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kristus

Why I hate the term "mapper".

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I'm kinda opposite. "Level designer" sounds pretentious unless you're splitting up duties between those that design the gameplay, detail things, apply lighting... If that was the case then yeah, level designer for the person who blocks out the map and sets up gameplay flow. Then environmental artist for the person who details and lights the map.

 

But for nearly every other situation, I'd go with "mapper" to avoid sounding pretentious. Or even just "modder."

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1 hour ago, TheMightyHeracross said:

Huh? The term "mapper" is derogatory now? When did this happen? I always just thought "mapper" and "level designer" were just synonymous, and I can't understand how anyone could possibly take that as an insult. 

 

Ditto.

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26 minutes ago, TheMightyHeracross said:

Like, have there been instances where you've actually seen someone use the term "mapper" to put someone else down for their lack of skills? 

 

Certainly not. But I consider the term to be derogatory. I perfectly can understand that this is not the popular opinion, but that is the way I feel about it.  I think what you mean when you say you don't understand it, is that you can't relate to it. But if I may ask you to look towards your self, if you can find a word that you think is more derogatory than productive, without necessarily being a grand social issue. The point I am trying to put across, is that words have different meaning to different people. And from my position, mapper ends up being dismissive and disrespectful of the process that goes into making a level for a game and if someone would use it to describe me, I would probably be (slightly) offended. Not enough to make a big fuss about it or anything. I can appreciate that it's not an objective fact, just something that kept bugging me for years. A pet peeve if you will. So I decided to finally start a discussion about it. I never expect to truly change the (doom)world with it, but I did want to have the discussion. Either to vent, or to possibly have the chance to change my mind about the matter. It's unlikely of course. But regardless. 

 

@YukiRaven I expected that some people would have the opposite perspective to me. I don't mind being (Edit: a bit) pretentious though. We often tend to apologise for our achievements rather than celebrate the. There are limits of course. Besides, would be perfectly happy to be referred to a mapper, if that were what I were doing on the behalf of an actual designer. But if I create the experience, from layout to plotting game play to designing the visuals. I think level designer is an apt descriptor. While mapper is coming up short. To refer back to @Job I guess map developer would be more encompassing in this case if you're concerned about coming off pretentious. 

Edited by kristus

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1 hour ago, Xaser said:

Is there anywhere else "mapper" sees use? Quake/Build communities, maybe? Or is it strictly a local colloquial?

On the Quake Discords I'm in, I see "mapper" much more often, if not exclusively.  On Quake websites, I see "mapper" used interchangeably with "level designer" (though usually the former), and sometimes "author".

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In a way it discerns between hobbyist and professional. I guess I'm saying the same as Jimmy was, I don't think you'd find a person who builds / designs levels refer to themselves as mapper at a company, it would be level designer or something along those lines. It is rather interchangeable when you're doing this as a hobby unless you decide to put more value to either one of those words.

 

I'm reminded of my colleague who gets upset when I refer to our boss as our boss. He insists on calling him employer because he believes boss implies power over him. In the end we both mean the same thing but use different words and he happens to perceive the word 'boss' in a negative way.

 

And here I was thinking of more shit to say when suddenly:

 

1 minute ago, rf` said:

I'm a mapper. Who cares.

 

^ Nuff said XD

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no offense meant, but this seems like a very personal hangup and idk why it's a big deal either way. it's almost literally a tomatoe tomahto problem

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9 minutes ago, BadLuckBurt said:

And here I was thinking of more shit to say when suddenly:

 

12 minutes ago, rf` said:

I'm a mapper. Who cares.

 

^ Nuff said XD

 

I care, keep going.

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I'll occasionally use the term "wad author," but they're all synonymous to me and from me.

 

Being offended by language is a very interesting phenomenon. Is the onus on society/the given community not to use a term that is deemed offensive? Or is the onus on the (potentially) offended party not to be offended? It depends. But I think people have a hard time avoiding words or terms that have neither history nor intent of offense simply because someone has requested it.

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Is there an analogy with comic book writers and artists? For example, Alan Moore is famous as a comic book writer even though he never actually draws the comics.

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I guess I'm just not drunk enough to get the punchline...

Who cares what people, who make maps, call themselves? I've yet to see or hear of a mapper who isn't fine with being called mapper. We all know what the term entails, and there's no point making it sound "flashier", because it's still going to mean the very same thing like 99.9999999999999999999998% of the time.

