Delve

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Smeeko, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    This map is a three-stage attack/defend CP map that has a sort of downward, deeper flow to it (hence the name I guess). BLU is trying to invade the REDs' facility, situated inside a mountain. The theme starts with the forest/mountain theme but moves to a construction theme and eventually a spytechy theme as the stages progress, which is supposed to show how BLU gets closer and closer to the final goal, which is the 6th point (the theme of which I won't spoil in here in case anyone actually plays this).

    It's a really "full" and rather complete (beta) map (meaning that is has lots of "stuff" in it, not that it's finished) and is by no means without flaw of course. To save some time, here's a list of major issues and problems I will admit exist.

    1) It is generally too open. I tried to mitigate this by adding some leveling on most points but I don't think it worked out that well. There should be at least some decent cover though. I'm not sure how this will really affect the gameplay. That is, if it will be totally unplayable or just in need of adjustment, so I'm posting it here to find out.

    2) Because of (1), it isn't terribly visually optimizable. I have optimized as best as I can think to with the geometry present. It seems to run pretty well for me, but maybe it's horrible for others. That's why I'm posting it here: to find out.

    3) Yes, the 4th point moves. Before people bandwagon flame that decision, keep in mind that valve has been including more dynamic stuff lately (e.g. hightower, thundermountain, and the fact that you're supposed to stand on the cart anyway) and so long as this type of stuff isn't moving super fast, it doesn't seem like that big a deal. There is a very slight amount of jitter but I felt it was negligible, and a reasonable price to pay to achieve such a gameplay dynamic and uniqueness. If real server play proves all of this to be a bad decision, I have backup plans for it. But try it out.

    4) The lighting is often unbalanced. Since this is primarily an "inside" map, getting the correct balance of light and dark and transitions from one to another with artificial lights was a challenge. To get something releasable for testing, I got it to where I think it is "good enough".

    5) Some central elements (3rd and 5th point visual center pieces) should be properly modeled. I'm not a modeler so they are what they are for now.

    There are a lot of little aesthetic issues, mainly related to (4) which can be addressed later.

    I didn't mean for it to be as gimmicky as it turned out but I'm kind of sick of working on it for now and just want to get some feedback finally. Thanks in advance if you check it out.

    Edit: Some overheads:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The map is rather vertically oriented so side-views would be useful as well but I don't want to dump everything as it might just get confusing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  2. gastrop0d

    gastrop0d L3: Member

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    Looks like you've put quite a bit of work into it. I love to see multi-stage A/D maps, so I'm hoping to see this pop up on some upcoming game days.

    Couple of things I see from the screenshots: grass doesn't grow in caves, trees don't grow upside down or in caves (unless this is one of the things you want to model? Tree roots or something?).

    I love the suspended paths leading on to the truck point, very cool.
     
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  3. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    The grass and particularly trees are all part of the grand, goofy joke that seals the map's theme, actually. I don't want to say too much so as to provide an incentive for people to play it. If they get to the last point they'll go "ohhhhh...", or at least that's the idea. Hopefully the humor will be welcomed. Sorry if the screenshots aren't the best.
     
  4. Doppler12

    Doppler12 L1: Registered

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    First off, zip the file for the next update, save everyone a lot of bandwidth.

    *looks around a bit* Okay

    Missing textures Rename the materials folder in the TF directory when checking to see if packed correctly.

    long sightline into blu spawn.

    you take fall damage when running as scout into there.

    Have to jump from platform into pipe, hurts movement flow.

    HUGE CAPTURE AREA

    Players take fall damage for leaving their spawn is awfully unfair.

    use point_teleport to move this from to an area out of view or leave the cap base model.

    Too many environmental deaths distracting player from combat. Plus that bottom area doesn't look deadly until you jump down and die.

    can shoot through this glass texture but not walk through it WTF?

    There also are some HL2 textures and models in the map, most people don't like playing TF2 with the HL2 artstyle breaks immersion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  5. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

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    Dude, took a run around this map. While I agree with the stuff Doppler said...

    Holy shit, this is one gorgeous map. :| I am highly curious how it'd play, though. Lots of moving gameplay, and that's a nono in TF2 maps usually.
     
  6. Doppler12

    Doppler12 L1: Registered

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    I also agree with what you said. it is very pretty. that one up and down cap, cap 4 I think, it goes a bit too high, you could also add a platform that every class can reach near the top so the cap isn't accessible to anyone except demo's and soldiers. cause that'll give a lot of free cap time to whoever gets to the point first.
     
