How do you guys plan the layout of your maps

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Champya, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Champya

    Champya L1: Registered

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    When I started to plan the layout of my first map, my mind just went blank.
    So I wanted to ask you guys what do you do when you've decided the theme of the map? How do you decide where the buildings,routes etc are going to be?
  2. Hyperion

    aa Hyperion L16: Grid Member

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    I'm pretty sure no one starts from the theme only. If you don't have any idea about layout, think more and start mapping later
  3. Lain

    aa Lain heath ledger with some dreads

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    It's all in my minds eye. Although that doesn't seem to work out well.
  4. Muddy

    aa Muddy Muddy

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    Personally I like to start with a theme. Knowing what theme I'm going for can influence the map's layout. For instance, a map set in the city will likely be laid out differently to a map set in a jungle.

    It also helps to know what you want to go on in specific areas of the map, whether you want to encourage fighting in one particular area or you want players with low health and ammo to retreat to a certain area away from the fighting; or you want a flank route for Scouts, Spies and Pyros to ambush people with, an area for Engineers to deploy and maintain their sentry guns, an area for Snipers to get a good view of the battlefield, etc etc.
  5. saph

    aa saph seventeen shades of various blues

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    Normally, I know what gamemode I want to do. Then I look at official maps I like, even if they're not the same gamemode. I usually dig through those and play on them a lot to get a feel. Just getting a feel for the style you want to have can come from playing a lot. Drawing out the layout sometimes help, but it's always different when you recreate in Hammer and if you need to scrap an area, you can become to attached to it because you put a lot of work in, even if it sucks for map flow. Just play around with it and you'll find what you like.

    I can definitely agree with this. If you can picture an area, it always turns out completely different. It never works out the way you want it to, but it always seems to end better.
  6. MoonFox

    MoonFox L10: Glamorous Member

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    To be blunt, a lot of us, may do stylistic changes during the planning and early development phase, and because of that, things may be changed or removed all together. Very few of my maps that are specifically stylized, keep me engaged long enough to see them enter alpha, a good example, (but current issue being compile crashing my pc) PL_Snowed_in, is a industrial/rustic trainyard set in north Dakota during the winter. another is KotH_Navajo (which is currently released, but discontinued production, in Alpha 1 stage), which is set near a hydroelectric dam somewhere in Hispanic south western United States.
    In my honest opinion, everything is subject to change, either due to hardware limitations, bad composite (IE, the set up you wanted for the 2 capture point sucks ass, and is unbalanced), or you just think of something better to put their instead. Personally I don't resort to planning, as I feel I can do much better without it. And a bad advice for newbies just getting started, is work out layouts per point. I do this, so I can minimize work and allow for some creative layouts, but also may not be consistent. Conversely, it may be less creative and more work.

    In all honesty, a map should be fun (with the snags of crashing, errors, and criticism), but don't fret, the experienced map makers are always looking to help, and all you need to do is ask for a reference, advice, or just an opinion on something you did. I created my own set up Payload track (with switches), and I ran into a lot of errors, bad Ai, bad set ups. And I asked around the community, and the only bugs I have, is I need an end point (reasonable), and my Prop library does not exist anymore.
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  7. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    I usually just doodle around until I end up with some small thing that seems interesting, and then build the rest of the map to complement it. My layout decisions are usually based on how I want players to approach and interact with the interesting area(s).
  8. Yrr

    aa Yrr An Actual Deer

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    Come up with an idea based on a theme or even a fully realised layout. Now scrap it, you're not doing that.
    Take a little bit of it that you liked and doodle a layout based around that. Now scrap that too, you're not doing that.
    Finally having [not] done both of those things, make a third attempt at a layout, keeping what felt "right" about them.
    Now you have a base that'll change even more as you work on it!
  9. neutrallyBiassed

    neutrallyBiassed L1: Registered

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    i try to look at how every different game handles and maps for the same gamemode and let my subconscious take over after that as I enter a mapping trance
  10. Turnip

    aa Turnip The 80s Vegetable

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    I just open hammer plop in some logic listen to music and start mapping whatever pops into my head.
  11. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    At this point, I build control points I like and then create the necessary routes around it, which is probably stupid but is working out OK after years and years of work.
  12. hutty

    aa hutty

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    I used to plot out my maps on graph paper.
    fuck that

    Now I just visualize a completed space that I think would make a cool visual/play area for a tf2 map.
    Then I jump in hammer and start placing blocks.

    idk ... i'm weird

    Obviously things get tweaked and changed as development continues, usually to the point where the map doesn't resemble the original idea at all but is still decent in its own right.

    (or it just rightly sucks and gets scrapped (see cp_crete))

    If my mind goes blank I go play on a pub server or something.
  13. Hotel Detective

    Hotel Detective L4: Comfortable Member

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    I make it all up as I go. I don't plan anything out in advanced except for the gamemode.
    It's probably the worst way to do it, but when I fit things in perfectly with each other it gives me moments where I feel like a genius.
  14. CriminalBunny

    aa CriminalBunny Lasers are just deadly rainbows

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    First I think of a theme, gamemode or setting I want the map to have, like "I wanna try the Maritime Theme"
    Then I start sketching from the objective (control points, flags, etc) and out, figuring out what could work.
    When I'm done I start building it in Hammer and then I find out that only half the stuff I've planned does work, or the map it's too small/big, and stuff like that I've just changed the whole theme of a map I haven't even released
    Sometimes I just improvise and throw alternate routes and such into the mix, but without a clear idea it can be difficult to get somewhere.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  15. Auwi

    aa Auwi Certified in best in fun

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    I just make good maps not bad maps

    why would you want to make a bad map when you can make good map?