Easter Class

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DJ Full
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Re: Easter Class

Post by DJ Full » 24 Apr 2012 21:19

eTux wrote:The tagging system would be more fluid and truer to describing what the level is actually like - though there would be the problem of not going completely overboard with the tags...
Yes, the wordcloud is sometimes funny to read.
eTux wrote:...or equalizing them to be useable for all levels.
In this case, how could we handle tagging? Will every builder tag his/her own level before releasing it? Will the Admin do this, using the equalized words? Both versions bring a great improvement, but both also have great disadvantages:
1. If builders can tag a level: even if they choose tags from the equalized word base, they will perceive their own levels differently than players will. Thus, tagging by builders could be misleading.
2. If Michael does it, he will have to play all levels as soon as they're out, and then judge where they belong. Such amount of work is unbearable for a single person, not to mention he's already busy checking reviews.
eTux wrote:I don't see how this is anything but your personal bias - both test and joke levels are, as far as I know, built mostly with the same intent - to present an idea.
Actually, ALL levels are built to present an idea.
eTux wrote:I'm sorry if I'm being an argumentative bastard here, I just can't resist a good debate on occasion :D
This is good. :D
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Re: Easter Class

Post by eTux » 24 Apr 2012 22:26

DJ Full wrote:Yes, the wordcloud is sometimes funny to read.
I know what you mean - but the crucial difference here is that the tag-cloud on review pages is a somewhat automated system that pulls out frequently occurring words from reviews - and thus is more representative of which words are used more frequently in the reviews, rather than accurately describing the level. When people would deliberately consider how to label each level - it would be a different ballgame.
DJ Full wrote:1. If builders can tag a level: even if they choose tags from the equalized word base, they will perceive their own levels differently than players will. Thus, tagging by builders could be misleading.
We're not talking about reviewing here - but describing levels in an objective, matter-of-fact manner - so potential players can see what they'll be dealing with. The level either is an "India" level, or it isn't. It either is primarily a "shooter" or it isn't. As far as any subjective judgements go - i.e. beauty, difficulty, brightness/darkness, complexity - I don't think they should be categories/tags at all and best left to review comments. Maybe I'm missing something here - but I don't see how a builder could possibly abuse this?
DJ Full wrote:2. If Michael does it, he will have to play all levels as soon as they're out, and then judge where they belong. Such amount of work is unbearable for a single person, not to mention he's already busy checking reviews.
It doesn't have to be Michael doing it all on his own. I can think of at least 2 major changes to listing in recent years - a) adding TR1, TR2, TR3 & TR5 custom levels to the listing & b) adding 5 screenshots for each level in the listing. Not to deny Michael's own contribution in making either of these happen - but he did get massive community support for both. I imagine there will be people more than willing to help him with this too. And I think it was Mytly who suggested in another thread - that an easy way to implement this would be just to add a "tag" window to the review form - where reviewers could potentially type/select the tags they think best apply to the level. Tagging all the levels before the implementation of this would be more retrograde work - but as said - we've done this before, at least twice.
DJ Full wrote:Actually, ALL levels are built to present an idea.
OK, I'll take the bait here :D I'll rephrase that like this: Joke/test levels mostly are built to present one idea - how to set up a Bonus level in TR3, show what can be done with a flipmap, what happens when Lara's jeep runs out of gas, Lara being trapped in a tomb and having to listen to a Spice Girls song for the rest of the time, show the many possible ways Lara can be killed, how to use a fly-by to create a roller-coaster effect, how to work with flipmaps and waterfalls in a TR5 environment, the list goes on. They are not primarily concerned with gameplay, looks, setting an atmosphere or telling a story. True, there are some such levels that have ended up in that category, but others have said before that they are more like comedy levels (Gah, more categories :stunned: ), rather than joke levels in the sense we've defined them. It would be a stretch to call even the worst non-joke level as representing just one idea, and not tackling either of the above mentioned things in some fashion. Your turn, Mr DJ Full :beatnik:

