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-   -   Trying Not to be Discouraged... (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=129707)

Jedi_Vogel 06-11-2004 08:02 AM

Trying Not to be Discouraged...
 
I must stop looking at the maps that are reviewed... I see maps, I think "woah..." and then I see Wedge or GothiX, for very good reasons, giving maps 5 or 6 out of 10...baaaaah.

As I learn more I progress, but sometimes you've either got it or you haven't right?

How do people NOT get discouraged when working on a map, which takes hours?

GothiX 06-11-2004 09:36 AM

Those reviews can also be a guide as to what not to do in a map, which you can use to improve. ;)

Jedi_Vogel 06-11-2004 09:47 AM

I guess I should be more patient, only been learning for 3 months and I'm working on my first serious map. I thought I'd post screen shots once in a while, but seeing how "good" screenshots receive "negative" feedback, I'll keep the screenies as a personal diary :S

Codja X 06-11-2004 09:48 AM

Also, these are maps by people who know the tools very, very well. What i've learnt is, no matter how good a mapper you think you are, there is always someone better.

What I would advise you do is look at the ones that are rated 1 or 2 - these usually are REALLY crap and makes you think "I can do much better than that" - a sort of encouragment.

What I would suggest is not to try anything too fancy to start with - keep it simple and make sure everything works correctly. A simple, well made, bug free map is usually a lot more fun than an overly complex, bug-ridden affair.

Learn new features by creating test maps for them and only include these features in release maps once fully mastered. Just learn one thing at a time and you'll find by the 4th or 5th map, you'll be up there with the veterans.

Good luck and keep on trucking:)

lassev 06-11-2004 10:46 AM

I only say one thing: Nobody should take this so seriously or personally. There are hundreds of people visiting this place, posting randomly here and there. If some nameless person gives you undeserved negative feedback... so what?

It's a dangerous thing in this world to lull yourself into expecting a certain kind of feedback or answer. Just sort the clutter and pick what you came looking for - be it praise to warm your long suffering heart, or be it constructive criticism that really helps you.

Codja X 06-11-2004 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by lassev
If some nameless person gives you undeserved negative feedback... so what?

Mr. Lassev is, as always, absolutely right. Some people make it their mission to go round the various forums and criticise people's hard work without contributing anything.

What I would do if I was you, if you really are affected by these idiots who flame, is to do a search for the work they've done. If it's a load of toss, ignore them.

However, most of the mappers that are considered to be very good (lassev, mslaf, wade, wedge, rgoer, torchy, gothiX etc*) will only criticise if needed and then it will be constructive - most of us here love this game and only want to see it improved upon.

Also, congrats to rgoer who is now offically a part of the Raven team. Jammy bastard!


*sorry if i've missed you out

Jedi_Vogel 06-11-2004 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by lassev
Just sort the clutter and pick what you came looking for - be it praise to warm your long suffering heart, or be it constructive criticism that really helps you.
I don't come searching for praise to warm my long suffering heart. lol

I expect criticism, especially when I want to improve, I just see those who do a darned good job (in my newish eyes) and get badly rated.

There are those who's opinions I've come to respect in here and I will take those opinions seriously when the time comes, for I know they will be well-founded, knowledge-based and experience-enriched constructive criticism.

But sometimes I find it hard to keep going when I see the quality others are churning out, that's all. I will keep going and just try to improve on MY last effort, not on those of others...

Kengo 06-11-2004 12:40 PM

Yeh, I totally agree with Codja and Lassev here; don't take criticism too personally. The people who get personal or are overly harsh are morons whose opinions do not deserve recognition or consideration, in my opinion. The main benchmark for worthwhile criticism is that its based vaguely on reality, and is put in a constructive or reasonable manner :)

Also, try not to feel too downhearted about your level designing skills compared to others. I know guys whose mapping skills outstrip mine so completely that its like they're operating on a whole different level, my levels pale in comparison to theirs but...so what? For me, like you said, as long as I feel I'm improving as I go along, thats good enough!

