Checklist for Making Netmaps

Discuss map ideas, techniques, and give help.

Post Jul 9th '06, 01:38

This little checklist is intended to help people score some extra points in the mapmaking competition, but it still holds true for any map. Go through the checklist and see if you fulfill at least most of the requirements.

FLOW:
[ ] - Did you avoid dead ends? If you have some, are they very short and have some kind of reward (good guns, frex)?
[ ] - Are all of your platforms properly timed and placed?
[ ] - Is every hallway at the necessary length to balance speed and looks?
[ ] - Are all of the guns in natural places, or would the player need to actively search them?
[ ] - When you use stairs in lieu of lifts, are they at good angles and not unnecessarily exposed?
[ ] - Do all of the hallways point toward the main battlefield? In other words, did you avoid mazes whenever possible?
[ ] - Do you have the least amount of deep liquids possible?
[ ] - Do your teleports bring players to relatively safe locations?
[ ] - Are the main hallways broad enough to support limited dodging (about 1 WU wide, at least)?
[ ] - Are gimmick lifts, water lifts, etc. absolutely necessary? If so, are they fast and provide some kind of benefit?
[ ] - Have you avoided sharp turns (>90 degrees) whenever possible? If they're necessary, consider using curved tunnels instead.
[ ] - Are there plenty of exits -- be they windows, doors, teleports, sniper ledges, or anything -- back to the main battleground from whatever hallways you have?
[ ] - Do you have a minimal amount of death traps (ideally 0 total)?
[ ] - Were Extravision powerups avoided entirely?
[ ] - Was 5D space avoided whenever possible? 5D to make a brief shortcut is okay, but maps like "5D Space" are bad news.
[ ] - Does your map use overlapping to a reasonable extent? Maps that overlap eight times are bad.
[ ] - Did you avoid "headbanger stairs?" I should be able to go down a flight of stairs and not hit my head on the ceiling.
[ ] - Are your stairs reasonably steep? Steps that are 0.3 WU tall are difficult to climb while focusing on the combat.
[ ] - Whenever you have a sniper ledge, can you see the surface that the ledge is intended to snipe?
[ ] - Did you avoid stupidly huge pits? Melatonin is a map that has stupidly huge pits.

BALANCE:
[ ] - Is the weapon loadout evenly placed? For example, are rockets scattered throughout the map instead of bunched together in the center?
[ ] - Is the map's arsenal reasonable -- that is, can most of the guns stand up to the map's strongest gun? Rockets and fusion only make an unbalanced arsenal.
[ ] - Are spawns placed in relatively safe locations (against walls or away from the fray) whenever possible?
[ ] - Are spawns properly spaced? Spawns should cover pretty much every area of the map, except featureless hallways.
[ ] - Can any player reach a gun in three seconds?
[ ] - Can any player reach ammo for his gun (excluding rockets and TOZT) in five seconds?
[ ] - Can you reach the hill/main battlefield in five seconds?
[ ] - Are powerups (health cans and BCEs) properly placed, and given reasonable spawn rates?
[ ] - Did you avoid 2x or 3x rechargers?
[ ] - Did you avoid invulnerability?
[ ] - Did you avoid difficult secrets?
[ ] - Do hard-to-reach areas have good payoffs without being unreasonable (i.e. that distant ledge has one of three rocket launchers, but not the ONLY rocket launcher)?
[ ] - Did you avoid any regions that provide a ridiculous advantage over all of the other players, which are very hard to reach safely? The top pool of Duality is such a place.
[ ] - (If applicable) Is the hill hard to defend without being impossible to hold? The hill on THRUD is such an example, whereas the hill on Thunderdome is too hard to hold.
[ ] - (If applicable) Are there places to run with the Ball? If so, are they so complex that nobody can find the carrier?

ARCHITECTURE AND DEPTH:
[ ] - Make sure your map doesn't look ugly. If you have to squint to look at your map, retexture it.
[ ] - Did you apply differential shading?
[ ] - Is your usage of textures reasonably varied? You don't have to use every texture, but you should use enough to make any region distinguishable from any other area.
[ ] - Are doors and teleports distinguishable from walls?
[ ] - Make sure your architecture does not ruin the flow. Flow is more important than architecture.
[ ] - Make sure your map isn't "too detailed." Marathon maps can only take so much detail before it begins to look stupid.
[ ] - Is your map detailed at all? Maps that compose entirely of featureless open rooms and hallways, regardless of the quality of texturing and lighting, suck.
[ ] - Consider using liquids "artistically." This means ankle-deep water, lava in inaccessible pits, and so on. They look great but don't tamper with flow.
[ ] - Is your map asymmetrical? Symmetry is a newbie trick. Asymmetry keeps players entertained more often and provide more advanced strategy.
[ ] - Did you use sounds? If you did, are they at reasonable volumes (80ish) and reasonably placed? Wind in an enclosed space sounds stupid.
[ ] - Did you use curves, if the map calls for it? Rigid maps are quite fine, but whenever you can, consider using curved walls instead of right angles.
[ ] - Is your lighting "unrealistic"? Realistic shading almost always sucks. A good example is Route 66 (604 or Better), but anything more complex than that tends to look bad.
[ ] - Does your ceiling space look good? Ceilings are a great place to show off your architecture without hurting flow.

