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Schermerhorn (1v1)

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# 21MacBryce Dec 25 2006, 17:55 PM
Lawrence, I'm proposing that they use a standardised reviewing methodology to get valid and universal assessments of the community-made maps. That's a proven way to get the exact opposite of what you're accusing me of. Also, keep those American Idol references to yourself. If you want to call me a pompous snob then please do so without cowardly disguising it in a lame comparison that's only funny to an infant. May I however remind you that that would be a Category II violation against the forum rules of gamereplays.org? You probably couldn't care less about that, but a mod might feel different.

Fryloc, could you please review my final map release? On second thought, I'd rather see Lawrence take this discussion to another thread, instead of going off-topic in this thread.

This post has been edited by MacBryce: Dec 25 2006, 17:58 PM

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# 22Supaunknown Dec 25 2006, 18:46 PM
I'll go ahead and review then, but don't expect it for a couple of days because of the holidays.

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# 23Lawrence Jameson Dec 25 2006, 20:37 PM
****Or how 'bout I just review this map here as my Reviewer application? wink.gif

****Mac....lighten up. Now we are even.

****You posted some unsolicited harsh critisism of one of my maps a while back. My knee-jerk reaction was to blast back at you...which I did...But later I realized that some of your points were very valid...for instance the HQ dressings...I never paid any attention to that sort of thing...once I produce the first Engie, I rarely scan the camera back to the HQ area (use the F- keys),so it did not seem important to me. Well, I realized that it is important to some people, so I changed them. I just had a problem with the way you "Simonized" me from out of the blue.

****You are a pompous mapsnob. Need I dig up quotes from you to prove it? Wouldnt be hard... No disquises there. But you see, its not entirely an insult. Im being serious when I say I think you would make an excellent reviewer, for those same reasons. You should give it a try.

LJ

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# 24Supaunknown Dec 25 2006, 20:47 PM
Lawrence if your statement about reviewing this map was serious I would be glad to let you review it then as your application, and I would hate to have this thread locked because you and MacBryce are in a flaming war. smile.gif It's christmas lets all get along.

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# 25Lawrence Jameson Dec 25 2006, 22:21 PM
****No...Im as serious as Scrooge, matey. Ive already got 3 pages of notes and a dozen screens after my first battle as Allies vs AI. I plan to play as Germans vs AI tonight as well as 1v1 human to human against my "Map Tester". Maybe 2 or more games h2h,if they play out well, then one more round each as Axis and Allies vs AI...maybe with a mod attached for spice. THEN...I can edit my notes and screens down to a manageable review using your established format...tech, balance,design,funfac,comments, rating...

****I will tell you this...I promise to give a fair opinion...there are some very minor flaws I see so far, but I believe this is a beautiful, execellent playing map, and my review will not do it injustice.

****Everyone needs to also keep in mind...until they fix the sga thing...ALL these maps should be considered beta. We all have time to tweak and fix and improve!
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LJ

This post has been edited by Lawrence Jameson: Dec 26 2006, 03:56 AM

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# 26Supaunknown Dec 25 2006, 22:26 PM
Ok then, under review by lawrence jameson. smile.gif

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# 27MacBryce Dec 26 2006, 11:59 AM
That's fine by me. I've added you to the thanks list.

Ah, now I remember. Well, I have teached visual design for a couple of years and I've grown used to criticizing people's work. I guess that I shouldn't comment on someone's work in a forum the same way as I'd do in real life.

Schermerhorn was a map that I've made to see what the worldbuilder can do. I tried to do almost everything that's possible in it to explore Worldbuilder. I also wanted it to be visually on par with an official map. Technically there are some issues: I used a limit of 4 tiles per chunk instead of 3 for convenience, I didn't follow the mesh because I learned about that when I was almost done with the Schermerhorn beta and I didn't do the optimization because the map runs very well on my low-end machine. It's the first map I've ever made for an RTS and I'm quite happy with the result.

This post has been edited by MacBryce: Dec 27 2006, 20:05 PM

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# 28Aciesethon Dec 28 2006, 07:33 AM
QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

****So...who's gonna select the map(s) of the week? Just any old map reveiwer who has his fancy struck? A consensus vote amoung all of the of the map reviewers? Do you see how this is going further into fantasy-land?

