Map of the month

General talk about the map making process.
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diing for the team
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Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:34 am

I had a brain blast a couple days ago. Why don't we have a monthly map contest so that we, the community, can have some new maps and we, the map makers, can have some friendly competition doing it. This map contest would be but of a simple mind. There will be different requirements each month and the winner each month could get servered by someone(maybe...anyone but me). These requirements could range from anything like map size to no jump to in a certain shape and to infinity and beyond. When you submit a map you will submit it to me directly through the private messaging system that bzflag has so kindly provided to this fine community. I will hold your submissions till the last week of the month and will post the submissions in a new post. The post will consist of the requirements for that month and each submission and how ever many maps you should be able to vote for(I will decide this upon how many maps were submitted). At the end of the month I will post the winner and crown them the uber map maker of yada yada month. I think the map of the month thing kind of makes it obvious that there would be twelve winners a year and each winner we would have tallies for. The winner will be forever known as the uber map maker for the year of yada yada. In the event of a tie which,well lets face it is pretty easy when there are only 12, we will have a two map "map off".

Rules you ask? Well of course there are rules!
GENERAL RULES
1. prefabricated maps will be decided by me for the month (more than likely none)
2. 1 map per person
3. All maps must be in before my set date which i will have posted
4. Do not show anyone your map before the voting(if you need testers tell me so that I can make sure they do not vote for you)
5. Do not tell anyone your map during voting
6. You can tell them after voting
7. There is a 10 meter(what ever a bzunit is) allowance above or under the set size(unless otherwise posted)

VOTING RULES
1. Do not make new accounts to vote for your account.
2. Do not ask people to vote for your map.
3. Don't try to change other individuals' votes.
4. You will vote using a 5 star system for every map. (if you don't vote for every map none will count)
5. If you submitted a map, you must vote.
6. No revealing other participants' maps.

Yes this will be well regulated so here are the consequences
PUNISHMENT
1. A guilty conscience
2. Banning from MotM for an undetermined amount of months
3. you will probably be chastised by other map makers too :)

Please post any discrepancies with this even and tell me if you want it. The idea is to get a higher standard of maps in BZFlag through competitiveness. If this idea goes well as I expect it too I may start up a map making competition. This type of competition will need the attention of both map makers and the community at large. I would really like to get this underway and started next month(maybe). I have gotten approval from Blast so If it does go over well I will be able to post it as a sticky in the map making general discussion section of the forums for easy access. Please post anything you have to say about it as a reply

**EDITED THE RULES**
Last edited by diing for the team on Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by mrapple » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:44 am

Sounds interesting.

Are these new maps that are going to be submitted or can you submit already made ones?

I think this would be a nice thing to revive the map making community :)

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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:51 am

GENERAL RULES
1. prefabricated maps will be decided by me for the month (more than likely none)
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Re: Map of the month

Post by SkillDude » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:26 am

For things like this, people must commit. You came on a server to tell me to take a look at this post, that's a good thing, and you have to tell others too. If there's people, there will be contest.

I am good with PHP if you need to create a map uploading system + username submission form, and once all the maps are in, even the voting system can be done in that way.

One thing I would recommend, instead of just voting for one map, you rank them. The map can be given X/5 stars for however close it is to the requirements and how amazing it is. That way you have more flexibility instead of just pick one and that's it. Each map would get rated a number of stars from each person. Highest average would win. Of course, this would require map viewers to actually view and rate each map, it would be a bit more flexible.

Another thing, and this would be another great idea, is that people like to see the maps visually. If the submission system places maps in a specific directory, I can create a server that hosts these maps as they are uploaded! If you want to view the maps, you go to this server and change through the maps to look through them. My server I own is not fast enough to allow for more than a few players to play, but you usually just need visuals to rate a map. Players can coordinate between viewing them on the server and ranking each map as they go through the list. So as people upload them, they can go on the server and take a look at the maps and/or their competition.

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Re: Map of the month

Post by blast » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:29 pm

diing for the team wrote:4. Do not show anyone your map before the voting
5. Do not tell anyone your map during voting
That kinda kills any ability to play-test the map. I would think most of the good map authors at least throw up a private server and have a few people play on it with them to make sure there aren't any obvious flaws.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by joevano » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:40 pm

diing for the team wrote: 7. There is a 50 meter(what ever a bzunit is) allowance above or under the set size(unless otherwise posted)
Just make the set size 50 meters bigger, and make it a hard limit. That way there won't be the "Oh! It's only 52 units over the limit, is that OK?" issues. A limit is a limit, make it one. Being wishy-washy just causes issues that you have to deal with in the end.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:26 pm

That kinda kills any ability to play-test the map. I would think most of the good map authors at least throw up a private server and have a few people play on it with them to make sure there aren't any obvious flaws.
It also makes it so people can be swayed to vote for them. I am giving them a month so they should be able to test it. I could edit it so that they can have testers and when they submit it they tell me who it is and they can't vote for their map.
Just make the set size 50 meters bigger, and make it a hard limit. That way there won't be the "Oh! It's only 52 units over the limit, is that OK?" issues. A limit is a limit, make it one. Being wishy-washy just causes issues that you have to deal with in the end.
A limit is a set amount so people may want to change it + or- a unit for say a map fix or something. I was thinking about making it 10 either way that way they do have a little bit of wiggle room.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by hutty » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:06 pm

this sounds like a good idea. A lot like the triangle map competition that i made a few months ago.

