Your map automatically doesn't qualify as being professional.
If using Flag Beacons for anything, make a trigger always removing the flags from the Beacons, it looks better.
Centering text for small messages, such as "Level Up" is easy to do. Just place in front of the text. It centers it on the screen.
Rename all units you use. RPGs with Knights and Archers that upgrade at a Protoss Forge look as though no effort was put into them.
Use a Thersaurus (like at www.thersaurus.com). Good words, spelled correctly, add to the atmosphere.
Try not to clutter your map with units such as "Map by Me." They get annoying fast.
Oh dear lord, please never release a v.Final. All version "Final"s I've seen have had plenty of bugs, typos, and balance problems. Naming it 1.5 isn't going to make your map worse, but having v.Final, then v.Final Fixed, then v.Final Fixed Again in your map name makes you look like an idiot.
Sounds are double edged swords. They add depth and feeling to the map, yet the players will have to wait LONGER. Try to minimize their size and then your map will sound great as it looks.
All I would like to add Yoshi, is that...
You want to make the player feel as much as possible as they are in where you want them to be. If the player is supposed to be in a spaceship, then space terrain and interactive mechanical equipment will do you good.
... you may want to add space terrain/installation.
Some people may take this post TO THE LETTER.
Not all spaceships have busted floors and rusted plating
. Plus, a bunch of satellite dishes on the INSIDE of the ship? I just figure Installation is a much better map because of all the "official" doors, wall doodads(open gates) and stuff. You also get computers on the walls and stuff.
I love you Valahan, installation is the best terrain. Be sure when your making a map, carve into it by starting with all ceiling, and MATCH YOUR TERRAIN! Ugh, don't you hate an ugly installation map?
Ughh, I always use a combination of ISOM and square terrain for any map! It makes it look neater than one or the other. By square I mean using the terrain palette in SF (SCMD2's palette's framerate sucks so much, it's crazy!)
if you are going to use SC sounds in your maps, use SCFree sounds to save space and still add flavor to the map.
Don't overdue on the SFX (special effects), like blasts 4 instance... u don't want a firecracker
factory, I suppose!
See for (a good) example the Deception.scx (webpage)
that Blizzard made.
Try to avoid "unit unplacable" and units being attacked where your attention is not supposed to be.
And don't have text with 50 enters in front of it and preserve triggers. I hate it when i'm playing a map and someone tries to message me but I can't read it because it keeps getting pushed away by something like Map Made by Billy.
I'm not sure if this was implied earlier with the installation comments, but here's my suggestion:
Clean up the walls when placing ground or roof terrain. I hate playing installation RPGs and seeing that set of computers or the door on there when they have no purpose. Either use them to add the effect of a hallway/computer room or as actual doorways and usable computers - never just place that terrain randomly.
And if you want to be picky (like me) then keep all of the walls in one room/hall the same type. By this I mean don't have the one with the 2 holes next to the smooth gray. Its unlikely those would be put next to eachother in a real area.
Devlin, check out my map Aliens: Harvest. It's just like that.
I have 1 thing to add. Dont try to center text with the back thing on units... like marines or scvs because they arnt centered they are to the right a bit.
Also, when doing text, if you are useing badland and have the whole area grass and the text that is showing up is yellow, not a good idea.. Make the text stand out.
When making a map that is supposed to have a picture or a wall of tiles to make colors in the minimap for effects on a map... Try to keep those tiles out of the physical screen/playing area. Seeing tiles makes the map just seem...uglyier. Or is that just me? Well, a picture (terrain) says 1000 words (Display Text).