LVL - QLIVE - New Joint Service Proposal
Started by BFG20K
BFG20K Rep. 371
#1   28 Jan 2014
So hear me out when I say this... I'm actually surprised that you've dedicated the past 15 years to maintaining this website tig, I mean, I started checking this out and pumping maps when I was 13, 14 years old, and now I am almost 30. Needless to say, I think it would be a shame to not have some kind of updated and interactive service between qlive and lvlworld. Both are dedicated to the same 15+ year old game. Both are constantly updated. Both offer tantalizing moments and breathtaking new ideas, although qlive maybe less inclined to produce 'wow' factors as all of the maps have been played and played.

Perhaps we could come up with a proposal to the QLIVE staff, that would offer a chance to have custom maps that receive the highest votes per category... Quite frankly I am getting a bit sick of their rigid map structure, unfortunately, not many people even bother with Q3 anymore, even the ones on qlive that still have it. It is a shame to be a qlive player who used to make plenty of new fun filled environments and gameplay yet resort to whatever the QLIVE staff thinks is best.

And quite honestly, their suggestions really blow. There are some maps on the QLIVE list that I can't get enough of, but then there are others that once a server switches to it, the full server becomes empty in seconds. You know what that means? That means that both services could benefit from working together. Especially since there are thousands of players who play QLIVE and there are still map authors that are using GTK/Q3 Radiant.

If you think this might be a good idea, maybe I could help you generate a proposal to QLIVE. All I know is that we would need to be on the same page before I could contact them, as my reputation is a fraction of a percentage yours is, you would have a bigger impact than I ever could.

In a nutshell, each category should have a 2 or 3 map submission per month, or week, whatever sounds better. However, those maps that keep players on them for the longest amounts of time would be permanently accepted, and those who do not rate high enough will be put on the B list, where it could either come back again after a certain amount of time, or only when requested by a premium/pro. Also, requests by the community could also work the same way as voting, so if the community misses a map like Mustaine's Madness (the first Q3 custom map ever...) everyone could provide that suggestion. Then what you have is a tool that will sift out the ones worth submitting to QLIVE. Of course, all of this will HIGHLY DEPEND on the community, LVL, and QLIVE staff.

Really I think the problem is that all of the stats are tracked and studied too much in some aspects, and barely looked at in others. The people will always want what they want, and where players are ranked by ELO, maps should be ranked by another equation. I believe that LVL could fill QLIVE with some fresh content that players will be very satisfied with, instead of seeing a vanishing player base.

leilei Rep. 343
#2   28 Jan 2014
Maybe I'm thinking far too ahead, but such a thing would just lead to a nasty corporate acquisition aftermath I wouldn't like to see.

Edited 1.42 minutes after the original posting.

BFG20K Rep. 371
#3   28 Jan 2014
I would hope not... Although planetquake became ign, i doubt history would repeat itself, at least in this respect
Tig Rep. 1224
#4   28 Jan 2014
@leilei: Personally, yes, you are thinking way too far ahead :] Besides that, I have a degree of ethics and no one to answer to except myself. OK, technically, ..::LvL does involve my partner as "we" pay for the server, so she does have a bit of a say.

@BFG20K: More than happy to help the community in any way I can. There are a few little issues that I see however. I'll try and keep it all short and please corrected me if I'm wrong:

1) My understanding is the QLive maps have some level of encryption along with other changes. This would mean Q3 maps simply could not be used in QLive. The maps would require some kind of editing too as all QLive maps have a QLive "billboard". (or has this changed?)

2) Quake Live is a commercial endeavour that id Software makes money from. While I do believe almost every map author would allow their maps to be included, the authors permission would need to be granted before their work could be included.

3) I have enough trouble finding the time to update ..::LvL as it is. What you are asking for sounds like extra work. Integrating some kind of poll or voting system would not be much of an issue but... I personally think I could create a basic API quicker that would allow someone else to access the ..::LvL database - then someone else could do all the work and anything else that comes up.

4) I personally think a clear idea put together by a few people, drafted, edited, re-edited, etc. which is then backed by a lot of the QLive players would get more attention than something coming from myself (even if it is the idea and work of others). The few times I have tried to contact id Software for one reason or another I have not heard back from them.

It is a great idea, it needs work and needs (QLive) community backing. Like I said at the start, happy to help - just let me know what you want from me and I will let you know what I can do to help.

BFG20K Rep. 371
#5   30 Jan 2014
Man, I typed up a reply right after you posted this but apparently it didn't go through... Here goes with the recap of what I can remember...

Tig, I'll help you in whatever way I can. If you just don't have the time you need to get around to everything around here, that's fine, I'll do some batch reviews, screenshots, videos, etc - just like I did many years ago when the queue got pretty backed up.

I admire the fact that there is still a fearsome Q3 community, or that there is one altogether. In it's heyday, before Counterstrike got big, before COD and the military shooters were even dreamt of, there was Quake 3 Arena. Then Rocket Arena... I remember the day RA3 came out, I was heading into school, and I had just finished downloading all of the files overnight so that I could play for about 10 minutes before I had to rip myself away from the computer to end up thinking about it nonstop until I got out of school (i didn't write any of this stuff before in the 'failed to post'...). Anyway, Q3 was just an awe inspiring game, and it is still capable of amassing quite a volume of players for both aesthetics and sweet action packed gameplay. While QLIVE has turned out to be a blessing, the handling by it's moderators and level selectors has proven to be quite cursed. It is almost as if there were a bunch of 15 year old kids that started playing Q3 in 2008 and said, "Hey check out these 15 levels that are pretty cool." While maybe 15 of them are decent maps, only 3 or 4 of them will end up being the battlegrounds for the people that DO get around to logging in.

