CP Crude a3

Made by Deodorant

  1. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    So after filing away Sanitarium firmly under meh, I've finally decided to start working on my second ever map, this time a single stage attack/defend map with two points.

    I think my sense of scaling and area design has improved somewhat since Sanitarium. My optimization skills have also grown very slightly better, though they're still far from good. I think the biggest issue will be balance between the teams; I find it really difficult to tell how much of an advantage any given design choice is going to give to either team, and with an asymmetrical map like this the imbalances can get out of control fast. I guess I'll just have to playtest it to see.

    I enjoy maps with a bunch of flank routes and a bunch of height differences, so I've sone a lot of both. Hopefully the former will prevent the latter from overempowering Soldiers and the latter prevent the former from overempowering ambush classes.

    The map is supposed to be set around an oil drilling facility owned by RED. I'm imagining the theme as Gorge dropped inside Egypt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  2. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    Oil drilling facility. Pyros aren't recommended on the map.
    Anyway, I've said my bad pun, time to write something useful.
    B looks kinda easily defendable, even tought I like the platform behind it.
    A has some cover right in front of the point. One of the few maps that does it is Viaduct. Maybe a sidewalk, so a sentry spot won't be too much powerful?
    The area on the 3rd screenshot looks like it will be RED's heaven.
    But it has a lot of potential.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  3. phi

    aa phi Within The Vacuum Of Infinity...

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    B looks interesting with all the height variety, A looks somewhat cramped and could be an engineer camp due to that full metal right above the point. Otherwise, I think it looks promising and is a step in the right direction from Sanitarium.
     
  4. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    This looks like a pretty cool start. I like how fresh A and B are, and the theme concept could be great.

    I don't think anyone fully understands layout and balance the way they pretend. Anyway, the only way to get better at it is to make a lot of maps.
     
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  5. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Or keep beating on it until a diamond comes out.

    The CP in the second image (that's point A, right?) seems like the space is a little cramped, probably the sort of thing that requires a playtest but it might give you something to think about.

    Don't change the overall design though, it looks fun.
     
  6. ForbiddenDonut

    aa ForbiddenDonut

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    I think we had a thread discussion about this.

    It's like 40% knowing the design principles (height placement, class balance, directive lighting, ect.) and 60% gut/intuition. Making a lot of maps develops the 'design' aspect of it, but a lot of it is up in the air.

    It can be sad when a map comes along that does all the rules correctly, but there's still that 'something' missing to it.

    On Crude:

    I like the natural landscape layout presented in the first screenshot. I have a hunch that B might be too easy to defend with such a guaranteed height advantage, but that's something we'd have to analyze in playtest.
     
  7. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    There, overhead screenshot added.

    Thanks for the feedback! The risks you've brought up are mostly things I've thought about as well and tried to balance in different ways, not all of which may be obvious or even visible in those screenshots. Whether or not any of my measures will actually work is a different issue, though, so don't interpret this as me completely dismissing your criticism.
     
  8. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    Yeah, we need to see it on a gameday to see how it plays.
     
  9. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    I rather like the snake pattern you got going on. Maps that fold back on themselves always seem like they're more realistic, like you're fighting over something that actually exists rather than some linear boxes with props dropped in.

    On the overhead, it looks like you have room for a third CP if you wanted to try a 3 point A/D map too.. near the bottom of the screenshot.
     
  10. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    Yep.

    Thanks! Most (non-koth/arena) maps wrap around themselves in some way or another don't they?
    And yeah I guess I could put a third point there. Doing so would make it even more obvious that my basic layout is ripped straight from Mann Manor/Mountainlab, though.
     
  11. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    From the overhead, I don't see many people using the bottom left corner of the map unless you put a CP there, maybe on the bridge next to the trucks. My instinct is that it will just be a swath of dead space. But, to be the 50th person to say so, testing will tell.
     
  12. ScorpioUprising

    aa ScorpioUprising

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    Speaking from the comp player perspective, I agree with everyone mentioning the need for a third point. 2 points leads to a bit of an unstable game mode, as you can quite easily wipe the opposing team at A, and then have such a ridiculous advantage coming into the last point that they can't really fight back. Having three points splits up that pressure a bit, and also gives players a bit more incentive to fall back to the second point, hopefully organizing for another push back to A when players respawn.

