KotH Goatse Cavern

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by BEEFE, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. BEEFE

    BEEFE L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    2
    Lucia

    Just got started mapping, so here we are. I know it has tons of issues but since I'm not planning on carrying this thing all the way to an art pass anyway, I figure I'd might as well get this thing some sunlight and fresh air.

    I know the spawn doors jiggle a lot for no apparent reason so you don't need to tell me about that, but let 'er rip with any other issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  2. The Asylum

    aa The Asylum

    Messages:
    1,658
    Positive Ratings:
    439
    Such big, gaping, cavernous rooms there

    quite a stretch isn't it?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. BEEFE

    BEEFE L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    2
    If you like it you, shoulda put a ring on it!

    But seriously, I'm sure it could use more low cover, because pulling through those wide-open stretches would probably be a pain. It's hard to get a grip on things without a partner to test it with, some kind of feedback giver.
     
  4. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

    Messages:
    1,548
    Positive Ratings:
    4,436
    Big ol' feedback dump incoming.

    First thing's first: you've got a leak. A leak means that there's a way from inside your map to the outside, or that the inside of your map isn't "airtight." Imagine filling your map with water - if water can spill out, that's an issue.

    Why is leaking an issue? Because of how the Source Engine works, having a leak means the engine can't decide what the inside or outside of a map is, and in turn can't do "visleaf optimization." Visleafs are a kinda complex topic, but the short version is - the entire inside of your map is divided into a bunch of shapes, and the engine can decide what needs to be drawn and what doesn't by using them. If it can't make these shapes, it basically means everything renders all the time. Also, the lighting engine will only do a very rough pass over things, and light can't get "bounced around" like it should. That's why this is happening. You'll also notice that sometimes the skybox will start doing funky things. This is also another sign of a leak.

    How do you find and fix leaks? In Hammer, find Map > Load Pointfile. Assuming your map is leaky, it will draw a red line showing where the issue is.

    Now, on the actual layout. It's not awful! However, your scaling is huge. Getting the scale of a map right is very important, but also pretty difficult. Some people find it easiest to look at official (or good custom) maps for a sense of what scale works well.

    For instance, in your map, the mid building is pretty big. Getting from one end to the other is going to be a bit of a challenge if the other team has a sniper, or any class with decent range really. I would look at Sawmill's mid building for an idea of what a good-sized mid building would look like.

    Another thing about your layout is the lack of height variation. On a micro scale, you've got a good number of ways to change height levels and get some interesting gameplay going. However, there's not a lot of macro-scale height differences. The height level from one spawn to the next doesn't change anywhere between. If you look at Viaduct and Sawmill, the ground generally slopes upwards towards the point. Other maps have height advantages within an area rather than as part of a route, like this area in Upward - it helps to give players more options on how to play in that part of the map.

    I'll be honest, this map is pretty crappy as it is now. However, what you've got right now is an excellent learning opportunity. You'll probably get some nasty feedback from people, but those people are jerks.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. BEEFE

    BEEFE L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    2
    Thanks for the honest feedback, Idolon (and if you're holding back, feel free to lay into me harder). I know that you've got to churn out garbage maps before you can start putting out good ones, so I'm doing exactly that. My main goal with this map was to get something with working spawn points, a working objective, pickup items, and no leaks, and it looks like I'm not quite there on any of those.

    About the leak, thanks for the tip! I've never compiled a map without leaks, so I didn't realize that there were noticeable things going on, and I didn't know about the leak detection tool. Apparently it doesn't like me storing my entities outside the map, so that's going to have to stop! For the other stuff, I intentionally avoided looking at maps other people have made just so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that was going on. Now that I know the basics of using Hammer, I'll definitely take a look and do some comparisons. EDIT: OH JESUS I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE, THOSE THINGS ARE TERRIFYING D:

    Scaling, yeah I knew going into it that people tend to screw up scale badly, and I guess I erred on the side of really huge. The only real reference point I've had is "how high can I jump" and even then the map has tended to be pretty big. I suppose that a two-bomb stickyjump only taking me from spawn to mid should have been a clue that the scale was off more than I figured. I also think the high ceiling threw me off, because an extremely high ceiling makes all horizontal distances look insignificant, and having the map be set in a cave is a good excuse to lower the ceiling anyway.

    Terrain height variation, I could feel that there was something important missing but I couldn't put my finger on it and I'm pretty sure this is a large part of it. Mostly I let myself skip over this part because I wanted to get the map sealed of leaks and have something with basic functionality before I would worry about something that seems really minor. Now that I think about it though, this map is really one big room with things blocking line of sight rather than a number of well-connected smaller rooms like virtually all good maps are. Like in Sawmill, the capture building has corridors to its sides with building-skinned walls, rather than a big field with buildings in it that block line of sight.

    So thanks again for the feedback, and I'll go back and modify the map accordingly (I already fixed the leaks). FWIW I'm not salvaging this map because I particularly love it (though it is my ugly baby, and it does have a couple cool features that I'd like to keep for later maps), but because I want to get a feel for what a major reworking of a complete map entails, and because I want to just stick with a map instead of abandoning it as a test of personal mettle.

    So, back to the drawing board, I've got plenty of ideas based on your feedback so far!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  6. BEEFE

    BEEFE L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    2
    Big update, completely reworked the whole thing but conceptually I feel like it's related enough to call the same thing (concept: my first map).

    Major changes from the original:
    -Much smaller, based on the length of a 1-sticky jump.
    -Has terrain variation instead of being perfectly flat.
    -A bit more skybox, still at placeholder levels though.
    -Control point reworked to have shorter and fewer sightlines.

    I know the terrain brushwork is hideous, and probably too big vertically, but I plan on scrapping all this yet again and remaking it with displacements eventually (it'll be a learning experience, but for now just making terrain was learning enough). It could stand to have more cover, maybe some kind of arch that blocks sightlines from the ridge to the spawn area, but I surprised myself by how much cover you get just by varying the terrain.

    Thanks again Idolon for taking the time to explore my crappy first offering and writing up a long critique, I'd like to think it's helped me improve immensely!

    Edit: aw crap, I thought I could change the thread title, my original name is pretty embarrassing now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014