CP Gauntlet b5

By Cylence

  1. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    The fifth beta is now up.

    Gauntlet is a linear 3-point A/D CP map set in an undisclosed alpine location on a cold, wet fall day.

    I sought to add a dynamic element to this map in the form of a train that regularly tears through a small mountain pass in the middle of the map. The train allows teams to quickly move reinforcements and less mobile classes to move in-between elevated positions. When blu captures point A the train no longer has flat beds to give red quick transit to A. Red is forced to climb the point C tower to jump on the boxcars if they wish to ride the train. When blu captures point B the train starts going the other way with a single boxcar making it difficult for red to use the pass anymore and forcing them to start defending it.

    I hope that this map will encourage a good mix of direct combat, flanking, and offensive engineering. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    Alpine rocks created by VelvetFistIronGlove. Found here: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?ltr=A&t=3367
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  2. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick L6: Sharp Member

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    This map looks nice however some areas do need tweaking slightly. For example the texture on the bridge that the train passes over shouldn't be rock, it doesn't look right, and some cliff walls in screenshot 1 could use abit more love :)

    Apart from that I like the idea and it's looking nice! :D
     
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  3. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Hey, thanks for the input. I'll keep those in mind when making the next beta. A little detail on the cliffs wouldn't hurt but, I'm kinda partial to the bridge. I think I will find some pictures of cobblestone bridges to aid in the design of a more aesthetically pleasing bridge.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  4. Nerdbot

    Nerdbot L7: Fancy Member

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    I really like the concept with the train. Looks a bit small, but very inventive.
     
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  5. JMRboosties

    JMRboosties L2: Junior Member

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    are those rocks in the first screen custom props? if so where did you download those?
     
  6. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    They were created by VelvetFistIronGlove. I have added a link to the description.
     
  7. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Behold the splendor that is the cobblestone bridge!

    [​IMG]

    Admittedly, my bridge has quite a ways to go. The main things that are needed are the block arch and a smaller cobblestone texture. I'm a little worried that my bridge doesn't have enough space between the rails and the top of the arch to be able to incorporate the arch blocks.
     
  8. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    It lives!

    Here is my first attempt at making a better bridge.

    [​IMG]

    It is definitively more believable than my first bridge. I reworked the structure and made both the textures on the main body of the bridge and the arch.

    This is my first experience making a texture. I used despeckle and pallet brush on a base texture and then made it tile via offsetting and using a layer mask. I would appreciate any critiques or suggestions about the texture.
     
  9. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the Input

    Thank you to everyone who played and commented on my map on game day. :) I took notes and reviewed the demo and have several ideas for improvements.

    I plan on:
    1. adding in some warning lights and bells akin to those in Well
    2. shortening blu team's spawn (for point A at least, I perceived a decent balance in the battles for B and C)
    3. slowing down the trains a tad to allow easier access to the trains and through the pass
    4. seeing if I can replicate and fix the "phantom train" bug (it might be caused by high ping)
    5. adding some detail in areas I'm pretty confident about



    In the department of detailing, I feel my bridge is coming along nicely. This will probably be the version that goes in the next beta:

    [​IMG]

    Feel free to post any suggestions. :)
     
  10. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    I like the new bridge textures!
    But(lol): I think if there was a lip where the sides of the bridge went above the tracks, textured differently, that would be nice.
    Also, if you could do something with the walls next to the first opening that would look a lot better, i.e. add another one but barred off.
     
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  11. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    The Second Beta is Out.

    Beta 2 is now out. The most significant changes involve some new warning lights and bells and a revamp of the appearance of points B and C. I have also adjusted spawn times to help blu to push through the first point.

    The map's theme has evolved. Now point C is the business end of a massive "radium barrel gin" if you will. Extracted radium is then processed on the spot and moved through perfectly safe lead pipes to where it is used to make paint for children's toys and weapons.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to replicate the "phantom train" phenomenon and the demo failed to record it. I'm pretty sure it was just caused by lag and how the trains teleport, but I don't know how to fix it.

    To the one player who was unfortunate enough to get stuck on a perfectly ordinary spot of wood floor, I think you will be relieved to learn that the offending location is being punished by having to bear the load of two decorative barrels of toxic waste for virtual eternity.

    I agree with this (but highly disapprove of the parenthetical "lol") and I might get some better textures worked out later. My current design was going for more of a culvert appearance just for simplicity because I am having some difficulty with making TF2-ish textures.
     
  12. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Sorry about that.

    So, after trying to obtain my map at another computer, I have come to the realization that the bsp that I uploaded was, in fact, corrupted by the traditional zipping process. Well, I have since re-uploaded said file under the oft-utilized bzip compression format after testing to see that I could extract it correctly.

    My apologies go out to those 20 or so unlucky individuals who had the misfortune of suffering from the mild annoyance of map compression failure.

    EDIT: This is just getting embarrassing. I have taken down the download until I can figure out what the hell the problem is. :facepalm:

    ALSO EDIT: I don't mean to solicit responses, but if anyone got my map to work please send me a private message. Otherwise I'll just assume that it was broken for everybody. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  13. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Alright, I got a private server up and running and tested my map with a friend. He confirmed that all textures got packed and that it is possible to download and run the bsp.

    So, the second beta is out. Thanks for your tolerance and any critiques you might offer.
     
  14. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Now Running a Server

    I just got a small dedicated server up and running for the purpose of hosting my map. It is currently called "The Gauntlet" and can be found by looking for "cylence.servegame.com" in your favorites.

    It's currently only running gauntlet, but I plan on expanding the rotation to include some other community maps.
     
  15. Sel

    Sel Banned

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    Seems I found a little, exploit, hehe, during the playtest.

