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What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 02:45:27

qwed117
Level 49
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To start off, I have to say this: I fully understand how a computer might look at a map. This post is meant to be a reflection on what we consider to be a map.


Now lets start.
What makes a map good?
Some generally agreed characteristics are

  • Good Aesthetics
  • Good Bonus Placement
  • Novelty (ie Ursa Luna vs. Tropical Island or Roundabout)
  • ETC

What are some maps that you like? Why do you like them? What do you suggest newer mapmakers should do to spruce up their maps.

I say this on completion of my Qwedlandia map, mainly because the reviews seemed oddly negative. I was on the 9th page [out of 10] in the "Fictional" section.

I also haven't found many maps that I considered good, and I wondered why. I discovered an odd grade inflation. Grades are much higher than they appear! The exact opposite of school!

To fix this problem, I ask my dear WL-er's to estimate the number of maps that you put in each category. Because I'm going to be manually sifting through the rubbish, style it as such
{0:1:3:6:4}

This would say, I have given 0 maps a one-star, 1 map a two star, 3 maps a 3 star, 6 maps a 4 star, and 4 maps a 5 star


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_inflation

To quickly say this (as an explanation of the inflation) a warlight map may be in the 10th percentile, but still have 3.0(which would correspond to 50th percentile), take qwedlandia for example. This is why the true rating percentile is important. Thats why I need your brackets!

Edited 11/14/2014 22:00:42
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 03:46:46


NinjaNic 
Level 58
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Qwed: Here's a tip on your Qwedlania map. When a map first gets published it will show up in the community tab and everyone will see it. (Unless more than 2 maps have been made that day and you are unlucky.) It will most likely get >10 ratings on the first day or so. But when you update a map, it will not show up, and only a few people, if any, will know of its update. (Unless it's a really popular map.) So basically, a map only gets fame as soon as its published, then it gets forgotten in the deep dark pit of over 1,000 other maps.

I suggest Fizzer to add 2 categories that players can search maps by in the maps tab: Newest Updated, and Least Reviewed.
The first category would help players look up previous maps that have changed, and the 2nd category could help map raters (example, Nathan) find more maps to rate. Not only that, but there could be a "good" unseen map that did not appear on the community tab when it was published.
These would also help you find maps you may want to play instead of going through all of the other maps out there.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 03:52:38


NinjaNic 
Level 58
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(Sorry for the double post.) It seems like I may have gotten a little off track. But a quality that I think makes a map good is the creator actually spending time drawing it. I tend to rush a little, save except a couple of mine.
Also, when I rate a map, I'd only give it a really low or really high rating, depending on what it deserves. If there's a map I think is about in the middle, I decide not to rate it at all, because I don't need to.
Also, I think that mapmakers should NOT be allowed to rate their own maps. I don't like how people can make alts to boost their rating/lower others' ratings, but I guess that's part of the game. It ruins the actual rating it deserves, though.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 04:39:33


Genghis 
Level 54
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What Makes a Map Good?

First off, good maps often require mapmakers with past experience. Creating 2 - 4 maps beforehand is usually the price of starting to make good maps. Modifying existing maps, making a real-world map or inventing " fantasy lands " ( if you're into that... extnay ) are good starts to any mapmaking career. The more popular maps tend to be in the " Goldilocks Zone " for territories, which I consider to be 200 - 800 territories. It's in this area that most if not all game types can be played. Making maps with that many territories is usually a surefire way to get tons of use out of your map ( ergo more plays, leading up to more ratings and reviews ). Maps under 200 territories tend to be more strategically minded or aesthetic, while maps with over 800 territories tend to be more for unorthodox play styles ( Diplomacy, for example ). Good maps tend to be based on the real-world more than often, but if you can create a very nice strategic map or an interesting diplomacy map then it'll be used. Most maps ( Good OR Bad ) that tend to not be played are maps based on countries ( no offence, but I won't be playing on the Italy map anytime soon ), fantasy worlds ( nobody cares about you, (insert map creator's name ) - ( insert -ia,-ium,-us,-ica,etc. )) and real world locations
( I won't be going to some college 3000 miles away, so I can't relate to this map! ).
GO FOR
  • Strategical/Tactical Thinking
  • Diplomatic Thinking
  • 200-800 Territories
  • If going for diplomacy, it is NOT necessary to have each territory have it's own bonus
  • The Music

