has an interview with one of Quake 3 Arena's best map-designers, Paul Jaquays. Paul talks about the art of map making and his latest project the Q3 mod Team Arena.
"[trenches] Can you explain us all the stages of creating a good map?
[Paul Jaquays] Concept (purpose, core gimmicks, etc.). Concept diagram (schematic to work from). Geometry sketches ( creating the style of architecture which will predominate in the map). Rough build (blocking out the map, using the geometry sketches as building blocks. Includes first pass at lighting). Intermediate build (Refine textures, place entities, refine lights, add SFX). Test and Fix (what it says). Polish (Final textures, final lighting). Some of these may be concurrent with each other."
If you want an insight into the art of map making, this is the chap to listen to.