Corporate

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Chaopsychochick, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Hi, so I am finally happy enough with my first attempt at a map that I wanted to upload it and get some criticism, feedback, comments, etc etc etc. I only have the first 2 control points for the first section, eventually I am going to try and get 6 points over 3 sections.

    The Story
    BLU, having grown increasingly tired of RED always being there to stop them for their nefarious plans have decided to strike at the heart of RED. Their corporate headquarters located in the luxurious Redopolis.

    (That is the basics anyways, I still need to hammer out the details as well as make it sound better [*Is not a writer*]

    The Concept
    What I am thinking of for the points and sections is as following:
    First point: Suburban area, pretty much what you can see in the screen shots.
    Second point: Going through an apartment complex.
    Third point: After going through the apartment and crossing the street, the cart starts out in the Redopolis city park. Making its way towards the city square.
    Fourth point: Going through the circular city square where the local farmers market is being pushed out of the way to make way for the bomb, ending just across the street from the Red corporate complex.
    Fifth point: At this point BLU must push the cart through the fairly heavily fortified courtyard of the RED complex to the front of the main building.
    Final point: Blue pushes the cart into the middle of the building where it blows up. (How BLU got track laid into the middle of RED headquarters, I am not entirely sure.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  2. Jack Riguel

    Jack Riguel L10: Glamorous Member

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    Right, there's a lot of problems in this map, however I understand that this is both your first released map and it's a work in progress.

    The biggest problem right now, with the compiled version available by download, is that the floor textures have been ignored due to a error surrounding the env_cubemaps. Also, I believe that your map has a leak in it. Next time you open the map in hammer, go to the "maps" menu and load the point-file to see what is causing the leak and seal it up.

    Also, the map setup time is set to 3 seconds. I'm not sure if you did this deliberately or not but you might want to change this.

    Looking at the map itself, the first point seems to be a good basic setup. I would suggest quite a bit more cover should be provided in the larger expansive areas (as it is right now the map is very open until you get to the second point... which the comes to another problem). The second half of the track takes place indoors. This is a very unwise idea, especially for a payload map. As it stands, your "apartment complex" is very enclosed, even when pushing the cart by myself I found it very tight. If you want to have the second half of the track go through an inclosed area, I would suggest that you stick it to a single floor, like a grander lobby of an apartment complex. That way Red team can't bottleneck the game at a single point as they easily could with your current setup.

    One last thing: don't be afraid to restart from scratch. I started mapping with hammer a little less then a year ago, and only now have I finished the second beta of my first released map. I went through countless versions of other maps, spending weeks developing them then scratching them to start anew. While the map I worked on only went through five stages of alpha before I was happy with the setup, I'm certain that there are plenty of people who have gone threw dozens of alphas before arriving to a version that they liked. Basically what I'm saying is that it might be wise to restart from scratch, using this map as your "rough sketch." I won't lie, a 2x3 payload map will be quite a task to complete, however it seems that you have a good concept laid out.

    Right, sorry for the wall of text. Late night makes me chatty. :D
     
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  3. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    I will look into the floor problem.

    EDIT: So I tried doing the load pointfile, but there is no file name there. Also a random question, as I realized a lot of the floors used custom textures I downloaded, is there anything special I should have done with those so they got packaged? Or...?

    The set up time is currently on purpose just to make it quicker to get out of the starting gate for testing, but yes I will change that.

    As for some of the apartment stuff, what would having just a single floor fix? I am not seeing the difference between the two floors and the one... Or is it what needs to happen is there to be more height involved? Perhaps if I turned the individual apartments into lofts such that there is a partial third story where blue could get above where the track is and could easily drop down?

    For the first point, how exactly should there be more cover? Does it need to have more obstacles just in the street? Or is it just that there need to be less of the long straight lines in general? (Perhaps if I changed the streets from being straight to being more of a curve?)

    Don't worry, I am not afraid to start from scratch if need be, though I would much rather try to salvage what I have until I have learned enough more that starting from scratch would be better. I still have a lot to learn with this, and I would rather get to a point where it isnt constant learning before I restart.

    And don't worry about the wall of text (As I replicated here), I REALLY appreciate the feedback! THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  4. Ezekel

    Ezekel L11: Posh Member

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    if you use custom content you have to use a program called "pakrat" to includeit as part of the map file ;)
     
  5. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    So I am doing a revamp of the first point based on what you said Jack. I am uploading a SS of what my idea is, basically keeping it the same, except that I am making it curve a bit more there aren't the straight lines down everywhere for snipers to use. Now there is still some sniping ability, but I think I am forcing the be a bit pickier about where they go as there aren't any one spot for all.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. Jack Riguel

    Jack Riguel L10: Glamorous Member

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    Well curves do provide as a disadvantage to snipers, however its curves in a smaller enclosed area that hinder snipers. The curves aren't going to effect the abundant, large open spaces (from what I saw of your first alpha and what I see in the screenshots).

