Sanitarium

KotH Sanitarium a8

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Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
This is my first map, so please don't scream too many obscenities at me. I figured it would be a good idea to make things as simple as possible for the first one, so it's a symmetrical koth map with no dynamic or otherwise strange elements. It's set in an alpine recovery home; The type of place where asthmatic elderly people stayed to get better in like the 1800s.
 
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Jeremy

L11: Posh Member
Oct 24, 2010
829
I get the feeling that the ceiling in the second screenshot is too low and the room in the first screenshot might be a tad too dark.

It's good for a first map though - I like the height variation.
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
I get the feeling that the ceiling in the second screenshot is too low and the room in the first screenshot might be a tad too dark.

It's good for a first map though - I like the height variation.
The height of the room in the second shot will increase by 64 minus [appropriate floor thickness] when I switch to a smaller grid size. Do you think that will be enough or should I try to squeeze some more height in there?

As for the lighting, I just scattered a bunch of unaltered basic light entities across the map to make sure all of it was visible. Is it too sparse even for the primitive a1-stage testing?

You like the height variation? Nice! The only other person who has given me feedback this far complained about the multitude of levels. I hope I can keep them, as they're pretty much the basis of the whole design.
 
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Yacan1

D I G I T A L I N F L U E N C E R
aa
Nov 7, 2010
411
This looks pretty good, a bit dark in that "indoor pool" shot. The textures made me feel small, and the map overscaled, it isn't that big of a deal but it's just a little odd to see them that big for me.

And I honestly mis-read the title as Santorum.
 

Jeremy

L11: Posh Member
Oct 24, 2010
829
Vertical gameplay may not be for everyone's tastes, but personally I LOVE a map that includes plenty of (but not too much) height variation.

In the larger rooms (such as the capture area and the room with the lake) you should increase the brightness of the light entities a tad. It's cheaper, entity-wise, than to add more lights. grazr made an article about lighting which I suggest you read.

As for room heights, take a look at the VMF files included in the SDK. I don't know the height of the room in your map so increasing it by 64hu may or may not be enough...
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
This looks pretty good, a bit dark in that "indoor pool" shot. The textures made me feel small, and the map overscaled, it isn't that big of a deal but it's just a little odd to see them that big for me.

And I honestly mis-read the title as Santorum.
I changed the texture scale to 1 rather than .25, because that made each square exactly 64 units wide, which felt convenient. Don't quite a lot of maps do that? I thought the .25 dev textures felt uncomfortably small when I saw them ingame.
Vertical gameplay may not be for everyone's tastes, but personally I LOVE a map that includes plenty of (but not too much) height variation.

In the larger rooms (such as the capture area and the room with the lake) you should increase the brightness of the light entities a tad. It's cheaper, entity-wise, than to add more lights. grazr made an article about lighting which I suggest you read.

As for room heights, take a look at the VMF files included in the SDK. I don't know the height of the room in your map so increasing it by 64hu may or may not be enough...
I've based most of my proportions on a scale tutorial I found on this site, which recommended 192 as the smallest 64-scale-compatible height of a combat area.. As I said, each square represents 64 units, which means the pool room is currently 128 units high on the ledges and 192 around the pool. Those heights will, as mentioned, be changed to a bit less than 192 and a bit less than 256, respectively.
This means the height when on the ledges would be slightly smaller than the recommended height. I'll see whether it turns out to be a problem or not, and act accordingly.
Thanks for the suggestion on the lights.

By the way, am I the only one who think we need a stickied thread in the tutorials section that offers an easily navigated list of links to good tutorials on a variety of subjects? I barely ever find good tutorials for specific stuff when I search for it, and I keep stumbling upon great tutorials when it's too late.

This is a really good first entry. A little blocky even for an alpha, but solid still.
Thanks! I didn't want to polish it and instantly scrap it again, so I threw it together as simple as possible just so I could get some feedback on the basic layout before continuing.
Wait, you're that person who made several maps that got into the game, right? Squee, I proclaim!
 
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Fredrik

L6: Sharp Member
Aug 15, 2009
376
It feels like the map is cramped because of the thickness of the blocks. Make them around 16 units. And you'll need to mark out the capturezone, it's really hard to guess where you can and can't cap.
Otherwise, Looking good! Especially for a first map.
 

Tarry H Sruman

Large Orphanage Proprietor
aa
Jul 31, 2011
872
Very, very chunky. Working with blocks that big is a bad idea in an alpha because when the walls are all thinned down in the later versions (as they most definitely need to be in order to not look like ass) rooms become significantly larger and you could have a substantial effect on gameplay.
 

Pocket

Naylte ven, naylte yen.
aa
Nov 14, 2009
4,635
I changed the texture scale to 1 rather than .25, because that made each square exactly 64 units wide, which felt convenient. Don't quite a lot of maps do that? I thought the .25 dev textures felt uncomfortably small when I saw them ingame.

