Discord

You probably know by now BoZ moved to Discord since its better than xat chat.
So we’re making Discord chat public, open for everyone though you won’t be able to chat publicly you can only send PMs to anyone who’s online, kinda like xat chat. Just use your PB2 username once you join, so we can know who is who.

Discord public chat link: https://discord.gg/0TyNkPnx3MWsUPPN

Who’s online?

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Inside Max’s heart

“Inside Max’s head” introduced the seldom discussed idea that any map are just as good as any other. A lot of people have taken inspiration from this, yet a lot of people seem to raise objections, which I completely agree on. Every truth is a half-truth. This post will be contradicting Inside Max’s head and will be presenting the flip side of the coin to balance things out. This post will be about how to make a better map, with focus on Singleplayer maps first, then dive down the rabbit hole on fundementals.

I’ve always been reluctant to make this post, because I’ve been afraid to choke creativity by saying “Hey, this is how you should go about making maps.”I think that stuff stifles creativity (especially my own) and the map-maker because too concerned about fitting some sort of standard. Having said that, I think I now know how to say the things I want to say in the least damaging way.

This will not be a read that will discuss technicalities in the editor, such as colliding walls. Nor a read to make more artistic maps, I’m not nearly qualified to do so. This will provide signpost that will assist in making excellent maps in terms of general game design/level design guidelines, but I will be using PB2 as examples.

Interest

Maps should start off with something that increases a player’s interest in the map. For example a promising storyline or something that invokes curiosity, or a high-action scene that immediately gets the players hooked and engaged. Then the map should slow down so the excitement builds, and then builds towards a final climax. Non-stop action gets tiring and worst off all, the blood becomes kind of meaningless. If the map doesn’t invoke interest right off the map, most players quickly play another map.

Purpose

What Eric fails on the single-player campaign is give us a reason to kill all of these enemies. If we spawn in a prison, our purpose is obvious, to escape. If we witnessed someone stealing our princess, it’s obvious that we ought to save her. Even though I’ve been in the PB2 community for ~5 years, I still don’t understand the time machine thing, and the campaign was just a drag.

Of course, a lot of player’s criterea for an enjoyable map is something to shoot at, but if you want to aim at excellence, give the player a clear goal, give the player a purpose. Remember, deep down everyone just want to help.

Make the map enjoyable to mess around in

Directed at MP maps: One very basic criteria for a good map is just play it for yourself for an hour just navigating it. You know you’ve hit the jackpot if just jumping around is enjoyable. That’s the core enjoyablity, anything else (enemies) is just an extra. And you should not rely entirely on the extra.

Surprise the player

It’s something about unpredictability that we humans just love. If you have surprised your player in some way in your map, they will be constantly on their toes expecting another surprise, this is a great way to keep them playing. In MP maps, give players the opportunity to surprise each other, and perhaps take use of randomness to spice things up. See Max teabag-opensource for the randomizer.

HOW TO NOT SUPRISE:

  1. Don’t mix unpredictability of uncertainty. Don’t make enemies with different health/different properties look the same. It will ruin the credibility of the map and this is this type of uncertainty drives players nuts in a bad way.
  2. Don’t punish the player for not have played the map before. It’s unfair and a serious buzzkill and just plain annoying to get killed for unenviable stepping on an invisible chainsaw activator from hell.

Keep the player in a flow state

Gradually increase the feel of power while increasing the opposition slightly faster. This is probably the most nuanced point, but hear me out. If the difficulty on the map is the same throughout the map, it will give the potential problems. #1: It’s too easy and the player gets bored. #2: It’s too hard and the player gets frustrated. #3: The difficulty is fine but it gets repetitive. What you want to do is let the player feel powerful doing easy work, then face a stressful challenge, then after hard work they can feel powerful and do easy work again, and so it repeats. A crappy figure:

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This creates a satisfactory and exciting cycle for the player. It helps to think of the two reasons why people, well, do stuff! To seek pleasure and to avoid pain. If the player only experiences pleasure in your map, say, killing a bunch of zombies, it quickly loses it’s satisfaction.  If you only punishes the player, in the forms of death, setbacks or hell, even verbal abuse! #trigger42. Then the player hates you, rates 1 and goes back to excl-school. You need to balance pleasuring and punishing, they give each-other meaning.

