KotH ancient

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Kengon, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Kengon

    Kengon L1: Registered

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    [​IMG]

    About Me
    This is my first TF2 mapping project, and it's going pretty promisingly! I've been using Hammer for the last couple of years, and other game design tools (like TES:CS) prior that for the last 9 or so years.


    Map Overview
    The map centres on an ancient Egyptian temple complex in a chasm. Blu came across the map when drilling for oil in the desert, but promises of riches come at a price: Red spies within the Blu corporation soon got word back to their superiors, resulting in a stalemate over the control of the temple. Who knows what goods lie behind the capture point door? :eek:hmy:


    Main Map Features
    • An Egyptian themed map.
    • A KotH map large enough to suit 10-32 players.
    • Novel vertical gameplay elements.
    • Fall death volumes at the bottom of the chasm.
    • 3 distinct pathways to the point; with the shortest being the most dangerous.
    • A novel end-game sequence.


    General Comments
    I still have a fair bit to do; and there are some obvious rush-jobs with the skybox (yet to incorporate a 3D skybox) and the bottom of the chasm (yet to be deepend and detailed). The map hasn't been fully cluttered, and as such there's a slight lack of detail and some interesting sightlines that need to be ironed out. HP/Ammo drops haven't been planned as of yet, either.
    A previous build of the map was at night (hence the overkill of lights outside), and I haven't yet fully decided whether to keep it at day or go back to night. Both styles are visually striking.


    Final Notes
    I'll post a map download link when I'm happy that each section has the layout that it will in the final build. I'm pretty much there, but I don't want to release a map with rooms that don't have detail. :blushing:
    This map was intended to launch into the Highlander competition, but I didn't make an announcement thread early enough. Probably just as well, because this map is a little too big for a highlander game.

    I'm looking for a release within a few weeks - definitely before the end of September.

    Please post suggestions for improvement (from what you can, basing them off the screenshots), any feedback is gratefully accepted! I'd really love direction on any issues you can imagine with sightlines and how the map would fare in-game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  2. colacan

    colacan L5: Dapper Member

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    You are allowed to release maps that contain rooms that lack detail. If you give us a download we can help you with feedback on the layout and other things. It looks very nice, I like its theme. At the last screenshot, that gap between the crates and the wall seems very narrow. It might be better of without that last crate.
     
  3. Kengon

    Kengon L1: Registered

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    Well, okay. I'll add a download in!
    Be aware that I've not built cubemaps for this build (I don't think), and the floor is literally black due to a Block Light that made more sense when the map was at night. There's only a spawn room on one side of the map (I was being lazy, and it's not detailed yet), and the underbelly of the temple is completely barren.
    Also, rather importantly, the download .BSP will be called buildzone.bsp. Don't ask why, because I have no rational explanation for it! :rolleyes: I'll make it koth_ancient for the next release.

    As for the box issue, you may be right. I might make some boxes with brushes later on - those boxes are huge! I thought the crates were more aesthetically pleasing if they had friends. :wow:

    One question I'm avoiding (i.e. I know it could easily be a problem) is that the map might be too big. What do you think, and I guess more importantly, how could I fix it without remaking the whole map?

    Thanks for the feedback so far!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  4. colacan

    colacan L5: Dapper Member

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    Well, it is VERY big. Oversized I would say. It also lacks cover around the point, it's a big sniper-kills-everyone area. Underneath the point, there's a giant underground room with no cover, huge sightlines and no pickups. Why is it even there? You've also got a z-buffering issue on one of the wooden walkways.
    Some pictures:
    z-buffer:
    [​IMG]
    room;
    [​IMG]
    Visleaf issue in the cave when seen from this walkway:
    [​IMG]
    Sightline:
    [​IMG]
    Didn't take pics from the point, but the cap area is rather small compared to the area it's located in and lacks any for of cover, especially from snipers and rocketspamming.
     
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  5. Kengon

    Kengon L1: Registered

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    The capture point is a relatively untouched area, I haven't spent much time cluttering it up to remove sightline issues. Your right that there are huge lines that could make sniping an issue.

    As I said, the room underneath the point is just there as a placeholder so that I could roughly see how long it took to walk from spawn to the point via that route. That area won't be open or as dull when I start work on it.
    Pickups are also something I've not worked on. I think there's only one in the whole map.

    How do you fix a z-buffering issue? I don't get that problem on my machine, which is interesting. Never seen that before.

    I'm aware that the visleafs are pretty prehistoric on this map too, there's quite a few issues where the leaf cuts off areas that you should be able to see. It's something I don't think I'll work on until I get the layout 100%.

    But the main problem, and I agree with you, is that the map is a little too colossal. Are there areas you think I should cut out? Anywhere I could condense to make it less gigantic?
    I'm not really sure how to go about shrinking the map. It'll be quite a tricky to go about doing without destroying any detail and optimisation I've done. :(

    Thanks so much for the feedback thus far though :D
     
  6. colacan

    colacan L5: Dapper Member

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    The z-buffering issue was on the blue side I think, haven't checked the red side. It's because there are 2 surfaces are in the same place, you have a useless copy of the walkway at the same location. Remove one of the 2 and it is fixed. The centre wood bridge over the chasm is very big. The planks are gigantic, smaller ones look better. That goes for all bridges actually.
    Maybe scale it down completely, but that will probably screw up most models.
     
  7. Kengon

    Kengon L1: Registered

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    Ah, that z-buffer issue was the result of a brush that was meant to be clip-textured, not wood-textured. Thanks for pointing that out! :)

    I agree that smaller planks look nicer. I'll work on that now.

    So you think removing one of the 3 pathways to the point wouldn't help? The spawn rooms could be moved to be closer to the point in that case too, which could help to make it feel smaller.
     
  8. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Don't add props to your map and clutter it to fix sightlines. That just doesn't lead to good gameplay or good performance. Judging from the pictures colacan posted, a good amount of your map is wide open and far, far too long. Your map is definitely too large.

    Put your map in the next gameday that pops up (watch the Events forum) or, since you're a donator, get into the Steam chat and try to help organize an impromptu to get your map played, and everyone will be more than happy to rip it apart :D
     
  9. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Another issue I see is the canyon roof - you have it randomized nicely but it's FLAT against the skybox - use some hieght variation there. to give it a nore ragged - natural feeling to it.
     
  10. Kengon

    Kengon L1: Registered

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    I'm not about to bung in crates and barrels all over the place; I was thinking more of wooden fences with corrugated metal resting against it to act as sightline blocks. Perhaps that wouldn't work. I might even end up taking out one of the canyon walls to result in just a cliff and egypt-style buildings around to lessen the LOS issues. What do you think to that?
    I have a group of testers that I've yet to offer the map in this reincarnation of to; I'll set up a server for them in the next week to see how it fares with actual gameplay. I might block off the third, most extreme route (in terms of distance from the point) to make gameplay feel smaller. I'll move the spawn rooms a little.
    I've been criticised for making maps too small before, and I think maybe I went too far the other way this time.

    I'm one step ahead of you there, man. ;) A 3D skybox will be added in to that effect.

    Thanks for the feedback all. :D
     
  11. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    As for the "I dont wan't to submit a map without detailing" comment: do it. Don't waste your time detailing. Release it for testing before you detail so you don't have to do it all over again when you make layout changes.
     
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