What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Tutorials and discussions about Mapping - Introduce your own ones!
User avatar
jmartin
Skilled
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:38 pm

What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by jmartin »

As an established video game level designer (mapper), someone who has made at least 3 or more "original" maps of their own, what advice would you leave for the next generation of future map makers?
User avatar
Hellkeeper
Inhuman
Posts: 902
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:32 pm
Personal rank: Soulless Automaton
Location: France

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by Hellkeeper »

Don't try to put everything cool in the same map at once. Main pitfall for beginners.
You must construct additional pylons.
User avatar
_21
Average
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:51 am

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by _21 »

When you make a map, you make a map for someone. Is that someone yourself? Or do you make it for other to enjoy? Is it for online play? Is it for single player?

Knowing this will save time and effort and will make you take the right choices at the right time.

Also, test your map, ideally multiple times and with other players as well, and ideally with the players who have in mind when designing the map.
User avatar
Swanky
Adept
Posts: 459
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:06 pm
Personal rank: Brush Commander
Location: inside ze bocks

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by Swanky »

Know what you want to establish some rules for your map - size, theme, gamemode, a general direction. Try to get a general layout done before doing all the visuals, nothing hurts more than to scrap that beautiful structure because you realize your map flows terrible in that area.

Specifically regarding UT - respect the grid.
Terraniux
Masterful
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:08 pm
Personal rank: Banished member

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by Terraniux »

If you can't find a start or idea for your map, you often start in reverse like a car. You'll bump somewhere, thats where you eventually, or actually kill the map... (or the idea)!

Then put back in normal shift again :D Only way is straight ahead. No reverse, only natural flow. Just drive, it is YOUR IDEA!


----
That being said, I must begin mapping soon as promised :X
This member can only post when permitted.
User avatar
EvilGrins
Godlike
Posts: 9630
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 pm
Personal rank: God of Fudge
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by EvilGrins »

It's okay to put monsters onto Deathmatch maps.
http://unreal-games.livejournal.com/
Image
medor wrote:Replace Skaarj with EvilGrins :mrgreen:
Smilies · viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13758
User avatar
papercoffee
Godlike
Posts: 10433
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Personal rank: coffee addicted !!!
Location: Cologne, the city with the big cathedral.

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by papercoffee »

when in doubt ...semi-solid.
But not always.

For example, heavily detailed brushes should be semi-solid.
User avatar
Hellkeeper
Inhuman
Posts: 902
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:32 pm
Personal rank: Soulless Automaton
Location: France

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by Hellkeeper »

papercoffee wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:51 pm when in doubt ...semi-solid.
But not always.

For example, heavily detailed brushes should be semi-solid.
Not sure about this piece of advice for beginners. This is going to cause a lot of "some of my surfaces disappear" threads. :D
You must construct additional pylons.
User avatar
mister_prophet
Average
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:00 am

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by mister_prophet »

Layout matters over theme. This is especially true in multiplayer. You'll want to do theme. Do layout first. A good layout is why people put a map on a server rotation. You make a good layout and it will work just the same in a rusty industrial derelict or a limestone ruin or a space casino. When you get good at layout then maybe you can begin to get fancy with theme.
User avatar
papercoffee
Godlike
Posts: 10433
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Personal rank: coffee addicted !!!
Location: Cologne, the city with the big cathedral.

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by papercoffee »

Hellkeeper wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:24 am
papercoffee wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:51 pm when in doubt ...semi-solid.
But not always.

For example, heavily detailed brushes should be semi-solid.
Not sure about this piece of advice for beginners. This is going to cause a lot of "some of my surfaces disappear" threads. :D
Trust me ...beginners will hear semi-solids are good for maps and then they create a map out of semi-solids ...and then they write a post here about disappearing surfaces anyway. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Swanky
Adept
Posts: 459
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:06 pm
Personal rank: Brush Commander
Location: inside ze bocks

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by Swanky »

Semis have a learning curve. There are several rules applying to them that do not apply to other brushes - bsp cuts, cutting solid brushes, merged brushes... better not to use them as a beginner, or in very few cases at least. Beginner maps - at least in my experience - are rarely complex enough to warrant their use anyway.
User avatar
jmartin
Skilled
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:38 pm

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by jmartin »

Hellkeeper wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:13 am Don't try to put everything cool in the same map at once. Main pitfall for beginners.
Couldn't agree more, I see it all the time.

