How much time does it take to finish your project?

A simple map, two-three, episode-wad or even a megawad. Including gameplay mods if you make them.

 

How much time does it take you to make them? Not asking how much hours precisely, just the average.

 

Asking because some people build maps out of nothing in little time and some people take several weeks to make one. So what is the average?

 

Bonus question: If you were given a short deadline (say 3-6 months, or for extra points, a 1-2 weeks), would you complete it in time?

Edited by Era Di Cate

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Half a year to two years on average, I guess.

 

EDIT: though I have been known to churn out a map in just one month.  But usually my projects are larger than just one map.

Edited by YukiRaven
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From a few weeks to months.

Edited by 38_ViTa_38

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1 minute ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I'm never 100% satisfied with what I do, so the answer is "never". ;-)

Then how much at 90%? :3

 

1 minute ago, 38_ViTa_38 said:

As much as I need.

Which is often around...?

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11 minutes ago, Era Di Cate said:

Then how much at 90%? :3

Almost never... ;-)

 

I always find things I would like to do better when I look at something I made even just a week ago. There's a good chance I'm my very own worst critic, I can't help it though.

 

There are stages in which I would consider what I made to be "edible". Usually it's at that point that I let people have a look and ask for opinions (or torture them with relatively brutal setups). Depending on how large an area is, or how tightly I want things to be balanced based on my own abilities, it can take days before I'm okay with how one room and the encounter it's designed around plays. One fight I made I tested for an entire weekend to make sure the flow was how I wanted it to be, only to keep adding and tweaking things weeks later...

 

Really though, the "how long..." question is nothing I think is a good question to ask, because first and foremost, everybody has different mapping skills, and different gameplay preferences. If I were to simply make a map that looks pleasant enough as to not be an utter eyerape, and fill in some monsters based mostly on feel or "guesswork"... Well, I can do that in a few hours, but it's not something I enjoy doing. The journey is as important as the destination for me personally. Maybe that's why I'm never satisfied to begin with, who knows?

Edited by Nine Inch Heels
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It usually takes me one day to start a map. Two to finish it. And three to fix all the errors in it. I'm working on a megawad now and we have about half of the work done after a month, so I would say it will take us another two months.

Edited by stasiowygrzybek

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With plan in paper or head, I can make main map layout in one day. With free style, no plans this can take few weeks. 

My recent map took one day to create, but two weeks to polish and fix all game breaking issues, even in public testing people found those issues, which I had to fix. I believe, for few maps combined in one epizode it can take half year for me. Well, I can tell you, with map plan on paper main mapping on builder becomes easier and more enjoyable.

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About 10-15 days for one middle/large sized map. But sometimes I'm too lazy to make something.

Also I spent 2 years for my own megawad. But there not only map making, also new texture adding, along with midi and other stuff.

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By the way, one of the reasons my things take a relatively long time before I let others have a look is that I'm horribly against the idea of creating maps based on a layout, which I then have to squeeze some proper fights into. I hate that, and I hate it when people think of mapping only in terms of layouts, and not in terms of fights.

 

I've seen it happen too often by now: People have their layouts, their triggers, their switches and key-cards, and with any luck a vague idea as to which monster to put where. Then monsters get filled in willy-nilly, the map is handed out for testing and plays boring, feels tedious or grindy. Why? Because people had to compromise the quality of their fights in favour of keeping the layout intact. A general idea of which room is supposed to be where, and when players get which items isn't bad per se, but Doom isn't a walking simulator (in most cases), and it takes lots of work and expertise to make monsterless maps interesting (for reference, look at "The Given" made by Dobu GM). And seriously, for a general idea of progression, I don't think you should need a piece of paper, unless you build something like a +30minute playtime map that is extremely interconnected as well.

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1 hour ago, Era Di Cate said:

Asking because some people build maps out of nothing in little time and some people take several weeks to make one. 

Eh, it depends on how densely one works too. A map that takes 40 hours of work can be done in a week or two if you have enough free time and energy and you are really inspired. It could also take months, hell, years, if you are busy, start and stop a lot, or happen to run dry with ideas for at times. And don't be misled, as many have been, into thinking anything done in a short span from start to finish is automatically a 'speedmap' or anything done over a long interval is automatically a polished and labored effort.

 

Edited by rdwpa
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When I have a map in progress, I typically work on it a few hours every day. It's important for me to keep that pace if I don't want it to get stuck for extended periods of time. Typically I should be done in 3-14 days, depending on the size. For context, most of my maps are short and I think all can be finished in less than 10 minutes. The detail level is similar to late 90's wads I guess.

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Gameplay > layout.  It's not that the latter isn't important, but you have to design a map around the gameplay you want first.  Having an overall plan for the map is OK as long as it isn't detailed, but rooms have to be designed around the gameplay in them first.  That's my approach, anyway.

 

The last time I drew a map idea on paper was yesterday, and that was just for one single room in Quake.  Before that, the last time I used paper was high school, so... 15 years ago or so?  Well, the room I planned out on paper yesterday ended up being a boring piece of crap and it cost me a whole day worth of work.

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I'm never 100% satisfied with what I do, so the answer is "never". ;-)

 

 

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Some maps take a few months to create, if I work on them every day. A simple short vanilla map I could finish in a couple of hours. But most of my maps tend to drag on for a long time. Reasons vairy, but usually its because I haven't got the inspiration to continue with them. I think its also due to the fact I'm a perfectionist, which sometimes drives me nuts. And making a really good map is much harder, made plenty of good looking maps that play like shit. There is more to it to create a good map. Mapping is easy, but it ain't easy if your standards are high. In the end the layout, details, gameplay, all have to come together and co-exist with another, I think there should be a good balance between them.

