How to learn how to create good maps?

A_Higher_Plane

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Hey guys. I don't know how to make good maps. I think that Andar has once told me to look over/study existing maps. Is this true? If so, how much studying should I do? And how should I do this studying? I really need to be able to create good maps on my own.
 

HexMozart88

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I use a lot of references when I make my maps, and that usually helps. Also remember that every few tiles you should have *something* but don't make it too cluttered. Looking at tutorials and other maps will help you figure out that happy medium.
 

GmOcean

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Look at how they do the edging of their maps. Look at how they space apart their buildings and structures. Look at the variants to ground clutter, etc....

We can't help you study a map. Everyone has different ideas of what they like, so find a map you like, and ask yourself what about that map you like, ignore things like tilesets and art style and recreate that map using the default stuff.

Do you still feel the same about the way the map looks? Good then take note of that and build more like it but change things up.

If you don't like your map that's an exact copy of theirs using the default tilesets, then you never liked the map to begin with, you liked the art assets.
 

Lunesis

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1) Open map editor and create new map

2) Select grass tile and then bucket tool

3) Fill in map with grass tile

4) Stare at screen for hours

5) Go to classifieds section and hire mapper
 
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Avery

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Step 1: Read my tutorials
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

Just kidding, but I wrote down a lot of things that in my opinion help and matter a lot in them, so I think reading them would really help:

Plus I also wrote down some about basic edits that enhance your maps a lot:

I think something that overarches my tutorials is the "Have a story for your map", which means tailoring the houses to the people that live there, like having a large house with flowers and garden for the rich mayor or the castle that is of course placed on top of a hill to be in a good position to be defended and not in a position where you can easily shoot at it.
Those thoughts help a lot when filling your maps plus you already come up with lines and ideas for the NPCs while mapping ;3
There are many more on the way, but I cannot write all that down in a few minutes, so I'd just check the blog or the forum section about the blog every now and then^^
 

Frostorm

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@A_Higher_Plane Sigh, really? Another question asking how to make something "good"? Like, out of literally all the adjectives you could use in the English language, you still choose to use the most generic & vague term possible.

But to answer your question, yes, you should study other maps as research material. You can never really study too much, tbh. It should be pretty common sense, no? Anyway, one thing I think really helps make maps "good" is to add verticality. As in, you should try to incorporate varying heights in your maps. This applies to both towns/cities as well as dungeons.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Okay I will read the tutorials in addition to studying the maps freestyle. It seems that there are a lot of tutorials out there.
 

HexMozart88

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@A_Higher_Plane Sigh, really? Another question asking how to make something "good"? Like, out of literally all the adjectives you could use in the English language, you still choose to use the most generic & vague term possible.
From his post history, I just think he's naive and not very confident. Either that or he wants everyone to make his game for him, LOL.

Though I do agree the question is kind of pointless. How do you learn to do anything well? You look at examples and tutorials. Also don't know why you'd just brush off Andar's advice and make a thread asking a bunch of random people whose skills you don't even know. Anyway, I think the question has been answered many times. I hope it's useful for you.
 

Iron_Brew

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From his post history, I just think he's naive and not very confident. Either that or he wants everyone to make his game for him, LOL.

Though I do agree the question is kind of pointless. How do you learn to do anything well? You look at examples and tutorials. Also don't know why you'd just brush off Andar's advice and make a thread asking a bunch of random people whose skills you don't even know. Anyway, I think the question has been answered many times. I hope it's useful for you.
I've accused this guy of trying to outsource his creativity a few times, and while I feel I've maybe been a little harsh, it feels like there's a new one of these threads every single day, at least.

At what point is flooding a violation of forum rules? :LZSlol: :LZSlol: :LZSlol:

Anyway - the best way to gitgud at mapping is to simply do it! Put pen to paper and figure out what looks good and what doesn't. I think of this as a separate skillset to Level Design, but if your Level Design is undermined by your aesthetics, you might want to:

  • Adjust your aesthetics, as gameplay experience is usually paramount to a player's enjoyment
  • Ensure that your level design never prevents your maps from looking good

A good example of how you can use Level Design in concert with mapping to the player's advantage is to use decorations/aesthetics to funnel players into cutscene triggers, or over events (such as checkpoints or puzzle triggers), without having to litter your maps with duplicate events. This can actually be quite important for optimization, so being able to force a player into a certain area without them realising you're doing it is a really keen skill, which is why mapping is so important :D
 
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Juanita Star

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Some of us dont have English as our first language, so I understand why maybe his way of writing may not be the best. it happens.

I do suggest learning the basics first and foremost (Avery guides are hella good). And

I also classify tiles for the map. For example. If I want a dessert area, I go looking for tiles to put in that area and make a carpet only for those.

Also, here some guides in japanese. (translate is my friend here).
 
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I am still struggling with mapping too. And many people above already gave you solid advices.

