Discussion in 'Halo and Forge Discussion' started by ForgeHub, Jul 12, 2013.
It's like a metal album.
Congrats you guys and good luck.
I'm not angry about any of this, and actually, I appreciate the work that's being put into judging. I tried to make known what I thought before the contest started, so at this point, there's no good reason to start freaking out. I've been that person before, and I don't want to be that anymore.
With that being said, I think I need to share, with love hehe what I've observed from the judging so far.
I think our focus on what matters with judging a map has become fundamentally skewed. I understand that map containment, performance, and all that is part of the equation of making a map, but is it important to judge? When it comes to proofing a map for matchmaking, certainly, but in a 2v2 mapping contest? It just makes me wonder if the judges are trying to understand/break/stress the design and are instead focusing on peripherals. Again, I know that those things are wholistically important, but they aren't design decisions, they aren't an artstyle choice, and they aren't decided by any principles.
For example, why would we (rightly) comment/judge an artstyle or forge proficiency, but then point out frome drops in the corner of a map where fights don't generally even happen? As I see it, if you are pushing the limits of Forge and trying to create a believable environment, you're going to have some frame loss. Especially in 2v2, where map density is classically higher than other gamemodes, while simultaneously sporting a smaller footprint. That's just asking for performance drops, and that is inherent to the mode. This may sound biased, but I think a map that has a few frame drops, but is largely good to fight in, is resting right in the sweet spot, where the forger has pushed the level as far as he could visually and enviromentally, and practiced restraint enough to keep the map well within the range of highly competitive gameplay. To me, that's a compliment, and when I'm in some random corner of Arcanum and see some glitchy-ness, I don't indict the map, but instead, I am reminded that the map couldn't be pushed any further.
And then there's stuff like... readability and the "casual" perspective. In the case of the former, I still don't understand it.
If I'm sitting down to judge a map and I don't see something right away, why is that a problem? Why is it that a 10 minute Youtube thesaurus on how to play a gamemode like Warzone is fine design, but somehow maps need to communicate everything instantly? There's an obvious imbalance here. I would say, however, that even more important than this is that just because my teleporter doesn't have tele written above it, doesn't mean it's not there. What I mean by that italic is this; even if my tele is hard to see, it's effects are still in play. This instant path still effects the design in the same way. It still allows for the same counter-rotations, it's still a choice, a design decision, and that decision, and how it relates to the rest of the map, is what I think needs to be judged. Not whether or not you instantly knew what it was.
I admit, decent readability does require some design knowledge, but the thought that goes into putting a green up arrow on my lift is so unbelievably insignificant compared to the hours of painstaking forethought about potential setups and player choices, that's it's honestly insulting to see people run around and commenting on those aspects, when I spent so much time on the level design itself. It's like preparing a meal for someone and having them take the craftsmanship of the plate into account. Get to the food, please, I beg you. Then after you have tasted the food, you have earned the right to take the plate into account, if a judgement could really come down to that.
And then there's the whole casual audience thing... yeah I think that's ridiculous. Blaze seems to keep bringing it up, but I have no idea how someone could put so much stock into a player that doesn't care. Someone tell me, why should I take into account the exerience of someone who doesn't like food, when I'm cooking dinner? It's nonsensical. I've talked about this before, but I don't even think that person really exists. To be truly casual, you don't care at all, and to not care at all, is to be inhuman. Unless a psychopath is playing my map... and come to think of it, they would care, just in demented ways. So no, nobody loads up a game and genuinely has no interest in winning or losing. That doesn't happen. The entire idea is a misnomer.
And maybe someone could explain this. I heard Blaze specifically say, while playing With Love and referenceing the tele, and I quote, "The tele might have usefulness at high levels, but I don't see an obvious use for it now"
w h a t
That's all I think anyone needs to hear. I can try to explain myself better on any single point if a judge wants me to. In any case, I accepted the moment the contest began that I wasn't going to see people judge exactly how I would. Keep going, play maps, and please go game chat lol
Did you guys rate every map? Or is that just the maps that made it to round 2?
I'll just take this opportunity to repeat again an opinion that it seems only I have, and have been saying for years now... Judging should not be streamed. It can give the judges the feeling that they need to verbally critique maps constantly. This results in things being said that I'm sure they realize aren't that important, and then every single word they say gets critiqued. Judges owe participants results. It doesn't matter much how they get there (opinions on maps can sometimes change drastically over time).
