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Payload Contest Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Contest #5: Payload map' started by Armadillo of Doom, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. flubber

    flubber L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    171
    Positive Ratings:
    35
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 8
    Zig 5
    Repository 9
    Stovepipe 7
    Halfacre 7
    Reservoir 6
    Vipers den 6
    Tranquility 7
    Frontier 8


    Cashworks: Whaou that's maybe the more original layout i've seen so far, the long descent is a piece of art, too bad there's almost no fight on it. With the secondary defense spawn distance and the disadvantage of heigths it's almost impossible to block the cart in this area. The rest of the map is pretty classic, with good vertical pathways which is always an appreciated design choice for jumping class.

    Zig: Sorry dude just hate the theme & color choice so it will obiously influence my judgement. Anyway the problem in the layout is that it's alternate way to opened area with glostrophobic one, the only part i like is the last one wich is the only part we have an interesting fight. There is some interesting idea anyway, the first underworld part is well worked but i can't find a way to use it in several classes exept inge and demo.

    Repository: My favorite one, like the design and layout, there is a lot of way for offense and defense (mapper too oftenly forget that defense should have way to bypass offense and take them from behind). Vertical path giving soldier and demo some great gameplay possibility, shortcuts are a heaven for spy and inge. Not much more to say on this beauty just that it's my favorite map of the contest.

    Stovepipe:Classic pl map. The closest one to the badwate design (building surrending the tracks, the gameplay is pretty classic and interesting as soon as you re in a good team (as in badwater). The only part i'm more sceptic aobut is the long path to point B, it oftenly cost great time and effort since one well placed sentry cover all passage. Otherwise the part between 2 and 3 is the most intersting with well used building and one way door, there s really some crazy way for a defense inge to use previous building to hide a tp exit in the back of the offense. Well done.

    Halfacre: Well i like halfacre but the problem is that defense (as in hoodoo) is pretty blocked, so oftenly we see a defense with no initiative since there's not a lot of things to do bt hold on (i know that somepoeple would say that's the point of the defense side of a payload, but i don't see i that way since an interesting game is more based on teamplay and actions that it provide than skill. Graphicly the map is well worked, lot of details and the general aspect is really really well done. The only thinks that is missing is some way to make the gameplay less flat and had some heigths to make it a little different from linear map (the part 3 of hoodoo for exemple is pretty interesting to compare it with, even if it lack some pathways)

    Reservoir: I'm pretty suprised by some design choice, tracks going in and out of building and in again, never saw this in real life, of course tf2 is not real life but small things like that bother me a little, otherwise there may be too many small paths instead of big one where the fights is taking place, what i witnessed in our testgame on reservoir was a pretty is a desorganised fight occuring in every parts of the map except between 3 and 4. These kind of design (not uninteresting) mean pretty strong gameplay choice for a team, spy pyro and demo heaven, a hell for long distance class and inge.

    Vipers Den: Way too many long straight line, making it not really interesting to play on, except for the goddamn sniper. Anyway i would like to see how the map evolved since there is some good tuff after the first captue point, can't really say much since the first part of the map is imo really boring.

    Tranquility:moo is the word indeed :), the first part under water is a pain in the ass, can't see who's coming for the offense, which class are pushing the cart for the deffense, the next 2 pars are more classic and much more interesting. I especially like the path design with those buildings surrounding it forcing team member to cover each other from spy and demo.

    Frontier:Clearly one of the best map of the poll, but i was a bit disappointed by the classic building design, i was waiting for something more original while playing alpha stage (frontier was the only map in texture dev which was included in our mapcycle). On the gameplay side, the map is really well designed, the only blackspot is the end with the spawn just over the final cap point, always hated it always will, still one of my favorite.
    -----
    To conclude, except one or two map i think most of them are too pro-offense, defense is oftenly reduced to a suffer role, with talent and work the succed, but offense side doesn't mean you should have to sit and wait, you should be able to make some action that will change the current states of the game.

    Note may look hard on those who spend so longs hours working on those map, and for this work i and our community are thanking all of you since you give us hours of fun. But the note i gave are a reflect of what i felt during our test session.
     
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  2. Rexy

    aa Rexy The Kwisatz Haderach

    Messages:
    1,795
    Positive Ratings:
    2,344
    /zig theme fail
     
  3. uma plata

    uma plata L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    298
    Positive Ratings:
    86
    Sorry dude

    Your apple isn't a very good orange
     
  4. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Messages:
    949
    Positive Ratings:
    613
    My official rendering. Still going over Stovepipe and Reservoir. I plan to have those reviews posted by tomorrow night.

    Cashworks B2 8.8

    GameFlow: I found the design of Cashworks to be very intuitive. The track layout just felt normal on both Red and Blu, and I never once got lost. Even the shortcuts between areas make sense, something that can be difficult. Little side areas are between a separating wall or simply an indent of space next to the track, and easily visible. The player clipping is flawless, save for one tiny spot at the final cap. Against the wall opposite of the vault on the left side, you can walk along the edge of the top fence, almost to the corner border.

    Lastly, the author was consistent w/ the vertical aspects. I always found myself looking up and to the side to watch for a Red ambush or Blu uber rush. Regardless of my spawn time, I was usually fighting in all parts of the map, which I love :) I think the Blu respawn for the last 2 caps felt a little long, but that's due mostly to the size and b/c I was eager to get back in the fight, lol. 8/10

    Balance: Perhaps my biggest gripe w/ the map lies in the balance. More specifically, the size. Cashworks is gorgeous yes, but it's also freaking huge. I played w/ a wide range of players; 16, 24, and 32. Given that 1/4-1/2 your team is dead or running back at any given time, the fights could be a little underwhelming, especially in the long stretches between caps/chokepoints. With 30-32 however, that's a whole nother ballgame. It was intense, and I always saw at least 1 of each class. My favorite is the downhill between cap1&2, Pyro/Spy had a field day, lol. My second/final issue for balance is Snipers. The first half of the map provides ample cover from snipers, or a quick path to go around the side.

    Going straight in is still the fastest and direct route. While I took more than a few headshots escorting the bomb, it wasn't overpowering. Later on however, I was getting dominated by the snipers from both teams :( While there are side paths in the later parts as well, they often take you right on top of the enemy (both literally and figuratively). These side routes are spaced far enough apart that the main defensive cluster nullifies any attempts on the sniper/engie camps. Nothing gamebreaking, since competent teams can make all the difference. But feeling alone w/ 11 teammates plus the sniper party at the end is enough to be noticeable. 7/10

    Detailing: Now we get to the good stuff :p The alpine setting is already pristine in nature, but the author takes it to a whole other level. From the running river under the final cap's bridge to the dirt roads going behind cap 1, this map is a living, breathing working of art. The many buildings you can go through feel natural in their fighting space and clutter. One look at the screenshots tells you all you need to know. 10/10

    Optimization: From spawn to final explosion, I averaged 60+fps :D However, my gaming machine is a 2.7 dual core w/ 2gb ddr2-800 and 512mb 256-bit gddr3 gpu. So on the few occasions when my framerate drops to 40-51 in the yellow zone, I get concerned about how that section will play on less beefy machines. While most people who play TF2 probly use a dual core w/ 1+gb system ram, most do not have a 512mb graphics card.

