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Has mapping for games "ruined"

[1]

Forums > General Discussion

03 Dec 17, 21:41
By MistaX88
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Member
...games for you?

I don't mean that you started mapping and suddenly you hate videogames. I mean, there is a certain bit of immersion that many games have that is at least partially broken for you.

Now, instead of paying attention to what the developer intended, I'm looking at details like how obvious it is that I'm actually just in a glorified hallway even though I'm outside, or how nicely detailed/not nicely detailed the world geometry is. I notice the one edge where the textures don't line up next to each other quite right in that one map corner that no one will ever look in anyway, I spot signs that some "surprise" scripted event is about to happen based on the way things are set up to bring the players attention to certain areas (albeit, this is more for older games where other restrictions in tech make it obvious something is going to move or break open or something).

The other day I played Starr Mazer: DSP for the first time and instead of just enjoying the beautiful pixel art passing by with depth in the background I was trying to see if I could count how many different parallax scrolling backgrounds there were (I do love me some good parallax backgrounds).

When I'm playing CS I'm constantly analyzing the way the layout is affecting gameplay and I'm nitpicking things as I see them (seriously though, some really good CS 1.6 maps have some terrible texture alignment sometimes). I'll be running though a building and get shot because I'm too distracted and bewildered as I sit there thinking, "I can tell you used CARVE! Noooo!"
03 Dec 17, 22:18
By Stojke
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= O P L - 3 =
I like to think about things in games , what makes it , and that makes possible to spot what did the developer intend to show.

If I find one thing I like usually I enjoy the entire game for that.

Mapping only made me appreciate older works more and despise extreme focusing on only one aspect (like graphics).
03 Dec 17, 22:19
By Windawz
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Member
So I'm not the only person who has this problem...
03 Dec 17, 23:09
By MistaX88
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Member
@Stojke It definitely gives me a bigger appreciation of games, especially from a technical aspect. But sometimes it would be nice to imagine the sprawling world behind that hill or those buildings that I can't see instead of knowing it's a sky brush or player clip stopping you from entering the infinite void. Or sitting there knowing, "that door doesn't open because there is no actual room behind it." It's not that I never ever feel immersed in a game but it takes a lot more to get me immersed now than it would have before.
04 Dec 17, 14:15
By Admer456
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Member
It didn't just affect games, but also real life for me.

Ever since I had become a mapper, I've been obsessed with analysing tne designs of things around me. I take photos of things, I want to know how those things were made, I want to model those things.

In my school's basement, I was looking at how the pipes were placed. Every pipe goes in its own direction, but as if it were the result of good cable management. One of my classmates asked me "Admer, what are you looking at?" and I responded "I'm looking at the pipes, what do you think I'm doing?", and she laughed. Of course, I only do the analysis when I have nothing else to do, or when I'm just bored.

So yeah, when I play games, I tend to observe the design more than enjoying the actual game. Interestingly, that has proven just as fun as playing the game like other people.
Therefore, mapping did not ruin games for me. I just look at them from a different perspective which I enjoy as much as the other one.
04 Dec 17, 14:19
By UrbaNebula
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Entirely brush based
I can't say that is has ruined games for me. I certainly find myself analysing and nit-picking when I play Goldsource maps and mods, but I actually enjoy that aspect of it. It's why I used to love doing the map review videos (and wish I still had time to do them... maybe one day)

Most other games I know nothing about the tools and processes required to put them together so I tend to let certain things go when I spot glitches. Of course, there are some aspects that I notice in games where I think the level designer was incredibly lazy. Archie and I had a field day with the last chapter of Dead Island... but we were kind of burned out on the game at that point so it was a welcome change of pace.
04 Dec 17, 15:33
By Rimrook
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Guru
Personally mapping became complicated. Source seemed too elaborate for my tastes and I could never make anything that seemed real or authentic looking. Gold source is candy.

Anything with good tools is a plus, but again, the number of considerations and steps has the potential to make it not fun. Everyone is different though, and if you can wrap your head around the process, anything is possible.
05 Dec 17, 04:59
By DiscoStu
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Member
It hasn't ruined it, it has just changed the experience the way everybody said.
05 Dec 17, 06:14
By Jessie
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Ladytype
I find myself seeing things in real life and thinking "that would make a good texture/map element".
Otherwise, I think I always analyzed games to the same degree. The seams are obvious if you're tuned to it, in the same way some people can spot the direction of the plot in a movie long before it hits. I would say, more than ruined, that it enhanced my appreciation of things in and around games.
05 Dec 17, 09:34
By Trempler
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Member
Since I more or less starting mapping at the same time I played games, I can´t really say if I enjoyed games more before that.

