Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

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Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby MrBenn on Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:27 pm

The idea of the design brief was originally to get mapmakers to "sell" their map to the CA team, and as a way of "bidding" for permission to enter the foundry workshops proper. (although they have never worked this way in practice)

I hereby propose that this issue be made more clear, and that mapmakers seek the approval of the Foundry Foreman before making a map. I genuinely believe this is the only way to stop the "bad" maps from reaching the forge...

MrBenn wrote:That first step should be the hardest. Maps that are perceived to be "bad" have been allowed to get to the forge because they were allowed through the drafting room doors. Rather than tell people a map is bad, we just let it amble along in the hope the mapmaker will give it up. After a while it gets too late, and and the mapmaker has invested too much to drop it and is reluctant to make further changes. This is why I believe the draft stamp should require Foundry Foreman approval.


Discuss.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby DiM on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:08 pm

i can't believe i'm going to write this but i believe the current system with specialized sub-forums is bad. yeah i know a few years back i used to be one of it's fans but to be honest i don't think it's working at all.
i think we should have 3 subforums:
1. map ideas/drafts - where people come and make a suggestion and propose a draft. this will have to be a rather hard place to get out of just as you pointed above.
2. maps in progress - where everything from graphics to gameplay or theme gets tackled and solved. no more mapmakers not wanting to implement graphics because they're in gameplay subforum or not wanting to change gameplay just because they moved on to graphics. it's a map maker's duty to channel his and his followers' focus onto what needs to be solved.
3. final forge/finished maps - final tweaks

a few years ago when all maps where in the same place there was a real battle to keep your map alive, to attract people to give you feedback, to update the map as fast as possible. otherwise 1-2 days of not doing anything on your map meant it slips to page 2 (or more) and nobody notices it anymore. right now there are maps where nobody commented for 1-2 weeks and they're still on page 1. the map makers just let them stay like this for months then demand to be moved forward. a few years ago a map with no comments for 2 weeks was either a quenched map or a dead map.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby MrBenn on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:33 pm

DiM wrote:1. map ideas/drafts - where people come and make a suggestion and propose a draft. this will have to be a rather hard place to get out of just as you pointed above.

I'll leave the rest of your post for discussion on another day ;-)
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby natty dread on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:03 pm

DiM wrote:no more mapmakers not wanting to implement graphics because they're in gameplay subforum or not wanting to change gameplay just because they moved on to graphics.


Haha, you should be glad you never met Riskismy...


Anyway, the current Design Brief system doesn't really work, and it's probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly, which leads to the foundry mods to feel pressured to approve any design brief - also, it seems that no one is really rejecting any briefs, they're either approved or left in a perpetual limbo...

Perhaps we could gather a sort of jury consisting of 4-5 volunteers, and each map draft would need to gather the approval of at least a majority to be moved on.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby DiM on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:13 pm

natty_dread wrote:probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly,


both gimil and cairnswk used to be CAs. why not ask them to take that position again?
they are great guys with plenty of experience and asking them can't possibly do any harm. if they no longer have the time/interest/pleasure to do this then it;s ok but if they accept, then the foundry will benefit from this quite a lot.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby natty dread on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:20 pm

DiM wrote:
natty_dread wrote:probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly,


both gimil and cairnswk used to be CAs. why not ask them to take that position again?
they are great guys with plenty of experience and asking them can't possibly do any harm. if they no longer have the time/interest/pleasure to do this then it;s ok but if they accept, then the foundry will benefit from this quite a lot.


Gimil doesn't frequent the foundry a lot these days, and cairns has his university studies... It'd be great to have them but seems unlikely to me.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby cairnswk on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:30 pm

MrBenn wrote:The idea of the design brief was originally to get mapmakers to "sell" their map to the CA team, and as a way of "bidding" for permission to enter the foundry workshops proper. (although they have never worked this way in practice)

MrBenn, there is a certain amount of "sell" in that design brief. But the design brief is a proposal, and in the foundry the deisgn brief may change completely depending on the feedback obtained. In some ways it can become obsolete.

I hereby propose that this issue be made more clear, and that mapmakers seek the approval of the Foundry Foreman before making a map. I genuinely believe this is the only way to stop the "bad" maps from reaching the forge...

Perhaps, yes it could be made more clear of the approval process.

