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Old 05-04-2012   #41
CobaltBW
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I believe there are a number of reasons why the OLDCs aren't getting very satisfactory results, none of which are really tied to the OLDC itself.

First off, making maps for SRB2 has never been easy. Even match maps are harder to make now, since the new weapon system demands ammo be placed everywhere and that maps be asymmetrical. I've tried to make maps several times, and I hate it, since FOFs are a pain for whatever ideas I have in mind, and every level editor I've used has crashed at least once, taking a chunk of progress out of my map. Nowadays I don't even try, since SP levels have to be long and online mode makes both of my Win7 machines drop in framerate for whatever inexplicable reason.

Second, the OLDC is starting to age. It was fresh when it was first conceived, because SRB2 had an active and tight-knit community that was still exploring the depths of SRB2's potential. Most of the seasoned members have left now, you've used up most of the ideas you can come up with, and in general, interest in SRB2, as a game, is dying.

As much as I suck at making/releasing anything ever, I've always at least partially enjoyed going through the OLDC contests -- because really, the contests are, and always have been, a reflection on the community as a whole. It's always enjoyable to see what new ideas people come up with, and even if the map is subpar and the person obviously tried but isn't good at it, reviewing has always been kind of a way to connect and help the person grow in their skills. But as the OLDC is a reflection on the SRB2 community, I think it only makes sense that the OLDC be suspended, since it is indeed dying.

I feel like the game's about run its course, so I don't think there's anything you can do about this. Well... there are multiple things you can do about it, but all of them are hard and not directly related to the OLDC itself. If you improved netplay, it would increase interest in SRB2's online functions, and hence add demand and supply for the contest's multiplayer divisions. Improved level editors and additional available gameplay gimmicks both would inspire motivation for new level content, and that would boost OLDC back to, like, 2006 content. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of motivation for either of those, though, and that probably has to do mostly with the fact that this game is running on a decade-old engine that allows for only limited graphical capabilities and even more limited terrain which will never truly be representative of 3d classic Sonic gameplay.

For now, suspending the contest seems like the best thing you guys can do. That doesn't mean you guys shouldn't try to fix it when it's possible, but it's better to just let the horse die than to try and force content.

---------- Post added at 11:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:37 PM ----------

... I'll say this, though. You guys really don't do a whole lot of community projects. All this really ever was was an "official" community project endorsed by the staff, and it's lasted for almost a decade because of it. You don't need to wait on the OLDC to have something new to play: you just need to get together and do something exciting. Experiment. I've always kind of wanted to see a level being worked on by multiple people; if it's happened before, it certainly doesn't happen enough.
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Old 05-05-2012   #42
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Whenever someone posts an "unofficial" event of any kind, people hardly take enough interest in it to participate, or they all have ideas so far out of reach nothing gets done. Take the Kart Contest for example, the first one only managed mostly weak entries, with the exception of two, maybe three. Newcomers dominated the entries, and it's great to see new mappers trying to up their skill, but what's the point? Srb2Kart, despite all the progress it's made, is hardly even played now!

Honestly, I had an event in mind that would work similar to a collaboration on one level by multiple members of the community, but I've held it back because it will most likely spark no interest, or be shot down before even giving it a try if I were to post the idea.
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Old 05-05-2012   #43
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I didn't even know you guys had a Kart contest, and I probably wouldn't have cared because it's just Mario Ghetto Kart in mine and other people's impressions.

It helps to have a unified purpose that appeals to as many people as possible. Doesn't even need to be a contest. Just figure out what people want most, and collaborate with your colleagues to make it happen.
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Old 05-05-2012   #44
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I disagree, I think the Kart contest was met with great success! We got a good number of maps and votes considering the amount of people who play it.

Last edited by I'll Begin; 05-05-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior View Post
Improved level editors and additional available gameplay gimmicks both would inspire motivation for new level content, and that would boost OLDC back to, like, 2006 content. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of motivation for either of those, though, and that probably has to do mostly with the fact that this game is running on a decade-old engine that allows for only limited graphical capabilities and even more limited terrain which will never truly be representative of 3d classic Sonic gameplay.
It seems to me that you aren't aware what the next SRB2 update will bring.

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Honestly, I had an event in mind that would work similar to a collaboration on one level by multiple members of the community, but I've held it back because it will most likely spark no interest, or be shot down before even giving it a try if I were to post the idea.
Just try it out! You can't succeed if you don't try.
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Old 05-05-2012   #46
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
As much as I would love that, these kinds of conversations usually sound much better in theory than they actually are. If we go beyond the basic dos and don'ts that are covered in Level Design 101 (surely we don't want to talk about that), things start to get fairly abstract and it's hard to put abstract things into words. In the words of Frank Zappa, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture". I think the same applies to mapping to a certain degree. There are a few basic rules, but beyond that, things become a matter of individual taste and style. But hey, you can always prove me wrong and start such a discussion. I'd be happy to participate.
Nah, I don't like abstract conversations either. Even when I understand the ideas discussed, the ideas don't change how I think in the practical realm. I'm not interested in talking theory if it's not applicable.

