Maps bending in on themselves

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Chaopsychochick, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    So, I am curious if there is any optimization or other reason why a lot of maps especially multistage maps tend to curve around in on themselves.

    I am thinking of stuff like gold rush and badwater in particular, where you start on the outside of the spiral and move in. I notice that the map ends up looking square from the top down perspective.

    I am working on my map and for some reason I feel like I should try and make it like this, however I am finding the feel of the map wants to be otherwise. Is this bad? Should it try to curve around on itself, or is whatever shape fine so long as you do optimization?
     
  2. Penguin

    aa Penguin Clinically Diagnosed with Small Mapper's Syndrome

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    Gameplay is better this way.
     
  3. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    Why? And how?

    I can't really see how just making the individual sections on curves make game play. I mean I understand the curving and what not for making each section enjoyable. But it would seem that like the last section of gold rush would be just the same as if it went straight from the second section instead of doing the 90 turn that it does. I mean the spawn area for blue would be slightly different, but that's it for game play. Isn't it?
     
  4. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    Any shape is fine. It's easier to make the 3dsky if its shaped like dustbowl etc. but it doesnt really matter at all.
     
  5. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    There is a certain optimization element: With large open spaces, curving around a central area acts as a natural means of controlling how much someone can see at any point. There are other ways to do this, of course, such as an S formation.

    A second advantage is that it allows for a central "base" for the defenders. This is good for gameplay, like in badwater, where you can pretty easily get around to any point along the track from a single spawn area. It's also nice for the visual theme, like being able to see the rocket from each area in dustbowl.
     
  6. eerieone

    aa eerieone

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    i see two reasons

    1. going clockwise feels natural to us, like reading from left to right

    2. if you had something you would want to protect, would you position it on the flank on in the center of your territory?

    by slowly making the spiral close in the middle the tension gets higher, and even if the player doesn´t see the layout before him, he feels that the heading towards the bullseye

    optimizationwise you have the benefit that you don´t need to build that much surrounding area since one side will pretty much always be a group of houses or high displacement cliffs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  7. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    My guess would be, as already mentioned, basic sightlines and avoiding anything over the max-viewable distance.
     
  8. Chaopsychochick

    Chaopsychochick L4: Comfortable Member

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    So from what I understand people are saying so far, the main things are:

    Breaking up sight
    Providing Common Visual point of reference
    Guiding players in giving them a feeling of progress

    Shmitz, would the central base really apply to multistage stuff though? I can definitely understand it in the single stage stuff like bad water, but like dustbowl and gold rush where BLU takes over REDs spawn....

    However, if you could address those issues while meandering, and not circling in on itself would there really be an issue with it?
     
  9. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    No, there would not be an issue with it. Spiraling solves some problems, but it is not the only way to solve those problems, generally speaking.
     
  10. Eternal

    Eternal L69: Deviant Member

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    Each of those maps also houses a centrally placed wormhole to another galaxy.

    Also straight lines make creating alternate paths more difficult for mapping purposes, and straight lines make escape tactics when injured more difficult for players. Also having curves in your map is like a woman, it makes it more interesting, the reason its a spiral usually is that the maps are mirrored.
     
  11. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Snark's commentary from ancient knowledge:

    Way back in the olden days dustbowl was created for TFC. In the GoldSrc engine there was significantly less space to build it, so the map had to be spiraled in order to fit.
    Time passed and TF2 came along, and the dustbowl port kept the same shape despite there now being copious amounts of mapping space.
    Along came payload and goldrush's layout was basically an alteration of dustbowl's, presumably because they decided gameplay was similar enough.
    Badwater I believe fell in with this not only for being advantageous to the red spawning situation, but also because Dario made both payloads and the original dustbowl (though he did not do the porting of dustbowl to TF2).

    Summary: no reason. the reason was space limitations.
     
  12. III_Demon

    III_Demon L2: Junior Member

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    people have said it all, but i'll just throw in my list, as i see it:

    #1 visibility. a linear map has lots more chances for visibility problems. spiralling it guarantees you wont have single area that gets too huge.

    #2 paths. the badwater spawn arrangement is a nice clear example. curves allow things to be shortcuts. a linear map means you need to hike to the battle, or set up more forward spawns, which can get confusing and annoying.

    #3 available space. boojum splained this one, its mostly historical now.

    the clockwise/spiral/central things dont apply to players as much, i think. thats something mappers think about, and see clearly. once it gets into the context of play, i dont think the people in the map care much if they turn left or right, they care which path is shorter or gives them the tactical advantage.