Jump to content
Remzi

Bad Habits in Mapping + Easy Fixes

Recommended Posts

Hey there!

This thread is to document some common issues I see in maps, and easy solutions. I'll preface it by saying I'm not a famous or known mapmaker, and that anything I've witnessed is from more experience playing maps, not making them. So, take anything here with a grain of salt.

 

1: Don't ostracize players from playing the map

By this, I mean don't make items require advanced jumps or special techniques to get to them. Certain players won't care to learn the movement, why punish them in a huge way by not allowing them to get items? If the item can't be grabbed without a normal jump, you'll need to rethink the placement a bit.

No, this doesn't mean don't reward movement by adding special routes and options for players who know what they're doing. Go crazy with them! But, allow the casuals to get items too. Don't make it an unenjoyable experience for people who can't move/have no desire to learn to move.

2: Don't have weird blocks protruding from walls.

It looks weird and unnatural in most maps. Do what CPM15 did, have a ramp inset on the wall. Instead of this do this instead. Looks cleaner, feels better, won't interrupt people who're hugging the walls.

3: Make map first, paint after.

Set all your map elements to nolight during the creation. Afterwards, go in and paint individual sides the way you want using +editorfacemode combined with me_setmaterial. It's slightly more tiresome and effort, although the result should be a map without a chance of light leaking through. Nolight isn't 100%, but it certainly prevents the chance of leaking for the most part.

(More content will be added as extra stuff comes up)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Set all your map elements to nolight during the creation. Afterwards, go in and paint individual sides the way you want using +editorfacemode combined with me_setmaterial.

Better yet, set them all to a placeholder material and then open the map with your text editor afterwards and do a 'Replace All' to swap the placeholder for no light, this way you don't have to deal with not being able to see what you're doing because everything is pitch black.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Better yet, set them all to a placeholder material and then open the map with your text editor afterwards and do a 'Replace All' to swap the placeholder for no light, this way you don't have to deal with not being able to see what you're doing because everything is pitch black.

In build 28, nolight is a lot more visible. But, yeah that works too! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with tip #1, because:

 

A. This is not counterstrike.

B. Certain players do care to learn the movement.

C. There's room for both easy and difficult maps.

Maps featured at quakecon that don't require any special movement are as follows

Campgrounds Intel, Cure, Furious Heights, Lost World, Sinister, Toxicity

Maps that do require special movement

Aerowalk

A) And?

B+C) Casuals will always outnumber competitive players in a successful game. Punishing them for being casuals is awful design. Good players are still rewarded for having proper movement on CPM15, yet there's nothing that requires special techniques to get to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with tip #1, because:

 

A. This is not counterstrike.

B. Certain players do care to learn the movement.

C. There's room for both easy and difficult maps.

 

A. This isn't every other game, this is Reflex.

B. And learning harder movement can help you get things in a better way, but should not limit someone from being able to get it at all.

C. Difficult map doesn't also mean impossible to get things if you are new. If you want you can have things that are exchangeable with a tourny-version of a map. People won't play a game when they can't play the maps.

 

It seems like a good idea when creating the map or when watching a professional match, but it just doesn't work and isn't realistic. Make a good map that doesn't require skilled movement to get something, make skill movement an easier way to get to something or be able to steal it from someone else. This is one of the many reasons bdm3 is such a great map imo. Going for it the easy way? I'll go the hard way and beat you there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can balance parts of your map by requiring certain jumps or travel distances between items and shots.

 

Although I agree that requires players to do a perfect 520 ups circle jump is bad, but removing many mechanics from your map and making it play weird to cater to people who won't look up basic movement mechanics is worse. Just tack on some slower route to the item if anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can balance parts of your map by requiring certain jumps or travel distances between items and shots.

 

Although I agree that requires players to do a perfect 520 ups circle jump is bad, but removing many mechanics from your map and making it play weird to cater to people who won't look up basic movement mechanics is worse.

