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  1. #1
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    Portal 2 map maker

    Anyone making maps? Surely there are some... :) Maybe we could have an RPS steam group?
    I'm actually having problems with it at the moment, keeps crashing my computer- which is probably a good thing since I have one more exam on Friday :D I'll be putting some time into after that though

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node airtekh's Avatar
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    I'm not a very creative person so I won't be making any maps. The editor does look very slick though.

    I will be playing the hell out of the maps that are created; I've come across a few tough ones that have been made already.

    This is an insane/genius move by Valve: They've given Portal 2 owners easy access to a potentially limitless amount of free singleplayer DLC. Totally nuts, but I'm not complaining!

  3. #3
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    The editor is still a bit clunky at times particularly when working with selections, but it's heaven compared to Hammer.

    Currently completed two maps, still need a bit of tweaking before I publish them, maybe get someone to try them out first, gauging difficulty when you made the map is not easy.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I've actually been trying Hammer lately, I first tried it before this feature was announced but now that it's out I might give it a go. I'm not particularly good at making puzzles, though, so I'd have to find some other gimmick to hide the fact that the puzzle is no good...

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node airtekh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    I've actually been trying Hammer lately, I first tried it before this feature was announced but now that it's out I might give it a go. I'm not particularly good at making puzzles, though, so I'd have to find some other gimmick to hide the fact that the puzzle is no good...
    I don't think you need gimmicks to create a good puzzle.

    A lot of the best puzzles I've seen so far are the ones that challenge your perception of how the solution should work.

    They aren't necessarily very complicated, they just force you to think a little differently than normal.

    One very simple example is where you are standing. Where you stand when you place your Portals is often critical to solving a puzzle. You might start off thinking along the right lines to solve something, and it fails; but then you think 'Well that's sort of working, but what if I tried it over here ...'. Suddenly you have cracked it!

    Try to fool the player, even if it's only for a moment or two, and your puzzle will seem much better.

    Also if anyone needs to test their creations out I'd be more than happy to.

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    I found compartmentalising the puzzles worked well, essentially breaking down on puzzle into a series of smaller puzzles, this allowed the player just to focus on the overall puzzle bit by bit, rather than simply throwing the whole puzzle at them.

    I am also working on a map which can be solved in any order, so if the player ever becomes stuck doing one part they can move onto something else (bit like Adventure games.)

  7. #7
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    I found compartmentalising the puzzles worked well, essentially breaking down on puzzle into a series of smaller puzzles, this allowed the player just to focus on the overall puzzle bit by bit, rather than simply throwing the whole puzzle at them.

    I am also working on a map which can be solved in any order, so if the player ever becomes stuck doing one part they can move onto something else (bit like Adventure games.)
    You guys interested in making an RPS group? Maybe I'll just make one over the weekend anyway.. could be good for testing each others puzzles at least.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    I made one. Steam Workshop's search is terrible, so good luck finding it! You have to search for [RPS] (with the square brackets: it won't even find it if you omit those), because search doesn't look at author names (my Steam name is the same as my username here), and then look at Most Recent, because it hasn't been rated yet and won't turn up in Most Popular. Then you should find it.

    I can't really judge the difficulty (everything is easy when you know the solution!), but it's a small chamber and shouldn't take too long. I'd like to know what people think. I didn't really put so much effort into making it a good puzzle as I did into making it a good starting point for a discussion about puzzle design ;)

  9. #9
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    I made one. Steam Workshop's search is terrible, so good luck finding it! You have to search for [RPS] (with the square brackets: it won't even find it if you omit those), because search doesn't look at author names (my Steam name is the same as my username here), and then look at Most Recent, because it hasn't been rated yet and won't turn up in Most Popular. Then you should find it.

    I can't really judge the difficulty (everything is easy when you know the solution!), but it's a small chamber and shouldn't take too long. I'd like to know what people think. I didn't really put so much effort into making it a good puzzle as I did into making it a good starting point for a discussion about puzzle design ;)
    I just subscribed, I'll take a look at it tomorrow! Hopefully I can get the damn thing working by then...

  10. #10
    Network Hub buemba's Avatar
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    After playtesting the first half of my map at least 30 times I'm starting to get real tired of it. Can you make changes after you submit a map or does it get content locked?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by buemba View Post
    After playtesting the first half of my map at least 30 times I'm starting to get real tired of it. Can you make changes after you submit a map or does it get content locked?
    You can change your map one of two ways, delete the original then republish, or republish with a different map name, you can't just update with the same name, which is a tad stupid.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    I should say I've already (of course!) realised that there is at least one flaw in my map. There are two solutions to the very last bit of it: one I intended, and one I didn't intend that's actually a lot easier. I'm not sure whether to block off the unintended solution or just let both solutions exist. So that would be my first point for discussion, even though I didn't intend it.

    Edit: Actually, I found a way to use it to bypass pretty much the whole map and not just the last bit. That was careless! Hm, ok, I guess I'll have to republish.

    As to the comment above me, I think it is possible. I published an altered version of that map (after renaming the old map), but now it looks like the old map's disappeared (even though I renamed it), and yet, people who were subscribed to the old map are now subscribed to the new map. I did get an error code a couple of times when uploading, but eventually it published just fine.

