Payload Contest Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Contest #5: Payload map' started by Armadillo of Doom, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Messages:
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    615
    Wow, Rexy just went all out, lol. Though I question Vicenti's ratings of 1 (which is akin to obviously zero effort), I'm very pleased to see such a positive response from the community :) The judges will be doing a serious play-through soon, and voting will probly close shortly thereafter. I will make sure to announce the closing time well in advance ;) All contest entries are still on our server, and map change/vote has been restored.
     
  2. drp

    aa drp

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    damn rexy just owned this thread. good work man and thanks for the amazing feedback.
     
  3. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 8.5
    Zig 6.5
    Repository 8
    Stovepipe 8.5
    Halfacre 8
    Reservoir 5
    Vipers den 5
    Tranquility 4
    Frontier 10


    I liked frontier most because it has a unique payload style which i like alot. In fact, its one of the few maps that i love to play. The server i usualy play on has the map in its mainlist and its already one of the most popular maps there also.
    Cashworks is one of the maps i even played in early alpha and its improvements made it alot better. 2nd map to me. Stovepipe is quite simple in gameplay and looks simple made. I actualy like that because it gives a smooth feeling. It looks alot like badlands also.
    Halfacre has many open fields, but it doesnt work on instant respawn servers at all. Its the same reason i dont like goldrush that much and to me having a map that is balanced in normal and instant respawn playing is quite important. Also, unlike many maps the round ends many times at the same place even with clear diffirences in teamskills.
    Repository, i havent played that map alot also but i liked its look as it goes far into the background and feels like its done fully smooth. I however cant judge its gameplay as i only have looked at it while i was alone in a server
    Zig. i know it has a nice abstract theme and in css i like abstract maps but in tf2 i prefer the normal look. This is mainly the reason why i dont give a high rating. Even though at many places it looks smooth, some of the areas just look bad to me.
    The bottom 3 maps are just too unfinished to me which realy needed to be fixed before they are even good candidates. They dont look good enough to me to get a 6 or higher.

    Note that i havent played all the maps for a long time so i can be wrong about the gameplay but from my own experience im not wrong about it that much. Also, all maps are rated on being suitable for instant respawn also as far as i was able to see problems for it (i have walked arround in all maps but only played a limited group - however, i have tried to get the ratings as fair as possible).
    Another thing about instant respawn judging: I dont mind if people dont allways win in the map as long as its a linear skill curve. Goldrush is one of the examples of how it shouldnt be done for this. badwater however has a good skill curve for it.
     
  4. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Positive Ratings:
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    First, congrats to all contestants. It can be hard to finish maps let alone on a deadline.

    Second, my comp is fairly high end, just assembled it last year to fairly high end specs so I could play new games (finally) and enjoy them. So I had good framerates on all the maps I've played. Everything was right there with Valve maps. Lowest FPS being 25 in a few spots on some maps and upwards of 60 on all maps (v-synch locked at 60 - damn moitor ;P )

    Third. I have yet to play vipersden, I think I have played tranquility a little bit. So I'm not gonna vote until I get a chance to at least run around those maps and have a good look.
    I think I'm a fair judge of what classes are good where/when/why so if I don't get to play test and I do vote I will try and be fair.
    Mainly I'm just gonna leave comments for authors and will do this for the last maps even if I'm late to vote.
    Most of it has been covered anyway but here goes.

    comments:

    halfacre:
    It's obvious we all think Youme is great at displacements. I've spent alot of time in the desert (moad, sedona, zion) and the little nooks and crannies at the beginning are awesome. It really gives the map a great intro out the gate.
    Ugly displacement cliffs with one straight edge across the top bug me badly, this map is a perfect example of how to do great displacements.
    The end point is tough to cap, really about the last corner by the dump truck seems to be where it gets tough to break through. I've played this map a bit and am not sure I've ever seen a win. This is tough and plagues alot of maps. You want red to be able to defend, but not too easily. Sometimes a small path or sentry location can be the deciding factor.
    Honestly I think one pathway, maybe to the left of the garage by dump truck that got blu to back area could break that stalemate but still be guarded easy by red. It would just spread out the concentrated battle that always happens on that little hill pinched between the rocks.

