I'm writing a little introduction to the people who want to start osu!mania mapping!
This guide if you can call that is just about as much as i know and im no master myself and is open for everyones other ideas to make it better so feel free to add to it.
To begin mapping a song for o!m you have to go into the song setup.
There you go to the advanced options and under "allowed modes" you will select "osu!mania"
In this window is also a checkbox "use special style (N+1 Style) for mania". This means your beatmap will have a turntable.
If you want to create a beatmap in the style of beatmania you should check this box and your first column on the left will be the turntable.
Once you have done that don't close the window and go to the "Difficulty" tab.
HP Drain rate is recommended to be set atleast 7. 9 more realistic feel and 10 will mean no recovery.
Column decides what game mode and how many columns you will play. 4-8
Approach rate is irrelevant.
Overall Difficulty should be set at 7, higher for more difficult gameplay.
Allright lets get started mapping!
Basics and common guides to mapping:
So now you have your beatmap setup and are free to map. Where do you start off?
The first thing you should do is find a structure to your beatmap. Not like standard mode you can put your notes all over the place to the sounds you desire to map but there are a few things to keep in mind to create an intuitive and fun beatmap and not a rain of random notes.
Those things are mainly:
22:48 Agka: pitch where a low pitch note takes place to the left and the highest pitch note goes to the right of the playing fieldPitch Relevancy is basicly how high or how low the notes sound. You can easily compare this to a piano where the keys on the left are the more lower notes and the keys on the right are the more higher notes.
The same applies to osu!mania somewhat.
The point in this every note you place should give an unique feel to play so the player understands what note you put is what your note is meant to be. It also raises the overall quality of your beatmap because it does give a more structured feeling to it. But this does not mean you have to be too strict to follow that! You can allways mix things up as long as it feels natural and understandable to play!
This is about how you actually map the song chose. Listen to a measure of your song over and over again. Keep attention to the various different instruments that are beeing played and decide to what you are actually going to put notes to. This is also important in deciding on how easy or how difficult your map is going to be! The harder the more instruments you will note and the easier the less. Avoid making your maps to vocals.
Other than the song itself it is also very usefull to plan ahead and have just a general idea of how you will design your notes in your map aswell! It makes it alot easier if you first think about the way you try to note the song than wind it up while doing so, just a little pointer is enough and will make things easier for you. You could either be mapping your song with just hold notes and not a single note or make the exact opposite or you could decide on use bracketing just for this one part in the song or decide to layer it from the beginning to the end (bracketing and layering will be explained below). Does pitch relevancy appeal to you or do you like to make your map in an symmetrical or even artistic way? Stuff like this.
Added by Bobbias: Other than that it is also really worth mentioning that any pattern you might create can be mirrored or "semi mirrored" (for example just mirroring the melody and keeping the base beats the same). It can give your map that little extra if you feel like it needs a bit of a change here and there or you somehow get into conflicts with other notes or similar situations. As long as your idea of noting gets across you are basicly doing nothing wrong.
Allright you listened to a song and lets say you got those 3 instruments you want to use into your map. For example a 6K map. You got your drums and you got your typical melody, violin or piano or whatever the song is.
Now it is to find your unique and intuitive pattern to put the notes in order! When we think about pitch relevancy, You would assign the drum to 3 keys and your melody to the 3 other keys.
Try putting notes to the sound you play and test them over and over until it gives you the playing experience you desire.
22:46 wanwan159: select a side to handle more of the base and a side to handle the melody
Here I will try to explain the core essence of every osu!mania beatmap. They are really important things any heavily influence the things you will create.
The things explained below are a must to even have and idea about or just know it. It is not a must to necessarily use them but the techniques explained later on really set your map aside from ... "auto converts" for example. Using following techniques will give your map room for higher difficulty possibilites while still keeping the notes readable! It allows you to put more notes into your map and deliver a deeper understanding of 1. the song and 2. your map itself!
Since you play this game with 2 hands bracketing is basicly dividing what you play on both hands. And again this will give you a more intuitive feel on what you are playing.
22:49 Agka: and bracketing where you separate right hand and left hand movements with a few special kinds of patternsIn our previous example we said we put our first 3 keys for the drums and the other 3 for the main melody of the song. Thats bracketing, basicly seperating your notes.
Video example on bracketing:
Layering is abit more advanced. It means you make one layer of notes of one instrument and then make another layer of another instrument and they will be put together. Similar to graphic editing if this makes it more clear. In contrary to bracketing you will end up mixing your notes through all of your playkeys while still having your patterns and the desired intuitivitiy to play.
Things to keep in mind for this is to keep the hand balance while doing it so it does not feel stressed out to play and still maintain the general idea of the notes you put. It can get quite difficult to do that but if it is done right it is usually a great beatmap to play!
Hold notes are meant to represent sounds that just sound longer. They can be perfectly matched for any buildup or dropdown sounds in a song.
But this topic is pretty vague. In my opinion there are 2 cases:
The first one being proper hold usage, being only designate sounds to holds that have no impact feeling. The hold note just feels natural because its mostly some SFX.
The second one being "reverb mapping". Its mostly used by o2jam players to spike up the difficulty and in general it makes it easier for them to create patterns since they are essentially locking at least 1 or more columns so patterns themselves are kinda not distinguishable anymore.
What this means is "any" sound itself could potentially be turned into a hold note. The best example for this is, if you think about a guitar and stroke through all of your string, it makes a nice impact and the sound reverbs for quite a while. In this sort of mapping though it is not used as a note itself it will be a hold note.
There are a few cons to this: The most important being, it creates a different scale of difficulty and challenge through the chart if suddenly every single note you could think of turns into a hold note.
And the most con to it: The rhytmical input gaming suffers alot under it because you are not really giving that much feedback in your map and it just seems like a little trickery test to just hold down notes for whatever reason. In most cases, because its so difficult to do such a thing, the mapper itself accidently overextends their notes on their own because they will end up confused because the actual note reverb cant really be heard out in the song. So you might just end up with holds with unnatural durations.
The third thing is beeing the 7k-1 mapping which i like to call it. It happens quite recently that mappers try to cut corners in adding holds for the major chords. Not only cutting down their map and creativity by a whole column throughout the song but also creating an unnatural stressed out feeling for the player, even if it isnt intentional. There should be a line for any mapper to say, "hm ok for this i will put a hold note" and "neh, its not really fitting for me there". There should never be the case for a mapper to put a hold note for subtile sounds with few or non existant play value to put hold notes just because they "can", sadly its happening.
Well i think those are really the basics for everyone to get started your own osu!mania beatmap!
There are still some more advanced things to know but they are not necessary to make a great map!
There is also a MUCH more detailed guide here to read and study. It explains even more and is great written! Take your time and read it aswell if you are interested
And of course DJNightmare http://osu.ppy.sh/u/DJNightmare for his graphic editing contribution to the tutorial. Now i just should start writing more text..