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Great Virtual Structures
Hey everybody.

Some of you may notice that people are always posting cool links to real life buildings, be they abandoned or brand new. I've always liked browsing through some of the pictures people link and sometimes it's inspirational.

So I got to thinking as I was looking through some UT/2K3/2K4 map screenshots...

Would the world take us (mappers) more seriously if we had a website devoted to displaying the greatest works of virtual architecture?

I'm not talking about maps that try to imitate real buildings, but rather maps that are so well done or so visually stunning, that they deserve to be recognized.

I was thinking that this potential site would have a description of the map and a few screenshots, but that might not be enough. I think 20-30 second fly-by videos of each map would do them justice.

Whoever would run this potential site would only pick the cream of the crop to show off, and it would have to be a work created mostly by the user. (Terrain geenerated maps would be discouraged unless they aren't the most prominent feature of the map)

Discuss. (TM Shamber)
I'm Not Sure....maybe 
mapping is very different to being an architect. The restrictions on architecture are so much higher that coming out with something pretty and/or creative, or even shocking/stunning is a major achievement, apart from the few occasions where an architect is given (a fairly) free reign.

When an architect works on a project, he can't just lob in a few rooms.... change the height as he likes, choose the style or the detailing like that. To start off, the plot of land may be already chosen, or if not, the client will have ideas in mind. And then, the architect will have to accomodate what the client wants in terms of sizes of rooms: "i want 12 offices on this floor, a meeting area and a boardroom" .... go on, go make that interesting.

Then there's the cost to keep in mind, and you have to consult and have meetings, and often the client will have to battle with those higher in his organisation to be able to ask for what he wants. Then, there's planning permission, which can place restrictions on what style you can build in, and whether you have to not obscure any views, and if you have to match the buildings around you.

Then there's safety regulations, which will stop you from putting some wood on certain parts of the floor, will stop you making somethings out of glass, will make you add 2 fire escapes, and so on. And this isn't even counting the task of making sure the project is structurally viable. So if you come out with something nice after all that, you've achieved something.

Sure there are restrictions in mapping, but if you don't want to map in dm or sp you don't have to, and even if you do. I suppose restrictions are fairly large when making a Q3 dm map.... but it only really forces you to make a viable layout, after that you can do what you want as long as it doesn't run slow. I suppose the difference is you don't have to follow any rules if you don't want to, in mapping. You'll get a map no matter what, and people might not play it, but it still exists. Unlike archicture, where, if your designs dont meet all requirements it doesnt get built at all. 
Oh Gods Of Grammar 
i are placing me at you're mercy 
What Starbuck Said, 
Also, if you forsake gameplay, you can pretty much build anything you like in a map; the real skill, the "greatness" if you like, comes in striking the balance between great gameplay and pleasing architecture. 
Ok. 
I'm not talking about maps made solely for the purpose of being eye candy, I'm talking about the maps that are actually fun to play, as well as being visually interesting.

Starbuck while I can appreciate your sentiment in terms of the planning part of being a "real" architect, I'm not sure it really has anything to do with mapping for a game. This imaginary site would be more of an inspirational display than a site that praises the map author as some kind of structural prodigy.

The point of the site as I see it in my mind, is to have a kind of universal reference for the more outstanding map layouts and designs.

The newbish mapper or casual observer who didn't have every FPS installed could browse around the site and see the styles and layouts that the site operator considers to be stellar. 
 
hush up already and do it 
 
:) 
Well... 
I was looking to see how many people are interested, but so far three posts have been mine, and two posts have been yours...so I don't think it really struck a nerve with anyone =) 
For Me 
it would depend on the quality of content. Show me what it could be and maybe I'd be more interested. 
 
The problem with this is that it's an invitation to do extra work. I'm sure most people here have enough things they want to get done as it is. *cough* mapping *cough* 
I Am 
willing to work on the site and do help with updates but that's about it. 
Heres A Title Since It Apparently Can't Be Left Empty 
Sites like this are always popular once they get up and going, remember Ramshackle, that was probably the Q1 equivalent of what you are discussing back in its day and that was the place I know I went to if I wanted to see they very best of what was being created. 
This Title *is* Empty 
As real architecture -- or pseudo-real -- still has a strong influence over views of game levels, it would seem to me to require a paradigm shift to overcome that ... or at least a strong ability to ignore the 'net Langoliers always looking for something to get their teeth into, always ripping and tearing ... 
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