minutes ago, Fonze said:

But what's important to us is what matters the most, and if self-enjoyment is your goal then good news your journey will not be long to complete,

Little you know ;-)

 

53 minutes ago, Fonze said:

Nice that suite listened to you, but then again you've already built enough of a rep for yourself for players to be wary of your maps

If only you knew what I have on the stove at the moment...

54 minutes ago, Fonze said:

Also, kudos for making the platforming easier for easier difficulties; that's very important to do, but did doing so water down your map?

I certainly didn't water down UV, so that's one thing. I also split the difficulties such that HMP has easier platforming, but the same monstercount, and HNTR/ITYTD has even easier platforming and fewer monsters. I don't consider that watering down the gameplay, adjusting different difficulty settings is not the same as gutting something from a map just to please an audience.

57 minutes ago, Fonze said:

Yes, but what is balls-hard will appeal to more people if the only hurdle is that it is balls-hard, and not also tedious in play or execution.

I think it's fairly obvious by now that decent pacing is something I value a lot personally. I am not too fond of unnecessarily long grinds either, but then again what is grindy and what isn't depends on genre and personal opinion, and at times even on how people play a fight. Ask any of the slaughtermap haters why they don't like slaughtermaps and there's a good chance you'll get a "too grindy/tedious" for an answer.

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5 hours ago, Cynical said:

Frustration is an important part of fun with in videogaming, though.  What do you remember more fondly; the boss that you kinda gradually breezed through, or the one that made you rage out hard before you finally conquered it?

 

The one that had the better story leading up to them.  I smashed Handsome Jack when I finally faced him, but I remember that curbstomp very fondly indeed, because of the way the game set him up as an antagonist.

 

This even holds in Doom: I remember the Cyberdemon more fondly than the SM, because the narrative of e2m8 is better than that of e3m8, with the Cyb's roar and then the CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP before you ever saw him.

 

The difficulty factor of the boss, where it factors, is usually "well that was tiresome" (the ground-bound Reaper fight in ME3, for instance).

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On 13/04/2018 at 4:05 PM, Fonze said:

Of course, this is art and there is no right or wrong way, and I did say I agreed with most of what you said ;) but I think that it pays to learn the statistical foundations of what makes a good map before learning to go off on one's own.

 

Sure, I definetly agree with this. I've went the other way and it took like 10 years to create something playable. No need to rediscover the wheel.

 

I think wooly is right, first off, that we can map and play our own maps above our own general skill, but the things you mention here have the capacity for so much to go wrong, and when that's the case you can only expect much to go wrong and for many players to have a negative experience. If that's what you want, then by all means do what makes you happy, but not everybody is so self-motivated to not be impacted by others, especially when they've taken the time to put themselves out there.

 

Yeah, it definetly can, that's why this is not the only thing to be aware haha.

 

But here's a question: why do things have to progress? Why is a beginning needed if it just means more time to repeat to get up to that really difficult encounter way into the map? Do you provide autosaves for your players through scripting or are they expected to do it on their own? Will they accept that all feelings of tediousness are their fault for not saving or will they just say shit I forgot to save, and then rage that stuff is taking too long, and they keep dying trying to skip stuff to get to where they want to be, etc?

 

It doesn't need, it's just the way I like to do the stuff. The beginning doesn't need to be easy too. When I talk about build-up, or the three act structure, is not about delaying the fun to the end (or making the difficult only rise at the end), but conduce the player's experience. For example, Moonblood's map 26 is a some sort of Colisseum map that starts really strong and hard (by far the hardest part of the level). So, technically the first act of the map is to survive the initial rampage and find a ground (aka enough weapons, health, and a comfort zone where you won't be killed). After you do that, you notice that you need to find all the 3 keys to open the central area, which you supposedly don't know what's behind. So the second act is the key hunting, also the build-up to your final goal. Then the last is the goal itself is when you have the requirements to solve the "main" problem and you're able to progress further: You've collected the keys, opened the central area, and you've been presented to the dissapointing two Pain Elementals lol But this is not everything, of course,  because you also get access to a new unexpected hellish area, which story-wise creates some sort of cool progression and get that feel that the end's close.