    More importantly though, my performance was consistent. Even the times where I had a major fps hit didn't affect my game. Getting 41 fps in the middle of area 1, it ran as smoothly as the rest of the map. I think given the size of the map and the vast amount of detail, the author did pretty well w/ filesize. That said, it's still gigantic and a pain to download. Using mat_leafvis, I was pleasantly surprised to see how clean the visibility is. If you can get past the filesize, even average computers should have no trouble. 9/10

    Style: I think the author nailed the TF2 style w/out feeling boring and repetitive. The buildings are solid, while still having a good amount of construction materials for use as ladders. This feels like a real place, even if it's a little on the tall side. Look at any of the Valve maps, and the map doesn't simply end at the border. You're fighting in the middle of a world space, and the borders are conveniently natural obstructions. None of the areas feel like they don't belong right next to each other, and they're still unique. 10/10

    Zig 8.6

    Gameflow: I have mixed feelings on this. In the first parts of the map, the track layout combined w/ signs make figuring out where to go near idiot-proof. However, the last 2 caps, especially right after the red/purple tunnel, can be rather confusing to navigate. Going to cap 3 from Red, the little hallways into the divider walls seem rather pointless. And coming from Blu, the side paths to the final area are a nigh-impassable choke point. A single sliding door w/ a short hallway behind it? 1 sentry gun can lock down both of Blu's side routes. Playing as a sniper on Red, the Blu team was forced to come out practically single file, making them easy pickings.

    Those gripes aside, the overall design of the map is actually quite good. Winding around counter-clockwise, the pathing is logical. The spawns start you off in the right direction, and there are a few strategic signs just in case. Playerclipping is good for the most part. But the invisible ceiling is much too low, especially in area 1. Rocket jumping is out of the question :( I think the traveling and respawn times are as close to perfect as you can get. I was never away from the action for too long. Not b/c the respawn time is too low, but b/c I never had to go far to find a fight. Whether it be Red mounting a counter-offensive, or rounding the corner to stop Blu. But nor was there any spawn camping. I couldn't ask for more fairly balanced travel times and subsequent respawn. 8/10

    Balance: As with Gameflow, the map's balance is pretty good; which is to say far above average, but there are still a few standout issues. My single biggest problem was between cap2&3, specifically in the tunnel. Blu has no way to get around, and it's quite a walk from one end to the other. I would like to see this tunnel shortened just a bit, with a path to let Blu go to the side of cap 3, so they can attack Red's defenses. Health and ammo was never a problem. Certainly not plentiful, nor should they be. But I didn't have to go out of my way. I found them in obvious corners and defensive lines, in addition to being scattered in the various hallways.

    Fighting for the caps seemed pretty fair, w/ the last 2 easily being the most difficult. But that is due more to the sub-par alternate routes for Blu than the design of the main area or track pathing. Lastly, when the bomb was nearing a cap, I found myself fighting in the space all around it, not just a small circle around the bomb. The cap areas provide enough space and/or curves to really spread out the action :) 8/10

    Detailing: This map is a world all it's own, lol. It's not a TF2 world, and that's ok!. The author has created a wonderfully trippy sci-fi setting that's easy on the eyes, unlike say MarioKart or the KotH maps. I love how the environments are totally unique, but don't feel disjointed. For example, going from the castle-things of the first area to the black starry tunnel past cap 1 feels natural, despite a wholly unnatural setting ;) There are certain chunks of the map beyond the sky borders which use that black star texture. I would love to see more of that, akin to the piles of gold found throughout Goldrush.

    Unfortunately, there is one section of the map that does stand out visually, and not in a good way. The left side of the map between cap2 and midway past cap3. Giant wooden buildings that seem incredibly out of place, not to mention being very lackluster in design. With the posters of famous paintings and other random stuff, I get the sense that this part is supposed to be surreal, but I'm just not feeling it. Keep the paintings, make more of the normal decals sideways, and find a better way to merge the sinister metals of the final cap w/ the 'natural' cave elements coming out of cap 2. Also, more 3d skybox crystals please!:love: 8.5/10

    Optimization: No complaints here. My fps is solid throughout the map. There are very few models, but I think any stock models except for those lanterns would detract from the setting anyways. This is another whopper of a filesize. Once downloaded, smooth as silk. 9.5/10

    Style: Anyone who says this map isn't visually pleasing needs to have their eyes checked :p It's like a mix of Tron and Starfox. Zig has it's own style, as opposed to simply being a non-cartoony mix of things. The detailing is in the geometry & textures, and I would love to see another map done in the Zig world, lol. Once again, those wooden buildings just seem so normal in comparison to the fantastic sights in the rest of the map :( It's only a small part, and the rest is done well enough to suck you in and make you believe. But it does take away from the ambience. From the neon-blu castles to the blatantly evil metal, Zig is just plain cool. 9/10
     
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  5. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Messages:
    949
    Positive Ratings:
    613
    Repository b6 9

    Gameflow: The use of signs and natural pathing to guide the players is well done. The spawn times felt normal, as did traveling. I had to walk a short distance before finding some action, but it's about the same for Dustbowl or Goldrush. My big issue is w/ the Red spawns. There are several places where you can actually be on the other side of the spawn, relatively, and lob grenades over a wall or simply fire down rockets. The map is compact enough that you can't really get lost, but this also lends itself to harassing players directly out of spawn, b/c the spawn rooms are also packed in tightly. Not much else to say here. The map plays out very well, and the major fight areas were intuitive. 8.5/10

    Balance: I think the author did a great job balancing travel times of the direct route along the tracks with the numerous and spacious side areas. My biggest problem w/ the balance comes from the fact that after cap 1, the entire track path is narrow. Unfortunately, this affects numerous other things. Sure there's lots of side areas, and they fit perfectly in design. But having 4+ people on the cart makes it awful crowded. And that's not counting having the rest of both teams trying to kill each other all around you. This is most prevalent w/ Red's final spawn during the home stretch. There's really nowhere else to go alongside the bomb. Even the aforementioned side areas are quite narrow, and only take you in one direction. Past cap 2, simply widening the road would go a long ways. 6.5/10

    Detailing: I found commenting on the details for Repository to be the most difficult of all the maps. Let me start by saying that it's a visual stunner, but you have to really look for it. For example, I was going through a building near the left of cap 3, and noticed a cage light sitting on a thing. I followed the wire, and it was connected to another cage light in the ceiling. Going back down, this wire connected to a couple more lights, did a small loop, and ended in the gas-powered generator model. You can see industrial smokestacks from the same pipe in multiple parts of the map, similar to how you can see the Dustbowl missile at all times. Not only could this be an official Valve map, it easily surpasses anything Valve has done with the desert/industrial theme. But I want to see this taken a step further.

