The problem with 'mappers' and a way to improve the workshop
I believe that the pitfall that many people who create levels in source engine encounter, lies within the term ‘mapper’. For many people it makes sense. They are, after all, creating maps. Unfortunately creating something, at the risk of sounding pretentious, does not have a skill prerequisite. What I mean by this is not that everyone who makes levels is bad at it, or even that they ought to be good. What I mean is many people can build a level, so what is it that you are trying to accomplish by building one yourself? The reason ‘mapper’ as a title bothers me is because it implies a satisfaction with single levels, built out of context, simply for the sake of building. For some this is enough and that's fine, but at that level of creation the author is no more a level designer than someone who doodles in the margins of papers is an artist. At that level of creator the term ‘mapper’ insinuates to others that the author has created a work that exemplifies skill and vision; an insinuation that is often misguided. The reason that this bothers me is that it lumps people who are building levels in with people who are painstakingly designing them. I digress.

I would imagine that at this point anyone who builds levels as a pastime is at least beginning to feel insulted. Although this is not my intention, take a moment to hear me out completely before forming your opinion. Perhaps the problem is my own. Yet, anyone who has sifted through the Portal 2 workshop knows what I mean when I say that there should be a way to separate levels born from boredom from those created with love and passion. Even more than that though, I feel there should be an universal par for the levels that community members are even willing to publish. I love terrible levels when they are created with the intention of learning the tools. Yet I don't believe they should be presented in the same space as maps from creators who have already done their time learning from mistakes.

The problem with thinking this way is that some great ideas live in the minds of people who aren't skilled enough to fully realize them. So how would you combat the flood of under developed level design while preserving the beautiful ideas that lie within it? You vote differently. A simple thumbs up is handy for quick ratings, but isn't detailed enough to promote the thoughtfulness necessary to be accurate. A system that has 3 categories: game-play, aesthetics, and originality; a 5 point possibility for each catagory; and a maximum of 14 points to vote with would be a possible substitute. The inclusion of an independent development corner with a similar voting system could also be beneficial. Taking things a step further this voting system could also be applied to other categories, such as models, by changing the categories to cohesion, aesthetics, and originality.

By altering the way the community votes on content we can not only improve the way that content and authors gain notoriety, but also give designers who are less skilled a way to get their ideas out into the open. In this way the designers will also have a more open line of communication with those who can help them improve. However, an equally important part of improving the community is a demand for a high quality of content, and eagerness to attain that quality. All of this is to say that this community is full of tallented, creative, and innovative people, who are capable of great things. I simply submit that, in order to get the most out of the workshop and the work that the community puts in, there need to be some changes in the way we author and present content. These are just my thoughts on how that change might look.

Editat ultima dată de maxgiddens; 7 oct., 2013 @ 8:35
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Profa 6 oct., 2013 @ 7:36 
I could not agree more. If I spent countless hours on something, then published it to the workshop it would be buried. There are over 9000 pages in the Portal 2 Workshop for maps. All because of the PETI.

I hope VALVe will look at this and rethink how they are currently doing ratings in that area.
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Data postării: 5 oct., 2013 @ 17:19
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