    [​IMG]

    Oh and we stopped the train too.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Thank You for Your Input

    Oh jeeze. I just watched the demo and have some hypothesizes on how to fix the train stopping. I'm still not totally sure what is going on because you should be bathed in kill trigger there. There were also some mysterious passenger deaths so perhaps the kill trigger is lagging behind. But, the train still seemed to be pretty good (godly, even) at killing people regularly; so, perhaps not.

    As per the train-buildings, I could probably parent a nobuild to the top of the trains. I didn't have this problem in the first beta, but a similar thing was happening to stickies that hit the train. I wrapped the train in a physbox and that solved the sticky problem. But, it never occurred to me to test sentries again.

    I'd like to thank everyone who playtested my map on gameday. I watched the demo and took notes. I'm glad it was generally enjoyed. After I whip the trains into shape I'm going to work on expanding the map in general (bigger spawns, alternate routes, making current routes more accessible).

    Unfortunately, I was not able to get back into the server after I lost connection towards the end of skylab (too full) and so was unable to experience the testing of my map first hand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  17. H-land

    aa H-land

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    Shoulda asked someone in the server to ask someone to leave, then. Someone probably would have. At least before we started our train exploiting field day.

    Generally, all we focused on was the train. We had fun sacrificing ourselves to the Train God, stopping the train and building on it, building dispensers that would kill anyone who rode the train into them, trying to crash the train, singing Don't Stop Believing and discussing how someone should make a cp_midnighttrain and/or cp_journey.

    I also had fun actually doing well as a sniper (as in Selentic's second screenshot, where you can see the fabled H-land-induced headshot), probably because people were paying so much attention to the train that they weren't minding their heads and looking out for little blue dots. This may, however, indicate an issue with long sightlines. (It also might not.)

    I noticed that the second point was a wee bit tough to capture when a sentry was placed in the sentry nook, though we did manage to spy it down eventually. The first point seems hard to defend. We never bothered paying attention to the third point because we loved messing with the train. (I did like the green glow below the point, though. Was kinda neat.)
     
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  18. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    Sorry for breaking your map. The critical part to the train stopping was the dispenser. Make sure you're targeting everything with the trigger_hurt. The map overall was pretty powerful for heavies because many spaces were closed in enough to make his minigun an extremely powerful weapon, especially on the second point. The first point is really a freebee for BLU team because of the lack of cover for RED. The frequency of the trains was also very high, and why do trains go in both directions on the same track?
     
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  19. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    Putting nobuild on the tracks could fix it as well.
     
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  20. Cylence

    Cylence L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the further input everyone. I'm glad everyone likes the trains so much.


    I was aware of a bug with Valve's trains that you could stop them by übering a engineer who is pinned between one of his buildings and the train and the observed bug in my map seems identical to this sans über.

    The map has three trains that it switches out based on the Blu team's progress. Strangely, the first train was impossible to stop via the method I observed in the demo (an über was required) and the last two were a piece of cake. Even more strange is that the trigger_hurts and func_brushes had identical properties (except names and parents). I turned on buddha and hurtme -1,000,000,000 and observed what happened at the point of impact. The first train tried to squeeze me out between itself and whatever I pinned myself against hurting me all the while. While the last two did neither of these things. Remembering back to a previous bug where I was able to stop the last two trains by riding them and edging off into the rough cliff face (a incredibly odd and undocumented bug) I deleted the offending entities and rebuilt them from scratch.

    Anyway, some preliminary tests have found that that fixed the problem. I will post again after I get a larger sample. By the way, it's bad to copy named entities isn't it? (might explain why the red spawn doors were acting up)


    I have already parented a nobuild to the top of the trians and it worked, but I like Political Gamer's suggestion because it would help counter-act stopping the train with übers and make it easier to build things adjacent to the tracks (won't have to worry that the train will snag it). As the trains are now you can only get a lvl 1 sentry up for 2 seconds before the train claims it, so I don't think track buildings are that great of a loss.


    About the second point, I already plan on nerfing that little sentry nook. I'm thinking about adding a detail prop to force the engineer to build closer to the back wall. Also, I want to add some climbable props to open up the roof area to all classes (this would give people who want to flank the defense but don't want to run the gauntlet a second route). I'm also thinking about opening up the entrance near the blu spawn into the tunnel to all classes to enable the attacking close-range classes to slip past defending snipers in exchange for a more round about route.


    As for the first point, I'm thinking the area around the point needs to be expanded in general. I was hoping the current point would be sentry, heavy, and pyro friendly, but it is clear to me now that unless the entire team goes one of those classes, those who favor longer-range combat would get slaughtered on the poorly armored battlements and leave the close-range classes to fight the entirety of the blu team en-masse. Blu needs less cover and a longer run to the point to whittle down their numbers and to disperse them a bit and red needs more room to maneuver and to retreat to. It is the first point so it should be relatively easier to cap, but I agree that it is far too easy currently. I was hoping that reinforcements would get a chance to retake the point by riding the train in, so my goal is to balance it to the point where red team can get one or two waves through on the train.


    As for the frequency of the trains, I'm reluctant to decrease it too much because then the gauntlet becomes too easy to run, but I suppose it could be a bit easier. It pretty much forces you to run straight into the enemy, so some tolerance might help make it more viable.

    As for the bi-directional nature of the trains... uh... well, I think it's justified for gameplay reasons (Well has bi-directional trains). The train provides blu an alternate route to C and prevents red from pushing back through the gauntlet as easily. I can understand the need for a better warning system for the switch. I plan on making some signs to place in the spawns to make it more clear how the trains behave and there are already some signals that change color when B is capped, but I could make those more noticeable. If you want a reason it's because when blu team captured B they became the majority stock holder in Radium Express Delivery (damn trust busting) and decreed that trains should immediately go the other way.


    Again, thank you for all your input.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010