Discussion in 'Contests' started by 14bit, Nov 20, 2021.
Ayy! made it this time
Welcome back! I think running these things might be driving me crazy; during the mapping portion of this I listened to Picture This by Kero Kero Bonito on loop for almost four hours, and then I did it again for another three hours while writing this feedback. Regardless of my mental state, it's time for feedback!
Neat concept, plays alright. It feels red-sided due to highground for Red and weird routing for Blu. The buffer between Blu's spawn the the first courtyard pushes teams to the side, then pushes them to the left (facing the point from spawn), then back to the right to approach the point. This zig-zagging back and forth feels very strange to traverse, and makes it hard to rotate between the routes when approaching the point. I like Blu's lowground, but I never want to push it? On Red's side, you're pretty much blind until you reach the main point area since there's no windows and the buildings and doors block approaching views of the point. Since a lot of it is highground, though, it doesn't really matter since you have the height advantage even if you can't see. It also hurts Blu, since they can't see incoming enemies until they are right at the point.
Felt Blu-sided during testing. The layout itself is a pretty standard KotH layout, and it works alright. Both teams seem to have three routes, though two of Blu's converge before they reach the point meaning they only have two real points of entry. It doesn't really matter though, since Blu is closer to the point it seems. The biggest issue is the lack of smaller cover to play around; throw some crates or barrels around so there's places to take cover from snipers and dance around during fights. The ragdolls thing doesn't effect gameplay, so I would not consider it dynamic.
Something was horribly, horribly wrong with the vvis calculations on Red's side, but you know that from the test so I won't dwell on it. I like the idea of the gravity gimmick, but I wasn't sure if it was working right during the test since I couldn't really see the windows communicating it while playing as Red. It also seems backwards to me; shouldn't the gravity lower on the losing team so they have access to more routes to help them? I think it might also be worth exploring having the point itself to be in regular gravity, but use the low gravity to let players hop around the structure it's in. I like Blu base more, but that might just be because I can't see Red base.
I like this one, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. The layout is actually really, really good for an A1 of a KotH map. The layout at mid reminds me of one of my favorite 5cp maps, Couvade (which, unfortunately, has been abandoned and remains unfinished). Unfortunately, the gimmick gave a lot of players grief. I kind of thought it fun after a while, but I'm sure many, many players do not agree. I think it would be funny as a temporary effect, but making it toggle when the point is capped means that it will always be in play for the same team every time, which makes it just annoying instead of funny. Since it effects gameplay so much, I must concede that yes, it is dynamic. The music during feedback round is very fun, thank you.
Despite giving Red the highground, the map is Blu-sided. This seems to be, paradoxically, due to Red spawning closer to the point. Since you want to control the point and the area around it in KotH, this naturally pushes teams to defend forward of the point most of the time, which just means that Blu pushes all the way to Red spawn and camps. The point itself is also a bit scary to be on, since there's not a lot of cover. The actual geometry is very well made though, well done!
I like this one, it's fun. I only got to play on Red, but it seems like Blu had fun as well. The point itself isn't terribly interesting, but the spaces around it are so it makes up for it. I like the frog. Overall, I think it feels too blocky; maybe displacements would help, or maybe it needs more props used as cover in place of the squared-off walls everywhere. I'm genuinely unsure what else to say about this one since I don't see any major glaring flaws; I think I'd have to play it a lot more to identify any really pressing issues.
Oh no it's good, again. I was expecting it to be alright but have a lot of sightline problems, but it looks like sightlines didn't actually cause many issues in the end. I really happy with how the point turned out, as well as the diagonal side bits in the building. It's sufficiently not-Viaduct, so I'm happy about that. I'm torn on continuing this; it's simple enough that I think it doesn't need much more to it to work, but also I say that I'll keep working on lots of maps that I never do. Maybe the point could be reworked into a new final for Reactor? It's got the same number of bridges...
I like this, but you should probably emphasize the non-highground routes a bit more. At the moment the winning strategy is to just walk straight forwards to the highground and jump on the point, which kind of removes any and all possible strategy involved in approaching the point; you're safe until you reach it, so everyone just piles on instead of trying to hold routes and push flanks. I really like the flags; they add a nice bit of variety to an otherwise rather dull mode (single-objective Medieval mode).
Impressive! Shame it's half-broken and doesn't play well. It takes too long to reach mid, and the fighting only takes place at mid right now, so the dynamic elements don't really feel terribly meaningful. I'd make the jump pads faster to navigate, maybe make some of the platforms bigger so teams can fight on them, and maybe have some neutral pads both teams have to get onto before reaching the point so combat happens in places other than directly on the point. If that doesn't work, you can try moving the point around as well? Very neat idea, sad it doesn't play well. I like the pillar raising/falling effect a lot.
Fun idea! I think it might be too hard to enter the point room though, since most of the fighting happens in the doorways around the room, rather than around the point itself. My biggest issue with the airlock gimmick (which I think is really, really fun by the way) is that the portal throws you out at mid. Laughter did this originally, but after some testing and suggestions void moved the exit back to the courtyards on each team's sides so that the point wasn't instantly overrun with a ton of full-health, crit-boosted players right after a successful cap. I'm not sure where you'd put the exit here, but anywhere that isn't mid is probably better than at mid in my eyes.
I don't think this one is working. The whole point area is too compact, leading the fighting to take place around one or two doorways the whole time. It's also almost impossible to recap the point after the initial midfight, and I think the dynamic doors are the problem. The dynamic doors don't really work; they punish the loosing team by giving them fewer (and worse) options to push though, while at the same time allowing the team holding the point to build sentries and such behind the defenders so even if they cap they'll lose it again immediately. If the doors only closed the highground for the defenders and attackers had access to all routes that that might be fine, but as it stands it just doesn't work. It feels like the map was designed without the doors in mind, and they were added at the last minute to make sure it qualified instead of them being an integral part of the layout. I honestly think it would play twice as good pretty much instantly if you pulled the dynamic element out. The capture zone is also tiny; I'd expand it to cover the whole of the platform it's on.
