Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Ewber Taxi, Nov 26, 2017.
I dunno, should I or should I not?
You can texture your entire map if you want in alpha, it just means a lot of work will go down the drain when layout changes take over in later iterations. However, in early alpha, some detailing that is critical to gameplay, like prop jumps and most importantly, team-colored props and buildings, should be there to aid gameplay and let people know what side of the map they are on.
It hardly wastes time if you have a set of basic textures of the theme and use them instead of dev textures. Like ground and grass textures for floor and a stone or wood texture for walls.
Might help imagine how the map will look in the end and makes playtesting your map a little more interesting, so I like it when I dont have to playtest a fully gray textured map as I immediately got a bad first impression of it but thats just me.
Yeah, some dev textures look good, but looking at the grey ones over and over is a bit annoying.
The thing with devtextures is that they make testers stop complaining about the visuals.
I've literally had people tell me that the ground should be green like grass and not white because white isn't very realistic so...
Texturing a map is fine. You're just not advised to start detailing your map until the layout is at a point where you feel that it plays well and is likely not gonna change anymore.
That said, it's important to keep your map looking presentable, not just because players generally prefer playing on maps that look good over maps that don't, but also because it'll make it much easier to work with in the long run. It'll be easier to optimise and you'll have less chance of getting leaks in small, obscure places.
something something visual gameplay
In my opinion there are a couple of reasons why starting your map with dev textures is better than using normal textures aspeccialy as a beginning mapper:
dev textures give you a better sense of scale than the normal textures, which does help getting an idea about sizes of rooms that work and height.
to add on what henke said: normal textures are easier to mess up (like having them angled wrong or used in places where you should not use them) which will people give you feedback on during playtests rather than giving gameplay feedback. Besides that, dev textures are easier to make things look cool in my opinion . So regarding your second post, this thread has some tips on using dev textures https://tf2maps.net/threads/dev-texturing-tips.30580/
From a level designer perspective, the perfect level is a level that plays well without any visual cue whatsoever, the players get attracted to the objective and just look at what they have to look unconsciously.
You have to understand that textures/lights/props/overlays and such are small 'tools' that can be helpfull to guide the players in a level, they can help you to fix an area where you can't improve the design anymore. If you add textures/props and overlay too fast, you just 'hide' the design problem of your map.
Let me explain that further with an analogy.
I really like the 'Lean manufacturing' concept that was introduced by Toyota, I use it in my company to reduce my wastage and to improve my store by reducing the supplies.
One of the main theory explain that the stock is hidding the inefficiencies, and as a metaphor, they take a lake full of rocks filled with water.
You can use this metaphor in level-design aswell, if you put props/textures/overlays and such in your first alphas, you will add more water in your lake, this water is going to hide the inherent problem of the design of your level.
A perfect level is almost fullbright, contains two textures but still plays perfectly.
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