DoubleHelix

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by tyrion, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. tyrion

    tyrion L1: Registered

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    Babel

    Have you ever looked at picture of a DNA molecule, and thought to yourself "Wouldn't that be cool geometry for a Quake level? I should make one." Well I certainly have thought that many times over the years, and I finally got around to trying to make it. However it's 2009, so I made a TF2 level instead.

    So, since this is my first map ever, I tried to keep it relatively simple and center it (literally) around a simple design: A single-stage payload race to the top of a double-helical tower. Payload race seems like a natural fit for a double-helix shape, with each team's track on a different helix.

    I didn't like the idea of forward spawns on the top of the tower, since they would be too cramped or else make the tower too large. So there are several wind-tunnels to get up to different levels of the tower. Not standard TF2, but hopefully it flows well. Sniping the open area around the tower is a concern, so there are 3 underground paths to leave the spawn buildings, which should also help alleviate spawn camping.

    This is an alpha release, so still has dev textures, weird-looking displacements, and other issues I plan to fix.

    Any feedback is welcome! :)

    Credit to Boojum Snark for Ultimate Mapping Resource Pack, and III_Demon for custom track piece model.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  2. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I remember one (single helix) like that in Tribes, but whatever team was on the top had a huge height advantage: Even though both teams had jetpacks, it cost a lot of energy to make the trip up, and all sorts of splash-damage nastiness were easier to accomplish firing downwards.

    'Course, if both teams start at the same vertical level, that fixes things quite a bit.
    __________________

    BTW, if you ever need an alternate name for it, "plr_ziggurat" :p

    Random thoughts looking at the photos (they're not negative, they're useful :p)
    • Each "floor" looks very similar to the one before it. Any plans to mix things up at different floors?
    • The team that is ahead will have a fun (perhaps too-fun) time raining explosive death down on the team that's behind them.
    • What kind of coverage can a sentry have inside the building? What would the impact be of level-3 teleporters at the top? Do spies have a fighting chance to shut down such a network?
    • Might want some sporadic "interior cover" (e.g. Hydro's arcs of sheet-metal fencing) protecting one side of the building from someone on the other, for both spam and sentry purposes.
    • You may want to do some performance/visibility tests early on with this one, since it has all these not-quite-open-not-quite-closed spaces.
    • You may want to add an internal separator-floor halfway up, so that the top and bottom half of the tower are not usually both visible to a single player, to split to cut down on long sightlines and lots of rendering.
    • If a spy is cloaked on the outside ramp, are there enough places for him to duck to the side (e.g. in a windowsill) to let an enemy walk by?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  3. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    BTW, some architecture ideas... I used to go to a school which was designed in an eerily similar way, although these aren't the best shots of it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In the subtropics, you can put an outdoor stairwell wherever the heck you want :)

    And the Seattle Public Library has a funky helical design too, although with all the glass it looks a bit more "Evil Genius Taking Over World Who Must Be Payload-Exploded".
    [​IMG]

    P.S.: Maybe about halfway up both tracks can exit the building and loop around the rooftops of some side-building (above the ramps to the second floor?) and return?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  4. Cinnamon Whirl

    Cinnamon Whirl L1: Registered

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    Are they wooden hydrogen bonds? :)
     
  5. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Then there need to be two or three bridges on each floor...

    Don't make me pull out my pairwise sequence alignment applet, or this will BLOSUM into true biogeekery.
     
  6. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    The name disappoints me. Just a few days ago I made this and then Chrono went to steal the idea and make an arena map with such a thing, a true double helix. So coming and seeing this... :(

    edit: to give some real feedback, I don't see it playing that well. Significant vertical combat really doesn't work in anything but nonsense maps.
     
  7. tyrion

    tyrion L1: Registered

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    Some thoughts on your thoughts, Terr.

    It's true right now the differences between the floors is not very significant. My plan is to add more variety, perhaps in the form of props, but I wanted to see how bad the performance is before adding more stuff inside the tower. (It runs fine with no other players.) For the first alpha, I wanted to see how much cover the bridges and ramps themselves would provide. It takes some care to shoot down without your shot being blocked by one of the bridges. And if you hug the wall, players too high up have no direct sightlines.

    Of course the team that controls the higher floors will tend to dominate players below them, so I tried adding several alternate ways to get to the top so that someone trying to camp the top can be flanked. Right now, there are 4 "upper" wind tunnels to get to the top, plus 2 sets of stairs connecting level 7 to 11, the exterior ledges, and of course the main internal ramps. Dunno if that's enough.

    I didn't think too much what it would be like to run into an opponent on the ledges while cloaked. The ledges are actually tricky for most classes to get to, so I wouldn't expect people to use them except as an occasional surprise.

    Boojum, I wasn't aware of those projects. I had the idea for this map and its name a month ago and I've been working on it since then, so any similarity is just coincidence. I'll change the name to avoid any confusion. My 2nd choice for a name was Babel, since it's kind of a schizophrenic tower.

    I've heard people express dislike for vertical combat, and I confess I'm a mapping noob, but I don't understand if there's more to it than just personal preference. Is it that vertical combat is so one-sided? The intention with this map is that if you're being attacked from above, there are alternate paths you can take to circle around and attack them from above in turn. And if your opponent anticipates this and moves all the way to the top, they won't be very effective attacking people too far below them. Well, that's the idea anyway.

    Thanks for the feedback, guys!
     
  8. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I would hardly call them "projects", they were mostly sillybusiness, I was just commenting that your map hardly seems like a helix since it's so squared. Though I think Babel is a much better fit :)

    Part of the problem with vertical gameplay is that it breaks the combat axis from the movement axis. Fighting someone above or below you isn't the easiest thing to do when you must maneuver on a horizontal area (which you may not be in view)
    But things are always worth at least one test.

    Another note, scale up your water, it should be at least at 1 instead of the default .25