I do however do not like the map secrecy. Testing online is mandatory. But not to worry, people usually don't advertise their map until they are done with it.

why don't you give out the requirements for the first map now, seeing as july starts tomorrow (as of posting time)


competition suggestions--------------------------

o all 3d modeled
o bz version 1 style
o small jump map
o all hand coded
o missile war style map
o map with lots of eye candy
o 3 team ctf
o map for PZ flag
o desert map
o no jumping map
o forest map
o a purple map
o quick shot map
o small map (200 x 200)
o custom texture map
o a map with 20 teles
o water map
o modified hix(take the hix map and make it special)
o and much much more
For all of you who have asked what a hutty is, there is one as my avatar.

instant map... just add water

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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:01 pm

huttymuncher wrote:why don't you give out the requirements for the first map now, seeing as july starts tomorrow (as of posting time)
Not enough people know about it yet. As far as I know you are the only one that would submit a map.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by SkillDude » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:50 am

Well, some constructive responses got made since I last replied, so it's time to make another.

I see that you want to keep this competition kind of isolated diing. What I mean by that is people have to submit and tell you things about their map. Now what I don't like about this is that it prevents others from seeing their competition. Now, if you were proud of your submission, you would want people to see it, not keep it private. Right now it sounds like you are trying to keep it as silent as possible and only at the end start showing people everything. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I can understand you want to try to keep it private, but this is a map competition. People are competing against each other and want to do their best and win.

If someone submits a map, before the specified deadline, they can and probably will want people to see what they have submitted. Note that they aren't trying to "test" it and fix it, they should have done that before officially submitting. I don't see why people shouldn't be able to see final submissions if they are going to see them at the end anyways. Maybe you are worried about creativity issues? Someone finds something they liked and then put it in their map later? Well, this was why I wanted to introduce a ranking system instead of simply "Vote for this map". (Also got no replies in terms of this sytem. I thought it was a good idea.)

In general, you will review the maps in order, which would end up meaning that you go from top to bottom of the list, and we would probably put them in date chronological order, Descending. Maps that introduce unique elements and just "Wow" people will get a high star rating. However, if they go down the list, they will reach the point where they might see a "similar" feature in a different map. If they see this, they would think "Haven't I already seen this?" and it would be clear they tried to copy some idea. They would naturally get ranked lower. If you wanted to "force" the players to vote from top to bottom, you could give each map's rank page a separate page and then players would have to go through them in order, but I'm pretty sure they would still rank from top to bottom.

This is also where the server for view testing would come into play. The rank page would provide a "Map Name" and show what you would have to type in (Via /changemap <mapname>) in order to see that map on the test server I was talking about. People go back and forth between them to check out the maps. I also started thinking that it might be a good idea to force players to go on the server and check out that map, but I think this may be a bit iffy. You see, maps save a userdb file for tracking groups. You could use this such that each map (since they each come with their own conf) would have its own unique userdb and then simply parse the file to check if you have actually visited that map. If you haven't, you must go check it out before ranking. Sound like an idea?

I just feel that we aren't quite ready for a competition hutty, and diing is right. It'd be me vs. you, hehe. Let's get organized and discuss this a little more, I still haven't heard anything about developing PHP things for this. Do you not want this to happen diing? As far as I'm concerned, after blast's comment, everything about what I said got completely ignored, which tells me people don't read long posts, which I like to type, hehe.

But it's your choice. If you want to keep everything quiet and private, only provide viewing of the maps at the end of the competition, and only "Vote" for maps instead of ranking them, that's for you to decide. We're just trying to offer suggestions that may enhance this is all.

[EDIT] Set size would make players be certain they cannot go over the limits. Just set bound limits. "Map size can be from 400 to 450 units". That would make players be certain it could be a set certain size.

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Re: Map of the month

Post by blast » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:11 am

sigonasr2 wrote:As far as I'm concerned, after blast's comment, everything about what I said got completely ignored, which tells me people don't read long posts, which I like to type, hehe.
I do read every post, but I don't respond to every post. :P Your post was mostly directed at diing.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:44 am

Note** I completely missed sigonasr2's first message some how. Those are great ideas I think in there. I really like the idea of a ranking system. And the testing server would be great.

