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Longhaul

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Ankh, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    EDIT: A4 Released: major changes to some buildings, including bases. Functional trains added, though not the death kind.
    EDIT: A3 Released. Testing concerns addressed, new features added, see where the CPs in the push version will go!
    EDIT: A2 Released. Map fails less still. Compile time now 40 minutes instead of 4 hours. YAY!
    EDIT: A1 Released. Map fails less.

    Ze Premise:

    For my first map I've decided on a CTF - nothing to complex, after all - I'm only starting.

    So this is CTF Longhaul (working title) - a map that aims to be everything 2Fort isn't.
    Where 2Fort is small, mostly cramped and with many, many chokepoints to get through Longhaul is a large, open map with many different routes to any given point in order to ensure a decisive and not too deathmatchey game.

    As this is the alpha of my first map, I invite people to tear it as many structurally supurfluous new behinds, befores, besides and belows as they so choose because after all - it's the only way I'll learn.

    Ze Plot:
    The map takes place in a small alpine village whose curious inhabitants decided to construct their homes with perfect rotational symmetry and in such a way that they would be entirely impractical to live in, above and between two warring spybases. Shortly thereafter they left for unknown reasons, but the two corporations that own said bases remain, each warring over this otherwise inconsequential patch of land on the side of a large hill in the mountains (geological analysis of area suggests hill may in fact be a mountain itself, a view supported by the conspicuous lack of a single control point in the centre building).

    When it was actually being used for something the entire economy of the town was based on erecting facades for the spybase and locomotive repair, which is why the entire town surrounds a maintenance building designed for use on the aforementioned trains that so often frequented the area carrying supplies, letters from the outside world and more often than not, doomsday devices.

    Ze Current Summary
    In it's current form it's essentially an orange map plus the ever-useful red and blue dev textures (the creator's name escapes me) however it is textured in certain parts (the respawn rooms, the grass, the cavern floor and some spytech areas) simply as a visual aid for me as a mapper and the player as someone who wants to see what it'll look like in general later.

    More agile classes can climb ontop of the buildings, laying traps or avoiding spam, forcing the fatter, less agile classes to take the considerably more closed in underground route where, if you play your cards right, a friendly engineer will be waiting to deal eight different herbs and spice of hot death to the poor fools. That'll teach them to sit around cleaning their guns all day! I'm looking at you Heavy!

    But, let it not be said I discriminate against classes - the many buildings around the midpoint are nice enclosed spaces for morbidly obese or maybe female classes to cower like the small, hermit crablike mammals they are waiting to pinch the stuffing out of anybody stupid enough to muscle in on their turf. Those more on the crab side and less on your side will enjoy the many hiding spots and ambush points as much as the others, but for very much the opposite reasons.

    More intelligence as TF reality reshapes itself to my whim, giving me stuff to talk about in the changelog.

    Have Fun! - Ankh, the random pub spy.

    Ze Credits so far:
    Valve for TF2, the alpine theme, and Hammer
    A Boojum Snark for his amazing entity and gametype libraries
    SWATY for some excellent aid in map optimization, providing me with a place to have it hosted and general tips, greatly improving the quality of the map.

    ...and anyone I missed

    Ankh will return in: CP_Valhalla.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  2. Dispencer

    Dispencer L1: Registered

    Messages:
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    The angular architecture outside will fit really nicely with the alpine theme and contrast well with the curved interior which I assume will be all spy tech.

    I don't see a lot of good ctf maps, and fewer ctf maps with gimmicks like the ones you talk about. Just make sure it plays fun before you start adding in huge changes to the map mid game.

    From a quick run around I'd say the hole above the intel needs to be larger or removed- that'd be super super frustrating to get that far and then die because you can't get through a tiny hole. Underneath the rear spawn there's a big void of space that needs filling I think. It's just distracting from the objective. As a suggestion you could make the rear spawn a multi level spawn.
    You need to put playerclip brushes on the stairs around the map to make transition to and from them easier. It's really annoying to die at stairs because your character is to dumb to step onto it. (this is the stairs by the track)

    I think for a map that is so open and has so many routes, the reset times on the intel will be really important. Once you make it out of the base you've pretty much capped- but if it's a scout running solo it's going to be a real hard thing for the scout's team mates to find the intel. Putting in more landmarks would make it easier for teams to communicate. Watch when you're playtesting for dead areas that players aren't using. I think there might be a lot that could be just taken out or patched up.

