Staredit Network > Forums > General StarCraft > Topic: Should Mapping Contests Include Mods?
Should Mapping Contests Include Mods?
Jun 20 2012, 12:18 am
By: Pr0nogo  

Jun 20 2012, 12:18 am Pr0nogo Post #1



This is a discussion thread about the merits of mods within the contests we hold here.

Within this thread there will be two major stances. I will summarise them as I understand them; if something is incorrect or information is lacking on one or both of the stances, please feel free to correct me.

Those whom are AGAINST mods within contests where the focus revolves around mapping (i.e. one week long mapping contest, 24 hour mapping contest, etc.) have been shown to believe the following.
  • Mods deviate from what was actually supposed to be judged in the contest - the map. This takes the focus off of the piece that was supposed to be judged and some judges may alter their scores based on the quality of the mod.
  • Mods create an unbalanced competition where players who know how to mod have an unfair advantage over players who don't, and it generally confuses things.
  • Mods are inconvenient for use.

Those whom are FOR mods within contests where the focus revolves around mapping in such a manner that mods are not necessarily mandatory but are allowed and occasionally encouraged as complimentary to the map. They have been shown to take the following stances.
  • Mods add to the creative atmosphere and potential of the project and should be at the very least allowed in order to promote the growth of the project as a whole - not just as a map.
  • Mods provide the opportunity to fit the game to suit your project, as opposed to fitting your project to the game. Less scrapped ideas, less deviation from the original project vision.
  • Mods allow the player/judge to experience the project as was intended, not after it had to be redone x times for the concept to work in the basic game.

Looking at this, it seems the pro-mod members should nullify the anti-mod arguments whilst backing up their own, and vice versa. As I fully support all custom content creation, I have to call upon people like Azrael and Kaias who so openly oppose these things when they are hardly inconvenient to use and the skill differences between someone with years of modding experience and a rookie are very similar, if not nearly identical, to the differences between a seasoned triggerer and a rookie map maker.

After all, if the contest is for the map, why bring the mod into judging at all?




Jun 20 2012, 12:32 am Dem0n Post #2

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

If you want to prohibit mods for the reason that not everybody knows how to mod, then you should also exclude EUD conditions, because I sure as hell don't know how to use those. Hell, you should even exclude extended terrain because not everyone can do that. If you say it's because it requires the use of a third-party program, that's bullshit. Running an exe created by someone is the SAME EXACT THING as running Starcraft.exe. Literally the same thing. I don't really mind not having mods in contests (although they would make map-making a hell lot more fun), but proposing that people who want to mod host their own contest is unfair because everyone knows damn well there's less than a handful of people here to like to mod.




Jun 20 2012, 12:46 am Jack Post #3

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Mapping contests are about mapping, about working within the limits of the existing StarCraft engine. Modding allows you to basically extend the StarCraft enginec removing the limits which mapping works within. If there is a general creation contest, then modding would be fine.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jun 20 2012, 12:58 am FoxWolf1 Post #4



Surely it's for the person organizing the particular contest to figure out what kind of contest they want...for some kinds of contests, it is natural for mods to be excluded, and for others, it is natural for them to be allowed.

If the idea of the contest is to see what sort of creation one can come up with that can be run within a normal copy of Starcraft, then mods would have no place. The motivation for this sort of contest is to compete to see what one can make work within the limits of the basic game. I think this sort of contest is what anti-modders have in mind when they stress that a particular event is a "mapping contest."

If the idea of the contest is to see what sort of Starcraft-based game one can create, then mods would be acceptable. But, since the motivation for this sort of contest is to compete on quality of content irrespective of method, at the same time, entrants are responsible for any disadvantages that may be inherent to their methods. For instance, a multiplayer game with a mod would lose points because of the inconvenience of having to arrange for everyone to be running the mod, whereas an unmodded map can simply be hosted with no prior arrangements. So, depending on the theme (if any) of the contest, maps without mods could still be competitive with those that do have mods. I think this is the sort of contest that most of the people who are in favor of allowing mods want.

