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[NEED HELP] Some advices

#1
Hey people.

Sooooo. After having a serious lack of inspiration, I finally know where to start.
But before I start, I might have some questions about how to proceed to make a good map. I know the basics like nodraw, etc.
So, I'm gonna ask several questions here, and if you got an advice/answer about it, feel free to give your point of view.
  • What makes a good Xonotic map, gameplay-wise? A lot of different accesses, the ability to jump, a lot of teleporters? The maps I really liked, form my point of view, are those who are completely fucked-up, with a lot of highly recognizable but different areas.
  • Any advice about a good way to proceed in NetRadiant? For instance, I've been mapping under Hammer (Source), and there are precise dimensions for stairs, doors, etc. They also recommend to use blocks with a power of two size, for texturing.
  • How to scale a Xonotic map? What's different here is that you have to take the three dimensions into account, while in most of other games, only x and y are interesting. Plus, you move quite fast, so I guess the corridors must be kinda large?
  • Any other things, like things to avoid absolutely while mapping? Or something that greatly helps you to troubleshoot/modify/optimize afterwards?
With all this, I'd like to avoid the classic "damn it I got to start from the beginning because I didn't scale it well", that I had several times under Hammer.
Okay, I guess that's all for the moment, thanks for your answers!

EDIT: fuck, just realized that wasn't the good place to post this. Sheeeet.
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#2
Fixed thread location, moved to Editing and Concept Art.
[Image: 249.png] Latest track on soundcloud: Farewell - to a better Place (piano improvisation)
New to Xonotic? Check out my Newbie Corner!
<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#3
I think the thing of uppermost importance is to understand Xonotic gameplay. Here are some key points:
  • Everyone spawns with a weapon called Blaster, which people can use to jump really high. This essentially means that anyone can reach pretty much anywhere with the sacrifice of some HP. If you don't want it to be easy to reach to places, things needs to be VERY tall. Alternatively, you can design some areas in a way that demands the use of blaster.
  • Xonotic is not just a shooter & runner, but also a territorial / resource control based game. So when designing a layout, don't think of only what makes it interesting for shooting/movement, but also what makes it interesting for gathering resources and territorial control.
  • Players spawn with weak weapons and need to gather weapons, armor and health to survive fights. Players can also deny their opponent from getting any of them or at the very least make it hard for them. 
  • Spawn killing is a thing, every map will eventually succumb to it, get used to it. You can also in some occasion predict or make very good guesses as to where your opponent spawns, depending on the spawn system the current server has. Some people fire rockets or other projectiles to spawn locations preemptively. There's no workaround to this other than covering up the spawn points with ridiculous decorations or just making hard effort with the layout, but what you can however do ingame is to delay your spawn so at least the spam won't kill you.
  • You don't want it to be too easy to get everything. If everything is too conveniently placed and close to one another, that'll induce camping and uninteresting gameplay and it might even make some parts of your map redundant. 
  • What I personally like to do is place major items like 100 armor and 100 health into risky places. Fuse is a very good example, where every important item is in an inconvenient spot. When I place a major item somewhere, I want it to reflect risk by the amount of value that the item has. For items that has less value, obviously should not be too risky to get - otherwise nobody would ever go for it.
  • Players can use sound cues to determining where your opponent is: Pickup sounds, jump pad sounds, teleporter sounds, foot steps and so on. If you have too much of everything, you'll make sound cue value more arbitrary. So try to imagine how you would hunt and find your opponent in your map and how to make it interesting, how to give players opportunity to be sneaky or how to force them to make a sound in order to get through some area.
  • Last but not least, Xonotic has a handful of advanced trickjump techniques. Which can make the ideal distances and sizes vary for different skill levels. You shouldn't worry about making things spacious, the scale of the corridors should be reasonable. Because if they're too wide, then you make it too easy to speed up with blaster. For trickjumping etc, here's a video for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMgfXNWG73Y
As far as the general shape of the map. Here's a long post I wrote before: https://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.ph...3#pid72743

I don't remember the ideal measures for stairs, ceilings, ledges and so on. I think you'll figure out what's best while you do mapping and testing constantly, or you could also just take reference from other maps.
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#4
I run a Xonotic server with varying demographics (such as ffa/pubs, duelists, defraggers) and sometimes I ask why they like some maps.

Such as,
  1. "why do you keep voting for gasoline / space elevator"? (previously popular map among ffa pubs in NA)
  2. "why do you guys keep playing Aerowalk?" (at this point, a proving grounds for duelists)
  3. "which ctf maps are good" (there isn't a big normal ctf scene so this wasn't any particular demographic)
  4. "which cts maps do you recommend I add to the server" (defraggers)

    And I've gotten a lot of feedback over the months.