But i don't think the Foundry Foreman having all that power is the right way to go. It's very "Julius Caesar" - autocratic, and could lead to marginalisation of a group of players wanting a map.
(If you had been doing the "yaying" or "naying" i possibly would never have gotten Poison Rome through the process, because i think you may have misjudged what the map was about and/or how it worked (apart from the graphics). And there is now a faction that thinks Poison Rome is a very good map.)

It should be judged on a jury basis or perhaps via voting. Then again you have the trouble that the foundry has always had in that only certain people bother to participate initially, but complain at the very end.
From an initial design, how does anyone judging a design know what it is going to look like at the end.

MrBenn wrote:That first step should be the hardest. Maps that are perceived to be "bad" have been allowed to get to the forge because they were allowed through the drafting room doors. Rather than tell people a map is bad, we just let it amble along in the hope the mapmaker will give it up. After a while it gets too late, and and the mapmaker has invested too much to drop it and is reluctant to make further changes. This is why I believe the draft stamp should require Foundry Foreman approval.


If the map has been allowed to amble along then that is the fault of the "judges" who are allowing that movement, not necessarily that the map has been allowed through the drafting room doors.

The other issue that rises here, and has always been in place, is that because of player feedback, there is always that certain "subjective" judging on what is good or bad. Some people have certain standards of skill, while others just want to play, while yet another lot has aethestics in design and gameplay

Skills and software are also issues here. I for instance have to upgrade my CPU bacause at 1.4GHz, i can't run PS5 so am limited still to my current software. DiM on the other hand has very good skill with his software because he has devoted time and energy to improvement. This goes for every mapmaker who attempts a map. Some consideration has to be made for these issues and they may not arise until the graphics stage near the end.

Having been a CA for a short time, i do know what it's like to be in your shoes, but i beleive your proposed approach above is not going to make things any better by being autocratic about the door opening.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby cairnswk on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:34 pm

DiM wrote:
natty_dread wrote:probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly,


both gimil and cairnswk used to be CAs. why not ask them to take that position again?
they are great guys with plenty of experience and asking them can't possibly do any harm. if they no longer have the time/interest/pleasure to do this then it;s ok but if they accept, then the foundry will benefit from this quite a lot.


Yes DiM, thanks for the kudos, but as Natty pointed out, i am in the middle of uni studies and this time have only popped in for a short few weeks.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby cairnswk on Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:14 pm

DiM wrote:i can't believe i'm going to write this but i believe the current system with specialized sub-forums is bad. yeah i know a few years back i used to be one of it's fans but to be honest i don't think it's working at all.
i think we should have 3 subforums:
1. map ideas/drafts - where people come and make a suggestion and propose a draft. this will have to be a rather hard place to get out of just as you pointed above.
2. maps in progress - where everything from graphics to gameplay or theme gets tackled and solved. no more mapmakers not wanting to implement graphics because they're in gameplay subforum or not wanting to change gameplay just because they moved on to graphics. it's a map maker's duty to channel his and his followers' focus onto what needs to be solved.
3. final forge/finished maps - final tweaks

a few years ago when all maps where in the same place there was a real battle to keep your map alive, to attract people to give you feedback, to update the map as fast as possible. otherwise 1-2 days of not doing anything on your map meant it slips to page 2 (or more) and nobody notices it anymore. right now there are maps where nobody commented for 1-2 weeks and they're still on page 1. the map makers just let them stay like this for months then demand to be moved forward. a few years ago a map with no comments for 2 weeks was either a quenched map or a dead map.


DiM, i don't beleive the current system is totally bad. I too was one of those who argued for a more "staged" system which is in place now, and i think it works. Afterall, as you know, any system is only as good as those who administer the system, and I can't say this system fails. It is administered quite well.

Perhaps what needs to change is the standards that the system allows. And in various threads, that discussion is occuring. IN some places the standards are maintained quite well with feedback by those providing it.

In others, yes it lacks.

But it also depends on how the mapmaker is approached. I would prefer to see encouragement and positive feedback.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby Victor Sullivan on Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:32 am

I mostly agree with cairnswk on the matter.

First, I find it rather absurd that you would approve a map in hopes that the mapmaker would throw away the time and effort he has/will put into the map... (Though I'm sure I heard this before...) So in that regard, I guess I'm glad this is changing...

