Attention E+ players: Our next mapper too be profiled, Thelitlewiseowl, has done some pretty incredible things with the Noodle Extensions mod and maps almost exclusively for the E+ space.
Q. What inspired you to start mapping?
A. Maps of my song choices were not made, then I decided that providing mapping and watching people play my maps was very enjoyable and entertaining.
Q. Which music genres do you prefer to map?
A. Pop, memes, rock, dance, funk, covers, mash-ups and remixes
Q. Are there other things you’re involved with in the Beat Saber community besides mapping?
A. Not at the moment.
Q. What does your mapping process look like?
A. I often listen to the whole song first and mark some bookmarks for when there are shifts in the song or when a part sounds like a repeat of the previous part. Then, I place timing notes for the section I am working on, sometimes I time the whole map all at once but this is usually not productive. Then, I listen and swing my arms or hands and imagine how I want the flow to be as I listen to the song. Next, I place blocks and see if the pattern placed matches how I want the flow to be and make changes before moving to the next part. I usually map from the beginning of the song to the end, so not mapping the chorus then jumping back to the intro, etc. This helps me with resets.
Q. Which of your maps are you most proud of?
A. 99, Sweet Like Cola, and Tokyo Drift. I would say these three are not my favorite but they are the ones I can be the most proud of and were the most well received in multiple countries. With 99, I am very happy with the way the walls came out to match the video. A lot of my vision and ideas of how I wanted that to go came out well, and some I had to scrap. Cola was one of my first pixel art style wall maps. I learnt a lot about wall art and lag when making it, and I used this knowledge a lot in 99. Apologies to the people who still get lag, I really did reduce it a lot before the final release. No apologies for the vision blocks, I hope you understand. I’ve heard from a few people that Tokyo Drift is one of their all time favorite maps which makes me very proud. I think that a personal favorite is hard to pick because I enjoy and love every song/sound clip I’ve mapped and can remember how and why I chose to map the way I did for most of them. For now, I will pick my 100th upload, Music Rap Version, as my favorite map for how it shows off my mapping style.
Q. Your Mob Psycho wall map is currently making the rounds with the rumor that you spent more than 80 hours on walls alone. What piece of advice would you give to mappers who want to break into “extreme wall mapping”?
A. Yes, all 81 hours were done on stream. My advice for people who want to try wall mapping is to avoid the number one problem that wall maps have – bad mapping. Before starting on the wall map, get a good map done, ask for feedback or just ask for another person to do the mapping so that the mapping is not in conflict with the walls. This is a problem many wall maps have had since the very beginning. And if you are like me and mapped a fairly difficult map for the song, then go ahead and map a second easier difficulty for it to be more accessible. And, if at all possible, get some maul test plays for the lower difficulty. A lot of people in the community will be happy and willing to help with providing a good, playable map or help with that part of the process.
For the other style of wall mapping, I am not experienced with them but in my opinion they are more like light shows than what I made. My advice for those would be that timing is very important and to have ideas on what effects you want to accompany certain sounds. The wall effects in these really emphasize and are emphasized by the sounds they are paired with so focus on this idea could be good. But having not made a wall map of this style myself, don’t take this advice too seriously.
Q. Do you have a “signature pattern” that you use in all/most of your maps?
A. No. This is the strangest thing to me when I hear feedback from others about my maps. They will notice that I mapped it from the style of the map and not really any specific mapping pattern, or they recognize it from the silly song/sound clip. I do lots of hand switching which I believe might be my most recognizable trait in my maps.
Q. Is there a mapping practice that most mappers frown upon that you happen to think can be used really well in the right hands?
A. The first thing that comes to mind is duck walls and lean walls, followed by bomb flow and bomb resets. But the one I’m most connected with is “hand clap patterns” because I use them.
Q. What, in your opinion, is the single most challenging thing for a new mapper to master in order to be successful?
A. What constitutes success for a mapper? That the map plays how you want it to be played. This does not always take into account comfortable patterns. What constitutes a well received map? That the map plays how most people can agree to. So I think the single most challenging thing to master might be getting good feedback that help guide your ideas from where it starts, in maybe an uncomfortable state, to where most people can agree with it but still matching how you envision the flow of movement with the song.
Q. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as a new mapper, what is the #1 piece of advice you would give?
A. Map more, don’t worry about the downvotes, you (will) make friends that see past that. Early on I did feel bad about the downvotes and of course this affects you a lot as a new mapper. “Why is it a down vote? What did I do wrong, and where?” What helped me was watching people play my map, seeing how they played the patterns and hearing what they had to say about it. Eventually I made some friends and started to think that a couple of downvotes from random people don’t matter so much, there are many more people who agree with what I do than disagree. They also remind me that my mapping style is different and something I take pride in.
Q. If there was an Amazon.com-style “Recommended Mappers” section, who would your name show up next to?
Q. Do you believe that the mapping ‘meta’ is currently in a healthy state? If not, what do you feel would help to bring the ‘meta’ to a good place?
A. I believe the meta is currently in a healthy state. Most mappers have stopped or are moving away from very uncomfortable and sometimes painful patterns like 90° patterns, triangles and double directionals. If that doesn’t characterize a healthy meta then I think I answered the wrong question. With regard to ranked maps, I think that there is a mapping style that makes it easier for songs to be ranked and that the ranking team is much more ready and experienced with this style and that these maps can and will pass through the ranking process with relative ease. I think that this would lead to a heavy emphasis on particular mapping styles if this continues and could be unhealthy. In that sense, not having variety is not good. On this point, I think more discussions about patterns and how mappers use them could be useful in helping more variety be introduced to ranked so that more patterns and mapping styles are better appreciated.
Q. What style of maps do you most enjoy when you play Beat Saber for fun?
A. I think of songs before maps. I like songs with high energy. Mapping styles for those are often tech with wide swings and leans to bring energy into the play style.
Q. What else would you like the Beat Saber community to know?
A. People will dislike “good” maps because they disagree with the patterns. They disagree with the patterns because they don’t play with the same play style. I think that everyone should be reminded that you choose the songs you want to play and if the mapping matches your play style, congratulations! You found a mapper that has an agreeable play style to you, find them, tell them you love them, etc. Otherwise it isn’t for you, so don’t be mad, go find other mappers that map for your play style.
For people playing my maps, please remember you are holding controllers and try not to smash them together.
I think Beat Saber is a great game that clashes two types of people and that both sides should calm down and realize that the game is made for both of them. Dancey players like large swings, and being allowed to move a lot. Rhythm game players want the maps to be comfortably played and for scoring to be linked to comfortable play. Neither are wrong, so just enjoy both types of maps.
Thanks for reading! Have a question for Owl? Hit them up in the comments!
Is there a mapper you’d like to see profiled? Message HelenCarnate or Pyrowarfare here or on Discord and we’ll find out if they’re interested!