You shouldn't require good movement to get items though. Look at pukka maps, hektik, CPM24, industrial, courage, cpm15, cityyy maps, etc. They all reward good movement but it's not required on 99% of them. And yet, they still manage to play well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your argument for #1 at its core is simply "Players shouldn't have to learn to play the game" which is absurd. Even casuals will look up how to play or get good at a game, see TF2's SPUF section and the multitude of videos made by pub players and 6s player for pub players from back around 2008-2010. User-created tutorial videos were up in less than a week for T:A as soon as it went into closed beta, which is a game that requires extensive knowledge of movement to be effective in flag capping, the biggest aspect of the game. It is absolutely pants-on-head retarded to expect someone fresh off the block to have a grip on what a circlejump even is, let alone be able to pull one off, which I absolutely agree with you on but I have yet to see a map that explicitly requires extensive defrag knowledge and next-level circle/stair/rampjumping ("good movement") to get pickups on these forums except maybe Red on AceDauntless's dm_reduction and even then I'd defend it saying that rocket jumps are a bread & butter concept and that it's very easy to use a RJ to get there.

 

If someone is looking for a shooter with zero skill ceiling and 2 button gameplay (+forward and +attack), Call of Duty and Battlefield 3+ exist. There's a reason a gigantic market exists for these games: they require pretty much zero learning except shoot man. There's a not-particularly-thin line between lowering the bar far enough for someone to grab on without any trouble and just removing the bar entirely, with the latter seeming to be what you're looking to promote as design philosophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree thats not his argument at all, its simply about not including excessive movement gimmicks in your maps. pros agree with this. if you watched fazz on his stream playing one of the duel maps which required a shallow stair jump to get out of the mega alcove-- he thought they needed to include a ledge or easier way out because it was too limiting and impossible for noobs to do. by all means make a nice trick to access an item, but if you make that the only way to get it not only will it not be played widely at entry level but pros wont play it either since doing an identical trick jump to reach a place is way too predictable and actually less skillful in the end if theres only one route and no decisionmaking. aerowalk is special because it has that special jump(which nevertheless has multiple ways to do it) and is nevertheless a popular classic map, but try that in a new map and watch how much harder it is to get people playing it. I like what the person did who made a similar RA jump on their map but included 2-3 other easier ways to access it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aerowalk was one of the first maps I played in Quake series, it took me months if years to learn the most efficient routes to get to the RA, the very knowledge that someone could do it was an intriguing puzzle to me and even a simple aspect of the game like that felt competitive and immersive to me. It was not an "impossible" trick, it was just "difficult" and something a newcomer couldn't pick up. Any advanced trickjump in any game ever, there's a rewarding feeling of success in mastering them. I sincerely recommend seeking those feelings rather than looking an easy no effort way out, especially in a game like Reflex. Those feelings are the very essence of arena shooters.

 

And read my C again ffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing about making multi ways to get items is not just good map making but also its good for the new player.

 

Example1:

 

1. New player needs to get mega, he takes the stairs gets to mega, next time he goes to get mega a pro player takes it from under his nose.

2. New player keeps trying to get mega by the stairs, suddenly relises that the pro player is taking a new route that he did not know about.

3. New player now wants to try that also, so keeps trying.

 

Pros:

New player looks for new and exciting ways to get to items or just from A to B

New player ask's pro player how its done and starts to learn.

New player plays dif maps and trys to work out what the pro is doing and trys to do the same

 

Cons:

New player gets frustrated and keeps taking the stairs = does not want to learn = nothing you can do about it, you cant fource them to learn.

New player calls game to hard because he never gets the mega = maybe wants to learn but can't do it or gets fed up = can end up leaving the game.

 

Here the have pros and cons can go either way, you have no idea how a player will react but at lest there is a chance of them staying and trying.

 

Example 2:

 

1. New player needs to get mega, but can't see any way to it. = Don't even tries to get it.

2. New player see's pro play do a trick jump to mega. = trys but keeps failing = gives up, forfits game goes to any map where same might happen.

3. New player trys to do tricks on practice maps, finds it to hard for him. = gives up, puts down games and lost anlther player.

 

Pros:

None

 

Cons:

Lost player.

 

Here the have pros and cons can go either way, you have no idea how a player will react but with this example the player has no option but to learn the tricks, if he finds it too hard we have lost them and any friends he tells about the game.

 

I know which I would rather happen. Ok example 1 New player can still get stumped but at lest they HAVE SOME chance.

