If you find a good new map....

General talk about the map making process.
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jpenguin
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If you find a good new map....

Post by jpenguin » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:24 pm

When browsing the server list I sometime find new maps that I think are great; but all the players are on older "tried-and-true" maps. If you go to one of these popular maps and say something like, "Hey, I found this new map, it's up at IP:Port it looks pretty fun, anyone want to try it out?" I usually get responses like, "We are here because were addicted to THIS MAP"

So, if a new map that is awesome-is made and hosted; it may never get played by more than 2 people (1-on-1 sucks for CTF)

I also find this as a problem with maps I make, I get a couple of players who say the map is good but they eventually leave because no other players come.

So, is there anything that can be done, i8s there any good way to advertise maps? Is there any other solution?

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blast
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Re: If you find a good new map....

Post by blast » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:51 pm

jpenguin wrote:When browsing the server list I sometime find new maps that I think are great; but all the players are on older "tried-and-true" maps. If you go to one of these popular maps and say something like, "Hey, I found this new map, it's up at IP:Port it looks pretty fun, anyone want to try it out?" I usually get responses like, "We are here because were addicted to THIS MAP"

So, if a new map that is awesome-is made and hosted; it may never get played by more than 2 people (1-on-1 sucks for CTF)

I also find this as a problem with maps I make, I get a couple of players who say the map is good but they eventually leave because no other players come.

So, is there anything that can be done, i8s there any good way to advertise maps? Is there any other solution?
The BZFlag player base isn't large enough to support all the servers that are running. That's the main problem.
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jpenguin
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Post by jpenguin » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:55 pm

1. Is there anyway to get people to try a new map?
2. Is there any point in making new maps?

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Post by JeffM » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:57 pm

Usually there are more servers then players at any given moment.
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Re: If you find a good new map....

Post by z[h]ero » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:03 pm

Much truth you speak. Indeed, it is a sad situation, as so many maps exist - which not seldom are great - but they just don't get played.
jpenguin wrote:I usually get responses like, "We are here because were addicted to THIS MAP"
Well yeah, they simply enjoy that map.
Btw, people are very different. Often a certain map is acclaimed by some persons, but on the other hand the same map is hated by other persons.
And not few people ONLY play generally on just 1 map, you won't have any chance to convince them to try out something new.
jpenguin wrote:So, if a new map that is awesome-is made and hosted; it may never get played by more than 2 people (1-on-1 sucks for CTF)
Yeah, sad but often true. Often it's even more sad, as even MOST of the maps on the server-list generally are not played!
jpenguin wrote:I also find this as a problem with maps I make, I get a couple of players who say the map is good but they eventually leave because no other players come. So, is there anything that can be done, i8s there any good way to advertise maps? Is there any other solution?
I don't have a solution (like the previous posts stated, too much servers and too few players...), just small thoughts, like:
Advertising your map on this forum in the appropriate place.
Being active, namely forcing yourself to play from time to time a bit on your own map, then the chance will rise that other players join.
Making different sorts of maps, for example ctf-maps, ffa-maps, sniping-maps, conservative-maps, maybe 1 of these maps will get a bit popular if you are lucky. Curiously there exist map-makers that created for example a map that they personally don't like to play, but coincidentally exact that map got popular.
Edit: I've finally a little idea:
You could advertise BzFlag to lots of different computer magazines! (For real, I'm dead serious). But this should be done in a seriously and professional writting. (If I would write in my terrible english, they would immediately delete the mail...) In order to make IMPRESSION to them I personally would at least:
1. mention the millions of downloads at SourceForge.net (really millions, didn't check, unbelievable...!)
2. official Google summer of code participation of Bzflag.
(And always back the theses up with official links)
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Post by Triumph of the Soul » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:00 pm

There is one main way to increase the number of individuals who willingly play on a readily accessible map: Make the map fun to play on.

A few secondary ways to increase player exposure to a map and retain players are:
1. Post the map to the forum's Map Releases section.
2. Exercise word of mouth strategies to verbally (or through IM, E-Mail, etc.) and directly attract player interest.
3. Advertise a map through other maps, servers, websites, or any other mediums that are not listed here.
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Post by F687/s » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:20 pm

> 1. Is there anyway to get people to try a new map?
> 2. Is there any point in making new maps?


