Mappers! Get inspired or inspire someone else!

Chimz

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Alright, let me explain what this thread is for:

Among all you players (I am aware of the rarity of players today, just f*cking bear with me) are a lot of great mappers or some with the potential to become one. You've all played MS:C and loved the game at one point. Sometimes it occurred to you that you could also make a map and have it published, but you were soon driven away by different reasons. One of which is the repetitive theme that MS:C Maps have to offer which offered you no inspiration.
What do I mean by "repetitive themes"? I mean that a lot of the maps either look alike or feel alike because they are all based on themes we've seen hundreds of times. For example, we don't need anymore "underground cave" themed maps because we already have many of those and some of which have reached their climax with Oyster's magic hands. But we don't need another cave map. We don't need another undead tomb map. We already have enough (World Walker Series, Calruin,...). We don't need human towns either (ms_town, helena, edana, deralia).

We need something new! New themes, new structures, something that's either never or rarely seen before. Something that can stand out between all the look-alike maps. And that's why we're here. We're here for a brainstorm. From what I've described, write out the first things that come into your mind. Things that could give mappers a will and inspiration to make a map with such theme. Write whatever comes to your mind. I don't care if it sounds stupid even to yourself, just throw it out here in the open. Don't hold back any ideas. What may sound cheap might make an awesome map someday! I'll start:


The Moon

Yes, the moon. I don't know if the universe of MS:C is on the same earth we are right now or a planet similar to it, but either way a map based on its moon can add a little variety to the game. The moon will have a different coloring than our earth (it's up to you to pick the colors), with lower gravity and stuff. Never had that one before right?
And the habitant enemies seen on the moon can be a batch of new enemies we've never seen before. They can be primitive natives of the planet or advanced natives with buildings structured like no other map. A chance for you to freely build whatever type of abstract structures you want. (Let's not put elves, orcs, humans or whatever on the moon. Let's make it distinctive, unique and untouched by the current npcs!)
Now how do we get to the moon? Through the use of portal transitions. Come on, we can use portals to travel around the earth (MS:C's earth), why not to its moon? Thothie always wanted a map on the moon!
Nah. Much rather have cheaters abandon FN than stay on it. If they all did that, we'd have a colony on moon by now. (Or rather, a map on the moon - always wanted a map on the moon.)



Nightmare

We already have two "nightmare" maps consisting of nightmare_edana and nightmare_thornlands but I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about an actual nightmare (which could still be part of those map series).
Think along the lines of being in an actual nightmare. Horror maps. Those placed in a dark world with twisted horrific enemies who have no desire but to rip you apart. I'm talking themes like Afraid of Monsters or Silent Hill.
The map could include scary soundtrack, new twisted enemy's never seen before (we could still rip models from other games right? I mean we're not getting greenlit, that's for sure. So why not just make things easier on ourselves?). The map could be linear and include short scary sequences. I am aware that they will be well known after 100 play-throughs but still, having to dodge spikes coming out of a wall can still be a change to rather stand still until a door opens. Although do remember that these sequences will require good taste. A scary face popping infront of the player is just cheap and lame. Be more creative! Add in a scary atmosphere!



Water Dimension

This one I think may cause a headache. I don't really know how to explain this from the player view so I'll explain it from the mapper's view.
Think of creating floors, walls, ceilings, tunnels and whatever and turning 80% of them into func_water. Now you have watery walls that you can swim through! A lot of things can be made and turned into func_water here. We've seen the likes of this before (in both HL mods and other games such as Serious Sam Second Encounter). The water is on the ceiling and you can jump into it and swim in it.
How this map will go comes down to your creativity. You can either mind-fuck the players who play it or ruin the idea with bad mapping. It all comes down to your skills.
BUT, no matter the outcome it will be still be unique between all the other maps.
This idea can also be implemented in the Water Temple map if you don't feel like making a map from scratch (it was originally supposed to be included but I never got to it).




Alright I'm out of ideas for now. Now it's your turn. Pour in the ideas and suggestions! Let's have fun!
 

TheMasterSword

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I like this post. I have always wanted to map for HL and it's mods, but never have. Oh sure I have tried my hand at it, but I have never had the “knack” or the golden touch. I especially and I am not just saying this, wanted to make maps for this very mod and also for Sven Co-op, but again no skills.

But giving ideas I can do. The problem is I am an old gamer in unfamiliar territory. I never was good enough and usually soloed through much of MSC because I like to take my time and not feel rushed or being forced from one map to another by voting or being pestered by others trying to give me a
powerful weapon I simply have no interest with, without me actually earning it myself.

