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[轉載] Compendium On Map Creation And Design -地圖設計與創作概論 [複製鏈接]

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發表於 2011-3-25 20:00:05 |顯示全部樓層
本帖最後由 Teddy 於 2011-3-26 13:11 編輯



Compendium On Map Creation And Design

1.What is design?

2.Steps to map creation

3.Recipe for good design

4.Solo or team development?

5.Additonal resources

6.Final words



The aforementioned document was written and is based on my own personal understanding and experience. Do not see it as law but rather a guide. I hope it helps any aspiring map-maker in someway.

You are welcome to add your own advice, experiences, resources, tips, or anything related to the matter.

This thread is meant to be a focal resource for people wanting to add general advice, encouragement and knowledge erratum when it comes to creating maps

1|| What is Design?

1|| 何謂設計?

In regard to gaming. "Design" is a process. A method of trial and error to settle on a working forumla. It requires a good insight into what would make a fun game for the intended audience.
Note, making a game fun for yourself or your game giving you the impression that it is fun, does not equate to it being fun for other people.

As a designer, It is imperative to be critical of your own work. Doing so will lead to several iterations/revisions unto your final product. At the end it will be as good as can possibly be.

2|| Steps to map creation

2|| 步向地圖創造




[Sub section: Idea]

Everything begins with an "idea". So too does a map. There are basically two ideas when it comes to design, that being "new" and "old". You can decide weather you want to work on a past idea done in other games, and maybe refine/improve it or come up with a completely new idea and take it from there. The choice is yours.

You then need to get a good understanding and clear picture of where it fits in. For example, In which category would you classify your idea?

1V World(Solo, Campaign type, etc)
FFA (I.E A vs B vs C, A vs B vs C vs D,etc)
FFA teams (I.E AB vs CD vs EF, ABC vs DEF, etc)

[Sub section: Research]

Research is the next big step. Failing to follow this through or ignoring it can be risky.

Essentially you need to research the following:

-Is my idea viable?. Will it work given the technology and tools Im using?.

This is to say that you should develop your map within the allocated boundries of the given system. An example would be many of the multiplayer FPS maps designed. At the time, map makers thought it would be a pretty cool idea and assumed it would be popular amongst players. However, It was later shown that input lag and frame rate drops on most FPS maps, made this genre near impossible to play or be enjoyed by most players.

Given, Work arounds and optimizations are somewhat possible but a good majority of FPS maps turned out fail, and much hard work and time was lost. Thus knowing the limitations of what the system can or cannot do, or how far it can be pushed, is significant knowledge prior to developing a map.

-How many people should I expect to play/like my map?

If you are designing a map solely for your own use or that of close friends only. This section is of no consequence to you.

So, many people create maps, good or bad, big or small and then wonder "Wait..Why are so few people playing it?" or "My map used to be popular but now its slowly fading away.."
Why are certain maps played by fewer people and other maps seemingly enjoyed by scores more?.
This is something actually quite simple but often overseen. In terms of map design, Ive compiled a basic formula to
demonstrate this:

X = (G + I) * P

Where X is Map popularity

G is Genre
I is Ideas
P is Polish

Its really as simple as that.

1.So as you can see a maps popularity or fanbase is directly proportional to the genre. Meaning niche maps such as Rpg`s or Fps or others will usually always have a smaller audience than say a team game map or a tower defence map.

2.That said audience however will further fluctuate in size depending on the ideas presented in your map. Weather new/old or improved mechanics.The better or more fun those ideas are, a greater audience will play and enjoy it. Vice versa in that fewer people will enjoy it if its boring or too deep/complicated etc. In essence your ideas presented could end up making a good and popular rpg or a bad and less popular rpg.

3.Polish or presentation is a scaling factor in your maps popularity. If you are familiar with Dota(like it or hate it) , Its a good example of this ideology.
When it first started out it was very much similar to other AoS hero style maps. However, Its fanbase grew with each revision and improvement made. In such a process, a map will develop a "hardcore" early following of fans.
Suffice to say, Dota became what it is today because of the numerous improvements and tweaking over the years to its formula and mechanics, and the addition of more content. Its not easy but depending on the type of map you are doing, keeping at this will eventually make your map perfect.

[Sub section: Implementation]

This is most important. You need to work out a realistic time frame on when you WANT your map to be done. Otherwise you`ll be going into this blindly, and depending on the scale of your project and the circumstances of real life, You may have to abort development on your map. Thus wasting many precious spent hours.

So give yourself a time frame. Say "I expect my map to be completed in X days/weeks/months" and then work at it. Set aside some time during each day or on weekends, working on certain aspects of your map.

