Getting Your Maps Noticed.

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Postby lord_day » 2008.09.28 (22:30)

Here is something I wrote for an N magazine awhile ago, that never got published:

Today, I am going to talk about getting your maps noticed on NUMA. So if you are a map maker who finds this really easy and you already get your maps noticed, then you can turn the page. However, I know many of you find your maps falling off the newest page with no votes. It happens to everyone when they start. So here is the deal. Before you can build a reputation, you need people to be playing your maps. Sounds obvious right? But many people miss this crucial point. Remember, when people go on NUMA, the only thing they see when they scroll through the newest page is thumbnails. So make sure that your thumbnail looks interesting! When you go through NUMA and you see an interesting thumbnail you click it. That is how you differentiate between all the maps you are scrolling through. Hence, if your map looks good, people will click it. Many people say that how a map looks doesn’t matter. In fact they are wrong. While a map can be great and look rubbish at the same time, that doesn’t mean that you should throw aesthetics out of the window. People enjoy playing visually pleasing maps, and it is impressive to play a fun map that also looks good! If you need help making your maps look good, then that will have to be another topic at another time.

Now that you have them playing the map, you want them to keep playing it. There are a couple of hurdles to jump and options to take here. Firstly, if the map plays the same as every other map on NUMA, most likely people will play for a few seconds before closing off and playing another map without ever thinking about your map again. No one wants to play the same map 1000 times, so make sure your map has some memorable and catching moments! That way people will keep playing, which is what you want. So how do you make memorable and catching moments? Well there are two main ways. Either do something new or rare, or make something that plays really well. Of course these are hard to do, but that’s what the challenge of map making is about. The other point is, give your map some length. If you want people to spend time on your maps, you need to give them something to spend it on. So there are two ways off doing this; either you make the map decent in length, or you make it re-playable with lots of different routes or all gold paths. Of course, there are other ways to do this but those are two good examples.

Finally, before you submit a map, look at it. Play it in the third person. Think to yourselves, ‘Is this actually a good map? Is it actually fun? Does it look nice?’
Don’t be afraid to be really critical. Analysing your own maps can be hard, but it is an important skill to develop. Another way of getting your maps noticed is by making friends on the forum or NUMA who will be willing to play your maps, and even give you pointers on what to change.

Hopefully, this has given you some pointers into getting your maps noticed. And remember the most important point of all of this, is that people like to play new and different things! So make it stand out. Drop me a PM if you have any questions or things to add. Happy mapping folks!


Hope that it will help some people
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Postby Jiggerjaw » 2008.09.28 (22:46)

This is very helpful, and I suggest every new mapmaker takes a quick look at it. Not everyone can just churn out maps that are good every time, like our friend Jiggerjaw. You actually do have to think about your audience. Now, this is not about ratings. Ratings seriously mean nothing. They mean less now than they used to, and they meant nothing then, too. It's about what people will genuinely like. Cater to popular trends, but keep in mind that innovation will always be rewarded. There are so many good maps coming out these days, it's easy for many to get lost in the crowd.

One thing I think should be clarified: In the first paragraph, Lord Day mentions making your thumbnail look nice. But, be sure not to sacrifice game play for a good looking map. The people playing the maps don't just want eye candy. Make sure you have flow, or if you don't want your map to be flowy, be sure to make it somehow compensate for that. If your map has one quality that makes it stand above the rest, it will be recognized.
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Postby unoriginal name » 2008.09.28 (22:49)

i totally agree.

<Turtle> I'm just not really sure how to reply to it without spamming. I have nothing to add
<lord_day> Ok.
<Turtle> actually, I thought of something to add to the regular old 'i totally agree'
<gloomp> viewtopic.php?f=19&t=99&p=1234#p1234 :D

Last edited by unoriginal name on 2008.11.28 (16:21), edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Turtle » 2008.09.28 (22:51)

This is very helpful, and I think it is more productive for the community than those polls which ask 'do you feel noticed on NUMA' or 'do you want your maps to have more ratings'. I request a pin for this topic. I've been mapping for over three years, and I'm going to be taking advice from this. Thank you very much, l_d.

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Postby blackson » 2008.09.28 (22:52)

[quote="Jiggerjaw"]. ...But, be sure not to sacrifice game play for a good looking map"...quote]

It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.

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Postby Turtle » 2008.09.28 (22:59)

Blackson wrote:
Jiggerjaw wrote:. ...But, be sure not to sacrifice game play for a good looking map"...quote]

It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.


