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Location: Home  Blogs  My 1st blog entry - Maps, Building Techniques and the Flow of Ideas. 
My 1st blog entry - Maps, Building Techniques and the Flow of Ideas.
My 1st blog entry - Maps, Building Techniques and...14 Apr, 2013
  Snake55wildcat (7 comments, 2399 views)  
(Disclaimer: This is my first ever blog entry I have ever made. for any website. ever, so bear with me I guess :p)

Maps, Tracks, Roller Coasters, whatever you wish to label them as.
The joys of making your own maps have never been as much as a pleasure than making the craziest ones imaginable, or even the subtle-side, regardless of it being a race-track or a neon-lightning battlefield. There is always inspiration, ideas and a thought process for when you make your own maps and how you may go on about it. (l)

Firstly, are the map themselves: What style do you wish to accomplish or attempt? What do you feel more comfortable with, or do you try something you have never tried before? Its usually one of the first things that come to you when open up the editor with an idea in your head that you feel can work, or not.
Me? I would usually go and make something I haven't done before, or at least something a little different each time. Most of the time i try to keep it somewhat simple, but i'm not afraid to go completely insane with the editor at times 8-|

Then there are the techniques you may use for building such maps, or restrictions you may place upon yourself in-case you worry a track may get too complex or even to the opposite end of the scale, being a bit boring. Do you make a minute long track for good fun sprints, a mid-length track for close online and offline WR battles or even make the odd shorty when you feel like an idea could be great, but not enough to constitute a longer map?
I'd usually say use the length of maps you feel suit your play-style, but never be afraid to throw in a few curveballs at yourself to give it that 'edge' or additional depth you may have not otherwise explored?

How do you go about it when the only real restrictions are the build area, block sizes/clips and terraforming? Do you challenge yourself with additional restrictions such as block limits, area sizes (eg 10x10 maps that used to pop up from time to time) or more, even crazy ideas that may just work when you give it a shot? =p

Finally, there is the flow of ideas in general when thinking or designing a map. Do you get ideas from observing what is around you? Do you get ideas from other tracks or videogames? You could even have ideas from your own tracks and flip them on their head? Do you think of it on a whim at a brief moment, and act upon it at that very instant, or are they built up over time, while building the track or even before any blocks are placed?

I'm pretty interested, and quite curious to see people's responses if anyone wishes to comment. I may have talked on a more TrackMania-centric discussion but thoughts on the map-making side on ShootMania may be interesting as well, to maybe compare the thought processes and differences between the games?

Above all though, i hope you had a nice read, and that you are able to continue enjoying the game for what it is, and what it does for you as a player or creator :)
7 comment(s).
  XT»Marti writes ... 15, Apr, 2013  
Thrawn and Nimrod... I'm a fusion of you two! :o except for thrawn's namegiving thingy ^^
  Thrawn«¦ writes ... 15, Apr, 2013  
Whenever I start building a map for Canyon (or United also ;) ) I do indeed have a first image of the map in my head - or at least one part, a jump, drop or certain transition - and I think about new ideas nearly all the time - during loadtimes online - while computing shadows etc.

In the end, however, I never actually have a track with the original idea in it (or it has been altered a lot), because it does not work and I discover something new and pretty awesome. I really like these surprises if something that I never believed to work, turns out to be epic ;)

I also take a lot of time building maps. Often I simply don't even look at them for several days (or even longer), before I get back to them. This really helps me to see if my ideas work fine even after I have not thought about it for some time and whether it still is fun to drive. It's the same with MediaTracker. Scenery, however, is normally build in one session, mostly in a relatively short time.
Sometimes the trackroute is finished, but the other stuff has still to be done. While building I found a new cool idea which does not fit the track, so I save, quit and start a new one and try the new idea. Like that I "forget" some of my maps :d

Edit : Oh and concerning a fitting name for my creation : I am mostly inspired by other videogames or even music or movies. It's easy to guess what I played the day before =p
  Hans Holo writes ... 15, Apr, 2013  
I don't have time for discussions atm, but nice topic. (y)
  AkuRyou writes ... 15, Apr, 2013  
I mostly start in the middle, with e.g. a Tunnel in Tunnel in Tunnel structure and then work outwards to start and finish. Often I find myself building a sequence and then have to rebuild it because its the wrong way around to connect to the track. I just start with the start when, it is the startingline that will be my thing, like a huge drop or smth like that.
  SPIDER writes ... 14, Apr, 2013  
I Start with no idea at all:cool: I add a start and then i add a turn ant test how it feels and if i like it, and i avoid to make long straight, And i drive the track a few times during this time mostly, but sometimes i build the complete track without test until its finished and most of the time i am quite happy but i often change 1 or 2 sections "or none8-|" that i dont like and the layout of the track is finished, maybe some adjustments later, and then i add some scenery and stuff to make it look nice, take a look at my Spiders minis #7, i think that is my best scenery and then i drive an at till i am happy (10 - 2 hours depends) and then calculate shadows and change the name, put it on mx, and then i start stare at the download meter for about 1 hour =p then i take a cup of coffe and a sandwich and then i play online to improve my skill if i feel like it ;)


I add a tree start run around and shoot some shot and try to get the feel of what i want to build and then i add a wall some water and it´s time for some running around again ^^ and then i add a pole os something on a spot i like it to be, then i keep building scenery and start running some more and practice some wall jump on my track then i trash it and start over again and start over again add a wall some water try to get the feeling and try to make that high wall jump that i know i can becouse i have done it and then i hold the fire button and shoot like a maniac to blow some steam, and try to get some idea - but it so hard to do a good map, that i know only a few people will see, so i build for fun or i would feel sad becouse no one played it and stop building tracks and that is my rights to stop but i won´t do that becouse its fun, challengeing, hard, irritating, boring, and all in between ^^ building a track is hard work mostly, its like building a 3d model in any 3d program very demanding even do the editor is very simple...but you sure need alot of think power when building a track and its a good exersise for your brain :) red is on right side hmm is it this piece, no is it this no, this then ahhh , the last one i pick ofcourse - why shouldnt it be - its allways the last piece i select that is the right one :@ i dont think i am alone on this=p

  FT»Osaka writes ... 14, Apr, 2013  
My workflow is the strangest ever. I usually try a start sequence, either mine, stolen blatantly, or maybe I'm building a duo map. Usually, if there's something about that random start sequence that I like (in case I build alone), I try to make a track to follow the general idea of that start sequence. Which is hard in canyon as every other start sequence can and will be made FS, but apart from that, I usually end up with minute+ long maps and I don't even know what threw me to do one thing or another. Whenever I plan ahead the tracks end up being absolute crap on the other hand...
  XT»Marti writes ... 14, Apr, 2013  
I find that making sm-maps is not much like making tm-maps: in tm, I don't start with an idea. I literally build tracks from start to finish, try new things, see what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can spend half an hour on building 5 seconds of track :) If I start a track in tm, I haven't got the slightest idea as to what I'm going to end up with. In shootmania however, I feel that you need to start with an idea to your map. Ofc what gamemode you're going to build, but also if you're pursuing a certain theme, like 'islands' or something, and then you can experiment on that.
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