A new year, a new foundry!

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A new year, a new foundry!

Postby thenobodies80 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:43 pm

Hello everyone,

it's a pleasure for me to write this announcement to introduce something new into the blue world of mapmaking.
Another year has gone and a new one has just started, but must be said that the 2012 has been a good year for us.

I would like to spend few seconds of your time to enlist few 2012 items, because too often we forget:
- We worked hard and we have succesfully produced 21 new maps, raising the total count of maps on CC from 204 to 225.
- We had a contest which resulted in a wonderful North America map revamp.
- We made our voices loud to obtain these so desired xml updates. We received two, collections and conditional borders
- We had our map database that was the starting point on which we will develop a public map gallery.
- We solved the supersize limits issue with the introduction of a new policy
- We reached the 100th user of Conquer Club who has received a map achievement
- We had the first mapmaker in the foundry history to receive 30 medals for completing a map.

Maybe I missed some items, maybe someone can say that more must and can be done. It's true, but we can't say that nothing has happened last year. ;)
Instead, about what "must and can be done", I'm really optimist. I've spent the few last months working together with rdsrds2120 and I'm really confident that the new administration has great plans for the foundry. Like RDS has said, the foundry needs a special care, but it will require some time.

Today we can start with the very first steps of this caring and restructuring process of our dear second home!


************************************

As first item, considering that right now we have 200+ standard maps and just few special maps, we are going to give to mapmakers the possibilty to draw Battle Royale Maps.

Let me pass the baton for a second to our dear Community Manager rdsrds2120, so he can explain to you all our official policy for this type of maps:
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby rdsrds2120 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:51 pm

Hello everyone!

Rds here with a quick word on some Battle Royale info -- after all, what time would be better than right after the Anniversary? ;)

As you all know, we currently have 1 map that is a Battle Royale ONLY map (Colosseum by samuelc812). While sam's map is spectacular in form and function for BR's, well, who doesn't like a little variety?

I'd like to see some brand new ideas for these mega maps, and to have them hosted right here on the site for both the Anniversary Events and our Monthly Battle Royales. So, what better place to get this started than the Foundry? Answer: Nowhere, and this is why, as thenobodies mentioned, I am now stressing that no maps are to be made 'behind the scenes' as they have been done in the past. Power to the people!

Without further ado,

Battle Royale Maps

Here's the criteria! You must be sure to read and understand the following:


show


So there you have it. Thank you to thenobodies80 and the rest of the Cartography team for their work. Think of this as their New Years Resolution project ;). Thank you for reading, let's make some maps 8)

--rdsrds2120 (BMO)
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby thenobodies80 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:04 pm

Now, that we've introduced the BR map we can move to the second item we have ready for you all.

Every structure or process should be built on the needs of those who have to use it. In the last year I've spent long time thinking about any possible improvement for the foundry and the process, to make things easier for the Map Makers and also for the Carthography Assistants. Essentially the foundry system has improved a lot through the years, but instead the structure of the foundry has changed only to make it more comfortable for the users, or better for their number.
So, considering the number of current users, the number of topics and the use of each forum, we have decided to apply a few changes.

This is the New Foundry Structure: (that could look familiar to some foundry veterans)


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With this layout you need just to click once when you're in the main index to be able to see the whole foundry and what it's happening into it. You will be able to keep track of the most active and popular maps in development with few clicks. Additionally we are going to apply a few changes to our duties to better serve you all during the long run through the foundry process...but we will talk about that in another occasion (soon ;) ).

************************************

As side element of this structure change, there's an additional concept that I would like to introduce. We all know that make maps is a privilege an not a right...but I can't keep the count of the times I have seen this privilege understimated and treated like a obvious right. There's been lot of cases in which I've seen a great Community contribution and a countless amount of hours spent by Cartographers to a map project which is then abandoned.
So, to protect and give value to the Cartographers effort and the Community contribution to any map project, I'm going to introduce a sort of ladder system for the Abandoned maps only. From now, any mapmaker is subject to this system for each map that will receive at least a stamp, so when the concept is approved and it supposed to have some followers.

