Hello, I'm Captain Russia, and I kinda doubt my ability to make maps

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ⁽ᴵᴰᴳ⁾CaptainRussia94, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. ⁽ᴵᴰᴳ⁾CaptainRussia94

    ⁽ᴵᴰᴳ⁾CaptainRussia94 L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I am a "former" Serious Sam series mapper who has been creating stuff since 2003, but (due to dial up) has never released most of it.
    I'm rather new to tf2 compared to most, as it wasn't until 2016 I got my own high speed internet and didn't need to use public internet anymore. I joined the game in 2016 and have heard all the tales of things I missed.

    I bet most of you who dreamed of creating more to their favorite games had people in your life who wanted you to chase that dream and make it happen, I didn't, I spent my entire life alone practicing my talents, I couldn't talk to anyone without being chastised a social reject.

    When I was young, I dreamed of being hired by Croteam, the creators of the series I grew up with, I had this dream for the longest time, but with abusive-non supportive parents and I lack of way to communicate with the outside world for the longest time, that dream faded. When I finally got my own place and the means to make that dream happened, Croteam had turned rotten and evil with the latest trends and their scorn for their own community. I cursed them out and left full of bitterness, my life's purpose was lost.

    Also, Serious sam, is a dying series, with barely any active players left and any communities it had completely fractured, custom maps are given no media coverage by anyone (there's no youtubers for this series) and MP maps are, pointless to make as they are simply not played by anyone outside of events. I left seeking new purpose with my skills, I first settled in the Terraria modding scene but lost interest and hope (despite learning a good deal of C#)

    Then, a month ago, I finally picked up hammer for the first time, and have seen fell in love with it, due to how simliar it is to oldest level editor I've ever used. (Serious Editor 1)

    I picked up hammer in hopes that, one day I'd make something truely meaningful, I've been at this so long I feel like every effort I've ever done was in vain. I want to make something that would get accepted officially into the game, or atleast until then, something that the community would recognize. That is why after learning much of how to make a functional map I wanted to put what I've learned to the test, so I entered the current major contest: The payload checklist contest.
    Like many I took note under the video series done by Crash, but I was able to figure out the more advanced things like logic myself easily (since again, it is simliar to what I've used before), and also thanks to other hammer tutorials such as those by TophatWaffle.

    My doubt comes from my struggle to make a level look like it's on par with valve standards, I look at the geometry used official maps and it just, dizzies me out and I have to sit and think how I can make something like that for 30+ minutes, all while trying to tell myself that I just need to "not make a valve-type map" and instead try to make something that I think looks good. But this isn't just any game, this is tf2, and there's a standard set for how it should look, and I have trouble following it.
    I can't even begin to imagine making models&textures that fit in, shudders...

    anyways, that's my story and hopefully I'm here to stay and, maybe not be alone.
    here's some screenshots of my last project for Serious Sam Fusion 2017 which may/may not be finished https://imgur.com/a/y2M4Pgb
    and here's a boss I coded up for a Terraria mod that likely also won't be finished https://streamable.com/ssgy0
    some stuff I did release which you can download: https://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/the-ophioid-mod.73083/ https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=724032194
    I thank you for your time

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  2. FloofCollie

    aa FloofCollie I really suck!

    Positive Ratings:
    Welcome to the community!! Your story is one I can relate to in many areas, but fear not for this site is full of awesome people willing to help. I really recommend joining the TF2maps.net Discord as it's always chock-full of people who you can ask for advice, go to for inspiration or add your map to a testing server list so that you can make it the best it can be.
    I also recommend joining the TF2maps.net Steam group so you can get notifications for when map playtests or gamedays

    Also, as someone who has tried to completely avoid making anything that could be considered derived/inspired or not on-par with official maps, I can tell you that that route only leads to burnout, at least for me. The best advice is to just go for it, place down some brushes without caring if it reminds you of another map or anything.

    The best way to map is to just have fun mapping!

    You'll always improve in time. You can always put it up for testing and see the feedback people leave (and watch the demos that are recorded of them by going the Feedback section) for you to improve it, meaning that even if you have blank empty space that makes you want to give up on your map, you can transform it at a later date after you see how people interact with it. Plus there's always experimental and new mappers having theirs tested, so it'll never look out of place among them.

