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TC's is killing User Maps?  "Just a small observation"

User is offline   Sanek 

  • 628

#1

A couple of days ago, Alien Armageddon was unleashed to the world, instantly getting a significant amount of attention both from forum users and outside media. BossDuke team deserve all the praise it's getting right now, but I want to discuss something that's actually a very important matter when it comes to custom content for our favourite game.

The amount of new maps releases is is decreasing every year. From the times when almost every new map is the exciting well-designed adventure, we evolved into the era when then only thing people care about is what I'd call "events" - huge tc's and a few selected user maps from well-known authors. The maps is usually a work of one man, but massive mods and tc's like AMC or Armageddon require a team of people, from mappers and programmers to artists and even musicians. The results is absolutely fantastic, but it comes at the cost. The cost is that huge projects suck all the talent, and instead of making great maps people make mods...which is great too! :P

I understand why people like to be involved in something more than just a user map. I must admit that I'm more interested in making standalone games/tc's myself, but I'm still interested in making a user map once in a while.

Now, I don't blame anyone, and I don't criticize Trooper Dan or Jblade or even Voidpoint. I haven't finished Armageddon yet, but I'm enjoying it very much (despite a couple of flaws). It's just my observation about the current state of the community and I'm wondered if anyone is willing to discuss the matter.
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User is online   Micky C 

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#2

I think you’re overestimating the number of people working on any single project. Community Build Projects, which are vanilla maps, have more active mappers than the projects you described.

Polymer wishlist: Global illumination, SSAO, Bloom, reflective surfaces, adjustable specular (wetness), volumetric lighting.
Mapper of the Month December 2014.

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User is offline   Mark 

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#3

Maybe the best are going over to TCs because they have been making vanilla maps for 10 years and need something new to spark their creativity. Otherwise they might just shrug their shoulders and say meh. I'm in the middle. After being a part of projects using custom assets and coding for a number of years now I'm happy just to go back to those projects and create a new map for them. Eventually I'll get back to some WIP TCs that are still waiting for completion. I've thought about creating a vanilla map but after starting a couple of times I get disappointed from the lack of assets that I would want to use. TCs and all the custom assets have spoiled me. Although, my first project in Eduke32 was a mod/TC so right from the start I wanted something different.

This post has been edited by Mark.: 29 August 2018 - 04:53 AM

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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

  • 140

#4

As far as outside attention goes, that's really the case with any game out there. Nobody reports on individual maps released for Doom or Half-Life or Quake or Half-Life 2, either (the only exception I have ever seen is when, say, a developer of the original game returns after two decades to drop a new level). It's the full custom campaigns that get attention, and even then, only a select number of them. The criteria for which ones get that sort of attention seems to be kinda random, too.
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User is online   Trooper Dan 

  • Duke Plus Developer
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#5

View PostNinety-Six, on 29 August 2018 - 10:02 AM, said:

As far as outside attention goes, that's really the case with any game out there. Nobody reports on individual maps released for Doom or Half-Life or Quake or Half-Life 2, either (the only exception I have ever seen is when, say, a developer of the original game returns after two decades to drop a new level). It's the full custom campaigns that get attention, and even then, only a select number of them. The criteria for which ones get that sort of attention seems to be kinda random, too.


And that is why TCs are actually helping user maps. Big TC releases can actually bring new players into the community. Without new players, the community dies, and any desire to make vanilla maps dies with it.
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User is offline   Sanek 

  • 628

#6

View PostMicky C, on 29 August 2018 - 04:35 AM, said:

I think you’re overestimating the number of people working on any single project. Community Build Projects, which are vanilla maps, have more active mappers than the projects you described.


Maybe. But either way, each mapper's part of a CBP costs us a map.

View PostMark., on 29 August 2018 - 04:47 AM, said:

Maybe the best are going over to TCs because they have been making vanilla maps for 10 years and need something new to spark their creativity. Otherwise they might just shrug their shoulders and say meh. I'm in the middle. After being a part of projects using custom assets and coding for a number of years now I'm happy just to go back to those projects and create a new map for them. Eventually I'll get back to some WIP TCs that are still waiting for completion. I've thought about creating a vanilla map but after starting a couple of times I get disappointed from the lack of assets that I would want to use. TCs and all the custom assets have spoiled me. Although, my first project in Eduke32 was a mod/TC so right from the start I wanted something different.


You've got something there. Vanilla tileset gets limitating after a while, but I think that there's also a room for creativity there, i.e. using the limitations to prove your own skill as a map designer.

I tried to make a map for AMC TC a couple of times, but eventually dropped it. There's so much textures to choose from that I don't know what to choose! :o
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User is offline   Maisth 

  • 206

#7

I don't think TC's are killing user maps, I agree that user maps are something more simple to create, in fact I like to create mostly Maps and thats it, I've worked on TC's for other games like Doom that I haven't been able to finish because you have to worry about, Textures,Sprites, programming and all that sorta stuff, while Duke3D may not offer a lot of textures, with what you got, and the possibility of using sprites in a free way, you can create some really imaginative stuff, in the end it all lies on how much the developer wants his creation to stand out, and how much time he puts on it.

