ok. Now, i think that give to your question a perfect answer is almost impossible. But certainly if there's something I don't want to do is to blame someone for the current situation.
Things happens for various reasons and i think that try to find a person or a group of person just to point your finger at him/them doesn't solve the problems, if there are problems. Certainly I don't pretend to not know what are the objective causes of the current problems but i think that everyone in the foundry, in the past or in the present, is partially responsible of what has happened. The foundry isn't just a forum, it has no tangible parts or elements, it is just what we want it to be. This is a great thing, because if something is wrong we have just to talk and decide what's wrong and change it again. The important thing is to discuss things and remember to try to speak with the others on the same level, there's no mapmaker that can have a community knowledge to decide what is 100% right or wrong for the foundry. certainly experience can help you to stay on the right road, but sometimes a new guys, with no maps produced can propose a great idea to solve numerous problems.
All those words just to list the first issue I see in the foundry, the lack of communication. It could seem something not related with the current standards quality, but this is not true. If mapmaker "welcome" every CC users treating him and his thoughts like the last person they have to take into account, the community interest for the foundry can only die. And if the communiyt interest for the foundry will die, the mapmakers community will become a closed group in which everyone has the same opinions and the same ways to do things....and we knpw that this certainly doesn't help to grow.
to grow, grow is certainly the second weak point and cause. we know that the old foundry group has left the foundry (probably becuase they were tired to listen to people who don't know about maps) some time ago. Some people can easily says that the standards started to decline exactly in that period. Let me say that it is partially true. The reason is that the old crew didn't explained to the new guys how to do things. I think that the current mapmakers are learning and soon the quality of maps will reach a level we never had in past. But mapmaking is not just "how good you're at draw things"...there's much more in it that use a graphics software or calculate some bonuses. When I say that the old guys didn't explained to the new ones, I'm not saying that they didn't suggest how to draw smmother borders or things like that. Just they didn't give to the new group of people the opportunity to understand how the foundry was supposed to work. When I posted for the first time in the foundry, i discovered in few time that the only rule that there was here was the darwin one: just the stronger survive! at that time that was the only way to have a map quenched. And I'm not saying you had to be so much stubborn to continue with your map project, but instead that you had to stringly believe that your map was worth to be made.
Nowdays I see many users that try to produce a map just because it could be fun or just for the medals or just because a map has never be done. Unfortunately not everything can be done in this way. Do maps requires passion, sacrifice and i think that mapmakers should try to think again that their maps should be produce to be "sold" to the CC business. In the old times if the "business" (CC) wasn't interested, you had to find a way to make your map interesting or your map would have no chance to have a future. Let me say that through the years this thing has been lost.
This bring us to the next weak point: the lack of updates. The foundry is a creative place and the worst thing you can do with creative people is to not give them new toys to play with. If the mapmakers have almost the same features to use for 3/4 years the creativity, the introduction of new ideas can only be a sweet dream. Nowdays we live in a foundry in which see the foundry foreman or a CA announcing a costant flow of updates is just an utopia. What I can say is that probably this year will be much better and probably thing swill be better in the future, but in the same time it's a cartain thing that the lack of updates has contributed to bring the foundry and their standards to the current ones. When we have always the same things we can try to map every place on Earth, explore any ideas, but in the end all the maps will look the same, specially when the foundry has produced more than 200 maps. I'm strongly confident that if we would have more updates the things would be different and we shouldn't be here now to write about this topic and we wouldn't have to read in the forums post by people complaining about the "flat" maps of the last (at least) 2 years.
The lack of updates bring us to the next point, the CAs. I think that the CAs lived a period of disillusion and they "passed" this sentiment to the mapmakers. this has caused a general feeling of stagnation in the foundry,like we draw maps just because this is what we do. One thing I really like to do is to try to have more active CAs, that push mapmakers to develope the best possible maps, not let the mapmakers have to think about standards, it's not their role to think about standards. It's up to CAs to ensure that maps reach the CC standards. I think that recently i read too much the foundry goers use the phrase "your map doesn't reach the foundry standards", when instead i would like to read different things.....share ideas, thoughts, opinions....
This is my 1st priority and I'm working to solve it, mapmakers and foundry goers has not to do the CAs job and if they do the CAs job probably it's because they should apply for a CA position (
) or maybe the CAs are not doing their work in the right way. And if the CAs are not doing their work in the proper way it's impossible to ensure that the standards are met, even if you have raffaello, michelangelo, leonardo (and all other ninja turtles
) around in the foundry to draw maps. With the new year I asked to myself and to all my CAs to do their job smiling and in the proper way....if not... we're not paid and we can leave when we want.
On the counter part, the people....I know that all mapmakers have a great ego, but another issue I see that cause a different percepition of the standards is the fact that many mapmakers think that they are arrived, that there's nothing that they can learn from the others. They find hard to listen and accept suggestion from the others. This is a wrong thing, here no one is a professor, no one is god, no one knows everything about mapmaking. I don't care if someone has produced zero, one, ten, thirty maps....there's always space to learn soemthing. Like I said earlier we, all, should try to talk and listen each other thinking to be all on the same level, because if you can explain something to a new mapmaker, the new mapmaker, maybe can explain something to you. With discussion the foundry works and the standards stay high. With the silence or with the fear to say something just because "you're too new" the standards can only decline and the foundry die.
I clicked the preview button right now and I realized I typed a lot and that it's 1:00 am. Since all my clones are off becuase they need some repairs and that my brain usually play tricks on my during the late hours, it's better if I click the submit button and postpone the rest of this probalby long topic for tomorrow.
Good night and Good Valentine Day to everyone
edit: DiM, I understand what you're trying to say, but it's not the original topic.