"Balloon Race" playstyle

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by NoHeroes, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. NoHeroes

    NoHeroes L2: Junior Member

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    Those of you that hate "gimicky' maps please don't shoot me...but I have to wonder, why has the "Balloon Race" play style/mode not been incorporated into more map designs?

    I ask because, several months ago during a "fun maps" play event on our servers, we threw Balloon Race up just to see what it was about, and it was an instant hit. So much so, that we've been running a 24/7 dedicated Balloon race server since about a week after that event, and it has attracted more than 75 donating members to our community by itself.

    It is, sadly, very poorly supported by it's creator, and the graphics are (at best) a very early alpha quality (which again bears witness to how popular the playstyle could be, if a map this ugly can attract so much traffic).

    We were excited to hear the original mapper was working on a V2 of Balloon race, but aside from new balloon models, and spawn rooms, it doesn't appear he will be doing much in the way of optimization and texture work.

    SO...is there anyone interested in taking this kind of play mode on? We're so interested in a new balloon race map, we've even entertained the idea of hiring a top-notch mapper to make one for us.

    If any of the high-end mapper would like to see their map on a 24/7 dedicated server that gets 1000's of players per day, take on the challenge of Balloon Race, and your map will have a home at No Heroes.
     
  2. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

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    It could be a cool gamemode if mapped well. But the map it's just too bad done, doesn't have any theme, any ambience, blocky, lighting, skybox is from HL2, and the gameplay could be improved by a lot. I'll support this kind of maps if the people who does them really wants to make good maps, not like the only baloon race map which looks more like a experiment.
     
  3. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    I think you missed the point a bit. the point is it does suck visually and no one is denying that, but its still great fun, so would any of us mappers want to make something of similar gamestyle that is visually exciting and of the normal valve style.
    Since DP was contacted by someone interested in a competition for it, it might be worth getting hold of him again.
     
  4. NoHeroes

    NoHeroes L2: Junior Member

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    My point exactly. When such a crude, visually plain map can still garner such a following based on GAME PLAY ALONE (the Balloon Race server is full as I write this, as usual), then that play mode/style is definitely WORTH taking a second look at.

    Hell, thinking what some of the talented mappers here could do with that kind of map makes me want an update that much more.

    What if each point was contained at the bottom of a large, semi-complex building that had to fought be in and around in order to cap that point and allow your "boat" to move on?

    What if the team currently "behind" would automatically be granted spawn points somewhere in front of the lead ship - perhaps at the point they needed to cap next?

    What if there were multiple ways to "speed up" your boat (by capturing different points), or make it take a "short cut" if you could cap and hold a certain point?

    What if, instead of two linear paths, the boats criss-crossed at various points, allowing teams to "board" the other boat in mid-flight, slowing it down by trying to hold a "moving spawn camp"?

    ...and you see my point. All the current payload/CP/CTF maps, while some are truly spectacular, all still rely on a play mode that is being done and redone ad nauseum. That's not to make light of the some of the stunning maps that have been produced in the last year, but just to point out that there are some other game modes that, based on real player response, have serious potential, and are (IMHO) being largely overlooked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  5. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Well if someone could model up a good TF2-esque dirigible, that could take care of the vehicle...
     
  6. drp

    aa drp

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    that person who contacted me was actually the threadstarter. the interest for this wasnt there among the members.
     
  7. dirtyminuth

    dirtyminuth L5: Dapper Member

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    I'd be tempted to try out this style after asylum. A balloon race through a canyon (one that reminds me of the old Shadows of the Empire level) could look good, offer opportunities for shortcuts (if possible) and perilous yet advantageous 'off balloon' fighting.
     
  8. Zeewier

    Zeewier L9: Fashionable Member

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    You can also read in the thread that i started a map that's a bit like it.
     
  9. AWESOME-O

    AWESOME-O L10: Glamorous Member

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    Working on a gamemode like this, but than with dinghy's.
     
  10. NoHeroes

    NoHeroes L2: Junior Member

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  11. Zeewier

    Zeewier L9: Fashionable Member

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    *cancels his "balloon race"*

    Apparently there are a lot of ppl working on a better version, and I really need some extra time :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  12. GrimGriz

    GrimGriz L10: Glamorous Member

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    At the time I read the thread, I hadn't played the map. I'm much more interested now. I think one would have to have a lot more experience than myself with hint brushes and such with as wide-open air travel and resulting visuals would be...but then again, it could make some fun-with-skybox mapping experience
     
  13. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    There's really no reason it has to be complex visually. Basically what you need is a long canyon with alot of twists to block long views.

