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Keeping This Community Alive And Happy.
Please read this and have a think about.

Another old-skool character and I have been having an interesting discussion about this: About how this community (QMap/#tf community, that is) has changed, how to some extent it has deteriorated due to both losing several prominent members and gaining fewer replacements and being marginalised by increasingly popular newer games, how it's mostly failed to adapt to newer games, but also how being fully integrated with newer games would lose the strong spirit a smaller community has.

And, most interestingly, how it can improve and thrive.

First, consider a few obvious truths:

The community has lost many prominent older members (through circumstance rather than abandonment), and it has gained fewer new ones.

Less people are making less maps these days.

Quake is less popular these days both for players and mappers.

There has been some acceptance and encouragment of newer games, but not much, and very little interaction with wider gaming communities.

These issues will continue to cause a steady decline in the community, I think that's inevitable as time progresses.

BUT...

Then consider what purpose this community can have and remain true to itself and the original spirit....I think that purpose is to have a smallish mapping community, with a focus on quality mapping, where mappers for all sorts of games are encouraged, accepted, and promoted, but where the smaller size of the community, and presence of some "long-serving" members creates a more intimate atmosphere, where discussions can be more indepth and where people's voices can be heard clearer (rather than being swamped as they would be in a UT2k4 community). And of course where Quake, and other old-skool games, is promoted and encouraged.

So, a more general community than what it has been, but one that benefits from a smaller size, and acceptance of all sorts of games.

I think Doom3 will definitely help in this regard, I think many old-skool characters are interesting in mapping for it, I think - well, hope - that will bring people back in this community, somewhere they can rely on to have a good mixture of high-level discussion and banter about such games without being swamped by 36534534 n00bs in other communities.


Finally...

What can we do as individuals to help this?? Not sure. Be open I guess, to new games and new members. Have a good idea of what this community stands for (including, quality of produce), and promote the benefits of that to people, i.e. encourage people to partake but make it clear what's expected. Accept various "tangential" aspects into the community, including tangential news. Have respect for each other and recognise the difference between traditional banter and pointless abuse. Don't be forced to contribute anything but feel encouraged to do so, and particularly encourage those who do.




