My Thoughts on Func_Nobuild:

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Rexy, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Rexy

    aa Rexy The Kwisatz Haderach

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    This is getting to be a problem, and it's a difficult one to talk about, because I'm sure there's a lot of authors who are going to disagree on func_nobuild and it's purpose.

    Recently, I've been seeing a lot of people use func_nobuild in a manner that isn't right. And by that I mean, people using func_nobuild to keep people from building in places the author thinks buildings shouldn't go. Like capture areas for ctf or cp maps...or a spot that is particularly advantageous to build a sentry in.

    And that's a no-no to me. I've seen that in a few contest ctf maps and some cp maps...that's just not right. If I can walk there, and it's not someone's spawn, I should be able to build there.

    Func_nobuild is for keeping players from building in places they shouldn't be building. For example, under stairs or ramps that are supposed to be secluded by props or other brushes. Or high ledges that are player clipped in the first place. Or a random spec of geometry that's part of a detail object.

    The main difference is in walkable space. If a player can walk around and inhabit that spot with his/her body, that player should be able to build in that space, size permitting. Placing nobuild and saying, "I don't want players to build there", is not the correct solution. Add props, walls, change the geometry so that players can't build there. But don't just use nobuild.

    This of course doesn't rule out the use of func_respawnroom, which is similar but has a completely separate purpose. If you disagree with me, let's talk about it, I want hear your thoughts.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  2. Boylee

    aa Boylee pew pew pew

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    I learned something today. Being a n00b ain't so bad.
     
  3. Eyce

    Eyce L6: Sharp Member

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    I put a func_nobuild on a garage in my intel area on my ctf map for now because it offers defenders a decent amount of height advantage, but sentries would be way too overpowered.

    I know it makes absolutely no sense to the player, but right now it's the best I've got until I can create a substitute that will 'make sense' to players that they can indeed get up there but they can't build there either.
     
  4. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Even "justifying" it visually with a cracked floor or whatever is just trying to use detailing as a band-aid for a bigger issue. If there's something causing a spot to be too powerful for sentries, don't be afraid to make major layout changes. Knock open some new paths to let people get range. Add some cover that demomen can easily bombard the spot from behind. Add a wall that the sentry can't fire over. Give attackers some hight advantage. Give attackers another route that the sentry can't cover. Reduce access to metal for building a sentry nest.

    func_nobuild is a crutch for maps crippled by poor layout and flow issues. Sure it can hobble along with it, but it's much better to correct the cause of the problem, rather than the symptom.
     
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  5. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    One of the biggest issues with using func_nobuild forgameplay is that there is no visual identification. Players have trouble knowing what they can/cannot build on, and inconsistency is never efficient. For example, in one of my maps I found that an overpowered spot for buildings happened to be where I had shallow water (by pure coincidence) and I decided to nobuild the water. To my dismay I saw someone shuffling around in the water with the toolbox selected. Clear indication is key, and I think that if one can find a consistent, reliable visual indicator it would move from a band-aid to a possible cure.
     
  6. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

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    This is also becoming a major problem for feedback. Too often have I seen in testing "SG is OP, nobuild here" and/or variations. Rexy hit the nail on the head, nice post, very useful.

    REXY IS CREDIT 2 TEAM
     
  7. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    Nobuild should only be used in the general play area of your map to correct places where for some reason players can build that common sense says they shouldn't. A lot of times props have collision hulls that are too forgiving and can be built upon even if the item visually would be too fragile or too uneven to support a sentry. Sometimes they have non-collision areas (like the pine trees) that naturally should obstruct buildings even if they don't obstruct the player's own body. Both cases can (and should be) fixed with nobuild.
     
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  8. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I don't think you should be able to build on top of the flag anyway. its possible to block the enemy team from taking it, if you place it correctly
     
  9. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    It's always best to give an indicator, but frankly it's not always possible because TF2 doesn't have all the ways to denote it we might like.

    Building underwater is an example. Even if you do it consistently across your entire map, other maps may not use the same rules for building electronic devices in conductive liquid. Either way, how could you say: "This water is OK" or "This water is not"?