    stovepipe:
    I really like this one. I think the displacements are top notch (although the wood supports around that first arch puzzle me). The beginning is really fun. As someone else said the mid does seem somewhat like a connector between a great start and end.
    Although I don't think it would take much to change. Maybe a few buildings or something.
    The last point (again) is a tough one to crack. Sentries can be built all the way around the top and in the nook across from point and it can be hard to get in there and do anything useful as a spy or anyone else.
    I think it's the crux of the map and maybe if it was somehow easier to crack it would be better.
    But I have seen it won, so it's not impossible.
    I think the one detactor from the beginning is it seems somewhat plain even though it's pretty. Seems like it could use more debris, bushes, just small detail stuff.

    zig:
    I hate to say it but the visuals almost disturb me. You do have a point though that the rules didn't indicate visual style matching TF2's. So I'll try not to bring it up too much.
    I think this will help future contests though. This is an early contest and it's probably easier to overlook something that was meant to be there during the concept stages.
    Also, I like maps out of the ordinary (hence my arena castle map), but I think I personally prefer a more subtle out of the ordinary.

    Aside from that I know you have worked on improving the lighting so it's easier to see team colors and whatnot. That's a plus because the first run through I had a really hard time seeing team colors, the last time it was easier.

    You did pull off a very unique map. Each section had it's own look and appeal. I'm really not sure what you were going for specifically. The blue roman section had some really cool design work. I'd like to see that style used in a more tf2 style. A map based in ancient rome.
    The crystal tunnels were cool, some displacements are hard to get on. The improvements made did help alot from earlier gameplay stalemates.
    Sometimes it was confusing which way to go, lots of side tunnels, doors you could or couldn't go through are kindof annoying, I never knew which ones I could use. Maybe locked/unlocked signs above them?
    The cube area at the end was also weird, due to the fact that blu spawns behind red or something. I couldn't ever pin down which way I was going or which way they were coming from.

    repositry:
    I've got to play this a bit. I think it's a pretty fun map. The last point is very difficult to cap.
    Since red can build a sentry above the last point and the only way for a spy to get up there is a thin little walkway and the sentry blocks the engi inside all you can do is sap until someone spawns and comes right up behind you. Then you have no where to go. Do to the angle of attack from the bottom and the heavy/soly/demo stting on a dispenser inside the room above it's almost impossible for them to get the sentry.
    Fix that and it could be really fun.
    Alot of bushes and stuff fade in right in front of you. I noticed by blu's last spawn. Like 10 feet in front, not 50. So those should be increased.

    frontier:
    I've played this one alot with alot of people. The bottom of the hill is a deffinate chokepoint. It has changed but now the platforms to the right can get filled with sentries and very hard to clean.
    Of course the train is just epic, as is the ending and the open pit mine is very unique. The last corner/point can be very hard to cap but with persistance is almost always doable. I helped cap it last night by suicide pushes.
    Pretty good style, nothing that stands out (alpine, desert...) but it's cohesive and works well.

    tranquility: Will have to give at least a run through

    cashworks:
    I've played this one alot too. Obviously a huge map and tons of details. it playes well and I have fav classes for certian parts. I'm almost predictable which class I will chose depending on cart position now.
    I like it alot, then end is cool and unique.

    However I'm gonna offer a critique that I must be alone in thinking.
    I don't feel it has a really cohesive style. From day one it has seemed like somewhat of a mish-mash of styles to me. Alot of spots seem almost cobbled together, maybe just forced to fill space. One part I feel most strongly about is the middle up top by the pieces of glass.
    They just don't seem to have a purpose other than cover.
    The vault has alot of stylistic detail that is nowhere else.

    But I have seen it evolve and apart from the slightly confusing visual styles the game play is excellent. Of course I wouldn't recommend changing the styles based on my opinion but it might be something you look into more on your next map. Other than the vault I didn't feel any of the rest of the map was a location (ie: lumberyard, docks, trainstation)


    vipersden:Will have to give at least a run through
     
  5. Ezekel

    Ezekel L11: Posh Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    244
    Alias and Sgt Frag:
    any feed back about reservoir would be appreciated please


    ----


    great job rexy!
    i'm glad you enjoyed reservoir. i agree about your comments on my cart.
    the cart is supposed to be a toxic barrel (hence the skull on it), but since all payloads are bombs (consider the word, payload, and the announcer's statements regarding it when approaching the final terminus, she sometimes says "bomb") it needs a certain level of explosiveness too it.
    any tf2 player worth his/her salt knows to avoid a mass of sticky bombs.
    this is where my bomb developed from (originally it wasa dynamite crate covered in stickies).
    the final explosion adds some semitransparent green brushes to the water around the tower, but it usually goes unnoticed (particularly in the latest version, as the final area is much more built up).

