Concept: Gauntlet MvM

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by x6herbius, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. x6herbius

    aa x6herbius

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    This came at me out of the blue this morning while thinking about the gauntlet-style gameplay of things like L4D2 finales: would it be possible to create a sort of reverse-MVM type map where instead of sitting somewhere and killing the robots coming towards you, you have to progress through the map with robots coming forward against you? Anyone who's played the custom L4D2 campaign Carried Off should know what I mean - the finale involves fighting all the way up an office building against an almost constant flow of zombies, which makes it great fun for teamwork, ammo management, route planning, etc.

    I'm not too familiar with what's possible and what's not within an MvM map since I've never made one myself, but I was thinking one of the players on the team should take the intel to certain checkpoints to unlock them, and each checkpoint represents a new "ready-up" period where you can cool off and buy upgrades etc, and after each checkpoints the robot waves get harder. If you get the intel all the way through the map then you win, but if you run out of time getting it to the next checkpoint then you lose. I guess this would involve making each wave last the total amount of time on the round timer for each round, and if the intel was delivered early the wave would be terminated. If the intel's dropped, it has three seconds before it's reset to the last checkpoint. The hardest thing I think would be to ensure that the players spawned in the correct checkpoint room for each stage.
     
  2. Garuda112

    Garuda112 L1: Registered

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    It would be an interesting game mode to try, though I think some fairly significant changes would be involved for making it work.

    I think the most practical method would be to style this game mode like an attack/defense map with multiple stages - that would hopefully address the checkpoint spawning issues, and indicate progress to players. Unless you want the map to be just one stage - in that case it might be designed like a 5 point Control Points map where after advancing far enough would trigger a forward spawn. In those cases you would just need some capture trigger.

    There might be some points to address regarding the gametype logic, being that MvM runs off killing the bots for victory, and the bots planting the bomb for loss. Since what's being said doesn't require either of those, I'm not sure how easy it would be to change the logic around. Then again, I'm no expert with MvM either. I guess as long as there is a spawner for bots and trigger an intelligence capture to change the round I could see this gametype working out. The rest of the logic you say about the wave/timer seems to work.

    The last thing I wonder about is the map design. Since players are now the ones needing to advance they would need more cover than what's provided when bots are the attackers.

    Hope this helps you think it out. I'd love to see this in action. Hmm...it would be also interesting to make it Payload style too, to destroy a Bot base. It would also make the capture logic feasible.
     
  3. x6herbius

    aa x6herbius

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    Purely going by how L4D2 plays, the problem I see with A/D stages is that they're generally short distance-wise and imply that the defenders don't move (ie. they stay put defending). The first is a problem because the satisfaction of a gauntlet finale comes from battering through the more or less constant oncoming hordes and completing the objective at the end, and the length of the trek to get there directly correlates with the time spent fighting the enemies, which in turn correlates with the difficulty of the task. If the stages were short then this would take away the endurance element from the challenge; if they were long, you also have to consider that if everyone dies (or if the flag is dropped for long enough to reset), the fighting essentially begins from the start of the route again. Temporary checkpoints within the stage would provide sub-objectives where once reached, players wouldn't have to restart completely from the beginning again (the equivalent of save points in a single player game) but this makes having A/D stages redundant as they were supposed to act as the checkpoints in the first place. The fact that A/D stages also imply that the defenders stay in one place and defend is contrary to the constant oncoming horde mechanic.

    I think the main problems are going to be: integrating the standard MvM "stages" where players buy upgrades etc., deciding how to structure the waves (ideally keep throwing robots at players until either the time runs out or the objective is completed - how to use/simulate "infinite" length waves? How to terminate waves once the objective is completed?) and getting the robots to target the players - as the usual objective for the robots is to find the bomb and then proceed to the hole, there needs to be a way for them to target the players instead.
     
  4. stegarootbeer

    stegarootbeer L2: Junior Member

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    The problem is bots don't do anything without an objective. If you wanted them to attack the players you would probably have to like parent a bomb to one of them or something silly like that and even then if the player the bomb is parented to dies what happens then? Actually as soon as I finished typing that i realized if the players job was to deliver their own bomb it might work but I'm not sure if you can let the players carry the bomb with MvM stuff enabled. I might try it when I get home.
     
  5. x6herbius

    aa x6herbius

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    Is it possible for the payload cart to be considered a "bomb" by the bots?

    EDIT: Just had a look at the TF2 entities and there's a tf_zombie_spawner now. I'm wondering whether it might be an idea to have the zombie NPCs spawn and act as the oncoming horde, and have one (or a few?) mega robot(s) per stage who are essentially locked in an area at the end until the intel is brought to unlock it. Then once the mega robots are killed the stage ends and the setup for the next one begins.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  6. Little Dude

    Little Dude L4: Comfortable Member

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    I guess what you could do for the bots to recognize the bomb as an objective is to either place the team flag used for the bomb or see how they make the facility hatch the objective and do the same for the bomb
     
  7. x6herbius

    aa x6herbius

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    OK, it looks as though the "hordes" might be achievable without tf_zombie_spawners - the support waves spawn infinitely until non-support waves have been eliminated. If the non-support wave, in the form of "boss(es)", is locked away at the end of the map, support will spawn until the players are able to get to and kill the boss. The big question now is to get the bots to focus on the humans, and to work out a condition for humans to lose (usually this is the bomb reaching the hatch, but if it's the players who are pushing something else needs to be proposed instead).
     
  8. takabuschik

    aa takabuschik

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    If this is possible and someone will try to do it, it has to be based on this

    EDIT: I might try to do something. but I don't think it will work.
     
  9. x6herbius

    aa x6herbius

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    OK, I've been experimenting and this is what I've found so far:

    The "cannot pick up intelligence" attribute can't be set on bots, so the supports can still carry the bomb. If there is no func_capturezone for Blue or no flag for them to carry then they won't move; if the capture zone is enabled they they'll move towards it, and if it's parented to anything then they'll act accordingly. If it's enabled and they get up close to it, they'll do the bombing animation to trigger the flag capture, but if it's not enabled then they'll just hang around it until it is. What I did manage to achieve was to place a Blue CTF flag that is able to be picked up by Red players, with the blue capture zone parented to it; because the flag is Blue it doesn't trigger the ending capture. When it's picked up, the flag disables the capture zone and so the bots (with nb_blind 1) will huddle around it or (with nb_blind 0) will chase the player with the flag; when it's dropped, the capture zone is enabled and the bots will jump into the flag to "deploy the bomb". I'm thinking this could be used as both a losing mechanic and as a way to make the bots follow the players; at the end of each checkpoint stage, the players must capture the flag somehow in order to open a door and face the boss, but will lose if they drop the flag and the bots get to it first.

    EDIT: Good news - I was afraid that if the bots started doing the deployment animation and you nabbed the dropped flag back that they would just end up animating underground, but apparently it cancels their deploy and they run after you again.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013