Second, yes, autocracy is by no means the way to go. It will largely slow things down (it seems you're busy a lot :-k ), and it hardly seems reasonable for one person to control the future of CC's maps. I think this could be done with the Foundry Assistants you just made a callout for. Use them plus Industrial Helix as the "Approval Committee". As design briefs are "turned in" (pardon my teacher language), they will be "graded" or "assessed" by the Foundry Assistants, who must determine whether or not they think there will be enough interest, then explain in the thread what needs to be done before draft stampage.

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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby Nola_Lifer on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:48 pm

MrBenn wrote:The idea of the design brief was originally to get mapmakers to "sell" their map to the CA team, and as a way of "bidding" for permission to enter the foundry workshops proper. (although they have never worked this way in practice)

I hereby propose that this issue be made more clear, and that mapmakers seek the approval of the Foundry Foreman before making a map. I genuinely believe this is the only way to stop the "bad" maps from reaching the forge...

MrBenn wrote:That first step should be the hardest. Maps that are perceived to be "bad" have been allowed to get to the forge because they were allowed through the drafting room doors. Rather than tell people a map is bad, we just let it amble along in the hope the mapmaker will give it up. After a while it gets too late, and and the mapmaker has invested too much to drop it and is reluctant to make further changes. This is why I believe the draft stamp should require Foundry Foreman approval.


Discuss.


Do you have any examples? What makes an idea bad or good? If someone is new and they are making their first map, of course it may not be up to the standard as other that produce maps. But if you don't encourage these people how will the learn to be the best? There are a lot of quality map makers here but there is always room for more users to step up and learn the craft. Maybe some sort of apprenticeship could help so the "bad" ones aren't so bad. ;)
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby OliverFA on Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:45 pm

Here are my two cents about the subject. I will leave commenting on what has already been said for a second post. I know that I may be influenced by my own experience as a mapmaker, and by the way I focus mapmaking. However, that's my personal opinion:

One of the biggest features of the site is the big number of maps in the catalog. However, it is also one of the biggest issues. I personally (and repeat, it is a personal opinion) find that there are too many me-too maps in the catalog. Personally, when I look at a map, I am hoping it is not-yet-another-Classic-version. What is the point in playing Classic with different names and one or two different territory borders?

There are answers to this question. And positive ones. For example, one good answer can be "it is a classic-like map, but features a country/region not yet in the catalog". Another good answer is "It has this unique feature" or "nothing is specially original, but everything is so well crafted and put together".

The Design Brief should answer that question. Should tell why this is not another me-too map. Or should demonstrate that, despite not having anything new, it is done in such a nice and beautiful way that it deserves to be played.

But of course, there are maps that fall the other way. Maps that in their quest for originality become unplayable maps. Sorry if the author is reading this, but in my opinion maps like Waterloo should never have been made. The most relevant feature of Waterloo is that it is impossible to understand unless you have played 100 games on it. A draft should also demonstrate that this map will be easily understandable. Ideally, that a first time player can win it, or at least understand the basics, even if mastering them will require several games.

What else? a draft should also show that it will be fun playing the map. Remember, a map is made for the mapmaker fun. But also for the player fun.

Summarizing, it has to be a win-win relationship to everybody involved. The mapmaker gets to see a map in the catalog, has fun making it and feels proud of it. CC expands the catalog with a map that adds something to that catalog other than messing it. And the player gets to have fun playing it (No, asking yourself which territory is connected to which other territory, or how can you get that particular bonus does not qualify as fun).
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby lostatlimbo on Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:39 pm

I agree with just about everything cairns said, especially this bit:
cairnswk wrote:Then again you have the trouble that the foundry has always had in that only certain people bother to participate initially, but complain at the very end.
From an initial design, how does anyone judging a design know what it is going to look like at the end.


And while I have a lot of comments about this subject, I'd like to focus on that.

I truly appreciate the spirit of the foundry, being community driven and built by players of the game (rather than some third party designers). From my own experience, the PDX map looks and works (theoretically) a lot better than I'd ever imagined. That said, its been a long, frustrating process that - most of the time - feels both redundant and chaotic.

The feeling I have (from the perspective of both map-maker & observer) is this: Those providing feedback & edits expect a certain level of commitment from the mapmaker, but do not feel obligated to commit to the process themselves. Its seems more common than not for someone to poke in once in a blue moon and offer some input but never check back for progress or, if they do, expect it to be rather expedient. If this was a paid gig, the designer would have deadlines, but so would the employer in returning to the designer with timely edits.