    the colour comments you made about my map, although i wish i could say i preplanned it, i actually let it develop on it's own, tweaking things here and there till it looked nice. i had some basic ideas of which buildings would be wooden and which would be concrete or brick, but that was about as far as my colour planning went. the same is true for the lighting - everytime i compiled the map to test something i'd go about looking at the lighting, and note down changes. it's not something that i could've pre-planned, due to lack of experience with lighting (well i lack experience with mapping in total. i only started mapping mid november, and started reservoir sometime around mid december). as such i'm not 100% sure what you're suggesting i do with the light environment :p

    how do you go about creating your colour bands for the warm/cool colours?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  6. eerieone

    aa eerieone

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    a dirty toxic waste bomb would be better, yeah
     
  7. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    Ezekel,

    sorry, didn't mean to exclude that map. I copy pasted the list and must've not got yours.

    Reseviour:
    I'll start with what I think is the biggest issue with this map. Why, I guess because it really stands out and I was actually thinking last night 'why didn't I mention it?'. Now I know why :p

    Anyway, it's the red spawn room. It really is confusing and this is after several times playing the map. I actually found myself running in circles inside the spawn room, a few times I got out and was in the back area, through a door and back into spawn. Then I followed someone else thinking 'they gotta know how to get out of here'. DOH! ran another lap inside spawn.
    You HAVE to fix this!!! Whether it is dividing it into smaller parts. One would be spawn only for back area (last 2 points), having doors that are locked during certian points, or just making it really small. Maybe even tons of signs.
    I know it's silly that I got lost but everyone else was too.

    It's a big issue but should be an easy fix.

    Other than that I liked the map. It's pretty large and maybe blu could use a foward spawn. The concept is cool. The start is pretty wide open but it seems like the cart still moves through there pretty fast. I never saw a stalemate at the first area so I think it's fine. Might be good to add a little cover though.
     
  8. Ezekel

    Ezekel L11: Posh Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    thanks frag :)
    almost all the things you mentioned are already fixed in v1.8

    though i dunno how you coul run in circles in the spawn, unless you were spinning on the spot, cos there's no circular connection without leaving the spawn 1st. - i'll probably make some changes though down the line
     
  9. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    Ezekel, you should always spawn players facing the objective, so consider making forward spawns.
     
  10. Cerious

    Cerious L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    133
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 9
    Zig 8
    Repository 8
    Stovepipe 8
    Halfacre 10
    Reservoir 6
    Vipers den 4
    Tranquility 5
    Frontier 7


    So many good maps, but for me, the true winner is Halfacre. Anyways, now my thoughts on each map.

    Cashworks: This is a bunch of mixed opinions for me. I've been keeping my eye on this for a while ever since the original thread was around 3 posts long, and its evolved into a very popular map so far. The balancing of the map is phenomenal, congratulations on that! The downhill section deserves particular praise because its very innovative and very fun. The map is a very unique alpine map, and stays true to the style Lumberyard employs, excellent job on that as well. This would've been a 9.5 for me, but I will deduct half a point off for less-than-perfect optimization in a few areas (outside of blu spawn, on the bridge over the river, etc.). Can't wait for the final version of this map.

    Zig: A very nice map, with a unique art style. The textures are very nice, and keep the map fun and refreshing. This is a truly great effort, but it fails in two certain areas that keep it from being the best: optimization in the last point, and gameplay balance in the last point. The last point is, from my experience, ridiculously hard to capture, and there are a myriad ways to lock down the offensive. There are multiple sentry positions that are spread out effectively ensuring that nobody can really take down all of the positions within one uber demoman. However, the rest of the map is balanced nicely, and I get good framerates there. I like it, good job on final (though you're going back to beta to improve filesize, correct?).

    Repository: This map is closest to Valve style as possible in terms of payload. It hardly breaks any conventions, and the color scheme feels right out of Dustbowl. That said, the gameplay is absolutely fantastic, well balanced, and makes the map just fun to play on. Sure, it isn't the most unique map I've ever played, but it is a very fun one to play on. It feels very polished and is virtually bug free. Nothing bad about this map, but it doesn't feel like it has anything really special.

    Stovepipe: I don't really think I need to go over some of the flaws in this map (I've covered the problems in the WIP thread), but what I'll say is that it captures the badlands style extremely well in the first part, and has the Dustbowl 3-2 feel at the last part. Sure, it could be made a little more visually appealing in the last part, but the gameplay is pretty much perfect for me. A solid effort all around.

