[TIPS] What adds Detail to your map?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Swift, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Swift

    Swift Guest

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    This topic functions as a quick reference to help you add more detail to your map.

    What adds Detail to your map?
    Pick what you need!
    Get inspired!
    Pimp it!

    The ovious are:
    - models
    - overlays
    - decals
    - func_detail entities
    - trimming brushes
    - scale
    - layout
    - good lighting
    - sounds
    - surrounding areas

    More specific ideas:
    - waterpipes/tubes
    - vents/shafts
    - shimny
    - spiderweb
    - trash lying in less traveled corners
    - doorframes
    - girders
    - I-beams
    - molding
    - rafters

    Please feel free to add to the list(s).
    Tip: place a piece of paper next to you while you map. When you have a detail idea, write it down and add it to this list after a while.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2007
  2. Maj.Woody

    Maj.Woody Guest

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    in addition to all of the above, adding realistic touches like trim peices being slightly sagging from age, or trash lying in less traveled corners things like that can really add to the detail.
     
  3. wolferey

    wolferey Guest

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    Another thing is a consistent (sp?) design. If you are working on making a clean medical lab type map, adding details like trash bags and empty bottles and stuff will work against the design. Stupid example, but there are many beginner maps out there where these stuff ain't thought about, they think that more details means a better map, which isn't always the case.

    Also, think about scale, lighting, sounds and layout. Water can add to gameplay because people can hear you splash around before you enter a place, light can make you cast shadows which tells your just around the corner, and overall good lighting and layout makes for a better map. Study some of the old TFC maps, or even unreal tournament, quake and other multiplayer games which has team deathmatch, capture the flag etc.

    Figure out why the level designer did this particular layout, what he thought about. Why was those crates added on that spot, does it bring cover or a visibility block or was it just for detail. Perhaps it is a nice spot for a spy to hide between while changing disguises, or to load up cloak? What makes dustbowl or 2Fort good? Many good tips to find from other mappers and trying to think like them when playing todays classics ;)
     
  4. spaceweasels

    aa spaceweasels

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    Well, I guess I'll go with the obvious one. Texture placement.

    Partially, it's about aligning your textures properly one to another, but also creating transition when going from one type of texture to another.
     
  5. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    Here's some stuff I picked up while gazing around the Valve TF2 maps

    Got a big bland and boring wall in you map? (and I know you do, mappers! You know who you are!) Well why not turn that wall into a fence or window and make a nice little diorama behind it? This creates a the sense of a larger world out there beyond the confines of the gameplay arena.

    http://students.uww.edu/RodenJA10/tips1.jpg

    Presto! The Engineer babysitting his SG now has something interesting to look at.

    http://students.uww.edu/RodenJA10/tips2.jpg

    The intel room is now part of a functional base of world domination instead of a random bunker with no other purpose than to hold that one item. Try to ignore the missing desk and cubemap errors.

    Other good examples of this include the sides of the bridge area and the sides of Granary.

    http://spokaneteamfortress.com/hosted/tf2_2fort.jpg
    http://botman.planethalflife.gamespy.com/monster_2fort3_big.jpg

    --

    Putting lots of props in your map can start to clunk up the ease of movement (as I have a perpetrator of in the past), so an alternate idea is to create little alcoves for them. Look around the maps and you'll notice props snuck into lofts and under ramps and whatnot. Instead of fences everywhere, you can stick em behind a noclip, as long as it doesn't break believability.

    http://students.uww.edu/RodenJA10/tips3.jpg

    --

    http://students.uww.edu/RodenJA10/tips4.jpg

    Doorframes, girders, I-beams, molding, and rafters! Another good way to break up the monotony.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  6. drp

    aa drp

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    those are immensely helpful screenshots. thanks.
     
  7. spaceweasels

    aa spaceweasels

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    Adding details is essential. However, map makers should also get used to using clipbrushes. If you look at the Valve maps, you'll see clip brushes running over most walls.

    What a clip bush does, it acts as an invisible wall. When you have a lot of frames or junk lying around, using a clip brush will help avoid players getting stuck.
     
  8. Vetta2000

    Vetta2000 Guest

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    Anything that shows or adds history to the environment. Who uses this place? What era is it in? When did they use it? What did they use it for?

    Structural detail, or construction history makes a better environment too. Consider how things are built, what do you see at every doorway? A structure around it. Pillars, arches, anything that will make the environment your in feel convincingly real.


     
  9. Vetta2000

    Vetta2000 Guest

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    Do you mean a collision mesh type of thing?
     
  10. Dox

    Dox L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Its amazing how detailed the valve maps really are if you look at them, since they have that hand drawn feel its easy to fool yourself into thinking theyre easy and simple.
     
  11. Alexforcefive

    Alexforcefive Guest

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    Make a brush and texture it with tools/playerclip. It's invisible in-game but players can't move through it. If you look on some of the official maps, they round off most of the corners in the level with a playerclip.
     
  12. Logo

    Logo L3: Member

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    Also when establishing a theme for your map try to vary the texture/detail of different sections of your map based on location. Use some similar texture, geometry, or models to tie the areas together but by varying the details for each area you make the map easier to learn and more interesting.

    2Fort is a great example of this each area of 2fort has its own unique texturing or features that blend together through reuse of some textures, models, and obviously color schemes even within a single base.

    A similar but unique look to each area will go a long way to improving both the game play and look of your map.
     
  13. Novacane

    Novacane Guest

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    Yeah this seems to be a very important detail which tf2 portrays.
    I like to think of it as:
    Red = wood / brick / farm equipment / beer kegs
    Blue = metal / concrete / big machinery / smoke stacks

    And a nice blend towards the middle of the map to let players know exactly where they are in relation to the main "bases" of the map.
    Nothing worse then going the wrong direction away from the action.
     
  14. Ziggurat

    Ziggurat L1: Registered

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    where are those pics from? is there an old test version of 2fort deep inside the .gcfs?
     
  15. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    Nah, those were my alterations.
     
  16. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    glad you say this. And than the llayout, gravelpit and dustbowl are amazing.
     
  17. Haas

    Haas Guest

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    I wanted to add more detail to my map but how do you start?
    My main problem i don't know all the models in my head so what is the best method:
    Find your empty wall and start searching for props and adding brushes.
    Or start searching models and start placing them on places that you think they look good?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2008
  18. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    I write some props down that i need, if i dont find them, i make them. Also, if you see a prop in a map, write it down if you think it would fit in your map. It's a process that takes time, and placing props in places they dont fit, make your map feel too forced.
     
  19. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    If only I could model... :( I envy you.
     
  20. ZargonX

    ZargonX L3: Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately I'm not a modeler, so I have to go with the creative uses of pre-existing ones as best I can...