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TheSilentOne
06-30-2010, 06:56 PM
I feel the need to complain about somehing: it's my second week here on cartographers guild, I followed some tutorials and done a few maps. Now, I feel that the community is not helping new mappers like myself enough. Sure, there are tutorials and they are great, but there are very few constructive comments to maps done by newbies. Usually it's one line of comment, like people who comment only do it for boosting their number of posts, and the comments allways tell you what a good job everyone is doing. Well, everyone is not doing a good job, there is allways room for improvement, no matter how good your map is.
I have posted 2 maps, they are not good maps, but I have had a total of only 3(yes, three) comments in 4 days and they hardly helped me improve my maps. I would like someone to tell me what I am doing wrong(I am sure there are plenty of things). I think that the help given to new mappers should be more active, not only through tutorials, that is all.
Thank you.

Gidde
06-30-2010, 07:21 PM
It might help if you ask specific questions (i.e., "I'm stuck on this facet of my map. I think it's a problem and I can't figure out what it is"). I can't speak for the rest of the guild, but I often have a hard time doing anything but encouraging new folks for their first few maps, until I figure out their style and what they're trying to accomplish. The end goal is, after all, a map that you like and can be proud of. If I jump in and start tearing your work apart, you may get discouraged while I'm not actually helping you.

Also, keep in mind that this is a forum where we all come, in our own free time, to learn and help others learn. Sometimes a map doesn't get many comments; others grab people and get a ton. If you hang around, trust me, you will learn by osmosis, and you will have maps that folks get drawn to and comment upon.

Another good tactic is to pay it forward; make comments and suggestions on others' maps. I've learned a lot that way, seeing things I want to incorporate and avoid while I go through and apply the "do unto others" rule - usually while I await feedback on my own project.

ravells
06-30-2010, 07:52 PM
I can only repeat what Gidde has said.

If you want brutal analysis, say so in your WIP posts. If you want someone to hold your hand and tell you how to get to where you want to go, say so in your WIP posts. That is no guarantee that anyone will respond- you have to engage people. To expect this forum to be unpaid servants for your sole beneift and to provide constant feedback on your progress is a little optimistic.

Ascension
06-30-2010, 08:07 PM
Well your first map was a ZombieNirvana tut, I know the style but not ever watched the tuts so I can't help ya there. It looks fine to me but I don't know what more you want from it. Your second map has been up for a day - give it some time. Sometimes my maps don't get any comments after a week so at that point I assume my map to be perfect and move on :) Third, you posted about pirated Photoshop and while that may cool to do on some forums we try to keep things legit here to cover our own butts...we have a great many dealings with numerous companies and professionals in the fantasy genre. Granted that you probably didn't know that but now ya do. And fourth, it helps if we know where you want to go with your maps. Just saying "critique this" doesn't help anyone and, from past experiences, only serves to alienate new guys...so we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Once you've done 10 or so maps you'll start to develop your own style and things really pick up. The learning process is always a tough one but stick with it and keep plugging away at it and you'll be doing great maps in a few months. No one ever produces the Mona Lisa on the first try...if you think someone did then you don't know about their own tribulations to get to that point of where they make their first posting. I spent 3 years fiddling about on my own before I ever posted anything. So buck up, camper. :) Things aint as bad as they seem.

Jaxilon
06-30-2010, 09:07 PM
I will also add, at least for me, I have not been able to keep up with all the new members and maps being posted, it's like an avalanche. I have my own business and this time of year I work myself to exhaustion. Wait till winter, I'm on cruise control then and can stay up all night. Anytime I am working on a map I can't keep up with anything else because I won't make any progress.

I know what it's like to want feedback that helps you to improve as well as keeps you motivated. I didn't get a lot on my last challenge entry, maybe because nobody knew what I was doing except for a couple old timers like me ;) There were only 3 people in total who commented on my challenge entry. (Sorta makes you think you started up the wrong tree, hehe. Those times you have to just drive through to the end.) I have never watched a zombienirvana tutorial either so I didn't know if you had done exactly what was expected or not. If I had said you needed to change an aspect that was exactly as the tutorial meant for it to be I would just look like a dope. Also, I was still in the midst of cramming my challenge entry in so I didn't have a lot of time.

There are a few folks around here who seem to keep up with everything but I'm not one of them. I can keep up with about 4 threads, LOL. Don't give up, do what the others mentioned and let folks know you want to improve as well as ask about anything that doesn't look right to you, that way they can focus on the specific if they are in a hurry.

