Post Gaming Night - Map Feedback

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by VelvetFistIronGlove, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

    Messages:
    567
    Positive Ratings:
    437
    It was great fun. Tremendous thanks to PkunkBot for hosting the game at the last minute when we couldn't find an admin to fix the TF2Maps server. Since most of the time I was too busy being fragged to talk about the maps, I thought I'd do that now.

    koth_corporate_b2

    It's ironic that the hill in this "King of the Hill" map is in the basement :) The biggest problem I had with this map was the ease of spawn-camping. Since the three exits from each spawn all come down in the same small room, a couple of demomen can lock the other team in their spawn for some time. After getting out of spawn, there's often an immediate battle on the same floor, as both teams must pass through the same space to get to the floors below.

    The intermediate floor felt very empty most of the time. I rarely met an enemy there. So all the rest of the action was around the capture point in the basement.

    The basement was suitably difficult to defend. The glow over the cap point showing who owned it added a nice variation. I would've liked to see the countdown timers elsewhere in the map.

    dom_complex_b3d

    The "progress bars" on each cap point showing the domination level was a really good touch -- intuitive and informative. Less so the signs: it was not at all intuitive that the stock "Capture point" signs were dynamic. It wasn't until about halfway through the game that someone mentioned that they change colour to indicate who's holding the point it leads to. I also tended to get lost a lot, not being able to find my way to a specific point. I think both these things could be fixed together: I suggest you make a custom sign with multiple skins -- have the sign show the same icon you have on the HUD for the point it leads to, and have part of the sign that looks like a light, and lights up to indicate which team is holding it.

    The other main problem was spawning -- too often I'd spawn in the middle of a cap point with enemies all around me, and died in a few seconds. I'm not sure how you can fix this -- maybe if there's room, build a small spawn room (without resupply, obviously) off to the side of each cap point, and have it owned by whoever controls the point.

    ctf_core_b1

    Graphically, this was the second-best of the maps I played, near-Valve-quality for detail. The layout is a little complex for a ctf map, which has the downside that finding and killing the enemy with your intel is very hard once they leave your base, as there are numerous routes they can take to the other base. The intel room is also quite hard to defend, so stalemates should be rare on this map. In the game we played, a single enemy demoman sticky-jumped up to the roof that leads into the intel room -- from there, he could see the whole room, and was able to take out the two sentries in the intel room. The two engineers in the intel room couldn't do much about it, as they couldn't get near the demoman to do much damage by shooting him, and the demoman had plenty of health available (one health pack on that roof, and two others nearby). Then the demoman ran in, grabbed the intel, and sticky-jumped back out the window. I'd need to play more of this map, but I feel that it strongly favours demomen and soldiers due to this.

    cp_roswell_b1

    This map was visually stunning. Apart from a couple of fairly plain rooms in the central buildings, eveything had a high level of detail. Some very nice custom models (including a few "weather balloons"), and a great 3D skybox round off the look. This is the hands-down the best-looking custom map I've seen, so great work there.

    A few small issues: the paths to take in the central buildings were not always obvious: a few signs in there pointing way to the cap points would have been helpful. At cap point B, there's a 'grate' door, which seems to serve very little purpose, and it got in my way both attacking and defending (I was playing demoman).

    Also, the displacements under the crashed weather balloon need some tweaking: the slope of the ground at the back, away from the ramp, was such that you could only get out from underneath there with difficulty. It needs to be made a little shallower if players are meant to be able to ascend there, or a little steeper if they're not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  2. poopster101

    poopster101 L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    155
    Positive Ratings:
    5
    i was went and looked at it at like 5:00 eastern time, an hour after it supposedly started, noone was on
    then i couldnt get on later
    bummer
     
  3. Vander

    Vander L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

    Messages:
    507
    Positive Ratings:
    110
    If not for Tennessee playing for the #1 spot last night I would have been there. Count me in on the next one fellas.
     
  4. Pseudo

    Pseudo L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    319
    Positive Ratings:
    149
    Thanks for posting feedback on my map. I agree with the problems you brought up and I'm working on solutions. Here's the WIP thread if anyone's interested.


    I agree, the cap point progress bars are really cool and useful. Signs using the same icons as the HUD is a great idea. Even after playing through it several times, I still wasn't sure which HUD icon corresponded to which cap point. I, however, found the dynamic "capture point" signs fairly intuitive. I realized pretty quickly that they change based on the owner but maybe thats because I used the same method in my map. I may be mistaken, but doesn't Valve use CP signs that change color in a couple maps?

    One thing I suggested in chat is that maybe a spawn zone could be disabled while the corresponding CP is being contested, unless that CP is the only one left for that team. This wouldn't completely solve the problem but may help. trigger_capture_area has outputs like OnStartCap, OnBreakCap, OnStartTeam1, etc, that would allow this and a math_counter could make sure that a team's last spawn room doesn't get disabled. Actual rooms for spawning would probably be a better solution though. They could also let players change class without dying.

