As many of you know I plan to start making my own maps soon and feel that the resources available are not as good as they should be. I have discussed it many times before and won’t bore you again today. However I do want to talk about Hammer.
For those that don’t know Hammer is the application distributed by Valve that is used to create maps and mods. It’s not the only tool but for most it is the main one. I’m a big fan of applications like FPS Creator and am guilty of not promoting it more. It suffers from a few faults, but what product doesn’t? However, what it does do is make creating levels very, very easy.
My question is
“Why can’t Valve release a simpler version of Hammer that allows almost anybody to create new levels with little or no experience?”
What I am asking for is something akin to building blocks. Instead of creating everything from scratch why can’t I use pre-formed things? Sure, I will never be able to create fantastic levels that match the quality of current SP maps but that’s not the aim of the exercise.
People who have no experience in making maps feel that the learning curve for these types of applications is too steep. Consider this to be a stepping stone – something that eases new mappers into the concepts without forcing them to struggle with the technicalities.
Getting new mappers interested and competent is not only good for the community but also for the game developers. The more people making maps using their games/engines the more people buy the games.
No doubt there will be mappers who reply that to make good levels you need understand the complexities of the applications and if people can’t be bothered to learn then they shouldn’t be making maps. These people have little or no empathy for new learners and should be ignored.
Am I correct in thinking that something similar exists for some console games? If they can be made for consoles why not for PC games. In fact didn’t Pariah have something exactly like this? I think it was for DM maps though. Here is an IGN review of the Xbox version.
The graphics etc of games has improved greatly in recent years but not the ease of making levels, it’s time somebody took a fresh look at the process and open it up to the plenty of creative but non-technical players. I want a cross between FPS Creator and Half-Life 2.