Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 UMS Theory and Ideas > Topic: How to Make your Game Popular
How to Make your Game Popular
Mar 10 2010, 7:19 am
By: UnholyUrine  

Mar 10 2010, 7:19 am UnholyUrine Post #1




How to Make your Game Popular
A guideline by UnholyUrine

There are few things in life more dissapointing than pouring your heart and time into a project that people do not notice or feel indifferent to. It is often a difficult task for anyone to bring forth a game that others will like and enjoy. As you all probably know, the differences between a popular game and a regular game are very transparent, and many map makers tend to miss the point, or simply ignore it and work on games for themselves or their communities. I’d like to change that. By describing what can only be my best opinions on how to make your games popular, I wish to help everyone here so that their time and hard work will not go to waste.

First of all, I’d like to make sure that anyone who is reading this know that I’m not trying to instruct you how to make your game popular, nor that games should only be made for popularity. I simply wish to elaborate on what I feel a lot of people could’ve done to improve their maps’ chances of being popular. Therefore, those that do not strive for fame should move on, while those that have been looking for it… look no further.

Now, I’m a straightforward guy, as many of you should know, so I’ll be honest: I know I've been very successful in TS, but I really feel there are more talents waiting to rip open their creative minds and gush out their ideas into the community, and I wish they'd start seeing it from my perspective: why bother spending so much time in a map if it's not going to be played? Now, there are a lot of angles that I can approach this subject in, but what I want to do is inspire you, to challenge you. Therefore, I will take an abstract route in describing my perspectives. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the AIDA process.


The AIDA Process

The AIDA process is a marketing term that stands for Attention, Interest, Description/Desire, and Action. If you want your map to be popular, it is imperative that you follow these basic guidelines, no matter how awesome your game may be.

First, if your game does not attract attention (i.e. does not have an attractive game name), no one will join it. This is a very simple concept that many people ignore.

Next, the game must be interesting to the players. For example, once the player has joined, the first things they see are the briefings, the map layout, and/or the beginning intro(s) and setup of the game. These should be made to immerse the players and set the mood for your map.

Then, description/desire, probably the trickiest part of the AIDA process. Your game MUST provide the players with desire to understand the game, and play it more often. You must make it so that the players DESIRE to play and figure out more things about your map, they must DESIRE to build towers to defend, they must DESIRE to fight with each other, they must DESIRE to use the strategies that your map provides. Generally, the desire is analogous to the game’s design.

Finally, there is Action, or simply, your map must somehow make the players want to remake and spread your game! From now on, I will use AIDA as my central theme, and I will build summary questions from them. If you do not wish to read too much, simply scroll to the bolded questions and read those key points instead.


”A” is for ATTENTION

First of all, we all need to get into the mentality that “The customer is ALWAYS right”. Know thy audience, and DO NOT fight against them! B.net pubbies are hasty creatures that likes to join the same games over and over again, talk sh*t, and drop hack others. What you have to do is break their momentum and make them think “Oh hey, this map looks interesting, what is it about?” You cannot expect them to join just because you think you created something full of fascinating ideas.

This is why the map name is very important. Other than Defense, RPGs, and Micro, other cliché words used in a map name usually spells boring. Avoid them. Try to use words that relate to Starcraft itself. For example, Zergling Blood, or Temple Siege: protoss temple + Siege tanks. Granted, there are games out there that people will notice and join, such as the aforementioned defense, rpgs, and micro maps, but also cat and mouse, bloods, evolves, and zombies (because everybody loves zombies.) But doing so limits your own creativity.

Here’s a Checklist of things for you to think about
  • Remember the customer is ALWAYS right – If they’re not joining, then it is YOUR problem, NOT THEIR’S!
  • Is your map name interesting? – A lot of the time, new maps do not have interesting names… for example, HoI: Battle of Arrakis. I have no idea wtf this means, so why would I waste my time to download and play this?
  • Is your map name easy to remember? – Simple to remember names will yield more chances of remakes
  • Have you played your map enough so that the general public would have had enough chance to spread it? – This slips people’s minds, but it’s important to actually play your map publically. Simply posting it on SEN won’t do you much good, as we only represent a portion of the people that still play UMS SC.
  • Is your map name free of clichés? – Avoid words such as “arena”, “war”, “battle”, “tag”, and etc… unless your map really can’t avoid that they are one of these terms (otherwise, you’d just be lying lol :awesome:)
  • Is your game too large to DL? Is it saved as the same name as your map name? – Please don’t make these silly mistakes. Limit your sounds ><.


