How to learn how to create good maps?

CleanWater

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The short answer is: "only with practice".

I have a game tutorial for this, if it can help. :smile:

It's aimed at MV, but the lesson works for any RPG Maker version.
 

Iron_Brew

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It seems you didn't think this through.
You didn't explain what you actually meant, you said that the key to making a good map was to "employ the copying technique". All I did was point out that if you rip people off they won't be happy. Please don't be so defensive, I'm just trying to answer the questions you've asked to help you.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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I thought that I've made it clear enough that this technique is to learn how to create your own original maps, or any type of art.

I'm not sure if I'm being "defensive" but maybe I am because I have been attacked by so many people here so far.
 

Iron_Brew

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I thought that I've made it clear enough that this technique is to learn how to create your own original maps, or any type of art.
You did not. You encouraged people to "employ the copying technique". I pointed out that this is plagiarism. Done arguing now, I don't know what I said to cause you to become belligerent, but I apologise for hurting your feelings.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Wait a minute, I'm not upset. But I did mention this before I have made the list of 3 things: "Now as for me (or anyone) learning how to create good/good-looking maps, here is what I have:"
 

Iron_Brew

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Wait a minute, I'm not upset. But I did mention this before I have made the list of 3 things: "Now as for me (or anyone) learning how to create good/good-looking maps, here is what I have:"
I know I said that I was done arguing but do you not see how what you've said could be construed as:

If you want to create good looking maps, look at other peoples' maps and copy them one-for-one!

Because that's exactly what you said.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Ah, maybe I have said it wrong! I have actually meant: "If you want to [learn how to] create good [original] looking maps, look at other peoples' maps and copy them one-for-one!"
 

Candacis

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Copying a map for learning purposes is totally fine. That's one of the things I did when I started with learning how to map. Especially if you are just starting out with shift-mapping, it helped me back in the day to re-map some cliffs I saw in a screenshot or in a video. Just for myself of course. I'm sure Higher Plane didn't mean to incorporate that into a game. I didn't read it as such.
I encourage you to read all the tutorials Avery listed and try to map what she did. Or watch the mapping tutorial videos that were linked and try mapping what you get shown.

Another approach is to pick a specific theme and topic you want for a small map, for instance: I want to map a spooky graveyard - or I want to map the interior of a bathhouse - or I want to map the ground floor of a fire dungeon. Then do a goole image search and look at images about that theme, look at screenshots of other games, even 3D. That should give you some ideas on what you can put into the map. And I'm sure with practice you will get better at it.

And then we have this nice thread:


Here you can post your own maps and will get feedback on how to improve them.
 

slimmmeiske2

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Lots of good stuff has been mentioned already (Game & Map screenshot thread, Avery's tutorials, studying other maps), so I'll link this resource as well:
It's Indrah's old mapping helpdesk, where she discussed particular settings (demon castle, mine, world map, etc.) and gave tips and tricks for those settings.
 

Juanita Star

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Something to have in mind: be patient with yourself. You won’t be spitting masterfully crafted maps by tomorrow. Take it easy and try to enjoy the experience of learning a new hobby.



One of my favorite mappers (is that even a word? I genuinely don’t know) told me it took him more than a year to have his current skillset of mapping (in parallax). He wasn’t working on it day to day, so you will advance faster if you do it, of course.
 

HexMozart88

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Jeez, there's really no need to get this defensive. I don't think anyone was trying to attack you, just concerned that you might not really be thinking for yourself if you keep making posts like this asking people how to make good stuff.
No one here is interested in blocking you either. As I said, people are just confused about the influx of posts asking people how to do everything because the way you learn how to do stuff is the same for everything: you just do it. A lot.
 

Lunesis

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Honestly, if you want to make a good map, just start. The number one hardest thing to do is start. And it is still difficult for me. But you just have to get over that first boundary of looking at a blank page. Just do something. Put down some houses, some cliffs, some rivers, lakes, paths, maybe a few trees. Then look at it, imagine what it could be, and store that in your mind.

Use your own perception to get some feedback about what is missing. Do you look at your map and say "This sucks, it's a box map, it's full of empty space and nothing to look at, but I don't know how to map, and I am afraid to do it, and lazy so I am just going to leave it like this and hope nobody notices", or do you say "What can I add to this? What can I subtract from this? What needs to be changed? What can I do with my current tileset do make it look more natural, more detailed and complete? Are there any parts that stick out as being too straight or too bare?"

This is where referring to maps that you like comes in handy. By looking at these you can start to pick up the patterns in good maps, but they mostly boil down to staying away from long straight lines/right angles (as much as possible) and not having swaths of empty, unchanging space.

The secret is to iterate. Use your intuition, as well as your own eyeballs. Start with the basics and then add details. Don't be afraid to experiment either, it is 80% of figuring something out. The great thing about RM is that you can always update bad habits. Even if you want to skip this map for now, you can always come back to it later. But please don't present it to other people until you are proud of it, otherwise you will be wasting your first impression.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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I don't know how to "take it" and "not be defensive" when people joke/insult me by just saying hiring a mapper in an offensive post and saying I am trying to steal their ideas/outsource my creativity when I am asking nothing of this sort, and speak badly of me and bring me down.

I bet I'm already naturally more creative than a number of you because I am indeed creative individual (and this is one of the reasons I have become a Game Dev). I just need a lot more training. I don't lack natural creativity but knowledge.

i bet I'm also both more open-minded and hard working than a lot of you already. Always looking to improve myself.
 

HexMozart88

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And you're now insulting the rest of the forums by saying you're better than us. I'm not seeing how this is in any way helpful for you, but whatever. I gave my piece, I'm out.
 

Frostorm

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I bet I'm already naturally more creative than a number of you because I am indeed creative individual (and this is one of the reasons I have become a Game Dev). I just need a lot more training. I don't lack natural creativity but knowledge.

i bet I'm also both more open-minded and hard working than a lot of you already. Always looking to improve myself.
What's your point in making such statements? People are frustrated because they are giving you advice, but it seems to be going in one ear and out the other. Also, dissing everyone like you just did is certainly not going to help you in any way. This isn't a contest or anything, and even if it were...nvm, smh.

Back on topic though... I do want to reiterate and stress what @Lunesis said:
Honestly, if you want to make a good map, just start.
Once you do, you'll inevitably encounter a situation you'll need help with. As in, something SPECIFIC, not just asking how to make something "good". I guarantee there will be no shortage of people willing to help you with whatever that specific thing is that you're stuck on. At least, assuming you're not insulting the very people trying to help you.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Well I am only talking about those who keep insulting and bringing me down by saying things like "I am trying to steal/outsource my creativity" and that offensive post here that I should just hire a mapper. None of that is helping to me but brings me down. I am NOT talking about those people working hard that are helping me out sincerely.

If you want to leave then leave. You can use the "ignore" function on me too. It's none of your business anyway.
 

Frostorm

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Also, I wanted to point out 2 other resources as potential studying material:

There, you will find maps of various games. I suggest looking through GBA/SNES/etc. games as those will be the ones most akin to RM maps. Just pick a title you feel nostalgic about and study how their maps are designed. You'll even find games you never even played or heard of, and some of them are quite outstanding map-wise.

Edit: Btw, there is no shame in hiring a mapper. I've done so before as well, despite the fact that the resulting map turned out to be of far lower quality than my own self-made maps. Apparently, I've been underestimating my own ability. Or perhaps it's just a simple matter of "you get what you pay for" (hiring a mapper is dirt cheap). Anyway, that's beside the point. I just wanted to mention that someone suggesting that you hire a mapper shouldn't be construed as an insult.
 
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Iron_Brew

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I don't know how to "take it" and "not be defensive" when people joke/insult me by just saying hiring a mapper in an offensive post and saying I am trying to steal their ideas/outsource my creativity when I am asking nothing of this sort, and speak badly of me and bring me down.

I bet I'm already naturally more creative than a number of you because I am indeed creative individual (and this is one of the reasons I have become a Game Dev). I just need a lot more training. I don't lack natural creativity but knowledge.

i bet I'm also both more open-minded and hard working than a lot of you already. Always looking to improve myself.

"I'm not defensive, I'm just better than you!"

Jesus Christ.

Also like:

Well I am only talking about those who keep insulting and bringing me down by saying things like "I am trying to steal/outsource my creativity" and that offensive post here that I should just hire a mapper.

How dare people comment on you constantly asking people to solve creative issues for you, or call you out when you suggest plagiarism as a means of improving your games, or God fobid suggest that you consider engaging with the community and paying for labour to solve your skill deficit.

I'm done trying to help you. I was really trying to make you feel welcome, and I've tried in a bunch of your threads to offer up actual suggestions to help you make good creative choices, but having read these points I feel like you've kind of shown your true colours. Not tryna start drama, but I can't sit by and have you slag me off when I'm trying to help and not say anything.

Given these posts, on reflection, I think I'm back to suspecting that you're trolling these forums. Nobody has this little self-awareness.
 
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A_Higher_Plane

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Show me where I have asked you people to create me something directly. I don't see how I'm asking you to paint me a painting instead of how I can learn how to get good at painting myself.

I don't see any moderators complaining here.

If you don't like my posts you can always put me on "ignore" or just ignore me after all. That feature is there for a reason after all guys. Some of you answer every one of my questions.

And I don't think that I'm better or above anyone.
 

Lunesis

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I don't know how to "take it" and "not be defensive" when people joke/insult me by just saying hiring a mapper in an offensive post and saying I am trying to steal their ideas/outsource my creativity when I am asking nothing of this sort, and speak badly of me and bring me down.
I mean, it was just a joke about the hiring a mapper thing, it's funny because we have all been there. I'm waffling on making my next map right now by working on boss fights instead. No offense meant really, with practice and doing you can be great at anything.
 

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