    Really nice brushwork and high quality for a first map. It seems like you've got a pretty solid vision to it all.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  3. Darth Gman

    Darth Gman L1: Registered

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    I love it! From the screenshots it looks awesome for a beginner. Downloading now, will edit when done reviewing it ;)

    EDIT: This map is fantastic! But as Dispencer said, make the hole above the intel bigger. It took me 5 seconds as a Scout to align myself perfectly ~_~
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  4. Acumen

    aa Acumen Annoyer

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    i absolutely love the third shot. i steal this, if it's okay for you :D
    seriously, i love how the walkways are implemented on this !
     
  5. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    Dispencer: Thanks for the detailed feedback so far, you assume correctly that the curvey areas will all be spytech. Indeed the exact reason none of the changes I mentioned are there is because I'm not sure how it'll play yet, so that was the plan all all along. The stairs and hole I know, though I always notice them and forget when I get back into hammer, so I'll do those now. The empty area around the rear spawn was to be a storage area, so I may fill that with a cargo container or two - I agree it needs filling.

    on respawn times and dead areas: good ideas, duly noted

    Acumen and Darth GMan: thanks!
    and go ahead, steal as many ideas as you want - as long as you aren't decompiling it and nicking them straight from the VMF, I don't mind. Well, unless I give you permission to do so of course.


    Hopefully a slightly more optimized version will be up tonight or tomorrow - would you believe I entirely forgot most of that?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  6. Loc_n_lol

    Loc_n_lol L10: Glamorous Member

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    Looks pretty neat, really, but I sense an optimisation nightmare ahead...
     
  7. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    OK, After checking, I'm fairly sure my problem was not just unoptimization a leak - this was causing both portal flow and light bouncing to fail, giving me the false positive of the map being not as horribly unoptimized. I will report back when the map has not only been exorcised, but fixed
     
  8. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    Alpha 1 Released, Map is now playable, I'll probably submit to gameday provided people don't feel the graphical glitches ruin their experience. I probably will regardless.

    Enjoy!
     
  9. The_Ulf

    The_Ulf L6: Sharp Member

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    That.

    Isahawtlookingintelroom.

    :D
     
  10. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    Thanks


    Anyway, I've got some ideas for Version a2 now, so expect work to begin on that presently
     
  11. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    OK, map updated to A2. Enjoy!
     
  12. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

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    That looks pretty hot. You should replace the orange dev textures with reflectivity though since they're better.
     
  13. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    well the way I'm doing it orange=buildings, reflectivity=cliffs
    so I'll think about it
    Anyways, I noticed some issues in A2, they're being worked on - mainly the stuff with the displacements, I reckon I've got them sorted, or at least an idea of how to do so, but also the red spawn problems, one of the doors, some misaligned windows and a couple of other things.

    Meanwhile: I've been throwing around the idea of doing this map in other gametypes - once I have the art done - somewhere in beta, I may do a version of this map that is a 5CP push or a KOTH, selectively blocking off some areas to do so.
    Any ideas for that? new gamemodes?

    But anyway, A3 will contain the fixes mentioned as well as some new displacements - the current ones are just blocking it out but A3s will be a more 'final' pass
     
  14. keptfireball

    keptfireball L1: Registered

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    +1 .. I played this next installment and I'm really anxious to see what it actually might look like when its finally textured. I can't seem to find many bugs or exploits so not many places to find something like that. But this map will definately work as a 5cp map or a ctf map. I really like this map and i will follow this thing till it gets to the end stage. I like it Ankh :) Keep up the good work.
     
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  15. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    Thanks, the next version will include some textured parts as a sort of style guide much in the same way as some of the spytech stuff is textured. So for example I have a couple of walkways done and their railings properly resemble the lumberyard ones. It will only be things I don't think will be changed much but this next version will be a pretty big step up from what I have now.
     
  16. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    A3 Released! This one's a bit of a bigger change than A1->A2
    Enjoy!
     
  17. IcyEyes

    IcyEyes L2: Junior Member

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    I simply love the architecture you've built here. Played a little of A2 on gameday, but I didn't really get a good feel for how it plays. I do however really feel like your going for the wrong game mode here. Making the map the opposite of 2Fort isn't going to end well because CTF maps need to be small with choke points in order to work well in this game mode. Just look at ctf_turbine. I'm not saying this is good, It's really just the nature of the game mode.

