View Full Version : when creating new maps...

Twisted Metal
25th Jan 2002, 07:10 PM
I'm not really experienced with this editor much, i built 2 maps, 1 large CTF(2fort copy), and 1 DM small cylinder room with walkways over some water below. Anyway I never really finished these maps because I felt the need to keep adding and adding to them. Too late to finish them now though, those maps are long gone, destroyed by my friend named reformat.

I would really like to make a good map, I can easily think of good, complex ideas in my head but I am extremely limited once I start to physically build something in the editor. I start with a cube where I just guess a random size and then i'm stuck with that cube. A bland, boring, open cube. How the hell do I work with this? Where do I start? Ahhh. I'm clueless when it comes to actually building the map. They never turn out the way I want them, things are the wrong size, in the wrong positions, and the whole map ends up turning into something totally different than I pictured. It really makes me frusterated. I see all these great maps in all these games, large outdoor areas with mountains, deformed terrain, clever construction, and all the rooms/passageways seem to meet up perfect. Too bad my knowledge ends with the empty cube. How am I supossed to turn my flat boring cube into a 3D world filled with detail? It's so hard I don't know how you guys manage it. I wish I had a video of someone actually building a map from scratch, so I could see how they do it.

How do you guys start your maps? With a cube? Then what? I would really like to learn to actually build something nice for a change. =/

25th Jan 2002, 07:21 PM
think....think...think some more...

sketch,sketch, erase, think.... sketch

map, map, sketch, think... sketch... map
map map


Techno JF
26th Jan 2002, 01:01 AM
Ummmm...that's actually about right. At least that's what I think everybody else does.

26th Jan 2002, 07:42 AM
It may help not to think of your first cube as your first room.
Concentrate on creating what you have imagined, even if to begin with it's just a doorway, or pillar, or piece of detail.
Then you can change the main subtractive brush or resize it, as you start to get an idea of what you want around you.

26th Jan 2002, 08:13 AM
i always start with a cube :),
and you stay on the grid btw, random numbes are ghey, 16-32-64-128-256-512-1024-2045-3072-4096-..... like that, the powers of 4, cause bsp needs that, and without decent grid stuff, you can get big homs or lower fps
and you also first need a theme, you dont make a cube, then load up all rthe textures, and say ow well, this ancient stuff looks nice, lets place an ancient texture agains the wall, and there we go i made a temple !, erm no, you first need the idea what theme, what textures, you need the idea of the map, what the map is suppose too be, and then you start desginin rooms on paper or in your head first, you make the floorplan, and the stuff how the rooms and corridors have too look, and then you start, and work with vertex and 2dshape too, otherwise it will stay a big cube with lots of small cubes in it
but most important is experience, you got 2 things in mapping, the theoretical part, the how does trhe ued work, and the real part, from how do i get good ideas, how too execute them well,... that stuff, and that last thing you can only learns in years and years, give me a cube now, and i can make that cube a 800 poly cube with leet gameplay, as far thats possible with a cube, i couldnt do that 3 months ago, it just needs time, after a time you start thinking in ued, and you know exactly how too fill up spaces and make something look leet

and 2 importants things about architecture
-something straight and right is uber ghey and boring, a big flat ceiling, a big flat wall, a big flat floor, its all boring as hell, you may never do that, fill up everything so it looks filled
and 2, you need connectivity in architecture, you dont take a wall, and then place an airvent on it here, and a long thin pillar there, and a light there, thats ghey, then it looks like its 1 big piece of cut and paste ****, there is totaly no interaction between the differnt elements of the room, and thats ghey, everything needs too be connected, and looks 1 and the same, it has to be an unity, like they really belong too the same building and room

and for light read www.planetunreal.com/teamvortex/davidm/ and then take tutorials, for gameplay the same

and resizing is ghey, certainly that ghey resize mousecursortool thing

Techno JF
26th Jan 2002, 12:56 PM
I agree with everything Hourences has said, except for two things.

It's okay to use ANY pure power of two for units, including the negative ones such as 0.5 and 0.25, as long as you stay on the grid with them.
Hourences's excessive use of the word "ghey" somehow brought an image of DavidM into my head, even before I noticed the link to the lighting tutorial. :D

26th Jan 2002, 01:41 PM
davidm is good, and has lots of influence so its normal people take over his word use, and his lightning tut is the only lightning tut i know, decent one
and i dont get the grid stuff, erm a wall of ,as example, 80.5 units high or what are you saying ? tsince when is there a grid 0.5 ?:), last thing i saw was 1, wich was ghey, imposeble too work with it, imagine you place the 80.5 wall somewher,e and then you want a roof on it, then how are you gonna put it on it ? the roof wont align too the grid, cause their is no 0.5 thing ....
bad for bsp too

26th Jan 2002, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by TechnoArcher
It's okay to use ANY pure power of two for units, including the negative ones such as 0.5 and 0.25, as long as you stay on the grid with them.

Stick to multiples of 64 or 32 for large structures.
16 for trim textures
8,4 or 2 for finer detail.

and 1 for special effects: sheet overlays for example.

