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Nightmarjoo Random Map Competition #318 2009f July 2009 04:34 AM
Posted by:Nightmarjoo

Inspired by Starparty's competitions years ago, I present the third Random Map Competition hosted by Nightmarjoo! It's been a while since we've had one of these, but I think we're more than overdue.

This competition's theme and focus will be on asymmetry. That is to say, maps which are purposefully not symmetrical. This does not mean the maps should be massively positionally imbalanced, but positional variety is key here. Ideally you're trying to make it as positionally balanced as possible while at the same time trying to make the different starting locations and other aspects of the map as different from eachother as possible.

  • Map must have 5, 6, or 7 players.
    Normally maps with these player numbers are hard to make when attempting to have some degree of symmetry and positional equality. Since we're throwing that out, these maps should be more fun to make.
  • Map can be any tileset except space (and installation).
    Space tileset is ugly. I would exclude Ash too, but lava and magma are both so pretty.
  • Tile editing is not only allowed, but encouraged.
    Tile editing, copy/pasting etc is vital to using the terrain to suit your needs best. Your map should be limited by your abilities and effort, not by the constrains of your editor.
  • Neutral units, buildings, and spells, are allowed, but do not use in excess; only as needed.
  • Mineral blocks (walls/obstacles created by minerals) with values over 0 are not allowed. Using stacked 0-value blocks is allowed.
    Old fashioned mineral blocks are simply not as useful as stacked 0-value blocks except in rare instances. The only exception to this rule is if you are using an expo's mineral formation to block a path, then I highly reccomend using minerals with more than 0 value ;)
  • Fantasy style maps, while not forbidden, are discouraged. I want to see your own work, not a collage of others' work.
  • Try and maintain decent pathing whenever possible.
    This goes with using neutrals as needed, sparingly, subtly. Even if these maps are not required to maintain nearly the same standards as conventional competetive melee maps, you do want to make sure the map is not too annoying to play on.
  • Try to make the maps playable in both free for alls and team matches (2v2, 3v3). While not as necessary, try to also keep the map playable to some degree in standard competetive 1v1 play.
    For the last part, mostly I'm saying don't make too crazy of a map. If the map is completely unplayable in 1v1, it's likely to be annoying to play on in an ffa or a team match.
  • Acceptable map sizes can use the dimensions: 96, 112, 128, but 112 can't be the largest dimension (or map will crash).
  • Island or semi-island maps are not allowed. You may of course use islands in your map, but the emphasis should be on ground-based play. The most islandish your map should get is Andromeda-esque.
  • Maximum of three contributions per mapper
    I don't want to discourage mappers from experimenting with different ideas here, so if you're not sure exactly which idea you think is your best, upload both!
  • Map must be submitted by 23:59 EST August 3rd. This gives you two weeks and a third weekend to make your maps. No exceptions will be made to this deadline unless we have fewer than three maps made by that time.
    Judging could take anywhere from a day to weeks depending on how many maps are submitted

    I will be the sole judge, and the judging will be entirely subjective. At the same time, there are things I'll definitely be looking for in a map:
  • Allocation of space, space management
    If the first thing I notice when I look at your map is "wasted space", you probably aren't going to win.
  • Positional balance
    As silly as this sounds for a competition like this, the degree of positional balance is important. By this I mean, you shouldn't have any one position clearly superior to another inherently. You also should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each position against all the other positions. Some degree of positional imbalance is not only acceptable, but expected. Even (4)rotationally symmetrical pro maps have scenarios where it's easier on one position in a particular positional situation.
  • Decoration
    This shouldn't be a problem for most people. A well-decorated map is better than the same map if it's undecorated. Attention to detail is important here. Just pay attention to avoiding straight lines, not having bland or blank areas of terrain, and use doodads intelligently. Just look at modern pro-maps for tips here if you need any. You do not need to use any custom doodads or tile editing, but you are allowed to use them. Avoid bad looking tile editing though. For example, in Longinus there are jungle terrain tiles which appear "cut off" by the ramp tiles by them and it looks bad/out of place. Avoid this.
  • Comfort
    This means don't make the mains too small, or the distance from main2nat too long, etc.
  • Gameplay
    How fun is your map to play? That is, how strategically diverse and varied is your map's gameplay? Does one build rule them all (and in the darkness bind them) or is it obvious anything would work here? (the latter is the ideal).

