I want to start making maps:I need help

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Temioman, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Temioman

    Temioman L1: Registered

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    So I've been procrastinating for a while now.
    I want to begin my journey into the map making world.
    Therefore It would be helpful if I had someone to speak to, someone to be like a mentor.
    I have a mumble server so we may talk.
    I want to start off with the basics since I'm clueless of what I'm doing ATM because the only full YouTube tutorial on it is not very good in my opinion.
    Although if someone could just link me to an in-depth guide (preferable written not a video since I've seen all and they are not good)
    But if anyone can help reply or add me.
     
  2. ROFLsnakes

    ROFLsnakes L2: Junior Member

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    well first take a look at the tutorial section of the forums here, read what interests you. Once you think you get enough information to start your first map be sure to download the mapper's resource kit.

    Here's some things to start to look at it:

    Resource Pack: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4674
    List of Tutorial's: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=807
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4872
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=3050
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=5952

    If you're interested hit me up on steam, I'm not a pro mapper like some but can give you some help. My steam name is the same as my tf2maps name (ROFLsnakes). If it makes any difference in finding me I also have the clan tag [GR2R].I'm usually on later around 7pm central time.

    Lemme know if you have another questions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. Temioman

    Temioman L1: Registered

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    I am sorry but those links did not help me whatsoever I really need a tutorial that shows the basics then how to make a map.
     
  4. Wander

    Wander L3: Member

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  5. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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  6. nightwatch

    aa nightwatch

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    I first got into map building by watching a set of videos on youtube, which helped me very much. This was the best tutorial I could find and I would recommend it highly. The whole series from 1.1 to 10.2 should only take you a few hours to watch, and less than 6 if you're mapping alongside (which is what I did).
    Link to first vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOQoc6a6Bt0
     
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  7. ROFLsnakes

    ROFLsnakes L2: Junior Member

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    I might if I get the chance write up a completely bare-bones mapping walkthrough, I like how the video nightwatch posted actually envisioned making a " useful map" . If I did this it would be in text form (with pictures) for those like yourself who don't want a video. I tend to see a lot of this same question(or similar to) so it seems worth the time.
     
  8. ROFLsnakes

    ROFLsnakes L2: Junior Member

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    Here: went into some old files I wrote for school about source-here's the paper, there may be some error's because I wrote it a while back when I was still nooby

    A metaphor is useful to help visualize the components of any map. The map is equal to a cake. In this cake, brushes are equal to the flour. Brushes produce the large, solid, flat areas,like floors and walls. Brushes can be cylinders, cubes, arches, tori, and cones. Looking at any rectangular prism reveals it has 6 sides. That means six brushes are required to make an entire enclosed room. The main goal of any map is to make sure that the room is “airtight” or “seamless”. If the map is not sealed correctly, the map will be sucked out through whatever hole was left leaving behind a blurry mess. Brushes can be “textured” to look and act like water, be made out of wood or cement, be reflective, or be invisible all together. If the brush is labeled as no draw (invisible) it will still seal a map. They’re good to add because they do not affect how long it takes to load a map. Skybox texture is important to any map; it provides the sky for the map. Skybox textures also allow the game engine to produce light from the sun, moon, and stars. All that is needed to produce this is the environmental_light entity. Once the environmental_light entity is set, brushes will automatically be told to create shadows from the engine. With the amount of brushes in a single map, converting some to func_detail is a good idea, because it saves load/compile time. In Source, Func stands for Function. When compiling a map, the engine will issue out shadows, what surfaces are reflective,the light provided by the skybox textured brush, what kind of game-type the map is, and many more little details. Brushes are imperative to know how to use; they are the most basic tool and the most crucial as the base of the cake.

    Vertex editing, carving, and clipping are one of the most important parts of a map. so many hours have been saved by these simple tools. Again, the map being the cake, carving and clipping would be the sugar. If a mappers has a pyramid but they want to chop off the top, they can just take the tip of the pyramid and smash it into the space between it and the square base. The vertex will merge into a new face causing a flat surface. Vertex editing can be great in some instances, but a lot of shapes used in mapping are created with clipping. To make a flat surface on a pyramid by removing the tip, what is required is selecting the tool and make a line along the x-axis in the editor, then hit enter. The red highlighted lines are what will be removed, and in turn white lines stay. Clipping also has a mode where nothing is deleted. A more advanced and realistic use of clipping can be used to make a thin metal roof, start with a square brush, then clip it into a triangle. Make the grid 4 units, and measure out from the outer edge of the triangle and form a clip line, making sure no delete mode is on. Hitting enter will create a thin plane. Mirroring the same actions to the other side will result in a diamond at the top, 2 large trapezoid like chunks, and two thin brushes. Delete the trapezoids, and group the remaining. The result is a completed roof for a building. Although time consuming clipping will make great details in maps, and avoids the consequences of carving. Carving is what it sounds like; taking one brush putting into another and selecting carve, mappers should avoid carving at all costs. though it make seem like a good idea for rectangle to rectangle carves carving still produces lots of little invisible brushes called visleafs. Visleafs will slow down the map for players, and the maps compile time. If a mapper ever does carve, they should put a brush textured with “hint” to help the computer figure out what visleafs it delete. Hints can be placed not just at carves but anywhere with lots of complex shapes and brushes. Spending time adding hints will increase compile time drastically. ”Skips “can be added to tell the computer to only load a certain area until a player reaches a certain location. Again, this helps with compile time.

