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How Authors Make Their Maps
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This is a straight copy from the original thread (mapping styles) on the QBoard. I've copied it here for a few reasons. First off this is the type of information I could never get hold of by asking, not all authors are forth coming on this type of thing. Secondly it will be a permenant copy of it. Thirdly its damn useful. Finally, its free content =).

One more thing. Those of a tender natural could be easily offended by the language used. (Hey, its happened before you know...)

mapping styles.

How does every mapper make their maps.
Thread and post nr. 1 by [tron] []
on 01/22/99 at 08:44 through

Okay, I know that I'll most probally get attacked enmasse for adding this thread, but I think It justifies one, and seriously, how many threads about the portal do we need? Anyway the point of this thread is to ask how every mapper creates there maps, and their own distinct styles. Do you work one area at a time, completing all teh detail b4 moving on, or do you make the basic structure of the entire map, and move back through it and add detail when you've made all teh structure. And what about lighting? Do you try to place light sources realistically, or just place them wherever you think the map needs light?

Late at night
post nr. 2 by Harmageddon
on 01/22/99 at 11:28 through

I started with a concept, small, vertical and as fast-paced action as possible. Well, I *had* a plan as well. You know, scetches and such. But I ended up making/finishing one room/area and building from there.

I try to make the light look realistic, which isn't always the same as placing the sources realistically. I used basic lightning until the architecture was in place, and I was satisfied with the layout, before going over it again with the "real" lightning. Which was a good thing, since I frequently scrapped whole areas because I didn't like the way they played.

As for style, I haven't really made enough maps to tell (just one, don't laugh). Lots of 3d, and the "less is more" principle. I favour gameplay over looks, and keep a constant eye on the r_speeds.

One thing I do is to jump around a lot in the map, from the first single floor. I want to get a feel of how the flow will be, and I get most of my good ideas while doing mindless rocket jumping back and forth in an ugly fullbright level full of holes. Yes, I have talked to my shrink about it, and he quit and moved to bahamas.

As soon as I get a sealed structure I throw in bots as I test. In the final stage I talked a couple of real heavy-hitters (compared to me, I'm basically a ctf dude) into testing it at a local lan party, and their feedback led to a few minor but significant changes.

I use WorldCraft, and I try to stick to the grid at all times. I don't use much carving, I build brush by brush instead. I get most of my inspiration from the maps reviewed at the Ramshackle, and I have had no less than 3 hd crashes, all which took with them to the grave a version of harmdm2... kinda put me off mapping for a while.

But I feel inspiration sneaking up on me, and I have one of these nifty zipdrives now (much better than floppy), so who knows.

Well, this turned into quite a ramble. I hope it answers some questions.

Harmageddon out.

Mapping Technique
post nr. 3 by Killjoy []
on 01/22/99 at 14:00 through

When I start a map i usually get an idea... For instance, I knew I wanted to use a sky-pit for kjdm12, so I started with the bottom of the middle arena and worked up. I did the lighting and detailing as I went, and tried to plan the connectivity as I went, but things don't usually work out exactly as I plan. I put in OBots as soon as it's got spawns (which I add later) and items, and I playtest it while I put on finishing touches. Doing the detail as you go makes you more satisfied with the map but it also makes it hard to modify large areas. I was reluctant to pull big chunks of my map around, but in the end it made it a better map.


post nr. 4 by Bal []
on 01/22/99 at 15:12 through

When I start a map, I usually have a certain idea, most of the time linked to the textures i want to use. I do everything at once, details, lighting... the only things i keep for the end is clip brushes, spawns and item placement (but that doesn't mean I don't think about'em as i map). For lighting, I try to make things as realistic as possible, I only add unrealistic lights at the end in places that really need them. My major problem with mapping are the r_speeds (most of the time I us the excuse that everyone has a quick computer =) which sadly isn't true) I usually go a little crazy on detail and I really hate to take things out once there done. Then once its done I play with a couple bots and send away for betatesting! =)

post nr. 5 by jvox []
on 01/22/99 at 17:08 through

I tend to start by bulding a room brush by brush, adding a player start and a few light entities, and screwing around with textures. This goes on for a while, changing textures, and running the map in Quake to look at them. This process helps get my brain into the creative mode. You mappers know what I'm talkin about... you really enter a different mental state when creating stuff -- you're fully focused and it's like you're in a mild trance or something. 8) So then I'm lookin around the room and I'm like, I wanna be able to move this way. So I go create a passage going that way. The first passage will usually lead to a second level and re-enter the room from above, creating a small circuit. I think every new area you add should become a logical part of some circuit. Then from there i keep running the map and just feeling where I want to be able to move next. The textural and architectural style develops along the way. After starting about 30 maps this way, I'll come up with something I like. 8)



