We've all experienced how rewarding it is to finish colors for the first time, and although most of that feeling comes from fulfilment and dedication, I can see some of it being related to reaching the outside world. This subtle change from being surrounded by walls to being in an open naturally lit area gives meaning to the journey, and a place of existence to those coloured blocks; underneath.
Of course there're more maps that give "the kz" a place of existence, whether it is a lonely island, an empty neighbourhood, an abandoned building, or anything else that gives blocks a world to live in. But this is not the norm on indoor kz maps. Most of them have this gloomy, depressing and claustrophobic feeling reminiscent of "The Backrooms"; from beginning to end surrounded by empty plain walls lit by ghostly artificial lighting that keep you unaware of the world you're in, leaving you in a limbo state, without meaning.
But why is this important? Gameplay is king and lore and world building are irrelevant to kz. Right? Well, yes, I don't want to waste anyone's time mapping lore insted of gameplay, but I do think that aesthetics and overall feeling of the place you're playing in can heavily influence the player's likeness of the map. Building kz around a meaningful world can take time and it's not easy, so here's a quick solution.
I know, I'm not a mapper, but I'm kind of astonished by the lack of windows I stumble upon. Windows are powerful. Just a glance of what's outside can drastically change how you feel being inside. Walls are valuable real state, but hard to decorate, so let them flourish with a few windows or interesting holes that let natural light come in. There're no rules when it comes to adding one, and the skybox or whatever you have behind will do a great job on breaking the monotony. Just this simple addition can have an impactful change on the perception of the world the map is on.
I'd love to hear what experienced mappers have to say about this, and I hope it helps you build better universes.