Map Battles: Should they continue?

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Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby 904 on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:20 pm

I've been a bit absent the last 2 months, mostly because of real life (and a broken hip, as briefly stated in the suggestions thread). But in the past, when a new battle was overdue, there would be some activity from within the community to question the fact that a new one hadn't been started - Not since the last attempt at a battle.

It has been clear for over a year now that interest in these battles has declined. I don't mind though. People move on to new technologies (as reflected in the recent reshuffle of interlopers' forum), bigger projects, jobs and so on. Such is life, it's part of personal growth.

In the past year we've welcomed a few new battlers and some oldies have stuck around. It's all very well appreciated. What's important though, is to remember that these battles are not here because I feel like I have to organize one every month or so, it's because there used to be a demand from within the community to do this.

The 'recent' lack of activity and the overall trend of the past year are leading me to the conclusion that at this point in time demand is at an all time low and there really is no need (no demand) to do this anymore. It would be a pity, but maybe it's just the way it should go.

So the question is: is it still worth it?
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby RawMeat3000 on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:43 pm

I've been having this same discussion in my head about the modeling challenges and decided that all the experienced 'vets' from the time the map and model battles first started, the ones who participated a lot, have moved on to school, work, or mods. And we've been getting a lot of fresh young people on the forums that just aren't really interested for whatever reason (you guys who haven't been around for more than a year should look at the first 10-15 map battles, they rocked!) Most of those participants are gone from the forums now.

At least that was one of my theories, the other was that we simply aren't as good at this (or maybe just me) as the previous moderators, and perhaps haven't earned the respect or friendship of the community yet. I'm probably just talking about myself now. But whatever the reason the fact is that interest has declined, and it's a fair amount of work for us to run these things. I'm not sure if it's worth it either.

Maybe if someone fresh took the reigns for these battles things might pick up.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby marnamai on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:13 am

I 've been around for a long time and witnessed the decline in the mapbattles.
I am guilty for not participating as much as I could have but there are 2 main reasons why I did.
1) lack of time and other projects
2) the theme

The theme is usually too open and the entries are all so different from each other making it sometimes hard to judge.
I would honestly prefer a series of map battles focusing on one item (building/setting) instead of a widely interpretive word.

There are other sites out there also doing contest with prizes/prize money, funny enough money does motivate people :p
examples: planetphillip and tf2maps.net for example => usually have to be playable
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby city14 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:24 am

I definitely agree with marnamai, the theme for the first battles I ever saw were pretty neat, and I really wished I was good enough to even compete. But now after gaining the self-confidence to compete, the themes just seem a tad strange and never what I want to see.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby Ark11 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:46 am

They should continue, but with a massive improvement on the themes. (i.e no limiting themes (i.e Time is a limiting theme)).
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby 904 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:38 am

RawMeat3000 wrote:I've been having this same discussion in my head about the modeling challenges and decided that all the experienced 'vets' from the time the map and model battles first started, the ones who participated a lot, have moved on to school, work, or mods. And we've been getting a lot of fresh young people on the forums that just aren't really interested for whatever reason (you guys who haven't been around for more than a year should look at the first 10-15 map battles, they rocked!) Most of those participants are gone from the forums now.

That's a confirmation of my thoughts, right there.

RawMeat3000 wrote:At least that was one of my theories, the other was that we simply aren't as good at this (or maybe just me) as the previous moderators, and perhaps haven't earned the respect or friendship of the community yet. I'm probably just talking about myself now. But whatever the reason the fact is that interest has declined, and it's a fair amount of work for us to run these things. I'm not sure if it's worth it either.

Maybe if someone fresh took the reigns for these battles things might pick up.

^ I wouldn't mind, but Major Banter tried and forgot that you have to grow a fairly thick skin to do this. And considering your first point, it'll probably be a moot attempt.

The discussion of the themes crops up every time and every time I have to explain that it's never possible to please everyone. I did a mix of 'regular' themes (some form of physical assignment), abstract themes (such as time) and limiting themes (template battles).
And it took only three replies to confim that it's never ok for everyone. What's considered by some as too open, is considered too limiting by others. Let alone what the theme is.

marnamai wrote:There are other sites out there also doing contest with prizes/prize money, funny enough money does motivate people :p
examples: planetphillip and tf2maps.net for example => usually have to be playable

Like I said, this is community driven because the members of Interlopers once thought it would be nice to compete in some shape or form and improve skills and creative thinking as a benefit. Sites that pay people to compete are not about that, their goal is to drive traffic to their site.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby srredfire on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:43 pm

I myself lately had been wondering what had happened to the battles. I do miss them admittedly. I don't know exactly why people aren't as active as people once were in the past.