Reread his post. Unless you were quoting for emphasis.

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Postby Pixon » 2008.09.29 (00:59)

We can always count on Lord_Day for helping all of us out. Thanks.
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Postby George » 2008.09.29 (05:49)

Blackson wrote:
Jiggerjaw wrote:. ...But, be sure not to sacrifice game play for a good looking map"...quote]

It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.

Not necessarily. You'll want to balance out both factors. Or if you can, have both. :P

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Postby a happy song » 2008.09.29 (08:27)

Well written l_d. I can see this being a very handy little tutorial.
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Postby Dead_N » 2008.09.29 (10:15)

lord_day wrote:Here is something I wrote for an N magazine awhile ago, that never got published:


Hmm.. Wait, I think I've read it before and found it really useful. So I guess it has been published?
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Postby epigone » 2008.09.29 (14:54)

Contrary to popular belief, ratings do actually matter. Though they are arbitrary and most people don't really care what rating they have on their maps (to a degree), I feel like it's hard to argue against the fact that when people see a map that's rated well, they are drawn toward it. It's a basic psychological principle in action: when something is popular, more people want to see it.

Not that this really helps solving the issue of getting your map noticed in the first place of course, I just wanted to make a little side comment off of what Jig wrote.
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Postby Riobe » 2008.09.29 (20:03)

Wow, this is great stuff man. =)
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Postby Izzy » 2008.09.29 (21:04)

Blackson wrote:It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.


Have you heard of PALEMOON or lord_day?

Thank you lord_day, I will bookmark this for future reference.
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Postby behappyy » 2008.10.01 (00:18)

Izzy wrote:
Blackson wrote:It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.


Have you heard of PALEMOON or lord_day?

Thank you lord_day, I will bookmark this for future reference.


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Postby otters » 2008.10.01 (01:25)

Izzy wrote:
Blackson wrote:It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.


Have you heard of PALEMOON or lord_day?

Thank you lord_day, I will bookmark this for future reference.

Are you saying their maps look bad but are fun, or are boring but look good?
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Postby BNW » 2008.10.01 (02:47)

incluye wrote:
Izzy wrote:
Blackson wrote:It's better to sacrafice a good looking map for gameplay.


Have you heard of PALEMOON or lord_day?

Thank you lord_day, I will bookmark this for future reference.

Are you saying their maps look bad but are fun, or are boring but look good?


I have a feeling that it is probably both. ;)

I love the article l_d. Really informative to newcomers and veterans alike. Even if you think that your maps are up to par with this, I think you should still keep this in the back of your mind when you are mapping.
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Postby Limer » 2008.10.02 (20:40)

When i am mapping, i do believe how it looks is very important.
If the way my map looks is messing with my game play, i will spend aaages trying to make it work without screwing my aesthetics.
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Postby Superpok » 2008.10.04 (21:15)

Yeah, great topic. although, its easy to criticize yourself, i find it hard to make it better. Also, a lot of the Metanet maps are insanely flowy, but they don't look anything like a flowy map.

A lot of newer users make very fun maps, but they have spammed objects and crappy tiles. but there still fun to play. and then older users have insanely good tilesets, but the gameplay just isn't...quite...
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Postby notsteve » 2008.10.05 (01:56)

i think the best way to get your maps noticed is to either play a lot of other members maps and comment them, or just make a name for yourself.

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Postby addicted_ancestor » 2008.10.15 (21:40)

I have a large problem with this. i have almost 100 maps, but no one ever looks at most of them, and the large majority have only 1 or 2 ratings.
i do think that my maps look good, and almost always differ in gameplay, but i still don't ever get noticed...
any tips?

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Postby wolfgang » 2008.10.16 (05:04)

I've just got one tip for you addicted ancestor.

For one, although you maps might look good because you generally have decent style, as thumbnails they are far from interesting looking. The most eyecatching thing about a thumbnail is the use of space and the contrast between filled areas and open spaces. Your newest maps generally don't utilise this at all and the majority of your tilesets are completely open and use thin line elements. This can look fine in the game window but as a thumbnail they generally look ugly or bland.
Of course, you can't call it a rule because different things appeal to different people. Maybe just keep it in the back of you mind.

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Postby everythingfromatoz » 2008.11.03 (13:51)

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Postby deltainferno » 2008.11.03 (17:11)

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Postby 29403 » 2008.11.03 (17:36)

It's 14 words!
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Postby Evil_Sire » 2008.11.03 (19:17)

Actually it's twenty-nine-thousand-four-hundred-and-three words!


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