Map concept Thread

The Letter Before A

Cool Idiot
Jul 15, 2016
292
196
This thread's purpose is to allow map developers to upload their map concepts for the community's review.
The following Image is a template I created to allow everyone to understand each other's design sketches.
template.png

If you need to print Graph paper Go HERE
 
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Hyperion

L16: Grid Member
aa
Jun 8, 2015
840
659
Map concept thread could be more fitting name. Also this overlaps a bit with standard WIP in WIP thread but has its own idea still
 

UKCS-Alias

Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?
aa
Sep 8, 2008
1,264
816
For most people its bad practice to draw a map in 2d. It makes them forget about height variety and often results in very flat maps. Only when you realy know what you are doing should you do this. And many times this is only to verify wether an idea would fit. You should try to get a 3d map shape from the start. Blocking it in hammer using dev textures (And a drawing to assist you idea) can be much more efficient.

Even worse is graph paper which sets a scale. Many times you are just trying to match the paper rather than actualy look at the scale while making it in hammer. You quickly over/underscale a map because you blindly make each square worth 64,128 or 256 (while maybe it should have been 96,192, 80 or whatever). Having no graph would force you to test wether an area actualy fits and allows you to scale an area to a state it works. And this test is crucial.

From all drawings of a map, i never even managed to get it into a decent state. Yet with blind building i at least would get the scaling correct.

A concept thread is fine, but forcing certain rules on drawing can be a bad thing.
 

The Letter Before A

Cool Idiot
Jul 15, 2016
292
196
For most people its bad practice to draw a map in 2d. It makes them forget about height variety and often results in very flat maps. Only when you realy know what you are doing should you do this. And many times this is only to verify wether an idea would fit. You should try to get a 3d map shape from the start. Blocking it in hammer using dev textures (And a drawing to assist you idea) can be much more efficient.

Even worse is graph paper which sets a scale. Many times you are just trying to match the paper rather than actualy look at the scale while making it in hammer. You quickly over/underscale a map because you blindly make each square worth 64,128 or 256 (while maybe it should have been 96,192, 80 or whatever). Having no graph would force you to test wether an area actualy fits and allows you to scale an area to a state it works. And this test is crucial.

From all drawings of a map, i never even managed to get it into a decent state. Yet with blind building i at least would get the scaling correct.

A concept thread is fine, but forcing certain rules on drawing can be a bad thing.
I'm only having a basic structuring to allow people to understand each others designs.
 

Fruity Snacks

Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums
aa
Sep 5, 2010
6,394
5,571
For most people its bad practice to draw a map in 2d. It makes them forget about height variety and often results in very flat maps. Only when you realy know what you are doing should you do this. And many times this is only to verify wether an idea would fit. You should try to get a 3d map shape from the start. Blocking it in hammer using dev textures (And a drawing to assist you idea) can be much more efficient.

Even worse is graph paper which sets a scale. Many times you are just trying to match the paper rather than actualy look at the scale while making it in hammer. You quickly over/underscale a map because you blindly make each square worth 64,128 or 256 (while maybe it should have been 96,192, 80 or whatever). Having no graph would force you to test wether an area actualy fits and allows you to scale an area to a state it works. And this test is crucial.

From all drawings of a map, i never even managed to get it into a decent state. Yet with blind building i at least would get the scaling correct.

A concept thread is fine, but forcing certain rules on drawing can be a bad thing.

2D layouts are fine, if it works for the designer - I used them, and still do for most things that require that type of layout design.

Graph paper is aditionally OK because you set the squares to be whatever the heck you want. They don't need to be 64, 128, 256, whatever.

The goal of most 2D sketches is to get a general idea of the layout, and thus how it plays. It's not a scaled architectural blueprint.
 

Idolon

they/them
aa
Feb 7, 2008
2,115
6,122
For most people its bad practice to draw a map in 2d. It makes them forget about height variety and often results in very flat maps. Only when you realy know what you are doing should you do this. And many times this is only to verify wether an idea would fit. You should try to get a 3d map shape from the start. Blocking it in hammer using dev textures (And a drawing to assist you idea) can be much more efficient.

That's an extreme generalization based on your own methods and process. A sketch only has as much agency over your design as you give it. Any decisions you want to show up in your final product have to be made in Hammer, but that doesn't mean you have to make decisions only through Hammer itself.

If a designer finds that they end up with flat maps when they sketch layouts, then they should change how they sketch. That's not to say that sketching is an effective tool for every designer, but that a designer should understand how a tool works before they decide that it doesn't work at all.
 
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UKCS-Alias

Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?
aa
Sep 8, 2008
1,264
816
2D layouts are fine, if it works for the designer - I used them, and still do for most things that require that type of layout design.
I wasnt stating they are bad when you know what to do. The problem i stated is that many (especialy new) mappers dont know it and create huge flaws that way.
A prime example is that they only consider 2 height levels (Sometimes 3) yet if you look at many good maps a single area can feature like 5 relevant height levels with only a diffirence of 64HU between each level. This is hard to draw on paper and quickly forgotten.

EDIT: and yes, its not vital to draw, but when you know what you do. It wont become a flaw.
Graph paper is aditionally OK because you set the squares to be whatever the heck you want. They don't need to be 64, 128, 256, whatever.
Many mappers before they even draw something already somewhat built the area they want to make in their mind. They just write it down to remember and to check if their idea would fit. Graph paper is ideal to keep the measurements equal to how you would map it.
The goal of most 2D sketches is to get a general idea of the layout, and thus how it plays. It's not a scaled architectural blueprint.
I draw all my maps for that same reason. But i dont use any gridpaper and do a very rough shape to only settle the idea. More like a 'i need to remember this'.

