I'm not sure if all of these will be possible engine-wise, but here are some ideas that have to do with mapping.
1) Each season has a new set of maps
    • Prevents players from having to re-set times that they already set for maps in the previous season
    • Makes the changing of a season more meaningful
    • Allows designers to enforce that maps in a particular season has a different stylistic... seasoning
Maps in previous seasons can maybe be played on separate servers
2) Have an overworld to access all of the different "maps", or areas, in a season
    • Players can work in different areas while technically being in the same map. This eliminates the need to vote for a new map.
    • Gives continuity to the separate areas
On the client-side only the area the player is in would be loaded to improve computational performance.
3) Consider having multiple routes (meaning different finishing points in this case) in particular maps/areas
If idea #2 is accepted:
    • Gives the routes more of a balanced tree structure. It would be overwhelming to have 100 different areas in the overworld, each with 1 route, compared to having 10 different areas the overworld each with 10 routes.
If idea #2 is rejected:
    • Players can work on different routes while being in the same map.
There's going to be seasons, how will that work?
Will there be a command to see a previous season's top times? like "season1top", "season2top" etc.

I like these ideas!

To clarify, in point 3, you mean that the same "map" (area) would have multiple start and finish points? Thus being able to have more routes in the same area?


I always enjoyed Q1's way of choosing difficulty. I've had ideas before about having an "overworld" type thing replace the start-screen/server browser, letting you easily access a tutorial area from where you spawn, and other "teleports" (if going by Q1's style) would lead to different servers, giving you a preview of the map and who's currently on the server as you look through the tele, in some fancy way.
I've also had the idea of having the options menu pop up in front of you, so that you have to "look" at the buttons you want to press in the menu after opening it.

Not strongly suggesting anything here, just throwing some out some random ideas.. :p

Maps should be released when they are finished. It wouldn't serve any purpose to make people play old maps over and over again when there are new maps they could play as well. If by a season pack of maps you meant that, then no, will never happen. 
However a pack of maps that were released within a month or so, could be made so that players who have taken a small break, won't have to download them separately.
Oh, and maps already are planned to have multiple uses. Like jump from end to start etc.
To clarify, in point 3, you mean that the same “map” (area) would have multiple start and finish points? Thus being able to have more routes in the same area?
by QaleQ

As an example, say a single map has starting points A and B, and ending points a, b, and c. There are a possible 6 routes in this map, A-->a, A-->b, A-->c, B-->a, B-->b, B-->c.

For the #2. Mixing many maps into one huge map has several problems. First and most important one being performance issues. Also it would take more work to merge the maps together as well, which wouldn't be easy task at all if you want the area to look any good.
Increasing server numbers is better solution for people wanting to play maps they want to, not combining maps. Not to mention we don't want this game to become a MMORPG.
Massive multiplayer online rocket & plasma game? Ynot?
Will elaborate more on it after xmas when I start working on the actual web system for it and have figured out all the specifics. But you'll be able to see top times from past seasons, doubt It'll be integrated in a defrag-style console command though, might keep that part to web only even, in any case, more on that later :)
Not to mention we don’t want this game to become a MMORPG.
by huPo

 Damn there goes my next ideas of an in-game economy and trickjumping raids : [

As an example, say a single map has starting points A and B, and ending points a, b, and c. There are a possible 6 routes in this map, A-->a, A-->b, A-->c, B-->a, B-->b, B-->c.

by Pudd

Did you mean? 

[code]U U D D <- -> <- -> B A[/code]

Ah, maybe it's better if the previous season's are web only, but the current season will be viewed through the console though, correct?
10 RIKCoins per Rank 1! RIP :(
Actually I've implemented an annoy-defraggers functionality. If you do some \top command defrag style, nothing will happen, but for the next 5 minutes your sensitivty and mouse accel will randomly change back and forth for short periods of time.
No but really, you'll be able to see current map rankings etc ingame.. :)
well i had idea about the 3rd idea Pudd made, indeed i had similar thing in mind by making the map a little bit like a maze so there a different ways connected together in some points so it makes you completely lose your way and get to the end somehow and depends on your luck in selecting every part of the way and some ways may connect together or may reverse you to another way somewhere else. :p
well I'm not a mapper or etc but just a cat with pool filled with ideas that never ends and wants to test everything to give extra ideas to find the best.
meow meya  meo meow !!
depends on your luck
by DonMeow

 This is why cats don't speak in the real life.

Ok to be clear, I don't see how this would work. 
The "luck" part for example, anyone hoping to set something even close to a decent time would have to spend time learning the map and finding a good route. Hence nothing would be luck based, it would just (possibly) take longer to find a route.
Ofc such a map could be made though, the whole part about having many ways to the end etc is a fun thing :)
Ofc such a map could be made though
by Dinius


One thing that might be helpful is linking checkpoints maybe? or something do with CP numbers.
For instance to set a time at least 5 of the cp's need to be hit. That means if theres multiple routes and you can transition between them some how, you can set CP's so that you dont need to be merging back into one route.  Does that make sense? 

