Experimental Maps and Their Results

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Egan, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Experimental Maps and Their Results

    This thread is for map authors to post their experimental maps and what they've learned from them. Please post your map name, and a very brief description of what you've learned. After that you can post what you've learned in greater detail. (I'll link your reply in the main post so people can see more info by clicking so). To get what you've learned added to the list just post a reply in this format:

    Ok. It appears 'Experimental' is a pretty subjective term. In general the definition is "based on untested ideas or techniques and not yet established or finalized", which works great for TF2maps where we can see most maps and what has yet to be toyed with. But there will be people who haven't seen every map and might be 'experimenting' with something that they think is unique but might not actually be. This might be a problem with TF2 mapping or any sort of mapping in general: that we keep treading the same ground and sometimes reinventing the same wheel. So this thread at least will hold a library to threads that may be relevant to what you want to do; you may not need to do your experiment once you've read through the category you're interested in here.

    For instance, mentioning your experiments on spawn room creation is probably not useful for many people, but you learned something from it. Sorta how I'd be posting my surf map experiments, these replies aren't useful to many people either, but they are still experiments, and they are still useful replies. Even if it's already been tested elsewhere, if you post it here then others won't have to do the same experiment themselves later. :p

    arena_backlot by Fr0z3n
    An arena map that fixes some of the major issues of arena. [More Info]

    arena_byre by Idolon
    Objective-based arena: two capture points that start unlocked [More Info]

    arena_discovery by Egan
    People like being sneaky. If map is big, when point is enabled it should make it easier to get around. How to make water transitions into 3d skyboxes look good. [More Info]

    arena_egan by Egan
    In a 72hour contest, if under 12 hours till due, do not change the gameplay experimentally. Damage-resistance-addconds affect player's explosive launch height, and they hate that. A/D arena mode is tough. [More Info]

    Capture the Flag:
    ctf_rubbish_72 by RubbishyUsername
    Small CTF map for the 2014/15 Winter 72hour Mapping Contest [More Info]

    Control Point (Attack/Defend):
    cp_flashwind by Wareya
    Deliberately bad connectors [More Info]

    cp_paramagnetic by Berry
    Symmetrical Attack/Defend [More Info]

    cp_shortcut by YM
    Stop the Train! instead of Stop the Tank! [More Info]

    Control Point (A+B>C):

    Control Point (Domination):

    Control Point (5cap):
    cp_sleekcrete by Waffe
    A 5cp map made for the 2 Skillsets Competition, which featured some delicious curves but most importantly, a surfable dam. [More Info]

    King of the Hill:
    koth_trainsawlaser by Crash/ UEAKCrash
    King of the Hill map with excessive amount of hazards, but still a fun, balanced gimmick map. [More Info]

    koth_polarbeam by Berry
    Single timer KotH [More Info]

    turf_whiskeyriver by MegapiemanPHD
    From the winter 72 hour mapping contest, King of the hill with 3 points instead of 1. The active point is randomly chosen at the start of the round and changed between owners. [More Info]

    koth_workstation by Fantasmos
    How NOT to make a koth map. [More Info]

    Mann vs. Machine:
    mvm_intercept by UKCS-Alias
    For players: It breaks the general 'bots attack 1 place' system most maps have. Which for more experienced players makes a game more interesting. But poor players just get overwhelmed. For mappers: Only fun if you like entity work. And it was 2nd in the layout phase of the 2 skillset contest [More Info]

    mvm_sludge by Dr. Element & Turbo Lover
    Things to consider when writing a popfile. [More Info]

    koth_rrerr_medieval by Turbo Lover
    Demo charge ramps are pretty fun. [More Info]

    pl_crowdource by Ynders
    A crowdsourced map is a pretty good idea, but I executed it very poorly. [More Info]

    pl_octagon by RubbishyUsername
    3 point single-stage payload set in octagonal arenas. [More Info]

    Payload Race:
    plr_reserve by Egan
    King of the Payload still has a few of game-ruining bugs to sort out. [More Info]

