Featured Rookie: Storm Knight

Welcome back to this week’s community profile! This week, we have a rookie mapper, Storm Knight! He’s been mapping since 16/07/2019, and with 15 maps under his belt, he’s managed to build his own reputation as a testplayer and mapper. Storm primarily maps classic rock, gothic/industrial, and OST tracks, so if that sounds of interest to you, why not check him out? 



What inspired you to start mapping? 

  I feel in love with the game, as many of us do. However, there is a dearth of songs that I would like to play that could fit nicely. I love classic rock, and been in the gothic/industrial scene in a few parts of the world. Very few of these songs at the time were part of the game. A lot of the songs that make it onto the site, while fun to play, are not my favorite genres. I figured if people are going to bring more of my favorite genres into the game, I might as well help out.


Do you have any mapping idols? What aspects of their maps do you love? 

  There are four mappers off the top of my head that I appreciate, and look forward to trying their maps as they publish them. Techbutterfly; another mapper of classic rock, and one of the first people I met in the mapping community. I will occasionally ask him for advice when I hit a mapper block (pun intended,) since we share similar taste in music. Majorpickle; for the sheer volume of classic rock maps he has done, and showing people that it’s not impossible to bring older songs into the game. Joetastic; for his original patterns and kinetic patterns. CyanSnow; for his brilliant wall and light shows, a talent I have yet to acquire. Of the four, three I have been able to talk to and they have given nudges of encouragement here and there, as well as advice. The fourth I am actually slightly intimidated about, as the volume of material is so vast.



What were your initial impressions of mapping? How have they changed since?
  My first thought was, “Oh dear lord, this is going to take forever! How are some of these mappers putting out 2-4 a month?!” As time goes on, and as I gained knowledge of basic patterns, and became better acquainted with the mapping programs, it has gotten easier. While I don’t put 4 a month out, I get less hung up on mapping issues that can lead to problems.



What has been your favourite part of mapping? What has been your least favourite?
  One of the favorites things is that finally, music I prefer is out there in the community, and I find I am not the only one that’s a fan of these songs. Also, as time goes on and I have learned to work with songs and the various programs, that it is becoming easier to bring more songs I like into the game. The least favorite? That’s…actually kind of hard. One thing that stands out is the time for playtesting maps. For a while, it was slow in getting feedback so I could see errors in mapping. Fortunately, it’s has become MUCH better, as mappers are helping with playtesting, myself included. It’s turned to a net positive, as I encounter songs in maps that I can appreciate, even if they aren’t in my favorite genres.



What has been the most challenging hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your mapping journey so far?
  This is a story of “Dr. StormKnight, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Wobble.” A lot of the songs I have in my collection are originals, and they tend to wobble around their published beat per minute, and can vary widely. This is is less of an issue in modern times, with metronomes that are near atomic clock accurate and digital mastering. Those that map older, classic rock songs tend to warp songs to make mapping easier. I have tried, but the song always feel off for me. It was frustrating, as listening to the song in game felt like I was listening to a warped vinyl album. One of those who I asked for advice, and is one of the best at warping warped one of the songs I used in a map. I could pick out the variations of the song. We came to the conclusion that, due to training and what I do for a job, I am really sensitive to the variance warping songs produce. I don’t notice it as much in game, as I’m too busy swinging, but something always feels off. So, I gave up warping, and used tools to make the grid fit the song better. Making my maps may take a bit longer because I hand time the blocks, but to put these songs out there, it’s worth the effort to me.



Do you have any advice for new mappers just getting into their first map(s)?
  1. DON’T use older songs as your first map. Go with something modern or that has a very tight control of it’s beats per minute, and as you improve, then start bringing in older maps.
2. Map songs that you are in love with. To map a song just because it’s the most popular at the time without loving it will only lead to not finishing the map. You are going to become very intimate to things you never hear when you are just listening to the song for fun.
3. Be receptive to feedback when your map is playtested. Everyone wants to make sure your map is fun to play, and testers want you to improve, and avoid the mistakes we made with our first maps.
4. Be patient with yourself. You aren’t going to knock a map out of the park the first time tested. It may take a few tests to get things right. But people are here for you, and are willing to test.
5. Be familiar with the mapping programs and basic patterns. You can catch a lot of errors if you know how to use the tools you have.



What map of yours is your favourite? What do you love about it? Is there anything you’d change?
  If I had to pick one, it would be This Corrosion. I think I nailed the intensity of the song with the way the map is played. It’s the most downloaded of all my maps at the time of this interview. If I would change anything, it would be to make sure the timing was better on point, and some minor tweaks to improve playability.



When you play for fun, what sort of maps do you play?
  While classic rock, soundtracks, and gothic industrial are my favorite modern genres, when I play, I’m all over the map. I could be playing J-Rock, guilty pleasure songs, anything.



Do you feel there is enough support in place for new mappers? If not, what would help?
  I think there is. The community is helpful, and the guides are becoming more complete every day.



What have you found to be the most helpful while learning to map? This could be a specific resource, a specific person, or even a mindset you may have developed.
  Joining the community discord. Seeing how others map, and chats with others helped improve my mapping ability.
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