    The most noticeable feature is Blu spawn :( That series of Red buildings along the final stretch? The metal industrial complex behind Blu's first spawn? Moar! Of all the maps using the desert setting, this one takes the cake in eye candy (mmm, candy-cake). Fun while you're playing, but not especially memorable after. Expand that industrial complex w/ a touch of farmland to surround all the borders. The map should be a more even mix of industry and natural elements. Right now, the industrial stuff in the skybox is so sparce that it looks out of place. But that's a pittance in comparison w/ the incredible amount of little things to see :) I never enjoyed treasure hunting more than I did w/ this map. 10/10

    Optimization: Given the vast amounts of stuff all around the map, the author did a fantastic job in not only keeping performance high, but filesize down. You can download this and play w/ 32 peeps in record time, and your frame rate won't skip a beat. 25mb and 100fps that looks better than Valve?! Yes please! 10/10

    Style: I want to reiterate that of all the maps, this is candidate numero uno for being an official Valve map. The industrial theme is pretty constant throughout the map, w/ occasional farm things providing a logical variation. At no point did I think 'why the heck is this here?'. The author has created a wonderful pseudo-natural industrial center. Add 1 or 2 large props to make the map more distinct, and we're set. 10/10

    Vipers Den b1 4.4

    Gameflow: The first few moments out of spawn start well, and that's about the only good point :( The 'V' shape, while good for a cap+choke point, represents like 90% of the playing area. As such, it's way too open, w/ no logical breaks in the track. Despite having only 2 caps and 2 spawns, certain areas naturally lent themselves to battle. Specifically, the cap at the tip of the 'V' was quite fun. Being able to walk along the top of the dividing wall is cool. Being able to shoot down at half the map unrestricted, not so much. The map also lacks signs, and the fact that you don't even need them is not a good thing. The basic elements of good design are here, the author just needs to take time to expand upon them. 3.5/10

    Balance: Despite the design issues, I found the map to be surprisingly balanced. That is, both teams had relatively equal opportunities to exploit the poor layout :p The side tunnel around cap 1 is large and cumbersome, but it's the right idea at least. The incredibly open layout makes the Pyro all but useless until the very final squared off area around cap 2, while snipers rain supreme. Health and ammo kits are non-existant. 2/10

    Detailing: The author made a start w/ his details. I especially like the train cars outside of Blu spawn, because I can see that being expanded to an actual train station, w/ Blu spawn as the main computer room. The rest of the map lacks any distinguishing features. I honestly can't picture what the setting is supposed to be :( Do a few sketches by hand, look up some pictures, and try to figure out where you want to go w/ the setting. I'm giving this a small point boost b/c he did include a few cactus's, and a curve in the track right before cap 1. 3.5/10

    Optimization: The map is small and runs well by virtue of not having much in it, lol. The little hut/building things are func_detailed, and he made good use of displacements. Until there's more meat, it's hard knowing to what extent the map is optimized. For now however, 10/10

    Style: Again, I can see the beginnings of a map here, but there's a lot of inconsistency. Out of Blue spawn, why would a train be lined up right next to a wooden hut? The pool of water at the 'V' crest is cool, but why is it there? It should be connected to a skybox building or natural body of water. The area around Red spawn looks like it could be a farming thing, but there's too little to know yet. As before, take some time to plan, and figure out what exactly you want to do here. 3/10
     
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  6. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Messages:
    949
    Positive Ratings:
    613
    Stovepipe b3 8.4

    Gameflow: For me, the pathing of Stovepipe lends itself to herding players in the right direction. Following the tracks/bomb is intuitive, and you easily make out the surrounding areas. There aren't many signs, but I was never looking for them anyways. So far as I can tell, there are no abnormalities in the player clipping, save 1. You're blocked off at logical places, with plenty of room for explosion-jumping. The aforementioned 1 is next to the concrete bunker in the first area. As a scout, I was able to jump on a nearby rock and easily clear this hill thing, only to be stopped in mid-air. Either make it bigger, or let me up there :p After cap1, I'd like it if Red had their spawn time shortened a bit. Perhaps it's just my bad luck, but it always felt like I was arriving at the middle point just as Blu had overrun the place.

    Other than that, I was always meeting the other team at the obvious fight locations; the bridge and high ground in area1, the large space and building by cap 3, and the side parts plus big space at the end. My biggest gripe is that a number of the side areas around the track are not obvious. Having another tunnel or path leading to a building top is fine. But more than half the time, I walked right past w/out even noticing. On Blu just beyond cap1, there's a break in the wall at the far-most left side. I didn't actually know about that until recently. In the final area for Red, walk out past the walls and you can go around the right side of the building. I think this is due to the fact that there's nothing to distinguish the door spaces from the surrounding environment. But it says something of the balanced size and travel time that I was never very frustrated on either team, despite almost never using the alternate routes. 9/10

    Balance: Speaking of size and travel times, lol. I never actually gave it much thought until I was writing the review, but Stovepipe is remarkably well balanced :) My team almost always had at least 1 of each class. Fighting for the caps also seemed pretty even. I've had Blu get stopped at every single cap, though I never saw Blu totally steamroll from one to another. On the times that Blu got stopped before a cap, I was never banging my head against a wall. We would push Red back and try to hold while the bomb moved, they just pushed back harder, lol. Between cap 1 and right before cap 3, there's an entire vertical level that I absolutely love :D Though I would like to see the small health kits turned into mediums, I didn't have trouble finding goodies. 10/10

    Detailing: This is my biggest problem w/ Stovepipe, and where I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me. Now don't get me wrong, the stone quarry looks good, as do most of the buildings. But I noticed a lot of inconsistencies. For everything that made me go 'oooh, that's cool', there was another item that just didn't feel right. From start to end; the satellite dish is connected to a single cable thingy on the concrete bunker, which itself has zero tech. Why/how could this bunker possibly maintain a satellite? The top left corner past cap 1, I can see a mining track + carts that magically end behind a very a small rock. Wooden boards w/ junk in front are randomly scattered around, w/ no discernible origin or purpose. The transition from nature to industry is sudden, and very jarring. There's no buildup whatsoever. It's like an entire industry center just popped up on 1 side.