    (7)Seven Sins by Testbug. This fits the competition absolutely perfectly.
    (4)Spring by Lancet. Aside from having only 4 players, this map would be perfect for the competition.
    Un'Goro Crater by [Ragnarok]Valkyrie. The center of this map is asymetrical.

    Um, you get a nice long news post talking about your map :D I will try to host a tournament using these maps depending on the interest level in playing on them. The tournament could possibly be a ffa tourney, or maybe a 2v2 tourney, we'll see. I can't make any promises now, because I can't guarantee anyone would show up to play.

    This competition is about making fun maps for fun games, not meant to be the next iccup MOTW. Don't get too stressed out when making your map. At the same time, make the map with the best of your ability. Feel free to try ideas and concepts you could never use in a normal 1v1 map.

    Happy mapping, and good luck.
    MOTMs galore!29 2009f May 2009 07:59 AM
    Posted by:Nightmarjoo
    Alright, here's the MOTMs since I've decided it's more disapointing to have no MOTM than to have a disapointing MOTM.

    For January, we have an almost good map by Jamssi. Now, this is actually quite extraorinary, he actually used more than 30% of the map space this time! So let's give Jamssi a big congratulations for that accomplishment. He's proving that you can't make be a horrible mapper forever as long as you keep making maps!

    The map in question is (4)Destiny, an almost well-made Byzantium clone. The map features a fair amount of altitudal variety using good shifts in high/low terrain. The mains being lowground and the nats being highground is fairly unusual, and somewhat increases the ability for players to harass one another early on in the game. The map uses the standard expo layout of 4base, 3gas per player. Directly between the players if you travel horizontally or vertically are a highground min only and a lowground gas expansion. The expansions are both close to you and to your opponent, and easily function as neutral expansions: making them ripe for fighting over.
    The map has an open middle which gives the players a lot of room to fight and maneuver, and the expo layout makes the sides of the map very useful without switching from the standard central orientation. The map boasts solid decoration, and good use of rotational symmetry.
    One neat thing Jamssi uses in the map is he stacks minerals in horizontal mineral formations. Normally it's hard to get horizontal mineral formations to mine well since they have the potential to stick out so far since they're 2 tiles wide, but by stacking them halfway over eachother he can have a narrower mineral formation which should mine very well. A neat trick also seen used to a different effect in (4)Hannibal. Definitely something mappers want to keep in mind should they use horizontal formations in the future.
    Now, everything I've said so far makes the map sound pretty darn good, what is it that I have against the map, aside from its author being a douche? Well, the naturals are pretty awfully made despite appearing "ok" at a glance at the picture. It's pretty clear Jamssi either didn't bother opening the map in sc to test them, or simply doesn't play sc at all. Aside from that flaw, which can be quite detrimental to gameplay depending on the situation, the map is quite well-made, even if it lacks anything "special". Overall the map is definite good, and I would say worth playing, except the natural expansions are terrible, go play Byzantium instead.

    Map Thread
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    No obs version at this time. Not that anyone would want to observe you flailing about in a map with shitty nats, so oh well.

    As I don't reward being the 2nd place of 3 maps, I won't post on the other maps in this competition. You can see them here if you so desire.

    For February we have another face new to MOTM. Please congratulate JungleTerrain (I kid you not, that's his ID!) for his map Amonsterdildo, er Amonta... Amontsomething! (With a name like this, IceTerrain is probably Protoss4ever on a smurf name!).

    Amontillado is a fairly standard but fairly well-made 4 player map. With standard mains and nats, the map starts to deviate from the "norm" in its expo layout. While the layout itself is standard, 4 base/3gas per player, the position of these expansions is fairly unique. The gas expo is on the other side of the main from the nat, with a large bridge choke. The distance of these expansions almost make them neutral expansions, at the very least making them easy to fight over. The mineral only expansions are not much closer, in fact they're about the same distance away from the nats. However, by being on highground plateaus they are arguably safer, or easier to defend. This expansion layout is interesting as no expansion aside from the nat is "free", and makes the gameplay more in-your-face as you must expo towards the enemy. DesertTerrain must have played Othello, and decided the free expos + too-many-cliff-harass-potentials was a boring way to make a map more fun.
    Since TwilightTerrain is lazy and won't update the map it is awkward in places, lacks some of the finer execution touches, but is still quite well-made, particularly in its use of rotational symmetry, and fun to play on. If you're going to play on any of these MOTMs, make this map the one you play on as it is well-enough-made and has a potentially more "fun", more aggresively oriented feel to it. And be sure to upload replays, because I'm sure BadlandsTerrain, would appreciate them!

