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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb The "Official" Words Of Wisdom Thread

    Ok, well as you may know im a newbie mapper and after asking questions here i realise that most mappers have at least one thing they have learnt that they would call invaluable so i thought i would start this thread so people can post the one or two things they have discovered whilst learning to map they think other newbies would find handy, this can be a tip on actual mapping skills, a link to an excellent site or even something on where to get inspiration...


    Looking forward to seeing them all, now get posting! cheers all, phOny.
    Complaining is like a rocking chair, It's fun for a while but it doesn't get you anywhere.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Originally posted in another thread by Boot Guy Joe
    Yep, the VTMs are a place to start. But if you want to design some pretty good maps, here's some tips.

    First of all, if you have something in mind, draw it. It doesn't matter if it is a work of art or just scribbles only you can understand, just do it.

    If you are having trouble drawing your ideas on paper, go to unrealEd and begin making the general idea of what you want. Again, it doesn't matter if it is poorly created or not, most likely no one else will see it like that.

    If you are looking for ideas, go download maps. Lots of them. I have over 2000 doom levels, and almost the entire database of LvL (www.planetquake.com/lvl) on CDs. This is a great way to see what type of gameplay flow you like, and to see what has or has not been done.

    If you see something you want to duplicate in your map, but you hear constantly that people get pissed when you duplicate stuff, DO IT ANYWAY. Tons of mappers complain when they see that, but they ALL have done it. It is one of the best ways to learn. Don't be afraid. (But if you take ALOT from the map, be sure to give the original auther at least some credit for the inspiration)

    If you also want to create a map that can be labeled as a "box map", don't be afraid as well. Some of the best maps ever created are box maps. Just don't make it too plain.

    Don't be afraid to experiment with new things. If you find that what you had in mind can't be done, try to think of a more unique way of doing it. Despite what many might tell you, with ingeinous thinking, ANYTHING is possible.

    If your making a map thats more for you personal use, or just eye candy, don't be afraid to load it up with Static Meshes and KARMA. They are nice. (sometimes) If you are going to direct it more for online play, place static meshes wisely, and try to cut back on the KARMA. Also, do not make too much eye candy, that can become a little too distracting when in game.

    Static Meshes isn't what makes a map. Gameplay is what really counts, and the eyecandy should come second. Don't think that just because this us UtT2K3 that means you shouldn't try to make details with normal map geometry. It helps to do that when you can't find the Static Mesh you want, or you don't know how to model your own.

    If you want to make a map directed for online play, keep the flow going! Do NOT put alot of dead ends in a map. Nothing worse than getting that Flak Cannon with only 2 health just to find out there is no way out. If you want to put dead ends in, make sure you put some nice teleports in there. One good gameplay tip is that there shouldn't be anywhere that the player can get boxed in too easily. Always have two escapes from almost any situation (except with big weapons and power ups) which lead right behind/to the side of the guy who was trying to box you in, and he also has to escape routes to get out/sneak behind too.

    Balance your item placement perfectly! Do not put 2 health crosses, a rocket laucher, RL ammo, and a big sheild right next to eachother. Spread it out...keep the guys moving.

    Sound markers are VERY useful in competitive play. Shallow water in one part, certain items in another which can tell where your opponent is, like when you hear your opponent pick up some capsules, which is fine, because he just heard you pick up those health viles and he's prepared too.

    I left things out, but that's it for now. Good luck.

    Oh, one more thing. HAVE FUN!!!!!!
    Hope that helps, bud. If ya want to talk about some things person to person, I'll be happy to in London.
    Game Designer. Concept Artist. Hero of Time.

    "I love gaming...no, I really do...; *sure, the video game industry has a high burnout rate, but it's well worth it. There is nothing that can make me happier than seeing a kid play something I put my heart and soul into, and smile in pure happiness. It makes all the sleepless nights of carefully hammering out the ticks from gameplay, structuring the rules and regulations, and working hard to make sure everything comes together...worth it. But in hindsight, the process isn't that bad either."

