How do you make maps?

I've been creating maps for doom-engine's games since I was a child. I started with "Wadauthor"...


And I get much more better since then I guess... But I feel stuck recently, because I do the maps in the same way as always.


So I wonder - how do YOU make your maps?


Do you just start or you think about the design/layout first? Do you even make some draft on paper or something? Is there any preparations or you just choose topic and start to put the sectors together to get some result? And is the result as it was in your head before or it's completely different?


When I play megawads like Valiant or Acient Aliens, I really wonder how it's possible to make so complex and professional wads with so much details.

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I remember all the old Doom tools - I preferred Waded but WadAuthor definitely rings a bell.


I have always wanted to use a more elaborate method to design my maps, but I have to admit that for the ones I have made so far I just mapped along and then recombined these "map artifacts".

A good partial approach but using only this method may mostly come down to being lazy and therefor having a rather fragmented "big picture" of ones work... which makes it hard to have work unleash its full potential.


So in essence I have a vague idea of a whole, start off with lots of visual testing various floor/wall combinations which set the mood. Lots of it depends on the feel I get of the current "mental impression" of the map in progress.

Then building/chiseling singular environments as I go along - imagineing the situations, impressions, actions, etc.

Kinda like Columbo thinking about the player. I fine tune and reconnect according to this until I feel satisfied.


What I have witnessed after some time of mapping is a kind of staleness creeping in where the designs may get rather functional, boring and shallow. It's the moment where one has to reset, scale down the established "manufacturing mode" and concentrate on the initial fascination which makes such "undertakings" great and unique. This of course does not only pertain to mapping.








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23 hours ago, Matthias said:

So I wonder - how do YOU make your maps?

I just imagine the world or area which I just trying to recreate. No paper drawings or some special preparations (except texture packs and decorate packs).


And mostly results looks like what I imagined.


P.S.: I saw a lot of dreams where I'm playing some level wads but they doesn't exist. I'm thinking to recreate them by using my memory...

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