Single Status Update
One thing I like to do is keep my work simple (not including important things like exams or an SA), less focus on polish but more focus on the meat and bones of anything I do.
But one thing is sticking out at me right now, mapping.
(This includes Doom and other games like Half Life or Far Cry) The one thing I am noticing is the work of other people, more specificaly the overall detail used and focus on scenery.
A large percentage of maps by other people that I have played make every-fucking-thing I have ever done mapwise on every game I have even made a map for look boring and as ugly as a mouldy potatoe in a pitch black room!
But the problem is I LIKE keeping things simple, I do this to keep it from being lag fest 2013 and to make it run and flow smooth (seen as though I use cramped areas alot, detail would block movement), but it just makes it ugly and pale in comparison to everything else. Hell, even that awful "No Rest For The Living" Doom 2 XBLA chapter looks like CC4 compared to my Doom wads!
Is that a bad thing? Am I doing something wrong? Should I risk time and lag just for a decent LOOKING experience?
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The most common and most mistaken idea that most new artists have about their work is that they need to learn to add more detail to improve it. More often than not this gets in the way of learning the fundamentals. Probably a more useful exercise is to create an image or express an idea with the fewest notes/lines/words possible.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I think artificial limitations do wonders to spur creativity. Simplicity is good - it lets you focus, allows you to not be overwhelmed with ideas. It's easy to get carried away and just keep adding more and more detail to the point where you're not really accomplishing anything. Restraining yourself, however, forces you to be more deliberate, makes you think more about your choices. Or, to put it another way, it allows you to think about how each piece contributes to the big picture. Too much detail, and it's easy to lose sight of how everything ties together. At least, that's my experience.
I'm reminded of when I first got Quake, and I was so excited to design levels in full 3D. I downloaded a level editor, loaded it up, played with it for a bit so I could learn how it worked, and... stared at a blank grid because I was overwhelmed by the freedom to design in true 3D. I dunno, maybe it was something else, but I always felt that it was the added freedom, the lack of constraints, the ability to do anything, that prevented me from focusing on any one idea.