Ultimately, it has do with the intent of the map and if it accomplishes that. (Parts of this turned into fact-derived satire.)

The answers
  1. "The music (moar ghosts 'n stuff by deadmau5 in gasoline, or Meltdown in space elevator) is good, and I like the colors."

    So if you put in some kooky, catchy music in your map and have a bright neon-ish theme with your map, chances are with enough exposure it'll be a hit or at least flavor of the month(s) among ffa/dm players.

  2. "it's (Aerowalk) a well designed map and I like spawnfragging"
    - paraphrase of sawa

    If in your map it is difficult to avoid confrontation and hide (e.g it's easier to hide if the map is large and has multiple rooms i.e Aerowalk is one center, multistory atrium surrounded by hallways), and you can game the spawn system, chances are it'll be a hit amongst duelists. If it has connecting tunnels so players can intercept each other and spam rockets and grenades, they'll love that too.

  3. (1) "moonstone_nex, accident, shinning-forces, cpmctf2, hal-palindrome, distortion, etc / you already have all of the non-garbage maps / Xonotic has no good ctf maps "
    (2) dissocia
    (3) astralcity, apace

    This one was a pretty tough to get answers for because the CTF mode is dominated by instagib+hook (which my server doesn't run) which favors big open space maps and Vortex/Vaporizer. And it happens to be a varied topic, but the gist of it is there's demand for more regular CTF matches since it's a recognizable mode in which the objective isn't just killing people. A majority of the maps are (perceived to be) unsatisfactory for non-insta play.

    Player(s) #1 favors "corridor style" maps, which fits well with the regular game. One of which badly wants to play CTF and asked people to play Reflex Arena for CTF matches.

    Player #2 is a stray instagib player that will either request that I add instagib+hook to the server and/or complain that the server isn't instagib [generally will not stay for long].

    Player #3 kind of had a background in instagib.

  4. This one is going to be a pretty big list, but it seems generally the server has attracted strafers. If the map is easy to complete (doesn't incur many start-overs), 15-30 seconds in length by an experienced player, but is not too overly simple, it'll be an enjoyable experience, e.g pornstar maps are typically popular. If there's shortcuts available by reaching some speed milestones, it's a bonus, but if a speed milestone is mandatory to get to the finish line, not so much.
    If you have a ramp jump that acts as a shortcut to finish the map, it may be better to have it as a ramp instead of a "pipe".


Generally, as a Xonotic-thing (all modes), there's a lot of little ramps and sloped surfaces around the maps that act as shortcuts and extra movement options for players to quietly take as opposed to giving away their position with a teleporter or jump pad. This is probably the most noticeable difference between Xonotic original maps and Quake ports, design-wise. Having your map designed around that would be a perk that players will take notice to.

(this turned into a very big ramble on popular maps, but maybe the tidbits help)
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#5
(06-26-2017, 11:35 AM)hox3d Wrote: [*]What makes a good Xonotic map, gameplay-wise? A lot of different accesses, the ability to jump, a lot of teleporters? The maps I really liked, form my point of view, are those who are completely fucked-up, with a lot of highly recognizable but different areas.

Well, it depends on your taste. I would suggest your first map should be something you like, too.

(06-26-2017, 11:35 AM)hox3d Wrote: [*]Any advice about a good way to proceed in NetRadiant? For instance, I've been mapping under Hammer (Source), and there are precise dimensions for stairs, doors, etc. They also recommend to use blocks with a power of two size, for texturing.

i always use 8qu/s and lower for smaller things.

(06-26-2017, 11:35 AM)hox3d Wrote: [*]How to scale a Xonotic map? What's different here is that you have to take the three dimensions into account, while in most of other games, only x and y are interesting. Plus, you move quite fast, so I guess the corridors must be kinda large?

Take a look at the source of the offical maps. The map sources are in the maps.pk3. That should help you to get a feeling for scaling the map.

(06-26-2017, 11:35 AM)hox3d Wrote: [*]Any other things, like things to avoid absolutely while mapping? Or something that greatly helps you to troubleshoot/modify/optimize afterwards?
Make scratch first, no details just the basic layout and toy around with it.
At this stage it's easy to adjust the layout.
Try to use a clean brushwork which can be annoying to fix later.
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#6
Hey,
Thanks for these (enlightening and complete) answers.
I guess that confirmed my thoughts. Because I've mainly been playing Instagib, it's not hard to realize that if any map suits that kind of game, some really fun maps in Instagib would be really boring in classic...

