CP Dam a3

Made by [O]

  1. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    Damned

    [2009 03 01] my first ever attempt at mapping. i thought it would be fun and interesting to show the whole process from concept and sketches through to construction, development, testing and final. would be for my record, as well as show the process to others which is rare if non existent on our forum.

    started out as a mutation of a different mapping idea and evolved in my head just a little more to give me my first couple of sketches. roughly a month ago.

    basically i wanted to create a dynamic map and create a map that truly used water as a gaming mechanism. so i figured, damn [no pun intended] with the same water level on each side. wouldn't it be fun to have a competition to make your side hold the water and let the other's not have any?


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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  2. mtv22

    mtv22 L3: Member

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    Really great idea, although I would hate swimming across the water, getting into battle and dying instantly, and having to swim all the way across. Basically just don't make the swim very far, or make an alternate walking route along the side.
     
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  3. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    [2009 03 01] my first ever attempt at mapping. i thought it would be fun and interesting to show the whole process from concept and sketches through to construction, development, testing and final. would be for my record, as well as show the process to others which is rare if non existent on our forum.

    started out as a mutation of a different mapping idea and evolved in my head just a little more to give me my first couple of sketches. roughly a month ago.

    basically i wanted to create a dynamic map and create a map that truly used water as a gaming mechanism. so i figured, dam [no pun intended] with the same water level on each side. wouldn't it be fun to have a competition to make your side hold the water and let the other's not have any?

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    i immediately started thinking of triggers. capturing CPs would increase water on my end or decrease on the opposing sides end. at the same time thought of having the ultimate CP at the river bed on either side of the dam and owned by the respective teams. increasing or decreasing the water levels now had more purpose and greater rewards [and punishment].

    after debating for a couple of days as to what exactly the water triggers would do [since there are many possibilities to go about this] i settled on what i found to be the best solution. capturing a CP would increase on your end and decrease on their end makig it easier for you to get across your side of the dam and easier to cap the opposing CP [since there is less water to swim through and hold your breath under].

    WATER SEASAW
    basically the water starts at a neutral level for both sides [the solid blue line] capping either A or B will get a one level water change [green dotted line labeled 1] that is slightly higher for you and slightly lower for them. capping a second of the two water level triggers [whats left over from A and B] will get you a further one level water change to give you maximum water [and therefore easiest defense of your cap and easy access to dam] and minimum water height at opposing E like just puddles [making it easier for you to cap and harder for them to traverse to the dam

    5 CPs
    i pretty much decided before conception that it would be a 5 point map with 4 neutral middle points and one final opposing team point [yes technically 6, but 5 from a team perspective]. i only knew what 2 were so far: cp-e the final prize and cp-a the water level trigger.

    i ended up with the concept section and concept notes.

    • CP_A | triggers one level change in water for both teams.
    • CP_B | triggers a second and final level change in water. levels are at their maximum. its a short drop from spawn to the water and a short climb up your side of the dam. the opposing team side is practically dry, with just puddles and now very easy to cap final cp_e.
    • CP_C | didnt jsut want to have a cp for the sake of filling in my 5 cp slots so i created more reward for teams that endeavored a little more and bothered to go deeper into the dam but no punishment this time for opposing team. a bridge from spawn to dam top is triggered by this cp.
    • CP_D | again. more reward for those that go even further. cp_c and cp_d are practically optional but help a team in capturing that final, surely heavily/stubbornly defended final cp_e. reward is an accelerated water tube valve that is triggered open and shoots you to be dumped out at base of opposing side of dam, infront of cp-e.
    • CP_E | required to win the round. at river bed infront of opposing team spawn. remember going straight for CP_E is suicide. you and your team mates would drown before barely starting to cap.
    all mid CPs are up for grabs in any order and ive planned for things like taking CP_C and/or CP_E before A or B. having the brdige extended before increasing water level on your end will make you risk being blown into a long drop down to the water and a long walk back up the side of the dam. but at max water level its a short drop [and possibly easy to get back on?]. as for the water tube its almost worthless if it shoots you to be under water on their end, with less mobility, weapon suppresion, and underwater turrets reigning hell on you.