    The decor on the sides could mostly be skybox as players need to concentrate on the 'cart' and not running around away from the cart.

    I played 'truck races' or something. Nobody knew what was going on and kept getting off the cart/spawn room to attack the other cart. The other cart got way ahead and there was no way to catch it.
    I see that as the biggest issue, if the spawn room ISN'T on the cart it's probably much better.
     
  14. Nightshde

    Nightshde L1: Registered

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    I find balloon race to be a nice concept but has quite a few issues with it. On my server we had balloon race and it was nice at first but it soon got fairly annoying because once one balloon gets a certain distance away from the second one it becomes impossible to catch up making many people quit the server and anytime the lvl came up in rotation half the room would disappear.

    We recently found a version 2 and it has some improvements visually and made the ships bigger with a bottom floor which helps with defending but the same issue still comes up once one ship gets a certain distance away it becomes almost impossible to catch. There are also quite a few glitches with the new one like falling through the ship and being able to use the other ships ladder to get on and spawn camp.

    Sgt Frag i think the map your talking about is wacky races which I think is an improvement on balloon race, it is more about raceing to the finish and less about trying to reach points. One of the major improvements on the concept is the fact that beside killing the driver of the van you can shoot the engine and slow the car down so your's can catch up.
     
  15. trainRiderJ

    trainRiderJ L5: Dapper Member

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    You teleport to the balloon/cart/whatever in all versions I've played, not sure what you're playing.

    That said, I'm not sure if I would enjoy this game type if I was playing it in a serious setting. I've only played it joking around with my friends, and in that regard it does its job extremely well.
     
  16. Nightshde

    Nightshde L1: Registered

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    Yea u teleport to your balloon but Im talking about the balloons themselves and the actual racing to the points. One team always usually gets way ahead of the other and they usually don't catch up till the other team is at the last point
     
  17. uma plata

    uma plata L6: Sharp Member

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    I think the idea of a race in TF2 is interesting, but I don't think Balloon race is a good implementation

    The gameplay, while popular at the moment, is shallow. It's basically about who can spam the other balloon the most. Demo, Sniper and Heavy are pretty much all you see, and with good reason, because the other team is all collected into an area about the size of a capture point. AOE spam is effective. Close range classes (spy, scout and pyro) are obviously useless

    And the long sightlines take a huge hit on FPS, even though the maps are not very detailed

    Not trying to spoil anyone's fun, but I don't see potential with balloon race
     
  18. Randdalf

    aa Randdalf

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    It needs much less spam and much more structure I think. The battle for the CPs is generally won by whoever gets their heavies there first.
     
  19. Wave

    Wave L1: Registered

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    We just got Balloon Race v2b on the Agent server yesterday and played about 10 rounds with about 20 players. The playstyle is VERY refreshing and I'd like to see it expanded upon. The framerate on the map when on the airships is horrible but the gameplay is just so fun.

    If teammates could be launched out of a cannon (or something to similar effect) to the opponents' airship then I think that would go a long way in allowing balloons to battle for the lead and make close-range classes much more viable. There needs to be some way to attack the other airship with something other than rocket-spam, flares, or snipers. Perhaps allow access to the airship's deck from the top of the balloon...this would allow opponents to "launch" themselves on top of their opponents' airship and then descend down to the deck to fight.

    Then there's the 'falling through the airship floor' bug...

    Things like canyons to fly through with rock-features that intermittently separate the two balloons could add some variation...the current balloon race is very plain, but the plain-ness also allows players to concentrate on the shallow gameplay which, sometimes, is what people want.

    I'd say that if the current issues could be resolved:
    -framerates
    -falling through the airship floor
    -close-range class viability

    then the balloonrace-style could really (excuse the pun) take off.
     
  20. Solynth

    Solynth L5: Dapper Member

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    The physics in this game doesn't support being on moving objects, when your on the balloon you can't snipe and it's really dodgy when you walk. Find a way around that and I'll like this map or a similar one.