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QUESTION For Experienced Mappers - Coming Up With Map Idea + layout.

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    QUESTION For Experienced Mappers - Coming Up With Map Idea + layout.

    I'm curious how experienced mappers come up with map layouts. Do you sketch it all out on paper first? Make some kind of blueprint? I would love to know what steps you take from beginning to end. I've even thought of buying some Lego to give me more physical mass on my ideas.

    I get a rough idea in my head and can't seem to work out any way to sketch it out on paper that makes sense in a digital 3D world.

    Do you use a large additive brush first and carve into it with subtractive brushes?

    I have so many questions.

    Maybe one of the Epic creators can put up a step by step video on the process of building a professional playable map. Build aorund the creative process.
    Win 10
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
    3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
    32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

    Maps:
    DM-RadioActive (Work In progress) DM-Ethos (WIP) DM-QWERTY (WIP) DM-TwinFalls(WIP)
    2k4 DM-MoonGames, DM-Abrenabba, DM-Aphelion, DM-Pyrimid-Of-Gold, DM-UPH-Hexed, Dm-Saint, DM-LethalAdixion, DM-C4-Ariza, Dm-C4-SleepyTomb,

    #2
    Everyone has a different process for coming up with layouts. Some people sketch, some people plan, some people just start making rooms and seeing what happens, some people do things in between. It just depends on how your brain works.

    Personally, I can't do sketches/blueprints. I think much better in 3D- it just makes more sense to me to plan the gameplay in the same mode that the gameplay is going to be played in, i.e. a 3D worldspace in the editor. If you find that this mode is what works for you, I'd give you the same advice that I give people who are learning to draw or photograph- copy the masters to learn. Take an area of a map that you've always found fun and remake that in a new level. If you're still stuck, make another piece from another map that's fun, see how you can fit them together, see if you can figure out what makes them fun and why they flowed in their original designs. When I first started making things that were more than a single room in Unrealed, I did this with the Link Gun spawn area around Rankin, always loved fighting there.

    It does also help to have some idea of what you want the level to be. You might not know until you get a room or two in. Do you want a map with lots of z-axis fighting, or is it going to be a wide, spread out map? What sorts of range brackets are you aiming for? If it's got z, are you going to have lifts or jump pads? You don't need answers to the smaller ones right away, but it helps to have answers to the bigger ones. You need to know how to turn a single room that's fun to play in to a map that's fun to play in, which means you're going to need more than corridors to connect your rooms.

    As far as additive/subtractive building goes, that's pretty subjective. Generally outdoor or open maps are easier to make adding into an empty worldspace, while using an additive brush and carving it away is easier to make indoor areas. One definite advantage of additive areas is that it's harder to make physically improbable structures on accident because suddenly you're thinking about things like wall thickness, and what someone would see on the outside of the building, etc.

    Comment


      #3
      That's some great advice! thanks aniviron

      I've always just built a map as I go along. Planning has never really worked for me. I made several maps for 2k3 and 2k4, and all were built as I went along.
      Win 10
      iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
      3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
      32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
      NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

      Maps:
      DM-RadioActive (Work In progress) DM-Ethos (WIP) DM-QWERTY (WIP) DM-TwinFalls(WIP)
      2k4 DM-MoonGames, DM-Abrenabba, DM-Aphelion, DM-Pyrimid-Of-Gold, DM-UPH-Hexed, Dm-Saint, DM-LethalAdixion, DM-C4-Ariza, Dm-C4-SleepyTomb,

      Comment


        #4
        I would start by checking out this article:
        http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/ca...s-workflow.php

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks Supra!

          Originally posted by 89Supra View Post
          I would start by checking out this article:
          http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/ca...s-workflow.php
          Win 10
          iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
          3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
          32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
          NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

          Maps:
          DM-RadioActive (Work In progress) DM-Ethos (WIP) DM-QWERTY (WIP) DM-TwinFalls(WIP)
          2k4 DM-MoonGames, DM-Abrenabba, DM-Aphelion, DM-Pyrimid-Of-Gold, DM-UPH-Hexed, Dm-Saint, DM-LethalAdixion, DM-C4-Ariza, Dm-C4-SleepyTomb,

          Comment


            #6
            Pro LD tip I learned over the years while modding and making maps professionally. Try to work in Lighting Only or Detailed Lighting mode, it helps you get away from the small details and focus on the broad strokes and shape of your map without worrying to much about all the textures and materials.

            Focus on a a solid greybox that has great flow. Eventually that greybox can look like anything once you hit up the visual pass.
            Twitter- @mozidesigner

            Comment


              #7
              Yeah, I tend to work in the default material for as long as possible, the grid makes working in BSP really nice.

              As for general advice, I tend to work in segments. I have an overall general idea of what I want from the level, then break it up and build as I go. I often sketch sections out until I'm happy with it, then build it and make changes as I go. Also never underestimate the power of a time away from the computer. Going for a walk has helped me many a time.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NATO_chrisjm View Post
                Also never underestimate the power of a time away from the computer. Going for a walk has helped me many a time.
                This. Fffffgfgggggf

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks guys! Great advice!
                  Win 10
                  iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
                  3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
                  32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
                  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

                  Maps:
                  DM-RadioActive (Work In progress) DM-Ethos (WIP) DM-QWERTY (WIP) DM-TwinFalls(WIP)
                  2k4 DM-MoonGames, DM-Abrenabba, DM-Aphelion, DM-Pyrimid-Of-Gold, DM-UPH-Hexed, Dm-Saint, DM-LethalAdixion, DM-C4-Ariza, Dm-C4-SleepyTomb,

                  Comment

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