Minipax

Discuss map ideas, techniques, and give help.

Post Apr 20th '12, 20:58

THERE IS A NEW VERSION IT IS ON SIMPLICI7Y DOWNLOAD IT IF YOU WANT TO THERE ARE NEW MAPS.

http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax
http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax
http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax
http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax
http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax


This is a screenshot of one of the new maps, incase rainbow links weren't convincing enough:

Last edited by $lave on Apr 20th '12, 21:01, edited 1 time in total.
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$lave

Post Apr 21st '12, 04:26

they're all great! i did notice a change in style in many of these maps. you made them seemingly more flatter and spread out-ish, as oppose to many of your CC maps which were a little more crowded and steep...

ugly map wasn't neccesarily that ugly... sure it was kinda "rainbowy" but i thought it looked great. also a fun layout.

buckie high is a little open. i suggested adding some sort of hill... overall great update to an already great pack...

Edit: we played on Buckie high again and it was actually a blast the way it is...
Last edited by unclenate on Apr 21st '12, 07:06, edited 1 time in total.
If I had a rocket launcher, I'd make myself pay.
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unclenate
AZ, USA, Earth

Post Apr 21st '12, 20:19

UncleNate wrote:they're all great! i did notice a change in style in many of these maps. you made them seemingly more flatter and spread out-ish, as oppose to many of your CC maps which were a little more crowded and steep...


Thanks. That was largely a conscious decision after a comment Ryoko had made about Cosmic Clouds, about the maps focusing too much on corridors as opposed to more interesting spaces. I still try to make new more CC-ish maps every once in awhile, Twoism and FUSE being the most recent examples. Even then I try to keep the levels a bit more open though, as Cosmic Clouds maps as a whole tend to feel a bit cramped myself. I'll try to make my next few maps a bit more height oriented though, as Buckie High and Königsforst may have taken the flatness a bit far.

UncleNate wrote:ugly map wasn't neccesarily that ugly... sure it was kinda "rainbowy" but i thought it looked great. also a fun layout.


I tend to call that map ugly half jokingly. I was pretty frustrated with the texturing when I was making it, and ended up making some odd texturing choices. If I was actually deeply unhappy with the texturing I'd re-do it, but I sort of enjoy how it looks. Despite that, I tend to expect people to find the map ugly, although opinions on that have been mixed.


UncleNate wrote:buckie high is a little open. i suggested adding some sort of hill... overall great update to an already great pack...

Edit: we played on Buckie high again and it was actually a blast the way it is...


Glad you ended up enjoying it. The map was intentionally bare and open, but I thought it turned out all right.

====

EDIT: I've been considering removing some of the weaker maps from the pack next time I make a significant update, specifically Time and possibly Altibzz. Does anyone have an opinion on that?
Last edited by $lave on Apr 21st '12, 20:23, edited 1 time in total.
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$lave

Post Apr 21st '12, 22:44

What kind of hapless idiot would take out maps from a pack? That's entirely unreasonable.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Apr 22nd '12, 00:02

$lave wrote:EDIT: I've been considering removing some of the weaker maps from the pack next time I make a significant update, specifically Time and possibly Altibzz. Does anyone have an opinion on that?

I definitely believe you should keep those maps in the pack! I really enjoy those maps (and I need to host them more)! It's too bad that you consider those to be "weak." As for your new maps, I cannot stand the texturing on Chores. The layout and architecture are great on that map, however. Buckie High is a pretty good map. It is a bit open, but it is still an entertaining map, especially with a lot of players. It is possible for a player to jump onto those grated ledges in the northeast corner of the map from the nearby stairs. I don't know if this will be a problem, but I just wanted to let you know. I believe Konigsforst is by far the best out of your three new maps. I enjoyed it while you were testing it and I also enjoyed playing Elimination on it last night. It is fun sneaking around and moving from the lower level to the higher level, and vice versa. I will definitely be hosting it more often. I like that there are not any shotguns in Konigsforst; the shotgun is my favorite weapon in this game but it's nice to have a break from them once in a while! My only suggestion for that map would still be to add a few more sounds. I do wish you would have put a hill in these maps, but it is not that big of a deal. Overall, I am satisfied with these maps. Thank you for the update! :)
Last edited by brilliant on Apr 22nd '12, 00:03, edited 1 time in total.
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brilliant

Post Apr 22nd '12, 00:35

brilliant wrote:My only suggestion for that map would still be to add a few more sounds. I do wish you would have put a hill in these maps, but it is not that big of a deal. Overall, I am satisfied with these maps. Thank you for the update! :)


I could add more sounds and place a hill on the new maps for the next update, then. I didn't realize people still played KOTH, so I didn't bother. Thanks for the feedback.


