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Teaching Mapping To A Fast Newbie
I have a newbie here who is really fast but needs very precise instructions. I'm trying to walk him through making a playable Quake 4 singleplayer map.

I began by building two samples - simple, tiled rooms/room types with floor trims and something that looked good for steps. I've taught him how to texture brush sides and be conservative about how many brushes to use. The thing that I originally had in mind for steps turned out to be too complicated, so we've agreed on building the basic floor trims there too.

After that, we've gone through light entities, the in-game light editor for some extra properties, and how to build lamps with lensflare texture patches. The initial results didn't look so good, but we've tuned everything, used the "round" textures, and added a bunch of extra ambient lights until all the hard lines from overlapping light volumes disappeared.

This is where we are now:

There is still a lot to teach, and I hope I have the right topics planned for the next lessons so that he doesn't ragequit. The next thing on my list is merging small lamps into more powerful lamps and breaking up the very uniform lighting patterns.

I hope that someday he'll be skilled enough with this so that someone would want to play his levels... put together tirelessly, on demand, and within seconds.

Have you done similar teaching yet? Inspiration is welcome. I've collected references to similar projects, but this experiment has no project page yet to put them on. This is my second attempt - I've already tried this for HL2, but engine/tool constraints and overall bad looks in the game drove me off.
I was considering a similar project, although my idea was to use prefabbed shapes and texture "themes" for the program to utilise.

You know what would be really badass... A map scraper that would scrape a shit-tonne of maps for textures or entites that are regularly used together.

It would be really awesome to be able to do the same with shapes or geometry of maps, but I doubt this is easily doable. 
Great Stuff! 
Someone should make a Beginners guide on how to make quake maps in youtube from the ground up. installing and setting up trenchbroom, creating a room with a light and a player start then compiling it. after that moving on to more advances stuff like doors, platforms triggers. and then go into level design more deeply. I feel that video is a great media for teaching.

the lessons should come in short bursts that have a clear goal, that way you can hook your audience and get them into more advanced stuff. :) 
I Second That Motion 
You can easily find "getting started" tuts, but for more advanced stuff, not so much. 
he is talking about a program he's created, not a real person. 
Holy shit! He's creating a map autogen?! Wow... Still, I'd love to see advanced YT tuts. 
Fuck Off Furry 
This Is 
Way above and beyond my brain but I am fascinated by this project.

I wish you the best of luck! 
Beware letting him try to treat the brushes like minecraft, unless you wanted him throw large amounts of brushes at the map in a voxel like manner and use subtractive methods to generate spaces and merge brushes into more angled and believable spaces. It can be a fun method, though tedious for us slowpokes.

You should also let him know that repetition can be a good thing that can add a sense of continuity and uniformity of style between sections to a map, though it can be overdone, especially if you are trying to use the same modular sections over and over to save time. Not that he needs to save much time, apparently. 
@Shamblernaut: Yeah, it would be nice to have some kind of "content-aware fill" for actual level parts.
Some research in that direction is here: /
At the moment, I think it would be too complicated for such first person shooter levels.

@Beware: It actually does use a voxel space, for populating the level with cubes of a side length of 16. When it's done, it merges them a bit along all axes.

Randomly merging lamps now works as I wanted and gives the level a dirtier look:

I've placed the player start by hand.
Mostly deathmatching, but some very useful rules of thumb.
Some good architectural variables. Full book is decent btw.
Someone recently posted this, don't remember who, but it's great!
Pointers for managable organic brushwork.
Notes on lighting, good for leading the player. 
This might be an interesting way for segmenting your map? 
Let Me Know 
When your newbie can create tetrahedron soup caves, heck he could even make diamond-quad-tetrahedron voxels like how 7 Days To Die creates their caves and terrain, if he's fast enough. 
This Is Amazing 
Thanks. :)
I wasn't aware of that, but it does make sense that more and more research is being done in these fields. Maybe I can tap into that when I get stuck, and work my way through it anyway for some inspiration. - or others too when they look at this thread.

On the other hand, this little project can't be a silver bullet incorporating all the best practices known to date. I'll need to focus on specific design goals all the way and feel content with parts that work well to actually get something done. It might make sense to treat it like a little level pack, and in the end it will have a comparable development time, albeit for an entirely uncertain and mutating result. 
Recent Developments 
A third room skin for this room type:

Intentionally generating a bit off-grid but still retaining correct alignment of everything:

Adding little orange lights because they were on discount during the Thanksgiving weekend:

On Sunday, I'll fly to Finland for two weeks. :) 
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