We are now deleting "playground", fullbright, etc. type maps

We are now deleting "playground", fullbright, etc. type maps

Postby npc_msleeper_boss » Fri May 20, 2011 9:46 pm

In an effort to help keep high-quality maps a mainstay of the ThinkingWithPortals.com community, myself and the staff will begin removing "Released" maps from the Download Database that do not meet absolute minimum standards. These include, but are not limited to:

- Maps with no lighting (fullbright maps)
- "Playground" or sandbox type maps (assuming they are of general poor quality on their own, see above)
- "Rollercoaster" type maps where the players are simply viewers, and there is no real testing / puzzle elements
- Maps with no goal, puzzle or objective


These are not hard-and-fast rules; the decision to remove a file is entirely up to the discretion of the staff. Period. The goal is not to stifle creativity or make a "No Fun Allowed" rule; we want to make sure that visitors know that ThinkingWithPortals.com will continue to have some of the best quality Portal 2 maps on the internet.

How To Properly Report A Low-Quality Upload
If you have found a map that you feel does not meet our quality standards, simply hit the "Report Download" link on the download page. Please provide a descriptive reason for why you feel this map does not meet quality standards. This will bring the map to the attention of our staff, and we can review it to see if it should be subject to removal.

Just because you post in a map's thread saying it is low quality, does not necessarily mean that the staff will see it. Please us the "Report Download" button!

Let us know if you have any questions about this policy. Thanks.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby Shane » Fri May 20, 2011 11:44 pm

Why can't you just put them into their own separate category instead of deleting them? Some people find those kinds of maps fun to have a mess about with, myself included. I think you're letting your personal dislike of those kinds of maps cloud your judgement here.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby hanging_rope » Sat May 21, 2011 12:14 am

While some people find them fun, they do not meet the minimum standards of the forum. I'm not entirely sure who I agree with, however if msleeper is willing to consider a comprimise, I would suggest that simply fulbright maps be removed.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby npc_msleeper_boss » Sat May 21, 2011 3:04 am

If a "playground" map is of sufficient quality - and by that I mean, it's not a single box room with fullbright and 1 texture - then I won't have a problem with it. The ones that were removed were nothing more, or not much more, than that though.

EDIT
The goal is not to stifle creativity or make a "No Fun Allowed" rule; we want to make sure that visitors know that TWP will continue to have some of the best quality Portal 2 maps on the internet. I have full faith that one of our many talented community members could make a "playground" map, and make it look good.

In fact, consider that a challenge. Anyone who thinks they can make a playground map that is also a "high quality download", do your best. I dare you.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby xdiesp » Sat May 21, 2011 5:19 am

There's really a lot of maps with either fullbright, or bright diffused lightning.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby ChameleonMan » Sat May 21, 2011 9:37 am

Hey, I'm glad to hear this. This might make the forums more inviting to newbies if they see only completed maps here.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby coopcrowd » Sat May 21, 2011 1:23 pm

Love that some quality control is going on here :) Means that we can focus on playing the best maps that people have put their time and effort into. Good job staff!
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby Jomonay » Sat May 21, 2011 3:12 pm

coopcrowd wrote:
Good job staff!

This. I am frankly astonished at how many downloads each map gets, and how many maps are uploaded each day. [brownnose] msleeper has done a fantastic job here [/brownnose]
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Re: We are deleting fullbright, "playground", etc. files

Postby DrummerB » Sat May 21, 2011 3:32 pm

Good decision!
I never understood why someone would want to release something they did in their first 5 minutes with an SDK. Might be a bit off topic, but that's the same reason why the app store is full of crap, they should learn a lesson from msleeper :-)
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby npc_msleeper_boss » Sat May 21, 2011 3:43 pm

Jomonay wrote:
[brownnose] msleeper has done a fantastic job here [/brownnose]

It's really not just me entirely. Hober, Winston, and most recently Nacimota have really helped keep the site a shining star. I might run things, but I can't take all of the credit.
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Re: We are now deleting "playground", fullbright, etc. type

Postby Lukavian » Sun May 22, 2011 5:41 am

I assume (almost to the point of "it goes without saying") this excludes WIP maps. At least on the quality/lighting elements. I threw a few lights on Ascendence after hearing so many complaints about fullbright in other maps, but I still haven't gotten any good at using lighting creatively or effectively. Future map concepts may start with fullbright and stay there until the chambers themselves are finished, at which point I'll work on adding lighting that makes sense and is supportive of the puzzle.

Of course, those would all be in the WIP section.

I'm in favor of this. Though I'm with some of the others on the "no playgrounds" ruling. The playground that came early on, with the control room, wasn't bad, as sandboxes go. Wasn't great, but with as many features and mechanics as Portal 2 has, it dealt well with providing access to almost all of them in a clean, efficient way. IMO.
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Re: We are now deleting "playground", fullbright, etc. type

Postby Thursaz » Sun May 22, 2011 6:08 am

I personally find playgrounds, with the appropriate elements and mechanics, can be used to test out potential new puzzle-solving mechanisms to be added to maps. I've been using them to figure out potentially new ways to solve puzzles. 'Course, having half the maps here as playgrounds would be terrible, so I agree with the idea, generally.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby Jomonay » Sun May 22, 2011 6:42 am

msleeper wrote:
It's really not just me entirely. Hober, Winston, and most recently Nacimota have really helped keep the site a shining star. I might run things, but I can't take all of the credit.

You did bring back from the dead, as it were, which is what I was referring to.
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Re: We are now deleting "playground", fullbright, etc. type

Postby xdiesp » Sun May 22, 2011 2:14 pm

Map names shouldn't be so overlooked. "Get the cube" is the dumbest name ever, but the map itself is fantastic.
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Re: We are deleting "playground", "sandbox", etc. files

Postby npc_msleeper_boss » Sun May 22, 2011 2:46 pm

Lukavian wrote:
I assume (almost to the point of "it goes without saying") this excludes WIP maps.

In my post, I specifically state this is for "Released" maps. Not having lighting or a "goal" in a WIP map isn't really an issue, since they are obviously still in progress. Released maps are just that - maps that, for all intents and purposes, are completed and finished maps. Yeah, there might be a bug fix or an explot fix update, but there won't be any major changes to them. And Released maps are expected to be of a certain just basic quality - having lighting, being actually playable, and so on.

You sent me a PM asking what, in my opinion, would constitute a "worthwhile playground map", and I'll answer that with an example. A friend of mine who would later go on to work at Infinity Ward made a CS:S surf map several years ago under the same pretense - make a "surf" map that isn't a bunch of fullbright 1 texture blocks floating in the sky. And that's exactly what he did. I think that one of our many, many talented mappers could take the concept of a playground map (a map as simple as just having all of the game puzzle elements and a space within which to play around with them) and make it more interesting than a single box room with 1 light in it.
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