2fort Revamp

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Terr, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    My first Hammer project, this map is a modification of Valve's SDK-release of the original 2fort VMT file, with significant touchups both in terms of bugfixes and symmetry. More visibibly, I've made several changes designed to improve the flow of the map while still keeping most of that good old 2fort feeling.

    There's some more detail on the FpsBanana page, and some design rationalizations are available in the Steam forums thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  2. jpr

    aa jpr

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    From the screens it looks like there are random props blocking the way and that doesn't really improve the flow...
    Also, I personally hate modded valve maps, look at the steam forums and you'll see why.
    Valve maps are treated like they came from the heavens and if someone edits a valve map everyone will drool all over it and many good/better custom maps are left unnoticed.
     
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  3. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Several of the props serve important purposes, such as allowing a scout to effectively double jump (the water cooler), defusing an otherwise-powerful sentry location (the short fence in the courtyard), and general clutter for spies to use for dodging in the halls.

    For instance, the "small pipe" in the sewer functions as a ledge (invisible brush around a pipe prop to get the right sound) which is just large enough for someone to crouch-walk along without making the distinctive sewer splashes which would draw the attention of defenders.

    _____________

    My goal is not to put it out there and go "omg I am teh l33t3st mappar evar!", I'm just trying to take a map I really like (Yes, I admit it! The shame!) and fix issues which are widely percieved to exist (and a few only sneaky rocket-jumpers know about) while still keeping it a map I would love to continue to play.

    But after some more browsing and searching looking for certain keywords... :facepalm: I guess this thread will just be locked after a bunch of people drop by and explain how none of my changes (gleaned entirely from the limited screenshots) were sufficiently creative due to the viral contamination of "not built from scratch".
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  4. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Question: Is that statement based on running through the map* and seeing the new rooms and passageways and fixed bugs... or is it actually just based on the fact that there's "2fort" in the name? :(

    If anyone has sincere suggestions for improvements I'm very interested.

    *I've been trying to make a flythrough but the damn demo smoother keeps crashing HL2.

    Edit:
    One last thing before I go to bed. Regarding the rules...
    My interpretation reading this before posting was that it was an injunction against plagarism and co-opting the work of another mapper against their permission. I submit that Valve gave permission via their actions and blog post, and that I'm not taking any undue credit. (I could hardly try, except against total newbies who've never played 2fort!)

    At any rate, if all derivative works are banned regardless of circumstance, I think the rules could be made a bit clearer about it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  5. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Ohai there Terr. No HvC?

    I'm not too sure what to say. I like the changes you've made but apparently making those changes isn't cool. I guess I just hope that I'l be able to play this map with other people somewhere. someday..
     
  6. pisaman2

    pisaman2 L1: Registered

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    Tbh, I like this...
     
  7. BagOfChips

    BagOfChips L5: Dapper Member

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    2Fort will still be broken.
     
  8. jpr

    aa jpr

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    It's based on the fact that the name is 2fort, since if it was different enough it'd be a different map and have a different name...
     
  9. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I don't see how the little railing and shift of stairs in the ramp room changes that sentry location at all. It still covers the ramp room, the engy can still hide behind the gun and walls, a demoman can still stand below and lob things up there to kill it. If anything the only thing that makes this sentry spot less useful is how you moved the spawns.

    The steam vent that bypasses half the base... I don't see the point. Either everyone will use it because it's an awesome shortcut, or there will be someone camping the bottom and then nobody can use it. As much as it increases the assault abilities of the enemy, the defending engineers can return to the basement extremely fast.

    The area overlooking the intel room, while an interesting idea, is way too damn cramped and has zero clipping to aid in navigability.

    The opening you made in the computer wall has a few issues. Firstly, the viewable distance goes beyond the cutoff and you can see the skybox in the command room. Tiny slip-through-several-cracks sightlines like that are also very annoying when a sniper sits at the other end.

    I don't see why you changed the door for the basement resupply. It moves ungodly slow now and you crash into it. This is never acceptable behavior of a door. (This happens with the new primary spawn's door too)

    The box/barrel at the top of the stairs seem terribly pointless. All I can see it doing is allowing an engineer more cover to camp behind while maintaining a gun. (and inhibits enemy escape coming from the stairs to a minor degree)

    The two barrels in the front hallway are completely unnecessary. They only impede the flow of movement and do nothing to provide cover, considering you have two new nooks to duck into. The shortcut here with the three small metal panels is really cumbersome and annoying to traverse through as well.

