Smalltime A18

A small Pass Time map. Smalltime.

  1. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    Smalltime - A small Pass Time map. Smalltime.

    Introducing "Smalltime" : A small Pass Time map.

    This map is an experiment to try to make Pass Time a pub friendly gamemode.

    Default Pass Time with it's default maps is a pretty bad time in pubs due to the complete lack of coordination. Making it through the 3500 Hammer Unit death march with the ball is incredibly difficult in such an environment, especially when sentries come into play.
    It doesn't help that Pass Time is a very confusing gamemode at first, making it very hard to learn for new players.

    Even in custom maps by the community Pass Time tends to be a very very large map, which unfortunately brings the same problems.
    Matches almost *always* end in a stalemate: scoring goals is a rarity, rather than a common thing. Unless you somehow muster up a coordinated environment, Pass Time simply doesn't work in pubs under the current circumstances.

    Smalltime attempts to fix this issue by doing two things:

    - Having a small map with an even smaller distance between jack spawn and goals
    - Removing 1 type of goal and keeping Passtime gimmicks at a minimum

    Smalltimes small map size naturally makes it hard for teams to scatter. It's also very "straight forward" - you won't get lost.
    The distance between ball spawn and run-in goal is incredibly small - it takes a scout maybe a few seconds to go from spawn to goal if uninterrupted.
    This means that short bursts of coordination/a single player has the ability to consistently score a goal since you will no longer have to go on an insanely long run. Sentries will still be a factor, but the small distance makes it far less punishing to get caught by one/hopefully there aren't any impenetrable sentry spots. Similar to how in real life soccer the ball could fly from one end to the other pretty quickly, you will probably want a defensive squad at most times that keeps the backline in check.

    Smalltime also only features two goals: Run-in and bonus. This mostly serves to make the gamemode easier to understand. Run-in: 1 point. The thing at the top when it's open? 3 points. Straightforward and you will no longer have to explain to people that only 1 kind of big blue hole is the bonus one.

    Obviously I haven't actually tested this map with real players. And boy am I excited to see if this map is a catastrophic failure or success.
    A limitation I am aware of is the hardcoded passtime point limit: It's always only up to 5 points. Depending on the frequency of goals in such a small environment, this could be problematic.

    We'll have to see. Smell ya on a map test.
     
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  2. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    It looks like Smalltime works! People are scoring goals very often and gameplay is fast paced - no more stalemates.

    Time to polish it. Of course, I will need more data on various things, but these are the changes for now:

    CHANGELOG A2:

    - Fixed RED Resup. not working
    - Fixed Pass Time HUD being backwards
    - Increased duration of setup time by 5 seconds
    - Changed shape of vertical jump pad to more properly communicate which direction it sends you
    - Decreased vertical jump pad catapult trigger size, both vertically and horizontally to prevent accidental launches.
    - Added stripes, arrows, and "CAPTURE ZONE" decals around both teams walk-in goals.
    - Some healthpack/ammopack size and positional changes across the map.
    - Added a roof prop at the "roof-crate" jump spot to make it easier to pass the gap.
    - Fixed RED being able to open BLU's doors

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  3. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    I went back on one of the things I mentioned in the OP:
    The Walk-in.
    In retroperspective, making it only Walk-in for the purpose of simplification was kinda missing the mark. If anything, you'd want the throw-in to be the only goal!
    Players naturally yeet their shit into anything that looks like a goal in this gamemode. The Walk-In only also caused some balancing issues, because unlike throw ranges and strengths that balances the throw-in, walk-ins are just a pure "whoever has the most movement speed" test.

    As a result of this, I have decided to add a Throw-in goal over the Walk-in.
    This has a bunch of consequences, one of them being that scoring goals is even easier now and you can score goals outside of sentry ranges. Scouts should no longer be the supreme super force, since they have baby throw power.