Finally, thanks and respect to metslime for Func_Msgboard, he has really done his bit.
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Further... 
<pushplay_atwork> it's an interesting topic and yet I have no comment on it what so
ever
<inert> what is needed in that thread is not "oh gee dont let qw die blah" but "these
are the ways we can keep it alive"
<Shambler> well push, i count you as someone good who has come into the community
<pushplay_atwork> thank you
<Shambler> someone who maps a bit, has done some interesting stuff, hangs out and
talks shit
<pushplay_atwork> that's unquestionably the nicest thing that was ever said to me
here
<Shambler> heh
<nonentity> pushplay_atwork, and you've got a good arse too :p
<biff|DOOM3> bah, hes a poser
* pushplay_atwork shakes it a little for ne
<Shambler> <inert> what is needed in that thread is not "oh gee dont let qw die blah"
but "these are the ways we can keep it alive"
<Shambler> yes
<Shambler> well
<biff|DOOM3> see? SEE?
<Shambler> i've tried
<Shambler> moaning about the good old days is hardly relevant
<Shambler> seeing what role the community has is much more important
<pushplay_atwork> I think generally being encouraging is probably the best thing we
can do
<pushplay_atwork> I'm sure there are lots of small things though
<inert> take for example #mapcenter
<Friction> #fapcenter
<biff|DOOM3> never went there, I dont think.
<inert> there are good mappers in there but basically they arent mature or are
incompitable with our community
<Friction> wait, you're saying we're mature
<Friction> inert: REALITY CHECK
<pushplay_atwork> heh
<biff|DOOM3> incompitable?
<inert> biff stfu
<inert> fric u too
<Friction> inert: bees.
<inert> hey
<biff|DOOM3> kissit, honey.
<inert> no im serious
<inert> OH WAIT
<Friction> i'm not!
<RPG|h0t> Considering the massive size of Shambler's posts, it's impressive that there
are no typos.
<inert> not mature, lame
<inert> we're are 9/10 they are 10/10
<pushplay_atwork> I went to the mapcenter community before I started comming here
<inert> k
<Friction> RPG|h0t: considering massive size of shambler's... i stopped reading at that
point
<pushplay_atwork> that place just never stuck with me
* inert goes to mow lawn then to judo center then to Robert Kurson "Shadow Divers"
talk
<inert> bye
<Shambler> rpg: there's plenty of grammatical slackness i'm sure
<Shambler> besides typing approximately 500 trillion words of fps map reviews honed
my skillz
<Shambler> though, i still use 3 fingers to type with lol
<Shambler> and one of those is for backspace/enter only
* nonentity thinks Shambler just types his posts in Word first
<nonentity> I would
<Killes> why do u guys never fight in here ?
<Killes> http://celephais.net/board/view_thread.php?id=16318
<Shambler> rooofls
<Shambler> sometimes but not that one
<Shambler> hah
<Shambler> i started the beef thread
<Shambler> i thought that was a pretty good one
*** biff|DOOM3 is now known as biffBATH
<pushplay_atwork> it was funny for a couple days
<biffBATH> jub in teh tub.
<Killes> some aspects such as talking silly instead of serious on the forum are an issue
that pops up on the goth forum i hang out on too
<pushplay_atwork> I like how we don't worry about staying on topic in func_
<pushplay_atwork> it all just flows naturally
<Killes> we do on our site, but we limit our number of threads/topics, were not
supposed to post doubles, supposed to stay in topic
<Killes> saving place and centralizing stuff a bit better
<Shambler> push: a mixture of both is ideal
<Shambler> you've gotta have a balance there
<RPG|h0t> I dislike how someone makes a post on Func and then everyone discusses
it here, and doesn't post on Func.
<Killes> but its difficult, theres the serious threads which are very good if they dont get
spoilt by bickering, and then theres a bit too many stupid threads like "what colour is
your underwear" and other sillness like that
<RPG|h0t> This limits the amount of responses, and creates no log or archive for future
reference.
<pushplay_atwork> RPG: that's true
<pushplay_atwork> and that's what we're doing now really
<nonentity> Indeed
<pushplay_atwork> someone should take minutes and post them
<Shambler> exactly
<Shambler> stop it!
<RPG|h0t> ...which is exactly why I said that.
<nonentity> Well, someone just bung this on func
<nonentity> But yes
<nonentity> Stop, go use the forum 
Well 
I dare say I'll be Q1SP mapping 'til the cows come home, although probably with custom engines/Q3BSP type stuff in the future. I don't want to lose sight of what it is that makes Quake special, yet at the same time I often get frustrated at the limitations of it's technology. 
 
nobody new comes becuase as a mapping community, we're pretty now and focused on a game that only our group plays. plus, despite our focus, we're the least organized, least on topic, and generally the least technically minded save a few souls. 
Wtf? 
we're pretty now and focused on a game that only our group plays

that should be

we're pretty subpar and focused on a game that only our group plays

goddamn func_qmap ghosts 
Hrm 
killes should be ignored as to having any type of intelligent input on this topic as he contributes nothing other than the occasional flamewar in terrafusion. remove the morons out the way.</flame>

Also, an issue you didn't bring up is that when members of this community stop mapping, either consciously or due to whatever circumstances, they often still remain regulars of this board and in #tf.

That being said, I think more people need to just make an effort to be more productive. I also think new members coming into quake mapping in particular are thrown off by the hard-to-find tools and rather large amount of knowledge on the subject that we all know but isn't formally documented anywhere I don't know what kind of formal knowledge base would suit this though. 
Yet Another Thread Like This 
Also, an issue you didn't bring up is that when members of this community stop mapping, either consciously or due to whatever circumstances, they often still remain regulars of this board and in #tf.

Very true, at least #tf (mabe the board too to some extent but hardly as much) is more of a social institution for people with a long online history together - many people here (including me) have moved on from qboard to qmap ending up here and "lived" in #tf for five years so even if you don't really map anymore you still want to be around.

In any case there are a lot of mapping knowledge on the board (even if a large portion of it might be dormant and need to be provoked by questions to come out) so I don't there's any danger of this place dying anytime soon....and if you want a more active mapping community - then be more active! 
Hmm... 
If quality people leave, the only real solution is to bring in new quality people. The trick is how do we attract quality people without attracting too many total people?

There is a maximum size beyond which a forum like this doesn't work. If the group here grew too much bigger, it would get to a point where there was either too much to read in the GA thread, or too many new discussion threads to keep track of.

I think Doom 3 interest is the best way to get new people in general, and I guess the way to attract new quality people is for us to have enough expertise on Doom 3 that they will want to hang out here. For Quake 3 we never had the monopoly on talent that would make us the first stop for mapping questions and such. For doom3 we won't either, but if we have enough experts on the tech and tools, we stand a chance to keep this community vital.