If the idea of the contest is to see what sort of modification one can make to the Starcraft engine, then of course mods would be acceptable. Unlike the previous type of contest, since mods are expected, their disadvantages would not be relevant to the scoring. Such would be a "modding contest".



None.

Jun 20 2012, 12:58 am Pr0nogo Post #5



Contests are about making the best project entry possible, no? To create the best project I can make, a mod is imperative. This is not about weakness of mapping- its about having the know-how to make the more atmospheric moments flow better, be it as simple as removing default music and replacing it with blank sound files so my own custom music can take precedence - all without any work on the player's behal. Any reminder that he's playin a game until the briefing and story are over should be wiped clean. Not possible without a mod, but if that's all it does, why disallow it? Even if it changes a tonne of graphics to show that that ice bolt really is an ice bolt and not a Phase Disruptor charge, why should that matter? Competent judges will get past these flashy things very quickly - only the real meat, the map, will be left for them to judge. As for me and my audience, nothing is wasted and the original vision is kept true to form.

/e

Quote from FoxWolf1
For instance, a multiplayer game with a mod would lose points because of the inconvenience of having to arrange for everyone to be running the mod, whereas an unmodded map can simply be hosted with no prior arrangements.

That's ridiculous. If you deducted points from me because the players had to double-click a different file, I'd be one hell of a sore loser. Ultimately, it appears this comes down to laziness - the whole issue, I feel, at least in some regards.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 20 2012, 1:04 am by Pr0nogo.




Jun 20 2012, 1:17 am Jack Post #6

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Quote
Contests are about making the best project entry
possible, no?
Mapping contests are about making the best map; most mapping contests are about making the best map without a mod.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jun 20 2012, 1:18 am FoxWolf1 Post #7



Quote from Pr0nogo
Contests are about making the best project entry possible, no? To create the best project I can make, a mod is imperative. This is not about weakness of mapping- its about having the know-how to make the more atmospheric moments flow better, be it as simple as removing default music and replacing it with blank sound files so my own custom music can take precedence - all without any work on the player's behal. Any reminder that he's playin a game until the briefing and story are over should be wiped clean. Not possible without a mod, but if that's all it does, why disallow it? Even if it changes a tonne of graphics to show that that ice bolt really is an ice bolt and not a Phase Disruptor charge, why should that matter? Competent judges will get past these flashy things very quickly - only the real meat, the map, will be left for them to judge. As for me and my audience, nothing is wasted and the original vision is kept true to form.

Contests are about making the best project entry possible within a specified set of limits. What those limits are is at the discretion of the contest host, and could be anything from whatever you want-- including making your own game from scratch-- to what you can do entirely within StarEdit with your left eye closed and your hair on fire. All sorts of contests are possible, and if the sort specified by the host is "see what you can do within the limits of mapping", then that's what the contest is.

Quote from Pr0nogo
Quote from FoxWolf1
For instance, a multiplayer game with a mod would lose points because of the inconvenience of having to arrange for everyone to be running the mod, whereas an unmodded map can simply be hosted with no prior arrangements.

That's ridiculous. If you deducted points from me because the players had to double-click a different file, I'd be one hell of a sore loser. Ultimately, it appears this comes down to laziness - the whole issue, I feel, at least in some regards.

Unless the map in question is a single-player game or you're playing with friends by arrangement, it's not that simple. If a map doesn't have a mod, you can host it publicly on Battle.net, and when people join, Starcraft handles the rest. On the other hand, with a modded map, you have to explain to them where to download the mod, get them to download it, convince them that this .exe that they've just downloaded is not a virus and that they should run it, and then repeat for each joiner. The actual double-clicking is the easy part.



None.