What i'm getting at is this, the levels on QLIVE need to be better chosen. I'm not saying they're all bad maps, i'm not even saying that they aren't all GOOD maps, but there's a bunch of criteria that makes a map GOOD and then another matter ADDICTING. If we were to focus our attention on nominating those maps in this database that are simply ADDICTING, I think the QLIVE team would have no other choice than to test them for themselves and since we've been around for 15 years, they will accept that we know what the F we're doing.

The notion I get thus far is that everyone on QLIVE is happy with the way things are. I know this isn't the case... I'm not. I enjoyed the fact that they redid 'The Edge' and 'Warehouse' but they did nothing with 'Tokay's Towers', or 'The Pits' or 'Hallways'. The latter were just a fkin good as the rest and it's a shame that when I play on Warehouse via QLIVE today, I can be the only one that knows that it's a QUAKE 2 LEVEL...

Beyond that, I'm not saying we need Quake 2 levels rebuilt or Q1 for that matter, that is another matter entirely. However, I know damned well that Blood Run ended up being where it is ALL THANKS TO LVL. Ztn published many maps, Q2 levels, Q3 levels, and I know those maps were all featured on here. In fact, I'm willing to bet that every map that is ON QLIVE is in the LVL database.

That alone is a huge argumentative factor here, that we should have some say in what goes on in the Quake community that lives. But enough of all of the ranting, Tig, I'm ready to do whatever you think needs to be done, if all you'll do is give me whatever access I need, and whatever list of things that need to be taken care of, you have my word that I will either do all of the work myself, or I will find people to help me get it done. I will definitely need some friends to get this done as reviewing a level is never a matter of how well the bots play... merely just a minor category.

FragTastic Rep. 2241
#6   31 Jan 2014
Hmm let's see..
Best Gimmick Map: ''The Simpsons Map By Maggu''
Best Animated/Cartoon Map: ''The Simpsons Map By Maggu''
Best CTF Map: ''The Simpsons Map By Maggu''
Best DM Map: ''The Simpsons Map By Maggu''
Best TDM Map: ''The Simpsons Map By Maggu''
It wouldn't be to fair really..
Tig Rep. 1224
#7   01 Feb 2014
FragTastic brings up a very good point. Any public vote system is open to sway from "popularity" over "quality". One fix for this is a selected group of people. Then you have the problem of a sense of elitism.

Having the public select or vote for the people who are going to select the maps is a return the popularity issue (who has the most friends wins).

So, how to fix the issue of map selection?

One option is map trials. That is, we (as a community) could suggest to id Software and / or Quake Live Admins that they run a "custom map" server and allow the log files to be public. The server would need to be able to have player map selection (map voting) enabled so when a crap map comes on, people can vote for a different map.

Ideally, this server would need to have a fair number of maps (say 10) and at the end of each month, if there are any stand out maps, they could be brought across to the main servers. The map list would need to be promoted some how so that people know what maps are required and would also need to be change each month.

Now for the technical issues. How can you get custom maps in to the Quake Live ecosystem quickly is a mystery to me. That is something you may want to ask Phantazm11, cityy, StormShadow or even Sock about. They all have maps in Quake Live and they may be able to let us all know just how possible this is.

Then someone would need to write it all up (just how it would all work) and get public (community) backing. Then present the proposal to the Quake Live Gods - and see what happens next. It is important that "we" write it all up and do all the hard work. The less work for someone else, the more chance it will be accepted.

Edit: Mostly grammar and spelling errors.

leilei Rep. 343
#8   02 Feb 2014
There's also the conversions and q3dm17 edits to watch out for. Maybe q3dm17 needs its own category...
FragTastic Rep. 2241
#9   03 Feb 2014
@Tig: You forogt to mention EmeraldTiger. His maps are also on QL and I'm sure he has some great advice too.
fKd Rep. 350
#10   03 Feb 2014
Good luck guys, this sounds like a good idea.
cityy Rep. 325
#11   14 Feb 2014
id software hosting a server for continously trying different custom maps with Quake Live is most likely not going to happen from what I have heard the past years.
The reason for QL not to support custom maps is that id is hosting all the servers and thus distributing all the content. Distributing content requires you to have the rights to the material you are letting people download which eventually means that you have to buy the content backed up by an official and legally correct contract document.

The way to get your map into the game currently is getting community backup on the QL forums (they added a dedicated map making section not too long ago) and potentially send an email out to SyncError.

Edit: I think a potential work around would be to release all levels under lvl OGSL if that still exists. However that would only be allowed for those relying on stock materials as reference sites like cgtextures AFAIR conflict with open source licensing.

Edited 1.35 minutes after the original posting.

GuitarMan Rep. 421
#12   15 Feb 2014
From what I know, QL is mantained only by 2 or 3 of the main id Software developers, and a few 2nd level developers maybe. They've dropped their MacOS and Linux versions to focus only on Windows, and even for that, they rely on .NET framework 3.5. That's just to mention the technical issues, not the many others that are pushing players away from it. It's still a free game, with an option to become a "pro" member for a small monthly fee.

The fact that Tig tried to contact id and didn't get any kind of feedback, is to me an obvious sign that they don't want anything to do with Q3A. As I said, Quake Live is a project backed up by 2 or 3 id guys, not by id itself, only to get paid subscriptions.

Wanna give it a try? Go ahead. If you don't try it, you'll never know if it'll work...

On the other hand, it is good to know that you're willing to contribute to ..::LvL again, as years have passed by and new people have joined the community, this site has changed and reviews are better than the way they were back in the day.

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