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#51 Carnage

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 03:55 PM

I had no idea this was going on for such a long time. Just the other day I was asking myself what had happened to some past prominent members of this community and always just thought it was the normal private life becoming more important. It's a shame it had to come to this, as BD helped so many people, but that obviously doesn't mean that he should get a free pass to do what he wants. I know how much time is involved in making even a small map and then seeing your own vision changed or copied by another person without permission, I understand the anger this could induce. I've read some comments where people said that maybe it could have been done differently (not banning BD), but IMO you should be able to expect some common decency from people on the forum and in everyone's mind should be an unofficial gentlemen's agreement to respect the work of other people. Playing police is always an option of course, but if it has to come to that, then it has already gone too far. In all the years I've been part of this forum, I think just a few members have been banned from this forum and they always received enough opportunities to change, which is also again the case with BD. I respect him and all the work he has done for this community, but a ban was the only choice really.


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#52 kano

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:22 PM

Cleaning Up The Neighborhood mission is still coming, if that's what you meant.

 

Btw. Biker was also banned from TTLG quite some time ago (both nicks he used there), although no idea why.

lol I was thinking he could publish the mission he's been working on over at TTLG. guess that idea got shot down pretty darn quick. Dunno if the TDM crew would still host it provided it adheres to the rules.



#53 brethren

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:41 PM

I don't think Biker was banned from TTLG, I believe he kind of pulled a jtr and asked the admins to remove his username from the boards completely.   This doesn't delete your posts, but it makes it so you cannot search for them by name (I think).



#54 Destined

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:30 PM

I also liked Biker quite much and got to know him as an extremely helpful person, so it is sad that the ban was necessary. From the posts I have read most transgressions appeared to start with helping out and then seizing projects for himself. I think many bugfixes turned to a "maybe this would be even better that way" on parts that were not his to decide. What drove him to copy/paste the city section, I do not know and it does not seem like him... I have not picked up all the drama surrounding him and at times most likely attributed it wrongly (e.g. AirshipBallet seemed quite snappy and aloof (sometimes even arrogant), so I assumed it was her own attitude that made her leave. However, I don't want to reopen any old wounds). It is sad that it had to come to this and even only knowing the public posts, I completely understand the decision and know that it, unfortunately, was the most sensible thing to do.

#55 Spooks

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:52 PM

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If Biker takes work from someone else's mission and incorporates it into a new mappers mission then it's up to the new mapper to do what Spooks and Dragofer so easily did. JUST. SAY. NO!!!

 

Sure, not having admin or upload privileges helps, but IMO community shouldn't be asked for time, energy, and patience to comb through every new Biker's creation to see whether he copypasted something or not. People usually don't assume bad intent, and the last case was kind of an accident.

 

It seems like Biker doesn't understand the difference between using modules or prefabs, and copypasting whole portions of other people's maps (it's the same thing as with music, noone will sue you for using instrument samples, you end up in court for using someone else's instrument arrangement). He was confronted about it three times lately, and every time he made only cosmetic changes. He was immune to everything from calm requests to public shaming. That was a lot of time and energy wasted, by several people, that could be better spent on making content or helping others.

 

Firstly, I absolutely agree with the second paragraph and the point made on copying arrangements. Secondly, I want to address the point raised that it's the mapper's onus to "just say no." or that it's so "easy" to do so.

 

nbohr1more knows of the interactions me and Bikerdude had because he was a beta tester for my mission. While BD helped me optimize KoD and added to the map, I can't say that working with him was the smoothest. Multiple times I was extremely frustrated with changes he made without declaring his intentions first, changes that I had to take time out of my day to revert, which prolonged the beta testing period and speaks to what Judith is saying at the start. Multiple times I would plainly revert his changes, yet he would revert my revert back to what he did, like some stupid game of slapsies. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm still bitter about it, it was a long time ago, but I want to speak to a specific point.