How to pleasure:

  1. Visual affirmations. New skin, new location.
  2. More power, cooler guns, abilities.
  3. Sweet talk.
  4. Killing, gore, destroying your enemy

Replayability

You’ve done a good job it if you have managed to give the players a reason to re-play the map several times. This is a rare case(lol), but it’s because it’s been such an enjoyable experience they want to re-play it. A huge motivator to gain replayability is if you implement a score system. Say at the end of the map you reveal how the player could’ve done better, in the sense of how many players they’ve killed, how fast they completed the map, how many golden stars they have collected(see Max teabag2-economy), etc, or a combination. To motivate the player to actually do these things, you should rewards players with a key they can send you, then so you can put them on some sort of hall of fame.

It is a bummer Eric did not implement this into the game, as it would have made SP-maps actually competitive and far more interesting, let’s hope for PB2.5 though.

Choices

Another way to make the player replay the map is give them choices. Which door to open? Whom to ally? Kill the CS-troop or spare him. If you let the player know their choice had something to say, their interest in the map skyrockets, as they are playing their own story in their heads, and they might want to replay to give the most of the map. A brilliant way to present choice is to use the “High-risk, high reward” and “Low-risk, low reward” system. Does the player want to do some platforming to get that minigun upgrade, but risk falling down into acid, or does he have more faith in his shooting skills than jumping skills? Presenting choices isn’t hard and makes for a world-class map.

To spark the inner explorer in a player. reveal some alternative(secret) routes that players can find better weapons, shortcuts, etc. This will drive most players madly in love with you as you’ve transformed your map from a dull ride to the end to a mystery of undefined discoveries. By giving the player freedom to choose between entering the battle or smell the roses makes the player feel in control, of course, you need to constrain the player sometimes too. If the player is free all the time, the freedom doesn’t mean anything. Closed areas provide the free areas and vice versa. In a MP map where you can go anywhere any time, players will hardly find eachother and their “freedom” becomes a constraint.

Simplicity

To keep your map elegant, look at every section of your map and explain to yourself what is the purpose of that being there? This is a nuanced point. I’m not suggesting that remove that room that has nothing in it, but be aware that because it has nothing in it, it might serve some sort of purpose after all.

Story

While it’s not inherently bad to have a lot of dialog in your map, most map-makers can’t figure out why nobody reads their dialog. Hmm! Maybe it’s because you always display text in the middle of an alien invasion? 10 lines of dark colored text and bng’s coming at my way…. it’s just overwhelming, dude. Be very selective of what text to show and especially when. Be wary of creating special moments in your map where something dramatic/awesome happens, and don’t distract the player by having the hero’s character talk about how much he loves toast.

If you love dialog, and want to write more interesting ones, write down all the characters of your map down on a paper. Write down their status(high/low) and their relationship and how they feel about each-other, write down some obscure or not oscure thing that has recently happened between them that might’ve altered their behavior towards one another. Write down personal traits and quirks of each character, what do they like to do on saturdays? What iconic line do they have? By writing these things down it becomes surprisingly easier to make much better and novel dialog rather than the generic “There’s an alien, shoot him!” type of stuff.

An old famous movie story making tool is the twelve points of the hero’s journey. Now, there is absolutely no need to take in account all the points, but it’s a great tool for some inspiration and gives you a place to start when creating a story.

