ctf_wall and cp_science (both beta)

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by Shmitz, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Links:
    ctf_wall
    cp_science

    Both are in beta stages, with Wall a bit farther along in playtesting and SCIENCE! a bit farther along in visuals. Feedback is great, as long as it helps me make them better. ^_^

    Issues I know about with Wall:
    * Buildings are pretty plain, overall lack of detail (I've been waiting till I finalize the layout so if I have to move/resize a building I'm not moving a crapton of detail brushes and props around).
    * Streetside can be somewhat vacant with anything less than 32 players.

    Possible issues with SCIENCE!:
    * Not very sure about cap times.
    * Really hoping that the arrows do a good job at directing players, and don't make things confusing.

    I'm hoping this place turns out to be a lot more helpful than fpsbanana. Please be awesome.
     
  2. drp

    aa drp

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    Maps look pretty good. What are the recommended players in wall? 32?
     
  3. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    Those maps look pretty cool, I especially like the way Science looks.
     
  4. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Actually got some playtesting done today on cp_science, and the last cap is far too difficult to break into (even taking into account that both servers were running with fast or instant respawn >_<).

    My plans for the bases are:
    1) Add a door to the end of the big hall that leads outside. This'll ease up the long-distance spawn camping and give defenders less frustration in getting out.
    2) Add another set of steps to the side-shaft approach to the cap point. Right now attackers have to come from one side of the platform, making it a little too easy to set up a deadly array of sentries. This second set would be on the other side just as you come out of the shaft into the main area.
    3) Add a third approach that exits onto the ledge on the "left" side of the chamber. I'm not sure if this should come from outside (maybe through the shed), or from the hallway that currently just leads up to the top level.
    4) Reduce the cap time. Not quite to granary-levels of instantaneous, but still a bit less than it is now.


    Thoughts? Think this will be enough?
     
  5. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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  6. Intraman

    Intraman L4: Comfortable Member

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    I just played on Science. It was really awesome. Shame there were only like 5 other people on the server, it looks like it could be a lot fun with large teams.
     
  7. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Updated cp_science to Beta 3. Hopefully the new wayfinding system should eliminate the majority of the complaints about the map being confusing.
     
  8. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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  9. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    CP_SCIENCE! updated to beta 4 and now downloadable here on tf2maps! ^_^

    I'm hoping this can be considered a release candidate. Unless there are any significant gameplay issues still present in this version, all I really need to do is flesh out the sounds a little bit more.

    (FPSB link also)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  10. Paria

    Paria L5: Dapper Member

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    visually i liked this map, especially all the extra touches you have added - the centre point seems to be a very good early skirmish (specially for a demoman :)).

    After playing it twice today on my server i found people still found the layout somewhat confusing - engineers would set up equipment at the 4th point thinking they were defnding the second :D, im not sure what the cause is (maybe people cant handle anything thats not linear :/) but if people were willing to give the map time im sure some great games could be had on it

    thats really my only concern with the map that people wont learn the layout
     
  11. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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  12. JTG

    JTG L2: Junior Member

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    cp_science is a fantastic map! that was one of the best ones we played on on Sat night. Great, great job.
     
  13. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    I think the part I enjoyed the most about science was the changing sign colors. This made finding the next contested point incredibly easy. I have a horrible sense of direction when I first join a new map and its not until I have played the same map repeatedly that I start to really understand it.

    The signs made navigation much, much easier and in the end made the map a lot more fun. This is a feature I would love to see in more custom maps.

    Oh, and I really liked the custom lock / cap-point images.
     
  14. jakeparlay

    jakeparlay L2: Junior Member

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    love love love science. very impressed by the visuals and the fun-factor. played it on a full 32 manner yesterday and after about 5 minutes of learning the layout, it was a riot. well done sir
     
  15. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Loving cp_science, and cp_wall is pretty good too.

    Shmitz you meake really good maps, how long have you been mapping?
     
  16. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Single player: since Doom. Multiplayer: since Quake. Important note: huge gap between Q3 and Orange Box when I didn't make any maps (assuming board games don't count).

    ------------------------------------


    On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to take some time to discuss Purpose in mapping. The following is mostly a result of thoughts swirling around in my head at 1:30 AM and not letting me sleep until I get them out, so I won't be offended if you don't bother reading. =P


    Now and again I get a few bits of specific feedback about ctf_wall and cp_science that I have to reject, and I often feel awkward about it because it's difficult to explain why in logical gameplay terms.

