Mapmaking Resources to Keep In Mind
With the mapmaking contest underway, I feel like now would be a good time to bring back three posts from the previous forums that could be extremely useful in your mapmaking endeavors. I’m going to link all three of the original threads from the webarchive, but some of them are slightly broken due to the way webarchive works, so I’m going to recreate the threads as well. The final thread had a little bit of discussion in the comments , so if you’d like to read those, check out the webarchive, otherwise without further ado:
Handy Filter for Map Making (Decorate and bedrock up your caves and stuff)
A while back, I made a filter for MCEdit to do the brunt work of bedrocking up my caves that I made made. It was slow and had a very terrible UI so I didn’t bother releasing it. Now, I have cleaned up my code and Polished up the UI so it is actually usable by humans and have decided to release it.
The filter “Facade” can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/i00l7g2axxt2fk3/Facade.py
and a video showing how to use it here: http://youtu.be/4q86s2hy368
Configuring AR Maps
For you that are new to AutoRef and potentially configuring a map I made a video on how to configure maps a while back. All of the info is still valid. I am also linking a google doc with all the information on commands that are available for configuring.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0PXP2SXDTw
Commands Link: http://tinyurl.com/arcommands
On the Subject of Map Making and Feedback
I want to open up this post by saying that this is just my thoughts and my way of going about it and that your results may vary. I think that this is a very personal thing and most people go about solving problems by different methods. I’m not trying to claim superiority, nor am I trying to shame people. This is simply how I go about map fixes.
Over the past year of being involved in this community, I have released a total of 4 maps. While there are some people that aren’t a fan of my style, there are a number of people who say that they are good, so I must be doing something(s) right. However, the first build of all of these maps played horribly. Absolutely horribly. Everything was a huge mess on my end but that’s why we play-test. We don’t do it to see how good the map is, we do it see how bad it is, and where it is bad. That’s how the design process works, and how everyone goes about making anything that requires any form of human usability.
Identifying a problem is the easy part, though. The hard part is minimizing, or outright removing the problem all together. This is where I figured out that the people who think they have the best ideas are the people who played the map. I also learned that the people who I force to play my maps are a horrible source of information, and that the best person to come up with a solution to improve the way the map plays, is me. The map maker. Simply by watching these play-tests, I could see what players could have done differently, had I given them the option.
An example I can give comes from a really early version of Precession. The resource caves of this version were absolutely full of mobs. Everyone who tried to tackle this area were stuck in a vicious circle of dying, respawning, running back to where they died, dying, etc. It was awful. Once the teams slowly made their ways through the map and the game ended, some of them had a LOT to say in hopes of improving this chaos. I don’t want to name names, but I do want to make fun of @Contranaut, so I am going to name names. He suggested: pre-lighting the caves, adding more dark rooms, disabling natural mob spawns all together (I’m not sure if that one was actually him, but I’m just going to roll with it) and redoing the entire resource section and allowing people to tunnel through it.
Those of you who have played Precession would be aware that, for the most part, none of these ideas made it through. Instead, I added some enchanted gold armor in the cave, as well as a few more torches to the starting supplies. As far as @Contranaut’s team was aware, there were too many mobs for them to deal with. However, looking on as an observer, I could see that they could make their way through if I just gave them some gear to help them handle it.
So that’s how I feel when it comes to feedback on a map. Players can tell you if they enjoyed it, where they enjoyed it, or if they thought that it was a horrible experience. If they begin telling you anything deeper than that and giving you suggestions on how to fix it, you can just assume that they don’t know what they are talking about. The player’s general opinion matters greatly, but it’s up to you to patch the holes in your creations.