Decline in map standards.

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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:41 pm

RjBeals wrote:And if anybody is allowed to start a map, and is persistent enough to follow it for a year or two, then their hard work is paid off with a quench. That's what the foundry is. Always has been. Most people don't have the patience.


No, that's not what it is, and it's not what it should be.

Working a certain amount of time or doing a certain amount of work absolutely should NOT be enough to get a map quenched. There's maybe been a time when that has been true for some maps, but if that was how the foundry was supposed to function, then we might as well retire all the CA:s and just have an automated script uploading maps from threads that have been on the forums for a certain time.

Frankly, I'm not even sure what you're trying to say with your post, because it doesn't make any sense to me at all.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby RjBeals on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:58 pm

maps are consistent in quality here. I don't see the decline. Some are better than others, but a good bell curve.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby DiM on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:11 pm

RjBeals wrote:maps are consistent in quality here. I don't see the decline. Some are better than others, but a good bell curve.


the fact that you don't see the decline doesn't mean there's an increase either.
an ideal foundry should be constantly increasing the quality of maps produces.

so even if we assume the quality of maps has not decreased it has actually decreased compared to what it should have been.

here's a quick graph.

quality over time
red represents how the ideal foundry should be. constant increase where each new map is better than the last.
blue is how i see it. increase at first followed by a slight decline with a more recent slight increase.
green is how others seem to see it. increase at first followed by a plateau (consistency)


Click image to enlarge.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:36 pm

DiM wrote:the fact that you don't see the decline doesn't mean there's an increase either.
an ideal foundry should be constantly increasing the quality of maps produces.


Going to step in here DiM and point some things out to you and the others. How can a foundry keep getting better under the current system. Your graph only shows it for people who have stayed here for the whole time. The foundry does not work that way and never should. Anyone is allowed to have a go.

Right now, apart from the first post or two, this thread has been this map verses that map. This is not what I asked in my original post. I asked 3 simple things. Hijacking the thread into what CA cairnswk or natty would make is not in the list of questions. At no point did I ask for a list of maps that are bad. I can make a huge list of maps that should not be here but that would serve no purpose.

Has the standards decreased - yes or no.
Is anyone to blame - yes or no.
Can it be fixed and how - ?

Here is my own personal opinion on some of these questions.
Have standards decreased - no, over the last few years, they have increased a lot. It can be said that maps in the foundry today look like early maps, but these are maps made by new comers. If a map maker who has produced 3 or 4 maps keeps coming up with the same stuff, then maybe he should be encouraged to try something different. natty made the point that some of the early map makers left the site and the new ones have tried to catch up. New or old map makers should never be allowed to pass of sub standard graphics/gameplay.
Is anyone to blame for this - if anyone is to blame, a lot of people, the experienced map makers on the site. If they are not willing to share there knowledge, then roast them over an open fire. ;) Inexperienced map makers need to take the blame also, they need to learn and push the boundries, not rely on what has come before, so we can stuff them with chestnuts and put them on the fires also. ;) Can the CA's take the blame, by far, this is te group that has the least blame. They do the job which is intended for them to do. Can there be more of them, yes, can they post more, yes, but do they let maps that look crap into play, no. Remember, this is a subjective thing - looks. What some may not like, others love. What you consider trash, others may consider a masterpiece. But do the CA's let maps into play that have bad graphics, no (and yes for the odd one that does slip through the net). Can the community take some blame, most certainly, if they do not post, how can we assume it will be played.

Can it be fixed? Yes...... but there is no point of me answering my own thread.

It has been said, and many agree with it, that the standards within the map making community for conquer club has declined over the past year or two. If, and this is a big if, is this true, and who is to blame for it and what can be done about it.

Now guys, please stay on topic. :mrgreen:
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby DiM on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:04 am

koontz1973 wrote:
DiM wrote:the fact that you don't see the decline doesn't mean there's an increase either.
an ideal foundry should be constantly increasing the quality of maps produces.