    even at this stage of conception i recognized the need to have niches carved out of the damn wall as well as the other walls [riverside and below spawn shack/bldg.

    i've progressed beyond this already. done some research on dams to look for architecture ideas, detailing ideas, and gameplay mechanics oppurtunities. i've also gone further and started modeling while learning off of the VDC turorials and tf2maps.net's content. started researching how i can manipulate the triggers and outputs of source to get the desired gaming effects [hence my forum threads created ove rthe last couple of days].

    i will make 3 more immediate posts in the next 2 days to bring update to where i am currently which is basic modeling along with screen shots. dont get your hopes up, its still very crude and experimental.

    so tell me what you all think. would be nice to know. i hope i end up creating a very simple symetrical concept map with some interesting new mechanics and a fresh yet familiar setting.

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    [2009 03 07]
    some sketches that showed the beginings of ideas like niches in the dam walls for turrets and snipers. what can also be seen is the decision to not have CP_A in the same visual line as any of the staircases going into the dam. that way any one team could not monopolize holding point A as well as a one of the entrances into the dam.

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    TO LOCK OR NOT TO LOCK?
    besides the decision to make all central CPs capturable in any order i debated whether i should have any CP locked after being capped.

    well one thing i wanted to preserve was the yo-yo effect of the water levels. i thought it would be interesting to have one team tip the balance one way and still give theother team a chance to flip it all the way around. that was a core idea. i was worried that maybe this would drag on so much, but it would be a pity to take this expereince away if it players eventually learned the map and found inventive ways to try and hold the two A and B points after a coupe of swings back and forth.

    i thought id leave it to testing to see how well the freeform goes. but a couple of days ago i had this idea to allow the swinging to go back and forth until one team was able to cap both A and B then they would be locked. seems like a good compromise. what do you think? i.e. if you capture A or B theres still a chance the enemy can turn things around, but if you eventually get both, they finally become locked.

    till this point ive left C and D to be recapturable anytime.

    comments???

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    [2009 04 01] RESEARCH

    these are a few images i plucked off the internet that had to do with specific real life dam features that i thought would fit my map's mechanics.

    JET VALVES
    the first is of release valves from the dam. it was a pleasant coincidence to find that these actually exist, because if you look closely at my early section sketch, you'll find that i was playing with the idea of having ejection valves near caps B, C, and D. the idea was to have instant access to point E in case anyone wanted to taste the rewards of the respective trigger immediately or jsut simply jump to frontline action.

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    the next caught my eye because of its obvious resemblance to...yup...ctf_turbine's props. wouldn't hurt to use the same models here to theme up one of my cap areas...

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    finally, this one below explained the mechanics of a real life dam. it gave me a great idea [that was somehwat thought of already before i even saw this- see trigger result 4 in my section]: the water pipe could be used to take players from one side to the other. this could be a triggered opening of latches that allowed a player to be propelled to the other side. they would pass beneath one of the turbines, with no collision, but perhaps a quick view into that cap area [and a cool view from players AT that cap of people jetting beneath them]. the debate will now be: do i stick with my first jet tube path [spawn to CP_E]? or go with this one [your CP_E to enemy CP_E]? perhaps it will be figured out in testing when considering balancing for travel time.
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    [2009 04 03]

    SCREENSHOTS

    just the very beginnings of my modeling on this map [and ever]
    starting off with the basics:



    • dam with sloped walls and high enough to hold 3 double height floors internally.
    • wall to close the map on each end
    • spawn rooms above those walls
    • displacement testing for canyon/riverside.
    • all caps have been placed [although not visible yet because i still havent made access to them].
    • HUD cap layout

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    SHOT ABOVE WATER. canyon side can be seen as well as dam itself. first prop idea in- trees. spawn room drop exit can be seen top left [not final layout of spawn exit]

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    SHOT UNDER WATER. CP_E red can be seen at the riverbed.