    CHANGELOG A3:

    - Added Throw-in goal over the current walk-in goal.
    - Added new small path under the horizontal launch pad which should act as both a way to defend and attack the goal. It also has some pickups in it.
    - Moved Supply cabinets to the back of the spawn room as part of the slowing down engineer effort.
    - Increased Setup time
    - Increased the amount of time needed for a new ball to spawn after a goal
    - Large review as far as ammo pack and health pack locations and content goes. Engineers will now have to leave their nest and expose themselves a bit if they want anything better than a small ammo pack to chew on.
    - Changed propjump spot on that one roof
    - Added new propjump from the inside of the large building that leads you up to the roof
    - Replaced vertical jump pads with Yrrzy's Jump Pad prefab, making them smaller and more obvious that they are jump pads.





    I think the most interesting feedback I get is "It's too easy to score/goal is too close". Due to the massive size of the official pass time maps where you get 1 goal every 15 minutes, players really don't know how to defend a goal or even the concept of being a goalie yourself. I'll watch with excitement until people find out just how insane pyro is as a goalie with his airblast, or people playing back line similar to IRL soccer.

    Smell ya on the next imp.

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  4. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    After reviewing the most recent playtest a bit it has become apparent that with the addition of the throw-in goal, it has become too easy to score. While I want the map to focus on aggression over all else, steamrolls were too easy and the round duration was an average of 8~ minutes instead of the 11~ I am aiming for.

    It was too easy for players to throw into the goal without giving the enemy team a chance to strike.

    This version changes things up by a little bit while keeping the layout mostly as it seems to work pretty well.

    CHANGELOG:
    - Widened the map by 48~ Hu to the left side (from BLU). That's roughly the width of an entire heavy. This should prevent certain areas feeling a bit cramped and give combat a teeny bit more space.



    - Extended distance between mid and goals by 126~ Hu. That's roughly the width of 3 heavies holding hands. Very noticeable if you take a look at the length of the building with the jump pad in this before and after:



    - Changed size of the throw-in goal from the large version to a small one.
    - Moved the throw-in goal higher.
    - Fixed BLU being able to stand inside RED's bonus goal once it was open.
    - Moved some healthpacks and changed the size of some healthpacks.
    - Replaced the "small room" under the horizontal jumpad with a cubby including its pickups. This cubby helps defenders more than attackers.

    - Changed curvature of the ground leading up to mid - the goal area is now higher compared to the path leading to mid, which gives the area a more dynamic feeling and helps defenders a little bit. It also deals with some horrible sightlines.



    - Extended the upper cover leading up to mid a bit lower to prevent sightlines.
    - Increased delay between Goal and Ball spawn from 20 seconds to 30 seconds to give the losing team more time to collect themselves again.
    - Various smaller misc changes.

    ------------------------------------------------------
    The new Throw-in has lost a lot of it's power for Scouts now since it's so high up. There are a few angles from the rooves which a scout could jump on and then to the goal to land one, but due to the extended length of the map the Scout will have to expose himself for far longer, allowing defenders to attack them more reliably.

    The smaller Throw-in also requires steady aim as it's easy to miss/hit the lips, so even if you tank a mini-sentry the aim-wobble it causes will make you miss unless you take it into account.

    These changes should hopefully bring a bit more balance. I still intend aggressors to have the advantage, but the defense in A3 was simply too poor.

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  5. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    The recent changes favoring defensive have proven to be a bit too effective. As I strive for that perfect balance and 10 minute match duration, here is A5a's changelog.

    A5a CHANGELOG:

    - Implemented dynamic spawn times: When the ball is at mid, both teams have a respawn time of 5 seconds. However, if the ball is within a team's base, the respawn times shift: 3.5 seconds for attackers, and a whole 7.5 seconds for defenders. This should allow the offense to break through the defense much more easily.

    - The "area in front of spawn" behind the goals is now a no ball zone. It's limits are marked with hazard tape, and if you try to throw the ball inside this area, it will get flung right out back into the battlefield. This was made to deal with the somewhat rare situation of someone throwing a ball into their spawn area and then turtling with it there and shouldn't impact normal gameplay.