Guys like Wedge, Gothix and Rgoer have been mapping for years - and they didn't create masterpieces as soon as they started, I assure you :)

I know I'm not a super mapping legend like those others that have been mentioned, but I think I'm OK - and every now and again I like to look at this page, just to prevent me getting too big-headed...

http://www.massassi.net/levels/files/2213.shtml

wedge2211 06-11-2004 12:48 PM

Re: Trying Not to be Discouraged...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jedi_Vogel
I must stop looking at the maps that are reviewed... I see maps, I think "woah..." and then I see Wedge or GothiX, for very good reasons, giving maps 5 or 6 out of 10...baaaaah.

As I learn more I progress, but sometimes you've either got it or you haven't right?

How do people NOT get discouraged when working on a map, which takes hours?

I assume you're talking about Map-Review ratings, and not, say PCGM or JK3files user ratings, which can be very fickle.

Yeah, it's tough... a lot of beginning-to-middle stage mappers produce some good-looking stuff, but really leave things unfinished or throw in lots of vehicles, teleporters, func_ entities of every description, and such just because they thing they look cool. One very good example can be seen in my recent review of the Byss Outpost. At first, I really liked this map. I mean I really liked the actual Byss part of it. Solidly built, lots of detail, looked like Raven's Byss map. That's hard to do, represents a lot of solid effort, and was, in my opinion, a very good small-FFA map in my opinion...but then the author went and made 4 totally unrelated "duel areas" just because he could, and my eyes rolled up in my head. The whole map was spoiled for me just because a "DUDE omg we can tauntaunjoust LOLOL" section was included. And it was a half-baked part of the map at that, just a basic box with some doors and tauntauns.

It's not quite that you "get it" or "don't." I think everyone gets better as time goes on, if they're willing to put forth the effort. I'm 19, so a tad more mature than many of the "noob" mappers, and I'm not as easily impressed. The problem is, some halfassed map appears on PCGM and gets rave reviews by lots of younger players who don't map, think it's "cool," and don't recognize that it could be SO much more polished than it is (eg, KOTOR flight school, Nathan's Helm's Deep, FoU Hangout, etc). You can spot them in the comments because they don't supply any useful comment of the map, just "AWEZOME 100/10 keep it up yo." Then the mappers have their egos inflated and are encouraged to produce more of the same, rather than really putting forth the effort to make a truly great map. There's a reason LDJ's maps are few and far between (though he's kinda gone downhill from Duel of the Fates and Bespin).

It is hard to not get discouraged, because good maps take time. I've been working on my next map since at least Dec '03. What people need to learn to do is to really thoroughly explore their idea before ever opening Radiant, map it out, and then keep plugging away at it until it's really polished enough to release. Too many people release half-assed maps just because they can't stand not having a file submitted. Another thing you have to do is accept constructive criticism and act on it, those giving the criticims really do want maps to come out nicely!

If you're interested, I've written a page on general mapping hints and an article on mapping with a coherent atmosphere. They summarize my views pretty well.

Another thing you should definitely do: head over to the showcase forum and show off some of your shots! That is *the* best way to get good feedback and suggestions. If we seem harsh at first, just keep plugging away, and remember not to just disregard suggestions out of hand!

Also, do a private or public beta before you release on a major file site. That will catch any major or minor errors before the community gets to!

GOOD LUCK!

GothiX 06-11-2004 01:14 PM

If you want good practice, I recommend checking out the maps by Ravensoft, and the ones reviewed at MR with scores of 8+, and try to recreate them. Don't release them, just use them for personal practice - I've learnt lots from doing this with baseq3 maps.

lauser 06-12-2004 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Codja X
Also, these are maps by people who know the tools very, very well. What i've learnt is, no matter how good a mapper you think you are, there is always someone better.
UNLESS your name is rgoer and you get hired at RAVENSOFT!

RoxStar 06-12-2004 05:24 PM

Rgoer got hired by Ravensoft?

GothiX 06-12-2004 05:52 PM

Yup. Don't you guys read the Map-Review/levelsource news? :p

wedge2211 06-13-2004 05:09 PM

<3 rgoer

you can do a lot by experimenting with scratch-maps and just trying things out, too...as GothiX just kinda mentioned

lassev 06-13-2004 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by wedge2211
you can do a lot by... just trying things out, too...
You think so? :rolleyes:

|GG|Carl 06-13-2004 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by lauser
UNLESS your name is rgoer and you get hired at RAVENSOFT!
What the ...?

