Spring

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Terr, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    My first map.

    Story: RED and BLU have two factory facilities near each other that both rely on the same source of water: Natural springs. After a few skirmishes over the allocation of this limited resource, things have come to a head. Now it's time to shut down the competition once and for all: Get the incriminating intelligence documents from their base and shut them down by releasing them to the press.

    BLU's spring-water bottling plant conceals a secret R&D facility for mind-control substances. RED's fish hatchery is a cover for the selective breeding and genetic weaponization of fish. (This particular facility does not handle the mutated sea-bass initiative, since that would require saltwater.)

    CTF + Capture point Hybrid: Normally each team wants as much water as they can take, but this is the end-game and drastic measures are needed: Redirect the flow into the enemy's base to swamp them and force them to open up a flow-control gate in the rear of their base. This will allow your teammates to slip in. Since holding the point prevents most enemy classes from attacking your base from the back, the best defense really is a good offense.



    __________

    Naming:
    I'm calling it "Spring" because I plan to have some springs feeding the main water reservoir. If this is too generic, I can change it. I considered "Springwater" but was concerned it might be confused with Swiftwater.

    Problems encountered:
    Originally I had wanted to use a rising water level to allow new paths, however this became problematic since it seems I would need to use func_water_analog and would encounter problems with cheap/expensive water when different levels were visible at the same time. Because of this I added the "overflow door" mechanic and have tried to ensure there is no position that allows you to see two bodies of water which may have different heights.


    _____________________

    Alpha-1
    I've been working on this map for about a week now, and right now I'm mainly testing the layout.
    • Some of the green areas in each base are a reminder to put inaccessible glass-separated rooms during detailing.
    • Yeah, the bases are hard to navigate on fullbright, but I didn't want to do lighting if I had to change the layout... Next one'll have basic lights.
    • I've tried to make it a reasonable size after seeing many sized-for-giants first-time maps.
    • Later on I'll use particle effects to show the water is flowing in one base or another. Right now the back underwater doors just open and have a slight trigger_push.

    _____________________

    Alpha-2
    Lots of improvements. See changelog.
    • I'm trying to hammer down really good game flow first, and then go on to detailing.
    • Text-editing the VMFs makes it a lot easier to mirror bases, although some things still don't flip quite correctly.
    • Still no soundscapes etc. That'll be later on.
    • Needs some particle effects to show that water is flowing. (Directional ripples in water, splashing water, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  2. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Other thoughts:
    • I have some weird issue where parts of my map (the spawnroom) will actually be seen through the window+skybox in the intel room. Not sure what that's about.
    • I'm trying to figure out how I can move the spawn further from the intel without making it too much easier to intercept an intel-carrier going either direction.
    • As a general rule, you can't build underwater or on the catwalks. (Most-but-not-all nobuilds are in place.)
    • You can also jump on the generators to access the catwalks.
    • The underground tunnels that lead to the cap point are a little too straight right now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Looks pretty good, but why is there a CP there if you're doing CTF? Or will this be a pretty hybrid map?
     
  4. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    It's a simple hybrid. CTF with a CP to control minor advantages and break up the front-line dynamic. Whichever team has the control-point is able to enter the enemy base through their respective back-yards. (Scouts and explosive-jumping classes are able to get over the obstacles.)

    So holding the point makes it easier to attack the enemy from the opposite side, and helps defend your base from the same tactic. If necessary I could add a respawn time bonus.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  5. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Sounds fun. I'll try it out when I get home.
     
  6. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    can the fullbright change for the pictures?
     
  7. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I've changed the skybox and setting to daytime. I'm really not sure which time of day I want, and I suspect daytime is easier to manage both in terms of setting up lots of lighting decorating and also in terms of getting the colors right. (Which may matter if I add some custom textures.)

    I've carved out (no, not :carve:) more of the middle mountain. It now has a second floor exit on each side accessible by a shared ramp. Additionally, people can have some vertical play when it comes to the cliff-faces. I worry about what'll happen when I decide to make them all displacements: I can ensure footing quality by using playerclip to do the real heavy lifting, but ideally I'd like to have everything sew together nicely and that brings in some special considerations for sizing the displacement faces.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm still having weird problems where I can see parts of my map through the skybox material. (Whereas if I changed toolsskybox to an opaque texture, I would not be able to see them.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  8. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Looks fun, can't you have man made platforms on the cliffs if you want heavy traffic there?
     