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    I might normally reward the 2nd place of 5 maps, except that it seems fairly obvious Protoss4ever's Chickensomething was just the map people picked as their 2nd place because you have to select atleast 2 maps while voting (only LastCurse voted the map 1st place, and no one likes him anyway). You can see the other maps in the competition here if you want to vomit you so desire.

    March's MOTM is a great improvement atleast in the amount of maps present and division of the votes (not all to one map zomg!). However it does not deviate from the theme of having some guy you've never heard of win MOTM! Congratulations to Freakling (not Crackling, though he was probably on crack when he made this map!) on his map (4)Everflow!

    This map is actually pretty neat in how similar it is to the other two MOTMs in this post. If you took the lowmain/highnat and side oriented expo layout of (4)Destiny, merged it with the expo layout of (4)Amontsomething, and added a big fucking spiral in the middle, you'd pretty much get this map.
    The expo layout is pretty similar to amontsomething's in how the gas expo has a large bridge choke and lies along a seperate path from the min only, but the expos are much closer to you in this map. The min only is arguably less defensible and the gas expo considerably more defensible. The map is pretty basic, there's not a lot going on here, but what there is lies in the center. That's right, as I said before, there's a big fucking spiral in the middle of the map. Personally, I wish he would've remade every single map in our database, as it would've been more productive and probably have taken less time than required to make this spiral, but whatever. This spiral is for more than decoration though (it's pretty ugly anyway, let's hope it's not made only for decoration!), as it puts a sharp cliff/altitude transition in the middle of the map. This is definitely something players will keep in mind, as they'll want to maneuver their forces so they're on the highground of the spiral rather than the lowground cannon-fodder zone. mappers must have learned something I didn't, as this map also features good use of rotational symmetry. It also features author-didn't-open-map-in-sc-to-test-the-nats syndrome, but maybe that's just a gosu trend I won't understand for years to come.

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    March's MOTM saw fit to give us a decent 2nd place map too! This time by a familiar face, we have (4)Enarey 1.3 by Morrow!

    Same expo layout, different map! This map's expo layout is nearly identical to that of AshTerrain's map, with some differences. The gas expo is in its own little niche rather than having a nice bridge to camp on, and while the min only is closer to the player's nat, the ramp chokes leading up to it face away from the player, making it easier to attack and harder to reinforce. It's hard to fully see the implications of these differences, but I think it's a safe bet to say exactly how they'll work will change depending on the matchup.
    This map has a wider center than the last two maps, and has a little more going on conceptually. Enarey uses the egg wall + min blocks featured in (3)Plasma to block the area behind the nat minerals, and to block a secondary entrance to the main. This creates a temporary "cliff" of sorts "overseeing" the nat, but one whose minerals can still be defended with static defense, as you can use the mineral block to easily send a worker to the other side of your minerals until the egg wall is destroyed. The secondary entrance is not too insidious as you might expect, as the main ramp choke largely defends it. Mostly its existance's implications are that it's easier to scout your opponent should he block the ramp before you are able to scout, somewhat removing the luck factor in many situations.
    There definitely is something I missed, because yet again we have a map doing a good job at implementing rotational symmetry. Another important thing about his map is that it made it into iCCup's Mappack! So if you really want to show off your broodwarmaps pride and fandom, play ladder games on this map!

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    Zomg a third place map too! Made by a mapper you definitely ought to recognize, one of our older mappers who's won countless MOTWs and gotten maps into blizzcon, wgt, and pgt, trcc!