 

You can also create this 3-act structure into several parts of the level. You reach a room -> find that there's a very fancy room on the other side of it, but to cross, you have to go into a sewer system full of monsters and, by the end of it, the floor goes down and reveals a cyberdemon where you have to kill it (or do some ninja skills to skip it) so you can reach that room. After you reach it, you press a switch, which allows an entrance to another area where you spot another interesting place, and so it goes on...

 

When a typical level becomes merely a lead-up to an encounter, you as a mapper have failed for that player's experience.

 

As I explained above, I definetly disagree with this :P

 

Of course we should always get testers, but if a tester you trust says something you liked is a bad idea, what makes them any different than anyone else at that point in time? To that same degree, we must also be able to objectively look at our maps and ourselves as we play them to be able to calibrate and refine them, as well as in order to relate to feedback received, otherwise just don't ever test your maps (and get somebody else to test them instead) beyond basic ammo balancing; a lack of health or tight/low ammo balancing just means more challenge after all, right? You need both facets, your perspective and that of another, or multiple anothers, to round out your own vision of what youve made thus far and where to go with it from there. In addition, you should never test your maps or even your encounters from only one angle of play, so why would you leave the obvious saveless run out of your testing repertoire?

 

Of course, it's not easy to gather feedback and discover the best solution to fix the problem (or even recognize it's not a problem). The tester is good because it's a layer that helps you refine your stuff before going public release. It's all up to the mapper and what it's his goals.

 

That all said, I never completed wormhell without saves; I did many times with saves, or starting from particular spots for testing/etc, but do you think it shows that I never beat it without saves? I do. Lotta things I mucked up on that map from a lack of perspective. And not that I know a lot now, but I had a lot more to learn back then and I was more agreeable then to the points you, nih, and cynical have said in this thread. Different strokes though, as long as we all are happy with our progress who's to judge another :)

 

No need to judge each other at all haha

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50 minutes ago, Suitepee said:

I'm not surprised to have been mentioned several times on this thread.

Last year i released my first Wad which was intended to be a lengthy and detailed non-linear epic based on exploration and survival. John Suitepee sat down to stream / review it. One of the first things he said was something like"oh god, I'm tired today" LOL the wad takes around 2 hours to complete and is quite intricate. I really felt sorry for him every time he got lost. Halfway in he said something like "....I just wanna go to bed." He chose the wrong day for that wad. No sadistic enjoyment from me though. Wish i sat in on the stream helped him navigate. 

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No I'd rather a player enjoy themselves when playing my maps. People have different tastes as to what makes a good and bad map so you will never be able to satisfy everyone.

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Yes, and no. It matters on the amount of work I put into the map.

 

If it's an amateurish map I made years ago, and they rage, then I have fun watching.

 

If it's a newer map that I've spent extra time working on, and they rage, then I feel bad.

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On 4/12/2018 at 8:41 PM, Bauul said:



If I watch a stream and see someone miss a completely obvious door and get lost, my thoughts aren't "What a dumbass" it's "I need to make that door more obvious".

But why not "What a dumbass" though? Especially if something is obvious....

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Sometimes obvious to the author is not obvious to the player.

 

For instance, @Alfonzo got stuck on my STRAIN map for ages because of a completely obvious elevator ... or at least, it was completely obvious to me and the STRAIN playtesters because we knew what the STRAIN elevator texture was.  Alfonzo on the other hand, did not, and just saw a wall.

 

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3 hours ago, Chewyninja69 said:

But why not "What a dumbass" though? Especially if something is obvious....

 

As Capellan said, then clearly it wasn't obvious. You can think something can't possibly be missed by someone, but if they do, then you were wrong. The onus should always be on the mapper to make things clear, not the player to automatically understand them.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Capellan said:

@Alfonzo got stuck on my STRAIN map for ages because of a completely obvious elevator ... or at least, it was completely obvious to me and the STRAIN playtesters because we knew what the STRAIN elevator texture was.

 

On some days I wouldn't be able to pour water out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel, so you'd be hard-pressed to argue that it was unfamiliarity versus outright incompetence on my part.

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im a sensitive messed-up person and when someone gets angry i feel guilty about it

which is why im posting less lol

 

my maps have mostly received that frustrating "I get what you were going for, *kiiiiind* of, but:" response which you know ends with "...you should have done it like I would have done." but it's probably my fault for pushing purely negative gameplay in the era of the blind player. vdgg having done a full demo of Sheer Poison is more important to me than any amount of streamer whines in the end

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