Map Discovery – An Interview With Papriko

As part of the Map Discovery Project, we decided to grab the attention of one very famous editor and coder in the mapping community, Papriko!

If you ever wanted to know anything about Sauerbraten editing, this is the man to ask.

Check out this full interview for some insight on the editor himself, the dispute between editors and fighters, and the mapping community whole!

And don’t forget to stay posted for our next new map!


Hello, Papriko. Would you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you? How are you involved in Sauer? What did you have for breakfast?

Alright, I am Papriko, I used to be the leader of the Fanatic clan (tag: Fan|) for a very brief time. I already play Sauerbraten since… IDK, somewhere in the middle of CTF edition I think. Except for a few crates on spcr I am not involved into the official release at all, though.

For breakfast I had a bread with some turkey :D

Well, you are known by maybe 30% of the community that can only be described as the “Underground Mapping Scene.” Why do so many players, even ones that have been around for years, not know the name “Papriko”?

I guess there could be different reasons. One of them is that my aim is admittedly rather crappy and hence anyone else than the “underground mappers” do not really have reason to remember me. Another one is that I am often around anonymously to check out what’s up, so I am not talked to from all sides. This eventually makes people never meet me while I use my actual name.

There are many famous players in the community who have terrible aim :D

I know :D

Maybe you are just more conservative?

Yes, I guess so. Mappers gonna map, fighters gonna fight. One kind trying the other ends up horrible in the most cases.

Well said :D

Well on that subject, it seems a lot of competitive players often complain about the maps that are put into the official release. No one really realizes how hard it is to create a decent and original layout, and on top of that make it look awesome and appealing. What are the biggest challenges when it comes to making maps that people will enjoy playing?

Oh, good question. There is a lot of challenges. I guess the first one would be a good layout. It should be unusual, yet still make fun. You don’t want to some confusing labyrinth madness, but you do not want yet another ot or yet another turbine either.

The second one would be the flow. You must get smoothly through the map without getting stuck everywhere. Anyone who ever played venice knows what I am talking about. Every single doorframe and every single window makes you stick, unless you are used to it. That is a horrible flow. On other maps, things like crates or unexpected pathturns may pose further limitations to flow.

The next thing you must looks at is how multiplayer-friendly a map is. Playing against bots is one thing, playing against people a completely different. Bots never have the idea to just stand on top of face-capture’s towers and camp all the time. You need real people to figure out issues like that.

Then comes the efficiency and the look of a map. A map should be detailed and a real eye-candy, but when it takes 2 minutes just to load, nobody wants to play it. It should have a small filesize, too, to keep down downloading times and the game’s size. Lastly, there are always those wiseasses who run around with /texreduce 12. People like that are not really that much after eye-candy, but they don’t wanna play utterly ugly and minecraft-style maps either.

So do you think part of the problem is that some maps aren’t thoroughly tested with real players first before being released?

Partially, but not entirely, Some might be, others not. There can be other causes too. I mentioned venice as an example before. Venice nowdays is a real negative example of how not to make a map. Poor detailing, poor clipping/flow, mediocre layout, but that is simply due to its age. Venice is a real oldy compared to many other maps.

On other maps, you just have things which are hardly predictable. Sometimes I sit on reissen as spec and I think “HOW THE FFFF…… fudge did he do that jump?! Or that one?! Flagrun in 10 seconds? You kiddin’ me?!” Without some real maniac who is specialized in finding an using those flaws, you just can’t fix ‘em.

So the biggest factor then that turns players away is bad flow.

Yes, I guess so. The flow of a map is what counts afterall. Fatality, you are a fighter yourself, right? Let’s be honest: when you have some heated battles, do you care if the map has a village theme, uses Egyptian style or is a high-tech machinery? Probably not. All that sticks is how well you get from A to B and how much you get stuck on the way on silly details that the creator left in the way.

Another thing that kinda matters is that you do not surprise the player too much. Some surprise is okay. A new weird quirk that the map creator deliberately placed can create some really cool strategies. But on the other hand, people like what they are used to. When you are on a map, you want to be able to have some basic navigation in it based on experience.