So, i just wanted to make a map that fits a majority of players/gameplays.
If I had to sum up the whole thing, I got the feeling that a map needs to have a little bit of everything.

EDIT: just realized something too: should I run away from symmetry? I mean, does this make the map predictable and boring?
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#7
(06-27-2017, 02:40 AM)hox3d Wrote: EDIT: just realized something too: should I run away from symmetry? I mean, does this make the map predictable and boring?

Would be boring for FFA but good for CTF.
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#8
(06-27-2017, 02:40 AM)hox3d Wrote: So, i just wanted to make a map that fits a majority of players/gameplays.
If I had to sum up the whole thing, I got the feeling that a map needs to have a little bit of everything.

EDIT: just realized something too: should I run away from symmetry? I mean, does this make the map predictable and boring?

I think a map that tries to "cater to multiple niches" ends up *forced* or an awkward inbetween.
Like, Xonotic has big roomy CTF maps, Implosion, Geoplanetary or something very instagib+hook favored (Space Elevator). It almost looks as if its for instagib and tries to add in the items and maybe extra architecture for standard Xonotic play, but for the latter it ends up as a bit sub par.
E.g
  • the server hosting the map might need a larger player count so one person/team rushing to and controlling Vortex isn't outrageously effective [Space Elevator]

    It's ok for instagib because you die and spawn with all the equipment you ever need, but dying in regular Xonotic, means you have to run around and pick up armor, weapons, and overheals, then compete with a powerful long range weapon with shorter range weapons that the sniper can dodge projectiles of.

  • the movement is very limiting without a grappling hook (limited to two forced jump pads to go between bases) [Space Elevator]

    This worsens the issue of above, and the risk of traversing between base sometimes causes turtling then gets boring.

  • the big open spaces and long distances start to favor hitscan weapons over projectiles [Implosion]

    Also means less potential for ricocheting weapons (which aren't in instagib).

  • there generally isn't interesting geometry to take advantage of compared to the deathmatch maps.
This generally leaves two impressions.

My god, the server admin should just add instagib+hook like we keep telling him / this map is so much better in minsta *disconnects*
- Instagib players, actually having a point in this context

My god, that was a really annoying nexcamp.
- about everyone else

Same concept kind of applies to other "merges". The defraggers want to improve their time. The Deathmatch players want to shoot people. Having weapons obstacles in Race CTS isn't something satisfying both parties, its just another map for defraggers.

Also @Lyberta, afaik FFA players tend to roll with mostly anything. They tolerate a 6+ player crowd stuffed into small duel/2v2 maps, and sometimes vote to play CTF maps with a DM tag in the mapinfo.
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#9
Right.

But it would be such a shame to actually do a map (I'm planning a kinda large one, with open-space) just for Insta.
I want it to go beyond that, and to be fun even while playing "classic" modes.

My point of view is: with Instagib, you just don't really care about the map. Anything actually works (kind of). But playing classic on a Instagib-intended map is often boring.
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#10
Quote:Xonotic has big roomy CTF maps, Implosion, Geoplanetary or something very instagib+hook favored (Space Elevator).
That's mostly true for official maps. I'd like to see more maps like triangulate in the official list. That one (IMO) gives a good blend of both worlds.
A lot also depends on the makeup of the crowd playing the map. A good public-server mix would be one or two experienced players (timing items, gathering folks using team messages, etc), a smattering of medium-level folks (people just good at fighting), and a good number of novices (folks that wildly shoot everything). Without a good balance of people and active admins sorting out op teams, all that design would go to nothing.
asyyy^ | are you releated to chuck norris?
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#11
After drawing plans on good ol' paper, I just started the basic layout.
My best guess was to start with simple geometry, like, nothing fancy at the moment, just to get it working.
No rounded corners, etc.
Is that a good practice?

Spoiler: that will be heavily inspired from a Thief: Gold map, adapted to Xonotic. Guess which one.
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#12
(06-27-2017, 03:05 PM)hox3d Wrote: My best guess was to start with simple geometry, like, nothing fancy at the moment, just to get it working.
No rounded corners, etc.
Is that a good practice?

if you start from scratch, thats a good idea.
Just do the basics and add slowly more and more.
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#13
(06-27-2017, 03:05 PM)hox3d Wrote: My best guess was to start with simple geometry, like, nothing fancy at the moment, just to get it working.
No rounded corners, etc.
Is that a good practice?