Jun 20 2012, 1:24 am Dem0n Post #8

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Quote from FoxWolf1
Unless the map in question is a single-player game or you're playing with friends by arrangement, it's not that simple. If a map doesn't have a mod, you can host it publicly on Battle.net, and when people join, Starcraft handles the rest. On the other hand, with a modded map, you have to explain to them where to download the mod, get them to download it, convince them that this .exe that they've just downloaded is not a virus and that they should run it, and then repeat for each joiner. The actual double-clicking is the easy part.
If they're that stupid that they think a starcraft-related exe is a virus, I wouldn't even bother playing with them. You make everything sound so complicated. You have to download the map in order to play it, yes? While you download the map, you can also download the mod. In fact, in cases where someone's presented a map/campaign that has a mod, I've never seen the mod posted separately from the map. It's always been in a zip or rar.




Jun 20 2012, 1:33 am FoxWolf1 Post #9



Quote from name:Dem0nS1ayer
If they're that stupid that they think a starcraft-related exe is a virus, I wouldn't even bother playing with them.


In my experience, most people who join games on battle.net are at least that stupid.

Quote from name:Dem0nS1ayer
You have to download the map in order to play it, yes? While you download the map, you can also download the mod. In fact, in cases where someone's presented a map/campaign that has a mod, I've never seen the mod posted separately from the map. It's always been in a zip or rar.

When people join a game on battle.net, the download happens automatically. A mod download doesn't. Only when a game is single-player, or people are playing by some prior arrangement, is there a zip or rar file that will contain both the map and the mod, and for multiplayer maps, having to have prior arrangements rather than just being able to host is a legitimate disadvantage.



None.

Jun 20 2012, 1:36 am Pr0nogo Post #10



Fox, for all your speal about limits and constraints to be determined by the contest's host, you have failed to understand the fundamental point of the debate; should miss be allowed in contests that do not exclude nor include them with a specific rule? The COMMUNITY at SEN, if it can be called that, is by far the most vehemently obsessed one I've discovered when it comes to mods in a contest that doesn't specifically state yes or no. It's silly to me. Yes, we can't use mods of we are told not to explicitly, but we can't use gopher workers to simplify our triggers if we're told not to, either. That's beside the point. Please remain on topic or Roy might delete your post.

/e

[quote:Name=FoxWolf1]legitimate disadvantage[/quote]

Uhm. No, it isn't. When does the judging of multiplayer maps take place without prior arrangements? You can't tell me that points should be deducted because of the possibility of an ad hoc judging or because people can't play without the mod normally and have me take you seriously. Your circular logic isn't coming up on top.




Jun 20 2012, 1:46 am FoxWolf1 Post #11



Quote from Pr0nogo
Fox, for all your speal about limits and constraints to be determined by the contest's host, you have failed to understand the fundamental point of the debate; should miss be allowed in contests that do not exclude nor include them with a specific rule? The COMMUNITY at SEN, if it can be called that, is by far the most vehemently obsessed one I've discovered when it comes to mods in a contest that doesn't specifically state yes or no. It's silly to me. Yes, we can't use mods of we are told not to explicitly, but we can't use gopher workers to simplify our triggers if we're told not to, either. That's beside the point. Please remain on topic or Roy might delete your post.

If the contest does not have a specific rule, and someone wants to use a mod, then ask the host, and the host will make a rule. The community has nothing to do with it.

Quote from Pr0nogo
Uhm. No, it isn't. When does the judging of multiplayer maps take place without prior arrangements? You can't tell me that points should be deducted because of the possibility of an ad hoc judging or because people can't play without the mod normally and have me take you seriously. Your circular logic isn't coming up on top.

Good judging is about evaluating a map thoroughly, not just getting a quick impression from playing the map once or twice. Factors that don't come up in a single "judging game", such as replayability and ease of getting games going, are still relevant to the quality of a map, and thus any competent judge or set of judges would make an attempt to evaluate them.

Anyway, if you're that desperate to make a modded map for a general-type contest, just make something single-player. For single-player maps, there isn't any real extra inconvenience of a mod. Or make it good enough that it overcomes the disadvantage of being more difficult to play in public games.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jun 20 2012, 2:01 am by FoxWolf1.



None.

