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Kwisior

Mapping - how much of it is talent?

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Exactly none of it is talent. 

18 minutes ago, Tangra said:

ai know some of you like to believe that you're on the same level as John Carmack, Albert Einstein, Mozart, John Williams, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Lee, Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan, The Beatles etc., but i'm afraid you need a reality check.

I would like for you to go to anyone in this list who is currently alive (or anyone “talented” in the game dev sphere to be more realistic) ay to their face “you must of been born super talented”, and get their reaction. They will most likely tell you about their 10000 hours 

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7 minutes ago, Bobby "J said:

Exactly none of it is talent. 

I would like for you to go to anyone in this list who is currently alive (or anyone “talented” in the game dev sphere to be more realistic) ay to their face “you must of been born super talented”, and get their reaction. They will most likely tell you about their 10000 hours 

 

Great, more delusional thinking. No one says they didn't have to work hard for their success, but a lot of people work just as much if not harder for their dreams, but you'll never ever know or hear their names... i wonder why? 

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Not everyone wants to work in the AAA space, and there are plenty of skilled Doom community members who are making their own games right now. 

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13 minutes ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Not everyone wants to work in the AAA space,

 

When they actually get a chance to work there and turn it down, then i'll believe that. It's easy to say you don't want something you know you have no chance of getting.

 

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and there are plenty of skilled Doom community members who are making their own games right now. 

 

Could it be because they're more talented than others? Maybe, or maybe be not, it depends if what they're making will actually end up being good and appreciated outside of the Doom community. Knowledge and practice isn't everything.

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A lot of people seem to have a fetish for the word "Talent" and what it means to them.  Whatever gets anyone off, I guess.

 

edit:

I would like for you to go to anyone in this list who is currently alive (or anyone “talented” in the game dev sphere to be more realistic) ay to their face “you must of been born super talented”, and get their reaction. They will most likely tell you about their 10000 hours

Most of them would probably say something like: "Thanks!"

 

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59 minutes ago, Tangra said:

 

Great, more delusional thinking. No one says they didn't have to work hard for their success, but a lot of people work just as much if not harder for their dreams, but you'll never ever know or hear their names... i wonder why? 

the defining factor in mainstream success isn't talent, it's luck. they knew the right people, were in the right place at the right time, and had access to the correct resources.

 

carmack wouldn't have been as successful as he is today without having met romero, tom, and adrian at softdisk. not to mention in regards to your argument about it being talent vs work, carmack is infamous for working nonstop, which i will admit is one thing separating him from everyone else. from wikipedia:

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Carmack has maintained a sixty-hour work week, working a 10-hour day, six days a week, throughout his career. He has spoken publicly about the importance of long hours of uninterrupted focus in his work. Not only does high intensity allow him to make progress more quickly, but long hours are also critical to maintaining a focused mindset over time. Despite working such a demanding schedule, he has never experienced burnout.

 

Carmack is also known for taking week-long programming retreats. These retreats involve a solitary, uninterrupted period away from his normal routine often sequestered in a random city and hotel. The goal of these retreats is to allow Carmack to operate at full cognitive capacity, tackling a specific, difficult problem or learning a new skill. The solitude and physical isolation of these retreats offer the perfect environment for deep focus and reflection, making them an essential part of Carmack's creative process.

 

even the other people you mentioned had a strong element of luck to their success. einstein, for example, lucked out in having a wife that corrected many of his mathematical errors. john williams got famous because he frequently collaborated with spielberg, and spielberg is someone who had been making films since the age of 12 and only got famous because of things coming together just right to make jaws not only a great film, but one that universal decided to market the absolute shit out of. none of those people were somehow magically better than anyone else, despite what you seem to think. do they have talent? oh yeah, definitely, but talent doesn't equate to success. not in the slightest

Edited by roadworx

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There are plenty of people who have put in countless hours of work into trying to get better at something, and who have failed.

 

The notion that "anyone can be good at anything" needs to die out.

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Just now, Doom64hunter said:

There are plenty of people who have put in countless hours of work into trying to get better at something, and who have failed.

 

The notion that "anyone can be good at anything" needs to die out.

