One of the toughest things about mapping is, well, knowing what to map.
I like to think that there are three main types of inspiration.
1) Real life locations
2) Your imagination
3) Other maps
I’ll now go into further detail of each type.
Real life locations
This is not always something like your neighborhood or school. Simple Google image searches usually yield inspiration for me. For instance, I searched ‘hallway’ when looking for something to map. I found this picture, which lead to me making the gg_chapel map.
You might think that you never get any good ideas for maps. The truth is that you probably do. You just don’t remember…because you don’t write it down. Try to have something to write with at all times. You might be reading a book when you suddenly get an idea. Write it down, even if you think it’s a mediocre idea. I probably have at least 50 designs for maps. I maybe try mapping half of them, and about 3/4ths of that half never get finished or released.
You always notice something about a map that could be better. Like how gm_downhill was laggy and doesn’t give enough to do. This gave me the idea to create gm_ultrahill. A year later, I realized how ugly gm_ultrahill was, so I made a second version.
This is probably the type of inspiration that I least recommend. We have WAY too many flatgrass and construct remakes in the Garry’s Mod community. People usually want original ideas, not ‘flatgrass but WITH A TOWER!1!11!!!1’
So, to sum it up:
– Google images is your friend
– Keep a pen/pencil and some paper handy.
– Please don’t make any more flatgrass maps. We already have plenty more than enough.