View Full Version : Best things to do/not to do when making a map

16th Nov 2004, 09:57 PM
Since i'm really new to map making, I'd like a few tips on what I should do and avoid doing when making maps so I can improve faster.

16th Nov 2004, 11:13 PM
Just some stuff I keep in mind when making maps...

-Use the grid
-Keep brush parameters within powers of 2 when you can (256, 512, 16384, etc.)
-Align your textures
-Use trim (like around doors and stuff)
-NEVER use the default texture
-Use the 2D shape editor to make interesting brush shapes
-Keep a consistent theme to your map (mixing themes is fine, if done tastefully)
-Re-skin static meshes to give them a new look
-Avoid cliche themes (techno, gothic, industrial, egyptian, "giant", et. al) in maps for wide release, unless you have a very unique take on that theme.
-Player movement should be smooth throughout the main areas of the map
-Weapon placement should be balanced. Item layout should encourage players to roam about the map in DM/TDM, and in the other gametypes to some extent.
-Examine other maps for various techniques (pathing, emitters, SM usage, etc...I'm not advocating plagiarism here, just learning from the pros :) )
-Beta test your maps before submitting them for wide release

17th Nov 2004, 03:24 AM
And never make translucent lave!!!

21st Nov 2004, 10:33 PM
I disagree. Sometimes using the default texture as a clouded sky works quite well.

Another point I'd add to that list would be to not just stop building the map within the map itself. Abstract, yes. What I mean is that...when the player looks out of the window, have something more out there. If your level is a skyscraper, have it be surrounded by clouds and other tall buildings. If it's an island, place another island far off in the distance. If it's an industrial building (think DM-CBP1-TensileSteel), make some buildings outside. Make the place believable and feel like part of a real functioning world.

6th Dec 2004, 10:10 PM
yes, everything i don't do

i always end up making arenas that look like some drug trip based on a simple primise, but lately i've been having different ideas

check my site for my currently very few uploads
direct link (davidrudkin.home.comcast.net/maps/CTF-Jump_Tower.unr)

4th May 2005, 09:57 AM
-save your map ones in a while as a new save
so,if you exidentely overwrite your almost finished map when you try to open it,you got a backup(it happened to me,its not fun)

for ued2.0

-dont scale your brush,
avoid as much as possible,
and with scaling I mean,brushpropperties,brush,mainscale
-if youmake a torch,make sure you dont check the option 'portal' of the surface,
to prevend bsp holes

5th May 2005, 10:55 AM
Scaling brushes is not bad at all. I do it all the time.

Just keep some things in mind.

-Don't scale brushes with strange ammounts like 1.6665811
-Try t0 scale brushes wich are mostly tessselated or if you've got a abetter knowledge of brushes, just make sure you don't "bend" flat surfaces by scaling brushes.
-And Transform permanently when the brush is done (this will screw up any texture alignment though)

5th May 2005, 11:09 AM
im not sure what transform permenatly does to your brush
this is why dont scale brush:
-stupid numbers as 6.78943(normal numbers too) causes the brush not to fit to because of the grid
-in ued1.0,(im not sure if its in2.0 though)brush scaling screwed up my movers
this has been a problem for me for a half a year(wenn i used 1.0)
(wenn i started mapping,i only used brush scaling to chance the brush,that makes it very limited)
-i always forget that my brush are scaled and i continue working with it,and then it seems that everyting i to big/smal because of that

5th May 2005, 11:19 PM
this is why dont scale brush:
Don't tell me what to do, I've got 4 years mappers experience.

Never scale movers indeed, that's a pure nono. Also, Scaling in certain numbers like numbers you'd scale textures is fine and will make the brush be on grid.

I mean numbers like 0.5, 0.25 2.0, 1.5, 2.5 well, you get get the idea.

Anyways, you've been having some trouble because you didn't know the transform permanently function. Transform permanently is a bliss, it resets all the brush values without changing the brush. Let's say you've rotated a brush, as we know if we fo rotate it in a different view it will be very hard with all the weird rotations. Just do a Transform permanently. It will be rotated the same, but have zero rotation in the properties.

It's like getting a new start with a little push in the right direction. But, do remember that transform permanently totally screws up your texturealignment, so do that last.

Scaling textures is good, as long as you know how to use it. DM ringsOfStone uses the power of scaling to create funky shapes, check it out.

Also, it's wise to always to a transform permanently on the builderbrush and also on the builderbrush before you add a mover.

IMO, brushclipping can cause more harm than scaling. And to also mention the last of the Mappers brushing power, Vertexediting is great, but keep in mind that you can't Undo a vertex edit and also, it can easily make the editor crash if used uncarefully.

Some praticle uses of scaling. Fast intersecting;
>Upscale the builderbrsuh until it fits over the brush you wana intersect and intersect, vertex-editing is more praticle IMO.

Oval shapes:
Usefull to get shapes wich are oval by scaling in the x or Y or z direction only with ring/cilindral shapes. The nice thing is that the textures will also be stretched.

