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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » Minor question about map design
Topic Subject:Minor question about map design
Captain Keno
posted 03-07-20 12:35 PM CT (US)         
I wanted to ask something about map design I just recently thought about.

When you are working on a campaign or are making designs for your scenarios, do you guys use templates, like use inspiration from other maps before the ones you make and change and edit them to make your own? If so, how do you go about the process of making new scenario maps? Is taking inspiration from certain maps from even other RTS games okay?
posted 03-08-20 04:57 AM CT (US)     1 / 5       
I have on occasion taken inspiration from other scenarios or designers in extremely nebulous fashion, generally when it comes to the design approach rather than the actual visual product (although some tricks are just too good to not have a go at replicating in your own way). As an example, my 2016 Storm on the Steppe map had several landmarks that, while unique visually, were inspired by Mr. Wednesday's 2015 Pretty Town Contest winner in the way that he exposed the thitherto unexplored potential of the off-grid placement feature in the UserPatch and developed a new and novel design style from it.

However, the lion's share of my inspiration comes from actual global features. I've had the good fortune to have lived in several differing climates and love hiking, biking, paddling, or driving outdoors and exploring landscapes, and I travel when feasible--or spend time online poring over photographs and enjoying the beauty of our planet however I can. Much of that makes it into any map I've ever designed in AoE2, albeit in rather amusing mixes. The steppe terrain in the aforementioned scenario, for example, was inspired by a combination of visual research of the Mongolian, Central Asian, and Pontic-Danubian steppes with some firsthand memories of the midwestern US

~ Forgotten Empires ~

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjálfr it sama; ek veit einn at aldri deyr, dómr um dauðan hvern." - Hávamál 77.
Captain Keno
posted 03-09-20 06:23 AM CT (US)     2 / 5       
Thanks for the reply. I was originally going to ask this in the swgb design forums but I didn't think anyone was gonna respond there. My thought was that everyone was busy with the EF mod and other things.
Also, I asked because when I work on a map and I know some designers who work on a blank map rather well. It's just that, when I load up a blank map, I have trouble getting anything put down on it. It's like a bad case of writers block but more artist's block when trying to draw a map out and all you still have is a blank piece of paper.

I just draw blanks.

[This message has been edited by Captain Keno (edited 03-09-2020 @ 06:24 AM).]

Andanu Trisatya
posted 03-09-20 07:38 AM CT (US)     3 / 5       
I usually play a bunch of scenarios made by different designers, find a map design style which suits my taste, incorporate that style to my own map, then alter it until it could be considered as unique.

PTC scenarios provide the best source of inspiring ideas.

The Least Skilled Member of StormWind Studios

-:|:- Blacksmith Files -:|:- Fabula Fatali -:|:- Photography -:|:- Age of Kings Heaven -:|:-
posted 03-12-20 04:32 PM CT (US)     4 / 5       
Try blocking the map out with the huge terrain brush - grass where you want land, then forest where its impassible, dirt2 where its going to be arid, and cliffs to denote future mountains. After you figure out what the gameplay requirements are, you can carve out huge paths in the forests or add forests to block off areas.

I like to figure out the entire gameplay for the scenario and get to a first playtest run before even thinking about actual map design. A blank map is good since you can make huge alterations without ruining anything...of course, its mostly up to personal preference and how you like to do it.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
posted 03-12-20 09:35 PM CT (US)     5 / 5       
Start simple, with tiny/small sized maps until you grow confident enough to fill up larger sized ones with actually interesting stuff.
I'd recommend playing several of the blacksmith classics to get some inspiration first as well.
And of course, whenever you learn some new trick, firstly apply it to a "test" empty scenario before moving it to your main project (to avoid screwing it up).
Inspiration from other games is also a great way to spice things up (I, for example, many times used concepts/mechanics from several other rpgs in my scenarios)
It's also a good thing to know whether you're going for a minimalist or a more extravagant approach to your projects.

The Fall of Hummaria -- Teaser [4.2] -- Project's Thread
Cavern Pirates -- The Treasure Hunt [4.6] -- Captain's Revenge
My Blacksmith

[This message has been edited by rewaider (edited 03-12-2020 @ 09:40 PM).]

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