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Inspiration?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by BrokenTripod, May 11, 2009.

  1. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    I work differently than most. I usually have a theme I want to try (good or bad, i dont care) and sit down in front of Hammer/Worldcraft (i.e. a dark cave, a castle, acheological dig, etc). I will start with a room or a building that gets the idea out of my head. I will usually to all the detail and texture work as I go. Then I work out from that piece of a map until I have something I like. The benifit I have is that I can get the central theme of a map out from the start and then build everything to match. After I get all the brushwork and textures finished then I start on lights. I do a lot of splitting of brushes so I can use 2 or more textures on a single wall or floor to get a different effect.

    The downfall to this method is that you have to know a theme from the start and going back to fix something is really hard and time consuming because its already completed. You also have to know what your texture will look like with lights before ever putting in lights. Bt, the niceity is that going back over everything to texture is brain numbing and you dont have to do it.

    Ive been doing that for well... longer than many new mappers have been alive and it works for me. (it was almost required to do it like that for Doom1/2 with DCK)

    My recommendation is try a few different ways of making maps and dont even bother finishing them. Most people would agree that looking back at their first couple maps that they werent worthy of playing anyways (i know mine weren't) So, have fun and play with different ideas and techniques until you know what works for you.
     
  2. -gr-

    -gr- L1: Registered

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    Roughly..

    • Create a theme out of the land of imagination.
    • Consider balance and play flow to adjust theme to realities of evil human players. Adjust for target number of players per team.
    • Sketch layout first on graph paper. Top down and side views.
    • If appropriate to theme, build heightmap ground level & natural formations out of displacements with Photoshop, Dispgen & Twister.
    • func_detail brushwork. Everything is func_detail unless specifically designed to block visibility.
    • Textures
    • Props / water
    • Point entities / brush entities / triggers / logic.
    • vis blockers / light blockers / lighting
    • func_viscluster intended visibility regions after verifying with 'mat_wireframe 1'
    • sound.
    • npc_clip
    • Beta test with intended audience.
    I don't run rad or vvis until lighting goes in. (VIS/RAD set to OFF) I compile my maps at minimum dozens of times before that point, sometimes hundreds. When it only takes 3 seconds to compile, why not? :thumbup1:

    Using the above, I've brought 9 maps through the development process to fruition since the SDK was updated to include TF2. So far so good.
     
  3. wiseguy149

    wiseguy149 Emperor of Entities and Amateur of Aesthetics

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    What I do is try to think of something that hasn't been done before and make it work.

    Also, I like to think of a map with an aspect I don't like, and plan a map that fixes that aspect.
     
  4. HoundDawg

    HoundDawg L1: Registered

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    There are many, many maps that follow traditional gameplay rules and styles. I've always been more interested in designing maps with more unique gameplay, especially when it pushes the limits of what the game was designed for.

    For example, most TF2 Maps can either fit a box, or are mostly horizontal. The map I'm currently working on, co_silofall, is completely vertical. It pushes the distance envelope and gameplay of the classes to the restrictions of their weapons (e.g. soldier rockets travel slower than the soldier falls, but will eventually make it down. snipers have a max range.).

    Traditional gameplay maps are a blast to play. But, after a few rotations, it's nice to take a break with something different.

    Beyond the gameplay, I try to detail my maps to a story theme. I draw inspiration from Valve's maps and some of the better designed custom maps.
     
  5. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    I believe a good philosophy to follow is "Valve did it for a reason"
     
  6. bittman

    bittman L1: Registered

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    I also try to design maps with a unique angle...

    ...problem is that's the reason I scrapped my last project as I belatedly realised that:

    A) Can't have two carts, my aim was to have an optional cart found partway along the map.

    B) Large underwater sections are not good for TF2 given optimisation, pyros and a general dislike of underwater-fighting.
     
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