”I” is for INTEREST

An important next step should be to know if your audience would be interested in your game. While this should be the easiest to understand, map makers often misjudge their map, or their audiences. Also, remember that “the customer is ALWAYS right”. If the pubbies don’t find your game interesting, then it is YOU who have done something wrong, NOT THEM!

Here is a mantra that you must always remember: What Makes my Map Fun? To put bluntly, a lot of the maps, and even video games from game industries, are NOT fun. Many lack a good core gameplay aspect, or fail to immerse the players further, or let the players control their characters, and the list goes on. So, what does make a game fun?

For SC1 games, it is SO IMPORTANT to realize that we’re not using unlimited resources, and we’re not coding a game with endless possibilities. We’re modding a f*cking 10 year old game! Our resources are limited, our possibilities have been exhausted. We can’t go and create a crazy interactive movie like Heavy Rain, pack it together and call it a map. NO, we don’t have the luxury to do so!

A BIG problem that I see with many maps is that they tend to work AGAINST the preset systems. For example, in an AoS, if I decide that I can’t use zerglings or marines, ‘cause their speeds are too great to make a balanced game, or that I can’t use high templars or dark templars, cause one’s too slow, and the other’s cloaked all the time, then I’m doing it all wrong. If someone comes up to me and shows me a map like that, I’d slap them across the face and ask “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?” Use them, and balance them accordingly! To make your map interesting is to use different ways to work around the preset systems, and manipulate the system to produce new/better gameplay mechanics.

Another aspect of Interest is the Atmosphere of the map. The Atmosphere/Mood of the map, whether it is professional, bloody, mysterious, scary, have to be consolidated by the first play through of the map. This is when you have to really plan your map ahead. If I wish to create a zombie apocalypse, do I want to create a bloody, massing game, or a scary, intense game? How should I plan the gameplay accordingly? If I was to go for the bloody, massing type, I’d think of weapons and spells that do tons of damage, or has the over-the-top feeling to it that impresses the players. If I was going for a scary, intense game, I’d brainstorm a gameplay where ammo is limited, zombies are stronger, boss battles are thrilling, and players are often on the verge of death. Understand that your gameplay must correlate with the atmosphere/mood that you wish to set for your map.

The Atmosphere/Mood of the map also gives your map identity. As CecilSunkure would say:
Quote
I also think you should expound upon the atmosphere section. I think that a map needs a distinct identity in order for it to be fun. Nobody wants to play another crappy AoS clone. Your game can be a remake of something else, copying a game mechanic, just make sure to have an underlying theme or style. A great example of this would be none other than Temple Siege; the entire map has a single style to it that pervades throughout the entire map, and the map definitely has its own unique identity, which helps make it fun.

Also, remember that the briefings and intros are helpful ways to set up the tone. If you input a mysterious WAV, and an elegant story in the briefings/intros, it makes your game immersive, making the players more interested in what their playing. Be careful that your intro is not too long, or else people may not remake your map. You can also make it so that the intro’s skippable. One way to immerse players is to ALWAYS play the briefings/intro when YOU host the map.

Now, with SC2’s shiny new editor, much of the problems with limitation are gone. In fact, the possibilities for a map are almost endless in SC2. In this case, Creativity is Key. Try to develop new, or better, gameplay mechanics on games. Moreover, it is important to not get too carried away. Unless you can perfect the gameplay, try not emulate games that aren’t meant for SC2. On the other hand, if you were able to perfect the gameplay, then your map will be an instant win :).

