Contest #6: Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Contests' started by Ravidge, Jun 8, 2011.

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  1. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,543
    Positive Ratings:
    2,487
    [​IMG]
    It's time to vote! And this is the perfect place to do so.
    Below is a table that you can copy and paste into your own post to give your scores. You may also write comments to motivate your thinking, but this is entirely optional.

    Voting Closes: June 26th (sunday), at 20:00 UTC/GMT
    [Countdown clock link]

    Be sure to complete any unfinished votes, and check for mistakes. Thank you all for participating! The final result will be announced shortly (a few days perhaps) after the voting ends.

    But first some copypasta:
    Judging Categories
    There are 5 judging categories, each one has a different weight on the final score of the map.
    The Gameplay and Balance categories account for 25% each, Aesthetics and Performance account for 20% each while Technical is 10%.

    Gameplay (25% of final score) - Does the map have a good flow, is the layout intuitive? Are spawn timers correctly adjusted to create battles in the right areas? Is the map scaled properly, are the walk times between points of interest too long or short?
    Balance (25%) - Do RED and BLU stand an even chance of winning the map? Is there a fair contest for each control point? Can each class hold their own in the map? Is any one overpowered or underpowered? Is there a good distribution of health and ammo kits?
    Aesthetics (20%) - Is the map intricate and beautiful? Is there a high level of polish to the map? Does the map fit the style of TF2? Do the individual detailing choices make the map feel put together, or discordant? Is the environment visually pleasing?
    Performance (20%) - How well the map is optimized. Framerate, filesize, etc.
    Technical (10%) - Does the map have bad clipping? Does any spawns leave you stuck in the floor/wall? Does capture blocking work properly for all CPs?

    Important!
    Authors may NOT grade their own entries.
    You should rate each category for the maps on a 1-10 point scale (where 10 is the highest score, and 1 the lowest). No 0.5 scores!
    You must rate all categories for at least 8 asymmetrical AND 3 symmetrical entries (minimum) to have your votes counted in the final tally.

    Rate as many entries as possible! Thank you.

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout - - - - -
    Canyonfodder - - - - -
    Copperhead - - - - -
    Desertion - - - - -
    Frozen Assets - - - - -
    Mojave - - - - -
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn - - - - -
    Relay - - - - -
    Sekhmet - - - - -
    Ship - - - - -
    Slush - - - - -
    Zig - - - - -


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower - - - - -
    Croissant - - - - -
    Omen - - - - -
    Process - - - - -




    Copy the following and use in your post:
    [noparse]
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout - - - - -
    Canyonfodder - - - - -
    Copperhead - - - - -
    Desertion - - - - -
    Frozen Assets - - - - -
    Mojave - - - - -
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn - - - - -
    Relay - - - - -
    Sekhmet - - - - -
    Ship - - - - -
    Slush - - - - -
    Zig - - - - -


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower - - - - -
    Croissant - - - - -
    Omen - - - - -
    Process - - - - -

    [/noparse]
     
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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  2. Wilson

    aa Wilson Burial by Sleep

    Messages:
    1,256
    Positive Ratings:
    841
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 4 4 6 7 7
    Canyonfodder 6 6 7 7 9
    Copperhead 8 8 9 9 9
    Desertion 5 5 6 5 8
    Frozen Assets 3 2 1 3 5
    Mojave 8 8 9 7 9
    Pilolukpass 2 1 4 5 1
    Powderhorn 7 6 7 7 7
    Relay 6 7 7 8 6
    Sekhmet 7 7 8 8 9
    Ship 1 1 4 6 2
    Slush 7 7 8 8 9
    Zig 8 8 10 7 9


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 8 7 7 6
    Croissant 7 7 8 6 8
    Omen 7 7 7 8 7
    Process 8 8 8 8 9


    And done!

    EDIT: Did some last second changes.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  3. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

    Messages:
    983
    Positive Ratings:
    573
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout - - - - -
    Canyonfodder 6 6 6 7 6
    Copperhead 7 7 7 8 8
    Desertion 6 6 7 6 6
    Frozen Assets 2 5 3 7 4
    Mojave 7 7 7 7 6
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn - - - - -
    Relay 7 6 9 8 8
    Sekhmet - - - - -
    Ship - - - - -
    Slush 7 7 8 7 7
    Zig 8 7 9 6 9


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 8 8 8 7
    Croissant 7 7 7 7 7
    Omen 7 7 6 6 6
    Process 7 8 8 8 7

    Everything I rate will likely change as I play the map more (I usually debate between three ratings). So if somebody here is doing a Snark-like Excel sheet, don't put down my ratings until I do 'em all.

    Hey Authors of the Contest Maps: I'm gonna attempt to post detailed feedback in as many threads as I can, but won't do it immediately. I lack time. I'll post things below to remind me of what i want to say. But I'll post them to your threads at another time.

    Omen: Fubar, go into Hammer and turn on DW at the top. Fix the yellow that is on the ramps we go up. Specifically spire and the ramps from the water up. I don't have the time to thoroughly clipcheck but oh boy do displacements bother me greatly when they're DW'd improperly (DW is now a verb that means "unwalkable"). Detail is decent. Love the water rocket jumping.

    Copperhead: Super, I have more fun in this map than others, but because of its size and your whole brush limit thing, the walls are kinda bland and the tops of cliffs and the like are meh. I think you should go back to this map at another time (again) and remove a stage and make the other stages pretty. Or something.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  4. owly-oop

    aa owly-oop im birb

    Messages:
    817
    Positive Ratings:
    1,150
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 5 7 5 8 8
    Canyonfodder 7 8 6 8 8
    Copperhead POOTIS POOTIS POOTIS POOTIS POOTIS
    Desertion 6 6 4 7 7
    Frozen Assets 3 4 2 6 6
    Mojave 6 7 6 8 8
    Pilolukpass 5 6 6 6 4
    Powderhorn 7 8 8 9 9
    Relay 7 8 7 8 8
    Sekhmet 7 8 8 8 8
    Ship 3 5 6 7 7
    Slush 6 8 7 8 9
    Zig 7 8 9 8 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 5 6 8 8 7
    Croissant 9 8 9 10 10
    Omen 4 7 7 8 8
    Process 9 8 9 10 10


    I'll edit my post as I update stuffs

    comments

    I can't choose between croissant and process, theyre tied for me in every way.
    Same thing for clocktower and omen.

    Breakout: Interesting ideas, I feel confused playing around the B point, and I think the spawn exits for blu at point A aren't good.

    Canyonfodder: Congrats on getting 3 stages done. I feel that the aesthetics look boring, even if it's not geometrically. I think it could be with the boring lighting if that makes sense (it doesn't)

    copperhead: POOTIS

    Desertion: I have fun playing in the areas around the points, but I hate the points themselves. I this the first point is awkward and takes too long to cap. Everytime I've seen red defend 2-2, there was a 5 minute period of constant blu rushing and the point being a gigantic spamfestuntil blu wins because they have instant spawns + a big dropdown next to the point (and one of the spawns)

    Frozen Assets: I like the ideas a bit. I think it's too plain aesthetically, and the 2nd point favours red a bunch because of the long walking distance.

    Mojave: You didn't include a 3rd stage, shame on you. I really hate the lighting in this, to the point where it kills the map aesthetically for me. Red lighting would be fine if the red was toned down, and if almost every surface hit by the sunlight wasn't also red. I like the looks of 2-2. I remember there being a broken onewaydoor after the grace period that gets triggered by something else.

    Pilukupass: I hate the mapname. Some of the stuff is crazy, like the 90(?) second cap time for point A, and the 2 min setup time. I think the 2nd point is too far away from both teams, plus red's spawn is between the 2nd point and first point, making it hard for BLU. I don't like how blu comes out of a red building, it should look neutral or BLU.

    Powderhorn: I like this map, but I don't like the 2nd point so much. I naturally hate the gorge theme, so I might be biased a bit. I don't like how every room has this walkway + a cubbyhole that's almost identical in each room. The final point room is a bit bland. I also don't like the specular surfaces on the roofs around the map, they look silly (blame source), and they would look better without them.

    Relay: This map is pretty good, I have fun playing it. Some things I don't like includes the lighting. I might be a bit biased for hating haze lighting, because I think it looks like throwup. (mainly how it hits the black concrete texture). I think the lighting would go well with a heavier industrial theme. I think the layout is a bit flat, since the presence of the streets kinda restrict that.

