Possible Suspension of the OLDC

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Rob

Member
I have a slightly better idea.

Why not just have the OLDC quarter-annually? This results in more time for people to test/alter shit.

Having an OLDC every 2 months or so is a lot harder on people who want to become regular submitters. I know that I, personally, would have submitted some maps if I felt I had time between contests. Yes, I know, I could have waited and blah blah blah. But this could ensure that people who want to actually design maps get adequate time to actually work on the maps.

Also, if you did that, up the voting time to 2 weeks rather than 1.
 

Shadow Hog

Member
Isn't it already increased to 2 months from 1? I don't think increasing it then really helped matters, but not being in charge of the contest and often not paying it any attention, my opinion on this matter is potentially not the average one.
 

Internet Explorer

IT'S NO USE
Isn't it already increased to 2 months from 1? I don't think increasing it then really helped matters, but not being in charge of the contest and often not paying it any attention, my opinion on this matter is potentially not the average one.

I think rather increasing the delay is a great idea. Because, first, of course, this will give more time to makers, who are busy with studies, another project, or whatever, the most important point. Then, this can also give them hope : they know they have more time, so they would think they have all the time they need to make an awesome map. Now, maybe the time between 2 contests is long. That's why the faster ones can make another level in another category : SP, CTF, Match.
Also, thanks to this idea, the contest will have more levels, with a higher quality. So even if the time between two contests is 1/3 of a year, we can know we'll have a lot of maps (maybe more than 2 contests merged), and with more fun because of more work. That's just my view.

EDIT : Oh also, stretch the period between 2 contests will make the contest rarer, so it will look more important, and probably get more serious.
 
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Spazzo

Member
Guys, there is a bigger issue here than lack of time. It's a lack of desire. How will a delay fix that?
 

Katmint

‫‬‭‮‪‫‬‭‮
I'd personally suggest just having the OLDC on a "when it's done" basis. As in, it happens whenever there's a decent amount of entries with a minimum 2 month period between contests.

Not having a set deadline will also eliminate the last minute rush jobs, so that's a plus.
 

Mystic

Member
Honestly, I don't think the rewards are the problem. The OLDC has essentially had no real reward for its entire existence, yet we've had plenty of awesome contests with tons of maps and lots of quality content. I think lack of personal motivation is the problem and I really don't think anything I can do or say is going to suddenly turn things around and get old and new members alike to want to spend actual, real effort making maps again. Spazzo's suggestions reek of the pep rallies they forced me to go to in high school, where they stuffed everyone into a room to try to make us pumped up about how awesome school was when in reality all they were doing is making me resent the building MORE.

There are things we could possibly do to make the OLDC more appealing, but at the end of the day, there simply aren't enough people interested in spending more than two hours making a stage anymore. If you care so much about this, go make a stage! Start right now, so you have plenty of time to refine your stage into something awesome. That is the one thing that will solve this problem, and there are no substitutes for the solution here.
 

BlueZero4

Member
Charybdizs linked me to this topic on Skype, if you were wondering.
The OLDC isn't designed as an incentive to make maps, it's an opportunity for those who are making maps anyway to get feedback on their work.
...
Now that's just not true. I can only speak for myself, but I know that I played the official SP maps a lot more than any custom levels.
...
The OLDC is primarily a feedback mechanism that helps mappers improve, and I think at that it fails. The mappers who have been recently contributing to the OLDC aren't really getting any better, they're stagnating at the same level. Why is that? Maybe they're not reading the reviews or maybe the reviews aren't helpful. Probably both.

(Firstly, I play custom content more than the official levels. Even before I stopped mapping, I mostly just testplayed my own levels rather than really playing. When I play maps, I'm mostly looking for something specific. I want to see how a given mapper did something, and I find the official levels sometimes too dry.)

As I'm reading this topic, the problem seems to me to be "How do we develop our mappers?" rather than "Save the OLDC!" I've always thought that, if I make a map, the OLDC is the only way to get the publicity I'd like for it. I think I've always assumed that feedback is the natural reaction to people seeing it, with the OLDC providing feedback actually indirectly.

The biggest thing that developed my own mapping style was me thinking about it myself. I never really had any of those deep conversations about level design theory (for lack of a more elegant term) with others in the community. I mean, sometimes, but they usually died quickly.

Can we have those conversations as a community? Not just aesthetics vs gameplay, but what makes up aesthetics? And what makes up gameplay? I don't really mind if the OLDC dies if we start talking theory a lot more commonly. I'd get excited about that.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to stop procrastinating on my studio project.
 