You're probably thinking of another texture, dev/dev_measurewall01d, the one with the "128×128" measurement written on it.
 

grazr

Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle
aa
Mar 4, 2008
5,442
Main thing i'd be concerned with is how open the roof top areas are, you should have more cover up there, make the buildings less square, particularly vertically.
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
Very, very chunky. Working with blocks that big is a bad idea in an alpha because when the walls are all thinned down in the later versions (as they most definitely need to be in order to not look like ass) rooms become significantly larger and you could have a substantial effect on gameplay.
I figured square blocks would suffice for the most basic assessment of the layout. I definitely never had any intention of leaving it like that for long. Welp, I'll make them thinner in the next change.

It feels like the map is cramped because of the thickness of the blocks. Make them around 16 units. And you'll need to mark out the capturezone, it's really hard to guess where you can and can't cap.
Otherwise, Looking good! Especially for a first map.
Marking out the capture zone is a good idea. Thanks.

You're probably thinking of another texture, dev/dev_measurewall01d, the one with the "128×128" measurement written on it.
Ah, yeah, probably.

Main thing i'd be concerned with is how open the roof top areas are, you should have more cover up there, make the buildings less square, particularly vertically.
Good points. Will do.
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
Kaboom, koth_saniatium_a2 is up!
I've played a bunch of rounds against bots, and there doesn't seem to be any devastating balance issues. I think this would be a good time to get it tested by other people, so I'll apply for the next gameday. If stuff goes well, I can hopefully start working on some of the cosmetic stuff in the next version.
 
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Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
That... Came almost two hours after I'd figured it out for myself and edited out the question of my post. Forgotten browser tab? Well, thanks anyway.

Also, itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot update fixing some stuff that had been bugging me.
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
Gah. After a long time of self-loathing procrastination, a few intense days of self-loathingly getting shit done and a few slightly less intense but equally self-loathing days of playtesting and minor fixes, here's the a3 version.

The feedback I got on the a2b version was mostly 'Too high, not wide enough, too linear, too exposed spawns, too easy for the winning team to control the area between spawn and hill and too completely proportionally messed up piece of shit', though the last one was more implied than outright stated.

I moved up the ground and lowered the incline of the central roof to make the max height distances smaller. I moved out the spawns to separate areas with courtyards and completely rebuilt the area between spawns and central building. That area is now wider (The shortest route to the hill takes approximately as long time to traverse as it does in Harvest and Sawmill), has a more circular shape, has two completely covered routes into the central building as well as several partially covered flanking routes, and has some fairly high ground with health, ammo and cover from which the central roof can be attacked and the ground routes can be defended.

I hope at least some parts of the new design are functional enough to not need a complete overhaul.
 
Mar 20, 2012
391
Don't beat yourself up so hard, Deodorant. Your first map is always a learning experience. When this map is all done and finished, you'll begin your next map and you'll have this whole new quantity of information to play with.

It's a good first map and you should be proud of what you've done so far. It's also great you are listening to your players and make changes accordingly.

Just step back and don't self-whip yourself over each mistake. Too often we look at our mistakes as bad things. A mistake is really just step one at getting better.

Keep it up, good sir.
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
Thanks.

Right now, though, I have absolutely no idea what to do. Here's the feedback from the last playtest.
The dark area was a tunnel that I had simply forgotten to add lighting to. Embarrassing, but fixed now. I'm absolutely stumped as to how I should adapt the map according to the rest of the feedback.

It's apparently still too tall, even though it uses approximately the same height proportions as nucleus. Lowering the roofs would make some of the stuff below them feel squashed, and removing some of them would kill the multileveledness which was the whole point of the map in the first place.

I consciously avoided adding health to the hill room, to encourage combat in the surrounding areas. I also removed all the health and ammo from the central roof to make players in that area more vulnerable, thereby making it less overpowered.
I got complaints about those two decisions ('not enough health and ammo around cp', 'No Medikits on the roof'), but I also got feedback ('point is too easy to hold especially with enclosed area and roof') hinting that those measures weren't enough.

The feedback 'A lot of wasted space and areas where people never will go' and 'hole in roof at mid is invisible to the player who doesn't look up' is also problematic. I enjoy maps that offer rewards to attentive players (the window on Dustbowl 1A, the roofs and windows overlooking the final outdoor area in Barnblitz, the Sniper bunker and underground tunnel around Dustbowl Final), and a seldom used flank route is better than none at all, in my opinion.
The problem with the 'underused' areas may be that they're too spacious, though. If I shrink them down a bit they may feel more like routes than combat areas and therefore feel more intuitive.

Finally, I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something wrong when building cubemaps. I was pretty sure I did the 'mat_specular 0, buildcubemaps' thing on the A2b version, and I'm absolutely positive I did it with the A3, but I got feedback about the water missing a cubemap when both those version were tested.

So, does anyone have any advice on any of this?
 

Deodorant

L6: Sharp Member
Oct 31, 2011
263
Ok, fixed the missing lighting and some misplaced textures, but didn't do anything about anything else yet due to aforementioned lack of constructive direction. If anyone has anything to say, please do so. If not, I'll just enter it as it is in the next gameday to collect more data.