    Special Delivery:

    Territorial Control:
    tc_ramparts by UKCS-Alias
    Territorial payload race with mirrored style rounds. The map itself has been canceled. [More Info]

    Non-Standard Modes:
    surf_halloween by Egan
    Arena surf maps need ramps right at spawn, or people will be confused. [More Info]

    dm_egan by Egan
    Even in deathmatch, you should have something for the teams to fight over. People really truly like when a map feels new compared to what they've seen previously (even if in just the gamemode). [More Info]

    • Thanks Thanks x 5
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  2. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: plr_reserve
    Author Name: Egan
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=21404
    Brief Description: King of the Payload still has a few of game-ruining bugs to sort out.
    Extended Explanation: There are a few bugs that I couldn't fix with plr_reserve: when the cart cap was blocked at the end of a match the round would enter overtime where the announcer would spam OVERTIME very quickly and loudly.. Also the cart uses some non-standard payload ents that causes it to get players stuck very often (pushing players into the ground, into the cart, into props). This type of map generally flows like payload race maps do, but you'll need to make it easier to push cart back out of your own base since that was an issue with reserve as well. Possibly size the whole area down or make it less linear.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: arena_backlot
    Author Name: Fr0z3n
    Link: Here
    Brief Description: An arena map that fixes some of the major issues of arena
    Extended Description: Initially started off as a speed mapping challenge from Doom, I took this on as a challenge to make a better arena map, using the standard arena game mode. The issue with stock arena maps is that they are too big and not directing of the players towards action. It's very easy to get a ring-around-the-rosey affect when on low amounts of players. Also, the point of Arena is to eliminate the enemy team, not capture the point. I noticed that players in stock arena maps were going for the point, even though it was disabled. To fix this, I made a much smaller map that standard, and made it so the point physically could not be reached until a certain amount of time into the start of the match. When the point unlocks, the map changes to be a bit more open and provide some more interesting gameplay.

    Overall, it was a well received map.... Even for being Arena.
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  4. Turbo Lover

    aa Turbo Lover Fight me under Glasgow Central Station

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: koth_rrerr_medieval
    Author Name: Turbo Lover
    Link: Rrerr
    Brief Description: Demo charge ramps are pretty fun
    Extended Explanation: As most people know, in cp_degrootkeep there is a rock, angled in such a way that if a Demoman wearing a shield charges into it, they will be launched skywards, inadvertently landing them on the otherwise inaccessible enemy battlements. Rrerr, pardon the name, started off as an experiment in making these ramps a true feature of a Medieval map. These ramps were generally enjoyed by Demoknights, but allowed them to dominate a little bit more of the gamemode than they already do. Use in moderation.

    Something you will also want to take note of is where the Demo will land after taking the ramp. Don't do what Rrerr did and allow them to take a ramp and plop right down at the enemy spawn gates, behind the other team. Making them land in the general vicinity of a control point would probably be best, if not, a suitably open area that allows the other team to see the Demo coming.

    (To make a charge ramp you just create a brush at an angle greater than 45 degrees and less than 90 degrees)
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  5. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: surf_halloween
    Author Name: Egan
    Link: on gamebanana
    Brief Description: Arena surf maps need ramps right at spawn, or people will be confused.
    Extended Explanation: I tried something kinda weird with surf_halloween. In normal arena surf maps there literally is an arena made of ramps surrounding a center platform that acts at the fall teleport destination. There is a problem with arena surf maps that combat rarely (if ever) occurs on the surf ramps, and then generally only happens on the center platform. This raised the question "what's the point of having surf ramps in the combat areas of an arena map if no one uses them for the combat?".

