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The_SloVinator

My personal issue with mapping

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So, recently, I have the issue of being unsatisfied with ANY kind of ideas I come up for a map. Mapping block isn't an issue here. I can think of a lot of ideas & execute them. (Or maybe it is a map block. I dunno.)

The thing is, I try something & I'm unhappy with it. I try something else & same results.

Does anybody even have this issue or is it just me? Am I possibly burnt out on mapping? Is mapping not for me?

I released Distress Call (discall.wad) project that if I look back, I don't know why I was even happy about its results.

Any advice will be appreciated. Really wanna become a decent mapper that doesn't get disappointed in the executed ideas every single time.

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I feel like this is a problem most if not all developers of all kinds have any some point. I've done maps too that I thought were cool but now I look back and say to myself I could have done that better, and then it happens again. It's actually a good thing at least in my case because it tells me I am improving and can tell when something is bad.

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Well, disappointment usually comes when you don't get what you wanted. So perhaps you need to lower your expectations. Don't start maps hoping to make something great. Be more humble and less ambitious, approach mapping with a mindset where you're not attempting to impress anyone or even yourself, and try simply enjoying and appreciating little things that you're doing. And if that doesn't work... know that you're not alone. :D

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I recently went through the exact same thing, Soldier993. I suggest you take a small break from mapping, perhaps a day, two days, or even a week, then start mapping again with a fresh mindset.

By the way, have you released any maps? It always helps to get critical feedback, even if the feedback isn't always positive.

Edit: I see you released Distress Call. I'll give it a look soon.

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obake said:

I recently went through the exact same thing, Soldier993. I suggest you take a small break from mapping, perhaps a day, two days, or even a week, then start mapping again with a fresh mindset.

By the way, have you released any maps? It always helps to get critical feedback, even if the feedback isn't always positive.

Edit: I see you released Distress Call. I'll give it a look soon.


Yea, I need some feedback. Don't worry. I'm not sensitive to negative feedback. Haha.

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That is a problem that every mapper, even the best ones out there, face at some point or another. I faced it multiple times, hence why i release stuff every once in a while and even today, i still face it heh

My advice would be to just take a small break (well, it isn't really my advice since others here have mentioned it already) and come back to it later.

Also, don't map because you feel forced to map, just map for you and most importantly, have fun with it.

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ye, i get that whenever i'm mapping...except i stop in the middle of it and delete it because i just sick of the map. making maps is hard D:

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I know the feeling.

I've only made 2 maps this year for THT: Threnody and it was hard enough creating those, especially MAP13 Binde Haldetmand Palae (Ty Halderman Mansion) .... the hardest bit is the beginning but once you pick up momentum your ideas increase. I usually don't design my layouts on paper apart from occasional partial layouts. It is usually straight into Doom Builder and thinking on the spot. Incineration was made this way, 100% from the mind and absolutely no paper layouts. Doomed Space Wars had one or two sections designed on paper but mostly on the spot but it was intended to be linear in progression with overlapping areas and minimum backtracking.

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Dangit, I was writing a (imo) good post on conquering inspiration and mapper's block, then I reread your post and that's not even the issue, smh.

Your issue is WAY easier, you just have too much self-criticism going on. This is real common with newcomers to any type of creative production. Basically you start off bad at something and know you are bad, so the only criticism you will give yourself is that your work is bad. If this happens while you map, just turn that critical voice inside your head off and finish the work anyway (please no 32-map megawad though). If the end result is bad, who cares, you can improve upon it and do it better in later projects. But if you never let yourself fail, there can be no improvement. This is the trap that must be avoided.

Being critical of past work is marginally more ok, but don't let that take over either. Trashing every past release is pointless because you wouldn't be at your current level without them. Recognizing past work as not actually being that good is ok, but don't get into the critical trap or you will have no desire to make anything but perfection, and thus, make anything.

Take some joy in releasing your work (please don't get pretentious about it though), then move on. A forever frowny face isn't very healthy. If you learn from your mistakes enough, you can eventually get to the goal of making CONSISTENT good content. Yes I think consistency is the key, as people might be able to get lucky with a good release, but can they repeat a feat like that? That's where the real skill is.

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Sounds all too familiar, I had the same issues in the past where I did not like anything I created. The problem wasn't that I couldn't create what I've drawn on paper or what I had in my mind. Somehow I always want to make the next map to be better than the previous one. Always pushing myself to stretch my skills to the next level, and because of that I get frustrated easily if building the map doesn't go according to plan.

I could say I don't release much, only the maps that I deem worthy of releasing. If I don't feel confident with a map, I don't release it and try to improve it or let it just sit on my hd until at a later stage I come back to it. And I do criticize my work all the time, every little thing gets my attention. Really I work for hours on a simple room, silly but I keep fiddeling with it until I'm happy with how it looks.

The hardest part is probably the first few sectors you draw, getting something going is the biggest obstacle to overcome. Usually once you get something good going the ideas will come, and after a while you realize you've been working on the map for many hours. Sometimes its difficult to stop because the ideas keep coming and you don't want to break the flow you're in.

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Being able to successfully and easily articulate the good ideas you have into a successful map takes two things: a little talent, and a lot of experience. The only way to get that experience is to build it up over time by creating stuff you then look back on and don't think is that good. If you can't see mistakes with your past work, then you're not developing as a mapper.

Remember this isn't like an exam: your maps don't have to be perfect. It doesn't matter if they're not, as you just make another. And with every map you make (and, crucially, take feedback on. Honestly, watching people play your maps will teach you so much more than you might realize) your next map will be better.

At the end of the day, map because you find it fun to. If you get a good map out of the end of it, that's just a bonus.

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