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    SHOT FROM OPPOSITE CORNER NEAR DAM. spawn can be seen at top right as well as CP_E red.

    HUD CP LAYOUT
    note the cool HUD layout! looks exactly like my schematic section.

    WHATS IN PROGRESS?
    working on the mechanics of the map. controlling the triggers and func_water_analog to get to specific levels while checking on who owns the other level-changing-CP is one hell of a puzzle challenge.

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    [2009 04 09] UPDATE
    screenshots of some detailing and props at D that I know I want from the start.

    CP_D turbine theme in progress
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    CP_B architecture in progress
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    thanks mtv. that is a concern for me. so im looking forward to testing. although im adamtn about keeping the water as the only route to and from the dam since thats the whole concept of the map. i will however play with the length. in fact i just shortened it today, but just enough so that any turret placed by a team whoes taken part of the dam top will not kill everyone that comes out of spawn.

    i also need to be careful and not take too much liberties with the realism of the map. i.e. normally a dam would not have walls facing it on either end [or any end for that matter lol]. so cramming it too close would put me in danger of making it look like a glorified bathtub.

    but your comment helped me realize that i was thinking of potential major problems ahead of time. thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  4. Cerious

    Cerious L7: Fancy Member

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  5. bakentake

    bakentake L1: Registered

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    I like your planning more than mine, going to have to try with graph paper and different colored pens. My planning consists of drawing an overview to get the big things I want down, then writing everything else usually in quick note format.

    Just reread your first post and your doing it they can be capped in any order.

    Might still consider what I typed originally but I think either way would work, only problem is possibly all it takes is a couple of engineers at C to hold the other team at D while your team caps the other two points above.

    Original post:
    Hopefully that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  6. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    thanks for the heads up. i wish i wrote down some of those other name aletrnatives now. got to go back and think some up then in cse he releases befoer i do.
     
  7. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    thanks bake. my planning habits i get from being an architect as a profession. design is deisgn whether its a lighter, a game, or a building. i was pleasantly surprised when reasearching about mapping that wikis/tutorials recomend the very same thing that we do in deisng...sketching out ideas. not new to you i know. just thought id share that.

    on a more specific note, what ive done it put the basic layout, with a hint of the gameplay mechanism and trigger effects.

    for mapping im beginning to develop a connetion for myself when sketching. blues and reds represent anythign owned by a team [spawns, cp] black is a final physical architecture. dotted lines are changes in the map due to triggers. letters are cap names and numbers are changed environment due to triggers of their corresponding CPs [the letters].

    when i sketch in general i sketch in a relatively light colored ink [red or green] and just doodle over and over on the same sketch until it gets too messy. if i feel ive settled on anything i sketch over those parts in black to "finalize" it. if i want to develop the idea further without losing the original sketch i "save" that sketch by jsut placing transparent paper over it and tracing as a start what i felt was final from the previous sketch and just continue. rinse repeat till you're happy.

    i got that stuff pretty much down but what im here to learn is mapping from you guys:D

    great questions guys. keep them coming.

    well im intending to have at least 2 vertical circulations inside the damn so that no one team can block one set of staircases. [was going to talk about this in my next update]. the section is just a shcematic of course, and the issue you mentioned came to mind. so im not quite sure how i will take care of it but what i wrote above is a possible solution. having two sets of stairs throughout the dam will make itimpossible for a team to hold both as well as make and assault on E and defend their own E.

    i do want to keep the gameplay open to allow for players/teams to create new strategies for the map and experiment. so thats why ithe order is open. on the other hand i have some failsafes built in. capping C and triggering the bridge extension before taking A+B will yield the following scenario. yes you have a bridge which makes reaching the dam faster, but without a high water level below you as a safety net you could either die, or in the least lose time falling, swimming across, and climbing the dam's side. so its a risky reward. capping D before A+B creates a situation where you get jetted through the tube to the opposing teams E area, but you're going to still be under water. yes its a little less time under water, but with your movement compromised, and some of your weapons as well...how do you deal with underwater turrets [for example]].

