PL Sparkworks 016

Made by Jeffel5005

  1. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    Hello! This is my first map that I've actually made an attempt at making public. I realize I've never posted on here and it's probably a crappy way to start, but I'm anxious to get feedback so I can further my learning and map making!

    The overall theme of this map is meant to be a fireworks factory. BLU invades RED's factory by pulling up on their train, taking over the station, and invading during the cover of night. (Plus, night makes more sense for fireworks!)

    Like I said, this is the first map I have made. I wasn't really sure what order to do things in to get a release on here. I realize my lighting so far is total crap. Areas I am fairly confident in are the ending (after Cap C) and courtyard that Cap B overlooks. Areas that I'm not so sure about are the spiral and climb back up from cap A, as well as the room around Cap C. Please let me know if I should rethink my confidences in design!

    EDIT 0.1.6: Hopefully the lighting is better in 0.1.6, I updated the screenshots with this update. I *KNOW* there are still dark areas, such as the battlements for RED, as well as some of the courtyard and cap A room. No area is perfect yet, but they are hopefully better.

    Thanks to my friend elitekiller500 for help with the fireworks crates!
    Also thanks to the great people here for making a community, as well as the packs and models to make mapping that much easier and better!

    Right now, any feedback would help. If you think I should totally start over for some reason... I'm willing, if you have reason! Thanks for any feedback :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  2. Mr. P. Kiwi

    Mr. P. Kiwi L5: Dapper Member

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    Well, first of all - you have a good start. And the layout seems nice.
    But, it's not perfect (that's why we're here).
    I've noticed in pic #4 the tracks aren't continuous, I'm not sure what's that for and it doesn't look good.
    The whole map is too high, you might consider clunking the floors together - it's not fun to get killed by an invisible sniper 1 mile above your head.
    As you already know, the map is dark - add more light sources, like light bulbs, streetlights etc'.
    Looking forward to see this map's progress, great work!
     
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  3. red_flame586

    red_flame586 L7: Fancy Member

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    Ok, first of all, welcome. The instant problem I can see is that it is way way way to dark. This means that player's will have a hard time spotting others and working out what teams their on. A nice tip to see how dark a map is, and how easy it is to see the enemy is to run around it in third person (sv_cheats 1 then thirdperson in the console in game). If you look at night maps like pipeline and doublecross you can see how even though it is clearly night, the playing field is well lit up, even some of your indoor areas are a bit dark. From what I can make out in the third screenshot is it may be a bit to large and open, though lighting really makes it hard to work out, apart from that scaling doesn't appear to be to off, so good job in that regard. Some of the platforms in the map seem a bit narrow, from what I can see, the spiral in the second screen and the platform up the top of the third screen. Narrow platforms mean that players can easily get knocked off and that can be quite annoying, the last thing you ever want to do in maps is to annoy the person playing them.
    Otherwise, great job, this is a pretty good looking map for a first release so well done. It's often a good idea to take a top down screenshot of your map and post that up so people can quickly and easily see the layout of your map. Anyway, congratulations on your first release.

    EDIT: darn it kiwi just beat me
    EDIT2: an expansion on kiwi's post, i'll agree with the fact that it is very high, this is a great guide to use when looking at scale, both horizontally and vertically.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  4. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the quick replies!

    @Kiwi The gaps in the track were an oops on my part. Already had it all compiled and set when I went in to take screenshots. That was the last area I built, and I just sort've layed a few tracks to get the idea of the path, didn't go back and fill it in.

    When you say too high, the ending courtyard area? I've been thinking the same thing, but whenever I try to lower it, the back wall the cart goes across that opposes it becomes too high too. Will look into raising the bottom of the map up in the courtyard area, as well as lowering the upper areas. It will also cut down on some awkward-ness in getting to the spiral to cap B.

    @red_flame The third screen's angle is poor for the depth of that balcony. There is lots of room for the cart, as well as two lanes of players. The overlooks exiting spawn (fourth screen) are definitely too narrow. In the few times I played with some friends, engineers built sentries there. There is not enough room for an engie's gear, a spy perched and waiting, and players exiting from spawn up there. Good catch, thanks :) As for the spiral, there is enough room for the cart, and a few team members pushing the cart (and hiding behind it on the spiral. The flat corners are the only area I've noticed too much issue with the spacing. it was originally meant to be a smooth helix, but that wasn't possible with the available track. I'll see what I can do though! Also, thanks for the scaling links! I will look through that and use it to adjust things accordingly.

