Map Popularity

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By MillenniumArmy, 2005-03-24 @ 19:39:03

As more and more of my maps become more liked by the public, I've realized there's this one VERY important factor that contributes to a map's popularity, one everyone seems to overlook.

A map gets popular because people replay them over and over again. That's what you want people to do with your maps. But for what purpose(s) would someone replay the map over and over again? Everyone is going to say fun. But fun isn't good enough; ANYTHING can be played again and again just for fun. You need something else in order to take your map to the next level.

Of course, to get a map popular, it would have to be somewhat good, not too complicated, and playable. That's the easy part; anyone can do that. But to truly get a map popular, you must give people a reason for remaking/spreading your map? What factors contribute to its popularity? What makes your map stand out from the rest? Would it be:

New strategies - Would somebody replay your map so they can try different game approaches or strategies? If your game has a huge variety of possible strategies, then you should try and work your map in this direction. Strategies must be very different from each other; there also must be plentiful possible strategies. For instance, in old school games like "Art of Defense," you can try going all tanks and ground units one time. Second time you can try going all turrets or air units. There are many different possibilities with just one race alone. If you want your map replayability factor to be this, make sure you include a huge variety of strategies otherwise, it might get old fast.

Competition - This is probably the #1 factor for most non "humans vs comps." Would someone replay your map so they can compete (and beat) other players across battle.net or friends? Does your map have the thing in which there's almost no limit (skill wise) to? People want to be good; people want to push their skills to the limit (but really there is none). To get better at these sort of maps, they can do only one thing; remake it. This can make a map replayable for ages. Sport maps are good examples of maps with a "competition factor." In games like Dodgeball, you compete against a multitude of foes. In Dodgeball tourneys, you not only compete with one adversary, but up to 3! You can always get better at dodgeball; increase your mouse reflexes, better anticipation, etc.

Different Roles - Does your map have a good variety of different roles? Sometimes people would remake maps so they can be different roles in the game. If being a different roles means being different player numbers or forces, then a person that remakes a map would get first dibs. There's a huge advantage to these sort of maps. People could just be one particular role for many many games and once they get sick of it (if they ever do), then they can just start being another role. Once you get sick of the last possible role, i think your "sickness" of the first role would have gone away so you can go ahead and continue the cycle. Lord of the Rings maps are perfect examples for these sort of maps. You can be the good guys, then the bad guys, then other good guys, and then other bad guys. Those tend to make maps replayable.

Awe or blow people away? - Only few maps have done anything like this. Did you do something just fantastically spectacular? Would it make people go wow? In some maps, particularly movie maps, they rely on wowing people if they ever do want to get successful. If your map has some outstanding terrain or triggering which have never, or rarely, been seen before? If your map is good enough as to where it excites someone, they might want to remake it again. Sexy picture maps are examples of maps with good terrain as to where you would remake it. Kill me is a perfectly example for a movie map in which it contains some qualities in which it might blow people away. This is the least common way of getting maps replayed.

Do different stuff? - Don't get this confused with "different strategies." Different strategies talks about doing tactics with a particular set of units or particular game mode. Different stuff talks about different units and/or different game modes in general. Does your map have a variety of units in which you could pick? Does your map have a variety of game modes? If your game has lots of different units in which you could be, then people might replay your map so they could try different units. Many defense maps rely on this. They could also fit under the "different strategies" category but mainly they would fit under this one. Usually most defense maps should have many different units/buildings in which you could make/build. For one time you can just try doing this particular set of units, another time you can try doing a different set. Or even on the third time, you can mix the two. In maps like Mario Party or other mini games, there usually are many different mini games and/or game settings. Those are good ways of getting maps popular.

Those are just some common possibilities in which some of you guys might want to consider when trying to make your map popular. If you notice, alot of non popular maps, as well as some bounds, that i played lack those things i mentioned so that's why sometimes it's hard to get them popular.

When making a map, focus on some of these replayability factors. Don't try to make too many different replayability factors for your map because then it would make all of them weak. Preferably, just pick one and focus your map entirely on it. The stronger the replayability factor is, the more likely your map would get popular.

(Article copied over from Old Old Wiki; Original Article - http://doodle77.dyndns.org/tutorials.php?id=168)