How do you create your maps from start to finish in the most organised way possible?

I hope deep in my heart that a moderator doesn’t full on delete my post for being in the wrong category, so please respond as soon as you can.

I’m in a sort of OCD crisis, and I’m having a difficult time organising my layouts for my map commissions, such as forgetting to group certain high part models, etc.

What’s the utmost optimal way to build a map from start to finish?

This is my process:

  • Layout/Sketch
  • LockToGrid - 0.5 (large details)
  • LockToGrid - 0.2/0.1 (small details)
  • LockToGrid - 0.05 (making in studio models because sometimes I’m too lazy)

^ I don’t do all large details all at once, I alternate from 0.5 to 0 and sort of build it up rather than doing every detail per LockToPart distance.

Anyone else have a better method? I personally don’t move any models/parts into folders or really name them either. My problem is that it gets too overwhelming sometimes and I just procrastinate doing commissions, especially larger ones.

Whether procrastination may be impossible, I atleast want a smooth and fluid workflow as possible to get my commission done sooner and reduce my burnout. Any ideas? Let me know!

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The industry standard method of asset or map assembly usually is:

  1. Sketch
  2. Greybox
  3. Iterative art pass
  4. Repeat Step 3 until done*.

(Done* as determined by requirements, scope, time, budget, etc.)


You absolutely should. Keeping organized is a big part of Working Clean, and it saves you, your client, and anyone else touching your work later on a lot of time, money, and headaches.

In fact, I had many clients come to me willing to pay my relatively higher commission rates because of my reputation of working clean. It’s a huge step in becoming a proficient artist, and I always recommend others do the same. :slight_smile:

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Can you reiterate what you meant by Greybox and Iterative art pass? Not entirely sure what that means.

Personal problem here, I can’t move on from something until I’m satisfied with how it looks. I skip sketching and I just start with a part and work my way outwards. Probably super time consuming but I can’t really help it.

Edit: I’m just trying to say there isn’t really a specific way to do things. Find out how you like to create maps by trial and error and see what works and feels best for you as a developer. Goodluck!

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That’s my problem, I’m pretty sure I do the same thing as you, Like you said, it may take longer than usual, and personally, it seems overwhelming.

Greyboxing is a map design planning stage, where very basic box geometry is laid out to get the basic form of the map before placing any assets or doing any art. This is so that you can test how the layout feels in the game with any game mechanics or player movement, and make changes without wasting time on the art only to find out a map layout doesn’t work.


Iterative art passes are just making all areas basic at first, and refining the art and design until the end product fits the goals of the game.

It’s the opposite of 100% completing one area then moving on to another area - a bad practice because you will end up spending a lot of time on one area while other areas haven’t even started yet. This means that when (not if) changes have to be made, you’re only finding out far into the production schedule which can cost a lot of time to fix.

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I absolutely second everything @Aotrou has said. I’ve personally been using all of the steps in the method which he mentioned for a year now and level management and production, as well as Studio organisation has never been easier.

I also recommend DevForum posts such as this if you wish to research the matter more.

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It drives scripters crazy if they are told to script a map like this as well :joy::joy: (At least it does for me)

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Most of my commissions for either roleplay games or games that isn’t necessarily scripting intensive (cafes). A majority of the gameplay mechanics would usually not be in the map.

True but you know that some assets will likely need coding, or maybe they’ll need you to make changes, or maybe another artist will make changes, so it’s always best to work clean for everyone’s sake. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Adding on to this I have had commissions where people have turned me down for my builds being organized. On the claim that it was a free model. Other than that you should definitely organize your work.

That’s a little concerning, however if you provide services of a quality higher than a free model, and I think you will be fine. Not saying that you aren’t, that’s just my general take on it.