That's kinda cool...

RoxStar 06-14-2004 12:14 AM

So raven does pay attention to us after all...

GothiX 06-14-2004 07:28 AM

Rgoer has been around the Q3 modding scene for ages, and has always been one of the best mappers around, with great knowledge of the engine. If anyone deserves to work at Raven (or Id, because he's got the talent for it), it should be him.

Jedi_Vogel 06-15-2004 05:53 AM

Wedge- thanks for that :) I read the lot and yeah I will keep going, I'm in this for the long-haul and won't release it until I think it's worth it and until I've gotten some constructive criticism from showcase forum...which I won't post screenies until I've done the first major stage the map. And man, that map you're working on it amazing Wedge :D


GothiX- ok I'll give it a go and see what happens :D

Codja X 06-15-2004 08:08 AM

The only problem you've got now is the weight of expectation on your shoulders.

I'm personally looking forward to your 1st release - I think it's going to be a corker. So get keep your head down and get cracking!

The more time spent on these boards means less time making maps:) :)

Jedi_Vogel 06-15-2004 08:17 AM

As true as normally that would be, the time spent on these forums is less time working, as I only have net access in the office at present lol.

I map in the evenings with no internet to distract :wink:

Codja X 06-15-2004 08:28 AM

Same with me, except they've disabled the floppy disc drive, so my writing arm is getting severely tested. This being due to my p*ss poor memory....

What was I saying?

Jedi_Vogel 06-15-2004 08:31 AM

lol I can understand completely. Thankfully I use MY laptop in work, copy and paste all advice I'm given into a text file for later reference :D

lauser 06-15-2004 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by GothiX
Rgoer has been around the Q3 modding scene for ages, and has always been one of the best mappers around, with great knowledge of the engine. If anyone deserves to work at Raven (or Id, because he's got the talent for it), it should be him.
ROFL!! Gothix, rgoer and I started mapping around the same time. In fact he asked me a few questions about mapping when JK2 was still in it's infancy. But as you have witnessed his understanding of how things work far surpases my abilities. I believe I was the only person to test his chapel map when he first started it. Too bad I don't have it anymore. :ball: It was a beautiful creation to start off. Nothing like it is today. It had amazing curves around the main duel arena. I don't think rgoer thinks too highly of me anymore...... :P

Roxstar, in rgoers case I think Raven may have offered him a job I don't know. But in KOTOR Mr. Jays case I think he applied to RAVEN, which you could do also. ;)

Codja X 06-15-2004 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by lauser
ROFL!! Gothix, rgoer and I started mapping around the same time. In fact he asked me a few questions about mapping when JK2 was still in it's infancy. But as you have witnessed his understanding of how things work far surpases my abilities.
When he left you, he was but the learner, but now, he is the master etc...:)

wedge2211 06-15-2004 10:40 PM

KOTORMJAY applied to Raven? With that piece of crap flight school in his portfolio? :rolleyes:

Vogel, glad to help! I hate to see new mappers feel turned away by thte community or discouraged in any way. Constructive criticism can be hard to take, but ti's always for the best. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

RoxStar 06-16-2004 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by lauser

Roxstar, in rgoers case I think Raven may have offered him a job I don't know. But in KOTOR Mr. Jays case I think he applied to RAVEN, which you could do also. ;)

Psh, the Quake III Arena Engine is ancient. I've got an idea for an awesome engine. It mostly involves realistic character design. You basically would just model that character and then model different skins to be applied to the body which would actually give the model depth and not just the "painted on" look of a lot of skins today. But there I go again rambling on.

I want to see this so-called Raven Submission Page!

lauser 06-16-2004 02:57 AM

Okay first off.....you seem to be hinting that you have extensive knowledge of game engines. If that's the case why are you posting here? If you know so much you should be providing all the answers...NO?

Secondly...RAVEN submission page? Not that I'm aware of. You want to apply for a position at RAVEN? .....go here:

RAVENSOFT

Look in the CONTACT area.