    The next project step is physics. Physics in games consist of many parts; however the creator needs to define every physic in game. Things built into weapons like shockwaves do not need to be specified. Gravity does not need to be added or altered. Gravity can be “deleted “in game when the mapper opens the console after enabling it under advanced options and typing “noclip”. Most physic properties are easy to figure out just because they have what they do in the name. For example, a phys_thrust pushes the player, a phys_ballsocket links one point to another and allows it to make around a 360 degree axis. There are many more examples of physic properties,and it’s a lot of fun to try and find a use for each one. However the fun comes with the cost of a high compile time.
    It’s fitting that the next topic is about moving, changing items; dynamic props. Dynamic props are items that can change color, shape, location, light, and more. An example could be that a set of lights changes color to represent what team currently controls the center command point. This can be a really fast way to give players subliminal hints on what is currently going on. Another dynamic property could be changing the skin of the prop. When opening the browser there are options to select multiple color variations, the mapper can transition between. The opposite of dynamic is static. Static stays the same and will not move. Things like crates are static. Adding these props is really easy. All that is needed is placing an entity change it to prop_static or prop_dynamic, then selecting the prop from the world model viewer. When I get close to discussing game type I’ll talk more about this but things that must be dynamic. Examples are capture points, payload carts, and team flags. Some pre-built doors have animations built in and will work only is set to prop_dynamic with a trigger (to tell it to open close and filter teams). Dynamic props and physics work hand in hand, so getting good at these two tools means the mapper can pull off some cool realistic effects a lot of atmosphere.

    Lights are the yeast in the metaphorical cake, because without light the player can’t see. Lights can come in many types and they are as follows: light_spotlight, light, light_envirorment, and light_dynamic. Light_spotlight produces a single, strong beam of light that comes from a single point; its brightness and color are adjustable. Light just produces a general orb of light that comes from one point, where the color and brightness are adjustable. Light_Enviroment is what the sky produces, so the brightness and color of the sun,moon,and stars are all defined by this. Light_Enviroment can adjusted to different sun angles in the sky and and other HD lighting effects. Light_Dynamic is exactly what it sounds like based on our previous conversation, it changes colors and brightness. Other than this changing effect, it’s the same as a light. The glow entity can be added to lights to give the halo effect. Particle effects of flies being attracted to the light can also be added. Night maps are deemed tricky just because if not lit correctly gameplay and atmosphere suffers. Even if it’s not night, it’s a good rule of thumb that high-traffic areas need the most light, while basements can go with not as much. Lights drastically affect the mood of an area. Mappers don’t put a bright light in the middle of a swamp do we, They would place a small light source with a light with a tint of green or blue to give it a murky feel. On the other side, a sterile condition would want bright lights not tinted dirty lights. Players don’t think about this until you mess up, because people are used to seeing “correct” lighting in their everyday lives that, when it’s wrong, it’s noticeable. Maps need to evoke a certain emotion to keep the flow going. If not, the peace is disturbed.

    The flavor of your cake is your art type .which invalues textures, several different biomes/types of areas can be created: Alpine, Mountain, Snow, Medieval, Grassland, Industrial, High Tech, and Rustic, Desert/Western are all examples. There is a defined set of textures mappers should use for each area; there are several resources mappers have created to help out on this part. Most of the time it’s self-explanatory, but sometimes certain themes are a bit tough. Using other’s resources and looking at previous maps can help give an idea of what can be added. Props can define the map, or the map area based on what is put into it .An office item in a quarry pit looks odd. Most placements are just common sense. Mappers should not create a main theme until they are done with the development of buildings the gray, blank, development textures. Some experts say, pick three big props then build to allow those into my map. You can map quick because you have a general reference of the layout and style through those pre-selected props. It is best to pick 1 prop for the Red Team, 1 for the Blu Team, and one for the neutral area of the map. The best example of a big prop that you build around is the koth_nucleus energy ball placed at the center of the map. The entire game revolves around that point. Because the ball gets a lot of attention the map maker will make the map round so that the player can generally get site of it from any floor in a matter of steps.

    Game types represent frosting, without it the map/cake is a giant boring sugary biscuit. There are several basic game types: king of the hill, payload and payload race, capture point, arena, territorial control, doomsday, man vs. machine, capture the flag and attack/defend Most maps fall under one of each of these game types. Territorial control is a forgotten game type; maps like steel and hydro are territorial control. To put completed maps in public eyes it must be named it correctly. This is all done with “gamemode_mapname_mapversion”. The abbreviations for each game type are as follows. king of the hill is koth, payload is pl,payload race is plr,capture point is cp, territorial control is tc, doomsday is dd, capture the flag is ctf, and attack/defend is ad. Map versions can get confusing. When labeling maps you need to tell the players what stage of development the map is in. Beginning stage is Alpha, as you do more and more versions you can label your map from a1 to whatever your last version is, let’s say alpha 7 so our abbreviation is a7.Beta is next and the same rules apply, except that there should be less betas than alphas. Also instead of a’s we are using b’s. Lastly release candidate, and final are left. Release candidate is the creator is willing to have someone buy the map, and it’s basically complete. The initials RC represent release candidate. Final version will generally mean the map is locked and will not be touched anymore. There are no abbreviations for final, just written final is what’s put.
    To summarize the events here are that each part of a map are like ingredients in a cake, without each component you can’t have your cake. Like a good baker the ingredients must be balanced well or else you get something far from a succulent, moist, cake. When all’s said and done the final product is what you are striving for and is well worth the hard work, and long nights.
     
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