    Displacing the ground inside the bases. I do not see the purpose it serves, and it only looks, to steal a line, pants-on-head-retarded in the blue base since it is concrete.


    I believe I am the target audience. I hate 2fort, I can't stand playing it. But none of these changes make me think "hey, it might work now, maybe I should give it a try"

    To sum up my view on valve map edits with an amusing analogy as is commonly employed:
    If you put sprinkles on poop it doesn't become chocolate ice cream.
    If you put sprinkles on chocolate ice cream it's still chocolate ice cream.


    That is, you can't make a bad map good with a few small fixes, and you can't make a good map totallyfreakingawesome with a few small additions either.
    This then becomes amplified by the fact everyone already has the base map to begin with, and must not only be convinced these changes improve a map, but that they improve it enough to even bother with when most of the time you'll still encounter the original variety.

    p.s. good lord do something about your HDR. (I'm guessing improper tonemap controller, not a lack of one)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  10. FR3akIN_OuT

    FR3akIN_OuT L2: Junior Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  11. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    The main issue was that a single sentry could be placed that had sightlines (if not necessarily awesome ones) on the balcony, the grating, and the courtyard stairs. Adding the fence means any sentry in this location is easy to see and easy to bombard, or even shoot (with non-arcing weaponry) through the gap below the fence.

    True. It's a high-risk high-reward path, but it should be especially useful for spies (who don't need to push through the crowd in the upper-courtyard) and for BONK!-equipped scouts.

    Yeah, this does bother me a bit, but it would be weird to have a door in your own base that only the enemy team could open. :(

    I'm considering making some of the machinery insubstantial and adding short octagonal clipping columns. The cramping part intentional, to make it a hostile place for any sentries. A big purpose of the new room is to allow attackers new ways to edge/bombard sentries already inside the intel room, hence all the props. (The railings are only player-clip, so you can shoot rockets through them.) Additionally it serves as a third exit from the intel room, and even if you die soon after the drop-chute should allow some touching of the intel to keep it in play.

    Ouch. Didn't notice that. Hrm.

    The reason for the gap is that it helps weaken the possible sentry position at the bottom spiral, providing cover someone can dash to without forcing them to approach the sentry in order to go around the bend into the intel room. (I don't anticipate snipers wanting to sit around guarding that particular spot, though.)

    How about if I resealed the gap and instead punched an L-shaped corridor through the displacement-wall? (On the right of that screenshot.)

    I'll see about speeding the various doors up (maybe test them as a scout with high fake ping) but AFAIK the basement door speed and triggering distances are unchanged.

    I guess the scenario I had in mind was a soldier going down the vent, grabbnig the intel, and coming up via the stairs, and then dealing with a top-floor sentry near the short-fence.

    The box is, strangely enough, just tall enough to block all of the sentry's attacks when you crouch, while short enough for you to shoot rockets directly at the sentry. The barrel lets you break line of sight (to retreat when the sentry swings the other way) and makes the box look less lonely.

    Yeah, it still feels a bit cramped even with the clipping aid on the barrels.

    With the addition of the drop-vent, I thought more engineers would try a sentry spot which looks down that hallway, and I wanted to provide some cover for enemies to edge the turret from. (Even right-handed ones.) The other goal was to split defender traffic in the area to make it so a Spy could choose to walk on whichever side the enemy didn't.

    Yeah. I wish I could make it smoother. The baffles are there in order to break up the sightline and prevent another sentry spot. It's certainly unsuitable as a major pathway, but it should give attackers some more choices in terms of how they want to enter the lower courtyard.

    Ooh, what if I made it a low-wall with some clutter on each side? People could hop from one side to another, but it'd be tall enough to prevent sentry targeting.

    Yeah, it looks weird in BLU base, but the goal is to allow scouts to do sneaky FAN jumps up into the grate. Currently on 2fort you can only do it inside RED base. Is there maybe some other material I could make the bump out of?

    It's the original tonemap controller present in the SDK release, but the skybox texture is different from before because the SDK release won't compile correctly. IIRC the original is sky_tf2_04 but I swapped it for sky_day02_05 since it was sunny and had roughtly the same ideal sun angle. Hopefully I'll figure out what VTF-tweaking magic I need to do to avoid the compile warning over the original skybox before final.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  12. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

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    If your on about the error about the skybox not being compiled with cubemaps you can safely ignore it.
     