    So I tried a style in surf_halloween that is: you spawn into a TF2 stock arena map, but there are teleports that lead you to the linear surf section, beating greater lengths of the surf section grants you better perks to help you fight in jail. The idea had some issues: 1) People were confused where the surfing was. I sorta fixed this by having the portals to surf right outside the spawn doors and very obvious (glowing, noisy). 2) People felt that it wasn't a surf map anymore. Even though it has more surfing than most arena surf maps, because that wasn't the first impression, people felt that the definition was wrong. 3) The linear section was kinda hard. As you get better at any game like this, the maps become easier for you. I barely beta tested the map before release because I was low on time and I wanted most of it to be a surprise to everyone, but the result was that it was too hard for the general population of surfing and hardly anyone beat the map (hardly anyone got to the first checkpoint in fact). 4) The perks felt obtuse and kinda useless. I don't have much feedback on this because not many ever got the perks, but from what I can tell you'll need to balance out the perks a little more. With the introduction of spells in plr_hightower_event this might be an easy fix (especially for surf_halloween!) to just replace the "alright" perks with the halloween spells. 5) The jail was a bit large. This was pretty much my first stock TF2 arena map, so I was still a bit new at the idea of scaling (especially coming from surf maps). The jail was large and open which was just ok for snipers but not much else.

    If you're ever thinking about making a map like this:
    - Make the entrance to surf immediately obvious.
    - Make the surf portion more meaningful (a larger part of the map).
    - Make the linear section pretty easy (on par with surf_utopia).
    - Make the perks useful (helltower spells might be a good alternative).
    - Make the jail size appropriate. It is a 32 slot server usually, but TF2 stock combat happens in tighter, more jagged, more height dependent spaces. Look at arena_backlot for a good example of size.
  6. Turbo Lover

    aa Turbo Lover Fight me under Glasgow Central Station

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: mvm_sludge
    Author Name: Dr. Element & Turbo Lover
    Link: Sludge
    Brief Description: Things to consider when writing a popfile.
    Extended Explanation: These are a few things I picked up from Sludge, and various other MvM projects I had a hand in, to do with writing a popfile.

    First off, money. It should be fairly obvious that you don't want to give your players too little money, but unlike the real world, too much money can be bad as well. While there were no complaints raised about how much money you start with in Sludge ($750) the money received at the end of every wave was a bit more of a problem. Sludge, and by extension Maelstrom, incorporated a steadily increasing amount of dosh every wave, at a much increased rate than the official maps, increasing in amounts of several hundred dollars each wave. Wave 6 of Sludge had a grand total of $2300 to collect, roughly double the amount received at the end of the final wave in official maps. The effect of this was an incredibly wonky difficulty curve. Wave 1 of Sludge was arguably the most difficult wave of the map, it was the most failed wave by far. However the sudden influx of cash after beating the first wave resulted in Waves 2 & 3 being quite satisfying, and then as we got into - what was supposed to be - the harder waves, the cashflow was off the charts, making them terribly easy. In short, carefully control the amount of money that the players receive, it's a very important variable in deciding difficulty.

    Secondly, attributes. The guide would be a better introduction to the topic, so this next part assumes you know what attributes are and how to use them. In regards to gameplay, attributes can cause drastic changes to how difficult and how fun your waves are. Take an example of both from Sludge. The first iterations of the Bear Heavies from Sludge gave them a 50% resistance to crits and a 25% resistance to all ranged damage. In addition to their already heightened health and fearsome Brass Beasts, they were monstrous to fight. Balancing your waves when using many attributes is often a case of trial and error number crunching to get the result you need, be wary about what attributes you use, and to what level you take them.
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  7. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: koth_trainsawlaser
    Author Name: Crash/ UEAKCrash
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=21055
    Brief Description: King of the Hill map with excessive amount of hazards, but still a fun, balanced gimmick map
    Extended Explanation: I'll come back later and write up something good here when I have more time, plus what I've learned. I had to figure out a LOT for this map. It was an amazing learning experience.

    edit 11-18-2013: I'm still planning on doing this, but I've instead decided to make a video about it. Unfortunately I'm in the middle of moving so it might be a few weeks before I can get to it. I have not forgotten, though!


    edit 3-20-2014: I am such a dick.

    edit 1-12-2015: The biggest dick.

