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CPMA: Path Of Destruction For Original Mapping?
This thread is inspired by LvL's CPMA update.
( http://www.celephais.net/board/view_thread.php?id=8880 )

Seems to me more like an update with 1 map that has any originality at all, 1 map that's a reject from q3 and looks the part, and 4 maps that look like boxmaps with custom textures thrown on them and overbright lighting with no contrast.

Is that what CPMA maps are about? Making things that may have been considered awesome years ago for Q1 but with colored light and custom textures? God, I fear for the future of mapping if these 'gameplay only' maps are what people want.

You look at some of these maps, and they've obviously been lit with minlight and are so bland, the only excuse seems to be that 'it's more fair to players'. When Doom3 comes out, I can't wait to see the fury of maps taking advange of dynamic lights come out... and then we just regress back to fullbright maps so it's a bit more fair.

It also appears, from comments made about RPG's latest map, that low halls and areas like the RA in the water slowing players down is frowned on. WTF? Mappers are now suppose to design things without any quirks that deviate from some 'standard' gamers think there? Is this so they can blur through our maps at 1 million miles an hour with as few 'speedbumps' as they can convince us to take out?

I find lower ceilings, interesting 'traps' and dead ends, and other such neat things to give personality to a map. Contrasting light and interesting architecture give maps appeal and should be EQUALLY important to the map as the gameplay. If maps were designed only for gameplay, we could easily have an automated map program just build endless permutations of platforms and rooms with proper scale and ceilings.

What do you guys think?
Yep 
maps that look like boxmaps with custom textures thrown on them and overbright lighting with no contrast.

that's most cpm maps. Only some CPM only mappers (like swelt and hubster) actually release stuff that looks decent as well as plays good. 
An Alternate Perspective 
...low halls and areas like the RA in the water slowing players down is frowned on.

In respect to the low halls: are you now going to say that we shouldn't clip maps, either? Clipping the maps makes it easier to navigate, too.

In respect to the RA: if it slows the player down too much, the danger of getting the RA outweighs the reward.

Otherwise, yes, CPM maps usually aren't so hot (visually). My own personal explanation for the phenomenon is that it is usually a lot easier to make sure that flat walls are properly clipped, have trick jump potential, etc, than highly detailed walls. But then, if they were good mappers anyway, they could make it work. 
The World In A Grain Of Sand 
What do you guys think?

I think you'd have more success making maps how you want it rather than complaining that no one is doing it for you. Anyways, I don't think anyone complained about RPG's pool slowing the map down. I entirely agree that the latest cpm offerings sucked, but there was a whole string of interesting and quality maps before that. 
Well 
ffdm2 - Patibuh's Lair is a pretty sweet looking map ( even if it is predominantly id gothic �_� ) and plays well in CPMA. Apparently. My Quake skills and playing style are exactly what doesn't work in CPMA, i.e. reckless aggression, so I can't comment on the playability of any of the maps. But I don't think mapping for any current or upcoming game is going to be dominated by the hardcore 1337 players. I doubt they account for the majority of players for any game, even creaky-ageing Q3A. Mapping for realism mods/games is always going to have certain aesthetic requirements simply because of the theme. And how many mappers map primarily for the players anyway? All raving egotists, as I've said before :)

Incidentally, on the issue of clipping; I remember arquon posting on Q3W LE months ago with some pointers about promode mapping and he said that excessive clipping was more of a problem - if a feature or detail looks like it could snag the players' bounding box, then it should. 
 
RPG: If a ceiling is too low to bunnyhop through, then obviously you shouldn't bunnyhop through it. It's not a question of navigation, as there is no problem unless you jump into it and create the issue. So, no, I'm not saying you shouldn't clip maps, as proper clipping fixes seemlessly fixes problems with navigation through areas where a mapper does 'nonstandard' things. CPMA maps seem to be designed to make clips unnessicary.

As for the RA area, I can almost see where someone might argue danger vs. power of the item... but throw a Quad down there, and they'd still bitch because it's a speedbump. It's the same reason dead ends have become less common nowadays. It's not 'fair' for everyone and causes players to become trapped and have to fight their way out. Players don't want to play, just win.