    Halfacre: This one really takes the cake for me. Your cliffs are wonderful and beautiful, and your visuals are gorgeous. The desert-y feel, complete with cacti and small little desert bushes, help a lot visually. There is detail in the appropriate places, and I feel it is very well optimized. Apart from a few improvements, this map is really well balanced, very pretty, and I've had a terrific round every time on it. A definite winner for me!

    Reservoir: Huh, this could be a little better. Some of the scenery is very bland IMO (not much detail) and the last point isn't very epic. There are a few balancing issues you should definitely go over, like an overpowered sniper position in the first part, but the optimization is perfect for me. While its not the best map, I certainly can do very well on this map due to its optimization. Good try, this map seems to have a bunch of potential in the future. One thing I'd like to emphasize when you continue to improve the map; minimize spawn rooms so they are straightforward, and not a maze (the blu spawnroom at the first segment is absolutely GIGANTIC).

    Vipersden: Come on, you could do much better than this. This map has gigantic scale problems and feels unnaturally large in some portions. Definitely use some playermodels in Hammer to get a sense of how large your map is, because it's absolutely gigantic. There are several map flaws throughout, and there are some areas that need to be clipped off because you can get outside of the map boundary. I have several cubemap problems here, and overall you should definitely add more detail. Add more points to the map, and make it MUCH smaller. It's just huge atm.

    Tranquility: This map is surprisingly innovative, but a few things bog it down. I mean, some things feel incomplete. A pit that's cube shaped? Rocks that you can shoot through? A really-weird-looking waterfall? Some things, again, feel a bit large, but the uniqueness of the map presents interesting gameplay decisions. Will the player escort the cart underwater, or fire on defenders from above? Will the player airblast people off into the pit, or will he stay to the side and ambush the opponent? Sure, the map is lackluster visually, and I get terrible fps underwater (plus, you can get outside of the map!!!), but it's a very unique gameplay experience.

    Frontier: Ah, yeah, heralded as one of the best custom maps ever. I don't see why this map is so popular at the moment, really. The map is visually cluttered, some things look absolutely weird, several bugs (like carts just randomly getting disconnected, the cart floating around post-explosion, rock models that jut out of natural walls oddly) and a pisspoor framerate made me absolutely hate the hell out of this map in b1. While it has improved barely in b2, it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth whenever my rig just is destroyed by this map. Sure, it looks nice at times, but if I have to sacrifice framerate, and in turn gameplay (since bad framerate can really affect gameplay) for the nice visuals of this map, I'd rather just leave the server. Sorry, but if you optimize this map significantly for b3 to the point where I can at least play decently, it deserves this 7.
     
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  11. Termaximus

    Termaximus L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    I've had a chance to play all the maps and edit my first post with votes and comments (page 1). Great job everyone! In closing, I must say I am a bit embarrassed by the quality of my map versus the others (although contest did say maps of all stages). That said, I appreciate all the blunt criticism and am striving to blow you guys away (somewhat) with version b2 of VipersDen.
     
  12. Tinker

    aa Tinker

    Messages:
    672
    Positive Ratings:
    334
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 9
    Zig 7
    Repository 7
    Stovepipe 8
    Halfacre 6
    Reservoir 6
    Vipers den 5.5
    Tranquility 5
    Frontier 8.5


    Cashworks: I really like this one. It loses a point for some fps issues at a few points, but the gameplay is terrific and it looks great. Top dog.
    Zig: I rather like the theme, but I'm not sure if it suits me all that well. It's pretty fun to play, though.
    Repository: The last point is a bit of a clusterfork, but it's a generally solid map. There doesn't seem to be anything that make it stand out, however.
    Stovepipe: Great map. Nice gameplay, good graphics. Whenever I played it, though, it seemed very spammy. It might just been the particular games I have played it in, but still, loses points from me.
    Halfacre: It's pretty nice looking indeed, like expected, but I can't help but feel a little like we have all seen this many times before.
    Reservoir: I love the original ideas here. It's a cool concept, but just doesn't feel as generally polished as some of the other maps.
    Vipers Den: It's too big, although it has good ideas. I think it could be great with a few adjustments - however, not now.
    Tranquility: I'm not too sure about this map. It's in alpha, which may be hurting my opinion. I had fun for a while on this, until the places where it just wasn't done yet. I can't mark this map too highly because of that.
    Frontier: I love the transition of gravely to alpine, I like the gameplay, and I want to hug the cart (I get killed all the time because of it. Meanies). Loses points because of fps issues as well, although worse than cashworks. Fix that and a few weird routes (like the red spawn stuff about point 2), and it's brilliance.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  13. Cerious

    Cerious L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
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    No feedback whatsoever?
     