    For ctf_wall, a lot of people say it needs to be smaller. For the first beta this was definitely true simply because I was as yet unsure of scale and proportion in source engine, and ended up making most of the paths far too wide. But I have still had it suggested to me that it's too big. One factor to consider is that I intentionally gave the map a grand sense of scale, to really give the map's theme some drama. Despite it seeming like a vast environment, when compared to 2fort many key travel times (like intelligence to intelligence) are actually shorter.

    However, the bigger factor is Purpose. I started making Wall because I was frustrated with playing 2fort on 32 player servers. That map just isn't big enough for that many players. Wall must, above anything else, support 32 players. Granted, it's possible that even with 32 players it may be too big, but the problem is that it is rare for me to find it on 32 player servers, so usually it's the people on the 24 player servers who suggest it should be smaller.

    For cp_science, some suggest that it should be more linear. In this case, the map's purpose is a bit more influenced by personal taste. I hate the gameplay of Granary and Well, where it's just Offensive Line vs. Offensive Line, and whoever has the stronger offensive front wins. The primary goal with Science was to take the 5-chain setup and give it gameplay that allowed for flanking and forced a more active roll in defending your points. Making Science more linear would be turning it into exactly the kind of map that I hate and wanted to provide a counter example for.

    I think I could have done better. Science is not perfect, and if I were to recreate it from scratch I think I could make it feel more linear by rearranging the orientation of the bases and the center to emphasize the S-curve quality of the chain. If I were being paid to make it, I would do this in a heartbeat. But there lies a more subtle Purpose: mapping for the sake of learning and improving. Science is currently a fun map, even if it doesn't please as many people as it could. I would personally gain more by finishing it's current form and moving on to the next project.

    As mappers, we know why we're making a map, and it can be as simple as seeing a cool building and wanting to shoot your friends in it, or as complicated as experimenting with a new twist or combination of gameplay modes. We know what our goals are for making the map. What happens when there ends up being a significant difference between that and someone's goals in playing the map?

    Personal taste aside, Granary and Well aren't terrible maps. But my reasons for playing TF2 do not mesh well with the (apparent) gameplay goals of those maps. I guess what I'm looking for is an easy way of saying that someone's feedback is perfectly valid, that their request would not necessarily lead to worse gameplay, but the heart of the map would suffer if their suggestions were implemented, all without sounding like a pompous ass.


    I feel like there are probably gaps in what I've written above, but I think I'm about all out of coherence for the evening. Sorry again for the long-winded brain dump. Hope I didn't waste too much of your time. =P
     
  17. jakeparlay

    jakeparlay L2: Junior Member

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    nope, it was a good read. play on :)
     
  18. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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  19. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    I'm also a Q3 engine mapper at heart, and it took some time for me to ease into Source. I suppose I agree with your thoughts on taking feedback and choosing to ignore it. I do that a lot, but I also do listen to others as well. My goals when I make my maps are to make them as good as possible with my internal plan of how it should turn out and then with people making suggestions. Most of the time I get logical suggestions so I make the change.

    Other times, I get suggestions that I'm not really cool with. Like with Castle, people say it's too big as well. The purpose of the map to me was to make a Dustbowl, but make it actually viable for all classes by opening up the space. I HATE how Dustbowl is anti scout. I never once thought of closed in space because that map gave me a bad impression. There obviously has to be chokepoints, but the chokepoints don't have to be 2 cubic feet wide.

    I thought Mach2 was a good product when I released, but it turns out it's actually a very badly done map visually. My goals were to port the original in its glory but make it look fantastic for TF2. I had been using Source at that point for approx 2 weeks (maybe), so obviously it turned out rubbish looking. Now I'm completely redoing it because there was a discrepancy between what I wanted and what currently exists. I'm doing this even when it's been out for coming on 3 months.

    In short: I agree with making what you want and sticking with the vision. And none of us are getting paid, so it's kind of pointless to give in to the obviously contradictory feedback. I think I'm too much of an ass when I dismiss some though. Maybe I should work on that.
     
  20. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    I think it's interesting to consider the difference between psychological size and gameplay size. Castle's gameplay isnt bad, and there are plenty of places where the action gets focused. But because there are a lot of areas that are really empty visually, it feels larger. The other psychological impact of large open areas is speed. In narrow hallways, the walls and objects at the edge of the screen go by a lot faster than in expansive areas, due to field of view. This contrast, and the fact that people are used to more cramped passageways in Valve maps, makes it seem like it takes longer to get from point A to point B.

    This is, unfortunately, stuff the player doesn't have to think about but we do. It's our job to filter the feedback we get and our own experiences to understand what we need to change. If someone says an area is too large, we have to be able to figure out if we need to actually reduce its size or change its psychological effect. If someone says a section of the map is too complicated, we have to figure out if it needs to be simplified or if it needs to better visually communicate where people are supposed to go.