How do you plan a map?

Hey guys. The biggest problem I have with mapping is not knowing where to start. I know what I want to make, (A 2 story building like the music store nearby) but I have know idea where to start! So how about you guys? How do you plan a map?

I basically just start mapping with a vague idea in my mind.

Or alternatively, a reference picture.

Or you could just first draw a layout on a piece of paper and work off of that.

Unfortunately, I don’t plan out my maps, which I really should start doing.

Dev block a really basic structure (without detailing at all) then just build on it from there.

This.

Do the doorway into the music store. You’ll find yourself compelled to do the rest.

Followed your advice mixed with that of above. =)

I sorta visualize it in myself, then make doodles of it in school with horribly wrong dimensions.

I draw out full plans on paper. Even though they aren’t very detailed they help alot and save time while mapping.

Mind storm. Need to start making designs though :confused:

Paper and pencil

step1: create a list of any bullshit ideas you have, (just so you can cross out the bad ones)
-derp1, derp2, derp3, cool-idea, derp4…

Step2: Brainstorm!
-Size, possible uses, Who you’re planning to give it to if at all, Whether or not you can do it!

step3: Blueprints!
-Any bunch of lines can make things a whole lot easier, even find some ‘example’ pictures if you need!

step4: Necessary custom content!(drawings/names/texture-ideas)
-If I’m making the Krusty Krab I’ll need tables,patties,chairs,colorful-textures…(don’t make the Krusty Krab, it has already been done)
-Draw them! Name them! Define them! Everything makes it so much easier later.

step5: Get all the necessary content
-Propper s a great tool for making models if you don’t own XSI or others.

step6: Make a blueprint!
-graph paper lets you know the visual scale of things, but isn’t necessary.

step7: Make a rough draft (in hammer)!
-Even a bunch of empty boxes at least lets you know how big a room is going to be, and what you can fit in it.

step8: Test the rough draft!
-If it’s a giant twisting hallway or a confusing maze, you might want to rethink.

step9: Detail, Optimization, Playtest, Detail, Optimization, Playtest, Detail, Optimization… until it is complete.

this is my strategy. Although it’s a pain, you’ll notice tht everything becomes so much easier in the long run.
I would post examples myself, but I could care less.

Think

Brainstorm

Practice

Refine

also this

http://sadpanda.us/images/122341-TBA18TY.jpg

I want a whiteboard in my room. :’(

I hate it when I’m planning out a map in school and people start asking me if I’m going to attack the school. :v:

Tell them yes then pull a knife on them

great fun

I usually just get out pen and paper and draw a overhead undetailed view of my map on paper then I map it into hammer, I remember there was a nifty program I saw once while browsing that let you make a 2d drawing of it with hammer units then import it into hammer.

I’d personally draw out a plan on a separate sheet of paper and look at google maps in 3D view for ideas and references.

When I get the ideas, it depends on where I am. If I’m on holiday, I scribble it into a notebook. If I’m at school, it goes all over my files! :v:

Such as, for the new Seastruct:

I want

I don’t. I start with something basic… Such as a house. Then I begin to build outward from it.