Note: This may be better suited in serious discussion, or even site affairs, so if you feel so, feel free to speak up, and I will move it. However, I feel it is just as important to design as it is to any other aspect of life, and thought it may make a good front-page article.
Image, Etiquette, and Professionalism:
- Why are they important?
- What builds them?
- What destroys them?
- What are their contributing factors?
- Anything else you would like to add?
I'll come back and add my opinions and experiences when I have a chance, but in the mean time, I'd like to get some discussion going on it.
I feel that these are crucial to ones success (or failure) in any undertaking one might pursue in life, including, but not limited to, design. Now, I know that first-impressions have been touched on in the forge lessons, although, more in the sense of one's work, not in themselves (not saying that one's work doesn't contribute to one's image, but there is more to an entities image than the impressions of a specific project). Reputation is related, although, more often than not (in my opinion), this is based off of the things listed above.
So, please, do share your opinions. As stated earlier, I will add to mine at a later time. Also, does anyone else think this would be a good front page article? And perhaps, a good starting place for forum policies?
When I saw this the first time I didn't have the time to reply... I only have a little time now, but I do want to bring some attention to this. This is one of the most important things that a person can do. Your reputation is much more valuable than a win in a game or getting one map into matchmaking. Reputation can give you the power to sway things the way you want them to sway. Reputation gets people to listen to you. It gets people to value the opinions you give.
Building a better image by helping others or being knowledgeable (but not a know it all) or providing something to people that they can't get elsewhere is important. Having proper etiquette to not come off as an ass or to show that you do care about what other people think and offering the respect that they deserve when they give their opinion. Being professional about a situation and not just shrugging someone's opinion off like it doesn't matter to you, or being tactful when it comes to disagreeing with them. All of these things can go a long way in terms of improving your reputation. You will learn as time goes on that as your reputation improves so does the weight of what you have to say and the more people take the time to see what you have to offer.
That's why RP exists as it is today. I earned the attention of people by helping people out in the community, but writing the forge lessons, by taking the time to understand things and explain it to others. I may not do as much of that now as I used to, but that doesn't mean I don't care. Because the thing about reputation is that it can last an eternity. It can also change drastically and overnight. Be very aware of the things you do and how it will affect your reputation. It is a much more powerful tool than people realize... not only in design, but in all manners of life.
Professionalism can really aid first impressions for your maps.
For example, when browsing through maps (Reach's custom search/RP/xForgery)I always ignore:
- Default map descriptions
- All caps
- Bad grammar/spelling
- Immature language/themes
A map could be very good but if the description or thread you post it in is badly done, considerably lowering the number of people who will look at your map.
Obviously this doesn't only apply to map making, it is a big part of success in life as well; If you went into a job interview shouting HIRE ME I DO COOL STUFF! they will probably think you are an imbecile and won't want anything to do with you.
I think it is difficult to get by without proper etiquette, however, I wish it were otherwise. To have people's efforts truly judged on the product's merits, not on the person itself -- that seems to be a much better world. Unfortunately this is not the case, but nor could it really ever be so. Human beings are incapable of reaching such an idealistic meritocracy, and I'm not sure a meritocracy is very much good anyway. Proper etiquette often follows after people who are serious about what they are doing; they do not want to be disregarded, and so using it as a rule of thumb for decent maps or maps with potential is an effective rule. Proper etiquette allows us to differentiate between people worth our time and those not: it is an example of social convention where following convention allows reputation to grow and develop. Flagrantly ignoring convention woud result in social alienation, and that is why humanity has a strong tendency towards uniformity: strong social ties are beneficial.
I think many beginning forgers fail to realise that their map begins in the download or testing thread. A good depiction, description and sell of a map is where it begins, not from the load-out camera. Maps begin and end in the social world; they are not restricted to the game. The word of mouth you pass on to another person is the lasting impression it has on you, and the first impression on other people. I think that the quality of a map can be judged by how many people are positively talking about it, not by the number of downloads or whether it is in matchmaking or whether it wins a competition. Social involvement is the best measure of map quality.
The otters are coming with whiskers honed to razor blades. Know this and fear.
Email me at xnoklu[at]gmail.com should you need to contact me.