    Sekhmet: Weird name o.o I liked this map, feels a bit long though. I don't like the second point, since the whole map is kinda big, but suddenly gets tiny at the 2nd point. From playing it, it felt too easy for red to hold it. I like the theme, but I think the indoor lights are too orange/peach.

    Ship: Really confusing, long respawntimes for red. I think the detail is nice, it just doesn't fit in tf2. It might, I think the cratespawn hurt the detail of the map though. I think this would make a great hidden:source map though.

    Slush: I think the map is too easy for red in general. I don't like that sentry spot next to the first point (the one that's next to the staircases). I think the area between 1-1 and 1-2 is confusing (understandable once you learn it). I don't like the last point for being impossible to cap :(

    Zig: Pretty map, cool assets. As blu attacking the first point I feel like I don't have many options. I like defending the 2nd point as red until blu pushes up more, because both spawn exits are next to eachother behind the only path to the 2nd point.

    I probably will change the numbers later. I have to go out of town, I leave thursday and come back tuesday. I can access the internet on my phone I think.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  5. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

    Messages:
    3,947
    Positive Ratings:
    5,305
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 6 5 5 6 6
    Canyonfodder 6 7 6 8 8
    Copperhead 7 7 8 7 8
    Desertion 8 7 7 8 6
    Frozen Assets 3 1 2 5 5
    Mojave 7 6 8 7 7
    Pilolukpass 3 3 5 6 7
    Powderhorn 7 7 6 6 8
    Relay 7 7 7 7 5
    Sekhmet - - 8 - -
    Ship 4 3 4 6 4
    Slush 7 7 7 8 6
    Zig 6 7 9 7 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower - - 7 - 7
    Croissant 6 7 6 8 7
    Omen 8 6 8 8 7
    Process 7 8 6 6 7


    Breakout was sort of fun, but the detailing was variable and the spawns unbalanced.
    Canyonfodder wasn't terribly interesting gameplay wise, but not bad.
    Frozen assets was terrible- unbalanced, dull, cramped, too huge a height difference, so poorly detailed.
    Piloluk was not bad. It was huge, and not well detailed, but the basic layout was good, and the detail had a nice sense of place.
    Relay's pretty cool. Gameplay didn't impress me- i still hold that the massive heights around spawn suck- but i loved it, and though the spytech and industrial detailing varied, i was in love with its out of bounds detail.
    Powderhorn is good, but i just don't think it's great. Everything- gameplay, detail, balance, all feels, well, good but not great. B-grade.
    Zig is beautiful, as we all know, but i dont like the gameplay. The transition between points feels like i'm being forced into a choke, and can be easily sniped from two of the exits. both the exits with the prop supports on are freaking tiny.
    Ship is a map with a lot of work in it. Detailing is not bad- big props to the guy for inventing his own theme, and creating an awesome impressive massive ship, but on playing, i disliked it- we actually switched early. It's too big, no thought has been given to team balance, spawncamping blu is easy as piss, too many massive heights with not enough clarity in routes between. DISCLAIMER: I've only played one round, so votes aren't at the quality i would want.
    Slush, um, i cant remember much about. Lots of dodgy clipping lost it technical marks is the only specific i can recall, even after staring at my notes for ages.
    Sehkmet i havent played. :( Earkham deserves cookies for creating it in such short time, though.

    Clocktower's darn pretty, if too dark. One of the two maps i have barely played- i think a 1vs1 is not good enough to vote for gameplay.
    Omen was enjoyable, though dear lord the clipping. The visuals were impressive, and i enjoyed it otherwise, though i thing the last point may be too hard to capture.
    Croissant was kinda fun, though i think is too goddamn experimental, particularly point 2/4. Lots of minor visual bugs bring the rating down from a 7/8 to a six- unsewn displacemnts, texture seams, pipes from nowhere to nowhere.
    Process was enjoyable enough, but i didnt like the detailing much. It felt like a bland, slightly generic alpine theme.


    Like Frozen, i plan to update these further on. Like Littleedge, i'll post feedback.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  6. umbratile

    aa umbratile

    Messages:
    2,289
    Positive Ratings:
    1,345
    This post is temporary. The ratings aren't all done and I might change some numbers later.

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 7 8 5 - 5
    Canyonfodder - - 8 - -
    Copperhead - - - - -
    Desertion - - - - -
    Frozen Assets 3 7 3 - -
    Mojave 8 7 9 5 7
    Pilolukpass 4 7 6 - -
    Powderhorn - - - - -
    Relay 8 9 8 - -
    Sekhmet - - - - -
    Ship - - - - -
    Slush 9 - 9 - -
    Zig 9 7 10 - -


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower - - 7 - -
    Croissant 5 8 5 - -
    Omen 9 7 8 - -
    Process - - - - -


    Comments

    Breakout: It has a fairly solid layout. Point B feels a little cramped though. I like the idea of the detailing but I don't think the prison/asylum theme is convincing enough. BLU's cell doors are a little strange and I don't like the division. I have not played it enough to pass judgement.

    Canyonfodder: Good layout that appears well balanced. It looks good in a "classic TF2" style that's missing in new maps these days, but it lacks something to set it apart from other maps. The lack of something special isn't exclusive for Canyonfodder, but it's noticeable because the rest of the aesthetics are good. I need to play a little more to judge it on technicalities and performance.

    Copperhead: I have barely played this, so no comment right now.

    Desertion: Same as above.

    Frozen Assets: A good effort, considering you appear to be new to TF2 mapping. It does, however, have the common problems of beginning TF2 maps. It's very overscaled and the layout isn't thought through enough. No final judgement on the performance/technicals yet.

    Mojave: This has a good and solid layout that seems to be balanced fairly. I have some gripes, namely the spammy point 1-A and the big doors of the 2nd stage's starting area. I'm very impressed with the detailing, you've certainly improved. The skybox's seams are very noticeable, but apart from that it's a very pretty, nice desert style.

    Pilolukpass: A promising map with some unfortunately big flaws. The layout is full of cool ideas, but unfortunately the map is far too big, both in terms of length (walking time and sniper lines) and height. In addition, the final point has an extremely weird position and you have to run throughout half of the map if you happen to fall down. The dead end in the sewer-ish place is very annoying. The theme is a little boring, but the lower area is a neat visual feature. HL2 gravel looks out of place, but otherwise no big flaws. Also, the spawn time is extremely long to the point where everybody is bored when the match finally begins, and the hole in the spawn gate is a technical flaw.

    Powderhorn: It's been far too long since I played it. Last time it seemed fairly balanced and pretty, but I need more experience with it.

    Relay: The layout seems very solid! It's fun and well balanced, the only thing I dislike is that the final point is rather spammy. I love the industrial theme, and with those roads all over the place you've pretty much made a new theme. I miss the (more) red sky, though!

    Sekhmet: It's been a while, so I need some more experience with this. Either way, I recall the layout being rather good, but the final point being almost impenetrable. That was several versions ago, though. Anyway, the Egypt theme is well executed.

    Ship: This could've profited well from some testing on our servers. I haven't played it enough to judge the gameplay yet, but my impression is that it is rather easy to flank BLU and defend the final point. What I can say, though, is that the aesthetics are... Well, they're a good effort, I'll give you that. Creating your entire own theme with mostly custom textures is no small feat. However, the style doesn't really fit TF2 at all. Some textures are far too clean and colorful (TF2 has a more painted, desaturated look) and the use of textures from other Valve games is never a good idea.

    Slush: This one has a really cool layout! I love the unique geometry and spaces, and how it all flows. It seems to be very well balanced between RED and BLU too. The style is a little different, in a good way. It nails the TF2 look and it's a great variation on the alpine/snow themes.

    Zig: As a 1-stage map, this has a very nice layout that fills that purpose well. However, as a map on it's own - which is how this contest is and should be judged - it's frankly a little underwhelming, and considering it's balanced to be a first stage, it's a bit too easy for BLU. I'm not saying it's bad, though - in fact it's up there among the best four or five of this contest. Oh, and it's the best looking map in this entire contest, definitely. Full score will be awarded for an excellent new theme that seems like a perfect, more northern spin on the good old alpine theme. The crystals are a nice touch too, even if the map would've looked just as good without them.

    Clocktower: I don't think I've played the entrant version of this map, but it had one big flaw last I played it; The 2nd point was extremely hard to access, in a much more annoying way than Badlands does it. Apart from that, though, it has a fairly good layout (a bit big in some places, but it works regardless, which is actually nice). The night/Halloween-ish theme is pretty well executed, and the clocktower is a perfect map-defining landmark and centerpoint that makes it stand out.