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Have people play your map

I’m baffled over how people publish their map without getting any options about it. If you find a friend that’s brutally honest, for god’s sake make him play every map of yours and never let him go. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend IRL that can play your map, you will then witness when they get frustrated, or when the rage quit, or even punch you in the face. Regardless, you need to be open to suggestions, and if you want to master map-making, you need to master the subtle art of knowing that people really mean when they give suggestions. Don’t be a developer without a spine changing everything that people suggest. Find out why they suggested that in the first place and make changes accordingly. People don’t really know what they want.

Fundementals

What makes really for a good atmosphere in a map. We all know that inexplicable feeling that some maps just feel ‘right’, they have something special to them and that might give us that warm feeling of homebelonging.

Scaling

Different scaled elements bring life to the map. If the objects scale down or up in a recognizable pattern, the map be naturally pleasing to the player. The trick is to find the amount of level of scale of each jump.Screenshot_3.png

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Centers

A strong center is a strong map. It seems like we players crave a place of heat of the map, if the center of the map is clearly defined, we feel in a weird way compelled to arrive there, it gives us a good inner feeling to know where to go if we don’t have any other specific plans. The living room of the map, the place where we always seek to return.screenshot_4

You can strengthen the center by making other centers that lead the players toward to the final center. Centers are in some way made out of all the other centers.screenshot_11

Constraints

Constraints is what gives the center, well context. constraints strengthens the role of the center. When I suggest adding constraints, most people are (understandably) naturally not compelled to do so, it is after all a negative word! The paradox about constraints is that because it separates, it also unites.

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Shapes/Area harmony

Shapes should not only define themselves, but define and engage the area around itself and vice versa. screenshot_6

This example was very clear-cut obvious, but the real magic happens when every single object on the map is on some indirect, subtle way engaging the other and so that no object is a meaningless leftover. Think of it like the butterfly effect.

Transitions and seperateness

You can further define an area by creating a complimentary transition from the area to another. Have you ever seen a map where there’s a random building that seems like it’s missing a purpose, or rather a proper shape? By making an interlock that compliments both areas, it makes the map feel more alive as the areas are kind of “aware” of each other and creates a sort of non-seperateness.

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Roughess

There’s something about roughness that just… works. The property of an artist’s brush is it’s inaccuracy, it paints in a way that the artist have no control over. If art was up to human perfection (using a sharp pen) the art would lose it’s beauty. Sometimes you just have to let go and let the chaos have it’s way. Sometime the things without meaning is the things that have the most meaning.

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The echo

Consistency is important. Websites with a different font on every page would drive us mad. It’s nice to see some of the same elements to what we’ve seen earlier in the map. It generates a sort of general wholeness in the map. When I say elements, I am very vague. This can range from a type of shape to a general similarity of areas, where the same type of structure echoes throughout the map, not necessarily in a repetitive form, but in a way where the player feels that the entire map is one.

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The void

As in music, it is the silence that gives the sound depth. In a speech, it’s the pause that give the thing that comes next extraordinary meaning. Create spaces of emptiness, to give more meaning to the content around it.

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Inside Wannabe Max’s head

For starters, I need to define a few things to answer the question, “Why does everyone have a personal chat, and why is it stupid?”
On Discord, you can create your own server, or “chat”. For this post, “server” and “chat” mean the same thing, will probably be used interchangeably. In these servers, you will most likely find multiple text channels and maybe multiple voice channels. So to distinguish the two terms above, Biohazard is the name of our Discord chat, and #boz, #biohazard and hunting fields are names of channels on the chat.

Why is any of this relevant?
Well, to me, I don’t understand why everyone feels the need to own a personal server on Discord just for themselves, especially while also being in other personal chats and other clan chats, where the same exact people on their personal server are. Cool, you have a lot of friends and want them all around you in one given area, but what is the point to having your own personal server when you are already in other clan chats on Discord, and have the ability to talk to the same people there? Did you also forget that Discord has a private messaging feature, where you can message friends, as well?

Just so I’m clear and I’m not being too vague in my last paragraph, there aren’t just a few of these personal chats. There’s a good amount, literally, where the person that created them either manages a clan and can just make a channel on the clan chat for , or is in all of the other other personal chats and clan chats in the community.