 

As an example, one improvement of the map BD made was a version with many, many grime decals added to a bunch of the buildings. He had told me he was going to add "some" but I took it that he would use common sense. He did not. On loading the map, the framerate had dropped to half of what it was and when diagnosing it I found what I'd already suspected - the decals had doubled the drawcalls and in turn brought the FPS to single digits.

 

Seasoned mappers like him should know that we have a known, soft upper limit of drawcalls that your scene should have, in order not to destroy performance for users on older hardware. Hell, it was my first map and I knew it, but he did not even bother to check the one console command that would show you how many drawcalls you are getting and whether or not the scene was too demanding. It was a frustrating mistake, but not because I had to go ahead and remove every single decal by hand. No, I could just revert to an earlier version of the map. But I knew from experience how much time he had put in creating these decals. These things don't just get done in 20 minutes, it must've taken him an afternoon to do this. I was pissed because I felt guilty for having to erase somebody's work like that.

 

This is why it's not as simple or easy as "just saying no". You don't even have to invoke his seniority as a member of the community, or any other type of power dynamic. It's a fact that there is implicit guilt when somebody spends a lot of time on something and then expects it to be accepted as a valid addition by virtue of the effort put in it. The only reason why I had to flatout revert the changes was because I knew my responsibility to many players' experiences was bigger than my responsibility in honoring one person's effort. That's something that a lot of people can't do, because they either don't see the responsibility they hold for the players of their FMs (on account of being newbie mappers), or because it's not as drastic as this particular case was (but even then, I get the impression that BD had the propensity of giving your map a death by a thousand cuts). Either way, they get guilted - again, implicitly- into accepting something that might not be good in the long run because nobody wants to make a fuss. 

 

Speaking to the guilt involved in deleting somebody else's hard work, I would be remiss if I didn't also mention this. The beta version of King of Diamonds is freely available for download. This was about as far as I had gotten with the FM before I went into beta testing and Bikerdude stepped in and changes began happening. You'll notice that the south-eastern portion of the map was completely removed and replaced with one that Bikerdude provided. I spent far more time than an afternoon's worth of adding decals in creating all of those houses, ten, twenty hours maybe? I don't want to exaggerate. Do you think that BD felt any guilt when he deleted all of that without asking me and presented me with his version? No, I don't believe he did. I accepted his changes because, comparatively (and, again, feel free to do the comparison yourselves, both map files are publically available), his layout was more interesting for the player than the previous one, but the fact remains and far more of my man hours went down the drain than his. The layout he made, as far as I know, was original, but the constituent buildings were more or less just prefabs.

 

Here's an excerpt from a PM that Bikerdude sent me in 2016 after another round of being chided over the same, old stuff caused him to reach out to me and ask me if his input in KoD was overbearing or arrogant. This is a large part of my response:

 

 

 I understand that if someone was to ask you for input and perf. adjustments you'd start cutting with big strokes first, it's the same thing I would do. With that said, I could see how someone else would see it as overbearing. I remember several revisions where I got quite mad with some of the stuff I had to revert - hell, I don't remember what it was about by now, it's all water under the bridge - but still. Since I held KoD in low esteem - as the first FM I had to cut my teeth on - I wasn't too precious about losing anything I'd made like the SE quarter of the map's layout or the single story look of the center of the map. If I had grand, cool and - above all else - exact ideas about how things were supposed to look and where they were supposed to be though, I'd be ticked right off.

 
I think poor communication is to blame more than anything. A lot of times I could read what your changes were meant to mean from just how the map had changed, but somebody else might need them written out. If I got mad, I got mad more at the miscommunication between us rather than any of your specific inputs. All of this, really, it comes with the turf of you only working on perf. without foreknowledge of what certain areas might mean for gameplay/aesthetics. Again, it's a consequence of people (like me) asking for input at a late stage of map development. I don't think there's a solution to the problem of erasing somebody else's detail-intensive work other than consulting at a way earlier period when the map is still in dev-textures and the like.