Pushplay: ? I wasn't complaining no one was making maps the way I want... more like, complaining maps are increasingly becoming catered towards pure gameplay, rather than a good mix of it with looks.

My complaints in this thread are more fears of the direction custom mapping and gaming is going. Engines are increasing in polygons, but we as mappers are being more and more constrianed to making neatly built 128x128 unit minimun halls with as little things as possible to force a player to change their tactics or movement. For all that we've gained in years in terms of quality, gamers are increasingly setting their options to make our maps look ugly, while asking us to use less polygons and make the same things only differant. I'm worried mapping is becoming more formulaic. 
Ask Yourself A Question 
who do i map for?

do i map as a personal creative outlet, where it's a bonus if players like it?

or do i map for people to play, and it's a bonus that i enjoyed the mapping experience?

I never shat on anyone for either of these, but never shall the 2 meet. I enjoy the creative process and the li'l smirk I get when I build something that I think is cool.

on the flip side, i've never met a high ranking tourney player (any tourney) where i actually cared what their opinion of my map was. How many different names can you give straight ahead dm?

No i've never mapped for tourney play, and never cared to. During the Q2 days, i happened into some Rocket Arena. In a time when dm authors were doing neat shit, RA homogenized the whole experience. In a so-called 'community' where it's (was) accepted that people bag and pile-on each other "you suck" "yeah he sucks," the maps where homogenizing the entire experience... cuz the experience there wasn't an experience. it was all about winning.

bunch of losers. Cept czg. czg is ok, and for a tourney player that's saying a lot. 
Jesus 
that was a pretty meandering rant there.

Suffice it to say this:

* I don't like tourney mods (how many different names can you give plain dm)
* Tourney maps are ugly, homogenized in the name of gameplay and frame rate
* Tourney players are generally idiots.

supporting that last point:
Again with the Q2 days, i was hunting for someone to drag into a headhunters server. Joined some random clan channel and asked if someone wanted to play. a guy actually said "I don't like hh cuz it's too hard to get frags."

Think, fucker. Expand your brain. Do something different. Start in the middle. Call for pizza and ask em what the weather is like. Whether or not it's harder to get frags in HH isn't the point... the point is that he was so busy liking it the way he likes it that he wasn't about to try something different, gods forbid

dammit... meandered again. 
9_9 
22:57:24 | <scampie|mapping> yeah just read... czg?
22:57:37 | <sto|empornium> cmpa homer isn't he?
22:57:37 | <scampie|mapping> he's not a tourney player...
22:57:46 | <scampie|mapping> he's a q1sp mapper
22:57:59 | <sto|empornium> i thought he was 'ranked' cpma
22:58:08 | <sto|empornium> reload the page, btw
22:58:14 | <scampie|mapping> nope... doubt he even owns q3
22:58:51 | <sto|empornium> oh. my bad. 
Hasty Generalizations 
Monsto: Back where I come from we call that an inductive fallacy.

Scampie: ok, you're complaining about a trend away from the kind of maps you like. That's not a bad thing. I still think you're reading too much into little things though. Better maps will always be in the minority, pretty much by definition. In LvL's recent offering some of the maps sucked, but there were enough good maps that I see no reason to be concerned. CPM players may prefer a certain style of map, but they're a vocal minority. The general populace may be always interested in what the elite are doing, but in the end they'll still make up their own minds about what maps they enjoy. 
Scampie: 
stop wasting time on these threads and give us cookie! 
Scampie: 
Bloody great topic m8, best new one for ages, the problem with mapping purely for a specific sort of gameplay, vs. mapping for more diverse gameplay (which the aesthetic can be a part of). I very much agree that it can be a problem and detrimental not only to custom mapping, but also hampering the gameplay potential and diversity that there could be in DM games.

For me, playing DM was always about having challenging fun in new, atmospheric and exciting enviroments. Ones where the gameplay was good AND the aesthetic was intriguing. In fact with most good maps/mappers, I'd check the aesthetic first because I knew the gameplay would have some sort of fun. I mean, if you can move around, pick up some decent weapons, and lay the smack down with them, it's gonna be reasonable fun right?? And there's lots of ways you can do that. Tight/open, jumpy/runny, complex/simple, fast/tactical, shortcutty/trappy. And each has their own merits, it's good to sample a bit of everything and sample the diversity of DM gameplay. 
Hmm 
The simplicity of brushwork in a lot of CPM maps is because they don't like clipping.

