Journal #8813

Posted 1 year ago2017-06-05 23:07:50 UTC
I'm about to start working on a new map.
I was wondering: do you follow a particular methodology when creating the map? Like: layout first, then texture, then lighting, or a bit of everything with iterative improvements?
I personally used to go with the room-by-room approach (completely finishing a room, then going to the next), which I now think is a terrible idea.

6 Comments

Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 00:00:15 UTC Comment #67413
Every mapper has their own style.
As for me, I first imagine the room/environment/structure I want to create and then I build it up in the editor, piece by piece.
I usually put the textures during the building to get a better idea how the end result will look and to adapt my brushwork to the textures I'm going to use.
Since I mostly use texlights/light_environment, I place light sources during the texturing which I do while building the room/whatever it is going to be.
I've never been good at designing layouts for my maps so I usually make very simple ones.

Sorry if there are any mistakes.
Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 05:30:54 UTC Comment #67411
I do a similar thing to Windawz - imagine the structure first and then build it up with texturing and lighting. I don't draw any layouts, somehow I just can't work with them when mapping or with any reference images when modelling. I do everything off the top of my head.
Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 13:12:09 UTC Comment #67412
Let's see what I did with de_kobbl.
Basically, I took a few overviews from 2 other maps and I combined them:
User posted image
As you can see, it's 50% de_cbble and 50% de_forge.

Then I built that in my map:
User posted image
(that's one of the earliest screenshots ever. xd)
User posted image
And just build the rest of the map! =D

So yeah, I did it that way, and it seems to have worked so far, at least for CS 1.6 maps.

And ts_untergrund? Well, that one was made a bit differently. I drew a room onto a piece of paper and then I made that room. I made it, textured it and everything, and then I made a few halls, and that's where I stopped working because I didn't know what to do next. Then I created a plan in SketchUp:
User posted image
And... you know the rest.

Also, this is how I started out on Sandstorm:
User posted image
Furthermore, one of my WiP maps uses a real place for reference:
User posted image
Blueprint Mapping. I like it. :3
And no, my country isn't like the USA: they won't arrest me for school-mapping.
Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 19:16:13 UTC Comment #67408
Well, lou-li-loo-la-la-me, I would say it depends on the kind of map you want to make.

Singleplayer, I would block out the basic layout first, with dev/simple texturing. Then, put in your obstacles and NPCs for combat areas, or your puzzle elements, again as basic as possible. It's a good way to make sure your gameplay is engaging enough when the visuals aren't front and center. Once you can run through your map completely, with all the combat / puzzle sections in place, pick an aesthetic and start detailing. Make sure that your detail doesn't interfere too much with the fine tuned gameplay. (e.g. Try not to add a lot of extra cover for the player/enemies accidentally.)

(Room by room can work fine, but if you have a puzzle or a particular entity setup late in the map, it can be a pain doing a full compile to make slight adjustments.)

For multiplayer, it's a bit more difficult, but I would again make a very basic layout first, trying to figure out how the map will play. Consider the areas where the most combat will take place and distribute weapons into areas where they feel right. Make sure your map is engaging to run through on your own.
Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 20:09:55 UTC Comment #67410
Once i'm set on a theme i start looking for reference images/videos, then usually planning out the basic concept and layout with pen & paper.
Soon as i'm satisfied with that, it's time to start up the level editor and build the basic layout.
Playtest and check scaling/timers/objectives/etc...
Iterate until it feels right.

Greybox/blockout the rest of the level with placeholders and check for gameplay.
Playtest & iterate until it feels right.

Import/export between software if needed.
Add basic textures with some placeholders (no UV/scaling/refining/etc).
Refine lighting and skybox (when going from light to dark).
Make assets & props and import them while focusing on a small part of the level (usually player spawn area), adding/refining/texturing any detail to specified area as i go.
Playtest & iterate until it feels right.

Expand from above mentioned area until the whole level is complete.
Playtest & iterate and change until it feels right.

(Refine lighting and skybox, when going from dark to light).

Detail and texture pass. Playtest & iterate until it feels right.
Lighting pass. Playtest & iterate until it feels right.

Quick and dirty workflow guide from UT devs, but the basics are valid for any HL engine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDsJOFyxMnw
Mapcore also has a crazy amount of workflow guides and links.

ps: I'm too lazy to finish any maps lately but i like to comfort myself thinking that my levels from ~last 2 years have died in greybox stage due to bad gameplay. Which is also true... >:)
Commented 1 year ago2017-06-06 21:03:55 UTC Comment #67409
I'm following the same principle as Urby, depending on the game/mod, I also use bots for gameplay testing purposes.

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