Yep, I know precisely what you mean :)
post nr. 6 by Harmageddon
on 01/22/99 at 17:18 through

how i build
post nr. 7 by Thanatopsis []ONT>
on 01/22/99 at 19:16 through

I usually start off with a basic idea of what I am going to do first. A theme and/or a basic sketch of the layout. I then attempt to build the basic structure but get about two rooms built then get depressed and feel that I must add some detail. When I am happy with these areas I move onto the next and detail them. When all the areas are built I check the level tweak architecture and lighting and check the r_speeds. After I am happy with architecture, lighting and r_speeds I pop in the items and ambient sounds etc.
After all this is done I playtest the map for ages, looking for bugs, texture misalignments and item placement. I then go back and make any neccessary changes before releasing the map with a text file and route file (Eraser bot).

Editing stuff.
post nr. 8 by headshot []
on 01/22/99 at 21:39 through

Usually, when I start a map I jump right into Worldcraft and lay a few brushes. So far I've never been really captured by an idea which I had to turn into a map. Well, actually it's been that way a couple times, but these attempts never worked out. So, I start the central part of the structure which will also tie the action together in the final map. In "dead" for example, or in dapak4 this has been the main atrium. There are exceptions (vascular), but usually there is a core area to each map, where the several circles of flow will meet (mostly on different levels.)

In this first area I try to have at least one instance of *all* the architectural elements that will appear in the map. This helps me to get a consistent theme. Some of these elements might be altered throughout the map, but usually it's all there in the first sealed portion. After that I take a long time to figure out where the entrances and exits to the core area should be located, so I can attach the other areas later. This is the most time consuming part and determines how the flow of the map will be. In this phase also the texture theme and the placement of the important items (RA, Quad, MH, RL's) are determined.

After that, I'll add more areas, make connections and sometimes figure out a new way to connect the core area to another part of the map. Detail is added on the fly instead of later. An important thing I learned is that the scale of the areas is extremely critical. I often rebuild huge parts of my maps, only to resize a single room 64 or even only 32 units. This is what determines a lot if a map "feels" comfortable. On that note: I also try to give the teleport exits and respawns a nice perspective, ie try to point them down a hallway or into a room instead of facing a wall.

As for lighting: I'd estimate that for each sourced light I use one more to add ambient light to the source. A very useful feature of arghrad is the wait key, which modifies the falloff of light entites. At first I only used that feature to flood areas with >ambient light (wait < 1). But it's also handy the other way round. It's possible to add nice glows to light sources (bulbs) that won't affect the ambient lighting through wait keys > 3 coupled with spots for exapmple. Also, I try to have as many interesting shadows from skylights as possible. It's a good way to make larger areas or large portions of wall appear interesting.

Finally: clips, respawns, info_intermissions and the like. Oh, and sounds.

Well, that's my incoherent rant on the topic. The thread is a nice change from the portal/map pack discussion btw. I think this matter is off the board and in competent hands now.

post nr. 9 by Renegade []
on 01/22/99 at 22:46 through

I have done it several ways. One is sort of like headshot's. I will create a central area and finish it completely. All the lighting and textures , to get an idea where it os going. Then I rough out the rest of the map. Then go step by step to finish it off.

My other way is to go at it full ahead. Usually i do thid when the whole map is already in my head. I rough the whole thing and then do ents and so on.

I have done it a couple of other ways but my best levels came from messing around with worldcraft til something came to life.

examples Rene36 i was just messing around
Rene34 I already knew what i wanted.
Rene38 was a one day spur of the moment map....Testing a new System i had bought.
Rene40 is being down in a simular way as to Headshot's.

As for distictive style.... Ilike late evening settings with the space sky. Blue and white light are my favorite.

well thats it .....

