How do I take my mapping to the next level?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Kyv'thil'hurum, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Kyv'thil'hurum

    Kyv'thil'hurum L1: Registered

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    I've been mapping for a while now, around a year or so. Most of the mapping I've done has just been creating simple no objective maps for my friends to screw around with on their servers. I started playing around with the core gamemode because I believed it was an interesting concept, but when I started making maps that were supposed to be competitive I quickly found out that I had no clue how to build a map with any sort of balancing. I'd like to get into more advanced mapping but I don't have the slightest clue where to start.

    I know a decent bit about mapping - I can make working maps, entity logic is something I understand and I know not to carve - but I know next to nothing about the things that take a map to a professional level. I only have the slightest understanding of what the skip and hint brushes do, my maps are an unoptimized mess and I haven't the slightest clue about how to balance my maps. Could someone point me in the direction of some good tutorials about how to take my mapping to the next level?
     
  2. Shogun

    Shogun L6: Sharp Member

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    Good, good

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swBfUW-Bsxs

    This is a nice tutorial on the basics of optimization, I found it very helpful myself.

    As for balance, no one is going to create a perfectly balnced map right off the bat, especially if it's their first map. It's going to be trial and error finding out what works and what doesn't. It's always good to know how the mechanics of the game/ gamemode work when designing a map, and I also like heading over the the Valve Developer Wiki to read the articles on the different gamemodes and the advantages/disadvantages of each mode.
     
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  3. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    shits simple

    make a shit map
    test it
    identify the biggest problems
    find their specific solutions
    fix the problems or at least lessen them
    go back to testing
    continue until you're either happy or sick of it
    congrats a next level map ready
     
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  4. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    the best way to go about this is to play the damn game and figure out what makes it interesting. once you've got a good grasp of what makes tf2 fun, try to build a map around that. bottom line is, just make the map you would like to play! ask yourself what are gameplay scenarios you would like to see etc... it's easy!

    or you know, you can just build a bad map and try to fix it, that's been proven to work for most of tf2m. (I'm just teasing you guys)
     
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  5. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    Make a bad map. Learn why it's bad.

    Make a less bad map using what you learned from the previous map.

    Repeat.

    You've got the advantage in knowing the program well enough already, so it's just going to be a matter of learning gameplay. Study official maps and take ideas and concepts from them.
     
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  6. Kyv'thil'hurum

    Kyv'thil'hurum L1: Registered

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    Well, back when I made that core map I did try to make it balanced by identifying the issues myself, but I ran into an issue. The map was sort of futuristic themed and it had several sandbag-barrier type things meant to make it harder for snipers to shoot you. I played the map plenty with other people on my friend's server, and the cover seemed to work fine. Despite this, people kept telling me that it was far too easy for snipers to hit them. I never had any issue with snipers at all, to the point where I almost thought I was adding TOO much cover, but everyone kept telling me the opposite. What do I do in that situation?
     
  7. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    if your target audience is telling you you're wrong, you most likely are
    try to understand why they feel the way they feel
    step into their shoes and put on their underwear
    then adjust your vision of the map so that those simpleton peasants can understand it
     
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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  8. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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  9. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    You have to remember that while feedback is extremely necessary, the feedbackers can be incredibly dumb, at least from a big picture point of view. I wouldn't be surprised if people were having issues with a particular sightline, but didn't tell you or even realize themselves. That meant it didn't matter how much cover you added, as long as it didn't solve that line, it "wasn't enough".

    You also have to recognise this from a game designers point of view. What made a map fun? How did it deal with snipers? Demomen? Soldiers? Engineers? Scouts? Then take your answers to those questions, which were probably very instinctual, e.g. "There was a rock in the way of that sightline", and ask yourself why you came up with those answers, e.g. without the rock, snipers could see from the defensive position by the health to the point, without decent flanks. Adding more cover at the point would make it too crowded, and reducing the defensiveness of the sniping location would mean another flank route for scouts.
     
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  10. phantom26

    phantom26 L1: Registered

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