But, as a mapper, I know we mappers do go through an actual process for building our maps. I think mapping IS tangible. I think mapping is tangible because mappers are conscious of what they're doing while they're mapping. Unconscious creativity looks like this: <link>
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Old 05-05-2012   #47
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
It seems to me that you aren't aware what the next SRB2 update will bring.
Well, I had my hands on a closed beta a while back, so I figure I kinda do. Either way, I anticipate being proven wrong.

Still, I won't be satisfied until the netplay is made to be almost as bearable MM8BDM's. :p
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Old 05-06-2012   #48
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Just asking,has the OLDC alerady got suspended before?
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Old 05-06-2012   #49
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Originally Posted by kyllian1212 View Post
Just asking,has the OLDC alerady got suspended before?
Yes, back in 2004. The February 2004 OLDC had only 3 entries (which were all Match, but then that was the only OLDC division at all back then), and so Mystic cancelled the OLDC.

But then, a441 decided to restart the OLDC later that year, and so it returned in December with a441 as the host. Mystic became the host again the following March/April in 2005, which also started the OLDCs that were not only bi-monthly but also multi-divisional.
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Old 05-06-2012   #50
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I think the best choice to go for when there is only 3 or 4 people with entries would be to suspend that contest and wait for the next one, but that would interfere with the feedback...
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Last edited by filio; 05-06-2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012   #51
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I'd make an entry... if making maps wasn't so boring XD. Really, that's what holds me back: the process. It's just not engaging enough to hold my attention, especially since I'm such a perfectionist.

Making a sector, arranging the vertices so that they're just right, then spacing all the sectors so that there's enough flow, coming up with new room designs... it's tedious! And don't get me started on getting the player to go DOWN! Spindash+Thok effectively eliminates any proper downward platforming without using annoying barriers, so most of my maps end up being giant mountain climbs regardless of theme. Then there's coming up with some good gimmicks, so the community won't eat you alive if there's not some new kind of fancy linedef executing going on, and so that your map isn't just plain old boring to play, and then playtesting it over and over and over again, only to find out that the entire last month's work just takes 30 seconds to complete... on one path. Don't forget about your multiple paths! And non-sonic players need to be challenged too!

And then aesthetics! Placing flowers and enemies so that they're aesthetically pleasing but not in the way, then making sure your landscape designs don't look like shit and still play nicely... BLEGH!

It's an annoying process. But what the hell do I know? Some people DO enjoy mapping, and I did at one point in time, but it really wears on you.
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Old 05-14-2012   #52
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What would happen if the timespan for OLDC submissions was extended? It would probably give more room for people to work on their maps instead of rushing for the deadline. It will also allow more people to actually finish their maps and submit them. Quality + Quantity could both increase.
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Old 05-14-2012   #53
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What would happen if the timespan for OLDC submissions was extended? It would probably give more room for people to work on their maps instead of rushing for the deadline. It will also allow more people to actually finish their maps and submit them. Quality + Quantity could both increase.
Pretty sure we went over this earlier in the topic - we don't need extended deadlines. We just need to make more use of the time before the 2-month waiting time for the next OLDC.

We don't need to create entries entirely in the space of 2 months, after all.
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Old 05-14-2012   #54
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Originally Posted by Monster Iestyn View Post
Pretty sure we went over this earlier in the topic - we don't need extended deadlines. We just need to make more use of the time before the 2-month waiting time for the next OLDC.

We don't need to create entries entirely in the space of 2 months, after all.
Yeah, I read through Page 1 and skipped straight to Page 3. I missed the earlier discussion, my bad.
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Old 06-06-2012   #55
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I don't think I need to tell anyone this, but the OLDC has been really crappy for almost a year now. There are very few entries, which universally are untested garbage submitted by new members and untested rush jobs submitted by the old members. This has lead to the OLDC generally being completely awful, and with the March/April 2012 contest, it's clearly hit the breaking point.

Therefore, if the May/June 2012 contest does not have a significant improvement in the quality and quantity of the OLDC, the OLDC will be suspended until the release of 2.1. If you like the OLDC but haven't been entering recently, I highly encourage you to put together something for the OLDC, and please put forth some real actual effort. All a rush job proves is that you can put together a WAD in two hours, and at this point we all know that you can.
Personally, I never really participated or voted in any OLDC but I kinda get where you are going. Sometimes I play some levels after that OLDC is over and some stink.
But if rush jobs is the reason some levels are bad in OLDC then I think it's true. But, when people makes good level for the OLDC it's because they started months before and not on that exact month when submissions are due. It's common sense. Just take a look at Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PS3, Sonic Team or SEGA where probably too busy dicking around with something unrelated and when that deadline for the game was a month away, they flew right through production, skipped testing it, and called it finished work.
I haven't posted anything to the OLDC yet because I am busy preparing and taking time to make levels and submitting them whenever I can and personally I don't think shutting down OLDC until 2.1 is a great idea because it'll have no effect on the person who rush jobs levels.
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