How do you create your map?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Blue552, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Blue552

    Blue552 L3: Member

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    Do you atempt to layout the entire map in one go?

    Do you create paths first then add buildings aroumd these paths?

    Do you start in the middle and build outwards?

    Do you create landmarks then link them together later?

    What method(s) do you use when creating a map?
     
  2. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and, for me it changes every time I open up hammer.
     
  3. Blue552

    Blue552 L3: Member

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    Im thinking one method has to be better then the others. Personally I think Building landmarks then joining them is the best method. It forces you to improvise these paths, making them unique and not so generic.
     
  4. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    I never attempt a full layout in one go. I try to focus on one area at a time to get it to what looks like the right size/shape (but [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=9406"]doesn't always turn out that way[/ame] :O), then move on to the next.

    If I want buildings around paths in a map, I do my best to decide beforehand which parts of a path will be indoor or outdoor, then work from there. Walls don't go up until after a path is in place.

    Yes, I start in the center and build outwards, periodically copy-pasting elements from one side to the other to keep a symmetrical layout.

    I don't build any landmarks until I get to that point in the map's basic construction. I might try your idea at some point though - it sounds like it would solve some of the distance issues I tend to have when mapping.
     
  5. Kraftwerk

    Kraftwerk L2: Junior Member

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    This. My method isn't set in stone :p
     
  6. Garner

    Garner L4: Comfortable Member

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    I dont attempt entire layouts all in one go, i generally split my map into sections, and build each section as i go (just brushes and dev textures at first). As for paths, they get built along the way, i have no preferance to building them before or after buildings are built.

    As for starting in the middle and building outwards, i dont. If im creating a payload map (ol_ maps are on the whole not symetrical) i start from the spawn room of a team (preferance per map basis whether its red or blu) and build forwards. If im making a symetrical map, i build half of my map (again in dev textures) and select all, copy, and paste it before lining the new copied part up with the other half.

    Im not too sure what you mean by the landmarks sentence, i generally have a theme to my map, which includes 1 or 2 main aspects to it (eg, hydro is a dam, steel is a launch base and granary is a...well granary lol). So if i was building a map with a dam in it, i would build the damn when i got to building that section of my map.

    As for other techniques, i dont really have anything bar the standard. However, i do use techniques that others have used, like YouMe's displacement cliff tutorial for example, but these techniques arent my own, so yeah :p
     
  7. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    Usually my maps start with an idea, and I build from that. I build the basic layout of one area in dev textures, then detail it. Then I build another area in dev textures, texture it, repeat. I never really playtest, I don't quite know why...
     
  8. Blue552

    Blue552 L3: Member

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    Here is an example of connecting landmarks.

    Lets say you get this great idea to have some kind of hi-tech laboratory within your map - you build it up make it look really nice etc.

    You also want have some kind of ravine or valley in which a draw bridge need to be lowered to get across.

    These things would contrast too much if you simply placed them next to eachother, So instead you build the two ideas, place them at an appropriate distance then start 'filling the gap' by adding to the level and trying to gradually merge the two themes together.

    So as I type this my idea would be to probably make the lab underground, maybe an entrance into the lab could be in the face of the ravine. It would be desert themed and there would be an old western town on the opposite side of the ravine, yet within each shanty there would be a high tech almost secret entrance to the lab.



    Basically by piecing your map together rather then growing from the one idea you're able to make your map more diverse and personally I find it helps me come up with new ideas.
     
  9. Blue552

    Blue552 L3: Member

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    I'm using the above method for a L4D survival map.

    I want there to be heaps of cool secrets and entities such as a pill dispensor, a wall of fire and an upgradable tower.

    So I made all the things then I place them around each other in random orientations. Then I connect them and it makes it a lot easier [for me] to build my map up in that way.
     
  10. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake L3: Member

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    Personally, I like to think of a more global, more easy to pick/understand concept before hand.
    Something like: pirates attack a merchandise ship, or bank rubbers try to get to the safe.

    Then, I split the main idea into smaller manageable events... a bit like in movies.

    These become the different control points/stages of my TF2 map.

    Once I've got a basic layout of the whole map, with the different goals/objectives I play test it.

    Sometimes people don't get it, sometimes they do. Depends on the layout, the physical representation of your original idea. Sometimes you need to make it more obvious, sometimes it is, but people don't like the way you pulled the whole thing off. Sometimes they want more secrets, sometimes they want more unrealistic events happening... sometimes they ask for more realism.

    Level design is like playing around with molding paste, it's fun and flexible. That means, it doesn't matter if you redo your work 70 times, you know that it'll get better every time. You learn and get better everytime you show your work to people around you.

    There's no magical formula: presenting your ideas and making iterations based off of what people like and don't is the best way to go.

    What's cool about mapping and sharing it on the internet is that we aren't restrained to have our work judged by a handful of people inside a small company, but we get to hear about hundreds of people's opinions, for free, and that's priceless.

    Just be open-minded and accept criticism and every iteration of your map will get better until it reaches a good balance between your original idea and what people like when playing the game.

    No predefined or better way to create new maps for a game...

    --> Just know the game.... get involved and keep an open mind and be flexible.

    MQ
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  11. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    Look what I found :O

    [​IMG]
     
  12. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    O_O The old plans for observatory.
     
  13. soylent robot

    soylent robot L7: Fancy Member

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    It depends on what game mode I'm making!
    If its 5-CP, Arena or King of the Hill, I start with the middle point and work outwards.
    If its the other types of CP, or CTF, I start with landmarks and then link them together.
    If its Payload or PL_Race, I make the path the kart follows and then build around it.
     
  14. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

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    You have the MS Paint skills of a god!
     
  15. SPHinx

    SPHinx L2: Junior Member

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    I find this kind of thing helpful. It's an approximate grid map of the playable area in granary. Each square is 128x128. Useful for scaling your map appropriately in the layout design phase.

    [​IMG]