Checklist:
  • Before jumping in, think about what makes your game different from others If you’re going to borrow ideas from others, that is fine, as long as you have added your own creative ideas to it, or have changed parts of the game that makes your map better.
  • Before making your map, have you thought of every single possible strategies that you can create under SC1’s limitations? – Know that we do not have the luxury to create crazy graphics or cutscenes. We must make use of what we have to the best of our abilities.
  • Before making your map, what sort of gameplay have you planned? And how does it work to set the mood of the game? – Arena games have to have a smooth gameplay mechanic. For certain games, too many clicks or hotkeys required simply ruins the game. This is not the same for survival horror games, of course. So plan ahead!
  • What units and strategies can I include to make the game interesting? – Be open minded with SC’s limitations
  • Does the atmosphere/mood of your game provide an identity for your map?
  • What things can be added to further immerse the players into your map? – Be it cool terrain, sounds, intros, whatever… try to immerse the players right away, and as much as possible.
  • Be creative in your maps! Try to create new, and intuitive gameplay mechanics, and don’t go overboard in trying to emulate other games until you have figured out how to achieve the best gameplay design.


”D” is for DESIRE and DESIGN

The MOST important part of creating a popular game is making players desire to play your game. This is analogous to the game’s design. While gaming industries and reviewers tend to complicate this matter, “Game Design” is simply how you design your game, or in other words, Game design encompasses how the game is set up in conjunction to its gameplay. This can range from little things like spell cooldowns and game type options, to grand things like how your story and dialogues work together with the gameplay and events.

Now The first thing I want to say for SC1 mappers is that many map makers now use complicated ways to produce very simple things, like virtual HP, EUD’s, or an ammo system for example. While these may help produce new gameplay mechanics, overcomplicated systems tend to confuse and frustrate players, and often do NOT produce the effect you wanted. If you plan on using complicated systems, or mechanics that have never been seen before, make sure the system works FOR you to create a smooth gameplay AND NOT AGAINST you by making your map too difficult to learn. Yes, it is a new thing, but it can only take you so far. An example would be Scourge Ball. While the use of EUD’s are cool, clicking on the eggs to move the scourge is just awkward to play. Don’t make up any new systems if they aren’t going to be any better.

Another issue is the game’s Difficulty. While every game has a learning curve, it is important to not make the game too difficult too early, or too easy throughout. To make a map with good difficulty, it is important to know what the current tolerance rate of the audience is. Personally, I feel that most SC pubbies enjoy really difficult and competitive maps, which is why Lurker XYZ and Random Micro Arena are so successful (Because they’re as hard as a leftover pizza, dipped in liquid nitrogen, and sprinkled with diamonds). However, pubbies’ tolerance levels are very transparent, and it is a risk to make your game too difficult from the get go. So, try make the game easy enough in the beginning for players to get used to, then really difficult to challenge the players.

The third thing I want to talk about are the game types. If you do not know what I’m talking about… go ahead and play Skirmish (wut a shitty map :P) and you’ll understand. I want to point out that multiple game types aren’t ALWAYS the best thing to do. Pubbies often make poor choices, such as going for the highest amount of game time, or going for the most tedious of options. For example, in Hero Arena, most pubbies go for the most tedious option – Get 200 kills to win.. FUCKING TWO HUNDRED. In 30 minutes, you’d only get about fucking 50 at best. Remember that you want your game to actually be remaked… not played once and forgotten. This is a terrible design flaw, and can debilitate your game.

The next tricky, and probably the most important design bit is how to design your game to maximize your gameplay potentials. This may be hardest aspect of game designing to understand, SO LISTEN UP. Let’s look at a current example, Cat and Mouse Caves. The creator made the map a lot bigger, and with terrain variances that gives the Mice literally HUNDREDS of hiding spots. While this may be balanced by the new things the Cats can buy or upgrade with to deal with the bigger terrain, it is very obvious that the gameplay between the actual Cat (Ultra), and the Mice (Probes) have diminished. An aspect of cat and mouse has always been the micro between the actual cat and mouse, and the close escapes that mice have to deal with in order to survive. By designing the game to have more focus on buying units to counter other units, this gameplay mechanic has effectively been taken away.