Abandoning a map project is simply unfair and discourteous to the community member who make the commitment to support the map project and to the CA who has spent time on it. This without consider that the same time could have been used on other projects. As mapmaker, it is your responsibility to see your map succesfully go through the foundry process from beginning to end.

Said that, the Cartographers have come up with a policy to reduce the number of abandoned projects, to better serve the committed Foundry memebers and obviously keeping into account that sometimes unexpected things happen:

Abandoned Maps Policy


show


************************************

XML Guide

Finally, I'm pleased to release a new version of the XML Guide, the original guide was written back in the 2007. Due some time costraints, technical issues and changes into the blue Team it took a lot (maybe too much :oops:) to have this guide ready for you all. But at least we think that no we're going to give you all a helpful hand.

The guide has a different layout than the old one and it's more extended, we tried to not only list how to write an xml, but also give a more complete explanation of each feature, give additional advices on the most common questions or doubts. XML Features are also supported with pratical examples or part of code taken from the CC Maps for a better understanding. But don't worry, you hardly get lost into it infact you can find a index in the first post, in this way you can browse the whole guide easily.

The new XML Guide is available here

I wish you all another great year of Conquer Club!


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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby generalhead on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:43 pm

This whole thread would be a great article for the foundry section of the newsletter. :D
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby chapcrap on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:19 pm

I like most of the changes.

I think it's odd to have The Atlas as a subforum for BETA maps though.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby thenobodies80 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:51 am

It was there a couple of years ago, I think it is the very original place for it. Anyway I wanted there just because it makes more simple to move things and keep track of them. But I'm fine also with having it listed into the Map Foundry, beneath the Beta Maps, if you guys prefer.
As said in the announcement, the layout should fit your needs (and maybe make the life easier for us a bit :P)

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby ManBungalow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:19 am

thenobodies80 wrote:We've set a scale of values, each value determines a disciplinary action.

    1st Abandoned Map - Informal Warning and a spanking
    2nd Abandoned Map - Official Warning
    3rd Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    4th Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    5th Abandoned Map - Permanent ban from mapmaking

I don't agree with this, as it only serves to deter potential map-makers. And, as ever, map-making is voluntary. Why should we ban a user from doing something voluntary which can only be:
A] Of no consequence (is abandoned)
B] Beneficial (new map)
An abandoned map causes no harm to the community. Perhaps 10 seconds of mod time to move the map thread to the recycling bin, and some peeved users who have invested comments during the map development, but the mods/contributors are volunteering similarly - they don't have to spend time commenting on maps which may go on to be abandoned.
Besides, even an abandoned map can be useful.

A map idea should be a map idea, and no one user should be limited to 5 ideas (then banned). And an idea is often best illustrated with a draft. To be honest, the qualifying 'first stamp' criterion for a map development which can then be punishable ("mapmaker is subject to this [disciplinary] system for each map that will receive at least a stamp") if abandoned would only serve to make me shy away from getting the draft stamp.

Not to mention that real life can get in the way of map development.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby DoomYoshi on Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:11 am

I am glad to see the potential for new BR maps. Worried that I will never again get to play world 2.1 BR though.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby Oneyed on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:02 am

ManBungalow wrote:
thenobodies80 wrote:We've set a scale of values, each value determines a disciplinary action.

    1st Abandoned Map - Informal Warning and a spanking
    2nd Abandoned Map - Official Warning
    3rd Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    4th Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    5th Abandoned Map - Permanent ban from mapmaking

I don't agree with this, as it only serves to deter potential map-makers. And, as ever, map-making is voluntary. Why should we ban a user from doing something voluntary which can only be:
A] Of no consequence (is abandoned)
B] Beneficial (new map)
An abandoned map causes no harm to the community. Perhaps 10 seconds of mod time to move the map thread to the recycling bin, and some peeved users who have invested comments during the map development, but the mods/contributors are volunteering similarly - they don't have to spend time commenting on maps which may go on to be abandoned.
Besides, even an abandoned map can be useful.