So I am not sure of all the maps and themes of this mod. But is there any from Legend of Zelda? Is there a Master Sword to pull from the stone in a grove of trees? Is there a princess to save in a castle? And it does not have to be LoZ themed per say, I mean they borrow from Arthurian legends anyway, like the sword in the stone. What about Greek mythology like stealing the Golden Fleece? Fighting Medusa or a kraken, etc.?

I like the Moon idea, as Everquest had that with Shadows of Luclin. But if we had a map like that, why would be have a map like that? We just all of a sudden beamed over there by mistake? Did we ever have knowledge of that place before? What about an idea of being invaded by them and driving them back and then actually going through the portals to take the fighting to them? What about a breathable atmosphere? I will probably post more ideas later, my brain is a little fried right now... ^_^
 

Myrlance

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Ever since I started, Oyster can assure you - I've had nifty ideas and immense amounts of dialogue; all to be wasted right now cause I lack the interest in the Hammer Editor, I definately want to map .. but I can't stand the editor, such a waste of potential here under me and ideas to be just thrown out of the window.

Maybe if there was some way to brighten the Hammer/JackHammer UI or make it more appealing to use and edit your world, I've always wanted to bring my MSC ideas to life - and get a cool item like Dridje's sphere after submitting tonnes of bucketloads of maps and content.
 

Myrlance

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So I am not sure of all the maps and themes of this mod. But is there any from Legend of Zelda? Is there a Master Sword to pull from the stone in a grove of trees? Is there a princess to save in a castle? And it does not have to be LoZ themed per say, I mean they borrow from Arthurian legends anyway, like the sword in the stone. What about Greek mythology like stealing the Golden Fleece? Fighting Medusa or a kraken, etc.?

I like the Moon idea, as Everquest had that with Shadows of Luclin. But if we had a map like that, why would be have a map like that? We just all of a sudden beamed over there by mistake? Did we ever have knowledge of that place before? What about an idea of being invaded by them and driving them back and then actually going through the portals to take the fighting to them? What about a breathable atmosphere? I will probably post more ideas later, my brain is a little fried right now... ^_^

I suggest reading this, when you can - http://www.alaska.net/~articape/MS/Lanethan.htm
And a look at this, for some generic ideas - anything else you can ask around or simply do some quests (although not a detailed wiki for them), they are kinda spoke on tongue or just stumbled across whenever you happen to.
https://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/8/7775/56740.jpg

The map image link above, you can simply votemap to some areas that may be unlisted or unchained towards, which seems to not be the hype now-a-days, but you can go through most maps in a full around transition and stumble upon lore and great mapping, also why MSC is so good is it's early game - which appears forgotten of it's appeal.. late game is all grind grind grind, click click click, gear gear gear..
 

Myrlance

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We need something new! New themes, new structures, something that's either never or rarely seen before. Something that can stand out between all the look-alike maps. And that's why we're here. We're here for a brainstorm. From what I've described, write out the first things that come into your mind. Things that could give mappers a will and inspiration to make a map with such theme. Write whatever comes to your mind. I don't care if it sounds stupid even to yourself, just throw it out here in the open. Don't hold back any ideas. What may sound cheap might make an awesome map someday! I'll start:

I've wanted to see about gaining NPC files similar to Lodagond-1 with the wizards that encase Runeghar in ice, and take some ideals and forge them into Master Sword: Continued.. I spoke with oyster about these ideas, but the inevitable answer was to learn to do them myself.


Ever since I started, Oyster can assure you - I've had nifty ideas and immense amounts of dialogue; all to be wasted right now cause I lack the interest in the Hammer Editor, I definately want to map .. but I can't stand the editor, such a waste of potential here under me and ideas to be just thrown out of the window.

Maybe if there was some way to brighten the Hammer/JackHammer UI or make it more appealing to use and edit your world, I've always wanted to bring my MSC ideas to life - and get a cool item like Dridje's sphere after submitting tonnes of bucketloads of maps and content.