    The worst offender is around cap 3. There's a stretch of dark ground that connects concrete to nature. Given that it's also flat ground, this spot is just plain ugly :( Past this, the areas around the buildings are better, but feel incomplete. More than anything, I hate the fact that I can never see the sunset :crying: Having a more spread-out mix of nature and industry, rather than lumping them together in distinctly separate areas, would really help to unify the environment. Lastly, the fortress builders TF2M poster is dark against grey metal w/ no light. Show some love and make it visible :p6/10

    Optimization: Not much to say here. The file size is what I consider average. Func_detail and displacement are all what you would expect. Even clustered around the final cap, I never skipped a beat. 10/10

    Style: This was a tossup for me. On the one hand, the author has clearly established the TF2 style. Most if not all of the individual items are well put together, from buildings to prop clusters. But taken as a whole... I honestly don't know. It's hard to put into words, a problem that doesn't happen to me very often. For example, the building w/ a crane around cap 3, that's awesome. But standing alone w/ nature stuff on 3 of 4 sides, it's like there should be more. The map just doesn't feel like a unified space, despite the easy to merge environments of desert and industry. 7/10


    Reservoir b6 8.4

    Gameflow: This is definitely one of the more complicated maps. Figuring out where you're going takes some time. The use of signs helps a great deal, but doesn't change the fact that it's a fairly large, inter-connected space. My first few times on Red, I wandered around the back half trying to find a way out :( Player clipping is spot-on. I was never surprised by an invisible wall, nor could I go outside the obvious borders. The various paths do make sense, and are actually kinda fun to go exploring, it just takes some getting used to. The timing and fight areas however, deserve their own paragraph ;)

    This was really tough for me to judge. On the one hand, the respawn times seemed pretty normal. On the other hand, traveling from spawn to cap ranges from acceptable to 'running a marathon'. The best/worst example is Blu's first spawn. I had to run up something like 3 flights of stairs just to reach the main level. There's also a side tunnel here that takes just as long to navigate, though it does exit you about halfway into the first area, which is good for attacking the defenses. Because of the highly variable nature of the distances, you could find yourself all alone on the bomb, or trying to build a sentry as half the Blu team is rounding the corner. All in all however, the map progresses quite well, despite some lengthy runs in the beginning. 7/10

    Balance: This was also rather difficult, since a large part of balance is how easily a team can attack or defend a given area, and that depends on distance+pathing (high ground, side routes, etc.). Health and ammo was reliable, and each class had time to really shine. When playing w/ a team that's actually familiar w/ the map, the fighting was pretty even throughout. The one notable exception is the chokepoint at cap2. It's small, narrow, and Red has a major height/distance advantage. There's just no good way around it, and I can say for certain that rougly half my losses on Blu were at this part. Yes there's a side tunnel, but Red sees you coming a mile away. That aside, the distance between caps is quite long, but so is the distance from spawn to cap. This created some very unique fights, b/c they were so spread out. The first area is fun, and so is going between cap 1 and 2. If you can make it past 2, the last half of the map is a blast :D 7.5/10

    Detailing: Reviewing the detail work was thankfully straight forward, I could immediately figure out what I liked and did not like. First the good stuff ;) The layout is awesome, and I could tell just by looking around that the author had created a unique place. The mix of concrete and metal w/ the occasional wooden thing just felt right. From start to finish, the environment is both unique and consistent. And the not so good; in short, it's bland. Blu spawn looks wonderful, and is by far the most detailed structure in the map. Aside from a few lights and architectural shapes, most everything else is just plain blocks :(

    To be fair, these are good-sized blocks w/ some variation in the textures, but with no variety in the structure. Combined w/ the fact that many textures are clearly tiled at .25, it feels kindof dull. Especially in the first half of the map w/ low lighting, it's like the atmosphere is just sucked out. I could see this map being truly epic if the author spruced up his building designs and made it a little brighter. Btw, don't think I've forgotten about all the little things like a cage-wall full of props or a garage ramp leading you up and around. Just that kind of stuff is par for the course in any good map ;) 8.5/10

    Optimization: Another winner here :) Small file size, and near-perfect vis leafs. Despite the large pathing, visibility is good, and so is my framerate. 10/10

    Style: A unique place that is still recognizable as TF2? Awesome :D The detailing work is consistent, you're in a reservoir at all times. The environment is mostly pleasant, if a little drab. Despite the first half making me feel grey, there's no question that the map has a unique style, and I hope the author expands on it. 9/10
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  7. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    6,785
    Positive Ratings:
    5,079
    Cashworks:-

    GameFlow: One thing I've round remarkable is that I have instantly and intuitively managed to find my way around this map, making it instantly enjoyable. However on closer inspection of routes through the map I've found myself on offence appearing in front of the cart and being able to clear out enemies far from the battlefront. This isn't a huge problem but it is a little frustrating for red and a little dull for blue players pushing the cart. There are a few areas where it's quite tricky to 'flow' through the map in a natural fashion, the most notable being the staircase section of track, it's a fantastic idea but quite frankly it's a mess to get through. (I am aware this has been remedied in later versions).
    Use of height is worked out well in this map; there are plenty of areas where you can get a good advantage looking down on your opponents. Whilst I love to have a full range of heights in maps there are a few spots here and there where a demoman can wedge himself way beyond what would normally be considered and rain down unfair death. 9


    Balance: I've found games of all playercounts enjoyable here, whilst around the standard 24 being the most fun. For smaller counts, action is quite sparse since the map itself is quite large but it fills up and becomes very intense at over 24 players.
    From what I've seen the cart usually gets to the final point which is where the battle is either won or lost, but there's not much wrong with that as there are good battles at each of the earlier capture points. No one class seems to dominate over others; engie's find their home all over the map but mostly at the final point (as to be expected). As do snipers, the long sightlines of the last bridge allows great sniping range, this isn't much of a problem at around 20 players though, only nearer 30. Overall I've found each class has a use throughout the map.
    Particularly the first half of the penultimate leg always goes quickly for me, there hardly seems any opposition until the start of the bridges where the red team really hunkers down. 9.5


    Detailing: One of the better examples of how to execute the alpine theme, if not the best. There is a consistent level of detail throughout the entire map with no one area feeling out of place. What is missing though is a sense of unity, the first half of the map feels like a logging facility whilst the final point is a bank vault, it’s subtle but it’s quite a discord. There are still a few props casting odd shadows and some bad lightmap patches (both too light and too dark). There aren't any places where lighting is blinding or far too dark though, there is always enough light to clearly see the silouette and colour of other players easily.
    One thing I'll say is that there is quite a lot of visual noise in some areas, just a few too many props or one too many textures, it can get a little distracting. 9.5