 

EDIT: The problem with people who keep saying it should all be hard and the new player has to adabt IMO is just saying build the game to my skill lv only and sod the rest of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice mapping tips.  Didn't even realize I could do some of that.  Thank you for the good tips.  Will definitely help me and others going forward.  I think Tip #3 should be added to Zita's mapping guide.  The other tips seem to be more opinion based and cannot be taken as fact.  It depends on the map style you are going for.  You can't tell people not to build protuding walls if they want to make a gothic industrial or archaic style map like Doom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Requiring jumps to get items is nothing new in these types of games, RA in ztn, Ra in cpm22, Ra in eizdm4-b4, mega on cure, rail on campgrounds (if you get bridge spawn and want to b2r).  I'm totally fine with having them especially with the inclusion of the stake gun.  Now you can have more hard to make jumps, and if people have trouble making the jump they can use the stake gun, it will just slow them down.

 

Like stalin said on my map you need to either double jump off the broken bars, stair jump or tele jump.  If you cant do those tho, there is a stake gun you can use to mitigate that, not to mention rocket jumping.  Requiring trick jumps for a major item I feel is fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forget what the map name was that Remzi and I played on earlier, but it required doing one of those step-up jumps which shot you into a curved tunnel in the ceiling in order to grab mega and I was simply unable to get the jump down during the game and rocket jumping up to it was extraordinarily difficult in the tight tunnel it was placed in. Would immediatly dismiss maps that employed jumps like this because it's simply silly to include in a game where having better movement than your opponent is already a huge advantage in duels.

 

The aerowalk jump is a good example because it's designed to be easy to rocket jump to and makes it pretty clear that you should rocket jump to reach it. Once you become more proficient in movement you also have the option of doing a simple 2 jump or at a higher level, a stairjump to reach it but you're in general more vulnerable while making that jump as a trade-off. There's also the added variance because you can spawn on it.

 

The kind of jumps I've come across don't usually have such thought put into them and force you to make the jump or lose the item every time and its a straight advantage to the player with better movement rather than just another "aid", and I would never consider adding these in for any serious dueling competition because it's an obvious slant and leads to predictable outcomes.

 

For an example in how trick jumps to major items should be implemented, ascendance is a map to study.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Requiring jumps to get items is nothing new in these types of games, RA in ztn, Ra in cpm22, Ra in eizdm4-b4, mega on cure, rail on campgrounds (if you get bridge spawn and want to b2r).  I'm totally fine with having them especially with the inclusion of the stake gun.  Now you can have more hard to make jumps, and if people have trouble making the jump they can use the stake gun, it will just slow them down.

 

Like stalin said on my map you need to either double jump off the broken bars, stair jump or tele jump.  If you cant do those tho, there is a stake gun you can use to mitigate that, not to mention rocket jumping.  Requiring trick jumps for a major item I feel is fine.

RA can be grabbed with a normal jump on ZTN (in QL) and eiz (CPMA). Mega can be grabbed with normal jumps on cure (in QL). campgrounds rail can be grabbed normally in literally everything. There's a lift to get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forget what the map name was that Remzi and I played on earlier, but it required doing one of those step-up jumps which shot you into a curved tunnel in the ceiling in order to grab mega and I was simply unable to get the jump down during the game and rocket jumping up to it was extrodinarily difficult in the tight tunnel it was placed in. Would immediatly dismiss maps that employed jumps like this because it's simply silly to include in a game where having better movement than your opponent is already a huge advantage in duels.

username_dm1b11

Yeah. Could use a lot of tweaks in the mega area. jumppad would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for FFA maps however, gimmicky areas with battlesuits and BFGS are great fun :)

 

 

also I will add some mapping tips:

 

 

-notice it copies a brush one grid unit up and towards the camera, so you can effectively make stairs quickly like this.

