2 Years of Mapping! The Highs and the Lows

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Moonrat, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Moonrat

    aa Moonrat The end of an era

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    OH BOY! As part of the on-going 2 year extravaganza I've been putting up no reason, here is 2 years of my time summed up into about 5 minutes of your time!

    The first time I ever picked up Hammer was around 2011 or 2012. I had heard it was how you made TF2 levels, so I immediately went to work, and by work I mean I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to make a brush appear, without ever hitting the Enter Key.....

    I was not a smart kid

    Fast Forward 2 or 3 years, to 2014. I was on my second TF2 high, mostly due to the Love and War update being pretty fucking dope. I opened up Hammer again, but not before looking up some tutorials from 3Kliksphillip. And I remembered a site that my brother was on at one point about a year or two before that.

    That site was called TFMaps

    And so, on July 30th, I joined as yet another peon looking to make it big in the industry, or something like that....

    And now it gets good!

    I made my first map King of The Hill, mostly because I heard it was the easiest mode to start on, which is a correct assumption. This map was known as Canal.

    Oh god

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    Right from spawn you can already see many MANY problems with this map. This is mainly due to the fact that I made this map before I knew what the fuck a "ABS prefab pack" was

    And I paid the priced in full, but on the plus side, the gamemode worked!

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    This is a shot of mid, you can see how flat, open, overscaled, and ugly the map was from here. The piss yellow lighting does nothing to hide the horrifically ugly attempts at 'detailing'.

    But for a first map, it wasn't too bad. It had at least a basic understanding of the editor, and had a unique gimmick in the form of the canal that surrounds mid.

    I would abandon Canal soon after it's birth to chase greener pastures. Over the months I drowned Canal in many, many map projects, none of which would come to fruition. Some had merits of their own, others were abandoned for the betterment of everyone around.

    But one that I remember poorly is Raise. Without a doubt, THE worst map I ever put up on this site, or made! But why was it so bad? Well, let's go over it.

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    This is second. You can already see that despite the few months between this map and Canal, it is still a flat, overscaled, open, ugly mess of a creation. And this map had FOUR control points, meaning that combined with the size, this was a MASSIVE map.

    [​IMG]

    Last also shows the same problems as second, and now RED team gets to be spawncamped!

    Raise was a pitiful excuse for a map, it showed NO development over my previous projects, and honestly it was a regression in all aspects. It, more than any other map that I ever put out demotivated me whenever I saw it. Raise very nearly caused me to stop mapping altogether.

    Here is the thread I would make in it's wake http://tf2maps.net/threads/moonrats-big-fucking-dump.24097/

    But with encouragement from a lot of people, and my favorite post to ever be put on this site from Crash seriously that man is a fucking genius

    I pressed on....

    The period Post-Raise is not one that I remember too clearly, but with a few exceptions, I just made more maps.

    But something happened, I don't know if that encouragement from everyone balled up and became skill, but I started getting better at making maps! I started to be able to put together something worth playing. I started experimenting with detail, and I started to go somewhere.

    The most notable thing I did in this period was dm_highrise, a collaboration between myself and @the_rad to make a DM map for the mod Team Fortress 2 Classic

    [​IMG]

    This map was suited for 1v1 matches, as it was pathetically small, and didn't have much variety in weapons. But it was good at it's job. I handled the gameplay side, and Rad did the detailing for the map. I would later touch up on his detailing for the RC2 version of the map.

    That map taught me a few cool things though, like how you can use Dispgen to make fancy skyboxes, and good lighting. Highrise had a good effect on me, and gave me motivation, and an affinity for lighting in maps.

    I would continue to make various maps once more, until I made Gulf! Gulf was my first truly decent map. After the first version with the server crashing power, the rest of the versions came like clockwork (and fixed the server crashing!)

    [​IMG]

    But, overall, Gulf's existence was not to be, as the Tough Break update made the all versions of the map crash servers after about 3 or 4 minutes. I would remake the entire map for an Alpha 5, but the remake had some less than well received changes....

    The next CP map I would make would be Qase....

    Yep.... It certainly was a Qase........

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    Look at this overscaled, flat, boring mess of a map. My god, it's horrible. This map would not go down as one of my finer maps. Most people quickly let me know how much I had fucked up on this map by repeatedly telling me about how overscaled, flat, and boring it was.

    And I got the message.

    I would go on to adopt a 5CP from Hanz in March, and drop it not because it was bad, but because I didn't have the skills to finish it. One medieval map about a week later, I didn't map at all....

    I had just run out of ideas. I tried as hard as I could, I'd open up and close Hammer repeatedly, but I could never think of a layout. I'd open up Paint to draw a gameplay space, but I would come up blank everytime....

    Was this my way of knowing my mapping career was over? That I had done all I could to push back the tide of blech that I had left in my wake? Well, considering the fact that I'm making this post, probably not.

    About 3 months after I posted the last update to my last map, I finally had a spark. And 1 map later, that spark would be Bellick. A map that I am very proud of.

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    Well, there you have it. The 2 year anniversary post most people did NOT ask for, but whatever. I might not have improved at the level that other people have, but whatever! I don't care about how other people might be better than I am.

    Mapping has taught me to never compare yourself to other people, because doing so will only make you a jealous shit. You gotta just do it. Get better at it. Repeat the cycle many, many, MANY times!

    And who knows, maybe one day you'll get somewhere, and have something you can truly be proud of....
     
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  2. Moonrat

    aa Moonrat The end of an era

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    Oh man this post took a good 50 minutes to write. I'm pretty proud of it myself. It has much better writing than anything that I put on Cordonation, that's for sure.
     
  3. radarhead

    aa radarhead Level 20 "Mapper"

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    Oh wow I remember playtesting Canal. I forgot that was your map!
     
  4. Moonrat

    aa Moonrat The end of an era

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    I remember some people playing it, like HQ and a few others