    edit 3-03-2015: Man, I really need to just sit down and do this.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  8. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name Koth_workstation_v2
    Author Name: Fantasmos
    Brief description: How NOT to make a koth map
    Extended Explanation:

    Well, this being my first serious team fortress 2 map I was certain I'd run into a lot of issues balance wise. I learnt a lot on how not to make a tf2 map

    The map
    I wanted to experiment with a fast paced map and it is not easy. In this I abandoned areas where combat isn't likely to happen so I could see if the combat is more fast paced and fun so I could keep them in the fight.
    Result: it turned the map into an unfun slaughter-fest and hindered classes, people were entering fights, winning and then entering new ones in almost an instant without any break time.
    I also experimented with Verticallity, it isn't a good enough compensation from a claustrophobic map, I learnt that even though I'm in the air and in different areas, other classes don't have that ability so they still have no fun and get slaughtered.

    The main experiment:
    I also experimented making a map go at a 90 degree angle like this: http://www.rtl.co.nz/handlers/itemFullImage.ashx?itemId=46
    this made people only want to take 1 route to the control point (the faster) making everything super con-jested and unfun, so I learnt that all koth maps should go in a straight line.

    What I learnt: A map focused around a large skybox and open gameplay needs to have the map reflect a lot more on that. Also making the path to the control point from spawn go 90 degrees is a terrible idea.

    Favouring classes:
    I made the map have a huge skybox and additional areas for soldier and demomen
    I learnt that soldiers and demomen shouldn't really babied around, I mistook the developer commentaries and gave them too much of an edge with additional paths and lots of skybox. A good soldier should work AROUND the map, and a map maker should allow that so don't add different paths for soldiers, add shortcuts.

    What I learnt: Soldiers need to play more around the map, you don't need to baby them around it. Rooms for engi and places for sniper also need to be more isolated

    I experimented with using reddit to promote the map, they responed incredibly well when I posted my video of it there, so my advice to anyone is to make an awesome video and post it there to promot it.
    Advertise map on reddit

    Here is a video of the map if anyone is interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLA5WUwM70g
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  9. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: tc_ramparts
    Author Name: UKCS-Alias
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=20469 and http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=9653
    Brief Description: Territorial payload race with mirrored style rounds. The map itself has been canceled

    At first it started as experiment to show that payload and tc actualy worked together, but some issues started there already and that was that hud elements arent working as they should. Nothing major to stop the map.

    Everything that should have worked actualy worked except there were some bad side effects:
    - It was able to control the rounds (although buggy when the map resetted after 1 stage was won, but thats because it had to use some workarround)
    - Crossover sections worked in the way they were usable for both teams on both sides. However, it was a hell of entity work.
    - The plr hud was able to show at a cost of the map overview (something valve would have to fix)

    At some point i kept making stages to end up with a square of stages (4 rounds). Once that was done the true testing was able to happen and it already showed the main problems of TC maps:
    They easily stalemate
    Side stages show up alot less often

    While the stages themselve worked that was about the best you could get. Connecting stages was a hell to do because payload already has some restrictions. And you had to use the same spot for capping which unlike the cp variant requires a team to push much longer.

    The conclusion however was:
    - The map works, the system works, people didnt dislike the tc system on it.
    - TC itself provides issues that can be worked arround, in the case of tcplr you could use overtime the same way as nightfall had which is an excelent stalemate breakers
    - It only works if you have plenty of time
    - It requires alot of knowledge on how you want areas to look, if you have no ideas its not going to work. This requires alot of planning ahead. And this was mainly where my map became stuck at.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: arena_discovery
    Author Name: Egan
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=21854
    Brief Description: People like sneaky routes past mid. If the map is big, when the point is enabled it should make it easier to get around (discovery achieves this). How to make water transitions into 3d skyboxes look good.

    Extended Explanation:

    People like sneaky routes past mid:
    This is harder to achieve on larger / flatter maps where there isn't much room for sneaky routes, but if you look at maps such as Nucleus, Offblast, or Ravine, there are lower routes that are overlooked by most other routes that go directly through to the other side of the map, useful for sneaky spies, but requires the people above to be looking the other way for this to work. This is good for spys of course, or anyone who wants to get behind a dominating strategy (heavy/medic combo wrecking face).


