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 Ideas for map makers how to make good maps « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Ideas for map makers how to make good maps Reply with quote


Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 114
Location: CZ

  • Try to make maps balanced for humans and aliens (more on that below). Simply think as a player - what gives an advantage to you as a human and what to you as an alien. Think!
  • Don't make big open rooms. This gives a big advantage to humans and creates network lags (because server needs to send data about everybody in the big room to everyone else there) and FPS lags (because there are usually too many object to see in such a room). Big rooms also usually don't make interesting battles. If you need to have big rooms, consider making them very variable, with a lot of places to hide (like ATCS around bunker, Karith outside, Karith stairs near alien main entrance, Niveus H base, Parpax, etc.). Good examples: The good old maps like Niveus, Karith, ATCS, Bad examples: All *cannon maps and sadly around 70% of all maps available. (It's tempting to start a map with one big room and add some stuff inside, but this is just a bad way to start. The result is not a map, just one big box with a lot of crap inside.)
  • Similarly, don't make too long corridors. Again, too easy for humans to camp - they can kill any alien before getting even close. If you need long corridors, make them curvy.
  • The other extreme is to to make map only of small narrow corridors. Although this flaw happens only very rarely, there are such maps. This gives advantage to aliens, especially on S3 when it's next to impossible to break through camping rants.
  • Make a lot of variously-sized vents. These make fun games and allow different sneaking tactics. Think what aliens should fit in and what not. Be careful not to create vents where humans cannot fit nor shot into and where dretches could hide from humans and force a draw!
  • Make at least 2 possible entrances to most rooms (possibly from some vents). Rooms with only a single entrance usually result into long, campy games. It's not a problem if you have one, smaller room with just one entrance (like Niveus window). But make it scarce.
  • Similarly, be sure that any two places in your map can be connected by at least two different paths. If you make a map that has a single door somewhere in the middle which connect two different parts, one of the teams will camp that door hard and again - long, campy game. Good examples: Again, the old default maps like Niveus, Karith, Nexus, Tremor, also Parpax, Pulse.
  • Avoid teleports at all costs. Really, teleports make poor maps in Tremulous. It's much easier to build around and camp a teleport than a door or a corridor. If you for some reasons must have a teleport (and please, reconsider that again), make it two-way, so that it's possible to get in, zap/bomb and immediately get out. And make the entrances in places that are hard to camp. And, make it possible to get to that place by some other paths so that buildings around teleports can be killed from another position.
  • Don't make just flat walls or ceilings. Not only it looks ugly and unnatural. If walls are structured, if they have pillars, alcoves etc., it makes fights more interesting. They can block retreating players. And it's quite fun for rants to crush humans into an alcove or a nice corner. However, too structured walls/ceilings also prevent wall-walking (bad example - Tremor halls). Ideally, make walls more structured and ceilings only a little bit. Good examples - the default ones. Bad examples: around 50% of all maps around.
  • Put a lot of pipes, ledges, catwalks and similar junk in the bigger rooms. Put them not only on floors, but also on walls and the ceilings. Try to make it nice, just placing a few boxes around helps a bit, but it's far from perfect. Good examples: Karith, Parpax,
  • Don't make maps too big. There are many maps that are otherwise very nice and balanced, but simply they're are too big to be fun. Nobody wants to walk 30s just to get into a fight, get killed in 5s and walk 30s again to the battle. (Just consider: It's SD, all fwd bases have been killed, and the main bases are on different sides of your map. It should be possible to spawn and get there quickly to fight.) Try to make many shortcuts so that it's possible to walk from any place to any other in your map quite quickly. Again, the default maps are good examples.
  • Design - think a bit about making your maps look realistic. Believe me, an unrealistic map feels bad at first sight. Like seeing 10x10x10m concrete block supported by 1 wooden plank.

(Please add your tips as well, but be constructive!)

An advice to players (if I may): Think of what map features are bad and what are good for making a well-balanced games. This will make you a better player! You can observe that good and experienced players favor quite different maps than bad or inexperienced players. Good players want balanced maps (otherwise it's no fun for them). And they know what parts of maps give an advantage to different weapons or alien classes - a map with a lot of such variable places makes every game different and fun.
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[{USATREM}] !Gunther!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 755
Location: United States of America

To Noddy:
Flag this as a sticky or something.
tremulous |ˈtremyələs|
1. shaking
2. quivering slightly
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 51
Location: 2, Alor Mengkudu Road, 05400 Alur Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

But the lights with shader is very difficult to make it.... I was too... But skybox is not very easily too for me.... Sad
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 02 May 2013
Posts: 82

Good list, some more reading I found useful ( Trem is kinda a special case due to asymetric teams, but most applies here also )

Bunch of radiant tutorials:
http://spawnhost.wordpress.com/ ( click the tutorials menu )

Some basic notes on arena layout:

Hourences is a veteran mapper in the Unreal scene, his book on map design is great, example chapters are on his site:

Lunaran likewise has some good design articles:
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