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Doomsdλy1993

How do you come up with good ideas for maps?

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Well, mostly it comes from other cool maps. But besides that there are much stuff what can inspire mappers, like:
 

  • Music. 
  • Colours. Have you ever wanted to do a map with specific, unusual colour? 
  • Real life places. There are so many rooms and buildings which you can take inspiration from and apply for maps.
  • Feelings. 

I only named few, but I think others can tell you more. I'm not much of expert anyway. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Doomsday1993 said:

Is it inspiration from other doom wads?

1.)Nature.

2.)Existing architecture.

3.)Stealing from others and tweaking for your own usage. (Cross references, use different products from different genres).

4.)Placing your IDEAS in WORDS FIRST , on a text editor (Or record your voice) and try to shape the words into layout and try to give it life in a Vector graphics editor (Like : Inkscape),

 

Example :

you can say to yourself ("I want the player to reach point A to B while having the walls closing on the player, how do i shape the area that encapsulate point A and B").

 

Pro tip : Do not go right away to your favorite doom editor to make the map, because then your mind will start thinking gameplay instead of layout first. use a vector graphic sketchup program first with primitives and basic colors only.

Edited by d-Illasera

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You will find there are, in general, as many different ways of getting inspiration for maps as there are people to respond to this thread, possibly more.

 

But that's not so helpful to you, so...

 

You can get inspiration from other maps that you've played; this is certainly a time-honored way to do it.

You can get inspiration from structures that you have seen in real life (whether in person or in a picture).

You can get inspiration in the other ways that Myst.Haruko and d-Illasera wrote (their ideas were good).

 

Personally, I sometimes have an idea that just comes to me. Not an idea for an entire map, just for one part of it. (For example, the player starts in a room with two windows. Through one window you can see the exit behind a locked door. Through the other window, you can see the key to that door.) I'll sketch out that on paper with little notes to myself. When I have time, I try to make what I have sketched out in an editor.

 

Another idea is to come up with a general "plot" for the map. By this I mean, what you want to accomplish in the map. For example, "Come in here. Pass a locked door. Go get the key to that door here. Come back through to go through the door you can now open. Get another key. Loop back around and open another locked door. Go to the exit." That will provide an overall idea of what you want to do. From there, you can figure out what sort of encounters you want and design them. These don't need to be complicated. Start simple and build up. But the "plot" will keep your map from spiraling out of control.

 

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Lots of ways, inspiration from other sources for me, mostly. Play through some wads, remember what you liked and disliked in them, try to remake those parts, albiet in a better fashion, that's how I do it, atleast. I can't for the life of me think of anything but "short corridor with pew pew guys".

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I steal take some ideas from other  maps and I remake them in my own way so that they are the most unrecognizable as possible.

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7 hours ago, Roofi said:

I steal take some ideas from other  maps and I remake them in my own way so that they are the most unrecognizable as possible.

 

That is ok, and no need to cross-strike the "Stealing" part, even beethoven stole from others.


 

Quote

 

Personally, I sometimes have an idea that just comes to me. Not an idea for an entire map, just for one part of it. (For example, the player starts in a room with two windows. Through one window you can see the exit behind a locked door. Through the other window, you can see the key to that door.) I'll sketch out that on paper with little notes to myself. When I have time, I try to make what I have sketched out in an editor. - @Pegleg

 

 

This is something i want to address, Do not think about the macro "The entire map design", its pointless and downright impossible, There is too much information for the brain to process when thinking "How to make an entire LEVEL", In level-design, the micro makes the macro...

The way i do it, Is create simple areas based on ideas i have having and then connect them in some way.

 

You create small areas and find creative ways to connect them, This is why it is so time consuming and hard, Because you need a lot of ideas, This is why maps in Doom / Hexen weren't made by one guy.

 

* Tip : As far as connecting areas in the same MAP / level, you do it by patterns / layout and theme, You don't want to add a cave in the middle of a church level for example, that will break the theme and the pattern.

 

** Use very small patterns (Having 2 doors to the left and 2 doors to the right is ok, but if you extend it to 100 doors to each side, you are going to bore the player(.

 

*** You may want to learn design rules/practices by PROFESSIONALS and NOT the community.

The reason is a practical one, Professional made maps were Q\A'd and a lot of people actually PAID money to play them.

You may also want to learn what NOT TO DO from the community, There are a lot of amateurs and they make a lot of mistakes.

(Please note that the argument above got a lot of exceptions to the rule).

Edited by d-Illasera

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30 minutes ago, d-Illasera said:

This is something i want to address, Do not think about the macro "The entire map design", its pointless and downright impossible, There is too much information for the brain to process when thinking "How to make an entire LEVEL", In level-design, the micro makes the macro...

The way i do it, Is create simple areas based on ideas i have having and then connect them in some way.

 

You create small areas and find creative ways to connect them, This is why it is so time consuming and hard, Because you need a lot of ideas, This is why maps in Doom / Hexen weren't made by one guy.

 

I agree that to start of with the design of the entire level is too much. I did not mean to start with a blank piece of paper and proceed to a very detailed: "Start a room with three banks of lights and a shotgun. Go through the door and find yourself in a room with three imps and two platforms that go up to raised areas of the rooms. Those raised areas are both connected to alcoves inhabited by sergeants. There is also a flight of stairs leading to a locked door and a small door off to the side. When you go through the small door ..." This would become overwhelming and would be rather limiting.

 

I meant the map design on a very high level, sort of a "the player will start here, go this way, get a key, come back, unlock the door, go to the exit." My point was simply that I find it useful to have a general idea of the general progression of the level. This doesn't have to be done immediately upon beginning to make a level, either. In fact, it may be more fruitful to build a set of rooms or small areas and then connect them based on the overall concept that you develop.

 

Also, I agree that it is absolutely true that the progression of an encounter will influence the structure of the space it's in. I wouldn't advocating making a set piece encounter fit a particular space, but would argue that the space should be designed in such a way that the set piece encounter proceeds as you intended.

 

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