How do you like this maps backstory?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by SmallBiscuit, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    So, I recently had an amazing map backstory idea while thinking about how the hell i was gonna make my abandoned cape canaveral map, and i came up with a really cool map idea, All based around this backstory!

    After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of humans managed to survive at the top of a space elevator. but, after living there for 257 year (exactly), the elevator starts to lose elevation. When the platform at the top of the elevator starts to crash through the atmosphere, the actual elevator part of the mechanism becomes detached while some people are still inside. when both of the ships crash into the earth, the exact location being the field of spaceships (where the us government tried to get as many people of the earth in space ships as possible (they managed to get none of the ground as it was very rushed)), the elevator lands farther away from the safety of the platform. the people inside decide to traverse there way through the nuclear wasteland to make it to the safety of the platform, but the people inside are afraid that they have succumb to radiation sickness (which they think is contagious) so they send out 6-16 (depending on the server) people out into the wasteland to halt the surviving elevator groups progress back to the platform.

    Blu (the elevator) wins if they manage to capture all three points and make it back to the platform. to safety.
    Red (the platform) wins if they manage to halt their progress until they all eventually die to radiation sickness.

    the actual map would be a crashed scifi elevator esc pod, where they will follow the massive cord that held the platform to the ground until it actually reaches the platform. the map consists of three points, one on an abandoned launch platform, one inside the crashed ship from that platform, and one right outside the elevator platform. it would be an a/d map with the launch platform and the ship being able to be captured independently of eachother.

    this will eventually incorporate the space pack theme found here.

    What do y'all think about this idea? yes? no? never make this? make this your top priority? let me know!
     
  2. sooshey

    aa sooshey :3c

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    I had to read it a few times to understand it, and I don't really know what you mean by "space elevator". It doesn't sound like something that could actually happen, but maybe I just need to know more first.
     
  3. dryerlint

    dryerlint L5: Dapper Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

    It's not really an elevator, more like a cable car. You put a big counterweight in geostationary orbit, where it will stay stationary over a certain point on the Earth's surface. Then, starting from the surface, you connect a very strong, extremely long cable to that counterweight. Centrifugal force from the orbiting counterweight keeps it stretched taut. Now you have a cable, and elevators can ride along it to get to space. It's a real concept, but pretty far-future.

    As for the main topic of the post... AFAIK you should probably create a map layout before going into aesthetics and backstory. Speaking as a novice who has just started to learn this, it can be really tempting to begin imagining all of the details and artistic themes of a map before you even start designing it. But this can cause you to sacrifice gameplay for aesthetics ("man, I have a great idea for this cap point, but it wouldn't work with my theme, so I'm going to throw it out") and that's never a good idea AFAIK.
     
  4. sooshey

    aa sooshey :3c

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    Wow thanks I had no idea these were a real thing, lol
     
  5. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    I had one, but ten i went and tried to figure out exactly how i was gonna make it, and somehow my mind went to backstories, and i thought up on i liked so much, but that had not much to do with my current map idea, that i scrapped the old one. and i havnt gotten around to drawing a layout yet, (Dont worry, ill have it dont by the end of the weekend) but i wanted to get the general idea out to see if maybe its been done before, or if its even a good idea at all...
     
  6. Beef Bucket

    aa Beef Bucket L41: Blessed Member

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    I don't wanna be that guy, but TF2 takes place in a universe that hasn't undergone a nuclear holocaust. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if the comic series ended in the earth getting blown up Hitchiker's Guide style.)

    That said, many maps such as Dustbowl, Coldfront, Powerhouse, Mangrove, Skyward, Nerve and Namicott have rocket pads somewhere in them. Justifying the existence of an abandoned cosmodrome is not exactly a feat that requires attaching a fan-fiction to the map.

    Also, Jesus dude, grammar
     
  7. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    okay... this may be true... but some maps... dont even have anything to do with shootters... and some of those maps are freaking good. when you make a map, it doesnt have to fit into the tf2 universe, it doesnt have to be in the badlands, and if you think that, you are inhibiting a ton of creative maps that you could be making, but arent... just gotta say man, its not a good mindset...
     
  8. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    Nobody cares about a map's backstory tbh. What matters is if the map itself is fun to play on.
     
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  9. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    Yeah... well I like to work with backstories in mind... I have a huge detailed backstory written for my 72hr map koth_rooftops, and I keep expanding the backstory for ctf_pumpstation. It's up to two pages now...
     
  10. Malachite Man

    Malachite Man L6: Sharp Member

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    The map backstory in some cases is needed If Watergate didn't have one than everyone would be like what the heck why I'm I delivering beer to a ufo and yes I get it a lot of people proble don't even know about the story of glassworks but still a maps backstory can help a map make sense.
     
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  11. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    I would argue that narrative is a driving force in many (if not all) great maps. For example, I would be willing to bet that Sawmill started as a simple idea like "What if there were moving saws in a map?" Deciding to set the map in a forest sawmill then helps determine what the rest of the map might look like.

    For example:
    [​IMG]

    First, the pathway of logs here would be very difficult to transfer into any other kind of geometry in a convincing manner without setting the map in a forest. There are no logs in Badlands. Second, many sawmills are powered by moving water, which is probably the main reason a waterfall was added in the first place (the model was made specifically for this map!).