    If the map is big, when the point is enabled it should make it easier to get around:
    On Nucleus when the point opens up it also extends bridges across the chasm which allow you to take shortcuts to other sections of the map very easily - to quickly meet up with the last remaining players. This happens on lumberyard with the locked front doors opening up to allow easy maneuvering between sections. This happens even on discovery with the bridge opening up to cross the two sections, and to open visibility across the low route. This mechanic isn't necessary but it does make for a cool feature, and evidently players do like it. Also ravine/granary/offblast are fine without it because they are relatively small.


    How to make water transitions into 3d skyboxes look good:
    So I've seen some rough transitions happen on other maps, and it happened here where the water in the 3D skybox was subtly different from the water in the base map, and it had bothered me for a while. But then I realised it's the reflection of the water that's different. So I just forced the water in the base of the map to take reflections from the env_cubemap in the skybox, and that fixed it.


    I suppose I also learned about the differences of light settings on props, those are worth looking into for detailing. And how to generally shape arena maps' layouts. Also that having your map play badly with lots of players doesn't mean it's a bad map - considering arena mode is almost dead, having maps that play well with small player counts is great to have (and there are plugins that exist where player count affects map availability).
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  11. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: dm_egan
    Author Name: Egan
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22100&p=295741#post295741
    Brief Description: Even in deathmatch, you should have something for the teams to fight over. People really truly like when a map feels new compared to what they've seen previously (even if in just the gamemode).
    Extended Explanation:

    Even in deathmatch, you should have something for the teams to fight over:

    Originally dm_egan was straight-up deathmatch: if you were chosen to be a mutant it was just see how many kills you could get until the time ran out. This was okay, but it felt like there wasn't much driving force for the mutant to want to win, and also that the mutant really couldn't win I suppose too. I ended up adding four capture points around the map in a domination style, so the mutant(s) had something to do. This wasn't an ideal solution as it turned out, because a scout-mutant rush would win every time. Something like koth would have worked better. Or like king of the flag, maybe.


    People really truly like when a map feels new compared to what they've seen previously (even if in just the gamemode):

    After hosting gamedays for the last year and a bit, I've seen lots and lots of new maps. I'm sure veterans of the site can attest to seeing more than me (and I don't doubt it), but when it comes to a 72hour contest, when people are rushing to make quick maps, the last thing veterans want to see is more of the same. I think this is why dm_egan came in 3rd place, it was just a totally different experience from other maps, let alone it was kinda fun. It definitely has room for improvement though. That is also a bit of the beauty of 72hour maps - that you can toss out an idea and see how well it plays, without having to spend (or possibly waste) lots of time getting tests done.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  12. Egan

    aa Egan

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: arena_egan
    Author Name: Egan
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22783&p=303673#post303673
    Brief Description: If, in a 72hour contest, you are under 12 hours away, do not change the gameplay experimentally, even if you think you're making it better. Damage resistance addconds affects player's explosive launch height, and they hate that's toyed with. A/D arena mode is tough.
    Extended Explanation:
    If, in a 72hour contest, you are under 12 hours away, do not change the gameplay experimentally, even if you think you're making it better:

    So I was at about hour 55 when I tested the map with a small amount of players, the map played amazingly well, it was really fun! But I figured I could make some tweaks to it, to make it even better. I didn't really bother getting in extra tests because I didn't think the small changes would affect much (I increased reinforcement arrival times by 10 seconds or something, among other things), and also because the tests near the end were filling up very fast. This ended up hurting the map a lot, as when we playtested the map after the end of the contest, most of the comments were "this map played great in testing, but not now".

