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Struggling with starting and staying focused on a map or wad

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With Ryath's "Wad in a month" thing going on, I'm having an urge to make something for it, but I simply can't bring myself to start work on a single map, let alone stay motivated to finish it.


Infact, I have a bunch of issues trying to start / work on a map:


  • I worry that I am drifting off to a different style, which makes me believe that my works will have inconsistent styles.
  • I worry too much about shapes and unusual angles to the point where I tell myself that I must have at least one instance where odd shapes are a priority if I want my map to look good and attractive, even in the automap.
  • I design my maps around a room by room kind of workflow, which is already a detrimental kind of mapping approach for me. I've tried in the past to dray layouts on paper, but the inspiration and drive was just not there.


I don't know what else I can do from here, other than lament the fact that I can't deliver upon any project I want to make.

If you have any suggestions, I would be much obliged.

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I like to search for images of landscapes or architecture to get ideas for aesthetics. I always see something that makes me want to map. Also play lots of quality wads for gameplay and layout ideas. Good luck!

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It sounds it might be a paradox of choice, where you have too many things to choose from and consider and (absurd as it may seem) end up with nothing. Setting firm constraints on your creative work can sometimes be freeing.


You could consider identifying the most difficult parts up front and pre-deciding to constrain them.


For instance:


- Choose a single style for each map and don't deviate.

- Choose a set of basic shapes you will use to construct each map. Don't make exceptions.

- Decide how many rooms (sectors?) there will be, or make a rule that each room must connect to at least 3 others, or every other room must have at least 1 window into another area, etc.


Just some thoughts. This can also help get out of creative ruts too.

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for me, I tend to be a lot more productive when I decide before I even make a map that:


1) I don't intend to release this map (this can change later, but original intent is to not release)

2) it's going to be really tiny. I usually start with a goal of making a complete map in 30 minutes. sometimes I keep going if I get in a groove, but I try to get something playable by the end of 30 minutes. this constraint means that all those times when you make a mental note to come back and make some branch of rooms later, never actually happen because you're so short on time


then the result is often one of the following:

  • you get a meh map that's playable after 30 minutes, which may or may not contain some ideas worth exploring later
  • you get a good solid start to a map that you can expand on
  • you quit before 30 minutes is up (which is rarer for me, I think because I try to let my bar for quality be near-zero)

so it doesn't always work out - but I have a pretty good success rate so far, and have been more productive with it the last few months than I have in the last few years before that


edit: should also add that point #1 above is just as important as the time limitation. if I don't intend to release something, it gives me the freedom to rip off whatever I want, which is pretty liberating haha

Edited by Tango

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