One thing i noticed about Quake though, is that the frequency of releases seems to have stabilized over the past 2 years or so. So that part of our group may have some long-term life yet. 
Another Thing... 
Another thing you're forgetting Shambler, is age.

How many of the people that used to be prominent, as well as the ones now that were prominent, but just idle in #tf have had to take full time jobs or commit themselves to strenuous university projects?

Alot of the guys that started the various boards (Peej, Frib, et. al) are all older now, probably with full time jobs that demand their almost constant attention.

As for not many quality newcomers, I think Kinn who is relatively new around here (I could be wrong) posted some of the most impressive Q1SP screenshots I've ever seen, just in the last month.

No one wants to make Quake DM maps because nobody (except a few in #tf) plays Q1DM anymore.

When it comes to newer games, I think most people probably have their discussions and questions elsewhere, considering that the people most able to help them probably congregate on the game's official website, or some similar entity.

The only way to get people who have professional knowledge of newer games to hang around here is to a) promote this site on other messageboards b) promote this site inside your maps c) offer those types of people a reason to come here and post (as of right now, they have no reason, because virtually no one around here has any expertise to offer them concerning newer games)

We'll never have a bigger base of users than what we have right now, because this site is obscure, only accommodating to those who conduct themselves in a semi-respectable manner, and extremely disapproving of the mapping newbie.

That eliminates about 99.7% (rigorous computation produced that number, I assure you) of the people who want to post on gaming related messageboards.

The only people who are keenly aware of what this board has to offer are leftover from PeeJ'n'Frib/Qmap, and only because when those boards were thriving, Quake was still the go to franchise for people interested in editing. 
Community? 
It really has always been more like a hodge podge of people stuck together via common need for information which was difficult to come by when Quake/Quake2 came out due to limited amounts of reliable resources (rust, worldcrafts original site, Quake lab) the people running this shit were in the community....

I for one began frequenting Qboard and #tf because there were no other people I knew who had any interest/experience with these topics. So I think the dying off thing has more to do with the fact that there is so much documentation and support associated with the game tools these days. The communities will pop up around the best source of information, these days the developers offer that information. The mappers, modders, and coders don't have to dig so hard to find each other anymore, the community grows up around the developer.

Anyone ever think that mayhap we were just the annoying newbies. Or really on some level the folks who did custom maps for Doom and Quake were the first game mod newbies, and many of us have grown up now, or been absorbed into the game industry. Perhaps those of us left, who haven't been absorbed just kinda lurk here and dream about the old days....

Really, half the excitement way back when was centered around people doing new things, or making maps which really hadn't been seen before with the game engines we were using....I quit working with Quake soon after Nehahra, because I for me I realised, how much more is there to do with that engine/set of limitations? And honestly, I feel my peak Quake mapping days were well behind the creative curve of such greats as Frib, Peej, Pingu, Iikka, Stecki, DaMaul, ZTN, Dario Casali, the list goes on and on...and I can honestly say back then people were saying remember when, and wasn't it great when...

Perhaps moving on, or growing isn't such a bad thing really, being more open to newbies and other mappers interested in other game engines etc. would certainly bring some spark to the boards, and eliminate some of the need for the standard top 10 "fill in the blanks" threads.

yeah, or I could just be full of shit. 
Map Releases 
One thing i noticed about Quake though, is that the frequency of releases seems to have stabilized over the past 2 years or so.

Exactly. I mean, scampie hasn't released any normal Q1 maps in the history of Func_msgboard, so we can count on him to not release any other Q1 maps; especially since he decided to abandon SM82, which he repeatedly said would only take a short amount of time for him to finish.

Furthermore, I don't have a computer that meets Doom 3's minimum specs, and I don't know when I'll get one, so you can count on me to finish all those Q1SPs that I've had sitting dormant on my HD for the past 1-3 years.

Suddenly this quote seems apropos:

<metlslime> You may remember me from such educational films as "I've got a hamster in my pants" and "RPG better finish that map someday." 
Yeah... 
I for me I realised.....awe shit you know what I mean.... 
KIlles 
errr, I never quite understood that....Killes is like the ugly zit on the ass of a hot whore. 
More On Map Releases 
If we actually had frequent, high-quality map releases, we would at least attract intelligent people--such as nitin and Shambler--even if those people didn't exactly map--such as nitin and Shambler.