    Croissant: I have a love-hate relationship with the layout. Okay, no, I don't hate any part of it, I'm just annoyed that some parts are extremely long and open, such as the area outside of the 2nd point. Anyway, I think the geometry and the various paths is very creative, giving the map a fresh and unique feel. Could've done without the deathpit alongside the entire map, but the map is wide enough that this is rarely a big problem. The choice of making the middle point cappable from two different areas is both puzzling and interesting.

    Omen: A very strong layout here, with a fun mid that has a lot of height difference. The 2nd point is also fun, with all its shifting terrain, although the final point is a bit boring with its typical "indoor square room" layout. Props for keeping it simple and open, though. The balance seems good, although pushing out of the final point is not fun. It ends up being too spammy around the doorways, especially with a sentry. The look of the map is incredibly cool, and the skybox is a great icing on the cake despite being nearly non-existant.

    Process: I've barely played this. I found the theme a little uninspired but the layout was pretty neat.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  7. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

    Messages:
    1,764
    Positive Ratings:
    1,508
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 6 6 4 7 3
    Canyonfodder 5 6 7 8 7
    Copperhead 8 9 8 8 8
    Desertion 7 8 7 8 8
    Frozen Assets 2 4 1 6 10
    Mojave 8 7 8 8 8
    Pilolukpass 2 3 8 7 9
    Powderhorn 7 7 5 6 9
    Relay 8 9 9 8 9
    Sekhmet 7 8 8 7 9
    Ship 1 4 1 4 8
    Slush 8 8 8 7 9
    Zig 8 8 10 8 9


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 6 7 8 8 7
    Croissant 9 8 8 8 9
    Omen 7 7 9 7 9
    Process 8 8 6 8 7


    Croissant: very original layout with it's U shape, hole map feels really unique which i really like - not a badlands copy, the far routes feel really wide open - at least at first - which im not sure how i feel about, generally a fun and very balanced map.
    Process: No announcer sounds when you cap, not sure what to say about the layout, i kind of hate the connectors to 2nd but 2nd is very fun to fight around, last feels different, easy to pushout, hard to hold from what i've seen. mid is very similar to granary, but far less spammy.
    Desertion: I hate the 2nd point. everything about it, i hate. feels like a brick wall when pushing and holding yet blu seems to always get it at the last second or something. first 3/4 of the map is fun though, especially the yard between 1-2.
    Sekhmet: I also hate the 2nd point in this map. maybe i just hate 2nd points in gorge maps in general, but i prefer gorge's to both desertion and sekhmet's. i dunno about this map. it's very balanced, looks great, but i didn't find it really "fun." the width is constant throughout and it was just boring in general to me.
    Relay: From what i've played this map has exceptional balance, maybe a bit too easy for blu but you had a good amount of space to move and chokes were very fluid. I also really like how you used the asphalt roads. A is a lot fun, B is fun, and C is fun.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  8. Languid

    Languid L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    240
    Positive Ratings:
    232
    very very veryyyyy incomplete i have bad taste

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Breakout - - - - -
    Canyonfodder - - - - -
    Copperhead 8 8 6 8 9
    Desertion 7 7 7 8 10
    Frozen Assets - - - - -
    Mojave 5 6 8 8 10
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn 7 6 8 8 10
    Relay - - - - -
    Sekhmet 6 6 7 8 10
    Ship 2 2 2 8 10
    Slush 8 7 7 8 10
    Zig 6 5 10 8 10


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Cocktower ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Croissant 8 8 5 8 10
    Omen 6 7 6 8 10
    Process 8 8 7 8 10


    I will try to play/mark others later and add specific comments cause you all deserve them. Might be in the threads for extra flavour
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  9. Tekku

    aa Tekku

    Messages:
    681
    Positive Ratings:
    702
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 4 7 3 7 4
    Canyonfodder 7 8 7 6 9
    Copperhead 9 9 9 8 9
    Desertion 7 8 9 7 8
    Frozen Assets 2 3 1 2 3
    Mojave 8 9 9 9 9
    Pilolukpass 3 3 5 5 4
    Powderhorn 8 8 7 8 8
    Relay 7 8 9 8 7
    Sekhmet 8 8 8 7 9
    Ship 1 1 3 5 3
    Slush 7 8 7 8 9
    Zig 6 8 10 4 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 4 7 6 5 7
    Croissant 9 9 9 10 8
    Omen 7 8 7 8 7
    Process 8 7 7 7 8



    Will update and comment every map in this post as soon as i'll play the last maps left to play.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  10. Loc_n_lol

    Loc_n_lol L10: Glamorous Member

    Messages:
    726
    Positive Ratings:
    273
    Temporary. Oft missing is perf/technical, as I need to check it out in single player to give any kind of score, it's the kind of thing that is only obvious when it's really bad, and none of the maps stick out too bad for me.

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Breakout 7 9 6 9 8
    Canyonfodder 8 8 8 9 9
    Copperhead 9 8 8 8 7
    Desertion 8 8 7 8 8
    Frozen Assets 4 2 4 7 5
    Mojave 9 7 9 9 9
    Pilolukpass - - 6 - -
    Powderhorn 7 9 7 7 9
    Relay Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope
    Sekhmet 8 7 8 5 7
    Ship 3 6 3 9 5
    Slush 8 7 8 10 5
    Zig 7 7 9 7 9


    I've yet to play pilolukpass. I can already see where it's going to fail, but I'd like some sort of first-hand experience in real conditions to give any scores.

    Breakout: this map is inconsistent in both gameplay and detailing, there are areas that seem poorly thought out (pretty long sightlines and open spaces around A), some detailing that is noticeable by the lack of it, or just doesn't fit well with established tf2 style, and at other times, it hits just right. Overall, I find the map is fun, balanced (in particular, I feel there's a spot for every class) and has some visually interesting areas, but could have been better. My FPS are beast, probably because 95% of the map is indoors and the outside is very barely detailed. No outstanding technical issues though I can easily find some props to get stuck into if I really want to.

    Canyonfodder: hmm... the more I try to write about it the more I realize I don't know what I truly think of it, need to play again and more carefuly.

    Copperhead: Also inconsistent in detailing, I just find some texture choices questionable, and then there are instances of stuff that doesn't look right, like the water seams, or the whole red spawn on stage 2. Some of this can probably be attributed to the size of the map, 3 fully detailed stages certainly took more work than most competitors did, and overall, super did a very good job of giving a sense of grandeur and beauty. Gameplay flows well, distances are about right (cap 1-2 may be a little far from blu spawn for a first stage cap, which makes it hard in some cases). And of course the final cap can be tricky but that's to be expected. Performance was alright at worst, but I'm lowering the technical score due to a number of props and geometry not being clipped where it could have been (not a good idea to hug some walls). Also one instance of a bulletproof window that looks perfectly transparent to me on third stage cap 2 ?

    Desertion: Functions well enough overall but with some rough edges in gameplay (some long sightlines and quite open spaces between A and B and one sightline that goes through A building right into blu spawn). Detailing is good overall, but lacks jaw-dropping awesome, also lighting is overall too dark for my taste in all of the indoors parts. I see performance issues have been fixed. Some minor clipping problems still (though I must point out I've been actively looking for them, not happening upon them while playing), but steps have been taken to prevent them in the most travelled areas.

    Frozen assets: The layout is alright, but the distances are too long, too many long, wide corridors to finally reach the final cap, this distance stretches the attackers and means their reinforcments are easily picked apart by red roamers, and the point itself is quite easily fortified, which means only the most coordinated blu team stands a chance to win against a vaguely competent red team. Detailing is quite bare bones and the overscaling only makes this more obvious, also some questionable texture choices (cap A is like, RED!), and unaligned textures can be found here and there. You still get credit for things that others would take for granted such as using tf2 textures, for the most part of the good kind, a few decent detail rooms and studying the basics of carpentry. My FPS are alright when playing this map, not a terribly impressive feat considering the lack of detail but at least areaportals were used where they make sense, reducing a lot of unnecessary polys being drawn. Still it could be improved, particularly where displacements are involved (those don't cut vis at all you know ?). There isn't so much detail that it's usually a problem, especially with those wide areas, but props and protruding geometry aren't clipped, also there's a spot in blu spawn that can be built on (and presumably, where switching classes will kill you).

    Mojave: Interesting layout. I'm not a superfan of one-way doors as it feels like a cheap trick, but I must admit it works. Overall feels balanced, I'm not sure if cap 1-1 being tricky is just a case of team stacking or if it's too hard to cap, it doesn't help that red gets all the height and health initially. I like the detailing very much, though I'm not completely sure about the red light_env. Indoors lighting shows great care. Performances are good, mostly because the layout doesn't let you see more than you're meant to, and on the technical side, seems like most walls you may reasonably try to hug have been taken care of, except for those mining tunnels.

