View Full Version : Inspiration, how do you guys start?

14th May 2001, 04:02 PM
Ok I've been messing around with unrealed for some time now, but a few things still bother me, especially the inspiration part, I never how what to make :(

How do you start? First look at textures, then decide on the setting according to the textures you like, or first a setting, and loop up the appropiate textures?

Do you just make some sketches, or plan it to the last detail on paper, or don't make any drawings at all..?

Just curious.. :)

14th May 2001, 07:27 PM
It just kinda comes to me. The best way to describe it is you get an idea about say a room or part of the map and then you decided hey that'd be cool if I put it in a map. And then go off that idea building around it. My current map which is almost ready was based around the idea of having the shield belt sitting on top of a sheet of glass that could be shot and caused to explode. From that I figured well where's the guy gonna fall? So I decided a pool of lava at the bottom would be good. So what I had was a pool of lava with a walkway over it and in the center a glass platform with the belt. From there the pool became a river and the belt suspended between two walkways that connected two seperate islands on the map divided by the river.
Hope that kinda explains things. We all get ideas, you just gotta recognise em and use em. Offcourse my way isn't the only one. Like you said looking thru a texture pack you may see a cool looking thing and decide hey...now if I had this huge wall with that texture in the center, and then a walkway running around it with water below...etc
You get the idea:)

14th May 2001, 07:41 PM
I either start with a detailed plan of my level with measured sketches and texture layout or I just open the editor with absolutely no idea whatsoever what i am going to do. Either way I wind up with bsp holes from hell or it just looks amaturish and basically crap and I delete it. :)

Here is a screenshot of my latest abomination:

14th May 2001, 08:08 PM
I usually base my designs on things I can see (or imagine) in movies, books, comics,music, etc. If I choose one of those ideas, the first thing i do, is sketch it out in a piece of paper (so I wont forget what details to do). Then, I try my best to convert those designs into UnrealED If I have luck, they do. :)

If you need more help, why dont you check out the Plutonics "Level Design Process"... I dont know a link to Plutonics site, but you can try here , at Fordy´s site: (just click on the Level Design link to the left):


Ulukai´s has good info too: http://www.planetunreal.com/ulukai


14th May 2001, 08:41 PM
Hey Nitrev! If you ever need some inspiration ask me... I cannot use UED on my comp, and i grow more and more frustrated as i come up with ideas that i cannot transform into actual maps... :hmm:

I'd love to see an AS or MH level based on the Tree Age of Myst...
But that's just one example...

14th May 2001, 09:22 PM
Wow, I have lots of ideas, too bad I can't use unrealEd.

My images of sweet maps just come to me, and I add on to it in my mind. I think I have great ideas for maps, good gameplay, looks, everything. But of course I have no proof :)

If you want inspiration, try looking at buildings where you live, or maybe 'exotic' structures around the world.

15th May 2001, 06:02 AM
that's a pretty spiffy looking abomination zaphrod :D

And here's another question.

Do you first build a room, texture it to perfection, and then spend 5 hours :D lighting it to perfection and then continue on the next room, or do you first build the entire level, and THEN texture/light it?

15th May 2001, 06:17 AM
Well in the only map I've had a part in, I basically did most of the detail work and someone else did the design work. So I'd have to say that I do the entire level basically (with weapons and powerups but no other picky details) and then go through and do ammo and stuff, then texturing (well there's always some random texture on the walls but yeah), lighting, sounds and eyecandy.


15th May 2001, 06:19 AM
Well, I usually get my ideas from trying to come up with things that haven't been done before, especially themes I haven't seen. Then I sketch it (ALL DURING LECTURE I AM SOOO NAUGHTY) from various angles, focusing on the specific things I would like to include to keep it thematic.

By theme I mean the "goal" of the level. This doesn't even have to really be a theme per say, but like making a HARDCORE INTENSE TEAM DEATHMATCH level would be a theme.

Like Right now I'm obsessed with making a REDEEMER ONLY level cuz I fancy myself clever for coming up with the name CTF-RedeemptionSong. But anyways... <glares at everyone for rolling eyes> just think back to your favorite parts of levels, your fave moments, etc and it should lead to inspiration! =D

15th May 2001, 08:51 AM
When I make a map,I first think of gameplay.
What the player will have to do (for SP) or how the teams will interact and what geometry could be cool for ambush,defense,long runs,etc...(for MP)
Then the texture,details,etc... come by themselve.

15th May 2001, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the compliment. That map has taken me many hours to get to that point and it still has problems with framerate in the outdoor area. There are only 4 dynamic lights in the whole map and they are for the fires on the platforms outside.

When I attempt to make a map I build the basic geometry first keeping the texures aligned as I go and trying to use the right textures at the time of building, though I do go back and add detailed textures where their needed and occationally ass a brush or 2 here and there. Then I add the regular lighting and then some dynamic lights where they are needed.

The Weapons and Pickups are next and then pathing and final adjustments.

15th May 2001, 03:39 PM
Hmmm anyone interested into converting AS-Planeshifter to Monster Hunt ? (if noone cares ill try to do it... but i suck :hm: )

You shouldn't start mapping without having a strong idea of what you'll do, and some schematics drawn on paper.

BTW anyone wants some drawings of a CTF map featuring big crystal caverns?

15th May 2001, 09:20 PM
Lina does it have to be crystal caves? cuz i have tossed around the idea of a cave system map with lots of underwater, and lots of currents...

16th May 2001, 04:07 PM
That's a good idea... i was thinking of putting some river in it... Add a forest of Crystal, and make sure there are two middle ways, one really high way, and one underwater way, to get to the ennemy flag.
My basic idea was to set three big geods (spheres) with crystal grown towards the center, plus some caverns...

Mind Maze
17th May 2001, 02:33 AM
Well... hm..... I start from other games, other levels or just something from real life. Just %$#!@ I´m not very creative.

I think in somethings like:

-Morbias is open, fast-furious aiming action.
-Some points of the level are good for camping or no camping at all
-Hm.... Themes, maps in a factory area, city representations, caverns or even your own darkworld, uncountable themes.
-Lastly I can only guess how my map is going to be played when it gets fulifilled.

17th May 2001, 01:59 PM
Personally for my maps and models I go for a walk, look at nature, watch TV, browse the shops, talk with friends.. etc etc

If your just sitting there trying to think of an idea then its likely that you wont get one.. Sometimes things just hit you and there you have it..

Subnote: Sometimes an idea for a map hits you while your working on a map.. dont stop with your current map or try and alter it to fit with this idea... i generally screws up the map (gameflow). Jote the idea down on a piece of paper and come back to it later...

On my desk Ive got about 2 pads worth of notes and stuff.. im about 1/3 of the way through the first pad.. I'll get to the rest at some point ;)

18th May 2001, 07:21 AM
Zaphrod, i think ur map looks pretty cool too, can u let us play it?

18th May 2001, 09:27 AM
I'll make sure I finish this one and I will post it here to be tested at least. I am really unhappy with the Framerate in the outside area but other than that it runs ok.

18th May 2001, 03:47 PM