    It also says at the bottom of the info:-
    Previous versions:
    Revision 1 - May 10, 2012 @ 6:47pm
    Revision 2 - May 10, 2012 @ 8:18pm
    Last edited by thegooseking; 10-05-2012 at 08:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    I had a similar idea for this myself - a thread where we all post maps, then play, rate and comment on the maps of others. I vote we use this one. That way, our maps won't just get lost in the workshop. And if someone plays one of your maps, why not play one of theirs?

    To get the ball rolling, here are some of my early attempts:

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=68514787
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=70996780

    Share your own!

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    I had a similar idea for this myself - a thread where we all post maps, then play, rate and comment on the maps of others. I vote we use this one. That way, our maps won't just get lost in the workshop. And if someone plays one of your maps, why not play one of theirs?

    To get the ball rolling, here are some of my early attempts:

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=68514787
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=70996780

    Share your own!
    "Frequent Flier" was small but interesting, but "Back And Forth" gave me some serious headache. For the record, I solved it without using the moving platform in the final room and the second laser cube - don't know if it was supposed to work that way or if I just found a clever workaround.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    I had a similar idea for this myself - a thread where we all post maps, then play, rate and comment on the maps of others. I vote we use this one. That way, our maps won't just get lost in the workshop. And if someone plays one of your maps, why not play one of theirs?

    To get the ball rolling, here are some of my early attempts:

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=68514787
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=70996780

    Share your own!
    The difficulty level was about right for both of them. They weren't too easy, but not pointlessly frustrating. Really good aesthetics, too (apart from that one room with the laser and the goo, anyway): They felt like 'proper' chambers. Although that's a certain amount of the point of the editor, I know firsthand how easy it still is to use it make ugly chambers ;)

    But there was something about them. They didn't make me feel smart for solving them; they made me feel dumb for not solving them quicker. I wonder why that is. I mean, it wasn't a major thing, but it does highlight an important point: In a way, it's actually harder to make puzzles for the puzzle creator than it was to make puzzles for the main game, because while the main game can fall back on external rewards (like story progression) for solving puzzles, puzzle creator puzzles rely entirely on internal rewards (solving the puzzle makes the player feel smart).

    I did mean to play everyone else's maps, but the game had trouble connecting to my subscribed maps (I imagine the server is getting hammered while the puzzle creator is still new), so I'll get round to that later.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    The difficulty level was about right for both of them. They weren't too easy, but not pointlessly frustrating. Really good aesthetics, too (apart from that one room with the laser and the goo, anyway): They felt like 'proper' chambers. Although that's a certain amount of the point of the editor, I know firsthand how easy it still is to use it make ugly chambers ;) But there was something about them. They didn't make me feel smart for solving them; they made me feel dumb for not solving them quicker. I wonder why that is. I mean, it wasn't a major thing, but it does highlight an important point: In a way, it's actually harder to make puzzles for the puzzle creator than it was to make puzzles for the main game, because while the main game can fall back on external rewards (like story progression) for solving puzzles, puzzle creator puzzles rely entirely on internal rewards (solving the puzzle makes the player feel smart). I did mean to play everyone else's maps, but the game had trouble connecting to my subscribed maps (I imagine the server is getting hammered while the puzzle creator is still new), so I'll get round to that later.
    That's a pretty good point. I'd also add that Portal's structure allows them to introduce concepts and then utilize them in progressively harder ways. Unless you are playing a collection of maps, the Steam Workshop doesn't really work that way. You have to go out of your way to play a series of maps (and hope that the map author is using the sequence to introduce concepts to you, rather than just posing random puzzles at you).
    Most of the maps I have played have been extremely and unnecessarily hard, or fairly straightforward. As you say, making the player stop and think, then feel like they've come up with a clever solution is important.

    If anyone is interested, I've got two Portal 2 maps out there at the moment and a few more in the works:
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=68664134
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...s/?id=71250048

    Any feedback is appreciated.
    Last edited by wail; 17-05-2012 at 12:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Just had a bit of a play around with the editor. It's rather good; it reminds me a bit of editing in games like Sauerbraten and it does help with the inevitable gridline mess that Hammer is prone to. Of course doing really complex geometry isn't possible, but these days most maps are simply blocked out in the editor for BSP compilation and complex details are just meshes, so they could probably use a similar setup for other games too with modification.

    I'm not particularly good at designing puzzles but I will try to post something up here. Lasers seem to be expensive performance-wise, or the engine was doing something weird on my test map. I had about 4 of them and the FPS dropped until they were turned off.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    I was going to say it reminded me of Cube / Sauerbraten. More polished and easier-to-use, but the influence is clear to see. Portal has a legacy of taking ideas from less-well-known games and giving them a high-production execution, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's actually how it happened.

  19. #19
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    The editor produces a full vmf file for the last map you edited, so you can just import it into Hammer if you want to make some changes which currently are not possible.
    Would be nice just to have an export button, rather than searching through about 10 levels of directories.
    Also I want logic gates.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Also I want logic gates.
    Yes. Dear god, yes. I was trying to create some sort of iterative timer yesterday, and it'd have been SO. MUCH. EASIER. If I could have used some bloody basic logic gates.

    Other than that, the editor is awesome. It's taken them over a year, but it was well worth the wait.

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