    Optimization:
    Optimisation isn't just about getting a good framerate, cashworks, at 112mb, is an incredibly large map, larger than any other of the large maps, hoodoo, frontier and meridian. But I can't see anything other than really the last bank vault that is custom, and surely that doesn't add that much to the filesize, so where is the rest coming from? Certainly not too many cubemaps. Whilst I can see there is a lot of custom content there it blends so well the large filesize seems disproportionate to something like aerospace where all the custom content is blindingly obvious.
    Framerate however is good on all but the very final bridge, since you can see a lot from either end my framerate drops a little there but not too much. 7


    Style: Great style, it has its own as well as the standard TF2 style alpine. It definitely feels like it's halfway up a mountain throughout the entire map, leaving a good level of consistency. All of the custom materials fit well, as does the menu photos, giving a nice touch to the intro screen.
    If there's any area that doesn't carry the same style it would be the bank vault itself, the inside feels bare and not up to the same standards as the rest of the map, The door falling down to reveal the lacking interior is definitely a low point in the map for me. 8




    Zig:-

    Gameflow: Blindingly easy to navigate with a mass of signs here there and everywhere, but once you deviate from the main path of the cart (which admittedly is hard to do) you end up in a maze of tunnels that all look identical except for a single coloured band. I've played enough times to have learnt the average map twice over and I'm still struggling to find my way around these side tunnels. The low ceiling forces soldiers to limit rocket jumping and the tight corridors and ceilings severely limit movement. One thing I've found quite frustrating is the complete lack of indication about which doors are locked or unlocked. 6.5


    Balance: I've found that each team seems to have an equal chance of winning each point since each team comes from a completely level battlefront. There are no height differences around the map at all, which whilst that keeps balancing easier it leaves out a lot of very fun gameplay elements like ambushes from above.
    I never saw one class overpowering any other so class balance is also pretty good. 9


    Detailing:
    Pretty low on details, there are a few little vistas though that are quite well executed. The section I like most is the cave and the area I least like is the monochromatic tunnel, a very odd feature. The visual style chosen however lends itself to being free from large amounts of details. There are a few details which don't work at all though, several oddly placed overlays but it's generally quite good. 6


    Optimization: Solid framerate throughout the entire map so no complaints there.
    Filesize though, is through the roof which is clearly down to the sheer volume of new textures, but if you're after a new environment then a little extra download isn't too bad. 8.5


    Style: There seem to be three distinct sections to this map, each with their own completely different style. Within each individual section they style works well however when put together they feel slightly strange with a large contrast between the light blues of the first ancient temple type area and the final modular greebled section. The coloured lighting works negatively against player colours and none of the textures fit with the painterly TF2 style, especially with some having normal maps making them look slightly shiny. 7
     
  8. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    6,785
    Positive Ratings:
    5,079
    Repository:-

    Gameflow: Layout is very easy to figure out and the logical amount and placement of signs work well. I found I could navigate the entire map easily with only a few places needing a slightly tricky jump to pull off in the heat of battle. The cart follows a logical path, the only place I'd say isn't very intuitive is the gate that closes over the track halfway though. There are a few places where the path around the cart is quite narrow, it feels quite claustrophobic in places - certainly the ramp coming from red's first spawn is far too narrow. 8


    Balance: I've enjoyed playing this as most classes and have seen people fitting in as the classes I've not played, I never saw one class overwhelming the other team in any area either. I've seen impenetrable defences as well as relatively painless advances at each capture point so each point is well balanced too, towards the end though I noticed pushing forwards got much harder, possibly due to the constant height advantage in the last two stretches. 7.5


    Detailing: Pretty good detailing here, certainly a nice consistent level throughout the map. Some excellent details both inside and out of the playable area. I don't have much to comment on other than its excellently done with the exception of the very final stretch which feels a little sparse compared with earlier sections. The skybox feels a little odd in places but is overall quite nice. 8


    Optimization: Very enviable filesize on this one, at 25mb it’s easily the best fun factor to filesize of the contest. I also noticed that framerates are reasonably good too, although they did dip at a few moments, particularly around the large arch. I never found sightlines too long and fade distances have been used well to reduce the number of props being drawn at any one time (even if a few props fade a little early). 9


    Style: Very clear and consistent style throughout that closely matches what valve have done with theirs so far. Buildings are clean and clear, a nice mix of the farm and industrial styles. There aren't any areas that stick out as out of place. I do think that perhaps you've tried to use just a little too much of everything and maybe holding back on one of the themes used might be a good idea. 8




    Vipersden:-

    Gameflow: Not a hard map to get lost in due to the incredibly simplistic layout, which is its biggest weakness. I've found playing this to be either an incredibly frustrating or incredibly un-stimulating fight. On offence it was an epic struggle to push the cart even slightly around the first bend and on defence it was quite an unimpressive spamfest beating the opposition pretty much as soon as they got out of the spawn. Any of the slower classes really struggle to get to the cart after the first bend due to the extreme sightlines and height. If the offensive team could break through the first side they found the roles swapped, they were able to rain down death on the other team with ease. The ground was also incredibly bump and it was tricky to see what areas you would be able to run over and what areas you wouldn't. 3


    Balance: Quite poor balance here for classes, any class that is slow has major trouble escaping those faster or with longer range and the vast size meant engies struggled to place effective sentry guns. Snipers and scouts were able to exploit the high middle ridge effectively whilst heavies and pyros due to their speed and range respectively suffered heavily. Each team though had roughly equal opportunities to exploit the landscape but the initial struggle for blue demoralised them enough for them to barely make it to the middle point. 6


    Detailing: Quite a lack of detail here, admittedly it’s early in development but frankly I don't really see the potential for good detail in it. The map is over scaled, probably by about 100% which will make it near impossible to populate it with realistic looking details and even more so do fully detail it and keep framerate respectable. No cubemaps either for reflections. 5


    Optimization: Not really much to go on here since there is very little detail so framerates are good as is filesize however I can easily see framerates dropping hugely once a valve level of detail is put into it as-is. The massive sightlines won't lend themselves well to further detailing. 6


    Style: I can't see a consistent style here since there isn't much development of the basic shapes. It basically fits what valve have done but with further detailing it could go either way. The simple V-shape to the map is a good and simple layout. There isn't any differentiation between red and blue themed architecture, they're both the same wooden structures. 5
     
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  9. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    6,785
    Positive Ratings:
    5,079
    Stovepipe wells:

    Gameflow: Incredibly intuitive map, following the right direction is easy right from the word go, even with an absence of signs. The side paths are all logical and make sense as well as giving a good trade off between advantageous end location and longer travel time. Moving through the world is simple and getting stuck on geometry is something that rarely happens. The only place that I find even slightly frustrating is the one-way gate on top of the building halfway through, it’s not an easy one to work out who gets access to it and when.
    Spawn times work well to give a nice dynamic battle front throughout the whole map with the control points serving as logical and natural feeling chokepoints. 9.5


