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Looking for input, and help for a map decision.


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#1 EatsAllLife

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 10:58 PM

Hello players, and developers of the Other-Life community. This last day, Zian and I were discussing my map, The Quarry. Well, there are some concerns, regarding the game, and how my map will affect it. There is some challenges with this, and tough decision making to be made.

The problems with my map at the moment are as listed below:

- It doesn't tie in with the story at the moment, which can be reworked, but with a lot of work at that.
- It was my first map, there are plenty of errors, and probably could be done better now.
- The time put into the map thus far, could have all been a waste, trashing the whole map could be wasteful.
- It could for sure be more professional now that I get the mapeditor better.

I'd like all of you developers out there, from each category to help influence, and provide some feedback on behalf of The Quarry, should I trash the map? Or should I re-do a lot of it? Possibly fix things, add things, remove, etc. Just give me some insights to help this decision, as every feed-back helps this decision.

The map is "#test 39" on test server, and the map is not the most updated, but is there. If you'd like a current .elm.gz edit I can provide, and the .elm on test should be right here: https://www.dropbox....quarry.elm?dl=1

~Eats

#2 scarr

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 03:15 AM

it's a small map, you can just ditch it and use it as a learning experience imo
also learn to use proper place of sandbanks

#3 Kiwi06

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:21 AM

I know you put a lot of time into the map and I understand your connection to it, but as Scarr said, it is ditchable as a learning experience. I am not sure the future of this map and can't assure you anything, but I would still like to give it a full review from my (limited) experience as a map maker, story designer, and player.

There are three major problems in terms of map making that must be fixed before the map is usable. One of the first things is the beach. A lot of 3d objects are used to make it, when you could be using sand tiles. I noticed you do have a tile under the sandbanks that doesn't match the sand. There is a tile that matches the sand perfectly, and that's what you should use. Sand banks should mostly be used at the very edge, not stacked so much. More objects = more lag.

The second thing I noticed from walking on TEST is walkable tiles. One cannot enter the city in the West/left because there is a break in the walkable tiles just at the gate there. So I ended up walking all the way around the west side of the entire city just to enter it. There are some other noticeable areas that should/shouldn't be walkable. There is also a walkable tile in the middle of the mountain range in the East that needs to be removed. I think you did a good job with your walkables, but walkables in general need a LOT of work and attention to make sure every single square is perfect. They don't seem to have been fixed with your new .elm file.

Thirdly, walking near the edges of a map does not look good. You did a good job at keeping the map itself away from the very edge, but that edge should be something players can look at rather than a black abyss, as is the case on the West side of the Western city and the East side of the Eastern city. Either the city should be flush up against the edge so that players won't notice the black abyss, or you should put things like rocks or even just unwalkable grass/trees along the edge to pretty it up a bit and create the illusion that you're not on the edge of a map area.

Another thing about the map edges on the East and West is that these areas will be transitioning into other maps. You need to design (even if you need to ask other designers) some form of cave/flag/road etc that leads up to the edge of the map in order to go to the next one. These kinds of things have to have quite a bit of thought, since they are going to affect game-play in a very major way.

Now from a story perspective and what's physically on the map, you have a lot of great ideas. These ideas have to be carefully planned and you have to make sure they all work from story, game-play balance, and map-making perspectives.

On our map overview, there is no river, waterfall, or lake runoff. That's a pretty big change. I'm not sure if you discussed that with any other developers, but you sure should have. The map might still fit the way you have made it, and some story/maps can be changed around it, but adding big geographical changes like that compromises the story and continent design as written.

The half-sunken ship is pretty cool, but there are several problems/things to think about. How did the ship get there? The river looks very thin in the first place, but there are also bridges. Did the ship sink before the bridges were made? It must be very old in that case. Has no one made any attempt to clean it up? There are two seemingly bustling cities, so I would think someone would have handled that already. Especially the open treasure on board should have attracted somebody! I think this idea is great, but doesn't fit in with this specific map in this case.

In a similar vein, harvestables in general need a lot of thought put into them. Where is the storage on this map? It can't be in the western city, because you have minerals and gems in the fountain and that would be very close to storage. Even if the storage were in the eastern city, this would still be very close. Imagine how long it takes to get to rubies in NC, and how difficult they are to access in other places. Gems really shouldn't be there unless the map is not harvestable or made difficult for the player with tough creatures, etc, and they definitely should not all be in one place.

The idea with the flower garden in the south is pretty cool as well, but you still need to think about game-play. Learner will not allow maps that have several awesome resources right next to each other. We can't have players walking up with an inventory of of ore and harvesting and mixing those flowers right there. I haven't checked/am too noob to know if that particular combination of flowers is OP, but you get the idea.

From a game design and story perspective, this map is supposed to be one of the more dangerous places to go. I don't get that sense when I look at this map. I can see why the cities are so well protected with their walls. That makes sense - but the outside areas still seem rather peaceful. There needs to be more thought and design as to the story of this map.

The map is called The Quarry, but I don't see a Quarry. Sure there are lots of stone structures, but there is no indication of how that happened. Perhaps if there was a huge stone quarry in the middle, that would make more sense. That would have to replace the river, which would take a lot of work, but in the end would make a lot more sense in terms of story and design of the map. It could even be made more dangerous that way. Perhaps there is a cave in the bottom of the quarry that leads to something more dangerous, and those dangerous creatures have kind of taken over the quarry, thus making the map itself more dangerous.

So there are a ton of things to fix and go over and think about all before the map-making process even starts. You can see why some say it might be better to scrap it. I don't necessarily agree with that. I just think there are a lot of changes that need to be made. In the end, there are a lot of checks and balances that have to be done, and we have to be flexible with map making and map design. Sometimes you will have to change major details in order to appease a certain aspect, whether that's story, game-play, or Learner's whims. If you want this map to happen, you have to put hours and hours of thought and work into it. Don't get discouraged and don't take things personal. We're here to make a better game, and that takes a lot of determination and resolve.

#4 EatsAllLife

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 11:50 AM

I was speaking with BlakKat on the matters while touring them the map. We both agreed on a few things, and I just am at the point of it is a bad map, and I know that. So I can just scrap it, and remake some of the things within it, make the same general layout, but better, have it be one big town with two smaller sub-divisions, etc. Just the map in general is too much a bad map, with remaking it, it'd remove everything, and have a fresh start, of course it will take a little while, but it is worth it in the end.

#5 EatsAllLife

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 07:27 PM

I've decided to delete everything except the outline of the map, I have the last version I did, and a completely new one, I am redoing the whole map, changing things, adding things, making it a lot better this time through.




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