Is decorating first really that bad of a thing?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by TheLoafLord, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. TheLoafLord

    TheLoafLord L1: Registered

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    When I'm making maps, I always seem to just, well, wander away from the task at hand and end up decorating. I love decorating, trust me. I really want to, and I'm just wondering, is decorating first really that bad? I mean, I texture first, which I've been told is fine, but is decorating a no no?
     
  2. [Rx.] Christian Troy

    [Rx.] Christian Troy L4: Comfortable Member

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    No method is wrong. If that is what works for you, then that is the correct method for you. ;)
     
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  3. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    People suggest that it's bad because if you chang the layout, you'll have to delete or change your detailing, which is a waste of time. So it's definitely inefficient.

    However, if it's what you enjoy, then do that. I know lots of people enjoy detailing more than the rest of design and it seems silly to force them to wait on it while they do the bit they dislike.
     
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  4. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    The problem is that people will spend all the time in the test either complaining that you shouldn't have done it or critiquing the detailing and you won't get any meaningful feedback. You might say that's their fault, not yours, but if you stick your hand in the dog's cage and it bites you, you still end up with a bitten hand.
     
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  5. TheLoafLord

    TheLoafLord L1: Registered

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    You said that perfectly. I think you guys are right.
     
  6. Werewolf

    aa Werewolf Probably not a real Werewolf

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    IMO some decoration is fine. Dev textures don't show what theme the map will be, and if you don't have custom dev textures (so you're only using the default grey and orange) then the world just blends into itself. Is that a door over there? Who knows, because the wall and the world beyond the wall are the same colour!
     
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  7. TheLoafLord

    TheLoafLord L1: Registered

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    That is so true, that's why I texture as I go. Because A: It's an eyesore, and B: I forget the theme, and also C: When Dev texturing, I might come up with a cool texture idea, but by the time I'm done making the Dev textured layout, I would have forgotten the idea. You, my friend, could not be more right.
     
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  8. DrSquishy

    DrSquishy L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    It's great for the map looking good, and it helps me define zones. I've been doing it in my recent maps and if I change the layout, I don't always delete a very nice looking section. Instead I move it to the side and use it for an unreachable area or a ready made section later on
     
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  9. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    that only happens when it's fullbright, which is... a different problem
     
  10. DrSquishy

    DrSquishy L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    This can also apply in the editor, because the slew of bright orange and grey just swamps everything and it can be very hard to get your bearings
     
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  11. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    Typical design processes usually start from most general and narrow themselves down towards most specific as the design evolves and it becomes easier to answer certain questions. In other words, if a designer doesn't know what something is going to be, they don't set it in stone. This allows a very methodical process of answering every possible design problem exactly how you want to, which in theory produces the best possible design.

    Typically detailing is left to last because it doesn't have a lot of bearing on the "big" decisions of a map. However, it is also perfectly valid to decide what something should look like in an early alpha if how something looks is a big important part of your map. Many Valve maps follow strict formal rules because they produce things that look nice. Building a map layout-first without consideration for the aesthetics of the map would never produce something as neatly organized as Gorge or Nucleus. You can also find hints of this in Gravelpit B, Granary 2nd, Hydro's final points, Bigrock spawn, and pretty much every 5cp last point.

    (This is all assuming you take design very seriously, which you don't need to. This is a website for serious and hobbyist designers alike.)
     
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  12. [Rx.] Christian Troy

    [Rx.] Christian Troy L4: Comfortable Member

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    When it comes to textures, I stay away from the dev textures for similar reasons. First is that you have to change it later anyways to something else. Then dev textures don't represent what you have in mind when it comes to how it's going to look as you go along or in the end. Using the textures you want to be there in the end also helps me a lot when going along with a layout so I have some kind of direction on where I'm going with it. Same can go for with adding some props along the way. Say you add some props to a room only to find out the room is too small or too big. In that case it's better to me to get it readjusted at that time then to find out it's too small or big later with other areas connected to it which leads to a chain reaction of readjusting everything around that area too. Why not get it right the first time? ;)
     
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  13. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    @Yrr has a great point on this topic that she's told several times and I hope tells here once again.
     
  14. henke37

    aa henke37

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    Valve didn't make Nucleus.
     
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  15. Another Bad Pun

    Server Staff Another Bad Pun over my dead body

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    Not to derail, but could you have at least checked before posting

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Beef Bucket

    aa Beef Bucket L41: Blessed Member

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    When I was starting out, I knew I was a long way off from finishing a map, so I textured my early maps to get a similar sense of creative accomplishment. Now that I am more confident in myself, I am more free to leave my maps in dev textures and take advantage of the heightened efficiency that that brings.

    Detailing a map you are finished making changes to, for that version at least, can be fun but there are two things to keep in mind:
    Detailing a map as you develop it is a great way to waste your time
    Being unwilling to delete something you spent a long time working on is a great way to make sure your maps are for nobody but yourself. Don't be that guy​
     
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  17. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

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    If you feel like you need to let out your burst of detailing creativity, why not try making a small detailing map to test your ideas?

    Just limit yourself to a certain size (like 1024 x 1024) and let your creativity go with a theme you want, or an idea you have. Doesn't even have to make sense gameplay-wise, just do what you think would look good! Example:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0oGkPA9p-c


    Even if it doesn't get used as a TF2 map, you could have it be used for SFM use instead, if you're proud of it.
     
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  18. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    These are good reasons to go ahead and make a "concept art" version that's separate from the version you use for testing if you have a lot of specific detailing plans early on. Then you can see how all your ideas look without having to move all that detail around to accommodate every single layout change you make.
     
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  19. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    This is a very worthwhile point to bring up - having some concept of what the map overall will be allows you to design the level so that it makes sense as a location in context, rather than just making your featureless alpha blocks look like bizarrely-shaped buildings.
     
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  20. Yrr

    aa Yrr An Actual Deer

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    its good to map with detail in mind, maybe even pseudo-detailing, but as a general rule when you start doing your artpass, it not only becomes harder to change things but also people tend to subconsciously think you're set on the layout and won't leave as much feedback about gameplay, which can let major issues go unnoticed for too long.
     
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