A map idea should be a map idea, and no one user should be limited to 5 ideas (then banned). And an idea is often best illustrated with a draft. To be honest, the qualifying 'first stamp' criterion for a map development which can then be punishable ("mapmaker is subject to this [disciplinary] system for each map that will receive at least a stamp") if abandoned would only serve to make me shy away from getting the draft stamp.

Not to mention that real life can get in the way of map development.


I think this new abandoned system valids only for maps which already has any stamp, not for ideas.

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby ManBungalow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:32 am

Oneyed wrote:
ManBungalow wrote:
thenobodies80 wrote:We've set a scale of values, each value determines a disciplinary action.

    1st Abandoned Map - Informal Warning and a spanking
    2nd Abandoned Map - Official Warning
    3rd Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    4th Abandoned Map - 6 months of ban from mapmaking
    5th Abandoned Map - Permanent ban from mapmaking

I don't agree with this, as it only serves to deter potential map-makers. And, as ever, map-making is voluntary. Why should we ban a user from doing something voluntary which can only be:
A] Of no consequence (is abandoned)
B] Beneficial (new map)
An abandoned map causes no harm to the community. Perhaps 10 seconds of mod time to move the map thread to the recycling bin, and some peeved users who have invested comments during the map development, but the mods/contributors are volunteering similarly - they don't have to spend time commenting on maps which may go on to be abandoned.
Besides, even an abandoned map can be useful.

A map idea should be a map idea, and no one user should be limited to 5 ideas (then banned). And an idea is often best illustrated with a draft. To be honest, the qualifying 'first stamp' criterion for a map development which can then be punishable ("mapmaker is subject to this [disciplinary] system for each map that will receive at least a stamp") if abandoned would only serve to make me shy away from getting the draft stamp.

Not to mention that real life can get in the way of map development.


I think this new abandoned system valids only for maps which already has any stamp, not for ideas.

Oneyed

Right. This is acknowledged in my post, though I didn't phrase the distinction between idea and a, uh, main foundry-level map idea very well. I'm trying to say that I wouldn't want my map idea to progress into the main foundry by being given a draft stamp if I was not 100% sure about it. And one doesn't need to be 100% sure about it in the early days in order to make a good map, as far as I'm concerned.
This is counter-intuitive really, as the main foundry should [arguably] be where the most crucial criticisms get made, and where an idea is really tested.

I believe my point is still valid.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby thenobodies80 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:46 am

ManB, I'll give to you and to everyone else a better explanation of the ladder system this evening, when back home.
I already reckoned to have to add some detail to that procedure when I wrote it.
In the meanwhile, don't worry, it was not designed to punish, but to protect....committed mapmakers has nothing to fear about it.

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby chapcrap on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:27 am

Well, I would move the Atlas out, because as is, it looks like it is under Beta maps. Which, is really the opposite...


As far as the punishment goes, I agree with it. We do something similar with tournaments and it works fine. Lindax set it up quite a while ago and it prevents users from wasting TDs time and players time with tournaments that do not finish. We also have a tournament rescue policy, like the maps have now it seems. So, I think this is good work.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby Robespierre__ on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:38 am

You all are doing a great job, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and hard work. We all appreciate it very much.

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby nolefan5311 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:10 am

The abandonment policy is put into place for a reason. There are several maps in the Recycling Box which took a ton of time to review by the mods, only for the mapmaker to never follow through with creation. While I really enjoy what I do, we simply don't have enough time to focus a lot of attention on a map that is never going to get made. It's not fair to the mapmakers who do follow through with maps and have to wait for moderator attention that's being spent on a map that's never going to get made.

