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The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

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sky_lark

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Post Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:20 pm

The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

What are some tips and tricks you have to help the average mapmaker improve their creations? Try to think of advice that is specific but can be used in a lot of maps. Think about game modes and common player behaviors too.

I'll start:

1. Be careful with teleports in rabbit maps. Typical rabbit carriers will be looking for hiding spots with quick exits. Try to limit the number of teleports and orient their outputs away from other teleports. Perhaps add enemy spawn points near a particularly tempting teleport to encourage the rabbit carrier to make a tough choice.

2. Straight edges can sometimes be an eyesore. Experiment by rotating walls and designing asymmetrical passageways. Oftentimes a fluid map is more visually pleasing than a rigid map.

3. Empty space is a good thing. Don't overwhelm your map with something everywhere. Empty space will be naturally filled in-game by players moving, hiding, strafing, chasing, etc. In fact, after you've completed your map, take a second look and try to remove 3 items. Cut items that aren't necessary and are just fluff for best results.

Now your turn! Add numbers in sequence (next poster would put #4, #5, etc) so we can keep count.
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Little_Apple

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Post Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:02 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

4. If your map has bases, try not to place team spawns too close to points of interest (eg. CTF flag spawns, HTF/RET flag goals). This can lead to defenders respawning immediately after being killed by an attacker only to have the same defender with replenished health and energy giving defenders an unfair advantage.
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raptor

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Post Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:17 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

5. In Retrieve, keep flag count low (3 or maybe 4 max), and even lower if there are more than 2 teams.
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Quartz

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:49 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Nice thread idea! All pretty damn good advice so far.

6. For Soccer maps, keep it fairly easy to score goals. Nobody enjoys a stalemate Soccer game. Be very intentional with your placement of barriers, and what their placement and angles imply for the Soccer ball.
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sky_lark

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:41 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Quartz wrote:6. For Soccer maps, keep it fairly easy to score goals. Nobody enjoys a stalemate Soccer game. Be very intentional with your placement of barriers, and what their placement and angles imply for the Soccer ball.

What is your opinion of "Control" on Ghost server? No judgement, genuinely curious.
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Quartz

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:06 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

sky_lark wrote:What is your opinion of "Control" on Ghost server? No judgement, genuinely curious.

It's an interesting concept executed probably as good as it can be. I don't personally enjoy it very much, but I do see the charm of it.

Considering it's as hard to score as it is due to the barrier right in front of the goals, it's good that the rest of the map is very basic.

There's exceptions to every rule. Even raptor's Retrieve rule, just not very often, LOL.
Exploits of Quartz and bobdaduck - My maps on Pleiades
Current self-serving quote:
raptor wrote:sometimes I think getting Quartz to use plugins is like getting my mom to use a computer
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sky_lark

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:36 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Without meaning to sound like a jerk, I wouldn't consider it a worthy exception. phantomime's made a lot of good maps but Control is simply way too difficult to score, even for 1v1. Two competent players will backtrack to play defense every time the ball gets close to scoring.

One way to keep that style and make it a little better would be to remove one of the two entrances into the goal area. That way no player could rush into the goal and shoot out the ball whenever it got close.
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Quartz

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:42 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

No, that's a fair opinion. I wouldn't give the map above a 6/10 myself.
Exploits of Quartz and bobdaduck - My maps on Pleiades
Current self-serving quote:
raptor wrote:sometimes I think getting Quartz to use plugins is like getting my mom to use a computer
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sky_lark

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Post Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

7. Zone control with two teams and two flags is a really bad idea. Or is it? Any ideas on how to make it work?
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sky_lark

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Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:58 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

8. Turret placement can often make or break a level. In a flag-based mode, try to place turrets in a base but not directly on top of the flag. A good placement would require the enemy to pass by a turret on their way to the flag. This ensures they are vulnerable when going to the turret and vulnerable when going away from the turret. A turret stacked upon a flag is only going to make an enemy player vulnerable for the few seconds they are in range before escaping with the flag.

Turrets that are outside a base but in an enemy's direct line of escape are also quite useful. An enemy may not destroy these turrets on their way in, then be subjected to their fire on the way out.