    YOUR OTHER QUESTION:

    well, good thing you asked. i wouldnt have realized i was missing that from my OP.
    basically the water sarts at a neutral level for both sides [the solid blue line] capping either A or B will get a one level water change [green dotted line labeled 1] that is slightly higher for you and slightly lower for them. capping a second of the two water level triggers [whats left over from A and B] will get you a further one level water change to give you maximum water [and therefore easiest defense of your cap and easy access to dam] and minimum water height at opposing E like just puddles [making it easier for you to cap and harder for them to traverse to the dam.
     
  8. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    i've updated the original post [OP] for the 2nd time with another step in the design process of my map: research. please read and post your opinions. my apologies if the images do not show. please go to my album in the image gallery section until the images are up
     
  9. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    NEW UPDATE:

    as with every update of mine plz check bottom of original post [colored orange]. now edited with latest info and first screenshots!!!
     
  10. Fireman

    Fireman L4: Comfortable Member

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    Just a quick thought on your cp hud layout - right now the topmost control point icon is right smack dab in the middle of the player's field of vision. Without having played yet this may not actually prove to be a problem, but it seems like having it there is a little intrusive, if not distracting. Is there any way to either scale the icons down, or rotate the display 90 degrees to either side?
     
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  11. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    thanks fireman. gotten that comment from a couple of other people as well. absolutely noted. we'll have to wait till testing. and if it really is a nuisance, then it will have to go.

    im hoping that in the end it wont matter much since it is a small square in a pretty large field in the end.
     
  12. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    BACK!

    Circumstances have encouraged me to come back and really try to finish this map.

    I'm confident that the idea behind the control maps of this point is very original and will be a lot of fun.

    Now its been over two years since I even looked at the SDK after having dropped everything due to a family emergency at the time.

    I've forgotten everything, but I hope with the great support that i know exists in this forum I can get up and running quick.

    There was one particular member who was an excellent help at the time. I had a very special and intricate triggering mechanism on my map and he made it possible. To my embarrassment I cannot remember his name. I hope he can step forward if he sees this post. I would like to continue working on the map and would very much like his help. In the very least he deserves credit for making the mechanics get to a workable starting point.

    If you are out there hit me up.
     
  13. Vincent

    aa Vincent 🔨 Grandmaster Lizard Wizard Jedi 🔨

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    I skimmed your main post, looked at the date, then saw your recent post.
    Welcome back I suppose. If you want help on anything you can go to the TF2maps steam chat, there's always people willing to help in there. You might find that person that helped you too.
     
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  14. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    One of my first updates since i've been back.

    WATER LEVEL MECHANISMS

    I've tested the water level mechanics with some bots jsut to make sure the basic mechanisms are working properly.

    Everything works perfectly.

    The water level rises to the proper level on the capping team's side of the dam every time A or B are taken and then rises to its full capacity when any one team has both A + B.

    In turn, the water level drops for the enemy side of the dam by one level when A or B are taken and goes down to the river bottom when both A + B are taken.

    Both points lock once any one team takes both. Until then, they are still re-cappable. I've done this in the interest of net letting rounds go on for too long. If during human player testing i find that it ends the round too quickly, then we will not lock A and B. The mechanism of locking has been tested and works fine.

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    SPAWN POINTS

    The spawn points for both teams will most likely end up being train cars from trains on bridge tracks used to help construct the dam.

    As I said when I first thought up the map, players will drop into the water, swim across then climb up their respective sides of the dam to start battling it out on A and/or B.