Repent and Follow Jesus!

Jesus said "I am the light of the world" John 8:12
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#8

No.
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User is offline   Jimmy 100MPH 

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#9

DNF killed the community.

Coke costs a lot of money you know. - oasiz
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User is offline   Mark 

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#10

More likely competition from a million other games to choose from these days.
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User is offline   Hank 

  • 2,123

#11

What? Dead? Competition? Wut????

This community is witnessing the creation of a new commercially, viable game, made by members of said community.

I'm working now full time, and can't even play all the new maps and TCs being published at this moment.

Smell the roses, guys. :)

Ein sarkastischer Deutscher

This post has been edited by Hank: 29 August 2018 - 04:34 PM

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User is online   Micky C 

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#12

View PostSanek, on 29 August 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:

Maybe. But either way, each mapper's part of a CBP costs us a map.


I don't think it's an either/or thing. CBP sections tend to be relatively small. As such, it attracts mappers who otherwise wouldn't have the time to work on a full release. Alternatively, some people used to work on CBPs while working on their own thing. James worked on both Alien Armageddon and the AMC TC while they were both in development.


View PostSanek, on 29 August 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:

I tried to make a map for AMC TC a couple of times, but eventually dropped it. There's so much textures to choose from that I don't know what to choose! :o


What I tend to do is copy sections from existing maps which contain textures that I want to use, then when I hit V once to bring up the texture menu and it shows textures currently used in the map, it basically shows me a short-list of textures I want Posted Image You can also hit V again on a texture you want to bring up similar textures from the set.
This assumes that you're vaguely aware of which maps use what textures, which isn't too hard since many of the textures are used across multiple maps.

In terms of enemies and special effects, James has put in a lot of effort setting up a tile selection and description system; when you press T in the texture menu, it brings up a set of categories (items, enemies, effects, explosives etc...) for you to choose from. Once the effect sprite is in-game and you have the mouse over it (in both 2D and 3D mode), text is displayed on-screen which describes the effect and how to use it.

Speaking generally, I hope that anyone who was contemplating making a map for the AMC TC, and was put off by its extensiveness, didn't do this unneccessarily due to not being aware of the above features and tricks. Although I'm sure the main put-off is still lack of time for people, as always.

Polymer wishlist: Global illumination, SSAO, Bloom, reflective surfaces, adjustable specular (wetness), volumetric lighting.
Mapper of the Month December 2014.

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User is online   Jblade 

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#13

Maybe I should take the time to make more categories for texture types...but man that'll be a big job.
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#14

View PostHank, on 29 August 2018 - 04:32 PM, said:

What? Dead? Competition? Wut????

This community is witnessing the creation of a new commercially, viable game, made by members of said community.

I'm working now full time, and can't even play all the new maps and TCs being published at this moment.

Smell the roses, guys. :)


This.
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User is offline   Merlijn 

  • 507

#15

In the case of Alien Armageddon, it was project that started pretty modest but quickly became bigger and more ambitious. When William asked me to help him with a map for the project (that's how the snowball started rolling), it was only 1 map and a couple of new enemies.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Speaking for myself, mapping for a bigger project is fun but it doesn't mean I'll never make a vanilla map again. After Imperium, I was done with Duke for a while, but I made plenty of user maps after that (some of which are among the best I've done). And as Dan pointed out, outside interest and large projects will attract new people as well.

This post has been edited by Merlijn: 30 August 2018 - 01:08 PM

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User is offline   conoklast 

  • 28

#16

I can only speak for myself, but the existence of TCs such as AMC TC are the only reason I dipped my feet back into mapster after a 16 year hiatus.

A single user map with vanilla duke textures is just too limited and dated for my liking, although I will occasionally play one just to check out the architecture/level design. A TC represents to me a much more comprehensive artistic vision of its creator, something that can never be achieved with a single user map (in my opinion).

I'm not too concerned with a lack or decline of stand alone user maps, there are already far too many for me to ever play through, so I'm always going to prefer quality over quantity.
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User is offline   Forge 

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#17


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User is offline   Sixty Four 

  • Turok Nukem
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#18

Personally I'm still a sucker for vanilla maps. Don't play much TC's at all. They are fun and nice to see. But for me nothing like good old Duke style. I enjoy that much more than anything or at least if its very close to vanilla style with some minor tweaks and nods. But its all cool either way.

Dinosaur Hunter

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User is online   Trooper Dan 

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#19

Posted Image
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User is offline   Sixty Four 

  • Turok Nukem
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#20

Lmao but its not dead just slow times. Even myself I'm not done. I'm occupied. But there is a neat map coming I might say. I do like the creativity of TC's but I love this game for the Duke nature. That's not to say any TC is bad though. I think Attrition is still my favorite though other than the DN64 mod.

Dinosaur Hunter

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