Step-by-step guide (not the kind you're thinking of)

Hey, so I got this idea for a map I wanna create in Hammer… I know about most things in hammer already, so no problems there. Besides, if I do get problems I’ll just look it up somewhere :3

Anyways I was wondering if any of you experts could share your “plan” when making a map, as in, do you start out by making the landscape, or do you make a single house and build off that?
Make it like 1. whatever
2. whatever
3. whatever

etc etc
Thanks!

  1. Conceptualize gameplay
  2. Block out map, heavy focus on gameplay, streamline flow.
  3. Add minor details and modifications.
  4. Final detailing, texturing, optimising. - Check gameplay remains intact, texturing and detailing can damage gameplay - Detail areas where players will be and apply less detail to where you don’t want them to be.

This is my work flow.

Thanks, but what if I’m not gonna add gameplay to it? It’s basically gonna be a map like rp_apocalypse where the player can roam freely, but with more interaction and such.

Then you ignore the parts about gameplay.

I usually work one room at a time. I get an idea down, build a single room and heavily detail it, then move on to the next room and detail that and repeat until the map is done.

  1. gather a large ammount of reference images, photos. screencaps of other games. Anything you can think of.
    http://i.imgur.com/7QYbiA9.png

  2. Make a quick but fully functional blockout of the map containing all the features you want to see in the final level.
    http://i.imgur.com/o2x6Cpm.png

  3. find a part of the blockout that contains several generic features the map will contain.
    http://i.imgur.com/MYYEMZ9.png

  4. try out different things until that part of the map looks like what you’d want the entire map to look like.
    http://i.imgur.com/aeuCCca.png

  5. now re-create the entire map piece-by-piece making everything look somewhat like the small “template” piece you made first.
    http://i.imgur.com/QVAEivb.jpg

Thanks :smiley:
more lists like these are welcome, incase I or someone else wants to try different methods :3

I normally start out by making a single room or scene from start to finish and when it’s done, continue on from there. And I heavily discourage you do so.
Doing it this way is an enormous time-sink and is generally demotivating, because it often happens that you want to work on your map but you don’t want to work on that one room you’ve been making for so long and you don’t know what to do, so you just fly around the map and wasting time.
So I can’t stress enough how important it is to block down the whole level from start to finish using only basic geometry and dev textures. I’ve learned this the hard way.

Thanks, maybe thats whats caused me to quit hammer after like 5 minutes each time then xD

Well, making good maps takes a LOT of time.
First priority is always to stay motivated. So always take time to do something fun, even if it’s not the next step on your plan.

A good “plan” is extremely important, but we’re doing it for fun. Always keep that in mind :wink:

Get lots of concept pics to work off, working from imagination alone doesn’t often work.

I’ve always found it hard to stay motivated :stuck_out_tongue: This seems to apply in most areas, like music and mapping.
Got any tips or tricks to stay motivated?

Don’t stress yourself with deadlines and appointments. When you’re forced to work on something, you’ll start to hate the project sooner or later.

Whenever I work on something, I have these moments when I look at my work and think to myself “this is pretty awesome already” and I’m totally motivated to continue or I say “Well, that’s not how I imagined it”. Then I usually put it away and focus on another area (happens a lot when I’m making music). When I get back to it later, I know the mistake I made last time and usually get it right then…

At the end, you don’t need to go strictly after the script. In one of my maps, I got bored half way, so I just started to make some Eastereggs.
Just make sure to take some time for something fun…