Microcontest #5: PASS Time Panic

Discussion in 'Contests' started by 14bit, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. 14bit

    aa 14bit L14: Bit Member

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    Welcome to Microcontest 5: PASS Time Panic

    Today we venture into the realm of one of TF2's most divisive game modes: PASS Time, a deadly game of soccerhockeybasketball. Personally, it feels more like Team Handball to me. Regardless, this oft overlooked mode is our focus today, so you better use your hour of prep to brush up on your PASS Time knowledge!

    Any map that uses the Jack counts for this Microcontest. Go crazy with your custom modes! Or don't; PASS Time is a complicated mode to work with, and trying to do unique things with it under time limits doesn't always work out well.

    To enter, reply to this thread claiming a spot. After the deadline, edit your map into your post to finalize your submission. You should only ever have one post in this thread until after submissions close!

    For full Microcontest rules and submission procedure, check out the Microcontest Megathread.


    Quick Info:

    Time commitment: 4-5 Hours
    Difficulty: 4/5

    Date: June 27th, 2020
    Planning starts: 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC)
    Clock starts: 12:00 PM EDT (16:00 UTC)
    Clock ends: 4:00 PM EDT (20:00 UTC)

    Countdown to the deadline here!


    Reference Materials and Information:

    To ease you into in, I've created a special quick-start .vmf that contains all of the official PASS Time logic, cleaned up, labeled, and organized for ease of use. The official prefab is a mess, containing extraneous logic, incomplete logic, invalid solids, and bizarre organization so I highly recommend using this one.

    It contains:
    • All PASS Time game logic
    • All three goal types (run-in, throw-in, and bonus goals)
      • The bonus goals are the water towers from Brickyard and Timbertown, but you can take the logic out and build your own enclosure for them
    • All three launch pad types (tall, far, and bonus goal launchers with built-in glows when the goals are active)
    • path_tracks set up as Section 0 (for making the PASS Time HUD function)
    • Forward and defensive spawns for both teams
    • All triggers needed for the spawns to switch based on Jack position (put these covering the entire map from just inside mid all the way to the goals)
    • All triggers and clips needed on spawn doors to keep the Jack out

    If you want copies of the goals, launchers, or speedboosters, use can paste special to duplicated the existing ones without causing issues.

    You will have to manually add new tf_glow entites for each additional bonus goal or bonus goal launcher, since each tf_glow can only target one thing without breaking.

    If you only want one spawn room per team that doesn't move, use the forward spawns and remove the large triggers that enable and disable the defender spawn!

    Pass time will not function as a mode if the file does not start with pass_

    The PASS Time HUD breaks if there are more than two goals and no Section has been set in the passtime_logic entity. A section is a series of connected path_tracks that the HUD uses to calculate the position of the Jack in the map. I recommend not trying to deal with more than one today, since it's a messy system. One has already been set up for you in the prefab: if you need to add more path_tracks, you have to change the OnMapSpawn passtime_master SetSection output on the logic_auto in the center of the prefab. It takes 3 parameters, separated by a space: <section number> <start of path> <end of path>. By default the prefab is set to give an output of "0 path1 path3"

    In official maps and the prefab, the Jack is affected by the launchers (trigger_catapults) and trigger_pushes. If you make your own, make sure to set the Physics Objects flag or the Jack won't get launched!

    func_passtime_goal's team keyflag is confusing. You set who scores in it, rather than who's side it's on. They should be set to Blu on Red's side, and Red on Blu's side!

    func_passtime_no_ball_zone makes players instantly drop the ball

    func_passtime_goalie_zone is used to award points to players that defend the ball

    PASS Time maps cheat with how they show blockers on the your own goals; there's tiny func_respawnrooms inside of every goal and the signs are func_respawnroomvisualizers. This is done in the prefab for you.

    Each bonus goal launcher has a prop hidden inside that is targeted by a tf_glow to make it light up when the bonus goals are open. There's two different ones, one standard ramp and one corner ramp. You should be able to find them in the model browser by searching "passtime"

    If you need additional launchers or goals to light up on powerup, you'll have to make new tf_glow entities and send them the correct inputs from the math_counters that handle the jack power level logic. Yes, part of the Jack power logic is done in the map with logic instead of being programmed into the entities for the mode. It's a clever bit of logic, but I'd avoid touching it if you can for the purposes of this Microcontest.