    Damage resistance addconds affect player's explosive launch height, and they hate that's toyed with:

    With addcond triggers you can give players conditions that they might receive from, say, weapons. I put damage resistances on the mutants to give them a buff, in response to the humans being able to receive reinforcements upon alien-kills. This damage resistance, the same thing as a regular battalions backup, affected soldier rocket jump height, and it made some people ragequit that I would affect that (apparently it's important). So if you are doing some resistance or buff to one team, stick with minicrits or just damage increases, instead of damage resistances.

    A/D arena mode is tough:

    In regular A/D, the BLU team is given lower respawn times so they are able to push through chokes, but in arena, obviously there are no respawns. I mean, in this map I enabled a respawn system for RED team, but doing so for both teams kinda ruined the lore of the map. As Trotim put it: "usually blu on a/d only win because they respawn so much faster, lets you get away with more risky trades etc. this is the opposite, dunno how I feel about that".

    There is also a problem in arena mode that the timer is not a real timer. You can change the time on the arena mode timer, but each round's capture point unlock time is dictated in the tf_logic_arena, and not based on how much time is left. The timer is just a hack-y representation of the background tf_logic_arena timer, which you cannot affect in any way. To get set up time in my map, to let RED push out to set up defenses, I extended the base tf_logic_arena timer by what I wanted the set up time to be, and then made a custom set up timer with game_text, and a changing display message. It looks bad, but that's what you have to deal with in arena mode!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. Ynders

    aa Ynders absolutely gormful

    Positive Ratings:
    Map: pl_crowdource

    Author: Ynders

    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22884

    Brief: A crowdsourced map is a pretty good idea, but I executed it very poorly.

    Long: I had the idea to make a tf2 map that was partially planned by the community, with different hazards, gamemode, setting, and other things voted on. Turns out, I actually really suck at making maps. It was too dark, forward spawns didn't work, it was boring, people got stuck, extreme height advantages, bad optimization, confusing, over scaled, most any bad thing you could think of. It's pretty much unsalvageable at this point.

    It was a somewhat good idea in theory, but extremely poor execution due to my noobishness.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Positive Ratings:
    Map: cp_shortcut

    Author: YM

    Brief: Stop the Train! instead of Stop the Tank!

    Long: The MvM tank entity works in PvP...sorta. It has no HUD healthbar but I managed to jerry rig some green pips to the side of it (have to be parented once the entity has spawned, can't be done pre-map load) to represent the tank's health. Then another bonus is it will follow a path track. I have no idea how it selects path tracks to follow, but I set one up and it went.

    The speed is entirely controlable by inputs, and it's easier than track_train speed. Health can be controlled by inputs too so you can set it to 10hp or 10,000,000 hp. The tank has a bunch of different models showing damage which was really neat and they all swap out automatically.

    There's also an On10health output from the train, and a variant from 0 up to 90. They're super useful for firing different world events or voicelines (as well as controlling the health bar) Buuuuut you have to do them all as AddOutput about half a second after the map loads, because MvM.

    The gameplay was lackluster though, for blu, you've got nothing to do except shoot red players, for red you've got to shoot the tank or shoot blu players. That sounds fine, but it really isn't. Playing defense was awful because you never knew wether to focus on the blu players swarming around the tank (and they sometimes pushed way ahead of it) or to focus on doing damage to the tank.

    When we put in the shortcuts activated by blu capping points it helped give the teams a little bit of focus, now both red and blu were back to the familiar attacking/defending cps, but the previous issues still remained.

    Then we added traps that did damage over time (They were spring traps with circular saws on as a placeholder) They'd be capable of inflicting thousands of units of damage to the train over a few seconds, so if blu hadn't capped the point before the train got there, they'd then only have 30-60 seconds to cap the point before the train reached 0hp.

    This version was pretty similar to what we have now, just far less refined. It still suffered the duality of shooting the tank/shooting blue and the feeling of uselessness for blue.

