Thank you for your feedback, adaman. It's always good to hear someone else's perspective.
adaman wrote:Another thing is the grid. I'm not sure, but it doesn't look like you use the "constrain to grid" feature much at all. I've always found the grid to be very, very helpful. I think you should experiment more with using the grid for your indoor areas. Right now the indoor areas in the northwest area of the map (not the ones in the freestanding buildings – I liked those) seem strange and disjointed.
Yes, I rarely follow the grid although I usually hold down "option" or "ctrl" or whatever snaps a line to the exact length you want it to. I don't do this when I want to create a more organic feeling space which, combined with extra polygons to create lightcasting effects, is what gives those Northwestern buildings the feel that they have.
adaman wrote:A final thing I'll say is that you should avoid having terminals, pattern buffers, switches, etc. in indentations in the wall that are more than 0.25 WU deep. You're doing 0.5 WU, which looks bad and clunky. You have a bit more leeway on windows, but I'd still avoid going more than 0.25 WU.
This is deliberate and won't change as long as I make maps taking place on Tau Ceti. In the original Marathon all the terminals and switches were inset by 0.5. So, my terminals and switches are not only a homage to the original Marathon but they also function as a bit of world building that suggests that the Tau Ceti colony was built using similar architectural principles as the UESC Marathon. I originally was going to have a lot more blocky, simplistic architecture to accomplish the same homage/worldbuilding goal, but that got boring real fast.
Again, thank you for your feedback. Although I'll point out that most of your feedback has to do with visual design and I am not a visually oriented mapmaker. At all. RyokoTK puts a lot of focus into his visual and architectural design, which might have something to do with him having a degree in architecture. His levels look great, but they often are very linear in their progression and often involve just throwing a bunch of monsters at the player in an open area. And there's nothing wrong with that, but that's not the type of levels I'm interested in and it's not the type of mapmaker I am.
I am much more interested in curating a specific interactive experience for the player using tools like gameplay motifs, monster behavior, and encounter design. And because my levels tend to be nonlinear that means I have to test, tweak, and polish specific encounters many more times than if they were linear. That leaves me with less energy and less time to work on things such as architectural design, which has to sometimes change dramatically to get an encounter to work right or to get monster behavior to work right.
That Northwest area that you feel is disjointed was originally a completely different area. I deleted 200-300 polygons and did a complete redesign and I'm very happy with the result. In fact, the first area (Northwest leading to shotgun) and the last area (communication silo) were the last spaces I designed, and I think they actually turned out the best because they behave
in the most interesting way.
I'm interested in how a gamespace "behaves", not so much in how a gamespace looks.
I'm not trying to dismiss your feedback, and I'm not saying to avoid giving me feedback on my visual design; it's always good to see things from other people's eyes. I just wanted to let you, and anyone else reading this, understand where I'm coming from and why my levels are designed the way they are. It's easy to notice the visual design of a level because it's right there in your face, but it's harder to notice the behavior and gameplay design of a level because you have to consciously pay attention to it across multiple playthroughs.