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 Bens Small Bible of Realistic Multiplayer Level Design

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The Govener
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Age : 28
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Registration date : 2007-03-24

PostSubject: Bens Small Bible of Realistic Multiplayer Level Design   Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:39 pm

This is a VERY helpful tutorial to making realistic maps, i have only Read a tiny chunk of this tutorial before and my entire style of mapmaking changed for the better.
Bens Small Bible of Realistic Multiplayer Level Design is the name of the tutorial and if you click the name it will bring you to the tutorial.

here are a few Quotes from the Bible.

Quote :
I think it's nothing new for level designers that they have great concepts for a really complex and
cool map but as soon as they release it, nobody is playing it on the servers. Especially big maps
are simply too large and misleading. Of course, the designer knows the map inside out but people
playing it the first time get lost, are frustrated and will never give the map the chance it might
deserve. Not without a reason, small levels with very simple design are often the most successful
ones. This is the reason why it is very important to give the player a lot of guidance and
landmarks which helps them to orientate. Of course, if the game you create the level for supports
big open fields, maps in his HUD, or compass with waypoints, it's less important. But even here
you should never neglect adding navigation spots and to split the level into recognizable parts.
Never forget that, if the player gets lost in your map the first time, it doesn't matter how great your
gameplay ideas are because he will never experience it and will switch the map/server in
frustration. Orientation and navigation are very important for the success of your map, I can tell
you this from my own personal experience.

Quote :
I can't stress enough that performance and gameplay are always more important than the beauty
of your map. Of course a nice looking map will get more attention at the beginning but if people
notice that the bad performance makes the map unplayable with more than four players, nobody
will play it anymore. Obviously the same goes for the gameplay, especially if all of your small
details make the player get stuck or cause a very uncomfortable movement. So the main intention
of details should be small gameplay elements like a hole/gap in a ruin, curtains around windows,
a branch of a tree to jump on or a thin metal railing. The next intention of details is to create the
right atmosphere. For example, break walls in ruins and place dirt on the ground, use metal
support pieces in warehouses or clean looking furniture in mansions. If you and the
players/testers are happy with your map and you have a good performance

Quote :
I could probably write a completely new article on the subject of creativity but I would like to keep
this short. If you read through the whole article, please don't expect that you can now build the
greatest levels of all time. Perhaps you can now create some quite solid multiplayer maps but
they are still nothing really special without your own creative input! Every good designer has his
systems which he uses to create levels but even the best didn't have their greatest ideas on
command. Normally you think about a problem or something which might spice up your level until
you get a headache and then suddenly, when you least expect it, you find the solution. Great
ideas can come to you; under the shower, on the toilet, smoking on the balcony, before you fall
asleep or whenever you are relaxing. This is normal and nobody can expect you to come up with
ideas to order.
Great ideas are born if you don't think about the problem and suddenly it pops up into your mind
so try to make sure that you work in a peaceful, inspiring environment without a lot of stress
around you. Go out for a walk, customize your desk like a greenhouse (an extreme example but
I've seen it done), relax or do something completely different as long as you don't have to think
very hard. If you have no real idea about your strategy plan, just use an already approved
oldschool one, modify it a little bit and then you might have cool ideas for the tactical parts. At
least this is how it happens to me very often.
It is nothing really new that level designers take their ideas from movies, music videos or even
from some cheap B-movie style TV series. A single scene in any action movie can already give
you the idea of a tactical scene in your new level. Take this as a base and complete it with a
strategy plan, do some research about the environment and you will get enough other ideas to fill
the level. In the end nobody knows that it was a Bon Jovi video which gave you the mental kick
for a kick ass map because it was just the first impulse for your own creative work.

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