Starting Maps

GeekGeek Colorado Join Date: 2002-12-01 Member: 10346Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow
<div class="IPBDescription">how do you start</div> I was just wondering how you guys start your map, do you make a paint layout and just build, do you just go full boore into the halls, do you make a crappy looking lay out of each hall and then build them in as you go. Or what, I'm just wondering, scnce im having problems gettin into making my map get going.


  • GrizzlyGrizzly Join Date: 2003-10-27 Member: 22025Members
    When i started my mapp i am working on right now i first drew somthing of an overlay
    just to get the feel how it woud balanc when it was done.
    but somtimes i just make a hallway fore fun and decide to go on building it.
    thaths how my first hldm mapp was created <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • esunaesuna Rock Bottom Join Date: 2003-04-03 Member: 15175Members, Constellation
    I just open up hammer and start, simple as.

    You're not going to have a full map done in a day, or a week, so you may as well just take it room by room. Then i get a layout and start shifting things around to fit.
  • Some_tall_guy1Some_tall_guy1 Join Date: 2003-05-22 Member: 16601Members
    <!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin-->I just open up hammer and start, simple as.<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd--> Thats what I do.
  • MrBenMrBen ns_eclipse, ns_veil caretaker Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8575Members
    I approached my NS map firstly by thinking what i wanted to achieve by creating it and things i definately wanted(locations, drop ship, story, good infestation, appareance of an actual functional loaction though parts of it will be clearly disfunctional <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif'><!--endemo--> ) and things i didn't want to see (crap infestation, a maze and a tonne of other dislikes from playing on other NS maps).

    After that i did some layout sketching and stuff so i could get an idea for how the map would go together. I've only done SP stuff before so i thought it'd be important to have a layout i could work with otherwise i imagine i'd branch off into weird stuff. Then i just wacked out a style test corridor (theme, lighting, infestation look) and i liked it so i fitted that into the map layout.

    Unfortunately right now i'm occupied with NW stuff so my NS work is on hold but i'm still thinking up ideas for some important areas which will then be connected together by rectangle, boxy corridors because i ran out of planes <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • TequilaTequila Join Date: 2003-08-13 Member: 19660Members
    I sprinkle talcum powder onto the keyboard, and put a fresh vase of marigolds by the monitor.

    Works a treat.
  • HyperionHyperion Hyperion2010 Join Date: 2003-10-06 Member: 21477Members
    I start with layout, until i get a good i dea for architecture, and then i go through and make the map look better. I always have to start with layout, and when i have a great idea for architecture i sometimes impliment it on the spot or I wait, draw it and save it until i think it will be useful.
  • ssjyodassjyoda Join Date: 2002-03-05 Member: 274Members, Squad Five Blue
    I start with one hall, build onto it for a lil bit, the work out a layout with what i have already built. Im trying to do layouts first, and getting better at it.
  • CageyCagey Ex-Unknown Worlds Programmer Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8829Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    I usually sit down and ask myself what the map is supposed to be (why does this particular collection of rooms and hallways exist? What is the theme?).

    Next come a few style ideas on paper, then a 2D overview of the map so that I don't paint myself into a corner layout wise.

    I think I'm much more methodical than most people when it comes to this stuff...
  • ssjyodassjyoda Join Date: 2002-03-05 Member: 274Members, Squad Five Blue
    i try to come up with ideas for reason. y this room, whats this for. sometimes i manage it, othertimes i dont. getting better at it though.
  • BarathrumBarathrum Join Date: 2003-11-08 Member: 22383Members
    What I do is that I build some cool areas that I've come up with. Then, when I've made all the main areas, I paint the layout in Paint. I compile the main areas in different mapfiles, so I can change every maparea to the best without having to wait for everything else to be compiled too, every time I make a small change. Allthough... I've never finished a map in my three years of maping <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair 日本福岡県 Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos
    I do a style test then build several rooms in different map files based on that style. I then try to piece together a layout based on the rooms I've made. Unfortuanly though, I'm in the middle of a mappers block <!--emo&:(--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • TequilaTequila Join Date: 2003-08-13 Member: 19660Members
    edited November 2003
    <!--QuoteBegin--KungFuDiscoMonkey+Nov 18 2003, 02:26 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> (KungFuDiscoMonkey @ Nov 18 2003, 02:26 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> Unfortuanly though, I'm in the middle of a mappers block  <!--emo&:(--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif'><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    The bane of every mapper's life; It's best to just take a break and before long the urge and inspiration just hits you <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • ReeseReese Join Date: 2003-05-08 Member: 16143Members
    So far i've done well by trying to build one idea for a room, then connecting it with hallways that look right for that to another room that seems to work. It's kind of ironic because my current map started out of a room that was eventually scrapped. Whatever works though.
  • RokiyoRokiyo A.K.A. .::FeX::. Revenge Join Date: 2002-10-10 Member: 1471Members, Constellation
    I daydream a lot... About space battles etc etc...