1. If you build it, they will come. Well, at least in theory. One of the best ways to get people to start coming to your map is to (you guessed it) get them addicted to it. Have a few loyal players, and they will bump the map up the list server, and get more players addicted. But that seems kinda like a Catch-22, doesn't it? It is, but there's one important thing to remember. In the first few days of your map's public life, you are that addicted player. Just joining gets you within the first 2/3 pages on the list server, and trust me, visibility is better on page 2 than it is on page 13 of the list server. Oh, yeah, and a catchy server description helps too. Pythonian called itself the "Funnest CTF" for a reason, and it helped. (OK, the bots helped too. A lot. But don't do that.)

2. Every map started off as a "new map" once. Kinda like those old grandparents say, "We were young once too, ya know," only this statement is much more relevant in this case. Think about it: In the days when Boxy War, Two Castles, and Hepcat Pillbox were king, there wasn't demand for a new map. Except from what I've heard in the waaay old days there was never any demand for new maps, because they inevitably show up whether we like them or not. Some die, and some live on and become immortal. And the determining factor behind whether each map lives or dies is quality. Sheer gameplay quality (and occasionally shininess). Just look at the maps that grace the list server. They don't "feel" cheap, badly made, rushed, but are aesthetically appealing, well-planned, and make playing a pleasant experience. And those people who made the maps probably implemented Step 1 (above) once upon a time.

But those are just my opinions.

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Post by khazhyk » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:55 pm

One thing I have noticed is that once your map gets on the front page (which is usually only 5-6 players) many more people join. This phenomenon happened a couple of days ago, actually. The map at first had 4 people, for about 30 minutes, then it had 6 for 15, then within 5 minutes, the server had 20 players.

Just get all your friends to join it, and wait for others.
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Post by jpenguin » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:31 pm

me1 wrote:One thing I have noticed is that once your map gets on the front page (which is usually only 5-6 players) many more people join. This phenomenon happened a couple of days ago, actually. The map at first had 4 people, for about 30 minutes, then it had 6 for 15, then within 5 minutes, the server had 20 players.

Just get all your friends to join it, and wait for others.
Yes, thats a major problem. Maps with more players show at the top of the list, so many people do not know abouut the other maps. They just join whats easiest.

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Post by ducktape » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:54 am

jpenguin wrote:Yes, thats a major problem. Maps with more players show at the top of the list, so many people do not know abouut the other maps. They just join whats easiest.
No, most people join what they like to play. But people who just get the game see whats on the top of the list, and get a liking for the maps. So you are partly correct. Seems to me that to get alot of people on your maps you need to make one heck of a "l33t" map. It comes down to what people like to play. Not how hard it was for you to make your map, or anything else.
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Post by Tedius » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:03 am

Oh the tragic, fickle fate of the bzmap. The list is indeed a cruel and heartless judge.

There are many great maps below the top page. Some that have proved their worth but fell by the wayside, others that have never seen their full potential realized.

There are a number of things working against a good map:
1. Most maps require many players in order to evaluate their real worth. Even the misslewars maps would be boring if there were only 4 people playing. If a map doesn't reach that critical mass, it will die.

2. It takes a long time for people to learn a new map. For a month people said that Bloodbath was an awful map, but it became the top of the list for a year because a few people saw its real worth and kept it going. It is fun to play a new map and watch how the game play evolves as the public gets better and learns the tricks of the map. ("geno is a drug")

3. Maps that have already peaked have trouble getting started again because you have the old pros that are reliving their glory days, and you have the new players that don't get a chance to learn the tricks before quitting out of frustration. I don't think a "revival" has ever been successful. (sorry Lasermania/Boxy/BB/etc. fans)

The only solution I can think of is to bring together a clan of 6-8 good players and commit to playing a specific map together for two weeks. After two weeks of playing, the map may or may not have a following of the general public, at which time the clan chooses another map to master.
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Post by Spazzy McGee » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:55 am

Pretty much all maps die in the end, if you been playing for longer than a couple of years, you been around long enough to see a few cycles happen. Think back. There have been loads of maps which gain popularity for months, maybe even years, and slowly fade out. The only two that are still widely played from when they were introduced are Planet MoFo and The Two Castles. Planet Mofo, I think, has survived not due to gameplay, but soley due to the being the only 'Adult' server. I guess two castles is really just a testament to it's brilliant gameplay.

But really, there have been a great deal of maps that go through a cycle of popularity. Times change, players come and go. Sure the old players whinge and moan that it's not what it was like in the good old days, and sometimes I wish we could get a few games on the old maps, but change is good. If fuels new ideas, and new gameplay, which is just what we need.

It's a roundabout way of saying things, seeing as the topic was about maps not changing, but I think if you leave it long enough, you'll see a turnaround of maps.[/i]
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