Making Egypt work.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Geal, May 23, 2010.

  1. Geal

    Geal L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    162
    Positive Ratings:
    56
    So, a couple days ago while testing, the topic of Egypt theme came up. Generally people don't like it, and many people in the server talked about how much of a lazy cop-out it is - what with all textures being more or less the same. Since then, I've been thinking about how Egypt theme could work and be pleasing.

    My idea is that making many of the buildings made of wood and metal, with only a handful of areas using the adobe bricks that Egypt is infamous for. Maybe have the "story" or setting of the level be a mining or excavation site, so there's lots of scaffolding and such. I think if done right it could make areas feel unique and distinct, rather than everything is just generally the same.

    How do you guys think the Egypt theme could be fixed to better fit into TF2?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  2. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    801
    I would like it more if the Egyptian buildings were less obvious, maybe sticking out of the ground instead of fully excavated. The theme itself is *alright* to a point, but Egypt and basically any map that uses the theme OVER uses it.

    I think with Egypt the creator tried to go for a excavation theme (as there is scaffolding here and there) but there's just too much of the Egyptian architecture for me.
     
  3. k00pa

    k00pa L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    I really can't see way how the egypt theme could fit to TF2 style... I have never liked egypt because of the style. And as leminnes said, it is way too easy to overuse.

    There was one nice koth map with egypt theme with water at middle, that was good egypt theme map. Can't remember its name..
     
  4. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

    Messages:
    1,597
    Positive Ratings:
    1,677
    maybe using the egypt stuff only in your 3d skybox could be a viable way to not overuse it.
    but I don't know what the gamplay area could be tho, they don't make barns in the middle of a desert right?
     
  5. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    801
    No, not really in the middle of a desert. Hell, Egyptian ruins aren't as pristine and untouched as cp_egypt's seem to be. Maybe that's what bothers me, is that real ruins are RUINS while Egypt's buildings look like they were built yesterday.
     
  6. Geal

    Geal L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    162
    Positive Ratings:
    56
    Right, I get that feeling too. Reversing the wood/scaffolding/etc to Egypt ratio might make for a more visually pleasing map? As otherwise stated, keep most (if not all) of the Egypt stuff outside the map. As for what it would be like INSIDE the map, I think it could work on the same lines as say Badwater or Dustbowl. Just redo the detailing to be a bit less industrial in some areas. Could even use some of the Egypt ruins in places to break things up a bit.
     
  7. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

    Messages:
    1,317
    Positive Ratings:
    801
    I can imagine this working in my head, but I'd really have to see it to know if it'd work.
     
  8. Acumen

    aa Acumen Annoyer

    Messages:
    704
    Positive Ratings:
    594
    there was one map posted in here, that did a wonderful rendition with the egypt them that i felt highly fitting to the tf2world as it was not all yellowbrickshitstyle. but unfortunately, i don't remember who did it :D

    edit: found it. was called ctf_thebes by steaky:
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10811&highlight=egypt

    for my taste it was a nice take on this theme and very fitting to the tf2world :)
    but that could be just me :p
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  9. Geal

    Geal L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    162
    Positive Ratings:
    56
    Welp, guess I've got something to keep me busy until the next contest then. :V

    That map does do an okay job of helping players orient themselves - what with color highlights along the walls and such - but it still has the same architectural problems that cp_egypt has. The main problem (that I've found, anyways) is that the buildings all look the same, and don't have any architectural themes. Normally in tf2, you find general themes: red is brick and wood, with warm colors and angular shapes; blu buildings are usually concrete or metal materials that have cool colors, with sharp orthogonal shapes. Now compare to egypt and thebes: red have stone buildings that are yellow with red highlights, featuring a mixture of orthogonals and angles; blu have stone buildings that are yellow with blu highlights, featuring a mixture of orthogonals and angles.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  10. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

    Messages:
    1,616
    Positive Ratings:
    1,275
  11. hadlock

    hadlock L1: Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    I was going to point out ctf_atrophy but I see I've already been beaten :)

    Atrophy sort of gives the egypt theme a peruvian jungle makeover, like you're in that first scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'd love to see some sort of koth or ctf version of Machu Picchu - a perfect blend of Alpine and Egypt theme

    [​IMG]

    It's got that great central field, and you could just playerclip off the buildings on either side that you don't need.
     
