Anyone want to test my first map?

Discuss map ideas, techniques, and give help.

Post Nov 25th '09, 03:48

If any of you have time to test this out and provide me with some criticism that'd be great and I'd appreciate it a ton!
[attachment=3350:Super_Du...on_.sceA.zip]
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Horkeldorf

Post Nov 25th '09, 06:16

Well, it's not bad, but I wouldn't say it's something people want to play. It has the telltale signs of a first map, not the least of which is that it gets more complex as you go through it. You're going in the right direction, just make more maps, and study what makes other maps good, such as:
  • Good maps have a context. Levels don't occur in a vacuum; each level is a place where something happens.
  • Good maps give the player direction, beyond the player's instinct to shoot things and move forward.
  • Good maps are well executed. Each piece has thought put into how the player will play through the space.
  • Good maps are tested to make sure the player can win without the use of glitches, and that changes in difficulty are deliberate.
  • Good maps use the full palette of features available. They have ambient sounds, and platforms, and differential shading, and animated lights.
  • Good maps treat monster encounters as a means to an end, and not an end unto itself.
  • Good maps offer the player options. The player can approach situations in different, valid ways. One important way to do this is by offering the player different paths to follow.
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Crater Creator

Post Nov 25th '09, 07:32

I made it to the Juggernaut encounter before I decided to switch off. Like CC said, it's not bad, but there are a few quibbles.

1) There are a lot of meaningless lights that have no differential shading in the first corridors
2) The texturing is bland
3) The first canyon's water is unanimated
4) There is a part in the first canyon where there is a small error with sky landscape heights

Good job, though

Vale,
Dugit
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Nov 25th '09, 12:54

For being a first map this is not bad at all.

Some good points:
I was able to complete it
I did enjoy playing it.
the gameplay, although easy, worked well. No monster fuckups.
the stairs were well constructed (I've seen noobs construct REALLY bad stairs, thin and steep)

Things I'd look into:
Switches. Didn't see any switches in your map. They're cool. Try to put some in your next map.
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goran

Post Nov 25th '09, 13:22

Maps like these remind me of the charming, yet incredibly simple novelty maps I used to make a few years ago. The gameplay is fairly decent for a first map. My biggest problem here was probably that ledge that you have to jump across to reach the end, that's sorta too far away.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Nov 25th '09, 17:55

OK, I've finished the level. And, I just want to say, although the map was festooned with quibbles, the gameplay was excellent. I loved the enforcers sniping whilst hunters attacked from behind; I loved the large attack near the end with the Juggernauts, Fighters, Troopers and Enforcers, but I do see a little overdone combat. Try to balance it, and to incorporate difficulty in areas other than piling monsters on the enemy (it was too easy to bottleneck them).

For the map's sake, these are the errors I spotted in the second half, and a couple revisited ones:

5) The stream's water height is exactly the same as the bank; it looks a little weird
6) The railing texture isn't really meant for solid walls, more for solid/transparent line faces. (screenshot provided)
7) In the room with the Drones, Napalm and the small pillars, when trying to access the spaces to the sides of the rooms, there is the line-face error where the player enters and reappears in the centre of the two spaces. (screenshot provided of the offending room)

Also, I've provided a screenshot for the misaligned sky mentioned in my first post.

However, even though there are a number of quibbles (what is that, my word of the day?), which are to be expected, a brilliant level with good gameplay. Nice job.

Vale,
Dugit
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Last edited by Dugit on Nov 25th '09, 17:56, edited 1 time in total.
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Nov 26th '09, 01:38

Thank you all for your comments!

I messed around with some differential shading.
How's this look?

[attachment=3354:screen_capture.png]
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[attachment=3360:screen_capture_6.png]

I'm kind of unsure about what to do with the lighting in the first corridors but that's what I came up with.
As for the room with the pillars... I meant to fix that before I posted it. I'll get on that though thank you for reminding me Dugit.
Oh yeah and I got rid of the rail texture thingy and replaced it with the blue stuff. Look any better?
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Horkeldorf

Post Nov 26th '09, 02:26

The lighting looks much better in those screenshots, although it's somewhat hard to tell since you're using TTEP. I can't force you not to use TTEP, but I would recommend just seeing how the map looks with the original textures. One large issue with the lighting/texturing is that you had some large, bright, open areas which predominately used the beige rock texture from the water set. The replacement texture from TTEP is much darker, so you may not notice how overwhelming it looks with the original textures.

I don't advise using light 0 for any sides aside from those with light or other 'accent' textures on them. Most textures tend to look better if you dim them at least a bit, and it provides more contrast when you do use accent textures. I'd also recommend keeping the use of light textures a bit more sparse, as there are a few extremely bright rooms such as the beginning room where it becomes a bit overwhelming. Having a row of lights in a ceiling is often a nice way to add detail, as is adding a row of lights to walls, but using light textures on an entire ceiling is too much, and you lose the effect of the accent textures.