DON'T GO FOR
  • Unrelatable Content
  • Unoriginal Thought
  • Maps that offer nothing to the game besides more fuel for the map fire
  • Diplomacy in tightknit maps
  • Strategy in gigantic worlds
  • The Money
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 05:48:43


Red Menace
Level 55
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Whos that nathan guy anyway ge rates like every map
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 06:23:20


Wenyun 
Level 59
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Grades are much higher than they appear! The exact opposite of school!
This analogy fails pretty badly... >.>

Most maps ( Good OR Bad ) that tend to not be played are maps based on countries ( no offence, but I won't be playing on the Italy map anytime soon ),
Greece and Poland would like a word with you. China is also decently played. The US has problems with strategy*, but even then, the various incarnations of it are played at times.

fantasy worlds ( nobody cares about you, (insert map creator's name ) - ( insert -ia,-ium,-us,-ica,etc. ))
Battle Islands, as well as most of what Ra makes are played quite a bit.

real world locations ( I won't be going to some college 3000 miles away, so I can't relate to this map! ).
Might work if the map had enough strategy, but I haven't seen a local map with good strategy.

Really, the only things that a map requires are strategy and good aesthetics. Real-world maps can get away with simple but clean looks, while fictional maps might require a bit more flair to stand out from the rest.

*The US doesn't have second-level divisions, which is a problem. (States are first-level, counties are third-level.) In addition, the structure of the US doesn't make it very optimal for strategy. I've done a US map before, but I'll make another one to see if I can't make it strategic somehow.




As for your map... the oceans where everything can attack everything is interesting, but tips the scales vastly in favor of offense. In addition, I don't think the islands are too balanced overall, as the west island seems to have smaller and faster bonuses. (This is especially true since the map uses 1:1 ratio.)
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 07:21:20


MrOobling
Level 30
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If going for diplomacy, it is NOT necessary to have each territory have it's own bonus
Ghenghis, if you are creating a diplomacy map, it needs to be one bonus per territory. Indeed, you can play diplo games on non diplo maps (like Massive Europe and Isander's huge world) but one bonus per territory is much prefered.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 07:25:55


skunk940 
Level 58
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One of the prime things that makes a good map - especially on Warlight - is geographical accuracy that is as high as possible, while still making the map playable.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/13/2014 23:19:55


Genghis 
Level 54
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@Riyamitie

Keyword of that very long sentence : Most. Greece, Poland, China and the US are 4 nations out of roughly 150 ( thousands if you count micronations.. but who would do that??? ). Battle Islands and what Ra makes are perhaps 2 - 5% of the fantasy maps spectrum.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 00:27:32


Beren • apex 
Level 63
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@Genghis, that's rather irrelevant. Most maps are infrequently played.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 02:42:00

6th Army Group
Level 52
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I think some of the things that undermine some good maps are the audience. Some but not all of us play maps just to try them out. But for the most part, the map's subject relative to the user is important. It's why maps of Mozambique or Gabon aren't too popular, but maps of East Asia, the United States, and Europe are. We have more players from these regions and more players who identify with these regions, so there's more interest for them. On top of that, historical knowledge and interest is commonly Eurocentric, and that's why many Europe maps are played and rated highly.

Another thing is how often they're played. Popular maps circulate around a lot more than unpopular maps, and its very hard for new and non-advertised maps to topple the mapping hierarchy that is established in WarLight.

But that's just for the good unrecognized maps. The list for things that make a bad map is pretty long.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 04:09:22


Wenyun 
Level 59
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Keyword of that very long sentence : Most.
Most maps in general aren't played, but it sounds like you were discouraging those kinds of maps. If you exclude countries, fictional, and local maps... you're left with continental/region maps, world maps, abstract maps, and novelty maps.

Continental/Region maps are played pretty often, but they're also pretty rare. (Europe in various forms, IR, East Asia [+ Oceania]). There are also others, but those tend to be lower in play rate. While making this kind of map would offer a better chance of people playing it often, it's not significantly better. Also: Europe maps are, at this point, pretty saturated.

