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CP Akuchi A9

3CP / KOTH Hybrid

  1. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    Akuchi - 3CP / KOTH Hybrid

    Ladies and Gentlenerds,

    April Fools is OVER!

    Akuchi is my first serious project since Hierarch that reached a playable state. The name is a placeholder, given to my by someone(?) on the chat, and was taken from the random name generator as far as i am informed.

    Akuchi started out as an abstract gameplay idea, trying to fix problems that both the 3CP and the KotH gamemode have. RED and BLU both have two ways of winning:
    1. Hold the central control point for 3 minutes, like in KotH (Overtime etc included.)
    2. Capture the other team's last control point, like in 3CP.

    Easy enough to explain and understand, but the question that stays is "why?" And i'll try to answer that both from a public server perspective and a competitive perspective.

    Public Servers
    KotH maps are fun, but they quite often either completely focus around a single play area around the capture zone, like Viaduct, or everywhere except for the capture zone, like Nucleus. Adding an additional area to fight and push into adds to the longevity of the map. On the other hand, 3CP maps, which already do that, tend to devolve into a sentryfest once a team has established it's dominance at mid.
    When combining both modes, you can make sure that the losing team isn't able to just turtle on last until someone competent enough to push back joins the server, because until then, three additional rounds will be over and the teams will have been scrambled (as disfunctional as that mechanic might be.)
    Adding an additional CP for each team to a KotH map on the other hand has the positive side effect that rolls won't devolve into 3 minutes of spawn camping, because if one team is rolling the other, the round will be over after 60 seconds when the rolling team takes the last CP, which means that 3 rounds will be over after 3 minutes, triggering a scramble within a reasonable timeframe rather than 10+ minutes of reckless slaughter.

    Competitive
    Sideshow recently talked about flaws with 5CP as a spectator sport. You can view the video here.
    That video actually made me revisit the idea that became Akuchi, because i think it solves the problems of both 5CP and KotH for spectators in Competitive. Why? This mode gives each team an incentive to push as fast as they are ready. The losing team can't just hold last for minute after minute, because they always have a clock in their back. The winning team on the other hand can always seal the deal as soon as the other teams shows a weakness. This should increase the amount of action over time by a lot.
    On the other hand, you give an additional incentive to a team that fell back. If you have 3 minutes on the clock to the opponents 30 seconds, chances are you won't win by holding mid, but you can always attack last in a last-ditch effort and completely negate the pressure they put on you by just winning.


    This was the theory that went into creating Akuchi, now i just have to hope that it plays well (and if it doesn't, that the problem is within the map rather than the mode.)

    How does Akuchi look like? If you look at the screenshots and run around, you can clearly see that mid is inspired by Viaduct, but with some key changes, including not one, but two functional flanking routes (which are still partially coverable on the main route, a bit like on Upward first.)
    Last is a new design, partially inspired by Process, with a point that can be easily jumped on and has many angles of attack, but gives the defenders a big height advantage.

    I think i had this idea floating in my head for weeks (partially because koth_leveled ate most of my TF2 time,) redesigning it over and over again. I can now say that i'm kinda happy with it and can't wait to try it out during an imp.
    I added notes on some key spots on the map about things that concern me and need testing, but feel free to test and complain about everything else as well, i can take it.

    Timers
    Spawn time before anyone capped - 8s
    Spawn time for team that controls mid - 10s
    Spawn time for team that doesn't control mid - 7s
    Capture time mid - 10s
    Capture time last - 4s

    Rough overview
    overview.jpg

    Screenshots (A6)
    20160411135156_1.jpg 20160411135202_1.jpg 20160411135218_1.jpg 20160411135229_1.jpg 20160411135239_1.jpg 20160411135248_1.jpg 20160411135258_1.jpg 20160411135309_1.jpg 20160411135325_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  2. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    Yeah, sooooo... i forgot to compile with pickups. Expect a new version pretty soon :p
     
  3. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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  4. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    Seriously? You used that name?
    Well, probably it will fit, don't mind that reply.
     
  5. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    Okay, basic imp results.

    • Mid is a bit too much viaduct (although i'd say it plays out quite differently)
    • Needs more direction on the flanks
    • A bit much on the shadowy side of things
    • The spawns should be a bit further away from last, not much though (i'm considering like ~256hu and redesigning the upper area)
    • The tunnel flanks are a bit tight and have low roofs
    Does somebody have to add something? I won't be able to do anything for like 1-2 days anyway. Thanks for testing, everyone!
     
