I suck at making maps

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Kikouda, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Kikouda

    Kikouda L1: Registered

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    Whenever I open Hammer ready and inspired to make a map, i always find that i dont know where to start. I make a dev textured floor brush and put a control point on it and i think of how I can have things setup but i can never get an idea. I put the point on a raised point but i dont know what to do from there on. Its driving me CRAZY! 4 times in the past 2 days ive gotten my snacks and music and i can never get an idea of what to do and anything that i do do is an obvious duplicate of a part of another map and that isnt what i want to do, I want to make a really cool map that has really fun and intense game play but i cant do that if i cant make a fucking map! I know the basics to making a map, i participated in the 2015 summer contest but i didnt submit my map because it was terrible. I need help, i want to make maps so bad. im really interested in architecture and thats what i want to major in when i eventually get into college. I dont know i need some tips and encouragement from the community.
  2. Izotope

    aa Izotope Never releases maps

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    I struggle with the same issue, most of the time I can't start in Hammer.
    Luckily I've found an alternative that works for me, perhaps you could try that.
    Take a piece of paper and start drawing a top-down view of your map.
    I find it easier and faster to get a layout done, and for some reason the ideas flow more on paper for me.
    When I have a layout done I start building it in Hammer and then go from there.
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  3. CommodoreKong

    aa CommodoreKong

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  4. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    well, what I usually like to do is think about the gameplay scenarios that I want my map to be able to support. there's a bunch of different mechanics in the game and your job as a level designer is to facilitate certain things and discourage others. Your map is a tool to be used by players.
    So, suppose you have a raised point and that's the base you're working with, think about what would be the fun ways to approach this point. As a players, what are the tools that you would like to have at your disposal in pursuing your objective. Do you want to be able to soldier bomb the point? I know I'm all about that, so I make sure that I have paths that are designed to allow that to happen. But then does your point become too open? well maybe... if the level does a poor job of equipping the players with defensive options, that's not fun either. What about making sure you have strong sentry spots? lots of people enjoy playing engie, it's not a bad idea to have some good spots in there. But then you know what's even more fun? DESTROYING SENTRIES! so make sure you create opportunities for the offence team to destroy good sentry spots. And you can keep going like that forever, the scenarios are endless.

    So this is my tip, you can't just pull a map out of your head and it will be instantly good for no reason, maps don't happen like that. Instead think about fun gameplay scenarios and what are the ways that your map can support those scenarios. What is the objective that's given to the player and what are the tools that your map provides in allowing these goals to happen. People like to have many options because it allows them to explore many possibilities, so you definitely want to provide varied options. quantity is good, variety is better. One thing I like to do is to look at these options that I came up with and how they fare out against each other, sometimes I'll arrange them in a rock/paper/scissor in terms of strength so there's no clearly better option out of the bunch, if you manage to do that, no matter what one team is doing, there will always be a solution in the form of an opportunity you created. It kinda becomes a puzzle game of finding the right strategy for what the other players are doing and this is important, it's not about finding the right strategy for that map, it's finding the right strategy against the players you're facing and whatever they're doing at the time. rewarding players for reacting to the opponent makes the experience much more social and fun. This is important in making sure the player will never feel stuck or cheated into an unfair fight. Maybe they lose the match but they'll be thinking "hey we didn't try X while they were doing Y, that was totally an option, maybe that's something we should try out next time". To me that's the basis of building a very compelling map.

    This might be a lot to take in all at once but there's no shortcuts when it comes to level design.

    architecture has some overlap with level design but they have fairly different goals, don't be too worried if level design doesn't work out for you.
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