    Something with complex I thought was weird is that there's an unreachable neutral CP on a roof near blue's first CP. Also, rocket jumping in this area revealed a bunch of see-through roofs and walls.
     
  5. Kirko

    Kirko L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    58
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    I was there for Core and Rosewell and Zepplin.

    Core was a little weird at first but after playing a little i liked it. The roof with the window someone earlier was mentioning. You could get to by any class. There are rocks on the right that you can jump onto then to the roof. As for taking the SGs out easily. Yeah demos and soldiers do that well no matter what if you don't shoot at them in any map. You can put SGs in many other spots where a demo and soldier would have a harder time to kill the SG. Putting it right next to the window doesn't help. It was fine. I liked it.

    Rosewell was ok. I thought it would be a little better. I never actually went into B because I was going after A or C most of the time or next to B. The ship was cool. You couldn't put any SGs up at C though which I didn't like because it would get destroyed in 2sec. Same with A too. I just rocket jumped onto the roof and took every SG at A out in 2sec. I think mainly because people aren't good at the game. happens.

    Zepplin was. unique.
     
  6. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

    Messages:
    1,129
    Positive Ratings:
    740
    This is actually one of the reasons why those demos that got posted were so helpful, as they were all from the opposite team that I was on, so I got to see both sides of the whole thing. I watched poor VelvetFist put up so many sentries in a row only to have them smashed immediately, before he finally gave up and went pyro. But on the other hand, when I was defending I was able to get a sentry up at C and keep it up until the round was won. It's always important to consider team differences, and I know just in general in TF2, regardless of the map, it's really difficult to get a sentry set up in a good spot if the offense is strong and your teammates aren't protecting your stuff as you build.

    I've added more signage and tweaked the displacements a bit in beta 2. The grate door at B is there to allow sentries to be built inside without attackers being able to easily shoot them from outside their range. I haven't seen any evidence yet that B is too hard to siege, but if people start complaining then I will probably remove the door.


    I don't have too much to add to what others have said, but here's a couple things:

    koth_corporate
    Lighting needs a little bit more contrast. Also, as I suggested in the WIP thread, make a hole between the 3rd and 4th floors so that people trying to camp the spawn will be vulnerable to fire from above.

    ctf_core
    I really like the pathing in the middle, but the bases are a bit too complicated. I like the intel room being attackable from above, but perhaps if you narrowed that window a bit, attackers would have less of a range for firing into the room.

    ctf_zeppelin
    The upper access to the flag room doesn't allow much for actually attacking any established defenses, until dropping down into the room, which kind of defeats the purpose. I believe you mentioned elsewhere that you were going to add a ledge to the sides of that hole, which I think should help a bit.
     
  7. dirtyminuth

    dirtyminuth L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    221
    Positive Ratings:
    14
    Here are my thoughts on the maps we played :

    koth_corporate

    Already talked with pseudo quite a bit about his map, so this will be brief. Great gameplay potential, but the map is overly large.

    ctf_core

    My map, but still want to make a couple comments. Thanks to everyone who played and gave suggestions! To IronGlove: that was probably me as the demo doing the hit and run :) . To Kirko: I agree; the inside of the base is intended to be tough to defend, but there are still viable sentry locations. To Shmitz: Reducing window size is a viable option.

    Overall, what about the bases comes off as too complicated? Too many paths? Inside of buildings have too many rooms and turns? Too much open area? I want to reduce the complexity while retaining the many options entering / exiting the base.

    dom_complex

    Ah, sweet memories of Goldeneye! Gameplay consisted of a lot of pairwise or lone wolf caps, with rare moments of chaotic 6+ player fighting. This map will please people who enjoy smaller skirmishes, but coordinated assaults on CPs are rare, due to the fast-paced turnover of CPs and multiple spawn points. Navigation was easy for me because I played complex to death on the 64. Someone suggested earlier that custom signs with the custom CP icons would improve navigation. Completely agree. There are a number of cubemap issues : Some floors, the vents, and all railings suffer from the pink / black checkered pattern. Map can still use some graphical flourish, but it's starting to take shape!

    cp_dogblu

    I enjoyed myself on this map, but we went through it quickly so I didn't get a chance to "settle in" with any strategies. The first stage was fairly small - the CPs were very close together. An attacking team with any momentum could easily capture the second CP immediately after the first. Having the entire sky open to demo bombardment should be removed, too. Ultimately, the two CPs need to feel more separated. Graphically, the map felt a bit plain. The first stage didn't feel like a beach - it felt like a rectangular prism with water on one side. Open the up the visible space. Can't give many comments on the next two stages - we went through them too quickly.