One of the most common mistakes among newbies is they try to make the next "most awesome map ever", yet after only a few days or weeks they abandon the project as they slowly begin to realize how much time and effort is actually required to make a map of their own.

Aim high, but not at the expense of becoming easily discouraged.

Make a few smaller maps first, hone your skills, then embark on planning the next masterpiece.

--------

Another tip I would recommend is always try and do something different, unique and original.

There are already enough maps for Unreal that are similar to about 40,000 other maps that all look basically the same.

You don't remember them 5 minutes after playing it.

If in doubt, check www.unrealarchive.org and see if your idea has already been done.
Even if it has, try to make something with a different approach, homage, sequel or interpretation.

The best maps are the ones you remember for the rest of your life.

The knock offs, not so much.
Last edited by jmartin on Wed Feb 28, 2024 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
browndl
Skilled
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:12 am

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by browndl »

Learn the rules that apply to whatever software you are using. Know your intended audience. Enjoy what you are doing. Do it well. Have fun.
UT99 DM-DSKilnWorks3993:DM-DSWashNDry:DM-DSRedDawn:DM-DSBacktoSchool:DM-DSTowerBridge:DM-DSDeadeyeCanyon:DM-DSSectionn8Refinery:DM-DeckardsRevenge:DM-DSStudio:DM-SniperTown:DM-ReturntotheKillingFields:DM-Wastelands:DM-TurboGen23:DM-LongForgotten:DOM-Dockside:CTF-enMakhana:CTF-UrbanSniper:CTF-CanyonWars:CTF-DSTowerBridge Unreal Badlands CiderTown UT99 Infiltration DM-INF-MagnumDocksDeluxe:DM-INF-MagnumDocks2:DM-INF-ReturntotheKillingFields:DM-INF-CityStorageLotA][:DM-INF-ColumbianDrugLord:EAS-INF-DS-RailBridge:DM-INF-ACityBlock:CTF-INF-SavageKillersHeadQuarters:CTF-INF-Capital:CTF-INF-ComplexB UT2003/04 DM-PineValley:DM-Koltoff:CTF-PawnsKeep:CTF-Ardimus Rainbow Six RavenShield AlleyStrike
User avatar
papercoffee
Godlike
Posts: 10433
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Personal rank: coffee addicted !!!
Location: Cologne, the city with the big cathedral.

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by papercoffee »

Swanky wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 11:22 am Semis have a learning curve. There are several rules applying to them that do not apply to other brushes - bsp cuts, cutting solid brushes, merged brushes... better not to use them as a beginner, or in very few cases at least. Beginner maps - at least in my experience - are rarely complex enough to warrant their use anyway.
I agree ...but I'm viewing it from my beginner experience where I struggled with maps not knowing why they assploded into Halls-of-Mirrors. If I had known that I could have rescued the early maps by searching for that one specific Brush (by following the cuts) and turn it into a semi-solid.
I wouldn't have deleted them and would have a shit tonne of mediocre beginner maps... ok maybe it's for the better that they are gone, but some had a fun idea in them.

btw. understanding BSP cuts in your map is also important.
User avatar
EvilGrins
Godlike
Posts: 9630
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 pm
Personal rank: God of Fudge
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: What advice would you leave for future mappers?

Post by EvilGrins »

MonsterHunt maps should have sufficient pathing for bots to get through the entire level, if for no other reason players unfamiliar with a map can use them as guides when they don't know where to go next.

Also handy as online play players don't always stay around the whole time and bots can end an abandoned map so if players come back it may be on the next map in sequence.
http://unreal-games.livejournal.com/
Image
medor wrote:Replace Skaarj with EvilGrins :mrgreen:
Smilies · viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13758