    Powderhorn: Fairly small but well-crafted, it plays well enough though the last point is a little cramped for my taste. I like that there are opportunities for all classes to shine. Detailing is good overall but with some abrupt texture transitions here and there (rock/soft ground, red wall/white wall). FPS are a little lower than average in places, because of long sightlines in the first half of the map. Clipchecking/model collisions nearly perfect.

    -to be continued-

    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Clocktower 8 7 8 7 6
    Croissant 10 9 9 9 7
    Omen 9 8 9 9 10
    Process 10 8 8 8 8


    Yes, I have a thing for croissant. :p

    EDIT: updating my votes and providing basic explanations
     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  11. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    800
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 2 4 5 9 8
    Canyonfodder 6 5 5 5 7
    Copperhead 8 8 8 7 7
    Desertion 7 7 7 7 9
    Frozen Assets 1 1 1 9 9
    Mojave - - - - -
    Pilolukpass 1 2 3 6 6
    Powderhorn 6 7 8 7 8
    Relay 9 8 8 7 8
    Sekhmet 8 7 9 9 8
    Ship - - 1 - -
    Slush 7 7 7 8 9
    Zig 4 5 10 9 9


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 5 9 8 7 7
    Croissant 6 9 6 7 7
    Omen 7 9 9 8 8
    Process 5 9 6 7 6
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  12. WastedMeerkat

    WastedMeerkat L3: Member

    Messages:
    144
    Positive Ratings:
    142
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 05 05 04 07 07
    Canyonfodder - - - - -
    Copperhead 09 09 08 09 10
    Desertion - - - - -
    Frozen Assets 03 04 04 07 07
    Mojave - - - - -
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn 06 05 08 06 09
    Relay 08 07 08 09 10
    Sekhmet 08 09 08 10 10
    Ship 02 03 05 07 08
    Slush 09 08 07 09 10
    Zig 09 08 10 10 10


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 08 09 08 08 10
    Croissant 07 07 08 08 10
    Omen 08 08 09 09 10
    Process 08 07 09 09 10


    I'm just going to go ahead and post this here. These scores aren't final, and I'll need to add more, anyway. I'm not sure if I'm going to give detailed critique on every map, but it's a possibility. Also, can we get a final vote closing date/time? I don't have any idea when to have my votes finished, so I'm not sure how urgent this is.

    EDIT: Putting zeros in front of one-digit numbers makes 10s sort properly. Yes. I am OCD sometimes. Also, I asked in chat and Rav said he would end voting in about 2 weeks, give or take a few days. (as of 6/10/11)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  13. DannBo

    DannBo L1: Registered

    Messages:
    27
    Positive Ratings:
    13
    Filling these out as I test them (I put a lot of 10's for Performance, as I didn't really have any performance issues on any of them, but that may just be because I have a strong computer):

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 8 8 6 10 8
    Canyonfodder 9 8 7 10 9
    Copperhead 10 9 8 10 9
    Desertion 9 10 5 10 10
    Frozen Assets 7 6 2 10 6
    Mojave 7 9 6 10 6
    Pilolukpass 6 6 7 10 7
    Powderhorn 7 6 7 10 6
    Relay 10 10 9 10 10
    Sekhmet 7 7 10 10 9
    Ship 2 5 4 8 8
    Slush 10 10 6 10 8
    Zig 8 9 10 10 10


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 8 10 10 9
    Croissant 7 9 8 9 8
    Omen 10 10 10 10 10
    Process 7 10 8 10 8


    Breakout - My Overall Rating: 8.0

    I thought the strongest point of this map was the concept of there being a jailbreak. I've seen it implemented before (cp_jailbreak), but this map did a much better job of it. I really love how Blu start's in jail cells which open into the spawn room. Having the gates to outside world open up upon BLU winning were also a great idea. There is plenty of room for improvement, however.

    The first thing I noticed was how big the building is. It could be scaled down a bit and have more detail added to it, such as security stations and monitors, along with more walls of empty jail cells (or perhaps not empty, you could put some animated dynamic prop blu guys stuck back there as well, maybe even some reds, like the ones in thundermountain). Adding a couple things like that here and there across the map will really give it the aesthetic feel of a large jail house.

    Also the outside looked particularly underdeveloped with missing parts of buildings and the edge of the map being thrust right up against the exits. I'd open this area up a bit more and add some more visual indicators of there being an end to what the player can travel so they aren't just walking up against nothing at the end of the map.

    There were only a couple issues I noticed in terms of balance. The first point was often fairly hard for a team to capture, and this could be fixed by sizing the whole area down a little but (but not too much, don't want it to get cramped either). Experimenting with this might yield some interesting results, particularly on servers with many players.

    This map shows signs of becoming a great 3-map attack/defend map. I really like what the author implemented and look forward to seeing the final version.

    Canyonfodder - My Overall Rating: 8.55

    This was a particularly interesting map. What it lacked in aesthetics it made up for in complexity. With all the various intricate paths, balconies, one-way doors, it can be very confusing. This could be easily remedied by adding plenty of arrows with signs saying which point they go to. With that little bit of navigation players will spend a lot less time getting lost, particularly if they are new to the map. I'm not sure I even found all the possible paths there is to take (I had a hard time finding the first point as BLU, and so did RED team). But once I found my way the map a little bit after playing through the whole thing on both sides it was a whole lot of fun. I really enjoyed this map.

    The aesthetics, as I mentioned before, could use a little work. Right now it is pretty standard looking, which is fine, but not any part of it really catches my eye. The final point didn't really feel like it was a final point. It didn't seem to be around anything important enough to be captured. The large radio tower looming over the map is a nice touch, but it could use a little more (perhaps more than one? I know the maker is avoiding gimmicks and focusing on gameplay, which I can respect, but the background could still be touched up a bit). Making the smokestacks a little taller would also make it more interesting looking. This may be because you haven't gotten to it yet, but a lot of the walls and floors look kind of empty and plain. I'd recommend adding posters (along with the arrow signs mentioned before), paint marks, rubble, etc. to give it a more detailed look.

    There only a couple things in terms of balance worth noting. Right now it's current setup it seems like it's rather difficult to defend as RED, as there was a barely a time when BLU didn't power through each point (though a good RED team could stop them if they had plenty of people that knew the map). I'd recommend making a few tweaks here and there to give RED more of an edge and more places to defend the points.

    Besides the couple of things mentioned above, this was a really really fun map. I can tell the maker went to a lot of work, especially being a full three stages, all fully developed to near perfection. I can't wait to see it get completed! Great job!

    Copperhead - My Overall Rating: 9.25

    I really look forward to this map being finished. The only thing really keeping from giving this a full 10 is because the aesthetics and balance are a little rough in a couple areas, which is to be expected with a beta of this stage. The last two stages were the strongest of the three, both in balance and aesthetics. The background of the map is superb, particularly with the ocean. My only complaint with the aesthetics is that a lot of walls looked plain and sometimes featureless. When you get around to it, I'd recommend adding more details to the walls and natural ground (the cleaner look is more appropriate for the later interior setting). Arrows, signs, patches of paint, rubble, that sort of thing. A couple buildings in the background also seemed a bit dull looking, and I'd try to add some more features to them. The first stage was also a little bit generic looking compared to the following stages. I would recommend adding a couple more things here and there to make it stand out. (The second point appears to just be a barn, which seems a little underwhelming).

    The balance on the first two maps was a little off. Every time I've played them, BLU has captured the points with relative ease. The first stage is balanced fairly well for a first stage. BLU has a slight advantage on capturing the points, though I can see the intermediate distance between the first and second stages slowing them down if RED is defending well. Because of this, it's a bit iffy on balance, and would really require a bunch more play throughs to see if anything needs any changes (having BLU getting on stuck on points for 10 minutes isn't good either, so you don't want to make it too easily defended either). On the second stage, the first point was balanced perfectly. I don't think it needs any changes. The second capture point is a bit more iffy. A team with plenty of medics can defend it well, but otherwise it can be a bit hard to defend and easy for BLU to cap. The third map was perfect in terms of balance in my opinion. The final point, including all the paths that BLU could use to attack and all the ways RED could defend, it was a very fun climax for the map.

    Overall, an outstanding job for a beta at this stage. Keep up the good work, and it'll be perfect. Awesome work! Loved it!