My $0.02 on technique...
post nr. 10 by Kaiser []
on 01/23/99 at 01:03 through

For me, mapping is a slow process... Often I start a map with a room, not necessarly the central room - just a room, which I stare at for hours contemplating what I want to happen. I test texture combinations, size, architecture, etc. with this small room. Often this room is scrapped once I get an idea from which I start with scratch.
Since I am a big fan of QERadiant (it is the BEST when it comes to edge/vertex manipulation IMO), and create Q1 maps, I have to convert all my .wad's to .wal's. For preliminary 'play testing' (running around looking for ideas/inspiration and testing scale) I use Q2. I build using the one-room-at-a-time 'style' however I often go back through and tweek just about everyting. Once I feel I am 'done' with the layout it is time to open BSP and retexture the entire map brush-by-brush using this time a .wad. It is also in BSP that I add the lights and light fixtures, weapons, etc. I try to do as little brush manipulation and movement in BSP because it has a bad case of 'sticky mouse'; where you click on something, let go and move the pointer only to see that you just dragged the piss out of that last brush you so carefully put in place... err.... frusterates me just to think about it... :) If there is a big problem where I need to re-edit an entire room I usually go back into QERadiant and repeat the entire process....

This is surely not the fastest way to edit... but thats ok. I haven't any deadlines to be conserned with...

There are some big no-no's I try to avoid, such as 'carving/subtracting'; which I have found to be a good way to create leaks. Another is creating un-realistic (in the sence of nature) occurances; such as skies where, for example, you come out of a tall room into a short one with a hole in the roof in reality you would expect to see the outside wall of the room from which you just came but if you only see the crappy quake sky it appears as if the other room dissapeard... needless to say I can be a little picky when it comes to things like that... so i wont bore you any more and shut up... :)

There, I think I have said my part......

post nr. 11 by tron []
on 01/23/99 at 02:04 through

thought I was going to die for thius topic, must have been a good one overall.

As for me, I don't erally have a stlye yet, I do it differentl;y with every map I start.

Mapping Technique
post nr. 12 by Gom Jabbar []NT>
on 01/23/99 at 02:35 through

Cool Topic, it's relly interesting how other authors build their maps...

Here is how I build...

1. Decide on texture set and make some mayself if I have to;
2. Fire up QOOLE;
3. Build core room;
4. Start Quake and jump around in it to get ideas for the other rooms;
5. Continue with the map (creating lights etc. on the fly);
6. Finally adding spawnpoints, sounds, misc details.

OK, that were my two cents...

Could I just copy this stuff...
post nr. 13 by Paul []
on 01/23/99 at 10:04 through

I was wondering if I could take what has been written here and post it as an ickle article on MPQ.


Map designing
post nr. 14 by The Contagious Fat Controller []T>
on 01/23/99 at 10:53 through

All the above seem to apply to me - depending on what I wanna do.

RCDMs 1, 2, 3 and 4 (and 6) all started with me dicking about with a set of textures, deciding they looked kewl and building from there. 5 started with some scribbling in a maths exercise book and scrap paper...

In other words, "here's some kewl textures, let's wrap 'em round a map!"

RC0 and RC1 (and RC2) were more idea-oriented; "here's the plot, let's clothe it." Borsato can probably attest to that!

RC0 and RCDM1/2/3/4 all started build life with one room/area, either a start, or a core atrium, or (RCDM1 & 2) a corridor. Once that was made, other bits were built off it. Some parts were just that - parts later used in other areas - while other bits developed into full-fledged rooms. (some of this applies to RC1 as well; some areas were thought out, while others like the lift access puzzle were ad-hockery.)

RCDM5 started life as a doodle influenced by other maps, but was soon junked and redone again. Basically I made a simple layout, liked it, and developed it s'more. Then Gonzo gave it an 86.

RC2.. I had a plot(ish) and a vision... now I have to make several areas and bolt them together to complete larger "task regions". Then I have to bolt those task regions together and call it a map... this is gonna take some time. Honestly: SP maps are harder than DM.

W00p! Ramble alert! I'll shut up now...

dammit twice.
post nr. 15 by tron []
on 01/23/99 at 11:03 through

I'm not complaining about ppl's contributions, what I'm complaining about is the fact that somethings gone wrong with teh unread msg's thingy, and I can't tell which threads have new posts. And Paul, I don't think anyone would care about you copying some of this stuff, just put a link to it in her when you've done it. (Thats a dammit because I was thinking of maybe using this to write that mappers bible, the I realised that sum1 else doing the work is GOOD!)

