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Thread: ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

  1. #1

    ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

    ET Mappers Bible

    Version 1.20 (updated: 3rd February, 2004)

    I thought I would start a thread on these. I believe there are some basic rules that are must-haves with every map ever made. We're not talking about tips and tricks here, just things that everyone should follow no matter what. Feel free to add and/or correct things here but I think this might be a valuable resource for mappers (especially newbies).

    Please reply to this thread with any essential points you want to see added to this list. I'll keep it up to date as often as possible, bumping the version number and date up as needed. Please keep your posts to only essential things that all maps should have no matter what (okay, the Gameplay section could be left up to some interpretation). Please do not post HOWTOs or tutorials.

    Thanks to sock for sticking this so everyone can see it and contribute to it. Keep the principals flowing!

    1. Textures
    1.1 Map specific textures should always be put into a directory of their own with the same name as your map.
    1.2 In the case where you'll be releasing mulitple maps using the same texture put these in a directory with a unique name like your ET nickname or something.
    1.3 Do not put custom textures into directories that the game ships with or other map directories. Refer to 1.1 and create your own directory (either for that specific map or your own series of maps)

    2. PK3 Naming
    2.1 Always name PK3 files with a version number to avoid conflict with previous versions or derivations of the same map
    2.2 Use something like MAPNAME_X_N where X is A=Alpha, B=Beta, V=Final and N is the number (e.g. mymap_a_1.pk3, mymap_v_3.pk3)

    3. Releasing
    3.1 Always include a README_MAPNAME.TXT file with your map which includes how to contact you, a website to reach you and/or a place to get the latest version, a rough idea of how many players is ideal for the map, and any credits to others for prefabs, help, testing, etc.
    3.2 Include the README_MAPNAME.TXT in both a ZIP release of your map and inside the PK3 file for completeness.
    3.3 Never release a map prematurely. Posting about it on the forums here is great but if someone downloads it from rtcwfiles.com they should expect a pretty complete product - otherwise my players bitch up a storm, which is no fun, and unfairly lowers their perception of your map.
    3.4 Always test your map. Test for playability (with others), test for bugs and problems (texture, size, flow, etc.) and test for technical design (r_speeds, z fighting, lighting, etc.). Use the addage, "Test twice, release once" and you'll make everyone happier in the end.
    3.5 Do not include a campaign file with the map. The server admin 9 times out of 10 will decide how the map is gonna be cycled. Having a campaign file with your map only adds confusion to the voting menu and makes it very cluttered. If you would like to add an example, tack it on to the readme file instead for those who don't know how to do it.
    3.6 Do not include anything in the PK3 that is already in the game. This bloats your PK3 file to large proportions and makes players (and admins) download unnecessary bits they shouldn't have to.

    4. Command Map
    4.1 When releasing multiple maps, avoid creating maps "overlapping" other maps on the campaign overview. Also try to avoid overlapping the default map tag names if possible so players can see your map on the overview.
    4.2 Use fullsized command maps. For some reason, there has been a bunch of maps released with postage stamp-sized command maps. This is because mappers are setting their min and max coordinates too large. Pick coordinates that are closer to the actual boundaries of your map to get rid of all the dead space in their tracemaps/command maps.

    5. Construction
    5.1 Whenever possible, take a look at existing maps like those released with the game (goldrush, battery, etc.) for scale. Make your maps similar in scale so doors are not too big and rooms are appropriately sized. Too big (or too small) make your map look odd and play strange.
    5.2 Map Editor scale: 1 map unit = 1 inch ; 12 map units = 1 foot ; 36 map units = approx 1 meter
    5.3 Use the existing ET textures as a guide to room heights. Check the example map Goldrush given away with the editor.
    5.4 Always caulk your map where the players won't see your work (like outside the sky, under buildings, etc.) as this will increase your fps and make the engine happier.

    6. Copyrights
    6.1 Do not use any prefabs, sounds, textures and other objects in the game without the express permission from the original author. Include that persons name in your README_MAPNAME.TXT file.
    6.2 Do not use any copyright materials from other games. This includes models, sounds, etc. from other games like Quake III, RtCW, Unreal Tournament, etc. ET is free and thus does not allow copying materials from retail games.

