(Forward note: not trying to blow my horn here)


Many years ago, Hoony wrote an article at Challenge-World covering how he felt about communication between mappers and players, namely, for competitive maps.

The concept of CPMA at the time was in it's infancy and the idea of posting betas in forums as a somewhat "known process for mapping" was unknown.

I felt exactly like Hoony did - so I took it upon myself to act on what Hoony wrote, I think I was the first mapper to openly approach the Promode community at that time. It worked really well, so during the beta process, I decided to duplicate my trick here at ESR, and it also worked well.

I had the desire to create a map for the more serious players who wanted a test of skill and strategy in their duels, akin to the older days of QW and Quake 2.

It was a snowball effect afterwards - other mappers also followed suit, and the standard of maps was raised significantly. One only needs to look at the kind of maps we have in Promode to see the results of mappers and players working together for a common good.

A separation of the mapping community followed. The serious players it seems, followed us, "The Gameplay Mappers": sacrificing architectural and textural complexity for gains in gameplay. I think it was really the first time this had happened at all.

It's been a few years now since this all happened. In the time span since, a new generation of players have come in, and things have become tough to bring this philosophy into the world of Quake 4.


I will be blunt from here on.

The model described above is failing in Quake 4:

Players are angry at a bug ridden game with little MP aspect. Mappers are struggling to produce maps of playable competition calibre and it is this aspect I wish to write about here.

Beta maps are being released all the time, yet players are NOT testing them. How do you expect us to release decent quality maps for players when you do little but complain about how bad in quality the community made maps are?

Running around on maps for 5 minutes by themselves is good for a start, but is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. We need you to COMMUNICATE YOUR PLAYTESTING with us or we can not produce what you need. It is as simple as that.

If you LAN with your siblings or friends at home, if you play a couple of duels on a server, these are the things we need. We need your GAMEPLAY feedback.

The results of the VIA mapping contest comments have shown that players expect top calibre maps and yet are prepared to do NOTHING to help in playtesting. This is a shameful and outrageous reaction from people who arent prepared to help in the creation of good levels and yet are happy to sit there and complain.

If you are so easily able to make harsh criticism of maps that mappers work so hard to produce, then HELP THE MAPPER or make them yourselves. You are not helping us by posting stupid comments like "mapname is shit" or something along that nature. Increase your knowledge of the game by getting INVOLVED in playtesting with mappers.

PROVIDE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM SO YOU CAN GET THE MAPS YOU NEED. You need to learn to work WITH your community so that everyone benefits.

And to some of my fellow mappers who I will not name out of respect: some players are giving you fantastic feedback, yet you ignore it for the sake of mapping pride! This has to STOP and you need to listen to the feedback or your work will suffer.

The community can sustain itself, or it can destroy itself. Right now, after years of prospering, the latter is occurring.

If you are screaming for new maps, get onto a forum where competitive maps are posted (ESR, Q4Max Mapping Forums) and GET INVOLVED. Get the feedback happening, get the mappers what we need to produce professional levels for tournaments so you can benefit as players.