Inverting shapes;
Sounds weird doesn't it? Well, whenever you do a transform x or y or z you actually use scaling, the scale is being turned into -1.0 or 1 depending how any times you changed it already.

6th May 2005, 02:42 AM
I dont tell you what to do
wenn i wrote: this is why dont scale brush
I meant: this is why I dont scale brush
,just a type fault
I got 6 years of mapping experience,
first 2 years with ued1.0 without any tutorials,or internet connection
so actually 4 years

vertex ending is very usefull IMO
but as you said,should be used carefull,because if you make shapes that cannot exist,bsp holes excists

6th May 2005, 06:02 AM
He never told you what to do, he simply said he didn't use brush scaling :con:

There's not really any problem with brush scaling in itself, but of course it's like all other features, you have to make sure you use it sensibly. Make sure all your vertecies are aligned to the grid after scaling if possible.
I personally never really used it, I find vertex editing simpler and quicker. Whatever floats ya boat :p

7th May 2005, 05:19 PM
Heh, I wasn't really in the mood for an arguement so I might have sounded a big harsh, Srry for that.

So, what's the final verdict on scaling? Just be carefull with it, right?

Anyways, yup, I vertex edit all the time, it's a lot easier then to keep adjusting the sie of that cube so it will fit :).

Also, merging poly's can have magical effects. I once made some way to round terrain with everything still tesselated (even the flat surfaces like the sides and ceilling of the brush) and there was one of those ICH's wich the engine generated for some reason (BSP error). Ofter I merged the polys without doing anything else with the BSP (I did rebuild offcourse) the ICH's was gone. So in short, Merging polys can resolve BSP errors wich likely accure with terrain.

Also, Learning stuff without tutorials isn't bad at all :). My first 2 years was without tutorials too, but I learned a lot from it and it's really welded into my brain, when it comes to some editing basics. I've got a frend who's also into mapping and who I help with questions and stuff. I've like explained over a dozen times how to make a mover, but he still asks me taht frequently.

So, getting info on a plate served with knife and fork isn't all that great, coz you won't really get the taste of it.

11th Jun 2005, 10:21 AM
Well, there are a few rules in this ehm.. "industry", if you will, starting with:
Rule #1: Do not release your first map(s)
Rule #2: Do NOT release your first map(s)
Seriously, you'll be flamed and traumatized before you can say "Hay! Thoose ruules are from Feight Cluub!"
Surely small, understanding sites or perhaps even these forums are okay, but I'd best wait with releasing your work on NC

Now for something a bit more constructive. Another classic rookie mistake is the fact that all the lightning has to come from a source, and it must look like that source could actually produce that kind of light. I usually keep the lightingradius rating from 8 for very small light, to 64 for the big kahuna's, and 24 for your Average Joe kind of light.
Also, things like using contrasts makes the whole thing more pleasant for the eyes. So that means no white lights with Lightradius=255

And another thing, why do I always check the dates of the previous posts AFTER I've replied. Ah well, another res then. Hope you like it.

6th Jul 2005, 03:37 PM
I disagree. Sometimes using the default texture as a clouded sky works quite well. Nope i dont agree with you. When ever i see that horrible texture. I think one its my graphics card playing up, and also i just think it looks cheap.

All of the above are spot on. I some times take out parts of my map and work on them in a different arena. I do this for 2 reasons 1 i can focus on it more and it helps me make things better. 2 i dont have to build every thing over and over again its quicker.

20th Sep 2005, 07:47 AM
Let's interrupt the rest of a dead thread:
Never ever put a clan tag in your map, clan tags always ruin a map. No matter how well it was designed.
And never create sniper spots on purpose.
And don't forget to rotate the playerstarts to make them point in the right direction.
Oh and please don't use file directories inside the zip files. When you go to extract the files it creates a new folder inside the destination folder, and then you have to move it again for ut to see it.

(i copied these wisdoms from the map comments, so reading them can teach u what to do and what to avoid)

20th Sep 2005, 09:06 AM
Stuff I found out the hard way:

- Lock your terrain. I had too many times that when i moved a SM my whole terrain moved with it and didnt notice till my redo's were done and for some universal rule you can never fit it in the same position it was when you started moving. :)
- Ignore some well ment tutorials about advaced brush making and spent that time to learn Maya or 3Dmax to make the same stuff as SM's
- Watch out with editing terrain outside your extraction cube as it crashes UEd often.
- Save your work. recompile. Save your work. And use different files if you can (like 1.1, 1.2 etc.)
- When making a realistic map (as i mapped for RedOrchestra mod) never try to make a map based on a 1:4 scale from real life. Ignore this if you dont want any social life, friends, good looking skin, healthy food, non-cafein bevarages.
- Test all stuff involved in actors on a small map before putting them in your big project. (saves on compilation time, and scrolling through the entire map)

It is just some thoughts..... Koetje