This is probably NOT what you want to do. You want to make a map that has as many gameplay as possible, while not neglecting what has been established before. A parallel example would be the new Cat and Mouse Shrink. The arena has been shrunk to a cozy arena, and the mice are left to fend off the cats with only pylons. What’s interesting is that the Mice are able to convert their pylons into harder Machine Shops. Noting that the cats cannot move vertically through 1x1 gaps, this provided a new building strategy for the mice, justifying the small-ass arena. This makes for a hectic and fun experience. (of course, there’re problems here too, such as it is WAY too easy for the cats in the beginning due to the small arena, and WAY too hard for the cats in the end, due to the fortresses of machine shops that the mice can build).

There are many variances to designing the game around the gameplay. In several instances, you may want to remove certain mechanics in order to focus more on other gameplay aspects. An example would be this: Would you like the game F-zero to have drifting? Probably not, since you want the players to focus on speed, quick turns, fast braking, and perfecting turns. What about in an RPG. In Crash RPG, you want to make a ton of enemies attacking the heroes, but make them really weak – a typical hack and slash game. However, in other RPG’s, such as Spellsword RPG, you want the enemies to take more hits, and do more damage to the heroes, but have much less enemies. This all depends on what you want the players to focus on, whether you want players to focus on their stats, and killing as much as possible, or have them focus on using their spells/weapons wisely.

Checklist
  • Decide how you want your players to play your game, and design your map accordingly – For example, if u want a fast paced map, don’t make the arena too big, and vice versa
  • Don’t make overcomplicated systems and mechanics that have little to no effect on the gameplay – Confusing mechanics frustrates people, and are often useless due to SC’s limitations. Think of something else!
  • Make your games difficult, but remember to help new players ease into your game – Easy at start, and difficult really fast. Easy to play, hard to master.
  • Don’t go overboard with game types. You know yourself what is the optimal options for your map, so stick with it! – Pubbies will most likely choose the grandest of options, making it a tedious and boring game.
  • Design your map so that you Maximize all gameplay mechanics – How does your map work vs. what sort of gameplay experience do you want the audience to receive. Think about this wisely… this is probably the most important part of your map!

To be Continued…

Post has been edited 9 time(s), last time on Nov 13 2010, 1:30 am by UnholyUrine.



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Mar 10 2010, 7:19 am UnholyUrine Post #2




”A” is for ACTION

Most of you are right now probably going "Hmph, that's a lot of things to work with man. How can you be so sure of all of this." Frankly, I made TS, so I know this shit. (Ya I'm tha bomb :wtfawesome: booyah)

But technically, my reason behind all this is because these are the guidelines in which I've always worked my maps with. My goal with many of my maps was for it to be popular. I've always looked into popular maps, such as Nexus Destroyers, and see what made them so successful. What's funny is that the most successful maps out there now would make most map makers here cry since they're so damn repetitive/simple that it makes our time feel wasted. But don't give up! I believe that making a map popular is the MOST CHALLENGING thing to do in a map. All the jazz about making it professional, making it a big mindfcuk, making it an exceptional experience... All of it is overshadowed by the fact that Not many people will Play it. But keep at it. Many complicated maps have been successful. Other than TS, there's Diplo games.. RP games, Income d, Path D, Dragoncraft... and the list goes on. So don't give up. We're on our final leg here.

So what IS the final act? Good question, because it is Action. In marketing terms, "ACTION" of the aida process describes what and how you tell the customer to do. In our terms, it would be to REMAKE So the grand question is.. HOW do we get pubbies to REMAKE our game?

to be continued.

Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on Aug 27 2010, 6:43 pm by UnholyUrine.



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Mar 10 2010, 11:29 pm Positively Post #3



:D. Interesting.

On a weird sidenote : Did you know that AIDA was the name of a data anamoly in .Hack for the PS2? :)



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Mar 11 2010, 2:50 am LoTu)S Post #4



Heh, the description for desire part sounds like its gonna be tiring. I always enjoy your explanations for maps, always straight to the point, while also putting some humor in. On the topic of the post, i feel that people are gonna slowly stop making sc1 maps and slowly transition to sc2, as the release of Galaxy editor is imminent. But i suppose most of this info could apply to sc2, just not the unit mechanics part, which can be modified. Looking forward to the next part.

