I've recently decided to start mapping for the Source engine, and I thought it could be beneficial for everyone if I started chronicling my progress. This is my first real attempt at mapping in over 6 years, and even the one map I have released to my credit (DM-Zkorch for Unreal Tournament, receiving Insite's 3rd lowest score!) wasn't really "good," and all the really cool stuff (details, sweet skybox, trap…) was added by my good friend Christian. So essentially, I was starting from scratch here.
I decided to start with something very basic to get my feet wet in the editor: A deathmatch level, based as exactly as possible on a map called DM-Permanent][ made by Frostblood for Unreal Tournament. Using an existing level saved me from trying to come up with my own layout, which I think was a great decision for my first level: just like a good workout, it's important to focus on individual "muscle groups" in mapmaking when you're learning. There's no reason to have to come up with your own layout and figure out a map's flow when you're not sure you can build a room yet. The original DM-Permanent was made as an entry in a three-day speed mapping contest that Christian ran on some forums a long time back, and so I figured that if it only took Frostblood 3 days to make, then maybe I'd have a chance at finishing it. It's also been one of my favorite UT DM maps for a long time and has always stuck in my head, so I figured I might as well start with something good that I really enjoyed. I'm proud to say that all the work you see in here (though I grant it may not seem like much) was done in about 4.5 days, which I think is a pretty good start; for the first day and a half, I didn't even know how to make a cylinder! [I thought you had to make a block and then start cutting, and you just had to figure out the angles if you wanted something other than an octagon… Thankfully I figured that out after finding a beginner's tutorial; I wondered why nobody was complaining about how terrible the tools were!]