    Desertion - My Overall Rating: 8.75

    Desertion was a pretty solid map in terms of gameplay and balance. There were plenty of ways to get out of spawn (though all being positioned on the same face of the spawn building may lead to spawn camping, would recommend making some side routes as well) and tackle the first point. The last point was fairly dependable, though very wide and open. Neither of the points were two hard or easy to capture. Although only a two point, one stage map (I don't know whether or not more are in the works), it is fairly dynamic and replayable, much like a desert version of gorge. However, having a second stage would certainly make it more so.

    The main complaints I have are with the visual aspect. It looks like a slightly lighter and more linear version of Dustbowl. The large barns are a nice touch though. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table and ends up looking a little dull. Adding more farming/mining equipment here and there would help aesthetically. Right now it looks like a bunch of rocks, boulders and barns (the final point is probably the strongest aesthetically. Also the 3D skybox, while not a big part of the map, since it's not particularly visible, looks like it wasn't scaled properly. Large steep hills of sand surround the map rather tightly. I don't know if these were supposed to look like mountains in the distance or what, but I would recommend expanding that out a bit with a little more detail.

    Besides a couple aesthetic things here and there though I thought it was a fairly strong map overall and I applaud the maker(s) in their efforts.

    Frozen Assets - My Overall Rating: 6.26

    The first thing I noticed when I was downloading this map was that it was in alpha testing, and it shows. I'm not entirely sure why the maker entered this map in such early stages of development. That being said, I'm not entirely sure what I should say about it. Right now it has a lot of issues, and not just with aesthetics.

    In terms of gameplay and balance, as well as aesthetics, the whole map seems way overscaled. All the buildings and hallways are absurdly large and open. These need to be trimmed down a lot. Not only does it look bad, but it leads the map to being much bigger than it really should be. Without a forward spawn, BLU has to rely solely on teleporters to get anywhere near the final point (I don't know if more stages are in the works or not). I'd also up the amount of time it takes to capture the first point, since this is only a two-cp map.

    Moving on to more aesthetic things, the textures need a whole lot of work. Right now everything is bland and undetailed looking (though I kind of liked the mine shaft), which is to be expected in an alpha. Be careful choosing textures, as some were not meant to be used in the way you are using them. For example, I saw the metal door texture being used a lot for walls and ceilings, and this doesn't look very good. I'd also recommend making use of the door frame objects and overlays to give your doorways a much less blocky feeling. I would definitely recommend fixing the layout in the way mentioned above before starting to add details.

    All this being said, this map still needs a lot of work, and I'm sure the author is already at work making improvements on it, and I wish him/her the best of luck with it.

    Mojave - My Overall Rating: 7.8

    This may just be me being tired of desert maps, but this is pretty generic looking, particularly the first stage. The displacements aren't very detailed and are blocky looking. The skybox scenery is very bland and there aren't any mountains or anything visibly in the background that stands out against the rest of the map. It's just very dull looking and it gets tiresome on the eyes since it's all the same color. The second stage improves on this a bit with more industrial areas, and it'd be nice to see more of that in the first stage as well.

    While it's fairly well balanced it doesn't flow all that well. The first stage should be a bit more dynamic than it is right now. The way it is currently is the second point of the first stage is functioning like the second stage should, giving attackers a long time to attack and making it easier to defend. Less time should be spent here, and this can be easily remedied by making it harder for RED to defend while giving BLU less time to attack. Tweaking the balance that way could improve the flow of the map greatly so you don't spend 10 minutes on the same point for each one.

    On the other hand, it's very straight forward; I didn't once find myself getting lost and I never thought like anything was out of balance with points being either too easy or too hard to capture. Overall, I'd say working on the aesthetics a lot and tweaking the gameplay a bit to make it flow much more smoothly without getting stuck so much on intermediate points.

    Pilolukpass - My Overall Rating: 7.10

    I get the feeling that maker might have gotten a bit carried away in the making of this map. It has a lot of excessive areas to it that make it quite a confusing map to navigate without there being much benefit for having those areas in the first place. It took me a while to find the first point way off to the side. Arrows and signs indicating which point they go to, a common suggestion I seem to be making, will help a lot with navigation. There is one major flaw with the map in it's current state. It really has enough areas to suit a three point gravelpit style map, but for some reason it only possesses two. The large train tunnel seems like it's not really there for any particular reason other than to give a new way for RED and BLU to attack each other. Except it opens up past the first point...making it not much more than a place for snipers to spawncamp BLU's spawn. I'd recommend either expanding this area to include another intermediate point that you have to capture to unlock the final point, and then perhaps providing a forward spawn for BLU to capture the last point.

    This isn't the only area that needs fixing. The layout overall is quite awkward, particularly the train to the left of BLU's spawn. Having it there is quite obtrusive and just seems in the way of the battle. The lower parts and the tunnels of the map also seem strangely organized. It's incredibly difficult right now for BLU to get to the first point if RED has any kind of defense set up there, since the only ways there are through the train tunnel which opens up past the point, the lower tunnel, which opens up past it, walking on top/behind of the train which is just a big bottleneck right now, and finally walking up the stairs from the lower path which gives RED quite a large height advantage. The only time I ever saw the final point get capped was when BLU team just snuck behind with a spy or soldier and started capping it. As RED I was defending where BLU generally was shortly after the first point, and by the time I made my way to the final point, it was already fully captured.

    What this map really needs is some adjustment of the cps and some trimming and redesigning of the layout. That being said, the aesthetic aspect of it is fine. I'd work on detailing the walls and textures a bit more and making use of overlays and door frame objects to make the doorways seem less blocky looking. Also a pretty glaring bug is having the top of BLU's spawn isn't clipped properly so that not only can people shoot through it, a Soldier or demoman can hop right up there (though he can't crouch through it, just stand on top shooting) before the round even starts. A block bullets brush needs to placed along this whole section.

    Overall, this map needs some trimming and fixing, but is easily salvageable with a little work and more playtesting. I wish the author the best of luck.

    Powderhorn - My Overall Rating: 7.25

    This is a couple steps from being a really decent map. My main two issues with it are that A: It is only one stage and only possesses two points, which harms its replayability (Gorge is setup similarly but for reasons I can't put my finger on it executes it much better) and B: There are two absurdly distinct portions of the map, one looks like something straight from sawmill the other straight from gorge, which are kind of smashed together in a way that really makes them clash together.

    Both of these issues could be solved in one go, though it would require a fair amount of work. Already in place is a small transitional part which is a small section of cave. I think it would be spectacular if you stretched this part way out to include a second intermediate point there following the first point. This way there is now three points in the stage and the beginning and ending don't clash as much. The cave was the strongest part aesthetically of the map too. A large cavern with entrances on all sides surrounding the point, accompanied with the needed sheds and defensive stations would make this map spectacular. Right now, I get bored of it rather quickly.

    A couple other small suggestions I have would be to add a lot more arrows to make the paths to the points much more straight forward so that players never find themselves going "Wait...am I going the right way?" This is a common problem that I see with a lot of the submissions and it isn't as noticeable here, but it would be a nice improvement. Also, the first point is really weak aesthetically. It's an old barn that's indistinguishable from any of the scenery. There should be at least something noteable about to make it stand out, like a switch that opens doors into the cave or something. Also I'd recommend, if nothing else, to put some windows on the top of the shed much like the ones at point B on gravelpit. That'd make it a bit more interesting to defend/attack.

    The final point needs some work as well. Currently it is very wide and open with RED team exiting the spawn direclty into the room. I'd try to design the spawn room much like the one on Gorge, so there is a little intermediate area between the spawn and the final point area with more doors going to more locations. This way RED isn't spawning right on the point and they aren't getting spawn killed when BLU is pushing in. Adding some more structures like barriers would also make it a little less open and more dynamic to defend and attack.

    Overall, I'm fine with the aesthetic choices you made, there just needs to be more transition and perhaps another intermediate point in the middle somewhere to ease the flow of the map so it isn't so jarring to go from Sawmill to Gorge. A couple tweaks on the first and last points as well will make this as good a map as Gorge or Manor/Mountainlab (if not better).

    Relay - My Overall Rating: 9.8

    This is probably one of the strongest maps on this list. The level of detail that went into the making of this map is unprecedented. Each of the points was perfectly balanced, all of the spawns were well designed, and the aesthetics were superb. I absolutely love the expansive 3D skybox displaying the urban industrial environment of hangars, cranes, smokestacks/factories, parking lots with trucks, etc. The map itself was great too with its driveways and custom made (are they? I haven't seen them before) cars/trucks. I think that Valve could (and should) easily pick up on this map in its current condition.

