How Long Does It Take You To Make A Map?

Uh-OhUh-Oh Members Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6917Posts: 262
edited May 2004 in Mapping Forum
Speed mapping, or crawling along?
Well, since I've put alot of time in my first ever map, and seeing as how I'm not even close to finishing, I was thinking... am I too slow for this?

I've put... I dunno... let's say 10 mapping sessions of 2 hours each.. no, more then that... ... at least.. well I'm guessing between 20 to 45 hours (eheh rough guess).
Maybe my technique is wrong...

I started by making a square room (for the ready room). Then I added basic lighting. Then I added detail, and more sophisticated lighting and brush work. I tweaked my texturing and I was done.

Next up, marine spawn. Start off with an idea, make the basice brush work. Put basic textures and lighting. Add detail. Add detail. Compile. Look at r_speed. Fix lighting, create missing textures. Compile. Add, compile. Add compile. Look up r_speed. Play as marine, skulk and onos. Put entities for weldables and breakables. Put entities for lighting. Work for 4 hours to understand how multi_manager and triggers work. Compile. ****! didn't work. Rework entities, compile. **** ****!. Rework, recompile, loop those actions 20 times.

15-20 hours later, The marine spawn is done! (for beta 1 at least).

Wow. That is alot of time for 1 room, or is it?

What do you guys think? Too slow, too quick, doesn't matter, wrong method?

I'm a patient person, so that doesn't bother me. So far, I have about 3 rooms done. I'm guessing I'm gonna have about 8 in all (+ 4 vents) (it's a co_map. I thought it'd be easier to start).

I also have the habbit of compiling ALOT. I work for 5-30 minutes, and I'm gonna compile at least once! When fixing small detail like texture alignment and lighting, I compile maybe once every 5 minutes. So far, compiling only takes about 3-7 minutes. I'm worried that it'll get much longer as I progress.

Also, is there a magic way of aligning textures on octogonal brushes (pipes). I noticed that sometimes, I need to put a -1 in the X or Y axis. But I still align them by hand, and it takes alot of time sad.gif
Also, is there a good way to work with angled brushes (not in a 90 degree angle). I'm having trouble figuring out what angle I need to use to align my textures in these angled corridors. Aligning brushes is also hell if my corridors are not right angles. Enough of me rantng in ignorance.

I thank ye all for letting me bask in your glory.
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Comments

  • Once_OnlyOnce_Only Members Join Date: 2004-05-15 Member: 28700Posts: 388
    What ive been doing for my first map is making a room, detailing it minimally (details that can be used by the players like pipes and ladders)and then move onto the next area. If i didnt detail the rooms a little, it'd feel too boxy, ive been working on my map for nearly a week now (about 18 hours) and my 3 rooms are looking alot like the plan I made.

    If your taking a long time, your either too much of a perfectionist, or too lazy to continue (I got stuck decorating a room because I didnt want to have to move on). Or you're doing a really good job. And you can usually tell when thats the case.
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  • Ron2KRon2K Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-05-25 Member: 28904Posts: 188
    Well, it's taken me around a month to do the general layout of the map (floor, walls, ceiling) - but I only have around 2 hours per day. I've now moved on to putting in detail and textures, it's taken me around 1 week just on the marine start and it isn't even finished yet (and that's not counting the lighting, which will be the last thing I do).

    I've got a nice long holiday coming up, so maybe I'll progress slightly faster...
    QUOTE (Marik_Steele)
    I could probably apply for a patent on a "mounted apparatus effectuating reception of nonlinearly projected liquids" tomorrow, and I'd be able to sue every sink, toilet, and urinal-making company in the world.
  • BarathrumBarathrum Members Join Date: 2003-11-08 Member: 22383Posts: 137
    I started working on my latest map in October last year and I've made like half of it now. I'm making all mainsections in different mapfiles and won't be happy 'til each one is perfect. I think I've put like 75-100 hours in my map this far since I've taken some breaks. Trying to finish it before the release of Half-Life 2, but it doesn't seem to work sad.gif
  • Lord_MaldazzarLord_Maldazzar Members Join Date: 2003-11-01 Member: 22193Posts: 198
    edited May 2004
    i made my map ns_pons (thread), in about 3 or 4 months... and its finished.. just a few things like lights and texture alignment should be done.
    on some days i did nothing on the map.. on some other days i sat in front of my pc for about 6 or 7 hours... on one day i constructed ca 1/3 of the map smile.gif
  • quazilinquazilin Members, Contributor, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2002-11-25 Member: 9880Posts: 383 Fully active user
    NS_Metal took ~6 months and I am still updating and fixing it... lots of long mapping sessions and sometimes long breaks of 2 weeks etc.
  • TequilaTequila Members Join Date: 2003-08-13 Member: 19660Posts: 3,020
    It's different for every mapper I guess. There's no rush, just take as long as you like until you're happy with it (or get sick and want to move on smile.gif ).
  • Evil_bOb1Evil_bOb1 Members, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 938Posts: 915
    ns_aurora...its been nearly two years that ive kept this name for my map. It has gone through 4 completly different rebuilds because i was just unsatisfied with my work. Ive been working on the lastest version since last september/october (i can't remember exactly) and im about 2/3 finished. I can't wait till i finish it and only then will i show my work:P But making a map can take so long, i take great breaks from time to time and just stop mapping for weeks then get back on it with fresh ideas, i jsut hate mapping when i don't know what to do and it really puts me off.
    ns2_turtle modid=486cef9 Forum thread / duplexgaming page
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Posts: 3,567 mod
    One never truely finishes a map, one just gets bored with it.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • HanzGrub3rHanzGrub3r Members Join Date: 2004-02-23 Member: 26823Posts: 397
    Mouse - I think the quote you are looking for is "Movies are never completed they are abandoned"...George Lucas said that about the original star wars..

