Basic Spawn Room Design

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Berry, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    Spawn rooms are the first thing you see in a map (aside from the spectator views). You might think they're just rooms, but there's lots of ways to do them right, and lots of ways to do them wrong. I've put together several examples, each with pros and cons.

    Example
    [​IMG]
    Here we have a very basic spawn room. It's pretty shoddy on purpose, you can probably guess why. Assuming this is an attack/defend or payload spawn, here are the issues: (yes, this is pretty much Amaranth's original spawn)

    1. Blue don't have straight access to the resupply locker without going through enemy lines of sight
    [​IMG]
    Typically, resupply lockers are helpful during a spawn camping to stop the enemy spawn camping you. It's not really helpful if you can't really get to it because of what it's meant to be preventing.

    2. Red have lines of sight into our spawn. That's no good.
    [​IMG]
    This is pretty self explanatory. You can fix it by adding a slide door, removing the door as a whole or just making the area behind it off limits to red.

    3. The spawn positions are disorienting for Blue
    [​IMG]
    This is probably the least notable until you're in-game. It's pretty obvious as soon as Blue spawn, they're going to be running through those 2 doors in a row which puts them out onto a flank. This one really is much more dependant on the map. However 2 main gates and a flank gate is pretty typical for a spawn room, sometimes 2 flanks if necessary.

    Naturally, players will be annoyed having to suddenly turn 90 degrees. It's not majorly game breaking, but it definitely upsets the flow; idealistically players would flow out of the main two gates, using the flank to be sneakier or as a plan B against spawn campers.

    Example Fixed
    [​IMG]
    It's obviously pretty varying what you'd do to fix the issues with your spawn room, but this is one potential outcome. So what've we done?
    • Removed/reduce the sights into spawn
    • Fixed a disorienting blue spawn
    • Re-placed the resupply locker

    I really don't feel like it should be necessary to go so far into everything you can do wrong. It's more about what a spawn door should do right. Let's take a look at some official maps.

    1: Badwater - Blue
    [​IMG]
    Badwater's blue spawn is very well designed. Firstly, there's no sights straight into where you spawn. Secondly, there's plenty of route variation. Spawn camping is little to no issue here simply because the spawn exits stretch across the bottom part of the map, not to mention it's easy for anyone to simply go another way to the one the red spawn campers block.

    Easily the best thing about the spawn though is the way it flows. Being in the center-ish, players stay open minded to most of the routes. The furthest (left route) being a less traveled flank - because of it's distance - yet still used simply so players aren't cannon-fodder for Demomen and Soldiers.

    2: Dustbowl - Stage 1, Blue
    [​IMG]
    On the flip side, Dustbowl's first blue spawn is bad for pretty much lacking everything Badwater's first blue spawn has - which aren't really unique to badwater, they just make a good spawn room - which really puts the map's first stage in the "ugh" zone. I'm not hating Dustbowl just for the hell of it either, this spawn could be majorly improved.

    1. Red demomen and soldiers have a pretty mean shot into spawn. At the point of the gates opening, a soldier or demoman can sit there - firing a few explosives - and rack a fair few kills, then maybe explosive jump away.

    2. The flow is majorly upset. People ignore the right route because it's so long and takes you to an area fairly easy for snipers.. That's literally just in front of spawn.. For all that walking.
    -
    The middle route puts you at a major height disadvantage, has no cover and not to mention is right in the middle of the area; meaning everyone constantly has their sights on somewhere of this spot. Don't forget it's long and straight too, meaning it's easy play for snipers.
    -
    Lastly, take the left route. It's a major height disadvantage staircase with an open door at the top. When is that a good main spawn exit, Valve?

    3. The resupply locker is right in the sights of anyone who decides to camp the easily camped main spawn door. Do you know what else is outside this easily camped door? A full ammo pack, and beside it a FULL HEALTH PACK.. What the crap did the blue team do to you, Valve!?

    I'm easily pretty mad now, so I'm going to end this here. Dustbowl better not still be here when I come back.
     
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  2. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    Sweet. When can we expect to see covering more complicated spawns, with nobuilds, setup gates that the defenders can push past, or soft-lock spawns like Gravelpit that stop most defenders entering?
     
  3. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    i for one like pickups right outta spawn

    allows the blu team to hold there instead of having to run all the way back to the locker

    of course for that the blu team has to get outta spawn in the first place
     
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  4. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    I'm not really entirely sure how one would cover those. For the most part, they're either flat or advantageous to blue on the main route in some way to prevent spawn camping. (both, this is). Not to mention they're uncommon practice, meaning there's a lack of finished map examples.

    But I could try and do something.
     
  5. Grand Tickler

    Grand Tickler L1: Registered

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    This is good advice! Despite what some people might think, spawn rooms are VERY important...you can't just slap some spawn points in a building and call it a spawn room.

    I could use some pointers on the one I am currently working on. (This is going to be my first map, so I could use a LOT of advice! haha)

    [​IMG]

    Spawn exit A is going to lead to the main "battle" area, which is in front of the larger Intelligence building.

    Spawn exit B is pointed towards the enemy team's side. (May move the door closer to the corner for shorter walking distance)

    Spawn exit C is going to actually be a ramp/staircase that will lead to the second floor of the intelligence building.