RyokoTK wrote:What kind of hapless idiot would take out maps from a pack? That's entirely unreasonable.


brb, crying in a corner and leaving the community forever. :(
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$lave

Post Apr 22nd '12, 04:10

These maps are good. Well, not Chairs. But the other two are.

This post is not about how to make good maps, since your maps are already good, but how to bridge the gap into distinctly well-polished maps with good presentation.
(Subtitle: How to avoid the same dumb design mistakes I made with Paradife Loft.)

Disclaimer: I am not going to play these maps for real, so I could be wrong, but, I mean, I doubt it.

These are two issues. There's probably more, but I can't think of any right now and I don't feel like making drafts of this post and coming back to it in the future.

1. Shit keeps getting in my way.


Can't wait to get trapped between these and killed! This bit of Koenig's Fort is the worst about this but there are less obvious transgressions, or "miniature dead-ends." I don't have a problem with these as a rule, if there's a meaningful reason for it (i.e. cover, or a good item). However, well, here are some examples:


Twourism.


Gestalt.

More architecturally complex maps are generally more prone to this in the name of VISUALS! and, well, maps suffer for it.

2. Lazy texture alignment

Here's another issue that I tend to let by in sloppier maps, because there are more major issues generally at hand. However, using textures with distinct patterns in places where they don't fit really bothers me. It's usually indicative of inattentiveness or laziness. Examples:


Chairs. Notice the gray texture. The texture lines up when it meets the wall, and the "rafter" is wide enough to accommodate the texture, but when it splits (crosshair), it doesn't fit going crosswise.


Animals. Hello, this texture is in increments of .25, not .2. Also, parts of this texture would be obviously clipped anyway, because parts of it extend vertically by .5.


Diesel Fame. This is slightly different. Notice the light texture; you don't have the texture mirrored here. Ideally, you would have either the curved vertical edge facing the same direction (either toward the player, or toward the lava), but here you just applied the texture and didn't adjust it. It fits the pattern, but a noticeable oversight in alignment still leaves it looking weird. Edit: in post, I noticed for extra credit that the box texture in the upper left doesn't quite fit where it meets with the wall.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Apr 22nd '12, 04:12, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Apr 25th '12, 05:41

RyokoTK wrote:[stuff]


Thanks. In my experience playing the maps, "shit keeps getting in my way" has been the most noticeable on Twoism. I'm pretty sure I get stuck in that waterfall every time I play the map.

Not much else to say I guess, I'll just have to put a bit more care into my maps. The texturing issues on Time are pretty severe, mostly because it's such an old map.
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$lave

Post Apr 25th '12, 20:56

if you're interested in misaligned textures here were a couple of others:
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ellio7t
long beach, ca no, now I live in L.A.

Post May 1st '12, 20:32

$teve is best mapper.
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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CryoS
The Dungeon

Post Nov 23rd '14, 19:49

UPD8 REAL QUICK NEW NETMAPS

http://www.simplici7y.com/items/minipax
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$lave

Post Dec 6th '14, 20:25

Great set of new maps, Steve. It's nice to see some people still churning out new maps in this community; especially maps of your quality. The layouts are pretty complex, but you've done a great job I think in making them easy to navigate at the same time; I haven't noticed any big potential gameplay issues.

The only tiny thing is, I have to get you back for finding that untextured side in my new map the other day. Check the link :P

http://imgur.com/bJdwQmL
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Dec 6th '14, 20:39

Arggg, thanks! I guess it wouldn't be a Minipax release without at least one untextured side :(
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$lave

Post Dec 6th '14, 20:51

They'll always haunt ya ; )

I was going to post this little tidbit on a S7 review I just wrote, but I decided it made the review too long and would be better if posted here:

It might be an interesting idea for your next batch of maps to scale down the architecture a bit. I know that sounds crazy coming from me, but focusing on making the architecture more meaningful to the map, more connective, would help move your maps up to the next level. Scaling down might not be the right word, but I've noticed a lot of your maps employ many 1 WU columns interspersed throughout (or dozens of .5 WU columns). While this isn't bad at all and you handle it quite well, you may run the risk soon of maps blending together a bit and starting to look alike. Certain maps demonstrate what I'm trying to say really well. Check out Fatal Tragedy by TK. There are a few 1 WU columns in that map, but the way they connect with beams on the ceiling, that in turn connect to the largest beam running the length of the level, makes that map incredibly unique. Overall, though, great job with these maps. Keep at it!
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Dec 6th '14, 22:54

Hah, much thanks. I've had some problems with my maps lately that I haven't quite been able to figure out, but I think your feedback sheds light on something I've been missing.

