My map-making career is now ending and i want to share my memories with you.
The beginning: 2004-2006
My memories of my map-making debuts are not so clear anymore but i still remember my first melee maps. I had no idea of the competitive scene back then and my inspirations were the blizzard maps and the ums maps i played on battle.net. Unfortunately i don't have the maps anymore, some of them already had some very basic features present on good melee maps like one entrance to the main but not all of them.
This is the main era where i learnt everything i need about RTS level design, i can apply all the concepts and ideas i was taught to any RTS game, even if the scales aren't the same, the game basics are.
One Day, i have no idea how, i discovered Staredit.net and a melee map contest was held there so why not trying it! This led me to make my first melee map ever uploaded: (2)Shine
What i didn't know at that time is the fact that this map will follow me in my journey to the highest levels of foreign map-making where people like Starparty, trcc, Testbug and few others belong to.
I am now not alone with my maps anymore and I even compete with other players. The most surprising thing with my first map on the internet, it finished 4th, i totally didn't expect that.
Link to the results: Staredit contest results Being in that contest led me to the most important website of my map-making career:Broodwarmaps.net, BWMN for the shortcut, and from that day everything will change.
This is my first map ever uploaded on BWMN as ProTosS4EveR, Fall of Tenochtitlan, yes it is bad and it was just my arrival on the website. Names with pre-columbian civilizations references are going to be a recurrent thing in the future. Let's remember this map to watch the improvements on my next maps.
The second map i uploaded is a remake of my contest map (2)Shine, i wonder what happened during the time between these two maps, the changes in the style are so radical it looks like they come from two different people
My map layouts are getting better, i now fully understand the main size, the natural placement, the backdoor expand and third gas expand. You can see an improvement in my decoration and also picture editing to make it brighter and more colorful otherwise it's not that pretty. The map turned to be quite passive because of the layout but it was still a good map for my own improvement.
The second map is Rise of Teotihuacan (Nightmarjoo calls it Rise of Teosomething, for some reason he can't read Teotihuacan T_T ). This map is based on a two players korean map i saw on mapdori.com where the natural is behind the main and has two backdoors. There was a lot of back and forth in the edits of the map because of the very short main to main distance. This map is also the beginning of my usage of the korean texture pattern where the isometric patterns are stretched vertically, i'll come back to it later with other maps and some examples.
We are reaching the succesful part of my Brood War map-making which is around 2008-2009 with two maps getting into the iCCup ladder map pool. The first map is none other than a four player version of my good ol' map Shine! The Main/natural/mineral only expand is identical to the two players version and the third gas is placed in the middle as a transition to the rest of the map. The best thing in the history of this map is that the legendary progamer YellOw played on that map, an huge honor for a foreign map-maker.
A year later, an other map gets selected, Texcoco! This map has a standard main/natural setup but the third gas expand's ramp is blocked by layers of zerg eggs which make it easier to defend. The four plateausand side paths make interesting tactical positions. I think this is my best brood war map. Simple, with a small twist and a good execution.
Concerning the decoration, this is the korean decoration style mixed with my own. Here are some examples of korean maps, you can see the very stretched out patterns. + Show Spoiler +
With this map begins a period of inactivity, i would make a map every two or three months but nothing huge. New proleague maps come and go with amazing designs in complexity like Plasma or simplicity such as Python where everyone was wrong on the impossible TvP theorycrafting.
Here is the list of my Brood-War maps on BWMN LINK
New game, new challenges! There is no already established system therefore aliens everything is possible! The goal from day 1 is getting into a korean Starleague, reaching the top of the top where the legendary map-makers like Rose.Of.Dream, Ragnarok[Valkyrie], str18-02 are.
Since no one knows anything about the game, i just make brood-war maps in SC2. This... is my first SC2 map ever made during April 28th 2010, exactly three months before the start of the full game. This is just a brood-war map with SC2 graphical engine.
During the beta, i'm contacted by konicki to create a map team with prodiG which will become the iCCup map-making team which was launched the day the full game was in the stores.
