Posted by:Nightmarjoo Well one man might call it late, but I call it early! I give you, 2008's Maps of the Year!
I can't really say the maps you guys voted for are a surprise at all. In first place, as The Best Voted Map of all of 2008, a Testbug/Nastymarine map, (4)Yellow! In second place, a Testbug map, (4)Voices IV! In third place, a Nastymarine map, (4)Korhal Pride1.3!
Predictably enough, not only are the maps by the two mappers who together earned the most 1st and 2nd place MOTMs ever, but all three maps have won first place in their own Map of the Month competitions. Since these maps have already been in MOTMs I won't write a whole lot about them, as you can see what I wrote about them in their MOTM threads, but I'll hilight what I feel are the best attributes of these exquisite maps.
With an overwhelming plurality of the vote, nearly 50% of all points went to this map, and an ICCup Ladder map to boot, we have ICCup Yellow1.1, by Testbug!
This map is a remake of NastyMarine's (4)Dayun Si, which would have probably won MOTY itself if Testbug hadn't have made this map.
This map is a fairly basic and standard map on the surface. But like any NastyMarine map, has a strong concept undernearth an illusion of mundanity. And like any Testbug map, has the completely and utterly perfect execution only perhaps the sc God could rival.
The key to this map's success aside from its brilliant execution, is in how Testbug and Nastymarine morphed a common expo layout into a rotationally symmetrical 4 player map, in such a manner that it makes what would otherwise be a string of so-safe-they'd-be-free-to-take expansions and makes them all quite vulnerable and harassable. The map takes a normal boring macro layout, and crafts it so that any player can comfortably pick up the map and feel at home, whilst rewarding the more aggressive players who would seek to abuse the maps many routes, cliffs, and places-ripe-for-dropping.
This map is just really well made all-over. It's no wonder it won MOTM, and is an ICCup map (I hope you guys have been playing it!). Not even the picky Nightmarjoo can find fault with "wasted space" on this map, and that's saying something!
In second place we have another really well-made map, Voices IV by Testbug! Just like Yellow, this map has been featured in the ICCup Ladder (and is a MOTW on iccup this week, be sure to play on it!). This map has a similar idea behind it to Yellow, though the two maps are conceptually entirely different.
Voices IV takes that standard expo layout, seen in Othello, Byzantium, Medusa, and Longinus to name a few, but executes it really uniquely. It takes these standard elements, makes them its own, and then adds a somewhat experimental feature to seal the deal. The experimental feature here is that the main base has two paths instead of the archetypal single route from main base to natural expansion. The second route leads into and through the mineral only expansion. Of course, Testbug does something only Testbug can do, and ensures this feature which when used in every single other map in existance (including to some degree, the pro-made and Courage League-used map (3)Medusa), and removes all possible pathing issues by placing the two paths right next to eachother. All units when bumping into the mineral block simply find the proper path immediately after, and thus use the correct path.
The mineral only, which gives both aggressive and passive players something more out of the map, be it a safe expansion or a new route to harass with. Aside from the double path, the map is all-over standard and basic, ensuring it's comfortable for all players. All-in-all, the map does a really good job of giving players a very wide variety of options strategically, to give players a really solid gameplay experience.
You know the map must be good when the only thing which could possibly beat it was a Testbug/Nasty map.
For third place for the 4-player Maps of the Year, we have a map predictably by NastyMarine, (4)Korhal Pride1.3!
In the same manner as the other maps, Korhal Pride1.3 modifies the execution of the standard expo layout, main, nat, min only, 3rd gas, and creates its own brilliant concept. It takes backdoor to a new level with its mineral only, which is behind the nat, but in front of the main! I can certainly believe you if just reading this makes it hard to understand, you really have to look at the map's picture to fully understand! It's not as complicated as I make it out, but it certainy is ingenious! The main simply has two paths like in VoicesIV, but the mineral-only expansion is closed off instead of further leading into the rest of the map like it does in VoicesIV.
This mineral only placement reminds me of that in Andromeda, except this one is more vulnerable to drops but safer from from land-based attacks. Either way, it's unique and really well crafted.
Other than that mechanic, the map is pretty standard just like in Voices, ensuring a comfortable battleground while keeping the map's concept its own.
These three maps complement eachother really well, and it just goes to show you how good these two mappers are, Testbug and NastyMarine. Three completely different maps, which all at the same time share key design (not conceptual) elements which separate them from most other maps.
This map only (lol) made 2nd place MOTM, in the month of July. It didn't win first place because it lost out to a Testbug map, and Nasty was busy making future 2nd place MOTMs and letting Testbug remake his maps for 1st place MOTMs. Oh, and that spammer Protoss4ever made his only good map ever too, (4)tex-something (which I voted for for MOTY!).
You can find the MOTM post further describing this map here Map Thread Map Download Observer Download
And now for the 2-Player Maps of the Month!