But this isn't a paid gig, its 100% volunteer time and I'm sure I'm not the only one here with limited free time. When I first started the PDX map I tried to keep up on it, but found large gaps between updates and any significant feedback. So I found other things to do with my time (like run tournaments). Even now, the last update I posted went 3 weeks without any feedback. The free time I had in early June came and went. Now I don't know when I'll be able to make another update. Mods seem to look at the time since the last update from the mapmaker, but don't take into account the gaps in comments from the community!

The other key problem I see is too much feedback. Opinions are like assholes - everyone has one. Whether it is two mods/assistants disagreeing on a direction or someone posting every thought that comes to them and wanting to see how it would fit. This is frustrating to mapmakers and shows a lack of appreciation for what they are doing. There needs to be some clarity as to what edits to try and what to disregard. What pieces are holding the map back and what pieces are just suggestions to play with.

So here is what I propose:

  • When a mapmaker posts a brief and/or rough draft - moderators, assistants and other users can apply to be on the 'committee' for that map. By joining the committee, they are not only expressing an interest in the map, but also committing (note the same root word as committee) to see that map through to the end. That means regularly providing feedback, helping spread the word, keeping in contact with the designer - basically taking a vested interest in getting that map finished.
  • Other people would still be free to comment and make suggestions, but the committee is responsible for deciding what is important to the end goal and what is frivolous.
  • As the map advances, other experts can join the committee, but the idea would be to focus the voice of any map on a group of people that the mapmaker can trust has the maps long term interest in mind.

I can only speak for myself, but after slogging through the various stages and witnessing similar headaches on other maps, knowing that there is a group of people who actually want to see your map finished to the best it can be would be very encouraging. I don't feel like the current carousel of random posters really motivates map makers to devote their efforts and time as much as is commonly expected here.

So there - take it for what you will. If you don't like me or my maps, that's fine. But I hope for other mapmaker's sake that you'll at least take these gripes into account and consider changing the focus from "what works best for the mods?" to "how can we make the best use of the mapmakers efforts?".
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby OliverFA on Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:10 pm

The committee idea makes sense. Something like "If you want your voice to be taken into account you should correspond by actively following the map". I think that many mapmakers already do that even without realizing.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby jefjef on Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:11 pm

I hereby propose that this issue be made more clear, and that mapmakers seek the approval of the Foundry Foreman before making a map. I genuinely believe this is the only way to stop the "bad" maps from reaching the forge...


Unless I'm mistaken doesn't the process already hold up "bad" maps from progressing thru the foundry?

AND I disagree having foundry foreman/committee "approval" of a map. Quite frankly only maps that fit the taste of said foreman would progress at the detriment of good - fun maps that he may not like but many others do. I think it would limit creativity.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby OliverFA on Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:15 pm

jefjef wrote:
I hereby propose that this issue be made more clear, and that mapmakers seek the approval of the Foundry Foreman before making a map. I genuinely believe this is the only way to stop the "bad" maps from reaching the forge...


Unless I'm mistaken doesn't the process already hold up "bad" maps from progressing thru the foundry?

AND I disagree having foundry foreman/committee "approval" of a map. Quite frankly only maps that fit the taste of said foreman would progress at the detriment of good - fun maps that he may not like but many others do. I think it would limit creativity.


But the foreman shouldn't be able to reject maps just because. A rejected map would always have a reason for it.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby porkenbeans on Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:02 am

The quality of the maps here at CC has been significantly reduced. I believe that this started with the departure of mibi, to start his own Risk site. He managed to take with him CC's most talented and experienced mapmakers. Also on or about that time a few of the more talented mapmakers retired.

I do NOT think that your current problems stem from some inadequacy in the Foundry system, as much as, the inadequacy that lies in the "Talent" dept. I am tempted to list examples of crappy maps, but I do Not want to be perceived as trying to flame any particular person. Suffice it to say, The Foundry here at CC has squeezing out some real turds lately.

I can certainly see what would lead Mr B to want to get a hold of the reins. terrible maps are being awarded with Graphic Stamps. I do not know if this is because the staff has become a part of the Foundry Clique and have lost their subjectivity, or if it is something else like an overall drop in interest in the foundry. But, something does indeed need to be done here.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby n.n. on Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:21 am

Hi to all,
i'd like to add my humble opinion on the map process in CC heavily based only on my personal experience with it - on the one map i got through it.

First of all, every map is unique and its problems are unique too - so there really is a need to make a custom effort for each and every one of the submissions. The problems are already successfully segmented into: graphics, gameplay and final touches.