    Definitely still a WIP in embryonic stages. Advice from the veterans of mapmaking is what I need :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  6. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    Assuming those are going to have slider doors, I'd open up the right and left side a little so it feels less clustered, and add some windows on the inner left and right walls so people know where they're going.
     
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  7. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    I'm also not confident with locating the spawn itself in the middle of the three doors. One thing that Berry didn't state explicitly, but is very important, is that players need to see all the exits. If they don't realize or remember that they have alternative exits to the one closest to them, they'll tell you the map is poorly designed and easily spawn camped.

    In your case, the forward exit is by far the most obvious, and you'd be amazed how few people will even consider turning to their left and right and checking further. Thing how little the side exits on Nucleus are used - and those are visible from the spawning locations!

    In your case, i'd recommend moving the spawning room downwards so it leads on to it, with plenty of signage indicating the three directions you can take.
     
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  8. Grand Tickler

    Grand Tickler L1: Registered

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    Oh yes, you two are very right! I was actually intending on using lots of signage and windows! Like signs pointing do the C door that say "intelligence" an exit sign above A and an exit sign pointing towards B for example as well as windowed walls. I plan on making a LOT of signs, because my map has many side routes! The intelligence building has three floors-the basement houses the intelligence, and you can either enter the main building, and navigate it to get to the cellar, or use either one of two underground pipes (thats what the noclip texture in the picture is, haha) Thanks for the advice! I may move the spawn a bit lower so it kind of extends out of the building a little


    Edit: I am trying very hard with this map to avoid choke points and make as many ways to get to the goal as possible while still being able to defend it. I am worried though that my spawn could be easily spawn camped. Since enemies can get into the building (Just not into the room) Having one door really worries me. I dont want it to end up like the third level of dustbowl


    Edit(x2): I have adjusted it a little to allow more visibiliy to your options. I moved back the spawn room so instead of a narrow hallway in the front, its more like another small room, and the B door is visible when you turn to leave through the A door. There is also a window on the left of the spawn room that is in the direct line of sight of the B door. There is also a smaller alternative door on the right leading to C. So if the building is being spawn camped, its a much easier escape into the adjacent building
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  9. henke37

    aa henke37

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    Is there a chance to have the images in the first post redone so that it's possible to tell that there is an inner wall in the area?
     
  10. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    If players can get into that building, one thing you could do is give the spawners height advantage so it's very natural for them to push out and it makes it harder for spam to enter the spawn.

    One thing you should know is that while signage helps, players can be extremely stubborn. They'll often pick an exit and ignore every single sign they see on the way there, especially if it's telling them to go somewhere unknown. I forsee similar issues here - they won't even acknowledge the signs telling them to go to the intelligence if they can see a door to the other base directly in front of them.

    But hey, this is supposed to be a place to discuss the tutorial Berry has provided. If you want to talk futher, I reccomend creating a thread in the map workshop section of the forums and say that it's "in planning".
     
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  11. Grand Tickler

    Grand Tickler L1: Registered

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    Sorry! I did not mean to turn this toward a discussion over my map. Not what I intended
     
  12. Berry

    aa Berry if you read this you're a nerd

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    Discussing a spawn area of your map in this thread is no issue by me personally, honestly it's probably a fine place for it until the map itself has a thread.
     
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  13. Grand Tickler

    Grand Tickler L1: Registered

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    I should make a thread for my map, I got quite a bit of questions especially about displacements....but first I need to decide what I should NAME my map...haha. It's pretty much taking place in the middle of a swamp/marsh, both teams attempting to hide their important intelligence in inconspicuous run down buildings... I was thinking ctf_bayou but I feel like that name has already been taken before because it's not too original.
     
  14. sevin

    aa sevin

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    In addition to what you've said, Berry, I think spawn room design is also partially dependent on the game mode. If you're playing a payload map, Blu team's spawn is generally rather large and full of props to give players something to do during the 60 second setup time. The opposite is generally true for red team. Badwater, for example, lays out Blu's spawn room to be quite large and detailed, giving players something to look at and jump around on while they sit in spawn. Red team's spawn is simply a box with a resupply locker. Nothing to see there because no one will be spending any time in it, save to grab health and ammo/metal. Barnblitz is another great example of this. Blu has one of the best looking and most detailed spawn room of any official map. No access side rooms, a hay loft that soldiers and demos can jump to, side passages for flank routes and loads of props and texture variations make the area quite pleasant for Blu team to spend their setup time in. Red team's last spawn, the lower one in particular, has none of that. It's a simple rectangle with a resupply cabinet. And that's it. Because it doesn't matter. Stick 16 Blu team members in there for 60 seconds though and there will be some disconnecters.

    Forward spawns are also usually very small, often with no resupply locker or reentry since players are often in a hurry to rejoin the front lines and it may cause some gameplay issues for a team to have access to their forward spawns again once they've left, depending on the map.
     
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  15. Grand Tickler

    Grand Tickler L1: Registered

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    Sevin makes a really good point.
    You made me realize too that with my spawn...during setup time they wont be allowed to leave the A or B doors....but they will be able to leave the C door...so While they are idling in the spawn room it does give them a chance to realize that that direction is another way and leads directly to the intelligence...


    EDot: I totally just remembered that CTF has NO setup time. HuRR DURR
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  16. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Agreed. I mistook that for an upper deck with no way to get to it at first. Shaded textured polygons: Unless you've got overlays in your picture, please use it.