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Glaice

Mapping block/procrastination

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What to do when I had a big burst of creativity and suddenly hit a wall of procrastination? Any ideas?

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When you lack inspiration at a given moment, you can hardly combat it at that moment. Go relax / play Doom / play another game / anything you enjoy / anything you have to do, and try continuing with your creative work later.

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I get into mapper's block a bit often. It's mainly because I am just procrastinating or just seem to make the map's details first instead of the main layout, which I need to work on.

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Forget it. It takes weeks of blood, sweat and tears to make a map, only to have sneery, sarcastic reviews on newstuff chronicles and comments. :(

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valhallaist said:

Forget it. It takes weeks of blood, sweat and tears to make a map, only to have sneery, sarcastic reviews on newstuff chronicles and comments. :(

That's why it seems to be a good approach to do mapping out of your own personal enjoyment of the activity. Getting recognition/criticism/praise for your results is only a pleasant bonus, which at least partially-objectively points you in a good direction, but it's up to you how you take it and how you follow it. ;)

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I seem to go through phases. I was intensely interested in mapping/modding during a recent ear infection, so much so that I was bugging these guys every other day with a "how do I do XYZ thread". Then I got into something else for a while, pretty soon I'll be working on my next book again, and before you know it I'll be back to finish the level I started making. Long story short, sometimes you've got to indulge another interest for a while. I just wish I, as a relative newbie to mapping, I hadn't gotten so damn ambitious. The downside to procrastination, at least in my case, seems to be that I want to do everything with one map. I'm like "now that I've actually got myself working on one, let's do ALL the stuff I've been wanting to!"

Don't bite off more than you can chew, don't burn out and be open to a bit of distraction. In a nutshell.

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don't be so afraid to make something bad! or something you're not entirely happy with. treat everything as part of the process and stop thinking about the outcome. for me it's often easier to take something meh and make it great (or just better) rather than trying to go from 0 to great immediately. this often means making something kinda barebones, maybe just sticking in generic hallways or square rooms or random shaped rooms in places I can't come up with anything good, and coming back some time later (hours, weeks, days) with a fresh perspective and evaluating what needs to change. sometimes I'll make a boring placeholder room in the first iteration and then later come back to it and suddenly have a great idea about what room would be good there instead, etc.

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Do something else. You're not required to make maps. Are you on a community project though?

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Well the guy obviously wants to map. Let's not discourage him from his aspirations. Unless you're saying the same thing as me--that taking a break can help.

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I usually have multiple maps on the works at the same time, so if I get a block on one of them, I switch to another one. There's always something: gameplay, layout, balancing and testing.

I'm working on a mapset right now and it helps a lot to keep switching between them. Music also helps a lot to get into the mood and of course, playing your favorite WADs.

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The two major reasons I procrastinate:

1) I have ideas, but I think all of them suck. (This is functionally identical to "not having any ideas" and "lacking inspiration".)

2) I have a good idea, but I'm afraid that I'll mess it up.

It's like a mental quality barrier.

The trick, I think, is to find a way to not care if what I make sucks.

I have been giving myself training exercises: like, "map X type of area in Y style with Z gameplay". That works. I don't procrastinate on these, ever. They are better on average than what I make for actual WIPs, too. (But the worst are utter garbage.)

I'll try to make my levels this way soon. The only "problem", which I'm familiar with from another creative hobby, is I have to be fully willing to completely scrap whatever I make for a given exercise -- to not include it in the main project if it's not good enough. Otherwise, once I'm wedded to whatever I start working on, the mental quality barrier will pop back up.

I'll update on how it goes.

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rdwpa said:

The two major reasons I procrastinate:
1) I have ideas, but I think all of them suck. (This is functionally identical to "not having any ideas" and "lacking inspiration".)
2) I have a good idea, but I'm afraid that I'll mess it up.
It's like a mental quality barrier.
The trick, I think, is to find a way to not care if what I make sucks.

I know this, exactly!

rdwpa said:

I have been giving myself training exercises: like, "map X type of area in Y style with Z gameplay". That works. I don't procrastinate on these, ever. They are better on average than what I make for actual WIPs, too.

Interesting, I might try it.

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