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Onikan

How do you begin designing maps (3D-FPS)?

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How do you begin designing maps for a 3D FPS? I don''t know if that needs clarification...

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Every time I''ve seen this done it''s been around theme and story. At the time that you begin level design, you usually have a sense of what the player is supposed to be learning at each phase of the game, and this controls the challenges, enemies and assets you give him/her. For instance, if they''re supposed to be learning about making long leaps, you give them nice and easy jumps maybe over water or without much damage; OTOH, if they''re supposed to have mastered long leaps, you give them crumbling ledges and chasms to jump over.

Like many questions of design, this depends on what kind of a game you''re doing and what you want the player''s experience to be.



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Just waiting for the mothership...

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Oh, I meant the technical side of level design...

For example, drafting maps on paper, etc.

The level design process...

[edited by - Onikan on June 1, 2004 11:48:54 PM]

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Oh, sorry. Some here might have ideas, but you might also check out Visual Arts.

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Just waiting for the mothership...

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A lot of people run into to problems with Level Design (amongst FPS games) when they dive straight into it without planning. I''ve been guilty of this many a time and although the process starts well the closing stages prove awkward and messy as you are forced to work around problems you had not planned for. More often than not, and certainly in my case, this approach always ends in an unfinished and abandoned map.

The hardest part of level design is having the guts to turn off your computer and plan the map first and pen and paper should be all you need. Hopefully you''ve already had a spark of inspiration from somewhere so start by brainstorming out key elements of that. So, lets say you were thinking of a ''Lost City of Atlantis'' theme you could start listing key aspects of that theme that could aid your design of architecture and puzzles. In this case...

- Water
- Underground City, perhaps lost or destroyed
- Advanced ancient technology
- Elegant curved surfaces

With that in mind I can start seeing options for puzzles making use of damaged buildings, collapsed walls etc, large machines all surround. This way you can start thinking up ideas for puzzles and what-not without any restrictions. Obviously, you need to see some sense and don''t go overboard with the extravagence but this is the time t be creative because you are not limited by the any software.

Hopefully, you should come out with a fair few pages of ideas, notes and doodles all giving a sense of the different parts your map will consist of. The final part of this puzzle is to put all those jigsaw-like pieces together. Start planning the order of these sections and how they relate to each other. Start planning the layout of this map just like a roadmap.

I''m sure you can see why so many people struggle to plan a map because it seems like so much effort but the final results are worth it. What I have put forward there was a guide with regards to some sort of single-player map but the same can be applied to CTF maps, even DM maps.

Hope thats of some use.

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