    The only issue I had with it was the lighting of the map. I know there are a lot of maps here set at night time, but I think that kind of environment (or perhaps dusk, rather than sunset/sunrise) would work really well with this map, as you could light it up with street lights and various other sources. I'd also experiment (if you haven't already) with trying different daytime environments. Right now, even with all the detail it rubs off a little dull looking after a while, and I think this is mainly because of the low lighting. Increasing the brightness of the lighting so you have areas that are lighter than others (so that those locations stand out against the darker areas) would keep it from getting dull.

    I think the maker of this did an absolutely brilliant job with this, and I certainly hope Valve considers adding this officially to the game. The only thing left to try out with it would be experimenting with the lighting in various places to give it a more dynamic look. Overall though, wonderful job!

    Sekhmet - My Overall Rating: 8.4

    My first impression of this map was cp_egypt by night. While making good use of all the egypt textures and stylings, it's surprisingly distinct in it's appearance from egypt. The nighttime environment certainly gives it an edge. I really liked the look of it overall, though nothing in particular caught my eye, I thought the maker did a really good job with it. The layout could use a little work though. The BLU spawn starts out on the far side of a fairly large expanse with RED team not only having full view of every spawn exit but also having a height advantage.

    Though this isn't a huge problem, and a good team can press out of spawn without too much trouble, it is very conducive to spawn camping. While I like the small tunnel on the side, it exits only a few feet away from the main exit facing the same direction. I would extend this tunnel more to the left and exit on the side of the expanse, and perhaps have a right exit doing something similar. I would also recommend decreasing the spawn times for BLU down from 22 seconds to something like 15 seconds. Though this may be less necessary if you have already taken the stuff mentioned above into consideration.

    Another potential issue, though this isn't as big a deal is that it has lots of tight twists and turns between points. More arrows are always nice, though I myself didn't particularly find myself getting lost, as the map was designed fairly linearly. However, on a server with 12 v 12 or more (though I can understand if it was designed for less than 12 v 12), I can see a lot of these areas becoming huge choke points. The health and ammo packs are spread nicely enough that engineers can't camp these spots so easily, but a couple medic/heavy, medic/demo, medic/soldier pairs could hold these off quite effortlessly. Opening the tighter areas up just a little bit should solve this.

    Overall, I enjoyed the map, and wish there was more stages. With a little tweaks on BLU's spawn area and exits, this should turn out to be a pretty decent map (it really already is).

    Ship - My Overall Rating: 4.95

    I feel like I'm being fairly harsh in my ratings here, but let me explain my issues with this map. I was told that this was done for a student project, and I can tell that a fair amount of work went into this, with a plethora of custom textures and the complexity of the map itself. However, it seems like it's in the wrong place. It doesn't adhere to any of the aesthetics of TF2, looking more like something out of a Quake III: Arena engine game. I think this would be a good map for specialized game modes like Hide and Seek/Prop Hunt and RPGs. Right now as a capture point map...it's not really that fun to play. There are next to no directional arrows telling you where to go and I found that a lot of the paths I took made me go around in circles or led me to a dead end (it didn't even have any health or ammo packs...just no reason to be there at all). The layout is just excessive for a basic tf2 mode.

    While I applaud the amount of custom textures used, more focus could have been put on the quality. They're lack of detail and flatness contributes to its Quake III look. Spending more time on these, adding shading and cubemaps would make the map look much better. A lot of textures that are supposed to be metallic end up looking like plastic. Making more shiny textures would give a much more sci-fi look. At first I thought I was in a submarine, until I saw the backdrop of stars outside (which looked a little pixelly). The glass was also hardly noticeable. I'd recommend using one of the textures with the little fencing on top to give you a sense that something is actually separating you from the dark void of space beneath or beside you.

    Overall, I'd say that this should configured more for specialized game modes rather than basic game modes like capture point. It just isn't the kind of layout and look that's conducive to being a fun attack and defend map. The only thing that could really improve it for being an attack and defend map would be chopping a huge amount of the map off so and adding much more directional arrows to help players find their way. Regardless of what you do, the texturing also needs a lot of work. I don't know if the author plans on updating this since it was a school project (that is if it was a project, I'm not sure...that's just what I heard), but it needs to find a direction to go in. Either make it a specialized mode map or start cutting down on the excess to make it an attack and defend map.

    Slush - My Overall Rating: 9.0

    This was a pretty solid map. I'm afraid I don't have as much to say as some of the other entries, but that may be because there's not that much room for improvement. In terms of gameplay and balance, it's as solid as you can get. I have no discrepancies with the layout of the map at all and it was a lot of fun to play. My only complaints was that it was not very aesthetically pleasing and nothing really stood out to me in it's cosmetic design. By cosmetic design I mean things like giant lasers or rockets standing out the background, blocked off espionage rooms, computers, nothing that really makes the setting of this map unique.

    Right now it looks a little like the half way point between Viaduct and Gravelpit. I'm ok with the pseudo-snowy (slush obviously) conditions of the map, but I think you could do a little more towards that. You could include little splotches of snow on the roof tops and even little strings of trickling melting water combined with puddles where the snow has melted. The sky was also very bland and cloudy looking, and I'd recommend tweaking it a bit so that perhaps there is a break in the clouds where the yellowy sun is peaking out. It's sort of late-day cloudy look leaves a lot to be desired. Making it a brighter and more strongly lit map would help a lot aesthetically.

    Overall, I think that nothing needs to be changed in its layout, as it probably has the most solid gameplay of anything on this list. Putting some work into making it more aesthetically pleasing will go a long way and would be sure to make this map a real popular hit.

    Zig - My Overal Rating: 9.25

    This was the first out of these maps that I played and I thought it was a pretty fun, albeit small map. Aesthetically it was perfect. The design of the rocky terrain and surrounding area is superb and unique. I loved it. The crystals were a little strange and out of place looking but I can live with that (perhaps some more mining equipment by it?) In terms of gameplay I have few complaints. The first point is perfect in terms of balance. The second is a little awkward. I wouldn't say it's too easy or hard to capture, but defending it and trying to attack it is really...icky. While there are side-paths they open up a fair distance from the actual point, so it doesn't make much difference which route you take. The point itself is a little claustrophobic with RED spawning right next to it with a couple small platforms on the side.

    This brings me to my next point which is the map overall is a little too tightly bound. It's relatively narrow design funnels players so that there is really only one way to attack a point. Opening the area before the first point (width wise) would ease that claustrophobic feeling a little and making area surrounding the point, including the main structure larger and a little more open would make it much less awkward to attack and defend. I've heard that a second stage is already in the works for this map so I can't really say much about its replayability, though I'd definitely say it will benefit in replayability from having a second and even a third stage. Playing that same first stage over and over got a little tiresome.

    Overall, I was greatly impressed by this map and look forward to the final product. The only thing that really needs to be done is open it up a little more so it is less claustrophobic. The only other thing I have to say is keep up the good work!

    Clocktower - My Overall Rating: 8.9

    The first impression I got from this map was it is just dying to become a Halloween Event map. Playing it right now is like playing Cp_Manor without the presents and Horseman. This isn't a bad thing, but something like that would give it an extra edge to make it a really fun map (though I'm not really sure whether that's within your power or not, since Valve controls all the official events). That being said, it still stands as a really well designed map. The aesthetic feel is great. It has a spooky rural feeling to it that I could only compare to harvest_event. I especially like the design of the clocktower itself.

    Gameplay-wise though, I have a couple complaints. While the middle point is set up just fine, the penultimate and final points (on either side of course) could use some work. When I played it I found a lot of the battle happening at the center of the map regardless of what points were captured. The only way points were actually captured were by scouts running behind enemy lines. This might just be a product of the way the game happened to be working out, but I do think that the end points are very scout reliant. The penultimate and final points are so close together that as soon as one point gets captured the final point is already getting captured which only takes a couple seconds to cap, giving red very little time to respawn let alone even move back. Badlands has this same problem to a certain extent but it is much more noticeable here. I would recommend making the final point more defensible and increasing the distance between it and the penultimate point. Decreasing spawn times on defense, particularly when the enemy team is approaching the final point, would probably help with this as well.

    Overall, I enjoyed playing it, but because the battle was mainly centered around the middle point, I got bored of it after a round or two. A couple tweaks here and there will make it a perfect harvest meets 5gorge.