When i first submitted my map it was VERY ugly and that was corrected with the help of the community, also some gameplay issues it had. So, if you stopped me working it - instead of help me - it would never get through and would be passed at a idea level as a bad, ugly map - which now it is not.

There really is no need to make the decision which one goes first - as in IT world, design and gameplay should be different processes that do not mix and in CC world might as well go in parallel.

So, my suggestion is as follows, as a spin off of the committee idea and as something that might be out of the limits set in the first post here:
- process any map idea that comes to CC through an "map ideas" forum - when someone shows the skills and will to work with the idea, and IF the IDEA committee likes the map idea and the maker, move it to Graphic Design and Gameplay forums, only way to do this in my opinion is to make this time related - if lets say 3 months pass and nothing really happens - do not process the idea further
- In both of these two different forums (Graphic Design and Gameplay), we could have committee No 2 and No 3 that help, approve and stamp the map, again, time should be an issue here, dont really know how much though
- If and When the map gets BOTH stamps - move to the Final forge when its free for all to comment but up to a foundry committee No 4 to vote and make the map official

So there it is:
IDEA
- >
Graphics and Gameplay
- >
Final

Hope i helped and i really hope i did not say something stupid that has already been discussed or done or IS a practice...
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby OliverFA on Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:38 am

I am commenting some of the previous posts. I won't comment everything, just what I have something to say about. I hope noone feels offended if I leave his comment out.

The current system: Of course, the current system is not free of flaws. It can and should be improved. But scraping it completely and inventing something different is not the way to go. The new system would have even more flaws thatn the current one, because something new always has flaws by definition. I am more in favour of polishing the actual system, pointing his flaws and fixing them. That will be the only way to achieve an (almost) perfect system.

natty_dread wrote:Anyway, the current Design Brief system doesn't really work, and it's probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly, which leads to the foundry mods to feel pressured to approve any design brief - also, it seems that no one is really rejecting any briefs, they're either approved or left in a perpetual limbo...

I don't think that's a big issue. What we need it's a fixed thread where mapmakers submit their Design Brief (like the thread for submiting the XML) then those drafts are reviewed in order of appliance. So at each moment everybody knows which is the next draft to be reviewed and how many drafts are before a particular one. While the mapmaker waits for the design brief to be reviewed, he should encourage discussion in the map thread.

cairnswk wrote:MrBenn, there is a certain amount of "sell" in that design brief. But the design brief is a proposal, and in the foundry the deisgn brief may change completely depending on the feedback obtained. In some ways it can become obsolete.

Yes. That happens with many creation items. The TV series sites are full of interviews where the writers say "we had that idea but it became something completely different". However, you need an original idea in order to pich the map. Look at it like a Business Plan, like an episode draft in a TV series, like a design document in a video game, etc. If the author is not able to create a brief saying what he wants to acomplish and why his idea is so good, then probably it's better to stop him right at the begining instead of allowing him to advance. The longer he is allowed to continue the bigger his disapointment when he is told that his map is not good (and the more difficult to do it, as he has invested a lot of time and effort). So the design brief is in fact something good for the mapmaker. Plus most times by writing a Business Plan the author gets a much better idea of what he wants to acomplish.

cairnswk wrote:But i don't think the Foundry Foreman having all that power is the right way to go. It's very "Julius Caesar" - autocratic, and could lead to marginalisation of a group of players wanting a map.
(If you had been doing the "yaying" or "naying" i possibly would never have gotten Poison Rome through the process, because i think you may have misjudged what the map was about and/or how it worked (apart from the graphics). And there is now a faction that thinks Poison Rome is a very good map.)

Is not that a single person has the absolute power to decide who lives and who dies, but someone has to be in charge. I think that your concern is more a requirement for the person(s) doing the task. That person has to be an open person, willing to take into account feedback and comments. That's why some time has to pass between the draft being posted and the final decision being taken. During that time any issue should be addresed.

Plus rejecting an idea is not saying "No, you never can do that". It is saying "It can't be done in its current state". But if all the issues are addressed, solved, and the idea resubmited, I don't see why the idea shouldn't be accepted. Rejecting an idea is not telling the mapmaker "you are bad". Is saying "you have done a good job, but you should improve this and this and this". Rejected ideas should never be just a "No". They should be a "We reject the map for this this and this reason". Again, make the comparison to an editor rejecting a book, a producing rejecting an episode idea for the TV, and so... It's not saing the writer is bad. Is saying that particular ideas needs some more work.

