Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps

Guides about mapping and everything Teeworlds related.

Åmol
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Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps

Post by Åmol » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:02 am

How to make extraordinary maps
written by Åmol
Even more suggestions for better gameplay: https://forum.ddnet.tw/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2427
First of all, don't panic. There're a lot of things to take in to consideration when it comes to mapping. Sure, it's easy to make A map. But why not boost it up a lil' bit?
The first thing you want to consider when beginning making a new map is; What type? there're lots of different types of races. NO! I do not talk about difficulty (aka. novice, moderate, brutal).
Hell NO! If you would start by choosing the difficulty you would already been starting to limit yourself, that's exactly what we really don't want to, right??
But what type then?!
Have you ever thought about how those really fantastic maps are actually built?

Gameplay
Flow
A nicely mapped "flowing" map, Just take a look at Aim series & Skychase. Indeed, you have to be relatively skilled to play these maps (average 'player-skill' rises!). You will want to keep this flow through the whole map if you are aiming for a speedrun map. Those maps some people can't get enough of, gawd... Lets now take a look at the OPPOSITE of a flowing map. This does of course lead us to all other maps. Hardcore series! gotta love those. I really hope you see the difference. Of course it's mostly about perspective. The goal here is just to make the players confused & with that, I mean that it's supposed to be complex enough but! as simple as it can be. It's not about destroying players mentality. You want to challenge them! anyway... lets move on. We'll go more in depth of this later on.
Repeating
Some mappers tend to repeat same part over and over again (boring if you ask me). It's quite boring except if it's not some kind of a park-our part. Repeating parts can be good but keep in mind to not overdo it.
"Space"
What about Tee-space? how big should the areas be that you're playing on? Some people for their first time map parts which are small asf, I did too... ~ 2 blocks height parts in the beginning actually. Imagine how difficult it'd be to not take a wrong step... Just keep in mind that you should leave plenty of space in the parts if you're not making it slow-going-kinda-gameplay.

Design
This is how the players will perceive your map. Simple design's are good but not too simple! Take a look at ddnet_walls tileset/mapres. Honestly, I don't like it. But if you want to use it be sure to add different featuers to for an example: 'd Background. You want everything to be in balance.
Restrictions 'n limitation
I normally start deciding the design (Yes i do limit myself a bit) as a phase regularly. I'm always mapping with the design instead of adding it later, why?! you may ask. If you use for instance, generic_unhookables tileset. You'll get these different shapes of 'stones' which i use to build up my imagination. Honestly, I do almost never have any idea what I'm mapping. And why is that? If you make something new that haven't been created before, you've never seen it before. Logic! I usually base my parts on a new trick/feature I discover ingame.
~ Randomness is the key to success imo!
Why would you ever want to limit yourself?! dude, you do want to limit yourself else you'll go crazy. For instance; when I'm making Genericore or Excast maps I have my 'special' restrictions.

Those are:
☆ No teleports. (for me It's just a easy way out for mappers) Broke this rule @ Genericore 1 I know :?
☆ No Other extras what so ever. (such as jetpack & walljump, I really try to stay away from switch layer too)
☆ At least 80% Unique parts.
☆ Only give out all weapons once or don't give 'em out at all.
Basically ~ Oldschool
- But after all; If i decide to break those rules I'd be sure it works well with the gameplay so it doesn't just appear as a random "not enough time" part.

As you see here, I do limit myself a lot. This is mostly because you don't want for an example, a crazy 'SickCunt'- Part on a too faily map. If you make Faily parts, like... really faily. There should be a hidden trick to not perform the part in a faily way. Genericore maps are @ brutal even though moderate players can handle it, just because it's according to some; faily. (otherwise it's ~ brutal ★★★★★|★★★★★)
Block Appearance
How big contrast & color tone should be between unhookable, hookable & hook-through blocks? You do really want to make the hookable tiles stand out from the unhookables. Our brain has easier to react with more precision that way. Don't use too bright colors as it'll cause eye-cancer. You want a relatively kind of dark contrast. I also like to mark around the hookables to enhance the difference between 'em both. I make this "enhancement" with a little bit higher contrast. This will trigger something I've discovered to easier sense where the block ends. It's basically like a little warning.
WHY
Ok, so lets digg up some old tracks. Why did you want to challenge the players? Isn't it good for them to just play on the maps that they actually can finish? no, not at all. If you want to develop you need to challenge yourself (in this case others). I often just make a part I think is impossible to pursue to thereby target myself to perform better! It's not only fun to do this. It also gives me experience which I apply to my little "brainbase". You can make so many different parts with a single trick. Just think of edgehooking. Edgehooking has developed a lot through the days... or should I say that the average player-skill has increased? idk... Anyway. We unlock new possibilities every time we play. I recently discovered that you can have as much precision on a 3x3 block as on a 4x4 block & even the random example:
Image
Image
Image

