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"Darnog" - SSM Map

Discussion in 'Build Showcase' started by Ducksicle, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Hello everyone, over the last couple of months my friend echuo and I have been working on this map titled "Darnog" and would love your feedback, preferably regarding the aesthetic and overall theme. The theme we were going for was a Japan-inspired scenery along with dragons in the distance, hence "darnog."

    Though nice comments and changes regarding gameplay are appreciated, we're really only looking for suggestions regarding these things atm:
    1) Shaping the terrain: We were told that the terrain is "weirdly shaped" and should have more "organic and smooth shaping." We have tried to fix this but we're not entirely sure how to make it any better, so if you could point out an island and how we can fix this let us know.
    2) Squashed trees: I sort of have an idea as to how to make the branches more natural, however it seems like we're been struggling with making the leaves look natural. We were told that we need to incorporate more air spaces in the trees to make them "light and fluffy," however since this is an SSM map, we're trying not to allow any areas for glitches (like endermen blinking into gaps). How can we improve this?
    3) Water color: There was a comment made about purple being a weird color in the lakes. Personally, I'm a fan of it but does anyone have a better idea? Would cyan, light blue, and blue look better than the purple?
    4). Theme: Basically, we were asked to just elaborate on the theme to make it more distinct and unique from other available maps. What else can we incorporate to make this map special?

    Sorry about the resource pack present in the gallery.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
  2. as a response to theme, perhaps you could add a zen garden!
    for the "light and fluffy" effect, you can probably just add barrier blocks in the gaps, right?
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
    shihanna and Ducksicle like this.
  3. adding on to that, the thing I see about this map is that the primary y values of the regions are all perpendicular to the void. That lack of low ground advantage relative from "center stage" gives you a fight that just has one neutral interaction then someone falls off the map cuz the player that has "center stage" is gonna be really biased to dominate. TL;DR, I think you should give the map a dope fade.

    (edit: im not the most credible person, I dont have map making experience. I do believe all of my statements stand though)
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
    20LeeBrian1 likes this.
  4. I actually haven't thought of this so thank you! I will definitely play around with border blocks and see what we can do.
    Someone suggested to add another island, so maybe we can incorporate a zen garden of some sort. The only issue is that we want to limit the amount of flowers/plants on the map haha

    I will definitely go over this with echuo. Thanks for your feedback carrut!
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Jan 25, 2021
    shihanna likes this.
  5. First of all I would like to state how cute your pfp and signature are. Moving on, I love the theme, and especially the dragons as they just look gorgeous. Ok so down to some feedback:

    Terrain Smoothing:



    You wanna have as little staircasing and spiky ends as possible so try to make it more curvy

    Like this: [​IMG]

    Also, kinda hard to tell from the images since they are a bit small but the transition from the ground level to the bottom parts of the islands could be smoothed a little bit better probably


    I also don't see what's that wrong with the purple, but if the map submission members don't like it, you could just use cyan,blue, and light blue.


    I guess you could add some small decorations like bamboo and stuff like that, but that might interfere with gameplay so perhaps instead you could add more stuff surrounding the map like japanese styled houses floating on clouds, statues, etc and try to put more emphasis on structures and organics rather than nature like Oriental Garden does

    Good luck with your map submission :)
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
    Ducksicle and Fusafez like this.
  6. Looks kinda like a better ancient islands
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
  7. Staircasing can be good in certain situations arcs or defining shapes
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
  8. Thank you so much for including pictures and pointing that out. Seems like a relatively easy fix so we will be changing that soon :) Also we could definitely try adding bamboo structures, because we had a couple of complains about lack of cover so we'll be experimenting with that as well. I appreciate your feedback!
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Jan 25, 2021
    Paladise and Fusafez like this.
  9. This is nuts. Reminds me just a tad bit of the shimada dragon brothers from Overwatch. In terms of feedback, I don't think I see much; perhaps when I take a peek at that last photo I'd mention the bottom of the far-right island. It may need a bit of terraforming and rounding-out as it goes from a very curved, rounded shape to a sudden jagged, long downwards shape.

    Here's a picture of the shimadas btw:
    Posted Jan 25, 2021
    Carrut, Hilly and Ducksicle like this.
  10. Not a fan of how you made the actual terrain for the ground— looks super rough and bumpy and unenjoyable to play on, please make it smoother
    Posted Jan 26, 2021
    Carrut and Ducksicle like this.
  11. Paladise gave really good feedback for the terrain - avoid staircasing. Anywhere in terrain you have three steps or more try to alter it a little bit.

    To tell you some things I really love about the map firstly it has to be the block choices for the bottom of the islands as well as, of course, the dragons. They are beautiful, you both did a wonderful job.

    Back to the feedback: looking at the islands, I would add an overhang onto each of them to avoid them looking really flat on the sides. This also increases the playable area which is a good thing for SSM.
    The overhang shouldn't be over every block, but just over a couple to give it a more natural look - check out this image of some islands someone built:


    You can see the two block tall overhands over some of the islands.

    Secondly, I would reduce the block pallet a little bit. I think what improved my map making skills is understanding that lots of detail is great until you're playing in it (which was written in some map guidelines). Therefore, I think reducing the colours in the river to 2-3 could work - which would mean removing the purple most likely (I know...I love it too but I think it's for the best) and then work on balancing out the detail by changing the grass up a little bit. I see you added a path in between the bridge and tree - change that path. Make it more sparse + thinner, reduce the block variety again, personally I would use gravel, polished andesite, and cobblestone but you do whatever you think is right. I just wouldn't use any dark brown blocks as they have too big of a contrast against the grass.

    I think I would change the mountain up a bit as well. Ignoring what I already said about staircasing, I think I would make that specific island even bigger so you can push the mountain a little bit back. It feels like it's too symmetrical with the cherry blossom at the moment. Alternatively, you could move the mountain somewhere beside the cherry blossom so you have ground to make the tree bigger and give more height variation to the map. With the mountain beside it players wouldn't have a problem getting on it.

    As for the cherry blossom itself, I would again just remove one block from the pallet in the leaves. You mentioned you struggled making it look a bit natural, I think a big reason for this is that you don't have enough space to really bring out the tree. Here is a nice build of a cherry blossom, ignore the banners because I don't think they would work for the game but note how the leaves have a nice overhang to them, there isn't too much colour variation and it's split into two:


    Also looking at the small pillars they build beside it, I think those could work really well in the current theme you have going. You should incorporate some into the islands instead of using dark logs for everything.

    Speaking about dark logs, I would move them to one block before the end of the island. Having them on the complete edge feels a bit unnatural.

    Talking about the structure, I would make it bigger and give it two stories to make it more cultural. I would also not put it on the direct edge of the island again. Give it some space, I beg!

    As for actual grass decoration, other than changing the path, maybe adding some bamboo as players suggested, adding just regular grass and a flower or two can go a long way. Just don't have a crazy amount of plant life variety.

    if everything after the changes is feeling cramped, the map needs to be a bit bigger.

    Also I commend Carrut for the barrier block idea - I would never have thought of that.
    Posted Jan 26, 2021
    Carrut and Ducksicle like this.

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