Imagine if the judges were watching us stream the making of our maps, critiquing our approach to forging, and every word we say. We would get upset and say that all that matters is the end result, and not how we get there.
The need to know every single thought a judge has, and to assess their competence is ridiculous. We shouldn't expect and/or praise transparency, because it has no bearing on the results. There's this mysterious desire to know everything about everyone, which almost always only ends up with us judging people and losing respect for them. Because you know what...we're all human. We all say and do stupid ****. We all judge everyone else for doing stupid ****.
I don't really think anyone is doing anything wrong here. I just think this is inevitable when there's this degree of transparency. It's the human condition playing out. We should either accept that the judges are all going to do or say something that someone thinks is stupid, and the observers are going to get pissed at the judges for one thing or another - or, we need to make the process less transparent. I would vote for the latter obviously. I kind of enjoy the mystery and ambiguity.
Ramble over now.
@a Chunk I prefer the former. Watching them play, learn, and discuss the maps is enjoyable. Hearing them discuss first impressions, and what they may have issues with is beneficial to everyone that is participating.
This is an opportunity to help a lot of forgers improve. You might think having a couple bullet points to explain why a map got its final decision is helpful, but it’s incomparable to actually seeing how that criticism came to be. To see the negative effects of that design decision in play.
As long as they can articulate their problems with the map, like every judge should, and not say something like “it’s just a map”, then the positives of transparency greatly outweighs the damage control method that you seem to be advocating for.
I don't personally have any issue with the transparency. In fact, I tend to be transparent to a fault in certain scenarios, and also prefer very direct feedback. But we can't ignore the fact while transparency offers an opportunity to help a lot of forgers improve, it simultaneously creates an opportunity for forgers to feel hurt and dissuaded from participating in the community. And this is what I more frequently see happen. With every contest, more people get upset, and less interested in participating in the community.
To me, the transparency you're referring to is something that sounds great (and would be great), so we keep doing it. But it never (or virtually never) turns out the way everyone wants it to. It ends up having the opposite effect. And those that are really interested in improving don't require contests to do so, and I would even argue that feedback from a contest, even delivered in the best way possible, can never be as good as feedback delivered in the best way possible outside of a contest. Judges are restricted in the amount and depth of feedback they can offer. So yes, for those reasons, I feel like heavily controlling the feedback that's offered to participants while the judging is in progress is preferable.
And this actually goes against my own personal preference. As I said, I prefer to give and receive feedback very directly and honestly. But there's that saying about doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. The result that this approach has created is not one that I believe is in the best interest of the judges, the participants, or the community as a whole.
I have no dog in this fight, as I'm neither a judge or a participant, and don't plan to be in any future contests either. I just want what's best for everyone, individually and collectively. And I certainly expect the transparent approach to continue in the future since it's what people ask for (even though they never like the result), and I'll keep hoping that it works.
Hot-Take, Id start with making sure all the judges are qualified. Having unqualified judges on a judging panel is gonna result in a **** contest every single time. We are absolute in the right to assess their competence.
Why is @Max Extra a judge when there were much better suggestions/recommendations given. Why? Can nobody answer this? Because he is staff? What skills of value does he bring to the panel, I'm actually confused. Please someone help me understand.
I understand your concerns but correct me if I'm wrong, even though there were some question marks with his choice as a judge (I don't know how this process works but a poll should be an option because everyone has a really good idea who is capable of doing this so maybe have an election of some sort) I think you all agreed and accepted this panel by participating in this contest.
I haven't watched any of these streams or know exactly what's going on so maybe I shouldn't even reply to this but it all seems to little to late. How he got in there is a debate which could and should be held in the future but imo you guys agreed with this panel by throwing your map in there.
Not trying to be an ass, but as an outsider it just seems weird to go nuts over this at this point.
I personally think we should try having 3 judges evaluating 4 high level players playing the maps in the future for a 2v2 contest. Possibly 4 players with no relation to the forge community.
This would A) ensure every map is being played to the highest level possible
B) avoid any potential emotional bias or shortcomings a judge might have when it comes to performing on a map. The lower the skill level of the player, the higher the chance geometry won’t be utilized “correctly” in the designers intentions. I see it happen all the time. You don’t jump out of your base on midship to bottom mid challenging everyone and then say the map punishes the bottom when you die. Obviously I’m inflating this and the current judges don’t do this, however there are split second decisions that can make or break a map and top tier players will continuously give us that “correct” play or the best play possible in a given scenario at a breakneck speed under pressure. It’s great when players make a bad play, but recognize the map gave them better options. I respect that. It’s when people think every decision they make is correct, so when they get outplayed it’s the “maps” fault. Take responsibility.
