Take a look at this before pic for a moment. Just look at the map, think about the layout and concentrate on what space you think is used well and what space is not.
- The first thing that jumps out is this pretty huge empty chasm on each side of the map between mains. Empty space is not necessarily bad, but in this 4 player map it constitutes a lot of space that will only be used for drops and flyer harass.
- Next there is a doodad gap between the main and rocked 3rd that serves as a buffer from tanks harassing the small-ish main.
- Look at this chasm between the natural and 3rds. The purpose is to create some separation, zoning the 3rds into identifiable bases, and to create a choke to the natural.
- The center of the map has a nice lane around the perimeter, and chokes to move into the center where there is a delicious gold base. One problem is the base puts the center
in a clinch, like Randy "The Natural" Couture.
This map is cool, has a clear concept and looks pretty good. Many mappers would have just stopped there.
Not a chance. He thought about it, tested it, went down into his mapping furnace and smelted newbies and forum trolls into a new and more awesome version: Neo Enigma!
Let this be a lesson itself: don't be afraid to throw out a map file and rework the concept.
But back to the use of space, let's see what he did in Neo:
- That empty chasm on each side of the map? GONE! The main, natural and rocked 3rd wedge into the corner and use it up. The formerly empty space is filled with harass cliffs and a hidey-hole, all of which can still be flown over by air units and be off the main ground paths. Awesome.
- The doodad gap between the main and rocked 3rd is gone. The main is bigger, you can build your stuff away from that side if you're worried about tanks. A very clean solution here.
- There was a chasm making separation between the natural and 3rds which is gone. Instead the non-rocked 3rd has been "flipped" from the outside of the map to the inside, and much smaller harass cliff gives all the bases their shape.
- The lane making the perimeter of the center of the map blends into the spawn areas more tightly. The center is still an open battleground but much tighter and cleaner than before. Also the base in the center has been eliminated so there is room to move.
This is just a great case study in how you can dramatically improve a map that is already good. Good job, prodiG!
The use of space goes hand-in-hand with giving the different zones of your map meaningful proportions, which monitor has a great write up for, so check that out, too.