 

 

I don't think this counts as airing any type of "dirty laundry" as I've only quoted myself, but there really isn't anything from BD to quote, he just replied to this with a laconic "glad i was more of a help than hinderance :)" and we moved on talking about computer parts stuff. If there's anything to take away from his one liner, "cool thanks" response, it's that in hindsight it is very ambiguous whether or not what I said to him stuck. Actually, considering our current situation, I guess it's unambiguous after all. It did not.

 

But back to my PM, do you see what I mean? Imagine if what you were working on was something you cared about, yet you still got the same treatment? Imagine you used the same sort of self-deprecating language in your PM reply to a forums member with 20 thousand posts because you "don't want to make a fuss". You've got to realize just how screwy this sort of behaviour is and how it erodes the community some of you are fanning yourselves over, turning it from a fellowship of collaboration and a shared craft to a slapfight between who gets the last word, or should I say the last level edit, in. Cynically, I may end by adding that practically all people that BD chose to have these "slapfights" with were either too inexperienced to know what he was doing or not present at the time to slap back, e.g. Spoonman.

 

I have and never will consider Bikerdude a bad person. Full disclosure here, I'm typing this message inside a text box that I'm looking at from a second-hand monitor he shipped and gifted to me, when my old one broke down right before KoD's release. He did not ask for anything in return, he did it out of kindness because I was out of a job at the time and low on money. If anything, you could say I have material reasons to defend him! Yes, he's a very helpful and resourceful person, which is why he's been given this much leeway. But it has been precisely the point of this entire post to remind you that helpfulness or resourcefulness should never counterbalance a history of unrepentant boundary crossing and lack of respect for artistic integrity. Do not, also, confuse the former as the founding pillars of the TDM community, so poised to crumble after BD's ban. Being helpful is a byproduct of our shared desire to make and play cool stealth levels, the actual bedrock of why anyone here sticks with The Dark Mod. Bikerdude has shown a history of disrupting just that. I'm not sad he's gone, I'm just disappointed.


Edited by Spooks, 03 January 2019 - 05:56 PM.

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#56 chakkman

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 06:03 PM

nbohr1more knows of the interactions me and Bikerdude had because he was a beta tester for my mission. While BD helped me optimize KoD and added to the map, I can't say that working with him was the smoothest. Multiple times I was extremely frustrated with changes he made without declaring his intentions first, changes that I had to take time out of my day to revert, which prolonged the beta testing period and speaks to what Judith is saying at the start. Multiple times I would plainly revert his changes, yet he would revert my revert back to what he did, like some stupid game of slapsies. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm still bitter about it, it was a long time ago, but I want to speak to a specific point.

 

Excuse the stupid question, but... what does it mean you had to revert your map back? Is there some kind of repository somewhere online where people work together on mao, without a copy of the map stored locally, so you can get back to it any time you want anyway?


Edited by chakkman, 03 January 2019 - 06:05 PM.


#57 Spooks

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 06:19 PM

I was shrewd enough to keep backups of previous versions of the map on my Google Drive, the most primitive way of version control. To use the same example, when I received the decal version of the map, I just had to take one of my backups and revert back to working from that, instead of the decal version. BTW, the backup wasn't that recent, so I still had to redo a fair bit of work I had already done. That's on me for not copying my map to Drive on every single change I made, but should I have been expected to paranoidly do that? It's miraculous I even kept backups to begin with. Imagine if somebody had no concept of version control, they would just have to accept Bikerdude's additions with no recourse, save for manually editing out what he did and walking the entire map back. I guarantee you it would not be easy to do so, in that case, for he had a habit of not keeping the slightest courtesies like making all of his changes on a seperate Layer in DarkRadiant. edit: for the smaller changes, I had to do just that, manual reversion, which was not very fun at all.


Edited by Spooks, 03 January 2019 - 06:21 PM.

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#58 nbohr1more

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:43 PM

@Spooks

My apologies.

I guess that KoD experience rattled you more than I was aware of.

