Is Mapping a Talent?

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War Paints Everywhere
Apr 26, 2015
Within my theatre class, we are talking about talent. Is mapping a talent?


L5: Dapper Member
Jun 2, 2016
I think it may be a skill, something you can learn


War Paints Everywhere
Apr 26, 2015
Thank you Crash for commenting on my thread.


Spiritual preprocessor
Dec 19, 2015
Yes, mapping is a talent and it takes a lot to create a good map, from the basics and advanced stuff of Source Engine (or, if we extrapolate it to mapping in general, 3D engines in general) to the gameplay theory of the game you're mapping for, to the ability to receive and interpret feedback in a way it's of help for you and your map. (or creation - here we can extrapolate to all kinds of creation in general, even).
Mapping and 3D stuff in general is an art and does take talent!


eternally tired
Nov 5, 2014
If anything takes lots of time, effort and love to master, it's a talent most certainly.

Blade x64

Logical insanity
Sep 3, 2009
Do you mean talent as in aptitude (natural ability) or skill (ability to do well, expertise)?

It's definitely a skill as it requires a deliberate effort to become proficient at.

As for aptitude, that's quite a question. I would lean towards yes. Visualizing 3D space, predicting behavior, breaking down complex interactions, and other natural abilities would give you a definite advantage when learning level design.


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
Talent is a loaded word. Some people have a "natural ability" for things, but that can come from both genetics as well as the kinds of learning someone was exposed to before anyone else started labeling their skills as talents.

I believe that some people will be better at certain parts of any job more than others because they find the task more appealing, or have a thought process that aligns well that particular task, or because they've spent a lot of time with that task and know how to approach it intelligently. I wouldn't classify any of these categories as completely driven by natural ability (as opposed to hard work), but it helps.


L6: Sharp Member
Feb 8, 2011
I think that it is both a talent and a skill. The above posters have done a good job of describing why.


Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle
Mar 4, 2008
There are many variables that would make one proficient at being a level designer. Obvious ones would be for starters: Computer literacy. Phil Co (A level designer who IIRC has worked on some Valve content if only as an out-source, amongst many other projects) has several informative books out on the subject. In one he lists 8-10 fields of expertise to be versed in to give you a good foundation in proficient level designing. Ranging from Physics and Geology to Art, Architecture and Design and even Psychology. But generally speaking a good knowledge of how the world operates is what is expected. Because if you can't understand how the world works, you can't hope to replicate it in any relatable way; and your whole goal as a level designer is to maintain a balance between fun game play through the geometric design and the suspension of disbelief through its aesthetics.

Some games you can get away with not being versed in certain fields like physics and geology because the universe is so abstract the same rules that apply to us, don't here and can thus be largely ignored. However in a game like Counter-Strike structures need to look like they are supported like they would be in real life and to be able to effectively and reliably demonstrate this is really the keystone to the entire operation.

I would say if you were versed in most of these subjects, had good 3D awareness/comprehension and of course basic computer literacy i would say you would have the talent to become a level designer without any real training in it. Though training would be ideal. You'll probably find most of the successful people here, and further--those in the industry, are well educated, particularly in these areas.

Jun 17, 2010
Short answer: It must be, because everyone would be able to do it if it wasn't, and apparently to finish a map is big task for some.


L2: Junior Member
May 21, 2016
I feel like it's a talent and a skill that can be learned and mastered. I do see that some people may be more viable and learn quicker cause of past experience with computers and level design. However, I feel that those kinds of people come ever so often in a great while and are considered outliers. Everyone was bad at making maps. Hell I think most of our first maps were ether over ambitious or just a box that is over scaled to the max. The difference is that we can learn from experience through actually making the maps and taking advice or watching people map. Mapping is a skill and a talent at the same time and to say it is entirely one of the two seems a little one sided.