The view of the players is that if it looks like they can jump on something then they should be able to, the simplified brushwork is designed to meet that expectations but only allow the 'standard set' of movement skills.


I'd agree that a good mix of aesthetics and gameplay is ideal, but it was the lack of (competitive) gameplay in the majority of custom maps that forced the players to make 'layout maps' (since they have neither the skill nor the inclination to make good looking maps).

If we could design gameplay well enough, there wouldn't have been the split in the community and wouldn't be at this point. 
Hmm 
and we wouldn't.


Of course, there is also the issue that players like to be able to consitantly get high framerates and therefore extraneous detail is 'bad' (this is more of an issue when a game first comes out however) 
Ok Ok. 
Let's forget about cpma for a bit.

Think original Quake now. Think about early maps and how much freedom the mapper had in creating whatever they wanted.

Back then, if you could build a map with some kinda of coherant theme and an amount of looks, you were WAY ahead of the pack. And adding traps, small halls, sniper holes, and other neat features was viewed as something to give a map flavour. We don't see dm2's lava floor, or killme's beartrap doors anymore. 'speedbumps', instant death traps... things that are native to the map and force players to change their tactics for that map, slowly removed through the years. If someone adds thin little brushes to create a window bar, or a hole in the wall for shooting thru, we comment on how the features effect r_speeds and vis, rather than say 'neat idea man!'. I'm sure there are good examples of this for single player as well... I just can't think of any off the top of my head.

Mapper's own persuit for perfection has killed as much innovation as Player's persuit for ease of use maps. I hope alot of the issue can be resolved in Doom3/forthcoming engines. The ability to be able to make what you want with a good bit more detail should stir some imagination. Hopefully people will be awed by the looks long enough to relieze they're accually enjoying something new for a change.

pushplay: CPMA is the most popular way (not a vocal minority) to play q3 nowadays, so it follows that it's a worrisome trend for mappers who want to make neat maps, but will be ostracized if they deviate from what is 'standard'. 
My Name Is In Here Mentioned Why? 
: 
RE: Ask Yourself A Question 
Good topic, or evolving into one.

Monsto: "do i map as a personal creative outlet [...] or do i map for people to play [...] never shall the 2 meet.

I'd certainly like to think everything I've ever praised was primarily a product of personal creativity, but I guess I can't know that. DM/multi -- which I rarely praise -- *is* different, so much a functional thing. Aesthetics do often provide the reason for preferring one map over are another, but only because functionalities can be evenly matched, which pretty much answers the original question.

But in singleplayer (at least), even trying to create a specific gameplay seems a personal creative thing, the only possible mapping "for people to play" would be to purposefully try to be ordinary or palatable. That and just getting the map out the door without bugs or weak spots. I say I start maps for my individual satisfaction, and finish them for people to play (not that it's completely successful).

pushplay: "I think you'd have more success making maps how you want it rather than complaining that no one is doing it for you."

Oh yeah. 
Hmmm 
well I got into mapping in the first place because I have an over-active imagination to make crazy and cool places, not flat boxes that just happen to have a good layout.

I'll go out on a leg here and say that 9/10 mappers started mapping for the same reason (or something very similar) so I think nice looking and original maps are not dying down anytime soon.