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Re: Easter Class

Post by DJ Full » 25 Apr 2012 00:32

eTux wrote:
DJ Full wrote:Yes, the wordcloud is sometimes funny to read.
the tag-cloud on review pages is a somewhat automated system that pulls out frequently occurring words from reviews
I always thought it's an algorithm pulling out RANDOM words, only skipping those having less than 3 letters. Still, it seems to me to work this way rather than finding the most often letter combinations. These are certain rare words from Messy Christmas cloud:
- abysmal - used by Phil, and by no-one else
- faultless - used by manarch2, also only once
- nonetheless - also by manarch2, also only once.
If the wordcloud was SUPPOSED to give the most often words, it seems to be malfunctioning.
eTux wrote:I know what you mean - but the crucial difference here is...
So You don't know - because I mean exactly what You wrote here. I mean the wordcloud isn't informative enough, so the tags would be better :D
eTux wrote:
DJ Full wrote:1. If builders can tag a level: even if they choose tags from the equalized word base, they will perceive their own levels differently than players will. Thus, tagging by builders could be misleading.
We're not talking about reviewing here - but describing levels in an objective, matter-of-fact manner - so potential players can see what they'll be dealing with. The level either is an "India" level, or it isn't. It either is primarily a "shooter" or it isn't. As far as any subjective judgements go - i.e. beauty, difficulty, brightness/darkness, complexity - I don't think they should be categories/tags at all and best left to review comments. Maybe I'm missing something here - but I don't see how a builder could possibly abuse this?
See my post on the previous page. Tell me what the following games primarily are:

Castle Cain - Shooter, Joke or Castle?
Himalayan Mysteries - Alien, Cold/Snowy, Tibet or Cave/Cat?
Search the true Christmas Gift - Joke, Cave/Cat, Oriental, Shooter or Atlantis?

The point is: no-one can force a builder to choose all proper words from the taglist. A builder can falsely interpret what his/her level really is. Therefore, a builder can force the search results he/she would like to get. And this starts to be subjective. I myself would rate my future level as "Joke", even though I know many players would like to see it in "Coastal" or "Catacomb" category (because it's all classic-waded and boxy :D).
eTux wrote:
DJ Full wrote:2. If Michael does it, he will have to play all levels as soon as they're out, and then judge where they belong. Such amount of work is unbearable for a single person, not to mention he's already busy checking reviews.
It doesn't have to be Michael doing it all on his own. I can think of at least 2 major changes to listing in recent years - a) adding TR1, TR2, TR3 & TR5 custom levels to the listing & b) adding 5 screenshots for each level in the listing. Not to deny Michael's own contribution in making either of these happen - but he did get massive community support for both. I imagine there will be people more than willing to help him with this too. And I think it was Mytly who suggested in another thread - that an easy way to implement this would be just to add a "tag" window to the review form - where reviewers could potentially type/select the tags they think best apply to the level. Tagging all the levels before the implementation of this would be more retrograde work - but as said - we've done this before, at least twice.
You calmed me down. I don't visit the Mod area so often, but I remember there was a screenshot refresh. Unfortunately, I've been so busy with real-life stuff that I couldn't help - but it seems I'm slowly getting my time back, so I should be able to help You tag the levels, if such tagging opperation will occur indeed.
eTux wrote:
DJ Full wrote:Actually, ALL levels are built to present an idea.
OK, I'll take the bait here :D I'll rephrase that like this: Joke/test levels mostly are built to present one idea - (url, url, url, url, url, url, url), the list goes on. They are not primarily concerned with gameplay, looks, setting an atmosphere or telling a story. True, there are some such levels that have ended up in that category, but others have said before that they are more like comedy levels (Gah, more categories :stunned: ), rather than joke levels in the sense we've defined them.
You have too much time, don't You? :lol: Me too - I played all of those already :D If I remember correctly, this and this one have secrets to collect, the first one has a compass, and the latter has a bunch of nicely hidden golden roses. So the authors of such levels not always follow one idea only. A side thread is present.

And now seriously: I know the "Joke" category had only a pejorative meaning in the beginning. But as the years were passing, we also got so many superlative jokes, that a kind of positive intruder has infiltrated the category, like if the class was laughing at itself. If the joke can have good and evil side, why not to allow it to keep both? This feature would be sad to destroy.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by MichaelP » 25 Apr 2012 08:29

Entertaining discussion to read. :D - Always intrigued by how a feature that I think is NOT very heavily USED by people to search/find levels gets so much attention.... :lol:

As already said above, I am also very confident that IF and WHEN we consider a major change, the community will help execute it and get it done. I like the idea of a tree and I still like the tagging idea - it is not forgotten. Just need to find those rainy Sundays to get to work on it...
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Re: Easter Class

Post by Horus » 25 Apr 2012 08:30

DJ Full wrote: I mean the wordcloud isn't informative enough, so the tags would be better :D
Like I argued a couple of weeks/months ago in another thread, a tagging system is definitely needed as the categories just don't do the job of classifying the levels anymore. In the time when there were no wad editing tools and just the default texture sets, classes like 'coastal', 'base' or 'city' made total sense. But with more diverse levels it is long overdue to have a way to classify them individually, because squeezing them into obsolete categories won't do any good.