(Maker of Temple Siege WOULD make this topic :P)



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Mar 11 2010, 3:02 am CecilSunkure Post #5



I agree with everything you've said, and I actually was thinking of writing something similar, but since SC2 Beta came out I decided not to.

One thing I think you should stress more is learnability of the map itself, as in learning the gameplay. One thing I hate about trying out new UMS maps is the tiny learning curve; I hate having to sift through a trashy input system to figure out basic functions to play an un-documented UMS map. B.Net noobs are impatient by default, very much so. UMS maps need to be as simple, fun, and as attention holding as possible, with extra emphasis on the simple part. I'm not saying maps cannot be elaborate content wise, but the gameplay mechanic should be simple, and you must absolutely gather user input (e.g. dropship buttons, or gateway buttons) in a simple and intuitive way.

This also goes hand in hand with the gameplay of the map itself: the gameplay, especially for anything story based like RPGs, needs to be very intuitive; you need to allow the player to make connections necessary to progress in the game, without the player needing to have freakin prophetic powers. How am I supposed to know that bringing this unit here turns this switch on to give this affect? You need to make the players' gameplay options obvious enough so that they can intuitively play the game, rather than having to spend too much time figuring out how to play the game.

I also think you should expound upon the atmosphere section. I think that a map needs a distinct identity in order for it to be fun. Nobody wants to play another crappy AoS clone. Your game can be a remake of something else, copying a game mechanic, just make sure to have an underlying theme or style. A great example of this would be none other than Temple Siege; the entire map has a single style to it that pervades throughout the entire map, and the map definitely has its own unique identity, which helps make it fun.

Lastly, I want to stress on how important picking a good name is. PICK A GOOD NAME FOR YOUR MAP OR I WILL NOT PLAY IT.

Anyways, good post Unholy.



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Mar 11 2010, 3:37 am payne Post #6

:payne:

Great article, but shouldn't this be in UMS Theory and Ideas? (Even though I understand why you've created it in this section)



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Mar 11 2010, 3:38 am Vi3t-X Post #7



Didn't MA make a thread like this before?



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Mar 11 2010, 4:05 am ClansAreForGays Post #8



No, typically they're re-hashed joke threads about how if you stick naruto in the game name it will be a success.

Though I don't see ample reason for this to be in map production.




Mar 11 2010, 5:14 am payne Post #9

:payne:

Quote from ClansAreForGays
No, typically they're re-hashed joke threads about how if you stick naruto in the game name it will be a success.

Though I don't see ample reason for this to be in map production.
Only reason I found is that it may help during the process of a "map production" ;o



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Mar 11 2010, 10:15 am JaFF Post #10



Quote from payne
Quote from ClansAreForGays
No, typically they're re-hashed joke threads about how if you stick naruto in the game name it will be a success.

Though I don't see ample reason for this to be in map production.
Only reason I found is that it may help during the process of a "map production" ;o
Yea, only they don't visit this forum when they're planning their maps. :P

Moved and pinned.



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Mar 11 2010, 11:29 pm Lanthanide Post #11



Quote from UnholyUrine

[color=lightgreen][u][size=30]How to Make your Game
[*][b]Is your map name interesting?
– A lot of the time, new maps do not have interesting names… for example, HoI: Battle of Arrakis. I have no idea wtf this means, so why would I waste my time to download and play this?
You chose possibly the worst map name to pick on for being obscure. You may have no idea what "Hol: Battle of Arrakis" means, but anyone who has read Dune or one of the many sequels will know straight away what 'Arrakis' means and will likely have their interest piqued. How many maps do you know of on b.net that are based in literature, let alone one of the most widely known and respected science fiction book of all time? Sure, people may not know what "Hol" means - I don't, but the rest of the name has certainly piqued my interest.

Granted, you do have a point that people who don't know anything about Dune (like yourself, obviously) won't have a clue what this map is about. But the point here is that Battle for Arrakis is targeted at a particular audience, and for that audience this map name is going to be very interesting.