    Open maps without choke points make it almost impossible to stop a flag carrier after they've left your base. So I'm afraid if you keep it CTF, you will be forced to cut more and more of this lovely architecture down, until we end up with something very similar to 2fort.

    I hated to see the outer buildings go bye bye in A3. I really liked them, but I can see why you needed to do that for this game mode. I would like to see you bring back the A2 buildings and try to experiment with a completely new game mode that would support a more open map instead, scrapping CTF all together. Here are a few ideas.

    • Reverse CTF.
    • Reverse CTF (with one neutral flag in the middle building)

    One idea I've also recently thought of was a mode similar to headquarters in Call Of Duty 4. You would create a control point in each building in the neutral zone. These would all be hidden. At the start of a round the game logic would pick one random point and activate it. The first team to capture this point would score. Then they would need to defend the point for a set number of minutes until time runs out. If they succeed in holding the point, they win, but if the attackers capture it, they win. It's like random attack and defend.
     
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  18. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    On a class note, looks to be very demo/soldier friendly. Heck it looks to be friendly to everything but the dreaded sniper so good job!
     
  19. Ankh

    Ankh L3: Member

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    The buildings were cut because they were off the path and unused, but enough of them remains that they can still be hidden in and things, I think I would still have done that if it were any other gametype because for one of them the lower room would be, I imagine, a forward spawn on the 5CP version, something mutually exclusive to making the building a combat space.
    The other retains it's basic functionality, with only a way up cut (that I could add back in given demand) so it's not like removing them has had a severe effect on gameplay.

    Now I disagree that CTF has to be small with chokepoints because 2Fort is exactly that and is, in my opinion a terrible and stalematey map however I recognize it'll take a bit more effort to make such a large map work in CTF however this is a design challenge that is integral to how I want to make the map work.
    Some ideas I had involved rearranging the geometry further, adding control points in some of the buildings to open some of the routes and buildings as well as further filling in some areas of the bases. Now I don't see the subtraction of gamespace as a real problem yet if only because it isn't being used in general, and there's so much of it that removing a couple of areas won't hurt the overall map.
    Indeed in the next version I've cut an entire building in order to streamline the game area.
    Similarly, this is only the alpha so any architecture that I take out can still remain either outside the map or in a non-playable state - the visual quality or the map at this stage is not something that concerns me or should concern players.

    Now as to the game mode ideas (which certainly interest me) Reverse CTF (which I assume to mean take your flag to the opponent's base a la Hunted or push CTF like the competition, but symmetrical) could work but it essentially cuts the traditional CTF model in half making it less suited to a large map.
    One flag CTF is something that could work, and that I might experiment with, particularly given the size of the map. CTF keepaway would also work fairly well and warrant the larger buildings being added, but then the bases make little gameplay sense.

    CODKOTH is an interesting idea, and may work, however the buildings in the neutral zone aren't on a single central plane, invariably giveing one team an advantage. What I could do however is turn that into an attack/defend scenario where the team who it's closest to must defend it, while the other team tries to attack it.

    What I propose to do however is take that idea of procedural mapping and create a bunch of different states for the map like TC opening and closing buildings based on game logic, artificially shrinking the map without removing much of the architecture. This would create a dynamic, ever changing map that would be a lot more interesting to play on, but remain balanced as long as I did to one side exactly what I did to the other.
    for example, I could block off the ducts, or close some of the main doors, make everybody start in the other spawn room shut a building or raise a fence at one point. Maybe even block off the underground routes altogether.

    So you've given me a lot of ideas, but I'm not prepared to give up on CTF entirely.
    I will of course still be making a 5CP Push version of the map, though it will split off during beta, not alpha and I should be able to do things like KOTH or Arena as well by blocking off most of the bases, but I think that element of randomness could make the map a lot more fun, without straying too far from the overall goal of the map.
    obviously 5CP would have to stay the same though.

    Thanks for the feedback!


    Absurdistof: That may be remedied shortly, I'm opening up at least one sightline on either side.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  20. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    Haha shweet. Good huntsman snipers would do fine in the original though.

    Also, just a thought as to what IcyEyes said, it seems as though the concern is a quick finish, so as a very simple remedy, it could be a 5ctf map? With 5 captures to win