Ummmmm paul and tron
post nr. 16 by Renegade []
on 01/23/99 at 13:38 through

If this stuff is going out in the public I would personally like to Do mine more professionally. I thought in here we just bounce around ideas.
But if you guys wanna post some of this stuff i would like to sit down and write a good one with correct grammar and spelling......thats just me though

why should someone be interested in this?
post nr. 17 by Gonzo []FONT>
on 01/23/99 at 15:05 through

If someone IS interested like I am he/she can go here and take a look.. So why making this littel thread professional? It's juts to "bounce around ideas like" Renegade said...

Hehe everythig seems to make structure and lighting at first beginning with a core room.. Not the same with me

1) Think about textureset
2) Build the whole structure including details
3) Add Items
4) Add playerstarts / sounds / intermissions and so on
5) Add light
6) Add clipbrushes

Hehe that's my way of building a map ;)

post nr. 18 by Jeff []ONT>
on 01/23/99 at 15:16 through

Gonzo is correct....
"If someone IS interested like I am he/she can go here and take a look.."

Why not just put a heads-up in your news section Paul, you have Qboard linked. Allow your readers to see the discussion it was meant to be.


My way
post nr. 19 by Deadstar []
on 01/23/99 at 15:33 through

The very first thing that I do is decide a name for the map. That's what's most important isn't it?

Well, I used to make the thing a piece at a time, but now, I build most of the structure and go back and place detail and lighting last. The first thing that I do is decide upon a texture set and open QERadiant and hope for the best regardless of the game. Item placement is always a consideration while I'm building.

Everytime I draw a map up on paper it never ends up the same anyway, so I figure that starting with one area and building upon it is the best way to go.

Also, I'm not afraid to delete areas anymore.. I think this is the most important part of mapping.. deciding which areas/flow suck the most and replacing them.

My mapping style
post nr. 20 by SmallPileofGibs []
on 01/23/99 at 16:15 through

i need an inspiration first, cos theres no point making a map if its not a standalone masterpiece :)
The inspiration comes from architecture i've seen IRL/ in pictures, or in id maps, or in custom maps I like, or from a movie or a book or something. I'll spend time just visualizing how this idea would play in a deathmatch game and how it would fit into the Quake universe.

Generally this forms a basis for an initial experimenting session, just to see if i can transfer the funky idea in my head into a "thingy" made from brushes, that doesnt kill the poly count.
After creating something like this, I may save it and start the process again, or if it's a decent enough idea I might make a map around it in the same texture theme.

Most of my maps were made from a combination of loads of ideas, in spogdm2 the original idea was completely different from the final map, it just used the black walls and blue lighting. Then i combined this with another little idea, which was originally a big brown curved archway and corridor, and redid the map around it.
SPoGDM1 was just a collection of about 20-30 ideas, all slapped together in whichever way they would fit.
SPoGCTF1 was based around an incredibly cool looking CGI span bridge over a gorge, that I saw in a commercial on TV...

Thats a kinda abstract way of looking at my mapping style. On the technical side, i use QERadiant, and I seek perfection. If my map isnt perfect, it sucks ;).

The Retinal Way....
post nr. 21 by Retinal []
on 01/23/99 at 18:31 through

The way I map these days has become extremely time consuming. I usually think of design elements and structural things long before I go into the editor and have a pretty clear idea of what I'm looking to accomplish.

I always start off with a larger central area, which can take me anywhere from a couple days to weeks to get it to the point where I'm happy with it. While designing this I think of all my texturing and architectural elements for the map as well as the style. From there, I just build other areas as I see them, spending as much time in Quake as in the editor....I never wait for the map to be sealed to look at it anymore.

My main problem is that I am so picky with my architecture that I could build something for an hour or two then look at it, realise that I'm not happy with the way it looks and just scrap it....this happens over and over again. I never change an area after the initial build and once I've gotten a map started, I won't scrap it, because I don't continue with stuff that I think is crap.... :)

jrdm1 - I did it my way.
post nr. 22 by Junior []
on 01/23/99 at 20:21 through

hmm, i always start with the lighting and all the spotlights
next i think about item placement, then i build the main room, and all the others after that :P

post nr. 23 by Paul []
on 01/24/99 at 01:12 through

I was just going to cut and paste what was said here. Put it up as how the authors go about making their maps. Say it was a discussion.

Also means a permanent copy will be kept someone. Eventually this thread will disappear.

