Clandestine

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by PL-7764, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    This is my third effort at making a playable map, but only my first that's been fully playable from start to end (and my first to be released). My previous efforts have all fallen victim to 10-hour-plus compile times, probably because it took me until just now to learn to never under any circumstances use the carve tool. :p

    It's a Dustbowl-style 3-stage map with 2 CPs per stage.

    This is still a work in progress. See my most recent update posting + the changelog to see what's new in the current version and what I intend to work on for the next one.

    Some thanks:
    A Boojum Snark - For the gametype library, which allowed this to exist in the first place, and his door prefabs, which I used for the last couple of respawn rooms when the doors I tried to place became stubborn and wouldn't open anymore.
    ikem - For the lighting effects library, which provided the dark interiors of this map with lights.
    Acegikmo - For the environment gallery, giving me the proper settings for the overall world lighting.

    Some additional screenshots showing the layout of the map (UPDATED 9/1/09):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Stage 1 layout - spawns are off screen to the upper-left and center-right

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Stage 2 layout

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Stage 3 layout

    Feedback is appreciated! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  2. Waif

    Waif L7: Fancy Member

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    Looks cool, but perhaps a bit linear in the third stage (just judging from screenies.)
    How about ravine or chasm as names?
     
  3. joshman

    joshman L5: Dapper Member

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    CP_Rapido
    CP_Konata
    CP_Trees
    CP_Spirit_Of_Radio
    CP_Freewill
    CP_Jacobs_Ladder
    CP_Entre_Nous
    CP_Different_Strings
    CP_Natural_Science
    CP_Architecture
    CP_PC
    CP_Ayn
    CP_Rand
    CP_Pepsicola
    CP_Anthem
    CP_Schasm
    CP_Schism
    CP_Barnhouse
    CP_Grand (See Grand Canyon)
    CP_Pedestrian
    CP_Bear
    CP_Maples
    CP_Oaks
    CP_Stairway
     
  4. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    Thanks for the responses, even if there are only two ...! :)

    The map has been updated, so check out the new download to see what's changed. Screenies haven't been updated yet - the only changes right now were to stage 3.

    @ Mashpotatoe: The linearity problem is my biggest worry with stage 3 right now. I've rearranged it so it curves around in a different direction, which should hopefully allow for more tunnels to be added and make the round a little longer (hopefully not too much longer though). Still plenty to work on in it, but I think it's improved now.

    I like Ravine as a name, but it's already in use as a default arena map. Chasm is one I've considered, but I don't like the sound of it for some reason. Still thinking hard on the name ... I'm thinking of "cp_clandestine" as this is set in a pretty remote place, far from prying eyes who might be interested in the spytech operations going on behind the mining facades, especially in stage 3 (these haven't been added yet). A rather clandestine operation, no? ;) It seems to fit pretty well IMO.

    @ joshman: Are those all naming ideas? Can't see how some of them are relevant ... :p

    EDIT: I've decided to use cp_clandestine as my map name. Still looking for lots of feedback so I can finalize the layout and start making it look good! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  5. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    Updated again, see changelog for what's different.

    Please give me some more feedback ... I really REALLY want to know what people think can be improved/should be changed/etc. I want this map to be a good one!

    Don't let the extensive use of dev textures scare you away - I fully intend to detail this. ;) I'm not adding extensive detail yet because I don't want to build an elaborate background area only to learn it has to be deleted because the play area nearby has to be overhauled. That, plus my computer can take a while to compile a map, especially when it's very complex, so I want to work on fine-tuning gameplay areas before moving on to beautification that won't ultimately affect gameplay.
     
  6. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    a3 is now up. Biggest change here is in the details - I decided perhaps the dev-ness of it might be keeping people from wanting to play, so I added a few detail elements to stage 1 (I'm by no means done however).

    I also got it up somewhere other than Megaupload. Does that help? :p

    Current to-dos:
    -Find something scenic to put in that new open space over one of the mine tunnels in stage 2 (was considering mine cart tracks, but found that they're too large)
    -Continue detailing stage 1 and start detailing on stages 2 and 3
    -Make stage 3 not quite so open towards the end - more obstacles/vertical elements should hopefully help this
    -Find some way of making the rear-most area of stage 3 more enticing as a route towards the finish (takes a while to reach the final cap that way, and there's nothing back there making it significantly better than the tunnel as of yet, aside from some scenery, which the tunnel will soon receive)
    -Start on displacements in the tunnels/on the open ground possibly - not sure if I want to go to this yet, but I might since I've done a little bit of displacement work here already
    -Add some o' dem cameras for dead/just joining players! Don't have any yet, just gotta remember to add them. And find good angles for them to show.
    -Potentially give stage 3 some more vertical elements in that final stretch to break up the monotonous long straight run - perhaps some catwalks, or an entire deck over the low end of that area, or even something downwards like a canyon (trying not to imitate Dustbowl's layout though, so this isn't something I'll try first)

    Really wishing for some comments! :( If you play it at all I'd love to know what you think. :) Personally I've always felt like it was too small, but I've always found Dustbowl (same gamemode as this) to be a tad too big in places, and surprisingly with what little 'multiplayer' I've done with this using bots it doesn't feel nearly as crowded as expected. I think it's good for smaller matches, probably OK for 24-player servers, and would likely be overcrowded with 32 people in it at once (still have enough spawns for that many anyway however). I have yet to actually try it with more than one real person, but I'm still fine-tuning it as much as I can with what ideas I can get from that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  7. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    a4 is now ready. This version marks the removal of the last dev-textured surface from stage 1! :thumbup: Still plenty more to do, not just in detailing but in terms of gameplay as well, especially with that neglected third stage. I've got some ideas now, just gotta implement them.

    Current to-dos for the next version:
    -Add significantly to stage 3, particularly at the base of that large hill at the end - I intend to add a building there that will feature at least 2 levels, allowing for more creative defensive and offensive strategies in that area
    -Find a way to make the tunnel over stage 3's first cap less convenient for BLU to use in getting to the final cap - currently it's too much better than the long way around and will likely leave the longer route almost totally unused
    -Possibly expand stage 2 to the right of the start of area 2, giving more space to play in what is currently the most cramped portion of the map
    -Possibly get working on the area outside the map behind stage 1's 2nd cap - I may also wait on this and make that area part of a 3D skybox

    I finally got the map uploaded to tf2maps.net instead of outside hosting sites, so now hopefully people will actually give me some feedback! :) ... Please?
     
  8. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    A big thanks to A Boojum Snark for changing the title of this release for me! :)

    a5 is now up. I think the main process of setting up the layout is completely done now, and all that's left is minor gameplay tweaks (will need to submit this to Gameday to know more about what needs adjusting) and lots of aesthetic work (the good part!).

    Current to-dos:

    -Details everywhere! Finally time to focus entirely on the beautification of this. There's a lot of detail already, but I've had to go back and forth between that and layout work up until now. The biggest detail work to be done in the next version will be around the edges of the high cliffs around the whole thing.
    -See about solving the problem of BLU snipers shooting all the way to RED spawn on stage 3 with the new building there
    -Possibly add more lighting - the tunnel behind stage 1's first cap seems a little dark, but I'm still debating whether to light it or not as I like the atmospheric effect it has now

    Still looking for any feedback at all...
     
  9. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    I discovered that in stage 3, BLU snipers had multiple spots where they could very easily camp and shoot into RED's spawn exit tunnel without RED being able to fire back, effectively trapping them (the same effect as spawn camping, but with a near-invulnerable camper). I've made several adjustments to prevent this from being possible anymore. Just in time for the Gameday testing, after which I hope to finally receive some comments. ;)
     
  10. nik

    nik L12: Fabulous Member

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    lol@ ayn rand comments

    also, this looks like it would be lots of fun, but you REALLY need to get some displacements in there, especially on the cliffs and rockfaces, it will look sooo much more realistic.

    I really love the last three screenshots, looks great.

    add me on steam so I can keep up with future releases, k?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    Hooray, some feedback at last! :thumbup:

    I've been putting off using displacements in gameplay areas for a while since I haven't had any responses yet about my current layout (hoping to get some from Gameday on Wednesday), and it's much more difficult to alter tunnels and such once the walls are displacements and already lined up just right. That, and I tried displacements for a4 but had TF2 flip out when I ran the map - nodraw covering the displacement surfaces, movement becoming very jumpy over displacements, etc. I think I've learned what my problems were now though, so I intend to try putting in displacements once I get Gameday feedback and fix anything that needs fixing layout-wise.

    You'll notice the ridge between points 1 and 2 of stage 1 uses displacements already, so I've started on them a little. ;)
     
  12. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    This went over pretty well on Gameday today (I thought so anyway), and I got some good tips on how to improve it. I watched the SourceTV demo once to get refreshed on all that was said, and will definitely do so again (will probably rip the audio so I can easily scroll to any point in it I want as well).

    A run-down of what I need to work on now (in part for personal reference, but also for anyone following this map - and to show that I'm listening to the suggestions from Gameday :)):


    -The biggest issue was definitely that stage 2 turned out to be WAY too easy to defend. BLU had very few ways to access the second cap, and they had to pass RED spawn to get there (sounds 2fort-ey, no? :p). Two sentries kept BLU off the point very well. I'll see about potentially expanding the CP platform, moving RED spawn so BLU isn't at such a risk walking past the exit tunnel, and possibly more cover around the CP.

    -I heard an "upper route" suggested for the second cap area, so I'm experimenting with alternate routes right now. So far I've put in a staircase in the tunnel under the silo-building that connects to the landing for the stairs leading up to the catwalk over the second cap. This seems to allow quick-working scouts to get onto the CP before RED would be able to react (haven't tried it against human players yet).

    -The rooftop and adjacent platform accessed from the catwalk were originally there for defensive purposes, but seeing how overly advantageous they are I'm thinking of closing them off, and including some kind of visual cue to such like an antenna on the roof and more junk crates and such piled on the platform.
    --Alternatively, I may try to find a way for BLU to get up there and use it as an alternate route to the second point, making it useful for both teams, much as I have the catwalk with the new staircase in the tunnel.

    -Skybox in stage 2 area 2 being too low was mentioned multiple times; this is an issue I realized too late before Gameday, and I've fixed it for the next version, although it might not be nearly as useful now if that rooftop ends up shut off.

    -Several people stated their desire for more health and ammo (might have been directed at engineers who it people were telling to build dispensers but weren't putting them up yet - it was loud, I couldn't tell :p). I tried to keep health and ammo sparse enough to keep people from having it constantly within reach, but also present enough to be easily reachable after backing out of a fight. I'll try some new locations for more health and ammo kits, and/or upgrade some of the current ones from medium to full kits. I just don't want it to become so full of them that people become virtually unkillable when they keep regenerating health and bullets. ;) True, it does feel a little sparse currently now that I think about it.

    -I think I heard one mention of the water tower was misleading since it has a clipping brush over it all the way to the skybox. Since it can be easily jumped to from the platform by the rooftop I might go ahead and open it for jumping upon, although I might have to use a cone-shaped clipping brush to keep people from floating on a square brush (the tower prop itself is not solid even when I tell it to use VPhysics - probably because it's a background prop and not originally meant for gameplay areas). Maybe the water tower will play a role in getting BLU up to the rooftop as an alternate route?

    Whew, that's a lot of words! :O Version a6 is in the works, and will incorporate many of these changes. I'll have to submit a future version for a later Gameday so we can test stage 3 (we didn't get to it because of the rock-solid defendability of stage 2 :().
     
  13. nik

    nik L12: Fabulous Member

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    sorry I wasn't there D:

    notify me of the next one
     
  14. PL-7764

    PL-7764 L6: Sharp Member

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    Page 5 bump!

    I've been out of town so I haven't been able to upload a6 until just now. There is still a lot I'd like to work on immediately, but I've decided that I'll just upload what I have now so I can have some new version out there.

    I debated for a while whether the upper area in stage 2 area 2 should be closed off or made more usable, and ultimately I went with more usable. BLU can now access it via a path from the sniper's deck in area 1, giving them an upper route and making the little porch formerly for snipers a little more useful to everyone. As the sniper porch was rearranged for the new BLU route, it has a few visual issues, namely the fact that there are places that appear open to bullets that are not due to a blockbullets brush used to keep snipers from ducking and shooting between props without the enemy being able to shoot them back.

    There is also a new set of stairs from a tunnel off to the side under the large silo in area 2 that will allow BLU easier access to the catwalk over the second CP.

    Second CP's platform is now larger, with the CP itself moved back a little further and the tunnel from RED's resupply now forcing them a little further back from said tunnel's exit before they can enter the battlefield (passing RED spawn was a problem during Gameday, and I can't find a place to route RED to that doesn't either create new problems or make that resupply room much less practical for stage 3, so I just made the route out a tiny bit longer). the func_respawnroomvisualizer has also been moved back to a less awkward position.

    More health and ammo has been added in stages 2 and 3, and one of the old ammo packs and health kits in each area has been upgraded from "medium" to "full" (so 1 full health and 1 full ammo in each stage now).

    More details in this one, but not many.

    Current things to work on for the next version:
    -Fix the former sniper platform in stage 2
    -Experiment with finally making some displacement cliffs
    -Try to get ground in various areas set up to become working set of sewable displacements

    New screens and a6 itself are finally up. Enjoy, and feedback is always appreciated! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009