Going to step in here DiM and point some things out to you and the others. How can a foundry keep getting better under the current system. Your graph only shows it for people who have stayed here for the whole time. The foundry does not work that way and never should. Anyone is allowed to have a go.


first of all the red line was the ideal foundry. basically impossible to achieve but something to strive for.

koontz1973 wrote:Right now, apart from the first post or two, this thread has been this map verses that map. This is not what I asked in my original post. I asked 3 simple things. Hijacking the thread into what CA cairnswk or natty would make is not in the list of questions. At no point did I ask for a list of maps that are bad. I can make a huge list of maps that should not be here but that would serve no purpose.


i already pointed in my first post what i think the reasons for the decline are and how this could be solved. i merely compared maps because some people said map quality has not declined. i wasn't trying to hijack the thread.

koontz1973 wrote:Have standards decreased - no, over the last few years, they have increased a lot. It can be said that maps in the foundry today look like early maps, but these are maps made by new comers.


that's the lamest excuse ever. if all the map makers that we have now suddenly leave and tomorrow a bunch of new guys that can only use mspaint replace us, will mspaint maps be accepted?

when i came to this site i barely knew how to use mspaint. i had to learn everything from scratch and i wasn't cut a slack just because i was new. i had to nitpick every little pixel and make sure my map was up to par. nobody said "hey he's a new guy, leave him be and let's ignore some of his graphic issues cause he'll probably get better on his next map"
in retrospect, had i been cut some slack i probably would have never gotten better.

koontz1973 wrote:If a map maker who has produced 3 or 4 maps keeps coming up with the same stuff, then maybe he should be encouraged to try something different. natty made the point that some of the early map makers left the site and the new ones have tried to catch up. New or old map makers should never be allowed to pass of sub standard graphics/gameplay.


and yet they are.

koontz1973 wrote:Is anyone to blame for this - if anyone is to blame, a lot of people, the experienced map makers on the site. If they are not willing to share there knowledge, then roast them over an open fire. ;)


actually while i agree that sharing knowledge would be great i don't think this is actually a big issue. if somebody wants to learn the best place is google. for any kind of image editing software you can find hundreds of thousands of tutorials. sure it's nice to see how a fellow map maker did this or that but that won't help at all if you don't already know the software by heart and that can only be achieved by dound some of those hundreds of thousands of tutorials.

koontz1973 wrote: Remember, this is a subjective thing - looks. What some may not like, others love. What you consider trash, others may consider a masterpiece.


i doubt anybody considers pixelated or incomplete borders a masterpiece. or that anybody prefers a blurry washed out image over a nice crisp one.
style or theme are subjective. technical execution is not.

just look at natty's transsib map. this is the current map with blurry borders and this is his new version with borders redrawn in 15 minutes. a simple 15 minute change and the map is all of a sudden looking good. why wasn't this mentioned back then? you can't possibly tell me it was impossible to do. perhaps he didn't know how to do it, but he could have been pushed to find out how. the fact that nobody bothered to push him, for me signifies a decrease in the standards of that time.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby DoomYoshi on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:11 am

I don't really look at the graphics much. BOB will list all the attack routes for you. The map is made or broken from a gameplay standpoint. Unfortunately, there are different forms of gameplay.

The worst map to be made was Clandemonium. It is terrible in all 3 aspects: uninspiring/uninspired graphics, boring single-player and unnecessary team play.

Now that Clandemonium is done, every other map must therefore be greater. So the trend of cartography standards can be shown to be declining until Clandemonium and then increasing.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby thenobodies80 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:57 am

[quote="koontz1973"
Has the standards decreased - yes or no.
Is anyone to blame - yes or no.
Can it be fixed and how - ?[/quote]

mmm...I was going to continue my previous post but it seems that you want something different and more quick maybe, althought I don't understand where I compared maps except for trying to stop the previous discussion.....anyway quick answer? I'll be quick.

1. Has the standards decreased?
yes from the first time I arrived here. No if you consider just from the moment the new mapmakers has started to come.

2. Is anyone to blame?
what the purpose to reply just yes or no :? Read my previous post

3.Can be fixed and how?
Read my previous post

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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:13 am

thenobodies80 wrote: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)


This may be, and I may be wrong but I think a large reason why the old school left the foundry was the lack of updates, the lack of responsiveness and/or interest from lack.