ORIGINALITY
[ ] - Make sure your map doesn't immediately remind you of ONE other map.
[ ] - Make sure you used a minimum number of architecture tricks from other maps.
[ ] - Make sure your map name is interesting without being stupid. "Arena" is boring. "Circle of Tears" is a fairly good name. "Inappropriate Finger" is a stupid name.

FUN
[ ] - Test your map with other players.
[ ] - Did you find it fun?
[ ] - Did everyone else find it fun?
[ ] - Did you consider everyone's criticisms?

FUNCTIONALITY
[ ] - Make sure your map has at least 8 spawns.
[ ] - Make sure you textured every side.
[ ] - Make sure you have enough guns and ammo for your map size.
[ ] - Make sure your items respawn.
[ ] - Avoid using monsters.
[ ] - Check your map for bouncy sides, "fake walls" (solid surfaces in overlapping areas), "sticky lattices" (getting caught in a fence), or "bouncy hallways" (entering one hallway and appearing in the adjacent one), and fix them accordingly.
[ ] - Make sure you have no suicide traps (areas that don't kill you but are inescapable).
[ ] - Merge your map.
[ ] - Make sure all of the "map type" (i.e. rebellion) flags are unchecked.
[ ] - Make sure all of the desired gametypes are marked. FOR THE CONTEST, YOU WILL BE MARKED DOWN IF YOU CHECK "KING OF THE HILL" AND THE MAP SUCKS FOR KOTH OR HAS NO HILL AT ALL.
[ ] - Make sure any smearing bugs are fixed.
[ ] - Make sure you fixed any crashing bugs. Anything that can crash Aleph One is both a feat and a disaster.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 28th '06, 00:17, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Jul 9th '06, 17:13

RyokoTK wrote:[ ] - Make sure your map name is interesting without being stupid. "Arena" is boring. "Circle of Tears" is a fairly good name. "Inappropriate Finger" is a stupid name.


What about "An Inappropriate Finger in my Arena caused a Circle of Tears?"
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 9th '06, 17:51

hey, these are nice tips! I like checklists,

if you ever come across a checklist for single player map makers, let me know, im still learning the universe of map dynamics
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shongshong
right here

Post Jul 10th '06, 20:26

Treellama wrote:What about "An Inappropriate Finger in my Arena caused a Circle of Tears?"

ROFL!
The Pf'hak - Read it.
Science technology jargon physics.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Jul 27th '06, 21:40

On a (sort of) unrelated note, what causes those bouncy walls and hallways? How do you fix them?
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stunt_man

Post Jul 28th '06, 00:03

I personally think this topic should be pinned up and edited to say "Checklist for Netmap making" because also could help net mappers later on. anyone else agree?
En Taro Adun,
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Kidtofu
Virginia

Post Jul 28th '06, 00:45

King Kidtofu wrote:I personally think this topic should be pinned up and edited to say "Checklist for Netmap making" because also could help net mappers later on. anyone else agree?

Definitely.
Mordekai

Post Jul 28th '06, 19:03

ja Herr Kapitän!
[MTongue]
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shongshong
right here

Post Aug 13th '06, 11:38

Hmm...what about naming your maps after song?
Like songs you think people should be listening to while they play the map... :D
The Pf'hak - Read it.
Science technology jargon physics.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Aug 13th '06, 12:13

All of my newer completed maps are named after songs, I know some of irons' and RyokoTK's are too.
Mordekai

Post Aug 14th '06, 02:53

Yeah, several of mine are music-related. From RS:

Hocus Pocus, The Wildfire, Revontulet, and Dreadnaught are all song names:

Focus - Hocus Pocus
Sonata Arctica - Wildfire
Sonata Arctica - Revontulet
Machinae Supremacy - Dreadnaught

Also, Ecliptica, Silence, and Winterheart's Guild are all Sonata Arctica albums.

Furthermore, "Master Slave" is a line taken from Machinae Supremacy - Attack Music.

The more you know. :)
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Oct 18th '06, 01:02

Mine we'll be named after my favourite metal songs.
form like
Trivium
Road Runner United
Slayer
System Of A Down
etc...

How about for a name ("Wing Nut Club")
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Nameless

Post Oct 18th '06, 03:31

"Brown-Eyed Girl"
"Stink Finger"
"Ginger Beer Trick"
"If You Don't Care Where You Are..."
"You Aren't Really Lost..."
The Pf'hak - Read it.
Science technology jargon physics.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Sep 29th '07, 21:58

Grayswandir wrote:"Brown-Eyed Girl"
"Stink Finger"
"Ginger Beer Trick"
"If You Don't Care Where You Are..."
"You Aren't Really Lost..."

there's also a map with many different variations called
All Along The Watchtower witch is a Jimi Hendrix song


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logan

Post Sep 29th '07, 22:14

Actually, isnt that a Bob Dylan song originally?

