Schism

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Scotland Tom, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    In an undisclosed location that the rest of the world has long forgotten an architectural marvel was once constructed and subsequently abandoned. Now, a war that has raged from the alpine slopes to the sweltering deserts has rediscovered this ill-remembered structure and the warring parties wish to use it for their own diabolical purposes. It seems this place is destined to become a battleground; to be taken and re-taken as each side struggles to become... King of the Hill

    --------------------------------//-------------------------------

    NOTICE: This map is no longer under development. Thank you to all who helped test and gave constructive feedback. Although it goes unfinished this map was a great learning experience for me.


    KOTH_Schism is a pretty straightforward KOTH style map. The goal is to create a map with a totally unique environment that's just as fun (if not more so) to play than the current official maps. To accomplish this I'll be drawing from some of the conventions seen in the better of the official and community maps to help with the flow and the gameplay, but I'll also be attempting to create an unusually structured map through bold architecture and dramatic lighting choices. Hopefully the stock textures and models will be up to the challenge because I'd prefer not to have to create any map specific custom content. I don't have the time or expertise to create it; I don't want to ask anyone else for their time or expertise; and I want to keep the final download size as small as possible.

    So, enjoy the map, let me know what needs to be worked on to improve gameplay (visual details will be worked on more during Beta) and we'll see what happens!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  2. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

    Messages:
    2,045
    Positive Ratings:
    1,370
    Oh wow... that lighting... @__@

    I'll have a run through (if my eyes can handle it)
     
  3. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    Yeah, the lighting is fairly dramatic. It looks cool, but I think at the very least I need to turn down the brightness on the sunlight. I don't find it bad to look at, but I can imagine some people will have problems, especially with HDR. Of course, most of the lighting tweaks will be done after I get the architecture properly built for the best gameplay experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  4. FreeLance_FoX

    FreeLance_FoX L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    354
    Positive Ratings:
    173
    Gorgeous lighting, especially for a map so early in the dev cycle. I typically feel like a lot of these KoTH maps are just made by people who don't want to create a full map, but this is looking very sweet and well-designed. I ran through it and it's very neat. The architecture especially makes it for me. I can't wait to see how it continues...

    ( You should make this into a 5CP, says foxy :3 )
     
  5. Zwiffle

    Zwiffle L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    272
    Positive Ratings:
    81
    Yeah that lighting is pretty swanky. I like koth, so if you do take FreeLance_FoX's advice and make it a 5cp please do so after finishing the koth version, thx.
     
  6. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    One of the things that I've always thought mappers underestimate is the power of lighting. The right color and intensity, combined with the proper angle to cast some dramatic shadows can really take an environment from average to eye-popping. Once I figured out that I wanted to create an indoor environment lit by large windows I knew I could have some fun substituting actual architecture for striking shadows. Can't rely on that entirely of course, but it's fun to play around with.

    As for creating a 5CP... well... we'll just have to see how I feel after I actually finish the KOTH version. I guess the second cap points could be placed in those open areas just outside the current spawn points... But again, that's getting ahead of myself. One version at a time.
     
  7. Wegason

    Wegason L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    150
    Positive Ratings:
    61
    Tool.

    That is all.
     
  8. Phobos

    Phobos L3: Member

    Messages:
    132
    Positive Ratings:
    48
    Exactly. Keep the name, it's good. And I agree on the lighting, it looks really nice.
     
  9. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    I may or may not keep the name, we'll have to see about that. I like the feeling it evokes but I'm not sure how descriptive it is of the location. So I'm not totally sold on Schism yet, though if nothing better comes along I'll keep it.

    The big issue right now is getting some playtesting in. All the basics are there, but in order to ensure good gameplay I really need some people to play it. I already have some ideas for possible tweaks that could happen so once I get a few full rounds played I'll be able to get moving again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  10. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    Well, I got a pretty darn good idea of what worked and what didn't based on gameday today.

    1. The cap point has a serious height advantage. Combined with the veritable 'no man's land' players have to cross to get there it basically means that whoever has the point can keep it pretty easily so long as they stay on it.

    2. The side route that I have that allows players to exit fairly close to the point (and therefore skip the no-man's land) was seldom used. This is probably for two reasons, the first being that it's probably the longest route to take to get to the cap point, the second being that the access points to that route are more difficult to find than I had hoped.

    3. There isn't enough vertical play in the map. The only real height advantages are on the cap point and the sniper deck.

    4. The spawn points are easy to camp. I figured this would happen because there is only one exit and the stairs give the campers a decent height advantage. I'd always planned on adding a second exit and so it shall be done.

    So, with those problems in mind I've already begun work on Alpha 2 and have made some fairly significant changes in the layout that will hopefully address the issues I've seen. Those soon-to-be-released changes can be read about in the changelog. It looks like I'm not getting A2 out early enough for submission for Sunday's gameday, so I'll have to wait a bit longer than I'd hoped for more testing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  11. MrTwitch

    MrTwitch L1: Registered

    Messages:
    37
    Positive Ratings:
    9
    I just wanted to chime in and say how much fun I had on this map. The main area got a bit spammy and the changes you mentioned sound good but in the end it was still one of the most fun maps to play today.