    Not 100% sure how they will go up the dam form the outside though. My first idea is stairs as you can see in the pics. It would work but would I'm worried it would look ugly.

    WOULD REALLY LIKE INPUT ON THE STAIRS THING. what do you think? like? no like? other proposals?

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    my one other option might be pipes running diagonally up the side of the dam. So they would be ramps basically.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  15. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    E is all you need to win the game on this CP map.

    Its accessible any time but only realistically cappable if you have A+B.

    below E is a missile silo.

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  16. Yacan1

    aa Yacan1 D I G I T A L I N F L U E N C E R

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    I'm very impressed by your research and work into this but one thing that stands out to me is the massive amount of water that floods "C" (the one with the bridge over it). Water completely over a point isn't a good idea seeing is that you can possibly cancel out a couple of classes in gameplay. The pyro will be useless except for a shotgun and melee weapon, Demoman's grenades to not travel far underwater, and spy's cloak recharge will difficult.

    If that point is being attacked or captured, it would be hard to defend with all the open space that is actually there. The point seems deep enough that by the time you reach the bottom you could be on 50% of your air by then. It could be a tad more easy to understand this map if it was switched to Steel's layout.
     
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  17. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    Yacan1 first of all thanks so much for giving me some input! Barely anyone else has.

    I suspect it might be because its a confusing map to explain. Its clear from your post that you misunderstood and I will try to clarify.

    First of all, that is point E under the water, not C. There are actually 2 point E's. One for blu and one for red [please refer to the diagrams in the beginning of the thread].

    Both points are on either side of the damn and are the only exclusive points to each team, owned by their respective team. A, B,C, and D are located within the dam. Each on one floor, started with A at the top [so C is actually within the dam]. A,B,C,and D are common targets for both teams and each trigger a different map change.

    What you are refering to are images with E under water right? You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT in that there is a massive amount of water over [E] and that makes it not just impossible for a couple of classes but all classes since they cant breathe.

    That is actually the point of the map. You see the water over both E points changes levels depending on if A and/or B are owned. I'm going to give the short version of this: the more points you own the higher the water on your side of the dam AND the lower the water on the enemy side.

    Higher water on your side
    • = difficult for enemy to capture, if not impossible.
    • = faster for you to get to dam because no need to go down, then across the river bed, then up the dam.

    Lower water on the enemy side
    • = you can now cap enemy E because its not underwater anymore.
    • = enemy has longer time to get to dam as they have to go down to the riverbed, cross it, then go up the dam.

    You basically will not attempt at E until you take A+B.
    If you have lost A+B then its just a matter of holding them off from taking your now exposed E, until time runs out. The best you can hope for after losing A+B is forcing a draw.

    If you already understood this, then I have misunderstood your comment and I'm sorry. If thats the case please clarify.

    As for the large open space at what I think you meant as E, you are correct.

    I still need to build a lot of the "Junk" at the bottom of the riverbed to provide cover. I intend to put a lot of props. I might put in a site office or two for some extra meat.

    Still working on the mechanics of C [triggering the extending bridge] and D [a speed tube that shoots you directly to E [like in granary??].

    So I hope that explanation helps. I hope you like the map.
     
  18. Yacan1

    aa Yacan1 D I G I T A L I N F L U E N C E R

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    I understand what you mean now, it makes a bit more sense. I'm just saying there is a fine line between the map affecting the gameplay, and gameplay affecting the map.
     
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  19. [O]

    [O] L3: Member

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    I like that quote! I'll keep that in mind.

    Maybe you can join me in my map a couple of times. Its still rough looking, but you can experience the mechanics first hand i think you'll get a better idea.

    I'd get more feedback as well :)
     
  20. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    Those staircases look really horrible. That is way, way too high. Seriously, i think the first opening in the dam is gonna be too high. At that range, damage falloff starts affecting combats, and it becomes hard for anyone to attack up the stairs. since a few soldiers can spam down them constantly.