    It's worth noting, however, that pretty much any map that does narrative well does it in a subtle manner. If you need two pages of backstory to make sense of your map's narrative, that's one and three-quarters more pages than what you'll ever be able to communicate through environmental cues in a relatively small map. Writing a bunch of backstory for a map can be useful, but you need to be able to condense it down into something that can be understood at a glance.

    Making a layout without much thought of what the narrative/detailing will be tends to lead to weird or boring detailing. Players tend to gloss over nonsense architecture if you detail it nicely (or blandly) enough, but I also believe players can also sense when an area is designed to feel like a real place.
     
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  12. sooshey

    aa sooshey :3c

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    I think narrative and detailing are 2 very different things here, like those logs and flowing water make sense because sawmill is themed like a sawmill, not because it tells any story. OP can create a story by adding post-apocalyptic ruins and abandoned-looking things, as well as the crashed space elevator, stuff that shows events have happened. I think that's different from a theme. I won't go into whether that story feels "TF2 canon" or not.
     
  13. Another Bad Pun

    Server Staff Another Bad Pun bird of prey

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    Narrative in TF2 maps is usually the most effective when it establishes a sense of place. There are some maps with an environment of placelessness that cannot support any kind of narrative.
    Clever use of narrative in the environment can allow interesting gameplay opportunities without the map seeming strange - think of the ways in which Upward's abandoned mining facility allows for a multitude of death pits in addition to tighter mining tunnels. Those gameplay environments would make no sense in a different theme, such as the environment in granary.
    You can write a backstory to a map, but keep in mind that any narrative you create will have an effect on gameplay unless it is completely superficial. Which, in some cases, is needed - but Valve has noted multiple times that they prefer maps with a visible narrative or environment that operates hand in hand with gameplay.
    I mean, the idea of two enemy bases yards from each other and disguised as farms on 2fort is comically funny and charming. The bases even convey the differences between each team - red is agricultural, blu industrial, and themed as such.

    I'm not sure who this was addressed to in this thread, or if I even
    explained this well, but I just wanted to tell my opinion on the concept of narration in TF2 maps and how it can add increased depth to the experience players have on a map.
     
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  14. MaccyF

    aa MaccyF Notoriously Unreliable

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    A post about maps in 2016??

    Give me back the real ABP


    As to your map story, it could be good if done elegently, but with something like that it would be very easy to be very hamfisted with your visual storytelling
     
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  15. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    I think that theme/detailing/narrative, although they describe different things, are all inseparable. Architecture is an action; Someone decides what to build somewhere, it gets built, and people interact with it.

    The waterfall and logs do tell us a story - loggers deliver the logs to the sawmill via stream, and the sawmill is situated where it is so that the logs collect themselves nicely in a pool and the water continues onward to power the saws. This isn't a traditional kind of story, but it's still a record of people performing actions, and I think maps with the most convincing detailing are the ones that try to tell these kinds of stories.

    (The next few paragraphs are directed at SmallBiscuit.)

    As for the proposed narrative: You have a lot of ground to cover in terms of story that other maps don't have to deal with because they're more based in reality (or limit their "unreal" ideas limited to small details). Unless you want to just slap up some posters that lay bare most of the narrative, you'll have to somehow design a space elevator cab, cable, and platform system that, by just the way that it looks, was obviously once jutting into the sky. On top of that, you need to show that the world as a whole is radioactive and uninhabitable, AND that the crashed platform is a safe zone from this hazard (because otherwise why are the teams fighting over a spacecraft that crashed into the ground?).

    The main point is that you can totally make a map with this narrative, but that narrative isn't worth a lot if players can't understand it. It's an interesting story, but I think you'll have a hard time making it work well in TF2.
     
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  16. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    I plan on making the doors be some electric sci-fi shield theat keeps radiation out, and the spawnroom for red actually leads to the rest of the platform through a few doors that may or may not be transparent. There will also be a table with a ton of pills resting on it, with a sign above it saying: "Rad-Away! (Does not work if you've already got that radical radiation)" just to emphasize that it is a safe zone, and technically, blu dies no matter what... it's only if red survives or not... (rip blu and possibly red)
    this is the scariest thing. Whenever I think about working on this map, I remember that I have to do this, and I slink away... but eventually, I will either make it work, or just not work on the map at all...
     
  17. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    So, are you making a TF2 map or a Fallout mod? Because it sounds very much like the latter.
     
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  18. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    I think there's a difference between a bit of visual storytelling (which is what y'all seem to be talking about, and is something I totally support) and a full-blown backstory explaining how the mercs got there, why they're fighting over whatever facility it is, etc. My point was that a full-blown backstory isn't going to serve much purpose since, honestly, nobody really cares about the why.

    But that's not to say I want to discourage anyone from writing a backstory - if it helps you design your map (or if you just enjoy it!) then more power to ye. I just think there's a point where it stops being helpful for anyone involved.
     
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  19. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    I have come to a decision. This map, whatever it may turn into, is not my main priority. Its a really complex map, and I cant even get my shit together to make a decent map, nonetheless a freaking awesome map like this. Im going to make a few smaller maps that look and play nicely, and then i will come back to this. I have two maps, and they are both shit... In the meantime, if anyone wants to use this idea, be my guest... Just give me some credit...
     
  20. SmallBiscuit

    SmallBiscuit L7: Fancy Member

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    This also means that i will be putting the creation of 2koth on hold for a while...