|Making a Good Map|
Making a good map
Making a map is easy, making a good map is not. This guide is to give you some tips about map making. If you're looking for information about the map editor, please visit here.
A wise man once said no one is original. Do not try too hard. If you lack ideas, take from various places and try to implement them with your own ways. It's not about being original, it's about being authentic. That's what your maps need. If you don't have any clue and lack ideas about what to create, calm down. Something will come to you with time.
It’s the experience and knowledge you possess that will make you a better map creator. You should look at P4-9 as something to avoid making. There is no need for two maps of the same concept in rotation.
If the map is just running and wall-jumping, then it is considered as boring and has no gameplay value. Add challenge to your maps! Maps without any gameplay are not tolerated.
For example, take bootcamp or racing where you have to use various skills to pass obstacles. That is all your map needs; just in an easier and more fitting fashion.
• Replay value
Even if your map is awesome and gives that WOW! feel at first sight, it still needs to have replay value. Maps, such as trap maps, surprise maps, etc. lose their replayability quickly. There's no fun in already knowing the map and easily avoiding the traps.
• Mass death
Avoid maps that kill most of the mice during the map.
Remember that there will most likely be a shaman in the map and they won't be happy if they can’t do anything to save the mice quickly enough. That leads to him losing saves for no good reason.
• Unused space
Sometimes part of the game screen is left unused or aren't important to the gameplay. Make sure to give all of the map some kind of gameplay. If half of the map is useless then the map isn't very good.
A nice design increases the overall quality of a map. Take a look at what is in rotation to get an idea of what is a good design. The public doesn't like weird looking maps, so similar styles are fine. Still it's not bad to add a personal touch to the map.
The most notable issue with map design is the alignment. Try to align the grounds well; bad alignment looks bad.
Another thing to note are the decorations. Using decorations will make the map look better, but try to avoid spamming them all over the map.
This is a vague list of map types that are not tolerated. The list isn't complete as it's impossible to list every single forbidden feature. Furthermore, there are always some exceptions from the rules; they're not unconditional. Use common sense with the rules. Maps breaking these rules will be removed from rotation at the discretion of the Mapcrew/Mod who handles it. Making a map breaking these rules can lead to a ban or other suitable punishment. Make sure not to break these rules.
Any P0/P1 maps breaking any of the rules can be reported to here
Tribe house maps can not be reported, unless they have any sort of inappropriate content.
• Hidden cheese and hole
Do not hide cheese or hole. Placing either one offscreen is considered as hiding them.
• Offscreen gameplay and shortcuts
Do not make any gameplay go offscreen. Any sort of offscreen advantage is forbidden. This does not include very slight offscreen gameplay like in the vanilla map 53 where fullscreen doesn't give any advantage.
Do not make maps that have a possibility to crash. Using grounds with high restitution, e.g. lava grounds, will increase the possibility of crashing. Make sure that the map is not crashable before exporting it.
• Free cheese
You need to do something to get the cheese. Instant cheese maps are not allowed. Maps in which you just have to run a few seconds are also considered as free cheese maps.
• AFK death
Map should not kill afk players. Avoid unsafe spawns. This includes defilante maps with forced scroll that kills afk mice.
• Impossible maps
Do not export maps as P0 that are very hard or impossible to finish. Bootcamp, shaman, and other hard minigame maps should be exported as tribe house maps.
• Offensive, inappropriate, racist etc.
People in all ages play this game. Do not make any maps with pornography, racism, any sort of insults, etc.
Respect your fellow map makers and do not copy maps made by other players. P22 (tribe's house map) counts as a copy if it's submitted for a review. If you get caught exporting/submitting copy maps you risk having all of your maps deleted, not only the copy maps.
If you break the rules you will most likely get punished in one way or another. Remember that the list of rules above is vague and does not include all forbidden features. Neither does the list include all of the possible punishments. It is possible to be punished many times at once.
• Deleting the map
Your map will most likely get deleted if you break any of the rules above. This means the map will not appear in normal rooms anymore and you can not edit it. In extreme cases you risk getting all of your maps deleted, not only the ones that are breaking the rules.
Blacklisting is a punishment mostly used if you copy maps by another player. Being blacklisted means that your maps will not be accepted in map submission threads. You can also get blacklisted for other reasons, e.g. for bad behaviour or posting your maps to multiple categories or multiple times to same category without editing.