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  7. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    Ah thanks for those screens. I actually did test the pack by removing all my custom files from their proper locations and it was okay but now that you show me that I know what's wrong. The missing textures on those prop stairs are HL2 hazard strip textures that I accidentally used instead of the TF2 ones and then forgot to update so that is probably what you're seeing. It's no wonder I didn't catch this. I don't recall using any HL2 models though. If I did, it was also an accident. I had no intention of mixing art styles whatsoever.

    As for the 2nd spawn fall damage, I'm actually entirely aware of this and I totally agree, which is why I have that water down there. I was never able to get it deep/wide enough to catch the player 100% of the time and still allow an easy walk (not jump/ledge hop) out of there. I didn't want you to have to "climb" out of a deep pool, just walk out quickly. I got sick of trying to get that to work perfectly and wanted to move on so I left it for now since there is health pretty close.

    The platform jump-to-pipe should be higher, I agree. Do you think that stairs/platform needs to be there at all though? I debated removing it completely for exactly this reason.

    By "huge capture area" do you mean the actual capture zone itself or the general location of the point?

    The glass window to which you refer is a curved displacement. Maybe that's why it appears passable to shots. I'm not sure about this.

    I'm also not sure what to do about the fall death on the 5th point since yeah, it's not obvious that you die and I didn't want to just make it black but maybe that'd just be better (short of re-working a lot of geometry, that point kinda sucks in general to be honest)

    I had the 4th platform go higher to allow players to jump from it onto the top level. I'm not sure what you're saying about this. Only demos/soldiers should be able to access it? You mean attackers?

    I compressed the file too...slipped my mind. Link is updated now. Sorry about that.

    Thanks a ton for checking this stuff out and especially for the screens.
     
  8. Vergil

    Vergil L1: Registered

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    Oh wow. Must check this place out. That last screenshot is gorgeous.
     
  9. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    Not to bump my own thread too much but I fixed the egregious error with respect to missing textures mentioned earlier and updated the version to b1a. Just for anyone's information, for some reason only one vmt per model was being detected for packing, which is why random textures were missing from models. This might be packBSP's problem but I doubt it since one model had all 5 textures packed. It is likely due to something with propper (which I used to modelify stuff) and how you create the models themselves. Just a warning to anyone using these tools.
     
  10. Doppler12

    Doppler12 L1: Registered

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    Just raise it and then use player clip to fill in the gaps.

    The capture zone itself

    there were bullet holes in the point from my shots through the window.


    Maybe I didn't notice a way for slower less jumpy classes to access the point at its highest. what I meant was every class should always have easy access to the point where ever it is

    No need to apologize, just a friendly tip.

    anytime :p
     
  11. Ian_Suffix

    Ian_Suffix L1: Registered

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    This is without a doubt the greatest, most hilarious, and most tacky (in a pleasant way) custom CP map I have seen yet. I did a good bit of looking around, and I have some suggestions and praises. Starting from the beginning stage:

    - From the very beginning, I noticed that this map is kind of visually conflicted, offering very complex arrangements of props and geometry. It might overwhelm some people in the thick of battle, but I loved it. I doubt there is a solution for it at this stage.
    - Until you reach the GRN area, cut out all the green and greenish lighting please. It discolors your team members and makes you feel funny.
    - Very clever use of textures and geometry. The dump truck and concrete pipes were amazing.
    - Chrome is not duct tape. Try not to use it on all surfaces, as it makes you want to stare if there's too much of it. Speaking of which, chrome just doesn't look right outdoors.
    - Remember to change the RED spawn(s) into BLU spawns via dynamic prop skinning so that they feel at home in their new stage.
    - Soundscapes. Where are they?
    - No. 4 moves too fast if you ask me. It also feels dangerously uncovered.
    - The Arboreal Energy Extraction Facility was a real hoot.
    - Visportal-caused visual tomfoolery at the nuke revolver; just stand behind it and look around the cracks
    - All glass in the GRN area is not solid (displacement glass? I'm not sure that works)
    - Area showing skybox beneath the nuke revolver target feels awkward (weren't we just in a cave? And now it's a cliff?)
    - If possible, change the nuke color in the revolver to RED

    EDIT: I wanted to throw in an endorsement for mildly-moving capture points. Heck, jumping on the "STATIC ONLY" bandwagon would be hypocritical given the map I'm working on has a point that moves when somebody starts capturing it.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  12. Vergil

    Vergil L1: Registered

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    I still have no idea what's with the big gun and GRN Treeactor
     
  13. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    I don't actually have any green lighting except for a couple in the middle spawns. Is that what you mean? Or did I forget to fix some others?