    - Moved Throw-in Goal out a little bit
    - Throw-in Goal has been reverted back to it's smaller form
    - Moved the rock in the goal area a bit more further away - angled it towards the throw-in goal. It's now a ramp which can be used by the attackers to access the Throw-In much more easily.
    - Removed top crate from the double barrel crate at mid, preventing access to the roof by non-mobility classes.
    - Made the medium HP pack on the roof into a small one.
    - Replaced the "small hut" with the small HP pack at mid with a wall - small HP pack has been split to both sides opposing wall ends.
    This should make it a little bit harder to flank around mid and also stops the roof spot from being a spot that oversees every single entry to mid, as the wall now blocks one.
    - Reduced horizontal jump pad power
    - Fixed displacement sticking out around the vertical jump pad
    - Changed geometry around the horizontal jump pad to have that edge by angled and moved the cubby back a little bit.
    - Got rid of the angled ceiling over the central roof at mid
    - added small ammo box in the building behind the goal
    - instant respawn after a goal has been delayed by 0.5 seconds to account for the entire duration of crits
    - Various fixes to spots the ball could get stuck at

    These changes should tilt the map's favor back to attackers and ensure swift rounds while hopefully being a little bit more defendable.

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  6. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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  7. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    The blessed 10~ min avg round time has been restored, but more polish must be done.

    CHANGELOG A6:

    - Increased attacker respawn time (3.5 -> 4) to allow defenders to push out slightly more easily
    - Changed sun pitch to not look directly down anymore
    - Decreased rock heights at mid, leaving a bit more space for players
    - Raised height of floor in the main path from spawn to goals which should prevent taking fall damage when walking off the high ground
    - removed small ammo pack at the "cliff route" from spawn
    - reduced size of ammo pack at path to mid from medium to small
    - extended wall at mid a bit - should prevent stinky sightlines.
    - Fixed inconsistent sniper sightline blockers
    - Extended height of sniper sightline blocker
    - Added door to the connector from the path at the house on mid. Should allow attackers a more flexible approach without locking themselves to a certain path early on. Should also make dealing with sentries on high ground easier for non explosive classes that previously couldn't access the high ground without revealing themselves to the enemy team.
    - There is now a loud alarm sound that plays if the ball is within your base to raise ball awareness.
    - Fixed ball being able to get stuck between the crates at mid
    - Removed spawns facing the other low ground door, spawns now either face forwards or to the highground door.
    - Raised roof of the house at mid and playerclipped it - fighting people on top of it felt very unfair to the ground-dwellers and it generally saw very little use.
    - Removed prop jump and ramp - added a more streamlined catwalk inside the house the vertical jump pad leads to. Should allow attackers a - once again - smoother approach without having to deal with prop jumps.

    There are two things I'd like to try out in the future:

    1. Once 15.ai is back on track, I'd like to try my hand at a PASS Time announcer pack with voice lines such as "Defend the Goal!" or "Bonus goal open!". Would enhance the mode a lot, probably.

    2. I am interested in an anti-stalemate mechanic for this map. Essentially, if the ball is within a base for N seconds, attackers get an advantage. This could be a door opening for a really strong flank, a new goal opening that is easier to access and a variety of other advantages.
    I'm still unsure on that though. Gotta see how much the new changes help attackers.







    Smell ya on the next imp. And remember: Don't throw into the walk-in goal.

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  8. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    This will be quite a spicy one.

    This version includes "JACK Scaling". What is JACK Scaling? Well it's the idea of the JACK becoming worth more points the more time passes without any team scoring goals.

    PASS Time as a gamemode has a similar problem to Capture The Flag: If one team is playing decently defensive, things become slow paced. If both are aggressive, everything works out round duration wise since you will hit the amount of score required to win the round. Things feel satisfying for players.
    However when one team starts focusing on defense a bunch, the aggressors will spent a lot more time trying to break through it. The problem? Once they are finally through it, they only get a single point for their efforts!