    This map has a lot going on! (4)Adrenaline Rush is very different from the other maps above.
    I don't even know what to call the "nat". Within your main you have a min only, which is a gas expo on the other side, on a highground path leading backwards from the lowground expo in front of your main. If it sounds complicated already, it's because it is. On the lowground of the main we have a fairly normal gas expo, but one that does not cover the main ramp, nor the ramp leading to the middle of the map. This ramp also leads backwards to the gas expo whose minerals can be mined from your main I mentioned earlier. A neutral sits in the way of this path, but I have no idea if it fully blocks the path or not to be honest. If we keep following this ramp we quickly run into a ramp leading downwards into the wide lowground battlefield that is this map's central area. Leading from the center in the compas directions are fairly defensible gas expos directly between the players. Defensible and neutral? Definitely expansions you'll see being fought over.
    Basically, this map takes a bunch of standard features and concepts, and throws them together in absolutely the most complicated way possible without actually using anything bizzare in and of itself. Only a mapper as experiened as trcc could possibly pull this off.
    And, like Morrow's Enarey, this map also has found its way into the iCCup mappack! Congratulations trcc, we hope to see more maps by you in the near future!

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    Apparently the mappers took a leaf from the January MOTM book and failed utterly, but atleast Freakling took a leaf from trcc's book and made a crazy map to win MOTM.

    Freakling makes another appearance with his map (4)Mystique! This map takes another leap to the past, with what is ostensibly a more micro oriented map. The natural expansions are mineral only, and very vulnerable from the island the formation's presence creates behind it. If this and the presence of a very close-to-the-mains gas island expo doesn't encourage 1base play and more aggressive, micro oriented play, then I dunno what does. Then in the compass directions is your standard 3rd gas expansion. It is however much farther from the players than is normal in this age, and they possibly function as neutral expansions which players can fight over. The map's pathing is pretty direct, though the distances aren't bad. The expo and pathing layout definitely creates in-your-face type gameplay, certainly making this map appeal to a micro-intense favouring crowd. And of course, the map uses rotational symmetry well, per the usual MOTM.
    If you want to play a neat map using the 1base and possibly semi-island tactics showcased years ago, this is the map for you. If you want to play a standard macro map, go play the last few MOTMs. This map may not appeal to as large an audience as a more standard map, but it definitely is fairly well-made and worth checking out, especially if you do enjoy this style of gameplay.

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    I won't reward 2nd place out of 4 maps. The map which did get the 2nd largest amount of votes wasn't very good anyway. You can see the other maps here

    For May's MOTM we have... wait, May? Isn't today still May? IS THIS MOTM ON TIME? WHAT THE FUCK RAGNAROK APPROACHES!
    For the 5th MOTM of this year we have a much better competition than the 4th in that we actually had 2 maps competing with eachother for votes!
    Freakling makes makes his third consecutive MOTM appearance (once could be luck or coincidence, twice could be a fluke, but thrice? In a row!? I'm beginning to think Freakling is the real deal, how about you?) with another weird map: (4)Unreality. With a name like that, I think you should already be prepared for a fairly weird map.

    No, that's not a twilight remake of Arkanoid, that's Freakling's Unreality! Freakling reintroduces the neutral-induced macro oriented semi island concept. Players here can opt to try island tactics, or simply macro out normally, taking either/both of the min only and gas expansion each player can find within his "quadrant" of the map while he begins breaking down the neutrals (or massing 3rd tier air). Near your in-base gas expo are lower hp neutrals, with the higher hp neutrals right by your starting location. Breaking down just three neutrals gives you access to the middle of the map, allowing you to fairly quickly pressure your opponent if you both opted for macro builds. Taking down two neutrals gives you access to a 4th base, representing the map's 3rd geyser. The expo layout here is actually fairly normal in its resource distribution, giving it the potential to play almost standard, should both players opt for it. That's the trick in these hybrid island maps, it really is up to the players to decide how they wish to play, and there are plenty of viable options either way.
    Perhaps it doesn't count as much here, but of course the map features flawless rotational symmetry. And aside from suffering from untested-minerals-syndrome, the map should play quite solidly if this kind of map hits your fancy.

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    In a close second place we have Morrow's map 1015, not to be confused with 815. Perhaps 1015 is the time (in AM, no less) he went to sleep after making this map? Or maybe the amount of time in seconds spent on decorating the map?

