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Thread: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

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    ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) Logan's Avatar
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    TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    Here's a slightly expanded version of a PM I sent to a friend who wanted a starting point for mapping.

    Use available libraries to assist you. The only barrier to creativity is 'doing it'. So. I suggest you get stuck in. You wont avoid learning 'the hard stuff', but you will be able to learn it more at your own pace - whilst developing a map with more momentum. I have recently started using these libraries more - and they are great for keeping for creativity live.

    So,

    1) Assemble all the custom content you need for easy tf2 mapping - a lighting library, and the ultimate mapping resource pack . A Boojum Snark, an admin at TF2maps.net, has provided most the libraries you need. They are a superb resource. More info here


    2) open hammer - and stop. Watch these http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQeqV...136EC915F64DF2 (the playlist).

    3) build a small room.

    4) repeat inserting the rentention of knowledge* - expand into a full 'land/sky mix' and off you go. The video's in the playlist take you through spawn rooms, lighting, displacements, and lots more. They tend to cover basics and will get you started. TF2maps.net is the place to go next - their selection of tutorials is second to none.

    ** *** ****

    footnotes:
    * refer here alot http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SDK_Docs
    ** never share your first map with anyone
    *** for your second map, you will be needing pen and paper - or some electronic substitute. Plan. At the very least Draw your layout. Don't think it will just come together in hammer....you'll end up regretting it.
    **** talk to other mappers as you go.

    Enjoy
    Last edited by Boylee; 06-09-2011 at 23:06. Reason: fixed links
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  2. #2
    Playstuff Member .ps
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    Re: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    Thanks m8. I'm going to give it a go, but I'm mainly interested in doing some coding. C++ and/or Lua. Will the tutorials give some pointers on this as well

  3. #3
    Administrator jim's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt View Post
    Good Stuff Sanchez - check our Rain Recon - that'd be a good place to cut your gaming c++ teeth.

    @ Jim - never mistake peoples willingness to accept assistance for a reluctance to eventually learn for themselves Anything that makes the step into creativity easier to take is good - and shortcuts should be used at all opportunities.
    I never did mistake it as that, I am trying to help people understand how important it is for troubleshooting, the doors on the train suite map is case in point, the problems were there because they were used all too freely/without understanding how to work with them properly. I don't understand why it's being taken so seriously with the deleted post etc I'm just making sure people understand the importance.

  4. #4
    Greater crested hermit ninja Boylee's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbomcb View Post
    the doors on the train suite map is case in point
    Not entirely true. I was tired and made a dumb mistake whilst duplicating a portion of geometry.
    I'm not saying that I disagree with your point, quite the opposite in fact, I concur. I just wouldn't have said that that was case in point.


    Anyways...
    Back on topic here's some essential reading that really helped me out early on.
    Obviously this list isn't exhaustive but these are the best tutorials/guides/resources for each of the topics that I've found out there, and they've all helped me greatly at one stage or another.
    There may well be better ones floating around the web of course, so if you find them then link us up.

    [REFERENCE] Valve developer wiki - TF2 level creation
    Like Colt said the valve Developer wiki is an essential resource. If you're just starting mapping the sooner you start reading it the better.

    [REFERENCE] Team_Fortress_2_Mapper's_Reference
    Contains a lot of useful measurements like jump distances and heights, sentry ranges, etc...

    [TUTORIAL] - mapping for TF2
    A 'big picture' sort of tutorial, more about the general process and things to consider than about specific entities etc.

    [TUTORIAL] TF2 Style Fast and Easy
    A great tutorial by MangyCarface. Not one to follow for every map but a good starting excersice. This one is esp. good for getting your dimensions down toa reasonable size.The first map I built was huuuuge, after this, not so much.

    [TUTORIAL] A Beginner's Guide:The Spawn Room
    Good straightforward tutorial by Half-Life_Maniac. Does exactly what is say on the tin.

    [TUTORIAL] Making a cool 3d skybox.
    Intro to 3D skyboxes made easy by spaceweasels.

    [TUTORIALS] Big list of hammer video tutorials
    srsly it's huge, you'll find videos for a lot of things in here. Just bear in mind that most of them are for CS or HL2

    [INFO] Leaks, Hints and Areaportals
    Getting compile errors about areaportals and leaks? Confused? Take a look here.

    [INFO] The Ten Commandments of TF2 Level Design.
    nuff said really

    [RESOURCE] Valve Maps(Decompiled)
    See how the pros do it. They've released quite a few of these to the SDK anyway, but not all of them.

    [GUIDE] Balance, layout and your A/D map.
    An excellent guide for balancing and layout theory. If you're making an A/D CP map then you will find this very useful.

    And some more recent reading for when you get further along

    [TUTORIAL] Youme's guide to displacement cliffs
    Displacements are a pain this will help get you started in the right direction.

    [RESOURCE] Environment Gallery
    A one stop shop for all the environment entities from Valve maps. Ob.v don't just copy and paste and expect everything to be peachy, but it's great for trying out different environment basics. And seeing how different parameters affect the environment.

    [TUTORIAL] Understanding lightmaps
    Got jaggy shadows? go here to find out how to optimise your lightmaps, it'll also cut your filesize a bit.

    [TUTORIAL] Removing ugly shadows
    Essential reading for when you start propping your maps and see bloody weird shadow all over the place.

    [GUIDE] Half-Life 2 Map Editing Optimization Guide
    Yes, it's for HL2 but it's excellent and pretty much all of it is the same in TF2. You WILL need this if you want people to enjoy your map.

    [TUTORIALS] nodraw.net/
    A new site (started by some of the more experienced bods over at tf2maps.net) dedicated to SDK tutorials. Already there's some good stuff on here so take a peek.
    Last edited by Boylee; 05-01-2010 at 01:48.
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  5. #5
    ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) Logan's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    good article on no draw about hammer tweaks:

    http://www.nodraw.net/2010/01/tweaki.../#comment-1352


  6. #6
    Greater crested hermit ninja Boylee's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 Mapping : The Quick Start Guide

    Fixed the links and image in the OP.
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