    Ah yes you caught the chrome thing. I used it kind of as a filler texture since it's visually homogeneous. Much of it does indeed need replacing but it'll have to stand until I make something custom. I'm not really happy with many of the valve tf2 metal textures.

    I struggled with this. It was supposed to feel like you exited the mountain from the side and yeah, on a cliff of sorts, with the gun being mounted there to defend the mountain...or something. It's kind of incongruous but I figured any real play might not notice that enough for it to matter. This also brings up the point doppler (and I even) made about the bottom area being weird there.

    I wanted to, but there is no stand-alone RED bomb model, only a RED bomb-in-cart model for plr maps. That's more modeling/texture work to be done should it be worth it I guess. Thanks.
     
  14. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Feel free to send in a bug-report and I'll see if the logs can show what's happening.

    For models used with dynamic/ragdoll/physics props, PackBsp includes all of the model's skins. This is because people might have I/O commands to change the skin at runtime, so it errs on the side of caution. With models used only in static props, PackBsp only includes the specific skins that the static props are set to use in order to save space.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  15. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    If that's how it's supposed to work then there's no bug, I just didn't realize that it was doing that. That makes sense because the only non-static model I packed was the one that had all its materials detected and packed automatically. I had to manually add the others' textures. I thought it might have had something to do with it detecting a single vmt as a single model skin. This is probably only an issue with brush-made models (e.g. models from propper and the like) since they don't rely on a single skin file. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Edit: actually, one bug I did find is that, in order to get around this issue I have to add in the extra materials manually but it doesn't work if I "Enable custom packing" and paste in the text to pack it. I packed it the first time by selecting "Add" (the button) on the previous screen, and it adds the file to the table but adding them one by one is really annoying if you have 20+ files to add. So after that pack, I copied the text on the next screen and saved it. This time, I pasted it in after enabling custom packing and it just doesn't pack it. It seems to only pack if it's on the previous screen's table. If you're the developer, can you suggest what to do in order to speed this up for now? I'll submit the log as a bug report if you can confirm this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  16. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I'll check whether the custom-screen is working right, but 90% of the time I feel that if someone needs to use it then I need to make PackBsp smarter so they don't have to.

    Could you send in the log-file and the names of the VMT files which aren't being found automatically? I had to write the MDL-reading bits from scratch so it is possible I may have missed something in how it handles skins.

    ___________

    As a workaround, the "custom" screen is really just whatever gets passed to BSPZIP. If you're comfortable using command-line tools, you can copy-paste the stuff into a text file and run BSPZIP directly.
     
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  17. Smeeko

    Smeeko L1: Registered

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    I didn't realize bspzip was that easy to use. I just assumed it was a pain since people have made wrappers for it but thanks a lot. Here's the log of packBSP not working when I pasted in the text directly.

    http://tf2.calamar-e.com/delve/packbsp_debug.log

    I don't want to bump my own thread anymore with this discussion since it should probably be via PM if there's anything else. Thanks again though.
    (beta 1b updated as well)
     
  18. koth

    koth L1: Registered

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    looks like a great, and interesting map. looking forward to playing it in the future.
     
  19. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

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    We played it on a server, sentry's locked down the moving point, once someone finds out theres a spy on point, he is easily moved out of cover and into sentry range. I personally find the complex geometry and texture work a bit overwhelming, but thats just a personal opinion. I agree with the dump truck and concrete tubing though, looked fantastic!
     
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  20. mdawgmike

    mdawgmike L1: Registered

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    Is this going to be play-tested publicly anywhere? According to TF2stats, pretty much nobody has it on their server yet...and because of the moving parts the TF2 bots won't work very well either :(. This is definitely something I want to see in action. From running around, I can tell a lot of thought has been put into this map. On glitch I happened to catch is that you can get behind the cannon's target without no-clipping or anything (doesn't seem like an area players should be able to access)...not sure if you're aware of that or not.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010