I wanted to mimmick the idea of The Battlespire from The Elder Scrolls Series, but make it like our own ideal.. a mages guild of some sort. Oyster mentioned to me something about Spellweavers guild that are powerful mages and I wanted them to offer a whole another plane kinda like Oblivion is to Mundus (nirn and where you play the most out of the games from Todd Howard, i.e not oblivion). A whole another range of quests, and to transition there would ideally be from Spellweavers guild services, a mage teleporter that may not always show up in towns.. alchemists to make potions similar to Shad_palace, and neutral / friendly mages using content that Thothie has, Wizard Wars wizards and spells, the like.. It would be some sort of tower dwindling in some plane abundant with oxygen but your on some sort of floating rock or tower in the middle of nothingness with portals that lead to future made content from myself or others, quests to fill in everywhere - all sorts of fun.. but as mentioned above, I never stick to the hammer editor to make these true.
 

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I find it pretty funny that you mention that we don't need more underground cave and tombs maps. Like half a dozen underground maps are coming with this next patch, one of which is also a tomb. lol.


(we could still rip models from other games right? I mean we're not getting greenlit, that's for sure. So why not just make things easier on ourselves?).
No.
 

Dehoth

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More mapper tools means more things mappers are able to do.
Think of something as simple as a %based-trigger on a mob's hp%. No need for beefy, cheesy and smelly bosses with weird params when you can just make it more interesting with %triggers. Think in the style of an encounter for MMORPGs but less glamour.

:idea:A simple example would be:
(Ice elemental) boss starts with 100% hp and 2 helpers.
When you get the boss to 50% hp, he casts a massive unblockable/unavoidable ice nova that freezes players, teleports him/her and the helpers away and drowns the room in water where you now have to fight sharks and other underwater-y-summon-y-things (with ice element?).
When you then clear the room; he/she drains the room, teleports back with helpers and some extra helpers (moar mobs), goes into a *berserk* mode (higher damage, less defense) or switches weapon.
Now if you add a 75%, 50% and 25%, or 33% 66%, anything that fires a trigger when something reaches a certain hp-% you can make things happen.
Could even be added in normal mobs; another example being earth elementals when hit with a certain amount of maxhp% (say 20%), they get stunned or dazed for a small time. This leaves things open for more dynamic encounters and mobs to play with, and makes it more interesting for the player to figure out the strength and weakness of mobs/bosses instead of facetanking with some cheese and wine.
/rant


And I'm thinking of bringing other maps up to par gameplay-wise instead of making another map, but that's just me.
 

zeus9860

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Having creativity or ideas to make new stuff isn't an issue really. The issue is to get something done yourself without the knowledge to do so. Every time i try to do something myself i end up quitting because i can't stand teaching myself anything new, if i end up doing it with someone else i usually tag along with the experience.

Anyways, as for the 3 "dimensions", it's not a bad idea. The issue here is: lack of lore progression. This occurs mostly because people like to work on their own projects, it's totally understandable. If i had any clue on how to map properly or make models myself, i would do things my own way since most of the lore maps don't sound that appealing to me from the descriptions i have read. And the ones i find interisting are way ahead, like 15 to 20 levels ahead of our current progression cap. I'm all down for brainstorming new ideas, i just think the lore progression has to be focused on first.

The moon being a new place to visit would be fun, since it opens the path to new things such as gravity. Honestly i think it would be fun to see some sort of map occuring in the future timeline of this game, where the tale of the master sword is nothing more than just a legend, travelling into the future to meet future civilizations with advanced technology would always be an interisting approach for a "what if?" scenario. Could already picture the entire plot of this what if, something along the lines of "Tardis time travel gone wrong!" where you are meant to travel to the moon in your current timeline but instead end up travelling to the moon 1000 years into the future. This entire thing could also be tied to the nightmare stuff, since this very future could hold dark consequences....

The nightmare stuff, while i do like horror games (AoM is easily one of my favourite mods), i do think taking MS:C that far might be a little too extreme. One thing i could accept though is jumpscares. Having some smart jumpscares in nightmare maps would be a nice touch. Like you enter a house and the door closes and locks on you, then walls/ceiling start moving towards you giving you the feeling that you are about to get crushed but instead drop down a hole in the center of the room and another jumpscare occurs when you drop down like a party of mummies in a pitch black room ready to make you regret for not knocking first (this is very similiar to the prison room in umulak, except i think it feels better this way), or when you open a door there is a possibility of something to spawn on your face or your back. Unpredictable stuff like this, it's always a nice touch.

The water dimension is a nice concept, never thought about it for ms:c tbh and maps that usually follow that concept end up being fun maps to mess around with. Though i would add to this dimension deepsea maps, these maps could easily tie in with nightmare stuff aswell. You don't know what lurks in the deep darkness of the sea. Visiting ancient ruins that haven sunken deep into the ocean (more specifically the deep ocean, the one that remains largely unexplored by humanity). Kinda reminds me of bioshock, was thinking something along the lines of that stuff with perhaps parasites being an issue.

