Hey everyone! Welcome back to this week’s community profile. Today, we have Bloodcloak, who is a beloved mapper, as well as a member of BSMG’s Staff and Mapping Support. He’s spent countless hours working both behind-the-scenes, and assisting new mappers in public channels, and we hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better.
Which of your maps are you most proud of or is your favorite?
I would say my current favorites are TOP (Korean Ver.) by Stray Kids, Himitsu by Harumaki Gohan, and Violence Trigger by HachiojiP. Overtime I have found my strength is with emotionally powerful songs that feel like you float or get lost in the music, whether it is the calm atmosphere or energy driven songs. When mapping, my goal is to augment that emotion not only through the notes but, also through the walls and atmosphere of the lights.
Which I guess leads to the map I’m most proud of so far, Girly Cupid by PSYQUI. A monster of a map that I made in 2 weeks for the Building Blocks competition. I went into the contest knowing I want to dive into Noodle Extensions with BeatWalls and be a contestant that caters to the average player base after seeing the group of mappers who signed up. Initially I thought I could mimic the music video however, since this was my first dive it became evident that I couldn’t accomplish that in the time limit. So I went the route of augmenting the song with inspiration from the video. One thing I did take directly out was the tunnel section during the build going between black and white. The rest were results of my experiments playing around with the tool all of which are connected to the song in some form. From the yellow lines to the electric zaps to the large walls coming at or away from you or the white lines following the beat during the helix section. There are also a few subtle things you might not notice while playing such as walls acting as the floor providing a reference point for reading the map since I decided to remove a considerable amount of the environment.
Check it out!
There is so much more thought behind the design but, I have not had the time to sit down and make a video about it yet. I really do want to make it at some point to inspire wall art mappers so keep an eye out!
Back to the contest, while making the map I doubted myself if it would be enough compared to the wall art maps available at the time that I almost didn’t finish it. Even after the amount of time I already sunk into learning how to work with Beatwalls I wasn’t confident people would even like this kind of map. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the Ramen Noodle group for encouraging and giving me the drive to finish it.
Hearing the results on stream, I was in shock. This was the first time in a large public competition that I placed and couldn’t process it. I sunk around 90 hours into making this and while I wouldn’t do it again with the time constraint, the end result and the reception I got makes me proud. While I’m probably not going to make a mod chart anytime soon, I want to give Noodle Extensions another go when I have the time to invest.
If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as a new mapper, what is the #1 piece of advice you would give?
It’s ok to put songs that are not working for you on hold. It took me quite a few maps to realize that continuously hacking at problematic one song will not only be frustrating but also might cause burn out. Don’t force it, and don’t force additional difficulties if it is at the cost of your sanity. The great thing about putting it aside is when the time is right, you have more experience to fly through the song no problem. It is inevitable that a backlog of songs to map will grow and accepting this has really helped keep my drive consistent.
If there was an Amazon.com-style “Recommended Mappers” section, who would you show up under as “If you like [so and so], you’d also like [your name]”?
Do you have a signature pattern that you use in all/most of your maps?
For some reason, this one:
I keep on finding this and variations of in my maps. Commonly used for dancy emphasis which I find interesting at how I managed to apply it in so many different ways.
Other signatures you might find is the overall composition suggesting you to move if it doesn’t force you outright and down to side or 90 degree hits.
What, in your opinion, is the single most challenging thing for a new mapper to master in order to be successful?
Finding and understanding the style you not only enjoy playing, but also mapping. For me, I enjoy technical maps and even try to play them like a dance. But, I can’t really find how I can create those almost mind melting patterns in an editor. Instead I decided to pivot towards technical dance, large movements, endurance, and story. A style I enjoy playing and can actually create with relative ease due to the vast flexibility it offers in being applied to songs.
Pretty much a record on repeat but the key thing is to not force things. Experiment, branch out, try some stuff that comes to mind. While yes there might be goals to create the hardest map ever. But is that realistic?
In my case, I have Gas Gas Gas but Every Other Beat is Missing and Imprinting where I pushed my difficulty limit. I think they were great and I learned a few things which were applied to my more regular content. But constantly mapping that speed and complexity would be a struggle at the time of mapping. Now with around a year and half experience under my belt I still struggle with higher speeds but, with Violence Trigger I feel it has gotten more natural.