Ingame ban is the worst of the regular punishments. It means you can not play the game. Ban can last one or two hours or even permanently.
Tips for specific categories
P3/13 - Bootcamp
Try inventing and using new concepts. Otherwise grab old concepts and use them in new ways. Players want to get new challenges, the same old ta-cj-wj spam isn't enjoyable enough.
An interesting map will lose most of it's value if players find a way to complete it in a few seconds. Make sure you carefully test the map for shortcuts.
A bootcamp map needs to look good like other maps. Just because it is a bootcamp map doesn't mean it can be unaligned or messy. Shaman items are not allowed in bootcamp maps, neither are decorations nor backgrounds. Please keep them at a minimum.
• Fake grounds
In most cases it's recommended to use the default properties of the grounds. There are some exceptions such as wj tramps and several lava concepts.
P4 – Shaman
Remember that P4 maps are played in normal rooms. Many inexperienced shamans will have to complete your map. Do not make it too confusing or require knowledge of more advanced building techniques such as arrow anchoring. Make it simple but challenging instead.
• Multiple solutions
In map 0 there are a lot of different possible builds. However, it does not really count as multisolution map as it can still be completed with a single plank.
• Interesting solutions
Multiple solutions doesn't make a fun map if the solutions are all boring. The map shouldn’t be too straight forward but interesting and challenging. If you only have to build a few planks/spawn some boxes or make a long bridge, the map is not enjoyable.
• Small building space
Avoid small gaps and places where shaman can easily block them by building planks, boxes, or other shaman items. Give some open space and leave enough room for creativity. Too little space may also force the shaman to use the same building style every time. Forced building isn't fun.
P5 – Art
• Quality of the art
The overall quality of art maps has increased by the years and now the requirements for an art map are much higher. If your art is a stick figure or a badly designed face for example, it will not go far.
Also, if it’s only an item, like a mixer, toast, or a nuclear bomb, made with some grounds and placed randomly on the map, it won’t go far either. Try to make a map with different elements in it.
The category is called "Art" but that doesn't mean high quality art is the only requirement. Art maps should have gameplay as much as all the other maps. Simply climbing over the art isn't fun at all.
Even if the art is truly great, boring gameplay will not be forgiven. After all, this isn't an art gallery but a game.
• Connecting art and gameplay
Art and gameplay have to be connected somehow. The art should play a major role in the gameplay.
If an art map is the art itself is placed in the map just for “exposure” and the gameplay is some other elements, then it isn't a good art map.
• Mechanic art
Mechanic art is nice as it lightens up the gameplay, but good mechanics are required. If you just attach your art to some nails and make it move in a static form, it would be better to leave it static. The more flexible the movement, the most awesome a map looks. Remember, that mechanisms will most likely increase the amount of lag. If the art itself is very detailed, think twice before adding a mech because of the lag.
• Background art
Background art is not recommended. It's fine to add some decorations that don't effect the gameplay but the art should mostly effect the gameplay. Non-colliding art is bad in most cases.
P6 – Mechanism
Finding and using a new glitch or a new type of mech is great but not enough on its own. If the map lacks gameplay, it will not go far, no matter how interesting or original it is. An old type of mech used in a good new way is much better than a new mech used badly.
Mechanism isn't the only requirement. The mechanism should have a major effect on the gameplay. The gameplay should also be good overall, also in the parts of the map where the mech has no effect.
Mechanism maps are very susceptible to lag and sync issues. Try to make the mechanism as stable as possible.
Using high mass grounds is good in many cases to increase the stability.
Using high restitution grounds can be glitchy.
Use of water in mechanisms is very susceptible to sync based problems.
Some shamans may try to break or mess up the mechanism. The map is much better if the mechanism is not easy to break. Also make sure that regular mice can't jam the mech.
Mechanism maps should also look good. Even if a mech was nice and gameplay was good, an overall bad look will ruin the map.
P7 – No Shaman
No-shaman does not mean a racing map. This category is not a racing category, but a category for maps that do not need shaman. This doesn't mean racing maps are not allowed, they are as long as they're not too hard for newer mice.
Since this is a category for maps without shaman, it means that the maps should not be too hard for new players to complete. Avoid forcing players to wall jump, corner jump, or use any other advanced techniques newer players might not know/be able to do.