    Balance: Never saw a single steamroll and only a very small number of times have I seen the battle degrade into a total lockdown through clever defence and poor offence. Near all of the time both teams seemed equally pitched and always teams had a nice spread of classes in use. There isn't much to comment on other than I found overall balancing to be extremely good, even if the final point is quite hard to take - but that’s the way it should be, right? 9.5


    Detailing: Plenty of eyecandy here and certainly the last section of the map could be an extension to the official dustbowl with no problems; there are plenty of little details that set the industrial section of this really on a level field with dustbowl stage three. Really praise worthy.
    The first half of the map however leaves a little to be desired, the deep red of the cliffs combined with the sun colour create a really intense colour that is very uniform and there are very few visual breaks from the deep red. There are a few oddities around the first half as well, not only is it a totally natural environment which feels strange in contrast to the totally build up area later in the map but the satellite dish is pretty well the only non natural element and it's got no support at all, just plonked on the top of a mesa.
    The spawn rooms though are top notch, the red spawn room feels straight out of dustbowl - I actually mistook it for dustbowl's the first time I played. 8


    Optimization: Good framerate here no problems with that at all, I think it might drop to slightly unfavourable if the first half was spruced up with some proper detail but I can't see it dropping too low. Filesize is also very good for a single staged payload map so no complaints there either. 9


    Style: The industrial half is excellently executed, nothing really feels out of place and as I said earlier it could easily be an extension of dustbowl's stage 3. The natural side, although lacking in detail slightly, does have its own quite nice style, the badlandsesque landscape works well. The skybox as well has a consistent theme and is well executed. There’s a nice merge from the natural half into the industrial section but unfortunately I think the juxtaposition between the two is just too large, the natural half could really do with some more industrial buildings in it and the industrial half needs more than just one natural element in it. So good for having two well executed styles, not so good for the juxtaposition. 8







    Reservoir:-

    Gameflow: I've found multiple ways of getting thoroughly lost inside each team's respective spawn areas, the red one especially is a big maze whilst the blue one is just large. Both of these areas could do with being greatly simplified and blue's could do with shrinking a lot. Throughout the map there are some quite large ledges that require a crouch jump to mount as well as plenty of large drops into pits to fall into, which I did quite a bit. I also found that there were often quite long runs though the map to get to the action at times, long runs through a mixture of tight spaces and wide open areas, the former lead me to be ambushed hopelessly multiple times which I didn't enjoy at all. 7


    Balance: I saw epic defences at each point of the track, and even in-between points. One time we were completely pinned down inside blue spawn unable to get out at all, but other times it went right to the end with no real problem. Most classes were fun to play, I noticed at the beginning snipers soldiers and demomen were able to hold blue in their spawn if they made a poor initial push and the long sightlines around the final spiral made the ascent hard for any of the slower classes due to snipers at the top. 8


    Detailing: Not much detail going on really, there are some areas of visual interest and quite a few that are still quite bland. The areas that do have some development seem picked at random, I can't see a logical coherence from one area of detail to the next, and this applies to both prop choices as well as texture choices. Quite a few structures are little more than basic shapes still and especially underneath the water at the final point there is almost nothing of visual interest. The smoke coming off the train in the skybox though, a very nice touch. Unfortunately there is a visual glitch with some water since there is more than one expensive water level in the same PVS. 6


    Optimization: Quite good framerates and a nice filesize too, if it were packed with a higher level of detail throughout the map I can see framerates dropping possibly below a 'nice' framerate because although the potential to cut down on what’s being rendered is there, the engine is actually rendering a lot more than it should be. 7


    Style: It has its own little style; it's got lots of reservoir type features, train links, water tanks, silos, etc. But as I said in the detailing section it does feel like a bit of everything has been put into it with an emphasis on water. There are quite a few elements in the map that don't really work when placed alongside the standard TF2 elements, the most notable being the texture on one of the buildings, it has a normal map (I think) which adds a deep shadow to it but it’s perfectly flat which creates a very disturbing effect and totally wrecks the believability of that area. 4
     
  10. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    6,785
    Positive Ratings:
    5,079
    So here are the totals for each of the previous three posts, just incase you tl;dr it :p
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 8.6
    Zig 7.2
    Repository 8.1
    Stovepipe 8.8
    Halfacre -
    Reservoir 6.4
    Vipers den 5
    Tranquility -
    Frontier -
     
  11. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

    Messages:
    1,129
    Positive Ratings:
    737
    Cashworks

    Gameflow: Red's initial spawn is probably a bit too close to the first point. The structures around the second point are a bit awkward to navigate around, and I think not particularly conducive for teamwork. I'm happy to know this area will be changed in the next version, but I do have to judge based on this one. Overall, I think the map is a little bit too large. The action and scale would be improved significantly if the distance between point 1 and point 2 were halved (which would also halve the distance between 2 and 3). 7

    Balance: There's quite a lot for everyone to do on both teams, and I like how as the map progresses, the flanking opportunities on both sides escalate appropriately. 8

    Detailing: Love the extent to which player-inaccessible detail areas and skybox are used in this map. So few custom maps do this well. There are hardly any places where the detail seems bland or blocky, and the custom content is very nicely used. 9

    Optimization: Though quite beautiful, some areas had such a concentration of detail that my framerates suffered noticeably. On the other hand, this was not the fault of poor layout and visibility control. The map is just that detailed. While usually a good thing, in this case the author should take a look at the larger areas and think of possible detailing alternatives that would be easier on engine resources without sacrificing too much visual interest. 6

    Style: This map really nails the alpine theme. Almost everything feels natural, and the fine attention to detail really tells the story of a general site under construction nearly everywhere you look. The only thing that seems odd is the actual namesake of the map. I have no idea why there is a big vault full of gold sitting next to all these other structures. Still, it looks pretty sweet when it blows up. 9


    Zig

    Gameflow: The biggest and most notable problem this map suffers from is long, singular corridors leading up to capture points with no other means of approach possible. They create elongated choke points that can be impossible to break even with multiple ubers if the defending team is even reasonably competent. Other problems that hurt the flow of the map are cramped side corridors that are unintuitive to navigate, and doors that all look the same but have no reliable means of determining if and when they will be locked. Those aside, however, the winding track provides an interesting layout, and the map seems to be reasonably scaled with good travel times from the spawns. 5

    Balance: As mentioned under gameflow, the long corridors before the second and third points greatly favor the defenders. Offensive pyros also suffer in these corridors, being unable to reach the enemy before being blown to bits. Lack of any real elevation changes also weaken the scout, soldier, and demoman. 6

    Detailing: In a different game, the detail work on zig would be pretty phenomenal. Each area invokes a sense of the surreal in a different way. The custom materials are quite well done for their specific uses. My only gripe is that the art overlays are both way too faint, and too blatant. Surrealist art posted around on the walls hits the player over the head a bit too hard with the "surreal" bit, driving the environment a bit too far into "real" as a result. 8

