Zhadoom wrote:Thus, the question should be: How do you advanced mappers do your mapping so fast? Is there anything which makes mapping faster?
I'm not sure that all "advanced" mappers make maps quickly. Often, it is a trial & error process to see what works best. For example, I recently began a map that represents a vast space station. It's taken me several hours to create & scale the proper textures, and set up just the very basic start area. I needed to mess with sector heights and slope angles, length and width, texture alignment, etc. And I've not even completed 2% of my map.
If there's one thing that probably speeds up mapping, it's the ability to properly visualize and conceptualize what you're going for. Some people are better than others in imagining areas of maps. Such people tend to be able to better translate their ideas into map structures. For others, it helps to create paper sketches, both of maps in a 2D view, as well as specific areas and structures in 3D view. Either way, knowing what you want the map to look like [themes, geometric shapes, texturing] will help in streamlining the process and allow mapping to keep moving forward.
Another thing that tends to speed up mapping is having a fairly good idea of the map's progression before
beginning mapping. If you know the path (or path options) that the player will need to take before hand, it will avoid having to "stitch together" different parts of a map later in the process. [What helps me is to create a block diagram that traces the player's path (and options) as well as the principal objectives.] Of course, you always need to be flexible, and be prepared to make changes to the progression and layout even after you've begun the process.
Have you experienced a method that you would consider as being quickly? For example, do you think that 3D editing leads to good results in a fraction of time that 2D editing would have needed?
Unfortunately, I'm not the right person to ask this question, as I don't primarily use map editors that feature 3D mode. I have used DooM Builder's 3D mode, and it certainly speeds up texturing and texture adjustment. However, as 3D mode does not allow you to change map shapes (i.e., moving vertices), this method doesn't provide any significant advantage in modifying shapes. I think that the main advantage of 3D mode to someone like me is the ability to swiftly switch between 3D and 2D modes. The way I do things is to save my map changes, then run a batch file to load the updated map, then close it and return to my editor - clearly more time-consuming than having a one-touch switch between 3D and 2D.
Yes, pre-fabs, that sounds good. What is the best way to organise them? Should one use rooms as pre-fabs or smaller items like pillars and windows?
Don't pre-fabs leed to the result that many rooms or items in a level look rather similar?
Pre-fabs tend to work better for smaller items. However, if you have a theme to your map, and different areas can have similar-looking rooms, then entire rooms can be pre-fabs. Insert your pre-fab room, and then make changes that prevent the new room from looking exactly the same as others - new wall & floor textures, relevant sectors moved around, heights of sectors changed, etc.
Yes, pre-fabs can sometimes create a "cookie-cutter" look, where things look similar. However, changing the dimensions and texturing of pre-fabs can reduce this unfortunate side effect. Another way to avoid the sameness that comes from wide-spread use of pre-fabs is to use them sparingly and create more pre-fabs from which to choose. Also, plagiarism is your friend - if you see something in someone else's map that will work well in your own, and if the other author has given permissions, then copy-and-paste what you need and give credit.