When I started Minipax I think I just saw that I was getting better at making a relatively formulaic but "polished" type of map, and throughout a lot of the pack (especially the boxier maps) I just sort of ran with that. Since this last release though, I've been feeling as though fixing the obvious problems I have with some of my maps (some layouts being a bit cramped, some weapon balance being a bit awkward etc.) is just leading to improved renditions of the same maps over and over.

Especially now that I've been trying to move most of the detailing of the maps into wall/ceiling detailing (areas where they're less likely to affect gameplay), the blandness of simply stretching out, rescaling and rearranging the same layout has come forefront. I wasn't really sure how I could go about fixing that though (terrible ideas included "just make more overlapping areas so the map seems complex and interesting"), but I think your comment on connectivity hits the nail on the head. Most of my maps don't really have much of a focus as a whole; they're basically just a bunch of rooms connected together with little to no regard for the design of the map as a whole.

Trying to come up with maps in which the areas are more interconnected/dependent on eachother etc. and structurally cohesive/unified as opposed to just visually cohesive could probably help a lot with these problems. I'll have to try thinking about my maps less as a collection of rooms, and instead as more of a gradually shifting whole, I think.
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$lave

Post Dec 6th '14, 23:19

Exactly. It's kind of like the theme of the map. One or two sweeping architectural details (i.e., a ceiling beam that runs around half the map, or a ledge that spurs off in two directions) that interact smoothly with the rest of the level can add a great depth to your maps.

I'm about to work out but I'll post some good examples of what I'm talking about when I get back.
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Dec 7th '14, 01:52

$lave wrote:Most of my maps don't really have much of a focus as a whole; they're basically just a bunch of rooms connected together with little to no regard for the design of the map as a whole.


Yeah, that's the key with making good, creative maps. Many of them have a certain "theme" or general idea that is executed throughout the layout. Take Fortress Morrolan, from PL, for example. In essence it's a giant castle buried in the middle of some volcanic dirt or whatever. You can have a bunch of fun, then, laying out a castle and juxtaposing it with its rocky surroundings. The hardest part of doing this, that I don't think I'm consistently good at, is making this all work with the flow of the map, and making sure certain sections aren't too cramped or too spaced out.

With that, though, don't be afraid to redraw and redraw sections until they are just the right size or flow very well. Take screenshots so you know exactly what you did. That's become more and more common in my later maps; redrawing a small corridor, or even something as simple as a corner or column, until it's just right. Most of the time this happens on the drawing board before I even get to heights or texturing. That's when it gets frustrating.

I had the most luck doing this near the very end of Caustic, but only because I had just made a shitload of maps for the pack and had a lot of practice, and by the time I made "Water Sleepers" I think I had peaked in terms of architecture and nuance. I don't think I've done anything quite as good ever since. That map contains a few adjacent rooms flanked by one, curving ledge, and on the other side there is the hill to the outside, which is accessible through three different routes. But much of the central arena is dictated by a gentle curve, which you can see here: Image

Not too complex, but just enough to appear interesting and give a sense of continuity to the map itself, as if it is one, singular structure. Really, though, check out Ryoko's maps because he's a monster at that kind of stuff.
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Dec 7th '14, 04:20

Don't worry Windbreaker, you won't get banned anymore if you don't constantly suck up to Ryoko.
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Wrkncacnter


Post Dec 12th '14, 00:16

I booted up Aleph One for the first time in the greater part of a year to look at your maps. Thanks for fighting the good fight, Steve.

Here's a couple brief thoughts about your new maps.

Decades - Basically my problem with this map is that there's nowhere that you can stand and get a grasp of what's going on in this map. And I mean, that's a general problem with a lot of maps (and certainly I'm guilty of having done this at parts) but there's so much bobbing and weaving and so many walls that even parsing the basic layout of this map is difficult. Also, I think that maps with a lot of elevation changes (like this one) are cheapened when you have so many lifts. High ground needs to mean something; don't belittle the spirit of Anakin Skywalker by having lifts every five feet.