    7. Gameplay
    7.1 Try to achieve a balanced gameplay with your map. Equal number of objectives and ideas, using the advantages and disadvantages of each class for either side. Use well thought out spawn points, good connectivity around the map and difficult but attainable objectives. This will create a more harmonized and challenging map that is enjoyable by all.
    7.2 Be creative and original. Creating another clone of an RtCW map doesn't help the ET community. Gamers need and want original maps that are fun by all so put some thought into your map.
    7.3 Give players places to hide from air strikes and make it tought to place airstrikes. Air strikes are the #1 limiter of having a strong well designed and fun map.
    7.4 Provide players with multiple paths to a target or objective. There should be a few places in the map where you can go down diverging paths to formulate more complex strats. Instead of the typical 2 path system, you could make as many as 3-4 paths with cov ops doors, and dynamitable objects to diversify gameplay.
    7.5 Put some thought into counter-actions that the defense can make to slow down the offensive attack. Some things to consider may be constructibles, like a mg nest, building barriers (goldrush), or destroying constructions (fueldump).
    7.6 Don't overly complicate your layouts if you don't have to. Adding corridors that go nowhere just to fill space doesn't make for an interesting map. Relativly simple layouts work too. Like the layout of a high school. Confusing at first but functional and easy to pick up.
    7.7 Consider scalable gameplay when designing your map. SD did a good job of making maps that play just as well 4 v 4 as they do 14 v 14. In many cases, the map is large, but the use of a vehicle (tank or railcar) really localizes the action.
    7.8 Don't crowd players. Cooridors that are tall enough for a strafe-jumping person to traverse without hitting their head and wide enough for 2 people abreast to navigate works great.
    7.9 Consider thinking about items before placing them. Don't place items (command posts, machineguns, team doors) just because (a. I haven't put one in yet or b. One would look cool here) - every item should have a good reason why it's there.
    7.10 Stronger use of the vertical dimension. One of the reasons I liked Normandy Breakout by Menzel (esp by the cafe) was that you could use up to 4 levels of some buildings. It's great when you have to play 3 dimensions instead of 2. Good maps, typically play very well horizontally as well as vertically.
    7.11 If you make a building: think about it long and hard. Cause if you want to make a good looking level be sure to make all the buildings have a function other than to be a oddly shaped box where you have a fight in. So each door, each window, every stairwell and all the corridors and balcony's actually serve a purpose in that building if it was used in 'real life'.

    8. Spawn Points
    8.1 Place spawn points that are not directly on top of the objective nor directly astride the route to the objective.
    8.2 Give attackers two spawns like in battery. This is the best anti-spawn camping measure you can provide to players.
    8.3 Provide spawnpoints protected from direct fire and enemy campers (Axis spawn on Depot, spawns on Wizernes, Allied spawn on Base, etc) and try to give multiple, covered exits from spawn.
    Last edited by Smooth; 11th Aug 2008 at 14:28.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by bsimser

    Okay, I've removed it since two people commented on the point. The explanation was in the post which had to do with increased compiler times and whatnot but for the sake of arguing over it's merit I've removed the tip.
    There are known bugs with grids of less than 1 unit.
    http://zerowing.idsoftware.com/bugzi...bug.cgi?id=432

    1 unit should be ok, although as a general rule you should use the coarsest grid that will meet your needs.

  3. #3
    The only thing i can think of at this time to add to rules is the time it takes an opposing team to defuse dynamite thats planted, for example in oasis...
    when a team loses it's spawn point and is moved back to a new spawn point, it should not take that team more than 20 seconds to get back an defuse any dynamite planted at a main point. Oasis is a good example, when the axis lose their initial spawn, and dynamite is planted, they still have a chance to defuse it, providing they spawn close to that time it was planted. secondary spawn points that are to far off from a main entrance point that is to be blown is not a good idea. in choosing a secondary fallback spawn point for the opposing team, i checked a lot of spots and timed it as i ran back to where the dynamite was planted, and chose the best that gave me at least 20 seconds to get there. under 10 seconds to defuse worked out well, with all the opposing team firing back and all :clap:

  4. #4
    Just some thoughts about texts:
    - Always provide a description of objectives, as soon as possible before the map is made available for testing.
    - But don't get carried away and write an essay. Don't write more than can be displayed in the Limbo menu (I don't know if this depends on players resolution or other settings, does anyone?)
    - Write it in english and have the spelling checked. Perhaps write it in Word or something first.

    With regards to version numbering, you should add this that Wils said in this thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wils
    The main problem as it stands seems to be that map authors are naming their maps 'beta' until they consider them finished (or 'final').

    The situation might be resolved by more accurately naming the maps' status - Anything that reaches 'Alpha' should generally be feature-complete with all the gameplay in a finished state (pending feedback, obviously - thats the point of doing map tests ). The geometry should be more or less final (especially things like layout and routes), but may need adjusting depending on how well it plays.

    'Beta' tests should be a last call for bug fixing and tweaking ONLY - you shouldn't be using them to get player feedback beyond that, otherwise your map is not in a state you could reasonably call beta.

    For everything else, server admins could still test unfinished maps, but they shouldn't really be put into rotation or left on the server unattended.

    If you do want to run a map test on a map that isn't at alpha or beyond, you should make sure it's named accordingly - we use the term 'First Playable' at SD, which denotes a map which has reached the stage where it can be loaded in game and players can run around doing stuff, but its by no means final, geometry and lighting still need significant work, and the gameplay isn't complete.

  5. #5
    SiliconSlick: I'm sure your utility is very worthwhile to the community but please start a new thread and not hijack this one. If you have any information to add to the top post then please suggest, otherwise please keep this topic on course.

