StarCraft® II

Quit Teasing us!!! :P

Posts: 535
12/06/2012 06:23 PMPosted by euknemarchon
I'm arguing that the open games list worked well because it led to discovery (advertising, trying new things, exposing new players, etc.) and coordination (clear signals of who already wants to play what), which together helped move new players into mature participants in one or more diverse niche communities. That's what's important.


That being a #1 reason why the mapmakers insist so much on the open games to be given priority. Ultimately leading to their map being found and played. Then being able to enjoy their own map with others.
Edited by Honejasi on 12/6/2012 8:21 PM PST
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Never for a second believe that I think the system is perfect or I am defending Blizzard, but they are always trying to improve things. People have some tinfoil hat theory that Blizzard is purposely integrating bad design into Sc2, it is not really that ... everything is always 20/20 in hindsight. Meaning it is a lot easier to view things after they have been done instead of being involved in the creative process.

Communities are like the protoss, they have a collective mind. They say the internet is full of hate and trolls but the internet as a whole, whether it is Anon or Youtube Community etc, don't tollerate hatred. There will always be vocal minorities and they generally ruin things for everyone else "this is why we can't have nice things".

This is the same with battle.net, the collective mind structure will always notice where things can be improved faster than the designers. But you cannot have that collective mind structure inside a corporation because of the old saying "too many cooks spoil the broth". It needs to come down to 1 single person to make the design decisions, and it is impossible for that 1 single person to please everyone.

The people happy with the system, never say they are. The people who simply don't care never post their thoughts. The people that hate the system are always heard. This isn't a happy work environment for designers.

I have always said that Battle.net can be improved, and we spent two years working against a flawed system. The popularity system should have never been implemented like it was, Open Games should have been the default to _start with_, this way, when the Arcade was released and you have the main arcade screen, people would still be comfortable with the new splash screen for the arcade and would automatically click Open Lobbies.

But this is hindsight, and we can't dwell on the past, instead learn from it and improve things.

As for Dragon RPG and having no advertisements ...

RPGs are a niche market, people who want to play RPGs will always search for NEW RPGs.

One person would have searched 'RPG' for it, found it, hosted it and it came up in the open lobby, because of the name other people joined it, many people would have seen the name, tried to join, couldn't, created a game instead and thus is escalated from there.

This is not true for TDs or Mobas where people want to play what they are use to playing.

I think the Arcade system needs to improve, and it is getting there slowly. I for one would like named lobbies back, in Diablo 3 and Starcraft II, but I believe Blizzard as made it clear that they do not want it that way, which is a shame.

Battle.net if done right as a platform could push forward as a huge community driven frontier, using a good social platform above all else to ensure a good end user experience. I have so many ideas of how not only Sc2, but Battle.net as a whole could leap forward, but that as yet I have not had the chance to discuss.
Edited by Dogmai on 12/6/2012 8:32 PM PST
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12/06/2012 08:31 PMPosted by Dogmai
People have some tinfoil hat theory that Blizzard is purposely integrating bad design into Sc2, it is not really that ... everything is always 20/20 in hindsight.


I'm not wearing any tinfoil hats (some people are though). Blizzard is dealing with a complex system and it is hard to tell what something is going to be like.

It's like the weather. It's very easy to say in hindsight what the weather was like yesterday but with all of todays resources we can't predict the weather further than 10 days ahead.

But I think even players are slowly coming to the consensus that the custom map scene is way too stagnant. Although without any hard data I guess that's just one more opinion.
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I have always said that the custom map list is stagnant, but I believe that is due to a combination of a previous heavily flawed popularity system and simply how long it takes to do anything (create a new project).

The length of time required to make the simplist of projects (unless you have heavily invested a lot of time into learning) is actually extremely high compared to say what it was in Wc3.

I logged onto HOTS and I have been taking a play around with the UI, except from my previously mentioned little issue with the UI;

http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7004453570

(@Update4Blizz, it is clear that the HOTS UI is split into 4 Columns, and everything revolves around this, so the buttons should be moved to 2,3 instead of 1,2 but my point stands)

Which has not been changed (and it really does my eyes in and gives me a headache to focus on that part of the screen for chat) -_-, the arcade actually flows really, really nice.

The switching of the buttons is actually a HUGE change, like seriously HUGE. You should login and have a play with it yourself. As you open with the Splash screen it is very natural to click Open Games now instead of Browse. Try it, seriously.

And you guys say Blizzard don't care, don't listen ...
Edited by Dogmai on 12/7/2012 6:21 AM PST
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I don't think anybody's trying to attribute nefarious motives to Blizzard in how poorly this system has worked. And it should be made clear that adding an open games list has been an improvement over the bare popularity list. But ultimately this system can be chocked up to something. I think there are a couple theories we could throw out there for the current iteration...