C) Not that this happens (that I know of) potential sabotage of a map because of who made it. Meaning deliberately playing the map in a negative way. This could never be a possibility with 4 players who aren’t related to the forge community. Well it’s a lot less likely to happen rather. Gameplay doesn’t lie.
D) I’m getting extremely tired I don’t even know what I’m saying at this point. I personally don’t think anyone in the community is skilled enough to fill these positions. I also wanted to say that NONE of this is directed towards any of the judges. This is what I would find ideal for a contest personally.
Looking forward to the next stream
I faintly remember multi or someone else having a good post about a map design not being a good design if it doesnt perform well at all skill levels(safe and accessible); that designing a map specifically to play at a certain skill level isnt an acceptable excuse for it failing at another skill level. I remember because it applied directly to how poor trinket plays for low skilled players. In theory i agree fully but the amount of potential thats lost is staggering.
For example the developers made plaza with intention that yellow window would be one way. Now its a two way for higher skilled players. People design their maps geometry like this intentionally; 'This' is only crouch jump able or 'this' is only reachable by a perfect boost jump smart link. 'This strategy' or 'this set up' will only register with a good player. Yeah the map should still have options for less skilled players but the real depth in a map will never register with lower skilled players and in turn the whole big picture is lost. So then when you intentionally design a map so that every aspect is make or break if a players movement or strategy isnt at 100% its now a poor design? No i wouldnt think so.
Sure this is controversial but I think people with a low skill level shouldnt have opinions considered with any weight at all when integrity is the focus rather than sales numbers. Regardless of accessibility the maps should be judged for what they are and not what they should be unless it was specifically stated beforehand. My main point being if youre incapable of comprehending every level of play the designer intended then youre not even judging the map for what it is, youre judging what you think it should be.
@Xandrith I agree. Maps are being judged for insignificant face value bullshit now instead of the integrity of the designs.
@Box Knows Your idea wouldnt really work because unless you knew the in and outs of the game just as much as the person playing then you'll still be missing a ton. You literally need great map designers with high skill levels judging these map contests. Take this clip for example and look how insignificant it appears, then read the first comment under the video. Now apply this to a game like halo. Btw all of this is similar to why i jumped on you about BO4 a while back.
I agree with everything you said, I do think judges should demonstrate a high skill level. However, nobody in this community demonstrates that level of skill in my opinion. BUT, I believe there are multiple people in this community who understand the ins and outs of the game who fail to perform at that mechanical level of a top tier player, who do recognize and process all these things that are happening, and simply fall short when playing on their own.
It’a much easier to dissect and analyze why things happened or why they are happening in theater. Or what’s inherently broken. It’s why people watch their film to get better. And for the judges it’s the eye to the mind of a great player. You see their vision and decision making and will shed light how everything they do compared to you is superior, hence make or break a map in a certain case if it were lowered skilled judges playing. But those decisions shouldn’t be hidden or overlooked by judges because they should be happening continuously in front of their face.
Let’s say a top tier players makes 20 decisions per second (DPS). And the judges can make 10 DPS. It doesn’t make it incomprehensible when analyzing the game.
To commentate an MLG event for halo 3 you don’t need to be the best player in the world. But you should or should have been a highly skilled player who understands the in’s and outs of the game like bravo and Walshy. (Not the best example because they were both pros I think?) but this is where we agree the judges should be highly skilled. And to SUMMARIZE I think we have highly skilled players enough to judge but not to play the maps.
This was on mobile again so its not the most well written, so sorry in advance.
If we can agree that it's possible to create maps that hold up under the highest levels of stress, then we know that predictions on the designers part can be sound, whether or not they themselves are the ones putting the map to the test. If a map can be painstakingly designed, then released, and then hold up, then the simulations in our head can be accurate. Therefore, if a designers simulations can be accurate, than so too can a judge understand a map without the necessity of being a top 8 player.