Nola_Lifer wrote:Do you have any examples? What makes an idea bad or good? If someone is new and they are making their first map, of course it may not be up to the standard as other that produce maps. But if you don't encourage these people how will the learn to be the best? There are a lot of quality map makers here but there is always room for more users to step up and learn the craft. Maybe some sort of apprenticeship could help so the "bad" ones aren't so bad. ;)

That's a good point. For that reason rejecting an idea should never be a "this is bad" thing. This should be "this is bad for this, this and this. If a first time mapmaker wants to do a map there is a high chance that his idea has some flaws. If the design brief (not the idea) is rejected in the proper way, it can be encouraging to the mapmaker. Most mapmakers (and creators in general) what they want is some feedback. If the mapmaker receives something like an encouraging "rejecting note" this can be very positive, encourage him to improve his idea and resubmit it with much better shape. Something like "Hey, we have seen your map design. Unfortunately it's not good enough, but we see you have put a lot of effort. It would be great if you fixed this. And better to avoid this because it's not a good idea".

The map committee thing: This needs some work, but it's a good idea. Anyone who follows the map has a better idea of why the map is good or bad. So their voice needs to be listened to. But I don't think they have to be making the final decision because being so close to map development they will be inclined to wanting to let the map pass (just the opposite of the foreman concerns) so probably a mixed system with the foreman and the committe, or the foreman heading the committee but taking a more distant approach would be good.

porkenbeans wrote:The quality of the maps here at CC has been significantly reduced. I believe that this started with the departure of mibi, to start his own Risk site. He managed to take with him CC's most talented and experienced mapmakers. Also on or about that time a few of the more talented mapmakers retired.

I do NOT think that your current problems stem from some inadequacy in the Foundry system, as much as, the inadequacy that lies in the "Talent" dept. I am tempted to list examples of crappy maps, but I do Not want to be perceived as trying to flame any particular person. Suffice it to say, The Foundry here at CC has squeezing out some real turds lately.

I can certainly see what would lead Mr B to want to get a hold of the reins. terrible maps are being awarded with Graphic Stamps. I do not know if this is because the staff has become a part of the Foundry Clique and have lost their subjectivity, or if it is something else like an overall drop in interest in the foundry. But, something does indeed need to be done here.

I agree with this because I said it in a previous post. There are so many me-too maps which add nothing new. I also don't want to flame anyone, but it seems like just because someone has spent many hours in a map he thinks the map has to be accepted. Of course anyone who has spent time deserves a good well written feedback. But deserving proper feedback is not the same has your map having to be accepted compulsory.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby DiM on Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:55 am

i too agree with OliverFA and porkenbeans. frankly i'm tired of people saying they've worked hard or that they've been waiting for X months and crap like that. if a map is shitty i really don't care if they put a thousand hours into it or that they've been waiting for a year it's still shit and should never be quenched.
another problem that might be imaginary since nobody else mentions it is that the current CAs and the foreman are too bloody merciful. right now there seems to be a policy that "no feedback is good news". basically if a map is bland and dull and barely a few people comment the CAs jus leave it there for a few months. if the map maker doesn't quit then it gets the stamp. that's not normal. there are maps in progress with no posts for 2 weeks or more or with updates dating from 1-3 months ago. those should be promptly moved in the abandoned projects section not let to sit around. because at some point the map maker will come and say: "i've been sitting here for 3 months and since i see no posts saying otherwise i demand this to be stamped and moved forward" and you can't honestly blame that map maker because his hopes have already been pumped because the CAs allowed his map to stay alive for so long, so in his own mind he formed the (wrong) opinion that his maps is actually quite good and the lack of comment is merely proof that everybody is pleased and have nothing to add.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby OliverFA on Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:31 am

So that's why the first step (the design brief) should be a hard one but not a one-shot thing. A bland brief should not pass, but should receive meaningful feedback about why it is bland. If the mapmaker corrects those issues and resubmits the design brief, then it could move forward.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:31 am

OliverFA wrote:So that's why the first step (the design brief) should be a hard one but not a one-shot thing. A bland brief should not pass, but should receive meaningful feedback about why it is bland. If the mapmaker corrects those issues and resubmits the design brief, then it could move forward.