Better examples:

Maxydude0 has personal chat, says its for town of salem/hangout, a game that a good amount of people in GeNo play >>> why the fuck not just make a ToS channel in GeNo Discord Chat?

iSpyder has a personal chat, probably just labeled a “hangout chat”, but literally the majority of the people on her personal chat are in GeNo, or on GeNo server. You needed your own personal chat JUST TO TALK to the same people that are on GeNo clan chat?

I’m not trying to call out iSpyder or maxydude, or anyone else who has personal chats, because there are a lot, like Cyko’s, Vlad’s, Prothean’s, Digidix’s, Bananareaper’s, etc. I’m not trying to make anyone feel ashamed, but I just personally see no point in having personal chats when the people who own the personal chats share many common servers with others.

Let me give a more realistic example as to why I’m opposed to personal servers:
I currently manage the Biohazard Discord server, and another person in Biohazard, let’s say Roxxar, decides to create his own personal chat. He gives people the invite link to people on the Biohazard Discord server, and he also gives it to his other friends who aren’t in Biohazard. Seems harmless, because it totally is to begin with. Well a few weeks go by, nothing really changes. Here comes along Michaelhero, and he creates his own discord chat, and invites a lot of people from Biohazard and the community. A few weeks go by, and now there’s a decline in activity on the main Biohazard server that causes people to question if the clan is going inactive internally.

Can you start to see why personal chats are detrimental to clans?

While the clan itself isn’t going inactive, it’s perceived as it is by members inside of the clan because clan members themselves are going to personal chats made by clan members. I’m not really sure why people create personal hangout chats when, like I said earlier, there’s a PM feature, and the people in their hangout chats are also in nearly every other server they are in.

Now here’s the whole counter argument:

“I made a separate chat so I wouldn’t bother the rest of the clan/group.”, “It’s just a hang out chat for people.”

I’m sorry but did you forget that there are channels on Discord!!! Yep, that’s right, this is when those words I defined earlier come into play! Why do you need a personal chat when you are in a clan, when you can just have different channels on your clan chat, say for other games, or for other purposes? Now, as a matter of fact, most clans do have multiple channels that serve separate purposes, such as member only channels, announcement channels. Now the second “counter argument”, it’s just a hangout chat, again, what is the point to having a hangout chat when the majority of the people in the hangout chat are from your clan/ex-clan/your clans discord server/other discord servers you are on with these people?

Not to mention, the more chats you are in, the more likely it is to be balancing multiple conversations at once. I literally spent 30 minutes last night arguing with tburn that he is ChemicalX while he’s trying to play the politician card and deny everything known to existence.


Now to answer the original question, “Why does everyone have a personal chat, and why is it stupid?”

I cant answer the first fragment, but I sure can answer the second one:

  • It’s redundant to own your own personal chat when you are in all other personal chats, and all other clan chats.
  • It can make a clan that you’re already in seem like its going inactive, when more users are on more personal chats.
  • Will cause lack of unity within a clan, especially when there’s multiple chats with majority of people from your clan on there.
  • There’s a private message feature.
  • Lastly, there’s a private group message feature coming on discord, already on discord PTB…

State of the Clan

Looking towards the future as a clan, the leaders decided to take another look at the clan as a whole. Having stayed alive for more than 5 years, not too much has changed drastically. However, it’s become clear that some things do indeed need a change. In essence, these changes include demoting Unreal. Unreal will now be a member, per his request. We thank him for his time that he was a leader from 2012-2016. We have also cleaned up the prestige rank, demoting long-time prestige members Anothersinner and Jeff1999 down to member. Furthermore, we also removed iBltizz, OLi FiZ, iDigital, EXCL, and 1v1 due to inactivity. They will fall under the inactivity policy (just like Itman1, ATOMIC12345 and reinecke13), where if they come back anytime and want to rejoin Biohazard, they can ask a leader to rejoin without having to make an application.