@Windbreaker: Personally I don't think Fortress Morrolan is a very good map, and I don't (or didn't) deliberately lean on themes for most of the maps in Paradise Lost. (Fort M is an exception, since it was a remake of an old map where I did do that.) My first goal was to make sure the layout was generally understood very quickly, even if the details took a little more time to dig up.

A couple examples of this were maps like The Downfall of Paradise or Thorn Keep. These maps were made the way Steve makes maps -- not really with any plan, just gluing one room to another -- but there are lots of long views and central spaces so it's easier to keep your bearings straight (and also find people to fight). Basically, I feel like a level like Decades would frustrate me a lot because of how hard it would be to find another player, and because I'm not really sure how I could get from point A to B without looking at the map. This is compounded by the elevation changes -- it might look like this hallway connects to that hallway, but there's a staircase that I can't see and it turns out the spaces aren't really connected.

Burnout -- This map has a lot of elevation changes too, but I actually like it for that. It's a small map with a distinct central area that is always being called back to by the level's layout, so you're (presumably) never really too far away from another player. (Bear in mind that I don't play this dumb game anymore.) The big advantage this map has is that a lot of the elevation changes are the result of stairs, rather than lifts, so it feels more dynamic and flowing, and I just like how it all kind of goes together.

There is a trench toward the center of the map that you can fall into and I really hate that. Overall though, this is probably technically the best new map in the pack even though I like the next one more.

Dark Train -- Pretty simple arena map. Nothing much to say about it, except I wish you would have exploited the darkness a bit more. I personally would have either made the center bright and the side areas very dark, or the opposite; really make stealth and evasion a big factor in this map. Since the layout is really simple, I think that would have given it a lot more character.

Still, these maps are definitely good quality, and there's a couple ideas executed in Burnout and Dark Train that got me thinking about opening up Weland again, so good on you Steve.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Dec 12th '14, 01:08

Thanks for the feedback, Ryoko. It's good to hear that your (and Windbreaker's) criticisms of my maps are fairly similar to my own thoughts.

A lot of the problems you mentioned are things I noticed almost immediately after testing Decades. In some parts of the map I think there are pretty interesting spaces for fighting, but throughout most of it it's just really hard to find and keep track of/engage another player. I can't really remember the last time I played a netgame before Decades, and I think that's why problems like that came up. Dark Train was sort of an attempt to make a simple map that corrected a lot of the problems I had playtesting Decades.

Regarding Dark Train, I might try adding a lot more overall contrast to the lighting following your comment. Originally the idea was to have the lighting as you described, but I only really went half way and didn't push the contrast all that much. The darkness of the map has still affected the gameplay of the map pretty significantly though, which I at least found interesting. Even in the super open middle corridor it can be a bit hard to properly aim and keep track of a player.
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$lave

Post Dec 12th '14, 04:37

RyokoTK wrote:I booted up Aleph One for the first time in the greater part of a year to look at your maps.
@Windbreaker: Personally I don't think Fortress Morrolan is a very good map, and I don't (or didn't) deliberately lean on themes for most of the maps in Paradise Lost.


We'll have to disagree on that one -- I think it's one of the strongest maps in the pack, visually, but I also have the most fun playing it, as well.

I guess 'themes' might not necessarily be the right word for what I'm trying to describe. While it is fun to have certain maps based on specific concepts (i.e., train station or cave with structure or whatever), what I meant by theme is that every room or passageway or ceiling architecture is deliberate and serves a purpose, whether visually or aesthetically. The layout connects with itself in a way that it becomes very hard to remove a section of the map without it falling apart (flow) or becoming drastically less cool (architecture). You could remove a handful of the passageways and ledges in Decades and it would still appear to be mostly the same map. Better, even, because now you can see where everything is! :)

Edit: I should mention that I 'glue' a lot of my maps together as well, as you described. I think most of net mapping is really just dealing with a limited number of ledges and rooms and trying to string them together in a new, interesting way. Early Caustic was basically me mashing a bunch of architectural details together in an attempt to make something look cool. As time went on, the challenge became how to use architectural details meaningfully and make the map seem tight visually (nothing sticks out like a sore thumb and the architecture is fully realized). This has the added benefit of fixing the visual issue in Decades (which was mainly the reason I wrote the first post in the first place), as the player's eyes can more easily follow the lines of the map if they interact smoothly.

editedit: your map FUSE is my favorite from Minipax, and I think you do a really good job streamlining the architecture on that one. Dat theme yo
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

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