Its always best to work on the hardest aspects first. Leave polish for last. Get the main mechanics working first.
So lets say you are doing an Rpg game. First begin work on your inventory mechanics, Leveling system, Save/Load feature etc.
What you basically want to do first is to develop an "Alpha build" of your map. Which in essence is the core functions/mechanics and features working, minus the polish/pretty effects/etc.

Finally, when all the hard parts are done, proceed to work on terrain design and things like map layout, What type of quests there will be, dialogs etc.
You want your map to be presentable. First impressions can also be lasting impressions, So spend a good amount of time after development to polish it..

3|| Recipe for good map design
3|| 地圖製作的訣竅

I like to think that map-making is similar to baking. What you put in, is what you get out. Now, like baking, there are a few key ingredients that are essential to your map.





Think of it like flour, water, baking powder. All important but you can get mixed results depending on the quantity of each.

The more simple or accessible a game is, the more fun it usually is. A greater amount of people will play and enjoy it.

Atmosphere contributes to the "experience". Making your game believable and giving it the right tone in terms of music, sounds and scenery(terrain design) is a great way of grabbing attention and providing an immersive experience.

Depth is tied to many things. Including but not limited to "replayability". Depending on your map type, Adding some depth or a learning curve can be a great thing. People like challenges or progressively getting better at something. Depth may also seperate the skilled from the unskilled. A way of archievement for the skilled player, and a goal to acquire for the unskilled.

4|| Solo or team development

In the days of Warcraft 2 and Starcraft 1 map editing, this would probably have never been a question on anyones mind. However, as technology develops,  Mod/editing tools follow suite and generally become more complicated

The Galaxy editor is a bit complicated and time consuming to say the very least. Making simple spells or abilites or units can take quite some time depending(assuming you know what to do).

Doing a big project which involves many custom units/abilities/spells or complex game mechanics, or multi-faceted gameplay, would take far too long to archieve if done solo.
It is for this reason that it may be best to consider joining a team or leading a team yourself.

If you plan on joining a team:

-Ensure the leader is a capable one and that communication will not be a barrier in anyway. Feel comfortable about it.
-Believe in the project and show enthusiasm. If its not to your liking or your gut tells you that it will fail, Best to leave early.
-Be a team player. If you plan on joining a team, make sure you will get your allocated work done as best you can and as soon as possible. Otherwise you will only build bad reputation on yourself.
-Remember, you will be working toward the greater group glory. You may not like some aspects of the project or you may think that some of your ideas would be better. You can convey those feelings to the leader but weather it is accepted or not should be of little concern to you. At some point you must learn to trust the leader`s judgement and believe that he is taking the project in the right direction. Being a good follower will one day make you an even better leader.

If you plan on leading a team:

-Do a project thats within your scope of knowledge and experience. Dont attempt something grand or too ambitious if you are inexperienced. Doing so will make you fail badly and humiliate you in front of your team, wasting everyone`s time in the process too.
-Divide sections of work to each member. Allocate tasks accordingly to each member`s strength and expertise.
-Take the position seriously. Being a leader in anything is important and serious. Its not a joke or position for laughs. Focus, be proffesional and lead by example.
-Lead effectively. Be open to ideas from team members. Encourage and praise any effort they make. Critisize bad work in a good constructive manner. Be patient and understanding with team members that may seem slacking, Sometimes "life happens" and delays/setbacks will occur. Credit them well in the end, for without them, your project would have been nothing.

A general outline of the pros and cons of teams


1.More resources and able to complete larger scale projects

2.More solutions (Diversity)

3.Better ability to detect flaws

4.Greater understanding of what needs to be done

5.Sometimes members become good friends


1. One member down, progress is halted.

2. Difference in interest

3. Too many opinions to consider and everybody promotes their own

4. Motivation is there but depends largely on the leader

5|| Additional resources

Some excellent reading material that could undoubtedly be of value to you.

Intro to Game Design and practice:

Depth and mechanics

Basic Game theory in Mulitplayer level design:

Basic analysis on what makes games fun:

6|| Final Words

Last but certainly not least, Have fun!. Enjoy editing/creating your worlds and let your imagination run wild.
Whatever you decide to make, do it as best you can. As half-jobs or lackluster maps are really just a waste of time.

If at anytime you become bored with the project/map you are doing. Instead of abandoning it, attempt to rather change your direction in design. Change things, add different features, experiment with new ideas. Always keep your work fresh and alive.

Feedback is important. Get a few close friends or people you trust to critique your work prior to releasing it.

If you are new to map-making, You will probably fail at first, Several times perhaps. Its part of the process though, and dont be too hard on yourself. If you allow yourself the opportunity to learn and get better from it, you will no doubt create some amazing maps in the future.

Dont ever give up on something you want to do.


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