Map Layout Constructive Criticism

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by StoneFrog, May 1, 2009.

  1. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Well, I've finished my Photoshop layout for my 5-point CP map. Current working title is cp_railstop, but I may think of something better.

    It's basically in the artistic style of badlands - crude, high buildings and freight train platforms and storage yards all around. The major difference is the kickass alpine theme. :thumbup:

    It's in no way to scale, and it's a bit hard to understand some of it, but I just need a general idea. FYI, the semi-transparent lines in the area surrounding the first team-owned Control Point is stuff below it, as it is constructed above ground on a wooden platform.

    I'm not sure what to do with the neutral Control Point yet! A train depot? Some ambiguous building? Just make it open and add lots of miscellaneous shacks and stuff in the middle? Ideas?

    I did a quick mockup of a possible train depot, but I think it may make the map a bit too closed. My goal for this map is to provide open combat areas whilst still yielding enough cover and height contrast to give each class a chance to shine.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. SiniStarR

    SiniStarR L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    seems pretty straight foreword and solid for a cp map. For the middle, a trainyard of sorts would be pretty cool. I bet it would work great with ctf too
     
  3. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    Looks a bit on the small side. However, you are working on a map! :D
     
  4. Mar

    Mar Banned

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    Nice, will take a more detailed look tomorrow when I'm not so sleepy. Hopefully you finish this one, which I'm sure you will.
     
  5. TotalMark

    TotalMark L6: Sharp Member

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    Damn, I mean... damn.

    I wish I could draw that well in Inkscape let alone Photoshop!

    I can't really tell how it might play from this layout, but it looks okay to me.
     
  6. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    Looks fine to me. The middle needs some more features, more cover. More of something, anyway. The final CPs look overly simple, you might need to flesh them out as well. Try some rooms at the side where RED and BLU can fight for control and gain easier access to the CP, like Badwater's final terminus.
     
  7. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    One thing i find is that schematics never work out how you expect them too when going from drawing board to Hammer.
     
  8. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    I'm not sure what to put there! :p I want the area nice and open, so a building or something may segment the map too much. Possibly a shipping platform like the neutral CP of badlands?

    In what sense?

    The dotted lines you see separating the middle CP area from the first team-owned CP areas are raised rail platforms where some train cars are sitting. It's inaccessible, although where it meets the ground there's these concrete sewer pipes (those round openings) where some water has pooled, kind of like in arena_ravine. I'm not sure yet whether or not I want players to be able to go through there to get under the next CP, or if it should be closed off.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  9. Tom Hoen

    Tom Hoen L6: Sharp Member

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    When you say 'raised rail platforms where some train cars are sitting' do you mean that there will be tracks 6000units above ground? Because this would be interesting. This way you could keep middle open and by adding lots of huge supports for those high tracks, these pillars would bring some cover too.

    And continuing this idea: You could add something like we can see in 'arena_watchtower', one huge pillar supporting cp, but in this map cp could be under it and above that would be this pillar. Of course covering cp with 4 walls etc. and on the roof adding the support.

    Im just trying to help giving you some ideas :p

    And final note: Placing control points on 'S' shape may not be very good idea. Yes it works in Badlands, but in it 2nd points are further away from middle (more right and left, depending where to look). But if you know you're going to make this work Im supporting you. Go for it!:thumbup:
     
  10. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Gee, valid point. The main reason they're off to the side is because that first building you enter after passing through the neutral territory is meant to be the "filler" between points. If it were right after the large open yard, it'd seem a bit too close to the neutral CP, don't you think?

    Then again, I could keep the filler building and move the second point's location to behind it. That may actually improve its accessibility, since then perhaps the East and West buildings in the middle of the map could have a pathway there. I don't know...
     
  11. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    It feels like the buildings to the East and West of the center CP are rather useless. Perhaps they could have paths leading to the second CP. My only real concern is how the gameflow would be with players having to go through that big building and then veering right to get to their destination - plenty of newbies will probably just go straight through and go too far ahead. Maybe I should split the building into two?
     
  12. Mar

    Mar Banned

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    Schematics never work out becuase you realize that some stuff is scaled wrong, and then when you expand rooms it messes everything up and Argh! If schematics worked out I would've had already released an alpha of my baby, but right now I'm absolutely struggling with proportions.

    But good to see you making this. My advice would be to get as much of this into hammer (just blocks and dev textures) and then fill it with a s*** load of character models and see if there is the right amount of space and such.
     
  13. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Yeah, I am doing that. But some stuff like the hallway (that spans about half of the map's entire total width) that connects the buildings on the East/West ends of "no man's land" to the bases just seem silly to begin with.
     
  14. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Yar, here's a slightly revised version. I took a look at how Badlands curves player routes in response to how the Control Points are kind of offset to the left/right:

    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that the buildings between the CP areas would make better CP areas than the CP areas. :p
     
  15. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Looks like a decent layout. It's true that it can be hard to turn a schematic into a map and not have changes.

    I actually did this on graph paper for one map for another game and even did a side view to control how high the player could see/go to use the skybox to my advantage. It worked pretty good and I only had a few minor changes (a hallway or 2 needed re-arranged).

    But that was to scale on graph paper, very strick from the get go.

    You didn't use a grid it looks like so getting it exact could be very tough.

    However I think it's always beneficial to scratch stuff out to have at least a vague idea of what you want before you start. Makes it alot easier to stick to the plan even if you have to make some changes.

    The worst that could happen is it doesn't work or you can't overlay your drawing on top of the map and have an exact match.

    I usually scratch out at least segments when I get ideas, it helps me to remember stuff like:
    spawn on left, door to right, stairs over here...
     
  16. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    I did use a grid - only for the straight lines, of course. :p

    The closest thing I have to a sense of "scale" is the doors. The smaller ones are those doorframe001a.mdl props (or whatever the first wooden doorframe prop is), and the larger ones are door_slide_large.mdl props.
     
  17. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    If that's the scale I think this layout might be too small.
    The last and 2/4 cap areas are too small to support any battle at all. The respawns are too small to fit 16 spawnpoints.
    I can't say for sure but the distance between the points might be on the short side... from the looks of it there's only 2 doorways between control points?
    Are there any way to flank the 2/4 point from the final one? And maybe you should consider adding alt. routes to the other points as well.
    When doing indoor tunnels, you should take a good look at gravelpits concrete paths. They have a good width and height, narrower than that and it will become difficult for some classes and others (pyro) will dominate too easily.

    Where are you going to add health and metal packs?
     
  18. Loc_n_lol

    Loc_n_lol L10: Glamorous Member

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    Initial respawn rooms look too close to final cap imo, you may want to consider allowing teams to exit their respawn from both sides of the cp instead of from behind it, to prevent 'compulsory spawn-kill' and have respawned defenders walk a little more before reaching their cp.
    Also depending on the scale you're using, caps #1,2,4 and 5 may feel a little 'crammed' and spam-prone. Otherwise it might be that #3 is actually sniper heaven and the other ones are fine.
     
  19. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    This is an alternate layout I was pondering.

    [​IMG]

    I'm putting way too much thought into this, aren't I. :p Maybe I should just stick with the original plan and see what happens.
     
  20. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    I like this one the best! Much more spread out and less congested.