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From a historical perspective, at least in the Unreal/Unreal Tournament community, the split originally came down to the SP/MP community, with the term "mapper" being adopted in the MP community because it seemed to everyone at the time that the term "level" didn't quite fit properly for DM/CTF maps.  When a bunch of folks from the MP community worked on some of the massive SP UT Oldsk00l ("Oldsk00l" was a mutator that added a lot of the Unreal actors into Unreal Tournament so you could play Unreal SP with the improvements of the UT engine) SP projects, the term "mapper" was adopted there as well.

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20 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

 I've yet to see or hear of a mapper who isn't fine with being called mapper. 

Well, that is obviously not true though. Since I made the claim that I am not fine with it. Unless, you make the same distinction as I do, and when you say "I've yet to hear of a mapper". You mean the same thing as I would, if I were to use the term.

 

@HAK3180I agree with that notion, that the meaning and emotional consequence of language is an interesting matter to explore. During this discussion, I felt myself drawn to make parallels towards social justice and where one's onus to respect other people's feelings end and their own responsibility to not take things personally begin.

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4 minutes ago, kristus said:

Well, that is obviously not true though. Since I made the claim that I am not fine with it

Exceptions merely confirm the rule in this case, I'd say. Anyway, call yourself however you like, just don't be surprised if people don't play along, because as long as you make maps the term this community uses to refer to you is "mapper". And that's how it's been for a pretty damn long time. If you are looking to change things, you might very well be a couple decades too late.

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10 minutes ago, kristus said:

During this discussion, I felt myself drawn to make parallels towards social justice and where one's onus to respect other people's feelings end and their own responsibility to not take things personally begin.

The biggest difference is that you're annoyed by a term that is not, and has historically never been, used with the intent to belittle, otherise, or otherwise offend. So it's not at all comparable to using a slur.

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4 hours ago, Linguica said:

So what I get from this thread seems to be:

 

* A "level designer" is a person who comes up with the design for a level

* A "mapper" is the person who creates the actual geometry of that level in some sort of editor and make the actual file that can be used in a game, but is not really exercising creative skill in the process

* Being a "designer" is good and being a "mapper" is bad and it's insulting to be called as much

Mappers with this analogy would be called environment artists in the games industry. A level designer will block out the flow, ensure it matches the game design goals. And then it's over to environment art to make it pretty. Ideally in a back-and-forth process so that environment art and level design work together in harmony.

 

The reality is that a mapper in the Doom/Quake/etc community sense is one that both handles what would be level design and environment art in modern game development.

 

So it's kinda like saying calling your GP a GP is insulting.

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4 hours ago, Revenant100 said:

I prefer the most accurate term "linedeffer".

 

Relational Linedef-Sector Interaction Engineer.

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Well, nothing will change if you declare that you hate word "mapper", it will be used now and at the future. Create another word to describe us, you'll get 10000 instant positive karma points. 

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1 hour ago, Gez said:

The biggest difference is that you're annoyed by a term that is not, and has historically never been, used with the intent to belittle, otherise, or otherwise offend. So it's not at all comparable to using a slur.

You misunderstand, what I where alluding to was that one situation can be a proxy to relate to another with more actual importance. The fact that a discussion as this (which is of ultimately small significance) can cause expressions of this many opinions and different reactions can tell us a lot about why a discussion about social justice can be such a source of conflict.

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4 minutes ago, Linguica said:

* Level design (the actual layout and flow of the level - the part you might draw on a piece of paper when you're planning it out)

* Environment design (the textures and architectural niceties)

* Combat design (what enemies are where, what traps and teleports, etc)

* Item placement (how much health, ammo, armor, etc)

Rather, Level design is the umbrella term, where what you would call Level design is layout as you admit yourself directly after. 

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6 hours ago, kristus said:

To me, it makes as much sense as calling a surgeon a stabber. Yes it's a part of the practice. But only the mechanical part. It doesn't take into account the actual skill of design.

It can't be two terms for the same thing?

 

Doom levels have always been referred to as maps, hence if you make Doom maps, you're a mapper. It's a community term and I don't see how it can't encompass everything that goes into level design just because it's different terminology. There's nothing derogatory about it. I think you're overanalyzing this.

 

It's like saying the term "programmer" is derogatory because it only encompasses the process of programming, and not the nuance of what goes into good coding. See how ridiculous that sounds?

 

And I don't see how whether the term "mapper" is derogatory or wrong is comparable to social justice arguments, unless you're alluding to people creating unnecessary conflict over non-issues. In which case, I totally see the relation.

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After being read precisely Kristus's point from years ago advocating the same thing, I decided to say level (mod) author instead of mapper or modder. In a way it's like writing fiction.

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2 hours ago, kristus said:

 

I care, keep going.

You shouldn't, it's that simple.

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The more I read things here, the more it makes me think like this:

 

10 Level Designers or Less

vs

10 Mappers or Fewer

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