    Croissant - My Overall Rating: 8.2

    I like the direction the author took with this one. I especially like the design of the final points. However, it suffers overall from being too big. The middle point was a little awkward since there was an upper part and a lower part that could both capture the point. I often found myself standing there with a couple teammates seemingly alone when the point would suddenly get blocked inexplicably, only to find there was a spy hiding in the corner below us interrupting the capture. I realize this design was on purpose, but I found it a bit off-putting.

    I got lost a couple times along the way, and it could benefit from having more directional arrows with signs indicating which point they go to. That would make the pathways much easier to follow since the map stretches out pretty wide. I'd also recommend either squeezing the map in a little tighter or perhaps adding more things in the large open expanses. I also had trouble finding healthpacks and ammo. While the map overall is fairly aesthetically pleasing, besides the final point, it really all looks the same. I'd add some more distinct things to the penultimate points to distinguish them more from the rest of the map, as well as the areas around them.

    I encountered a couple bugs with the water, including graphical artifacts that may come from the cubemap or something else. I also though the water in general was a little awkward since it instant killed you on touching it. The skull signs were a nice touch but I'd recommend also putting in a small fence along some areas.

    Besides these issues, the balance of the map is pretty solid and it could be a fun map with a little more work on its layout, perhaps shrinking things down a bit.

    Omen - Overall Rating: 10

    I have almost nothing but praise for the author of this map (some of which I gave while he was on the server). From the detail of its design, setting, layout to the gameplay and balance, it is pretty much perfect. I've enjoyed it more than any other symmetric CP map that I've ever played, including Valve's. While being symmetric the designs of both sides had unique elements, such as the ocean (with waves!!) behind one spawn and the giant dam behind the other, giving a sense that one team is actually working up hill from the ocean to the dam or vice versa. The giant electrical turbines at both final points were awesome, particularly the RED team's one. There were just so many fine details to the map that I really wanted to explore and look at everything. Really just stunning work.

    Glowing compliments aside, there are a couple things that could improve it, most of which I mentioned on the server. Namely that being a complex looking and laid out map, I got a little lost at times. This could easily be remedied by adding lots of arrows and signs indicating which points are in what direction. Don't hold back. I think you could easily add at the very least an arrow sign at most corners and pathways without blocking or interrupting the aesthetic appeal of the map at all. This way people who are new to the map can easily adjust and returning players don't get disoriented when they get moved up to the forward spawn sort of below the middle point. Another small suggestion would be to make the water a little deeper by lowering the displacements below them towards the middle of the stream. A common problem that me and other players had was that we thought we could douse ourselves from fire but ended up standing about waist deep in the water while still being on fire. Making it a little deeper should do the trick.

    Overall, I was amazed by this map and plan on playing it a lot more. I sincerely hope Valve picks this one up as I really want to play it more. A couple more tweaks here and there and it's perfect.

    Process - My Overall Rating: 8.65

    This was a pretty solid map, albeit a somewhat awkward layout. The aesthetic is fine as is, but doesn't bring much to the table. There isn't anything that stands out to me besides that cool big glass ceiling above the final points. The rest just kind of reminds me of 5-Gorge and Hydro, which I guess is what you were going for. My only real complaints with it are of the layout. This might just be me, but I really can't stand maps that bend around corners like Manor/Mountainlab. It just makes it seem really cumbersome to get where you want to go when you are coming out the left side of spawn and run into a wall and end up having to trek all the way over to the right and then back to the left again to get to the center point.

    If you want to keep this layout I'd recommend making a center pathway that connected the final point to the center and penultimate points in a controlled manner. For example, you could have a pathway leaving from the left side of the final room up, down, and then connecting with that small lower room you have next to the penultimate point, which already connects with the center point. While this might require some balancing since it shortens the distance between the attacking team and the defending team's base, this would make it a little less annoying to get to the points. EDIT: Or another idea I thought of was to just make it so that it was one way so the defending team would drop down, and the attacking team would have to go around. That way it wouldn't need to be balanced. There are other ways you could fix this by moving around the center and final points relative to the penultimate points, but those ways would require more work.

    While I think you should take a lot of this into consideration, this is just the impression that I got playing it. Other might be OK with it, I don't know. I'd enjoy it more if you could find some way of making the corner points less cumbersome to get to. Overall i thought it was an alright map, and with some more work it could stand up to 5-Gorge.

    EDIT: Fixed Overall Rating with the proper weights
     
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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  14. DaBeatzProject

    aa DaBeatzProject

    Messages:
    1,276
    Positive Ratings:
    1,091
    Okay here are my scores, with some additional info written behind the scores. I try to keep the info short, but meaningful. Also, my scores will mostly about aesthetics because I can say I am <kind of> interested in aesthetical arty fart stuff etc. So yeah, I haven't played all of the maps a lot yet, but here's my (maybe temporary) scores table!


    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical Additional Infoes
    Breakout - - - - - Not played yet.
    Canyonfodder 7 6 9 10 8 I really liked the detailing in this map, with a lot of nice touches and interesting ideas, like the swinging arrow sign for instance.
    Copperhead 8 6 7 10 8 I loved the way you created a new kind of "theme", with some dustbowl and gravelpit touches and flavours, but it felt kind of bland and some areas were underdetailed. Really interesting layout and gameplay possibilities though. Good job.
    Desertion 6 8 6 10 4 Even though you did a decent job on the detailing (but it's a bit of a upward-copy), a lot of the places and buildings were really OVER-scaled, and I'm not really impressed by your detailing. Eg. the Blu spawn, Red's CP building etc. But the gameplay was good and every class had it's own features in this map. A lot of places where I got stuck between props, rocks etc, too!
    Frozen Assets 5 4 3 10 8 This map looked like a first-map, so I'm not going to be harsh on this one. It's a nice try, but nothing more.. Detailing was barely there, and camping was the only possibility!
    Mojave 9 8 10 10 8 Beautiful, beautiful map. (Too red kthxbai). I LOVE the gameplay, looks, and features of this map! Definately one of my new favourite maps, and that's not only because of the pretty sky!
    Pilolukpass 7 5 5 10 8 A fun map, but with some annoying stuff - like massive sniper lines, half life-esque textures and places where you couldn't get out. Cool ideas in this map too though.
    Powderhorn - - - - - -
    Relay - - - - - -
    Sekhmet - - - - - -
    Ship - - - - - -
    Slush - - - - - -
    Zig - - - - - -


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical Additional Infoes
    Clocktower - - - - - -
    Croissant - - - - - -
    Omen - - - - - -
    Process - - - - - -





    will complete later today..
     
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  15. Lamech

    Lamech L1: Registered

    Messages:
    18
    Positive Ratings:
    8
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 5 4 5 7 6
    Canyonfodder 8 7 8 8 10
    Copperhead 9 7 10 10 9
    Desertion 4 5 5 3 7
    Frozen Assets 2 2 1 2 4
    Mojave 8 7 7 8 8
    Pilolukpass 2 1 3 4 1
    Powderhorn 7 7 7 5 8
    Relay 6 5 8 8 7
    Sekhmet 8 6 8 6 9
    Ship 2 1 3 7 1
    Slush 10 9 7 8 10
    Zig 8 9 9 7 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 7 8 10 7 6
    Croissant 8 5 9 5 8
    Omen 9 8 10 9 7
    Process 8 7 7 7 8


    I will try and get a decent written review for each when I get the chance. Time was used to play each map as each class in hopes of getting a good feel for them as a whole.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  16. Foxy

    Foxy L1: Registered

    Messages:
    1
    Positive Ratings:
    8
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Breakout 5 5 7 8 7
    Canyonfodder 6 8 6 6 5
    Copperhead 10 6 9 8 7
    Desertion 6 3 5 7 7
    Frozen Assets 5 3 5 8 6
    Mojave 8 6 2 4 4
    Pilolukpass 6 4 9 8 7
    Powderhorn 7 8 6 5 5
    Relay 6 8 4 8 8
    Sekhmet 9 7 9 6 5
    Ship 3 4 7 2 2
    Slush 8 10 10 7 5
    Zig 9 7 10 8 10


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Clocktower 8 9 1 7 7
    Croissant 9 10 10 7 8
    Omen 8 5 7 7 6
    Process 6 6 9 5 4


    Well, really good ideas here and some nice maps, especially Croissant or Copperhead in my opinion. Zig is fine too. :]
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  17. UFO

    UFO L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    85
    Positive Ratings:
    52
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 5 7 7 8 8
    Canyonfodder 7 6 6 9 7
    Copperhead 8 7 7 9 8
    Desertion 8 8 7 7 7
    Frozen Assets 1 2 1 8 6
    Mojave 9 7 8 9 8
    Pilolukpass 2 2 2 6 4
    Powderhorn 8 7 8 8 7
    Relay 7 7 7 8 8
    Sekhmet 8 8 9 9 6
    Ship 6 5 4 8 4
    Slush 6 6 5 7 7
    Zig 8 8 9 6 9