    And yes, the lighting. I regret not doing that before uploading it, but I've been anxious to get it on here. When I went through to start adding it, i got too picky and detail oriented. Figured I should get layout feedback before getting picky. (though now I understand that if you can't see the layout, I can't get feedback on it!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  5. red_flame586

    red_flame586 L7: Fancy Member

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    Two players is generally not enough thickness for a major walkway, as all it takes is a single pyro and the player is blasted off or blocked. I would say increase it to a width of 4 players at least, maybe something like the width of the battlements on 2fort, which allows the use of the balcony as a sniper point, a sentry nest and a passage way. This is probably the same for the spiral as you'll want room for the cart, a way to get around it and a place for sentries and buildings.
    Anyway, that's just my view, I generally fall into the trap of narrow paths as well, and if they are major ones (i.e. the cart goes along them) it's important to have them wide.
     
  6. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    Good point. This was originally designed way back before the engineer update. Moving sentires out onto that balcony makes sense now. Building them there though before seemed relatively impossible. I'll make it wider. It will be easy, since it actually tapers in a bit at the edges. Thanks, I never thought about sentries there until now.
     
  7. honorum646

    honorum646 L6: Sharp Member

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    It's not just about the sentries. It's about the player's ability to move around on that area. TF2 players tend to like having a lot of movement space.

    EDIT: Why is every second track piece missing from one of the screenshots? D:
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  8. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    What is going on with the tracks on that sign? That is bizarre and crazy.
     
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  9. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    It acts as a ramp into the pillar on the "older" structure (yet to look older...) which will cause collapse. I need to tinker with the ending still. Need to figure out some sort of thing for it to fall into, rather than ram.
     
  10. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    It's just that the track seems to start a bit before that... I dunno. It's just kind of odd.

    Plus, tracks on signs or train cars or most other props just look strange. It doesn't make a lot of sense story wise for a lot of reasons. I like the idea of a payload ramping into something to blow it up, but not off a signboard.
     
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  11. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    I was making a little stack of things (there's a barrel and some tires under it too) as though they just grabbed some stuff and put some rails on top of it. I'll change it out to something more like a pile of dirt they put there and then put tracks on that. Still not totally sold on the ramming into something idea, but it's what I have for now.
     
  12. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    If you don't want dirt, you can make something that looks like a makeshift metal pile, some kind of shoddy ramp.
     
  13. Mr. P. Kiwi

    Mr. P. Kiwi L5: Dapper Member

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    When I say too high I mean that it's not proportional, not in real life and not in the TF2 universe, a thing that makes it look strange all across the map - atleast the part I've seen (the pictures). Another thing about height is the fact that you can't jump down from one platform to the other without dying - a good way to measure height. Normal heights vary between 300-500 Hammer Units,
    And again you might want to check this.
    Good work!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  14. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    I actually think that the ramp looks really beast, other than that, along with everybody else, it's not wide enough (I realize you're already working on the lighting)
     
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  15. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    Updated the map to 0.1.6. Changed the screenshots. Worked on all the feedback I have gotten so far from here, let me know how it looks!
     
  16. red_flame586

    red_flame586 L7: Fancy Member

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    A definite improvement, the widths of the overpasses are defiantly much more acceptable, but one thing I've noticed is that there are no signs, yes generally there is an acceptable principal in payload that you follow the track, but it's easy to get confused and go the wrong way, you should probably include them.
    Lighting is better so good job, but there are some areas that still look a bit dark (e.g. third screenshot or inside the garage or whatever it is that you are going to blow up.) Also I just noticed a few places that the track is a bit to close to the wall, It shouldn't be to much of a problem though some players can get annoyed by it. Otherwise it's an improvement since last version, if I get any free time in the foreseeable future I'll download it and have a bit of a closer look.
     
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  17. Jeffel5005

    Jeffel5005 L1: Registered

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    Thanks red_flame!

    Signs are what i was going to work on next. Once those are in I was going to begin another round of lighting the map. What areas would you call the walls close to the track? in the room with the two pillars? I'm somewhat fond of it, as it uses the space and adjusts the game play in that room from what I've seen with only a few friends. Otherwise, where? it does tend to hug perimeters and walls (for example, the balconies) But that's somewhat unavoidable with my design I think.

    Be warned that if you play the map, there is a poorly labeled route that might solve some problems you might have with the map if you don't find it. (It's through the red house that overlooks blu's first spawn, and it only opens after cap A for blu team.)