    That's rather discouraging. It also means that the game is likely going to go to time. Overall: Not a good time. Players clearly correlate time spent struggling with reward gained, and getting hit by the single point out of 5 after pushing through a sentry nest that took you 5 minutes just sucks.

    This problem isn't really fixable via map design. If you make the map more favored towards aggressors to the point where playing defensively just isn't an option anymore, the map will be over in a flash if neither team is playing defensive. You have to account for both types of teams - offensive and defensive, playing in any combination be it offensive vs offensive, def vs. off or def vs. def.

    This is where JACK Scaling comes in! Every 2 minutes of no goal being scored, the Jack will increase in it's worth. Base goals (Throw/Walk) will reward 2 points now, while the Bonus will reward 4. JACK Scaling caps at 2 extra points - meaning that if you hit 4 minutes with no goal scored, a single bonus goal will be able to win the entire round, while Throw/Walk award 3 points.

    This change makes the effort/reward align with the player's expectations after they push through a sentry nest for several minutes and also makes matches more tense the longer they go on without goal, rather than make them feel like a boring slog.

    JACK Scaling will also leave the fast paced, no defense matches untouched and still intact, as these have a far higher Goal/min rate which in turn makes JACK Scaling not kick in.

    With this implemented, playing to time should be a rarity. This kind of scaling could also be used in Capture The Flag to ensure swift round durations, however I am unsure if you can implement it easily.

    CHANGLOG A7:

    - Implementation of JACK Scaling to ensure exciting and tense rounds under any circumstances. Lights around each goal will signalize the amount of points gained, custom Voice Lines are planned.



    - There are now bright, spinning alarm lights at doors attackers attack from. If the JACK is within one of these buildings, the lights will turn on and spin. This should raise defender awareness tenfold and prevent "sneaky" goals.



    - Added a sightline blocker around the crate on that one roof to prevent a strange interaction angle.
    - Moved walk-in goal back a little bit.
    - Moved throw-in goal forwards a bit
    - Changed throw-in goal size from small to big, as players couldn't notice the small one.
    - Removed a small ammo pack inside the defender building over the goal.
    - Added an arrow looking down on the walk-in.
    - Alarm Siren is now louder and triggers faster.

    Very excited for the next map test to see if JACK Scaling works as I imagine it to.

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  9. Zeus3005

    Server Staff Zeus3005 Not a Krusty Krab

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    I like this idea of point scaling; however I think it would be better if that information could be communicated on the HUD, giving both red and blu the information to act accordingly
     
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  10. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    I thought about it, but I don't think I can do it on the HUD. The base HUD is already so cluttered in Pass Time that adding another thing to it would just make the situation worse.

    I think a custom voice line of the admin going "You bore me! The next goal scores one extra point!" + the lights should do the job well enough.
     
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  11. Zeus3005

    Server Staff Zeus3005 Not a Krusty Krab

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    Fair nuff, i assume you're gonna try to splice the audio?
     
  12. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    The plan is to use 15.ai, since they have a decently convincing admin module available. The site is currently down, but it should be up soonish.
     
  13. Zeus3005

    Server Staff Zeus3005 Not a Krusty Krab

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    Yeah i'd like to use that too; but when i looked a few months ago it was quite muddy from all the echo and reverb. Did they clean that administrators voice up at all?
     
  14. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    My mindset is: It's better than nothing. Muddy is lieges better than spliced and/or none at all.
     
  15. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    This version comes with very very major changes to the map and it's layout. The goal was to make the map feel less cramped but still keep the spirit of small pass time there.

    The TL:DR: is that I have:
    1. Increased distance between spawn and goal area
    2. Increased width of goal area and it's playspace
    3. Slightly increased length of mid
    4. Slightly increased the width of mid
    5. Tweaked a shit ton of building spaces to make them feel less cramped
    6. Dealt with a lot of stinky sightlines and tried to simplify some spaces so players feel less overwhelmed
    7. Removed the horizontal jump pads
    8. Reworked the building at mid

    The base layout of Smalltime is still there, the devil lies in the details. The very-big-details.