I think it's a very fair system...you have 2 abandoned before you're even given a ban, and map isn't considered abandoned until the 6 month vacation period has expired. The only thing you need to refresh that 6 months is post a small update.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby RjBeals on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:38 pm

i like the abandonment policy. I mean, wasn't there a puke map and and human body map?
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby thenobodies80 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:38 pm

ok, here some additional thoughts on what you said:

ManBungalow wrote:And, as ever, map-making is voluntary. Why should we ban a user from doing something voluntary which can only be:
A] Of no consequence (is abandoned)
B] Beneficial (new map)
An abandoned map causes no harm to the community.


Exactly, mapmaking is voluntary, no one forces you to start a map. A very good reason to not spend energies onto something that everyone knows will require time and effort if you're not sure that develop a map is something you really want to do.
I don't think that abandon a map project causes no harm to the community. Every single map project has a big impact on the community. All maps are developed with the support of community and mods and abandon a map is like spit on the time all these have spent on the map. I strongly believe that abandon a map is detrimental for the community: imagine that you start a project. imagine that I'm a foundry user and that i enjoy to support map projects and give advices to mapmakers. At some point you abandon the project without a reason. How do you think i can feel? How long do you think I can continue to spend my time to suggest and give advice if all that time is just wasted? I think that after a while I will stop to comment or worst I'll stop to visit the foundry.
I think you can realize how much time is required to give a real feedback on a map, i think that you need at least 20 mins to study a map and give real advice for it. It's not just few secs like you said. Few secs are enough only to write "I like it" and click submit.
To the foundry goers support add the mods effort, I can't count the number of hours that my team spend at looking maps or to discuss together to try to help the mapmaker to develop the best possible map.
Now that you have figured out all these things you can easily understand that, being voluntary, you can have the right to use your time as you want and maybe waste it. But imo you have no right to waste the time that everyone else has spent on your map.
I really don't want people stop to post and suggest because a mapmaker can abandon a map. People has not to support maps only when the map is not well accepted, shitty...in few words only when the community and the site don't want it. In theory this should be the only reason behind a NOT successful map project: no audience for it.
Remember that maps are done for the community and supported by the community....so if you want to make a map you must bear in mind that the respect for the community must be one of the most important things, probably the most important.

ManBungalow wrote:but the mods/contributors are volunteering similarly - they don't have to spend time commenting on maps which may go on to be abandoned.


Sorry but this is a nonsense. the foundry has always build on the community contribution. If you want people stop to comment on maps, then we can close the foundry now. In addition mods are not nostradamus so how we can understand in advance if a map will be abandoned?
We don't work on maps thinking that they can be abandoned, but instead we work on maps thinking how to allow/help the mapmaker to develop the best possible map he can do.

I want to use this small paragraph to made clear that we're not talking about map ideas here, but instead about map project that has received at least the draft stamp.
I will never stop to stress about the fact that the draft stamp is one of the most important stamp. When a map receive the draft stamp, it means that the site approves the ideas and that the community wants that map. this is the big difference between a map idea and an approved draft. right now koontz1973 has the burdain to understand what map ideas and draft are worth to become CC official maps. We're talking about a 15000 memember community, it's like a small town. When he stamps a map he is acting in the place of an entire community. Don't look at the draft stamp like a one person action because it's not in this way. the stamp is just a symbol used for a business purpose, the real important aspect is what there's behind that small red image.

ManBungalow wrote:To be honest, the qualifying 'first stamp' criterion for a map development which can then be punishable ("mapmaker is subject to this [disciplinary] system for each map that will receive at least a stamp") if abandoned would only serve to make me shy away from getting the draft stamp.


To my eyes, be afraid about receiving a draft stamp is another nonsense. Let me make a similar example using RL. It's like when you have exams at university. You studied a lot and you're going to discuss your subject. You might fail, it's true. But you don't take your exam to fail, but to succeed. In the same way you don't have to think that the draft stamp means you can be punished (rejected) but instead that you're ready for your exam and that your objective is to pass it. In addition here you have someone that can help you to pass it! ;)
Remember, mods and community are not here to see your map project fail but for the opposite reason.

