What makes a map good ?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by The Siphon, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. The Siphon

    The Siphon L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    273
    Positive Ratings:
    142
    Hello ! I have been trying to think a answer to my problem. What makes a map good, how to make it balanced, what it should be like.

    I can't find a solution to these questions. when I try to Google these things all I get is something like "how to make a map" or "how to make a skybox".

    I really need to know what I should do to make my first map balanced and over all good.

    I would love if you leave your tips or links down below !

    Thank You !

    :)
     
  2. Kraken

    Kraken Few more zeros and ones for the site to proccess

    Messages:
    434
    Positive Ratings:
    115
    For what gamemode are you making this map?
    It's hard to tell what makes a good map if you don't tell the gamemode.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. radarhead

    aa radarhead Level 20 "Mapper"

    Messages:
    1,007
    Positive Ratings:
    545
    Height variation is important. High ground and low ground help create interesting fighting spaces. Just make sure your heights are not too great, or maneuverability will suffer.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Waffe

    Waffe L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    192
    Positive Ratings:
    184
    A simple question with a simple answer: Make it fun. If people like playing on your map it's good.

    I know you're a beginner mapper, so I'll tell you this right from the get-go. At first, your map is most likely to be bad. Then after testing and knowing your map is bad, you look to the maps faults. Why is it bad? Then you can try to fix those faults in ways that doesn't destroy the map even more. This is basically how mapping works.

    One important thing to keep in mind when mapping in TF2 is that the game revolves around several different classes. Knowing how each class plays out is key to understanding how to balance a map. If you think one class is super boring to play on this map (apart from the medic) you have figure out why and try to fix that. The most important classes to take into account when balancing are the engineer and the sniper. Make sure no spot is too powerful for a sentry and that no sightline is too good for a sniper. A lot of open and flat ground benefits the sniper hugely.

    Another hint I could give you is that getting your scale right as soon as possible makes the map much more fun and also much easier to build upon later. Make sure your areas aren't huge or microscopically tiny. Run around your maps as both a heavy and a scout. If you feel like some areas take super long to walk across as heavy, that means your area IS super long and might need a fix. Same deal when running around as scout. If you bump along every single wall in a tiny indoors section, make it a bit wider to give players room to fight in.

    Last thing I'll mention is signage. You might know your map inside and out, but NO OTHER player will. Place some signs to make navigation easier. And then place some more signs because players are most usually idiots.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  5. The Siphon

    The Siphon L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    273
    Positive Ratings:
    142
    well I was thinking a king of the hill map (even it seems there are ton of those out already)
     
  6. The Siphon

    The Siphon L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    273
    Positive Ratings:
    142
    That was really useful, thank you a lot !
     
  7. Kraken

    Kraken Few more zeros and ones for the site to proccess

    Messages:
    434
    Positive Ratings:
    115
    Make it obvious where you can and can't go.
    And playerclip anything where players can get stuck.
    Also watch ueak crash's tutorial on clipping it'll help you.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. Doktor Richter

    Doktor Richter L3: Member

    Messages:
    117
    Positive Ratings:
    78
    You can get a good foundation for your map if you follow the "Rule of Threes". What this means is, at any time, players should have three unique paths to get to the objective (or wherever they are going). Usually you want all these ways to be different somehow. For example, you can make it so one path is the main path and the quickest and widest, one path allows you to attack the enemy from the side but is a little longer, and one path gives you a height advantage but puts you in a dangerous position.

    Generally, if you have less than three paths, it can be hard to push through the enemy defenses, and if you have many more than three, the area will be really hard to hold and defend. Players may also get lost with many paths leading everywhere.

    You don't always have to follow this rule, and there are a few maps that break it a bit. The most important thing is that your map is fun. But most good maps follow the Rule of Threes in many places. If you don't know how to make your layout fun and balanced, the Rule of Threes can be a good place to start.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    493
    Positive Ratings:
    173
    What makes a map good: Wishwashy subjective personal pseudo-formulaic bullshit.
     
  10. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

    Messages:
    3,186
    Positive Ratings:
    4,899
    Yeah, "good" is VERY subjective. Everyone has their own favorite maps and different things they like about each. Personally, I make maps I'll find fun to play on myself. That's served me decently so far.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

    Messages:
    1,473
    Positive Ratings:
    240
     
  12. Kraken

    Kraken Few more zeros and ones for the site to proccess

    Messages:
    434
    Positive Ratings:
    115
     
  13. iiboharz

    aa iiboharz Meme Queen

    Messages:
    718
    Positive Ratings:
    1,040
    I follow the same criteria here pretty much. If one team finds a way to constantly decimate the other team (and it's not because of skill imbalance) then your map likely has issues.
     
  14. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

    Messages:
    2,389
    Positive Ratings:
    4,224
    I used the "rule of threes" in cp_matthew and some people complained that there were too many routes. :v

    Attack/Defend is more linear than KotH though, so maybe it depends on the gamemode.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  15. HQDefault

    aa HQDefault ...what

    Messages:
    1,058
    Positive Ratings:
    436
    At first I thought this was gonna be highly philosophical,

    so I was prepared to say that asking that is like asking the meaning of life. (Which I know, but it's a secret and I ain't sharing it :3)

    But in this case... yeah...

    I'm... kinda...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. ExtraCheesyPie

    ExtraCheesyPie L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    487
    Positive Ratings:
    127
    Also, don't overuse death pits. In some cases, it's appropriate, but not every map needs to be on a cliffside or contain a side way of doom or something.

    A good way to do death pits is mountainlab's last, or coldfront's connector from pt 1 to pt 2, which has a massive cave/pit thing blocked off by girders.
     
  17. CommodoreKong

    aa CommodoreKong

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    304
    Of course the most important thing that makes a map good is that it's fun to play on. If I have fun playing on a map that's really the most important thing. Of course making a map fun can be difficult, and what's fun for one person may be different for the next person.

    Looking at my favorite Valve made maps, Badwater, Upward and Gorge they all have a good mix of wide open spaces with enough chokepoints to allow the defending team to have a chance of holding back the attacking team.