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Old 10th Jul 2008, 10:08 PM   #21
Anuban
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I felt very confident in my maps design, I can run it at a good framerate with a high of 120 and an occasional drop to 50. That is on a very good system though. I know that my maps layout wasn't exactly as satisfactory as it could have been, the lighting was a bit dark and a few things could always have been better, but still I think my map was and is superior to a few maps that made it.

Oh well though, this is talk from a biased standpoint. At least there will be another contest which I can give a shot at

yeah I have to agree with you ... I actually like DM-Hope and yes it is better than several that were picked over you.
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Old 10th Jul 2008, 10:18 PM   #22
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I really shouldn't complain, the contest was an opportunity and really the 3dbuzz guys should be thanked for providing it. Suppose that there hadn't been the contest? Then 10+ people wouldn't be getting recognition for hard work.
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Old 10th Jul 2008, 10:36 PM   #23
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^^^Good point
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Old 10th Jul 2008, 11:30 PM   #24
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I really shouldn't complain, the contest was an opportunity and really the 3dbuzz guys should be thanked for providing it. Suppose that there hadn't been the contest? Then 10+ people wouldn't be getting recognition for hard work.
I don't agree at all with that. If you are going to have a contest then you need to make sure that the rules are followed and the judging is fair ... otherwise what's the point. Especially when some do not to be deserve to be recognized over others. But I do like your attitude.
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 04:18 AM   #25
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Another thing is that all these maps should cook for the PS3 with no issues if they are using only stock assets and no custom materials so if a map gives warnings about not being able to compile material or a staticmesh error then it is good chance that the map is not completely following the rules. And I found this issue with White Realm. The judges need to check into these kinds of things as well and use that test as an easy verification tool.
I can asure you that i did not use any imported stuff. Problem might be because I was using a lot of custom materials, some of them without fallbacks.
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 07:12 AM   #26
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Damn it! Why didn't I submit my awesome substracted cube? Might have cranked to top 5 with a bit of luck!

Haven't played all the entries, but Marauder and Gutter not being in is a crime. Also, Arise is the most oldskool looking and best-framerate level I have ever played in UT3 (HOLP stuff excluded)... and it's out too... What's exactly their judging criteria? The forum thread explaining the map's development was said to be important but... wtf?
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 09:35 AM   #27
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Damn it! Why didn't I submit my awesome substracted cube? Might have cranked to top 5 with a bit of luck!

Haven't played all the entries, but Marauder and Gutter not being in is a crime. Also, Arise is the most oldskool looking and best-framerate level I have ever played in UT3 (HOLP stuff excluded)... and it's out too... What's exactly their judging criteria? The forum thread explaining the map's development was said to be important but... wtf?
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 04:48 PM   #28
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Hi Everyone,

While I'm not in here to defend the judging criteria of every single map that was entered, and I think it would be unfair to the judges if I came and had to question and justify every decision that they made, I did think it best to pop in here and at least open a dialog with everybody.

Criteria for this contest was based on an overall feel that came from a combination of look and gameplay, but we even said in the rules that it was key for the level to be fun for the players. If a level looked good and played well for about the first 5 minutes and then became stale, it was obviously going to be set aside for those levels that they just couldn't stop playing. Our judges have played A LOT of Unreal (a whole lot more than I have), and I'm not going to question what THEY consider to be fun. You might have a different idea, and that's really fine by us. That will always be the case. You can't judge any one person's work over another's without SOMEONE getting upset.

The cool part - and the part that really sets our contest aside from just about any other similar experience - is that we're going to compile feedback for ALL entrants. So if nothing else, when the next contest rolls around, you will have a clearer idea of what we're looking for.

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Old 12th Jul 2008, 10:30 AM   #29
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Hi Zak and thanks for explaining your view... but I have to disagree...
You should not have considered 'fun' as the key factor of your reviews... because fun is completely subjective. Many people does enjoy spamboxes and sniper maps, despite those are unanimously considered non-quality maps among the community. On the other side, construction, layout/flow, item placement, performance, bot support, etc... despite they're not 100% objective, they can be judged with some logic... You can determine whether a map's placement is good or not by looking at the map itself, and the veredict should make enough sense to be accepted by everyone. However, you can't do the same with 'fun' because that's all about the reviewer's taste and skills... If 'map A' is better than 'map B' because some magical force made me enjoy it the most, then my review has zero credibility...

Just played all the maps laveled as top 10... Most of them are uninstalled already... All I saw in most of those levels were either massively open spaces or cramped sets of long or labyrinthic hallways. Despite those spaces can be enjoyed by some people, they can't be objectively considered 'good map design'. At this moment Calibrah is IMO the only one that deserves a prize (and therefore I don't expect it to win ), followed by Xenon, WhiteRealm and Nimius. Good luck to their mappers!
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Old 12th Jul 2008, 02:59 PM   #30
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Good point G.Lector, I agree. One thing that dissapointed me was the lesser attention to "thread upkeep and updating" which was initially refered to as an important factor. Because of this I spent a lot of my time providing quality updates. Really I don't think that the threads should have played a roll whatsoever, because thread quality doesn't mean map quality. In an ironic way though, it didn't play a roll in the judging (or seems not to have). All the same, my previously stated opinions still stand as is.
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Old 12th Jul 2008, 06:36 PM   #31
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The bottom line is that this contest and 3Dbuzz and their future contests risk losing a lot of credibility since it is pretty obvious to everyone that they did not follow their own rules and judging maps on "fun" factor as the highest criteria is simply absurd in light of how subjective that is. Sure a map should be fun but in a contest such as this that is something that should not carry more weight that a map being technically sound for example and being playable on even mid range settings.

