It depends on the person. I have found that when I draw things the designs are usually too simple and uncreative but are very doable. When I just open up hammer and go I can make awesome areas, but they usually get too complicated and impossible to finish without making a billion connecting hallways.[addsig]
I agree that the one-storyness is boring. I'm playing with lighting now but I plan to move back to the architecture once I get some practice with that. Multiple stories would definitely make sense, especially with the prison motif. I thought I might turn the middle into a 'cafeteria' area and then extend the map too add some more interesting areas. As for good DM ideas, I'll probably use my fav dm map of all time, phobos moon in UT classic for some inspiration.
The headcrabs don't make for good scenery? . There are also only like 4 textures in the whole map right now. I was having a really hard time when I first started texturing because I was set up for CS textures, most of which don't work in HL2
Do you guys usually sketch something on paper before you start working on a map? I know when I'm in hammer I get hung up on trying to make something work and it gets in the way of my design.
I also couldn't stand playing very long in Overwatch, though I couldn't put my finger on why it wasn't fun.
Neural Scan: I guess it shows that I love the Brak Show . My fav Thundercleese moment is on the rap episode.
Thanks for the good critique guys, I'll keep all that stuff in mind.
I agree Yak, this is definately a good first attempt. Why do first maps always seem to have random monsters worked into them? :/ Oh well I did it too
Yeah I suggest you read up a few of the architecture tutorials for hl1 (not the cliff/terrain ones, though, displacement makes most of those methods obsolete), and probably some basics on map design/layout, I'm pretty sure there's some lurking around. A good map needs some kind of flow. Something that keeps the players moving and possible areas which attract attention and are centers of combat. For example in Lockdown, the large room with the toilets, barrels and other random object attracts attention purely because there's an abundance of those objects to throw (toilets and sinks in particular )
I also agree on Overwatch being a bad example of a DM map. It's far too easy to camp at the top with the RPG, and the only decent part (gameplay wise) is the ground level of the building and some of the roads. It's fun to have a laugh in, but not good enough in the long run. Lockdown is superior as it has decent connectivity, balance between the use of the Grav Gun and normal weapons and it looks so much better
Of course there could be better maps, I hope you make one as good as that (Partly because Thundercleese rocks. His poor fish Mr. Tickles... at least he died happily)
Err, hope I haven't said anything wrong, I don't usually feel this smart after a post...[addsig]
For a complete newbie this isn't too bad! Certainly better than my first attempt.
-Texturing is too weak and could use more variety.
-The doorways and buildings are too small. Make them bigger to give the player more room and to give yourself more room to work on the architecture.
-Those headcrabs are pointless. Delete them and add more detail models around.
-This should show you what to work on in future designs. All the buildings are one story tall and all the walls are too. The level is too flat with no vertical play at all, which makes it too simple and boring. People won't find this entertaining for a full map cycle. I would challenge you to begin making buildings that have multiple stories with ramps and stairways connecting everything.
The short of it is that this is crap, but it's very promising crap. Take the lessons you'll learn from this and apply them to your next attempt. Keep doing this and you'll grow as a mapper and maybe make something tremendous. If you want examples of good maps to base your work on I would suggest looking at the HL1DM maps boot_camp, stalkyard, frenzy, and crossfire to see how the multiple level combat works and how to best impliment it in your work. I would look at HL2DM map lockdown to see how DM should be handled in HL2. I would also look at overwatch to show you how to not design a map, as it has plenty of nice aspects but the big middle building has the huge disadvantage of having too few pathways up that are too easily blockable. It is always good to look at other maps for not only inspiration but to see the problems they have so you can avoid them in your maps.[addsig]