    Optimization: Frame rates were pretty consistently in the comfortable range throughout the map, and the layout is indicative of well-planned visibility. 8

    Style: While a lot of thought went into the detailing of this map, hardly any of it meshes with the art direction of TF2. If the author could change the player models and HUD elements to match his new artistic vision, the final experience would be quite interesting. As it stands, however, the two art styles clash, and the resultant discord hurts the map more than the innovation helps. 3
     
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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  12. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

    Messages:
    1,129
    Positive Ratings:
    737
    Repository

    Gameflow: Once enough time has been spent on the map, navigation isn't too much of a problem. However, Red's initial spawn seems a bit too far away from the beginning action, and getting there goes through a mess of different structures that is not terribly intuitive. Even once the map is familiar, the size seems a bit on the high side for a single-round PL map. Particularly in the latter half of a round, more time is spent traveling than fighting. 7

    Balance: There are good places in this map for all classes to shine, so it's fairly balanced in that aspect. Blue has perhaps a small advantage at the beginning due to the distance Red has to travel, and a major advantage at the end if they can get one or two demomen at Red's only spawn exit. One other thing that seems odd is Blue's final spawn which, when they get it, puts them in front of the cart, but given the layout and distance to the next point it doesn't have that large an impact on the gameplay. 7

    Detailing: There are some really nice examples of finer detailing in this map. I was particularly impressed with the little side-room next to Blue's final spawn. However, Blue's initial spawn feels a bit awkward in its texturing and architecture. There are a few other places in the outside areas of the map that seemed like either experimentation or laziness, such as an unrealistically rounded stretch of ground supporting the cart track. 8

    Optimization: I didn't see much of a problem with the performance of the map, even with 32 people running around. The only place my framerates dropped was near Blue's last spawn, looking down the big stretch of rail. It wasn't a significant enough problem to hurt the gameplay of that area, though. 8

    Style: the outside detailing suffers from a bit too much, for lack of a better word, anonymity. The majority of it doesn't feel like any actual place. I can't tell what any given building is for, or what relationship it has to the building next to it. A few thematic high points in the outside surroundings could really strengthen the feel of the map. 7


    Stovepipe

    Gameflow: I love maps that at every step of the way, allow for intuitive flanking and sneaking, not just for the attackers, but also for the resourceful defenders. Stovepipe really gets this right, and the pathing around the first few points is even better than badwater at providing alternate routes. The ending is a little weaker here, but this may be balanced out by the fact that it is harder to defend than batwater's final point. 9

    Balance: Both sides are pretty even, with spawn times and travel distances being well tweaked. Classes are pretty well balanced, though I did experience some frustration as a defensive engineer, particularly on the final point. Perhaps something could be added to make it a little easier for an engineer to guard the back route to the point. 8

    Detailing: If the world were monochrome, stovepipe would be a thing of beauty. The natural areas are wonderfully constructed, and the industrial areas look like they're right out of dustbowl. Unfortunately, the physical aspect is hurt by the lack of variety in the color palette. The first half is all the same shade of orange-brown, while the second half is an even duller continuous grey. the author should look at badwater for inspiration on how to incorporate more wood and metal into the buildings in that half. 7

    Optimization: I saw excellent framerates throughout the map, even at the higher elevation points. 9

    Style: Despite my gripes about the color palette, the map still looks like a love-child between badlands and dustbowl. It really seems like it would be quite at home in the Valve family of maps. 9
     
  13. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

    Messages:
    1,129
    Positive Ratings:
    737
    Reservoir

    Gameflow: The blue spawn is difficult to navigate out of, there is a lack of obvious signage on some important pathways, and the first segment of track crosses perilously over a sequence of awkward and difficult pits full of water. The map itself is far too large for a single-round PL map, and this results in a lot of dull travel time. There are a couple places with 45-degree stairs that really feel awkward going up and down, due to the extreme vertical swing of the mouse required to still keep an eye on where you're going.3

    Balance: I witnessed the Red team block the Blue team into their beginning spawn area almost until the timer had expired. 4

    Detailing: There are some discernible ideas starting to take shape in the detailing and texturing, but the execution remains geometrically blocky for the most part. Some of the detail overlays are oddly placed or over-scaled. While a custom bomb card can be a nice defining feature of a map, the mass of stickies just looks weak and a bit too forced. The standard bomb cart would be a better choice here. 4

    Optimization: The strongest point in the map is the optimization. The layout helps a lot in keeping too much from being rendered at once. Only at the end did I see any really noticeable hit to my performance. I didn't investigate what water was used, but if it is expensive, it should probably be switched to cheap. 7

    Style: It's trying to have a more urban Hydro feel to it. It's making a good attempt, but there a certain lack of consistency between buildings and "out of bounds" areas. Some of the builds look like they fit together. Others seem out of place, like the structure just after the first point. 5


    Viper's Den

    Gameflow: Though I've criticized some of the other maps for being a bit too large for a single-stage PL map, Viper's Den is just too large for anything. The entire map needs to be selected and scaled down at least 50%. As such, it takes far too long to get anywhere, and given how open the map is, chances are high players will be sniped before ever reaching their destination. If scaled down, the layout would be excellent for a single stage of a 3-stage map. 2

    Balance: It's difficult to say which team is hurt most by the layout and size, so it'd be fair to call the sides balanced. The classes on the other hand, have a lot of trouble. Snipers dominate just about every other class with possibly the exception of scouts. Even the enclosed spaces are so large that pyros and other close range classes suffer considerably. 3

    Detailing: The detail is reasonable in some areas of the map. The buildings in particular have a decent start, and some of the displacement work is above average. Unfortunately, because of how large the map is, what detailing there is feels vastly insufficient and incomplete. 3

    Optimization: Though framerates were high, that is probably entirely attributable to the fact that details were so low. There were several places in the map where the game was rendering the entire thing, and few places where it wasn't rendering at least half of the map. 1

    Style: The desert theme is, fortunately, not difficult to pull off with the assets provided by Valve. If there is any saving grace to this map, it's the desert-canyon style displacements in certain place. They even look better than warpath's environment. Granted, that's not hard to do, but it does indicate that there is some promise for the future of this map if the author is willing to make very big changes to its size and structure. 4
     
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  14. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

    Messages:
    1,129
    Positive Ratings:
    737
    Annnnnd the easy-read chart:
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 7.8
    Zig 6
    Repository 7.4
    Stovepipe 8.4
    Halfacre -
    Reservoir 4.6
    Vipers den 2.6
    Tranquility -
    Frontier -
     
  15. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,269
    Cashworks:

    Gameflow: Awkward moments: Enormous first area tightens to a small choke before the point. Sideroutes place players behind RED on point 2. Fabulous downhill is perhaps underutilized due to emphasis on fight around the corner; I still wonder whether this section wouldn't be more interesting fighting uphill. Work on reducing -areas- involved in each side passage. Health packs etc are standard. Everything else is great. 8

    Balance: The map's been through enough testing that I trust the team balance, statistics have shown this too. A few enormous sightlines, namely snipers on hill downwards before point 2, area before point 1 in back wooden area, area after cp2 before it's capped. These are more or less compensated for and not too frustrating. Engineer stacking is medium effective, perfectly acceptable. 9

    Detailing: An excellent representation of the Alpine detailing structures, but some areas experience a degree of cacophony- namely the peeling blue metal panels, the area leading up to the last point, the strange glass rolling units. Sacrificing some detail to have a greater overall appeal would be great- but that's a style issue. 9/10.