I frequently feel like Vondur and I are the only ones who actually do mapping around here. Maybe Doom 3 will change that. Or maybe everyone will fap around in the Doom 3 editor for a week and then go back to idling. Or maybe I'm just exceptionally cynical.

Anyway, having people actually participate is a good start. It is indescribably depressing to release a map and only have five people give comments which are all three lines in length. 
RPG, 
I think the key ingrediant that is lacking or cannot be fullfilled in the Quake mapping Universe is ambition. Certainly it is good to have people who map for the love of the game, but the really high quality maps are going to be made by those with a strong desire to show what they can do and to show that they are a valuable commodity to the game industry. Those with the talent and abilaty to map at the highest levels are going to maximize their exposure by mapping for the most popular platforms, and at this time and generation Quake is firmly ghetto.

Sure there are advantages to the mod hobbiest in mapping for Quake. Coding, modeling and mapping are easily integrated, and fairly easy for one person to achieve if they wish to do so.

However, even this advantage (Quake 3 Arena -- it was a bitch to model for (thank you Mr Steed!) and a bitch to code for compared to Quake 2 and Quake) is not as noteworthy given modeling and mapping are merging together. Far from being harder, it will be easier to create content for Doom3 and Half-Life 2.

Also, show of hands, anyone ever get tired of Ogres, Vore, Scags and their ilk? 
However, 
this will all change when Fatty introduces Doom 3 style internal map scripting to his next generation Quake C code, and then the masses will flock to Quake mapping once more. 
More 
Exactly. I mean, scampie hasn't released any normal Q1 maps in the history of Func_msgboard, so we can count on him to not release any other Q1 maps; especially since he decided to abandon SM82, which he repeatedly said would only take a short amount of time for him to finish.

Ehh, scampdm5? And I have received all of sm82 assets. I can't promise I'll finish it, but I promise I will try. If you'd like to help, let me know RPG. 
Age 
I agree with Blitz, age is a big factor. I don't mean that just getting older affects your interest, but it's more to do with the other things that come along with it (intense study, jobs, etc.)

I know that things are totally different for me now that I'm working, rather than at Uni. If you don't find a good balance, work can leave you feeling too drained to do anything creative - and that's really depressing. I do feel like maybe I'm starting to get some balance back and I've started to ease myself back into things. The editor is calling me again... 
Why The Doom And Gloom? 
I'm only on the periphery of this community -- I play new maps, don't have the skills (or the time/inclination to learn how to) make them -- but the last 12 months has seen Februus Depth, Adamantine Cruelty, Bastion of the Underworld and Menkalinan, all of which have to be among the best maps ever released for Q1. What's the problem? It's enough to keep me happy, for sure! 
NotoriousRay 
Ehh, scampdm5?

scampdm5 was released more than a year before Func opened.

And I have received all of sm82 assets. I can't promise I'll finish it, but I promise I will try. If you'd like to help, let me know RPG.

I want SM82 to get finished, and I want to help you. But I'll give you the same answer I gave scampie: I'm already working on too many maps (1 Q3CTF, 2 DMSP, 2 chainmaps, 1 Q1SP, and some mod maps). Of course, if I finish some of these, then Func will have some lovely news items to help keep people interested.

Still, if there's something I can do, you'll have as much support as I can lend. 
Rpg 
thanks for the generous compliment but all I've really been doing for the past few months is spamming Func with my opinions on movies. 
 
why are my releases being called into question? wtf, am I the whole of the community? quit trolling RPG and stay on the goddamn topic. 
Community Starts With The Individual. 
Without the work of the individual, there will be no expansion or growth.

</zen> 
... 
Oh, it's this time of the year again. 
Sm82 
I'll help! I nagged scampie to let me help in the first place and my maps are never going to be finished anyway. That's one thing I want to do more of - community maps are something I'm really interested in for a few reasons. You don't have to keep yourself interested because you don't do the whole map, just a piece of it, you get to work with people you admire, and the community is a better place because of it.

But anyway let me help with sm82. 
 
I am Q1 mapping atm. Hard. Necros and I are both knee deep in workload. We are contributing in the best way we can. I do this because I cannot play D3 now and probably won't for some time. I do it because I want to contribute material that makes an impact on other peoples' imaginations. But mostly I do it because I love Quake. Which maybe rather sad an geeky and oldskool and antisocial and pseudo-nostalgic. But it's true. So there you have it.
Now leave me the fuck alone, I have verts to manipulate. 
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