To me, it looked like you were a Svengali, carefully coaxing Bikerdude to provide
some assistance while remaining firm to your vision of the final product.

I was pretty certain that EVERYONE knew how illogical and rash Biker could be...
so it was only the coolest heads and strategic thinkers would know how to gain
any advantage in these co-author situations.

I estimated you to be the penultimate type of strategic player.

I still think you made some brilliant decisions and you managed to release one
of the best missions I've ever played.

Sorry you had to deal with all the accompanying drama to achieve it.
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#59 OrbWeaver

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:17 AM

 

Excuse the stupid question, but... what does it mean you had to revert your map back? Is there some kind of repository somewhere online where people work together on mao, without a copy of the map stored locally, so you can get back to it any time you want anyway?

 

I was shrewd enough to keep backups of previous versions of the map on my Google Drive, the most primitive way of version control. To use the same example, when I received the decal version of the map, I just had to take one of my backups and revert back to working from that, instead of the decal version. BTW, the backup wasn't that recent, so I still had to redo a fair bit of work I had already done.

 

This is the part I don't understand either. If I work on a document (TDM map, or Word document, or spreadsheet or whatever), then send it to someone else for review, I'm not going to delete my local copy of that document then replace it with whatever they send back to me before I've even seen what changes they've made. That's ludicrous, like just throwing away your own work for no good reason.

 

I'm not arguing that Biker's behaviour wasn't unacceptable, but it seems that some people's asset management practices are shockingly risky. It's not difficult to use local version control (Git, Subversion, Mercurial, whatever you find most comfortable) to track changes to your assets, but if you don't want to do this, you should at least save multiple versions, back these up somewhere (cloud or external media), and not just blindly overwrite a single version of the map with a modified copy you received from someone else.


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#60 Destined

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:36 AM

Excuse the stupid question, but... what does it mean you had to revert your map back? Is there some kind of repository somewhere online where people work together on mao, without a copy of the map stored locally, so you can get back to it any time you want anyway?


I helped a bit with Shadowhide's map and there we used a (the?) svn, which (if I am not mistaken) lets you revert to previous versions. I would recommend something like this in each joint venture, just in case something goes wrong (not necessarily due to one overbearing person, but due to any possible errors).
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#61 Melan

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:22 AM

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Spooks speaks from my perspective as well. I like Bikerdude quite a lot, and he has not only been instrumental in making my maps releasable (my building habits are often over-ambitious), he has also shaped them in good ways, helped me find the laptop I am currently typing on, and more. But I do treat creative ownership of a map seriously, way more seriously than he did. This actually includes his maps, which he reformatted and partially reused in ways I would have considered downright disrespectful if he had done it to someone else.

 

There was also an imbalance in our working relationship, in that he could build very detailed stuff very quickly, while for me, every brush and light placement could be a tortuously slow decision. He is also a much harder worker than I am. The things I have built did not come easy to me, nor are they freely interchangeable with something else. I make something to fit together in a particular way - a specific room is there because it belongs there, not because it could be any general room. To see days or weeks' worth of thinking and iteration being rewritten was not a pleasant experience. I had to learn to "hold" maps and camp on them to avoid our projects being overtaken and gradually turned into something unrecognisable. But apparently, it still didn't save them from post-release tampering. The PD2 fiasco started with a few innocent fixes - which actually looked cool - and ended with a redesign that would have completely subverted the way the mission worked. And PD2 is the TDM map I am the most proud of.

 

It was just as hard - and perhaps ultimately futile - to communicate a design intent to him, because he'd of course do his own thing. And that can be quite good! The current version of Return to the City is perhaps more his map than mine, and it is very good (not to mention it doesn't freeze randomly for seconds). But it is also fairly different in tone and scope to the mission I built and won a contest with. You can play that contest-winning mission (with the dogshit performance and half the content, mind you), but you'll have to dig deep to find it and make that comparison. Otherwise, you'll play an altogether different map. Whether you think that difference matters or not is at the heart of this discussion.


