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Hidan

Archiving and registering the maps.

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Lack of database for official and original maps is a huge problem and there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism in place to deal with that. As a survival player, I think pervasiveness of map editing software and know-how on the one hand, and on the other hand lack of regulations have brought about an urgency that requires all the friends’ attention. Here are some of the main problems:

  • ·         There’s no place in the website where you can have access to all the maps. You cannot have them unless you join the games. E.g. I recently had to reinstall my OS and forgot to relocate the maps. Now I have lost many great maps and I’m having difficulty finding them.

  • ·         Modded maps have infested all the games esp. survival games. This is to the point that the survival maps rarely have characteristics of the classical RA2. More nauseating is the introduction of unfair advantages. I don’t mean modding is bad, but some are blowing this out of proportion.

  • ·         Some maps have been edited and the editor did not have the courtesy (or optimistically speaking, the knowledge of) indicating that the map has been edited. This becomes an issue when you have several duplicates of the same map and you cannot identify the original one before lunching the game.

  • ·         This epidemic of editing and modding has recently reached a point that sometimes I feel like some people are intentionally doing this to dissuade many of us (survival players) from joining the games or even discouraging some if not many of the reputable map designer. There’s an obvious inclination from creativity to nonsense.

 

I would like to propose some solutions to this problem and I’d be grateful if people share their opinion and help resolving this matter. The following are some of the proposals that came to my mind:

  1. All the maps must be archived.

  2. All the maps must be registered and indexed by their authors’ name, game mode, date of registration etc. I’m sure this will encourage many of the map designers once they are assured that their design will retain its originality and is not going to be tampered with.


    This will also encourage creativity among those who are editing the maps. Some edits have added more thrill to the games. Those editors who make the maps even more interesting are the ones who have gone through a long period of playing these maps, unlike the ones who are new, not good at any map and therefore edit for the worse. (“literature review” is a must before making up a theory 🤓 )

  3. Once the maps are registered and indexed, the client should be able to identify the edited ones and save/group them separately and even inform the players that the map being hosted is actually an edited one.

  4. All the maps including the edited and modded ones should have a separate category of their own; Both in the archive and in the client’s interface. They should also be saved on the players hard disk according to its indexed information so that people will have no difficulty removing any map they do not play or like. This will also ease the job of sifting through your maps when making a game. (seems like a favorites category would be of help too, just saying)

  5. I would also like to propose that some of the nick names should also be registered. i.e. CnCNet forums members should be able to be the only ones logging into the games with their profile name, but still having the option of choosing whatever nick they please to use when joining the games.

 

Thank you for your attention.

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I am all for this. Sounds great to me. Would be nice to separate all my maps that have been tampered with from my original versions.

 

What I have done myself to slow down this ever growing problem...

  1. I put a block on my maps that prevents 99%/if not all people from opening them with the editor FA2. Now i'm sure some people have bypassed it but at least i know the only way most will be able to edit my maps is from notepad. Now there is a lot of old versions of my maps that do not have this because I did not know how to stop it at all and people have edited them to the point they are ruined.
  2. I have text messages on all my maps while in-game playing saying "Map.Made.By.Dctanxman" | "You.Can.Download" | "All.My.Official.Maps" | "On...CnCnet.org/forums". I hope people read this message while playing and go find my thread which has a link to download all my original maps plus more.

 

What I would like to see...

  • A game mode called 'Survival' (for survival map) and 'Custom' (for none survival maps) put in game (just like picking "Team Alliance" game mode).
  • When they pick this it will bring up sub categories that have map makers names.
  • Clicking on one of the names will bring up all his ORIGINAL maps.
  • To qualify for this you must have a certain number of maps made by you (Id say 10-20 or more). This way even if people edit the map it will not show up in "Survival"/"Custom" game mode, only the original ones will and everyone can enjoy the game play that was intended by the creator.

 

Sometimes i feel like its pointless for me to make a new map because i know someone is just going to edit it and most likely cause unintended game play.

One quick example of how bad this has got. I just made a new map and while testing it with some friends i get a PM from a player asking if he could join my game just to get the map so he could edit it. This player could not even wait for me to release the map first. I then offered to show him how to make his own maps so he would not have to edit mine lol.