Renegade : My updates are full of spelling mistakes so I wouldn't worry.

post nr. 24 by Renegade []
on 01/24/99 at 02:18 through

No problem guy

I just type way too fast

umm, jr.
post nr. 25 by tron
on 01/24/99 at 03:50 through

Am I missing soemthing, or have you just told us that you make all your lighting THEN make the first room? How the hell do you do the lighting if yu don't have any physical structures in yet? Oj yeah, as you's might all know by now, i make lots of speeling errors as well, type too damn fast 8(

Walk this way!
post nr. 26 by Mattias Konradsson []
on 01/24/99 at 07:27 through

Ok, the very first thing I do is to think up a name, let's see... boardwalk, catwalk, sillywalk, hmmm

Nah, the first step is usually deciding upon a theme for the level. In this process I usually make some rooms, some corridors etc. I also make sure the theme can be varied enough to avoid tss(terminal sameness syndrome).

When this step is done I start brainstorming about the gameplay. The goal for me when making a map is never to make a map with a certain theme, of a certain size or whatnot. The goal can be something like "Make a very vertical small 1on1 level with contains these tricky jumps and maneuvers etc"

So I start working on some key areas that will give the map character, this can be a corridors with a ramp that makes for a cool jump, a ledge , rundabout or similar. This is done mainly to flesh out some ideas, often I opt to redo these areas in the actual map. Often some of these areas are centered on different items or weapons, like red armour, a rl or quad (I don't like the quad that much tho)

Next I actually start working on the map, usually the area I start with is a hub or central location, depends on what kind of map it is. I usually put in all major architectual components right away since they interract with the layout so much. Small details like little spotlights and such can be left behind for now though.

The layout is almost always built on the concept that the map shouldn't be too linear and that rjumps should be possible whenever it fits into the layout. Also when making a map you have to adopt it a great deal to the textures you are using, if you are using a texture set which isn't all bland you will have distinct "stripes" in your architecture. Making these flow naturally can be very challenging, look at aerowalk for example of this.

When the layout starts to emerge you will eventually start to see how things should be proportioned better, how it should be restructured to allow a certain jump, how to connect those two areas better. My advice is simple, at the point when any of these changes isn't very minor, start over!

This sounds drastic but believe me, your map will benefit from it. Often there are alot of deadmeat in a map initially, a corridor that is too long connoecting rooms, dead space in the ceiling that can be eleminated without affectimg gameplay. Besides, remaking a map when you know where everything should be doesn't take very long and often you're able to optimize the brush count a great deal.

Aerowalk for instance started as an attempt to make basewalk more linear, so it was built with it as foundation, after a while a new layout started to emerge however so I decided to start over. I built a new map using this layout, the result was a map that was pretty cool, but some things didn't work, there were some long linear corridors that slowed things down, some jumps that was almost possible etc. Luckily at this point, my hd crashed. So I had to rebuilt it once again. The result was much much better :)

When the map reached betastage, don't forget to ask people for feedback, infact the sooner you get feedback the better. There's always a risk you get to engrossed in your work to notice some things that really suck. Taking these kind of critiscim can be really hard but I always try to keep an objective open mind.

So basically my approach to editing is sketching and redoing until you get it right, it's a bit time consuming but it works. Sketching on paper are for wussies! Maybe it's because I'm lousy at sketching but I think it's hard to visualize a complex three dimensional layout on paper.

re: sillywalk
post nr. 27 by Skeeve []
on 01/24/99 at 21:31 through

If you did this one you would have to try and work a monty python theme into your map I guess. :-)

post nr. 28 by Mattias Konradsson []
on 01/24/99 at 22:17 through

Yah, there can be a trap consisting of a large foot coming down and crushing the player too.

Btw, the redo-level thing obviously is more for small to mediumsized levels, if I'd done templewalk like that I'd never have finished it :)

post nr. 29 by copy
on 01/25/99 at 01:56 through

well i just copy and paste them brushes around da place :)

Building Method/Styles
post nr. 30 by guf []
on 01/25/99 at 08:57 through

Excellent topic. It's very cool to read about everyone's techniques, the processes their minds go through to bring potential into actuality. If any of you fellows feel a real urge to write a solid article on your own technique, or simply to discuss building technique, I would love to post your article on the Creonomicon ( The site tries to focus on, shall we say, the more esoteric aspects of level design. Check it out, and contribute if you're interested (email me directly!).

Regarding technique, I'm not a level-guru or anything, but... my technique centers around building small concept pieces. I build a small room (or hallway, or space, whatever) with basic structural specifications and a texture theme. I get a solid feel for the style I'm shooting for, as well as rudimentary lighting technique, then the concept maps act as templates for the final build. Then again, my "specialty" is single-player, so perhaps this method is less applicable for deathmatch design.