1) Blizzard moved to an App Store concept as preparation for turning the arcade into a store and giving mapmakers dev revenues.
2) Blizzard had some kind of theory about younger/newer players being used to the App Store so that the concept works better for them.

Either is totally within Blizzard's rights and they don't owe us anything etc etc. But neither theory involves an attempt to solve the discovery and coordination problems that (because the open games list solved them well) haven't kept prior games from developing diverse, niche communities.

A complicated map editor can certainly affect the situation. I skipped War3 where I think the Blizz editor may have actually been good, but the health of the mapmaking community in both War2 and BW was tied to the development of worthwhile third-party editors. So I get it. The editor is important. But that's why you have to have a good system that rewards mapmakers; costs are higher than ever for development, so incentives have to be higher.

I've read some suggestions that Blizz just pay editors. That's interesting, but I think it's unnecessary. The number one incentive mapmakers need is the opportunity to make an interesting, polished game that somebody, somewhere will play. This is more like art than app development, and the "art tools" at the mapmaker's disposal in WoL are more powerful than ever. If the system provided a reliable path for mapmakers to develop consistent, appreciative followings, you can bet that there would be interesting, polished maps coming out with those powerful tools (just look at the number of people already trying between here and mapster). Mapmakers don't need to be the top of the dogpile; they need a consistent, appreciative following - big or small. The system has made that very difficult and may even be warping mapmakers to think in terms of competition for eyeballs (advertise? are you kidding?). This is not an app store. This was a community whose members could participate in niche subcommunities, and it was art, and it was fun.

Like I said yesterday, having a system that solves coordination and discovery problems may be consistent with a lot of Blizzard's innovation in this area, and it may even be consistent with the commercialization of the arcade (may it never be!) if they're going down that road. The biggest thing I want to rant about here is that whatever system they implement needs to solve these problems, and my key point with this post is that solving discovery and coordination actually creates an incentive for mapmakers because it promises some likelihood of an appreciative following (or at least a full lobby once in a while) for a quality, polished map even if it never becomes an ermahgad top of the dogpile map.
Edited by euknemarchon on 12/7/2012 7:10 AM PST
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Our project has around 15,000-20,000 man hours put into it (probably leaning towards the latter). This means if somehow we magically found $200,000 on the ground we would still be short changed. You would be looking at, at least 350K-500K for a fair days work (standard AU wage from working in a supermarket | split between two people), just to cover what has already been done and not what is still left to do.

It adds up really fast on the big projects, especially with so many people being involved. If you multiply this by all the UMS developers, you get into astronomical amounts. It is a very, very big gamble to invest this amount of time into a project with no guarentee of return, but we all have our choices to make in life. I have lost a lot of potential income because of my dedication to my project, I did this full time, I work at least 10 hours a day, usually closer to 16, it is very, very hard on my life, my relationships (partner, family etc) because even though I am at home, I am not spending quality time with them, instead working my !@# off on a very big gamble I took.

I would like to see more incentive (as you mentioned) for developers to invest that time into a well polished project, but I honestly do not know what the best way to go about it is. I have my thoughts of what I would like to see happen to my life, but it wouldn't suit everyone.

The world is changing, there are too many people, you need to advertise everything you do. That is what cover letters exist for, say if you wanted to apply for a job at Blizzard, would you honestly send your resume without a cover letter (even though Blizzard requires one) - a cover letter exists simply to advertise yourself in a different way from your resume.

When there are too many people involved you need a way to stand out. Those who will succeed will be the ones who think outside the box. You can't simply make a good project anymore (in anything) and have it succeed. Minecraft is a prime example, it succeeded because of the cult following on 4chan. 4chan advertised that game more than anyone else and 4chan created the success of Minecraft. You don't have to advertise your own project but someone else will have to (usually through word of mouth), otherwise your map will not get played.

Concerning your conclusion; I think Blizzard needs to get involved more with the community, more constant featuring etc (like a new feature every Friday morning). This community involvement I cannot stress enough.

I stay awake everynight until 2 am (10am Irvine time) either talking to Blizzard Reps or waiting for them. The nights where I have to wait are really really bad. Because I am not going to bed with my girl, I am staying up because we need help from Blizzard for our project, whether it be bugs, following up on previous conversations, developing future plans or even just having a chat. When no one shows up in the IRC, or you send an email off and don't get a response, even with everything that Blizzard has done for us it still hurts mate, it cuts deep.