I've created a map that heavily used round/curved rooms/corridors for a mapping contest (https://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=5450, http://download.evil-ant-colony.org/maps...ure_02.pk3). Creating round surfaces can take very long and can be quite frustrating. So my advice is to wait with rounded corners and details until you are really happy with the layout.

Another advice I want to give is: Start with small projects. You would not aim to create a new GTA all by yourself as your first game, would you?
It's probably best to create multiple small maps first before sinking 100+ hours into a big map without having any experience with mapping.
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#14
I more or less have experience on mapping (with Source).
Not the same workflow, but the principles stay the same, especially about optimizing, texturing, etc. Yeah, the map is going to be more or less big, but I feel confident already, given the amount of work I was able to do yesterday.

I decided to work with powers of two only and 45° angles. Make the x-y view much easier to understand.
Plus, for rescaling purposes, each floor has the same size (256 or 128), so it makes it easy to only select a floor and resize it in one shot. I guess that was the easiest way to do it.
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#15
Okay, another thought.

Well, I scaled my map quite large. So, I just have a fuck*** big room, and I just don't know how to fill it. I was thinking about a large pool of lava, to add some "push-me-into-the-lava" kind of gameplay (which I like very much).

But isn't this a little bit too easy? I could add some weird geometry shit but I just don't know how it would look like.
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#16
Hey.

Got a question. What's the standard for a map to be released on the official package?
Just by curiosity, some maps are clearly ugly/not optimized, okay. But some non-official ones are sometimes well done, and beautiful.
So how are they missing the point, not to be in the official release? On the layout? The spirit? The size?
Just wanted to know, so I can get closer as I can to "official" requirements to be a good map.
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#17
I asked the question on several occasions over the last 7 years. I never got a real answer.
So i guess just the right people have to like it.
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#18
Eh, that's kinda tough.
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#19
I agree that some official maps are not really great, but they won't be removed unless there are good replacements.

If you want your maps to become official, the first requirement is that you use a GPL license and include map sources.
The other big requirement is that you are willing to improve the map and fix bugs/exploits if needed.
About quality, layout, etc: These are very subjective, but if enough ppl like it, chances are good that a map would be included in the official map pool. 

Imo the main reason why many of the really good unofficial maps are not included is that most mappers never suggest their maps and/or the license is unclear/incompatible.
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#20
Well, it needs a good transperant process.

(09-01-2017, 08:21 AM)Freddy Wrote: Imo the main reason why many of the really good unofficial maps are not included is that most mappers never suggest their maps and/or the license is unclear/incompatible.

if you submit it will take quiet a lot of time (not that big issue) and when there is a response you get a reject with a comment like this "branch please"
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#21
(09-01-2017, 11:16 AM)Cortez666 Wrote: if you submit it will take quiet a lot of time (not that big issue) and when there is a response you get a reject with a comment like this "branch please"

Creating your own branch for your map shows that you are willing to further work on and improve the map. Creating a branch is not that hard.
If on the other hand you submit your maps via issues on Gitlab and don't even include a download link to your maps, then some teammembers won't take the time to search for it.

Again: Show that you want to maintain your map in the future and will invest time in it if needed
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#22
Well, I thought the licence blabla mayhem was GPL by default, as the map is specifically created for Xonotic.
Okay, got it anyway. I'll try to meet the requirements, not because I actually really want to get any map on the official release (that would be cool though), but because it's actually better to try to fit the standards.
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#23
(09-01-2017, 01:42 PM)Freddy Wrote: Creating your own branch for your map shows that you are willing to further work on and improve the map. Creating a branch is not that hard.
If on the other hand you submit your maps via issues on Gitlab and don't even include a download link to your maps, then some teammembers won't take the time to search for it.

Again: Show that you want to maintain your map in the future and will invest time in it if needed

ok. this might be a bit nitpicky, but i will still go with it.
The Poll: http://xonpickbot.designxenon.com:27500/poll/352?
The issue: https://gitlab.com/xonotic/xonotic-maps....issues/115
The branch\ autobuild:  http://beta.xonotic.org/autobuild-bsp/le...59e9c2d7f/
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#24
@cortez - We (the team) could be better about establishing some "ground rules" for map inclusion, that's for sure. I'm not certain who could really enumerate those things. Mirio, maybe? I could try to take a stab at it but I'm a mapping novice, and would probably miss a lot of the technical details that are just as critical as the visuals. Smile
Additionally, these things will always have a subjective component to them. That's what the vote is for.
asyyy^ | are you releated to chuck norris?
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#25
I guess he simply wanted to show that people told him "no, it's bad" and nothing else.
Well, that's what the poll results seem to show, but I guess there was discussion about how to improve the map afterwards?
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