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Re: Easter Class

Post by DJ Full » 25 Apr 2012 10:15

MichaelP wrote:Entertaining discussion to read. :D - Always intrigued by how a feature that I think is NOT very heavily USED by people to search/find levels gets so much attention.... :lol:
GTSS gamers use it rather always.
MichaelP wrote:Just need to find those rainy Sundays to get to work on it...
I see the Easter class is already implemented. Actually, I walked the dog yesterday evening, and it indeed started to rain, and it keeps raining until now.

Nice number, Nadine.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by eTux » 25 Apr 2012 14:07

DJ Full wrote:So You don't know - because I mean exactly what You wrote here. I mean the wordcloud isn't informative enough, so the tags would be better :D
Fair enough - but the wordcloud is such an easy target, it's so hard to resist saying something about it :D
DJ Full wrote:You have too much time, don't You? :lol: Me too - I played all of those already :D If I remember correctly, this and this one have secrets to collect, the first one has a compass, and the latter has a bunch of nicely hidden golden roses. So the authors of such levels not always follow one idea only. A side thread is present.
I've been known to think too deeply for my own good about these matters, so you have me there :rolleyes5: :laugh: I think we're ultimately splitting hairs as to how far the joke-iness of a joke level goes. I'll redefine it then that joke levels tend to be built to represent one idea - and I still don't think this is much different than the test levels. The difference is in their intention - the test levels (particularly the TR1-3 + TR5 ones) intend to show you how a concept/object/set-up works, joke levels intend to make you laugh or satirize a concept. It's a difference alright, but I don't consider it to be an essential one. I'm not sure how I can elucidate my case any further, but I suppose it's irrelevant in the big picture anyway :D
DJ Full wrote:See my post on the previous page. Tell me what the following games primarily are:

Castle Cain - Shooter, Joke or Castle?
Himalayan Mysteries - Alien, Cold/Snowy, Tibet or Cave/Cat?
Search the true Christmas Gift - Joke, Cave/Cat, Oriental, Shooter or Atlantis?

The point is: no-one can force a builder to choose all proper words from the taglist. A builder can falsely interpret what his/her level really is. Therefore, a builder can force the search results he/she would like to get. And this starts to be subjective. I myself would rate my future level as "Joke", even though I know many players would like to see it in "Coastal" or "Catacomb" category (because it's all classic-waded and boxy :D).
The reason I'm championing for the tag system is that in case of its implementation - choosing a primary category would simply be a non-issue. The level won't have to be pigeonholed into whatever category describes them best. For the levels you mentioned (although I haven't played the last one) - I simply don't see why all of the categories couldn't be tags for it? They certainly seem fitting.

If you consider it from this mindset, where there doesn't have to be one category for the level to fit in - there also is no danger that the author's own perception could stand in the way. Besides - the authors are not really required to categorize their levels, just as they are not required to provide a (subjective) difficulty rating, level info (for the level info page) or the 5 screenshots if they so choose to - though it's awfully nice if they do :D

And I meant to put no pressure on Michael with any of this - I jumped in purely for the pleasure of discussing things :D

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Re: Easter Class

Post by DJ Full » 26 Apr 2012 16:01

eTux wrote:choosing a primary category would simply be a non-issue. The level won't have to be pigeonholed into whatever category describes them best. For the levels you mentioned (although I haven't played the last one) - I simply don't see why all of the categories couldn't be tags for it? They certainly seem fitting.
This is also problematic. Many levels would fit in many tags. Many levels would get similar keywords. Example: as the number of levels will increase and increase, thousands of them might be tagged as "classic". The searcher types "classic" and he is nowhere close to finding what he wanted.

Why not to categorize tags? I mean: ONE gameplay tag, ONE location tag, ONE atmosphere tag allowed. Or something around this. Less combinations and less search results.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by manarch2 » 26 Apr 2012 18:58

May I interrupt your dialogue? :D

I think it's as well problematic to use one class for gameplay, atmosphere and location each, as most of the levels are mixes of each gameplay element, and some multi-level games (like The Sacred Emerald) have four or five different locations. So in my opinion it would be better to leave the gameplay element away, instead fully put in classes for the locations, if you want also atmosphere and such special things like test or joke levels, and for multi-level games I would stick on the "multiple location" class or would use every location as a class for the level.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by mugs » 26 Apr 2012 20:51