  6. zahndah

    aa zahndah professional letter

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    with a propper push last seemed okay to take, so if you want to encourage a good team push to get last and win quicker you may also want to nerf attackers a tiny ammount when moving away spawns (though maybe not, as you do want people pushing in and not just stalling for time).

    Also you may want to make the koth timers longer to encourage going for the last point instead of just stalling, the risk of the point being taken back isnt that much to make you want to go cap.
     
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  7. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    Well, i found the time to update the map earlier than expected.

    Changelog

    • Added balcony on west side of mid
    • Made upper flank on west side of spawn 48hu higher
    • Added small fence on last to remove a nasty sightline
    • Reworked light_env to make the map brighter
    • Removed red dev textures on blu spawn
    • Made tunnel flank wider and increased ceiling height
    • Added overlays to the flanks to make clearer which side is which
    • Moved back spawns by 128hu to make it harder to defend from the spawn doors
    Screenshots


    Read the rest of this update entry...
     
  8. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    Love the way you're leaving dev notes. I suppose it's going to be in some industrial setting?
     
  9. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    I don't think i'm surprising anyone if i say that i'm flirting with a mayan theme right now, although i probably would have to create some textures myself to get everything i want. This is also really depending on how fast i can get the gameplay right. Right now, it might become anything.
     
  10. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    My guess was based on these pipes at lasts, can be seen on 1st, 2nd, 7th screenshot of your latest update entry.
     
  11. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    They serve more as a marker for "you can jump up here if you really want to and have the time" and might change at any time. But i agree that you might guess an industrial setting based on them.
     
  12. Jekyllson

    Jekyllson L3: Member

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    Where's the name come from? Isn't "Akuchi" African?
     
  13. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    In Steam group chat, we were talking about map names, I, just for some fun, used a human name generator and it gave me "Akuchi". I told people in chat it'd be some map name and, as I see, @DrLambda picked it up.
     
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  14. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    What Crowbar says is true. Also, please note that this is still a work-in-progress name that will probably change at some point, depending on how the map will look in the future.

    I have a few questions for the players of today's imp - The consensus seems to be that last is too hard to cap. Until now, i've seen this map more as a KOTH map with an additional method of winning that is only likely to happen through combined team effort or during rolls, while the majority of testers seem to think that it is a CP map with an additional timer. Why is it that way and what could i do to change your expectations?
    I fear that making last too accessible would make rounds end much too fast, that's why i consider the KOTH clock to be the primary win condition. Of course capping last is a possibility, but i'd consider 67% of the rounds won over KOTH timer to be roughly acceptable.
    I'm willing to lower the cap time of last a bit (to 4-5 seconds) to make combined pushes more likely to succeed, but lowering it much more would probably result in to many backcaps.
    I want the KOTH clock to be a motivator for the losing team to get out there and take the point back, just like it is in normal KOTH. I consider it acceptable that there "Isn't that much motivation to push for last" unless you are per example losing by a lot on the KOTH timer and want to make a last-ditch effort.
    What are your opinions on this? I'd be happy to hear them.

    One more question to @Muddy - You gave the following feedback:
    "seriously, no-one's gonna read these signs, either make it an announcer line or just let players figure it out"
    I think the gamemode is easy enough to understand after like a single round that i don't really need additional explanation. But for alpha testing, time is really limited on imps/game days, so i put those signs up there so more people know what happens right from the start. Is it a bad thing that i'm giving out additional information? I don't see the negative aspect.
     
  15. Muddy

    aa Muddy Muddy

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    Maybe I worded that a little too harshly, sorry about that. My point was, 99% of people are going to completely ignore signs that explain the gamemode because they just want to get stuck in. And anyway, I think the gamemode is simple enough that most people can figure it out quickly without needing additional instructions in the first place.

    Plus those signs tend not to be of much use to people with low graphics settings (like meeeeee) to whom those signs are little more than a blurry, incomprehensible mess.
     
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  16. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    No offense taken, it's just that i try to take every feedback seriously, especially from people where i know that they know what they're talking about.
    I actually know the low graphic settings problem quite well, i've only been able to play TF2 on non-low settings for like half a year now. I try to run my maps on my work pc, which has pretty much the lowest possible settings, and in this case, i considered the sign readable on 1024*768, with no anti-aliasing and low texture settings, so i left it in.
    It's not going to stay for the beta, i just hope that it gives alpha testers a head start of like a minute. Once i'm okay with the basic gameplay, i don't think it'll be necessary anymore.
     
