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Blastfrog

Running out of inspiration

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While weed certainly seems to help, I'm out of it. :P In all seriousness, I have (and have had) a mapper's block for a while. I'll start on a map with tons of ideas, then after I have a few rooms, I just can't come up with anything else. What should I do to get the juice flowing again?

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Play more games. Doom or good PWADs or more modern shooters or whatever else you can get ideas for structures and designs from. If all else fails, just look up screenshots of Doom3 or Unreal or something. Also, quit smoking.

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Most mappers have this problem buddy. I'm not professional but taking a break is the best thing, as you may get back and finish a level really fast. Once I got back to mapping and finished a long map but took me less than 6 days! And I'm slow mapper.

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What about rotating projects?

EDIT: Oh geez, posting unison.

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Grain of Salt said:

It's a shame you can't do stuff like that in DOOM.

Except that you can and that screenshot is from SpaceDM3. :P

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What essel said. Also from time to time I will check out architecture books from the library to flip through for ideas. That's helped me with inspiration before in the past.

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Inspiration can really come from anywhere: Movies, music, tv, books, other non-Doom games, Doom WADs, dreanms. doodling etc. The thing is, when you have a creative block, you don't force yourself to make something or force out ideas as you work on a map. Just let things flow naturally. Start small, then build up from there. Keep track of ideas you have currently, though, like write them down or type up a Word document with them. Sometimes, looking at your ideas written out, you find interesting connections you can make.

Just be patient and keep trying! :)

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It depends if you theme your maps i s'pose,

if you're maps are classic style maps then i don't know what to suggest as I have the same problem but I just keep drawing new rooms and then get an idea whilst doing it

When i say idea i just mean an idea of how to make it look and play differently than the previous room

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Scale your maps to the ideas you've got. If you've got a couple of cool ideas, make a small map for them. If you've got an epic plan all laid out in your head, go for it - then you deal with the lack of motivation you'll get about 50-75 percent of the way through.

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Sometimes I wander the map in-game (or in 3d mode) and try to feel out what would make a good addition. It tends to be some kind of tunnel to another location or adjacent room with windows or stiars or what have you, but it's nice to examine the physical structure of what you already have there and how the player moves through it as a starting point.

Other times, I try making some ridiculously huge room/cave/outdoor area and seeing if I can fill it in. Doesn't always turn out well, but when it does it makes for epic maps :)

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esselfortium said:

Also, quit smoking.


Worst advice. But yeah, play more pwads. It might also help to take a bit of a break for a while.

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if all else fails, try just doing anything at all. just randomly map anything. don't think, just go for it. better than nothing i spose.

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I use xvertigox when vertigo is taken. It harks back to the days of Diablo 2 where you would append x's to your name if it was in use.

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xvertigox said:

I use xvertigox when vertigo is taken. It harks back to the days of Diablo 2 where you would append x's to your name if it was in use.


I usually just tried coming up with a more original name.

ON-TOPIC: I've got plenty of room to talk here, I've been working on the same map for almost 2 years now. Finally picked it up again and it's almost done. My inspiration? I look around the area I'm in and visualize it as map space. When I'm at work, I'll look at the network of catwalks above the mill silos and think "huh, I could try that in a map". Or while I'm at college, I'll take a longer route to class and ponder the layout of the hallways. Maybe that's a little dull/weird, but it seems to help me.

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Maybe this is just me, but I recently started working on a couple of "city" maps (though, one is actually a wooden village) and realized that if I start off a map by giving myself a large, open area to work in, then my brain functions much more 3-dimensionally than it did before. That is to say, I'm suddenly more aware of the places I can place snipers, or having certain places where a player can "jump" over the city streets (for example, the original MAP13's blue key door).

By doing this, I realized just how many different ways I can use the engine to design a map. Maybe trying something you've never done before, or changing the way you approach map design, will help you.

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