Welcome back to this week’s edition of Beastsaber’s Community Spotlight! Today, we have AFriendlyPug. They’re the newest Scoresaber admin, which is the team responsible for the community Beat Saber ranking system, and are also an established mapper in their own right. We hope you enjoy getting a little sneak peek behind the scenes of Pug’s work within the community.
Q. When did you first start playing VR? Do you remember your initial reactions to it?
A. I started playing back in Easter 2017. I originally bought VR for VRChat, and quickly fell in love with VR. I played it everyday for at least 5 hours a day.
Q. Is Beat Saber your one-and-only, or have you been involved in other communities, like other rhythm games?
A. Beat Saber isn’t my first rhythm game community. I originally came from osu!, which I have been playing since 2015. I was mainly active with a small British community, helping host a few community tournaments.
Q. Was ScoreSaber what brought you into the Beat Saber community? Have you been involved in other areas of the community before or since joining the SS ranking team?
A. I would say ScoreSaber is what brought me to where I am today. With grinding rank back in ppv1m and meeting other high ranked players around that time, I had many opportunities open up to me. One such opportunity being creating Cube Community, along with a few other members of the community, which I spent most of my time with before joining ScoreSaber’s ranking team.
Speaking of Cube Community, checkout one of Pug’s highlighted plays on the Cube Community YouTube channel!
Q. When did you join the ScoreSaber ranking team? When did you become an admin?
A. I got invited to join ScoreSaber’s ranking team back in August 2019, and only recently became its admin.
Q. What has it been like to watch ScoreSaber ‘grow up’?
A. From the perspective of a player, it’s been a rollercoaster. From ppv1 when all maps on Beatsaver were ranked and you basically had to play whatever Tammy played to be one of the top players, to ppv2, where the mapping meta has shifted a dramatic amount since then. It’s definitely been an experience. There have definitely been some rough patches in ScoreSaber’s life but I can say I’ve had fun.
Q. In regards to the recent changes to the ranked system, how did they come about? Could you talk us through some of the thought processes that happened while developing it?
A. With Orange leaving the ranking team Umbra felt it was a good time to change and improve how we handle the ranking process. The new system came about through me and Umbra brainstorming one night. We thought about different systems and how effective they would be and how they would solve the issues we were wanting to fix. One influence was the osu! ranking process, as from an outside perspective, it seems to work very well. So, we decided to adapt the system for ScoreSaber’s needs, which at the time were the quality of maps being ranked.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your work and responsibilities as the newest SS admin?
A. My main responsibilities as an admin are managing the Discord server, along with replacing, qualifying, and ranking maps, and anything else Umbra needs me to handle.
A. The ranking process for ScoreSaber has a bit of a reputation as being very difficult and/or confusing. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for mappers that would like to see their maps ranked, but feel it’s too daunting?
A. With the new system, the best thing to do is use all the resources available to you (modding queues, testplays, ect) as the new system tries to promote higher quality maps. The more feedback you get on your map, the higher the chance that it will be ranked faster.
Q. I’d like to talk about your work as a mapper! How long have you been mapping for, and what sort of genres do you map?
A. I’ve been mapping for close to 2 years now. I’ve mainly mapped rhythm core but in recent months had more of a focus on anime tv size songs.
Q. What inspired you to start mapping? Do you have any mapping idols?
A. I started to get into mapping when I realised I had peaked in Beat Saber and wanted to try something new. The 2 main influences in my mapping are Kikis & Mystikmol. Those 2 have always inspired me with their mapping styles, and have had an affect on how I want my maps to turn out.
Q. You’ve been mapping for a long time! What was it like learning to map during the ‘Wild West Days’ of mapping?
A. Learning how to map in the good old days of Beat Saber was really interesting, as there were new patterns being made every week and it had a more anything works kind of feel to it.
Q. Is there anything you miss from mapping back in 2018/early 2019?
A. There are many things I miss from 2018/early 2019 mapping, as I find some of the most unique and interesting maps on Beat Saber to play are from that time period.
Q. What sort of players do you map for? Do you like to map for players that like a challenge, or want a chill map to dance to, etc.
A. Personally, I don’t map for a group of players. I would say I map for myself over anything, as I want to make a map I find fun. Sometimes this has a bad outcome, but from the majority of my maps, people seem to enjoy them.
Q. What’s your favourite map that you’ve made? What do you love about it?
A. There are many maps that I could say are my favorite but my #1 map would have to be EmbryO. As much as the majority of ranked players hate the map – and I can agree on some of the arguments they make about the map – I enjoy the song as well as how certain parts of the map turned out. This was one of my first maps that I felt had a good use of walls, and was kind of a turning point in my mapping style.
Q. Are there any mapping practices that most people frown upon, that you happen to think work really well in the right hands?
A. There is only one I can think of and it’s up into side. Most mappers and players hate this but in the right hands and the correct use it can work.
Q. How do you feel about the mapping ‘meta’ right now? Do you think it’s in a good place?
A. Personally I think the current mapping meta is rather stale. Most mappers are mapping similar genres of songs and many mapping styles feel very similar to each other. There are a few exceptions in the current meta, with a few mappers being able to innovate and push new exciting maps, these people being Coolingcloset, Umbranox, Uninstaller, Cheesydream, Kikis, and Amanatsu, just to name a few.
Thanks so much to Pug for giving us some of their time, and for all their contributions to the community over the years. It wouldn’t be the same without you!
Make sure to check in next week, to hear about our featured modder for the month of July!