KotH Overpass - Design Questions

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Stink Horse, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    So I settled on King of the Hill as my first map. It's smaller, more focused, and as far as getting a map done and available for peer review, that's exactly what I need for a first effort. I've already got a theme going, rival companies assembling competing super highways. The layout seems ok, but I have a few questions.

    How do you guys like your KOTH maps? What are major elements that such a map cannot do without. I've been paying special attention to Harvest, but is there another good example?

    I've got two Overpasses on each side of the map. A parallel, game play bridge that acts like a map wide sniper deck, and a perpendicular, visuals bridge that rises above everything and aims toward the center of the map. As a result of these elevated structures the map feels very vertical and surprisingly claustrophobic. My worry is that players will tend to forget to look up and see the dangers that are gunning down at them.

    I was thinking of Harvest event and how the ghost lends an exciting element of chaos to an otherwise straight forward situation. I was thinking of spawning a payload cart with a lot of warning sirens every so often and having it slide down a set of rails before finally detonating on the point. This would serve to clear out the point every so often, potentially breaking stalemates and even giving a pressed team an opportunity to turn the game around. What are your thoughts on such chaos inducers and other similar mechanics. Are they fun? Rage inducing?

    Finally when is a good time to start soliciting feedback on the map? It's half caked in orange measure textures, and several pieces of geometry haven't been finalized but aside from some scale issues the design of the map is largely complete. Is that enough to make an upload or should it be in a more finalized state?

    Thanks for the feedback as always.
     
  2. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

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    you should release when your map is first playable, and sort out aesthetics later, because having to delete entire sections and then re-detail will be a pain if you haven't got the gameplay down.

    The cart idea sounds like it could be a massive laugh as well :)
     
  3. Radishes

    Radishes L1: Registered

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    Love that cart idea :D
    You could have it come out of a building above on a track that is broken just above the point. That way people would know it was going to drop the first time, unlike alarms which might just confuse the newbies.

    However, have you considered how much of a pain that would be for an engineer that has level three structures on the point? To console them, how about the bomb leaves metal behind when it detonates, so they don't have to do a resupply run?

    On another note, a few pictures of the map layout (finished or otherwise) wouldn't hurt. I'd love to see what you're talking about :D
     
  4. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    Good idea. I'll get my note book scanned once I have access to a scanner Monday. I tend to doodle parts of my map as I work on it and they're a big help for getting the visuals across.

    In the mean time here are some shots of the map in progress. Everything is very lego at the moment, I'm working up the courage as I go to start adding displacement maps. What I've seen of them so far is scary but man the final products in all the maps I've seen speaks for itself.

    Here's the top down of one half of the map. The point is at the bottom in a raised work shack. The rails are where the bomb would enter in. They'll fly in from both sides, alternating the direction each time. The two overpasses (overpassi?) are due north of the point with the one in the middle elevated over the one running parallel to the map. The team base is there in the back and has four ways out to prevent spawn camping as much as possible.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the view from the point. As you can see the title roads dominate the skyline and provide a strong point for attackers to rain down hell. The point itself is fairly armored but there are five entry points including two ground level staircases, the outer decks, and the hole in the roof, which is accessible by the soldier, demoman, and scout. In the background you can see the routes under the bridges which afford cover via the support struts, cargo containers, and defensive panels.
    [​IMG]

    Finally heres a shot from behind the lower overpass showing the route up to it as well as the lower pathways.
    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned in my first post everything is very tall but in spite of having plenty of room to move and jump it still feels claustrophobic. I'm not sure If I like that or not, but I don't have any clue on how to ease that feeling. Hell maybe it's a feature.

    Any feedback/criticism is welcome but I'd prefer criticism at the moment.
     
  5. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    From what I can tell what most mappers (not me) dislike about koth is the lack of progression. You never gain or lose much land, and it's all just a frantic shootout. Move play to easily defendable areas around the point, and encourage forward bases.
     
  6. Radishes

    Radishes L1: Registered

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    But can't being forced away from a point and then fighting back be considered progression? I think this cart idea will work juicily if it's pulled off :D
     
  7. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

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    I always wondered if closing/opening routes depending on who controls the point would work for the sense of progression, as in adding more attack options if the enemy has the point.
     
  8. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    Oh that's a good idea. How would you communicate that to the player though, I mean actively? Changing signage and arrows are all very passive, reliant on the player fobbing by and directly noticing something.

    Hmm maybe a route map in the spawn room. Start everyone looking at it and then light up red and green lights based on what routes are open. Include a similar thing near the choke point gates that open and close based on the situation. Finally you could flash text on the screen informing the player of what's available.

    Is it possible to alter the Hud? Maybe something there too.
     
  9. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

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    The way I thought about it is have signs that alter as the cap is... well, capped. Like in Badwater, the signs go up and down when a certain point is capped, so try that? Using doors that are closed and have no arrows people would avoid, and when they open, make the arrows come out and point to them. Hope that made sense.
     
  10. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Having a hill is one of the most important design aspects of a KOTH map. Having the point on a hill allows spam to be funneled off the point (grenades roll away, rockets are harder to aim at/on a slope). Nucleus solves this same problem with the deathpit, spam just goes off into the pit.

    The reason I don't like Harvest as much is that it does the opposite, it makes the point more spammy. It is surrounded by a building with contains and concentrates spam, making it harder to hold.

    A large enough hill, like Viaduct's, also has the effect of breaking the line of sight between approaching routes.
     
  11. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    Nineaxis: I definitely have an elevated point but it's not open. There are multiple ways in and out, and a full set of walls. I suppose in some ways it's worse than Harvest based on your estimate. Pyros are going to be in and out of this place like termites and there's a hole in the ceiling that I'm sure will encourage demomen to do what they love doing.

    I do agree that it can be very spammy but at the same time it forces different tactics. The way I play Harvest is to not even try and hold the point. I just give it up once I've capped it and then turn around and use the exact tactics you described to hold it. Sure the point might well be retaken by the enemy team, but it's that back and forth that made that map fun for me.

    Admittedly I haven't played much KotH on other maps, but I chose that game-type because it's contained and feels achievable and right now. For a starter map that's the way to go right?