    As far as 6v6 is concerned, it would be quite difficult to imagine them wanting or voting in another attack/defend map, given newer comp players dislike for gravelpit and the reliance AD has on practice and map knowledge. However, I know for a fact that UGC Highlander is definitely looking for viable AD maps to supplement gravelpit/steel.

    The geometry looks pretty decent. A couple things to be careful of:

    1) Your displacement walls tend to end right where the skybox is. This is okay, but its going to be a huge pain in the neck when you start detailing and need to add some out of bounds areas that stretch the displacement walls back a bit. You might consider extending the rock walls, and creating some out of bounds areas now, so things come together a bit better.

    2) If you are going to add a middle point, I would consider increasing the size on that bottom left area. Maybe put the point on a platform attached to that grey building and then make the valley/cliff area larger with some prop boulders to run around on. As it stands now, defending or attacking that second point would be a bit too linear and boring compared to other maps.

    3) I think the last point looks okay, but you might want to consider revising some of those crazy heights and platforms. It seems a bit crazy trying to move from one to the other, and it might lead to some crazy stalemates if people can't realistically engage one another from lower and higher ground. Take a look at badwater last, or even gravelpit C for simpler refined version of that sort of final point.

    Obviously, listen to yyler and test it first, but those are just my immediate thoughts.
     
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  13. ScorpioUprising

    aa ScorpioUprising

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    Bit of a follow up:

    4) With regards to my third point above, I went and ran around the map taking a look at the last point in particular. You have a really nasty habit of putting a whole shit ton of very small ramps and slightly raised heights all over your map. I advise you consolidate some of those, they lead to really irritating ground that feels very nasty to walk on, and have all sorts of game play problems as well: every single tiny ramp you have can potentially hide a sticky trap, catch a rocket at the wrong angle denying splash damage, or get a medics foot caught as they try to fall back. Additionally, fixing all these weird anomalies will make it much easier to make changes to the map when you need to; instead of having to alter every single ramp and level to match up with the new ones, you can just make one change and it will work much better.

    Basically, if you have a building with an upper and lower floor, you should only really have those two heights. No tiny ramps leading out to the combat space, no small ramp that connects the door to the balcony outside, etc. Some good examples of this can be seen at B (all over the place), the bridge with dump trucks etc, and the A warehouse (the random balcony with the full ammo being at a different level than the rest of it).

    5) The wall that separates B from the bridge needs to be reworked. I've run into the same problem with some of my maps, and having a tiny wall divider doesn't cut it. Its not realistic (even within the context of TF2), won't provide the level of optimization you need, and it look goofy as hell when someone jumps up high and gets a bunch of weird nodraw/skybox visual bugs. Extend that wall into a 256-512 unit thick wall and adjust the entrances as necessary.
     
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  14. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    Thanks a bunch for taking the time to tour the map and write all that!

    I don't expect the map to ever become good enough to be adopted by the comp crowd, but that's certainly no reason not to work on it as though I did. I have no comp experience whatsoever, myself, so I appreciate getting feedback from that perspective.

    I'll consider adding another point. The area is - as you pointed out - not very point-friendly in it's current state, but the arguments you and yyler bring up in favor of having a point there are good, so it may be worth the redesign.

    I do have a habit of excessively using 16- and 32-unit height differences. I've never thought of it as being a problem, and I kind of like them because I think they make mapping easier and make things more interesting. The points you bring up against them are however very valid, so I'll make sure to flatten stuff in the A2. Having a fair amount of 64- and 96-unit differences is acceptable though, right? I think those differences serve pretty important gameplay purposes.

    You're absolutely right about the cliffs/skybox and the big wall.
     
  15. ScorpioUprising

    aa ScorpioUprising

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    64 and 96 unit differences are okay, but you just have to be careful and think about player movement. If I'm on the floor and I walk up to a small ledge, do I really need to crouch jump in order to move further into the building I'm in? or could it all be the same height to simplify combat and not bog things down? That last point is just crazy with all the different heights and pathways, and some of them seem pretty unnecessary and liable to limit the ability for non-jumping (and even jumping classes to some extent) to engage one another.