I seriously fear that if lackattack doesn't get his shit together the same thing may happen eventually to the current mapmakers... you can only watch your ideas fall to deaf ears for so long. We need some serious updates, we need a site admin that actually listens to the people who create content for the site, and actually engages in discourse with them and most of all LISTENS to them... without that, I fear that eventually, we'll end up in the same situation, and I don't think the foundry can recover a second "escape" of talent...
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby thenobodies80 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:21 am

yeah, the lack of updates is certainly a cause of declining standards. Humans, for their nature, put less care and interest in things if they are always the same....
But what I can do? If you want, you and the other mapmakers can collect some money and buy to me airplane ticket. I can go to Canada and punch/kick lackattack all time till he gives us the new toys! lol

On a more serious note, you already know I have an evil plan if necessary :twisted:

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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:00 am

Oh I know, I wasn't really blaming you or trying to put pressure on you.

I just wish we could get lackattack to show up in the foundry and hear the concerns and ideas of mapmakers, even just once every few months... even that would be better than total radio silence.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby Gillipig on Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:27 pm

I'm going to weigh in on this quickly as well.

Has there been a decline in map standards? Well if you're going to compare maps.......:).
I'd say like this; The maps that are being made now have better graphics than the early maps. No question really. But have they improved as much as the tools used to create images? To that question I'd have to say no! I think there is definitely room for improvement.
I don't buy the notion that maps that are being made today are unworthy of being made, or that they somehow don't meet past standards.
I think a lot of the maps that are being made today are among the best looking we have on the site! But I think a lot of them could be even better.

I subscribe to the idea that CA's should be more pushy. They should be like batman :). Tough for the better of us all.
It's better that a CA is picking hard on a mapmaker than if fellow mapmakers will have to dish out the hard criticism. I say "hard" criticism because it's much needed that map makers offer helpful constructive criticism to each other. But I think there should be a unity between map makers and unity isn't easily created if your job is also to act like a CA and tell him what is acceptable and he needs to improve to get a stamp.
I also think map commentators like myself could do a better job at not just offering praise on the maps we like, but to every once in a while comment on maps that we dislike in the foundry.
It's easy to just comment on the maps you like and know you will be playing a lot on, and ignore the maps that you don't like.
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" might not be a good viewpoint for a mapcommentator to have.
I'll make sure to jump in and post in some of the maps I don't like so watch out map makers ;)!

Another big issue is of course the lack of updates from a certain owner fittingly named lack ;). We could certainly need some new features to play with and I think that would inspire a lot of map makers to bring their a game, and probably lure some new ones into the process.

It turned out to not be a very quick answer but for some reason I just couldn't stop writing :)!
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby thehippo8 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:35 pm

cairnswk wrote:
natty dread wrote:
cairnswk wrote:I had offered to be a graphics CA, but it was declined....and i am online everyday :)


I think you'd be better as a gameplay CA.

:o Ooh, natty, i have to disagree there.
Graphics is my much preferred option. :)
On the other-hand, i think you with a proactive stance would also be a great graphics CA. you do have a great understanding of it all from what i see around the place.


I find this astounding! I think he's a fantastic talent and can't help wonder at a decision declining his input. Obviously I'm missing something!
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby Kabanellas on Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:04 pm

DoomYoshi wrote:The worst map to be made was Clandemonium. It is terrible in all 3 aspects: uninspiring/uninspired graphics, boring single-player and unnecessary team play.



...though I can only speak for the graphics here (unlike all my other maps), I'm very honored to have taken part on a map that (in your opinion) set the new low standards!

If I can't be famous for the best at least I can be infamous for the worst 8-)
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby thenobodies80 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:17 pm

thehippo8 wrote:
cairnswk wrote:
natty dread wrote:
cairnswk wrote:I had offered to be a graphics CA, but it was declined....and i am online everyday :)


I think you'd be better as a gameplay CA.

:o Ooh, natty, i have to disagree there.
Graphics is my much preferred option. :)
On the other-hand, i think you with a proactive stance would also be a great graphics CA. you do have a great understanding of it all from what i see around the place.


