Multiplayer maps are pretty lousy nowadays

The best of the Pfhorums.

Post Jun 12th '07, 19:05

Well, I dunno about you, but I have plenty of ideas that fall apart within half an hour of work. But almost all of the maps that I actually do go so far as to texture, etc. end up working out.
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Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 12th '07, 19:07

Treellama wrote:or we've just admitted to ourselves that we're hacks so we don't try to do anything novel any more

Hmm.. maybe this does have something to do with it. In the beginning there was a lot of feeling around to see what works. Now, we kind of know what works and keep doing variations on a few themes.

Anytime we try to break from those themes I think is when we suffer attrition.

~if I had a rocket launcher, I'd make someone~
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North Carolina

Post Jun 12th '07, 19:09

Show me a novelty map that is genuinely good and I will eat my hat.
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Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 12th '07, 20:49

RyokoTK wrote:Show me a novelty map that is genuinely good and I will eat my hat.

I think my ration of success to failure is somewhere between 2:1 and 1:1. I have lots of trashy levels that often didn't make it past the line phase. But I also have more than a few that are complete--and horrible. One valuable ability I gained while working on Underworld and while watching Ryoko refine Red Spectrum was pruning old maps that no longer held up to my standards. I think I have 5-6 maps that I removed from Underworld when I made better ones.

This is why I like sticking to a certain maximum number of levels per pack. It motivates me to keep pruning the junk away. I think UW stalled around 5 or 6 at one point, when I replaced such levels as GME, Bikini, and Hurtin' No One, and then I went on a streak, eventually reaching 12.
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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Post Jun 12th '07, 20:53

RyokoTK wrote:Show me a novelty map that is genuinely good and I will eat my hat.

I don't know how to respond to that. The definition of "genuinely good" is subjective enough to be as flexible as you need it, so it'll be impossible for me to mention one that you'd agree to. If we change "genuinely good" to "enjoyable" then Carnage Soccer and maybe even UN Attack (TAG) fit the bill. If "amusing" works, then Mime Target. If, on the other hand, you're asking for a map that causes some of us to break out in uncontrollable laughter, then "That Map" is an appropriate choice. Though, perhaps since none of those (except possibly UN Attack, ugh) were made seriously, you'd take exception to them even on those grounds; I don't know. I enjoy the occasional novelty map, but I also think this direction for the conversation is too difficult to talk about logically.

At one point in time, Duality was novel. As was Y.A.F.N.M. and Itchies and La Cosa Nostra. When net maps were first being made, they were all novel, and there was a lot of experimentation to try to figure out what was fun and what wasn't. Double Aught similarly had a steep learning curve because there wasn't a set of formulae and rules to follow. They had some fun, they made some interesting maps, even if they weren't all great. Now, it's probably easier to not throw 2/3 of our maps away because there are patterns we can follow and basic techniques we can use that have been shown to work. It's a matter of refining away on the same blueprints to create more fluid implementations of a proven design.

My intention for commenting about novelity that isn't to encourage more Mime Targets. I just wonder if all of the "big ideas" aren't already figured out, given the limited toolbox we have. If it's all making second-order corrections to already proven patterns, then wouldn't it be more efficient to leave map creation in the hands of a few people who can simply churn them out like butter?

I'm mostly encouraging this because I find it interesting and am curious what you all think, not because I wish to promote a philosophy...
~if I had a rocket launcher, I'd make someone~
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North Carolina

Post Jun 13th '07, 07:31

In the Good Old Days we didn't have any of these newfangled "Map Packs". No Sir. We Just had Waldo World Arena on the leaked Marathon Beta and that was IT! We had to walk through five feet of snow uphill both ways in order to play it too! None of this pish pash of user-created content either, y'all hear me!?

Post Jun 13th '07, 07:32

Treellama wrote:I know I used to advocate the 2:1 ratio, but I'm going to go back on it now (forgive me Double Aught!).
...I haven't found this ratio applicable for me (and I'm going to guess ryoko, irons, screamingfool, kt) for a while now.

I have a pretty high ratio of mapping attempts to mapping successes (where "success" = actually in the public and generally not insulted), but that's mostly because my output is so low. Since I hardly have time for mapping at all, I don't have time to waste on maps that I don't feel something for almost immediately. When I'm on to something, I put all my heart into it. The closest thing to failure in that respect that I personally feel I've put out was the Thrud remake; it felt a little forced, but the end result is good, definitely an improvement on the original, and obviously playable, so maybe I'm just nitpicking.

I also still really like U.N. Attack and Melatonin, so whatever. :-\
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Post Jun 13th '07, 13:45

UN attack reminds me of Age of Aquarious.
They both kind of suck... until you get five or six people in there. Those maps have a different than usual player to ground are ratio.
Can't speel for hist.


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