ManBungalow wrote:A map idea should be a map idea, and no one user should be limited to 5 ideas (then banned).

A map idea is a map idea, you can post an infinite number of ideas, the policy doesn't apply on ideas, nor on earlier draft. Here we're talking only about approved projects.

ManBungalow wrote:Not to mention that real life can get in the way of map development.

This is an important aspect and the policy take it into consideration. We know that shit happens. No one has a life without unexpected events.
This is why we have a ladder system in which you will receive 2 warnings before to receive the first ban.
In addition if you notice 2 levels have the same amount of time (6 months), but they are different.
The first ban is a specific one, the second is a generic one. what's the difference?
The first 6 months ban is applied only on the role you have in the abandoned project. It means that if you are the graphics developer and you reach the 3rd step, you won't be allowed to draw another map for 6 months. But in those 6 months you can help with gameplay or draw the xml for another map.
The second ban instead is generic so simply you can't take part to any project during that time; starting with that project. The ban is only applied on starting new map project not on projects that are currently into the process.
So if for example you have a map in gameplay and another in graphics and you decide to abandon the map in gameplay, you're still allowed to continue the one in graphics BUT you can't start a new one (obviously if you have already reached the 3rd step)
So the system is done again to push people to finish map projects and not to abandon them.

In addition look at the notes in the policy. Like nolefan has said we will give you 6 months before to consider the map abandoned. If your life is so messy to not give you a way to update a map for 6 month, then probably you have more serious issues than finish a map or being banned from the foundry for some months.
Moreover I decided to leave a case by case option because we will never know. It's obvious that if something really important or serious has happened to you, I'm won't be so bastard to ban you just for the sake of it. I always try to take into consideration the man behind the username; yeah rules are rules but they must be applied with a bit of salt. ;)
And in any case 6 months are not so few time, I want you really think about how many things happen or you do in a such long period of time.

Finally, I'm not a person who believe in a punishment given without a purpose. I always hope that people is able to understand something if punished, I always hope that people can find the good in something bad and learn from it. That's why we might consider to allow people to move on the ladder also in the opposite way. It doesn't means you can "stack credits" to abandon future maps, but we might take into consideration the fact you will resecue a your own abandoned map project. So, if for example you reach the 3rd step and after some time you complete the same abandoned map, you might find yourself again at the 2nd step. As said I'm a true "redention" believer. ;)
So you have to really pass the line to be considered life banned from mapmaking. Let me state clear from now that if you reach the 5th step there's no way to go back. But if you have understood how it works you have to really pass the line to reach that point.

chapcrap wrote:As far as the punishment goes, I agree with it. We do something similar with tournaments and it works fine. Lindax set it up quite a while ago and it prevents users from wasting TDs time and players time with tournaments that do not finish. We also have a tournament rescue policy, like the maps have now it seems. So, I think this is good work.

Yeah, I took inspiration from it. I ever wanted to create consistency between maps and tournaments. To my eyes both activities have the same importance, so they need to be treated in the same way. Moreover the system you use has proven to work properly, so why to not have something similar for maps? :P

chapcrap wrote:Well, I would move the Atlas out, because as is, it looks like it is under Beta maps. Which, is really the opposite...

About this I have no problem, like i said earlier and your statement makes sense from a certain point of view.
Just I would like to understand if it's just you or not. Gimme the time to collect some feedback on it. O:)

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby generalhead on Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:19 pm

=D> Well said thenobodies80
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby ender516 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:51 pm

I am somewhat in favour of a system that requires the map maker to make a commitment to see a map through to the end, and that provides for disciplinary action against those who willfully break said commitment. However, I think that there should be an explicit post by a Cartographer in the map thread requesting that commitment, at whatever point in the process is determined to be the go/no-go point. The map maker should be able to choose to discontinue an idea that is no longer working for him/her, without penalty, provided this is done before the Foundry (Cartographers and the general population) have invested heavily.
I do wonder, however, if this ladder will be climbed much. Do we really have that many map makers who repeatedly abandon projects? Some might have a number of projects going and drop them all at once in a fit of pique, but who starts a map, drops it, starts another, drops that, and so on, over and over?
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby Oneyed on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:39 am

the new Abandon system looks fine. I agree that 6 month is enough time for any update. evrybody who do not like it - do not forgot that this is not valid for map ideas...

maybe it would be more clear with a little change:
...
3rd Abandoned map - 6 month of ban from start new project.
...
or you realy mean that after 3rd Abandoned map (map X) mapmaker can not work on his another map (map Y) or also can not "relive" his another map (map Z)?

