How does one deal with a mapping block?

Hey all.

So, some may have seen in the ~official~ Facepunch Mapping Thread that I’m recreating Luigi’s Mansion.

I’ve started with this near the end of the summer holiday, doing small things like fiddling around with proportions (which are still not correct, mind that).

Now, I’ve started out with the mansion’s basic layout, and when that was finished I went ahead with assembling the foyer, and creating some general assets, such as doors and pillars.[/T]

When the foyer was about finished I started with the corridors, and the moment that was finished I lost my workflow for some reason.
And I think I know why.

This mansion takes more planning than I expected, as it is huge with 30 individual rooms.

Since I’ve finished doing the major details, I’ve been doing some simple finishing touches to it like giving a majority of the textures bumpmaps where applyable, and toying around with the lighting.
When I complete a room I just have no idea what to do next.

Another thing is that I can work best with music I enjoy. The issue is that I can’t find new tracks, so I listen to the tracks I already have so much on repeat I’ll absolutely despise it.

Now I wonder, how do you guys keep your workflow up, and how should I handle my mentioned problems?
I know this may seem like a real stupid thing to ask, but I’m a bit dubious about this, and I don’t want this project of mine to dust away on my disk drive with the fair progress I made.

It’s not that I have a lack of motivation, or so do I think I don’t, I just have a huge issue planning shit.

Thanks a lot for reading this.

I had two ways to deal with it that worked pretty regularly when I used to get it.

The first and more frequently used one would be to step away from everything that was progressing with the map and start on something on the other end. The effect this would have on my progress was that it would inevitably make problems. How am I going to connect this to the rest of the map? Is this going to fit in with the rest of it? Is the flow going to work? And so on.

The thing about those problems is that they force you to think and see your map differently, and solving those problems gives you a rewarding feeling, which makes you want to do it more. I harnessed that feeling and used it as the drive to finish the project.

Another idea is to shelf the project and start on something completely unrelated. Push yourself to work on it. It doesn’t matter if you create and orange and grey pair of rooms connected by a hallway, do something with it. Embellish on it, strike out in random directions and see what happens.

When I did this, I’d come up with ideas that enhanced my previous project and implemented them there, which improved my mood about the map and got me to enjoy working on it again.

If those failed, I’d just step away from mapping for a while and play some games. Eventually, the inspiration would return. For music, I tend to make Pandora stations with my favorite tracks to find more.

Your work looks great so far, hope this helps.

Here’s some sites to help with that


Somafm, use vlc to open the .pls files

If you have Amazon Prime there’s Prime Music

Google has their music service as well I want to say it’s $10 a month to get unlimited access

I’ve just taken a look at Pandora, but it seems that they can’t allow service outside the US.

So right now I’m giving the different stations on Soma FM a try, seems really promising.

Anyway, another problem I’m dealing with is the lack of ability to plan on what to work on, how do some of you deal with that?

Goal orient your work. Have a tick list of things you do. Set yourself deadlines or at least challenge yourself to “tick” items off when they are done.

This way you force yourself not to linger on things for too long.

If you encounter something you cannot deal with, eg engine constraint or a problem you cannot address then take a different tack. Either do other things on the same map or start another minimap to tackle that problem seperately in an entirely different setting. The goal orientation means you won’t procrastinate or waste time and once and area is done you can move on without repeatedly tweaking it and stuff.

Use a VPN to stream pandora, or a proxy.

Pandora radio is amazing, makes my mapping flow godly.

I usually have 2 active projects for clients. Not because i make them faster but because the change in scenery back and forth keeps things interesting and I dont get a block.

Maybe work on other projects while you work on this.

A bit of advice I learned from someone else a long time ago that works for me at least -

Never use up all your ideas/motivation at once. Stop when you only feel like you have a few things left to do in an area. If you leave these things left over, it’ll stay in your mind and new ideas will be able to accumulate and accent themselves with the stuff you still have to do. If you use up all your ideas, you stop thinking about it and it all gets dull.

tl;dr step away the minute you feel your motivation start to run down

Thank you. You are a god.

Note on the whole music thing: Spotify can also generate playlists that match a certain song (or playlist) that you like.

Took the word of advice, and picked up something I dropped my attention on again.[/T]

Going to make this for Garry’s Mod, trying to push the absolute maximum out of the Source engine with a lot of breakable entities.

I more or less got inspired by Stiffy360, who gave me some help with this.