Am I too late???
post nr. 31 by Pingu []ONT>
on 01/25/99 at 13:49 through

Well it seems that most people build their levels the same way, ie room by room, doing the detail as they go. This is nice because it's the way I do it too.

As for lighting, if I have light-textures in a map then I will always have light coming from them, and if any more ambient light is needed then it will be added later. Item's and spawn's always come last, and usually do't take too long as by this time the level and balance is in my head.

For ideas... well they just come anywhere and anywhen really. Walking around in a town, I might see something that'd be cool in a map. Playing other peoples levels is a good source too, maybe I'll find something I like and copy the concept (it always looks different). Sitting in boring lectures is a good place for inspiration, as is the loo (don't ask....).

Keeping a theme is important, and this is decided on before I even start. Ususally it comes from some cool texture I've seen, and the architecture just fits in with that. Realism is important to a degree, but must be sacrificied for playability.

For testing... I usually just rope my mates into playing it - being a lucky student I can set up a server.... Dunno what I'm gonna do when I leave Uni tho :)

- Pingu

detail first actually.
post nr. 32 by Aardappel []>
on 01/25/99 at 18:47 through

It's really strange when you think of it, but detail comes first really. You start with some nice ways of putting together the detail bits of the structure you're making, including texture choices and alignment, only then to build the rest in that same style. It's also quite difficult though because it requires plenty of foresight, i.e. on practical matters like r_speeds. Building structure first without thinking about detail is the most surefire way of creating a boring map or atleast silly looking detail if you have to plug that in later. The coolest detail is detail that is part of the structure.

post nr. 33 by paradies []
on 01/26/99 at 16:00 through

Well... my style is kinda unique.
I'm used to press Ctrl-S every two seconds, because my copy of WorldCraft is used to crash very, very often.

Aside form that I have noticed that when I plan a map carefully and even draw some small pices of a map on a paper, I usually end up throwing the map in the dumpster. Freestyle is the only way for me. Never plan anything.

my mapping technique....
post nr. 34 by odd []
on 01/29/99 at 06:43 through

i drink lots o' guiness and fuck around in the editor until something that's not too hard to look at comes out. then i drink more guiness and finish the fucker...


hmm, good mapping style odd.
post nr. 35 by tron []
on 01/29/99 at 11:43 through

But just remember not to play around with the map in quake when you've had lots of Guiness, big guns and alcohol don't mix, hang on, I'm getting confused with real guns, go ahead odd.

re: my mapping technique....
post nr. 36 by Paul []
on 01/30/99 at 15:18 through

Looks like you were a little pissed when you wrote that message...

mapping style
post nr. 37 by Mr.CleaN [<

on 02/01/99 at 05:51 through

I guess this is as good of topic as any to jump into with my first post to the QBoard....
For me a map usually starts with some sort of concept, typically an overall atmosphere for the map or a specific feature. (Usually the latter) I will start with this and do some basic building, fiddling with different texture sets as I go. I do not normally complete the core section before I decide on a final texure set. I will also test out lighting in this core area, and get most of the detailing right. Then it's a full-compile and check it out.
From there, well, I guess I could say it is less design and more of just letting it evolve. I do one area at a time, ncluding lights and sound, running a full-compile between each to test it. I find that I rarely end up going back and completely redoing an area.
One method I have started to use recently is to hold off placing weapons and powerups until the architecture is finished, unless I absolutely KNOW I want a certain entity somewhere. It seems that I get better balance with this method.
Of course, before full-release, I have the map playtested at a LANparty to receive feedback.

Yet more styles...
post nr. 38 by
on 02/01/99 at 06:09 through

I'm yet to actually release a map into the community (usually just maps i make for friends and some fun, no big issue) but it seems a variety of map makers have had their say so I might as well have mine (as if anyone cares)....

Usually I begin with the main room (like most people). I will stuff around in the editor, experimenting with what looks good, picturing how I would see a good addition to it. Occasionally I try and visualise parts of my map in my head, looking from the first person type view into the main room, or off a certain platform. Then I try and capture what I see, and turn it into a part of the room. I compile the map, and if I don't like it, I modify it then re-compile. If I still don't like it, I have a good hard long look at it in Quake and then try and picture something else in it's place. Then I scrap it and something else takes its place.

