How do I stay focused on design over detail.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Unh3lpful, May 6, 2015.

  1. Unh3lpful

    Unh3lpful L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    95
    Positive Ratings:
    57
    How do I stay focused on game play and stop being sidetracked by details?

    I'm a beginner mapper and I've recently started a map. I had this problem with my first attempt and the game play was very flat and poor. To try and reduce this I sketched out on paper how I wanted it to be formatted before I started work.

    It started pretty well, even if a little overly detailed for an alpha. However, I keep getting side tracked by prop details. I think this is because I really enjoy it, especially as I find the Hammer editor awkward to use and enjoyable by comparison.

    I really want to make maps, especially if it allows me to get to the fun detailing part. So, is there anyway to make this easy to do? Is there some way to stay focused on game play rather than detail and to speed up progress?

    Here are some images to show how little actually mapping I've done:
    [​IMG] (this is used as a ramp up. I used no draw to make it smoother.)

    [​IMG] (This is the whole map. I can upload the plan if requested.)
     
  2. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

    Messages:
    1,619
    Positive Ratings:
    1,709
    you have to give yourself a gameplay goal and focus on that. what do you want the map to do?

    I find it's very easy to get sidetracked if you don't really know what's the direction you want to go in.
     
  3. Unh3lpful

    Unh3lpful L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    95
    Positive Ratings:
    57
    I do have a plan (as I say I drew up how I want it to be) and idea, I want a payload map with a control point which givers the owning team advantages.
     
  4. Unh3lpful

    Unh3lpful L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    95
    Positive Ratings:
    57
    I do have a plan (as I say I drew up how I want it to be) and idea, I want a payload map with a control point which givers the owning team advantages.
     
  5. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

    Messages:
    1,619
    Positive Ratings:
    1,709
    "I want a payload map with a control point which givers the owning team advantages"
    well that's great, now focus on that. surely advantages are not prop based are they. Think about the advantages you have planned and what makes them fun. and you build upon that.

    To be clear, I don't really like to work with plans as having a plan is usually not enough. people will come up with a plan without really knowing what they are trying to do, they're just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. a good question to have in mind when you work with a plan is "what does this plan seek to achieve and how is it doing it". It will help you make better design decisions and it's generally a good thing to focus on.

    that's just how I roll tho. I encourage you to explore what works for you
     
  6. killohurtz

    aa killohurtz Distinction in Applied Carving

    Messages:
    1,003
    Positive Ratings:
    1,155
    I also find it easy to get distracted once you start applying proper textures to your brushes. My solution? Work in dev textures until the whole level is built. When everything's covered in generic grids, it's easier for me to stay focused on the layout. Normally I'll still keep a proper texture on the ground to set the theme, but that's just preference.

    As a general rule, you should only add props at first if they're going to directly affect gameplay - ask yourself if the prop can be climbed on, used as cover, is the focal point of an area, etc. If it's not any of those, save it for the detailing stage.
     
  7. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

    Messages:
    3,163
    Positive Ratings:
    4,803
    I used to struggle with getting hung up on details during the early stages of development. Once I started getting my maps tested more I realized how much more time it was taking to make big changes to my map based on the feedback, due to detailing. It was not only time spent doing something unnecessary at that stage, but slowing me down even more in later stages.

    It also made me more reluctant to make changes, WHICH IS VERY BAD.

    It sucks, but force yourself to only work in dev textures and with only gameplay-affecting props. Your mapping with benefit from it in the long run, and you'll get a map worthy of spending the time detailing it.

    Alternatively, if you just want to practice detailing, check out the Orphaned Maps Repository.
     
  8. MoonFox

    MoonFox L10: Glamorous Member

    Messages:
    736
    Positive Ratings:
    72
    how do you stay focused on design rather than detail. first do beta textures and avoid specific details in rooms. if at all best, remember that the more details you add, the less light can shine on important assets in a map. and try fleshing out a full area before putting props in. unless props are used to judge doorway heights or how many heavies can fit through a door (or simply barricades)
     
  9. radarhead

    aa radarhead Hands out ratings like cheap cigars

    Messages:
    1,004
    Positive Ratings:
    543
    Once you realize that dev textured maps can look pretty cool, it becomes easier to avoid detailing. And the first time you receive feedback and have to go change your layout, you'll be really glad that you avoided early detailing.

    -BUT-

    One or two props here and there is fine, as long as they define the gameplay space, or draw the player's attention to important areas. If minor detailing makes the map easier and more fun for testers to play, than I say go for it. Just don't go overboard.