Maps. Maps. Maps. Spam. the game is only as good as its Maps, and I don’t mean minimaps either, I mean the actual level. A mega map If you will. In video games Map designers are a lot like audio Engineers because nobody can name one but also because they put a lot of work into something Most people won’t ever think about and even when they succeed you can only play these maps so many times before you get sick of It hey WarioWare frick you that is where we enter mapping tools ways for players to create their own stages There’s a lot of different types of these tools out there, especially now that more games are introducing them But there’s also a lot of games which you lack these tools With the release of over watch’s workshop. The community has wasted no time getting to work I’ve seen wall ride courses road hog. Slither IO and there was this one lobby named Mercy nude glitch But the guy never started it and I’m starting to think he was just baiting me Undoubtedly, people are using these tools impressively but beyond dodging cars beyond lava floors There’s a limitation imposed no matter what game-mode you create. You are limited to the official Maps created by Blizzard There are no custom geometry tools. There’s no surface editing for existing maps and aside from things like jump pads or teleports There’s very little in the way of placeable objects The overwatch workshop has no mapping tools and this can cause some issues Party shooters like sky noon or smash fortress feature a lot of wide space and vertical platforming Comparatively this smash feels sluggish and that selection is sparse and the only ones available are relatively small for one Most have blocked sides meaning you can only fly off the map at one angle in two there are several and closed spaces that prevent You from flying back? Well inside one solution of this was to close off some portion of a map with a spherical death boundary, which works better But still faces the issue of size if you could edit the stage to remove these enclosed spaces and open more sites to die from gameplay would Instantly feel less limited or perhaps we could look at a recreation of quake in overwatch while every gun in pickup seems to have accurate representation including even a Convincing bunnyhop mechanic the mode is still forced into an official map and with overwatch being such a choke oriented design with very little height variation it harshly juxtaposes The environment quake matches were designed to take place in and I know this sounds obvious like no shit The designs are different but my point here is that if mapping tools existed in overwatch? You’d have way more freedom to create new game modes and while some people have managed to creatively work around the issue like cleverly spawning players outside the skybox to imitate space or even Faking barriers using impassable spheres. This still doesn’t really address the root issue, which is a lack of level editing So that’s what I want to talk about today the benefits and struggles of mapping tools Let me set the record straight here making a map is hard You don’t just you know, they require models animation sound effects It’s not easy to quantify all that down into a stage builder This is where we can learn from something like Halo The Forge game mode is essentially an attempt to solve this problem of FPS map creation The available props are fairly simple yet make for a strong foundation basic geometric shapes like blocks and slopes which you’ll often find actual developers begin the process with anyways go a long way in the hands of a clever thinker racing game modes hedge mazes and frankly I’m not even sure what this one is, but alright obviously Blizzard is not obligated to release such a thing I mean even the workshop alone was a generous present But at the same time it’s thanks to their Warcraft 3 World Editor We got dota and all the ensuing MOBA games so surely they would understand its Utility a simple stage builder like this runs with its own limitations but it at least gives us an idea for other games to build on the Alternative to a stage builder would be a full mapping program But these carry their own pros and cons the hammer editor for example is hardly newbie friendly at all. Its archaic. It’s ugly Its frozen frozen frozen frozen frozen. It provides a lot of power to the user and it’s thanks to this program We’ve gotten countless community maps and valve titles The ones almost interested in our bhop courses rocketjump maps in surfing maps Yeah, i’m commentating over surf footage don’t think too far into it. It’s thanks to the hammer editor We have entire Maps built around niche mechanics There’s so far removed from the official maps that some of them may as well classify as their own game in fact that literally exists momentum odd turns these custom maps into a Standalone source game in this other game hot lava clearly draws inspiration from the same Maps None of this would have happened without the easy access of the hammer editor It’s a hell of a lot more powerful than a stage builder But that also means it’s a hell of a lot harder to get good at accessibility is important for mapping tools and that is what leads me to my next example, I Remember watching some let’s play of this minecraft Legend of Zelda map and without hesitation I poured two years of my life into making minecraft adventure maps’ To be honest, the amount of broken puzzles missing pieces and preteen emoji faces. I made were pretty good indicators I would never amount to much but it taught me a lot about myself Maybe a little too much it in a way few games ever Could anybody can generate a seed and play through the game? normally But there’s something special about tailoring your own Creation for others to experience and I think this is what inspired the boom of games like Mario maker or more interestingly Dreams in hightail the selling point of these titles Bank largely on their creation tools Not only are you building a level but you’re populating and scripting it too in the same way modding has been so important for longevity Mapping gives assets a home to occupy I guess my point is mapping tools are an incredibly effective way to Elongate and even improve a game’s life and it can potentially lead to future innovations in the industry They’re not necessary for success, but they give you a big bang for your buck Some games are just made for custom maps like marble it up is fun standalone but it really lends itself towards creation and with a little innovation some people really have Never some games aren’t necessarily made for custom maps but it somehow just works out like rocket League seems pretty cut and dry until you consider the creation of skateparks of courses of bouncy castles of So whether or not a game is designed for custom apps both can benefit from their support Especially when it’s an included feature smash builder is the definitive party mode and it’s amazing to see how people push this feature Some people create genuinely viable stages others use it to make fine art Some people have used it to make porn, but we don’t talk about that I feel bad for the moderators of this platform, but it’s given us the experience of smash ketball of ladder matches None of these would exist if it weren’t for the native stage builder, so thanks Sakura I’m sure you know by now what I fucking love hat in time It doesn’t have a stage builder But it does come with real engine 3 suited up for mapmaking the fact that we’re shoppers have the opportunity to distribute entire campaigns They made themselves is nothing short of a blessing a good stage builder makes game development Accessible to dumbasses like me a good mapping program lets you contribute to a game on par with its creators I think a perfect balance between these two things is yet to be seen and more developers looking to open map creation on to beginners Is a good thing that we need and I’m not saying that’s an easy thing to do far from it But when an ongoing game that generates millions of dollars takes over three years to get there you start to wonder “Where’s the roadmap?” FUNKe – Demonitized Again (The Good Life) Starts playing. Credits: M.N.