• Ways to get ahead
The map should not be just running back and forth. Try to create something that allows more skilled players to get ahead of others. It's fine if using advanced techniques such as wall jumping and corner jumping can get a player ahead, as long as there's a way for newer mice too.
P8 – Double Shamans
Double shaman category is not a fight category but a co-operating category. Maps should require two shamans to co-operate in a reasonable way. Say, for example, you place cheese on the right and the hole on the left. The two shamans should spawn pretty much in the middle so one sham builds to the hole and other sham builds to cheese.
As in P4, the difficulty shouldn’t be too high. Even though there are two shamans the difficulty should not be much higher than in single shaman maps. Not many know advanced techniques from room shaman like the arrow glitch. Anyhow the map must not be too hard for a single shaman to complete if the other shaman is afk or dies. Keep this in mind.
P9 – Miscellaneous
• What's miscellaneous?
This category isn’t only for collision or soulmate maps. As the name implies, different maps can fit here. Mostly ones that do not fit under the other categories, such as puzzle maps, portal maps and various antigravity ones. Remember that no new racing maps are accepted to this category for now.
Avoid making a separate shaman spawn, as shaman will fly across the screen to the soulmate's spawn.
A good soulmate map is one that utilizes the link between two mice efficiently. Simply running with your soulmate is boring. Try to test with a friend and come up with new, interesting techniques!
Don't forget mice with afk soulmates. Leave some space for shaman to help them or have the map be soloable.
Collision maps aren't hated, but bad collision ones are. Even though this mode will make the map a bit more luck based, it's not impossible to avoid luck based spawns. When the map is built in such a way to give the lucky one that spawns on top an advantage while doing nothing, then the map is indeed something to hate.
Like soulmate maps, a good collision map is one that utilizes this mode in an efficient way. No one likes to get stepped on and remain down without being able to do anything. Also remember that no AFK deaths are tolerated.
P10 – Normal Survivor
The main idea of survivor gameplay for shaman is to kill the mice and for mice is to stay alive by any means. This means that the map must have enough space for shaman to move around and for mice to escape. Cramped maps are not suitable for survivor.
• Cannons, cannons everywhere!
A boomerang effect for cannons is alright but try to avoid maps where a cannon flies a couple times around the map. They're easy to kill the mice and don't feel very great.
• Hole and cheese
You must not add holes to the map. It's permitted to add some cheese but do not spam them all over the map.
P11 – Vampire Survivor
Most forget about the gameplay on these maps and focus on the design too much.
Don't include too much walljumping and make sure to create parts where mice can speed up instead of just running around.
Some use of water is fine but do not add deep water to the map. It ruins the gameplay.
Do not use trampolines in vampire survivor maps.
Do not use any types of cages in vampire survivor maps.
• Hole and cheese
Like in regular survivor maps, you must not add holes to the map. It's permitteded to add some cheese but do not spam them all over the map.
P17 – Racing
A lot of the fun in racing is finding shortcuts that weren't created intentionally by the mapmaker. Don't overdo it when testing your map to make sure the mice take the route that you've chosen.
By now, just about every combination of wj, cj, ta, etc have been thrown together on a racing map. The maps that stand out present some kind of unique challenge. Try to think outside the box.
Racing is a very different creature than P7/P9. Maps made in the P7/P9 style generally aren't going to work very well in racing. You should familiarize yourself with the minigame and the maps it offers before trying to contribute to the rotation. Keep in mind that in P17 there is no difficulty level unlike P7/P9.
P18 – Defilante
• Multiple paths
A thing that makes defilante maps especially breathtaking is multiple paths to maneuver on the map. Remember that the more ways to collect points, the better your map will be.
Don't make your map either too slow or too fast. Try to stick to a "golden" middle so the gameplay won't be a horrible mess.
Try to decorate and align your map as much as possible so it looks decent.
Use the tokens (+1, deathmarks, accelerators) in a clever way. That means any spam / overuse that can be extremely annoying to players or give them a huge benefit won't be tolerated.
In its entirety put together and designed by Ruoka.
The guide is based on Jetmaus's older guide, credits for help to him.
Thanks for help to Barry, Aqva and a few others.
Example pictures are by Aqvaswirle.
Last edit on 1472071740000