PL Dockyard a5

Made by English Mobster

  1. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Hello!
    This is my first TF2 map, pl_Dockyard.
    It's still in the early stages, but the idea is to have a train-themed Payload map.
    First, a little history of the layout:
    I made maps for Halo: Custom Edition for close to 5 years. My latest map, "Gridlock", had just entered alpha when it came across a few bumps in the road (phantom geometry being the worst). By that time, the community was dying as the game approached its 9th birthday and I decided it simply wasn't worth the effort. I took the model and shelved it.
    I had experimented with TF2 and Hammer a while before, but I couldn't stand the Hammer controls (coming from 3DS Max) and so I never truly got into it.
    About 3 days ago, the mapping bug bit me again, so I dusted off my old concept for Gridlock and reworked it with TF2's gameplay in mind. The result was this:
    Blu Spawn:
    [​IMG]
    BLU Spawn (7/18/11).

    [​IMG]
    Pushing the cart around the first corner (7/18/11).

    Why does the cart have to take a roundabout route when the goal is literally only a few hundred meters across from it? Because there was a fence in the way.
    The fence has an invisible wall around it that prevents rockets, sniper shots, and the like from passing through, thus eliminating the possibility of snipers spawn camping from either base.
    On the far right, you can see a train passing by; there are 2 tracks here, guarded by 2 trains. The bomb must go across both these tracks to make it to the first CP, and again to get to the final CP.

    CP 1:
    [​IMG]
    A train guards the path to the first CP.

    The first CP is straightforward. It's where multiple paths break off in multiple directions, marked by a train every 45-90 seconds or so.
    The bomb tracks cross the train tracks, but the bomb "plays nice" with the train:
    1. As the bomb approaches the tracks, the train's path is temporarily disabled.
    2. If the train is currently crossing the bomb's tracks, the bomb's path is temporarily disabled until the train passes.
    3. After the bomb clears the tracks, the train's path is enabled again.
    This is cheating a LITTLE by completely disabling the train during the bomb's passing, but all the other alternatives weren't quite as reliable, and as funny as watching a train hit a live, armed bomb at twice Scout's running speed, it's not good for gameplay to have the bomb bug out. :p
    The CP itself can be guarded through a well-placed Sentry, but the Sentries can be outranged with a little effort.
    As this is where one main path breaks into two, Pyros, Spies, and the like can use the alternate path to ambush the attacking team the moment they think they're safe.

    CP 2:
    [​IMG]
    Going down to the CP (7/18/11).

    The focal point of the second CP is a bridge. Defenders have a height advantage going into the second CP, but the bomb has two rollforward zones which aid Blu slightly in capping the point.
    Red also has several sniping locations that can impede Blu's progress, but the snipers are vulnerable to Scouts, Pyros, Spies, or anyone using the alternate route.
    This area has many indents, nooks, and crannies where defenders can lurk, but with perseverance, Blu can power through and onto the point.
    Once Blu captures this second CP, the spawn rooms switch; Blu gains access to a forward spawn near the second CP, while Red begins spawning in their main base.

    CP 3:
    [​IMG]
    Up the first hill! (7/18/11)

    [​IMG]
    Up the second hill! (7/18/11)

    CP 3 is going to be a tough nut to crack. It is the primary converging point for the alternate route at CP 1 (there is a secondary converging point at the bridge on CP 2, and Blu can also gain access to the alternate route directly from their forward spawn), but features 2 rollback zones coupled with a close(ish) proximity to the Red base and the primary destination for Red's alternate route.
    It winds in a spiral-staircase (if instead of a staircase, there's a track with a bomb on it) fashion up to the third CP, creating further headache from the corners and ambush points galore.
    This CP gives Blu a nice forward base with locations for teleporters and dispensers, as well as 2 alternate routes into Red base and a Sniper Battlements to supress enemy sniper attacks.

    CP 4:
    [​IMG]
    Assaulting the RED base (7/18/11).

    [​IMG]
    A BLU Sniper picks off some defenders (7/18/11).

    [​IMG]
    The final CP.