They are a vote available to all staff.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

****I agree with MobiuZ...Its a shame that these scores are being touted as "official", when the reviewer(s) is/are only playing against the AI.


We do play against human players, I personally have minimum of two multiplayer games before reviewing and often more.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

****Dont get me wrong, I appreciate Supaunknown's efforts. IMO, most of his assessments are more than fair, and his explainations are clear and helpful to not only the artist, but to other map makers as well. He pulls no punches, is very critical, and has a superb eye for details. (Simon!) His ideas about symmetry/balance are where we part ways. To me, it's no so important that one VP or munitions point is slightly further away from one faction or the other...if there is a gaudy imbalance in munitions and/or fuel, sure...but since everyone has their own ideas about how to play, balance discussions can sometimes be as subjective as eyecandy discussions.


A map doesn't have to be symmetrical to achieve a good balance score. However it is far easier to balance a map by making it symmetrical which Is why most maps are.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Get more map Reviewers...enough so that maybe...just maybe two of them could get together and play at least 2 games (one as each faction) against each other on the map. The map could then be reviewed (and scored) by one or both of them together.


Easier said than done, people have to apply to be a reviewer. The mr application topic is open if you want to join.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Review (preview) some maps besides 1v1 soon. Even if you must play with AI.


Well apart from that being a contradiction to your earlier ramblings it is a good point. Understand that it is more difficult to review a mutliplayer map though, even with out the difficulty of setting up a game there are simply more possible strategies, doctrine combinations etc to consider.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Have two separate scores...one for AI play and one for H2H.


Pointless.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Let the score be a public poll...as we have be discussing.


The score IS a public poll.


QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Have each map tested separately by at least 3 official Reviewers, who each submit an overall score to be averaged.


A good idea but difficult to implement without additional reviewers, once again head on to the mr application thread.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Create a sub-division of reviewer called "Map Tester", who plays the map and submits comments to the Reviewer to aid him in scoring and reviewing.


There is a beta testing directory for testing (see my sig). I will also point out that I do test maps with human players, many of whom are map developers themselves who provide invaluable comments for my reviews.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

*Make a forum exclusively dedicated to Scored Maps with official reviews, posted to only by Reviewers. WIP and maps deemed "not yet ready to be scored" by at least one official Reviewer would remain here on this forum...Map could be discussed by all as normal, pre-reviews could be given by official Reviewers...


Not necessary, this would only prevent those looking for maps seeing unreviewed maps. The feedback provided in unreviewed maps can be as usefull as a review in may circumstances anyway.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

****So that brings up map evolution. What if my map got a score, but since then, Ive improved it (or made it worse!) and re-released a newer version? Re-score it?


Make a WIP then have it tested so that the one in the map forum is final. If everyone does this then problem solved. We can rescore it but to continuously rerelease it would simply be abusing the review process and possibly deny newer maps receiving a review.

QUOTE(Lawrence Jameson @ Dec 26 2006, 01:00 AM) *

You could be like a Simon on American Idol wink.gif..

Comparing us to someone whose comments are scripted to create drama is just crude.

QUOTE(MacBryce) *

I've just played Spesserstratsthingie which is a MotW. It's a fun map to play but the detail is poorly implemented. In some places there's way too much stuff packed together while the bases are terrible visually. The map got a 9/10 for that, regardless of those issues. Presentation-wise, the loading screen looks out of place for CoH, the preview tactical map looks distorted and the description is in German. It doesn't follow any standards and it doesn't measure up to other custom maps that do (e.g. Rundheim, Wrecked Train, etc.) but aren't MotW status.


Get your facts straight, we get this crap enough with Jack Thompson.
I rated it 8/10. The description is in English. Looking like an official map is not the be all end all of map design, originality is welcome even in the loading screen. This map is one of the best visually and the bases were made much better in the most recent version. And your right it is fun to play and frankly this is the most important factor in the review. Admittedly the last two sentences are subjective.

QUOTE(MacBryce) *
I don't mind anybody discussing the reviewing process in this thread. I've been looking around a bit more and there certainly is a serious lack of consistency among reviewers.