Jun 20 2012, 1:47 am Roy Post #12

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Quote from Pr0nogo
Mods create an unbalanced competition where players who know how to mod have an unfair advantage over players who don't, and it generally confuses things.
I'd just like to point out that this isn't an actual argument for restricting mods. This is a statement the pro-modders say about pro-mappers to make them seem unreasonable; it's a cheap political tactic. If you think this is what pro-mappers believe and hold as a talking point, you do not understand the discussion in general.

Quote from name:Dem0nS1ayer
If you want to prohibit mods for the reason that not everybody knows how to mod, then you should also exclude EUD conditions, because I sure as hell don't know how to use those. Hell, you should even exclude extended terrain because not everyone can do that. If you say it's because it requires the use of a third-party program, that's bullshit. Running an exe created by someone is the SAME EXACT THING as running Starcraft.exe. Literally the same thing. I don't really mind not having mods in contests (although they would make map-making a hell lot more fun), but proposing that people who want to mod host their own contest is unfair because everyone knows damn well there's less than a handful of people here to like to mod.
Thanks for affirming my point: nobody makes this argument except pro-modders who want a free counterargument.

Quote from FoxWolf1
Contests are about making the best project entry possible within a specified set of limits. What those limits are is at the discretion of the contest host, and could be anything from whatever you want-- including making your own game from scratch-- to what you can do entirely within StarEdit with your left eye closed and your hair on fire. All sorts of contests are possible, and if the sort specified by the host is "see what you can do within the limits of mapping", then that's what the contest is.
This is a phenomenal summary of my position on the subject. A contest is defined by rules, and whoever is managing the contest gets to define those rules. Typically, for mapping contests, we draw the line at "mapping only" because, well, it's a mapping contest. You can include mods in these contests, but those are more altering the game than they are altering a map (which isn't a bad thing, by any means, but it moves where the line is drawn). The reason EUD conditions are normally allowed is because they are purely part of the map. EUD Actions, while still being part of the map, also rely on something that isn't part of the map, which is why they are generally excluded along with mods. I put EUD Actions and mods in the same category: if one is allowed, the other sure as hell is allowed as well.

On a side note, I personally am opposed to mods in contests for the sake of sharing the map in the future. It becomes one colossal ordeal when you and your friends are sitting in a channel thinking about what game to play, suddenly remember a map, and then link everyone to the mod, get them to set it up, have everyone restart their game, finally play the map, and then restart without the mod so they can play with other people again. This isn't an argument to keep mods out of contests; I am just fond of maintainability of maps.




Jun 20 2012, 1:53 am DevliN Post #13

OVERWATCH STATUS GO

Why is this suddenly an issue all of a sudden? What's wrong with holding separate contests that allow or disallow mods? I get that people are worried that holding separate contests means that the pro-mod one will get much less entries, but that's not really everyone else's problem. The non-mod contests shouldn't have to remove that rule to make two people happy.

I'm so amazed that this is just now an issue when no one seemed to care years and years ago when we actually had consistent monthly contests.

Quote from Roy
This is a phenomenal summary of my position on the subject. A contest is defined by rules, and whoever is managing the contest gets to define those rules. Typically, for mapping contests, we draw the line at "mapping only" because, well, it's a mapping contest. You can include mods in these contests, but those are more altering the game than they are altering a map (which isn't a bad thing, by any means, but it moves where the line is drawn). The reason EUD conditions are normally allowed is because they are purely part of the map. EUD Actions, while still being part of the map, also rely on something that isn't part of the map, which is why they are generally excluded along with mods. I put EUD Actions and mods in the same category: if one is allowed, the other sure as hell is allowed as well.
I completely agree with this, as well.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jun 20 2012, 2:01 am by DevliN.



\:devlin\: Currently Working On: \:devlin\:
My Overwatch addiction.

Jun 20 2012, 2:11 am Sacrieur Post #14

Still Napping

I agree with Roy.



None.

