Promoting your Fortification map entry



  • So you’re hard at work on your map contest entry, but that is just one part of the challenge. Getting exposure for your map can be difficult, so we’ve put together some tips to help you get more feedback on your map, and get more people playing it.

    1. Presentation
    2. Promotion/Visibility

    Presentation

    Two areas of presentation that are very important to showing off your map:

    • Posts on the forums
    • Steam workshop Images

    If you want people looking at your map on the forums, make sure to embed images in your thread, rather than pasting links. This is easily done using the ‘insert image’ button in the forum toolbar, or uploading to a webservice such as imgur, and copying the bbcode provided. Screenshots are easy enough to take, especially with the windows snipping tool. This is especially useful for drawing notes on images with your plans/reasoning for design.

    Steam workshop images:

    Having a good looking thumbnail that both stands out and is representative of your map is the first step in getting people to check out your map. There is a great tutorial by Oroboros with a section about creating thumbnails for Dota 2 items for the steam workshop that is worth checking out.

    Once people actually click on your workshop item, make sure that you have plenty of screenshots of the map. How you go about this is up to you, but generally having a couple for each objective area and perhaps an overhead map that outlines the different stages/objectives.

    Be concise with your description of the map. The objectives and their order are the most important part, so get that across right away. Any lore/non-gameplay essential information should be after the objective description.

    Promotion/Visibility

    Thread

    Make sure that while you are creating your map, you are also promoting this and keeping people informed. Updating your thread is a great start. It is usually helpful to have the first post in the thread to be your latest update with a couple of images that you edit/update when you post something new. Make sure to have a steam workshop link in here to make it easy for people check it out, rate the map, and subscribe to it.

    That being said, it is imperative to get a functional blockout playable on the workshop as soon as you possible can. Allowing players access asap will help you to iterate on different areas of your design and fix potential issues as a quicker rate. Taking an iterative approach to level design will allow you end up with a higher quality map in the end.

    Feedback
    Getting feedback on your maps is great, but it is also in your benefit to provide feedback to others. This helps to promote a positive community around mapmaking, and also promotes your own work if you have a link to your map in your forum signature, perhaps even with a thumbnail image.

    There are also other forums dedicated to level design and videogame art that you may want to post on to get a wider range of feedback.

    Level design:
    http://forums.beyondunreal.com/forumdisplay.php?f=403
    http://www.worldofleveldesign.net/forums/forum.php
    http://forums.epicgames.com/forums/366-UDK
    http://www.mapcore.org/forum/5-gaming-discussion/

    Game Art:
    http://www.polycount.com/
    http://www.game-artist.net/forums/
    http://forums.3dtotal.com/

    Servers
    Having a functional map is huge, because it will promote more people to play on it more often. Torn Banner will be hosting servers featuring Fortification maps, but only if they are functional from start to finish. This doesn’t mean they have to be polished by any means, they just have to function as a team objective map (has objectives that are completable, doesn’t crash, has collision in the playable space, the map ends properly.) Any map that wants to be in the Official Torn Banner Server Fortification rotation absolutely must have the ‘Fortification Map Contest’ tag applied when uploaded to the steam workshop. If it doesn’t, the map will not meet the qualifications for the map contest and will not be considered for judging/put in the official rotation. If your map is on the workshop, with the tag applied, and isn’t yet in the official rotation, post in this thread to have it pulled into the maplist

    We also highly suggest that you host your own servers with your custom maps as well as submitting for the official rotation.


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