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Single map: 4-40 hours.

First project, 12 maps: 500 hours

Second project (unfinished), ~ 1000 hours?

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I have to disagree that fun gameplay and good layouts are somehow mutually exclusive concepts... I would also make the case that layouts should be made first simply for the picture (read: level) as a whole. The whole reason detailing should be done last is to allow previously built areas to be more easily tweaked in order to accommodate more specifically the gameplay that is desired. It is smartest time-wise to start with the most malleable piece and end with the most rigid. I'll also be the first to say that I sux with layouts, so it makes the most sense for me to build maps in a way which allows me to most easily tweak the problems out. Being one to love monster placement, I can't help but place them in the map asap more often than not, which in itself is great for early tests of the layout and area shapes.

 

That isn't to say that other methods cannot produce great results, but in terms of 'efficiency and results,' mp/dm maps and the processes behind building them to be successful are the examples we should learn from.

 

On topic: I enjoy making tiny <5 hour speedmaps over a couple days, but the moment I don't take that clock seriously anymore I'm spending well over 40 hours on a map obsessing over (typically) stupid, minor details ;p but that's part of the fun of building a more 'polished' product, heh.

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Well my current project has been in development for two years so... I guess over two years and counting.

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I just depends on the size and the scope of the map. I have one map that has about 200 hours in it, and I have other maps that only took two hours.

The best thing to do is stay in the editor for a long time. IMO.

If you build your understanding of how things will function from a top-down perspective, translated into a first person, pseudo-3D environment testing becomes less important in the early stages of a map.

Do as much as you can in grid mode first. Don't worry about textures at this point. Put in all the details you can before you even raise/lower any of the sectors. Then when you go into 3D mode it's going to be like, boom, boom, boom, boom, etc. Once you have everything where it needs to be, then you can fix the textures. Another thing that I've thought about doing, but have never actually done, is to make the rooms in separate pieces. Sometimes a texture doesn't fit perfectly and you need to move a wall and having the map broken down into segments allows for you to alter sections without worrying about the other rooms.

TL:DR; You can finish a huge map somewhat quickly if you streamline your process. It all depends on you. It's easy to test test test, but sometimes that's not the best thing for the map. The longer you're in the map, the closer you are to getting fatigued. In my experience, it's very hard to come back to something later and finish. It's certainly not impossible, but you almost have to go back inside your own head, x amount of days or weeks or months ago.

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1 hour ago, Fonze said:

I have to disagree that fun gameplay and good layouts are somehow mutually exclusive concepts... I would also make the case that layouts should be made first simply for the picture (read: level) as a whole.

In case you meant to point out that I somehow implied that good layouts can't go hand in hand with good gameplay, that may have been a bit of a stretch. I certainly think that maps should be something that isn't entirely made for the sake of having one setpiece after the next, in spite of myself loving me some "crunchy" setpieces, but a general idea of what goes where, imo, is good enough. ;-)

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To finish a project? Ehh, weeks, months, years? It depends on if I really wanna get it done...

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I'm still new to mapping, so what usually takes a couple months for me can usually be pumped out by another player in a couple of days (Sometimes a few hours!) and my maps haven't been recieved too well, so I'm going to have to go back to most of them down the line and improve on them! So a very long time!

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6 hours ago, Era Di Cate said:

Then how much at 90%? :3

Maybe I can use this setup to give you an idea:

doom105.jpg.d42cb048358035798a4603ec956408d0.jpg

I made that fight like a day or two ago. When I started working on it, it was basically a setpiece encounter in a void-style-map. Since I am also working on a map together with 38_ViTa_38, we decided that we'd cannibalize one of the fights I made for my map into our mutual WIP with a much higher difficulty than what I originally had intended (the fight was by no means easy as it were). Aside of some texturing that I'll be doing later down the line for what's on that picture (which is taken from the mutual project, since it's obviously not a void map anymore), the entire setup is something I reworked and changed another 3 times (after cannibalizing it) before finally passing the map over to ViTa, and visually I'd say it's not even 70% done yet, let alone that currently it still only has the "uber-Doomer/TAS" difficulty implemented, which means that that only about 80% of the gameplay is actually done yet as well. Next time the map goes back to me, I'll probably still mess around with the number of revenants or imps, or HKs, or Viles, or Cacos... You get the idea, I suppose... ;-)

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I say that it depends on my feelings. I realize I often make maps (of varying quality) quite quickly after watching a movie or playing a game with excellent visuals/atmosphere. Like, when I watched the first John Wick movie, I blasted off immediately to build his house in GZDoom, adding all sorts of details, 3d floors, this and that. Completeing the layout took a day technically (started at evening, finished in morning, with a naptime between). If I had the juices flowing I would have the map ready to ship off in two more days, just by adding monsters and items (with lights and entities placed already)

 

Yet when doing stuff out of boredom, I don't even finish it. So, I either blitz-build it or leave it to rot on my harddrive, leading up to my final answer which is: 3-4 days.

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Depends on how motivated and focused you are. I scrapped a lot of initial things in my project because they felt cluttered. I even changed my goals recently, and so far, it's coming out nicely.

But as a result of previous work, It took 2-3 months I guess, for that stuff. At least I now have base for the current project.

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2-4 months per map.

That's why I've never released an actual mapset.

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My POD Project took me a year and half (no kidding), I'm not the kind of guy who frequently releases stuff, I'm never satisified with the overall quality, and when I do release something, I keep updating it afterwards, which is why I rarely put stuff on /idgames.

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About 9 years and counting. But seriously, a single map takes me over a month. Not that I spent all that time making the map itself.

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