All I see is, I could do better most of the situation and when it can´t be better, I see why. It is hard to not look around and search for mistakes or stupid brushwork.

I rarly enjoy gaming, but maybe i´m also way to salty these days.

( Playing Mass Effect 1, for the first time at this point, and I love it )
05 Dec 17, 11:57
By salmon
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Member
With or without mapping knowledge I think a lot of gamers understand there's not content behind every locked door or inaccessible area. Anyone who have used noclip or spectator mode in a game will probably find that out. although there's undoubtedly a higher degree of perception for those who know level design. Actually getting into mapping and then game development makes playing games more enjoyable in a way since I can view it from the eyes of a developer and designer. It definitively makes gaming a much more 'transparent' experience. the curtain is removed in a way, some times this can be very bothersome, other times I'm completely engrossed and don't care.

Now video game writing is a whole other can of worms. Want to break immersion? Hire a team of video game writers and ask them to write a few lines of dialogue.
05 Dec 17, 13:59
By Rimrook
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Guru
I’m currently learning writing stuff from a indie game guy and he had some great insights. Imagine the game as a book. What we don’t read is the exploratory gameplay, which takes place between scenes and chapters. Depending on the scene or chapter, parts of the story can be playable events like boss battles and such. A story heavy game could be put mostly into prose, and the tip I got was to actually write major scenes in novel story format and attach the writing as a an additional note along side the screenplay. The extra writing would provide extra information like atmosphere, tone, mood, emotion, movement, acting, and all sorts of sensory stuff that would be missed otherwise that would bring the scenes to life so it’s not just two talking heads.
05 Dec 17, 15:38
By salmon
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Member
If you want to write well, take a writing course or study the literary masters. Learning to write specifically for games just never seem to bode well. I don't know what you're working on but if you want something neatly fitted for the format that doesn't obstruct the rest of your development, this is all solid advice. Though you won't write any masterpieces with these insights either.
05 Dec 17, 16:07
By Rimrook
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Guru
The truth is that there is no right way to create a masterpiece and most of the time a masterpiece is a fluke attempt or a half experiment that just was seen to completion and people decided they liked it. All of SMJ is a chaotic mess that churns through my own creative crucible. I have no clue what the final result will be but when it is done, it will be unique solely based on the unconventional processes necessary to make it. I have no idea what I’m doing, and that’s the best way to make something unique in my own style outside the norms and conventions of of the typical design standards. It’s indie as fuck and I do it this way because I like to do it this way.

User Posted Image
05 Dec 17, 17:13
By Snehk
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Member
After starting with mapping or any development in general I got even more curious how developers made certain things work and became much more observant. It was mostly a change of experience for me as well.
05 Dec 17, 18:29
By salmon
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Member
@Rimrook

The truth is there are always better methods to achieve a higher artistic quality in any given craft, which comes with a greater understanding of it. Just because the novice fails to see the depth of the master's work doesn't mean its not there or it's not worth studying closer. Anyway, you do what you do, can't say I don't admire your work ethic. I always second-guess myself.
07 Dec 17, 03:00
By Rimrook
avatar
Guru
Honesty is rare thing these days. I fully admit to some shit, like I did want to turn SMJ into a Kickstartered game so I could make some money to continue doing it. Turns out money ruins everything. The guy that’s making Ghostsong is quite inconfident with his stuff despite he’s made tons of money and has lots of fans already. He has lots of artistic quality despite there being better methods.

I’ve remade SMJ and it’s parts so many times over, but this year has been the most productive. I am waiting on a kit update to see if it would fix a few pesky performance issues that are making my stuff look bad. It’s superficial. I also want to work with a ‘kit’ of my own. I have made so many templates and systems that interlock and exchange data that just about anything is possible within the rules I’ve set up for the game’s world. THAT’S what I’ve been working on for 5 years. I want to gain a status where I can just sit down and do art and make it all pretty. At this point I could also hire an extra artist and there’d be a clear path of what to do. I also am carefully plotting where the game’s shortcomings will occur, which is important to me as a designer.

I’m not a programmer. I do see stuff in other games and just whisper to myself ‘how the fuck?’

Edit: ok didn’t mean to kill the mood. Been a little on edge lately because half of my country is literally on fire and I can feel the guillotine of the dark ages slowly descending on the American people. Carry on lads.
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