Turrets can be used to block travel too. This is most useful for engineer: Try placing a turret on a wall inside a bottleneck. Enemy players cannot bypass the bottleneck without destroying the turret, so it acts like a laserbeam that can fire back. In a level design context a turret that may hamper the enemy's travel can be very effective. Just make sure it is not overly annoying for players.

Place turrets at different angles on walls. Turrets with different field and angle of view may defend better in rushed attacks by enemies. However, be careful that the turret being placed cannot easily be shot down by a player poking out from behind a wall or other cover, especially if they are in such a position that the turret does not respond to their proximity.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, limit the number of turrets are in each base. For a small level, 1-2 turrets is a good number. For a medium level, 3 turrets is sufficient. You will rarely create levels that require 4-5+ team turrets. A good level to look at is Capture01. Check out how it uses turrets sparingly and cleverly. Remember that it is ok to add a few more neutral turrets.

Thoughts? (It's ok to break from the numbering sequence in this thread so long as discussion is relevant and worthy of posting.)
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Quartz

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Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:28 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

sky_lark wrote:Thoughts? (It's ok to break from the numbering sequence in this thread so long as discussion is relevant and worthy of posting.)
Fixed it for you:

sky_lark wrote:8. Turrent placement can often make or break a level. In a flag-based mode, try to place turrents in a base but not directly on top of the flag. A good placement would require the enemy to pass by a turrent on their way to the flag. This ensures they are vulnerable when going to the turrent and vulnerable when going away from the turrent. A turrent stacked upon a flag is only going to make an enemy player vulnerable for the few seconds they are in range before escaping with the flag.

Turrents that are outside a base but in an enemy's direct line of escape are also quite useful. An enemy may not destroy these turrents on their way in, then be subjected to their fire on the way out.

Turrents can be used to block travel too. This is most useful for engineer: Try placing a turrent on a wall inside a bottleneck. Enemy players cannot bypass the bottleneck without destroying the turrent, so it acts like a laserbeam that can fire back. In a level design context a turrent that may hamper the enemy's travel can be very effective. Just make sure it is not overly annoying for players.

Place turrents at different angles on walls. Turrents with different field and angle of view may defend better in rushed attacks by enemies. However, be careful that the turrent being placed cannot easily be shot down by a player poking out from behind a wall or other cover, especially if they are in such a position that the turrent does not respond to their proximity.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, limit the number of turrents are in each base. For a small level, 1-2 turrents is a good number. For a medium level, 3 turrents is sufficient. You will rarely create levels that require 4-5+ team turrents. A good level to look at is Capture01. Check out how it uses turrents sparingly and cleverly. Remember that it is ok to add a few more neutral turrents.


I'm so sorry I had to :lol:
Exploits of Quartz and bobdaduck - My maps on Pleiades
Current self-serving quote:
raptor wrote:sometimes I think getting Quartz to use plugins is like getting my mom to use a computer
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sky_lark

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Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:30 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

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Fordcars

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Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

sky_lark wrote:http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=turrent&defid=897208


Oh good, I am not the only one who searched this
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Invisible

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Post Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wow, I will ponder all this before I make my next map!
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amgine

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Post Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:18 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

#9 Avoid cramped maps making hallways and areas to small can make the map difficult as it is easy to camp and spam weapons.
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sam686

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Post Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:23 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Having a list of stuff mixed with comments and quotes in between the list in a forum looks like a messy wall of text that isn't organized.

Maybe this list should go into wiki where it can be organized better.
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sky_lark

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Post Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:22 am

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

Done. Check it out here: http://bitfighter.org/wiki/index.php/Th ... the_Galaxy

I removed the numeration for better organization and cleaned up some of the wording. Definitely add more content though! And if someone wants to bump this thread every few months, that'd probably be smart to ensure contribution continues...
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amgine

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Post Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:56 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

8. Put the center of your map on 0,0 It makes it editing it easier....
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bobdaduck

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Post Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:33 pm

Re: The Mapmaker's Guide to the Galaxy

9. Asteroids are almost never a good idea.

10. Having too many repairables will destroy the quality of your map. A good rule of thumb is only one or two per area.
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