But after playing quite a lot of RM games and watching playthrough, people seems to dislike these things:
  • Huge square map with nearly nothing inside it.
  • Inconsistent size between outdoor vs indoor. Ex: small house from outside, but when you enter its very huge.
  • Too much visual clutter. In the old days of rpg maker, there was something called "Three Tile Rule". Every three tiles on the map, you should put something to break the monotony. If you follow it blindly, it just makes the map messy. You should consider the negative spaces too.
Do you have discord? You should join some rpg maker servers. There are some, from the official one to RMN one.
 

HexMozart88

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Some of you big guys need to realize that some of us dont have english as our first languaje.
??? I'm confused. When did any of us make fun of his language? And, if you're talking about the videos linked above, this is an English-speaking forum. It's expected that people who come here have a basic grasp of the language so that they understand what people are telling them.
 

Juanita Star

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??? I'm confused. When did any of us make fun of his language? And, if you're talking about the videos linked above, this is an English-speaking forum. It's expected that people who come here have a basic grasp of the language so that they understand what people are telling them.
I misread a little, so I edited my post literally the second after sending it. So there is the end to that.

Edit:


Addint to the topic, this link. Posting maps and receiving critique is an amazing way to improve when you feel that your map is off, but dont know exactly why.
 

Iron_Brew

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I misread a little, so I edited my post literally the second after sending it. So there is the end to that.

Edit:


Addint to the topic, this link. Posting maps and receiving critique is an amazing way to improve when you feel that your map is off, but dont know exactly why.
For real, nobody is making fun of anyone's way of writing. The only thing being joked about is the sheer volume of threads this fella posts - it's all in good humour, I swear :kaoluv:
 
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I think Juanita didnt imply that anyone is making fun of his language. It just meant that Higher Plane is not a native.

As a non native, i have trouble conveying my thought into writing in English. Perhaps its the same for Higher Plane. A native may be able to pack more information in a paragraph, for us its not that easy.
Hence the nature of his questions on several threads, too broad, vague and open ended.

@A_Higher_Plane you could try to include more information whenever you create a thread. It makes it easier for people to help you. Perhaps try posting your map here so people can give feedbacks?
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Just to clarify, I am not asking you to make me a full game or a functionality like a single puzzle or a single map. I am asking what the best ways to learn how to do so myself? I'm sure those who speak English here well know the quote "Give a man fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime." I want to learn how to create maps and such for myself. I thought that I was clear about that. I didn't ask anyone to do the work for me. When I have asked for puzzles, I thought that you guys can tell me what kind of puzzles RPG Maker can do and maybe give me game suggestions for the type of puzzles I can do, like The Legend of Zelda games.

I have also asked some things that were specific where I have given my own ideas and have given a detailed problem(s) in the mechanisms section of this forum. I think that at least that is allowed here.

I also don't see any moderators complaining about my posts or that I have violated any of this forum's rules.

Maybe if you guys don't like my threads, you can use the "ignore" function of this forum on me and you won't be seeing my posts anymore.

I don't mean to start trouble though! I have asked many things because I believe in having a good foundation/basics in this thing, and overall everything. Maybe I can contribute to this forum and overall on the Internet about RPG Maker by asking some really basic things. But I guess it isn't such a good idea. I did stimulate conversations and my threads do always or almost always receive good, helpful answers.

Now as for me (or anyone) learning how to create good/good-looking maps, here is what I have:

  • Look over/study existing maps.
  • Seriously read the tutorials. There are many of them.
  • And I have thought of this idea: use what I call the "copying technique". This technique is known well in the art world to teach you how to create any type of art (visual art, music, etc.). What you do for the maps, is you see a map, and you recreate your own map looking exactly as it. I am not sure that this will work but I really think that it should. This technique is known to always work.
You know what? I have been behaving a bit strangely. I have started a number of different projects over the last months/years but I just abandon them. I have even been trying to learn a completely different game engine. I have even considered learning how to create music. IDK why I keep behaving like this.
 

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  • And I have thought of this idea: use what I call the "copying technique". This technique is known well in the art world to teach you how to create any type of art (visual art, music, etc.). What you do for the maps, is you see a map, and you recreate your own map looking exactly as it. I am not sure that this will work but I really think that it should. This technique is known to always work.
I really, really wouldn't recommend this, this is just plagiarism, and people tend not to care for being ripped off :kaocry:
 

A_Higher_Plane

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@Iron_Brew What exactly are you talking about? You misunderstand me. What I mean is, for training how to create your own original maps well, you use this "copying technique" to recreate a good original map. Just like if you have been in a museum of paintings, there are sometimes people who draw those paintings in there. It is not illegal to draw another's for your own training. What kind of a law would that be? It is illegal to sell your copy. Also, why would I recreate a map when I can just import it? It seems you didn't think this through.
 

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