    Optimization: It is more or less impossible to nail large areas and optimize them as well. Great effort has been exerted to deal with this, but still only merits a 7; only way to combat this effect is to plan in advance.

    Style: The vault explosion is fabulous. The cacophonous areas, not so much. Tighten these up and the map will feel more in place with Valve's own work. 7

    Zig:
    Gameflow: Awkward moments: Twisting sideroutes with strange playerclipping, severe chokes in the CP2 tunnel; route before CP1 takes defenders too easily behind attackers; strangely placed resupply cabinets. Map's last stretch is pretty well done. Provide side paths rather than opening up the choked areas, and this map may play better at the vanilla 24 level. As it stands, recommended for smaller numbers only. 6

    Balance: Chokes tend to polarize gameplay: great teams will immediately push through on offense or make the area impassible on defense. Still, seen defenses on all points; team balance is therefore rather high. Class balance favors pyros and heavies too much in the chokes and engie stacking is too effective after the star tunnel. 7

    Detailing: Some very neat moments; the 3d skybox is incredible; crystals in general, neat; purple metallic wood is hideous; side passages don't retain a sense of individuality enough to properly teach players. Brushwork is interesting in some areas but amateur in others: pillars extending from their rooves in the first area as one example. 7

    Optimization: Perfectly fine except after star tunnel. Holes in walls prevent good visblockage. Filesize is a bit ridiculous but it's fine for the payoff. 9

    Style: Again, cacophonous. The crystalline aspects are really cool; the ending has a disco club feel to it; the side passages have no relevance to the rest of the map; starry tunnel fits with the crystal theme but the metallic wood ruins that next area(ugly!=unique). Stick with one or 2 themes max and revise your detailing to accommodate that vision. Looking forward to the new cart. 6
     
  16. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,269
    Repository:
    A map I'd prefer to judge by current edition, as many of these things have already been touched upon.

    Gameflow: Pretty standard; some doorway sizes awkward (dropdown near point 2) Prop usage breaks up flow too much before cp1; CP4 red spawn placed poorly, fight centered too much on side areas rather than on the track around this area; fight concentrated at RED gate near CP3 really neat. Strange pickup placement: 2 smalls in one area, etc 8

    Balance: Defense too easy on PT 4 (corrected in later versions unfortunately); class balance excellent; snipers' sightlines a bit large on CP4; 9

    Detailing: Individual detail fabulous; again, cacophonous; too many styles represented in some areas... BLU spawn unusual in a bad way; some natural surfaces unnatural (i.e. land bridge); pipes in odd places (near cp1); 9

    Optimization: Shares similar problem with Cashworks- optimization must be designed in before detailing. Still, enormous effort spent in this area, so 7

    Style: Great view out of BLU spawn. Cacophony really inhibits this map and prevents it from feeling on par with Valve's. Later versions correct much of this. 6

    Stovepipe:
    Gameflow: CP4 upper areas hard to get to for BLU; affects balance. Easy to navigate, some clipping issues, 8.

    Balance: CP4 bit of a clusterfuck, RED able to spam BLU roundabout overlook from near their spawn, main BLU entrance spammable; CP1 sentry location unfair (to the right of rightmost exit); pickup locations good, 8

    Detailing: Individual details on par with Valve's for the most part, almost too much so; some wall faces rather bare; concrete overused as floor past CP 3, some areas overly dark- area leading to BLU roundabout overlook near CP4, 8

    Optimization: Acceptable, but not designed in from the start in some areas-namely beginning. Thus, 9

    Style: Nails Valve without improvement; visually appealing yet slightly monotonous; very put-together overall, with room for individual style to be added; 9
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  17. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,269
    This map is early in development. Please do not take the critique too harshly; for although I am rating all the maps in relationship to each other, the others are obviously far more developed.

    VipersDen
    Gameflow: Excellent in the sense that there's more or less only one way to go. Sightlines huge. Symmetry wasted as the gameplay is unidirectional. Without some degree of complexity, player choices are incredibly minimal. 2

    Balance: Not much to comment on teamplay wise, except that RED cannot win due to a lack of a round finished output. Snipers and soldiers benefit greatly from the large sightlines; spies a bit shafted. 2

    Detailing: The outlines of potential. Break your displacements up into more brushes to get a more consistent texturing when stretching them. All I can say is keep up what you're doing and refine what you've got. 2

    Optimization: Only good because of a lack of detail. Planning and optimization work not evident. 4

    Style: I've got an idea of what you're trying to pull off, but there's simply a lack of detail work to support it. 2

    Again a map that with a bunch of improvement could do pretty well.

    Reservoir

    Gameflow: Simply enormous. Strange dead ends; unused track CP props are a bit confusing; arrow placement is strange; reference to points as A B C D unusual for payload; ability to get on strange areas (namely between CP 3 and 4); BLU spawn completely confusing; hard to understand how setup works for BLU; a neat first area ruined by how players enter from both sides; last area pretty cool 4

    Balance: Seen defenses all around but mostly just player confusion. Some sentry locations far too overpowered. 7

    Detailing: Unfinished, some good ideas; prop shadows strange; giant blank walls; mismatching texture palettes. Strange lighting choices--too yellow. Cacophonous, some custom textures strange;Red beams? Rooves styled strangely. 5

    Optimization: Some attempt made, and decent frames.8

    Style: Fix the cacophony. Make things look more valve standard- you're in uncanny valley at the moment. Redo some of your custom textures. Get a new cart-the current one looks too patched together. Less HL2 textures+props. 5
     
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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  18. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,269
    Chart:
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 8
    Zig 6.6
    Repository 7.8
    Stovepipe 8.4
    Halfacre -
    Reservoir 5.8
    Vipers den 2.4
    Tranquility -
    Frontier -
     
  19. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,269
    Final scores:
    Score = .6* popular vote + .4* judge vote


    [​IMG]
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 9
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