    Please keep in mind these are not rules, but observations I've made on the design of the official PASS Time maps. Feel free to ignore them.

    In all official maps:

    Defenders respawn faster than attackers in all official maps. When the defender's spawn is active, the defenders have 5 second spawn waves. At all other times, both teams have 7.5 second spawn waves. This is done in the prefab for you

    Speed pads are usually found just outside of forward spawns, to help get players reach fights faster. They're also generally found on flank routes and near mid

    Launch pads are common, but there is always a way to avoid fall damage after a fling:
    • On Timbertown, there's water at the end of every launch to catch you
    • On District, the launchers to mid are shallow enough that you can avoid damage if you hit the roof right. After using the bonus goal launchers, you can airstrafe into a second launcher on the floor, which doesn't give you fall damage.
    • On Brickyard, all launches are shallow enough to not give fall damage except the two bonus goal launchers on each side. These two are aimed at each other, so you can juggle yourself without hitting the ground. Near on of them is another launch pad you can hit, which breaks you out of the cycle and lets you land on the ground with no damage.
    Launch pads always aim towards mid to get people to fights faster, not to push in to the enemy side faster. They can launch you across mid, but after that you need to fight your way forward on foot.

    Launch pads are all marked with the passtime/pass_goal_arrow overlay. This is done in the prefab for you

    All launch pads, speed pads, and goals are func_nobuilded. This is the case in the prefab as well. Be sure to mark the ground in some way to let players know!

    There is one run-in goal per team. They are always the furthest from mid, but very wide. They shoot the Jack away if you try and throw it in. This is done in the prefab for you

    There is one throw-in goal per team, which is closer to mid than the run-in goal

    There is one bonus goal per team, very high up outside of normal throwing range, that has a dedicated launch pad. No class can make the throw without using the launch pad. It activates after the Jack (the ball) is powered up through passes, steals, and interceptions. This goal is worth 3 points, and is usually closer to mid than the regular goal, but the launch pad is difficult to reach. The launch pad for this one lights up with a tf_glow entity while the jack is powered up

    Each class has a different throwing arc. Heavy throws farthest, while Scout throws shortest

    The Jack bounces off playerclip and blockbullets

    The Jack can be trigger_teleported, so use this to recover the ball if it enters a pit or something. You can also set a func_passtime_goal to give -1 points to make it respawn, which seems to be the way that Escalation Studios intended the Jack to be reset if it ever entered a pit.

    • Players are marked for death when holding the Jack if there are no teammates nearby
    • All teammates around a Jack holder move at the same speed as the fastest player in the group
    • The Jack heals nearby teammates, but not the player holding the Jack

    Because of these effects, players tend to move in large, fast moving groups when pushing as a team. Keep your routes and hallways wide enough to handle big groups!

    Brickyard:
    • 10752hu from goal-to-goal, measured from the back of the run-in goal
    • Mid is 2560hu wide the widest point
    • Mid is 1536hu across
    • The transition buildings heading towards the goals are 1280hu
    • The courtyard for the bonus goal is roughly 1280hu
    • The final area before the run-in goal is roughly 1984hu
    Personally I recommend against modeling your map after Brickyard; it's too open for most classes to be useful, and fights get split up too easily due to the multilayered nature of the map.

    Timbertown:
    • 11008hu from goal-to-goal, measured from the back of the run-in goal
    • Mid is 3072hu wide the widest point
    • Mid is 3328hu across
    • The courtyard for the bonus goal and regular goal is roughly 2304hu
    • The final area before the run-in goal is roughly 1664hu
    Timbertown gets away with being longer that Brickyard by keeping fighting closer to the ground and having choke points between each area transition. Some of these have one-way high ground heading towards Mid, so that you can push back out if you defend your goals.