With Unreal’s departure, we have been experimenting with multiple trial leaders over the course of the past week, and month. Right now, the leaders feel that there isn’t a need to rush another person into leader with the absence, and will keep 5 people as leader until later in the year.

We have also redefined who is and who isn’t a recruitment manager. The recruitment manager “rank” has officially been removed, and the power to accept and deny applications has been given to prestige members. With this, we are expecting all prestige members to be capable of the new requirements, as well as the old requirements, that have been undefined in the past. Furthermore, there have also been numerous forum changes, such as a supertopic containing all important links, as well as a new redesigned bottom half of the forum. For more information about what was changed, you can check out the changelog post on the forum.

btw still not dead 2016

five years of boz

I’ts been 5 years since we began this clan.

5 years is an ass long time.

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This was our clan picture when we were fresh.

We all could’ve give up BoZ not too long after that.

But we’re still here, wait what?

Who are “we”?

From the day that picture was taken to today, members have come and gone, 99% of our current members wasn’t in the clan when that picture was taken.

Does that mean “we” have been alive for 5 years?

Yes and no. I believe that every single BoZ member has contributed in their unique way to the general atmosphere, image and reputation in BoZ. As I’ve discussed in the “Thought of clans post”, the member adapts to the expectations of the clan’s general attitude.

So, in a funny way, all of the five people in the image above are still alive in the clan; traces of their attitude and personality are reflected in every BoZ member that has come after them, because the clans reflects it’s members, and the member reflects it’s clan.

This is what I mean with the clan has been alive for 5 years. It’s the clan spirit that lives on and is going through changes, phases of troubles, but always make it through.

I’m lucky enough to have witnessed BoZ’s evolution since the start, It’s incredible to see how much it changes every year, and it’s been a blast to see how much our fellow clanmates have grown up with us, in terms of personal growth, a lot can happen with a young person over the course of 5 years. Moreover a lot of it can be witnessed even though it’s only through a chat box.

 

So, to every BoZ member reading this, you are important ❤ and thanks for keeping our legacy of BoZ alive.

 

 

A New Leaf

Over the course of the past month, Spirit and I have been having discussions, mainly about a possible merger idea between Genocide and Biohazard. To keep this post short and simple, and to the point, we have agreed to terms to merge clans together. While you may be nervous, happy, or scared for this, Spirit and I can assure you that this transition will be smooth. Because of this, I will still be around for a little bit after my retirement date, but not for much longer. Obviously we do expect to face some issues with this, but we should be able to handle most, if not all, of the issues that will be faced.


• With this announcement will come change, obviously. Genocide will be moving over to the Biohazard services, such as their wordpress, forum, and discord. It is a good idea to get familiar with Biohazard if you aren’t already, and to make an account on their forums as well as join their discord chat. As well, you should also switch over your PB2 tags from [GeNo] to [BoZ] as soon as possible.

☣ Biohazard Website – https://pb2boz.wordpress.com/
☣ Biohazard Forums – http://biohazard.4umotion.com/
☣ Biohazard Discord Chat – https://discord.gg/0TyNkPnx3MWsUPPN

• Additionally, everyone will be keeping their same ranks in the new clan. So everyone who is a leader in Genocide will stay as a leader in Biohazard, and everyone who is a prestige member in Genocide will stay as a prestige member in Biohazard, and so on. Trial members in Genocide will not have to re-apply to Biohazard, but will become the rank equivalent in Biohazard, an unofficial member.
• In return for Genocide merging with Biohazard, Biohazard will be adopting the Genocide application process, a much less stricter application process.


By default, everyone who is in Genocide right now will be allowed to join Biohazard. If you don’t wish to accept the merger though, you will not be forced to join Biohazard, and can just leave. Before you do this, please just notify a leader that you will not be joining Biohazard post-merge. If you choose to take this route, on behalf of Spirit and I, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors on Plazma Burst 2.