Basics - Show, Don't Tell - How to path, good signage and directions

A Pink Cow

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#1
Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Pathing
  • Concept of "Show, Don't Tell"
  • Summary + TL;DR

Introduction:
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass - Anton Chekhov
Welcome to the first week of Basics! So glad you could join us! This guide will outline Pathing, signage and directions!
Let's begin!

The concept of flow can be attributed to both ease of following the parkour, and good pathing. Efficient pathing is vital to any good map. It determines the space you have to create fun jumps, and planning ahead the areas you’re going to explore. Thus, it is logically the next step after you have finished building.

Wishing Well Pathing.jpg

[Demonstration of flow from The Wishing Well]

Pathing 101
Here are the steps!
  1. Choose block [make sure it stands out!]
  2. Pick the areas of the map you wish to explore [2b) Determine entrances and exits.]
    Insight 1.png
  3. Path naturally in a curving manner to retain flow. Avoid kinks or sudden changes in direction if possible
  4. Only use TP pads/triggers if the scenario calls for it!
Pro tip 1.png

We have this wondrous build from Blurpyfied and need to path it!
Places to visit 0.png

We've chosen gold as our pathing block (Step 1), next we choose the area we want to visit!

Places to visit 1.png

Following along choosing where we want to visit, dividing the area into 3 different sections will allow us to move in an upwards motion. Using long strokes to path it will make more sense! (Note the gentle curving to it)

Places to visit 2.png

Here's determining the pathing of this wine bottle. I want to be able to showcase the wineglass, the wine and also the interior of the bottle:
Merlot Pathing.png

From (1) it allows the player to view the wineglass as a whole, and appreciate the surroundings. From (2) you can have an upwards climbing section as well as feel immersed in the glass. Finally within (3) we have an upward climbing section.
Good direction and signs

Once you have your path and are building your parkour, you should be able to follow it smoothly as if each step was the next foot you were placing down.

Keep each jump visible from the next. How you can do this is through the following:
  1. Using transparent blocks to highlight where to jump to (Show! Don't tell)
Telling vs Showing.jpg

Sometimes instructions (telling) will need to be conveyed to the player. Make sure this is visible! You can /rename a name tag and apply it to armour stands to highlight where a slime, or long jump will take you!
Telling.png
Pro tip 2.png

When you have a section with a lot of interior, it can be a good idea to use the same palette to indicate where to go! The consistency will allow the player to have a smooth parkour experience
Example of Telling 2.png

Finally, there may be scenarios in which you may have to input instructions. In these times, it's better to make them clearly visible, instead of chucking them on a sign!

Example of Telling.png

And that’s it! Master good pathing and clear signage directions and your map has one of the most important concepts to flow! Notably, there are scenarios in which you may have to diverge from this model, but that’s for a future thread! Note that this is one of MANY ways to path!

Here's your summary/cheatsheet!
Summarycheatsheet.png


See you next week for some talk about Parkour Variance from casey! Now, go make those 5-star maps!
 
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A Pink Cow

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#4

lavi

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#5
This is awesome, the insane amount of effort and love you put into this is so clear, I love this post sm!
 

jacobsfunparty

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#8
Thanks pink! This gave me a few ideas for things to change for my own map. I definitely have too many “tells” where I could change to “shows”. I just wish I was a little more comfortable using armor stands ;-;
 

Anacoustic

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#9
The effort and detail put into these posts is beautiful ahhh