    • If you like what BuZZ does here then be sure to help support 3dbuzz by visiting our sponsors often to see what they have to offer. They are the ones that help keep the VTM project alive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Cool, Thanks... some excellent tips in there, You shouldnt of said that though cos ill be hounding you all weekend The thing i "mainly" struggle with is inspiration, I sit down and fire up unrealed all ready to create a masterpiece but it always seems to go the same way, I create a big cube.... thats it! i can never seem to develop the idea, lame i know.
    Last edited by phOny; 07-28-2003 at 10:09 PM.
    Complaining is like a rocking chair, It's fun for a while but it doesn't get you anywhere.

  4. #4
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    I know that feeling well. I suggest you download LOTS of maps. Sometimes I think of series of maps to do...like Sequals.... one map is in one area...the next map is in another extended area, then again.

    You can try to recreate some levels of other games that you always wanted to see in 3d or in UT... for instance I have remade a bunch of DooM 64 levels 'cause of the great level design in the game..
    Game Designer. Concept Artist. Hero of Time.

    "I love gaming...no, I really do...; *sure, the video game industry has a high burnout rate, but it's well worth it. There is nothing that can make me happier than seeing a kid play something I put my heart and soul into, and smile in pure happiness. It makes all the sleepless nights of carefully hammering out the ticks from gameplay, structuring the rules and regulations, and working hard to make sure everything comes together...worth it. But in hindsight, the process isn't that bad either."

    • If you like what BuZZ does here then be sure to help support 3dbuzz by visiting our sponsors often to see what they have to offer. They are the ones that help keep the VTM project alive.

  5. #5
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    May 2002
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    Thanks, ill download some "ownage" ones i often get ideas as well but get stuck, not so much with the actual building of geometry but linking rooms in interesting ways etc, lol, i feel like im in therapy!
    Complaining is like a rocking chair, It's fun for a while but it doesn't get you anywhere.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2002
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    Cool The Doctor is In

    If you want, I have a CD full of Quake III: Arena levels that I can show ya. ^_^

    And I can also make one with my favorite UT and UT2K3 maps, along with others from Nali City.
    Game Designer. Concept Artist. Hero of Time.

    "I love gaming...no, I really do...; *sure, the video game industry has a high burnout rate, but it's well worth it. There is nothing that can make me happier than seeing a kid play something I put my heart and soul into, and smile in pure happiness. It makes all the sleepless nights of carefully hammering out the ticks from gameplay, structuring the rules and regulations, and working hard to make sure everything comes together...worth it. But in hindsight, the process isn't that bad either."

    • If you like what BuZZ does here then be sure to help support 3dbuzz by visiting our sponsors often to see what they have to offer. They are the ones that help keep the VTM project alive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Netherlands
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    Acouple of things that are handy,

    The first thing has to do with terrain, don't you hate it that when you are editing terrain you sudanly realize that your terrain shifted a couple units because you dragged it a bit. You can make sure it doesn't do this, just set bLockLocation to true and that will not happen again. You can still move it by using the location settings under the movement tab.

    Another thing is another optimization tool, extremely usefull if you use terrain maps, but probably very usefull to in "closed" maps. You can set a CullDistance in the display properties of a static mesh. This just means that after this distance the static mesh will stop being rendered. So it's exremely powerfull. Just be carefull that you don't get a pop-up-scenery effect. So the best way to use it is by also using distandfog or just make the distance large enough so you don't see it poping up.

  8. #8
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    I had that pop up effect with terrain and i couldnt work out what it was! thanks! well, im getting help with this thread, i hope others are also even though its early days...
    Complaining is like a rocking chair, It's fun for a while but it doesn't get you anywhere.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    The Netherlands
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    I just noticed this:

    If adding something by right-clicking in te perspective viewport doesn't work, try another viewport... It sounds obvious, but it took me a couple a days to figure it out...

  10. #10
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    Most off the time that happens when your grid size is larger than something like 32. If you try to add stuff in the 3d view it doesn't work so lower the grid size or do as ertai23 said, use another viewport. But remember that the object you'll place stays on one of the 0 lines. So if you add it for instance in the top view the opject will have the x,y coordinates where you place it but the height will be 0.
    Last edited by Mr. SlackPants; 01-22-2004 at 09:50 AM.

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