Working on a Map!

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by SeanMcPhearless, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. SeanMcPhearless

    SeanMcPhearless L2: Junior Member

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    I know you guys might not enjoy seeing more Koth maps, But since I'm new to the whole Valve Hammer, I thought it would be the easiest game mode to construct. If I can find a way to take a picture of the blueprints I recently drew, I will upload them here! My idea are of a koth map called 'Top Secret' (sorry if the name has already been taken) where in a small tight map you battle to cap the point. But don't worry about space. Instead of fighting on wide fields and open areas, I've decided to add 3 or 4 floors to the level, all in which they wrap around the rocket that stands above the cap point. This map is a fantastic place for melee or close range combat units. I hope you guys love the idea! Once I post the blueprints, please give me feedback on how I should arrange the map to be as fair as possible :)

    Thanks!
    - Sean
     
  2. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    We probably won't love the idea, since we are super hostile towards creative new ideas.

    jk
     
  3. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    i wish you were
     
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  4. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    you should do a collab with Aslyum

    I'm sure you could pull come gold from the undisputed king of melee :O
     
  5. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    To be honest, I recommend you to scrap the idea and try a boring conventional koth map instead. In a first map (or in my case first, second, third and counting) figuring out things like layout, scaling and optimization works is enough of a pain without the added difficulty of an experimental concept. And as people's first maps generally tend to be more of a learning experience than a good product, there's really no harm in making something that's not amazingly innovative.

    Or maybe I'm just being a negative mr grumpy pants projecting my own failings on other people. I dunno. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
     
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  6. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    A lot of people have delusions of grandeur with their first maps.

    It's always a good idea to start simple, though.
     
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  7. SeanMcPhearless

    SeanMcPhearless L2: Junior Member

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    Hello all! Thanks for all the constructive critisizm. I have fiddled around with Hammer for a while before I started this map, and I don't think its too much of a challenge. I said I would post the blueprints that I drew, but instead I am going to show you just everything I have done so-far. Please give me your feedback!

    Here is a view of the whole map so-far. It is all Yellow because I made every solid nodraw at the start.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the view of the Red spawn.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for the support!
    - Sean
     
  8. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    Should I tell him to use dev textures or not?
     
  9. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    First, I must say that that looks pretty promising for you as a mapper. While it doesn't show off a lot scaling, layout and texture usage, what little can be seen seems much better than that of most first maps. And making all solids nodraw by default before texturing the parts the players will see is a good method.

    Now for the discouraging part: Having a decent grasp of Hammer is not the same as being a good mapper. Unless you're making a JeanPaul map, building the geometry isn't all that difficult. The hard part is designing that geometry in a such a way that all the little inattentive, vicious and easily distracted bastards who will run around in it afterwards end up having an enjoyable and balanced gameplay experience. And that's going to take a whole lot of trial and error to get the hang of.

    Speaking of which, the convention amongst us indoctrinated sheeple is to first work on our maps as undetailed alphas - placing only the geometry and props that affect gameplay, and mostly using dev textures - until we reach a version where the layout is more or less flawless. Only then, in the beta stages, do we start working on the detailing.
    There's certainly nothing wrong with detailing early - it looks pretty and I suppose it's good practice - but it's likely to result in a whole bunch of work going to waste when you need to make changes to your layout.
     
  10. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    JeanPaul is the M.C.Escher of mapping.
     
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  11. SeanMcPhearless

    SeanMcPhearless L2: Junior Member

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    I understand that making a map that is superb for game play will be a difficult task and I am constantly re writing my blueprints as I think of the possible outcomes of the level. One Problem I have found is the problem of spawn trapping. although I have 3 exits currently, I am thinking about making many more, but on different levels and not facing the battle.
    I do not think I recognize the term 'dev textures' but my intention is that they are simply the red, blue, orange, and white textures, would I be correct?
    Lastly I understand that texturing the level before I have finished the geometry isn't necessarily the best thing to do, but I just textured small portions mainly to show you guys how the geometry looks as of the nodraw yellow is a bit hard to distinguish what everything really looks like.

    Thank you for your Input! It is much appreciated.

    -Sean
     
  12. henke37

    aa henke37

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    They are the textures that you find if you search for dev in the material browser.
     
