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Mapping Feedback on my super rough draft map

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Hello bro and broettes!


So I have made a series of maps for practice forming a very small "dungeon". It uses the default art tile sets and was made as a creative test to see if I could start making some decent maps for my game. I am a programmer by trade. I have worked in the game industry as a contractor before but never from this end. However one thing I know about art is you can not grow and get better unless you show other people and let them critique it.


These are extremely rough drafts and I would put them on a par of being only about 60% done. I still have much of my designed "production process" left to go through including shine.  Think of these as "rough sketches".

With that being said I am looking for positive critique and not "OMG YOU ARE SO TRASH HERE IS WHY". I know these maps are poor, I am looking for tips to improve them not for someone to explain to why I am bad. This is about two days worth of work for me. (It took me a solid four hours just to learn how auto tile and cliffs worked lmao!)


Anyway enough stalling here you guys go!


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-It's too "square" - caves don't often have square walls like that. ESPECIALLY not rock walls next to magma where it's being melted and cooled all the time. Unless it's an artificial/manmade construct, when mapping there should be no 90 degree angles, think curves.

-There isn't any clutter on the ground, fallen rocks, animal bones, etc. Though it's kind of hard to see. An interesting type of clutter you can add are red/heat resistant plants which are basically a recolour of the normal plants. Caves are quite easy to fill with clutter, once you add NPCs, ore veins and rocks. Try not to overdo it with clutter too, often people who get told there's not enough clutter then go all in and put too much. Moderation is important so as not to obstruct the player's movement so much that it's a noticeable and frustrating inconvenience. 

-The rail is hovering over the lava, you should put a bridge under it of some description, preferably metal so it doesn't catch fire from any sparks from the magma (again the rail has wood on it in a cave with magma.) 


The bottom three maps have a decent shape, but still a bit square and straight. Needs more roundness to it.


I can tell you're new at this and whenever someone starts mapping they have loads of fun doing it. Good job asking for feedback, a lot of people can't take any criticism and it takes a certain level of integrity to ask for it earnestly and sincerely.

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I find that interiors are trickier than exteriors. I would suggest looking at rpgs in the super nintendo era, especially Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, and other classics. Chrono Trigger and FF 6 specifically. As Solomon said, look at how mappers are designing caverns vs other interiors.


Keep at it though! ^_^

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