The only way to get meaningful feed back is from either people willing to commit time to doing that and they must have experience with the programmes that are used, or get more people to frequent the foundry forums. This for me is the biggest problem. natty_dread has been a great help to me, spotting things that I have missed and leaving feedback about what is wrong.

Having the first step the hardest will weed out the bad, but if it is too hard, then a map that might of been good might get left. There has to be a balance.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby porkenbeans on Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:00 pm

If it is decided that the process has to be changed, then I propose that you change it in such a way that simplifies, NOT complicates. By this I mean loosen up things. Make it less rigid. The artistic process is NOT something that you can structure the same for every map, and every mapmaker. So in other words, do NOT tell a mapmaker that he MUST complete the GP before he works on the GFX. This is ridicules. It assumes that GP is more important than GFX, and considers GFX as nothing more than a "pretty up" stage.

Just let the map evolve as it will. I believe that all if not most maps, evolve with GP and GFX side by side. a change on one effects changes on the other.

The main problem with doing the GP first is that it is in the GP workshop for so long that followers of the map become accustomed to it. They develop a certain fondness for the look and feel of the map, that they are very reluctant at the thought of change. This is why most maps pretty much look the same coming out as they are coming in the GFX Workshop. This hampers the artistic nature that the GFX Workshop relies on to produce quality maps.

I believe hat two separate threads be started for each map after they have made it through the design Brief stage. One for GP, and one for GFX. That way they are allowed to advance at their own pace side by side.

I also think that every map should be assigned a Foundry Assistant at this time. The FA is in charge of taking the mapmaker by the hand, and walking him or her ALL of the way through to quench.
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby natty dread on Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:18 pm

Porkenbeans, it's not like graphics of the map are not being developed during the GP stage... or that GP workshop is only meant for gameplay development. That's not how it works currently, nor has ever worked I think.

You should more think of the gameplay stage as simply "the period when the gameplay is open" and GFX as "the period when the gameplay is closed". The GP and GFX stamps are like achievement badges: before the GP stamp, both GP and GFX are being developed, and once you get the GP stamp, it's an achievement that says "gameplay is fine now, no need to work on it anymore". After which you work on graphics only.

Which makes sense, since some things (like small map, xml, etc.) should not be started until you're sure the gameplay is relatively static.

But maps should be about the gameplay, and gameplay should be the first priority. After all, the prettiest map in the world is no use if it plays like total crap. The majority of CC players are much more willing to forgive sub-par graphics than they are to forgive sub-par gameplay (as long as the map is readable).
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Re: Drafts / Design Briefs [Discussion]

Postby porkenbeans on Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:34 pm

Like usual you do not understand what I am talking about, but still feel the need to contradict me.

You are wrong nat. I can not tell you how many times that I have commented on a GFX element in GP workshop, only to be told that it will have to wait until the map hits GFX Workshop. But then if I DO wait for a map to hit GFX before I comment on GFX, The mapmaker and the fans of the map that have been loyally following it, are very reluctant to consider every little change. They have been accustomed to the gfx on the map as it is.

Natty, you do not need to instruct me as to HOW the process works. I have been around here twice as long as you, and I know what I am talking about. I just wished that you and a few others would try to understand my opinion, and why I believe that they were wrong then, and you are wrong now, when you say that the GFX ARE ONLY A SECONDARY, AND SUBSTANTIALLY LESSER CONCERN, TO MAKE A QUALITY MAP.

All I am saying is that your attitude, (that is shared by others that created this system), is wrong. The piss-poor looking maps that you and others have unleashed upon the members, is evidence that I might be on to something, ...don't ya think ?

Now I am NOT trying to argue that GFX is more important than GP. only that they "naturally" evolve side by side, and yes there are even instances where the GP follows the GFX.

When I talk about the lower quality maps being produced, I am referring to the GFX specifically. My contention is that the poor artwork IS the squeaky wheel in this scenario. I believe that the creative process is being stifled by too much rigidness and order. If you were any kind of artist, you would understand just what I am talking about here.

There is also one more thing that I would like to say on the subject of the GP Workshop. Why is it that people carrying the rank of Cook or Corp. are always the ones that seem to fill the GP Workshop ?
You talk about how important the GP is, but let the people in charge of putting it together, have only a novice understanding of how to play the game. It seems to me that you would enlist people with a superior understanding of the game, to work on this aspect of it. Just as you would want the best artists creating what it looks like.
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