In this post we will go into detail on what is/isn’t considered a good display of effort, but it is important to remember that the decision ultimately falls on the map approval team, and in case of a denial the team will be able to provide reasoning.
The post will go over a few different categories and provide examples of what to do and what not to do, it is important to pay attention to the entirety of the post because in specific cases something that isn’t considered a display of effort in one case might be viewed as a display of effort in another.
DISCLAIMER: This post will NOT teach you how to map, for mapping advice please join the KZ mapping discord here.
Lighting is a key element to making your map feel realistic or thematic, a map that does not feature lightning fitting for the environment will be considered low effort, examples of this could be maps that are full-bright or maps that aren’t well lit enough to see the gameplay. If the map also features lights that are placed close to walls with little to no thought, that may also be considered low effort. For you to easily understand these different situations there will be example pictures provided below, keep in mind these pictures are only to show the lack of effort in lighting, other elements may also be considered low effort.
LOW effort on the left, DISPLAY OF EFFORT on the right
This may also be considered LOW effort:
Extra tip for lighting: Tweak your lighting using a tonemap_ctrl
Texturing gives your map character, and it’s an integral part of showing effort. Therefore texturing should be used as a tool to adhere to a theme, this means that more than one or two textures should be used to create your environment. That does however not apply to all situations, if a map is using one texture thematically in combination with shown effort within the other categories mentioned, it will still be deemed as a display of effort. Once again example images will be provided below.
DISPLAY OF EFFORT
Extra tips for texturing: textures.com has incredible free textures, get a reference image.
Detailing is what gives your map depth and brings it to life, showing effort through detailing could be as simple as adding brushes that contribute towards detailing instead of gameplay. Constructing rooms that aren’t perfect squares or giving a flat wall depth are just two examples of displaying effort through detailing. The world of detailing is almost infinite, so to simplify it there will be a list below that includes some of the things that the map approval team might look at. There will also be two examples below, one detailed and one not.
- Don’t leave empty space, but don’t clutter. An easy way to detail your map is filling empty spaces with detail, or maybe even just filling them out could be enough at times.
- Try giving structures varied shapes, the square is familiar and easy but expanding into making rooms, structures, and brushes different shapes is an easy way to make your map more dynamic.
- Introduce depth; flat surfaces are boring, try giving depth without sacrificing gameplay. The clipping tool is great for accomplishing this.
DISPLAY OF EFFORT
Extra tips for detailing: use a reference image, have fun with it and see what happens
The map approval team has no intention of directing your gameplay decisions, but there will be occasions where a perceived lack of effort put into the gameplay elements will cause a map to be denied. An example of a clear lack of effort is gameplay that follows the walls of a completely square room without variation, a mapper should put considerable effort into making the gameplay of their maps an enjoyable experience both for the players and themselves. If you are trying to get your map globally approved this means you are trying to provide your gameplay to the general public, so make something you are proud to present. Shown below will be two examples of gameplay, one low effort and one not.
DISPLAY OF EFFORT
The map should not suffer from severe performance issues, this meaning that if the map is highly unoptimized and causes big fps losses, it will be denied.