  9. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    Good to see that you have moved on. :)
     
  10. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    ROCKZO: Honestly I didn't even think of man-made platforms. (Of the wooden slats and pier variety) but I'm 90% through making the whole thing a continuous sewable displacement with vis-blocking nodraw skeleton, so...

    I may just do that for the wide flat ledge that allows people up onto the base roof.

    Also, an admission: Every time I see your avatar I do a double-take looking for Dr. Zoidberg.

    Political: I regret naaazheeeng.
     
  11. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Well, I'm hustling to get this thing ready for a possible playtest on Saturday gameday. We'll see.

    Here are pictures, since I'm too lazy to mirror my blu->red changes and re-release at the moment, but I've made a lot of changes. (And no longer fullbright!)

    _____________
    I wanted the spawn "behind" the intelligence, but decently centralized that people could take various routes. So I moved it and added a new buffer room. Spawn is far-left, the new room is the huge one. Added bonus: Another way for an attacker to bypass a sentry position near the intel.
    [​IMG]

    The tall water-tanks (not swimmable) serve as a useful spot for enemy spies to hang out, preying on the weak. But they had better be careful they don't step on the noisy gratings. It also provides a staging area for an attacking team to delay spawning defenders so that one of them can escape with the intel, while being big enough that spawn camping is unlikely.
    [​IMG]

    If one team controlled the point, I wanted to give them a fast way to get at their enemies' back-yard, so each spawn has a water-tube (with trigger_push and trigger_teleport) that whisks them to the back-yard area.
    [​IMG]


    They come out here. It's not entirely seamless, but a teleport is a lot more convenient than actually doing all the geometry in the way. I've re-done the water-door so that it either (A) opens for teammates or (B) stays open when the other team owns the point. This prevents anyone from being stuck in the back, unable to retreat. I plan to add a flashing alarm light over the door when it is "forced" open by the capture point.
    [​IMG]


    I'm done with the displacement tunnels in the cliffside, at least in terms of T-junctions and sewing borders and visleaves. it's all a matter of painting geometry now. There will also be ledges on most rock areas to provide scouts a bit of death-from-above fun.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Updated to A2. New download link, new pictures, details in post.
     
  13. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Should be running tomorrow, Gameday Saturday. Tell 'yer friends.

    It's fixed for A3 with nobuild, but I'd ask that nobody try to build a sentry in the back-yard overlooking the enemy's swift-water exit: It's annoying when you spawn and then get pseudoteleported right in front of a sentry with no escape.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  14. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    OK, so it turns out that Pakrat *%)@#up up again in a way that I couldn't readily detect by just running through it. It did it to me before, but I thought it was only having problems with the .PCF particle files. An unreliable tool is sometimes worse than none at all... It'll be BSPZIP for me all the way, now. :cursing:

    So, yeah, "missing" (read: corrupted by Pakrat) textures in A2. Oops.

    So on gameday I was trying to focus on paths/sizing, and generally it seemed good: Not much "this is too narrow" "this is too big" etc. The flag seemed to get picked up from it's resting place pretty often (as intended) although that might chance with better knowledge of sentry spots.

    Things I heard from gameday:
    • Someone got stuck in the swift-water pipe. I don't know how.
    • The HUD can't support the cap point indicator and number-of-caps at the same time. I need to find some way to fix this, either by trashing the hybrid hud, notification messages... Or maybe even six "pseudo cap points" to graphically show win-at-3.... meh.
    • Layout was confusing to people. Even more signage needed.
    • Wasn't clear what benefit the point gave. It should've been kicking off game_text_tf messages whenever it got captured, but I didn't see any...
    • Flag moved pretty frequently. Good.
    • Back door is either too inconvenient when controlled or two easy to bypass with rocket-jumping.
    • "Springs" area around cap point large, pointless. I may just glass/fence the area off.
    • People expected to be able to go down the road. Needs a gate/fence that looks right.
    • People expected to be able to go over the front-yard pool walls more easily.
    • Capture-zone indicator/tape, since a lot of people were just assuming it was Push-CTF and they had to take the enemy's flag to the control point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  15. Tinker

    aa Tinker

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    Layout is fine, don't overdo the signage. Maps are always confusing on first play. The down the road thing might be fixed by putting the car further back, because now it looks you can pass there.

    I liked the map, but I really think the advantage for capping the point should be bigger, like getting the shortcut through the very middle of the map (instead of walking around via the cap), or something. That way there really is an incentive to cap it instead of it just being an afterthought. I'm not sure I like the fast water either.