    I really hope you enjoy your time here, can't wait to see what you make!! :jimijam:
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  3. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Hey those are some cool serious sam levels!! I didn't personally get into the SS or Terraria modding scenes, but I do occasionally see blips of them on youtube videos or from reddit threads, I do like when people work on something just cause they want to! :D

    When I first got into tf2 mapping, I too had that weird "how on earth did these Valve maps get created??" feeling, but after just playtesting lots of TF2 maps (from tf2maps.net's impromptu tests / gamedays (gamedays not ran anymore though, imps are in discord!) ) you get familiar with the basic geometric shapes and how they can turn into artpassed layouts. I think it took me about 25-40 playtests with the community before I had an opinion about what layouts I liked, and then pondered what layouts worked for what purposes, which sent me spiraling into better designs!

    There's this cool member Blade who has a good forum sig that suggests that as well:

    An interesting thing to skim through sometime could be the #blocktober #tf2 search on twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=#blocktober #tf2&src=typd&lang=en which is when people post the graybox -> artpassed layouts of their maps. If you search just the first hashtag then you'll see a lot of AAA stuff (and some TF2 stuff that people didn't tag as #tf2), but often with the AAA levels there are lots of people working on them, instead of just one designer, harder to comprehend them I feel (they are so much more complex :[ ).

    Also later on, with your C# knowledge you could create some mod tools to design interesting shortcuts like https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Compile_Pal or dazzling 3d geometry makers like https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Twister .

    Also you could potentially look into some basic Unity games later down the line with C#, since Unity uses that as a main coding language. I think more 3D-asset-requiring unity games might be out of the scope for one person (to make in less than 2 years...), but I could totally see 2D / low poly 3d puzzle games being within range of one creator! (If you have small game ideas). Otherwise when you feel comfortable later with 3D maths you could potentially dive into Unreal and make some small prototypes (AAA companies like when designers know some C++, which is what Unreal uses, if you later-on want to go beyond-beyond).
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  4. ⁽ᴵᴰᴳ⁾CaptainRussia94

    ⁽ᴵᴰᴳ⁾CaptainRussia94 L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I'm going to need to brush up my C# quite a bit more before that, but it's a possible future. I mean, I'm not new to the indie scene, I've used Game Maker for years (and done some pretty complex GML, which is similar to C), so outside of mapping I'm a decent coder too, and I've always had a knack for making nice looking terrain modelling as well.

    I didn't just choose to start hammer, infact I was brought into it when there was a demand for a server map for the trade server my friends were opening, once I realized just how much I could do with this newfound knowledge... I couldn't just waste it on what I consider a "sin" of a level.
    I don't like trade server maps, granted I'm trying to "play the game on a server where your meant to play the game", but it's not just these maps, idle server maps are the same openness where sniper-can-shoot-you-from-across-the-entire-map.
    Vatican's is pretty tame thanks to the smart idea of giving a few seconds of uber when you leave spawn (until you get outside), but pretty much every thing other one is "you take one step outside and you die to a sniper"
    When I realized I could make a map that, you could play, why would I make something like this? Oh no I could do SO much more.
    (Also, someone I know commissioned a mapper $150 to make a trade server map, I don't think I could do something like this no matter what's being paid, also the map that was made was, average at best), I guess it comes from my goal-orientated mentality, where everything has to have to a purpose. I hate sandbox games because there's no way to "win" them, it bores me.

    My weakness though would involve 3D modeling software (Serious Editor comes with it's own semi-high end build in editor, but it's not very user friendly and not that practical outside the scope of the engine), and texture/sprite work. But I'm hoping these weaknesses can be offset by others, basically hoping once I show what I got, I can contribute to team efforts like the great mappers do.

    2 other weaknesses I have would be a struggle to change something from feedback, it can be easy or very hard depending on the change, but I'm still far better than 95% of the mappers from the sam series are about this. They can't take any feedback at all.

    my other weakness is my distaste and hatred for Casual, which hampers my ability to properly judge what is balanced in a level. This however only effects Causal and not MVM, which I can judge perfectly since I'm quite the competent team player. (atleast in like: trying to teach others how they should play, but not force them)

    I'm happy that I may be able to meld into this community the same way I have the Terraria forums, and hopefully, to stay. Also trying out custom maps to play&judge them sounds pretty fun.

    EDIT: There are people online who cheer me on and know I can do great things, but it all comes from self-doubt, I've been mentally scarred since I was child into thinking I am completely worthless, hoping in time I can overcome that fault and live the life I always desired.
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018