World maps... while they're all played decently, pretty much everything has already been made; unless you can provide an excellent map with great strategic value and decent looks, don't bother - and if you can, then you'd surely have no problem with a fictional map with excellent strategic value - and that would make your fictional map one of the played ones.

Abstract/Novelty maps are even less played than the three you listed. In addition, when they're played, most of the time it's not for strategic value - most of the plays on these maps are lottery maps. Actually, even if they're not lotteries, I can't recall a map that stands out as good strategically...

... In my opinion, fictional and country maps are probably some of the easier maps if you're looking for a map people will play.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 04:26:31


Wenyun 
Level 59
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Another thing is how often they're played. Popular maps circulate around a lot more than unpopular maps, and its very hard for new and non-advertised maps to topple the mapping hierarchy that is established in WarLight.

Meh. It's hard to break, but this might be (partially) the fault of the mapmaker.

If you're a mapmaker: First things first. Make a template that highlights the strengths of your map. You are the mapmaker - you should know (best) how your map is designed and what it offers in terms of strategy. The worst thing that could happen on a map is lowered ratings due to improper settings. Put the template link on the map's description.

In addition, as a mapmaker, you should advertise the map that you have made. Make games with open seats and low pre-reqs. Maybe make a post or two on the forum - that's an easy way to contact the competitive community to look at a map/template.

Edited 11/14/2014 04:27:20
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 06:20:55


Genghis 
Level 54
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I'm not seeking to discourage making maps in those categories, and yes I did leave out novelty maps , but the categories don't matter. Relatableness, aesthetic and strategic value are what makes a map popular. Thing is that good maps and bad maps alike are often ignored, which is sad because those could've been projects that were very consuming.

I must strongly endorse one of your points : Europe is used more for a map than Bill Clinton used Monica Lewinsky.

... Clinton chooses Monica Lewinsky! Monica uses harden! It's super effective. ...
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 11:12:08


Ranek
Level 55
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there are good maps and there are successfull (often played) maps and there are of course good maps, that are also successfull.
There are only few things you have to consider for making a good map, like a thought-out bonus system, clean borders and an interesting battle venue. Additionally you could add some colors and decorate the background to make the whole thing visually more appealing. At least you could have a look for new features that could support a fancy gameplay or even special scenarios.
Anyhow, these points doesnt guarantee you to create a successfull map, accordingly to that you should mainly follow Genghis points. Or simply make another *good* europe or world map with a little change here and there - which will be absolutely needless but greatly appreciated by wide parts of the community =D
What Makes a Map Good: 11/14/2014 22:13:46

qwed117
Level 49
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shemiche, have you made a map? Just a curious question.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/15/2014 12:49:48


Math Wolf 
Level 63
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What Makes a Map Good: 11/15/2014 13:31:42


Incaman
Level 56
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Riyamitie - "In addition, as a mapmaker, you should advertise the map that you have made. Make games with open seats and low pre-reqs. Maybe make a post or two on the forum - that's an easy way to contact the competitive community to look at a map/template."

Right on! I wonder why no one mentioned this before. Most mapmakers ignore their own maps. I said this numerous times and I will say it again :D. If you don't want to play your own map why would anyone else?
What Makes a Map Good: 11/15/2014 22:20:40

qwed117
Level 49
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Lol, how did that get a 3.7
What Makes a Map Good: 11/15/2014 23:31:17


Mudderducker 
Level 57
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Because it only has 29 ratings.
What Makes a Map Good: 11/16/2014 00:00:24

qwed117
Level 49
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tru b dat
What Makes a Map Good: 11/20/2014 01:35:27


King C******* V 
Level 58
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You know your map is good when you get hate and its a hot women.....
What Makes a Map Good: 11/20/2014 22:46:45

qwed117
Level 49
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Well that map wasn't hot
What Makes a Map Good: 11/21/2014 20:17:34

qwed117
Level 49
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Hey Riyamitie, just a question, does "West Island" refer to Elegia or Podilla(That small tiny thing on the bottom
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