We had one and a half years of silence from Blizzard as UMS Developers, we need that communication now, we need that support now, we need them to show that they care about us - that is the greatest motivation that any UMS developer will ever get. And trust me when I say they do care about UMS developers, they are just not the best at showing it.
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12/07/2012 08:20 AMPosted by Dogmai
And trust me when I say they do care about UMS developers, they are just not the best at showing it.


Then I would be quite interested to know concrete examples that you see them caring that most of us don't.

It's not a jab at Blizzard or anything. Just trying to see what you see that we don't.

As a side thing, that's some insane devotion that you got there. I hope you don't somehow get excluded from having your map premium when the marketplace finally hits in.
Edited by Honejasi on 12/7/2012 8:54 AM PST
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Posts: 46
Dogmai, I take your post to have two main points:

1. Connecting maps with players is difficult, especially with "so many people" out there.
2. These projects really are very time-consuming.
3. Blizzard cares.

As to 1., that's what we've been talking about. The map system has to connect maps and players. I don't think you're right to analogize this to finding a job or to conceptualize this as "weeding out"; there's a lot of room for a lot of different maps as long as players interested in niche ones can coordinate with each other and recruit new people. When the system weeds out maps like a company weeding out job applicants, it undermines the ability for players to organize into niche subcommunities that enjoy particular rarer genres. Did you buy the lie of the App Store concept or the popularity concept - you have to be on top? You should not have to.

Ultimately, legitimately bad maps will not get communities to form around them. But sometimes you have games that could match the preferences of a small group of people while not being popular with everybody. The question is whether the system can solve the coordination and discovery problems in a way that matches those unpopular maps with their potential niche followings. The open games list system from prior games did that. Starcraft 2's various systems have not done that very well.

I also don't want to sound like I'm down on social media or whatever else you expect mapmakers to do to build communities around their maps. It's fine to have those tools available, and people have been using them since BW. The problem is that getting people to those tools is something that happens after they become interested in a niche community; that means that a huge part of the important behavioral issues arise in how players discover new maps and coordinate around maps in the game client.

Finally, a word on building communities. Mapmakers aren't the only ones who are interested in a following for their maps as if they're budding entrepreneuer-programmer-vis design people. Players are often the ones as much or more interested in the community around a map or genre of maps. Like I've already said, I have been one of those players. The upshot here, if we care about the development of these niche communities, is that you want the possibility that one mapmaker can improve on the genre by publishing a related but differentiated map. Again, the right metaphor is totally art over commerce. Ideally we'd have a system that lets a subcommunity of likeminded players coordinate around one impressionist or another depending on who hosts etc. As it stands, one map rules them all unless there's a critical mass for the type of map a la the number of people interested in TD variants.

As to 2., I can't tell if you're trolling (full time? what in the world?). But addressing your comments anyway, your project as detailed on mapster obviously involves pushing the bounds of the tools are your disposal. Projects that involve substantial changes to game art, different UIs, and complicated triggers push the economic bounds of the system I extol from BW (where nobody made custom art and it was all a kind of artful hobby). Obviously to support multiple projects like yours we'd need a system with funding from Blizzard, players, or both.

On the other hand, many maps do not involve the substantial game art changes, different UIs, or sheer number of complicated triggers that yours does. Those kinds of maps have historically been the bread and butter of custom maps; they involve a lot of work, but they're still the stuff of an art-like hobby, useful for bored high school or college students. For those people, I think all my comments in this thread must ring true.

Perhaps that brings us to a choice - would we rather participate in a system with huge projects that ultimately needs financial support or would we rather live in hobbyland? As a child of War2 and BW, I'm content for hobbyland. Maybe others aren't.

As to 3., as a player and not a mapmaker, I'm more interested in Blizzard (a for-profit company) giving me the product I want than about whether they "care." This product has not been, so I don't plan to buy another one from Blizzard until they start producing the product I want to buy.
Edited by euknemarchon on 12/7/2012 9:11 AM PST
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I ain't trolling, the general sc2mapster community really has no idea how much work we have done over the last 2 years. I worked on Tofu sitting on the ground in Airports, I worked on Tofu on my overseas holidays instead of enjoying them, I could not take the time off because there was so much that needed to be done. And Dryeyece is a whole another kettle of fish. This is stuff we never tell you guys because we get !@#$ back in return off the community. We just keep our heads down and try our hardest to push it out the door. There are so many things we have cut from the project because they would have delayed it even further and we want a pre-christmas release.

No one wants Tofu finished more than us mate.

That being said, its 2am, I'm tired, I will reply in more detail tomo mate.
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Posts: 1,392
And trust me when I say they do care about UMS developers, they are just not the best at showing it.