I would think that in the future though more games will have a "pro tourney" mode in them and the maps will become more of a layout over looks affair, while the single player arena is where people will get to throw the eye candy around and create some lovely looking and playing maps. Just my 2p 
Good Thread 
I do think that is totally possible to do an awesome good looking level and with an excellent gameplay too, only that it's difficult, needs effort, technnique and perhaps some luck =). 
Mapping Is Hard 
sry, swelt's maps dont look good - they look like cpma maps with new textures. (no insult, uhm wait, im on func board, so insult intended :))

im a 'competetive gamer' myself, so i often try to accomplish great gameplay - but that itself is extremely difficult.

the main problem with complex brushwork is that you have to rely on some sort of 'lego-type building' - you create a series of patterns (walls for example) and then connect them to form a structure one might call a hallway, a room or a connection of rooms.

now the problematic part comes in: for competetive gameplay, you mustn limit yourself to such a blocky/pattern style of mapping. that form in most cases is boring (best example: ut2). So you have two possibilities:
1. build new 'patterns'(pattern is the wrong word here, as one piece is often used just once) for each of the connections that cant be expressed through one of the simple patterns created earlier. this leads to an inconsistend style (or at least in my definition of style - i tend to prefer very simple styles)
2. you try to break up your patterns (e.g. form a 90deg corner at 70$ of your 128u pattern), which in most cases is VERY difficult, often impossible.

of course both of these methods are quite hard to do well, thus the newb mapper, who is a competetive player himself and has the best idea of great gameplay, cant do this.

hugh 
Mapping Is Hard 
sry, swelt's maps dont look good - they look like cpma maps with new textures. (no insult, uhm wait, im on func board, so insult intended :))

im a 'competetive gamer' myself, so i often try to accomplish great gameplay - but that itself is extremely difficult.

the main problem with complex brushwork is that you have to rely on some sort of 'lego-type building' - you create a series of patterns (walls for example) and then connect them to form a structure one might call a hallway, a room or a connection of rooms.

now the problematic part comes in: for competetive gameplay, you mustn limit yourself to such a blocky/pattern style of mapping. that form in most cases is boring (best example: ut2). So you have two possibilities:
1. build new 'patterns'(pattern is the wrong word here, as one piece is often used just once) for each of the connections that cant be expressed through one of the simple patterns created earlier. this leads to an inconsistend style (or at least in my definition of style - i tend to prefer very simple styles)
2. you try to break up your patterns (e.g. form a 90deg corner at 70$ of your 128u pattern), which in most cases is VERY difficult, often impossible.

of course both of these methods are quite hard to do well, thus the newb mapper, who is a competetive player himself and has the best idea of great gameplay, cant do this.

hugh 
Good Topic Indeed! 
The last game I played online was Counter-Strike (please, hold your tomatoes) and you start to notice that the most popular user made maps are total fucking pieces of shit like 'awp_map' which was literally a giant box filled with sniper rifles.

So there is definately a "market," if you will, of people who become mappers solely for the intention of making maps that they think their friends will get a kick out of. But the sad thing is these maps end up being the most popular sometimes.

Knowing most of you for almost 3 years now, I know that you guys make maps that try to surpass the original game's maps. You try to make original maps that stick to a theme and have a sense of style and tight, tough gameplay.

And that's the way it SHOULD be done, but how many people have the patience to do it? Not many. That's why this board thrives, because you mappers have the self respect to put the time and effort into a professional looking product.

You wouldn't put something out there that people would say 'oh this is fun because it has 1000 rocket launchers.' You put something out that would make people say 'I didn't see this map in the game, must be a free addon from the company'

So no scampie, I don't think 'gameplay' type maps are destroying the art of mapping. They've been around and they'll be around as long as people think they are fun. But we in the mapping community know better.

Therefore, at the very least, people will continue to make innovative, coherent, maps for the sake of those who do know good maps from shitty maps. 
Well, Skill's Also A Factor 
I can't map worth crap, and this is evident in my various mods such as Battle Mech. The three maps I made for that game were terrible looking at best. I'm a coder - mapping's not my thing. I also don't have the time to learn that kind of detail and commitment (except to a mod).

I can't expect you guys to make maps for me, you have more important things to do. Pushplay was very gracious to make the three maps he did - and they look great to me. SkinnedAlive also contributed a couple nice maps, and I appreciate that. For the rest of you, I can't scream and yell and stamp my feet like a child just because you didn't all race in to do work for me. That would be selfish, stupid, and nieve. That's just the way it is.

