Giving map instructions to players

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Uriak, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Uriak

    Uriak L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    I would like to know what do you think of the good ways to feed players with custom rules for a given map. Classic gametypes don't need this, but each time a twist is added or if the layout is not self explanatory here comes the need to provide information to the players. What server admins may have experienced with such issues would be especially important.

    So have you tried, been confronted with instructions fed throughout :

    -introduction text
    -introduction schematics
    -introduction video
    -text in game
    -schematics in game
    -audio in game
    -another

    And what is the more efficient. I see a trend where people generally skip entirely the introduction screen and may do not know at all they can see it after loggin in.
     
  2. Aes`inv

    Aes`inv L1: Registered

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    Ah, I know exactly what you're talking about. There has been plenty of times on all source games that I have found myself confused because a custom map is unclear, whether where to go, what to do, or both. I think as the mapper, one of the best things you can do is make the map straight forward as in letting the player know where they need to go. Like, putting arrows on the walls pointing where to go. Chances are, if the players know where to go, they'll figure out what is going on much faster and easier than if they're completely lost.

    Intro video I don't think is that useful like you said, because most people just skip the intro screen all together because all they want to do is get to killing people :D
     
  3. Uriak

    Uriak L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Well, signs are always useful to drive players where they are supposed to go. But when you consider Steel for instance people obviously have to understand the goal is CP E and what this may suppose as valid tactic. Even if it's a fairly simple example, it puzzles players. (but mainly because of very interconnected layout)
    In case of maps like ctf_powerhouse, signs can't do the job. (central objective creates a force field around either team intelligence)

    In the case of the video people told me players would have more incentive to look at them than simply reading an introduction page. I really don't know if there is some truth about this.
     
  4. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Play a game of CTF and notice the messages on the bottom of the screen. Subtle, but they do their job, telling players the completely obvious. Players, like you said, are likely to skip the introduction text and video, and it would really be better to tell them what to do at the moment they need to do it rather than with a map in the spawn or otherwise.
     
  5. Uriak

    Uriak L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    mmm, so you mean, making player directed messages based on some locations ?
     
  6. UKCS-Alias

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

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    Usualy its best to have a single description of the object on the start of the map. Even though they are short they usualy work. Especialy when there is a setup time. As then people usualy have the time to read it. Also, make sure not to make the map itself to complex at first. It might not be clear from the start what the objective is but after about 2 rounds they at least should understand the basics of the map. Your snaketemple is easy to understand so the single message will do.

    Also, a good custom hud can help alot if the basic hud isnt clear. the 8 point hud you had before is easy to understand.

    Btw nineaxis, if you mean the basic hints then that isnt a option. You cannot just simply edit those files as then your map needs a update each time valve edits them to prevent problems (which is already for each class update). I recomment using text_tf entities to give some hints and have a short setup where the hints show up. during setup people are more likely to read them even if its only 20 seconds (which i have in donut).
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  7. FaTony

    FaTony Banned

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    Game text and HUGE contrast signs.
     
  8. l3eeron

    l3eeron L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    The dynamic signs from hydro are about as big and obvious as you can get... I use 'em! Getting lost and confused is bad, very bad.
     
  9. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    I was talking about gametext_tf, I have no idea what you are talking about.
     
  10. UKCS-Alias

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

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    The game_text_tf entity also. But as far as i know 2fort doesnt use those (which is why i thought you ment something else). They have the basic hints in the left bottom of the screen when death (dont know if it contains ctf stuff there but i know it does have some cp, pl and arena hints in it).

    When the map starts there is 1 larger message in the center which is done with the tf_gamerules entity which you could have ment also.

    Anyway, it seems we both had the same idea by using a game_text_tf entity to show messages.
     
  11. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    2fort uses them, they're just hard-coded into the CTF gametype instead of placed into the map.