    Eventually we decided to take out player damage and leave it to just the traps, and it became a lot more fun. (but at the same time introduced a LOT more problems to iron out)
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  15. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Is that there Snowplow YM? Did I just see it's development history? Interesting

    This is just a reminder to put pl_octagon up here sometime.
  16. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

    Positive Ratings:
    i should go back to the very first doommap, recall the lessons and thought processes and everything and write them down map by map by map. i should. but ive forgotten most of the interesting stuff and what i remember is still a hassle to fully recall and organize in a coherent sequential manner and then type out. so my laziness saved yall from one huge wall of text :D
  17. Berry

    aa Berry spooky scary skeletons

    Positive Ratings:
    Map name: koth_polarbeam
    Author Name: Berry
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22003
    Brief Description: Single timer KotH
    Extended explanation:
    I wanna start off by saying the sub-mode failed. My intentions were to have something unique to my map, and to have lore/detail-wise the two teams fighting over control of the center point's laser. In my intentions, teams would fight over the point constantly to gain control. With one timer, it was only supposed to get more tense.

    The problem? Teams would simply sit in spawn while the other went and capped the point. 2-3 minutes later - when the timer was almost out - they would all rush out together and mow down the other unsuspecting team, taking the control point and winning with little to no effort required.

    The solution? I'm not working on this map still of course, but if I wanted to fix it I'd either: have the timer down to maybe 1:30, and have it reset to 1:30 as the point is re-captured.

    Overall it was fun to learn that simple mode changes don't always work.

    Map name: cp_paramagnetic
    Author Name: Berry
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=21958
    Brief Description: Symmetrical Attack/Defend
    Extended explanation:
    This is my more succesful custom mode. The map starts off with just a small koth-like area - but smaller to keep simplicity - where the players fight over first capture of the point. This usually went on for around a minute or two, and with teams being balanced it could extend to a back and forth for around 5 minutes.

    After the point is controlled, the first area locks off and everyone is sent back to spawn. However: The losing team is pushed back into a second, further back area with a second point of which they defend and the winners put back to their normal spawns as expected. 60 seconds setup time is added, until the team which capped A is allowed out to attack the B point. Once time runs out, the team defending B/that lost A wins. If the attacking team caps B too, they win.

    The main problem with the mode was confusion. This was patched up by annotations but there's lots of ways that this could be worked upon. The other main issue was the map. Personally I find the first map of a mode never seems to work, but that may not apply to all.

    Overall I do plan to make more maps with this mode, or a revamped version of the mode. Possibly with a single point, the losers of the first fight being pushed back and forced to attack, the winners defending the same point from a different angle, and possibly with a koth-like timer before defenders are decided to allow second chances.

    I have prefabs for both of these somewhere as well if anyone wants to try either.
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  18. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Map name: ctf_rubbish_72
    Author Name: RubbishyUsername
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=24017
    Brief Description: Small CTF map for the 2014/15 Winter 72hour Mapping Contest
    Extended explanation:
    Many lessons here are specifically on the subject that the author tried to attempt and then how and why they failed. My lesson? Making a map in 72 hours is HARD. Don't give up, but don't beat yourself up about it.

    So I originally designed ctf_rubbish as a 3cp symmetrical control point map, similar to 5cp but with 1 point less on each side. I planned to make middle similar to both Badlands and Gullywash middle, and last similar to Badwater second.

    As a more experienced mapper will tell you, all your plans get thrown out the window the moment you open up Hammer. Middle started shaping up a little small for a cp map, and as I mapped the design of last soured in my mind before I'd even started on it. The area that I had planned out least - how I was going to connect middle and last - caused me a great deal of frustration and led to me wanting to rebuild than continue. I began procrastinating and playing other games, making finishing the map in time even more of a challenge.

    However, by changing the gamemode from 3cp to ctf, and by changing my goal from a map that played well to just making a map in the first place, I was able to complete a1 during the 72 hours. On top of that, the "unique" design for a ctf map - one where the spawns have a massive height advantage over the intel, a large backfield behind the intel, and generally a smaller map, led to interesting play with fast caps but a strong defensive position to prevent the usual spawn camping associated with traditional ctf.

    Conclusion: Don't fuss about how fun it will be for the first alpha, just make it playable by any means necessary.