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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby greenoaks on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:20 am

how many of our current mapmakers got their first idea all the way to Quenched ?

how many would have received a ban for the early attempts before their current success ?
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby ManBungalow on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:38 am

Okay nobodies, I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

Fire away, otherwise.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby ender516 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:12 pm

greenoaks wrote:how many of our current mapmakers got their first idea all the way to Quenched ?

how many would have received a ban for the early attempts before their current success ?

These are fair questions, which could be answered with a bit of research. Now, who has the time? I am tied up a bit right now, working on Map Rank.
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby cairnswk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:26 pm

ender516 wrote:
greenoaks wrote:how many of our current mapmakers got their first idea all the way to Quenched ?

how many would have received a ban for the early attempts before their current success ?

These are fair questions, which could be answered with a bit of research. Now, who has the time? I am tied up a bit right now, working on Map Rank.

humbly...I did...CCC ! :)
however....i have other projects that have been abandoned temporarily:
    Snowfight....got a draft stamp...and i recently started doing some artwork on it again...reason for abandonment: skills not up to par
    CC's Treasure Island...never had draft stamp - not in those days....skills again not up to par, although mibi thought so (or was he being sarcastic?)
    MIrror Mirror....never got draft stamp...skills still not up to par!
    Classic Cities: Perth....supersized stamp....and still being worked on on my computer in PS.
    12 pk Classic Cities: never put forward for ideas...only in another mapmakers forum.
    3 Blind Mice: Idea
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby greenoaks on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:54 pm

ender516 wrote:
greenoaks wrote:how many of our current mapmakers got their first idea all the way to Quenched ?

how many would have received a ban for the early attempts before their current success ?

These are fair questions, which could be answered with a bit of research. Now, who has the time? I am tied up a bit right now, working on Map Rank.

i wasn't asking for anyone in particular to do all the legwork. more of an open question to the individuals to let us know how these rules would have impacted them if they where brought earlier.

thanks cairnswk for the response. from what i can gather Snowfight is abandoned and has earned you a spanking. be sure to collect. :lol: while Classic Cities: Perth would have earned you an official warning.

here's the rub. over the next 5 years cairnswk may produce anther 30 maps but if some of his ideas get abandoned he will be banned from making any more maps. :(

we are not that harsh with taking/missing turns. you have to miss 3 in a row to get booted.

it is the same with running tournaments. successfully completing tournaments earns you points to offset any you've acrued from abandoning some.

can something like that be considered here ?
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Re: A new year, a new foundry!

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:17 am

greenoaks wrote:how many of our current mapmakers got their first idea all the way to Quenched ?

how many would have received a ban for the early attempts before their current success ?


Out of the ones with maps quenched:
koontz - yes -Rorke's Drift
Flapcake - yes - Kingdom of Denmark
Seamus76 - yes - Tribal War Florida
Oneyed - Not yet but it is very close to beta (CSFR)
dana1971 - Not yet (Cow)
Lancelot du Lac - Not yet (France 2.1)
Vaughn03 - Not yet (Battle for Spice islands)
generalhead - Not yet (Alamo)

The others in the main foundry are either blue boys or cairns. But Flaps, Seamus and myself all made it through first time. As for the others in the foundry right now like Oneyed, the only thing stopping them is themselves. I believe I am the only one with a map that could get an unofficial warning (Escape). All the others are clean as a whistle.
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