I know if I post something and don't get a reply I always figure it musta sucked or just failed to hit a chord in anyone. No biggie, just move on to the next project and try another style, see where that takes me. If it kept happening I might start to feel a little bummed out. That's art though, it's so subjective you really have to grow thick skin - the problem is most artsy people don't have real thick skin - at least to start with.

PS. I don't know if it's always like this but it seems we have been have a steady flow of 2-4 people joining every day. I just hope our admins can handle it all.

Ascension
06-30-2010, 09:36 PM
Good point about sheer volume of members, Jax. I've pretty much completely given up on keeping up with all of the "hellos" and let Steel and Neon handle that. I try to keep my ramblings contained to trying to help folks but sometimes someone slips through the cracks.

NeonKnight
07-01-2010, 01:05 AM
I must echo Jax, when I first came to the guild I was one of maybe 30 people, little traffic, and we were quieter. Thus I was able to see a lot more. Now we are bigger and the traffic/posts in a day is close to what we often had at that time after 3 or 4 days. *whew* Add to that the sheer variety of mapping methods/Software, it is easier for me to relegate my comments/critiques to software I know: Profantasy's Campaign Cartographer.

As a result I may 'pop' into a thread, have a look and if others more familiar to the software comment, I leave it at that, but any questions I see for CC3 and it's software I try my best to answer

tilt
07-01-2010, 02:36 AM
I can only agree with the above comments - give it time- post some more, you'll learn more everytime. We've all tried to pour our heart and soul and lots of hours in a map only to get no real feed back - thats the game. I think however that telling people what you want to hear and how "tough love" you want would be a good idea... I also tend to applaud new mappers for just posting as I know they have learn a lot of techniques and I wouldn't want to discourage them from posting more. :) ... so hang in there and ask - and we'll help :)

LonewandererD
07-01-2010, 07:28 AM
I know I'm jumping in late here but that kind of backs up my point. As much time as the community actually devotes to the Guild we do have lives outside fo the guild and so cannot be here everyday. Just today I've cycled throguh five new maps, now imagine what it would be like for people who only come in once every week, they simply don't have the time to view and critique on every map. Also, I've found that a nice way to get people to get a little help around here is to give some in return, when people give me critiques or rep I always try to give some back. Also, this is just me but maybe other's do it to, if someone has already said what I wanted to say unless I can expand on it I don't critique, it's not going to help an aweful lot to just repeat what others had said.

-D-

ScenesFromAMemory
07-01-2010, 08:28 AM
I am just getting started here myself, but I do know that you have to give your audience something to work with. Ask questions and if you have very specific things you need help with, be very specific. The beginning of the ability to learn is the ability to ask. Instead, you come here and complain that the community isn't doing enough for you. I have been operating here about as long as you, and the community has been very helpful and very welcoming to me. I think its because I engage them in a dialog, instead of expecting handouts. Contribute to the community and it will give back to you more than you give to it. Even if you feel you don't know a whole lot, surely you can add something. Part of learning is exposing those weak areas anyway. But please don't come into the General Discussion board and post a complaint thread. The complaint isn't well founded. Complaining about failure to receive free advice and critique just makes it look like you thrive on attention.

Redrobes
07-01-2010, 09:04 AM
I changed my link to the guild from my book marks to go into the forums and show the last 24hrs worth of posts because I just cant keep up with every last post any more. Even now every day its three pages of new posts. And so I will admit that I am choosing threads now based on the titles. Not being a great artist or a user of Gimp, PS or CC3, I have found that generally I cant make sensible comments about mapping techniques. I touch on the threads that have a technical side or terrain maps etc and I try to do the new members welcomes too. So apologies to anyone who is feeling that they are not getting good advice. I would hope that people who joined up a few months back and got some good results might be able to post comments and forum links for steps that would help.

TheSilentOne
07-01-2010, 10:09 AM
I am just getting started here myself, but I do know that you have to give your audience something to work with. Ask questions and if you have very specific things you need help with, be very specific. The beginning of the ability to learn is the ability to ask. Instead, you come here and complain that the community isn't doing enough for you. I have been operating here about as long as you, and the community has been very helpful and very welcoming to me. I think its because I engage them in a dialog, instead of expecting handouts. Contribute to the community and it will give back to you more than you give to it. Even if you feel you don't know a whole lot, surely you can add something. Part of learning is exposing those weak areas anyway. But please don't come into the General Discussion board and post a complaint thread. The complaint isn't well founded. Complaining about failure to receive free advice and critique just makes it look like you thrive on attention.

