World Australia Europe Latin America Malaysia New Zealand United Kingdom United States Half Life Challenge-TV CPMA


Contribute .
#Challenge on ETG.
#Challenge on Quakenet.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

News Archive
Help Wanted

Powered by:
Powered by

Challenge Player Index
Challenge ProMode

Jjonez 24 Jan
Hoony 10 Dec
Khaile 28 Apr
PhaNToM 20 Oct
dethkultur 14 Sep
CHiNX 20 Aug
Mr.CleaN 24 Jun
twoAM 23 Aug
Wiebo de Wit 08 Aug
RooS 31 Jul
jude 19 Jun


Killer Instincts

CPL Europe

Link to Challenge World
feel free to use this

Judging Jude's Map

Jude's comments on the "mapping scene" and the "QBoard" in his recent interview led to an interesting response from some members of the mapping community, which you can see over on Peej'n'Fribs and also on the FuXoRd site (in both cases, in the comments on a news post).

Here's jude's original comment which was basically what he thought of the mapping scene and the QBoard:

I think it's a bit like the old class structure in (old) England - A head Honcho (ZTN), the people who are close to the head honcho, and the commoners. Commoners sometimes aren't given a chance and looked down upon because they are exactly that. I think it's also a bit of a catch 22 situation with the recognition and perceived quality of maps, you cant be a good author unless people have been heard of :)
Look, it's not *that* big a deal, but what is going on here is interesting and worth looking at. While jude's characterisation may be a little unfair, it also represents a "perception" that exists out there - that there's this Catch 22 thing happening. Is it true? Well, mappers like Mr Fribbles of Peej'n'Fribs, and Shambler of TEAMShambler Quake Level Reviews feel it's not really true - they say that if someone new comes along with a good map, they will be recognised (by the mapping community, though quite possibly not by the gamers).

As Shambler writes on the FuXoRd site comments there are many examples of mappers "coming from nowhere" and achieving recognition:

[A]s someone who has been spectacting the custom map scene intently for a couple of years now, I know that Jude is completely and utterly wrong about that. The scene - especially the QBoard/ PnF area of it, is orientated around map quality (as well as being a shared interest yadda yadda). People who come out with good maps get the recognition, it is as simple as that. I've seen many people come from nowhere, release a good map, and become an acclaimed part of the scene because of it. Mappers like Bal, Borsato, Damaul, Excessus, Fat Controller, Gen, Gandhi, JuniorJr, Kaiser, Killjoy, Malevola, Ninja, Pingu, Pr0dXL, SleepwalkR, Tyrann, Vondur, Wrath, etc etc (to name but a few in an unashamedly Q1-centric selection), have come from either being completely or virtually unknown, to be established and acclaimed mappers simply by releasing high quality maps.
Shambler suggests that the Catch 22 thing is actually more likely to apply to the gamers who play on the maps than the mappers themselves:
Inside the map scene, people pay enough attention and are openminded enough to try new maps and support new people. But outside, amongst standard gamers, most of them are too narrowminded, too lazy, and too bloody ignorant to step off Dm6/Q2dm1/whatever-gay-Q3A-equivalent to actually get on a custom map, let alone, GASP, a custom map by someone they've never heard of. This is a serious problem getting maps accepted in the scene, because players are (wrongly) so reluctant to try them, and servers are (wrongly) too cowardly to put them on rotation, and I think this *might* be what Jude was picking up. Every player's heard of Ztn, but have they heard of Junior who's two maps rocked just as much?? No, but people inside the mapping scene damn well have...

Judging jude's Map
What's interesting about jude's case, of course, is that the exact opposite seems to have happened. His map came out and was (apparently) given a "fail" by the mapping community but was (apparently) given the "thumbs up" by some gamers. First Gobo promoted it on and then RooS and the Polish Q3 scene (apparently) had a very favourable response to it. So what's going on here? Why were the mappers less than glowing about a map which players seem to have liked?

It seems to be because jude didn't put much as much time or effort into the visuals, textures, and architecture and so on, as he did on the "playability" - and in fact it was this that interested me most about him as a mapper in the first place. Here was someone who had made a map which didn't look like a work of art, and yet played very well.

The mappers, of course, have a much broader and higher set of standards, and the "visuals" cannot be discounted. It would be fair to say that for many mappers making a map is as much (or more) about creating a "work of art" as it is making a virtual space for "Quake-as-sport", or for 1-on-1 or Team DM. As Mr Fribbles puts it (in an email - he gave his permission to quote in this article):

[O]ne thing which people need to realise (and it surely isn't immediately obvious) is that a lot of us mappers look at mapping as some kind of an art form. You may laugh but that's how it is. To most people a map is just a map. To mappers, it's more though, it's the combination of the light, architecture, texturing AND layout/item placement/gameplay. Because to me a map is comprised of all those elements (maybe more) then we expect a high standard in all areas, ideally. When maps fail to meet these (admitedly strict) criteria then they're not good enough, basically. Speaking for myself at least, other people have different standards.
This makes perfect sense to me. And in fact it also makes sense to me to believe that the more you get into mapping, the less you end up doing it to make gameplay. It becomes something you do to create "virtual spaces" and "architecture", to create "atmosphere", to be a master of textures, and so on. The mapping community is one of the toughest groups to impress, precisely because the mappers place such a high value on the quality of the visuals and the technical construction of the map:
Speaking for myself, I tend to basically just not accept substandard maps. Jude's stance on 'playability before visuals' is fine, and he's welcome to have that viewpoint. Personally though I insist on 100 percent quality, meaning maps which play well, look great and feel great. If the levels I download do not measure up, then they are immediately deleted. Much like I deleted jude's maps after I downloaded them, because they simply didn't look good enough. Sorry mate, try again.
Does that seem harsh? Yep, it's harsh, but honest. The mappers were tough on jude because his map did not meet the high standards they set. Quite frankly, it must be very difficult having to "pass judgement" on another person's map - someone else's "creation". It would be nice to encourage everybody with praise, but if you did that you wouldn't be able to have any standards, you wouldn't actually encourage an author to improve nor would you be being honest. So I think the mappers are tough for a very good reason on mappers whose maps aren't quite up to scratch in the visuals department. But at the same time they are willing to help out, in the right circumstances:
[L]et me stress again that mappers often help out newbie mappers if asked, and often they'll approach them and OFFER help before even being asked. So despite the fact that my view on map quality, and other people's views on quality, may seem a little harsh, we're usually willing to explain *why* we feel the way we do, and to help improve the author's future maps.

In the end I think what is happening here is that we have a contrast between the requirements of "art" and "sport" in the game Quake. Jude's map highlights a willingness on the part of gamers to embrace a map if it "plays well", regardless of how it looks. The mappers have a community in which they have evolved a set of standards and values, many of which are focused on "art".

Perhaps a mapper like jude will never quite share those high standards and values - and yet still make brilliant maps. Perhaps such a mapper might help to create a "new school of thought" in mapping. Maybe form a "break-away" group. Maybe the popularity of certain maps with gamers will lead some of the existing mappers to reassess their own value system. Who knows? All these things are possibilities. As a storm in a teacup it's not really anything to get too worked up about, but in terms of mapping it does raise some interesting issues.

Read our Disclaimer. Quake, Quake II, Quake ]|[ and the stylized "Q" are trademarks of id Software
All trademarks used are properties of their respective owners
© 2000 -