For the second reply
The secrecy was originally for the ability to have untainted minds. People have evil minds, you see, and would vote for their friend's maps 5 stars every time if they know which one it is. It would be perfectly acceptable for me to allow pre voting sightings of the maps but this would cause controversy such as people complaining about others stealing things from their maps. This would be a bad result in that it would cause unoriginal maps. For example lets say I say that the corners and center of the map must be unable to be passed over, under or treaded on, and most of the competition is stumped but one guy submits a map with shoot through walls so that you cant walk there but the field is still playable, then the rest of the competition submits the same stuff. Meanwhile they could have done more creative things like setting up world weapon that would block it or making a death zone or even just putting a 1 bzunit pole in each spot. Creativity would be compromised if they are seen before the deadline. Also people who think they have a good idea would hold the map until the last second.

Also about the map sizes I would say something like it has to be 200X200 and people would know each side could be 210 max and 190 minimum. I probably will not set this much unless I am going for a small and close quarters map or a huge sniping map.

I have also sent messages to some of the game's better and more unique map makers that I think might not have seen this page so we could maybe get more discussion of the topic with the more plausible submitters and voters.

Thanks for the suggestions sigonasr2, and I like the long posts because they provide your true inner thinkings
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:55 am

Bambino said he would host each month's winning map. Loads of thanks to Bambino.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by Bambino » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:19 am

As a note: The month's winning map will be on a 24/7 server and the last month's winners will go on a MapChange server where you can go to and change to the map of your choice. When the new winner is announced, the last map will get added to the rotation. This should keep everyone happy and will hopefully slow the increase of servers on the List Server.

Looking forward to see what people make.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:58 am

I am going to make the first month in August and lucky for you all I am giving you a preview as to the theme before it comes so you can start today if you really want. I will be a freestyle map meaning you will be able to have any dimensions and any play style you want. I will officially post it at the beginning of august. I want the kick off to have some good maps in it, which is why I am telling you the theme now. If you do happen to decide to start making a map for it now and finish before august you should hold onto the submission because I am bound to lose it if you don't wait till then, and you may also see something you want to add to it before then. Which reminds me if you submit a map and realize "oh darn I for got to do this and that" or "eww that's a nasty screw up in that link code" I would happily accept the replacement map but you can't change the entire map. Anyways, ya, unless you all have any other complaints about it starting in august that is when it will start.

I picked august because the first of July has already come and I don't think I will have everything organized until mid month being all the map makers needed to get a fitting send off for this thing. I have a few loose ends to set up including maybe a co-host or two to get assigned and I have to get sigonasr's PHP(pm me about what you were thinking about doing with all that sigonasr) and what not. The year for this contest will not end until the end of July next year and all the wins will be tallied then and we will have our uber map maker of the year "crowning ceremonies". I don't know what I will do for the winner yet. I will come up with a reward closer to that time.

I will keep you all updated as much as possible until august (as much as possible). If this thread could be stickied it would be quite useful for me to communicate with the people interested in it(also it has the rules and info about the contest that will be semi needed when it comes down to the monthly contest

Keep posting suggestions in this thread and I will make sure I give them the yea or nay or maybe improve them.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by Yrogirg » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:11 am

I think after all maps are submitted, there must be official tests, so enough people could try the maps in a real play. Maybe every weekend the next month in a certain time we all play 2 submitted maps. (Saturday and Sunday). Or other days.

And btw, there certainly should be HTF discipline.

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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:26 am

Yrogirg, If you noticed sigonasr's first post he mentions something like this
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Re: Map of the month

Post by hutty » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:13 am

I have a map in progress.. would it be eligible for the first competition?

Also when this post is updated it will move itself to the top of the list, so don't worry about it getting burried
For all of you who have asked what a hutty is, there is one as my avatar.

instant map... just add water

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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:50 am

Yes it will be eligible. You have 2 months make it perfect.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:21 am

UPDATE:
sigonasr2 will be my co-host
sigonasr2 will be making the PHP stated above
me and sigonasr2 will be able to submit entries(there was a question about this by him)
me and sigonasr2 will take turns being the main host of the competition and every six months being August and February(This is to keep good map flow. I expect to see the best maps in the freestyle themes)
after a few months we will open up a theme suggestion thread so that you all can suggest the themes you all think will be good.(the few months are to get the competition up on it's feet first.

I am excited to see how well this competition will do and hope to see great maps in the first month. I will keep you all up to date and when I can't sigonasr2 will.
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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:45 am

UPDATE:
since there has been quite some discussion on the subject of the publicity of the map owners I have decided to lift the privacy on it.
collaborated maps will be allowed but only half a point for each person involved
I am looking for a 3rd host to host with me and sigonasr2
still looking for more map makers :)
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Re: Map of the month

Post by honeytank » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:38 am

I'd help to host :)

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Re: Map of the month

Post by hutty » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:36 pm

if we help someone else with their map, can we make our own too?

or does that violate the one map per person rule
For all of you who have asked what a hutty is, there is one as my avatar.

instant map... just add water

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Re: Map of the month

Post by diing for the team » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:35 pm

you can only submit one if it is a group then that counts as you both submitting
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