But the warning about quickly making flaws is still valid. And its worth to mention the commonly made mistakes.
 

The Letter Before A

Cool Idiot
Jul 15, 2016
292
196
I wasnt stating they are bad when you know what to do. The problem i stated is that many (especialy new) mappers dont know it and create huge flaws that way.
A prime example is that they only consider 2 height levels (Sometimes 3) yet if you look at many good maps a single area can feature like 5 relevant height levels with only a diffirence of 64HU between each level. This is hard to draw on paper and quickly forgotten.

EDIT: and yes, its not vital to draw, but when you know what you do. It wont become a flaw.

Many mappers before they even draw something already somewhat built the area they want to make in their mind. They just write it down to remember and to check if their idea would fit. Graph paper is ideal to keep the measurements equal to how you would map it.

I draw all my maps for that same reason. But i dont use any gridpaper and do a very rough shape to only settle the idea. More like a 'i need to remember this'.

But the warning about quickly making flaws is still valid. And its worth to mention the commonly made mistakes.
I only use grid paper to allow myself to create more easily understandable sketches.
Also it makes it look prettier on paper
 

Fruity Snacks

Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums
aa
Sep 5, 2010
6,394
5,571
I wasnt stating they are bad when you know what to do. The problem i stated is that many (especialy new) mappers dont know it and create huge flaws that way.
A prime example is that they only consider 2 height levels (Sometimes 3) yet if you look at many good maps a single area can feature like 5 relevant height levels with only a diffirence of 64HU between each level. This is hard to draw on paper and quickly forgotten.

EDIT: and yes, its not vital to draw, but when you know what you do. It wont become a flaw.

Many mappers before they even draw something already somewhat built the area they want to make in their mind. They just write it down to remember and to check if their idea would fit. Graph paper is ideal to keep the measurements equal to how you would map it.

I draw all my maps for that same reason. But i dont use any gridpaper and do a very rough shape to only settle the idea. More like a 'i need to remember this'.

But the warning about quickly making flaws is still valid. And its worth to mention the commonly made mistakes.

To be fair, many new mappers will make all these mistakes, 2D layout or not. It's part of the learning process, and it's part of the iterative process.
 

nickybakes

You should've played Rumbleverse
aa
Jul 28, 2015
912
1,741
anyway here is a sketch I made for a pastime map.
Please tell me your guy's thoughts
layout_pt_sightline.jpg
It's kinda hard to tell a lot from a top down drawing. The only thing I can think of/see is that people may not enjoy being spawned, and then having to do a 180 degree turn to get to the enemy. Maybe rotate it 90 degrees counter clock wise so when players walk out, they have an even choice of whether to go to defend their goal or attack the enemy's. I know some other maps do make you turn a lot, but I find them rather annoying to do any roll outs on.
 

Diva Dan

hello!
aa
Mar 20, 2016
1,025
1,953
It's kinda hard to tell a lot from a top down drawing.


I think that's going to happen a lot in this thread, drawings make the most sense to their creator and will often need a lot of explaining for other people. It's cool to interpret it yourself though, personally I'm a bit inspired by that goal area! Lots of dead space though, more-so by the spawns
 

theatreTECHIE

Yet another Techie for the net...
aa
Jun 19, 2015
451
458
One thing I find useful is to put stairs, with an arrow pointing in the direction that's up. You can also do this on sloped ground that you will do with a ramp or displacements. If you don't have quite a few arrows on the page, it can be quite a good sign that the map is lacking height variation, or at least easy routes between heights. I might even write the number of units along side the arrow to give me an idea of how tall the slope will go. I might even just write "small" or "large" along side if I don't have an actual unit number in my mind.
I find the arrow tells me what area is the high ground much easier than trying to look at a design and deciding what would probably be the high ground.
For example, an idea that I had for a payload map:
image.png


I also tend to shade areas - blu is blu rescan room, orange is sloped ground, black is inaccessible roof tops.
 
Aug 30, 2015
359
451
I mostly use paper layouts as a way to visualize my thought process and iterate upon it before committing to it and to jog my memory when it comes time to build the thing.

Capture.JPG

Thing is, nobody else has to ever see my crappy sketches. The above arrangement of boxes probably doesn't look like much, but when I look at it I know which boxes represent bridges, and which ones represent open space, and which ones represent enclosed buildings and so on.
 

The Letter Before A

Cool Idiot
Jul 15, 2016
292
196
One thing I find useful is to put stairs, with an arrow pointing in the direction that's up. You can also do this on sloped ground that you will do with a ramp or displacements. If you don't have quite a few arrows on the page, it can be quite a good sign that the map is lacking height variation, or at least easy routes between heights. I might even write the number of units along side the arrow to give me an idea of how tall the slope will go. I might even just write "small" or "large" along side if I don't have an actual unit number in my mind.
I find the arrow tells me what area is the high ground much easier than trying to look at a design and deciding what would probably be the high ground.
For example, an idea that I had for a payload map:
image.png


I also tend to shade areas - blu is blu rescan room, orange is sloped ground, black is inaccessible roof tops.
I feel like the opening area on the map does not have very much height variation