Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Job

How do YOU speedmap?

Recommended Posts

This could probably go in Editing or W&M, but it's not a particularly specific topic. 

 

Speedmapping has always held a good amount of interest for me. The idea of completing a pared down, barebones map that's all about the game interests me. My problem with mapping is how much I'm slowed down by my scope for a map and how trudging through gimmicks and details eventually burns up my interest. That leaves my hard drive full if pretty decent maps that are anywhere from 40%-80% done. Coming back to them and trying to remember where you left off can be burdensome enough that those maps will never see the light of day. 

 

So, this is for all the speedmappers who've experienced success in that arena - how do you do it? What do you prioritize and what's your process? Do you plan ahead or just go free form?  Do you have a standard amount if time required to finish? I'd love to hear from you and learn more about this style of mapping, not just for my sake but others who are curious as well. 

Share this post


Link to post

What a great, thoughtful response, rdwpa, thanks! I look forward to seeing what others have to say as well. 

Share this post


Link to post

I kinda just map as usual but spend much less time on polishing and rethinking everything for obvious reasons. Typically I only have a rough plan that I don't follow anyway because it turns out that the scale in my head was all wrong. I don't delve into any experimental gimmick stuff since it usually blows by default. And of course I don't do any tests until the map is essentially complete. I also try to avoid lame solutions such as relentless copypaste or monster closets since that's not clever at all. I look at the picture above and can immediately see that it's not really an interesting speedmap since it seems like the level's length is artificially increased by repopulating everything with more enemies. Can't trick me like that, not impressive in the slightest.

Share this post


Link to post

small habits that work for me, but are likely not useful advice for someone else:

 

- decide as geometry is being drawn what is going to be high-ground vs. low-ground. make efforts to draw the former as convex.

- connect major areas in multiple ways such that as a layout materializes in greater detail you can impulsively decide which connections can be traversed in which directions.

- memorize frequently used action numbers.

- 384 is a decent sector height to start with. adjust from there.

- have some candidate midis in mind before you start, let their tone make some initial design decisions for you.

- forgo getting hung up on various imperfections after accepting that speedmaps by and large live in the space of "more fun to make, less fun to play", as compared to something more deliberate/polished/whatever.

- grab another cup of coffee.

Share this post


Link to post

rdwpa seems to have covered this very well, but I'll put my own spin on it anyway! I'd say that a time limit and/or other "challenges" or core concepts can do a lot to make a speed map work. They're a good place to try out ideas quickly, rather than trying to work them into a bigger map as well, so it could be that you basically use them to make prototypes based on ideas you'd like to try. One or two core ideas fills up a two-hour mapping window quite nicely, I think.

 

As for the actual mechanics of meeting a two-hour deadline, I'd say pick a theme first (easy if your challenge is restricting yourself to a theme!) and then put the first hour into getting a layout down. Then half an hour getting thing placement and visuals in, then test, then use the remaining 20 minutes or so to polish and fix things. That way you'll be happy with your output and won't have tried to over reach yourself. Detail isn't a big factor here and as you're rushing you'll probably find instinctual thing placement will be helped by drawing rooms or areas for the fights they'll house, rather than shoe-horning them in afterwards. It's definitely something that gets easier with experience, as the earliest ASS maps attest.

Share this post


Link to post

Well for actual speedmapping, where you have a specific, limited amount of time to generate a map, usually with 1 or more specified themes, then a couple of things come to mind:

 

1. accept that looks are a distant third priority to functionality (there's nothing that makes it impossible to finish) and gameplay

2. embrace free-roaming, non-deaf monsters as a way to create dynamism and action in your map - just make sure to start them from several widely separated locations, so that they're a frequent and unpredictable presence in the map

3. support2 and support3 are your friend; use them heavily for transitions between different texture themes.  Learn the offsets that make them work on the 16-grid and (for support2) on the 32 grid

4. broad stroke visuals work surprisingly well.  Split off a quarter or third of a sector, pop the floor and/or ceiling up or down, and optionally change the light level, and you've created visual variety with little effort - especially if you change up a floor texture on one sector or the other.

5. obstruction and decorative things are great - barrels create gameplay options, light fittings quickly justify that lighting change you just popped in, tech pillars can replace more time-consuming map geometry, and the other items can create visual 'pop' (especially if you go for contrasting colours - got a marble area?  how about some red pillars to jazz it up?)

 

Share this post


Link to post

I don't really plan ahead when I map, especially when speedmapping, so I just try to come up with an idea for what I want the map to look and play like. I just try to draw shapes and make rooms, sometimes having to improvise when I get a different feel for the map.

Share this post


Link to post

Sometimes I've tried drawing some random large shape first. Zoom out and use some large grid. It'll be the whole play area from start to end. Then just start slicing and cutting it into smaller and smaller sectors. This way there's no sudden mapper's block after done a few rooms.

