Abandoned VMF graveyard?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by hadlock, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. hadlock

    hadlock L1: Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    Is there a dumping ground of old VMFs? Sketches, serious attempts that were never released due to some fatal flaw, maps you simply didn't have time to finish? I think it would be helpful to new users to see VMFs in various states of completion and maybe learn some new tricks about blocking, etc. There's a handful of people that really "get" mapping, and it would be interesting to see their input on why something didn't work, or why they abandoned an idea, so others can avoid spending lots oof time making the same mistake(s).
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    801
    I like this idea and approve of it happening. /stamp

    It could be very useful and insightful if it did exist. Maybe a page with the .vmf in a collumn with the author name and his/her comments on why it was unsuccessful. Maybe even some links to some images showing the specific areas that caused the author to give up.

    Could even have a similar page with successful maps and why they did well with explanations in a similar fashion.
     
  3. Anagram Man

    Anagram Man L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    71
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    This would lead to some serious stealing.
     
  4. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

    Messages:
    1,466
    Positive Ratings:
    736
    moving topic to mapping.

    I agree it may be useful but also would like Ashton said.. open up to a lot of stealing.

    Also who's to say the .VMF you look at is quality? By that i mean proper brushwork or correct use of tools etc etc.

    you may find yourself looking at an orange tower map and people downloading it thinking "this is what its supposed to look like"
     
  5. Boylee

    aa Boylee pew pew pew

    Messages:
    1,068
    Positive Ratings:
    631
    Could work as long as:
    • The listed vmfs were only failed ones, so there was no presumtion that they work or are quality.
    • All of the authors of the original vmfs have given consent for their vmf to be looked at / torn apart/ stolen from.
    • People credit bits they've taken from others vmfs.

    I'd be willing to upload my scrapped vmfs on the basis that most are total crap and anyone wanting to steal from them would need their head examined. :p
     
  6. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Messages:
    2,246
    Positive Ratings:
    1,182
    I've already done this for all my unsuccessful maps. I pretty much hand them out to anyone who is interested.
     
  7. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    801
    All the more reason to get people together to make a database full of them. If there's people willing to do this, why don't we have one already? Also, stealing could be circumvented by the author giving permission to have their map on the list with the understanding that people copying from their map is possible and likely.
     
  8. Beamos

    Beamos L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    80
    Positive Ratings:
    43
    Oooh, I love this idea.

    Perhaps we can categorize the VMFs? Such as by level of completion (alpha/beta/completed*), reason why the VMF was abandoned (optimization/layout balance/layout logic/engine issues), etc. Not to mention, there'd have to be a spot to upload some small drawings and whatnot, especially if it's a pre-alpha/alpha map, so any downloaders know where the original map maker was intending to take the map!

    And for the maps which use special effects (color correction/models/materials/particles/etc), allow the map maker to bundle their custom stuff with the VMF? Or would that exacerbate concerns about theft? Hmm.

    *Completed as in, "I'm releasing this map for other mappers to gain inspiration from and further their knowledge of mapping, as well as release their own rendition of my map if they so wish," somewhat like Laughing Man's idea, but for not-so-successful maps as well as successful maps
     
  9. jpr

    aa jpr

    Messages:
    1,095
    Positive Ratings:
    507
    But for example, I asked icarus for faultline because I might to do something with it in the future. If there was a database of abandoned vmf's, and I decided to finish faultline or something, and 50 other people who downloaded it from the database were working on their own version of it, it wouldn't really... Uh, I dunno, doesn't just sound like a good idea to me.
     
  10. Thingy Person

    Thingy Person L1: Registered

    Messages:
    45
    Positive Ratings:
    5
    I have a scrapped VMF with a lot of displacements sew-ready. I scrapped it because it's silly spamming displacements when you haven't even settled on a lay-out.
     
  11. gamemaster1996

    gamemaster1996 L13: Stunning Member

    Messages:
    1,065
    Positive Ratings:
    131
    I have alot of scrapped old stuff that never compiled properly and i never went through and fixed, although not much of it's opped and like i say it was early stuff so it wasn't very good.

    I do like the idea however it would get stolen, although if it's scrapped can someone explain to me why this is a problem?
     
  12. Mexican Apple Thief

    Mexican Apple Thief L3: Junior Member<br>LEAD FARMER

    Messages:
    345
    Positive Ratings:
    60
    FPSbanana has a small "Maps in Progress" section with some old abandoned VMFs.
     