  13. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    the point is small, out in the open, and with only 2 long-ish paths onto it. imagine yourself playing this map on a full server, trying to get onto the point and stay alive long enough to cap it while being fired upon by everyone who can see you. you might think of a change or two ;)
     
  14. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    Also, while thinking is nice, it's no substitute for playtesting. it's great that you're putting a lot of thought into your layout and you should definitely keep doing that, but once you get players in there you WILL inevitably find things that need to be fixed.
     
  15. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    If you need more than 3 exits from spawn at any given time then you might need to rethink your design.

    Also you're supposed to texture the stuff with the dev textures and not proper textures so when you end up deleting a large section of the map it doesn't feel like cutting out a large part of your life wasted in misery working on something that would ultimately be scrapped and revised.


    sry I should probably stop bringing my mapping into this
     
  16. SeanMcPhearless

    SeanMcPhearless L2: Junior Member

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    I have noticed the point being extremely in the open. And I have thought about adding just a few walls, but I still think that there must be a better way, I was thinking of the idea of a double capture point. so it wouldn't necessarily be koth anymore, but the second point would be directly above the first. so there would be two diversions so that one team wouldn't be focusing on a single cap point all the time.. Just brainstorming :p I'll eventually find a solution. Any ideas on how to fix this would be much appreciated!

    Thanks again for the support :)

    - Sean
     
  17. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    It feels bad to tell you to do things like we do them just because it's the way we do them, but.. Well, the standard TF2maps procedure of map development/feedback is pretty convenient. We can't really give any good feedback based on verbal descriptions, and continually adjusting your blueprints is not worth a lot without some playtesting to back up your thinking. So I'll just describe the procedure and you can make of that what you will:

    - Plan the basics of the layout on paper, taking into account things like optimization and flow.
    - Build a complete and working alpha version; Use blocky architecture with dev textures and no detailing, but make sure the map is fully sealed, all the basic entities (map timer, objectives, doors) are working properly and that all areas are sufficiently lit. Name the file mapname_a1 (for example: koth_viaduct_a1), to signify that it's a first alpha.
    - Make a thread in the Map Workshop (not Mapping Discussion) section for your map. Provide some screenshots that show the layout of key areas and one overhead screenshot of the whole map. Also, provide a download link to the map file so others can download and test the map. Hopefully some people will give feedback based on those screenshots, and if you're really lucky someone will take the time to download and test the whole map and give in-depth criticism.
    - If people point out huge, unambiguous errors at this stage, you can go straight to working on the next version. If people think the map looks ok or you don't get any feedback at all, you should get it entered in one of the regularly scheduled gamedays.
    - Attend the gameday and see how the map plays. Based on what you see and the feedback you receive, you will find out that a bunch of stuff needs changing.
    - Change everything that needs changing, rename the file to mapname_a2, and edit your map thread accordingly.
    - Rinse and repeat, repeatedly.
    - If, in a strange distant future of radioactive cars and intergalactic sex robots, people stop finding grievous flaws in the layout, you can start detailing the map. Rename the file mapname_b1 and put in stuff like proper texture work, cosmetic props, cosmetic architectural details, soundscapes etc.
    - Repeat the earlier stages, but with people complaining about mismatched textures instead of sightlines.
    - Rinse and repeat until map is finished. I think. All that is known about the legendary 'finished map' is rumors and fragments, shrouded in myth and lost to the mist of time.

    I'm.. I'm not being very encouraging, am I?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  18. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    No, Deodorant, you are telling the truth. Only few persons have managed to get to the legendary RC1 phase.
     
  19. SeanMcPhearless

    SeanMcPhearless L2: Junior Member

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    Oh wow, That procedure helps me understand a lot. I've always been good for detail and architecture, but one thing I knew once I joined this site is that I really need to work on design. I know you might think you are sounding not encouraging, but to tell you the truth, You are being extremely helpful :) I have struck a dead end in the KotH map I am working on and I don't exactly know how to fix it. I think I am going to put it aside for now and start a new KotH map... mainly because I want to master this process! Let me know if that would be a bad idea.

    Thanks again!

    - Sean
     
  20. Bloodhound

    Bloodhound L6: Sharp Member

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    Then actually give that guy a thanks!
    Click on the button to make him a bit happier.
     
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