    I'm guilty of a few "non-obvious nobuilds". For example, some hard-to-expand doorways I didn't want block-able, and some very deep water areas. (A good sentry spot underwater is killer, the Engineer can loiter with his Dispenser, invisible spies leave bubbles, and enemy grenades and rushes don't go far.)

    Some ideas:
    • Instead of no-build, put a low wall that blocks the sentry line-of-sight but allows the sentry to be safely bombarded or detected by enemies.
    • Use hazard-tape to mark off an area as nobuild, an easy way to say: "This patch of floor is special".
    • Use a prop like a flat pallet, and then put in the right playerclip zones (or displacement shaping) to make it a smooth transition for people walking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  10. Randdalf

    aa Randdalf

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    Can't build in damp spots ;)
     
  11. FaTony

    FaTony Banned

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    But even valve use it in dustbowl stage 3 cp 2.
     
  12. Nutomic

    Nutomic L11: Posh Member

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    Who said valve is perfect?

    /me runs like hell
     
  13. alecom

    alecom L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    I generally nobuild stairs, and that's it.
    Ramps are fine (IMO)
     
  14. Masakari

    Masakari L1: Registered

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    Speaking as a map n00b, I always assumed that nobuild was only to be used in places where it was obvious you shouldn't be able to build sentries (Immediately next to/on flags/CPs, stairs, inside spawns, etc). To place it in spots that seem logical to build is like using a player clip to create a lower ceiling above players to prevent soldiers/demos from rocket/sticky jumping - it's an arbitrary if not cheap way to artificially balance the map.
     
  15. ANova

    ANova L7: Fancy Member

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    I think you should only Nobuild places right out side your spawns
     
  16. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

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    I am inclined to disagree with this, things like the pine tree should be clipped, not nobuilded. Being able to be almost invisible while shooting is not a good thing.
    Namely I am thinking of the waterfalls in this case, anything that can get behind one can do alot of damage regardless of what class, so...limiting sentries is ineffective.
     
  17. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I can't help but feel this thread is a little redundant since the types of map authors employing these methods are simply not experienced to TF2 level design status quos, nor the application of the related tools, and perhaps do not contribute to the forums either, at least as much as we might. Although i can't say for sure how much "they" read here, regardless of their personal involvement,.. habits seem to show a disregard for anything not in either the resources section, or a personal request for help. Including ignorance of the forum stickies.

    General practice shows us that func_nobuild should be restricted to stairs, respawnrooms, and detail area's that are prone to engi teleporter abuse. Whilst differing between gamemodes, this might also include control points/game objectives.

    If a "level designer" is ignoring basic level design trends/status quo's, as generally dictated by Valve themself, they are not likely to be the type affected by such a thread either.

    They'll continue to "do things their way" unless someone tells them directly.

    At the end of the day such culprits don't take these things as seriously as the rest of us, showing an obvious lack of understanding in designing for gameplay. "It works" is probably the best way to summarise this attitude "so why not?".
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  18. StickZer0

    aa StickZer0 💙💙💃💙💙

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    I use func_nobuild in early alphas. For example, I can remember someone telling me off for using a func_nobuild in my intel room, when for that alpha all I had changed was the mid as I wanted to get that better first and had only used func_nobuild as a temporary solution.

    I've removed it now though by redesigning the area, but I think func_nobuild is acceptable in earlier alphas when the map's layout hasn't fully been designed yet and the areas that you use the func_nobuild on are subject to major change.
     
  19. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    This is a bit of faulty assumption. Aurora is the perfect example of a map made by an experienced mapper that was severely hurt by using nobuild to "fix" sentries instead of changing the layout to fix larger issues.
     
  20. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It was more of a generalisation, which i did say involved some assumptions. Mapper's with the experience and the capacity to weed out these issues generally do so over a couple alpha releases.

    Besides, Aurora was a new game mode setup that employed a number of custom gameplay and objective mechanics; including new entities requested from valve, by mangy, that made it work properly/more efficiently. It was my understanding he ultimately wanted to release the map as an experimental concept, otherwise he would have seriously revised his layout to resolve these issues before finalising the mode+map and moving onto other projects. He did go from Alpha3 to RC.