+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Creating a map - Tips and Tricks

  1. #1
    Development Team
    Points: 27,109, Level: 72
    Level completed: 8%, Points required for next Level: 691
    Overall activity: 55.0%
    imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy has a reputation beyond repute imthenewguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hawkesbury, NSW
    Posts
    2,558
    Points
    27,109
    Total Donations For

    [DtK] [SA] imthenewguy      $ 0.00
    vBActivity - Stats
    Points
    8,887
    Level
    28
    vBActivity - Bars
    Achievements Happy Anniversary! Trend Setter Posting God

    Creating a map - Tips and Tricks

    Hi all

    It has come to my attention that a major reason why people struggle with completing a map project, is the lack of knowledge of knowing where to begin, how to size and balance game play and how to make the map look good.

    I am writing this guide to (hopefully) assist with these problems and help you overcome obstacles in your quest to build a large scale map!

    So lets start from the beginning.

    Designing your map
    In my earlier years of mapping, I would throw brushes together in a mixture of walls and ceilings and hope for the best. Since then I have learnt to design my maps prior to attempting the project as it can streamline the process.

    The best way to design a map is to work out its contents. I will give you an example of this using a jail break map.
    • Questions you need to ask yourself:
    • How many mini games do I want to add?
    • What mini games do I want to make?
    • How many people would I want to play this map at any given time (player slots).
    • Do I want to have it themed?
    • Is this going to be an attempt at a realistic looking map or a fun design?
    • Is this map going to be based inside, outside of both?
    Once you have an idea of what your map will contain, its time to sketch out a rough design of the lay out. This is extremely important as it will provide you with a guide of your map which makes it much easier to build from.

    An example of a map sketch can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/1m93ca...-02-035937.pdf

    Following these guide lines will make it life easier when construction begins as you have a predefined path to follow. Just keep in mind that designs will change and it is always good to edit your design concept accordingly when they do.

    Building your maps
    The best part of building a map is...you guess it...building the map!

    A few things to remember when construction begins is:
    • Pace yourself - there is no point trying to complete the map in a night - it will never happen and mistakes will be made.
    • Mix it up - start working on 1 aspect of your map and if your patience grows thing or you are getting bored, move to a new part. An example of this would be to work on the core structure of your jail break map, and then move across and work on some minigames to change things up a bit.
    • Prefabs are key - building your map across separate map files is something I do all the time. This especially works well for mini games as you can test them out without having to render the entire map and they can easily be dragged in to the main map file.
    Another thing to remember is to approach a map as a learning experience. There are very little projects that I have undertaken in the past that have gone to plan and each one has taught me a new skill or technique. An example of this was ba_mario_party - that taught me how to use the addoutput functions on players etc.

    Detailing your map
    This can be the most intimidating part of map making. There is nothing worse than realising your map looks to empty or undetailed while you are halfway through a project.

    Fear not though, because I have some advice to help you through this!
    • Decals are your friend - hammer offers a large range of default decals that allow for detail to be added to your walls. This ranges from bullet holes, explosion impact marks, signage and blood splatters etc (depending on your theme). Just be aware of the entity count as adding too many of these can cause your map to reach its entity limit faster than expected.
    • Props - Props are the number one method of detailing your maps. There are over 3000 props to select from and they consume little resources if placed correctly. Placing props around your map breaks up open areas and makes it seem more populated/detailed, while providing cover and landmarks. An example of prop use: a long hallway on a lab based map - could add a few vending machines on the side of the wall (or even 1 or 2 tipped over) some file cabinets and maybe a hand trolley and some drum pallets to make it more detailed. Example pic here: http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/1139/rocz.jpg
    • Weather entities - There are a few functions in hammer that allow for additional detail (and even map optimization). To name a few: func_precipitation which is essentially rain, snow or ash falling from the sky. func_dustcloud which is simply a group of dust particles (ideal for airborne dirt etc). func_dustmotes are great for highlighting light on your map. env_fog is another good one for looks and optimisation if the map calls for it.
    • 3D skybox - The buildings in the background of the previous link were put into a 3D skybox. It is great to use for adding cheap detail to inaccessible parts of your map.
    General tips and tricks
    Here is a list of general tips and tricks that I use while building maps. Feel free to suggest any in a post below and I will add them to the list.

    Primitive objects - When you have the brush tool selected, at the bottom right corner of your screen there should be a drop down which will allow you to choose from arch, block, sphere, cylinder, spike etc. This a very handy way of creating curved objects in hammer.

    Placing your skybox texture - A lot of guides say you should surround your map in a skybox to make it work. This is incorrect. The skybox texture should only ever be placed on parts of the map that are visible from outside. For example, if the map is mainly based inside and there is a square courtyard outside, you would put your walls on it like normal, but then you would put a nodraw brush above the walls and then across the ceiling to seal the area. You would then use the skybox texture and change the visible textures of the nodraw box (on the inside only) to skybox. This lowers the amount of vis leafs hammer has to render, giving you faster compile times and much better fps.

    Texture wrapping - when applying a texture to brush that has been moved, manipulated or angled, they can sometimes not align the textures up. To fix this, click on one of the textures with the texture tool selected, then hold alt and click on textures next to it to align the pattern perfectly.

    Will add more over time.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Points: 13,439, Level: 50
    Level completed: 28%, Points required for next Level: 361
    Overall activity: 7.0%



    Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose has a reputation beyond repute Goose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Geelong, VIC
    Posts
    1,615
    Points
    13,439
    Total Donations For

    Goose      $ 160.00
    vBActivity - Stats
    Points
    6,006
    Level
    23
    vBActivity - Bars
    Nice guide man. I've always wanted to try out mapping, this is a good place to start.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Goose For This Useful Post:


+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts