1. Lesson 18: Patience

      written by Ray Benefield
      Alright so I missed a post yesterday... so sue me :P. Anyways we had a party last night and I got distracted. Anyways here is the Lesson 18 I promised. Today's lesson talks about a general aspect of designing that is extremely important that everyone can do better... including myself. Feel free to post your confessions of not following this principle and where you feel you can improve yourself. Tomorrow I will preview some of my gametypes like I promised I would do yesterday. Then I will give you Lesson 19 on Wednesday and finally post Bartoge's third height manipulation article on Thursday. Keep reading and spread the word about Reaching Perfection my friends. We actually happen to be more active than a lot of forums I know... lol. Let's keep that up by commenting and discussing things thoroughly. Laterz peepz. Enjoy:




      Never rush your map. I know you are in a hurry to show it off to the world and get your name out there, but make sure you have taken the time to test, tweak, and review every little facet of your map. Sure you have contest deadlines at times, but most of the time you are on your own timeline. Don’t set deadlines for yourself. The only thing that will result it is you pushing the design and the building too fast and you end up missing things that you know you shouldn’t have missed. This is your creation; make it the best that it can possibly be.


      Don’t lie to me


      I know a lot of you will tell me that you definitely follow this guideline, but don’t lie to me. Designers are always anxious to show off what they have been working on all this time. Don’t get careless. Go over every lesson and every possible trick that you know. Have you taken the time to check every single one of your spawn perspectives? Have you observed what kind of paths a player will take from that position? Have you made sure that all of your weapons can be found easily? Does each area of your map have enough area introduction to spread out traffic and control combat congestion? Have you taken a look at the path maps for all of the important areas of your map? Look at every lesson one at a time and go over your map. Remember the importance of first impressions and knowledge of a map? Making sure your map is the best that it can be will help your map get out there and spread to the masses. Remember your credibility as a designer is on the line. If you lose your audiences trust, it will be hard to earn that trust back and you are going to have to use some crazy innovation techniques to re-grab their attention. Remember when I reminded you about how you scroll through the map forums and skip over thousands of maps? If you lose your player’s trust, that player will scroll past your creations on that forum. Don’t be one of those designers that get scrolled over. Take your time.


      Considering a change takes time


      While designing maps I have noticed a major mistake that many designers make because they are afraid of adding more time and effort into their creation. This mistake is setting your ideas in stone. Remember that while you did have a vision, maybe the way you went about it can be done better. If someone gives you a suggestion of changing something major, take that into consideration. Weigh the pros and cons of the change; don’t shut them out because they didn’t design the map and don’t have your vision. It is your player that you want to appease. Do not be afraid to make a big change to a map due to time or more effort. If you truly analyze it, you will grow as a designer. People tend to ignore suggestions of changes when they are done or close to done with their map. Even if you were about to publish it and show it off that night, if someone suggests something then put off that publishing time until you fully consider their suggestion. Remember that even after you have published your map that it can still be improved. Go back over your past creations and apply new things that you have learned to it. Take the time to improve it instead of just saying “I will follow that guideline on my next map”. Take the time to improve your skills as a designer with maps you are already familiar with. By doing this you improve all of your future creations exponentially. It takes patience to be a great designer and you can never practice too much. Trust me when I say that if you keep attempting tips and advice you will grow whether or not that advice was good. Experiencing what is bad is just as important.


      16 comments:

      Beyond_Recognition9 said...

      Nice lesson godly, Your blog time is PST, right? I do not remember seeing this at 6:45...

      Anyways, the lesson explained something to me. I almost always rush my maps. I try to get them done quick, I try hard in the begginning, get a little looser about halfway through, and at about 85% done I get sloppy and rush. Now with Reach coming out, I won't have to rush my maps. I have all the time in the world to forge and get better.

      Bartoge said...

      Generally I am very patient when making my maps. One person asked me when testing Desistance why I was testing it so much. He had been to like 3 testing session and Prod and I had basically been testing it everyday for at least 3 games and then going back and tweaking some minor things. Anyway, I told him that I test so much because that is how much testing is needed to make the design perfect. In addition, it was for the forgery challenge so we had to speed up the testing period for it to meet the deadline, but everything worked out.

      I think a lot of people use testing as an excuse to get action pictures when really the pics aren't as important as getting your map working.

      To respond to the last part is I never have stuff set in stone. If you look at my last two maps and compare them to the sketchup, there are some major differences in both layout and looks. I think planning you map is good to get a vision and feel for what you want. But when you actually working on it, you need to be open to change because thats the only way your map can change. As long as you stick to what you wanted your maps essence to be or what your maps goals where, then changes shouldn't be too much of an issue.

      Lastly, Godly, these articles are becoming really nice. I especially like how you go back and connect the present articles to the ones you've written to show that map design isn't a bunch of seperate ideas, but a single, flowing, connected one. I really liked when you went all the way back to the first article. Anyway, good job.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Oops, I posted on the wrong google account... :P Its Flash btw. Also, my email has super smexy name.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      ROFL... thanks Flash I was like, "Who the hell is this new guy? Do I know you?" But yes we all rush something about the map mainly because we put so much effort into it at first and it becomes something that seems a bit tiresome. The trick is to take pride in your creation as its completion will tell the player a lot about your passion and want to succeed.

      And Bart the testing sessions you and Prod did for Desistance reminded me of when Bluedevil and I spent ages testing and re-testing Ravinia for matchmaking. Even when he said I just want this finished I pushed him for us to go back and make changes. And I agree a lot of people using testing as an excuse to finally post the map with screenshots instead of taking the time to re-look at it and observe how it is played.

      Bart you are becoming a great designer. You have learned a lot since I first met you when you were on your Conquest spree. I am very proud of the work you have done and your analysis skills and you will continue to improve from here. Never stop learning and keep pursuing perfection.

      As for the compliment on the articles that has been my goal since I started writing these. I want to show the readers that level design is not a step by step process, it is a full collaboration of things. Everything needs to work together in harmony. If you change one thing you mess with something else and have to re-assess what you changed and how it affected your map. Thanks for the compliment... it shows that I am definitely getting across what I have been trying to get across for a while now. Glad the connections are definitely helping.

      Legolum said...

      This is what I have problems with, patience... when I saw the title I was happy to see it, sadly their wasn't to much juice on it (: still, nice reminder. I can't test my maps to their fullest because NONE of my friends like to play semi-competitive games, if its not a minigame then they normally hate it, so testing has to be done with people who I barely know, which never works out to well for multiple reasons.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Well Legolum... now you've got me and my friends and the rest of the reaching perfection community. :) We will all help you out. Right guys?

      Prod said...

      Haven't posted in a while on one of these, but don't worry i'm still reading them.

      When i started forging i used to use testing as an excuse for screenshots as you, said. Only they where for minigames, so as long as they work, i wouldn't have to go back and tweak anything major.

      By the way, this is a direct contradiction mister, "We need conquest maps as soon as possible" and "I might get helix done before everyone gets home from school".:p

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol However I don't plan on officially publishing my map. I run with build and release for testing, then build again and release for testing, and repeat. I never actually call my work finished. And the conquest maps thing is so that we can playtest the gametype. After we have the gametype fully tweaked then it is good to go. I know the guidelines trust me. I follow them and I learn to break them. Remember the lesson on Innovation? Learn the standards and then learn to break them. Conquest definitely goes against Combat Congestion and Traffic, but it plays well right? As long as you know how to break the rules you can.

      And since I am always going to be improving my maps I am still following the patience lesson. Helix will always be improving as I learn more. I never went back to improve my work in H3 because I was still new and it was too difficult to do in H3. Now with the ease of Forge I have no problem taking some time and going back to fix things.

      Also the request for Conquest maps was for base layouts not for full maps. :P ;)

      legolum said...

      yeah... As for conquest maps, I think we can go ahead and make a bunch of letters such as the conquest map build guide uses for examples... they are very basic but would be quick builds that will be able to test the gametype. after we have a gametype then we can actually work on real maps.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I completely agree legolum. I'm going to let you guys build some quick base maps first. I'll be working on something else that I think you guys will enjoy for Conquest. ;) I've got a full map pack prepared for the first day ready to be played lol... :P

      BadCompany Brik said...

      Clearly I don't have to worry about this lesson, because crazy innovation techniques are my middle name. *brushes back hair* :)

      I think the bigger problem I had with patience was that I didn't have the patience to Forge maps in H3 and use all the glitches...

      Sotha said...

      Oh yes, this lesson applies to me so much. Like that one time I was making Phone is on hold too., and it took me like four months to work on it. And that time I was going to make the second version of Get Lightbulbs right after it was featured, and I was in such a rush that I forgot to even start working on it. And all those [like hundreds] of games I made but never released because they wouldn't play very well (in my perspective). Oh! Or even that time I spent several months trying to make a squad-based tactical game, but never succeeded! Yeah. I definitely need more patience when making my games. I mean, if I threw every little idea I had into a map and posted it just because, my name would probably start to sound a little like GunnerGrunt...

      But in all seriousness, I don't think I have any trouble with this lesson.

      anANGRYkangaroo said...

      Ive tried to have patience when making my maps, but unfortunately ive never been able to go any further then my first build of a map, because i never have anyone to help me playtest them.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Well if you hang out enough here bro you will definitely have people to hang out with and playtest with. I guarantee it. ;)

      Riokus said...

      I started making a Conquest map and gave up halfway and just made random walls lol.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol that is definitely a bad example of patience. Btw Riokus you chould definitely look into clicking on the Disqus button in order to sign up for a profile so you have more control over your comments, can edit your avatar, and everything else.