What style of maps do you most enjoy playing when you play for fun?
As you might tell from my mapping style and preview videos, I’m more of a dancy arm player. Maps that have creative patterns or just the right thing that I can adjust to dance to are amazing. I also like maps that have a little bit of mind melt tech to keep me on my toes.
What does your mapping process look like? Do you use timing notes? Do you light first, or map? Be as detailed or as short as you’d like.
Generally before I even setup the map, I would listen to the song multiple times and visualize in my head how it would play and whether or not it would be a good candidate to make a map of. This helps me settle in and prepare my mind for the amount of times I would be listening to the song during the mapping process.
Then after setup, I usually go in, bookmark sections, add timing notes first then actually create patterns. Jumping between those 3 until I am done. Sprinkle in lights then create the lower difficulties. Sometimes I like to mix it up and do the lights first as was the case for Bad Apple!! with the mapping being designed around it.
The key things to my style is movement emphasis with the song and setting the player up for posing during the small breaks in between the next sound. Other than that, my mapping process is sit down in various increments of time (1-2 hours) and put blocks based on what the song is making me feel with not much additional thought.
Is there anything else you’d like the Beat Saber community to know about you, your mapping style, or your thoughts on the game itself?
The goal I have with my mapping style is lots of movement and be accessible. I design my mapping to not only have a baseline amount of movement but also have additional options allowing people to add their own flare playing my maps. For example, those walls on either edge are not only there for decoration/emphasis but also as a guide to dance if you still have the stamina. You can see through my preview videos one of the many ways I intended people to play my map.
Additionally I have a personal policy of at least 2 difficulties per release if not a commission. This is because I remember starting out not being able to play songs I liked that only have one good but super hard difficulty. So I strive to fill this gap with every personal release! Looking at my current library, I would say if you can generally clear Expert levels, I will have a level for you to play!
As a member of BSMG Staff, what are some of your personal responsibilities?
Currently I handle Mapper Role Applications (Mapplications), the BSMG Wiki, and other various projects I’m not allowed to disclose.
In the case of the Mapplications, I manage the team reviewing applications and then either give you their feedback or ping you with whatever congratulations message I feel like that day.
For the wiki, I’m the primary person that reviews contributions and feedback to integrate in. While I still integrate new information in, I highly recommend taking a look at contributing yourself as it is much quicker for me to review and edit.
You’re quite new to that team, relatively speaking; what has it been like to step up into that role? Do you find you view the community from a different perspective?
It has been a smooth transition coming from the Mapping Support role already contributing a lot of work to the Mapping Wiki and reviewing Mapplications, at least in what I do now. However, on the other side of things it was a little overwhelming to say the least. There is so much going on behind the scenes I’m shocked at the amount of talent the community has. I knew in the back of my mind that this community is very talented but after becoming a staff member seeing the extent of it really is amazing.
Has there ever been a moment that you’ve been particularly proud of the Beat Saber community?
Being around for almost a year and a half, there have been a lot of moments. Such as modders handling every game update with such speed, BSMG team members keeping things running smoothly and running events, and seeing the impact of the mapping wiki has in improving accessibility to creating great maps.
What do you find so endearing about the Beat Saber community, that you would spend so much of your own blood, sweat, and tears, to help it flourish?
Well it’s not much that I would, more so that I have already sunk so much work into mapping and the resources to see more people succeed in creating content they enjoy. I still spend a considerable amount of time in mapping discussion lurking and helping people out, it just puts a smile on my face when someone gets excited about their first release map. Though now I don’t have as much time as I used to due to IRL obligations this is still something I put a considerable amount of effort into in my free time.
Is there anything in particular that you hope the future holds for Beat Saber and/or the community?
I’m really looking forward to even greater accessibility of the new features provided by mods such as Chroma, Noodle Extensions, and Feet Saber. Having already experienced it myself, this area has so much potential to augment a player’s experience in-game that is locked behind a skill wall. Tools like Beatwalls are just the beginning. The upcoming editor Chromapper, currently in closed beta, has already lowered the wall and am really excited to see it as the go to editor in the future!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the Beat Saber community?
Firstly, Support modders and mappers either through ko-fi or Patreon, or just commenting and giving them a thank you when you see them in the wild! It brings a smile to my face every time I get a comment and I bet it does for them too!
Second, Cyan is a Furry and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. 😛