In first Place, we have a Spinesheath/Nasty/Testbug map! Testbug/Nasty map, who'd have thought!? So the history behind this map is that Spinesheath made a MSPaint concept, Nasty adopted it and made the original Spinel Valley, Spinesheath loved it but decided to actually make a map (a first, I think!) and uploaded a modified version of the map, and Testbug decided Testbug-remakes are always better and remade the map entirely giving us Spinel Valley III, this brilliant map you see before you now!
Drama aside, this is a really well-made map! Conceptually and executionally I can't say I've ever seen anything quite like it before! So of course it's no surprise that the map also won MOTM, beating a NastyMarine map in the process, and is an ICCup Ladder map (I hope you guys played on it, as it was MOTW last week!). All in a day's work, for Testbug, eh?
If I had to describe this map in terms of other well-known maps, I'd have to say the map reminds me of Bluestorm + Othello somehow, if that even makes sense given how different these three maps are. Spinel Valley III really is its own map. The biggest focuses of this map are on mobility and harassability, which on top of a really solid expo layout gives players a lot of options here, ensuring solid if perhaps not perfectly balanced gameplay. The map features no real experimental concepts, aside perhaps from the highground expansions which are so easily harassable from the lowground center of the map, and somehow still remains quite unique. This something of course only Testbug could so masterfully throw together, and it probably took him like 30 seconds, knowing him.
If you haven't been living under a rock, and have been visiting broodwarmaps.net at all for the last year, if someone says "2 player map" the first thing that should come to your mind ought to be "Ptar". Ptar has made over 9000 (2)Ptarish maps in the last year, all of reasonably good execution, if simple conceptually. It then ought to be no surprise that it's Ptar himself who grabs second place for 2-Player Map of the Year, and no shame that he didn't get first place, since first place was a god- I mean Testbug-made map.
So what we have here is (2)Sign, a ptarish (2)map, and that's basically it.
Kidding! This map actually differs quite a bit from the standard ptarish map, in that it's a lot more dynamic and conceptually interesting. The expo layout itself is fairly standard, but the different structures and features of the map are all basically completely different, we have a mismatch of ramps that looks like a 2006 NastyMarine map here, Nostalgia-esque bridges that give me nostalgia over there and a cliffable expo to boot, no choke at at all there, and a ptarish pit expo there. All complemented with cliffable mains which has an 815 ramp, and a nat which makes every terran go mech to make valkyries just to stay alive past 7 minutes. Oh, and don't let me forget a Loki2 central tight choke, dividing the map into two separate areas. If that description didn't make you imagine the most experimental, most complicated map ever, then you must be PsychoTemplar, or Lancet. But somehow, Ptar manages to combine all of those features, and not only make the map not look or feel experimental, but make it look natural! Seriously take a good look at the picture, the map is just beautiful to your eyes and sense of mapping! Takes a map like this to get 2nd place for the whole year at such a great mapping site. And of course, it won MOTM for July.
Last and least, but not by much of a margin! we have korean FAMAT mapper Twos-'s map whose name is a mouthful-and-a-half, (2)Moonlight Punch Romance1.3! While the map didn't win a MOTM, it won 2nd place for July's MOTM, right behind Ptar's (2)Sign, and that's not too shabby!
If you thought the map's name was a mouthful, you should see the map itself! I can't say I've seen a more complicated and yet still basic map ever (except perhaps by RaDiX lol). The map is an absolute wonderful mess of ramps and paths, surrounding what otherwise would be a fairly simple expo layout. I say mess, but it's actually really well made and thought out. Without Twos' near-Testbug execution I'm sure this map would've been a mess, but luckily he knows what he's doing when it comes to making maps. Now that I think about it, this map would probably have been a ptarish map without the complex middle!
This map takes a fairly different turn than the other MOTYs. It takes a fairly standard and boring concept, and drastically complicates it, so while the underlying structure is comfortable, the rest of the map is very involved. It definitely makes the map unique, and further creates a unique playing experience. Playing on this map might feel like being in a labyrinth. Unlike the other maps, instead of modifying a standard concept to be its own, it takes the standard layout and puts its own concept on top of it. I am perhaps describing it badly, but this is a really neat and well-made map that is very unlike the maps we make at bwm, showing off a very different approach to mapping which clearly comes from a separate culture, of Korean Mapping. As a final word, this map is different from the bwm maps in that it's far more micro-oriented than macro-oriented. Either way it's worth checking out, and concludes our Maps of the Year!
And so here you are, the voted-six best maps made at bwm in 2008! I eagerly await the brilliant maps you guys make in the coming months, for the next Maps of the Year! It really is amazing how quickly the average level of mappers and maps here rise, and it's wonderful to see such amazing maps, and then see you guys somehow surpass yourselves and create even better maps. It really shows how dynamic this game is.
On a final note, let me provide links to these mapper's entire collections here, to see their many great maps, and how their maps have evolved into what you see here, winning these competitions today!