I'll say this, though.  "You shouldn't be afraid to try." and "Sometimes you gotta walk through deserts to get shit done" are worthy, primordial pillars to bat for; and those points are what's being expressed for in this thread I think.  Peace.

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Two reasons why I dislike the notion of there being no talent:

  • It devalues the skill itself by making it sound like there's nothing special to it. If all it took was just training to make a map that's truly special to people, then it sounds like one could just train a generative AI to achieve the same output. But I think AI art has already shown how that's not really the case. You can learn how to do it, you can go through the motions of doing it, but unless you have that special wiring that makes you "get" it, chances are that the result won't really stand out.
  • I think the notion often comes from people who have the talent, and are unable to recognize that they do. Of course from your position, it seems like anyone can get just as good, but I think it's a bit like telling a person in a wheelchair that anyone can get good at running, or telling someone with ADHD that they just need to concentrate and stop being lazy. Sometimes, training and trying to acquire a skill just doesn't work out, and there's no use in trying harder and harder, or concluding that you "didn't try hard enough". I think in some cases, acceptance that something won't work out because of it "not being your thing" is the better approach. It allows you to refocus on a different topic that you may have the predisposition for.

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1 hour ago, Doom64hunter said:

There are plenty of people who have put in countless hours of work into trying to get better at something, and who have failed.

Time spent doesn't guarantee success. You can spend ten hours tagging sectors, and twenty hours drawing lines, and that time is entirely wasted because you could've used stair builder and tag range, and achieve the same result in two minutes. 

It's not only about how much time and effort you put into something, it's about how well was that time and effort used. What you learn and how you learn is extremely important. Attributing somebody's success to talent is devaluing their other skills that helped them get there. In this example, the skill to learn new skills. 

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1 hour ago, Doom64hunter said:

Two reasons why I dislike the notion of there being no talent:

  • It devalues the skill itself by making it sound like there's nothing special to it. If all it took was just training to make a map that's truly special to people, then it sounds like one could just train a generative AI to achieve the same output. But I think AI art has already shown how that's not really the case. You can learn how to do it, you can go through the motions of doing it, but unless you have that special wiring that makes you "get" it, chances are that the result won't really stand out.
  • I think the notion often comes from people who have the talent, and are unable to recognize that they do. Of course from your position, it seems like anyone can get just as good, but I think it's a bit like telling a person in a wheelchair that anyone can get good at running, or telling someone with ADHD that they just need to concentrate and stop being lazy. Sometimes, training and trying to acquire a skill just doesn't work out, and there's no use in trying harder and harder, or concluding that you "didn't try hard enough". I think in some cases, acceptance that something won't work out because of it "not being your thing" is the better approach. It allows you to refocus on a different topic that you may have the predisposition for.

i see where you're coming from, and to an extent i do agree with you on this quite a bit. some people are simply better at picking up on the various aspects of level design than others. however, while others may not be as quick, i think that a lot of people who aren't as naturally capable can still become just as adept; it'll just take far more time and dedication than others.

 

mapping is more of a culmination of many different skills as well as personality traits rather than one individual skill. if someone is naturally lacking in a certain skill that's important to mapping, they can work around that by filling in with the proficiencies that they do have. yes, it's a hurdle that'll take time to overcome, but it can be done with enough practice and willpower. now, whether or not that's actually worth the trouble for the individual in question...who knows, that varies from person to person! however, a desire to create and express yourself artistically typically does make it worth it.

 

another major aspect is, as mentioned previously, personality traits. a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and experiment can impact your abilities quite a fair bit, as can the tendency to set aside your pride, self-reflect, and critique your own work. unfortunately, some people lack these traits, and thus they're probably not gonna improve unless they change. in fact, i'd go as far as to say that those are the true determining factor rather than any sort of skill one may have; while you can possibly make something okay using whatever skills you may have, if you aren't willing to experiment and criticize your own work, then there's no way that you're ever gonna make anything truly good.

 

now, whether or not personality traits are set in stone or determined by life experiences is a whole other topic, but i've personally always leaned much more towards the nurture side of the debate. thus, if someone can change themselves, then they absolutely will be able to make something good.