    ctf_truss

    A good CTF map with a solid graphical look. Navigation was simple and the layout was easy to digest. My only real complaint is that the bases don't feel "cohesive," if that makes any sense. There is no unifying theme with regard to either graphical or architectural style. The layout feels thrown together (although it does work for gameplay, which is the most important thing). Consider something to pull the entire base together - consolidate textures or architectural details.

    cp_roswell

    An excellent alternative to gravelpit with a memorable theme. Looks solid graphically, especially the "weather balloon" at C. Top notch 3D skybox. Adding architectural details to all of A and the tangle of rooms and hallways between A and C would improve looks extensively. As it stands, they look a little too bare. Speaking of tangled, that's what I get when I try to get from A to C. The layout is confusing and feels cluttered. I would attempt to eliminate a handful of rooms and streamline some hallways. I would also suggest making A easier to defend. There are not many good sentry placements and the entrances to A heavily favor the attackers. Finally, all of B seems too spread out. It feels like a long, narrow box whereas I think it would play better as a square. If B were pulled closer to the attackers' spawn, this could be done. Finally, the terrain under C needs to be improved to make it easier to maneuver in general. Right now it's an exercise in frustration, but it sounds like you understand this and are addressing it in the next release.

    ctf_zeppelin

    This map is really starting to come together. The first version I playtested had very confusing base layouts and too many paths in the middle. Consolidating paths has really helped improve the flow of the map. My first issue is the space between each base and the courtyards just outside the base. There is enough room to slip down, but clip brushes prevent it. It comes across as strange when you know that you should be able to get through, but you can't. You make excellent use of pillars in the intel room; lessens the burden on the attackers in a room where defenders would otherwise have too much of an advantage. Adding the second floor bridge access from the outside will give the majority of players more than one option to enter the base (excluding the underground tunnel). Finally, I was killed in the middle area through the grate that separates the first and second floors by a crit rocket. You may want to investigate that further.

    Thanks for the comments, and let's keep these successful custom map nights going strong!

    I would be glad to talk with anyone about their map in more detail, just find PM me or find me in the chat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  8. PkunkBot

    PkunkBot L1: Registered

    Messages:
    15
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    I think the problem with complexity I see most having in core (myself included) is the tendancy to find ourselves back at the spawn via those corridors. Something especially about the intersection just at the cusp of the intel room, where the ramp (stairs, door to the intel room proper, and hallway back to spawn exits seems to be a mystery zone where folks tend to get turned around.. That's as best as I can figure. And I don't know what the best option to address that might be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  9. hacky

    hacky L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    83
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    One thing I have to point out... you guys weren't on the latest version of truss! :eek: http://tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=714 (b1) is the latest, you were on version a5.

    You pretty much nailed how ctf_truss got put together. It's my first map through and through: no architectual style was in mind as I made the map, and the thought I kept in mind as I developed the map was the layout. Since I've done most of the testing on the map on several public servers, I've gotten very good feedback about map layout, which I'm glad to see you guys have picked up on. Of course, we're all used to beautiful maps out of our community... something I'd like to work on, but would take time as I convert truss into a beautiful final version. I'm limited on time, so it'll take a while, but your gaming night feedback has inspired me to come back to the map.

    Of course, I do want to get my other map project done for the contest. :)


    Sadly, I wasn't able to get my other map in a playable state for the gaming night. But I was able to make a little bit of it, so here's my feedback on the one map I was able to come in for:

    ctf_zeppelin

    - Where'd the cool sewer area go? That was my favorite part of the map. :(
    - And the cool elevator is now off limits! (ignore this comment. I just enjoyed messing with the elevator that did crushing-train damage)
    - The gameplay flow is a lot better than the previous version. I'm still getting turned around by some weird arrow placements, but by and large, the zeppelin layouts are easier to understand after a few minutes of play.
    - I don't like the middle area. I think it's completely unnecessary, but I have to admit it's a lot better than it was during the last play night. Being much less complicated makes it flow smoother, especially because it's an area players are more likely to simply run through rather than camp. (coincidentally, that's why I liked the sewer area, I thought it would be a better fit were the middle building/area taken out)
     
  10. PkunkBot

    PkunkBot L1: Registered

    Messages:
    15
    Positive Ratings:
    0
    Unfortunately, the elevator and basement areas became supurfulous. Oddly enough, the middle area was conceived in the beginning simply because I felt having both bases facing each other would ramp up the vis complexity far too much for peoples systems. I'm no longer sure if this is true, however. The complete failure of ctf_well makes me take pause in my opinion on its nescessity. What I -might- do is bring back the basement area in a limited fashion, and cut out the whole top part of the middle area. I do however worry that the map would be too long from one side to the other when edited in this fashion.


    EDIT: Goodbye, middle area! Also widened the main enterance to the intel room from the "bomb/minisub launching bay" and made it so the top enterance has a narrow ledge all around.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008