    Map name: pl_octagon
    Author Name: RubbishyUsername
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22841
    Brief Description: 3 point single-stage payload set in octagonal arenas.
    Extended explanation:
    My first map. The basic design was 1 and a half octagons, with a corridor perpendicular between the two shapes. While it was memorable and the arenas themselves were fine, by restricting myself to very regular shapes I found the boundaries between two areas became chokepointy or otherwise unfun.

    I drew out this map in detail before I made it. However, I mostly drew out the areas in detail, rather than the connectors between them. Given the shape of the map, this led to single sides or doorways where Blue had to push through with strong resistance from Red. As the map evolved, these chokepoints were made wider and shorter until eventually the only border between two areas was a single wall with a large door, and yet I continued to receive complaints.

    My conclusion is that a poor chokepoint is not defined by how wide or long the tunnel is, but by how each team enters and exits an area. By the necessity of my octagonal design, each team entered and exited an area along a single side of an octagon, leading to poor team interactions along that line (sniper friendly, soldier/sentry friendly, flat, boring, etc.) Moving the points around so they were before or after the choke helps dramatically, but that doesn't stop teams trying to hold at the choke regardless and being far too successful.

    Also: Wilson, if you're reading this, I </3 you. You said so many mean things about my map, more than everyone else combined. Am I a better mapper for it? Maaaybe. You certainly encouraged me to move onto something else, that's for certain. I still have a virtually finished copy of a radically changed a5 sitting on my hard drive with your name on it.
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  19. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: arena_byre
    Author Name: Idolon
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=22785
    Brief Description: Objective-based arena: two capture points that start unlocked
    Extended Explanation: arena_byre was an attempt at making arena more accessible (and fun to me personally) by orienting the gameplay towards capturing points, rather than killing the opposing team.

    I opted for two points instead of one. Mostly because Byre was a retrofit of another map that had two middle points, but also partially so that all of the fighting didn't occur in one location (which is generally not a good idea for arena). I discovered that arena doesn't support overtime for multiple cps, so I had to make my own.

    The gamemode itself seemed successful, although the map itself had some layout issues. The complex layout allowed for a lot of flanking opportunities, which in turn made the points less appealing to hold, and the map felt stressful to play. Also, the overall scaling of the map was maybe a little too small and cramped.
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  20. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Map Name: cp_flashwind
    Author Name: wareya
    Link: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=24008
    Brief Description: Deliberately bad connectors
    Extended Explanation: The general idea is that the map itself is very short (in distance) with more width and somewhat open-ended transitions. This is an extreme of how some highlander players prefer their 5CP maps, but applied to A/D. Each connector into an area has a severe contrast to the other one, but neither is a proper flank or choke when contrasted with said other one.

    On the first point, one is a shutter that comes out on a bridge, and the other is a large open doorway that comes out in the center of the lowground, but more sheltered from distance.

    There's a large buffer area between the two points, but it's designed where only a "valley" section of it, between two pieces of highground, significantly matters. One connector into it is very long and wide and has a hill in the middle of it, as well as an extra connector to the first point and a connector into the other connector to the valley area for good measure. This connector is extremely exposed to a certain other connector, and comes out in a good place, but it's hard to take advantage of. The other connector is much shorter and comes out on the highground, but it's at the back end of the valley.

    The connectors from the valley into the last CP area are similar. One is a dinky bend around a building, the other goes over another hump on the layout's heightmap. The main difference is that these come out spread over a large area, and the last CP is designed where it's difficult to defend against such connectors.

    Inevitably, the feedback about the connectors was extremely mixed. Some people complained about the flow of the map from beginning to end and disagreed with all the deliberate flaws; others just thought it was fun after getting used to it and moved on. The way the connectors made the map flow seemed to match how the game was typically played, but everything was in the wrong place, and it was somewhat unintuitive; not the layout that's unintuitive, but the actual flow of defense and offense moving around.

    Conclusion: Even as far as something as simple as connectors between areas, take what works and bend it to your will. Doing things the other way around is a great way to waste tons of time before getting it right, with no extra advantages.
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