    For your first map, you've chosen one of the hardest modes to map for. Attack/defend maps, wether CP or PL are incredibly difficult to design as they cannot be balanced by symmetry and they usually require large maps in order to play properly. In your case, and from what I've seen of your current knowledge in mapping, I would strongly suggest maybe placing this map on the shelf for a while and start working on a smaller symmetrical map, like an arena or 5 point push map.

    If you want to continue to work on this map though, here's a few suggestions that should hopefully point you in the right direction for bettering the design of your map. Take a look at both the official, and the popular community TF2 Payload maps like cashworks or hoodoo and see how they're laid out. Cashworks has a large open space at the front of Blue's spawn like yours does, however there is enough cover to give blue team a chance to abandon the cart and push forward through the enemy lines. Next time you log into TF2, just look around at your surrounds of any PL map and you should get a basic idea of how those sorts of maps should be laid out.

    Secondly, your author's note seems to me that you're thinking of this map as a large project with all six points being formed at the same time. Think smaller, focus on the first third of your map. There's no problem if you come up with ideas that would happen in the second or third part, just try to stay focused on designing the first two sections. In fact, I would suggest that you should just quickly sketch out what you want the first point to look like, complete with the payload's track and whatever other routes you want to include in that section (Based on your first two points, I would say the initial push would be simply a wider area open with some cover provided, and the second push would be tighter but with a few good flanking routes.)

    Once again, sorry for the block of text. Hopefully you understand this and I didn't sound too much like a jerk. :/

    Also, Ezekel's right, you're going to need to pakrat those extra textures.
     
  7. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Jack, unfortunately you do come off sounding a bit like a jerk. (The whole telling me to shelf a project that I really like because I am not good enough really doesn't work well with me). I know you don't mean it, and I do appreciate the help, but I just wanted to say that. Now to get into the actual important stuff.

    Honestly I have no problem trying to do the attack/defend, and have no problem with the fact that it is the hardest. (I personally like challenges) From what I play in TF2 I VASTLY prefer attack/defend scenarios to ctf or straight up cp (tc is only minimally better due to the asymmetry of it). To me the whole you can gain a point then lose it, and the constant going back and forth just doesnt feel satisfying to me. Most importantly to me is I want to make a map that I can enjoy, regardless of how hard it is to make, if I don't enjoy it, I won't be happy.

    As for the open areas, goldrush and badwater have already played a fairly decent role in its creation. While I don't have much in the way of in street obstacles (yet, I will likely be putting in some cars on the road and what not if they really are needed), my idea for creating that cover has mostly been in the two/three buildings in the middle with roof access. Snipers right now(In the curved version I am working on and will try to release today) I don't think have the overwhelming advantage. Given where I believe their set up points to be, someone traversing the rooftops could easily take them out. If they are covering the roof tops, they are a bit harder to take out, but then they don't cover the cart. (Sort of like in badwater with the upper level that most snipers go to)

    I am thinking of this as a large _long-term_ project, however for now I am taking it one level at a time. As you say I want to get the first section to a very good solid point before I work on the second one as I know that there is a lot I can learn from this first point that I can apply to the design of the latter points. As to your estimation of your first two points, I would say that is correct and it is exactly what I am trying to do.

    As per pakrat, got it and hopefully the textures will work for my a2 release. :)

    Thanks again for the feedback!
     
  8. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    So for everyone who was at today's game day, I was wondering if you had any feedback? I know in game there was a lot of mentioning of the textures and brushes, which I am working on now. But I am curious about how the balance felt.

    It almost seemed like Blu had an easy time pushing through and I need to make it easier for red, especially on the first point.

    Also, did anyone feel like a particular class was getting shafted by the way things were working? I know snipers tended to have a big advantage throughout the first point, and am working on balancing that out, but I was wondering if people noticed any other issues.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Also, I think given some of the comments about the wood as I listen to the sourceTV, I think I am going to keep the shiny wood as the floor in blue spawn, and try and make a custom poster saying something along the lines of Zamboni, Keeping YOUR Floors clean. Or something like that... need to work out the exact phrasing though. Thanks to whoever mentioned it, can't remember who exactly it was. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  9. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Alright, just got the next finished up and online. I made the second area of the map, though it isn't detailed yet.

