Need advice about style.

Discuss N mapping theory, N maps, and other aspects of map-making.

Moderators: PALEMOON,  yahoozy

User avatar
Richard Richards
Posts: 183
Joined: 2010.10.10 (18:46)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/epic4ever
Steam: www.steamcommunity.com/id/
Location: Helsinki. Finland. Europe. Earth. Milkyway

Postby Equilibrium » 2014.11.09 (20:46)

I somehow think I am past the point of no return but I can maybe make a comeback if I would be able to apply a style to my maps.

So I need prominent users that have skills in mapping to give me some advice, for example I posted a map and it was the only that did not get noticed on the first page of nmaps.net/browse , now I'm not gonna point any fingers and hopefully no one will feel like getting pointed at.

So please if you feel like a user with this kind of skill set, do point me in the right direction.
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 566
Joined: 2011.02.17 (22:24)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/zoasBE
Location: somewhere inside a super hexagon.

Postby zoasBE » 2014.11.18 (21:32)

Yes, you need.

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 566
Joined: 2011.02.17 (22:24)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/zoasBE
Location: somewhere inside a super hexagon.

Postby zoasBE » 2014.11.18 (22:17)

No seriously, jokes aside, style is a hard thing to get and a hard thing to teach, rather for its artistic and superfluous condition, you has style or you does not have, is acquired over time or not, is like the taste, the 'savoir faire' or to dress well. Two guys can buy exactly the same Italian cut suit, and one of them can serve as a wonderful and the other as horribly frightening, is something like based on who dresses well always dresses well, and who does not, not. I think I'm not helping you much, but is the pure reality, the style is a really difficult thing to teach and learn, it's more innate.

Generally, people with more style, or stylish authors (in any artistic materia) it is usually people that research much, who knows a lot, who reads a lot, who see a lot of films of any kind, who listen a lot of music, who looks a lot the work of others, who experiment, generally people with a strong personality. I don't mean that this is rightly needed to be stylish, but usually the style is strongly associated with the culture of each person, his experiences, and is based primarily on test, test and retest. Of course there will always be one who manages to never be stylish too.

I can suggest you two things, first look a lot at the work of many others, his maps, his series, his art, his style, his work, and try to understand why and how it was created. And by others I do not mean authors that you always admired and liked, if not all, those that do not seemed to be interesting for you or that you did not like for some reason, you always can find super interesting things anywhere to your surprise, you must do not close doors yourself. And lastly, try to experiment as much as you can, try to make something that you promised yourself never create, try to do things you've never done and always dreamed although you'd go wrong with them, this will be just the first few times. And after all this, if you follow the right path, gradually you will feel yourself more comfortable with some things than others, and style gradually will appear, if you are chosen to have it... :P

But also I can say to you that style is not necessarily required to create good and fun maps, look at Rose, he created such wonderful amazing maps and he has not style, is more like his style is no-style, although I prefer stylish and personality authors than not-stylish authors, personally. Above all try to have fun and be happy!

I hope I helped some way.. ;)

User avatar
Cowboy Magician
Posts: 516
Joined: 2013.06.21 (16:58)
Location: (London)

Postby james_S » 2015.01.24 (21:40)

I'm not sure if I believe there's such a thing. I think its more a sensitivity, when things such as disharmony and in some cases excesses make you sick so you avoid them. And also bothering to try to convey an appealing/entertaining feeling through whatever medium you're using.
Good luck!
The 'n Tower' was not built in a day. There were some remakes

User avatar
Richard Richards
Posts: 183
Joined: 2010.10.10 (18:46)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/epic4ever
Steam: www.steamcommunity.com/id/
Location: Helsinki. Finland. Europe. Earth. Milkyway

Postby Equilibrium » 2016.03.31 (20:10)

Almost 2 years later and only 3 replies, it just happens all over again, it feels like kinda surreal considering most mappers are adults.

Anyway Moderators, you have my permission to shut this thread down.

I'm just gonna be a lurker.
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

User avatar
La historia me absolverá
La historia me absolverá
Posts: 2228
Joined: 2008.09.19 (14:27)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/maestro
MBTI Type: INTP
Location: Beijing
Contact:

Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2016.04.02 (09:33)

Equilibrium wrote:Anyway Moderators, you have my permission to shut this thread down.