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Charybdizs

>WTB lamp oil
Administrator
Judge
I can second that. A lot of the things that make levels great the way they are. Do we really know what they are? I know that a while back someone said that they are not something you can tie down. They're just something that comes out of certain people. The example cited in that post was Nev3r, ERZ2. That he didn't have a formula, he just did it and it happened. Mystic, in response, said that you could indeed formulate everything done by Nev3r. I agree with Mystic. Each thing we'd call good in a level is something that appeals to the human heart (brain, whatever). Whether it is simply providing mental stimulation through a complex puzzle, catalyzing imagination through a unique environment, or evoking emotions through the use of atmosphere and sometimes story, it all boils down to certain techniques. Perhaps it would be a good idea for us to spend some time puzzling out these techniques, for people to observe and learn from?
 

Spazzo

Member
Spazzo's suggestions reek of the pep rallies they forced me to go to in high school, where they stuffed everyone into a room to try to make us pumped up about how awesome school was when in reality all they were doing is making me resent the building MORE.

Sorry that the rest of us aren't as depressed as you are.

At least I'm trying. Youre just telling people the same solution you've always given: make more maps! How about a little bit more encouragement and a little less resentful, venomous cynicism?

If you don't care enough to put forth the effort and energy to make the contest worth anybody's time, then you should not be the one running it. Give it to someone who isn't going to complain about having to compile the maps and blow the dust off of SRB2 for the single obligatory net game.

I believe this response is justified given how you shot down my ideas like its nobodies business. Please take a moment to consider doing something different for once, regarding the contest.
 
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filio

Member
Imma just slap some words together.

I do agree that a theme would help, but I really think that's the extent. We basically have to rely on people making maps for the contest. Nothing can push them to do it without offering them money, and don't even dare try that.
So basically I entirely agree with Mystic on this. Nothing can make people take time out of their day to make a great level other than themselves wanting to do so.

And Katmint's 'when it's done' suggestion can be implemented if there happens to be another contest that only has 5 or 6 levels. (thinking about that makes me start to cry)

EDIT: Okay looking at how pitiful the last contest was (I was gone for some time...) I guess I'll try to make an entry for the next one.
 
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BlazeFan1

Member
I'm not active here too much anymore, but I could try to put one together for the May/June Contest.

My maps are... decent... so I could provide something worth your time at least. If I can actually find the time to sit down and make another real map.

I dunno if anyone remembers Wonder Terrace, from, what was it, the Jan/Feb 2011 contest? That was the last time I submitted to an OLDC and a couple people really liked that one.
 

Ezer'Arch

ArchPack is out
The problem, Ezer, is that you can't "force" people to be creative. They need to be inspired. If what you say is correct, than it is doomed to fail.
Surely. But I was kind of interpreting the action, not agreeing or disagreeing with the action. To be honest, the problem seems to be the way how people here deal* with each other rather than systems and rewards -- just a slight-note -- and that's the why I stopped posting on SRB2-related subjects (it includes my level pack), I have been away, and when I'm here I restrict my posts in the Minecraft topic (my latest 50 posts except 2 or 3 are there). But I'm not happy with it.

In my humble opinion, inspiration comes from motivation, and motivation comes from the people, not from things and rewards whose effects wear off quickly -- another slight-note.

Can we have those conversations as a community?
Yes, please. And I believe we had some of those conversations. I miss them, a lot. Not only with you, with other people too.

EDIT:

* - Since deal can mean a lot of things, let me elaborate it "the problem is the way how people respect each other, their opinions and works rather than systems and rewards, for example, changing the submission system or golden titles"... just trying to give a hint this discussion is limited to talking about if extending the submission period or rewards will or will not work, while there are lots of reasons -- which I no longer bother discussing -- why OLDC has become mediocre and people are now making lots of racket (still remember the RedXVI's quote?), even though SRB2Wiki and the submissions board, among other things, had gone down the same path ages ago and almost nobody "noticed" it. The problem isn't the OLDC itself, OLDC is kind of a signal that something has been worsening and the "issue" has hit the core of the community, and just now the majority got a clue.

When the things become better, I'll be back. I need a break.
 
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MascaraSnake

Maybe out of retirement?
Having an OLDC every 2 months or so is a lot harder on people who want to become regular submitters. I know that I, personally, would have submitted some maps if I felt I had time between contests. Yes, I know, I could have waited and blah blah blah. But this could ensure that people who want to actually design maps get adequate time to actually work on the maps.
You have as much time as you want. You can submit it whenever it's ready, regardless of when the next contest is. And as for regular submitters, why is it important how frequently you enter the contest?

Guys, there is a bigger issue here than lack of time. It's a lack of desire. How will a delay fix that?
It won't. The idea is to acknowledge the lack of desire and reduce the frequency of the contests so that each individual contest isn't as empty. You can't get people to contribute more with any kind of external motivation (you said this yourself, albeit in a different context: "you can't FORCE people to do anything"), so what we have to do is acknowledge that and adjust the OLDC accordingly. Personally, I support the "when it's ready" idea because it's flexible and eliminates the incentive for making rush jobs to fill up the contest. Just have a contest whenever there are at least three (or four, or five, or however many you want, the number is of secondary importance) maps for each of the three gametypes.