    Ok so at a glance this map is an open, gas impoverished, inverted Katrina. Wait, that makes no sense at all :O The map has lowground mains and a highground central area, but has a gas natural within the main, behind the starting location in the corners of the map homologous to that of Katrina. Climbing the main ramp takes you to what you could call your "natural", a cliffable mineral only expansion which makes the map playable for terran! Then near the corners of the map, almost cliffing the internal gas expansion lies your 3rd gas base on a highground plateau barely build-on-able.
    This is a very big map, there's a lot of room to manuever and fight. The map takes a fairly standard expo layout and twists it around into something essentially completely different. The map should definitely give players a different gaming experience, without doing anything too radical that players aren't already used to. Naturally, being a 2nd place MOTM, the map has great rotational symmetry. I'd say perhaps the map only recieved 2nd place for being too weird, but then the first place map was actually weirder. Are mappers and gamers starting to head towards more weird maps, the trend come full circle?

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    Though I won't write much about it, be sure to check out Swagu's (2)Trial, the map which recieved the 3rd most votes:

    This map is fairly standard, but does a good job of incorporating a lot of recent trends and concepts into a fairly normal mold. The map's execution definitely is a little lacking, something the author has room to work on, but certainly isn't awful. Hopefully after fixing a few aspects of his mapping style and understanding sWaGu will be creating MOTM level maps soon!
    ps sWaGu you overwrote the map picture for (2)digdag with (2)trial's picture :(

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    You can check out the other competition maps here

    And thus concludes a MOTM Marathon! Now that we're caught up on MOTMs, we should begin having more competitions aside from MOTM, especially with summer coming up soon!
    Site member fee will help promote maps01 2009f April 2009 05:04 PM
    Posted by:Starparty

    Site member fee will help promote maps

    Broodwarmaps admins Nightmarjoo and Starparty have together sealed a deal with Team Liquid administrator Plexa to help promote custom made broodwar maps. A new broodwarmaps member fee will help secure our maps in the current major foreign StarCraft leagues.
    - We have very high expectations on this collaboration, says Starparty.

    Basically, a yearly member fee from broodwarmaps users will help promote custom made maps and secure their usage in the major foreign leagues, such as ICCup. The fee is not requested from every member on BWMN, but in order to be able to compete in site competitions, such as Map of the Month, a 10$ fee needs to be payed once every year.
    - The deal is quite simple, says Starparty. To add your map into the MOTM map pool and competing for the winning title you need to pay a yearly 10$ fee. This fee enables you to enter the next 12 competitions as soon as your payment has been accepted.

    The money will be used to pay league managers to incorporate BWMN user maps into their leagues.
    - We have already established contact with TeamLiquid administrator Plexa with promises of BWMN maps used regularly in TLS for the moderate amount of 250$ per tournament, says Starparty. This might be a real upswing for the foreign custom broodwarmap community. 250$ shared over the entire member pool of BWMN is basically nothing. It’s like paying 25$ each or something.

    Plexa was hooked on the idea emediatelly as it was presented to him.
    - If you want your ad in the local newspaper you obviously have to pay for it. I see no difference here.

    Broodwarmaps is also on the verge of settling an agreement with ICCup. By doing this, BWMN will also be able to try out more experimental concepts since the payment guarantees the map stays in the pack for the entire tournament´, unless the stats favour one race with more than a 70>30 ratio in the first 500 games.
    - ICCup map pack will, according to this agreement, slowly but surely adjust until it's 50-50 for korean-bwm maps, says BWMN administrator Nightmarjoo. We believe we can achieve this for a sum less than 750$. I mean, this isn’t really something new. How do you think Faoi got into the map pool?

    Team Liquid veteran CharlieMurphy, also known as SpoR[MeCh] on is very enthusiastic to the coming collaborations.
    - Great, I might finally see Blood Bath v42.567 in the ICCup map pool!

    To pay your member fee to be able to compete in the BWMN MOTW competition, please send 10$ in a sealed envelope with your username on it to: Paul-Gabriel “Panschk” Müller, Blitzkriegstrasse 42, O-1155 Berlin.

    Some of the money *might* also go to up the BWMN site design slightly. Developers are currently experimenting with a jungle theme.