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On 11/27/2023 at 8:40 AM, DoomGappy said:

A lot of people also don't publish their actual very first maps, there is probably a very big hidden stash in their hard drives somewhere of many failed attempts and errors. It's kinda crazy to believe that first map actually means first map. We all know the first map a Doom mapper makes is their house.

My "mapping career" be like

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20 hours ago, roadworx said:

the defining factor in mainstream success isn't talent, it's luck.

Literally. Most of the "good media" you see today, happened mostly because they were lightning in a bottle and many factors allowed them to realize it in the way they turned out. 

 

Depending in how you look at it, yeah, things like being recognized in doom mapping depend on and throwing darts to a target and see what sticks.

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"Talent" is simply having the mental wires in your brain crossed in the special ways that make you pick up the topics, fundamentals, and applications of a "Skill" faster than the average person.

 

Like anything creative, Doom mapping is both an art, and therefore a science. There are principles of good map design, of good enemy design, and good visual design. There are fundamentals that act as axioms on what a map should have. There is then the artistic aspect of it; which is merely adding random permutations to these axioms, to varying degrees of effect. Good artists, skilled tradesmen at heart, know what permutations to which degrees work, and which don't. Our individual "style" is, in it of itself, the patterns of the permutations that our individuals minds shaped by so many things decide to generate.

 

Like with all arts, we have a few pieces which can be considered an apex; what displays the fundamentals in such a remarkable way. Think the work of DaVinci and Picasso. These maps can be considered the official maps released with Doom and Doom 2, and perhaps Final Doom - at least The Plutonia Experiment. It's arguable the absolute apex of these are the Romero maps - but they are still arguable.

 

Don't worry - everyone can learn these skills. But we all have varying degrees of talent. For some? Fundamentals may come naturally to them, applications are seen clearly. For others? Learning may be nigh impossible, as one will never "get" what they're doing on a higher level.

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More than talent is discipline to know what to do. Mapping and every skill in life, has rules and techniques that makes you do it good, if they weren't existing, then everything would be a mess of varying degrees of quality, no one can create/do things with knowing absolutely nothing. Discipline and knowledge are the reason why so many speed mappers are successful in this community, they just impose themselves a limitation and know what to do, having a clear idea of what to do, and what is good. 

 

Someone may know how to map, but if they don't pay attention to anything, procrastinate and just do it for doing it sake, then no matter how much talent they have, the result is probably not gonna be that good.

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On 11/29/2023 at 2:19 AM, Doom64hunter said:

The notion that "anyone can be good at anything" needs to die out.

 

I think you are overestimating the assumed boundaries of that notion... there are certainly exaggerated phrasings like "you can do anything you put your mind to" but really these are meant to be like encouraging mantras that help people push through obstacles. It is basically an overly positive way to say "hard work and dedication are required to achieve your goals." I mean, it isn't just you can do anything. The put your mind to part means that you actually have to put in effort, not just be born with talent.

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-

 

redundant post, I second what deadwing said in the first page about backgrounds. A background in playing and enjoying gameplay-oriented maps will probably "naturally predispose" you to making good gameplay-oriented maps, or at least put you on better footing compared to those without that background when it comes to starting off on making gameplay-oriented maps

Edited by Kinetic

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I don't think talent is even a thing in mapping.

Overall mapping is about making an idea and executing it, that takes creativity, patience and commitment. You need to know the game in order to make something fun. It is impossible for someone to make a good map without learning the game first. If I started playing and mapping for Heretic and then came over to map for doom without knowing anything about it, even though I would have a good idea on how to make a layout the combat would be awful. Even though you can get good with the editor that does not mean being "talented" in my opinion. If you have a good idea and enough game knowledge then you will end up with a good map if you work on it for enough time.

 

That is how I look at it at least.-

 

Edit: Thinking about it more I guess it depends on how you see the word "talent".

Edited by Raith138

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2 hours ago, Raith138 said:

Edit: Thinking about it more I guess it depends on how you see the word "talent".

One could maybe say that some people have more of a "creative mind" than others. Whether that's learned or natural (or even true) - I have no idea, but from the posts here I gathered that a lot of it IS experience.

Edited by Kwisior

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