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Sauerbraten Content => Other => Topic started by: Suicizer on January 14, 2015, 11:24:44 PM

Title: Basic Mapping Guide Oriented on Gameplay
Post by: Suicizer on January 14, 2015, 11:24:44 PM
Basic Mapping Guide Oriented on Gameplay

In this guide, the basic mapping for a gameplay oriented map will be described. This guide is suitable for the newcomer, but perhaps for the more experienced mappers (people who construct a map) also.
If you're trying to read this; then I congratulate you in doing so; that shows off you actually have the will and time to invest in your mapping experience.
Although editing itself is quite easy; finishing a map seems for most mappers pretty tough. This result has many reasons; but I won't talk about it here.

Starting up
When starting a map (execute in the console line "/newmap 12"), you should already have a certain plan of how the layout should look like and work best for the gameplay and flow. Why not for the theme, atmosphere or even just certain details? As that's not the most important for a gameplay oriented map, but rather is for a conceptual or artistic map.
The player should eventually be interested enough to play the map again as it was fun to play for a whole match long among others, not because a certain detail is great (while the rest isn't).

The result after executing "/newmap 12".

Picking a gamemode for the layout
So you've started a new map. Now you may already know what kind of layout you are aiming for, but keep the next things in mind;
A golden rule for making a layout is:
Some preferences in the layout for modes from the mapping-community seems to be:
Capture The Flag
In this guide I've chosen to create a small and simple Deathmatch map (for about 2 to 6 players) as that's a proper base for newcomers to learn how the gameplay works for mapping and the other modes are eventually based upon Deathmatch.
The other modes will be clarified more in the Advanced Mapping Guide Oriented on Gameplay.

Defining the flow
After you've chosen the gamemode which you want to construct for, you should start to map. But keep in mind that players should always manage the next couple of things;

To learn more about the layout and flow on a map; please read the guide.

The result after deciding the gamemode and creating the main layout. Textured in classic-style to show it's construction better.
To download the map: (

Working on the gameplay
After you've made everything flowing and are satisfied about the tactical positions for the map; the map needs some ammo, health, armour and perhaps even power ups to make the play more spicy.
Some pretty decent relationship for the amount of ammunition on a map oriented on Deathmatch with a maximum of 4 players is (there is no minimum):

Of course you're always free to add a few more of a certain item, but keep this as a base.
The Yellow armour has a quite odd number due the reason of having 2 YA's on a map meant for a maximum of 8 players feels too much.
Cartridges are rather existing to taunt the players than actually be useful as they already spawn with a decent amount of ammunition for the pistol.
Commonly there are no items like a Healthboost or Quaddamage on maps meant for only 4 players at maximum. On maps meant for 1 on 1 they are more or less forbidden, as the player which controls the map gains a huge advantage against the other player (which he already would have from the YA if taken). They often start appearing on maps which are aiming for 8 or more players.

To learn more about the layout and flow on a map; read the article in the next link; (

After you've made map work properly, we've come to the eye candy part. This starts with the theme of the map; what will it be? There are countless amounts of specific themes, but keep it first simple by asking yourself some couple of questions:

If you've answered such questions; it's time to really begin with the fancy stuff. In most situations, you work in the next steps;

You sometimes can switch between lighting and detailing as light-sources like lamps are details also, but the overall texturing (like floors, walls, ceilings and doorways) is a strict first step as that's where orientation towards details can be made.

For most beginning mappers, they stumble upon the next couple of issues;

A thumb-rule for texturing a map with a common theme is:
All textures which form the primary layer shouldn't be heavily patterned (like a panel-texture isn't a great choice as primary layer as in that case, it's not fitting the geometry. A texture like meant for panels is as it says so, meant for panels; not for large surfaces).

There are plenty of maps which try to use the textures from gibbie, lunaran or trak5 in combination of dg, techsoc, egyptsoc, ikbase or ik2k. Let me just tell; that won't look nice. I'll explain later in the Advanced Mapping Guide Oriented on Gameplay, but for now; just stick to 2 certain texture-sets and let any other packs untouched.

The weight of the texturing on a map is often defined by the theme. If it's abstract, then there probably shouldn't be a lot of textures around, but the map relies much more on the lighting.

The lighting matters a lot for the appearance of a map. Especially for daylight-themed maps, just the sunlight is often enough. Mind that the map should be open enough and not be in something like a cave or inside buildings.
If this actually is the case that the skybox isn't very sightable in such positions, then add a source of light (like a lamp, torch but even a laserbeam could emit light).
The most simple technique is to add a light-entity which is pretty intense of colour but with a small radius very close to the light-source and a subtle coloured  light-entity with a much larger radius more towards the center of the area that should be lit. The colours of both light-entities should match each other but also the light-source, so it really feels like that that lamp or torch is enlightening the area.
The colour of the light-entities should match that of the light-source, as it is part of the realism in a map.
In most cases, light-entities which have a  subtle yellow appearance (like ... 150 140 120) feel pretty natural.
However, if the theme should rather be more cold, a subtle blue appearance works better (like ... 120 140 150). This strongly depends on what theme you've chosen, so use some sense for that.

All commands which are related to this can be found on the next link; (

The detailing of a map is at it says, the details of a map. They accentuate the theme and appearance of the map. Due this, most details should never be used frequently in a map. It might be great to see recognition throughout your map, but that only applies to things like light-sources or objects which apply to the flow of the map like jumppads, ladders or even crates (albeit some diversity is still highly recommended). Having only few type of trees used on a map which represents a local park isn't realistic; neither when the same kind of lantern in the park has been used as the one standing in a backyard of a nearby house.
So really think through what details you should add and how they should look like.

After following all these steps, you now should have;
- A geometric layout that feels quite good to navigate through.
- A texturing which fits the geometry and represents the basic elements to recognize your position on the map.
- A lighting which supports the texturing and geometry so there's a certain ambiance on the map.
- Some details which show off the theme of the map stronger than only some, textures.


All information provided within this guide may be used as a base to create other guides, articles or as reference within comments, replies or any other conversations, as long as it's about a similar topic and the original author is credited. Anything within the article or this license should not be edited without permission of the author. Original author: Suicizer. Created at 2015-01-15 23:24:44.[/list][/list][/list][/list][/list][/list][/list][/list][/list][/list]