That is all nice and epic, but you totally missread what I said.

Gamerprinter
07-01-2010, 10:20 AM
In the end, we are a community of cartographers that help each other out, we are not a "service" that provides map rating and recommendations. When community members can help, we do that for each other, but cannot be expected to do so - only when we can. You sound like you are ringing the "front counter bell" asking for service - again this is a community not a business. You need to have patience - and complaining isn't the method of getting map attention from anyone.

GP

TheSilentOne
07-01-2010, 10:24 AM
I see myself getting my ass kicked here, so I will just shut up from now on.

Greason Wolfe
07-01-2010, 10:53 AM
Well, I was trying to think of a way to chime in here without seeming confrontational . . .

The best thing I can recommend is patience.

Having been here for about a year and a half now, I've developed a new level of patience when posting maps or starting discussions. Some of my maps garner lots of comments and some of them garner very little attention. When posting a WIP, I tend, also, to ask specifics, particularly with sections of the map I'm not exactly happy with or having difficulty with, so that those who might offer up comments can focus their attention on those problem areas.

It isn't that we don't want to help members that are new to mapping. I think most of us here are quite happy to offer up what help we can to new and old members alike. What it all boils down to is, as others have pointed out, more a matter of time for many of us. Because of certain health issues in my family, I have gone through streaks of availability to offer up any comments or suggestions. There are times when I can visit the forum several times a day for several days in a row, and then there are times when it may be a week or two between visits. As Redrobes pointed out, there can be two to three pages worth of new posts over the course of a day, and keeping up with all of them can be very difficult.

It is also a matter of application familiarity. If someone is posting a map made through applications I'm not familiar with, the best I can do is offer comments regarding how the map looks and what might make it look better, but I can't offer any suggestions on the technical steps that might be needed. This is the case for many of us, as well. While some applications may have similar technical abilities, what works in one application may not work exactly the same in another application.

Again, I think it all boils down to patience and a willingness to ask for less generalized comments, suggestions or criticisms with any WIPs you're working on.

GW

P.S. There's no need to "just shut up from now on." We all have our bad days, and there's always tomorrow.

torstan
07-01-2010, 11:02 AM
Edit: Ninja'd by Greason :)

Yep, I agree. Certainly no need to shut up from now on. We are a friendly community and we do try to be helpful and welcoming to new members. It can certainly be disheartening to put stuff up and not get many comments and I know I feel guilty that I don't get a chance to read through threads as much and give feedback. I'm going to try and be a bit more proactive because your post highlighted something I was already thinking I should do. So thanks for that.

As for practical ways forward, I'd say that you should look around and find people with maps that you admire (preferably people that are currently active on the forum). Send them a pm asking if they'd provide some C&C on the map you're working on. I may not have time to look through all the threads, but if someone messages me and say 'I have this map and something's just not working - can you take a look?' I'll always try to make time to go in and look over it. This way you'll get focused critiques from people who you want advice from, rather than just hoping that someone will chance across your map and be able to see what's going on.

The guild started very small not that long ago. We've grown pretty big now and we're going through something of a transition. I think your point highlights one of the downsides of getting very large and it's worth addressing how we handle that.

One way of doing this is posting to the How Do I...? forum. This allows you to post a very specific question that people can try to answer. It's different from asking for critiques of a map (and shouldn't be used for that) but it is a way of asking for very focused help.

I agree with what people have said that members don't have a right to expect free service here. However we do have the say when we see a problem and expect not to get flamed. I think that the comments from some long time members in this thread saying that they don't have the time to check all the threads any more like they used to highlights that there is an issue with people not being able to offer as much advice as they used to. So your initial comment has certainly raised some interesting points, and I'm glad you brought the issue up.

Greason Wolfe
07-01-2010, 11:13 AM
Woohooo, I finally Ninja'd somebody :D

Torstan did throw up a good point, though. And he's absolutely right, it is good that the issue was brought up. Maybe it wasn't the best way to bring the issue up, but no use crying over spilt milk, as the saying goes. Maybe it's time for another sub-forum of sorts, one for members that are new (or recently new) to the craft and looking for help getting started. That, of course, would be up to the RobA and Robbie, but it might be helpful. Dunno, just a thought.