    Any feedback on the new area and some of the revisions to the first would be most appreciated.
     
  10. Jack Riguel

    Jack Riguel L10: Glamorous Member

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    Sorry, I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. I tend to type in different moods depending on time, plus I'm a critic, and a jackass of one at that.

    After playtesting the map it does seem to have a good deal of potential, and I do enjoy the theme. Initially though the issue was it seemed to me that you were thinking of this as a large project rather then three smaller projects. It looks as if this isn't (or it isn't now) the case.

    I want to download a4a to see what you've done since I've last seen the map. I'll get back to you in a bit.
     
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  11. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    No worries Jack, I know you meant well and that is what counts.

    I look forward to hearing what your thoughts are on the new revisions.
     
  12. Bockagon

    Bockagon L3: Member

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    Just downloaded your map and ran around for a bit. Very nice, though it does look a bit like half-life 2. Anyway onto the feedback. I'm just gonna add attachments due to my not having membership on n image-hosting site.

    Most of the problems were just brush misalignments. Overlapping brushes or gaps between walls. (1,2,3)

    There was a weird glitch with the cart where if it was left on the starting platform in the second stage it would roll back and float in the air (4)

    also I would recommend turning off the shadows on the prop_statics the make up your tracks. That will get rid of those weird shadows (5)

    The only other issue is optimization. I know you probably just haven't gotten around to this yet because it's still in alpha but when i checked wireframe mode (mat_wireframe X [where X is 1,2, or 3] in the console) pretty much the entire map was being rendered all at the same time.

    All in all this is a very nice map. Well designed and looks nice too. I'll be sure to check it out next time it's in playtesting.
     
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  13. Jamini

    Jamini L4: Comfortable Member

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    I know you heard this over and over at gameday, but it bears repeating: HL2 textures do not fit in TF2. They have literally invaded the entirety of your map, and it makes it look like such an ugly hodge-podge of styles that I almost didn't want to play it the third time it came up (we played it a bit before gameday started)

    The ugly shadows beneath your track are due to the way the model is set up. I would strongly recommend disabling shadows for it.

    The first part of stage 1, and all of stage 2, are very wide-open and sniper friendly. Some more cover, or even a slightly smaller play area, would be very useful in there.

    The props in the middle of the street at 1-2 are very obstructive, often blocking movement while not providing cover (the barricade props in particular were very in the way.

    I'd recommend removing some of the shorter props in that area and replacing them with some larger props.

    It's possible to get under the map by forcing the door at the 1-2/2-1 spawn. Additionally, the main exit to that door closes on it's own (it should not close unless the doorway is totally clear)

    That's all, I do look forward to a retexturing of this map. It has a lot of potential!
     
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  14. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Jamini!

    I am in the process of getting rid of the hl2 textures now so the next release should have those gone.

    I am a little bit unsure of exactly what to do for making the map less sniper friendly for 1-1, I have some ideas for 2-1 and 2-2 that I am gonna try. Do you have any suggestions for things I could do to make it a bit less sniper friendly? Were there particular areas that you noticed were too friendly? Also, was it too friendly for BLU snipers, RED snipers or both?

    Again, thanks for the feedback!
     
  15. Jamini

    Jamini L4: Comfortable Member

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    The main problem with 1-1 was the relative safety that RED snipers could take on the rooftops (along with demomen, and in one instance a heavy.) It would be nice if you could clip some of the roofs (not necessarily all, but preventing players from getting above the BLU spawn would be a good idea) it would go a long way towards giving parts of the map back to the scout, soldier, and pyro.
     
  16. Owlruler

    Owlruler L12: Fabulous Member

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  17. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Given some of the stuff that has come up as well as with talking with some other people I am going to be scrapping the current version and rebuilding it from scratch. So far I have about the first point redone, hopefully I can get the balance issues nailed down with this version. :)

    Not sure when I will get it up though, but thanks for the feedback everyone!
     
  18. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Alright, I got the really large revamps complete. I completely redid the first stage, and am leaving out the second one until after I get some play testing done on this.

    Let me know what you think of the changes to it. Does the first point feel more balanced in regards to snipers? Is the second point less cramped? Does it need to be even more open?

    Any other balance issues? (I am not as worried about the brushes and all that lining up atm, I mostly want to get the game flow worked out before I get into any detailing)
     
  19. nik

    nik L12: Fabulous Member

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    is dat sum B-Ball i see