My personal advice for mappers would be to open your own testing server to test the parts for each edit you do along the way.

Over my years of mapping of course I've come across some useful tricks
Instead of using normal 'layers' for details (doodads etc.) you can use quads.
Image
This basically displays a quad of a cutted mapres that is scaled & toned after your own choice.
Benefits using quad(s):
★ You can customize the mapres however you want it.
★ Faster copy - paste parts of the mapres.
★ Now you can also apply animations.
★ The Quads overlay each other so you don't have to make new quads whenever you want to partly overlap another quad. (does not overlap normal layers the same way)
Downsides using quad(s):
★ gawd... you actually have to spend some time on details now.

★ If you would make a map-series I'd strongly suggest that you'd make a template of the map design, for all those maps (mapname_template.map) so whenever you want to make the next upcoming map, you can simply append the template.
Last edited by Åmol on Sun May 08, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 14 times in total.
Players only say themy map(s) isare unplayable due to ignorance.
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You might be able to play my maps but that doesn't mean you're fit to judge them.

n000b
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by n000b » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:13 am

nice tutorial, it is a shame i cannot use them cause i do not map XD

hannibal
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by hannibal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:27 am

Last advice is important. I remember that it helped a ton to test each part right after I mapped it, and then realize small things like "this drag part flows better if that thing is 2 tiles longer" etc.

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imp
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by imp » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:13 am

And I thought it's standard to test parts and improve them step by step

Åmol
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by Åmol » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:42 pm

imp wrote:And I thought it's standard to test parts and improve them step by step
From what I've seen, it's pretty damn normal to make whole map without testing it while mapping & afterwards test it to repair eventual bugs.
Not that efficient, huh?
Players only say themy map(s) isare unplayable due to ignorance.
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You might be able to play my maps but that doesn't mean you're fit to judge them.

[A] Awesome
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by [A] Awesome » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:07 am

Åmol wrote:
imp wrote:And I thought it's standard to test parts and improve them step by step
From what I've seen, it's pretty damn normal to make whole map without testing it while mapping & afterwards test it to repair eventual bugs.
Not that efficient, huh?
Yeah pretty sad that its normal :(
Anyway nice tutorial with really useful tips imo.

If everyone follows this 99% in test section would get released and not 9,9% :D
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imp
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by imp » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:26 am

Btw. you didn't explain how to "cut quads" and I'm pretty sure there are enough people who don't know how to do it

Åmol
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by Åmol » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:40 pm

imp wrote:Btw. you didn't explain how to "cut quads" and I'm pretty sure there are enough people who don't know how to do it
This ain't really a "How to map" -tutorial, however, I could link this to another tutorial which does explain this if I find one in the forum.
Players only say themy map(s) isare unplayable due to ignorance.
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You might be able to play my maps but that doesn't mean you're fit to judge them.

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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by Welf » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:11 am

I am not sure, if a guide like this can help in understanding, how to make cool maps.
If you want to make a good map, you should know, what ddrace is, what is it about, where is the "fun", what is rather "annoying".
The most important information is probably:"what has never been there yet/how can i combine tricks or features to something interesting".
Analyse maps, if you want to understand ddrace ;)

Åmol
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Re: Åmol's - How to make extraordinary maps.

Post by Åmol » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:49 pm

Welf wrote:If you want to make a good map, you should know, what ddrace is, what is it about, where is the "fun", what is rather "annoying".
The most important information is probably:"what has never been there yet/how can i combine tricks or features to something interesting".
Analyse maps, if you want to understand ddrace ;)
Ye that's probably the best sentence to explain how you'd have to proceed
Players only say themy map(s) isare unplayable due to ignorance.
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You might be able to play my maps but that doesn't mean you're fit to judge them.

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