Certainly higher end PCs should have no issues running a level so frame rate problems should definitely have an associated penalty as it shows there is still some technical issues with a level that should be addressed. A map is no fun imo if I have to turn my settings down and I am still getting less than acceptable framerates. G.Lector really nailed it and I think that the judges need to swallow their pride in this instance, admit mistakes were made and re-evaluate the choices they have made. It is the only fair thing to do.
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Old 12th Jul 2008, 10:18 PM   #32
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Saying some of the maps were not fun over longer periods of time is also pretty unfortunate. EVERYTHING loses it's splendor after a period of time.
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 02:54 AM   #33
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A subtracted cube with a ramp and 2 BFG's can be a riot if you're up for it but making fun one of the most important categories is just asking for trouble.
Placing these maps ahead of retail quality maps (and beyond in a lot of cases) guarantees a crowd of people hammering at your door.
All the mappers listed in the latest results I've never heard of but it is nice to see new talent breaking through nonetheless.
Similarly, crawling out of the woodwork and entering a map does not necessarily guarantee a place in the top ten either, however, some mappers have got seriously shafted here.

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Old 13th Jul 2008, 03:16 AM   #34
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I guess I should have entered a map that I've had in mind for a while now: two redeemers and an invulnerability pickup in a big cube. Long-lasting fun out the wazoo.

Seriously though Lruce said everything that needed to be said. It's a shame to see such a big contest suffer from such critical problems in the selection phase. Basing which maps make it in solely by long-lasting fun is a crucial mistake, regardless of how many years the judges have been playing. If anything, their extensive experience with UT games should have taught them that fun isn't the only thing that makes a map worth playing.

Fun can be derived from many things... for example, let's say there's a map that has an extremely rich and detailed environment with a killer atmosphere that really sucks you in. You might load up the map without bots just to run around and explore it. Does that count as "fun", in the sense that these judges are talking about? Not really... it's a different set of qualities altogether. Saying that the map I'm talking about should get last place because it has the least fun is kinda backwards.
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 05:52 AM   #35
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IMO they should have simply had a rule "no professionals". If you are going to try and attract beginners, you want to give them a chance.

Also the rule that any map made could be entered just sucks. It must really suck to have started on a level for this contest, have only a month the time, and then the last day some dude enters his level that he made some time ago and spend 4 months working on...

A major part of level design is about fun though, so is it really that weird that they value that so much? I also believe that you can set a fun standard, and that is the way the game is meant to be played. For what kind of gameplay is the game designed? Sure you can go play and hide and seek, or some carnage fest in a cube, but that is not what the core gameplay of UT tries to offer. So imo, just stick to the standard set by the game, rather than whatever your opinion of fun may be, and you should be fine. So in other words, technically analyze the gameplay designed in a level, rather than just playing and go "oh this is fun but I have no clue why"
No clue if that happened here though.
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 05:53 AM   #36
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Just had a glance of a few maps.

How the hell did Citadel get in there? :s

It doesn't look good, it has a horrid layout, and also has a poor framerate. Absolutely nothing going for it imo :/
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 06:37 AM   #37
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And I just played the top 5 now, I really like calibrah and whiterealm, the latter mainly for its looks. I really do not see what shioto is doing in there...
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 07:41 AM   #38
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Also the rule that any map made could be entered just sucks. It must really suck to have started on a level for this contest, have only a month the time, and then the last day some dude enters his level that he made some time ago and spend 4 months working on...
That's exactly one of my biggest complaints for this contest, and i even discussed it with Zak over in the IRC. I mean, seriously, you can't possibly compare a map that has been in the making for more than 4 months, then gets released like 2 mots before the contest and then ENTERS the contest, with a map that was in the almost 3 to 4 weeks time span for the deadline. Basically, the amount of detail, polishing, optimization, BETA-testing and thought poured into the map in incomparable PERIOD.
so yeah, and besides that i'm really afraid the judges are not going to care at all, or make any differences whatsoever.

AFAIK, from the top 5 only Shiota, WhiteRealm and Nimius were maps designed specifically for the contest. Calibrah's author said that he spent something like +2 months on his maps (and is of course amazing) and then we have Xenon, with we all know that started in January (5 monhts ago) with a layout created by Slainchild, so you tell me how unfair is that .

So yeah, allowing any map to enter this contest, GIVEN how long it takes to make a quality map for UT3 and the tight deadline, is blatantly unfair imho, but

good luck to the top 5!
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 10:58 AM   #39
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I guess I should have entered a map that I've had in mind for a while now: two redeemers and an invulnerability pickup in a big cube. Long-lasting fun out the wazoo.
Heh, reminds me of playing CTF-Joust with a full player count and 'deemers only.
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 03:37 PM   #40
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This is from their own site:

Judging

All entries will be judged on the following:

* Artistic and Architectural Style. We want to see how well you can use the assets that come with the game to make a believeable environment for the player.

* Originality. No remakes of old levels are allowed. We will be looking for you to put your own personal touch on your level in order to make a unique gaming experience for the player.

* Flow and Gameplay. This is absolutely key. It doesn't matter what your level looks like if it plays terribly. It should be fun for the players so they want to keep coming back for more.

* Performance. If your map won't run at an acceptable framerate on an average system, then the odds are that a great deal of people will simply not be able to enjoy it. There is always a compromise between what looks good and what will run well. We want to see who can overcome the limitations and make a level that not only looks great, but runs smooth as well.

* Quality of Work In Progress Update Posts. This is just as important as every other part of the judging. We want to see your progress detailed as you go along and we want others to learn from you as well as help you through the development process by providing comments and criticisms. Think of this as the testing process for your map.


Imo it seems they just tossed these things out the window. Particularly the last three things. Most of the levels they chose have framerate issues on an average system ... my system is far from average and even I had problems with many of them.
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