You know as well as I do that different people will differ in how they view and interpret both maps and review procedures. Try reading some more reviews to gain familiarity with the reviewer rather than expect us to be identical.

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# 29Lawrence Jameson Dec 28 2006, 12:58 PM
****Sorry,once again, no time in the morning! Will reply to your points this eve....

****The map review app for Schermerhorn is almost ready...where should I post it? Here?...In the App thread?

****Another thing I have done is separate the "nitpicking" from the review. Any "artistic" suggestions, a fence missing an endpost, or not remembering to deform a crater splat....things like that....are being sent to the Artist directly, and will not being publically displayed.

Til this eve....

LJ

This post has been edited by Lawrence Jameson: Dec 28 2006, 12:58 PM

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# 30Aciesethon Dec 28 2006, 13:16 PM
Post the review here, then make a link to it in the application thread. Wouldn't hurt to send a PM to architect aswell.

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# 31MacBryce Dec 29 2006, 10:26 AM
Aciesethon, I did get my facts right as I was clearly referring to the "design" aspect on which Spessar got 9/10. All the non-subjective things that I've said, match for the version of Spessar that I've recently downloaded.

That said, I might be expecting a bit too much out of these reviews. As you are all volunteers, it's probably impossible to force a reviewer to use exactly the same reviewing method. I got a bit carried away in the discussion and I apologise for that; the reviewers of GR.org do a great job.

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# 32Aciesethon Dec 29 2006, 13:11 PM
QUOTE(MacBryce @ Dec 29 2006, 07:26 PM) *

That said, I might be expecting a bit too much out of these reviews. As you are all volunteers, it's probably impossible to force a reviewer to use exactly the same reviewing method. I got a bit carried away in the discussion and I apologise for that; the reviewers of GR.org do a great job.

Thankyou
QUOTE(MacBryce @ Dec 29 2006, 07:26 PM) *

Aciesethon, I did get my facts right as I was clearly referring to the "design" aspect on which Spessar got 9/10

My Bad, I guess I got carried away myself going on the defensive there.

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# 33Lawrence Jameson Dec 30 2006, 00:50 AM
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Jameson spat. A plop, then a ripple spread across the mirror surface of the small lake, racing silently toward the tiny German village on the opposite bank. The early morning sun winked from the rooftop of the hilltop schloss, casting long shadows from its towering walls. Out front, a high statue of some long forsaken maternal godess gazed across from under her bullet-riddled brow. "What's the plan, Sarge?", came a voice from behind him.
His mind raced back to yesterday; to the fire and screams of the wounded and dying on that hill. To how they were driven back, dragging whatever wounded they could onto the back decks. To how that night was lit by screaming rockets, his Sherman showered by metal rain.
The high screech of track links approaching from some distance behind him caused his head to turn. *Thump* *Thump* *Thump*- the first ranging rockets arced overhead toward the Schermerhorn.
"Calliopees is here...Saddle up. We're going back up there," Jameson called out. And he knew, at the top of that hill, the goddess's tears began to flow again.


Map Overview:
16 Territories
3 Victory Points
2 Null areas

2 Low Fuel points
2 Low Ammo points

2 Medium Fuel points
4 Medium Ammo points
2 High Ammo points

Totals:

30 Fuel
82 Ammo

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This map has a unique layout. Large lake and forrest, each with passageways, screen each base. The middle village Territories are uniquely linked around the forrest and the lake. For instance, the Allies (base 1) must control the Schermerhorn schloss area to link from their left. The corners of the map are crucial not only for the high ammo points, but for severing enemy supply lines to the middle.

Technical:

Map ran fine, without lag, in all games played. The Artist has payed close attention to optimization on this map, so it should run well on any machines that can run the default maps.

Balance:

I played the map over 10 times, vs AI, vs human, from both sides about equally. I think the resources are balanced in their placement. I found it easer (and quicker) to win as Germans...maybe Im a better player as Germans?...but it maybe a teching issue. The close med fuel point is IMO an advantage to the German player. 30 fuel is a good total for this map, I just dont know if the +10 fuel should be so easy to get. As Allies I never could choke the Germans out of fuel...I always faced a wave of Stugs when playing against the AI or human.
At first I wasnt too high on the large null territories of lake and forrest. But as I played more, I began to use them to expand my strategies of both attack and defence.