Can we have those conversations as a community? Not just aesthetics vs gameplay, but what makes up aesthetics? And what makes up gameplay? I don't really mind if the OLDC dies if we start talking theory a lot more commonly. I'd get excited about that.
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.

Sorry that the rest of us aren't as depressed as you are.
You're assuming that you're speaking for "the rest of us" and that "the rest of us" disagrees with Mystic. Is that really the case? I haven't seen a lot of enthusiasm for your ideas.

If you don't care enough to put forth the effort and energy to make the contest worth anybody's time, then you should not be the one running it.
Again, you assume that the contest is stale and needs something more than maps to play and judge. I really don't think that's the case. The only thing stale about it is the lack of maps. The only reason why it's not worth our time is the lack of maps. It might seem at first glance that a spectacular gimmick makes the contest a more exciting event, but as is the nature of these kinds of gimmicks, that's really not the case. Only the novelty wears off, it's the same old routine. And I don't have a problem with routine, I have a problem with the lack of content. A gimmick doesn't substitute for that.

I believe this response is justified given how you shot down my ideas like its nobodies business.
What's wrong with shooting down an idea as long as you have a good reason? If you want to interest people in your ideas, give us a counterargument instead of criticizing Mystic's way of running the contest. One of the most common fallacies of rhetorics is that by discrediting your opponent, you strengthen your own viewpoint. That's not the case. Just because Mystic's way of running the contest is bad (actually, I don't think it is, but let's assume it were), that doesn't automatically mean that your alternative solutions are any good. Different isn't necessarily better.
 

Knux576

Neighborhood Memer
I dont think the 'when its done' idea would work. If we set a specific number of maps for each gametype, bad things would happen. For example: If someone was almost done and about to submit and we got enough maps by then and he'd have to wait and wait until the next voting time to get feedback on his map. Though I could be proved wrong...
 

Zap610

Member
I have a few ideas, and they are based off of mapping events from other communities:

1) Give a theme (Already explained)

2) Make it less open-ended

Put rules and restrictions in place; set the gametype. Have all maps be match maps, or single player maps, or whatever. It will help people step outside of their comfort zones. For instance, if I was to join a sp mapping contest (which I would) and then a match one, I would give it a try even though I prefer sp. Then if it was ctf, I might still be willing to try it even though I have no desire to map for ctf, though I did enjoy the last two contests which would inspire me to continue.

3) Speedmapping

Other communities hold speedmapping sessions to help sharpen skills. The game type, theme, and rules are given at the start and the deadline is the end of the day. These are highly successful. I know what you're thinking, "what about the shitty maps?" There will indeed be some bad maps, but there also will be some great ones which will steal the stage. And this would not only inspire the mappers to make an effort but also demonstrate what can be done with limits.
 

MascaraSnake

Maybe out of retirement?
I dont think the 'when its done' idea would work. If we set a specific number of maps for each gametype, bad things would happen. For example: If someone was almost done and about to submit and we got enough maps by then and he'd have to wait and wait until the next voting time to get feedback on his map. Though I could be proved wrong...
He'd have to wait until the next contest, yes. What's the problem with that?

2) Make it less open-ended

Put rules and restrictions in place; set the gametype. Have all maps be match maps, or single player maps, or whatever. It will help people step outside of their comfort zones. For instance, if I was to join a sp mapping contest (which I would) and then a match one, I would give it a try even though I prefer sp. Then if it was ctf, I might still be willing to try it even though I have no desire to map for ctf, though I did enjoy the last two contests which would inspire me to continue.
This would only work if there were people who actually make maps for the purpose of entering the contest. I'm pretty sure most people submit maps because they've been working on them anyway, and not because they want to enter the contest. I don't think a lot of people would be encouraged to make a map just by restricting the number of gametypes in a contest they aren't entering anyway. If you want to make an SP map, then do so. Why do you need a gametype restriction in the OLDC to be encouraged?

3) Speedmapping
Are you from the Doom community? Because this is not Doom. Speedmapping doesn't produce particularly good results because making an SRB2 map is a rather complicated endeavor that requires a lot of finetuning and careful balancing. There have been plenty of rush job maps since 2.0 was released, but I can't think of a single one that did particularly well in the contest. Even KOTE, who is one of the most accomplished mappers here, hasn't been able to make a really good rush job map, and it's not for lack of trying.
 

Mystic

Member
He'd have to wait until the next contest, yes. What's the problem with that?
Well, considering the time it might take for the next contest on such a system, it would lead to occasions where someone would receive feedback far later than relevant for improvement. Hell, even in the two month submissions period I've had occasions where the OLDC comes around and I look at the feedback on my map and have to remind myself what the hell they're talking about because it's been over a month since I looked at the stage.

I don't want to extend the deadline much because I don't just want to provide authors feedback; I want to provide them relatively timely feedback.
 

Knux576

Neighborhood Memer
Finally. For once i'm not proved wrong. And restricting certain gametypes might cause a quite similar problem.
 
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