  13. mtv22

    mtv22 L3: Member

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    You didn't really change the overall gameplay of 2fort, if the spawns are still up there, it sucks. If they aren't it sucks because you have a god awful long walk. There is just no way you can possibly make 2fort a good map.
     
  14. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    "God-awful long walk"? How do you mean?

    When you consider the added drop-chute, it's is now comparable to other CTF maps, like Turbine or Impact or Well.

    In every case you can run (measured as Scout, no double-jump) get from your spawn, to the intel, and back to a "safe" location (where enemy can't really sit and defend it if dropped) within 30-40 seconds.
     
  15. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Here's what I've got as a replacement, although (in the screenshot) it still doesn't really work since at the right angle you can see past visible-distance via the windows. Adding "blinds" to them fixes the issue, but doesn't make the corridor feel as interesting.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Alternately, I could try shrinking the inaccessible "control center", but I'd rather not. (Working with a map made by someone else increasingly feels like trying to debug and add features to another person's program.)

    I went and tested some wall heights to find the height that was the most detrimental to a sentry, so here's the replacement. (Lighting's weird since it's just "fast" VRAD.)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Rather than lifting all the ground in BLU base (in order to match how everything in RED is a displacement with extra height) what do you think about this guy?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I added some purely-visual "half-buried" pipes in RED base to have a bit of plumbing symmetry.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  16. mtv22

    mtv22 L3: Member

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    I'm saying if you make the spawn down in the basement as a way of making the map not so terrible, then you would have a terribly long walk. The best idea in my opinion would be to open the wall from the sewers to the intel room, but ditch the stairs from the water to ground level.
     
  17. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I considered a door between the basement and the sewer room, but I think the change in distances would be way too drastic... unless it was exit-only, and even then that would make it the only exit anyone ever used to cap the flag.

    If I could make a foolproof one-way door, I'd try it... But without a vertical drop to work with, I can't think of a good way to prevent someone on the inside (ex: a perman-cloaked C&D spy) from allowing someone on the onside to come in.
     
  18. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    OK, I think I had a good idea for escaping with the intel yesterday that will satisfy various requirements so I'll pitch it:

    I'll use the area in the center of the spiral as some sort of cooling tower, entered via a side-door from one of the ramp sections of the spiral. You can see the blue sky up above (a nice counterpoint to the gloomy basement), there's dripping water from a sprinkler up above, and there's nowhere to go but down, into the water pool below.

    This leads to an underwater passage (displacement rocks, same kind as in basement) and eventually returns you to the sewer system and the currently-dead-end sewer pipe.

    This provides a route for flag cappers which isn't too fast (especially if the entrance is near the top of the spiral) and functions as a high-risk high-reward route.

    Thrown-together picture:
    [​IMG]

    Bonuses:
    • It can be made effectively one-way, and doesn't suffer from the usual problems of "one way" doors. C&D spies can't help friends in.
    • Avoids requiring anybody to crouch, yet won't look weird to have a tall doorway.
    • The underwater stone passage is a nod back to the TFC 2fort.
    • Defenders who are on their toes still have a chance to intercept the capper by running out and jumping to the water or dropping down the grate and going to their sewer stairs.
    • Avoids turning that last corner in the spiral which is always a deathtrap.
    • Defenders have to actually go downstairs because they can't use their HUD indicator to be sure whether the capper took this route or is still puzting around downstairs. It provides some fake-out opportunities.
    • An artistic opportunity that shows the water in the river is low because it's being used for some sort of secret-lair villainy.

    Most-everything would be no-build, and I'd want to be sure enemies (esp scouts) couldn't leap out, drop the intel for friends to pick up, and avoid falling down themselves.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  19. nomik2

    nomik2 L1: Registered

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    Sentries

    It seems like you hate sentries and even though you are trying to make the map less of a turtle fest, you are dragging it too much to the other end.

    It seems like now, with all the shortcuts, some of the longer routes are redundant. Anyways, we have added this server to our 2fort rotation server along the likes of 2fort rainy and night.

    5e Thread Discussing Map

    Server Hosting Map

    Hope this helps you out, the server has Vanilla settings so it will give you a good idea of how balanced things are...
     
  20. nomik2

    nomik2 L1: Registered

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    Wouldn't that make it almost too easy to get the intel out?