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How do you build a map?

User is offline   Awesomebob 

  • 0


As map builders, what makes you tick? How do you set up?

Do you:
- Draw out a rough plan in CAD or on graph paper?
- Or do you just start building and see what happens?
- Do you make a flow chart for each room, detailing how the map should work?
- Do you build everything rough in Mapster then go back once the map is finished and add polish?
- Or do you start with a room and don't leave till that room is completely done?
- Do you start with a theme?
- Or do you start with a map, and see what theme would work?
- Where do you get your inspiration?
- Levels in other games?
- Something from a movie?
- Some crazy LSD induced dream :angry:
- Do you try to attach a story or just tell the player they have to Get out alive / Kill the bad guy no story needed (Duke doesn't need a reason to kick ass)?
- If you do attach a story; How much does this help in the planning and construction of your map?

I've been screwing around in build for many years. I've made close to 20 maps that had potential, but died due to being overwhelmed the more detailed that they got. I'd always look at my map, and abandon it saying "ahh, poo. This has already been done before, but better. *delete*"
I have a great idea for a map now and with 3+ months till Cataclysm, I've a lot of time on my hands. I'd love to bring this map to fruition, but I just don't know where to start. hoping to pick some brains of vet mappers and get some inspiration / Ideas on where to start.

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Awesomebob: 29 August 2010 - 08:39 AM


User is online   Loke 

  • 623


I have a rough idea in my head and just build as I go. Personally I'd rather sketch something basic first but I just can't find myself doing that, don't if it's lack of motivation or just laziness. I can also get stuck in a particular room for days, weeks or even longer not knowing where to take it. I also have a hard time picking the right textures so eventually I can waste hours of work just going through heaps of textures until I find one that fits well, especially for a particular theme.
Most of the time I begin work on a room and finish it before starting to work on another room, however I can still go back to a room that I finished eons ago just because I'm not really satisfied with it; in the more extreme cases, if I just can't get it right, I redesign it or delete it altogether.
I get most of my inspiration from other maps in the same game or other games, though I might also get some inspiration from movies, photos or just plain real life.
I'm not really a good story writer so I just build maps with a particular theme, add baddies and then let the player duke it out until they reach the finish.

I also have a few maps that I never finished, including a map for Team Fortress 2, a SP map for the Old Skool mod for Unreal Tournament and a few DN3D maps that I just couldn't bother with anymore. The TF2 map wasn't due to lack of motivation or the like though but rather because I forgot to back it up before reinstalling Windows. :angry:

User is online   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
  • 4,720


I dont map for Duke but when I map for Doom I usually write down anything that pops into my head and start drawing on grid paper ( I draw wonky on paper that has no lines). I make the rooms then add fancy stuff to them (not decorations yet). I dont normally do themes unless im doing some sort of project. I get my inspiration from building I live and work in and another straneg way when I was younger was to to drop tons of lego blocks on the floor and make maps from that.

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
Posted Image

User is offline   Micky C 

  • Honored Donor
  • 3,772


I've made 2 maps,

one, a random, linear level with areas that don't really make sense next to each other due to lack of planning as I'd just kept on bolting on more areas.

my second map is a much better example, it's a small, non-linear 3 story building with a lot of use of forcefields and locked/jammed doors. That building was based on my school library so that's where I got the overall layout from, but had a few areas similar to those from the original duke3d maps.

Neither map had an in-game storyline. And I decide to make maps which I feel like I want to play, like if I'm in the middle of a space station level craze, I'd go ahead and try to make one, same for my school library.

Polymer wishlist: Global illumination, SSAO, Bloom, reflective surfaces, adjustable specular (wetness), volumetric lighting.
Mapper of the Month December 2014.

Herbs? Tell me more!

User is offline   Stabs 

  • 210


Just build & build & build untill it looks right, i have no planning and try to stay away from symmetry

I have a tendancy to totally trash stuff if i have a better idea & build logically too, anything has to have a reason to be anywhere

rather you shoot 500 guys in the face than have a treasure hunt with buttons aswell, makes levels fun surprisingly :angry:

This post has been edited by DanM: 30 August 2010 - 01:29 PM


User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • 3,452


I kinda just go with whatever pops into my head. Then again, I haven't made very many maps. I made this map a long time ago and never did finish it. I recently tried giving it the polymer treatment but mapster keeps crashing. The island was always meant to be bigger. But there you are, anyway, if anyone's curious.

Island Base Map

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
Latest release: Heretic SC-55 Music Pack (12/12/18)
*new* Buy the Mage's Initiation Original Soundtrack on Bandcamp by me!
Buy the P&C Adventure/RPG game Mage's Initiation on Steam, GOG, and Humble

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 30 August 2010 - 01:41 PM


User is offline   RazorZ 

  • 1


My style quite similiar to others - just build from scratch, have an idea and have a go for it. I try to be pretty original, so adding something unoriginal or unique is not what Iīm looking for. :angry: My main goal is to create at least one architectural structure somewhere into the map. It works often, but not always and sometimes I donīt even bother to do it if I feel itīs not necessary.

Then comes the design and layout. ;) I think about it in my head, I build what I was thinking (at least part of it) and then Iīm going to think how to make design and layout more interesting. In design, misalignments, texture choices and gameplay are import things, but I also pay attention to the interconnections, difficulty and bug fixures. I actually test my map very often, but sometimes I need some alpha/beta testers to make sure map will be completable. :D Realism in my mapping is seldom optional, I try to create realistic, yet original locations (dream, nightmares etc. can go away - I donīt like to create nothing like that). :P

In conclusion, I would pick up these to describe my style:

- I just start building and see what happens.
- I build something roughly in Mapster then go back once the map is finished and add polish.
- I start with a room and don't leave till that room is completely done (sometimes).
- I usually start with a consistent theme and ideas.
- I get some inspiration from other levels, movies and games (actually anything around me).
- I sometimes try to think about the storyline, adding some gags/jokes are nice additions, so I think about them, too.

Mapper from Finland.
My maps:
Released:Resistance Rocks, Demolition Plant, Mincer_City
Unreleased (WIP): Dead Docks, Laboratory Lancer

User is offline   NerdZilla 

  • 0


When I think up a map? I summon the sprites of creativity.
Then rest,.. Is magic.

"Jesus.Crist monkey ballz. What the hell is this?!"

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