I just had a look through the Map Showcase forum and one that jumped out at me as being meaningless is "Koth Wars".



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Mar 11 2010, 11:46 pm rockz Post #12

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

Dune: Battle of Arrakis would have been a better title.

Everyone knows what dune is, and if they don't, they're crazy. However, I think HoI stands for Hearts of Iron, which has nothing to do with dune, indicating it's HoI with dune stuff in it? Whatever, it's still a bad name, and I would not join it, but I have strange tastes (and I don't join naruto maps, nor do I like more than one of the big 3, and naruto certainly isn't one of them).



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Mar 12 2010, 2:45 am CecilSunkure Post #13



If I may: https://www.digipen.edu/uploads/media/digipen_podclass_issue_39.mp3

This is a podcast. It has way more information about naming games than is necessary or even relevant to StarCraft. Nonetheless, it helps to give an understanding on just how important naming your game is.

Whenever I host any of my UMS maps, I always get a full house, almost always, and I know it's because I choose rather good names.

Anyways check out the podcast.



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Mar 13 2010, 3:38 am UnholyUrine Post #14



I've been slacking off on finishing the article... "D" is going to be the biggest part, cause it's about game design.... But i'll finish it soon.. and I'll also make the summary (bolded questions) better, so that if u want to skip all that block of text, you can.

Anyway, @Lanth, exactly what i was trying to say... it's obscure, and it shouldn't be.
Dune: Battle of Arrakis really Would've been a bit better...
but better yet, don't base your game on smth....
I personally hate all war games, including heaven's last stand.... but "Heaven's Last Stand" is a more outstanding map name.

Hmmmm.... "Battle Dunes" would've been an excellent name. I'd join that for sure. (then find out ti's a war map, and leave.. but at the very least you've got my attention)



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Mar 21 2010, 9:58 pm UnholyUrine Post #15



Bamp.. .added more stuff for you all to read... still not done tho =_=''



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Mar 30 2010, 1:34 am lil-Inferno Post #16

Just here for the pie

Quote from UnholyUrine
The third thing I want to talk about are the game types. If you do not know what I’m talking about… go ahead and play Island tag (wut a shitty map :P) and you’ll understand. I want to point out that multiple game types aren’t ALWAYS the best thing to do. Pubbies often make poor choices, such as going for the highest amount of game time, or going for the most tedious of options. For example, in Hero Arena, most pubbies go for the most tedious option – Get 200 kills to win.. FUCKING TWO HUNDRED. In 30 minutes, you’d only get about fucking 50 at best. Remember that you want your game to actually be remaked… not played once and forgotten.
If I remember correctly there were only two game modes and people were always begging for a remake (and I remember you even recommended I add rounds to it...). This guide is almost laughable. I'd rather make a quality map than spend my time chiseling away at what I could've done just to have the majority of people like it, rather than have a minority of people that really like it.




May 7 2010, 11:25 pm Adeon Post #17



Quote from lil-Inferno
This guide is almost laughable. I'd rather make a quality map than spend my time chiseling away at what I could've done just to have the majority of people like it, rather than have a minority of people that really like it.
The topic's title says "How to Make your Game Popular". You couldn't expect anything else.
Also, this guide applies to many things, not only starcraft maps if you think about it. Take Half Life 2 for example... it's super popular and the game is REALLY well done. I don't think it's something to laugh as if it was a joke.



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May 13 2010, 6:58 pm UnholyUrine Post #18



Quote
This guide is almost laughable. I'd rather make a quality map than spend my time chiseling away at what I could've done just to have the majority of people like it, rather than have a minority of people that really like it.

Quote
First of all, I’d like to make sure that anyone who is reading this know that I’m not trying to instruct you how to make your game popular, nor that games should only be made for popularity. I simply wish to elaborate on what I feel a lot of people could’ve done to improve their maps’ chances of being popular. Therefore, those that do not strive for fame should move on, while those that have been looking for it… look no further.