  14. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Vote won't get counted if it doesn't include ample feedback.
     
  15. Tinker

    aa Tinker

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    I haven't got anything to say past what's been said already, really.
    Still, edited original post
     
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  16. Vicenti

    Vicenti L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    My low ratings were due to the maps being incomplete, not their merit, which was a misinterpretation on my part. While I'm still hesitant to give them enough points to compete with other maps (simply because they aren't finished), I have increased my scores a bit. :)
     
  17. uma plata

    uma plata L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    86
    Column 1 Column 2
    Map Score
    Cashworks 8
    Zig 8
    Repository 7
    Stovepipe 8
    Halfacre 9
    Reservoir 6
    Vipers den 4
    Tranquility 4
    Frontier 9


    I don't know if the voting here was intended to be from actual mappers, but here's some feedback from one player who pays a lot of attention to map design

    Cashworks:
    Mostly it's the use of color that sells me on Cashworks. The gameplay is solid, enjoyable, but not revolutionary (doesn't have to be, either). I would say having such a great-looking environment to play in goes a long way to making this a memorable map, and I'm sure it'll do well

    Zig:
    Sometimes it's great to get out of the same old environments, and see something different. I'd say Zig will be popular because of this for a lot of TF2 players. The only problem I see is framerate. I was on a server the other day and it was seriously bad. But I love the crystal cave part, and the red tunnel with the translucent walkway. Really showing some creative talent here. Now, if the bomb cart could be as sexy as the rest of the map...

    Repository:
    Very good work on this. Had a few rounds the other day on a full server, and it was about as balanced as it could be. I asked the other players what they thought of the map, and it was all positive. The last point seems very difficult to cap, though

    Stovepipe:
    Fantastic. The starting area is a rocket jumpers dream. Some maps encourage unique types of play by the way they are designed, and Stovepipe is probably the best example of this I've come across. Vertical movement and control is going to be huge, and that will be incredibly enjoyable for advanced players. And, it looks great.

    Halfacre:
    Edit: After playing Halfacre, I'm keeping my score at 9. The gameplay is enjoyable and very well balanced. What it lacks in large square footage of high ground it makes up for in subtle high/low areas, that really serve the same purpose as rooftops and the like. The rounds progress as they should, all classes can shine, and the sentry positions and sightlines are well thought out. I had a great time playing it

    Visually, just incredible. Every detail seems natural and right. In my opinion, this is the most attractive TF2 map there is. Yes, we've seen the desert theme before ad nauseum, but Halfacre takes that theme and makes it shine.

    Reservoir:
    Walked through it, and played it some. I think the layout is more complex than it needs to be, but some very unique ideas and settings. Red spawn is a labyrinth you must traverse to get to the action, seems like

    Vipers Den:
    Just too big. As a scout, you shouldn't get fatigued from running down a straight hallway that could fit some entire maps. I like the layout and some of the visual elements though, it just needs to be about half the size it is now

    Tranquility:
    Very early into development I know, but it feels a little boxy and unnatural. I do like the underwater leg - that is great. Would be even better if the cart didn't dispense health during that part, so players would have to take turns submerging to push!...[/tangent]. Shows some promise, but may take some big changes to get there

    Frontier:
    One of my favorites. Visually it's good, but the unique gameplay element sells it. I can't tell you how enjoyable it is when people get run over by Chew Chew. Also, rocket jumping over the front of the train, and gibbing all the riders from the air...these are unique moments made possible by the design of this map, and you won't find them elsewhere

    Thanks for reading guys, and congratulations on all the mappers in this contest, I'm a fan of all of you. Keep it up!
     
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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  18. captainAngry

    captainAngry L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    247
    I am running all the contest maps on my server as well. So far, five of the maps have made it into our regular rotation based on our own ratings:
    pl_frontier_b2
    pl_goldrush
    pl_halfacre_b1
    pl_repository_b6
    pl_stovepipe_b3

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  19. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

    Messages:
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    Just a heads up, it's been just over a week since I said that voting would be closed in a week, lol. You have till Sunday evening. Good luck to everyone :)

     
  20. laghlagh

    laghlagh L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    52
    The authour (big rexy) is currently learning modeling (pretty advanced too if I understood it right), and has promised a custom cart in the future as far as I remember :)
     
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