Destruction, decay, and Team Fortress 2.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by The Political Gamer, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    One thing I have seen across most TF2 maps custom maps is that destruction or decay does not fit in the game.

    One exception would be ctf_sawmill because it is woven into the map very well. but thats only one map. In most other maps I have seen a broken brick wall in or something like it, it always looks really out of place.

    I guess one could say TF2 is a very sterile game with how clean some things are vs. many other games that put destruction and decay at the forefront. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
     
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  2. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    I don't think destruction and decay is out of place at all. It's an interesting "subtheme" in Sawmill, and... well, whether something broken fits isn't really something I'd even consider. Broken things fit everything in my opinion.

    Also - realtime destruction for Team Fortress 3 please. :3
     
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  3. Pooluke41

    Pooluke41 L5: Dapper Member

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    I guess its supposed to be like the game "Evil Genius" (Don't know if you played that but,)
     
  4. Mould

    Mould L2: Junior Member

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    In my opinion, destruction can look really good with an Egypt theme.

    Ruins just looks great on the Egyptian theme, with broken walls, collapsed pillars. However I'm really not a massive fan on any other theme. Maybe it would look right in a jungle or swamp theme, but I've no idea.
     
  5. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    I think the 'decay' in tf2 maps should orient around the building not yet being finished, rather than simply getting blown up. With all the projectiles flying around players come to accept the game world as indestructable, so when you put a crater in the ground or a hole in a wall it can break immersion.
     
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  6. Mick-a-nator

    aa Mick-a-nator

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    The trouble is that when a map maker decides "I want destroyed walls here" it makes sense in their head, but because the map is in dev testers cannot see how it fits with the map's design. Put destruction in a good beta and it should work well (provided the sub-theme can support it and the mapper can do it well).
     
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  7. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    I think Tapp has a very good point. This might be something worth considering for my maps...

    I still think large-scale destruction (i.e. a landslide) can look cool without breaking immersion, though.
     
  8. gamemaster1996

    gamemaster1996 L13: Stunning Member

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    It seems not many official maps contain alot of broken bits unless it seems like they were broken a very long time ago.
     
  9. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Pompous didactic mode... Activate!

    This is the list of guideline movies and games that I try to think of:
    • No-One Lives Forever
    • Austin Powers
    • Evil Genius
    • Get Smart

    Meditate upon them and ask yourself: Would it work there? Would it be funny and would it fit the expectations those properties have worked upon?

    ___________

    When it comes to destruction in TF2, the destruction must have been accomplished via means which no player could conceivably wield during play. This means a mega-drill, a super-laser, or a big bomb on a train-cart. This guideline would also allow methods like digging a tunnel between both bases which is littered with discarded blunted spoons. Destruction is either over-the-top (super-device) or ridiculously impractical (digging with spoons) or ideally both. For example, one might take a high-tech rocket launcher and then precariously mount it on top of a garden sprinkler. (To disable turret rotation, stand on the green hose.)

    As Tapp mentions, map-destruction should have minimal or no overlap with the kinds of "battle scarring" which individual players can cause, so don't preemptively apply bullet-holes or rocket-divots into the ground.

    ___________

    When it comes to decay, it's generally a good idea to think in terms of "fake" decay. You should be able to imagine that BLU is actually instructing their janitorial service--who cleans the "real base"--to empty their dustpans out in the facade.

    If the RED base is missing a few boards, it's because they retain a "wood stylist" who goes around clucking their tounge and saying "No no, dahling, this simply will not do! So complete, so symmetric, it is a fashion train-wreck! Rip zose three boards off, and paint the leftover nails with 'burnt umber'!"
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  10. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It makes sense to me.

    Providing the maps are conforming to the TF2 narrative, we assume the mercinaries are fighting over valueble resources and facilities. It doesn't really make sense that there would be any significant decay besides the usual expected wear 'and every day life' tear that would occur to the "business facade" scenes. We're not talking about decade old buildings here (unless that's the theme, one that hasn't been invented yet). "Dynamic entrances" Has never been TF2's "thing" and it annoys me in plr_panic's second stage where it is. It just doesn't feel right.

    Besides Egypt, which is an ancient ruin theme anyway, i've found there's no real place for decay or dynamic destruction in TF2 beyond epic map finale's. Static destroyed walls? It really depends on the execution, but considering the application of game rules and controlling mechanics, such as round gates and spawn rooms, it is generally assumed a team has not visited this location prior to this exchange in order to set up pre-emptive routes of attack; and although we play these maps over and over, it is assumed we are taking part in the initial conflict. Otherwise, for the sake of example, we could only play pl maps once. Or assuming BLU managed to destroy RED's rocket in dustbowl in the past, why have further actions not been taken to protect that resource? Or both the 2fort bases wouldn't exist from all the fighitng.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  11. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I think part of the "decay" angle is whether it happens in the "real base" or on the facade. Central or facade decay is fine, especially if you imagine it as an intentional effort at fitting in by RED/BLU.