Share this post


Link to post

In my handful of speedmapping attempts i have found that things work best if i determine some key points early on and then just let the gameplay and architecture work itself out based on these key points. I found found that my work process generally goes like this:

 

- pick music asap.

- pick a general textural theme asap (usually this ties into the midi, for me anyway), generally this is based on the main colours i want to present in the map or i have seen a couple of textures i'm interested in combining.

- use the above two factors to determine what general environment i want to make and what kind of gameplay will suit said environment.

- set about drawing sheer linedefs in the editor to create spaces, i.e. just getting some stuff down "on paper".

- while i am drawing, start to get ideas for what progression should be and build in potential for important encounters (and usually, i get ideas for specific fights at this stage).

- get into 3d mode and start fleshing out the space with height variation and texturing (i use 3d mode a lot in my mapping where possible, basically for everything except linedef and thing placement, i have no idea if this is normal or not).

- try to do thing placement as i go rather than waiting til the end, and test the map a lot. If it plays like shit there's no point bothering.

- consciously limit physical map size right from the off, so that things don't get out of hand - my true speedmap attempts all seem to fit inside areas that are 4-5000 map units in each direction, and i must say this has worked a treat for me. I always seem to make things pretty compact as well (see below).

 

Sometimes the first 3 items there will be in different orders, like i might want to use a specific gameplay concept and work based on that (see Rocketfest '18 in SlaughterMax for example), but i usually like to place environmental factors like music and texturing first, as gameplay usually gets tweaked with testing.

 

Some speedmap layouts of relatively recent times:

 

Spoiler

P7a8AgO.jpg

 

Edited by Scotty

Share this post


Link to post

I often start by trying to accomplish the most in the fewest number of vertices. I put a lot of attention into building the main areas and the path id like the player to move in. The goal being to get the start area, main areas, objectives anf exit done in the shortest amount of time. A broken map that looks great is really embarrassing so that needs to be done first. The remaining time can be focused on the less important stuff like how good the map looks.

 

my first 20 minutes or so involves a lot of boxy rooms and basic shapes like octagons, T's, crosses, etc. Right angles are easiest for me to work with. I just contort them into different shapes later on.

 

Theres a challenge associated with speedmapping that involves giving the map some decent playing length. The simplest and most blatant way is to cram the map full of guns and monsters, but the most innocuous way is to use linedef actions to make the map more interactive and eventually give access to the exit.

Share this post


Link to post
38 minutes ago, Combinebobnt said:

very quickly

 

have a plan before you start

Please point to a map where your speedmapping philosophy actually resulted in a good map because I have yet to ever see one.

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Decay said:

Please point to a map where your speedmapping philosophy actually resulted in a good map because I have yet to ever see one.

oh no decay :_(

 

Not all speedmapping has to be in 30 minutes or whatever, you can use the skills to just get things done faster on 'normal maps' and waste less time. Also can help some people with the creative process. You can also ask arg how speedmapping helped him make better looking maps than yours <- pointed

 

when u start speedmapping u can make some maps like this to get the feel for it:

CqXqXy8.png

oh wait that's what every map you've made since dbab is :(

 

:( :)

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, Decay said:

Please point to a map where your speedmapping philosophy actually resulted in a good map because I have yet to ever see one.

A speedmap made by rd and me. Overall time spent mapping should be roughly 4 hours total.
 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Most of my made maps were speedmaps with some exceptions. So, by given theme or main intentions, I just put some kind of plan in head and how things should go and I work around it. I think I did the best things when they were worked on some kind of time/theme limits. Before I tried to do that, I was also scared and unsure how things will work, but after trying I can say that speedmapping can be fun if you don't stress so much about it and do small-medium sized maps. I'm not expert, just talking from experiences. Yeah, there are so many sessions to choose or if you prefer work alone, you can restrict yourself with some kind of time limit and themes and do maps. 

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Job said:

This could probably go in Editing or W&M, but it's not a particularly specific topic. 

 

Speedmapping has always held a good amount of interest for me. The idea of completing a pared down, barebones map that's all about the game interests me. My problem with mapping is how much I'm slowed down by my scope for a map and how trudging through gimmicks and details eventually burns up my interest. That leaves my hard drive full if pretty decent maps that are anywhere from 40%-80% done. Coming back to them and trying to remember where you left off can be burdensome enough that those maps will never see the light of day. 

 

So, this is for all the speedmappers who've experienced success in that arena - how do you do it? What do you prioritize and what's your process? Do you plan ahead or just go free form?  Do you have a standard amount if time required to finish? I'd love to hear from you and learn more about this style of mapping, not just for my sake but others who are curious as well. 

You would get further speedmapping if you weren't lying on your mancupillow.

Share this post


Link to post

Frantically and screaming the whole time.

