Post tutorial RSS Tips & Ideas For Good Map Flow & Playability

This is more of a ideas and tips basis for placements of items and the general flow of a map.

Posted by on - Advanced Level Design/Theory

Originally posted on Planet Unreal by Jared "FrEaKy" Lacey

Mirrored here for archival purposes

When working on a map every now and than you start what is called a room, to corridor to room problem, this sometimes is not considered a bad thing DEPENDING on the theme itself.. Try to avoid this syndrome at all costs for usually your score on a map review will be low if you have this syndrome.... On arena maps, where the player is first getting weapons, it can be allowed a central waypoint to the weapons room.

Creating a room to a room is sometimes more simple and alot less poly driven than room, corridor, room.... A corridor is only present when its a full hallway, most of the time this would be a length of 192 and up. Rooms can be connected to another room, via seperating room, to a small opening to the next room. Or even a big opening, something like in AR-Theather.... Most of the time its best to do a detailing mini door, just a door or hole in the wall, with panals, and pillars out and over the walls and doors, usually creating a sense of being there. Also using lighting on this area, as in my first lighting tutorial, where you can use the doom and gloom effect.

Always remember it is VITAL to have more than ONE way out of a room, having more than one entrance and exit to the room increases playability and flow.

Weapon and item placement:

Tips for weapons are ONLY tips, they WILL however increase your score for the map if done correctly. First thing you must remember is how well balanced your placement is... You should never have a dwarf battle hammer, and a dwarf war sword in the same area, while having a viking sword (aka toothpick) in another area.... As is having the viking broad sword with the best shield in the same area... these un-balance a level, and reduce the flow of a map, always have the best weapons EQUAL distance from each other at a far length.... one end to the other end of a level.

Also try to have some skill shown in how you get the weapon, put the dwarf war sword on a ledge, or have the players hafta climb alot to get to it, or on a beam over a long drop.... Some items you can have the player crouch to get to, so that the player hasta keep watch around him for the bigger items.... (example is in DM-Hildir)

Keep the lower class weapons in a bigger room where they are accessible easily, so as to give the players at least SOME chance of getting a high advanced weapon.

Item's such as health should be redily avalible... Open cubys (dm-hildir) where they can be placed and not on the floor is best.... Keep them in an area where they can be grabbed while giving the player ample viewing area of the battles around, and characters comming from the sides....

Always remember, its your level, only you can decide where you want things to go.... A good mapper will know where to place things in the level before the level is even down on the editor... Draw your map out on paper, dont worry about scale on the paper, no matter HOW detailed your drawings are, its always gonna look different on the editor.. Keep focused, and enjoy the creations from your OWN hand.... Always remember, only you can see your levels true beauty before it hits the mainstream downloads, its beauty can be seen from the creator in the editor..... Always remember its you and only you that creates the map.

Good mapping, and good luck!

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