Yes. Minimum checkpoints required :P

Sorry to bring up an old topic. I just wanted to argue for my first point again:

Each season has a new set of maps

Here's the reasons I made for this in the OP:

  • Prevents players from having to re-set times that they already set for maps in the previous season
  • Makes the changing of a season more meaningful
  • Allows designers to enforce that maps in a particular season has a different stylistic... seasoning

The reasons against this that have been brought up are:

  • Players will get bored playing the same maps

I still feel the reasons for outweigh the reasons against. Some elaboration...

I think there's a balance to be made between the need to excessively grind for a map and having many new maps to try out. I'll relate my experience to being apart of my college's rock climbing gym to help explain. In the climbing gym, at any given time there are around 50 or so routes you can choose to do. Some routes would be easy for you, some challenging, and some above your ability level. Twice a year, the 50 routes would be all taken down and replaced with new routes. While it was true that several weeks before the routes were replaced, people got a little tired climbing the same things over and over, it also caused what I think is a positive side effect. Since at this point you already would have completed all of the routes that were easy, and many of the ones that were challenging, you were forced to push yourself to grind out the routes that were slightly above your skill level. The grind that would last weeks or months made it much more meaningful once the route was completed compared to the easier routes that only took a few days of attempts to complete. Another side effect of having a limited number of routes throughout the year is that the day when the new routes were put up felt like Christmas, or a sugar rush. From a game-designer point of view, having a cycle of tension and release is more enjoyable than no tension at all.

Another anecdote is my experience with the ETRun mod. I do VET physics as well as AP, but mostly VET. I first tried out the AP physics long after it began, about 2 years ago. There were an endless number of maps, so many that I still haven't been to the same one twice. This, combined with the ranking system that encourages a larger breadth of records more so than a higher average map rank, and the culture of only doing a map for a couple of hours before moving on to the next one caused the AP experience to feel flat to me. There wasn't much of a grind, and therefore not much of a reward.

If players do become bored with the limited number of maps during a season in ProjectRIK, then either decreasing the amount of time per season or increasing the number of maps available per season should solve the issue.

Conceptually, it also makes more sense to me that players have the same amount of time to complete all of the maps available in a season.

You have a point, but there's a few problems with it IMO..

As long as there are relatively few maps, I would agree it could actually be quite nice like you said. Although that "same amount of time to complete all maps" argument isn't very valid though. It assumed all players who would be participating would be there at the start of the season, which isn't the case..

But let's say that season 1 starts with 50 maps. Then later on when there are 50 new maps ready, we'd start season 2 with only those 50 playable, and so on.

That offers the first issue: when would the first 50 maps be playable again? Would we wait for yet another 50 maps for season 3, or would we wait for e.g. 30 maps, and take 20 maps from season 1 or something? Because never having them playable in the future, would be an extremely bad idea.

And then there's the actual problem: What happens when we get, let's say 1000 maps?

I agree with the problem with ET AP being a bit dull due to "too many maps available at a time", but that's a very particularissue. They have extremely low competition and the largest map selection that exists. Defrag has accumulated records over more years than ETRun, with both more players than ET AP has, and more of which are very active as well. Which in turn makes it more interesting to play/compete. Take right now as proof, it's Saturday evening, not one player is currently on any of the ETRun servers, while Defrag has the usual ~10-20 crowd.

But back to the point. We have 1000 maps, and there's a new season. So now what? Should we pick 50 maps and lock the players down to those for a few months? 200? Should we ONLY launch new maps in the season, leaving all the older maps essentially useless? In either case, I don't see a way that would work particularly good.. Either you'd essentially be throwing away all the older maps, or you'd end up limiting the map selection to a subset of the maps. And a subset of 200 maps could still be enough to create that feeling you were talking about in ETRun..

So yeah,, tell me if I'm missing something, but it all does seem a bit "iffy" for a lack of better words.. My best thought would be to do something like simply splitting the map selection in two or something, and try to release each new season with a pack of new maps as well. Meaning you'd be playing 500/1000 maps. Then we get a season change, and you'll have the other 500 maps available + 50 new ones, or something like that, and so on.. Which I guess could be interesting, or? In either case, it's more relevant further down the line when we get > 200 maps or something like that.

You could do something like path of exile. Every x months a new season starts with new maps that can only be played on the "season server". When season ends they go to the standard map pool that can also be played at any time on the standard servers.

So maps are still released all at 1 time instead of willy nilly, players that want to play the newest maps can play with other like minded players while people that want to grind until they have the best possible time on a certain map from 3 seasons ago can do that too.

I really don't see the point is working with seasons, but this is a possible solution.

Yes I imagined something like what stealth mentioned, where the older maps would still be playable, but wouldn't contribute to the current season's points. The current season's maps would all be new.

Needing to have to re-set a time on a map in a new season when you already spent hours setting a time for that map on a previous season would be annoying, I think.

Ok, but thats imo very bad. No fun playing run maps if the times doesnt matter :/

And it assumes the playerbase never changes... People who plays the next year could in theory be e.g. 50% new players..

And why would that be annoying? People almost always come back to maps either to improve their times or just for fun.. And with the way I mentioned above this would be maps they hadnt played in a while..

In either case, we'll start as planned, and see how things go.. There's no problem with implementing new stuff in the future :)