Jun 20 2012, 3:03 am Dem0n Post #15

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Quote from Roy
Quote from name:Dem0nS1ayer
If you want to prohibit mods for the reason that not everybody knows how to mod, then you should also exclude EUD conditions, because I sure as hell don't know how to use those. Hell, you should even exclude extended terrain because not everyone can do that. If you say it's because it requires the use of a third-party program, that's bullshit. Running an exe created by someone is the SAME EXACT THING as running Starcraft.exe. Literally the same thing. I don't really mind not having mods in contests (although they would make map-making a hell lot more fun), but proposing that people who want to mod host their own contest is unfair because everyone knows damn well there's less than a handful of people here to like to mod.
Thanks for affirming my point: nobody makes this argument except pro-modders who want a free counterargument.
Quote from Azrael
In case the reasoning isn't obvious enough, those who use mods have a significant advantage over those who don't, which requires anyone who wants to be on an even playing field to mod as well
It's funny how that quote came directly from the thread from which this discussion began.




Jun 20 2012, 3:08 am Sacrieur Post #16

Still Napping

Az wasn't referring to skill, he was referring to potential quality (e.g., if your competition uses EUDs, then you would be at a loss if you didn't).



None.

Jun 20 2012, 3:52 am Roy Post #17

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Quote from Sacrieur
Az wasn't referring to skill, he was referring to potential quality (e.g., if your competition uses EUDs, then you would be at a loss if you didn't).
And that's actually a reasonable argument (versus the one described in the original post, which isn't). If you give an option that will generally yield better results to those who utilize it, it's no longer an option as it is a competitive requirement. There's actually an awesome video I watched a while ago that explains this idea pretty well:





Jun 20 2012, 8:19 am IskatuMesk Post #18

Lord of the Locker Room

This thread is amusing. I get the feeling pr0 took our recent discussions very much to heart (although he approached me with them originally). It does bother me a lot, too, but I know I can't convince anyone of anything on the internet and there's no point trying. I'll make the remark that modders have no advantage over mappers, however, because they aren't somehow naturally better at something in potential. I guarantee I could teach most mappers here how to voice act or make sprites in a reasonable amount of time and I can also guarantee they'd become rather good at it if they actually wanted to do it. The difference is a matter of perspective for any which reason.

In a competitive environment the competition is usually shaped around its intended subject, though. I don't do competitive stuff. I don't think modding, mapping, or whatever should be about competing. I think it should be about making an experience. I disagree with people who think that maps alone, without custom voices, graphics, etc. etc. are enough to make an experience especially today. But I wouldn't make a thread about it because there's no way I can convince them otherwise. There's no point in arguing about it. Just as there's no point arguing about anything. I let them do their own thing and I do my own thing. In the games I'm working with today, it's pretty much a given that stuff like custom voice acting and graphics will be there. And the methods to run these mods can be much more convoluted than just clicking an exe. People don't really care. It's an insignificant thing. But that's the kind of atmosphere and community behind it.

Sorry. I know a few people kind of expect me to rise up and make a stand for mods. But I take no stance in this subject anymore from a community perspective. SEN is the way it is because of its roots and it cannot be changed. I won't think any less of it because of that, even if I disagree with it. I just do what I can to try to introduce people to the subject in a subtle manner in case they want to get into the kind of work related with mods, like voice acting. I'm ignored 99% of the time. But if that 1% aspire for something more, and make use of those resources, then I am proud. Because crazier things have happened and highly respectable work has come of it.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 22 2012, 3:46 pm Azrael Post #19



My point of view has been summarized pretty well already.

If you want a contest that allows mods, organize it yourself. Stop trying to force your personal preferences on everyone else. Two contests can run simultaneously. Don't like mapping contests? Make a modding contest. It's pretty simple, really.




Jun 23 2012, 6:12 pm samsizzle Post #20



"wah wah, people aren't hosting contests based on my skill set!" I'm jus gonna say what everyone is thinking. How could you make a debate about this... If you want a modding contest, host one. The majority of people that still do anything creative with SC1 are mappers, therefore mapping contests. Stop being difficult.



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