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 6 7 7 7
    Croissant 9 8 8 9 9
    Omen 7 8 5 4 7
    Process 8 7 7 9 8
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  18. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

    Messages:
    1,242
    Positive Ratings:
    393
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Breakout - - - - -
    Canyonfodder 8 8 7 8 8
    Copperhead 9 8 9 8 8
    Desertion 8 7 8 8 8
    Frozen Assets - - - - -
    Mojave 8 7 8 8 8 (lots of 8's, wow)
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn 8 7 8 8 7
    Relay 7 6 7 8 8
    Sekhmet - - - - -
    Ship - - - - -
    Slush 7 8 9 8 8
    Zig 7 7 9 8 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance (NA?) Aesthetics Performance Techn ical
    Clocktower 9 10 8 8 8
    Croissant - - - - -
    Omen 8 10 8 8 8
    Process 7 10 8 8 8


    Canyonfodder
    I actually quite liked this map. I only drew straws with the last point, but outside of that I thought that the art direction and map layout was pretty solid. My favorite stage was the first, then second, then third :p

    Copperhead I really liked copperhead for its versatility. The gameplay spaces from stage to stage or even section to section felt very varied and original, which is a total plus in my book. The detail was also really solid, but I still think your best detail work is biodome (that map is gorgeous).

    Desertion Desertion has always been a solid contender in my book. The layout's grown on me, but I think another stage would have taken this from a B/B+ map in my book to the A range. I have to say though, for such a small layout, the game time per round fits nicely.

    Powderhorn I'm sorry but this desperately needs a new name. The map feedback is basically the same as desertions, but the last point always frustrated me :/

    Slush I liked this map, and I appreciated it. For whatever reason, it always felt a bit convoluted to me. personally I think that it's because all the routes for the map were very close together. While this is more of a feeling than a reality in the map (which is to say it didn't negatively affect the map), big props on creating a map where routes so close together worked well.

    Relay Relay was a cool map, but some parts of it (especially the flat ground level of the second point and the area between it and the building for the third point) felt a bit sloppy to me. The first point was nice, but a bit easy to cap. The second point was pretty iffy, seeing as it was either capped or became a total stalemate. The final point was also o.k., but it never really blossomed because it always seemed to get capped.

    Zig Zig really turned out to be a gorgeous map, but the most recent iterations felt a bit underdeveloped to me. I guess what I mean by this is that I wanted more out of the final map, it felt pretty quick, and it always fell to the attackers.

    --Symmetrical--

    Clockltower Clocktower is a really solid 5CP in my book. I really liked the gameplay all over the map, but the only
    thing that sort of inhibits it for me is the last point, which is a pretty quick fall if the attackers know what they're doing.

    Omen So apparently this map hasn't been getting much love which I find ridiculous. I really liked this map! Second was by far the strongest as mid never really got lots of attention, but I've had some pretty great times in this map. The detail felt a bit over-scaled and bland in places, but this is definitely a strong map in my mind.

    Process I think process was a pretty cool map, but it's probably third as I'm going to vote it. Mid was nice, but it went pretty quick to one team or the other. From there I liked second, and the final point looked really good, but typically fell a bit fast for my taste.

    That's all I've got for you contestants out there. I've liked what I've played a lot, and I want to congratulate everyone who's got a map to be voted on for a whole lot of perseverance. Good luck to all! Side note: I'm giving 8's to most on performance and technical because I had no problems with either for most maps.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  19. Godslayer57

    Godslayer57 L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

    Messages:
    573
    Positive Ratings:
    221
    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 6 7 5 -7 8
    Canyonfodder 7 7 7 7 8
    Copperhead 7 8 9 5 9
    Desertion 6 7 8 7 8
    Frozen Assets - - - - -
    Mojave 6 9 7 8 8
    Pilolukpass - - - - -
    Powderhorn - - - - -
    Relay 7 7 8 9 8
    Sekhmet 9 8 10 6 7
    Ship 3 3 5 6 3
    Slush 7 8 7 8 7
    Zig 5 6 10 6 8


    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 6 8 7 6
    Croissant 6 8 9 9 8
    Omen 8 6 7 7 7
    Process 7 7 7 7 7


    My table why you no shiny gold D:
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  20. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

    Messages:
    5,015
    Positive Ratings:
    3,914
    I'm going to do real votes now because it's a little hypocritical of me to 10 everything and then complain about idiotic voting, you know?

    I still can't and won't judge performance though. Feel free to not count them or something.

    Asymmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Breakout 6 6 5 10 8
    Canyonfodder 6 5 6 10 9
    Copperhead 8 7 7 10 7
    Desertion
    Frozen Assets 1 2 1 10 8
    Mojave 8 7 7 10 7
    Pilolukpass 3 2 5 10 6
    Powderhorn 8 6 7 10 5
    Relay 6 8 6 10 8
    Sekhmet 8 6 8 10 7
    Ship 1 1 1 10 5
    Slush 7 5 7 10 9
    Zig 6 6 8 10 9


    Breakout is pretty decent but suffers from repetitive texturing, dark outdoor areas and the capture areas are a bit odd. They don't really correspond to a difficulty progression, nor are they really fun to fight on or around. It is, though, somewhat solid. I'd play Breakout over several official maps any day.

    Canyonfodder I think I have said enough about.

    Copperhead is really great until stage 3, more or less. There are some pretty unattractive detailing decisions (like the thing before 2-2, I don't even know what that is) but it's probably one of the best maps in the contest overall. I just wish the final cap wasn't so absurdly hard and the stairs were clipped better.

    Frozen Assets lacks complex geometry, believeable displacements, has scale issues, balance issues, layout issues, prop spam issues, needs more health and ammo and needs more detail.

    Mojave is a great map but again the difficulty curve is a little messed up. 1-1 can be held easier than 2-2, I think. 2-1 is likewise easier than 1-2. It's a bit too red, but it still looks great and it's fun.

    Pilolukpass has scale issues, the first cap takes a full minute to capture with 6 people on it, it uses HL2 textures. The author should make single player maps for another game.

    Powderhorn is great but it's disappointing that he's called it final. The amount of clipping errors and adjustments to gameplay that honeymustard (right?) could make on this map to make it great aren't that many. As it stands, the map feels a bit small and smashed together while at the same time half of the area around CP1 feels unused on Red's side. The detail is pretty strong but a little generic. It's close to being a great map.

    Relay I feel like an outsider on because I just don't find it very fun for whatever reason. I can't really place what it is and I really have thought about it for a long, long time. Like months. I'm not crazy about the theme either and I don't like how often I run into/get sort of stuck on a car. It seems well balanced though.

    Sekhmet is a pretty decent 2cp. Nighttime Egypt has been implemented well here, and the team colors issue is also pretty well solved. But beyond that, the points are very similar and the choke points I feel need a bit of work. Flow could generally be improved across the map as a whole. Still, here's another map I'd play over some officials.

    Ship is apparently a student project and not a map designed for gameplay and truthfully I think it shows.

    Slush is a pretty fun map but I think the balance is horrible. It's a/d, so Red shouldn't be winning so often. Most the time I play, I don't see stage 2. Switching the stages might work, but truthfully I can't ever recall winning stage 2 either. Looks alright, but I don't like how thin all the walls are and it could use some out of bounds detailing beyond the level walls.

    Zig I think I've said enough about

    Symmetrical Maps Gameplay Balance Aesthetics Performance Technical
    Clocktower 8 7 9 10 7
    Croissant 6 8 7 10 8
    Omen 7 8 7 10 9
    Process 6 7 8 10 9


    Clocktower has a more original spire than most and the center point is reminiscent of Freight while being somewhat more interesting. Last could use some work but I'm not sure how. Gameplay suffers around mid to second, but I think it might be respawn wave times more than level design. Some of the displacements need to be smoothed so I don't get caught on them. It's beautiful.

    Croissant is very well made, but feels too large and open for me to really enjoy it. Beyond that, I really, really dislike the second to last transition, and actually the entire second point in general. The map feels like a very well done misstep.

    Omen is pretty well done, but I think mid could be better somehow. This is also something I've thought about for a long time and can't really place what I don't like about it. The real fight here is before last, though, which is great. Not a big fan of Blu's detail, but it does look great.

    Process I think I'm not a fan of because I'd need to play it in 6v6.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
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