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#62 STiFU

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:20 PM

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Maybe some of you would care to know, that Bikerdude is doing ok. I have talked to him just now because I felt bad for him. He is very understanding and also seems to think that it's maybe for the best this way. Aaand he is still mapping like a boss, so no worries there. ;-) 


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#63 dmw88

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:46 PM

You know what's the biggest tragedy about this? That so few people who still make missions for this mod have to fight against each other. I can see why Bikerdude was a controversial figure, but, man... this is a real shame, especially as it also involved a member who has never created a single map for this mod. I just hope that someone will join the community who is as big as a workhorse as Bikerdude was.


Once the new version finishes beta I will be working a lot on the code. I have also started mapping (about a month ago) and Ive been putting in 4-6 hours a day. Hopefully I can be that guy. I had a terrible tragedy in my life last year and so now besides a fulltime job I have literally no life, so it seems possible if not probable.
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#64 Goldwell

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 09:48 PM

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My experience with Bikerdude is very similar to what Melan and Spooks experiences. Bikerdude helped to detail my mission and aid me but he changed things which moved my creative vision and caused us to argue over and fight over what was going in. This might sound like a regular team dynamic but he was a beta tester and not a co-author. If you try to move the discussion along in the beta thread he keeps bringing up his point which is exhausting. You cant just tell him to stop talking, but most people can clue in when theyre overstepping, except for him.

I could understand how in his eyes he views it as helping the community but from an authors perspective it can be a very frustrating experience to constantly have to defend your own work.

To those who say well why didnt you just say no. Its hard to know what a person is like until you work with them. From my initial view Bikerdude he has a lot of mapping experience, he was the main FM manager, he was an active team member and he was even an admin too. Its hard to say no to the person who holds all the keys and who was the gate keeper of TDM for so long.

In one instance someone had told him no, and he pulled the line well as the FM manager I wouldnt allow this to be released. Now in his defense he had recognized this as going too far and apologized. Which is fine but it just shows where his headspace was with it all.

Bikerdude like most people arent just black and white. It was confusing for me for a long time because I really liked him but I didnt like what he did at times. He did help me out, he did inspire me, he taught me mapping techniques and methods I still use to this day, he would act as a cheerleader to me and offered me constructive criticism. However he did also overstep his boundaries with respect to creative ownership of my mission, my missions would have to filter through his approval list before he would add it to the repository, even if I had a different creative vision. He didnt understand that what I was working on was my mission, he couldnt respect that boundary whereas most can. And in that regard he constantly made the same mistakes and yet despite the frequent warnings he still continued on the same pathway. It was very confusing and strange.

I dont hate the guy, and I genuinely hope he is doing well in whatever he is persuing but clearly when it comes to working well with TDM authors he generally tends to fall short due to the lack of boundaries aspect.

I had hoped things would have worked out differently because he is talented but from my own experience and the experience I have read on the board over the years he doesnt work too well with others. For a long time this was kept behind closed doors but eventually they broke and now the waters rushing out. So some of you may act surprised where this is all coming from but this has all been building up behind the scenes.

Should something have been done sooner? Yes I think so. But in hindsight were all geniuses.
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#65 Destined

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:17 AM

Maybe some of you would care to know, that Bikerdude is doing ok. I have talked to him just now because I felt bad for him. He is very understanding and also seems to think that it's maybe for the best this way. Aaand he is still mapping like a boss, so no worries there. ;-)

Thanks for asking him and telling us. It is good to know how people are doing after getting to know them here, even if I never met anxone here personally.
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#66 jaxa

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

Once the new version finishes beta I will be working a lot on the code. I have also started mapping (about a month ago) and Ive been putting in 4-6 hours a day. Hopefully I can be that guy. I had a terrible tragedy in my life last year and so now besides a fulltime job I have literally no life, so it seems possible if not probable.

 

This is one of those times when I'm not sure whether to press the Like button. Oh well.