    Uh-oh - It's strange seeing some of the responses here.. My general philosophy with mapping is that if you stick to one area of the map for longer than 2 hours (in one sitting) you are wasting time. I can generally pump out a playable level in a week .... each person is different.. some people start making a map based on a layout on paper or in their head...others work it out as they go.. some people go as far as to be able to see the way the map should look in their head before they even begin.. I tend to be the third which lets me map quite quickly...
    Each to their own, I guess...
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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Posts: 3,567 mod
    Regardless, it still rings true. I've been working on hydrosity on and off for over a year and a half now.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • uffouffo Members Join Date: 2003-05-03 Member: 16026Posts: 583
    with experience you'll get faster. you see the picture in your head and you know how to do it. I create a nice (in my point of view) room in somewhat 2 hours, but I hate start creating new room from scratch again. So I usually find myself adjusting already existing rooms and fixing small flaws rather than focusing on there where's still helluva lots of work to do.
    In short: I'm a kinda fast builder, but finishing a map takes lots of time smile.gif
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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    I don't even want to think about the number of hours I've put into ns_shiva. Most of those hours though are spent just flying around it and figuring out how it could be tweaked to be better.
  • MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate places Valencia, SpainMembers, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Posts: 4,177 Advanced user
    I was very slow before, but I got better and fasted while I was doing and finishing ns_phobia tounge.gif The switch to NS made me learn a lot!

    I'm still kind of slow when finishing maps, but that's because I can make room in 1-2 hours and then do nothing but looking around with the 3d camera, and then close hammer until the next week tounge.gif

    btw, I make all the detail/lighting the first, and then keep compiling and tweaking until it's perfect (or the way I think it's the best looking one, there are exceptions with this, but... well, heh). I just can't think of the room without detail :S

    It really depends on the mapper, as you can see smile.gif
  • SpacerSpacer Invented dogs Members Join Date: 2003-05-02 Member: 16008Posts: 1,527
    reading what mendasp wrote, i pretty much do the same
    i'll finish a whole room (architecturally) first, then move onto the next one. I'll try and do about one room a week, depending on its size :S
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Posts: 2,874 Advanced user
    Having made alot of failed maps and practice only maps I now generally do everything at once(lighting, detail etc.) and have nothing resembling a plan other than what's in my head. I really like modular design because it speeds things up immensly.

    I don't mean a map that is entirely self-similar, but you are going to keep a general theme in your map, might as well flesh out a few basic geometrys that you will need on many occasions and do minor modifications to fit them in place. Corridors, crossings, res node alcoves and stuff like that could well be instanced several times and rotated/mirrored/chopped/vertex edited into a snugg fit. It's gameplay you want, not just a good looking map.
  • NzNexusNzNexus Banned Join Date: 2004-02-16 Member: 26605Posts: 1,082
    Sometimes it can take 4 - 5 days for me to make a room or just 1 hour.

    Everythin depends on how much you want to work on the map.
    Sometimes is it very boring so i listen to music when mapping.
    Well..it can be fun with mapping.
    Im slow with Level Design and need to think much.
    Well im ALLWAYS nexus.
  • Uh-OhUh-Oh Members Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6917Posts: 262
    Don't you just hate it when you get to the bottom of a Raisin Bran box? I mean, you get 2/3 raisins, and only 1/3 bran. So your basically just chewing raisins in milk. Stupid raisins, and stupid gravity...

    On another subject.
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Well, since I'm making a combat map, I'm guessing it only takes 1/2 the time it would require for a ns_classic map.

    I'm thinking, if everything goes smoothly, and I get a bit of slack from work, I could have a finished beta version of my map by september 30th... wink.gif
  • Lord_MaldazzarLord_Maldazzar Members Join Date: 2003-11-01 Member: 22193Posts: 198
    another good way is: build only the floors first... then the walls and after that the ceilings. then build the detailed things :>
  • KesterKester Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-21 Member: 26770Posts: 729
    personally i like to work on a room (to death usually about 20-30 hours) then move on to the next room, after ive completed the second room, i usually go back to the first to make sure they run together well and add more detail (for about another 15 hours) before moving on to a third room.