    I found the CP changed hands more often than they usually do on Viaduct which means both teams had a decent chance of winning imo. The spawn issue sucked but it was still fun regardless.

    Thanks!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    Can't tell you how glad I am to hear that, Twitch. Yeah, there were a few issues, but just knowing that it already seems to be on the right track as an enjoyable map to play is excellent news.
     
  13. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    Double posting to shamelessly promote the fact that I have updated the screenshots for the current A2 release. The shots should display most of the changes I've noted in the changelog.
     
  14. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    421
    Positive Ratings:
    174
    Just came from gameday.

    I think the best fix for the engineer spam across the center point is to put a diagonal wall in the center, that hangs from the ceiling. This would prevent the straight-across sightline which gives Engy's more of a chance.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

    Messages:
    1,242
    Positive Ratings:
    393
    Came from gameday too, I would suggest a reduction of open space to give soldiers and scouts less of an advantage
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Radaka

    Radaka L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    495
    Positive Ratings:
    242
    Coming from gameday: Don't change anything (except detailing of course :))
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. Darksoul

    Darksoul L1: Registered

    Messages:
    35
    Positive Ratings:
    13
    KOTH suffers from terrible sentry spam, leave it like this. This way the players and not drones must fight for the point
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. I highly appreciate it.

    Well, the last gameday that Schism ran I learned that the map had potential, but it suffered from confusing pathways and a distinct height advantage for anyone owning the cap point.

    This gameday I seem to have fixed my routing problems. Every path to/from the cap point was used regularly and to great advantage. The added catwalk and expanded sniper deck mitigated the cap point advantage. The map also continues to show potential as evidenced by the heavy contention over the cap point. The cap wasn't even captured for the first 3-5 minutes of the first round and after that the cap changed hands regularly in each subsequent round. That certainly is a good thing. Of course there are some problems as well.
    1. Soldiers have a wonderful time spamming the cap point and blowing everyone to smithereens.

    2. Teleporters are useless because it doesn't take long to simply walk anywhere.

    3. Engineers have an incredibly difficult time keeping even a single structure up.

    4. Aside from just soldiers, the cap point itself still seems extremely spammy.
    Every single one of these problems, I suspect, is somehow related to the size of the map. It's small. If a soldier can run over halfway to the enemy spawn from the cap point without being in fear of his life (as I did multiple times) that's surely evidence that the map isn't big enough.

    Everyone seems able to zip around the map and attack from all angles with near impunity. That's why there's explosive spam everywhere and that's why engineers can't get anything built. When every class can attack from nearly all angles it's a spam fest that nothing can survive in; and certainly the classes that aren't built for quick-n-dirty fighting won't be able to hold their own or be much use to their team.

    I suspect opinions are divided. Those such as the engineers, who really want a chance to be useful and support the team effort are probably unhappy. Those who enjoy playing attack classes really loved the intense battles and the back-and-forth combat over the cap point. I'd like to make both groups happy, but I'll probably have to compromise a bit here and there.

    All that said, these are my initial brainstorms for possible tweaks or fixes:
    1. Extend the routes between the spawn points and the cap. This will make teleporters useful and prevent the slower, but heavier classes from being able to quickly re-engage in battle and spam their beefy ordinance about. This will also make some of the rooms I've designed for use as forward engineer bases more important for that purpose.

    2. Find ways to widen the map, especially closer to the center. It's too easy to get from one side to the other and the cap point is (almost) a choke point of sorts, thus contributing to spamming. Hopefully widening the map will reduce spam and increase travel times so engineers don't have to constantly face attack from all angles.

    3. Add a possible third major route from the spawn points to the cap. This will create more space for players to spread out in, hopefully reducing spam and keeping players from stumbling onto engineer bases too often.
    I'm not saying I'll do all three of these, but I think they're all avenues to explore. I am, of course, open to any other suggestions from other experienced mappers out there who have no doubt dealt with similar problems before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  19. MrTwitch

    MrTwitch L1: Registered

    Messages:
    37
    Positive Ratings:
    9
    This is true for most KotH maps, though. You need to play more of an offensive engineer in these situations as you're constantly pushing so this isn't necessarily a bad thing, no?

    I still love this map, I can't wait to see what you have planned for the detailing.
     
  20. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    332
    Positive Ratings:
    64
    On Nucleus that's rather true, Sawmill it's somewhat true, but on Viaduct it's definitely not true. On each map I've seen engineers able to build level three sentries, dispensers and teleporters and keep them up for at least a few minutes. On Viaduct especially I myself have had a really fun time constructing a forward engineer base off to the side of the cap point.

    I don't want engineers to become overpowered of course. On Viaduct I've seen matches are often decided by which team can keep their sentries and dispensers up the longest, which is definitely not what I'm going for. What I want is simply to make sure engineers are useful to their team.