    Eventually I'll come across a particular action sequence that might set a good scene for a map, and then I'll build around that idea.

    For instance, you could think "I wanna make a space station." Great! Now what does a space station need in order to survive? Where is this space station and why? Is it a research station? A military outpost? A civilian commercial station?

    Whatever it is, it's going to need power, life support, somewhere for the people onboard to eat and sleep, defensive weapons systems, communications arrays, a dock, berth or hangar of some sort... And plenty of other facilities depending on what kind of station you are making...

    Now, what do these various facilities look like? How are they layed out within the station's hull? Which of these facilities can you use to make a web-like layout that makes sense in a NS map or a multi-linear layout that you can use in a CO map? Which of these facilities should be left off your map and made inaccessable due to cave-ins or locked doors (remember that just because a player can't see it, doesn't mean he wont think it's there. If the player can see engines on your ship, he'll naturally assume there is a bridge on it too, even if it hasn't been mapped in. Therefore it's not neccessary to map every part of the ship, only enough for it to make sense to the player)? You are now well on your way to having a more than reasonable map idea.

    Basically, you are ever stuck for ideas, then start with something really simple and apply logic to it. Seeing as logic can be more boring than imagination, I'd suggest going extremely overboard on what you built around your basic idea, and then trying to extract something imaginative and functional from it.
  • ThaldarinThaldarin Alonzi&#33; Join Date: 2003-07-15 Member: 18173Members, Constellation
    Create a theme and setting in my mind. Try to think of the sort of atmosphere it could be in my mind. Do a layout, get out some quick full finished screenshots of 1/2 rooms and alteast a corridor for feedback. Works a treat.
  • CoronerCoroner Join Date: 2003-09-18 Member: 20994Members
    On my map I just got done with, my only serious map, I made the layout on paper and pencil, threw down the entire level with just empty rooms and hallways, and then went room by room filling the map in as I went.

    I did do a few single room map files just to test some style. But when it came down to business I threw it all down then put the polish on.
  • A_Boojum_SnarkA_Boojum_Snark Join Date: 2003-09-07 Member: 20628Members
    I dont really have a set way of doing things, though first I make a rough layout using Legos <!--emo&:D--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif'><!--endemo--> I find it much easier to do layout using physical objects I can quickly rearrange.

    but I like some of the ideas I've read and am going to try them <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • SitherSither Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10462Members
  • ReeseReese Join Date: 2003-05-08 Member: 16143Members
    lol, lego mapping. that's awesome man......... I may have to go invest in some legos.
  • uranium_235uranium_235 Join Date: 2002-11-20 Member: 9478Banned
    You start with a lot of alcohol.
  • predatory_kangaroopredatory_kangaroo Join Date: 2003-01-12 Member: 12225Members
    Personally, I like to come up with a theme first, then do a little design (not in paint or Hammer, but in 3DS Max, I don't know why but i'm more at home with that than with paint <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->), then write out a story for it and lower the detail quite a lot while transferring it to hammer, making any changes i've thought of).
    Which reminds me geek, i want to talk to you 'bout a new siege map idea of mine, I figured i'd ask you 'cos you just did yours and I need to know stuff like how far a siege can reach, etc). If I see you later on G4B2S, I'll give you a PM <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • reapermanreaperman Join Date: 2003-08-15 Member: 19733Members
    I usually get an idea or a theme in my head; a hallway design or a colour scheme that I want to keep consistant throughout the map. Then I start thinking of what sort of map I want to design; a space ship, a ground facility, things like that. Once I get down a location and the various location ideas therein I start drawing everything down on paper - from the general layout down to the various rooms themselves. In the past, I've drawn them out on graph paper (thinking that the paper is like a 256 grid in Hammer) and literally cut them out and moved them around. Once I have a set design in place, I build the basic layout of it in Hammer, and fill in details from there.
  • Shoot_meShoot_me Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8696Members
    Watch a sci-fi movie like Aliens, wait until I have a project due, work on my map while I should be working on projects. Caffeine helps too. <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • ThaldarinThaldarin Alonzi&#33; Join Date: 2003-07-15 Member: 18173Members, Constellation
    <!--QuoteBegin--uranium - 235+Nov 19 2003, 03:16 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> (uranium - 235 @ Nov 19 2003, 03:16 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> You start with a lot of alcohol. <!--QuoteEnd--> </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'> <!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Are you sure you've posted in the right thread? Sober up mate <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • AngeluszAngelusz Harmonic entropist Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18072Members, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    <!--QuoteBegin--XP-Cagey+Nov 18 2003, 12:44 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> (XP-Cagey @ Nov 18 2003, 12:44 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> I usually sit down and ask myself what the map is supposed to be (why does this particular collection of rooms and hallways exist? What is the theme?).