26th Jan 2002, 02:40 PM
"16-32-64-128-256-512-1024-2045-3072-4096-..... like that,"

dont you use 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, 384, 768, 1536 ? :)

26th Jan 2002, 02:45 PM
hour, there is a 0.25 grid or whatever...
i dont use it very often, and its a pain to work with it cause it doesnt show the grid, its just gray, no grid 0_o

26th Jan 2002, 03:26 PM
hmm i dont see it when i click the little grid setting thing on the bottom of ued, where is it then ?
and yes duh those too, but you want me to type the complete list of powers from 0 to 65536 ?:) those were just the ones i thought about first

26th Jan 2002, 03:29 PM
thats the command

MAP GRID X=0.5 Y=0.5 Z=0.5

26th Jan 2002, 03:37 PM
lol groovy, but totaly useless
but command is let, cause the 4096 grid works too now :)

Techno JF
26th Jan 2002, 03:38 PM
Hey guys. I got that tidbit of information about low grid values by reading through that certain Tac-Ops forum thread. I don't have the link anymore, but you might try asking NFG where it is. I'm sure he'll know, as he's the one who brought it up on this forum.

26th Jan 2002, 04:12 PM
I wish I had a video of someone actually building a map from scratch, so I could see how they do it.

That won't be a short one. :)

Drawing out things onto paper helps a lot. Your head is like a tape recorder...it's difficult to record and play at the same time. Unless you have a multi-tape recorder. That's the equivalent of an artistic brain. :D
It's a bit easier for me because I do concept art as well. But you don't need to be an artist for sketching. The architecture sketch is just for you so you can be sloppy. Draw only the major shapes and do the details in UEd.

Or try to "envision" architecture in your head w/o having the editor in front of you. If you have a clear idea of what you are going to do then start UEd and build it. This case you won't have "slapped in looking" geometry.

26th Jan 2002, 05:35 PM
I second that !
If you have a clear AND global idea of what your map will be like (which is easier if you base it on elements of architecture that you already know, like your house/job place/some famous building or cavern near your place...) you can then work without a draft on a sheet of paper.

26th Jan 2002, 06:09 PM
i never ever ever draw something on paper, takes too much time, first i need too find a quiet spot > like right, try that in a bus or on school, then i need a paper and a pencil > like right, do that in a bus or something, and its slow, cause it requires a few seconds too draw a line while my head is able of drawing total rooms in 0.01 sec

i always take the general theme and idea of the map in my head, and too get the right theme i design the basic idea of a few keypoint rooms in my head, and then i startup ued, and i start making it, and while im working on it, i design new rooms and corridors while working on them, so i add a pillar her, and allready design at that same moment what my ceiling will be, seems too work for me :) sdame for singleplay, i make singleplay on the fly :) i make the first part, and then i think of what will be after the door and stuff

Twisted Metal
27th Jan 2002, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. I think my problem is that my expectations are too high. I expect to be able to produce an awesome quality map on my first try. Anyway can you guys recommend an easy first map to start off with? And give me a few tips to start it off?

27th Jan 2002, 09:21 AM
pick out some good map thats not too advanced
try to rip off as much as you can
copy architecture, lighting etc
you'll learn a lot

27th Jan 2002, 10:03 AM
industrial theme is the easyest theme for most people too make, cause you have lots and lots of examples too, as in excisting maps, and in real live

and just look alot too other maps and games

27th Jan 2002, 10:07 AM
but this only works if your taste in maps is not too ****ed

if you like anubis, decyber, neocairo, spiridian or empowered][ you better not try this way

27th Jan 2002, 10:21 AM
the best images are always popping in my head at inappropriate times (while driving, in a meeting, smooching with the honey etc..). sketch pads are a great way to catch them and get them recorded quickly before they fade away. like Chris said, it doesn't have to be a full blown scene, just some chicken scratch to help you remember later. the details are in between your ears.
in most cases it's much easier for me to recall an image from even the worst of sketches than strictly from memory.

if you're stuck staring at a cube and being unable to recreate your ideas in UeD, try setting the rules aside for a while and just start creating things willy nilly. to hell with bsp holes, high poly count, and the damned grid. every map doesn't need to be a finished product. rough draft maps can look sweet but might never work in the game for various reasons. other maps that 'follow the rules' can be modeled after those rough drafts. push the limits. you'll pick up a few tricks along the way and maybe learn some things no one else knows about.
the only thing you have to lose is time (and a Real Life :)

27th Jan 2002, 05:09 PM
the best images are always popping in my head at inappropriate times (while driving, in a meeting, smooching with the honey etc..).

...Please tell me you are joking ;)

Well, as far as tips go, one of the best tips is as DavidM has just typed: copy a lot from other maps and see how they did it.

Don't forget that every mapper starts with horrible maps, ones we all cringe about when people point them out to us when we rather forget it. Just make maps and learn from them.

Another good tip is start to learn how to master basics first. Things such as sticking to the grid or only using powers really helps instead of having to resize objects exactly or having to guess what size it originally was - things like these help reduce the amount of time guessing and more work on the map (which in turn makes you feel happy with the amount of work you've done).

28th Jan 2002, 05:32 AM
i explained it in the architecture tutorial on my page (1337ness.de)
copying is the way i got into architecture

I remember when I copied cliffy's dig and dug maps :)
not a masterpiece, but all prior maps were just empty cubes

28th Jan 2002, 06:46 AM
Heh heh, I learned most of what I know by bugging more experienced mappers....That and screwing around with the editor...just clicking and pressing every thing....