    Another way of looking at it, think that catwalk ledge in the A warehouse. If I'm a soldier standing on it, and someone else is a soldier on the other catwalk, I can target them easily at no cost, but they have to really angle their shots directly, either hitting me with a direct rocket, or walking until they can line up a shot against the catwalk itself. Either way, they have a much harder time hitting me than I do them. This may be some sort of gameplay feature you are working with, but in my opinion it really does just make combat spaces much messier than they need to be. You already have the catwalk system itself, as opposed to the lower ground below it, you don't need additional height concerns to throw off people's aim and force them to reconsider where they are planning to stand.
     
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  16. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    When I looked at your map to check it for game day, I discovered Scorpio is absolutely right.

    http://puu.sh/1oRsP
    http://puu.sh/1oRsd
    Don't do lips like these.

    http://puu.sh/1oRrU
    Why is this intermediary platform here?

    http://puu.sh/1oRr0
    Why is this here?

    http://puu.sh/1oRrB
    This is clumsy.

    http://puu.sh/1oRs2
    These are very high poly models and have no LOD models. You should use them more sparingly.

    http://puu.sh/1oRtl
    This shows a large swath of the map that has absolutely zero purpose. When I ran through capping the points, I didn't even use it.

    Also, don't put your cap zones on raised brushwork. Splash damage breaks on vertical edges.

    This will probably be in gameday, but something you should definitely take away is that your map probably needs a third point and a lot of geometry needs simplification.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2012
  17. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    The map is way too big. It's super big and overscaled at the first point and in the dead area, which means that only a few classes are viable there, and the connecting corridors are cramped, meaning that only a few classes are viable there. Also, throughout it's very wide and unfocussed. This means that, apart from on the first point you very rarely see more than a few enemies at a time, and a lot of combat becomes long-range sniping and snap shots against enemies miles away who don't even need to care about you.

    Blu never had a sentry or anything, so this may not apply, but blu was finding it very hard to create a frontline, or a solid push, and the whole game devolved into one-on-one combats between roaming classes. Again, this is the width: blu simply have too many routes to keep enemies from bursting through. The one-on-one combat style supports defenders a lot (a defender needs to win once, an attacker needs to win all of them) and this plus long walk times made B very hard to cap. There's also no really powerful route to B- either tiny corridors or a massive height disadvantage.
     
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  18. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    I thought the point areas themselves showed some promise. But as everyone else has said, you need to dramatically scale down the areas around them. Most of the map is useless when you can cut through the building and get from A to B in a couple of seconds.
     
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  19. sitebender

    sitebender L3: Member

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    First of all I think this is quality map design from a gameplay perspective :) You've got some good things happening here. First of all wide and spacious without being empty and vacant. Both points are good, and open leaving room for a lot of diversity between plays. Good signs (usually alphas don't have the greatest signs).

    There's some mega error looking back at the blue safe room. Its like a cyan color. not sure what that means.

    All of the classes look to be balanced with no one seeming more or less useful than the others.... which is good. :)

    What I'd like to see in future versions are rock walls that seem more realistic with intruding rocks instead of flat surfaces and walls. I'd really like respawning explosive barrels if that's possible and some oil wells in the background... which TF2 probably doesn't have.

    This is looking good even in alpha stages :) This is one of those levels that I can tell would be fun to play and master.

    >> edit >> I played it more over the past hour with 2 friends (+bots) and we figured out that on the far left side of blue, it seems pointless. Behind that building with the wide open alley. Sure spies and scouts can take that area, but there are closer paths to take.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  20. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    And A2 is up. Once again, thanks for all the great feedback. Hope I managed to do it some justice.

    I've added a third point and changed the layout of the lower-left area accordingly. I've slightly narrowed the border of that area as well, but other than that I've mostly left the map the same size. I have, however, added forward spawns for both teams to focus the action at any given time. I've also tried to expand some of the buildings a bit to make them less cramped, and I've gotten rid of a whole bunch of gratuitous tiny height differences.

    I'll try to have it entered in the next gameday, but as usual I'd be really happy if someone took a stroll on their own and pointed out the most fatal flaws before that.