GW

jfrazierjr
07-01-2010, 12:39 PM
As for practical ways forward, I'd say that you should look around and find people with maps that you admire (preferably people that are currently active on the forum). Send them a pm asking if they'd provide some C&C on the map you're working on. I may not have time to look through all the threads, but if someone messages me and say 'I have this map and something's just not working - can you take a look?' I'll always try to make time to go in and look over it. This way you'll get focused critiques from people who you want advice from, rather than just hoping that someone will chance across your map and be able to see what's going on.

I will echo this. Personally, I have PM'ed a few specific people who I respect and admire and do maps similar to the project in question to take a look and see if they could offer any specific advice. Sometimes I ask very specific questions, and sometimes it's just a "hey, can you check this out to see if you can think of anything that might improve it". I will say that I have sent a few such PM's to Torstan(among one or two others) and he(all of them really) has always been very good about getting back to me fairly quickly (as in a day or two if not faster).


The guild started very small not that long ago. We've grown pretty big now and we're going through something of a transition. I think your point highlights one of the downsides of getting very large and it's worth addressing how we handle that.

One way of doing this is posting to the How Do I...? forum. This allows you to post a very specific question that people can try to answer. It's different from asking for critiques of a map (and shouldn't be used for that) but it is a way of asking for very focused help.

I agree with what people have said that members don't have a right to expect free service here. However we do have the say when we see a problem and expect not to get flamed. I think that the comments from some long time members in this thread saying that they don't have the time to check all the threads any more like they used to highlights that there is an issue with people not being able to offer as much advice as they used to. So your initial comment has certainly raised some interesting points, and I'm glad you brought the issue up.

As many people have pointed out, the board has exploded with growth in the past 1-2 years. While I have not been around as long as some of the more active members, I believe I began posting near the beginning of 2008 or so and at that time, there were hardly ever more than a single page of threads updated during any one day(now it's 2-4). And while there were sometimes lot's of posts, most of them were from the same small group of people helping as someone posted updates(which in some cases was an new update 3-4 times a day on the same project.) With the large number of threads updated each day, I find it hard to keep up in my limited time... heck, even as a CL, I have not had as much time to do things I should be doing in that capacity with any frequency....

Ascension
07-01-2010, 05:27 PM
I think we can put this to bed now. We all try our best but sometimes we all miss something.

RobA
07-05-2010, 03:00 PM
All - Thanks for the well-though out responses to this post.

@TheSilentOne - Thanks for getting up the guts to post. One of the big things we like to have here is a feeling of community, and if that vibe isn't being felt then we should come up with ideas on how to improve things. Your feeling of "getting your ass kicked" is exactly why the more senior posters here stick with the philosophy of complementing the positive and ignoring the negative... we don't want people to post a map, receive a bunch of criticism, then say "They suck, I'm leaving 'cause they were mean". If you want harsh but constructive criticism, please request it explicitly and you will most likely get it.

Looking at your more recent posts, it seems you are a bit happier with the feedback you are receiving, so hope all is good now.

-Rob A>

TheSilentOne
07-05-2010, 03:35 PM
Oh, I am happy allright, I have a better understanding of what mapmaking is about and I have been getting a lot of help also.
I do admit I didn't choose the right words when I posted this "I need to complain" thing in the first place, I understand people have better things to do than being on CG all day, so I would like to apologize to all those who felt offended by my post, I will make it up in time.
Maybe we could implement some kind of "negative reputation" for people like me:), so everytime someone decides to become unpopular by posting links to illegal torrents and unrightfully complaining about the forum, we should just give him that "negative reputation". I would preffer that instead of banning, of course:).

Ascension
07-05-2010, 03:46 PM
You're in no danger of being banned so don't worry about that. We supposedly have negative rep but I don't think anyone has ever given or received it...or even tried it. Nonetheless, there's no need for that anyways. Summertime is slack time and we all tend to get sleepy on the job so it's good to wake us up.

Gandwarf
07-05-2010, 03:51 PM
We have things like infractions, like the yellow and red cards they hand out in soccer :) We never use them though, there's simply no need, because of the great (or at least gentle/civil) community we have here.

ravells
07-06-2010, 08:21 PM
I've moved the world cup discussion to a different thread. Here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11040-Football-World-Cup)

Midgardsormr
07-06-2010, 11:51 PM
I was wondering why this thread had four pages yesterday and only three today!