Share this post


Link to post

Making a generic layout first, if that looks good for me and somehow follow the theme given (if there's any theme) or going E1 / E2 udoom techbases wild, i'll start item placement wildly for the last 10/20 minutes of time limit...

Share this post


Link to post

Came the to recent realization that, when I do map, I'm almost never not speedmapping. Obviously you can refine texturing/visuals, enemy encounters etc later on down the track, but for me the process starts with placing the Player 1 start and ends with inserting the 'exit level' linedef (well, the first draft of the map, that is.)

 

For me, it usually goes like this:

  • Spend just a couple minutes thinking up a rough idea of what layout I want to make
  • Think of some 'stand-out' rooms or areas to place throughout the map, either in terms of visuals, particularly engaging encounters, or both
  • Start slammin' down them lines boy

 

Over the course of constructing the map, individual 'small' encounters or just general cannon fodder are placed around, but each area needs to have some reason to exist, even if you think of that reason after the very first/earliest version of this area of the map was made. If it isn't providing an interesting encounter or some supplies, it at the very least needs to look decent and convey some atmosphere.

 

I'm not the best mapper in the world and it's probably because I've always done this way, but damn, this method is a great way to get a good handful of 3* - 4* maps out the door super fast. I just haven't released much stuff lately because I kinda figure people are tired of the "well made but kinda average classic Doom map" shtick. Maybe I'm wrong and should go back to pumping out maps after Doomed in Space is done though!

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

people are tired of the "well made but kinda average classic Doom map"

Not all of us! I have probably only gone through a fraction of what you've made, but I liked what I played!

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, TwinBeast said:

Sometimes I've tried drawing some random large shape first. Zoom out and use some large grid. It'll be the whole play area from start to end. Then just start slicing and cutting it into smaller and smaller sectors. This way there's no sudden mapper's block after done a few rooms.

You know what? This could actually help me map for Source games. Thanks a bunch!

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, Scotty said:

 

Some speedmap layouts of relatively recent times:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

P7a8AgO.jpg

 

How long does it take you to make maps like this? Are you able to finish all the work within 2 hours time limit?

Share this post


Link to post
57 minutes ago, damned said:

How long does it take you to make maps like this? Are you able to finish all the work within 2 hours time limit?

The bottom left and middle maps there were about 6-8h, but only over two days though (for recent Joy of Mapping sessions), so they are still speedmaps to me. Top left is from a 32in24 session so it was done in an evening, i forget the exact amount of time spent. The other 3 all took under 3 hours as that was the time limit for those sessions. I didn't drastically change any of these maps after the deadlines although things almost always get a tweak.

Share this post


Link to post

I wish I could learn all the tricks (and hotkeys) with Doom Builder, which makes things a lot easier. I only know few of them (copy-paste texture, easy door creation, sound propagation mode)

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, Doomkid said:

I'm not the best mapper in the world and it's probably because I've always done this way, but damn, this method is a great way to get a good handful of 3* - 4* maps out the door super fast. I just haven't released much stuff lately because I kinda figure people are tired of the "well made but kinda average classic Doom map" shtick. Maybe I'm wrong and should go back to pumping out maps after Doomed in Space is done though!

I think there's a shortage of maps with the sort of quirky custom monsters in Shovelware Adventure. Another classic mapset with monsters like that would be cool to have.

Share this post


Link to post

Usually this results in one cool-looking room (or few connected) that teleports monsters / is already filled with them.

 

Themes are still unique, detail is still up to my high standards, but no time is left for gameplay-related shit like layout, monster placement, and difficulty balancing.

 

Still the only way for me how to actually finish stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/22/2018 at 7:50 AM, Deadwing said:

I wish I could learn all the tricks (and hotkeys) with Doom Builder, which makes things a lot easier. I only know few of them (copy-paste texture, easy door creation, sound propagation mode)

something that has helped me a lot in terms of mechanical productivity has been not only learning a few essential DB hotkeys, but also doing some key rebinding of my own so that I almost never have to take my right hand off the mouse. most notably:

 

ctrl+d to start drawing

ctrl+shift+d for delete

space to pan around the map instead of using arrow keys

 

... and probably a few others. changing delete was huge for me though, that was the biggest reason I ever took my right hand off the mouse. space to pan and ctrl+d to draw might also just be GZDB defaults anyway. but those, plus the texture-related shortcuts in 3d mode (like shift clicking to select all adjacent surfaces of a single texture), are big productivity boosters for me.

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, lots of great replies and suggestions! I'll definitely use some of these the next time I try mapping. For instance, imposing a time or thematic constraint. 

 

There's some really useful information in here from some respected contributors. I believe this would be beneficial to the community as a sticky. Mapping can be intimidating for a lot of members, while speedmapping might seem like an insurmountable endeavor. 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×