This discussion has been a real eye-opener for me. I didn't realize that so many people search for such very specific things before playing a game. I guess I've never given it much thought - there are certain authors whose games I take great delight in playing and I honestly don't care what their storyline or venue or how hard the game is - I'm ready to play! Admittedly, I'm not keen on demos - why would I want to spoil a game by playing a part of it before it's debut ? If an author wants a feel for the game why don't they give it to their testers ? Odd. Sorry, that's a bit off-track. I think the method of categorizing games is pretty good - maybe a few refinements here and there could be added. I guess if you've been around for as long as I have you have a pretty good idea of what kind of game experience you're going to have with most of the builders. And I guess if I was a newbie I'd want to start in the Hall of Fame and play the best of the best! ok. that's my 2 cents worth.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by DJ Full » 26 Apr 2012 21:47

@mugs,
was this a request for a "Demo" category? If it was, I'd just like to say we should be VERY careful when naming something a "demo". Notice some levels like Raidermatty's Infada Power (Demo) or Bojrk's Forgotten Cave (Demo) require HOURS of playing, not feeling like a demo at all, even though they have been called "demos" by their own builders themselves. Even MoA: First Clues could be in this category!

BTW, the above is a proof of subjective classification I've been worried about, occuring when a builder sees things differently from a player. Responding to Elvis' statement that "the main tag is clear" - this shows it doesn't always have to be so obvious.

The above (not the closest above, but the second above from here) also reminds me of something I wanted to ask for, even a long time ago, but I've always been forgetting about:
a SORT BY SIZE option.
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Re: Easter Class

Post by eTux » 27 Apr 2012 01:35

DJ Full wrote:This is also problematic. Many levels would fit in many tags. Many levels would get similar keywords. Example: as the number of levels will increase and increase, thousands of them might be tagged as "classic". The searcher types "classic" and he is nowhere close to finding what he wanted.

Why not to categorize tags? I mean: ONE gameplay tag, ONE location tag, ONE atmosphere tag allowed. Or something around this. Less combinations and less search results.
It's not problematic at all, mon ami. With categories - we try to find the one place (or as per your suggestion - one per gameplay, settings, etc.) the level fits best; with tags - we would give it all the tags that would apply to the level, but not more than it needs - i.e. something that is ubiquitous to any TR level, like platforming hardly would need a tag of its own even if it would be the dominant gameplay type. For the sake of keeping it practical we can agree to stick to a maximum of 5, 10, 15 (numbers completely arbitrary at this point) or whatever is deemed fitting.

I'd argue that if there is indeed a tag that would fit a 1000 levels - it would more likely indicate a problem with that specific tag (something like "classic", for example, is far too nondescript and could indeed apply to a whole lot of levels) rather than the tagging system. I also don't think there will be any tag that will exceed the number of the biggest category we have now (Egypt and NC) - and that can be solved by having more, slightly more specific tags. Also - I don't see anything particularly wrong with having more popular tags - isn't that the situation we would have in a category-system anyway? Like the "Egypt" category being popular simply because most levels used to be Egypt levels at first.

I also still don't entirely buy your view on subjectivity too. Things like whether it's a "coastal" or a "ship" or "mystery" level, when in fact it might be all of the above, is not a matter of subjectivity, the level either has those characteristics or it does not - and even if it was - I think it'd be a largely non-essential one. Unless the builder is crazy and wants to categorize a "jungle" level as "cold/snowy" - I'd actually trust her intuition/perception rather than that of a player (which is subjective in the end too, even if you go for argumentum ad numerum).

ALL THAT SAID - I should point out, that - should we end up sticking to the category system - I actually do like your idea of having different categories for gameplay and looks, and then sticking to the predominant type for the level the best :-P
mugs wrote:I think the method of categorizing games is pretty good - maybe a few refinements here and there could be added. I guess if you've been around for as long as I have you have a pretty good idea of what kind of game experience you're going to have with most of the builders.
As a sort-of veteran of the site I also feel I can pretty much glide through the listing (and sometimes do so for its own sake) and know what to expect from level without relying too much on the categorization :) But it might be a case of 'being comfortable in your own mess' and I'm not sure how much of a help the categorization is to an non-regular or outsider, at times. I don't think that it is intrinsically bad - but I feel that the tag system would allow the player more freedom to look things up - like search for levels with playable characters other than Lara, levels with zombies, with certain vehicles and so on (some players can be pretty particular :D). But, by my own admission, I've joined in for the love of discussing things - with no way to actually help implementing anything of the sort I'm suggesting - I might as well be discussing the existence/non-existence or the nature of after-life (sorry for the morbid comparison!).

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Re: Easter Class

Post by Mytly » 10 May 2012 00:30

Since we now have an Easter class, perhaps these levels could be shifted to that class: Lara's Comeback, Corsica and Abbingdon Estate. :)

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Re: Easter Class

Post by MichaelP » 10 May 2012 15:49

certainly - will adjust...
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Re: Easter Class

Post by Mytly » 10 May 2012 17:30

Thanks! :)

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