BTW cocerello, when will we see your WIP thread? I'm really curious what you got going
Been trying to get some editors working to choose one and finally map. Chose Jackhammer, even though has some problems here and there, as expected of an editor that haven't been out for long. Mapping now, slowly but solidly.
About the thread and the map itself, i think in a smilar way to Pan, i prefer to don't show too much of the map so the player don't lose that first experience that he won't get ever again, and so i don't have to deal with player's and judge's expectations, so i don't think i'll show a lot. I'll say more when i open the thread.
Post by giftmacher on Mar 18, 2015 12:40:07 GMT -5
Big fan of your maps spirit I was wondering if you would like to share some secrets on your work process/planning, an area I struggle with. I was looking at your spirit2dm5 Oceans Apart the other day and was just blown away by how well everything fit together. Did you plan it "brick-by-brick" or just the 'broad' layout?
First: I do not know whether how I do it makes much sense, and I guess the Pros do it differently (theme first?).
What I usually do is this:
First draw a layout like this:
Think about stuff like: connectivity, line of sight, vertical combat, prevent camping, key item locations, options for the down player to come back. Takes some days usually, I work on it whenever I have some new ideas in my head.
Then I build the layout in an editor, only roughly (but without leaks), using 1 texture for floor and 1 for walls.
I run through this a lot, getting a feel for the layout, times from A to B, etc. Double-check stuff mentioned above (connectivity, line of sight, ...). Usually some minor changes are required at this point.
Then I try the first item placement round. Important stuff to think is: time from each key item to the others (red armor <-> yellow armor <-> mega health ... usually). or no red armor but 2 yellows instead?! I run through this a lot more, timing item spawns, finding short cuts by rocket jumps. Introduce some trick jumps to get faster routes where needed. Make fast routes dangerous (jumppads in the open instead of tele), make longer routes safer or reward with minor items. Adjust.
I then do some playtesting with bots or a friend on the map (compiled with ambient light option of arghrad, because full-bright I find it very hard to judge distances properly. this is also the reason for "no leaks".) You can skip this if you're experienced, and replace it with running around even more, but I would not recommend it. Some of my maps, I never tested with people before release (spirit2dm4 was built in 4 days while I was away for work without bots installed, and without internet). This often leads to changes in item placement, sometimes even small changes to map layout or connectivity (change teleporter destination, remove a trick jump opportunity, ...).
Then I decide on a theme, chose a texture set and skybox.
I do texturing before lighting. I use texture lights a lot and I only place light sources where I built a lamp to get realistic lighting.
(I will write a bit more about the layout when I find the time.)
Post by giftmacher on Mar 18, 2015 16:19:09 GMT -5
Great thank you for these tips. I will do layout testing for the next map as you describe here. Should you find the time later on please elaborate, things like values on texture lighting combined with other light sources (entities/light-textures) would be interesting to learn more about. On another note, check out the game Reflex if you haven't already, it's in alpha stage but quite promising. The mapping features in the game offers 'live-mapping' and the editor resembles trenchbroom. If you lack the time for mapping in Q2 which is quite time consuming this game offers a quick fix so far
Surprisingly the Reflex editor looks almost identical to Trenchbroom, and these guys are definitely doing something right to already be approved by Steam Greenlight and selling their game in such a short time. I wish them lots of luck, because it looks like a lot of fun. Sadly the steep learning curve is the biggest obstacle in making this a wider success. You already have uber players dominating this game, just like in Warsow. Even with a match making system it might be hard to attract new players once it's saturated with pros. Still, the in-game editor is probably the biggest advantage it has going for it, which might turn this around.
I'm a gameplay-first guy but: Wow man, the map in the video on the website is ugly!
The videos also reminded me of Warsow, unsure whether that'S good or not. While I like trick-jumps and liked the idea of Warsow, I never really played it. The movement felt a bit too gimmicky and exaggerated to me. It also made the maps feel kinda random: since players can go everywhere from everywhere anyway, why even have a map structure? Randomly placed brushes and items in space would also be fine.
I see what you mean but this is closer to Quake than warsow. There is no artwork/textures/models in the game yet, only placeholders. So you can just do basic mapping for now, will be interesting to see what theme they settle for.
Yes Null, for me and a bunch of other people on the reflex forum the editor is the main atraction. I have not touched it for a while though, I'm waiting for the artwork/textures.
Last Edit: Mar 19, 2015 5:45:07 GMT -5 by giftmacher
Interesting read spirit. No doubts you have found something that works for you. I have always thought you had a high quality when it comes to the actual level building. It's nice to read that you put a lot of effort into competitive components of the game; line of sight, power-up placement..
I love that you still use pen-paper design, I do that too. I definitely see the value in texturing before lighting. But I am surprised by how late you introduce the theme in the process, why is that? From where do you draw your inspiration most of the time?
That's one of my problems I guess. I think the theme is one of the parts where my maps are not that great. Their theme usually is 'some installation without any obvious purpose on a distant planet'.
I guess this is because I do not like texturing/lighting that much (and because I do not make my own textures). I just want to get over with it and draw the next layout. I should work on this and think about a theme earlier I guess.