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Old 05-11-2007, 02:35 PM
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Default Suggestion: Read-only maps

Among the biggest problems in any game with an accessible map editor are map "vandals". These are people who take a successful map idea, load it up in the map editor, and start adding super-powered units to their favourite faction. Then they decide that since they added so much content (cough) they are now the author, and delete the original author's signature on the map. A couple iterations of this vandalization, and the original version is essentially one among hundreds of bastardized ones. The game has been ruined not only for the community at large, which must wade through versions acclaimed by kids who know which unit is the most rigged and mass it before anyone else figures out, but for the author who has not only lost credit for his work, but also all credibility of the real map version.

The solution I've seen in other communities is unfortunate; essentially, the maps are corrupted so that, although they will run in game, they cannot be loaded in any editor. This solves the problem, but it also prevents newbies to the mapping community from learning from the works of others. I think a better solution may well be a "read-only" designation that a creator can give his finalized version (of course, keeping an editable version that will never be released for personal use). This would allow others to see the content of the map and its scripting, but they would have to systematically copy every feature of the map into a new file in order to save their own edited version.

I think this is a simple solution that will allow those who seriously want to learn from the works of others to do so, while still preventing those who want to pervert them from doing so.
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