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Mitch Mitchell

What is the best game to create maps for?

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Serious question, multifaceted answer, if you'll excuse the geometric pun. At a quandary, basically.

I like the UT4 Alpha, but find it hard to justify expenditure of time on a game which so few people play and therefore is difficult to get feedback for.

CS:GO/SDK is interesting, has lots of players, but lacks scope environmentally and feels constrained.

TF2/SDK is kinda the same, but with lots more flair - but is ageing now, and like CS:GO, feels constrained and restrictive, or perhaps a little too well-trodden?

So, looking for something which allows me to map. Something which no one is making maps for now, but has a big and active community for, yet is not so old that the game mechanics have worn holes in the carpets for routes which everyone takes, as part of the game mechanics. I'm also looking for something which is not going to be replaced (tech-wise) soon.

Ideas? Opinions? Thoughts? Beliefs?

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29 minutes ago, Pampers said:

What is your goal? learn a new editor, have something that people will play? portfolio piece? level design or art focus?

Which game, basically. But yes, all the things you mention, but primarily that people will play which is 'current gen'.

Focus on mapping.

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Interesting question, I'm at the same stage right now. Not sure which editor should I focus right now. I'd like to be able to end with portfolio material, but one that can be tested with an active community. 

13 minutes ago, WD said:

I would say Natural selection 2, the editor is just so damn fun to play with and it has a small but really enthusiastic mapping community.

This can be a good start for me, never tried anything with its editor, but I played the hell out of this game (and the previous one too :P) Super fun!

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1 hour ago, Vaya said:

Tetris

Funny...

Odd thing is this: IF I were to take Tetris as a theme for something like TF2, I can garuntee you such a map already exists and any effort by me would be nullified in a matter of days. And that is part of the problem, is it not? You take a theme, and for something like Counter Strike - it has already been done. That's one of the problems when mapping for a well-trodden game mechanic, no matter what you map, people will say that it is 'like XYZ map' because maps are always designed around game mechanics, player speed and weapon design. You can therefore end up with cookie cutter designs at a white-box paradigm of acceptability for the game. Yes, one can add amazing art etc, but none of that matters if no one plays it because it does not make best use of the game: Hence, which is the best game to create maps for?

If I were to say 'TF2 map, CTF, Tetris' you can all see it, can't you?

Back on point, I'll take a look at Natural Selection 2 - how is the editor?

Edited by Mitch Mitchell
spooling

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you can pick an existing theme and do it better, or worse, it's all about the execution anyway.

and when it comes to csgo I don't see how it feels constrained in any way, plenty of people here on the forums are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in csgo with their creativity. Just have a look at some of the recently released maps.

and why do you care so much about what people say about the map? just try to enjoy the process, you can't please everyone.

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5 hours ago, Mitch Mitchell said:

Back on point, I'll take a look at Natural Selection 2 - how is the editor?

Our programmers designed it with influence from Google Sketchup. Also no compiling. Although I haven't used it since we released v1.0 years ago so I dunno what it is like presently (different team working on it now).

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To me it's simple which games that are the best to make games for: it's the games with an active player base. I've tried a variety of games and the ones that I didn't do well with or didn't finish didn't have an active player base. I don't think you should care about the engine, you'll get used to it and will have fun as long as you love the game (sure there are some exceptions, some engines are just bad.)

Even if you want it to be a portfolio piece or just an art level I still think you should make it for an active game. 

Edited by Sjonsson

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16 hours ago, tomm said:

you can pick an existing theme and do it better, or worse, it's all about the execution anyway.

and when it comes to csgo I don't see how it feels constrained in any way, plenty of people here on the forums are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in csgo with their creativity. Just have a look at some of the recently released maps.

and why do you care so much about what people say about the map? just try to enjoy the process, you can't please everyone.

 

I completely agree with your final point, but to answer your question; because I want to improve, get better and have a long term iterative process with detailed feedback to further design. I am not the one to decide whether a map is good or not, the community and my peers are. That's kind of a platitude, I'll admit, but it happens to be something I believe in.

CS:GO is an extremely nuanced game, which has been honed over a very long period of time. Dust_2 is how old? There are players on the circuit now who are younger than that design. In part, as morbid as it seems, this to me (and I will humbly be corrected in the face of my peers) means the 'optimal' map in terms of design has been done, and all maps are measured against it. So, it's a figurative statement I make when I say that level/map design for CS:GO is 'dead'. That is not to say that one cannot create an amazing map and it is certainly not to say the game itself is 'dead' as CS:GO is awesome fun, it's more about creating something without having the large, planet-sized shadow of other maps.

Perhaps I am projecting, but if I had the choice over a new map for ten minutes, or play Dust_2 for one hour, I would pick Dust_2.

Still thinking about this, more thoughts from the community help.

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I always find it the most fun to do anything creative if it's in the context of something that I'm passionate about. So while you could probably map for any old game and enjoy it, if you map for a game you enjoy playing — You play games, right? — then you're much more likely to feel invested in it and can even have a great time playing it alongside the people you're making it for. That's the beauty of doing hobby projects, because you don't have to just develop what you're told to. :D 

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2 hours ago, Thrik said:

I always find it the most fun to do anything creative if it's in the context of something that I'm passionate about. So while you could probably map for any old game and enjoy it, if you map for a game you enjoy playing — You play games, right? — then you're much more likely to feel invested in it and can even have a great time playing it alongside the people you're making it for. That's the beauty of doing hobby projects, because you don't have to just develop what you're told to. :D 

 

More than happy to offer beer to that, 'sir - that is the kind of comment the internet sorely lacks!

I do play games, but have spent a long time playing games part-time and definitely fall into the 'hobbiest' category for level design.

Side topic (maybe not) why is the CryEngine5 is not being used so much for whiteboxing, or full-on level design - the 'designer tool' (playing with it as we speak) seems a decade forward than other tools on other engines....?

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