I find this astounding! I think he's a fantastic talent and can't help wonder at a decision declining his input. Obviously I'm missing something!


No one told him: "Never" ..... just not that time. There's no point to recruit people if you don't have a job to give them. ;)
Anyway cairnswk knows very well that I have a note on the desk with his name written, in case I need help.

Kabanellas wrote:If I can't be famous for the best at least I can be infamous for the worst 8-)


I think you're already famous for some of the best map on this site mate! ;)

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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby cairnswk on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:36 pm

cairnswk wrote:
DiM wrote:
natty dread wrote:Then, the lack of dedicated CA:s. Don't get me wrong, we have some good CA:s, but we need more of them.


we need at least 2 graphic CAs and 3 gameplay CAs.
and not the kind that log in once per week and post twice per month.


I had offered to be a graphics CA, but it was declined....and i am online everyday :)


Perhaps what i should have written above is:

"I had offered to be a graphics CA, but it was declined due to no places being available at the time....and i am online everyday :)"

Perhaps because of this, i think theHippo8 is correct to have misconstrued the context, but i appreciate his support. :)
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby ViperOverLord on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Kabanellas wrote:
DoomYoshi wrote:The worst map to be made was Clandemonium. It is terrible in all 3 aspects: uninspiring/uninspired graphics, boring single-player and unnecessary team play.



...though I can only speak for the graphics here (unlike all my other maps), I'm very honored to have taken part on a map that (in your opinion) set the new low standards!

If I can't be famous for the best at least I can be infamous for the worst 8-)


:lol:

I applaud him for speaking his opinion even if it is harsh. Clandemonium would probably make my top 50. So I'm glad it was made.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby DiM on Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:17 pm

thenobodies80 wrote:There's no point to recruit people if you don't have a job to give them. ;)


somehow i doubt there was ever a time when the foundry didn't need the help of an extra CA.
heck, if it were possible i'd get 10 CAs not a handful like we have now. (of course assuming those 10 CAs are dedicated, quality people)
the foundry needs all the help it can get.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby BadgerJelly on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:09 am

I think if you want better maps you LOTS of people here need to be patient with new Map Makers.

From my personal experience I have had mainly bad experiences in the foundry with so called "feedback" which answered none of the questions I was asking at a very basic level.

As an outsider here I would just like to say that this site is great but the Foundry seems to be quite hostile and mismanaged.

I'm not saying this to be bitchy or anything just trying to say that assuming new comers here have no idea or experience in map making is VERY condisending and maybe thats why maps have apparently declined.

I think the best map on this site are about to be made so I'm happy anyway :mrgreen: Looking foward to Clash of Kings, Eurasia AND easily the best map Kings Court II :shock: Brilliantly designed map ! =D>
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:23 am

BadgerJelly wrote:From my personal experience I have had mainly bad experiences in the foundry with so called "feedback" which answered none of the questions I was asking at a very basic level.


Nope, you had plenty of feedback. Lots of people told you what you needed to do to make your map acceptable. But you didn't maybe get the feedback you wanted to hear. And then you quit working on it.

See, it's not up to the foundry to tell you what kind of map you need to do. You need to come up with the basic idea for your map. If the idea sucks, or lacks substance, we'll tell you and we'll let you know what's wrong with it. But we can't tell you the exact idea for you to make a map about. If we had a really great idea for a map we'd probably make it ourselves. It's up to each mapmaker him/herself to come up with that great idea.

When it comes to technical details, the execution of the idea, there's plenty of feedback available. There's also plenty of help available (on this site and others) if you need help with the graphics. There are even lots of abandoned maps in the bin if you're really strapped for ideas. But you're still the one who's responsible for the idea for your map.

If you want to succeed as a mapmaker, you need to be able to take that feeback, even if it's not what you want to hear, and run with it to the bank. That's how the process works: you make something, others point out what's wrong with it, you fix it, rinse and repeat until you have a ready map.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby BadgerJelly on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:46 am

Don't listen to then not my problem :D
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:49 am

Actually, I did listen to what you said and I even gave a valid response to it. It's you who's not listening, the same way you were not listening when people gave you feedback when you were attempting to make maps here.