  17. Jekyllson

    Jekyllson L3: Member

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    You previously referenced Sideshow's video where he talks about flaws in 5CP as a gamemode. One of the things he mentioned was making lasts harder to defend / easier to attack, to give the losing team incentive to not just camp last forever. I think, in general, that in order to make your gamemode work, you'll have to simultaneously make last hard to defend for long periods of time, but also reasonably easy to push out of.

    Some ideas on how to do that:
    • Mess around with respawn times
    • Mess around with the winning team's spawn positions
    • Rethink the losing team's spawn. What if you made it like Foundry's second spawn, where you can't get back into spawn once you've left? That could severely hamper Engineers' ability to quickly rebuild defenses and prevent defenders from quickly switching classes mid-life to adapt their team's defense.
    • What if, between the midpoint and the end points, there were two parallel, one-way, disjoint corridors? The attackers would have a route that gave them an advantage for pushing last, and the defenders would be able to make it part of the way to mid without running into danger. Or maybe not even one-way corridors, but routes which favored people heading in one direction?
    • Alternatively, what if the attackers had to take a longer route in order to reach last (but once they'd pushed that far, it was hard for the defenders to hold), but the defenders had access to a narrow one-way shortcut let them flank the midpoint and was hard for the attackers to camp?
    • You could maybe somehow add time-based gates (and/or temporary forward spawns) as featured in maps like Snowycoast and Barnblitz to allow defending teams to regroup after mid gets captured. It could help prevent one team from capping the point and then immediately steamrolling into last before the defense has a chance to get ready.
    • Perhaps you could initially have two routes to last, one of which is mostly neutral with the other route greatly favoring the defending team, and after mid has been captured for a 1.5 minutes (or some amount of time), a gate opens up, allowing the attacking team to take advantage of a new route which greatly favours them and lets them capture last more easily.
    I apologize for the disorganized nature of my bullet points, I'm just spitballing some ideas. I imagine you'll have to give this some thought, and do some experimentation. But yeah, I think that some good goals would be:
    • It should be possible for a good team to defend last for a limited amount of time, so that whoever first takes mid isn't guaranteed the win
    • The attacking team should be able to break into last after a certain amount of time, to avoid stalemates
    • It should be significantly harder for the current winning team to defend mid than your average KotH map, since with KotH you assume that everyone is going for the point, and no one is protecting the spawn area instead
     
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  18. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    That was a pretty insightful post @Jekyllson , thanks for that.

    I think the problem mostly lies within the "viaductiness" of mid. A few weeks ago, the forum was discussing what makes a good KotH point, and i agreed that a good KotH point makes you want to stand there and hold it, and i considered Viaduct or rather Product the best way of accomplishing that. The problem is that creating a point that you can and want to hold makes pushing out of last harder, and the new balcony makes the problem worse rather than helping the attackers like i thought it would.This also has the negative effect that after you lost a battle for mid, because your best hold is pretty far forward, your team is probably going to be mostly wiped, making you fall really far back.
    Because of this, i'm currently thinking about redesigning mid in a way that makes you want to hold slightly behind the point and just get in to cap or prevent captures by per example making average map height rise up to mid like it does now, but making the actual cap zone a low ground, while adding a high ground attack position to cover your side of the hill to discourage from holding the enemies side of the hill(s).

    I think i'll create a small update for the game day tomorrow which will basically just play around wtih the cap and spawn time (as well as nobuilding the roof on last :x) and change mid completely shouldn't this result in what i want the gameplay to be.
     
  19. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    Changelog
    • Completely removed paths up to balcony, now more a high ground for explosive classes.
    • Raised balcony by 32hu
    • Nobuild the balcony
    • Nobuild the roofs on last
    • Nobuild mid capture area
    • Changed cap time of last from 6s -> 4s
    • Changed respawn time of losing team from 6s -> 7s
    • Made east building larger to make the high ground less of an overpowering sniper spot
    • Redesigned east flank, now goes through the east buiding.
    • Capture warning when someone starts capping last
    New Screenshots (last still looks the same)


    Read the rest of this update entry...
     
  20. Zed

    aa Zed Certified Most Crunkā„¢

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    The green dev floor reminds me of Astro-Turf.