    MOTY 200823 2009f March 2009 09:29 AM
    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!

    You can find its MOTM post here for the month of December.
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    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.

    You can find June's MOTM post further describing the map here
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    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
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    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.

    You can read more in July's MOTM post here
    Map Thread
    Map Download
    Observer Download

    If you haven't been living under a rock, and have been visiting 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.

    You can read more about the map in the July MOTM post here
    Map Thread
    Map Download
    Observer Download

    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!

    Read a much more well written description of the map in July's MOTM post here
    Map Thread
    Map Download
    Observer Download

    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!


    And, coming soon, the first two or three Maps of the Month for 2009!
    MOTM 12.200801 2009f March 2009 01:57 PM
    Posted by:Nightmarjoo
    Luckily for us, Testbug was bored enough to churn out another really great map, once again. So for the last month of December, we get a pretty good reflection of the whole year in one map, a Testbug remake of a Nastymarine map. When you take arguably the two best mappers at this site and put them together, you're guaranteed to get an epic map, and that's what we have in the form of the aptly named (4)Yellow!

    A remake of September's close 2nd place map (4)Dayun Si, Yellow takes all the great features of Nasty's map, and just adds on with such perfect execution as only Testbug can muster.

    The map starts out basic, 4 starting locations in the corners. Rotational symmetry (done really well!), with bridges for chokes. That description reminds me of Spitfire's Artist, a great pgt map made forever ago. As you leave the nats, you get a few places to go. Towards the map edge lies your 3rd gas expo, a standard easily-droppable default-ramped cliff. This lies the biggest change from Nasty's map, this area used to be a mineral only expansion backdoor from the main, so you can imagine how close this expo could be to your opponent depending on how the positions turn out.

    Should you head just past that 3rd gas cliff expo, you reach a hill, a plateau overseeing the central 4th gas expo, potentially of your opponent, just to throw out how close your opponent could be. If you take a turn towards the middle of the map instead however, you run into a bridge, leading to that 4th gas expo. If you turn towards the middle as soon as you cross your nat bridge, you have your own hill, and a little past that is your own 4th gas expo.

    The center itself is not mirror symmetrical on all directions, as 3 and 9 are connected by a large central bridge. 3 and 9 thus have 5 ways out of their quarter of the map, while 12 and 6 have only 4. This slight asymmetry reminds me of Tau Cross' center, and adds a little positional variety and room for strategical differences and stuff in the game, without really limiting the players at all. The variety in path location, direction, and distance ensure players can move around the map pretty easily, but certainly not to any obscene degree.

    The relative close proximity and presence of a 4th geyser in the central expansions are quite offset by being so vulnerable, both from ground and from the cliff behind them. Overall we have a pretty macro-oriented map, with the center offering some tactical emphasis in its multitude of paths and slight asymmetry. Large mains allow for a variety of drop-based harass and attacks, and the safe-by-ground 3rd gas expos are also quite droppable. The mains and nats are fairly safe from harass, but not to an asphixiating degree, leaving the players quite open to choosing whatever strategy or build they like. The only strategical limitations I can think of are that perhaps 1base aggressive builds will be perhaps slightly less effective (if that's even possible) due to what I believe are somewhat longer than normal nat2nat distances, and main2main distances.

    The map perhaps lacks the flare of a bolder, more experimental map, but what it has instead is excellent execution of a fairly basic but still original concept. It really does combine the best talents of Nastymarine and Testbug, Nasty's concept planning and Testbug's damn good execution. As evidence of this map's quality, the map was accepted into the ICCup Mappool, so congratulations again to Testbug for getting a map into iccup; it really represents the best our site, gets our name out and doesn't embarass in the least degree.

    Map thread
    Map Download
    Obs Version

    In a not so close 2nd place, we have Nightmarjoo's (2)Idunno. What we have here is a fairly basic ptarish 2 player map. Pretty basic x/y symmetry, with the backs of the mains facing eachother. Outside the mains lies a pythonesque nat. Past the nat and towards the map corner is a highground 3rd gas expo. The expansion is relatively safe, being close to the player and far from the opponent, though its chokes are fairly large. I should say it'd be easy to attack if not for it being so far from the opponent. In the corner itself lies a 4th gas expo, cliffable by the 3rd gas expo, and by a temple cliff right next to the expansion. It represents some pretty easy-to-grab gas, but should players take it swiftly, it could provide your opponent with ample harass material to give you a headache. It is approximately about as safe as the 3rd gas expansion by land I'd say, though it has a variety of perks and drawbacks.