You see, any interaction is a two-way street. You can't just expect the other side to listen to your arguments if you're not willing to listen to theirs.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby Gillipig on Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:09 am

I'm gonna have to agree with natty here. You can't just stick your head in the ground when someone says something you don't want to hear. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable and the answers you're looking for might not help you get forward. On the other hand this is just a game so I can understand if you don't want approach it that seriously. But don't expect to have much success in the foundry with that attitude towards it.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby BadgerJelly on Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:40 am

Gillipig wrote:I'm gonna have to agree with natty here. You can't just stick your head in the ground when someone says something you don't want to hear. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable and the answers you're looking for might not help you get forward. On the other hand this is just a game so I can understand if you don't want approach it that seriously. But don't expect to have much success in the foundry with that attitude towards it.


:lol: =D>

Natty you were NOT the problem if thats why you are being defensive I don't know or CARE!

In the foundry I found it patronising and generally hostile. One or two people were VERY helpful but no one actually answered my question about base "Continent" values ... it doesn't even matter about who said what or who answered what ... I am saying there is a problem with the attitude to newcomers. I come here knowing little about the variety of what can be coded and with an idea in my head and I got almost nothing but derision and a cocky and childish response from people.

Because of this I am not willing to put time into making at map here at the moment so every here will miss out until I think the response I get next time will be a more friendly and patient.

I even offered maps to this site (Before I realised you had to put names on the territories here) and got ridiculed for that!? SERIOUSLY I am not the only problem here. Yeah I'm strong willed and opinionated but I encourage constructive criticism all the time and I am more than willing to listen to new ideas.

If you think what I am saying here is in some way negative then I'm sorry but I'm trying to answer your question as best I can to help the process in the foundry be a little more welcoming because I think that is where the core of your problem lies with any decline in map standards or lack of variety ... some people in my situation would leave this site and not even consider making a map here again and I have met a few so this isn't based on assumptions.

Lost count of how many times I have heard that people like CC and the players here but hate the Foundry.

Like I said there are 3 great maps close to release so the problem cannot be that big ... some more "basic" maps might help the site too? Just standard rules but well planned maps without having to worry about Auto-placement, Bombard etc.. (I love these options but the vast majority of player in my experience play small quick games in RT and there is not a huge choice out there atm.

Anyway said my bit take it or leave it and GL with whatever it is you do here in the future.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby natty dread on Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:40 pm

BadgerJelly wrote:In the foundry I found it patronising and generally hostile.


Well, that's unfortunate that you feel that way. We can't take responsibility how everyone acts, since everyone is free to post in the foundry. However you do need a "thick skin" in the foundry... sometimes the answer is not what you want to hear but you should probably listen to it anyway.

BadgerJelly wrote:One or two people were VERY helpful but no one actually answered my question about base "Continent" values ...


Well that's just it. Your map ideas had more fundamental problems than continent values, and the way I recall it people told you repeatedly what those were and what exactly were the problems you needed to fix. There's no point in tweaking the bonus values if the underlying idea, the concept of the map, needs work.

Seems to me that the problem you have is that you didn't get the feedback you wanted to hear - instead you got the feedback you needed but were not willing to follow it...

Like it or not, mapmaking is not a right in CC - the foundry is not a playpen where you get to do whatever you want with your maps, and develop them in your own way and do what you please with them. The rules and guidelines of the foundry need to be followed, and maybe that's why you got frustrated - maybe you're used to the more free atmosphere of other sites that allow anyone to make whatever map they want, so the structured environment of the foundry where people tell you that you need to address this or that problem instead of worrying about this or that thing is a turn off for you. If so, that's unfortunate, and I know this is going to sound harsh to you, but we don't need mapmakers who can't follow the rules of the foundry.
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Re: Decline in map standards.

Postby BadgerJelly on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 am

It doesn't bother me personally just trying to help ...

Continue to say I am wrong if it makes you feel better mate I don't mind at all. Just posted here because I saw the thread and thought my input might help people out on the site. In the future I'll just keep my opinions to myself and let you tell each other what is wrong rather than listening to an outside perspective.

GL :D
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