    District:
    • 13056hu from goal-to-goal, measured from the back of the run-in goal
    • Mid is 832hu wide where the ball drops, but there are two flanks though buildings making the width of Mid 2464hu wide if you include the streets on each team's side
    • Mid is 1536hu across, from street to street
    • There's a roughly 768hu transition area
    • There's two different areas here, splitting the map in half. The inside of the subway is roughly 1600hu across, 1312hu wide. The outside street is 1080 across, but only 672hu wide not counting Red's spawn alleyway and the interiors of buildings.
    • The final courtyard is roughly 2240hu across, with all three goals in this space. The regular and run-in goals are at the back, and the launch pad for the bonus goal is right in the center.
    I personally think District is the best of the official PASS Time maps. It splits the combat into clear routes and connectors, and provides multiple ways to push into each area. It doesn't have the massive sightlines of the other maps due to the urban setting, too.

    Please note, all these maps are more than double the size of the template I have given you. Do with that information what you will.

    NOTES:

    Name your .vmf:
    pass_<yourname>_mc5_a1

    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

    PASS Time will not function as a mode if the file does not start with pass_!

    You do not have to compile within the time limit, but I will only wait one hour past the deadline to collect maps at a maximum. After that your map will no longer be considered a valid entry, unless you contact me ahead of time and we work something out.

    Good luck. You're all going to need it.

    ATTENTION!

    The attached prefab is now out of date and has issues, please use this shiny new one for making your PASS Time maps!
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. 8BitFenix

    8BitFenix L1: Registered

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  3. DrSquishy

    aa DrSquishy ???

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  4. Aapelikaeki

    Aapelikaeki L3: Member

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    good luck to everyone willing to sacrifice a piece of their soul for this microcontest
     
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  5. Skylark

    Skylark L2: Junior Member

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    Claimed

    I'm out, passtime bad

    I have something

    hl2_2020-06-27_22-17-38.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. FloofCollie

    aa FloofCollie I really suck!

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    why not
     
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  7. LaughableNineSeal44

    LaughableNineSeal44 L1: Registered

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  8. TheFluffycart

    TheFluffycart L2: Junior Member

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  9. Funnystuf

    Funnystuf L2: Junior Member

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  10. LaughableNineSeal44

    LaughableNineSeal44 L1: Registered

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    This is why not!
     
  11. Cargo_Tokens

    Cargo_Tokens L3: Member

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    I guess I'll learn how to map for pass time then!
     
  12. LaughableNineSeal44

    LaughableNineSeal44 L1: Registered

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  13. 14bit

    aa 14bit L14: Bit Member

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  14. 14bit

    aa 14bit L14: Bit Member

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    Time is up, fully and completely! Edit your maps into your posts when they are done compiling.

    Remember: at this point you should have only posted once in this entire thread.
     
  15. 14bit

    aa 14bit L14: Bit Member

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    Feedback time! They're listed in the order that they were played during the test.

    I'm super happy with the turnout on this one; I was expecting far less entries considering it's PASS Time and nobody maps for PASS Time. We got some great entries, and I'm hoping this pushes more people to explore the mode going forwards. I'll be working to clean up the prefab even more to release it as a proper template, and I'll probably also clean up the reference info for release with it.

    Well, onto the feedback!

    It's quite a small map for the mode, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. Small PASS Time could work, but there's a few issues holding it back. It's far to easy to lock down all the goals as defenders, and there's no reason to go for the run-in ones with how easy it is to reach the throw-in ones and the bonus goal. There's a few technical issues too, with the bonus goals being clipped off and everyone spawning at mid the whole time. Spawning at the forward spawn unless the ball is on your side is normal in PASS Time, so I'm assuming you just didn't know. Maybe expand mid to push the spawns back, or get rid of the forward spawn entirely? Not sure.