I usually build the map slowly, adding detail whilst going along. Occasionally I will recieve a brainstorm and experiment with the part of the map I am currently working on (say adding a certain textured trimming to a doorway or something) and if I like it, I go back through the map slowly and re-do it all and compile.

Once all the architechture is complete, THEN I add the items/weapons/armor and I will continously fiddle around with the entities until I find a good position for all. Like Mr CleaN, unless I know I want a certain weapon in a certain spot, I never add entites to my map until after.

My opinion on lighting? Spotlites are sexy and 'spice' up your map if used correctly I feel. Varying light brightnesses that can create contrasting shadows are very cool as well if used correctly (I am yet to master the art). Oh, I add light to my map as I am going because nothing aggravates me more than that crappy fullbright look (ewwww).

Consistent theme in the map? Well....that depends. Textures I TRY and keep consistent i.e Usually the same everywhere but I try to mix it up a bit when I feel it's reaching the unacceptable tedium level. I use the architecture theme much like Headshot's i.e Try and have at least one example of every style of architechture that will be in the map, in the main room. (if you get what I mean).

I am hearing an alarm somewhere saying *Warning Warning Ramble Alert Warning* and besides, I'd say I've contributed somewhere around $1 by now, rather than the usual 2 cents.

- Spin

addition to my method
post nr. 39 by Deadstar []
on 02/01/99 at 09:13 through

Hmm.. let me add this in addition to my method described above.

I forgot to say that I end up deleting all sorts of crap about 20 times.. smash my mouse.. scream at QERadiant for not interpreting my thoughts better.. swear that "I'll never play this stupid game again".. and oh.. do the same thing the next day all over again.

Back to the drawing board again!

re: deadstar
post nr. 40 by Renegade []
on 02/01/99 at 22:54 through

usually I do like 8 hours straight creating an awesome level...beautiful lights and perfect textures.. but of course i never hit save and worldcraft crashes as I right click the last texture on. Then i cry for twenty minutes close worldcraft which has now locked my system up. Go online and try to find a better editor , screw with a new one for four hours. Realize its now 3am and I have to go to work at six...
The next day I start all over again.

the connections are the thing
post nr. 41 by Taltos
on 02/02/99 at 05:08 through

I see a lot here build the same way I do:
1) decide on a texture feel
2) build a "core" area that lays out
3) determine link points and start laying where they go.

The problem I run into, is knowing when (and how) to seamlessly integrate. Too much hallway is bad, and not enough you get burned by r_speeds.
The whole level can die on the connections.
Any style issues with that anyone want to post?

central point
post nr. 42 by tron []
on 02/02/99 at 10:59 through

Okay, now i've finished a few maps (not gonna release them tho, until I make what I think is an almost *perfect* map, I'm not releasing, I start with a single feature, such as a doorway, or with my most recent map, a corner.

i just lay brushes....
post nr. 43 by Peej []
on 02/02/99 at 17:42 through

...if it works, it works, otherwise it goes in da bin. simple and it works.


post nr. 44 by Renegade []
on 02/02/99 at 21:20 through

I come up with a central area I like...looks good plays cool. Then ,as I work my surrounding area in ,I play with the bots. If the bots travel the level well Then the flow is pretty good.
Hallways are not always bad...Large hallways or passageways can be cool.
also use the rule of thumb...try to always have three ways in and out of a room or area. Except for maybe specialty items..Quad , Mega or railgun.
Small hallways with sharp corners 90 degrees will break the r_speeds down. So a hallway does not have to be long to suffice. Also sometimes Break the rules..let the r_speeds go a little high maybe to 800 but only in small areas and in small doses...I guess my point is experiment..I have made many levels and except for maybe two of them They all play well...even the crappy ones. In my Humble Opinoin Game play is number one. The eyecandy comes only after the basic level is there.

yellow banana slugs
post nr. 45 by Scampie []
on 02/05/99 at 04:28 through

i usally just lay down a few brushes add some lights and add some more brushes so there is something that looks like a room. then i put some weapons. then i usally get bored with the map making process and leave the map to die. After that a get drunk one night and just finish the thing. then i ask friends to beta test it and release it before they tell me their opinions. im really bad at this mapping stuff. :)

MPQ Design by James Kable Healey.
CGI code by Paul Healey
CGI and Content Copyright Paul Healey 2001/2000/1999/1998
with the exception of reviews which are copyright of the author.
Design Copyright Kable Kreations 2001/2000