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Thanks Dctanxman.  As one of the prominent map editors your input is very valuable and has more edge on this matter. It goes without saying that map designers are far better informed about the inconveniences of this problem. But how could we draw CnCNet’s attention to this matter?

By the way, ‘Survival mode’, categorizing by authors’ name and a threshold for being on the list, sounds like a great idea. Resembling a library where you choose your books according to authors’ style.  🤓

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Hey guys, good idea, good to see someone have the same thoughts.

Here are problems, look:

1) They still can't fix the bugs were found 1 and even 2 years ago, and maybe even earlier.

2) 2 or 3 years ago they had "to do" list on github, and topic related to all of the YR Client problems, now they don't have.

3) They are too busy.

4) This topic will be forgotten in 1-2 months as many others. (no time to search for examples now)

Hovewer, they have some thoughts about sorting.

My thougts on sorting:

Make 2 dropdown menus:

1. Official + CnCNet approved maps  /  Custom maps

2. Game modes [most game modes doesn't work properly, seems they were made by someone who never played ra2/yr]

Menu 2 have all standard game modes for standard maps. Custom maps seems don't have any systematic at all. Generally all custom maps are quite randomly tagged.

Whitelisted custom maps need editing of available game modes.

+ to standard game modes would be nice to see "survival" "mission" and "campagin" modes.

For myself I made my personal map standards directed to maintaining of comparability maps CnCNet and vanilla game, reduction of frequently made mistakes even by experienced mapmakers, copyrights, modding and lots other things like description of game modes, preview pic standards.

All maps i made and re-made are based on these standards.

Sorting maps by author doesn't seem good for me. Here isn't anything special in this except author's nickname. And almost half of maps were made without any signature.

First thing need to do, to remove duplicaded maps in maps DB, i saw some exactly same files there.

Anyway this is a huge work.

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Thanks Ezer. I hope we’ll not lose our courage to let this topic be forgotten while the problem looms large.

You are right, some maps may have an unknown author, and some are not tagged properly. But consider that the survival maps can take several tags at the same time e.g. Team game & Team Alliance & Cooperative. These tags must have a standard definition for the map maker but for a random player I’m not sure if there’s any difference between the tags which could mean almost the same thing. Categorizing according to author’s name will fix this problem of tagging. But what to do with anonymous authors as you mentioned? I think their map should be grouped in a miscellaneous category to protect their authenticity and make them easily accessible. According to what Dctanxman proposed I can think of the following categorization (to be ordered alphabetically):

 

1.      Official RA2 maps

a.       Team Alliance b. Naval War etc.

2.      Custom Maps (for none survival maps)

a.       Team Alliance b. Naval War etc.

3.      Survival (Survival maps don’t really need a tag, in the light of thriving interest for these maps, a new taxonomy independent of old tagging system should be introduced)

a.       Author’s name (must have designed certain number of maps)

b.      Edited maps

                                                              i.      Could have a subcategory including editors name (if he passes the threshold of editing a certain number of maps)

c.       Misc.

 

Now at this moment the difficulty I can think of is that there must be an algorithm to let CnCNet automatically sort the maps into the above-mentioned categories. Obviously, there’s no one at CnCNet tasked with checking the maps. Here the map makers’ initiative is highly appreciated. I checked out the FA2 software very quickly and could say that it won’t help with the new system of tagging unless CnCNet introduces a new standard that could translate a certain combination of old tags into a newly define tag such as “Survival”. Either a new map editing software should be made or CnCNet should introduce new compilers to sort the maps. Once we overcome this difficulty we could start thinking about categorizing the old maps.

 

To conclude, first let me know what you think about the above-mentioned categorization, share yours too. Second, how can CnCnet automatically categorize the maps?

 

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I am extremely annoyed by the theft of my maps. I created 75ish maps since 2012. I have seen at least 3 of my maps being played under a different name. I foreseen  this as being a possible issue when i first started making Skirmish maps. I can identify every map that i have ever made. example: ill create a road and delete, well almost delete it. I will leave a tiny bit of the road  that will go unnoticed. I place it in an area that will not effect building and make it where the person does not even know its there... I will do this 2 or 3 times on each map...  I think the people the rip maps are useless and it shows characteristics of a cheater and they should be banned 

 

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