    The final CP is going to be very hard to assault. Red team has access to an open area with a height advantage, while Blu team must stick to a predictable path. Engineers can hide their Sentries within open containers or give them high vantage points that can look down upon the bomb's path, thus requiring Blu team to push that much harder to get through. Snipers on both teams are given a Battlements to snipe from, but they are vulnerable to a Spy or Pyro that sneaks up through an alternate route to take care of them.
    The bomb is forced to go into a tiny choke point into Red's container storage room, where it tumbles into a pit and explodes, thus granting Blu the win.

    I'm still working on the design of the final CP; I don't like how it looks currently, but it's extraordinarily difficult to tweak sizes and such due to the CP being located under the very floor of Red base and bordered by hallways abound.


    With this map, the goal was to have the gameplay near the end come reasonably close to the style of the last point of Dustbowl, requiring Blu to use some semblance of teamwork to win the round.
    I also wanted to provide sections for all combat styles; the large, open areas leading up to the first and last caps are perfect for those preferring long-range, while the short hallways characterizing the second and third caps lend themselves to medium-to-short range combat.
    Trains, of course, are a major part of the map (it does take place on an Intermodal dock, after all), and I figured they would make for a great addition of danger. I've never seen a Payload map with trains before (someone shall correct me with a link to their map in 3... 2... 1...), so I figured having an extra thing to worry about while escorting a cart with a bomb on it would be fun. :p

    I've never mapped for TF2 before, but I've mapped for Halo 1 (also called Halo: Custom Edition), Star Wars: Empire at War (an RTS game, but still), and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. While I still prefer 3DS Max to Hammer, I'm finally beginning to get a feel for how Hammer works and the various controls, and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    This map has entered its first alpha, and suggestions are appreciated!

    I know I'm a bit talkative, so thanks for reading, and let me know what you think! <3
    Here's a Youtube video of the map in pre-alpha for your troubles:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct5ccZtN4HM
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  2. clayton

    clayton L1: Registered

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    seems like you've thought it through. your plan is clear, not overly-ambitious. that said, the map could have some character, if you execute it well. i'd like to see more screenshots please.

    is there going to be any water? ('pl_dockyard')
     
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  3. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Certainly (to both of your questions).
    While I can't find a place for water to work within the map itself, the area "offstage" (e.g. beyond the border fence but before the skybox) by the first/last cap will have a dock with the ocean stretching to the horizon once I finish.
    I'll have more screenshots once I figure out the best way to light this thing; general omnidirectional lights are too bright and cast ugly-looking shadows, while spotlights are too dark.
    E: Figured it out!
    I would like to thank this tutorial for helping out.
    E: Bah! Old, ugly screenshots! Look down for my new ones!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  4. Randdalf

    aa Randdalf

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    Loadsa containers. Your map looks a tad overscaled if I do say so myself. If you type "sv_cheats 1; cl_drawhud 0" in console and then go into spectator mode, you can take screenshots without a viewmodel.
     
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  5. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    I've set up my Payload gametype correctly, the bomb works, time is awarded correctly, etc. However, I hit a snag:
    I have 2 rollback zones and 2 rollforward zones. The rollforward zones work fine, and the FIRST time the cart is left on the track, the rollback zones work fine as well. HOWEVER, if the cart is stopped going up the track a second time, it won't go back down. The only way to get it to go back down is to get it to the top of the hill but not quite past the end of the official rollback zone (e.g. where the path_track declaring the end is). Then, if you abandon it, it will fall back down the hill the way it's supposed to.
    I believe I set everything up right, but perhaps I didn't. Has anyone else experienced a similar issue or know the answer to this one?
    Many thanks!
    EDIT: Fixed it! :D
    The Valve tutorial told me to make a "Disable Path" output on the lower end of the rollback zone. I took a look at ABS' version, and his didn't have that, so I took it out, and it fixed it. Yay!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  6. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    I bring gifts! More screenshots for you all. This time of a better quality.
    [​IMG]
    BLU Spawn.
    [​IMG]
    The BLU respawn room for the first and second CPs. A closer look reveals what the BLU containers are shipping that is so valuable: dirty bombs. For what? I don't know.
    [​IMG]
    Intruder alert! Intruder alert! A RED spy is in the base! Perhaps a tad overdone, but I couldn't help myself.
    [​IMG]
    I've rethought where I wanted the first CP's location to be; I finally moved it up some so my map wouldn't expand too far outward; now the space I have to work with is surprisingly compact. Ish.