I think we need to find out the sole reason people are disappointed or not into map battles anymore. I understand people are busy, people are always busy, but the decline of map battles can't be just because of that.

This could have been a long post, but then I realized how cold my fingers are right now so bye.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby ScarT on Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Source is too broken to be interesting anymore tbh.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby MayheM on Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:39 pm

I for one am totally interested in getting into the map battles but like others have stated the themes have been less than inspiring for me. That's not a knock on the themes, other people came up with some cool stuff but my mind couldn't. I also went through about a year where i did not even open hammer once. I had no drive to create at all. I recently started mapping again and I am digging the results I have gotten. So if the battles continue, and I can understand if they do not, then I plan to start participating. Granted the theme needs to be one that sparks some ideas in my mind.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby vcool on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:22 pm

I think it's just a change of seasons, old participants moved on to whatever, newer members don't feel confident enough or maybe they are more intrigued by paid contests. Could be the themes, but I think that no matter what the theme is, there is a bare minimum which can be made, it's just hard sometimes.

I think that since the UDK come out, there's no real reason to use Source unless you are doing something Half Life based or you have the know how of doing what you want specifically in Source. There will be a resurgence of Source fandom when Portal 2 is out, but that won't be any time soon.

tl;dr older users moved on, newer users haven't caught on, Source sucks.

If you do decide to seal the deal, you should probably make The Last Map Battle. I think a lot of people might participate out of nostalgia although who knows.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby RawMeat3000 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:31 am

vcool wrote:If you do decide to seal the deal, you should probably make The Last Map Battle. I think a lot of people might participate out of nostalgia although who knows.

I like the sentiment, but I don't think there should ever really be a last map battle, even if it's just once or twice a year there should always be something. I mean Valve isn't going to stop making games any time soon and with the recent addition of the Unreal section of these forums, map battles have the potential to change drastically. Even if and when Valve abandons Source as it's flagship engine for Source 2, or whatever they'll be calling it, this website and the community it has built will be here for a very long time to come, which leaves room for plenty of challenges/battles/beer pong. It's just a matter of finding the right motivation to get them started and to participate.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby vcool on Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:40 am

Yeah true that, and I got all teary eyed and ready to learn Hammer again. :lol:
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby joe_dirt976 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:48 am

I think part of the problem may be in part due to the long gaps in between hl2 episodes. The way this site it designed seems too hl2 centric with a modder mindset. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the internet has changed a lot since 04.
One of the ways to adapt to this is to host content for contest winners. But that's easier said than done, I've seen the result of this on l4d maps. Whatever the case, more content hosting (for the winners only... to save bandwidth) will give bragging rights as well as a bigger sense of accomplishment. I don't why its not dooable, there's links for all sorts of nifty little tools here.
So in my opinion, the next battle should be game specific with playability in mind.
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby ROFLhacks on Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:38 am

YES
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Re: Map Battles: Should they continue?

Postby nub on Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:56 am

I'm probably guilty more than anyone. I've only participated in, what, two battles? And every battle after that I posted saying I'd try to cook something up but never post any progress at all.

I can't even map on my own time anymore. I haven't mapped in almost a year now...I've just completely lost my drive to do anything even though I have ideas I think are great (like when I started Pipe Dream but gave up on it within a week and let Zip helm it), but that's a more personal matter. Some of the recent themes did interest me; I had a great idea for the Time map battle, but I just never got around to doing it because of my sheer lack of motivation. There could be other users with a similar issue, but to say that's the case with the majority is silly. It's obviously just a lack of interest within the community. We aren't as driven as a whole to participate in any kind of battles.

I think we should just discontinue battles completely until the community starts demanding it again. Perhaps the next "generation" of users will be like "Where the fuck's our map battles?" and then it will start becoming popular again. You know, try and give it a chance to rebirth.

I think it's just better not to try and drag it out in hopes there might be some magical fix to it all.
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