Also, some of Mine named after songs are:

My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire)

Black Wave (Arcade Fire)

The Sheik of Araby (Early Beatles, don't know if they wrote it)

In The Grasslend (Also called Sheep) - The line "In the Grassland" is from a Pink Foyd song "Sheep"
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$lave

Post Sep 30th '07, 01:10

$lave wrote:Actually, isnt that a Bob Dylan song originally

I'm not sure it may have been.
I'm thinking bout making a map named
"pages out of print" which is a line from that new foo fighters song "the pretenders"
anyways it would basically be like a book with a buch of rooms stacked on top of each other with elevators or teleporters connecting them.
(really this should be in the map support/ideas forum)


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logan

Post Sep 30th '07, 01:22

u mean topic?
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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CryoS
The Dungeon

Post Sep 30th '07, 01:23

Some of my favorite maps I have made are named after songs. I even named my most recent maps with a certain obsession of mines

The Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow

Aqua Times - Alones ('Oreta Awai Tsubasa' was the opening line. And no, this song is not completely in English)

Kanye West Featuring Freeway and Mos Def - Two Words

Juelz Santana - Losin My love

Nas - Just a Moment ('Moment of Silence' was the main part of the chorus)

The Game - Dreams

Jay Z - Beach Chair (not exactly my favorite to make, but it was named after a song)
En Taro Adun,
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Kidtofu
Virginia

Post Sep 30th '07, 04:09

All Along the Watchtower was originally a Bob Dylan song, and has been covered by like, every musician in the world. Jimi Hendrix's version is widely considered the best, though.
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Sep 28th '11, 03:45

RyokoTK wrote:This little checklist is intended to help people score some extra points in the mapmaking competition, but it still holds true for any map. Go through the checklist and see if you fulfill at least most of the requirements. added UTFL

FLOW:

[ ] - Do all of the hallways point toward the main battlefield? In other words, did you avoid mazes whenever possible? a dynamic that if used practically can be awesome, stupid to say to avoid them
[ ] - Do you have the least amount of deep liquids possible?
[ ] - Do you have a minimal amount of death traps (ideally 0 total)? a nasty surprise but easily part of the fun, why take away this dynamic
[ ] - Were Extravision powerups avoided entirely? has nothing to do with flow
[ ] - Was 5D space avoided whenever possible? 5D to make a brief shortcut is okay, but maps like "5D Space" are bad news. sombody gets confused easily, FAIL


BALANCE:
arsenal.

[ ] - Did you avoid 2x or 3x rechargers? umm why? if their reasonably hard to get or everyone can get plenty
[ ] - Did you avoid invulnerability? makes the fusion gun useful, just make it hard to get
[ ] - Did you avoid difficult secrets? i can't tell you

[ ] - (If applicable) Are there places to run with the Ball? If so, are they so complex that nobody can find the carrier? what happened to "no mazes"??

ARCHITECTURE AND DEPTH:
[ ] - Make sure your map doesn't look ugly. If you have to squint to look at your map, retexture it. this needs to be re-explained




FUN
[ ] - Test your map with other players. ok
[ ] - Did you find it fun? yes
[ ] - Did everyone else find it fun? i don't care
[ ] - Did you consider everyone's criticisms? there were never any that we're CONSTRUCTIVE.

FUNCTIONALITY

[ ] - Avoid using monsters. what, you scared? or skilless

[ ] - Make sure all of the "map type" (i.e. rebellion) flags are unchecked. this is purely a creativity blocker


for YOUR contest, whatever, but to use this bs as a guide to making "good" maps?? i have noted the retardness that seeps from your genius.
an intergalactic keger!
UseTheForkesLuke

Post Sep 28th '11, 03:47

King Kidtofu wrote:I personally think this topic should be pinned up and edited to say "Checklist for Netmap making" because also could help net mappers later on. anyone else agree?


no, it needs to be fixed.
an intergalactic keger!
UseTheForkesLuke

Post Sep 28th '11, 15:58

UseTheForkesLuke wrote:[ ] - Did everyone else find it fun? i don't care

I don't play online at all (because I'm terrible), but even I can see the problem with one-man netmaps.
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Weisscanker

Post Sep 28th '11, 17:10

Weisscanker wrote:I don't play online at all (because I'm terrible), but even I can see the problem with one-man netmaps.

I didn't see his first post in this thread before responding in the other, but, I think we're being trolled.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Sep 28th '11, 17:30

Weisscanker wrote:I don't play online at all (because I'm terrible), but even I can see the problem with one-man netmaps.


I'll give you that. but there are some things that are opinion and not techniques. we need a revised list that's JUST good map-making habits. which this mostly is.
an intergalactic keger!
UseTheForkesLuke

Post Sep 29th '11, 00:09

Anytime someone says a practice is good or bad it's an opinion, get over yourself.
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