[BETA]cp_ironbowl

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by hydrage, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    Well, I've just released cp_ironbowl_b1, which is my first TF2 map. (I'd made several CS:S maps years ago, but we won't talk about those...)

    I've already been working on this map for several months. It's a multi-stage attack/defend control point map, similar to Dustbowl, but rather than having a forced respawn between stages, I'm using lasergates to control where BLU can go for each of the three stages.

    I have dynamic arrow models (the same ones used in tc_hydro) always pointing the way to the next control point. Also, I have mining cart rail-tracks throughout the level that more or less guide the player in the right direction.

    <B1 screenshots snipped, B7 screenshots available below>

    I'm still working on some of the detail brushwork and texturing. In the next beta, I hope to include a 3D skybox and soundscape, in addition to several tweaks to the gameplay balance.

    I'm looking for lots of feedback, especially in regard to the gameplay balance. What worries me is that some of the stages will be either too easy or too difficult to capture. I may have to alter capture times, or even add/remove certain corridors in the map. I've tried to judge the balance the best that I can while running around in it on my own, but what it really needs is some genuine pitched battles between legitimate teams of players.

    If anyone decides to host this on their server, please let me know! I'd love to participate and get any in-game constructive or destructive criticism! You can download the map from the TF2Maps.net database.
    <URL for B1 removed, URL for B7 available below>


    Please post any feedback or email me at Dev.Ironbowl@gmail.com!

    Thanks!
    - hydrage



    EDIT:
    B7 now available here:
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=991

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. Thermopyle

    Thermopyle L1: Registered

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    We'll probably be giving this a try on our next custom map marathon this coming Wednesday (4/30). Our marathons start around 7PM Central Time (USA). Usually the server stays pretty full for the whole night.

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/smackcentral
     
  3. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    We ran this with 30 players tonight. The reaction was generally positive. We didn't play it enough to make any substantive comments on balance, but the one issue I can definitely see being problematic is red's ability to recapture points. The server consensus was definitely in favor of denying this ability.

    A few bugs:

    1) Every point triggers, from RED's POV, the "Our LAST/FINAL control point is being contested" sound.
    2) Regardless of whether RED's ability to recapture points is intentional or not, time is added when RED recaptures.

    I'll definitely be running this again at some point. Add me to your Steam list and I'll let you know when I do (search for FLOOR_MASTER through the Steam Community).
     
  4. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    Well, I'm glad the reaction was generally positive rather than negative. :D

    Bugs:
    1) The "last control point" bug should now be fixed in the next version (cp_ironbowl_b2).

    2) I intentionally gave RED the ability to recapture the midpoints (but not the final points A, B, and C), but perhaps the idea is a little misguided for this particular map. I threw the system in because I thought it might spice things up a little. From a few playtests I've played, I thought it made each round a little more interesting, but it definitely gave BLU a much harder time, even though it takes BLU a lot less longer to capture the midpoint than it takes RED to recapture it.

    A lot of people didn't seem to like the novelty though, so like you suggested, I'm just going to make it a straight-forward permanent-capture map.



    These changes are now available in a new version: http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=349
    Please let me know what you think.
     
  5. PMAvers

    PMAvers L6: Sharp Member

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    Something completely random, but it's funny, but one of my players pointed out that the track that's running through the map starting at the BLU spawn might actually make a decent Payload map. :D
     
  6. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    I just ran B2 with 30 players. Initial reactions:

    1) I think the round timing is just right
    2) The changes to control point behavior (RED can't recapture) were noticed by all and appreciated
    3) The one-way door right next to the 6th (last) control point tends to give RED an unfair advantage in being able to hide behind the door and essentially shoot at the point one-way
    4) There seems to be a cubemap problem around the 3rd area
    5) This may be sound harsh, but the signage is a total mess. There's both too much of it and too little of it. There is too much signage to get a clear sense of precisely where to go to reach a particular point. There's too little clear signage placed in the most natural junctions that unambiguously directs players to the right spots. This I think is best alleviated not by signs but by textures -- changing the look and feel into three distinct areas or texturing particular pathways or placing objects that indicate some contiguous area. One-way passages should have clearer labeling (actual text that states "ONE WAY").

    Great work!
     
  7. Uriak

    Uriak L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Ran yesterday with 24 players. I won't hide that reactions were rather negative.

    Red team was somewhat lost and unable to quicky reach the frontline CP. The choice of having so many CP in one round puzzled many of them.
    Blu were cornered quicky in their spawnroom and spawnkilled. Some blue lazers didn't work and we ended with red heavies roaming in the spawnroom

    Graphical issues : some cubemaps werre missing and we ended with the dreaded violet and black texture in all reflective tiles.
    The blue light in BLU spawnroom is way too strong and some players complained that it made them feel sick. I have personnaly experienced this and felt uneasy in the spawn.

    I apologize that we did'nt play as seriously as we should have done, but the above issues blowed initial confidence in the map for the test players.
     
  8. Fingersniffer

    Fingersniffer L1: Registered

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    That's a shame, looks like you've put a lot of work into it. :(

    Good luck with it in future.
     
  9. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    3) I'll add an open doorway near to the side of this gate, so that Blu can get better access behind the gate to take out any Red defenses behind the gate. (There's a way for Blu to get access behind the gate now, but it's a little too deep in Red's territory.)

    4) Alas, this is very saddening. :crying: I had built the cubemaps, and on my machine they're showing up, but enough people have complained about the cubemaps that I know there must be problem with them. I'm not sure yet what I've done wrong, but I'll make double-sure they're working for B3. Better yet, I may just replace the tile texture with one that isn't reflective, because I don't really want reflective tiles anyway. I want dirty gritty tiles.

    5) I'll definitely work on the signage. One thing I plan to change already is that I have too many blue arrows pointing directly at control points, instead of in the direction of the next control point. I'm also thinking a lot of the "getting lost" issues can be fixed if I relocated Red's spawnrooms closer to the area for the respective rounds.

    Also, I'll see if I can make a one-way texture. Or maybe send out an open request for one from anybody here at TF2Maps.net who's a lot better at making good-looking textures than I am...


    As always, thank you for the feedback! Keep it coming! :D



    Yeah, unfortunately I was kind of rushed with B2 because I wanted to get it into the TF2Maps.net contest. Hopefully B3 will be much better. Thank you for the kind words, though. :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  10. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    I've tried to find where Red could get into the Blu spawnroom, and I can't figure it out. All of the blue lasers seemed to work for each of the three rounds. Do you remember which specific lasers that Red could get through?

    Side note:
    The Blu lasers *do* intentionally shutoff when Red wins, so Red can go in and "clean up" the enemy spawnroom just like they can do official maps. But when the round starts over, the Blu lasers turn back on and are working again. I just tested this again and it appears to be working, but if you (or anyone reading this) know an exploit around it, please let me know so I can fix it.

    lol
    Ok, I'll try to pick a better color for less nauseating lighting. :thumbup:
     
  11. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    A couple more suggestions...

    On teams that aren't well balanced, it's very easy for BLU to become boxed into their spawn. I think it'd help to give BLU an alternate path in this area which also tempers RED's height advantage...

    [​IMG]

    As RED, it's really easy to slip into the one way door near the area marked and be forced to take a very circuitous route to get back into the action. I'd suggest leaving the one-way door but adding a path (or one-way drop down) in the general area indicated...

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    I've now moved the one-way gate up to the top of the ledge, in that upper alley between the red brick building and the blue/white brick building with metal sides. This enables Blu to get to the top of the ledge by using the existing ramp that was previously blocked by the one-way gate. The new location of the one-way gate still prevents Blu from getting beyond the corner that turns toward Point A, at least until the midpoint has been captured.


    I've now added a new drop-down exactly where you suggested. :thumbup1:


    I hope to have B3 ready within a week or so. It has several other significant changes that became necessary after I relocated Red's respawn rooms closer to their associated control points.
     
  13. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  14. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    If you still haven't fixed your cubemaps issue, make sure you're building them with specular lighting both on and off.

    mat_specular 1
    buildcubemaps
    mat_specular 0
    buildcubemaps
    map cp_ironbowl
    mat_specular 1

    See if that helps.
     
  15. Ace

    Ace L3: Member

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    Valve developer wiki says

    mat_specular 0
    buildcubemaps
    mat_hdr_level 0 (to go to LDR)
    map mapname (to reload map)
    buildcubemaps
    mat_hdr_level 2 (to go back to HDR)
    map mapname (to reload map)
    mat_specular 1

    Not sure if thats much different for the above post, but its from the wiki...
     
  16. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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    I had followed those exact steps (the ones Ace posted). I turned off mat_specular to 0 before I did buildcubemaps, and I also reloaded the map between buildcubemaps for HDR and LDR. Also, I changed the name to "cp_ironbowl_b3" before compilation rather than after, which is another potential cause of the purple-and-black issue.

    I had neglected to buildcubemaps for LDR in the B2 version. But for this B3 version, the cubemaps for both HDR and LDR have been built. Still, please let me know if you encounter any purple-and-black after you've played the map!

    Thanks,
     
  17. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    (Same feedback I left at FPSB):

     
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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  18. hydrage

    hydrage L1: Registered

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  19. FLOOR_MASTER

    FLOOR_MASTER L3: Member

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    We played two 15v15 rounds last night. Quick reaction: The first "stage" is well-balanced now. The area around point 3 is a pretty busy/cramped and would benefit from a lot of simplification as it's a pyro paradise in its current form. The third stage could use more forgiving paths for BLU in the upper levels of the third stage area (there are some two-sentry combinations that are insanely effective at completely locking down the area) and increased respawn times for RED.

    These are just snap assessments so don't take them seriously just yet. I'll run it again tonight (Wed). PM me with a link to your Steam profile if you'd like to watch the gameplay in person and discuss the balance issues.
     
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  20. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Cool map, fun to play as spy. Map is completely useless for scout and sometimes heavy play; needs some more area size variation. Clear out the area with all the ladders, it's too convoluted, simplify; Unify your ramp structure in the last stage, spies are overbalanced by al the dropdowns, same with pyros; Very small things that would help a ton to open up the gameplay and make it feel less 'cramped'
     
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