    Next come a few style ideas on paper, then a 2D overview of the map so that I don't paint myself into a corner layout wise.

    I think I'm much more methodical than most people when it comes to this stuff... <!--QuoteEnd--> </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'> <!--QuoteEEnd-->
    i do exactly all this, but, most of it inside my mind, and the 2d drawing in paint.
  • BelgarionBelgarion Join Date: 2002-07-19 Member: 973Members
    best anti-mapper's block strategy ever. Go map for HL Rally.
    i hadn't done anything on a map that i had decided to go full blown on for about 2 weeks. just couldn't think of anything else to do. not inspired. then i went to take a look at HL Rally again, only this time i decided to try mapping for it. <i>What a refreshing change</i>. I've been mapping NS for abouta year maybe year and a half straight. so this was a very good idea.

    Basically, once you get mappers block, either start a new map or swich mods/games entirely. Start thinking differently.
  • IndicaIndica Join Date: 2003-08-18 Member: 19927Members
    If I get mappers block, I slap on a revolutionary album (any Beatles)....sit..and get absorbed..then..if that has not worked..I play Super Mario World or Zelda..and find myself on a nostalgic trip..when I was a mere 7 year old...totaly sucked into the magical lands...and then hurrying off...drawing my own computer games on paper. After these memorys...

    I then go back, double click on VHE..and the magic that has built up is drained through exit points around the finger tips. until the dry up which the process is started again (some months later). <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif'><!--endemo-->
  • JemmeJemme Join Date: 2003-10-15 Member: 21698Members
    I just make single rooms or cooridors and when I have enough of them I see if I can fit them together.
  • amckernamckern Join Date: 2003-03-03 Member: 14249Members, Constellation
    how can u guys scrap a room you put 3 days work into?

    i find hard to build a wall, and find i have to put a few brushes in for a door

    but then i am a man that makes his maps brush by brush

    the only overlay i have ever drawn up, has yiled 5 maps so far from it, 2 for sven coop, 2 for ns, and 1 for cs, and then the maps where only part of what i drawed (i know TYPO)

    i build my maps brush by brush, with lighting tests every so often, to find that the textuers i laid have the right amount, brightness clour, etc of light for them

    ury273 (my lattest map) was built over 400 times (ran through compile) to see my lighting results

  • VigilVigil Join Date: 2003-10-28 Member: 22066Members
    <!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin-->how can u guys scrap a room you put 3 days work into?<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    If I don't like it, I delete it. There's nothing wrong in re-building areas or abandoning that level you're working on entirely. Usually the end result is a <i>lot</i> better, and the work gone into that level or area has not been in vain, because at least you've gained some experience, and experience is everything.

    Normally I look for a suitable theme, then draw an overview on paper and then start mapping. However, none of my completed levels have followed any drawings, as I find that it's best to follow my instincts. The problem with this approach is that levels could be connected a lot better if planned out in advance. Then again, using paper to plan a layout produces flat, boring levels, which is another problem.

    Using legos would be nice, but they're way too frail and can't support large, complex levels at all.
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