-for strafe pads, try setting the grid high, like 128 and copying a brush out in a flat plane then removing them as needed  to make the spacing even, say a gap of 6 brushes, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8 or something

-for vertex mode, you can hit delete to get rid of vertexes or drag them on top of another vertex, i didnt know both ways at first

- leave doorways as wide as possible first and test your lines of sight from various spot to see what is open, then decide later during testing how wide your entrances need to be or the exact shapes. you can use the "decoration" phase to close down or direct certain angles that you might not have anticipated when building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Having simple trick jump requiring items is good incentive for anyone who wants to learn. (as much as having multiple routes really)

2. It doesn't change balance whatsoever when you have 2 new players playing a map and both of them cannot get the item.

3. There are people who are better at movement than other aspects of the game. They want these maps.

4. How about adding a tag/category of these maps that are not meant for players with no experience at all.

 

There will always be some issue of balance(between players not the map itself) when new map is created where creator and testers know what to do in them. Others are still figuring out layout, items and how to get to them. Talked about this last night with my friend, he had some good points that I probably missed now.

 

More on the topic:

1. When adding multiple teleporters, it would be cool if portal effects and teleporter brushes match and are copies of each other in dimensions at least. It feels weird if they visually look the same but act differently.

2. Clips, use them reasonably. Obviously block empty spaces where you could get outside of the map. Clip some fine details where you could get stuck. Mostly I use clipping on 8 units or less thick ledges and details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RA can be grabbed with a normal jump on ZTN (in QL) and eiz (CPMA). Mega can be grabbed with normal jumps on cure (in QL). campgrounds rail can be grabbed normally in literally everything. There's a lift to get there.

Fairly sure, ra needs a cirlce on all of those could be wrong though, and ye I forgot in eiz you can walk from the 50, towards lg, then onto red, I honestly never even realized you could do that, because I've never seen someone take that route.

 

Also, Reflex isnt quake, the inclusion of the stake gun can make these hard to make jumps easily doable by players who couldn't them otherwise, not even at a health loss. 

 

Either way, having hard jumps makes maps fun.  Creates tension, and in usernames map getting the mega is actually much easier than it looks.  Just hold w and foward and after the second jump just flip around.  Having a hard to grab item on fast maps is really fun.

 

Nothing wrong with requiring players to associate themselves with a map before playing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My philosophy is that there should be an easy way to get an item, but the trick jump should be faster.

 

It doesn't even have to be about getting newbies in to the game: some players are aim heavy, some strategical and others movement based. It's about making a map that suits different play styles, the strategical player might might not make the trick jump but perhaps he can outsmart his opponent instead of outrunning him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairly sure, ra needs a cirlce on all of those could be wrong though, and ye I forgot in eiz you can walk from the 50, towards lg, then onto red, I honestly never even realized you could do that, because I've never seen someone take that route.

 

Also, Reflex isnt quake, the inclusion of the stake gun can make these hard to make jumps easily doable by players who couldn't them otherwise, not even at a health loss. 

 

Either way, having hard jumps makes maps fun.  Creates tension, and in usernames map getting the mega is actually much easier than it looks.  Just hold w and foward and after the second jump just flip around.  Having a hard to grab item on fast maps is really fun.

 

Nothing wrong with requiring players to associate themselves with a map before playing it.

 

The maps you mentioned (other than eiz which I wouldn't know) only require normal jumps to get to the items, nothing fancy like a circle jump. I just have to fundamentally disagree with "having hard jumps makes maps fun", I think they only serve as a gimmick or distraction of the gameplay. Even with the inclusion of a stake gun setting them up isn't the easiest thing to do in the world when you're being railed/rocketed/shafted and the same goes for when you're trying to perform these fancy trick jumps.

 

I hope you're able to understand that different people have different capabilities, and what you consider "easier than it looks" is very difficult for people who don't have an intuitive feel for the Reflex movement. I wasn't even aware that holding only forward and jumping actually sends you much higher on slanted surfaces until messing around on a map yesterday, so I can imagine the level of difficulty players in my position are going to be encountering when they can't grab major items on a variety of maps.

 

I mean you're free to make these maps and enjoy them, but when official tournaments are being run and matchmaking/ladders are implemented I would never want to see these maps included because they aren't inherently balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intuitive or not, most of those tricks are deliberate mechanics in Reflex, there's several tutorials and examples explaining how to execute them. In the future versions there will be an ingame training guide AI encouraging you to learn these as well. Going with your philosophy, tip #1 might as well say that items shouldn't be placed in areas where you require jumping over a gap of any kind at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×