    Removed all excessive posts. Any new stuff should be merged in with the top post. Keep up the good work on the thread everyone.

    Sock
    :moo:

  6. #6
    -Always make the sky high enough for mortars. I've played on a few user created maps where the mortar would hit the sky and disappear.

  7. #7
    Tapir Stalker
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    No Jan, that's not necessary. All you have to do is have a tracemap file. That will get the mortars to function properly even with a low sky.

  8. #8
    8.4 Place team_wolf_objectives away from the edges of the map and (if possible) other entites which show on the command map. This is so players can read them on their minimap (eg, on some maps flags are close too the edge so you see on your minimap "<pic of flag> Spaw... " and you have nfi how many people are spawning there )

  9. #9
    8.5 Dont add too many spawn points

  10. #10

    A Newbie needs help! First time using Gtk Radiant 1.5.0 ET!

    Hello!

    I am The Mysterious from Enemy Territory.
    And i need with basics or a simple map for ET!

    First, how do i upload my own textures?
    Thanks on already! :drink:

  11. #11
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    Re: A Newbie needs help! First time using Gtk Radiant 1.5.0

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mysterious
    First, how do i upload my own textures?:
    Hi, welcome to the forums!

    Please search for this on the forum, this topic is about a set of guidelines which mappers are assumed to follow and is no place for these questions. I'm sure you can find a solution for this particular problem on these forums.
    If you have a new problem which you can't find, start a fresh topic.

    Greets,

    Kamikazee
    "Respect is everything" - GTA2
    "Notheeeeeng is final." - Bongoboy

  12. #12
    9. Mapscripting
    9.1 Never put additional "wait xxx" between the start of whatever trigger wins the map, and the wm_endround. The round should end instantly as soon as the objective is done. This stops cases where console shows a different result to the splashscreen.

  13. #13
    Is it allowed to make a remake of the map from another game?

    It means that I am doing the map completely myself, without exporting/importing models, textures and stuff. I am using the standard textures from ET, and map dimensions, which I will calculate in the game by myslef, running around and counting the steps?

    So generally making a new map, with nearlly same brush coordinates, different textures and all made by myself without using import?

  14. #14
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    I think you are not doing anything illegal if your new map accidentally resembles a map from another game but does not share it's brushwork. (Meaning it is no derived work.)
    "Respect is everything" - GTA2
    "Notheeeeeng is final." - Bongoboy

  15. #15
    Well... thats the point.. I am trying to get it as close as possible to the actual original map of another game... So I am pretty sure that some, if not all major structural brushes will be exactly the same..

    On the other hand the game that I am remaking from uses completely different technique in producing a map (here I mean a brushwork), but the end-product will be pretty much the same, except textruing and some extra detailed brushes + adjustments for the ET-kind game.

  16. #16
    Death from above! xD! aaa3's Avatar
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    its totally legal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese...mputer_science
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_engineering
    (and i know about a map which imitates a kingpin map, loved its idea coz played the game kingpin too. ok this is not related to "is it legal or not" dilemma, just mention that there are similar maps and there exists fellow mapmakers who are in the same boat as you .)
    [some edits added]
    wip: still making my 2nd map (big ruined citymap std. mid-'08, quasi-killed bc. my lazyness).
    future plans: making some minor stuff for EF mod. vehicle, weapon and prop models. a dam map. a quake2 style map +minimod. an ancient greek ruins map (DieRuinenvonOlympia). finishing my 1st map (danube. plains-river-bridge+mountains-forest). a castle map. a forest hq map la valkyrie. an industrial indoor with wunderwaffen. playerskin, weapon minimods. Forever ET!

  17. #17

    Re: ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

    this is what im looking for, thanks a lot for sharing some ideas here




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  18. #18

    Re: ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

    Ok, after two fails, I tried to make an ET map, but now with some good help.

    Question : Can I use anything from the basic ET maps into my own maps ? Ofc, maps made by others, first ask permission.

  19. #19
    Tapir Daddy -SSF-Sage's Avatar
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    Re: ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by Blowfish View Post
    Ok, after two fails, I tried to make an ET map, but now with some good help.

    Question : Can I use anything from the basic ET maps into my own maps ? Ofc, maps made by others, first ask permission.
    Taking stuff from the 6 standard maps is widely considered acceptable, but be careful that it doesn't look too much like a standard map, that might cause "damage" to the whole community (ppl stop downloading custom maps).

    And ofc as you said, taking stuff from custom maps, ask for permission, then give credit in the readme.
    The m4st3r of making c0nfus1ng p0sts!

    0110111001101111011011010111001101100111

  20. #20

    Talking Re: ET Mappers Bible and Guidelines

    I won't be copying entire pieces of the basic maps, but maybe just a little part, like (part of) a building or so. New maps should be orginal, not a clone :-).

    Once you know how to use radiant, its getting veryyy addictive !

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