    Posting a proper changelog for this would be a fruitless effort since I changed so much stuff.

    Instead, soon after this post I will update the images of this download.

    Will be interesting to see how this one plays compared to older, smaller Smalltime.

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  16. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    - Fixed a strange hole inside a roof on both sides

    - Adjusted respawn times when JACK is in either team's base to account for new changes made previously

    Previous:
    Attacker Respawn 5 -> 4
    Defender Respawn: 5 -> 7.5

    Now:
    Attacker Respawn: 5 -> 5
    Defender Respawn 5 -> 7

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  17. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    CHANGELOG A9:

    - Reworked left (from red side) area: It is now outdoors and a bit bigger! You can also throw(jump over that fence.





    - All Spawns now face forwards
    - Added a very inviting lowground ramp up the highground from spawn



    - A potentially familiar voice is now an Announcer on the map. Pass Time strangely enough doesn't have one, so this particular person will do the job for now until 15.ai is back and I can use the admin's voice.
    Announces a lot of stuff, from the ball spawning, to the ball being in the enemy base, to the bonus goal opening.
    Helps a lot for letting people know when the score increases dynamically.

    - In addition to the announcer announcing it, there is now a loud horn when score increases dynamically.

    - The ball now has a glowing outline through walls.

    - The JACK Carrier now has a glowing outline that can also be seen through walls!
    [​IMG]

    Special Thanks to Mr. Burguers for carrying my green ass through this! This was very convoluted to implement, but should be worth it.
    The outlined JACK Carrier is a bit of a double edged sword:

    - Attackers will find it much easier to tell where their team is pushing, no longer having to rely on the inaccurate HUD.
    - Defenders will have an easier time tracking the ball down, preventing "sneaky" goals.

    - Various smaller changes/fixes

    Very excited to see how the outline affects play. Sure hoping I don't have to axe it since it took me like 4 hours to get it working. Also hoping there aren't 3000 bugs since this was very wack.

    Smell ya next imp!

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  18. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    CHANGELOG A9a:

    - Fixed missing alarm light trigger in RED's base
    - Extended playspace of the left (red side) roof with the box on it by 64Hu since it felt a bit too small
    - Made planks onto box on that roof also a bit more steep to offer more playspace
    - Moved alarm light up to the edge of the playspace platform so its easier to see

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  19. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    CHANGELOG A10:

    - Reduced gaps in the sentences of the announcer, making him say more in less time.
    - The announcer will now congratulate you if you win, and boo you if you lose.
    - Finally fixed teams respawning despite the round being over
    - Jump Pad particles now point into the direction they launch you
    - Made some displacement spots more "walkoverable"
    - Added a lower ramp for defenders to access the highground of the building with the fence on top
    - There are now two control point-esque points on the walk-in goal. Hoping that it might make it clearer to new people that you need to walk into the zone with the ball.

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  20. Fluury

    aa Fluury

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    CHANGELOG A11:

    - The Announcer will now announce what team controls the JACK! Should be a central step to raising gamemode awareness. The voice line only gets played if the ball switches teams, e.g. if the ball is owned by red, then neutral, then red again, it wont play the second time. If it's red, then neutral, then blue however, it will play.
    This should aid both defenders and attackers, and generally help players understand the current gamestate more, allowing them to attack and defend better.

    - Added wall/ground textures for displacements

    - Reworked Connector from spawn to the building with the fence on top:
    --> Raised base ground a bit
    --> Removed prop-jump, raised ground of brush and ramp instead
    --> The building from spawn to the rooftop no longer features a staircase up top, and the door to up top has been removed. It's now a sole connector to that place outside of the bottom ramps.



    - Made ramp rock easier to walk up

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