Map Ideas???

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by redkraken123, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. redkraken123

    redkraken123 L1: Registered

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    Hey I wanted to get started at mapping but the problem is I have no ideas on layout or design. Can anyone get me a layout/design that is simple and easy for a beginner?
     
  2. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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    Start with something small. Of the current gametypes, CTF and KOTH are the easiest, so try something with those. I think KOTH is probably easier to make a design for. What I usually do is just draw a control point in the middle of a sheet of paper, then just build around it, see what naturally comes out of it.
     
  3. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    I second Altaco's suggestion of starting from a center and building outwards. Not only does it help with keeping everything flowing together smoothly, but it also makes it much easier to give the map rotational symmetry if you keep copying one side onto the other, rotating it 180 degrees. Far easier and less of a load on your computer than copy-pasting half a map. :p

    For inspiration, look at existing maps you really like, then try to imitate the general design ideas used there (i.e. open areas connected via narrow hallways, multiple floors, etc - these are just examples, there are infinite ways to interpret TF2 mapping philosophies by looking at official and even community maps) but also consider problems found in the map/s you're using as inspiration (don't stick to just one - mix it up some!), then try to solve those in your design. Don't plagiarize though! ;)

    As for gamemodes, CTF and KOTH generally call for smaller maps than other gamemodes, so I agree with Altaco there as well - those are good to start with. CTF might be a little harder though since there's a lot more involved in getting flags from one end of the map to the other than in simply attempting to control the center of the map (i.e. you need more alternate routes, possibly a few tighter spaces, etc). From my experience with CTF (Well being a notable exception), CTF maps generally keep their intel in areas accessible via a series of narrow pathways off of the main or a secondary area. 2fort, Sawmill, and Turbine all are like this. Sawmill was also expanded from an Arena map (see below), making it a perfect example of the slightly larger nature of CTF.

    Arena is basically KOTH minus respawning/resupply, no countdown timer, and a bit longer before the point becomes available (heck, Valve even converted Nucleus from Arena to KOTH just by adding resupply lockers :p), so it might also be a good place to start. Keep in mind however that KOTH tends to be favored over Arena gameplay-wise, so KOTH might be the way to go between those two.
     
  4. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    I like to choose a theme, and build around that. Say you have an image of a tower with lots of rickety beams in it to drop down on people with in the middle of a marsh, build it, and then think of ways to get onto that building, and ways to get on those ways.

    Now, when you play TF2, have a look around at the Map you're playing on, see how they made it, and what you like and dislike about it.
     
  5. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    my best advice would be to take a basic koth prefab *cough* and work around it. Take plenty of time to research, though. Check out the mapping resource page, google the map theme for pictures, and spend lots of time looking at pre-existing maps for inspiration. I can't tell you how much I've learned just by opening up 2fort and walking around. Layout isn't usually too hard, just make sure that there are no major choke points the whole team would have to go through, and avoid ridiculously open spaces. Now when I say open spaces, I mean spaces without cover. If you stick in a few "models/props_mining/support_wall001a"s to hide behind, it's a lot better than having small indoor hallways.
     
  6. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I disagree, I actually find getting the layout right the hardest part :)

    I say play on paper, thats how I started. I started with an image of a nice place I liked, then modified it to work in tf2.
     
  7. ricardojvc6

    ricardojvc6 L6: Sharp Member

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    well if you wan't good layout you need to do manny things.. first you need to draw your map on paper or use the paint of the computer if you wan't the layout be good you can make it by simetrical or not simetrical maps if you make a simetrical, the things you need to put is just like straight line and equal as BLU and RED like the map: granary.. and the not simetrical wich is the most famous... the maps use this not simetrical map thing.. are badwater, dustbowl, goldrush and manny... do not make a very open map that will make things worse so do not make very open places because it would be sniper friendly... and the gametypes you could use CTF KOTH and Arena this are 3 simple ones to start with.. i think this help you.. how to make :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  8. redkraken123

    redkraken123 L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the tips! Yesterday I grabbed a piece of paper but had no inspiration at all, I think I'm gonna start off with a KOTH map because of its simplicity.
     
  9. Axis Denied

    Axis Denied L1: Registered

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    What I did when I was starting out is I looked at Valve maps and how they are designed (remember, a good map will be balanced for every class). Keep in mind sentry positions, sniper LOS, and tight areas (pyro heaven). Always make main areas accessible from more than one spot (maps with only one route I find is very annoying and custom maps that have those usually get rtv'ed for being frustrating). But don't over do it - to many accessible spots makes it hard to defend...again, just see how Valve does it. :p

    As for design and themes, go look at photos - I recommend going to flickr and looking up pictures of buildings and ideas will come to you.
     
  10. ricardojvc6

    ricardojvc6 L6: Sharp Member

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    Well you need to think about Themes like Egypt Alpine and Others.
    Without themes you don't know what to start and when... thats why you don't start very well
     
  11. jpr

    aa jpr

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    If you can't get anything on paper, try messing around in hammer instead. Sometimes I do this when I'm out of ideas, it takes a bit more time though, since changes are a lot easier to do on paper.
     
  12. redkraken123

    redkraken123 L1: Registered

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    Well the thing is, I did think up a theme. It's going to be a snowy night and that is as far as I have got.. :facepalm:
     
  13. Loc_n_lol

    Loc_n_lol L10: Glamorous Member

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    Looking at reference pictures is great, but there's no need to reinvent the wheel. since you're most likely going to use their textures and their models, look at Valve maps to get inspiration for the architecture and the lighting. In your case, you'll probably want to take a close look at viaduct and maybe pipeline.

    On an unrelated note, ctf is very easy... to get wrong. If it's too big, it feels like you spend all your time running, if there's too many paths, you never meet the enemy and it becomes undefendable, if it's too small or there are too few paths, it becomes a turtle and spam fest. arena and koth are probably safer starts, but they're also less popular.
     
  14. ricardojvc6

    ricardojvc6 L6: Sharp Member

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    Well yeh but i'm not sure :unsure: if that would help but anyway you could try do that :)
     
  15. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Something I'm trying with my latest map is looking around you, specifically at routes you take. For instance, I'm using a portion of my route from work to home as the layout for a payload cart path. I could probably do the same with my route from my desk to my car, or my typical morning shuffle (bed -> hallway -> loop through the kitchen to set the toaster and coffee maker -> out the door and to the shower) and have a useful path. That sort of thing can get you started by giving you a center line to expand outward from.