After 6 months of intense work, I'm still working on a map of a single squared room, without details/doors/sky, and a single dog standing in the middle.
When I play it in QS, I kill the dog and need to figure out where should be the exit teleporter. Oh well, ...
"I was building my first map for 2 weeks and gave up on it because of extreme vising times",
I suspect several mappers here would find that quite a funny statement. Many of the maps released here took months and sometimes years to see the light of day. And as for vis times, my last map took 280 hours, and I don't have the record here for vis times!
Just food for thought: once the map starts to grow, the full vis time will grow. If you do start to see extended times and you have done all the requisite optimising, vis it overnight. Most of us sleep for several hours a night; an ideal period for full vising. (I think I went on holiday!)
(i didnt realize i had to make details into func_detail entities)
Well you don't HAVE to use func_details, although this seems to be the modern methodology. Again, my last map did not have any - and yes, hence some of the extended vis time.
Anyway, keep mapping AND releasing them.
Mapping Is Tough But Addictive
hexcalk Func_Msgboard is a great place to learn but a VERY tough crowd here. I want to give you a couple simple tips that will help you improve your mapping skills from an aesthetic perspective.
1. as you are a beginner, use the original id maps for reference. For my current map I took about 30 screenshots of E1M3. These are shots of room layout, architecture and all the little details that make a map immersive and.... well Quake-like. I combined these screenshots into a PDF that I refer to often for inspiration and guidance.
2. test - test - test - don't make another map until you have made about a dozen or more test maps. It's good practive for building things and you can experiment with architecture, lighting, traps, puzzles and get comfortable with your editor.
3. examine levels you admire and "borrow" from those. i.e. I really admire socks's level Fallen from Grace. I will never be the mapper sock is but I do like some of the little design elements like how the woodwork is mixed with stone. So you'll see those touches in my map eventually. Look at levels you love and get inspired!
4. ask questions... this is a great community. I feel like an idiot most of the time reading these posts but I have learned a lot here.
5. map for you and no one else - don't try and impress anyone here - that's a fool's errand.
Like the others said, don't get discouraged. Just keep making small and simple maps exploring the fundamentals of level design, the magnum opuses will come soon enough.
Bear in mind by far the most important thing is to get layout and gameplay nailed, before you start worrying about awesome lighting, or trying to make the next "every-brick-is-a-brush" AD-esque facemelter.
Great advice there.
Id maps, especially E1-E3, are a great place to start. Despite how old and superseded they are, the fundamentals of theme, 3D layout, details, setpieces, gameplay, ambushes etc are still something to heed.
Also as Kinn said, don't try to be the next AD-beating thing (the same applies to negke who should know better). A good little map with a solid theme, some cool designs and fun, frantic gameplay IS still good enough. We all enjoyed the recent retrojam5 and Gotshun's lost levels cos they were just good.
From #25 Onward
This is all cool advice. Thanks everyone.
Listen To Them
Hey Hexcalk. Very nice on your first map. These guys know what there talking about, so listen to them.
With their knowledge and experience they will lead you in the right direction.
Mapping is an addiction and a good one to get hooked on. So read all the comments these guys gave you and reread them to better understand and memorize what they say.
And a big thank you to Shambler for the compliment.
Again....good first map!!!
Hope to see more!
Everton Has Their Own Style.
Longer you experiment, closer you're finding your own style. I knew that I was more Into dream-like horror themes, and many maps people suggested me to learn form wasn't really my thing. Also map doesn't need to be in a large scale, the way it is created matters only, don't get too blind of these super large/spacious maps. You Will find your own way of learning, whether it is some useful books, talking about level with someone personally in rl etc.
Everyone* (stupid Phone)
Not much to add that the others haven't already said, except this: you have animated textures in your map (+0slipbot and +0sliptop) but for them to animate, you have to include the other frames (+1, +2, etc...) in the map. Just build a brush somewhere outside of the main geometry (in the void) and put the extra frames on it.
Also, be more mindful of which uses suit particular textures, don't just put them on your brushes arbitrarily. For example, a mess of electric wires (tech01_5) as main texture for ceilings looks bad and makes no sense: it's better used sparingly in maintenance/computer areas.
you have animated textures in your map (+0slipbot and +0sliptop) but for them to animate, you have to include the other frames (+1, +2, etc...) in the map.
I thought all modern compilers did this automatically, are there still some that don't?
However, in the case of those two textures, there are no extra frames, because in the stock maps they are used as unanimated textures. Their names are remains from earlier versions of the game - there is an animated slipgate bottom texture in QTEST with a rotating fan beneath the grate.
I Was Surprised...
I was surprised to see the textures animated in the map when testing happened. I thought they would be static since they are not a moving .gif, but actually including not one but (at most) all of them is required for the animation to happen. Only the +0 parts of slipbot and sliptop were in the map, so they weren't animated enough.
By The Way...
The two textures' animations are optional because of the reason cited by negke ("no extra frames [...] in the stock maps they are used as unanimated textures").
I didn't realize the compiler mattered in this case. That explains why I can't get this to work with q3map :(
Small And Simple.
Most statements typed in the hc0 thread such as those by dumptruck_ds, Gotshun, NewHouse, and the aforementioned Kinn and Shambler, are tips about improvement. They are all acceptable; I am now working on small and simple maps with the fundamentals of Quake level design and less reliance on imitating AD.
And I don't tend to imitate CrankySteve! xD
I wasn't aware that some compilers added the extra frames automatically, good to know. Which ones do and don't?
Except q3map for obvious reasons.
Nice Example Of What Not To Do
i'm not saying this in a trolling manner
i'm fiddling with trenchbroom
who knows if i can build something decent
or if i keep motivated enough time to reach that point
i'm sure i would have tried several of the bad things in this map.
to get better at things you need good examples, good practices and bad examples and practices to avoid, and common noob errors.
it's much more evident and revealing seeing the bad examples and practices rather than reading them
It seems like Peripheral has become remembered into the future as an study of how to avoid first map problems. More people should see bad examples and practices.
Dont be so hard on yourself.
Ive been using map editors for 10+ years and I've never released a finished map. You've already got me beat in what seems like 1/10 of the time.
Keep mapping. Focus on brushwork. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for your map editor. Study other creators .map files. Play with new texture sets. Slowly but surely will it all build up into your magnum opus.
I Don't Want To Discourage You
the bad things of the map are bad INTERMEDIATE mapping stuff
monster placement, holes, overall architecture, that sort of thing
the hordes of monsters don't work the way you did it.
hordes don't have to be released all at once, because you can just blast'em with GL or RL.
you need to teleport the monsters in batches and tweak the fight playtesting it several times. think e1m3 final fight. think the horde fights of various of AD maps
also the triangle doorway is terrible and ugly, don't use that shape.
i mean, the beginner stuff everyone figure out quickly and are obvious even for a noob
the intermediate stuff is only evident when you playtest the map