  12. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

    Messages:
    776
    Positive Ratings:
    211
    The problem with egypt is that it's a pretty specific theme, that's pretty far off from the rest of tf2, meaning that it's hard to use a lot of the tf2 stuff. If you were to make a map that's mostly desert themed, and then leads into an egyptian tomb...
     
  13. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

    Messages:
    2,289
    Positive Ratings:
    1,348
    The Egypt theme could work very well in my opinion if you do like Mangy and include some spytech with cool colors to break up all the brown. Or look at it differently, as the "ruins theme" and set it somewhere else than Egypt, where there are more colorful, interesting stuff to detail your map with.
     
  14. k00pa

    k00pa L1: Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    Yeah, ctf_atrophy looks nice. Not bloated with egypt theme.

    I should try that map...
     
  15. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

    Messages:
    1,242
    Positive Ratings:
    393
    Well I got ninja'd by Acumen on this one. It's a pity that Thebes was never finished (as far as I know..). Anyways, I think Thebes is a demonstration of the lighting that a mapper can employ for an egypt map, while atrophy stands testament to the various detailing techniques. I think most of it is subjective though.
     
  16. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,557
    How many of these threads do we need? I swear there's at least 10 of these threads discussing why the egypt theme is fail and how it could be improved.

    Firstly, there's nothing wrong with the textures per se. The map that made the theme infamous is just badly scaled with a repetitive colour scheme. Any competent designer should be able to make the theme work well with little effort/need for compromising the maps integrity as a TF2 map.

    All it needs is:

    • Good colour theory; using different materials in a single scene to break visual monotony, but still needs to stay within the reality context of TF2. This can be discerned in a number of ways depending on what an individual perceives acceptable limits and boundaries when it comes to warping TF2's stylised visuals.
    • Spytech. Implementing secret bases into egyption structures solidifies the maps existance within TF2. Spytech is crucial to that end.
    • Last but not least, working gameplay. People hate egypt because it's a terrible map beyond its "pretty" aesthetics and fresh theme. As a result the egyption theme has certain negative connotations about. There are several executions of the theme to date, the best execution of incorporating egyption theme into the TF2 narrative probably being ctf_nubia.

    edit: On a last note, we have enough arena_tomb's. I don't just mean the name, i mean making an egyption arena map is becoming rather cliché.

    I almost want to make an egyption map myself just to give the theme some justice. It's a good conceptual theme, it's just a shame it has consistantly been executed so poorly.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  17. Rexy

    aa Rexy The Kwisatz Haderach

    Messages:
    1,795
    Positive Ratings:
    2,366
    I quite think Egypt's thematic and material content is superb. There is a reason the company to which the game belongs purchased it from the author. You may contest the map all you'd like but the fact remains that Valve Software thought enough of the map to want it shipped with the title.

    @ hadlock: check out cp_loot when all the work is said and done, it's based in Machu Picchu, mayan theme.
     
  18. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,557
    To be honest Valve don't have a good track record of selecting great community maps, so i can't take that statement seriously. The best map they got was one they didn't even originally choose until the community was in uproar emailing complaints that they didn't grab cp_steel.

    But then most of their selections appeared out of desperation for new content, and the new TF2 maps in the first couple updates... well there was just nothing to really allow them to choose anything other than sub par maps until the game had increased in popularity and attracted more skilled level designers and allowed higher quality maps to come out in their due time.

    But, i do agree with you. Egypt has some good content. It's just a shame about most of its gameplay and thematic execution.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  19. Tinker

    aa Tinker

    Messages:
    672
    Positive Ratings:
    333
    The problem with Egypt (the map) is that it keeps itself to just the Egypt textures, which get boring really quickly. The way Atrophy and other new maps use it is better - a combination of TF2 spytech, old ruins and shacks makes it narratively more interesting AND easier to navigate AND gives it more of a TF2 feeling rather than "uh ok we're in random ruins let's fight".

    I still like Egypt's gameplay much better than the ever spammy Dustbowl, but that, too, could use a lot of work.
     
  20. Porkchop

    Porkchop L1: Registered

    Messages:
    42
    Positive Ratings:
    11
    I think something like this would be cool http://i45.tinypic.com/k9tnrp.jpg

    It's not the best example, just something I did up quickly, but basically it's a mix, using old Egyptian structures to make new bases and such. Would be neat to see done properly, with better lighting and all that jazz (just threw Well's lighting settings in there).