I will add another possibly interisting field to explore, the time travelling one. The tardis is there, i do feel like it should be used more often to visit the past, the future and weird places that have yet to exist in our timeline (wild imagination can occur here).
 

Kanta

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The one thing I've got to say here is please don't rip more models from other games anymore. There is a backlog of donated models and the game is slowly crawling away from its stolen content. "We aren't getting greenlit anyways" isn't a very good justification to go back to stealing content. Greenlight doesn't exist anymore, anyone can drop a hundred dollars to get their game on Steam, and many have with stolen content. Stealing models is the opposite of inspiring and in my personal opinion it's just in poor taste.
 

TheOysterHippopotami

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What we need are lore maps that don't all try to compete to be the most epic map ever.
More mapper tools means more things mappers are able to do.
Think of something as simple as a %based-trigger on a mob's hp%. No need for beefy, cheesy and smelly bosses with weird params when you can just make it more interesting with %triggers. Think in the style of an encounter for MMORPGs but less glamour.
THIS! Maps need to have interesting/unpredictable things happen when certain triggers are fired. Classic examples would be the wolves or orcs that invade thornlands, or the random events that happen at Helena.

Another idea is to set up triggers that change the monster spawns based on conditions like night and day, or rain, snow, fog, etc. I'd love to see unique monsters appear during a sandstorm in Aluhandra for example (you can make killing them a quest objective for an NPC on another map, such as sorc villa).

Next patch, all of my maps will have random earthquakes that reveal secret passages or treasure. Although the earthquakes are out of players' control, on some maps players can sometimes cause the earthquakes to occur by slaying monsters that explode when they die.

One map idea I have in the works that may or may not get finished is to have rooms where you can stop the monsters from spawning by breaking dams and causing the room to flood, which will in turn cause water monsters to spawn and also allow players to swim to high up passages that were previously inaccessible.

Whatever you do, don't make another map that follows the traditional 'Lodagond formula' (fight to the end, kill boss, get loot, repeat). MSC actually has a LOT of underused (or unused) tools and addparams that can be used to make very creative maps/trigger based events.
 
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TheOysterHippopotami

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Here's another idea I'd love to see:

A map like ocean crossing, but instead of having scrolling water, turn the entire boat into a giant func_train that travels in a perpetual loop. Whenever the boat reaches a new path_track point, you can use the "fire on pass" feature to trigger a multimanager that, in turn, causes a random event to happen such as triggering a sea monster, or a func_wall_toggle pirate ship or island could appear on the other side of the circle, and then delete itself when the ship sails out of view again. If you were to add enough randomized events this could go on indefinitely as the ship sails in an endless loop.

On top of this, you could use the new quest system on an npc at the Deralia docks who will request that you kill a certain sea monster and return for a reward.

Another idea: all of the above, but on an airship instead of a boat.
 

TheMasterSword

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I like the idea of another plane of existence for mages, but anyone should be able to get there, be it knowingly, stumbling upon it, being teleported themselves by a friendly or unfriendly (more on that later) mage or by an NPC for a quest, but given plenty of warning ahead of time to either fully prepare for it or turn back completely before entering the portal.

Now why do I say all that? Why make it so hard or complicated? Well this plane of existence should be special. Even a mage in training should not go even if they could. The reason being is if you are not of a high level and a mage (or if the game still does not understand what classes are, at least a high level in magic) or on a NPC quest (high level quest I might add) you simply do not belong and tough toffee for the curious, the arrogant or even the stumbler.

In my mind a different plane of existence is just that, a different plane then our own. Maybe not completely alien, but certainly not like walking through a doorway of a castle to the field outside. If on the moon the gravity would be much less like in the Xen levels, but even less, but not comically so. Or if on another planet or "plane" then have it the opposite. The gravity could be crushingly heavy, where you are impeded as you can only walk instead of run. You swing your weapon slower (Wont bother seriously mentioning raising the weapon up should be much slower, while bringing it down much faster due to the heavy gravity...) and your stamina is always low or non-existent.

Now if you went with a certain spell or a fellow adventuring mage cast it on you or with the blessing of an NPC on a quest, or even a warrior with very high tier magical armor that would either have to be purchased at a ridiculously high price or done through a quest or THE quest by that NPC who initially sent you and it could either be given to you as a reward for said quest or you can find it on the plane some where, then everything would feel like normal to you while you visit it.