    There's some really hard chokes here, but it seems like it's an issue with routing rather than the chokes themselves? Looking back at the map, the seemingly best path to push in is the far left flank (looking from mid), but the geometry doesn't suggest that's an important route. Everyone gets funneled into the center choke, which is terrifying to push even with teammates since you can't attack while you have the Jack. I really don't like having a ball reset pit near spawn, and at mid. Feels like it will slow the match way too much. The one at the bonus goal is fine; it's a risk/reward thing. The throw-in goal is in a very odd place; having it not visible when attackers enter the area seems like a mistake to me. Having the run-in goal way around a corner also doesn't seem right, since if you've managed to push that far as a team, you're most likely already at the high ground and have powered up the Jack to go for the bonus? At least, that's what I did during the test. Oh, and it seems you messed up the Sections thing, so the HUD isn't showing the goals correctly. Overall, I think a choke-ier take on PASS Time is an interesting proposition, and I'm looking forward to seeing if you can make it work!

    I'm not sure what to really say about this, there's not much here. It's mostly the template I gave, but with Minecraft textures. There's spawn-to-spawn sightline issues, people were turning invincible, you take fall damage everywhere, and there's no chokes or highground around objectives to actually defend with; it's just a relatively simple box full of logic without much gameplay. Give teams some safer spawn exits, more interesting geometry between mid and the goals, and make it defensible. I recommend using height variation to break up sightlines; PASS Time maps are huge so you have to do something about those to keep sniper from dominating.

    Really not sure what happened to the lighting here, it's coming sideways making everything dark and confusing? It's also really, really cramped. Having the bonus goal so close to mid means it plays almost like KotH, since you just need to hold mid to win. Blu's launch pad is broken, the Jack can enter spawns, there's playerclips where it looks like you should be able to walk, and it's impossible to push though the choke to go for the regular goals. It's asymmetric too, with Red's side missing the launch pad near the goal. Widen it out, add some flanks, move the bonus goal back, and there might be something here, but for now it's a cramped spawncamping fest.

    Neat idea, it's just unfortunate that the ball isn't resetting correctly. I'd use a trigger_teleport with the Physics Objects flag ticked, so it can reset the ball instantly rather than waiting for a countdown. Or just set the countdown really low! Regardless, you need to find a way to reset the ball.
    Maybe also make the goals more obviously goals by using the same materials and visual design as the official run-in goals?

    It's just the template, but now you can't see anything
    It's almost the same as the other Minecraft one, but worse since you can't tell team colors apart with the dark red lighting. I know it's supposed to be the Nether, but sacrificing playability for aesthetics isn't usually a good idea.

    I had quite the advantage going into this one, since I did a lot of research on the official maps so I could write up info about the design of PASS Time to share with everyone. I think it's a pretty decent first shot at a PASS Time map, and doesn't feel like the stock ones either. It's just slightly shorter than Brickyard's size, with the chokes of District some of the routing of Timbertown. The throw-in goal is too easy in my opinion; I forgot how far heavy can throw! The bonus goal was also a bit too easy, I've moved it back a bit for the next version. Keeping the launchers to places that bring you towards mid, and making sure they all don't cause fall damage worked well. I'm really happy with how I managed to make the bonus goal launcher both the goal for attackers, and a flank for the defenders; it's fun to drop in on the broken building. Spawns need work too, I think the forward one is too forward. Overall I'm happy with it, and I'm happy that I've managed to make a map for a mode that people don't usually like that people like.

    I feel like the length might be good, but it's too wide. You're right that PASS Time maps are big, but this is almost too big. Teams and defenses get much too split up across the routes, and the throw in goal is impossible to defend since it's so far from the defender spawn. I'd almost cut the whole bonus goal landing area entirely, and force people though the building for a bit, just so there's some kind of choke. I love that the launch pads at mid don't cause fall damage, it's just a shame that falling from the chandelier does. Oh, and the death pits not actually being death pits or resetting the ball are an issue.

    It's better than stock 2fort, I'll give it that. Since this one's clearly a joke, there's not much constructive feedback I can give. Maybe make it easier to not accidentally score on the run-in goal if you're going for the intel room? Maybe also make it more obvious that the intel room is the bonus goal somehow? Oh, and make the launchers up the drop down more consistent; widening that hole would make it much more fun to use. It's a fun little joke, nice job.

    Thanks for putting up with me making you all do PASS Time, I hope you had fun working with a new mode if you've never done it before. I can only hope some of these maps continue, I love a good PASS Time map and I hope that this helped drum up some more interest in the mode!
     
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