Then I would be quite interested to know concrete examples that you see them caring that most of us don't.

It's not a jab at Blizzard or anything. Just trying to see what you see that we don't.

As a side thing, that's some insane devotion that you got there. I hope you don't somehow get excluded from having your map premium when the marketplace finally hits in.


Okay imma stop you there, The devs especially, now NO OTHER COMPANY DOES THAT, where the actual people who make the games come and help the modding community. So your saying Deletarius and artestru, and the others, who roam FAN WEBSITES too, searching for issues trying to get a general consensus dont care? I tried to bring up a an article that was on Sc2mapser to one of them the other day where someone was experiencing a game hindering bug, and you know what he said? "I saw that earlier Q/A is checking it out"

Yeah blizzard does care, maybe they didnt as much in the earler development, but no point crying over the past, we are here now.

Oh and @Dogmai The phenomenon happend before teh open games list, thats why it surprised the hell outta me.

I ain't trolling, the general sc2mapster community really has no idea how much work we have done over the last 2 years. I worked on Tofu sitting on the ground in Airports, I worked on Tofu on my overseas holidays instead of enjoying them, I could not take the time off because there was so much that needed to be done. And Dryeyece is a whole another kettle of fish. This is stuff we never tell you guys because we get !@#$ back in return off the community. We just keep our heads down and try our hardest to push it out the door. There are so many things we have cut from the project because they would have delayed it even further and we want a pre-christmas release.

No one wants Tofu finished more than us mate.

That being said, its 2am, I'm tired, I will reply in more detail tomo mate.


I troll you, but I understand what you are saying, I have about 25-50 ideas, I have been working on EvoFrenzy for nearly year now, (though I enjoy my holidays but i still work on it), that have been cut from my project. but you should do like I do, Throw them in a text document and when your updating later on, then you can add them :P.

Right now I will never run out of content for my map haha
Edited by IShadowWolf on 12/7/2012 11:52 AM PST
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Posts: 535
Okay imma stop you there, The devs especially, now NO OTHER COMPANY DOES THAT, where the actual people who make the games come and help the modding community. So your saying Deletarius and artestru, and the others, who roam FAN WEBSITES too, searching for issues trying to get a general consensus dont care? I tried to bring up a an article that was on Sc2mapser to one of them the other day where someone was experiencing a game hindering bug, and you know what he said? "I saw that earlier Q/A is checking it out"

Yeah blizzard does care, maybe they didnt as much in the earler development, but no point crying over the past, we are here now.


Okay, I didn't mean that they don't care. However, as one that mostly see the superficial side and don't get in touch with developers, I wanted to know what Dogmai sees beyond what most of us see to add more weight on his stance that Blizzard cares.
Edited by Honejasi on 12/7/2012 2:50 PM PST
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Posts: 1,392
What do you mean, of course they care, I think its more of a matter of "Do we have enlough money to fix this, and will it be enough financial gain to work", You have to remember this is not WoW, they dont get monthly money from us, so when they implemented the Popularity system they placed a good majority of money on that and hoped it didnt work, well when it didnt, they had to fix it, that requires more money, and then there was the Tournaments dropping people, these were all unforeseen things that happened.

So its not that they didnt care, At least i hope not :P, Its most likely a financial thing, and a timing thing. What takes priority over what. I mean the campaign alone with the Ladder system was worth my money, both were great. but the customs were lacking i wont deny that.

There is good news though. HoTS is coming out, which means MAJOR improvements, if you havent already i suggest you pre-order HoTS, either from Amazon or gamestop, so you can get that awesome beta code. You should see the new UI is AWESOME. just still needs some Tweaks. it does fix quite a bit of the problems though, and looks very sleek.
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What do you mean, of course they care, I think its more of a matter of "Do we have enlough money to fix this, and will it be enough financial gain to work"...


They did NOT care for the longest time, because the "fix" was very easy and would not have costed them a dime... Remember back when we only had the popularity list to work with? The community suggested a lot of ways to fix the problem, most of which were really easy and simple changes that wouldn't cost anything, it's literally changing a couple of variables in their code. Add that to the fact that this section of the forums was really abandoned by "Blues" for a long period of time.

Sure they might be caring now, but let's not forget what happened for a good year and a half and pretend like it never did...
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Posts: 535
We are still very hesitant as there still is no complete fix from Blizzard in terms of getting a brand new map seen and played in addition of Blizzard's slowness and having no guarantee it will be ever fully fixed.

Mapmakers (especially many decent ones) essentially want a rock-solid guarantee that they are no longer losing their time doing maps for SC2 after suffering through the past 2 years or so.
Edited by Honejasi on 12/8/2012 3:06 PM PST
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