Mapping tutorial style question

02-19-2006, 07:17 PM
OK - question for you mappers.

Suppose someone was writing a tutorial on say how to make a doorway. One important fact for doorway design is how big to make it.

Would you rather have a tutorial that...
Explained the basics of dimensions (player size) then had you create a doorway that was correctly sized
Have you create a doorway that was correctly sized, then later explain why it needs to be that size
Just have you create a doorway that was the correct size

This is a pretty simple example, but imagine it expanded out to explaining say... how to make a map. Explain lots of facts first, then give instruction? Instruction then facts? No facts? Mix them up?

02-19-2006, 07:23 PM
Personally...I'd like:

Instruction then facts.

Though mixing between 1 and 2 would be good.

02-19-2006, 07:36 PM
I always like to know why I am doing something before I do it.

Facts, instructions, then maybe a summary of facts again to remind me why it's done that way.

El Capitan
02-19-2006, 08:18 PM
I'd have the dimensions explained first. Its always good to have the basic concept there and maybe explain the different dimensions of players crouched, prone, normal and jumping too.

When it comes to the doorway bit....

"See section 1.3: Player dimensions"

I think it would be good to have a section on dimensions anyway. Maybe something brief, but being able to understand player dimensions helps a lot, from creating the first room, to doorways, vents and objects intended for jumping on!

Thats how I would do it anyway.

02-19-2006, 08:53 PM
Correct dimensions are such a big part of mapping correctly. That would be best to be explained first.

02-19-2006, 09:36 PM
Good stuff - I appreciate the feedback.

02-19-2006, 09:44 PM
Since I was actually wondering about that very question today, here are my thoughts:

It would be great to know why you're doing something before you do it, but any extra information would go over the head of the person trying to learn. A quick summary, instructions, and then more detailed information would make the most sense to me.

Ol' Noodle Head
02-19-2006, 11:51 PM
Having a few visuals of correct dimensions would be very helpful. Something to keep on my lap while working.

02-20-2006, 12:00 AM
I like instructions first, then an explanation. I usually like to follow a tutorial and then erase everything and make it again without the tutorial. So haveing the extra information sandwiched between the two is helpful.

02-20-2006, 02:16 AM
Tim I'd make it just like a cooking recipe. Ingredients, then instructions. So in this case, facts then instructions.

Facts should be bullet points, actually one could think of smart ways to identify them. Think HL2 user guide, secrets walkthrough.

Then detailed instructions, which go back to the facts and can explain a bit more. In a recipe you'd have " - 6 tomatoes" but then the instructions would tell you how to prepare them, but most importantly why you need to prepare them that way

02-20-2006, 12:48 PM
Just make me the doorway Waldo :p then send it to me

02-20-2006, 01:03 PM
When I help fellow beginner mappers, I mix. I instruct them on what they should do, and explain why they should be doing it. I also add stuff like "rule of thumb" and "what's good to remember", etc.

02-20-2006, 04:01 PM
You're writing a mapping book, aren't you Waldo?

Well, as a mapping noobster, I'm still struggling... *really* struggling, to make anything in Hammer. Ok, I've not been able to put many hours into it,and tend to give up too easily (and play DOD instead), but I still want to carry on - I'd love to make a map that looks good at least.

Anway, I'm struggling with basics. I've read lots of tutorials, but they tend to be disjointed technical exercises with no flow to 'em. What I'd like would tell me this:

1) Basic map design. The paper-sketch design part.
What a map should like at the most basic levels to
a) play well
b) run well

I look at good maps with longevity like Caen, Donner, Kalt etc and I can see a simple shape to the map - main routes and side routes that create chokepoints that can be flanked. I'd like someone to show how to make bad maps so I know what *not* to do. And how to make good maps even better. etc etc.

And I need to know how to design a realistic looking map that has high FPS. FuzzDad has given me a bit of an insight into this from his blog and forum posts - 'S' shaped design, hills to block views, closing of windows that create long line of sight... it's the fundamentals I need reinforced by some sketched examples of how to perform these.

2) Combining simple brushwork and texturing to produce recognisable real-world objects.
I'd really like a tutorial that shows me how to build a decent house. I can picture a simple house in my head quite easily - I need to be shown how to manipulate Hammer to build walls, doorways, windows, a stairwell, a roof and chimney. (I can do most of that now, but I have no idea if I'm doing it in the most efficient way). And then texture the walls and place models in the building, so I've finally produced something 'useful'. You could then take this house and blow a hole in the wall, show how to use displacement mapping for the rubble pile, put a flame animation and soundscape into it etc etc.

3) Create a garden for the house, with a river running through it. Lots of ability to do displacement mapping for terrain, different styles of water, texture blending on the river banks etc.

4) 3D skyboxes - how to use 'em to extend the apparent size of the map. Do's and Don'ts etc.

You can probably see where I'm going: I need real-world worked examples that take a wide view (gameplay and performance) and a detailed view (right click there ya dummy) at the same time. I definitely would like a clear explanation of how to use the texture tool as I'm always inadvertently texturing the wrong thing.
I spent too long trying to work out the clipping and vertex tools without ever getting to grips with them.
I'd like lots of so-big-you-can't-miss-'em hints for things like the 'z' key which actually makes the camera view easy to use. And the 'stair' primitive which I only discovered after painfully creating a set of stairs on my own. Stuff like that...

Ah, my fingers are tired. I'll stop for the moment. I'm sure more things will spring to mind!

Good luck with the book Waldo, you can count me as a future customer!

02-20-2006, 04:04 PM
I think the best tutorials are the ones that supply the VMF as an example. Being able to actually look at the file has helped me learn more than reading.

Ginger Lord
02-20-2006, 04:35 PM
I always like to know the reason for doing something before I do it. Dimensions, then instructions.

Day of Defeat Forum Archive created by Neil Jedrzejewski.

This in an partial archive of the old Day of Defeat forums orignally hosted by Valve Software LLC.
Material has been archived for the purpose of creating a knowledge base from messages posted between 2003 and 2008.