What do YOU think defines a good map?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by johbal, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. johbal

    johbal L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:

    I've recently began using hammer to make maps for TF2, and I've noticed on many forums that people make maps, and I mean really really good maps both graphically and with good layouts, yet... there's still not many players playing on these maps, it's a shame!

    Anyway, so I'm going to ask around, what do YOU think defines a really good and fun map? Please post and conclude what you think makes a map good. I believe this is a great idea for many of you who are thinkin about making a map, to know how player's want them... so you don't open hammer and make a map that takes weeks to complete, and nobody want to play on it!

    Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the answers just as much as I will do!

  2. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

    Positive Ratings:
    Hello, welcome. :)

    A good map should be in style with TF2's art direction and game types. It should, but it doesn't have to. Experimentation is good, just make sure it actually works. A good map must be fun and balanced for all classes and both teams. The golden rule is to always make the best effort you can - if you're going to make a map, go all the way (I don't mean to say that in an elitist sort of way, of course no one expects you to make anything fantastic at the first go, as I said it's all about the effort and thought you put into it).
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  3. laghlagh

    laghlagh L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Reckognizable (ugh english) look, fun gameplay.
  4. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I think most people (including myself) tend to like maps that not only look like the original game (in this case TF2) but also have similar gameplay.

    Some people tend to be very hardcore in the fact that they only like maps that very closely represent Valve's vision of the game (ie:eek:fficial maps) while some people like myself like that style and efforts to go somewhat beyond that.

    As an example I made an arena map in a castle. Everything except a few overlays were stock. So it has the TF2 'look' as far as cartoony tex/models/skybox.

    Some people like it because of that, the fact that it is different but not so different it seems like a different game. Using Halflife textures fits this catagory. They just don't fit the game, they don't match the models, characters or overall style.

    Then again I got a few responses from people here like 'if I want to play another game I'll play another game'.
    To that I say whatever...
    It's not like red and blu fighting in a castle make it NOT TF2. It just means the scenery isn't the same as every other TF2 map.

    But it's up to you.
    If you want to gaurantee you map will be played you can make a copy of 2fort or lumberyard. Doesn't mean it'll get server time or get played anymore than if you make something like Mariokart (which IMO is horrible) that gets alot of server time.

    Really it's all about making what you want to make and hoping it gets playtime. If not at least you had fun making it. If you don't enjoy mapping you might as well not waste your time because with the amount of custom maps and almost impercievable likes and dislikes of servers/players it's probably impossible to plan, create and release a map that is gonna be popular.
  5. TotalMark

    TotalMark L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    The map has to have these characteristics:

    Easy to Play
    The map must have an easy to understand gametype, someone should be able to pick up on it in about 5 seconds. No "pick up the flag and run it here and here and here" sort of things.

    It also must have the same theme throughout, if it's a space map, I don't want to see a wooden shack or a cookie factory. Also, the tf2 texture set should be used (or custom textures in the same painted style), hl2 textures are really pretty, but they stick out like a day-glo orange vest in the forest.

    I want to be able to equally play as any class. (Unless I known I can't, i.e. sniper maps)

    Sticks to Convention
    All spawns should have working resupply lockers, no entry forcefields, spawn props, etc. Capture and control points should have hazard tape or brushes around them. There should be more than enough signs.
  6. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

    Positive Ratings:
    Gameplay, stick to TF2 style of cartoonishness, and an easy to remember layout. I hate playing maps that have little signs and I cant find my way about until a week in.
  7. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Positive Ratings:
    - Simplicity. You may want to look cool by making a map with a complex layout, but DON'T. Players are meant to fight with other players -- not with your map. A map will greatly benefit from a sense of a front and back.

    - Tight Flow. There should always be a sense of direction in your map. It is not OK to make insane flanking routes that allow you to get completely behind the objective.

    - Balance. Watch out for overpowering sniper lanes or sentry spots. Don't have too much vertical or you'll give soldiers and demos too much of an advantage. Make sure all teams have as equal a chance to win as possible.

    - Good Performance. What's the point of a map if you can't even play it?

    - Reasonable filesize. Server operators and clients alike can get frustrated by a large map, especially if it's in the excess of 100MB.

    - Scaling. Make sure your rooms are large enough to support enough people, but small enough so players are not too far away from the action.

    - Most importantly, It's FUN!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  8. drunkie

    drunkie L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:
    Well a lot of people have touched on most of the things. Personally I think height variance is also extremely important to a map, and often overlooked. Badwater is one of my favorite maps from Valves because of the fights going on at so many levels of the y axis.

    As far as the aesthetic's of a map, the devil is in the lighting. Like so many other visual art styles, having great lighting is what really makes a map pop when people run through it. Take time and just go through 2fort, it's lighting will blow you away.
  9. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

    Positive Ratings:
    -Following the game art style (which doesn't mean following the same theme)

    -Class balanced


    -Visually nice
  10. Acegikmo

    aa Acegikmo

    Positive Ratings:
    A good map is...

    ...Balanced, both team and class
    ...Visually pleasing
    ...Designed to encourage teamwork
  11. GrimGriz

    GrimGriz L10: Glamorous Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I was thinking of posing a similar question the other day, and I think I still will "what's your favorite part of your favorite map?"

    I'm a big engie fan, and I have a lot of fun trying to find new spots that work that people aren't expecting....I like sniper lanes...and I like good places for a pyro rush. So, I guess I'm going to have to say the most important thing is to have something for every class type
  12. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

    Positive Ratings:
    multiple variances in height, some kind of remotely consistent visuals, routes that both offer something for the beginner along with the capacity for veterans to find advanced tactics, reward skill and effort (if its a narrow and easily defendable route then any attackers to make it through should be rewarded with some form of advantage, usually a chance to get behind the enemy), 1 or 2 "secret" (things like barrels, crates, or slight support beams hanging off a wall, too obvious or too useful are bad things) routes should be available in areas of minimal seriousness, such as the 1st round in a multistage map (for anyone that doesn't like that idea...it happens alot in dustbowl!), every class should be usable at some point in the map, fun should have more emphasis then competitive play (balance as much as you can but don't go so far that the entertaining segments of the map are removed)

  13. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Positive Ratings:
    Be careful about alternate routes. Attackers should not be able to easily get behind RED in A/D maps.

    I really hate maps that do this.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  14. FaTony

    FaTony Banned

    Positive Ratings:
    Good map - high ratings on fpsb. (Ex: tc_meridian)
    Fun map - huge number of server and players on this map. (Ex: cp_orange_x)
  15. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I can't tell if this is a joke post or if you are actually serious.
  16. Termaximus

    Termaximus L5: Dapper Member

    Positive Ratings:
    In a word: fun. Some maps, even those that aren't the prettiest, are just fun. The bad thing this is an intangible thing and hard to get your hands on. I think sometimes fun just happens in a map. It has a randomness about it.