    I dont plan beforehand, only make an idea in my head then work on it, but generally get most of the detail in straight away and add the lights, Compiling about 2 to 3 times an hour. unless im working on entities, when its every few mins.
    QUOTE (Mantrid)
    Oh yeah? Well, all your texture faces are perpendicular to their axis'!
    QUOTE (Pheus_)
    you've collided with an onos
  • CageyCagey Ex-Unknown Worlds Programmer Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8829Posts: 1,751
    I can crank out a simple DM map in around 80 hours if I'm paying attention to detail work (5 hours if you want it sloppy/without trim/with simplistic architecture), but if you want a well-crafted NS classic map, it could take 5 to 10 times that long. When Ritual was still doing CS:CZ, Levelord said it was taking them around 600 hours per map--I think that's a realistic benchmark.
    XP-Cagey

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  • RecoupRecoup Members Join Date: 2004-04-25 Member: 28195Posts: 1,109
    The hardest, and I mean the HARDEST part of using Valve Hammer Editor that is the most TIME COMSUMING and most RIDICUOUSLY PAINFUL process is getting textures to match or be used correctly... if something looks bad, you gotta change it, you gotta stretch it, you gotta move it over some, you gotta rotate it... ITS JUST A HASSLE! Other then that I can just fork out rooms and such with relative ease...
  • Ron2KRon2K Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-05-25 Member: 28904Posts: 188
    QUOTE (Lord Maldazzar @ May 26 2004, 09:55 PM)
    another good way is: build only the floors first... then the walls and after that the ceilings. then build the detailed things :>

    Heh, that's the approach that I've chosen.
    QUOTE (Marik_Steele)
    I could probably apply for a patent on a "mounted apparatus effectuating reception of nonlinearly projected liquids" tomorrow, and I'd be able to sue every sink, toilet, and urinal-making company in the world.
  • Lord_MaldazzarLord_Maldazzar Members Join Date: 2003-11-01 Member: 22193Posts: 198
    i had a little plan of my map, but you cant compare the plan with the map now biggrin.gif
    i changed things around (eg ventholes etc). but i always used the floor-method described above. trust me, its best biggrin.gif

    my problem was, just as recoup posted: textures, textures, textures... they never let you sleep ^^
    other than that, i changed the map around many times so its well balanced now biggrin.gif
  • ChodsChods Members Join Date: 2003-04-25 Member: 15838Posts: 226
    ive never gotten around to finishing a map.

    the furthest ive ever gotten was a dbl res room and a couple of corridors. the r_speeds were to high and i made it too detailed.
  • KesterKester Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-21 Member: 26770Posts: 729
    edited May 2004
    ive probably put about 300 hours into this so far

    user posted image

    and im nearing completion, just got the hive to make, and a few more access points to it

    /edit - sorry to anyone that uses 800*600 res or less, for messing up there forum view
    QUOTE (Mantrid)
    Oh yeah? Well, all your texture faces are perpendicular to their axis'!
    QUOTE (Pheus_)
    you've collided with an onos
  • kolokolkolokol Members Join Date: 2002-11-18 Member: 9166Posts: 476
    Im one slow mapper. Generally i dont plan well enough. I know where i want corridors but i dont do a floorplan. This means that i spend alot of time creating beautiful rooms and then ill spend a long time linking them toghether. At the moment im trying to set the middle of the map in stone and after that everything should be quite quick. Tbh i need to draw more. Ive got some really sweet ideas but some of them would have to be modified alot to fit in hl, even though they would run on my comp. I even waste time thinking about really cool things i could do if i had hl2 lighting.
    claxt for the win...
  • OlmyOlmy Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, NS2 Developer, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond Join Date: 2003-05-08 Member: 16142Posts: 1,452 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Recoup @ May 27 2004, 01:55 AM)
    The hardest, and I mean the HARDEST part of using Valve Hammer Editor that is the most TIME COMSUMING and most RIDICUOUSLY PAINFUL process is getting textures to match or be used correctly... if something looks bad, you gotta change it, you gotta stretch it, you gotta move it over some, you gotta rotate it... ITS JUST A HASSLE! Other then that I can just fork out rooms and such with relative ease...

    Good lord yes, texturing is the worst part easily. Maybe it's just because i suck at it. I look at a wad of textures and think 'how the hell am i meant to use these??'.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The NetherlandsMembers, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 15,782 Advanced user
    edited May 2004
    hmm texturing the worst? I mean it's quite up there, but what about ligthing and its evil compile time to see the result smile.gif

    thats by far the most time consuming...

    sidenote:
    achio at the moment near 9 months constuction time, darn school projects keep comming in between the progress biggrin.gif

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  • TequilaTequila Members Join Date: 2003-08-13 Member: 19660Posts: 3,020
    The whole lighting issue will change with HL2's instant lighting preview facility. However, texturing will not. I agree, it is the most difficult technical aspect of mapping, although to me it's not the process of aligning them but more applying them orignally and creatively so that your map doesn't look run-of-the-mill.
  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair 日本福岡県Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Posts: 2,589 Advanced user
    I don't usually think textureing is that bad but lighting is a lot more difficult to get right.

    OffTopic: What is this HL2 instant lighting preview facility thing? Not sure that I've heard of that. I know Doom III is supposed to let you view the lighting in editor but I didn't think there was something like that for HL2.
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