Floodgates

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Nerdbot, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    With only a little sawmill run by poor neutral Gray Gravel Co. separating two giant megacorporations, tensions have naturally been running high in the alpines and a secret arms race has begun between RED and BLU. BLU, hasty for a solution, decides to kill two birds with one stone and get rid of some nuclear waste by rigging together a time bomb set to explode when it reaches RED's hydroelectric generators, destroying the facility's power source entirely.

    Inpsired by a dam close to my home (http://www.nj.gov/dep/floodcontrol/images/pompton_lakes_dam.jpg), which I happened to pass by on the day Sawmill was announced. I started drawing up ideas for a new map and finally got around to making it around the beginning of June. With elements of Sawmill, Badwater Basin and Cashworks in its map design both visually and gameplay-wise, Floodgates has gone through a few major revisions throughout its lifespan and hopefully they've all been worth it.

    Alpine rocks by VelvetFistIronGlove
    Textured versions of Beer Stein and Dynamite/Optimized Meet the Sniper models by Rexy
    Baccarat Detector by Shmitz
    Redhill Cattle poster by Nineaxis
    Custom Chair by Acumen
    Cashworks RED team logo by =C$W= moe
    Some materials from TF2maps.net Swamp Pack used

    Special Thanks:

    ABoojumSnark for his Mapping Resources Pack
    Twister (http://www.users.on.net/~imperialcarp/Twister/Twister.html) for help with displacement curves
    Nineaxis for the poster overlay tutorial
    TF2maps.net for helping with testing
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  2. bigmacbook

    bigmacbook L1: Registered

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    Great Map

    Great Map

    I'll be keeping my eye on this one

    if i spot any bugs i'll let you know
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  3. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    Thanks. I have high hopes for this map. I'm on A2 right now and I plan on doing some closed testing with it after I get home to iron out and remaining kinks in the map before doing the remainder of the texturing and detailing needed.

    A3 will probably be the first release I put up here for show, depending on how well A2's testing goes. I only put up a download because while I wanted to make a thread for this early I wanted to have more to show for my work than just pictures, but I'm only testing with a smaller group of people for now--I want the first impression the TF2 community has on this map to be a good one.

    I refuse to release it as a full beta until I've got the explosion finished, but that'll probably be a while...That'll be a nightmare. If I wasn't away from home I'd at least show off some pictures from A2, but oh well.
     
  4. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    I'm pleased to announce that A3, the first official community release, is up and ready! Nice new passages, fully textured, all kinds of nice stuff. Yyyyy'know.

    I hope to sign this up for a gameday and have people mercilessly dissect it for me. Check out the nice new pictures, I guess!
     
  5. bigmacbook

    bigmacbook L1: Registered

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    so in a later version...... the gate is actually going to break and than a big wave a water coming out

    i would **** my pants....
     
  6. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    The expectations for the explosion are pretty high, I kinda screwed myself over there.

    I would love to have a flooding effect kick in, but that's waaaay beyond my skill level right now. For B1, at the very least it will tear open a giant hole in the floodgates, and water will spill out from it via particles.
     
  7. bigmacbook

    bigmacbook L1: Registered

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    maybe i could get some one to do the big flood effect
     
  8. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Just a suggestion to make the final leg more realistic: Instead of a bridge, perhaps do it closer to the shore, along a sloping concrete spillway, and then make a right at the last moment to go along a lip to the center of the dam.
     
  9. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    That could be a good idea. I kind of got around that by having RED's final area have a tiny bomb factory visible through a window, suggesting that they were about to do what BLU is doing to them, but if that doesn't work you could always pretend that BLU dropped the bridge in with some helicopters!

    I'm not against re-doing the final stretch, but I want it to have the same basic structure and idea as what's there in terms of layout, at least.
     
  10. InSearchOfThe

    InSearchOfThe L1: Registered

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    Oh wow, I've spent the last 2 days drafting up a map with the exact same name, theme, and general idea as yours. I find that to be a hilarious coincidence; too bad I didn't see this thread earlier!

    On a more related note, map looks great. I can't wait to get a game in on it.
     
  11. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    If it's any consolation, I was going to name it "Dam", but there were already three maps I could find that were called that, two of which were payload...hurp.
     
  12. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    I'm going to apologize in advance for the playtest, because today I went through my map and realized that I did a pretty poor job of optimizing.