Design:

This map is designed beautifuly....very well thought out placement of everything. HQs are fully detailed.

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The "secret path" behind the Schermerhorn walls is a nice touch (highlighted). It can converted to a backdoor-in this case with a strafing run (accident!). This back door was quickly and repeatedly used by the Axis throught this battle to infiltrate the courtyard.
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The rock texturing on this map is some of the best around.
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Dont forget the "hidden" paths through the water from the Allied side.
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Fun Factor:

Very Enjoyable. Vs AI or Humans. The Victory Points are balanced very well...I had alot of fun playing some 250 and 500 point games.

Reviewer Comments:

Excellent map. Visually on par with the Relic maps. Unique layout and Territory placement. Ample and well-placed resources. "problems" from earlier versions seem to have been completely corrected. I believe this map deserves to be ranked amoung the best of the maps produced so far; I highly recommend it to all.

Rating = 8

LJ

This post has been edited by Lawrence Jameson: Dec 30 2006, 00:52 AM

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# 34Supaunknown Dec 30 2006, 01:10 AM
Very nice review lawrence, I'll pin this as reviewed.

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# 35MacBryce Dec 30 2006, 03:16 AM
You definitely reviewed it with the same dedication that went into making that map. Very nice work indeed. After reading this review, I prefer the "one overall grade" style, instead of deducting a random amounts of points for every flaw the reviewer spots. I look forward to seeing you review more maps on GR.org.

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# 36Supaunknown Dec 30 2006, 03:20 AM
QUOTE(MacBryce @ Dec 29 2006, 10:16 PM) *

You definitely reviewed it with the same dedication that went into making that map. Very nice work indeed. After reading this review, I prefer the "one overall grade" style, instead of deducting a random amounts of points for every flaw the reviewer spots. I look forward to seeing you review more maps on GR.org.


I'll take it you were talking about me, and since you brought that up I'll try my next review without the random deductions of points. I'll see what people think.

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# 37MacBryce Dec 30 2006, 03:34 AM
Not really, Fryloc, I meant it in general since most reviewers here do it.

The thing is... If you use a visible deduction system, you would almost be forced to give a mapmaker a ten if he or she fixes all the flaws for which you've deducted points. That's why I'd prefer a short description of each aspect of the map. Flaws should be listed in that description, but I don't think they should be related to minus a certain number of points.

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# 38Supaunknown Dec 30 2006, 03:46 AM
Ah, ok. What your saying is coming to me now. WTF.gif

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# 39Aciesethon Dec 30 2006, 05:38 AM
Nice review, I especially liked the introduction and captions.

QUOTE(MacBryce @ Dec 30 2006, 12:16 PM) *

After reading this review, I prefer the "one overall grade" style, instead of deducting a random amounts of points for every flaw the reviewer spots.

I'm keeping the subscores. They are not random, they reflect how well paticular parts of the map were made. I'll also add that I do not give scores for originality as I believed it to be arbitrary, so know that I have considered this before. Your argument about updating is mute, if a visible deduction system tells an artist where to improve it can only be considered a positive system. If everything I have a problem with is fixed then why wouldn't I give a 10?

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# 40MacBryce Dec 30 2006, 13:58 PM
Well, that's the old discussion. Video game reviews have the same issue. E.g. Edge Magazine has giving 4 or 5 10s in it's existence for games that were perfect and were clearly going to define the future of gaming. Does a perfect 10 exist? I'd say no. Good maps get 8, perfect maps get 9, IMO. Anyways, it's up to you guys how you review these things, not me.

In case you didn't know, I received some PMs from Lawrence with some nitpicking (e.g. "these barrels should be against a wall", "this stump looks out of place in a field", etc.) which I'll fix when Relic fixes their SGA format. I personally think it's better to get things like that in a PM because it puts too much emphasis on details when published publicly.

Anyways, keep up the good work anyone. Btw, do I get considered as MotW contender?

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