Also; shameless bamp.. updated again... but still working on the final parts D:
I'm planning to copy this article to other forums.. hopefully leading them back to SEN



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Dec 22 2011, 3:44 am Lanthanide Post #19



One thing that isn't mentioned in this post, but has been one of the guiding tenants for Desert Strike Night Fixed (now the most popular DS map on B.net east) is usability and clear communications to the player.

For example, one of the biggest changes to usability I made in DSNF is to use the gas resource to display a countdown timer showing how long until your production resumes after building a gas extractor. Other versions of DS simply say "production halted for 30 seconds" but the player has no direct way of knowing how much longer they have to wait before their income started back up. Early on after I'd first released DSNF, I got many many positive comments on this new feature. Clarity and letting the user know what is going on is key - anything that can detract or annoy someone during play increases the chance that they won't be able to understand how your map works, they'll get confused or frustrated and leave, and less likely to play it again in the future. If you think about this in Blizzard terms, it's about Polish. Fix up all the niggly annoying things about your map so that your creativity and game play shines through, and it's not marred by things that don't make sense.

For example one time I joined a game with the title "map makers wanted", he was testing his new map so I joined to see what he had. I have no real idea what the map was about at all, but it was on the snow tileset and a message came up about every 20 seconds saying "+1 mineral added in interest by the Protoss bank" or something. It used the default text colour, which I found very hard to read against the light/white tileset. I suggested this to the creator and he replied with "it's fine". Except it wasn't - I had a genuine problem with it, but the creator decided it wasn't a problem and so wasn't interested in changing it. Whenever I play a map and something happens that isn't clear or makes it less fun to play, I think about ways I could fix it.

If you're familiar with Nexus Wars then you know that you get a bunch of civilians (10+) to make unit choices with. The selection area isn't laid out very well, or sometimes you just misclick and end up leaving 1 or 2 civilians behind. When all your units on the main battlefield die, then you get a new bunch of civilians, unless you still have civilians left over that you managed not to spend initially (misclick or pathing error, etc), in which case you're forced to spend these 1 or 2 civilians on a couple of units that will be killed by the enemies straight away and have no real power. This isn't fun - it's just annoying, and this is the sort of niggly thing that should be cleaned up. If I were to fix this, I'd add in some triggers that fired when you had 1-2 civilians left and other units on the field that did a map ping and alerted the user to having left over civilians, so that way they could spend them and not be stuck in a situation with leftover civilians preventing their next proper spawn wave.


Another aspect is bugs. There are many distinct trigger systems in DSNF that can interact with each other, and I've strived to think about all possible interactions ahead of time so I can prevent strange one-off bugs that happen. I don't always get it right and I've had my share of bugs, but usually they're not too disruptive to gameplay and only once or twice have I had completely game-breaking bugs. One recent feature I introduced was the ability to use power-ups (psi emitter) to spawn your units earlier than the normal countdown timer. I spent at least 20-30+ hours working on this system, thoroughly researching the way powerups behave (they're pretty funky compared to other units when it comes to Commands and Brings trigger conditions) and ways I could prevent allies from stealing your powerup, how to handle when players leave the game early etc. It was a lot of work, but so far I haven't had a single bug reported around this system, even though it is a late addition into a map that has many other complex systems in place already. In fact as part of implementing it I re-designed the general spawning system to make it more robust.



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[03:41 pm]
IlyaSnopchenko -- Is that a yea or nay? :)))
[03:36 pm]
TF- -- 🤙🏾
[02:46 pm]
IlyaSnopchenko -- A stupid question: can I run hypertriggers for just one phase in the map, not all of it (I know I can... just wanting to know if there are any caveats)
[01:26 pm]
IlyaSnopchenko -- but even so...
[01:26 pm]
IlyaSnopchenko -- Yeah, I vaguely remember some of them being a little off
[08:44 am]
Pr0nogo -- they weren't rendered with the correct perspective so there's no value there
[06:29 am]
IlyaSnopchenko -- Pr0nogo
Pr0nogo shouted: at least the 3rd campaign had voice acting
and some very cool models for the ships of that extra race. I simply loved em
[04:52 am]
Wing Zero -- :wob:
[11:52 pm]
UEDCommander -- What else could it be
[11:52 pm]
UEDCommander -- Of course
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