How to give useful feedback

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Viech
Project Head
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:50 pm UTC
Location: Berlin

How to give useful feedback

Postby Viech » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:27 pm UTC

Mappers usually play their maps in small matches with a handful of friends before they do their first public release, so a new map might be well suited for a 2vs2 among people who know each of its corners but turn out to be unplayable in a public match where people are confused by the complexity of the map or do things that were never considered during development. While predicting how a map is going to be played is close to impossible it's not much easier to detect such drawbacks if you only have a single, biased opinion. Just imagine you spent hours of design work on the light sources of a room. Would it cross your mind that the room should be removed in order to improve gameplay? Level designers need a lot of input to get an understanding of their maps and correct bad design decisions. So when you are playing a new map, try to keep the following in mind and give some feedback in the map's thread!

  • Take screenshots of spots/bugs/situations that you want to give feedback about. This will clarify your argument and help others to quickly join the discussion.
  • Consider recording a demo of the match. Mappers need to see how different players, from newbie to pro, interact with their maps. In this way they can see how you move and where you hang/get stuck, how you build, which items/classes you use and what tactics you develop. Please ensure no granger is harmed in the making of your video.

Here's a list of questions that map developers might be interested in. Answers to any of them are great but it's even better if you have a precise proposition how the situation could be improved. However, try to seperate the problem description and your solution from each other so the feedback stays valid if the mapper disagrees with your proposal.

Balancing
  • Do you think that one team has an overall advantage on the map? This is the most difficult questions as the answer is usually greatly biased by a players team preference. For that reason you should include information on the matches that lead to your impression: How many players were on the server and what team did you predominantly play on?
  • Are there areas that seem strongly imbalanced? If yes, do you think that is a drawback to gameflow or does it rather make the map more interesting?
  • Are there areas where movement is complicated for one of the teams?
  • Are there significant shortcuts which are too easy to exploit for one team?
Bases
  • Are the default bases balanced and appropriate? Do they stand fast rushes in the first minutes of the game? Are they too strong?
  • Are the default base locations appropriate for extending the default bases?
  • Are there any locations that are so much better than the default bases that one team always tries to move there right from the start?
  • Is there a base location that is so interesting to both teams that they will fight about it? Has one team a strong advantage in this fight?
Layout
  • Are there spots where you tend to hang/get stuck frequently?
  • Are there hiding spots for small aliens that can't be attacked by humans?
  • Are there corridors where big aliens block each other? Does it improve balance or is it just annoying?
  • Are there dead areas that aren't interesting for gameplay?
  • Is the map diverse enough so that all items and alien classes have their application?
  • Are there spots that are too dark? (Include your \r_gamma setting and maybe a screenshot)
Performance (please include your hardware and FPS)
  • Is the map playable on your hardware? How does it compare to other maps?
  • What areas in particular have a bad impact on performance?

Please tell me questions that you'd like to see added to the lists.
Responsible for: Arch Linux package & torrent distribution, Parpax (map), Chameleon (map texture editor), Sloth (material file generator), gameplay design & programming, artistic direction

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