@*Turns into crocodile*
The robots are cool as hell, but I don't think they provide meaningful asymmetry. Yes, you can stand in different places on each of them, but the main geometry of the map is identical between the sides. Because of this, I personally would not consider the map as a whole to be "meaningfully asymmetrical," as where you stand on the giant robots doesn't really effect how the match plays. I believe some people disagree with me, so I will leave the determination of if you failed to meet the requirements to you. The biggest issue I have with the layout is that spawns should probably be farther back to account for the Uber on spawning in Mannpower in conjunction with the grapple hooks; it's very easy to reach the point while still Ubered from spawning. Overall it's too compact for something with grapple hooks in my eyes, and the narrow control point is awkward to play around/stand on.
Asymmetric: Technically Yes
I love how much it actually feels like a real rocky canyon! It doesn't feel like anything I've played in quite a while as well, so that fun. I like it. The point being so far off to the side causes some problems, though. It feels very red-sided. My theory is that it's because of how the highground in the center of the map is built; both teams have access to it, but Red gets two routes to it while Blu only gets one. Red's side of it also looks over the point so it's obvious that they should hold there; for Blu your view of the point is blocked as you approach, so it feels like you should drop to the low ground to reach the point. When taking the right spawn exit on Blu the path to the highground is visually blocked off as well, which drives players down and to the left. Maybe this is true, maybe it's not, but that's how it felt to me from my few rounds on Blu.
This one sticks out in my mind as one of the more interesting ones. It plays alright, though the walk times to the point are a bit long for my taste. During the test Red's side seemed more interesting to me (though I only got to play on Blu), though now looking at the layout while writing this I think Blu's is probably better constructed with more varied routes. Overall I think it might need to be compressed, and the height variation cut down to facilitate this. The dynamic element is neat, though I'd have to see it more to really tell you how it feels since most of the fights I was in were not on the point.
Really neat idea, but there's a lot going on here and I found myself getting overwhelmed during the test. It's likely at least some of that was fatigue from playing 14 KotH maps in a row before this one. The asymmetry, the sunlight/capture mechanic, the outside, the multilevel point, the weird shape of the point and the strange routing made the map more confusing than fun to me, unfortunately. It seems like most other people had a good time though, so don't let me discourage you. Looking at it from above, it seems that both teams are roughly the same distance from the point, but down at player level it feels like Red is a lot closer. It also felt very hard to approach the point as a Red player in the rounds I played. Blu's routes spread out horizontally making it easy to see what approaches to the point you have, while Red's are stacked and only the top one seems like a decent route most of the time, so it just became a meat grinder of trying to pass through the one doorway to get the highground.
Not bad, not good. I didn't have a great time one this one personally, but I was reaching the burn-out point so that might just be me. I don't understand the point of the orange elevators; they seem unnecessary and people just kept messing with them instead of playing. The point isn't terribly interesting to play around, and heavily favors Blu due to the way it's built into the highground. It felt like I was attacking an A/D point (as Red) instead of trying to control something I'll be able to hold after the capture, which didn't feel great. Non-jumping classes can get stuck in a hole next to the Badlands spire prop. I'm really struggling to say anything about this one, really sorry. It's just kind of uninteresting and forgettable to me, and I really wish I could tell you why but I can't find the words.
I think this is unfortunately some of the least fun I've had in medieval mode. Players are too fast for meaningful combat to happen, and the layout doesn't flow well in the fact that you can't rotate between routes to really make meaningful decisions. These combine to make the gameplay almost entirely consist of rushing the point. There's weird dead ends and impossible jumps all over, and the lighting on the point makes it so you can't tell what team anyone is on. The custom powerups are neat, but are out of the way and there's so few that not many people get to experience them. The jump pads are kind of fun, I like that you can stomp people with them! For the on-cap effects, only two effect gameplay and even then not by a lot, so it just barely counts as dynamic. I am sad that I do not enjoy the goblino gameplay.
Dynamic: Technically Yes
I think it's really fun that you re-imagined an existing official map for this! You can really tell that it's sawmill, but with a greater focus on verticality that makes it feel new. Very clever to keep the saws under the point until a team caps to keep it fair as well; I like that. The saw blade pickups are great, and the saw-backpacks are funny too. I wish I had gotten to try it out, but the same few people kept grabbing it. I don't know if there's a way to deal with that. Layout-wise there's not much for me to say.
It's really hard to rotate between routes on Blu, and none of the routes go directly to the point, meaning you have to take blind corners right as you approach. Contrast that with Red's routes that give you visibility of the point as you approach and are generally less twisty, and it leads to the map being very Red-sided even if both teams technically have the same node graph connections (which is what I believe you did to design this, if I'm not mistaken?). There's something neat in here, but at the moment it feels like a slog for Blu to even approach the point.
Oh dear, this one is massively, massively overscaled. You can't even see the other end of mid since it's past the far-Z clipping plane! On top of that, there's almost no useful/meaningful cover anywhere. I'd reduce the distance between the spawns and the point by around a third, and add a lot more cover to make things more interesting. The point itself isn't fun to be on or around since it's so open, and that's not a good thing in a mode where you are supposed to stay near it. People were more interested in exploring a hole you left in the displacements than playing the objective. Sorry so many people were in the hole for most of the test by the way, it was the last map of the test and people stopped listening to me telling them to get out of it.
As usual, here's the mode breakdown:
I'll see you all next month for both the 72hr Jam and the final microcontest of the season! See you then!
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