And so I am forced to either make the maps for myself, get a friend to help me, or, heaven help me, hire the nearest "induhvidual" and pray he gives me a map with at least one wall and hopefully an info_player_start (if he's really feeling productive today). Mapping is a very complex and time-involving skill, and most people will vote to make something simple and "fun" (by their standards) in 10 minutes as opposed to something pretty that takes several months or more to make and perfect, and may just get scrapped in the process. You can have a lot of fun on a butt-ugly map that plays really well, you simply have to lower your standards - and this is easier for normal 'players' than experienced mappers.

I think this is why (well, no duh Wazat shuddup) we are seeing so many of these maps. They're quick, easy, and you can get the same effect as a pretty map (assuming your audience doesn't care). There's also a large audience for this type of map - quantity and immediate satisfaction over quality and beauty. However, if this is the first time this kind of thing has happened, Cranky Steve wouldn't have been so successful.

So I don't think this is the end. Too bad, this was almost a good excuse to not complete & release those maps everyone's been badgering you to finish (czg and rpg come to mind ;P ).

Keep giving us great maps, we appreciate them! 
Interesting Thread 
1 map that has any originality at all

Hmmn. /me crosses his fingers . . .

In any case, I think you're overstating your case quite a bit. Yes indeed, "gameplay only" maps are what people want. But it's what *these* people want in *this* mod, and I don't see it as being representative of any sort of general direction for mapping (or even Q3 mapping) at all. I think there's still a hellava lot of creativity and visual wow to be mined out there, and I'm confident people will do so.

I think the fact that Q3 is a DM-only game has retarded some of the creative effort that you might have otherwise seen up to this point ever since it was released, but I'm very sure that you'll get your wish (i.e. a heaping assload of atmosphere and creativity) with Doom 3, HL2, and so forth.

Personally, I like mapping for CPMA just because I have fun playing those types of maps, and moving through them at supersonic speed doing cool trick jumps. It's the Q3 equivalent of a racing game. With guns. Or something. Can you really exercise all your creativity and do funky shit (tm) when mapping for CPMA? Nope. Working within the limits and expectations of the mod can be part of the fun though, if you're built that way . . . 
About CPMA Maps And Q3 Maps In General 
OK, so CPM maps are arguably visually boring and unattractive. I have a few points to discuss on this issue.

A.
CPM is named Challenge [b]Promode[/b] for a reason. When most of these maps were made, the maps were designed to show the gameplay possible with the new physics in the CPM mod. I can easily understand that some mappers would want their maps to last in the competitive community; to do this, they need to design killer layouts, not killer visuals. So stuff to add atmosphere like beveled trim around corners and poop-stain decals just are not going to be as high of a priority.

B.
Of the CPM maps, I think that the most attractive ones are the maps being played competitively. This may be coincidence, but these maps both look and play well: For 1v1 and 2v2, we have cpm1a, cpm3a, cpm15, cpm16, cpm19, and cpm21 being the tournament maps (among hub3aeroq3 and some osp maps, but that doesn't matter here). For 4v4 Team Deathmatch (TDM), we have cpm18i and cpm21 from the CPM* pack. Yeah, anyway, what I was getting at is that if you compare these maps to the other CPM maps that aren't played as much, they just look better. They also probably play better, but perhaps the better visuals of these maps helped them gain their more-played status. Actually, cpm3a is essentially a retextured version of cpm3; even though cpm3a looks better than cpm3, ONE of them was going to be used for tourney play. cpm3 looking pretty much like ass didn't stop tournaments from using it before cpm3a came along.

Besides, everyone plays in picmip 5. 
Uhm 
In competetive cpm gameplay comes before visuals, no doubt. Of course, there's always a mixture. People won't play a map that has great gameplay but crappy visuals, and the other way around. Once you get both parameters over a certain threshhold gameplay takes precedence.

and yes, we all play in picmip >3 so we never see the gorgeous textures... 
Heh 
I think the gameplay-only maps are simply the extreme opposite of visuals-only maps. We've all seen numerous beautiful maps that have such high r_speeds you wonder how they ever managed to get those screenshots in the first place. These maps tend to be better recieved because the average person is more of a window shopper (oooh, perdy screenies! this is teh best map evah!) than an actual download-and-play person.