    What I CAN promise, though, is that the next version will be far easier on everyone's processors, and thanks to the neat spytech stuff from ctf_sawmill fitting the building's theme far better, an ever-so-slightly lower filesize! Jubilations!

    I've also tidied up the nodraw brushwork underneath the displacements, and with that I've been able to areaportal off a large amount of outdoors areas.

    I'm trying to work with area portal windows, which I've come to discover are the worst things ever. Why am I able to shoot bullets through you (but not rockets) and why are you not drawing that part of the window and oh god I wouldn't bother with these if they wouldn't really really help the map out. Just those two windows in there being area portal windows save me so much grief, but yet aaaaaaaa. I really wish I could see how Pipeline did it.

    In any case, I don't think my optimization issues should be TOO much of a problem. Nobody reported any complaints in tests in earlier versions of the map, though, so I think things should be ok. But if I am actually horribly wrong I apologize.

    EDIT: Ok disregard all of that I fixed the area portal windows now, except for the fact that you can shoot out them, but the only projectiles that could cause problems don't go through. You'd have to bend bullets to actually kill anyone by shooting out these windows so for now I'll leave them be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  13. PenPen

    PenPen L5: Dapper Member

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    I think generally the map itself is fine, it plays pretty well for me. I did set a career high with my heavy which I'm happy for!

    Anyway, after the second to last point, things become way too open, which is sad because it's pretty great until then. The whole last section is a huge sniperfest, and there's numerous sniper spots. Spruce up random things in between for blu to help protect them from snipers (redesign until the final section with the dam?). The 'bridge' to the last point needs to open up more, since it's currently just a big 'U' and is open to all sorts of assault.
     
  14. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    I've been working on it a lot since the playtest. My goal is to have the only real sniper vantage point be the dam itself, meaning I have to clutter up the main RED exit point. I've also removed the full health kit in the middle dam control room for a small one.

    So far all I've really done is add some more trees and put a wall up. This isn't ALL I'm gonna do, mind you, but in specific I really want to just make the final stretch open and leave access to the dam in without Snipers being overpowered. I don't think I have TOO much of a problem since in 2/3 matches BLU won, but the problem with Sniper ranges isn't that they're hard to deal with so much as the fact that they're frustrating. The pipe and the bridge are both going to change.

    Also trying to get the stage to properly award a cap point and display the "captured First Control Point" message in the corner when a checkpoint is reached. Why is that so hard?

    Compare this new screenshot from B1 to this screenshot from A1. I guess we've still come a pretty far way here, regardless.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  15. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    While not exactly must of a difference gameplay-wise, it certainly LOOKS cooler. Especially when the explosion happens and all the particles of the bomb cart collect in the curve.

    I've also managed to fix the bug with the capture points, so the only thing left to really do is tidy up the last area some more and make a big explosion happen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  16. Jack Riguel

    Jack Riguel L10: Glamorous Member

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    Having more tress make it look really nice and will help lessen the load of snipers. However I'd suggest some sort of shack or building of some sort in amongst them.
     
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  17. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    Your wish is my command! I also raised up the pipe and the platform so that only Scouts, Soldiers and Demomen can get up there, and it also blocks visibility more to limit Snipers.

    There's no nodetail texture for blendgroundgrass08, which is sort of annoying, but I don't think it's worth it to bother making one. :U
     
  18. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    I did a nice HDR compile to figure out how I'm supposed to do that. Came out really nice! I'm gonna put up some preview screens in the main post soon.

    The only thing keeping me from a beta release is the explosion. I've tried making one but I would really like it to be something higher in quality than someone who has never made a 3D animation before could possibly do, so I'm gonna have to try and find someone who could do it for me, which is going to make me feel pretty obnoxious, but FOR THE SAKE OF THE MAP I SHALL BE AN ANNOYING PRAT.

    I'm tempted to just release it as a beta without a working explosion animation, but I don't wanna go back on what I've said.
     
  19. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    Alright, A4 is released! This was originally going to be B1, but I've been spending the entire last three or four days trying to make an explosion and it just won't happen.

    Since I'm not exactly confident in every aspect of the map yet anyway, I figured it'd be a good idea to get A4 out right now.
     
  20. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    You could maybe get your exploded dam and export it to an engine, make some tf2-esque water, run a sim of it pouring through and export it back if thats possible. The water renders for blender looked pretty damn good to me.

    Ask around, I guarantee someone will know.