My first succes in SC2 comes a year later with MLG selecting Testbug into their map-pool. Since a tournament of this size uses this map, other smaller tournaments start using it as well. For those who wondered why i used Testbug as the map name: he is the best foreign map-maker ever, the master of three players maps. Testbug's map list
At the end, 873 official tournament games are played on it which is a lot. I don't forget the iCCup invitational with Startale where JulyZerg played on Testbug. At this moment, I have a link with pretty much the entire foreign scene. MLG is good, but it ain't a Starleeeaaague, we have to go deeper higher.
At the end of 2011, the Team Liquid Map Contest is held to get some maps into the ladder. Getting in a map into the ladder means entering the GSL. I... Have... To... Win...I have to be the first foreign map-maker to get into a Starleague. There is no other option. It's time to use what everyone underrates: chokes, this can reduce the power of deathballs. Cloud Kingdom is born.
The layout is actually so simple yet so effective and is the result from everything i learnt in Brood War and SC2. The name Cloud Kingdom is one of my prefered i invented, i always wanted to name a map like this but i couldn't think about something good enough.
The map gets into the top 5, one step is done, now it's time to be the first. I check the votes every hour and see Ohana get more and more votes. I feared i would fail so close to my goal. Only the staff votes can save me now. The waiting of the results was no bail-biting.
December 19 2011 06:03, the results are out! Cloud Kingdom is second in both polls and Ohana is 1st and 5th which means my map wins the contest! Now i knew i'm going to enter the GSL!
Some weeks later, January 9th 2012, this is it! I finally reached a Starleague after 6 years of efforts, and the funny thing is the first official match on a foreign map is played by the legend of the legends, Boxer. The entire world plays on my map now... except... the Kespa players, the ones i originally wanted to play on my maps.
That bitter taste won't last very long, The hybrid BW/SC2 Proleague is announced, this is going to be my first, unique and last chance to get the Kespa players play on my map in official matches, it's now or never.
After an other nail-biting waiting, i finally see Cloud Kingdom in the Proleague map pool, the very top off the map-making world, i can't write well enough to describe my joy at this moment. And that day finally came, May 20th 2012, CJ Effort against KT Motive, the summit of my career.
There is still the OnGameNet Starleague to conquere and the goal of Broodwarmaps.net, Global domination, will be achieved. So close but still so far! I had to wait again, not being sure if i'm going to make it. The prelims map pool doesn't have Cloud Kingdom in it, i can understand, there are always 3 maps in the prelims and a fourth on is added into the Ro16 so i had to wait, again and again. But this time, i won't make it, my story ends in front of the closed gates of the OSL, knowing they will never open again for me. In this day, September 25th 2012, 3250 official tournament games have been played on Cloud Kingdom. TLPD Stats
I am now retiring because of a lack of interest in the gameplay of SC2, i wanted to see if there are plans to fix the game basics in HoTS but there are any. My school year also starts very soon and i will only have a tiny amount of free time. More details here
Cloud Kingdom is far and away the best map that has been made for SC2. Your input, insight and wisdom will be greatly missed by the map making community. Good luck in all your endeavours, hopefully we will see you again in the not-too-distant future
Maker of Maps inc. Vector, Uncanny Valley and Fissure | Co-Founder of SC2Melee.net
Wout Netherlands. September 26 2012 00:40. Posts 73
Cloud kingdom is definitely one of the best balanced maps ive seen in SC2 along with Daybreak and Ohana. The best maps are simple and allow for flexibility of play and that takes so much consideration so its really sad to see someone who can make maps like that leave. I really hope you come back for HotS to give us some more maps
Thanks for all your many contributions over the years, to both the map pool and to the community. It's sad to see you go after achieving so much success, but I'm sure you'll find equal success in whatever you set your mind to, so I wish you the best of luck in wherever you choose to go from here.
"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it." -- H. L. Mencken
Archvil3 Denmark. September 26 2012 01:06. Posts 970
I always thought Cloud Kingdom was pretty good but after watching hundreds of pro plays on the map I have changed my mind a bit about it. It is outstanding and not only by far the best SC2 map ever made, it is also the most revolutionary and important map made to date.
See you around. You will be back.
Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.