There's a place for gameplay-only maps, but the audience will be narrower, and the people who have taken great pride in creating masterpiece maps will be quick to scoff at them - as will most other people. After all, they're ugly as sin. You'd have to already be interested in the mod to be willing to accept the maps.

This whole thing is a fad, one that will pass like pennies through the digestive tract - it might be uncomfortable for a while, but it'll be over eventually. :) 
I Think... 
most of the mappers here believe you need to hit a certain threshold for both gameplay and visuals. We drool over purdy screenshots, but when we find out the map is unplayable, we do consider that a point against it. 
I Think... 
most of the mappers here believe you need to hit a certain threshold for both gameplay and visuals. We drool over purdy screenshots, but when we find out the map is unplayable, we do consider that a point against it. 
Bah. 
That one wasn't my fault -- i changed my WINDOWS settings for how FOLDERS are displayed, and IE (a WEB browser) decides it needs to reload the page in order for my new settings to take effect. 
Hmm 
It's OK metl, it's understandable, I'd blame the monkey that coded this site for your double post :p 
Well... 
it was actually a team of monkeys. 
Was It 
an infinite number of monkeys? with an infinite number of keyboards? 
It Was The Best Of Times, 
it was the BLURST of times!? 
Title 
Those cpma maps on LVL actually look quite good.
You cant say they are gameplay-only boxes.
There is nothing outstanding and detail level is low, but overal they are fine and coherent (cant say the same for ID's scrap) 
Holy Fuggin' Spammed Thread Resurrection! 
DaFuq 
 
*plans a trip to Verona 
Its 2017 And Scampys Still Right 
Look At all Arena FPS coming out They Look Loke The Same Boring Cpma Piss Mode Shit !! 
 
I wouldn't totally agree with my points anymore, especially as gaming has progressed and my own journey through game design and understanding of competitive play has changed my views.

My arguments at the time had far too much of a sense of mapper superiority, that players should play the maps they are given along with whatever annoyances and weaknesses that came along with them. It was a very poor viewpoint, as it argued for level design serving the mapper's aesthetic and gameplay desires first, over the game and player's needs. My understanding of level design as a craft was clearly not really that good.

These days my thinking on what good level design is is that it is level design which serves the needs of the game's design first and foremost, and showcase interesting and unique ramifications of the mechanics of that design in way the player will enjoy. FPS DM games of yore, at their core, are simple beasts and player movement through the environment, target acquirement, and resource management are the major mechanics to consider.

My thoughts at the time were at odds with many of these. Spaces that are tight to navigate, have multiple detail bits which can catch the player, etc are examples of things which have gameplay value in a sense, but unless used with very careful and deliberate effect simply make a level unenjoyable to navigate. A dead end containing a powerful item for example can work, but requires some real consideration and care to make it fun. Poorly lit or overly detailed environments can also distract from target acquirement, and again without careful consideration simply make the game less fun overall when you can't even tell where your opponents are.

A thought which I picked up over the years was the question "Do you allow players to not have fun?". It has an obvious answer of 'no', but so often as designers we let our own wants get in the way of that. We let pretty environments get in the way of having a fun time, or decide for instance that an instant death trap would really separate the hardcore from the rest. Stuff like this does not need to be incompatible with good level design, but often the question of how to make them enjoyable to as many of your players goes unasked because it's easier not to do the hard work to address it. This is short sighted, as players are spoiled for choice where to get their entertainment, they are not subject to your whims as designer god.

In this light, the CPMA maps I was ranting about were overcompensating in the other direction. Their answer to the question of making sure the player had fun was to go fully clinical, mostly abandoning environment art and any other small deficiency. I do still agree here that this was too far, but honestly I went far too overboard in my criticisms back then.

Clearly games did not go in the direction of CPMA and my doomsaying that this was a terrible direction for the future was unfounded. Good visuals sell games (huge if true), and good gameplay keeps players around. All the best multiplayer FPS games of today generally work this balance in their levels quite well. Even the most competitive shooters have good graphics and fun levels with their own little quirks and particulars. 
You Miss The Point That 
..everybody in competetive q3 disables all fancy graphics to see better. With my q3 config, I wouldn't even have noticed minlight only, I presume. 
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