How kind of you.
M E A T N E T 1 9 9 2

Image

User avatar
Global Mod
Global Mod
Posts: 1416
Joined: 2008.09.26 (05:35)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/scythe33
MBTI Type: ENTP
Location: 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Postby scythe » 2016.09.29 (20:12)

Just taking a bird's-eye view of the latest five maps in your NUMA profile, it looks to me like your maps have a weak link between form and movement. There are interesting shapes, and difficult jumps, but the shapes aren't aware of the jumps, and they don't help with them. I'll use one of my maps as an example:

http://www.nmaps.net/194955

This map is not a bunch of randomly placed triangles. A lot of those were placed by experiment and I tested the leaps between platforms repeatedly to make sure that they were not only possible but "flow" into each other. If someone who plays your map spends a lot of their time touching the outer (default) rim instead of the tiles you placed, you placed the wrong tiles (unless you did that intentionally). A red flag is when there are a lot of steep slopes and no gentle ones:

http://www.nmaps.net/237051

It also happens that tilesets and mine patterns that tend to slow people down don't usually mix very well with rockets and chainguns. One of the exciting things about playing N is trying to complete a level faster than anyone else, so having to backtrack and dance around a rocket while you're trying to line up a difficult jump off the corner of a tile through a mine passage is... annoying. If you want a slow, cerebral map, it's good to give the player an enemy whose dynamics they can manipulate, usually drones (zap and laser). On the other hand, rockets and chainguns are great for fast maps, where drones can be annoying. I believe blue_tetris or someone wrote a guide analyzing how all of the enemies are used, and it's probably a better use of your time to read guides rather than waiting for someone to come help you (and I'm not actually a good mapmaker anyway).

You can, of course, break these rules if you're making something really pretty:

http://www.nmaps.net/76851

But you should generally focus on understanding how your tile and object placement creates gameplay; that gives you the background on top of which you can make things which are aesthetically pleasing. It's also harder to make hard maps fun than it is to make easy maps fun. Just because EddyMataGallos can beat your maps doesn't mean that most people can, or want to invest the time. Your job is to entertain people, not to impress them.

There's also a problem with slow failure versus fast failure as a way of enforcing difficulty. Generally, if the player makes a lethal mistake, the map should kill them as fast as possible. It's frustrating to stare as your ninja slowly falls to his death -- even if it lasts for only two seconds. So putting holes in the walls of a mine column:

http://www.nmaps.net/237035

is a good way to annoy people, when you could simply make them hit a mine and achieve basically the same effect.

The first two rules of mapmaking are:

1. Maps are meant to be played

2. Maps are meant to be played well.

The possibility of an elegant speedrun or AGD should tantalize the player in order to keep them going through the frustration of fighting N's fickle slope-and-corner jump physics. Do you make maps with that possibility in mind?
As soon as we wish to be happier, we are no longer happy.

Member
Posts: 39
Joined: 2008.10.11 (19:15)
NUMA Profile: http://nmaps.net/user/
Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198065412229/
MBTI Type: INFP
Location: South of UK
Contact:

Postby Sendy » 2016.10.03 (00:41)

I find awareness of symmetry is a good start. Symmetry doesn't have to just mean having the left half a mirror image of the right. It can mean any consistent patterns. It also means being aware of when and where to break symmetry for both gameplay and visual effect.

For example, groups of gold should sit in a proportion that either balances the composition of the screen, or follows some internal logic, for example, in groups of three or in a certain formation. If you have a lot of rooms, the generating principles of each room should be similar and each room should have it's own set of symmetries.

Sometimes you can make a level that's mostly symmetrical, but not quite. The eye really likes this kind of thing. Think of the level as a place. How might such a place have arisen? I like to combine rigid, man-made looking structures with natural cave areas, or have something that looks symmetrical or man-made but has eroded in certain places. It's these breaks in the symmetry that both allow you to add visual interest AND provide convenient breaks in the patterns to enhance gameplay.

Basically, you want visual logic, a language that tells a story and is easy to read from a gameplay vantage. Try limiting yourself to only two sets of tile groups, or only two or three object types. Try using empty areas of the map to create interesting but non-essential or non-playable areas. Try applying symmetry if not to the map as a whole, then to sub-areas of the map. Things look best when centered, so if a switch needs to go in a hall or room, put it in the middle, or up against a wall with equal distance between the floor and celing. If you're not centering, be aware of the proportion you did use and either use it for other like elements, or play with it's parameters for the other placements.

Be aware of relative safe areas. You want the level of danger to vary in the map, so some areas will be completely safe, others will kill you only if you make a silly miskate (or a mistake even), and others will be the main destinations, where challenges are presented. Vary the shape and mood of each area and modulate it with the diffuculty of the different areas.

Not to be a big old spammy mc. spammerson, but I think I used symmetry well in this map, as it uses a lot of the devices I listed above, and I'm pleased with how it looks and plays. A big part of N is the combination of form and function. I know it's in N++ but this could easily translate to vanilla N.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vKOcYTSKlw

I really hope this helps and if you or anyone else havs any questions I'd be glad to continue the discussion.

I'll also be giving an in-depth thought process analysis for each of the maps I make in N++ in this post:

https://forum.droni.es/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=10454

I wrote a mapping manifesto (inspired by blue_tetris' writing) a long time ago and it was well recieved, so I might have something useful to say.


Return to “Mapping”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest