Community mappack and beyond

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by SPHinx, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. SPHinx

    SPHinx L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:

    Hi all. This post is a kind of pitch/feeler for a community project idea that I think could be interesting.

    The main idea: TF2 World - A complete server rotation of community maps set in the illuminated locations from the wall_map model. (See the spy there in the picture, he's looking at it).

    That's 36 locations, 36 maps. And that sounds like a lot, but there are handfuls of new maps and new ideas coming out every day. 36 maps is really only a very small portion of the total work produced by, much less the TF2 mapping community. So if you are thinking about starting up a new mapping project, why not consider contributing to TF2 World?

    This is a simple enough idea, but one that offers the following benefits:

    For mappers

    • Like the unofficial community map project, TF2 World is a collective effort where others have a stake and interest in your work. This means you will get feedback from others in the project.
    • With 36 markers on the map, there is a lot of potential for inspiration and a lot of room for new ideas, textures, overlays, and themes. This is not to say that every map will needs its own theme and unique content, just that for those keen to develop such things, there is a lot of opportunity.
    • Although your work on the project contributes to the larger whole that is TF2World, this does not limit other channels for testing and/or playing your work. Your map still stands on its own.

    For players

    • Tired of the standard Valve rotation, but don't want to take your chances with some random, custom maps server that may not play up to snuff? TF2World is directed specifically at you! It aims to provide a cohesive collection of custom maps of the highest quality possible.
    • If you like a smidge o' role-playing in your FPS experience, TF2World provides just that. The map cycle will take you across the globe as you play out RED and BLU' international struggle for dominance in the world of stylized intelligence agencies.
    • Since the TF2World maps will be released in bundles (of a size yet to be determined), you don't have to search the web to find each individual map that you want to play.

    For servers

    • Custom maps are notorious for dropping players. Dedicating your server rotation to the TF2World project, however, advertises it as a unique variation, one which interested players can join and test out, and if they like, can look up on the web to download the full mappacks for themselves. This means, less people downloading the maps between map changes, and less people dropping because they don't want to wait to try some random custom map.
    • If and when the status and recognition of the project grows, a TF2World server will actually become a draw for players, offering an exciting alternative to the other server rotation structures.

    Whew! Cheers to you, if you made it through all that. If you're interested you can go here to find out a little more about what I had in mind. Or reply to this post with your ideas/thoughts/comments/etc.

    Below are some question/criticisms I can already imagine, so I would like see if I can't head them off a bit. But I should add that I'm posting this here in the hopes that all ye' smart folks in the community can help me to improve the project idea. So these plans are all pretty flexible at this point.

    Why 36 maps?
    I quite like the idea of building the theme around an object that is already standard in the TF2 universe. Why does the world map highlight those spots? Well, we get to sort of fill in that story. Which I think is kind of cool.

    That's way too ambitious! It will never happen.
    That's always a danger. 36 may be too much. What I'd like to do is release maps in chunks of 6, say, which I think is manageable. If 6 good maps are all that ever gets out there, that is still 6 good maps that people can be proud of. Even if 1 good map is all that ever gets out there, well . . . that's something. :p

    I have a map that will already work for one of those locations. If you've already got something in the works and want to be a part of the project, that's great. I also know of a couple community maps out there that may fit with the locations. If and when things start to move along, we can contact the authors and see if they would like to contribute. Using existing maps is fine by me, but I would really like it if we can get those talented map-makers whose work we use to be more involved with at least giving feedback to the other works in progress.

    Proof is in the pudding. What have you done?
    Ouch. But fair. So, I've got a project page up on the web. It is google sites, so if people are keen to help me develop the project, and you have a google account, you can be added as an administrator. 1 map is underway, soon to be alpha. Like I said, these are early stages here. But the more people who get involved, even if only with their biting criticisms, the better I think the project can be.

    Anyways, would love to know what the community has to say. Thanks for giving this a read.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  2. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

    Positive Ratings:
    It seems like an interesting idea, although the cons seem to outweigh the pros. Creating an entire set of custom content, just to convey a single location, and only making one map of it. Then repeating it 36 times. I think that modellers and texturers would be up-in-arms about it.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    sounds clever. will it have a storyline so we can figure out what's going on and where needs what gametype?

    I'd definitely be interested in joining after my current map
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. SPHinx

    SPHinx L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Oh, I should clarify. I wasn't thinking that each map would need a custom theme or anything. Maybe just an overlay or two. Maybe not even that. I think the standard materials + the models that are already available (like the jungle stuff, swamp stuff, etc.) are probably enough to work with for the majority. Plus, locations can always be interiors. Like those spots up in Greenland or Russia. Not much to do outside except freeze. ;)

    As for storyline, I'm not sure how deep one can get. But it's worth thinking about. I had thought that certain locations would suggest, at least, a resource or something to fight over. For example, there's one dot that appears to be at the Manic-5 generation station in Quebec, Canada. Not only is "Manic-5" a pretty cool map name, but a generator station seems like a good thing for RED and BLU to battle over. Whether that should be a KOTH or A/D or CP is hard to say. I say, let the mapper decide. I definitely want there to be a balanced mix of gametypes. And if possible, some BLU defend maps. If this can be arranged geographically and fit into a pretty sequence that makes narrative sense, so much the better.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009