How to Score Better Level Reviews (Usually)
So, you just sent in a level to a reviewing site such as Tosche Station or Hyperview and got a bad review? Want to try again with a new level or redo the old one to make it better? You're in the right place.
First off, I will explain what this article does and does not cover. This article tells you some of the most common things level editors forget to do or don't do well. It does NOT go in depth to tell you how to fix them, like a tutorial does.
Here's one thing I must say: NEVER USE MOTS THINGS IN JK LEVELS! The reason for this is it violates the LEC License Agreement. I believe that using JK things in MotS levels is fine because in order to play MotS you MUST own JK.
1) Boxy Levels
A lot of "newbie" editors make their rooms all boxy. This is not a good idea. It shows little effort and/or creativity. It also doesn't help game play much, ether. Instead use FreeSector from DarkJedi to create new and interesting sectors for your levels. You can also cleave sectors and use Brian's Outdoor building tutorial on Massassi for different architecture.
This is a hard category. It contains Item Placement and how easy it is to get the items. Items such as the concussion rifle and rail detonator should be placed in hard to get areas and for a small or medium sized level, there should only be 1 rail detonator and 1 concussion rifle. Also, don't have items all over the level. Make health packs and shields sparse. Have little or no shields in saber levels or else the player will keep on going there and be hard to kill. Place your items in alcoves or on top of boxes. Make it interesting. I have learned all of this form experience.
Custom mats are good in a level. If you don't know how to make them, look at the mats tutorial at Massassi. Always make sure all of your mats (or textures) are aligned and look good in the color map that you are using. Also, make sure the mats make sense with the room/level that you are in. If you were making a desert level, would grass make sense? No, not unless it was an oasis level or some farm.
3d0's are "things" such as items , weapons, and almost anything else in the game except for the level itself. Custom 3d0's are used a lot in levels. First of all, ask yourself does it need to be a 3d0? An example is a beam. It is better on frame rate to actually cleave a beam than it is to make it a 3d0 (Thanks to Brian for the example ^_^). Also, be sure to texture it correctly. A good 3d0 would be a Wampa for Jedi Knight or a ship.
Architecture in levels is very important. It adds the "feel" to the level and makes it interesting. This is a category where a lot of levels are not good on. Try making buildings outdoors or different sectors in FreeSector. Pipes are also neat. Fool around in Jed, you might just find something no one ever thought of!
OK first off, never put annoying music into your level. The reason for this is that is well... annoying. If you use sound try to see if one that comes with JK fits. If not find one that goes along with your level. If you use sound, please do not use big sound files because it makes the download very long ( Unless you're fortunate enough to have something like DSL or cable).
Lighting is another important factor in level reviews. Never have lighting too bright or too dark. A good example of lighting would be the Cathedral level by Takimoto. Make lights come out of a 3d0. To do this position the light where the 3d0 is. It makes it look real. You should use a light 3d0, of course.
I hope this helped you guys!