  13. hadlock

    hadlock L1: Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    I think the worst thing that could happen is someone could release a VMF "stub" that had been finished out and compiled under the original mapper's name ;)

    Seriously though, you'd pretty much have to be willing to give up all rights to the "work" when you upload it. Depending on the quantity/quality of the VMFs I doubt many/any stubs would make their way in to any sort of serious release. You'd probably end up with one or two inevitable 5CP push maps that were stitched together from various VMFs, but like most other franken maps built from decompiled valve maps, I seriously doubt they would get much traction either here or on FPSbananna (2fort seems to be the rare exception).

    I was thinking more along the lines of VMFs still clad in dev textures, but more fully finished maps would be interesting to see too. I'd love to see a dev textured map in an uncompilable state where you finally zoomed out and went "wait, this isn't going to work out at all, hit save, and filed it under "crap to delete later" -- but with a screenshot and why you stopped and what part of the design had the critical flaw (too small, unfixable sniper sightlines, too defendable by engineers, more advanced stuff I can't even think of related to hammer limitations, etc).

    If anyone wants to post some of their VMFs in this thread with some comments I'd be happy to host them until we sort something out with the tf2maps.net guys. It sounds like theres a lot of good knowledge to be shared out there :D Shoot me a PM
     
  14. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    679
    Positive Ratings:
    192
    from people who put their VMFs up for anyone to take. Dun dun duuu
     
  15. Nutomic

    Nutomic L11: Posh Member

    Messages:
    888
    Positive Ratings:
    177
    I have the vmfs of every single version of demolition here, and the first versions were really crappy. Though i wouldnt upload them if i couldnt be sure that nothing will be stolen.

    What about making those files only downloadable for registered members, probably with a reqiured number of posts? This would make stelaing way less likely.
     
  16. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,573
    I would think the majority of VMF's would be useless or broken, or simply not in a position to educate someone on the workings of Hammer.

    To be quite honest, Valve already gave us pre-compile vmf's of official maps and that should be all we need in regards to learning the ropes and more, presuming it's not a new gamemode that hasn't been released by valve or something.

    Layouts could be interesting, but if it gets taken then there could be some authorship issues at the end of the road depending on success.

    I would think such a database would cause more problems than it intends to resolve, not to mention clutter this place with even more stuff than the existing endless list of half finished TF2 maps; a waste of space and bandwidth. Best ettiquette here would be for individuals to release vmf's of their own accord or on request like Icarus/Jonah did.
     
  17. Mexican Apple Thief

    Mexican Apple Thief L3: Junior Member<br>LEAD FARMER

    Messages:
    345
    Positive Ratings:
    60
    Most of them on FPSbanana are, believe it or not, actually functional. More so then half of the "finished" maps they have. Typically it's just for when some guy decides he isn't going to finish the map for whatever reason and uploads in in the hopes that it's used and that someone will finish it for him.
     
  18. hadlock

    hadlock L1: Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    cp_fail

    [​IMG]
    bigger, download vmf

    I don't claim to be a mapper, nor do I know the full extents of what you can do with hammer. I was playing around with layouts and finally shelved this when I realized my vis leafs weren't going to work out.

    What I tried to accomplish here was a granary style layout, with a last point being stationed on a lower ledge jutting out from the map, that hugged the edge of the map, with the other side being a sheer cliff, rather than against a wall. Mid moves into two distinct yards before meeting at the 2nd point, and there's a good amount of separation between 1st and 2nd point.

    Where this falls apart is the huge sight lines. Usually sniper flaws in maps can be corrected with the odd barrel, or pile of crates. You can see I've attempted that here, also to break up the monotony of the yards a bit. The sight lines create problems for rendering and framerate. Ideally each section should be cordoned off from the next using a Z connector or transitional building so the engine doesn't render more than it needs to. This is probably the biggest flaw - open layout.

    The next problem is the spawn placement. Spawn 1 (S1) is decently close to the last point. There's also only one viable location for a door at S1. Spawn 2 (S2) is poorly placed, the idea was that S2 would have unbreakable windows overlooking the 2nd point, with a possible roof exit. The primary exit would be to the left of the long, skinny orange building.

    The last problem I'll identify here is the wooden structure on the left. It's a rather large, flat structure, partially modeled after the cap point/building in Dustbowl 2.1. While I'm happy with the structure, it doesn't really fit the map, and with exceedingly rare exceptions, buildings are typically built into the "Walls" of the map, creating player boundaries - large, freestanding buildings don't jive well with gameflow.

    VMF is avalible for download at the top of this post. Feel free to use it for your own studies, or use it's ideas/elements in your own maps.