    From here the map starts to get more interesting. If you take a quick walk from the 4th gas expo, you get to another highground gas expo. However, this one is directly cliffable from the lowground center next to it, and features very little room for defense buildings, but has small ramps, making it both hard to reinforce and attack, and easy to defend, potentially. Now, this is interesting because a quick jog in the same direction leads to another gas expo, but one that is right against the other player's main. This gas expo's geyser is cliffable from the main. The interesting part comes through it being much closer to the player whose main is right next to it, but it's somewhat not as safe as your 3rd gas expo, on top of being farther from you and closer to your opponent, making it not an ideal 3rd gas location. However, it being close to you makes it somewhat ambiguous as to who "owns" it. Furthermore, it is harassable from the small cliff expo by it. Who owns this expansion is apparently governed only by the players, as there is a lot of room for interpretation and variety here.

    In the center of the map is an Andromeda expo, but one with more money to make it perhaps more viable. It is directly between the players, but also directly along nat2nat pathing, and fairly wealthy, almost making it a viable expansion.

    The biggest thing this other-wise standard map has going for it lies in the somewhat ambiguous expo layout as far as ownership is concerned, which when tied with the general vulnerability and harassability of the expansions makes for some potentially interesting play strategically. Large mains keep drops open as an option. Lots of room for proxy play helps keep options open for players which the long nat2nat distance might normally block off.

    Map thread
    Map Download
    Obs Version

    In a close 3rd place (relative to 2nd place), we have name familiar to anyone who's ever looked at the MOTW list, pgt or wgt's mappools: Starparty! While he is not quite as active as he used to be, he still makes a great map here and there when he feels like reminding us Testbug is not the only complete-badass mapper at the site.

    So here's Starparty's (4)Halo 2.3! While perhaps more conceptually driven, with then a lesser focus on execution the map may appear to not shine out compared to say a Testbug map, or one of Starparty's old maps, but a close look can spy some of the genius of Starparty.

    Starting out simply we get 4 starting locations in the 4 corners of the map. Starparty immediately gets to work on ensuring this map is unlike the common map by placing the mineral formation nearly directly against the water's edge behind them, making them easy to harass. Furthermore, the otherwise normal lowground natural expansions are cliffed from behind, and then directly in front of them have another highground plateau smiling down on them. On this plateau lies the mineral only expansion, a worthy prize for those who make it this far through the gauntlet of harass and pressure opportunities Starparty gives their opponents.

    These central plateaus do more than just overlook the wide center, they also oversee the very small chokes leading to the 3rd gas expansions, which also happen to be the only other expansion on the map. So here we get an interesting dynamic. The 3rd gas expos are "safe" in that they have a small choke to defend, but then they also are lowground, with highground plateaus nearby. These plateaus can give the expo hell, give the expo's defenders hell, or give the expo's attackers hell, all depending on how the game plays out. Also, to a lesser degree the mineral only expansions can be harassed from this area.

    So in the end, while allowing macro players to play normally, Starparty greatly encourages more aggressive, perhaps lower economically based gameplay as well, giving both players many opportunities to shine. This map embodies a transition from the standard macro oriented play to the more old-school lower econ based gameplay, perhaps even with an emphasis on more 1base builds. Lower than normal mineral block counts all-over the map further reduce the macro tendencies of the map.

    While perhaps not as flashy as a more experimental map, or not quite as well-executed as Testbug's microscopic-eye-for-detail, the map stands out amongst others quite well with certainly fair execution, and some great conceptual work without being terribly imposing on the players. Like the other maps this month, the map stands out as its own map while keeping plenty of options open for the players.

    Map Thread
    Map Download

    So congratulations to Testbug, Nightmarjoo, and Starparty. Coming soon, the Maps of the Year for 2008 to finally put away 2008 and truly embrace that 2009 is fully upon us, then we can see what epic maps 2009 has brought us!

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