Also maybe make the air thin and the player needs to find pockets of air to continue or some other debilitating affect. Maybe some brave adventuring souls would even go head first making it a challenge with no proper magic or other preparations just to beat it. I do not know, it would be entirely up to the mapper. But certainly do not make it so easy for just anyone to stroll in, or even make it out alive. Basically it would be a one way trip for the unfortunate and those strong enough would have to make it to the end and fight every inch of the way to teleport back unless another high level mage can bring you back.

Finally I mentioned earlier about an unfriendly mage teleporting you... If you mess with the wrong one (a boss of sorts) unprepared or just by being hit by that unlucky spell, you would be sent to the other plane. Thinking more on it... kind of like the choice that the G-man gave to Freeman at the end of HL1, but without the choice. ^_^
 

TheMasterSword

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Also we can talk all day about ideas, but if we simply do not have the skills ourselves or those who do are busy with their own projects, than we need fresh and talented faces. Either that or we all need to learn to map, myself included. ^_^ Last time I tried the tutorial I got stuck making a ladder of all thing... I could climb it, but it was not see-thru. When it was see-thru, I could not climb it and no amount of checked/unchecked boxes helped in options. I also had trouble with lighting. Some times it seemed to work as intended and at other times it did not and I swear I was doing the same exact things for all of them. :(

In saying that I will say this, whether it be a popular idea or not. At one point this game worked on Sven Co-op. How well it did I do not know since I was too late to try it. I think it was when Sven Co-op went stand alone, of course after their update it broke MSC on it. If we could get this game or the maps onto Sven Co-op and have them working properly, either by the devs here or Sven Co-op, it might attract more mappers who have the skills we need. Now how well they will follow the feel of this game I do not know. But it has already been pointed out that not everything flows smoothly from one map to the next anyway.

Even if the Sven Co-op idea is kaput, perhaps we could gain new mappers in other ways. But Sven Co-op has a LOT of talented mappers. Either that or it is just a few people with a lot of time on their hands. ^_^ But they have content from across the board and maps made specifically for Sven Co-op and they have used a lot of great and unique ideas for them.

Also traveling to the future could be partly what caused the Black Mesa incident. :D
 

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we don't need anymore "underground cave" themed maps
That moment when you realize, from a mapping standpoint, that outdoor maps are just brightly lit caves.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l3j9kqjb4o6ecuo/2017-01-15_00001.jpg?dl=0

The walls and ceilings are just a void of light to give the illusion of open terrain.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wt6jeh8hu4z4s09/2014-12-20_00001.jpg?dl=0

Though it could just be preference where the safety and security of the walls and ceilings that one can see seem more fulfilling.

But, what do I know I just work my life away and haven't touched Hammer/JACK in months.
(funfact: the second image is from a scrapped map)
 

Thothie

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Well, really brightly lit caves with really large chambers. Engine does not handle wide open areas well - it can be done, but has to be low poly as hell. If you curve the entrances correctly, however, you can have as many high poly caves running around your low poly open areas as you want.

Sky brushes are also really wonky with how they go about dividing vis areas. Really need to make sure your open areas are nowhere near each other, or the sky brushes tend to make the areas render together.


Might also be worth mentioning the lore map sticky here:

https://www.msremake.com/threads/beta-worldmap-discussion.998/
 

TheMasterSword

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I suggest reading this, when you can - http://www.alaska.net/~articape/MS/Lanethan.htm
And a look at this, for some generic ideas - anything else you can ask around or simply do some quests (although not a detailed wiki for them), they are kinda spoke on tongue or just stumbled across whenever you happen to.
https://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/8/7775/56740.jpg

The map image link above, you can simply votemap to some areas that may be unlisted or unchained towards, which seems to not be the hype now-a-days, but you can go through most maps in a full around transition and stumble upon lore and great mapping, also why MSC is so good is it's early game - which appears forgotten of it's appeal.. late game is all grind grind grind, click click click, gear gear gear..

See I can not do that for fear of ruining my experience. But thank you anyway. :)
 

Myrlance

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See I can not do that for fear of ruining my experience. But thank you anyway. :)

Ehh, until Greatguys / Hackasarus Rex's lore book scripts are added, good luck finding any context on the book of Lanethan - other than what the priests of urdual have to spare, the shadahar quest(s),or anything in relation to one of Oyster's maps I may be unaware of.
 

Kanta

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Yeah outside of what Malachite just listed, you really won't find much lore in game. The Lanethan is worth reading if you like cheesily written fantasy.
 
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