Edited by jaxa, 05 January 2019 - 01:37 PM.

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#67 Taquito.

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 03:28 PM

I had no idea this was going on for such a long time.

 

 

 

Well most members in this forum are Thief Fans so no surprise all this controversy and juicy drama was brewing in the shadows. :ph34r:


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#68 peter_spy

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:37 AM

Once the new version finishes beta I will be working a lot on the code. I have also started mapping (about a month ago) and Ive been putting in 4-6 hours a day. Hopefully I can be that guy. I had a terrible tragedy in my life last year and so now besides a fulltime job I have literally no life, so it seems possible if not probable.

 

That doesn't sound like a healthy situation at all. As we've already seen, compulsive mapping isn't a solution to real-life problems. It might help you for a while, if you need to feel you have control over something just to stay sane. But it obviously doesn't replace things like proper grieving or moving on. So no, don't be that guy, for your own sake.


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#69 demagogue

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:01 AM

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I'm of the opinion that art is a healthy outlet for personal issues. I was just reading some articles that often people in distress can express their feelings better through art than through talking therapy, and that's beneficial for them. Of course obsessing over anything can be unhealthy if it takes over one's life, but 4-6 hours a day... I mean it's not unheard of. I was putting in those kinds of hours when I was in the height of building my FM just because I was driven and wanted to get it out. And better mapping than losing that time to TV or drinking or something actually unhealthy. There are a lot of worse things one can do oneself than mapping in DR!

 

Incidentally, I also chatted a little with Biker. He'll be okay and understood the situation and acknowledged proposing this a few months ago as a way to resolve things. Mostly he said he'll be good when the drama of the whole thing dies down, and I think that's good for us to keep in mind.


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#70 i30817

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 06:54 AM

What i'm getting from this is that the editor needs a way to mark 'checkpoints' or something like that for a budget version control because people don't just think about it.

 

I'd say something like 'exporting' a map immediately places a copy of that map (but not assets ofc) on your editor dir. If later what gets returned to you is unacceptable and you didn't think to keep copies, at least it's right there. The roundtrip between different installations of the editor would mark the file as 'different' and the backup wouldn't be replaced. Some kind of warning about that backup dir growing too much could be useful too, or to open different versions of the map on the gui.


Edited by i30817, 13 January 2019 - 06:57 AM.


#71 Abusimplea

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:17 AM

I wonder, how version-control-friendly map files are.

If changing something in a map does not alter the order and representation of unchanged stuff in the file, GIT or any other version control software could be used. That would even allow collaboration on one map by different authors at the same time - as long as they don't change the same area.



#72 STiFU

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:45 AM

Since map files are text based, they are perfectly suitable for version control, yes!



#73 jaxa

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 12:04 PM

If you just email a map to somebody using your modern webmail account (Gmail, etc), you should have a copy of the map before alterations...

 

If it's too big to send that way, just keep multiple copies in a directory somewhere. Split off a new copy when you do anything of significance. And periodically back them up onto at least an external hard drive.


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#74 OrbWeaver

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 04:08 AM

Yes, map files can easily be tracked with version control.

 

Create a private repository on GitHub/GitLab/BitBucket and push your changes there. That way you will not only be able to track previous versions, but also have some cloud storage in case your hard drive dies.

 

Or if you don't like Git, use Mercurial, which is probably easier to use. Or if you prefer the old-school approach, use Subversion or even CVS.

 

Don't pour hours of work into a single map file that is not backed up anywhere, and just save that single file over and over again. That's utterly insane. You are more or less asking to have all your data lost if the editor crashes during a save or you accidentally hit the "delete all" button right before you hit Ctrl-S.


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#75 AluminumHaste

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 08:27 AM

You are more or less asking to have all your data lost if the editor crashes during a save or you accidentally hit the "delete all" button right before you hit Ctrl-S.

 

Follow by CTRL-Z then CTRL-S again lol


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 




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