Sketching a PL Map- Looking for Suggestions

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Stormcaller3801, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Hey kids, guess what time it is? That's right, Uncle Stormy's got another harebrained idea to make a map. This time he's working on a payload map with the cart path based on part of his daily drive home.

    [​IMG]

    The map's largely divided into five boxes, which I could probably translate into five points without too much hassle.

    Box 1
    [​IMG]
    This is designed as a long fairly open area with the cart path being more or less straight for the duration once it's out the door. On one side you have a collection of buildings that separate the open area from train tracks. These tracks offer a very fast way to move down the row of buildings, but it also has a risk: the train. These buildings are going to be heaven for a Sniper, Soldier or anyone else who's happiest standing on a balcony shooting people. For that reason I'm considering an array of trucks and other details in the yard to provide some cover; I'm also hoping to set it up so that a Pyro or Spy can slip across the narrow divide from BLU spawn and clean house as necessary. BLU has a larger building with a narrow walkway opposite, allowing return fire. Hopefully this balances out well. I could use ideas here for how to keep it balanced and interesting.

    Box 2
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    Here the path gets more curvy, as it loops around to prepare to cross under the train tracks. I'm considering some sort of explanation for why exactly it loops away and then back, but I don't have one just yet. Maybe a large rock. Large rocks are always fun.

    In any case this is definitely an area where the shorter-range classes work well, and likely where I'd set up a secondary spawn point if I'd put one. RED has the large building enclosing the train tracks, but BLU has reached the point where they can use the buildings that hug the outside curve to get around it. A small area at ground level between the tracks and the buildings provides a decent Engie base area, which may remove the need for a secondary spawn point. I'm thinking this may also be a good area to add in some walkways above the cart path to help diversify the available areas to fight on.

    Box 3
    [​IMG]
    This is where RED really has a good chance of putting pressure on BLU. The layout of the map means that Snipers can get a clear shot at anyone who comes under the elevated tracks, and they have to cross an open area while boxed in on all sides. BLU can access the buildings on two sides via areas under their control, meaning they can reduce their exposure, but that freestanding building is going to be a real headache.

    I think this may be another area that's a real pain to try and balance, just because it's going to be difficult to give RED the chance to make a good stand, while at the same time keeping it from being the area where BLU always loses. It should be interesting, to be sure.

    Box 4
    [​IMG]
    This is more of a headache area than any other, really. RED can defend it, but if BLU controls that building, they're going to have trouble. The only real options I can think of are to play around with that building's exits and entrances so that it's not really useful to BLU in terms of offense. That would allow RED to make use of the narrow path to get behind them, as well as use various means to take advantage of that narrow, open path the cart travels down. There's two points where Sentry Guns could cause trouble, but I have a feeling that RED would probably skip out on defending here and instead get ready for the final assault.

    Box 5
    [​IMG]
    The area for the final assault, somewhere between Hoodoo's second stage and Badwater Basin's area, with RED again having access on three sides. BLU has the unenviable job of storming into the teeth of this, but this is the point where RED is supposed to be best able to defend, so that makes sense. BLU should be able to use that freestanding building as a forward base, meaning it shouldn't require a tremendous amount of running to get here, and at the same time if RED eliminates that it's going to push BLU on their back foot as they run and try to get set up again. If BLU can take the buildings farthest from RED spawn, they can probably push RED back into their own base, and thus get the cart moving quickly.


    So, that's what I've got so far. I'm hoping for suggestions on how I could improve it, things I should take into consideration, and any other random ideas people have that might make it better.
     
  2. UKCS-Alias

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

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    I find box 3 and 4 not ideal in design. You should never realy make a map ideal for a class especialy not pyros, demomen, snipers, spies or engineers. Simply because those classes can have major advantages. Box 3 would simply couse sniper spam which isnt good. If they would lose that place they would lose 4 also simply because of having too many snipers.
    Box 4 has the main problem with the entrance. it looks like its going to be a spamfest which never is good. the tunnel in stage 2 of hoodoo suffered alot from that also (not anymore since youme changed that though). But as you said the building is ment to stop red from being overpowered there. With a good balance i see this area becoming fun.

    Overall, as the layout is too basic in the boxes i cant realy say if it would be balanced well because its important to know what places scouts, demoman and soldiers can use with jumping. The general shape of the map seems fine however.

    Also, make sure red has a 2nd spawn exit as a shortcut in the early moments of the stage. In a 1 stage pl_ map it allways shows to have a positive effect on making the first part more challenging.