I'd also recommend, when you do have a row of lights in a wall, keeping the lights at a .25WU, .5WU, 1WU etc. interval, and aligning the textures accordingly. There are a few areas where you have a row lights that is just under .5WU tall, so the texture doesn't quite align evenly.

I don't really want to comment on the architecture until you get a bit more used to texturing/lighting maps, as it's hard to make more complex 'architecture' look good without proper lighting/texturing. If you upload a version of the map with revised lighting and texturing I can give you some more feedback on that.

I've already rambled enough in this post, so I won't get into the monster placement or design of the level, but I'd suggest playing some maps in M2 and the TGIBX demo just to see how you can treat some encounters with monsters. I'm not very concerned about the difficulty, but the combinations, placement and numbers of monsters do matter a lot when you're making a map.

Just as a reference, here's a small screenshot of how i might texture the first room of your map, although it definitely isn't the only way it could be done:

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$lave

Post Nov 26th '09, 03:33

Alright I went through without the enhanced textures and you were right. The rocks look really bad. So I retextured most of them and toned down the lights a bit. I also retextured the beginning of the map a bit too.
[attachment=3361:Super_Du...on_.sceA.zip]

I swear I'll think of a better name later...
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Horkeldorf

Post Nov 26th '09, 07:24

Yes. Please do...

How about...

The Chasm of Dread?
or...
The Gravity of a Mutual Enemy?
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Nov 26th '09, 21:12

$lave wrote:

What lights did you use? To give me an idea of difference between numbers for my own mapping

Dugit wrote:The Gravity of a Mutual Enemy?


That sounds awful. Did you mean it as a joke?
Last edited by tehWastedJamacan on Nov 26th '09, 21:51, edited 1 time in total.
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tehWastedJamacan
SuFu, SD

Post Nov 26th '09, 22:15

... i dont think he did.
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envy
Land of the New Rising Sun

Post Nov 27th '09, 00:47

$lave, could you at least have an indicator when you edit someones post? you confused me for a second.
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tehWastedJamacan
SuFu, SD

Post Nov 27th '09, 01:00

WastdJamacan wrote:$lave, could you at least have an indicator when you edit someones post? you confused me for a second.


I can, but I don't feel that it's my responsibility to make it clear that I've edited every offensive post.

Anyway, I don't remember the exact light settings I used, and I didn't save the map, but I followed the same general rules I usually do for lighting:

-Perpendicular walls have a difference of 4 lights

-Light textures and sides around light textures have light 0 - 5

-Most ceilings are at least one light darker than the darkest side it meets, generally closer to 4 lights

-Sides under lights are at least 4 shades lighter than the surrounding sides, and usually use lights 0 to 5.

How I texture ceilings and floors tends to depend more on what there is around them, but the above rules tend to work (imo).
Last edited by $lave on Nov 27th '09, 07:21, edited 1 time in total.
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$lave

Post Nov 27th '09, 03:33

okay. I'll experiment then. I really like how the light contrasted from the normal, and I've been having a hard time geting my lights to stand out in a dark room. I'm also experimenting with crossing lights, but it doesn't stick out enough.
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tehWastedJamacan
SuFu, SD

Post Nov 27th '09, 07:24

How about:

The Chasm of Schism
or
The Eternal Abyss
or
Folly; Never so Deep

?
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

riveting six-vertice amnesty ratifications
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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Nov 27th '09, 07:54

I think he will be capable of coming up with a map name himself :)
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$lave

Post Nov 27th '09, 16:28

And I think It's better if the mapmaker comes up with the name. Then, It's more his and his alone.
D?rovací tvá?í.

Fobo: I find it hard to keep a sentence down under two paragraphs.
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tehWastedJamacan
SuFu, SD

Post Nov 27th '09, 21:06

Marathon maps tend to have some pretty weird names or are obscure references to something it seems. "4 Dead Otters Dancing on Strings" from Apotheosis comes to mind...
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Horkeldorf

Post Nov 27th '09, 22:20

Or 'Couch Fishing'. What th...?
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

riveting six-vertice amnesty ratifications
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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Nov 27th '09, 22:22

None of mine have been that weird. I guess it's up to the mapper.
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Fobo: I find it hard to keep a sentence down under two paragraphs.
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tehWastedJamacan
SuFu, SD

Post Nov 28th '09, 01:38

WastdJamacan wrote:None of mine have been that weird. I guess it's up to the mapper.


or is it......
Thank the sun that went nova so that Earth could have iron and silicon.
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effigy


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