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Mapping Tips

August 28, 2009

I need some content for this blog, so I’m making a list of tips for newcomers to mapping.

– NEVER EVER TURN OFF THE GRID OR I WILL COME FIND AND KILL YOU!
– Try to keep most blocks to a 64 or 32 grid size.
– Computers really like powers of two (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.), it is much easier to compute for them. Keep this in mind while mapping (it’s kinda like how 100+100=200 is easier to figure out than 116+323=439 for us)
– Tie anything not of the main architecture to a func_detail. DO NOT tie all of it to ONE func_detail. Make a lot of small func_details.
– Group walls/floors. Say you need a hole in the middle of the floor, make the blocks you need and group them as if it was one floor without the hole.
– NEVER EVER USE CARVE. EVER. YOU WILL NEVER NEED THIS EVER.
– Instead of carve, learn to use the clip tool and vertex manipulator efficiently to create the shape you want.
– Always light every map. Light it well. Nobody likes fullbright.
– Spend time with your maps. Maps should AT LEAST take a week or two.
– Never ever release your first map. I don’t care how proud you are of it. It sucks. Trust me. Don’t release ANY maps until you have lots of practice, and know how to use tools like displacements and decals.
– THIS SITE IS YOUR FRIEND:
http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Hammer

– Leaks are very bad. Check your map by compiling just the BSP portion (make sure you have at least one entity in your map) to see if you have any leaks. If you have the line ‘***leaked***’ in your compile log, check out the leak article in the developer wiki to see how to fix it. Leaks will only cause problems.

If you guys enjoy these tips, I’ll write up some more.

Also, join the [dt] Steam group!

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