Completely Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Shadowclad, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Shadowclad

    Shadowclad L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:
    Please can you help me, I just started mapping, and I'm having a headache whenever I try to create something. It's definitely not the interface of hammer, I know what every button does and how they work (if you want a confusing interface, look at unrealed, trust me :p). I can create almost anything I want with brushes, even arches and round walls and such. What is troubling me is that when I look at the valve maps or even other user created maps I almost gag at all the detail. There are not only a bunch of giant brushes surrounding the map that I am not familiar with the function of, but there are also unbelievably small details almost everywhere I look. And that's not even including 3d skyboxes, displacement, and particle effects, which baffle me even more. So my question is, should I make a very small, simple map and then progressively larger ones as I get better? Or if I should start right off on a real map, can you please provide me with some sort of list of all the things that need to be present on the map? I'm sorry to bother all you advanced mappers with such stupid questions, but I really need help.
  2. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

    Positive Ratings:
    All I'm doing is messing around, throwing away all my projects, and hoping one day I'll be knowledgable enough to satisfy myself with a map I make.

    Sometimes to test detailing stuff I'll make a simple "scene", with no parts of a real map but just to work on aesthetics, like this.

    And I too am wanting a list of everything I'll need for a good map.
  3. Rehsa4

    Rehsa4 L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:
    If you're overwhelmed with all the details people make with everything, don't worry you are not alone. For starters, most likely the best way to get the hang of adding details and getting things to look like a real space, start with the respawn area.

    People under estimate the respawn area in terms of detail and what to do. There is even a great tutorial on this site in regards of how to better detail one. There can be so much detail in a respawn room, you'll start to get used to all the static props and func_detail and things like that very quick.

    If you like to build the great big map first, go for it, just once you get a layout and begin to tweak things, the respawn is where you will most likely care to start as they usually all carry a similar theme.

    Much of what I am doing is thinking on how my space would look in the real world, then try and mimic some of the detail areas in a map. Good example, when you walk down a hallway in a home or building, usually the walls have trim on the bottom and top, plus an outlet here or there, a picture on the wall, maybe someone has a peice of trash, bag, newpaper, or something on the floor that they forgot to put away. Then some buildings have support beams lining the ceiling and walls as you walk down. Then there is the lighting on how they are spaced, the type of light, interior windows, exterior windows, and the like. If you're in an industrial building, there may be pipes moving between floors or across the ceiling, oh then then you might notice ventalation around, and then a soda machine...

    See all the details I just gave in such a simple hallway? Now by transfering some brushes for support beams in the hall, a door here or there, an overlay of an outlet, a poster on a wall, bottom trim as a brush, a bag placed next to a beam on the ground, and some pipes along the wall or ceiling, you now have a great begining of a hallway.
  4. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Almost all details are made with models, they are easy to put and your map will look very nice with them. To put one select the prop_static,prop_dynamic or prop_physics entity. Don't use many prop_physics because they are expensive to render on online games.

    The giant brushes are there for optimizing, I don't use to use them, you cam make a big map without them if you want.

    Look on the tutorial section, there's a lot of tips that will be very useful to you.
  5. Tigger

    Tigger L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    My recommendation? Take it in short steps.

    You want to make a cp map? Then make a base cp map for yourself. No models, nothing but dev textures. Two basic spawn rooms, one central room, one control point. Make that work first.

    I have a bunch of basic maps I've been using to learn the different techniques. I have a basic cp map, a basic cft map, a basic payload map. I have one map with just the two different spawn rooms. I have one map that's 2D/3D skybox. I have a map that's just lighting. I'm working on a map that I'm just using to practice displacements.

    Start small. Set yourself to learn one thing. Make that work. Then start a new map for the next thing you want to learn. Trust me, doing it this way keeps you from getting overwhelmed with details. Learn the fundamentals. Then the rest will start to come on their own. :)
  6. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Positive Ratings:
    Good advice here, listen to these guys, lol. Just my 2 cents; I always draw an outline in my doodle notebook before starting a project. Having a visual of what I'm trying to accomplish is essential. Just trying to do stuff off the top of your head is nigh impossible.
  7. Laz

    Laz L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    babysteps :) start on paper, best advice anyone is gonna give you. think of an original concept, draw out layouts, rooms, lots and lots until you find some you like tweak and adjust, untill your entire map is practicly on paper. concept sketches are a great help to help develop atmosphere and style of the map.

    then just block it out, big square blocks, go play an orange map you'll see. get it all to fit, get distances correct, get the basics right, then go over your entire map, add window trims, steps, and a bit of detail, go over it again and start texturing everything, just generally build up detail all over. don't be afraid to go back to areas. Especially for new mapper, your style will evolve quite fast. and alot of times you can see this in the difference between style in the first part of the map and the last. Go back to parts you detailed weeks ago, review them, adjust, so you get one consistent style and flow throughout your map.
    Try not to think of to many problems at once, if you think "my cart doesnt work, my capturing doesnt work and I dont even know how to set up rounds! plus that part looks crap, and I can't make that cliff look good!" you will lose all your motivation. one problem at a time. first fix your cart, and dont think of problems that are in the future. deal with them when they present themselves.

    don't be afraid to whipe areas and do them all over again. this is what makes some maps better then others. I dont care how much effort and time I put in one area, if I don't like it, I rebuild it.