    "Base decay" is where ctf_sawmill differs, and even then it looks more like the base was recently built with nobody paying attention to the weather forecast. Once the deluge stops, they'll mop it up and it'll be OK again.

    One place "base decay" seems to be acceptable is anything resembling sewers, such as in doublecross or 2fort, both of which have litter in water and drifts of dirt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  12. Sel

    Sel Banned

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    It looks out of place because every mapper who tries it does it in hammer.

    Yeah that's obviously going to look out of place, because guess what, hammer isn't good at making complex objects, and is even worse at handling them.

    It's not out of place per say, it's just gone about in the wrong fashion by the development community.
     
  13. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Tell that to DoDS.

    But i do agree you're better off using models as in HL:Ep1 and 2 City 17 scenes. edit: Although they did pretty well with the scripted phys houses in the strider battle at White Forest.

    It's just generally assumed that "this round" is the "first" action this "map" has seen in relation to the narrative. As a part of the suspension of disbelief, considering we play these maps over and over.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  14. Firest0rm

    Firest0rm L4: Comfortable Member

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    I think that as long as there is an obvious and humorous reason for the decay/destruction, it works well. For example, payload explosions are obvious, and everyone likes big explosions. Also, I have a little road thing in a map i'm making that leads to a blood-spattered, bent in garage door, and it looks fine
     
  15. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    That, or the buildings are somehow impervious to permanent damage from any of the weapons the teams use, which is backed up by gameplay if not any of the laws of physics.
     
  16. Howling

    Howling L1: Registered

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    Narrative is a strong element in any design. Whether it's architecture, graphic design or mapping. It seems to be one-on-one with immersion. grazr was quite on the money with his article Immersion and Your Map.

    If I compare this with what I do during my day job (a designer) it's selling a story. For instance with the strongest films - and I like comparing to films because video and animation is what I do - they are the ones with the stories that linger in your head, or that at least keep you at the edge of your seat. They amaze you in it's plot twists and keep you pasted to the seat without you even noticing how much time flies by.

    Films like Transformers - though they have AWES0ME!!1! sfx - are poor excuses for storytelling because they do not immerse the viewer as much as for example 12 Angry Men (1957). Which is set in one room, with little over a dozen actors and no special effects whatsoever. Yet it ranks way higher on the imDB top 250 than Transformers does.

    Now when you play a map you immerse yourself in a fictitious world, which we could call a pool of Suspension of Disbelief (quoting grazr here). Now if the map is simply two bases against each other the narrative is pretty flimsy. But Control Point and especially Payload maps have a stronger narrative. "Get cargo X from point A to point B because thus."

    If you come up with a narrative first, you'll also have a pretty good motivational tool to map, to design. Creating the right setting for just your map. If you go custom (textures, models, you name it) the possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to narrative.

    So, to the point: I think destruction could work. If it's completely enveloped by the narrative. For instance; "BLU and RED have been hard on each other's backs on an island somewhere - for a while now. It seems the battle is reaching a climax and RED is driven to a point where BLU can corner them. Can they hold out?"

    Now in this example the narrative is that both teams have been battling it out for a while and one of them is facing a Waterloo. You would create a world accordingly. Though I think better narratives can be come up with :p

    Am I making sense? :)
     
  17. gamemaster1996

    gamemaster1996 L13: Stunning Member

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    If valve did make an official map with alot of decay and destruction it'd probabaly look right though, and we'd template off that.
     
  18. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Howling: I think there's an issue of friction between the map narrative and the game narrative. Sort of the same reason you can't drop L4D resources and design into a TF2 map. It might make for a very compelling narrative but it would be harmed by how out-of-place it is.
     
  19. hpkomic

    hpkomic L1: Registered

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    Decay or imperfections can be used effectively in TF2, I think. There are a couple of scenarios.

    Red and Blu have bases located in a populated city, and wage war in the condemned building between them.

    Red and Blu are constructing new field bases near each other, but aren't able to complete them in time for the mission.

    Along those lines, Red and Blu are retrofitting some existing structures for their new operations, thus things are being torn out, and temporary underground paths are dug with flimsy supports to try to sabotage the other side.
     
  20. (-TN-) Ben2

    (-TN-) Ben2 L4: Comfortable Member

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    if youve seen gonfins mappl_cliffsedge, well i helepd with the detail for that and we put some destroyed crumbling walls in that map and it actually looks quite nice. the egypt textured walls help.