    Oh, also, can a mod change my thread title to simply [WIP] Dockyard? At first the } was bugging me, now I just noticed I'm the only one with a pl_ and it makes me feel stupid. And out of place. D:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  7. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  8. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Thread name modified at Authors Request
     
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  9. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Alpha 2 has been released!
    Changes in this version:
    /Redid final cap entirely.
    +Added slightly better textures to new room.
    +Made Red base in general look a little nicer.
    +Added various detail props and overlays here and there.

    CREDITS:
    Skybox Containers - Fr0Z3n
    War Room Accessories - Seba
    Computer Screen Banks - Void and Rexy
    Redstop Railways/Bluroute Transcontinental Overlay - Void
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  10. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Alpha 3 is out!
    *pl_Dockyard_a3 (7/28/11):
    /Completely fixed the trains! (Thanks, Boojum!)
    +Don't let the trains hit the cart. Bad things happen.
    +Added signs and overlays!
    +Added playerclip!
    +Added alternate routes to battlements above 3rd CP.
    /Fixed crashing bug.
    +Added 3D skybox.
     
  11. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    To bypass the train guardian, find a Withered Carrot from the Gold Fields. Give the carrot to the frog in the pond on the south end of the Fields. He will blow a bubble, which you'll want to catch with the Spiderweb Net from Level 2.

    The bubble can be combined with the default wooden sword to make the Sudsy Defender. This makes defeating the Caterwailing Caterpillar in the April Forest extremely easy and you won't have to waste any valuable Capture Point Stars. Once defeated, search his corpse for the Engineer's Cap to appease the Guardian Train.

    Only then can you push the cart past this point.
     
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  12. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    However, in true TF2 style, the train shall backstab you and deny you entry to the first point the moment you begin to cross. In order to pass, you must defeat him in battle.
    The easiest way to win this battle is by giving a shield potion to yourself and your party members. YOU SHOULD BE AT LEAST LEVEL 15 BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO ATTACK. The train will teleport from one path_track to another; cast lighting to short-circuit his wiring and prevent this. From here, simply use your Sudsy Defender when it is safe and back off of the tracks when it is not.
    Once the train's HP is below ~15%, he shall relent and teleport the point back a few hundred units before the corner. It is now safe to cap the point and earn yourself another Capture Point Star!
    However, be wary: Although the guardian has granted you passage to the first point, he has not granted you permission to pass beyond it. You must sneak the cart past the guardian while he has his back turned; else he shall get mad and destroy the cart and cause a stalemate between the teams.
     
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  13. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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  14. Wilson

    aa Wilson Burial by Sleep

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    Welcome to Team Fortress RPG...
     
  15. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Alpha 4 released!

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/36163083/pl_dockyard_a4.bsp.bz2
    pl_Dockyard_a4 (7/30/11):
    +Broke up sightline along main part of the path to first cap.
    /Convinced the train guardian to move the first cap up.
    /Changed bomb exploding on train hit to stalemate.

    This MAY be my last update for a month or so while I work on the forthcoming Build Around the Track contest and get some more feedback for any major changes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  16. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

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    Alpha 5!
    /Changed various issues found during gameday.
    -Removed BLU forward spawn due to people asking what purpose it served; made BLU spawn in the old RED forward spawn.
    /Changed trigger_hurt on train couplers to func_brush playerclipping.
    +Gave BLU additional time for the last push.
    +Added signs.
    +Added doors for the trains.

    Known bugs:
    *Players can get stuck between the playerclip and the door when the train doors close.
    *Some RED team members don't seem to teleport when the respawnroom changes hands and are thus trapped and must suicide/get killed.