    At least i would say you can already start making this map in dev style to see what you realy make of it.
     
  3. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Here's the basics for getting from building to building in the game- I think it should help resolve any questions about people getting boxed in or needing alternative routes:

    [​IMG]

    It's impossible to get from one spawn to another without venturing outside at some point, but the potential exposure's fairly small. The biggest headache is simply that you can't push the cart without walking down the middle of a firing line, but that's pretty much the case for all of the payload maps, I think.

    Most of the 'buildings' are actually going to be divided up into a number of separate facades that are connected internally. Basically if it looks like a block on the SketchUp drawing, it'll have at least two routes through any internal subsections. If it's separate but connected, you'll probably have only one route between them, which may require doubling back and changing floors to reach.

    I think I may also put a fence between Box 4 and Box 5, near that freestanding building; the fence would basically force you to make a U-turn around it to get through that gap, which would limit things a bit more and try to slow down RED's ability to rush into Box 3. This would also limit BLU's ability to attack Box 5, but I think that can be tweaked. At worst, there's the potential to put a triggered door in that gap that's set up to open once the point in Box 3 has been capped.
     
  4. Lockhart

    Lockhart L2: Junior Member

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    I like the level of detail you have in your pre-sketching and I don't really have any major criticisms yet. The only question I'd ask is do you have a theme in mind?

    The map seems to be a good layout for an urban theme with maybe the cart being pushed as a vehicle along the street. You could also use an outdoor restaurant as your obstacle in block 2 if you wanted to keep the ground level more open. It's really up to you though.

    I definitely feel that it should be a hassle to get into some of the upper buildings for the BLU team, where as RED has a little less trouble but once they're there they can hole up and start laying fire on the ground level. This map has high potential for vertical combat on a parallel design which could turn out awesome in my book. :)
     
  5. UKCS-Alias

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

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    I still lack a route from the red spawn going directly to 3. Simply to use as a shortcut similar to the one in badwater which locks down after cp 2 is capped. (you got a yellow line next to that spawn so all you have to do is place a gate there and it will make it a bit harder for blue to capture the first cps - you dont want to give blue a 15 second respawn time)

    Also, at box 4 i would rather see a route inside the building instead of that small gap. That building there not only makes red need to take a detour it will be a valuable area to take over for blue to be able to push the cart there. Also, by locking down that small route by having the building slightly larger you also solve a optimization issue where at some areas you might be able to see too much of the map.
     
  6. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about box 4. By the time BLU gets that far, RED has a short walk to engage them, and by blocking off windows facing the cart path it loses most of its value offensively, meaning that it's confining BLU to an area that's going to be easy to saturate with fire. RED doesn't really need any help there.

    As for allowing RED to get directly to 3, I was thinking about setting up a secondary spawn point around the Box 2/Box 3 transition, which would start off RED and then switch to BLU. Half dozen of one, six of the other.
     
  7. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    [​IMG]

    Here's my basic plan with regards to building interiors for that row across from BLU spawn. I've removed the front wall, but I think this gives a decent look at it so far. There's multiple routes to move horizontally, and eventually multiple ways to move vertically: there's going to be another ramp in the first stack between the second and third floors, and also balconies on the third floor first stack and second floor second stack. Movement from the first floor upwards is limited so far, but there will be alternative routes.

    Looking at it, my biggest concern with the layout so far is just the first stack, third floor. I think the corner between the doorways might be too good of a place for a Sentry Gun; I can fix that with props that block that corner.

    Thoughts are appreciated. Right now every room is 256x512x512, minus the thickness of the walls and ceilings (16 HU). That means that at least theoretically, a Soldier or Demoman could reach the second and third floor balconies. Not every stack has a door leading to the train tracks- I think it's 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th. Just to keep it interesting.

    Suggestions are welcome; I'm considering adding a basement corridor that runs the length of the building, give or take, with some spy tech down there. Possibly with a branch leading to BLU spawn, with a spawn gate set up to allow BLU a way into this place should it end up being too hairy in testing.
     
  8. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Alright, I now have something that's...

    Let's call it very early beta. You can load it, and you can run around as BLU team. There's no doors, there's no cart path, there's very little in the way of detail, but it's not fullbright, and there's no leaks. I'm calling that a win in my book.

    Actually you can run around as RED team too, just not very far. I'll put doorways in the spawn area eventually.

    Link to file download