Jedi_Vogel 06-16-2004 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by wedge2211
Vogel, glad to help! I hate to see new mappers feel turned away by thte community or discouraged in any way. Constructive criticism can be hard to take, but ti's always for the best. Can't wait to see what you come up with!
Thanks Wedge :), though you'll have to wait til September in the earliest for even a pre-Beta lol. I'm working on architecture at the moment. I spent an hour or so the other night redoing a level in JO, just taking screenies in an attempt to improve my architecture...it's an interesting experience lol

Codja X 06-16-2004 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jedi_Vogel
just taking screenies in an attempt to improve my architecture...it's an interesting experience lol
Don't forget the power of google. For example, you can take your influences from the same places that George Lucas and his concept designers did - E.G. for tatooine, they went for an arabic / islamic theme, so do a search for "islamic architecure". If you're doing Yavin, try "incan temple" or "aztec ziggurat" etc. Coruscant you can look at pics for "new york art deco" etc

This will add a little bit of authenticity to your architecture and thus make it better.

Jedi_Vogel 06-16-2004 11:10 AM

Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. Architecture I AM finding difficult and if you saw the screenshot of the room I'm currently working on, you'd agree :lol:

RoxStar 06-16-2004 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by lauser
Okay first off.....you seem to be hinting that you have extensive knowledge of game engines. If that's the case why are you posting here? If you know so much you should be providing all the answers...NO?

I don't really have extensive knowledge its just that the Quake III Engine has ben around for almost 5 years and, Rgoer is working on Quake IV so it seems that the engine is going to be histroy in a few years. Secondly, I know absolutely nothing about the Quake III Engine exdept what I've learned in the past year at these forums. I've learned that it is fairly easy to mod these engines but that it is almost an art and requiers practice.

lauser 06-16-2004 04:05 PM

Well okay then I was just mostly curious.....it's cool. :p

wedge2211 06-16-2004 05:08 PM

Sometimes a useful exercise is to look at a real object or building and think about how to build it with brushes. Just to get a sense of how to build "real"-looking things in Radiant.

RoxStar 06-16-2004 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by lauser
Well okay then I was just mostly curious.....it's cool. :p
Sorry sometimes I come off as mean.

Codja X 06-17-2004 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by wedge2211
Sometimes a useful exercise is to look at a real object or building and think about how to build it with brushes. Just to get a sense of how to build "real"-looking things in Radiant.
Ha ha - I find myself doing this all the time - "how could I setup a reflective shader for those windows?" "wow! look at those drainpipes"

If you've got a digital camera, it can be very useful to go round your nearest built up area and take loads of photos. You can get a lot of idea's this way and also a lot of textures.

As an exercise to build up your architecture skills, try taking photo's of a nearby building and modelling it in radiant. Once you've got it fairly accurate, you should have learned all the necessary skills.

Jedi_Vogel 06-17-2004 05:49 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by wedge2211
Sometimes a useful exercise is to look at a real object or building and think about how to build it with brushes. Just to get a sense of how to build "real"-looking things in Radiant.
Hmm, funny how I've just recently got a digital camera. You guys are great for giving me ideas :D Means my first map'll be even longer coming, but at least it'll be better *nodnod* :D

{NJO}*Dark 06-17-2004 01:37 PM

Is it a good idea to mostly make that map and then change it all putting in the good and detailed architecture afterwards? I have started to do this with my current map so that i get a 'feel' for the map before i make the finalish design for the map. In other maps i have made a small map before hand with a few corridors and a room or two to develop the architecture. I was just wondering which you though was the best.

zag 06-18-2004 06:42 AM

well im pretty bad at level design myself (check out a few inches south of here :p )
its not the doing stuff i have a problem with its just the level design that i suck at with is kinfa hard to remedy
i remember once when i was knee deep in radient one time i was in mcdonalds and i was looking at these neon sign and though "thats a pretty complex curve with a glow shader" and then the floor "its shiny but not realy reflective shiny" and at the chairs and tables and stuff and i didnt even realise i was doing it

Jedi_Vogel 06-18-2004 06:51 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one looking at the world "in a new light" :lol:


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