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nxGangrel

What is the best type of wad thread to make? (Not for CPs)

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So I'm curious what is the best way to release a wad, in particular a wad made by one mapper or only a couple mappers for example? To my knowledge the types of releases are;

 

-Posting just an announcement then making a separate post with the finished release.
-Posting the wad while it's in progress (with some or no levels finished when it's posted) and updating it. Usually showing the mapset and the levels that are in progress and/or finished.
-Posting a beta or alpha version with all the parts together but needs to be tested. Then releasing it when testing is done.
-Posting ONLY the "finished" product.

Community projects don't count because they're always going to be under some or all of the first three.

 

What seems to be the most effective way to release something, without ruining the gameplay or hype or whatever? I was thinking to release my own project 10 levels at a time (on the same thread), but every 10 of the 30 levels are different from each other in gameplay/style and I didn't want someone to play the first set (or any one of the sets alone) and get the wrong impression and think the entire wad was entirely played like that mapset. Some people might like one set of levels more than another within the wad. I would also update anything as I continue to work on it. Maybe it's just mapper preference. Or maybe I'm overthinking things and rambling, I don't know.

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I've coined the term, "blowing my wad" by how I seem to get a little hype, and then ruin it by releasing shitty unplayable alpha maps that suck. It's probably better to wait if you can and then throw them all out there. Find a few people who you can test maps with, (map4map) and keep it hush until you're happy with what you've got. I'll likely continue to do the opposite of this because I'm new to the idea of mapping around gameplay and the input of other players is crucial to refining my focus.

 

It may depend on your scope. If you've got a whole set of maps you probably got a lot of experience.

 

Anyone can send me a DM if you need any help.

 

Short maps are my new favorite.

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The preferred method seems to be getting a few trusted people to playtest as you go, then doing a public beta stage for a month or so before final release, and that seems to work very well for most wads. If you're a beginner mapper (which I think you're not, though I can't remember what you've made?), then I'd recommend releasing partial betas to make sure you're on the right track.

 

EDIT: A couple of other benefits of partial betas:

-If you don't have private testers yet, it's a good way to find them. The people who show the most interest in your work and give the most thoughtful feedback will be the best ones to ask for private testing.

-It seems to be a good motivator. Large megawad projects that are tested in stages (Jenesis, Hellbound, Eternal Doom) always seem to get completed. Maybe it's just that the positive feedback keeps the mappers going?

Edited by Not Jabba

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I like the 2nd option, gives something to look for and constant updates help keep things fresh and welcoming like extra info about release, map progression etc..

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1 hour ago, Not Jabba said:

The preferred method seems to be getting a few trusted people to playtest as you go, then doing a public beta stage for a month or so before final release, and that seems to work very well for most wads. If you're a beginner mapper (which I think you're not, though I can't remember what you've made?), then I'd recommend releasing partial betas to make sure you're on the right track.

I've been in several CPs and made my own 5 level wad but I never uploaded it anywhere. I'm working on my first legitimate project.

I have a few people in mind who could playtest the levels, but I'm thinking testing would be after they're all "done". I've been going with that mindset.

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For Moonblood, I've released each of the six episodes in a thread here. Some people played it and gave me great feedback, which I've used to improve the levels and my poor mapping skills. When I got to release the fullset, I decided to create a new thread for the full thing and it got a much bigger audience than the episodic releases. This leads me to think that people will look more on finished megawads or mapsets with few but a lot more detailed and bigger maps.

 

Anyway, it is always good to allow some people to test your stuff before "oficially" releasing it to public, though even on public people will find a lots of bugs/things to improve, which is why I think a "public beta" phase is necessary.

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As a player, I prefer people not share their wads until they're done. Long beta testing stages make the final release not very exciting.

 

However getting feedback on your maps is highly motivating in the event you are running out of ideas, so it could help to release a short demo and then apply the feedback you get on the rest of the maps. If you choose to get inside playtesters, it helps to pick people you don't necessarily consider your friend, but someone who's opinions you understand and trust. That way you can be sure you're getting good and honest information.

 

id be willing to help you if you'd like!

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Neat thread. I can understand where people are coming from on the single player perspectives. So I'll offer from a multiplayer perspective. I like point 2, to fairly regularly post updates in an attempt to

 

a) whore the project out to potential fellow mappers

b) prove that we actually get things done even if we screw around a ton in the beginning. The screenshots of early betas are never indicative of what's to come.

    b1) if the screenshots are good it is an attempt to fulfill a)

c) hype is overrated, but testing is crucial because it's more likely people will shit on your maps if they aren't tested well. 99% of the time a MP map will come out better if it's tested and refined. Hype has no real longevity in MP where replay value is king.

d) get people potentially interested in playing MP in general (if they see great looking maps, maybe more incentive to check it out)

 

Posting a finished product for MP is dangerous because there are likely to be bugs, potentially balance issues, or easy ways of making the map better. A final release kills any chance of that.

Same kind of thing with a complete beta with all the maps. It's a mountain of work taking care of everything at once, as seen by 32in24-16. Working incrementally IMO is more effective.

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^I like your points for multiplayer, and I'm definitely taking note. But my project will be singleplayer only.

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