Yes, I would agree with you there. I just want to bring people together to create and enjoy great maps :D

But I want to speak for the fraggers here, you are way more knowledgeable about mapping than I.

Kind of. You already produced some decent maps, too :D

Well thank you, but let’s stay on topic :P

Of course.

Anyway, we all know of some fun editing glitches, like player launchers, one way cubes, lag boxes…But one very impressive thing you’ve been able to do is create a concept layout from nothing but a script. Can you explain some of the things other than basic editing that you and other editors are involved in?

Actually, editing is a fairly wide field. Playable maps for “the fighters” or “the others” is just a small part of it. There is mapping for fun, for example. Sometimes mappers just hand out and are silly. So instead of, IDK, teamkilling your best friends, you glue huge dicks to them while they are AFK.

Stuffmaps, my personal strength. Instead of one large connected map, you make a lot of small nice things which all might eventually end up in a “proper” map one day, but you do not have the according map yet. So you just build ‘em and keep them on the stuffmap. Kinda like that room in the basement where you keep all the old furniture you eventually use for a guestroom one day :P

Have you seen Rudi’s map “motion”? It is on quadropolis somewhere. The generator on it is a retextured version of my generator, which has been waiting for a chance for years on my stuffmap.

Yes, it is a very nice one :P he is also a hugely underrated and unknown mapper.

Then there is the next large area: artistic maps. Those maps just say “F$?# YOU” to efficiency and flow. They are there for the purpose of looking nice. Fraggers look for the highest aim or the ideal flagrun. Mappers look for the fanciest map. No wall shall be left plain, no pillar just round. EVERYTHING can be stuffed with details, when you just look hard enough. Building those details can be quite a challenge, though :P

Lastly, there would be scripted editing. Some people modify the source code to see what is possible (yes, people do that for other purposes than aimbots and wallhacks!) Many people actually like coding and scripting and coop edit just offers the most possibilities. In fragging modes, you can try to make a speedhack or a telekill, but the things you can do are in fact rather limited. Coop edit literally lets you edit the whole world around you.

You can use mathematical formulas to create maps (google “Mandelbrot” and imagine a 3d version of it, for example) or try out different labyrinth generators. People like that do not see Sauerbraten as a competitive game anymore, but rather as a rendering and mapping engine. See, drawing 2d or even 3d graphics is one of the most pesky things in programming. Using a game like Sauerbraten, a large part is already done. The coop edit mode makes it even easier. Instead of debugging OpenGL codes for hours and hours, you just give a hand full of edit orders and the map is done. This is just super convenient.

Alright, last question. The world as we know it has been wiped out completely and the cyber world has become our reality. You have Sauer to play as recreation, but you can only choose one map as your playing field. What map would it be?

We’re talking paintball/airsoft style here ;)

Well, it depends. Do I have access to editmode? :P If I have, I’d go for a newmap 16, as that is the largest one you can have. I could use it to recreate a tiny part of the world, just enough to live :D

If that is not a valid option, I would go for the concept map skycastle from the CTF release of Sauerbraten. It is a neat map and I have some emotional bond to it, as I learned the basic editing on it. I also know the layout and the secret rooms quite well, giving me an advantage in case of an attack.

:D Alright, well thanks for taking the time with us :) anything else you would like to tell us?

Papriko has 7 letters, Fatality 8. 7 +8 = 15. 15/5 = 3. Half Life 3 confirmed :P

Okay, sorry, that was silly. No I do not really have anything to add :D

Have a nice evening!

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8 Comments

  1. Razorbl4de

    Nice interview, but seriously an interview with one of the real mappers would be far more interesting. The MX guys are the ones making the official maps, maybe try to contact like Snowy or Skur or older mappers like Redon and MisanthropX.

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    1. Fatality

      What exactly makes a “real mapper?” You don’t have to have a map in a release to be considered a real mapper, most of them are shit anyway

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