An inverse example of this would be any given twitch clip of Shroud giving his feedback on a game. It's usually uh... kinda stupid, despite him undoubtedly being 'good enough' to stress the game. A lot of that has to do with mechanical skill being so relevant in the games he plays. If you have an aimbot for a hand, you can make ridiculous and stupid plays and be rewarded for it, and never even understand what makes a decision good. Same thing happens in H5, where, to be completely honest, half of the skill is hitting that fifth shot on someone with no shields. Play enough of that stupid game to rewire your brain to understand its aiming (and make sure to never play different games), and you've almost conquered the game with that alone. That's why I don't put any stock into a 'good' Halo 5 player as something inherently valuable, because the game itself, at a high level, does not go deep.
Now, a game like Starcraft? Quake? Yeah, as a result of forethought being so important within those games, a top teir player has no choice but to understand what makes a decision good if he wants to compete. Halo 5 clamberbackupians? Probably not as much.
It doesn't help that the one area where people can showcase an interesting skill gap, movement, is held back by things like de-sync, clunky inputs, and screwy aiming. So you don't even no if they had good movement because you shot them in the head without it being on their head. Lots of cool movement tech gets lost on us as a player base because of how bad the game feels if you don't play it all the time and get used to it.
360P?! what is this 2001.
As for this conversation about judges, judging and the validity of using only high level players here's my two cents.
First off the Forge community isn't here to exclusively design top tear maps for the pro community. As a matter of fact I would argue just the opposite. The main purpose the Forging community is a creative outlet for map design that incorporates any and all styles of play. That being said contests obviously are typically more focused than that.
Secondly, in that these maps aren't designed exclusively for pro players and more realistically are going to be played primarily by casuals and secondly by enthusiasts with pro's a far third, this should be heavily reflected in the judging process. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be considerations for top tear players, more that I believe that judging is better focused at aiming somewhere between the casual and enthusiast level playability. There's no point bringing a Lamborghini dealership to a town that for the most part can only afford Hyundai's.
My point here isn't to discredit the validity or benefit of top tear designed maps or the worthiness of learning to get to that level of Forging ability, more that we should not forget who these maps are being made for or at least who is the most likely to play them. The most destructive thing I think any business can do is ignore it's audience and instead produce products that the bulk of it's existing consumer base has no interest in.
Maybe I'm biased as a soft casual but I can say with absolute certainty that maps built for high level players are far more likely to create a generic stagnancy than maps built for pleasure. Pro maps very existence breeds a need to reproduce very specific and obvious styles of encounters which often lessens the enjoyment for most casuals as they like to think that their playstyle is more freeform and their encounters more unique.
But then again what do I know . . .
The three posts I liked just now all make good points, but none hit the nail on the head. I’m too busy to write a proper response, so let it be known that I will break my rule just this once, and post an integrative response to them over the weekend. But I won’t post it here. Bye!
I think the issue stems more from the fact that pro's never like the maps curated for them from this community whether it be the room based/vertical maps of reach, the ugly giant macro of H4 and H2A, or the mixture of both that has appeared in H5. The forge community has often not fully understood what the comp scene in this game wants and instead just makes fun of them for just wanting to play midship rather than try to figure out how we could make other style of maps work for the competitive scene by listening to their complaints and building a relationship that isn't toxic.
I like this post a lot. Obviously if Im getting a Lamborghini, it’s going to hold up. But when I mod the **** out of my Hyundai it better not break down. In other words an accessible casual map (Hyundai) shouldn’t break if being pushed by the driver (player). Maybe it won’t reach as high of speeds or have the best control, but it should never break down.
The same could be said for casuals that hop into a Lamborghini. They most likely will hop in lose control and crash if trying to push the boundaries of the car. But they can still drive it slow and try and be cautious. Just know Lamborghinis will be flying past you
I’ve always felt that if something is communicated to the player, it is better design than being hidden from the player. People shouldn’t have to accidentally encounter something, or interact with it to know that it exists or what its purpose is.
I’m only saying this, because the topic of accessibility is being discussed. How far you should push accessibilty can be debated, but hiding options, or refusing to communicate options to the player, in the name of ‘learning curve’ or ‘skill gap’ is poor design, in my eyes.
Eh whole I think that can be fair you can overtelegraph too, sometimes players like to be rewarded for having a keen eye and discovering things that are more subtle.
That doesn't necessarily mean that a teleporter looking the same on both sides but it's a one way is fair though. But moreso a player like discovering a sightline or a new way of interacting with the map that was intentional or not by the designer